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He takes it out with such long wind,

I shall be happy if this will afford the That he'll not leave one drop behind. readers of the Every-Day Book any in

formation concerning the harvest customs Behold and see what he can do,

of this county.

I am, Sir, &c.
He has not put it in his shoe ;

6. . X.
He has not drank one drop in vain,
He'll slake his thirst, then drink again.
Here's a health anto my brother John,

A valuable correspondent transmits a
It's more than time that we were gone ; particular account of his country custom,
But drink your fill, and stand your ground, which will be read with pleasure.
This health is called the plough-boys round.

To this may be added the following.

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
A Health Drinking.

Sir,-As the harvest has now become There was a man from London came, very general, I am reminded of a circumWith a rum-bum-bum-bare-larum ;

stance, which I think worthy of communiDrink up your glass for that's the game,

cating to you. After the wheat is all cut, And say ne'er a word, except—Mum. on most farms in the north of Devon, the

harvest people have a custom of “ crying The great object is to start something the neck." "I believe that this practice is which will catch some unguarded reply seldom omitted on any large farm in that in lieu of saying “Mum,” when the party so unguardedly' replying, is fined to drink part of the country. "It is done in this

way. An old man, or some one else well two glasses. For the beginning of Harvest there is acquainted with the ceremonies used on

the occasion, (when the labourers are this

reaping the last field of wheat,) goes round Harvest Song

to the shocks and sheaves, and picks out

a little bundle of all the best ears he can Now Lammas comes in,

find; this bundle he ties up very neat Our harvest begin,

and trim, and plats and arranges the We have done our endeavours to get the straws very tastefully. This is called the corn in;

neck" of wheat, or wheaten-ears. After We reap and we mow, And we stoutly blow

the field is cut out, and the pitcher once And cut down the corn

more circulated, the reapers, binders, and That did sweetly grow. the women, stand round in a circle. The

person with “ the neck” stands in the cenThe poor old man

tre, grasping it with both his hands. He That can hardly stand,

first stoops and holds it near the ground, Gets up in the morning, and do all he can, and all the men forming the ring, take of Gets up, &c.

their hats, stooping and holding them I hope God will reward

with both hands towards the ground. Such old harvest man. They then all begin at once in a very pro

longed and harmonious tone to cry But the man who is lazy

neck !" at the same time slowly raising And will not come on,

themselves upright, and elevating their He slights his good master

arms and hats above their heads; the And likewise his men ;

person with the neck” also raising it on We'll pay him his wages

high. This is done three times. They
And send him gone,

then change their cry to “wee yen!"-
For why should we keep
Such a lazy drone.

way yen !”—which they sound in the

same prolonged and slow manner as beNow harvest is over

fore, with singular harmony and effect, We'll make a great noise,

three times. This last cry is accompanied Our master, he says,

by the same movements of the body and You are welcome, brave boys ;

arms as in crying “ the neck.” I know We'll broach the old beer,

nothing of vocal music, but I think I may And we'll knock along,

convey some idea of the sound, by giving And now we will sing an old harvest song you the following cotes in gamut.


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have 66 we


we yen

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We Let these notes be played on a flute that they mean by with perfect crescendos and diminuendoes, ended. It may more probably mean and perhaps some notion of this wild end,” which the uncouth and provincial sounding cry may be formed. Well, pronunciation has corrupted into “ after having thus repeated “the neck" yen!"

I am, Sir, three times, and “wee yen” or


Your obedient servant, yen" as often, they all burst out into a July, 1826.

R. A. R. kind of loud and joyous laugh, Alinging P. S. In the above hastily written up their hats and caps into the air, caper- count, I should have mentioned that “ the ing about and perhaps kissing the girls. neck” is generally hung up in the farmOne of them then gets“ the neck," and house, where it remains sometimes three runs as hard as he can down to the farm

or four years. I have written“ we yen, house, where the dairy-maid, or one of because I have always heard it so prothe young female domestics, stands at the nounced ; they may articulate it differdoor prepared with a pail of water. If ently in other parts of the country. he who holds “ the neck" caz manage to get into the house, in any way unseen, or

Essex, openly, by any other way than the door

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. at which the girl stands with the pail of water, then he may lawfully kiss her; but,

Sir,--As harvest has began in various if otherwise, he is regularly. soused' with counties, I beg leave to give you a desthe contents of the bucket. On a fine cription of what is called the “harvest still autumn evening, the “crying of the supper,” in Essex, at the conclusion of

the harvest.
neck" has a wonderful effect at a distance,
far finer than that of the Turkish muezzin,

After the conclusion of the harvest, a
which lord Byron eulogizes so much, and supper is provided, consisting of roast
which he says is preferable to all the bells beef and plum.pudding, with plenty of
in Christendom.' I have, once or twice strong ale, with which all the men who
heard upwards of twenty men cry it, and have been employed in getting in the corn
sometimes joined by an equal number of regale themselves. At the beginning of
female voices. About three years back, whole of them at the supper.

the supper, the following is sung by the
on some high grounds, where our people
were harvesting, I heard six or seven

Here's a health to our master,
“ necks" cried in one night, although I

The lord of the feast, know that some of them were four miles

God bless his endeavours, off. They are heard through the quiet

And send him increase; evening air, at a considerable distance

May prosper his crops, boys, sometimes. But I think that the practice

That we may reap another year,

Here's your master's good health, boys,
is beginning to decline of late, and many

Come, drink off your beer.
farmers and their men do not care about
keeping up this old custom. I shall al- After supper the following:-
ways patronise it myself, because I take Now harvest is ended and supper is past,
it in the light of a thanksgiving. By the Here's our mistress's good health, boys,
by, I was about to conclude, without en- Come, drink a full glass;
deavouring to explain the meaning of the For she is a good woman, she provides us
words, we yen !" I had long taken good cheer,
them for Saxon, as the people of Devon Here's your mistress's good health, boys,
are the true Saxon breed. But I think Come, drink off your beer.
that I am wrong. I asked an old fellow The night is generally spent with great
about it the other day, and he is the only mirth, and the merry-makers seldom dis.
man who ever gave me a satisfactory ex- perse till “ Bright Phæbus has mounted
planation. He says, that the object of cry- his chariot of day."
“ the neck” is to give the surrounding

I am, &c.
country notice of the end of harvest, and An Essex MAN AND SUBSCRIBE R.


It is the advice of the most popular Til Ploughmán thou givest of our old writers on husbandry, that

his harvest home gouse ; In harvest time, harvest folke,

Though goose goe in stubble,

I passe not for that,
servants and all,

Should make, altogether,

goose have a goose,

be she lean, be she fat. good cheere in the hall :

Tusser. And fill out the black bole, of bleith to their song,

Whereon “ Tusser Redivivus” notes, And let them be merry

that “the goose is forfeited, if they all harvest time long.

overthrow during harvest." A MS. Once ended thy harvest,

note on a copy of Brand's “ Antiquities,” let none be beguilde,

lent to the editor, cites from Boys's Please such as did please thee,

“Sandwich,” an item “35 Hen. VIII. man, woman, and chlild. Thus doing, with alway

Spent when we ete our harvyst goose such help as they can,

iijs. vid. and the goose xd." Thou winnest the praise

In France under Henry IV. it is cited of the labouring man.

by Mr. Brand from Seward, that “after

Tusser. the harvest, the peasants fixed upon some “Tusser Redivivus” says, “This, the poor regale, (by them called the harvest gos

holiday to meet together and have a little labourer thinks, crowns all; a good supper ling) to which they invited not only each must be provided, and every one that did any thing towards the Inning must other, but even their masters, who pleased

them now have some reward, as ribbons, laces,

very much when they condescended rows of pins to boys and girls, if never

to partake of it.” so small,' for their encouragement, and, to be sure, plumb-pudding. The men must now have some better than best

According to information derived by drink, which, with a little tobacco and Mr. Brand, it was formerly the custom their screaming for their largesses, their

at Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, for each business will soon be done."

farmer to drive furiously home with the

last load of his corn, while the people Harvest Goose.

ran after him with bowls full of water in For all this good feasting,

order to throw on it; and this usage was yet art thou not loose,

accompanied with great shouting.


Who has not seen the cheerful harvest-home,
Enliv'ning the scorch'd field, and greeting gay
The slow decline of Autumn. All around
The yellow sheaves, catching the burning beam,
Glow, golden lustre; and the trembling stem
Of the slim oat, or azure corn-flow'r,
Waves on hedge-rows shady. From the hill
The day-breeze softly steals with downward wing,
And lightly passes, whisp’ring the soft sounds
Which moan the death of Summer. Glowing scene!
Nature's long holiday! Luxuriant, rich,
In her proud progeny, she smiling marks
Their graces, now mature, and wonder-fraught!
Hail! season exquisite l-and hail, ye sons
Of rural toil'ye blooming daughters !-ye
Who, in the lap of hardy labour rear’d,
Enjoy the mind unspotted! Up the plain,
Or on the side-long hill, or in the glen,
Where the rich farm, or scatter'd hamlet, shows
The neighbourhood of peace ye still are found,
A merry and an artless throng, whose souls
Beam thro' untutor'd glances. When the dawn

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Unfolds its sunny lustre, and the dew
Silvers the out-stretch'd landscape, labour's sons
Rise, ever healthful,-ever cheerily,
From sweet and soothing rest; for fev'rish dreams
Visit not lowly pallets! All the day
They toil in the fierce beams of fervid noon—
But toil without repining! The blithe song
Joining the woodland melodies afar,
Fling its rude cadence in fantastic sport
On Écho's airy wing! the pond'rous load
Follows the weary team: the narrow lane
Bears on its thick-wove hedge the scatter'd corn,
Hanging in scanty fragments, which the thorn
Purloin'd from the broad waggon.

To the brook
That ripples, shallow, down the valley's slope,
The herds slow measure their unvaried way ;-
The flocks along the heath are dimly seen
By the faint torch of ev’ning, whose red cye
Closes in tearful silence. Now the air
Is rich in fragrance! fragrance exquisite!
Of new-mown bay, of wild thyme dewy washid,
And gales ambrosial, which, with cooling breath,
Ruffle the lake's grey surface. All around
The thin mist rises, and the busy tones
Of airy people, borne on viewless wings,
Break the short pause of nature. From the plain
The rustic throngs come cheerly, their loud din
Augments to mingling clamour. Sportive hinds,
Happy! more happy than the lords ye serve!
How lustily your sons endure the hour
Of wintry desolation; and how fair
Your blooming daughters greet the op'ning dawn
Of love-inspiring spring!

Hail! harvest-home!
To thee, the muse of nature pours the song,
By instinct taught to warble! Instinct pure,
Sacred, and grateful, to that pow'r ador'a,
Which warms the sensate being, and reveals
The soul, self-evident, beyond the dreams
Of visionary sceptics! Scene sublime!
Where the rich earth presents her golden treasures;
Where balmy breathings whisper to the heart
Delights unspeakable! Where seas and skies,
And hills and vallies, colours, odours, dews,
Diversify the work of nature's God!

Mrs. Robinson.

It was formerly the custom in the whole band, and the evening spent in parish of Longforgan, in the county of joviality and dancing, while the fortunate Perth North Britain, to give what was lass who took the maiden was the queen called a maiden feast. Upon the of the feast; after which this handful of finishing of the barvest the last handful corn was dressed out generally in the form of corn reaped in the field was called of a cross, and hung up with the date of the maiden. This was generally con- the year, in some conspicuous part of the trived to fall into the hands of one of the house. This custom is now entirely done finest girls in the field, and was dressed away, and in its room each shearer is up with ribands, and brought home in given sixpence and a loaf of bread. Howtriumph with the music of fiddles or bag- ever, some farmers, when all their corns pipes. A good dinner was given to the are brought in, give their servants a dinner

and a jovial evening, by way of harvesthome."

The festiral of the in-gathering in Scotland, is poetically described by the elegant author of the “ British Georgics."

• Statistical Account of Scotland.


Harvest Home.

The fields are swept, a tranquil silence reigns,
And pause of rural labour, far and near.
Deep is the morning's hush ; from grange to grange
Responsive cock-crows, in the distance heard,
Distinct as if at hand, soothe the pleased ear;
And oft, at intervals, the fail, remote,
Sends faintly through the air its deafened sound.

Bright now the shortening day, and blythe its close,
When to the Kirn the neighbours, old and young,
Come dropping in to share the well-earned feast.
The smith aside his ponderous sledge has thrown,
Raked up his fire, and cooled the hissing brand
His sluice the miller shuts; and from the barn
The threshers hie, to don their Sunday coats.
Simply adorned, with ribands, blue and pink,
Bound round their braided hair, the lasses trip
To grace the feast, which now is smoking ranged
On tables of all shape, and size, and height,
Joined awkwardly, yet to the crowded guests
A seemly joyous show, all loaded well:
But chief, at the board-head, the haggis round
Attracts all eyes, and even the goodman's grace
Prunes of its wonted length. With eager knife,
The quivering globe he then prepares to broach ;
While for her gown some ancient matron quakes,
Her gown of silken woof, all figured thick
With roses white, far larger than the life,
On azure ground,-her grannam's wedding garb,
Old as that year when Sheriffmuir was fought.
Old tales are told, and well-known jests abound,
Which laughter meets half way as ancient friends,
Nor, like the worldling, spurns because thread bare

When ended the repast, and board and bench
Vanish like thought, by many hands removed,
Up strikes the fiddle; quick upon the floor
The youths lead out the half-reluctant maids,
Bashful at first, and darning through the reels

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