Charles Cotton (28 April 1630 – 16 February 1687 / Beresford Hall)
The Evening Quatrains
THE Day's grown old, the fainting Sun
Has but a little way to run,
And yet his steeds, with all his skill,
Scarce lug the chariot down the hill.
With labour spent, and thirst opprest,
Whilst they strain hard to gain the West,
From fetlocks hot drops melted light,
Which turn to meteors in the Night.
The shadows now so long do grow,
That brambles like tall cedars show,
Mole-hills seem mountains, and the ant
Appears a monstrous elephant.
A very little little flock
Shades thrice the ground that it would stock;
Whilst the small stripling following them
Appears a mighty Polypheme.
These being brought into the fold,
And by the thrifty master told
He thinks his wages are well paid,
Since none are either lost or stray'd.
Now lowing herds are each-where heard,
Chains rattle in the villian's
The cart's on tail set down to rest,
Bearing on high the cuckold's crest.
The hedge is stripp'd, the clothes brought in,
Nought's left without should be within,
The bees are hiv'd, and hum their charm,
Whilst every house does seem a swarm.
The cock now to the roost is press'd:
For he must call up all the rest;
The sow's fast-pegg'd within the sty,
To still her squeaking progeny.
Each one has had his supping mess*, [meal]
The cheese is put into the press,
The pans and bowls are scalded all,
Rear'd up against the milk-house wall.
And now on benches all are sat
In the cool air to sit and chat,
Till Phoebus, dipping in the West,
Shall lead the World the way to rest.
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