XI Mon. January [1733] hath xxxi days.

1XI Mon. January [1733] hath xxxi days.
                  More nice than wise.
3  Fair, rich, and young, a Maiden for his Bed;
4  Not proud, nor churlish, but of faultless size;
5  A Country Houswife in the City bred.
8XII Mon. February hath xxviii days.
    N. N. of B---s County, pray don't be angry with
                          poor Richard.
9 Each Age of Men new Fashions doth invent;
10      Things which are old, young Men do not esteem:
11What pleas'd our Fathers, doth not us content;
12      What flourish'd then, we out of fashion deem:
13              And that's the reason, as I understand,
15I Mon. March hath xxxi days.
16   My Love and I for Kisses play'd,
18   But when I won she would be paid;
19   This made me ask her what she meant:
20Quoth she, since you are in this wrangling vein,
21Here take your Kisses, give me mine again.
22II Mon. April hath xxx days.
23Kind Katharine to her husband kiss'd these words,
24." Mine own sweet Will, how dearly I love thee!
25If true (quoth Will) the World no such affords.
26And that its true I durst his warrant be;
27   For ne'er heard I of Woman good or ill,
28   But always loved best, her own sweet Will.
29III Mon. May hath xxxi days.
30Mirth pleaseth some, to others 'tis offence,
32Some wish a witty Jest, some dislike that,
33And most would have themselves they know not what.
34   Then he that would please all, and himself too,
35   Takes more in hand than he is like to do.
36IV Mon. June hath xxx days.
37Observe the daily circle of the sun,
38And the short year of each revolving moon:
39By them thou shalt foresee the following day,
40Nor shall a starry night thy hopes betray.
41When first the moon appears, if then she shrouds
42Her silver crescent, tip'd with sable clouds,
43Conclude she bodes a tempest on the main,
44And brews for fields impetuous floods of rain.
45V Mon. July hath xxxi days.
46Ev'n while the reaper fills his greedy hands,
47And binds the golden sheafs in brittle bands:
48Oft have I seen a sudden storm arise
49From all the warring winds that sweep the skies:
51Suck'd by the spungy clouds from oft the main;
52The lofty skies at once come pouring down,
53The promis'd crop and golden labours drown.
54VI Mon. August hath xxxi days.
56The year, and earth in sev'ral climes divides.
58Glows with the passing and repassing sun.
59Far on the right and left, th'extreams of heav'n,
60To frosts and snows and bitter blasts are giv'n.
61Betwixt the midst and these, the Gods assign'd
62Two habitable seats for humane kind.
63VII Mon. September hath xxx days.
64Death is a Fisherman, the world we see
65His Fish-pond is, and we the Fishes be:
66His Net some general Sickness; howe'er he
67Is not so kind as other Fishers be;
68For if they take one of the smaller Fry,
69They throw him in again, he shall not die:
70But Death is sure to kill all he can get,
71And all is Fish with him that comes to Net.
72VIII Mon. October hath xxxi days.
73    Time was my spouse and I could not agree,
74Striving about superiority:
75The text which saith that man and wife are one,
76Was the chief argument we stood upon:
77She held, they both one woman should become;
78I held they should be man, and both but one.
79Thus we contended daily, but the strife
81IX Mon. November hath xxx days.
82My neighbour H---y by his pleasing tongue,
83Hath won a Girl that's rich, wise, fair and young,
84The Match (he saith) is half concluded, he
85Indeed is wondrous willing; but not she.
86And reason good, for he has run thro'all
87Almost the story of the Prodigal;
89That's true, for none would trust him with their swine.
90X Mon. December hath xxxi days.
91She that will eat her breakfast in her bed,
92And spend the morn in dressing of her head,
93And sit at dinner like a maiden bride,
94And talk of nothing all day but of pride;
95God in his mercy may do much to save her,
96But what a case is he in that shall have her.


2] Old Batchelor: January is sometimes depicted as an old lecherous man, as in Chaucer's ."Merchant's Tale.." Back to Line
6] nice: picky. staid: dilly-dallied. Back to Line
7] bespeak: propose to. Back to Line
14] Prodigus: the Prodigal Son. Back to Line
17] keep stakes: hold in advance what he put down at a bet. Back to Line
31] conceit: figure of speech. Back to Line
50] slucy: sluicy, drenching. Back to Line
55] Apollo: the sun. Back to Line
57] Five girdles: Equator, Arctic, Antarctic, and the north and south temperate zones. Back to Line
80] ."Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis 2:24). Back to Line
88] Luke 15:15 (the Prodigal Son left his father and took his inheritance, but wasted it, and so he was driven to work as a pig-feeder, as which ."he would faine have filled his belly with the huskes that the swine did eate.Àæ."). Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
The Complete Poor Richard Almanacks, intro. Whitfield J. Bell, Jr., Vol. 1, 1733-1747 (Barre, Massachusetts: The Imprint Society, Inc., 1970): 7-18. PS 749 A3 1970 Robarts Library First published in 1733.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire