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REIGN OF CHARLES II. TO WILLIAM III. 579
See, the wish'd-for day approaches, Day with joys attended :
School's heavy course is run,
Safely the goal is won, Happy goal, where toils are ended.
Quit, my weary muse, your labours, Quit your books and learning;
Banish all cares away,
Welcome the holiday, Hearts for home and freedom yearning.
Smiles the season, smile the meadows, Let us, too, he smiling;
Now the sweet guest is come,
Philomel, to her home, Homeward, too, our steps beguiling.
Roger, ho! 'tis time for starting, Haste with horse and traces; Seek we the scene of bliss, Where a fond mother's kiss Longing waits her boy's embraces.
Sing once more, the gate surrounding, Loud the joyous measure, Lo! the bright morning star, Slow rising from afar, Still retards our dawn of pleasure.
Appropinquat, ecce! felix! Hora gaudiorum:
Post grave tedium,
Advenit omnium Meta petita laborum.
Musa, libros mitte, fessa,
Mitte pensa dura: Mitte negotium, Jam datur otium;
Me mea mittito cura I
Ridet annus, prata rident; Nosque rideamus.
Jam repetit domum,
Daulias advena: Nosque domum repetamus.
Heus : Rogere ! fer caballos ; Eja, nunc eamus; • Limen amabile, Matris et oscula, Suaviter et repetamus!
Concinamus ad Penates; Vox et audialur:
Phosphore! quidjubar Segnius emicans, Gaudia nostra moratur?
There are still many harvest-home and harvest-supper songs extant; but formerly the labours of the field were accompanied with song, as well as the after rejoicings. " How heartily," says Dr. John Case, " doth the poorest swain both please himself, and flatter his beast, with whistling and singings. Alas ! what pleasure could they take at the whip and plough tail, in so often and incessant litbours; such bitter weather-beatings; sometimes benumbed with cold; otherwise melted with heat; unless they quieted, and even brought asleep their painfulness, with this their homely, yet comfortable and self-pleasing exercise ? .. . Those with a light heart make their plough go lighter, and while they use the solace of their natural instruments, both quicken themselves and encourage forward their over - laboured horse." (" The Praise of Music, Printed at Oxenford by Joseph Barnes, Printer to the University," 1586.) Mr. Surtees, in his History of Durham, mentions having read a report of a trial " in which a Mr. Spearman made a forcible entry into a field of Mrs. Wright's at Birtley, and mowed and carried away the crop whilst his piper played from the top of the loaded wains," for the purpose of making the men work the faster, so as to get away before they could be interrupted. If harvest men were introduced on the stage in the early drama, it was almost invariably for the purpose of making them sing or dance. In Peek's Old Wives' Tale, 1571, the harvest men appear at this speech,—,