When icicles hang by the wall

When icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,

When Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes home frozen in pail,

When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-whoo;

To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note

And greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

 

When all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,

When birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian’s nose is red and raw,

When roasting crabs hiss in the bowl,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-whoo;

To-whit, to-whoo, a merry note

And greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Shakespeare’s winter, in Love’s Labour Lost.

 

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