Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 2

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" In harvest time, harvest folke, servants and all, Should make, all together, good cheer in the hall, And fill out the black bowl, so blithe to their song, And let them be merry, all harvest-time long."
In the reign of Charles I., we have the following admirable description by
Eerrick, of "The Hock-Cart,b or
Pickering's edit.) :—
" Come, sons of summer, by whose toil,
We are the lords of wine and oil,—
By whose tough labours and rough hands,
We rip up first, then reap our lands.
Crown'd with the ears of corn, now come,
And, to the pipe, sing Harvest-home.
Come forth, my lord, and see the cart
Drest up with all the country art.
See, here a Maukin,c there a sheet,
As spotless-pure as it is sweet;
The horses, mares, and frisking fillies,
Clad all in linen white as lilies.
The harvest swains and wenches bound
For joy, to see the hock-cart crown'd.
About the cart hear how the rout
Of rural younglings raise the shout,"
Pressing before, some coming after,
Harvest-Home" (ITesperides, i. 139>
Ye shall see first the large and chief Foundation of your feast, fat beef; With upper stories, mutton, veal, And bacon, which makes full the meal; With sev'ral dishes standing by, As, here a custard, there a pie, And here all tempting frumenty. And for to make the merry cheer, If smirking wine be wanting here, [beer; There's that which drowns all care, stout Which freely drink to your lord's health, Then to the plough, the commonwealth, Next to your flails, your vanes, your vats, Then to the maids with wheaten hats ; To the rough sickle, and crookt scythe, Drink, frolic, boys, till all be blythe. Feed and grow fat, and as ye eat,
Those with a shout, and these with laughter. Be mindful that the lab'ring neat,
Some bless the cart, some kiss the sheaves, Some prank them up with oaken leaves, Some cross the fill-horse, some with great Devotion stroke the home-borne wheat; While other rustics, less attent To prayers than to merriment, Run after with their breeches rent. "Well, on, brave boys, to your lord's hearth,
As you, may have their full of meat. And know, besides—ye must revoke The patient ox unto the yoke, And all go back unto the plough [now. And harrow, though they're hang'd up And that this pleasure is like rain, Not sent ye for to drown your pain, But for to make it spring again."
Glitt'ring with fire, where, for your mirth,
So Stevenson, in his Twelve Moneths, 1661, says, " In August the furmety pot welcomes home the Harvest Cart, and the garland of flowers crowns the captain of the Reapers: the battle of the field is now stoutly fought. The pipe and the tabor are now busily set a-work; and the lad and the lass will have no lead on their heels. 0 'tis the merry time wherein honest neighbours make good cheer, and God is glorified in his blessings on the earth."
» Tusser redivivua, p 104. In the first edition of Tusser, lr>57 (reprinted by Sir Egerton Brydges), this stanza is as follows :—            ,
'■ Then welcome thy harvest folke, serveauntes and all; With mirth and good chere, let them furnish the hall. The Harvest-Lorde nightly, must give thee a song : Fill him then the blacke boll, or els he hath wrong." b " Hock-cart,—By this word is meant the high or
rejoicing-cart, and it was applied to the last load of corn, as typical of the close of harvest. Thus Hock-tide is de­rived from the Saxon Hoah-tid. or high tide, and is ex­pressive of the height of festivity." (Dr. Drake.) Horkey, Hockey, and Hooky, seem all to be derived from this root. c Maukin,—a country maid,

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III