John Clare's The Shepherd's Calendar

John Clare writes so beautifully about rural life and the changes of the seasons. I love his description of February, how Winter gives way to Spring and then, so quickly, back to Winter.

This seems especially relevant at the moment as we having such lovely, Spring-like weather.

The snow is gone from cottage tops                                          
The thatch moss glows in brighter green
And eves in quick succession drops
Where grinning ides once hath been
Pit patting wi a pleasant noise
In tubs set by the cottage door
And ducks and geese wi happy joys
Douse in the yard pond brimming oer...

The sun peeps thro the window pane
Which childern mark wi laughing eye
And in the wet street steal again
To tell each other spring is nigh....

Thus nature of the spring will dream
While south winds thaw but soon again
Frost breaths upon the stiffening stream
And numbs it into ice-the plain...

Soon wears its merry garb of white
And icicles that fret at noon
Will eke their icy tails at night
Beneath the chilly stars and moon