The Old Jug
Its grey print smudged and set askew It held no less the harvest brew. This old straight-sided harvest jug With cracked curved lip and dented handle In decorated glory stood Upon the farmer’s harvest table.
The milkmaid with her butter churn And labourer in his broad-brimmed hat Stand either side their tools of toil, The sickle, shears, the plough and pail.
Woven wreaths of oats and wheat Around the rim in garlands flow, Proclaim the purpose of the jug Supported by the verse below.
The last grain stored, lit by the moon, They stacked and thatched the crackling straw Against the winter coming soon. The stubble damped by autumn’s shroud, With aching backs, complaining knees, They drank the ale from off its lees And next day harnessed up and ploughed.