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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

A Rainy Day on the Farm

By Aristophanes (c. 448–c. 388 B.C.)

From ‘The Peace’: Translation of John Hookham Frere

HOW sweet it is to see the new-sown cornfield fresh and even,

With blades just springing from the soil that only ask a shower from heaven.

Then, while kindly rains are falling, indolently to rejoice,

Till some worthy neighbor calling, cheers you with his hearty voice.

Well, with weather such as this, let us hear, Trygæus tell us

What should you and I be doing? You’re the king of us good fellows.

Since it pleases heaven to prosper your endeavors, friend, and mine,

Let us have a merry meeting, with some friendly talk and wine.

In the vineyard there’s your lout, hoeing in the slop and mud—

Send the wench and call him out, this weather he can do no good.

Dame, take down two pints of meal, and do some fritters in your way;

Boil some grain and stir it in, and let us have those figs, I say.

Send a servant to my house,—any one that you can spare,—

Let him fetch a beestings pudding, two gherkins, and the pies of hare:

There should be four of them in all, if the cat has left them right;

We heard her racketing and tearing round the larder all last night.

Boy, bring three of them to us,—take the other to my father:

Cut some myrtle for our garlands, sprigs in flower or blossoms rather.

Give a shout upon the way to Charinades our neighbor,

To join our drinking bout to-day, since heaven is pleased to bless our labor.