Odes of the Months
Month of January--smoky is the vale;
Weary the wine-bearer; strolling the minstrel;
Lean the cow; seldom the hum of the bee;
Empty the milk fold; void of meat the kiln;
Slender the horse; very silent the bird;
Long to the early dawn; short the afternoon;
Justly spoke Cynfelyn,
"Prudence is the best guide for man."
Month of February--scarce are the dainties;
Wakeful the adder to generate its poison;
Habitual is reproach from frequent acknowledgement;
The hired ox has not skill to complain;
Three things produce dreadful evils,
A woman's counsel, murder, and way-laying;
Best is the dog upon a morning in spring;
Alas! To him who murders his maid!
Month of March--great is the forwardness of the birds,
Severe is the cold wind upon the headlands;
Serene weather will be longer than the crops;
Longer continues anger than grief;
Every one feels dread;
Every bird wings to its mate.
Every thing springs through the earth'
But the dead, strong is his prison!
Month of April--aerial is the horizon;
Fatigued the oxen; bare the land;
Common is the visitor without an invitation;
Poor the deer; blithesome the hare;
Everyone claims his labour;
Happy his state who governs himself;
Common is separation with virtuous children;
Common, after presumption, is a long cessation.
Month of May--wanton is the lascivious;
Sheltering the ditch to everyone who loves it;
Joyous the aged in his robes;
Loquacious the cuckoo in the rural vales;
Easy is society where there is affection;
Covered with foliage are the woods, sportive the amorous,
There comes as often to the market,
The skin of the lamb as the skin of the sheep.
Month of June--beautiful are the fields;
Smooth the sea, pleasing the strand;
Beautifully long the day, playful the ladies;
Full the flocks, apt to be firm the bog;
God loves all tranquility;
The devil loves all mischief;
Everyone covets honour;
Every might one, feeble his end.
Month of July--the hay is apt to smoke;
Ardent the heat, dissolved the snow;
The vagrant does not love a long confederacy;
There is no success to the progeny of an unchaste person;
Bare the farm-yard--partly empty the circular eminence;
Clean the perfect person, disgraceful the boasting word;
Justly spoke the foster-son of Mary,
"God judges, though man may prate."
Month of August--covered with foam is the beach;
Blithesome the bee, full the hive;
Better the work of the sickle than the bow;
Fuller the stack than the theatre.
He that will neither work nor pray,
Is not worthy to have bread;
Justly spoke Saint Breda,
"Evil will not be approached less than good."
Month of September--benign are the planets;
Tending to please, the sea and the hamlet;
Common is it for steeds and men to be fatigued;
Common is it to posses all kinds of fruit:--
A princely girl was born,
To be our leader from painful slavery;--
Justly spake St. Berned,
"God does not sleep when he gives deliverance."
Month of October--penetrable is the shelter;
Yellow the tops of the birch, solitary the summer dwelling;
Full of fat the birds and the fish;
Less and less the milk of the cow and the goat;
Alas! To him who merits disgrace by sin!
Death is better than frequent extravagance;
Three thngs follow every crime,
Fasting, prayer, and charity.
Month of November--very fat are the swine;
Let the shepherd go; let the minstrel come;
Bloody the blade, full the barn;
Pleased the sea, tasteless the cauldron;
Long the night, active the prisoner;
Respected is everyone who possesses property;
For three things men are not often concerned,
Sorrow, angry, look, and an illiberal miser.
Month of December--the shoe is covered with dirt:
Heavy the land, flagging the sun;
Bare are the trees, still is the muscle;
Cheerful the cock, and determined the thief;
Whilst the twelve months proceed so sprightly,
Round the youthful mind, is the spoiler Satan;
Justly spoke Yscolan,
"God is better than an evil prophecy."