Buxom dame of Reading, or, The cuckold's cap (1)/A Winter Piece

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WHEN the trees were all bare, not a leaf to be seen,
and the meadows their beauties had lost:
When all Nature disrob’d of her mantle of green,
and the rivers bound up by the frost.

When the peasant inactive stands shivering with cold,
and the bleak winds northerly blow;
The innocent lambs feud away to their fold,
with their fleeces all covered with snow.

In the yard where the cattle were fodder’d with straw,
and they send forth their breath like a stream;
And the neat looking dairy maid sees she must thaw
flakes of ice she beholds on the cream.

There the sweet country-maiden as fresh as a rose,
she carelessly slips and then slides;
Then the rustic laughs loud, if by falling she shows,
all the charms which her modesyy hides.

When the lades and the lafses in company join,
and set round the embers, they chat;
Talk of witches and Fairies, that ride on the wind,
and of Ghost till they’re all in a sweat.

When the birds to the barn-door comes hov’ring for food,
and they earnestly drop from their spray;
Then the poor frighted hare in vain walks the wood,
left her foot-steps her course should betray.

Heaven grant in that season it may be my lot,
with the maid whom I love and admire,
While the ice-sickles hing from the eves of my cot,
may we live therein safely retir’d.

In peace and in pleasure, and free from all care,
may we live and each other admire;
And thus in due season when sickness falls out,
then each of each other may take care.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.