The Churn

September's golden sun departs,
The harvest moon her journey starts.
The cool refreshing dew of night
Like gems, now sparkle in her light.

This is the final harvest day,
Which brings a night of song and play.
Come gather round - the hour is late,
But still the "Churn" we'll celebrate.

For many weeks the reaper's song,
Has echoed forth - the whole day long.
The smiling sward quite unafraid
Has danced upon the gleaming blade.

The final sheaf falls to the ground.
The steaming horses wheel around.
The farmer shouts a brave "well done"
And leads the way for harvest home.

And through the farmhouse kitchen pane,
Beckons the homely welcome flame
Where all prepared the good wife waits,
With steaming bowls and loaded plates.

And soon an eager hungry throng .
Big strapping fellows, young and strong,
And neighbour lasses, half a score
Excited enter through the door.

There's wine in bottles - best home made,
There's ginger beer and lemonade,
And good black porter by the quart,
To loose the tongue and warm the heart.

There's fowl, there's bunks o' salted beef,
There's stacks o' pork beyond belief.
There's stew and broth and cottage pie,
And apple dumplin's by and by.

And when the happy feast is o'er,
The spacious red-tiled kitchen floor
Invites the merry toe and heel
To dance a hornpipe, jig or reel.

The fiddler sets a merry pace,
There's glee and smiles on every face,
As round they whirl in merry zest,
Wi' many a 'hooch' and rowdy jest.

The keen hilarious happy throng,
Have sung and revelled all night long.
And now the light streams from the East,
So ends this happy harvest feast.

Another day leaps o'er the hill,
There's herds to tend - there's fields to till,
The lads and lasses homeward turn
Wi' happy memories of the "Churn."

John Clifford (1954)

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John Clifford