Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Winter
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” Act V. Scene 2

WHEN icicles hang by the wall,
  And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
  And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,        5
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
                Tu-whit!
Tu-who!—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 1
 
When all around the wind doth blow,        10
  And coughing drowns the parson’s saw, 2
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
  And Marian’s nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs 3 hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl        15
                Tu-whit!
Tu-who!—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
 
Note 1. Keel the pot: cool by ladling to prevent boiling over. (Malone.) [back]
Note 2. Saw: a story. [back]
Note 3. Crabs: wild apples. [back]
 
 
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