An Evergreen topic in British classical literature, children’s poems and everyday speech: patterns of climate in the British isles — страница 3

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pleasant king Then blooms each thing, Then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, The pretty birds do sing: Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!” (Thomas Mash); * * * “Cheep, cheep!” why do the birds sing? “Cheep, cheep!” why do the birds sing? “Cheep, cheep!” the birds all sing “Cheep, cheep, cheep!” because it’s spring. * * * “In the spring time, The only pretty ring time When birds do sing, Hey ding-a-ding, ding; Sweet lovers love the spring” (William Shakespeare); * * * Birds are in the tree-tops Flying here and there, Everything is growing, Spring is everywhere. Flowers are in the garden, Butterflies are there Flying round the blossoms, Spring is everywhere. * * * The birds are returning, Their songs fill the air. And meadows are smiling With

blossoms so fair. * * * When the earth is turned in spring, The worms are fat as anything. And birds come flying all around To eat the worms right off the ground. They like worms just as much as I Like bred, and milk, and apple pie. Summer and early autumn are fine and bright; the most ancient song that appears with its musical notes attached (about 1250) glorifies the coming of summer: “Summer is icumen in – lhude sing cuccu! Groweth sed, and bloweth med, and springth the wudu nu – sing cuccu!” (Modern version: “summer has come in – sing loud, cuckoo! The seed grows and the meadow flowers, and now the wood is in leaf – sing cuckoo!”). Children are very glad when summer comes: “Come over, for the bee has quit the clover, and your English summer’s done”

(Rudyard Kipling); “The swallows are making them ready to fly, wheeling out on a windy sky; good-bye, summer, good-bye, good-bye” (George Whyle-Melville); * * * Come, my children, come away For the sun shines bright today. Little children, come with me Birds and trees and flowers to see! * * * Ger your hats and come away, For it is a pleasant day. * * * Let us make a merry ring, Talk and laugh, and dance and sing! Quickly, quickly come away, For it is a pleasant day! * * * Summer’s here! Days are long, and the sun Is high and strong. Long live, summer! Golden-bright, Full of warmth And sweet delight! In autumn and winter fog is most frequent, particularly over the low-lying parts of the Midlands, where cold air gathers in hollows, and in the polluted parts of cities. Fogs

are densest when skies are clear and winds light, they are therefore less common in coastal regions and in the Highlands, where autumn and winter winds are strong. There are melancholy notes in the descriptions of autumn and winter months: “No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, no comfortable feel in any member – no shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, and no birds – November!” (Thomas Hood); In one of his letters Rudyard Kipling writes: “Never again will I spend another winter in this accursed bucket shop of a refrigerator called England”. George Gordon Byron sarcastically remarks in “Don Juan”: “In England winter – ending in July, to recommence in August”. Such attitudes to winter may be found in many

poetical works: “Fear no more the heat o’the sun, nor the furious winter’s rages” (William Shakespeare); “O wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” (Percy Bysshe Shelley); Children’s poems about autumn are rather sad: Flowers are happy in summer In autumn they die and are blown away Dry and withered, Their petals dance in the wind Like little brown butterflies” (L. Hughes) * * * “Come, little leaves”, said the wind one day. “Come over the meadows with me and play Put on your dresses of red and gold, For summer is gone and days are cold”. * * * This is the season when days are cool, When we eat apples and go to school. And some poems about winter: In winter time we go Walking in the fields of snow; Where there is no grass at all; Where the top of

every wall, Every house and every tree Is as white, as white can be. And our footprints in the snow Where the children go. * * * Skating, skating, Boys and girls so gay Like to skate together On a winter day. Rain is a familiar feature of the British climate in any season English literature: “Lord, this is a huge rain! This was a weather to sleep in!” (Geoffey Chaucer); “All day the low-hung clouds have dropped their garnered fullness down; all day that soft gray mist hath wrapped hill, valley, grove and town” (Caroline Southey); “I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers, from the seas and the streams” (Percy Bysshe Shelley); “Oft a little morning rain foretells a pleasant day” (Charlotte Bronte). There are lots of children’s poems about rain: The sun is