January / February
Now turns the year, and Janus at his door
Lets out the old to welcome in the new;
While snowdrop, overlooking hardfaced hoar,
Proclaims fierce Winter's tenure nearly through.
Short, purifying, February spans
Dark days when dyke must fill with white or black,
Yet Valentine solicits lovers' plans
For Jill to woo and captivate her Jack.
Be merry, for the coming months will bring
Enchanted days as Winter yields to Spring.
March / April
Stern Mars stalks in like roguish rough-maned wight
And eastern winds prepare the land for seed,
While daytime lengthens, balancing dark night,
And Christian souls prepare to keep their creed.
Sweet Aphrodite, comely bride of Spring,
Now may your tender children leave their nest;
Each bursting bud, each fledgling's feathered wing,
Proclaims success in nature's annual test.
The lion has gone, lambs gambol in his stead,
And gentle showers bring blossoms to their head.
May / June
Here comes fair May, the fairest maid of all,
Bedecked with myriad flowers of every hue
While, all around, the cuckoo's covert call
Announces Spring's in play and Summer's due.
Then jolly June in jesting woodland theme
Disports herself as only she knows how,
Explaining in a famed midsummer dream
That man becomes an ass through broken vow.
The dappled fawn surveys all this and more
From honeysuckle break and sylvan floor.
July / August
Hay month, your meadow sweet and grassy dell
Once hosted tinkling scythe and mower's lay,
When Summer in her ripening prime knew well
The fiery power of sun each cloudless day.
In August, golden wheat swells into ear
To screen the leveret's form and poppy's flowers;
A time for reaping, and a time held dear
In memory of childhood's playful hours;
As colours slowly mellow in their hue
From verdant green to shades of dusky blue.
September / October
The wine and barley months of Saxon lore
Bear fruits in teeming, succulent display,
And signal creatures great and small to store
Their annual harvest for another day.
Then Autumn spreads her russet-coloured cloak
From tree-top by degrees to bush and bower,
And crisp, dry mornings under beech and oak
Now crackle in a dancing copper shower.
And high above the squirrels hurtle, chased
To headlong flights of fancy by their haste.
November / December
Now Autumn takes her leave in gust and gale
And landscape sleeps in mist from morn to noon,
The beamless sun, diminished, wan and pale,
Hangs milky, in resemblance of the moon.
But children of all ages strain to see
The first fresh flake of vestal snow appear,
And deck their halls with holly from the tree
To welcome Christmas and a brave New Year.
While Reynard, in his suit of white and red,
Keeps watch on farm as farmer lies in bed.
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