Internet Shakespeare Editions


Autumn: the harvest

From the Roxburghe Ballads. University of Victoria Library.

(Note the couple here embracing in a stook of hay.)

Blow horn for sleepers,
And cheer up thy reapers.

Make sure of reapers, get harvest in hand,
The corn that is ripe do but shed as it stand.

Reap well, scatter not, gather clean that is shorn,
Bind fast, shock* apace, have an eye to thy corn;
Load safe, carry home, follow time being fair,
Goave [stack] just in the barn, it is out of despair.

Tithe* duly and truly, with hearty good will,
That God and his blessing may dwell with thee still.

As in the previous quotations, the rhymes are taken from Tusser's Five Hundred Points.


  1. Glossary

    To stack several sheaves of hay or grain in a shock or stook.
    Tithes (one tenth of the harvest) were paid to the church.