Today's poem

Thomas Tusser (1524-1580) was an English poet and farmer. He wrote a long piece of work comprising simple rhyming couplets entitled Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry (A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie). Last December I read stanzas (42-45) of Christmas, enjoyed them, and knew the year-round agricultural manners in his community in the 16th century from his work. In a part of January, there's a preparation for spring. I recall verses on farming such as a poem ‘After Apple-Picking' by Robert Frost, a sequence of haikus ‘The Organic Farming Calendar’ by Hilary Menos, and Kenji Miyazawa (宮沢 賢治).  
Selected Poems
     January.  by Thomas Tusser
            (from Project Gutenberg) 

46. When Christmas is done, kepe not Christmas time still: 
       be mindefull of rering, and loth for to kill. 
       For then, what thou rerist thou nede not to dout: 
       will double thy gaine, ere the yere come about.  

47. Be gredy to spende all, and careles to saue: 
      and shortly be nedy, and redy to craue. 
      be wilfull to kill, and vnskilfull to store: 
      and sone giue vp houskeping, longe any more.  

48. Thy calues then, that come betwene new yere and lent: 
      saue gladly for store, lest thou after repent. 
      For all thing at that time, that colde feleth some: 
      shall better beare colde, when the next winter come.  

49. Weane no time thy calfe, vnder xl daies olde: 
      and lay for to saue it, as thou sauest golde. 
      yet calues that doe fal, betwene change and the prime: 
      pas seldome to rere them, but kill them in time. 

50. For stores of thy swine, be thou carefull betwix: 
      of one sow at one time, rere seldome past six. 
      The fewe that she kepe, much the better shal bee: 
      of all thing, one good is worth steruelinges three.  

51. Geld vnder the dame, within fornight at least: 
      and saue both thy money, and life of the beast. 
      But gelde with the gelder, as many one doe: 
      and of halfe a dosen, go geld away two. 

52. Thy coltes for the sadle, geld yong to be light: 
      for cart doe not so, if thou iudgest a right. 
      Nor geld not, but when they be lusty and fat: 
      for there is a point, to be learned in that.  

53. Geld marefoles, but titts ere and nine dayes of age: 
      they die els of gelding, some gelders wil gage. 
      But marefoles, both likely of bulke and of bone: 
      kepe such to bring coltes, let their gelding alone.  

54. For gaining a trifle, sell neuer thy store: 
      for chaunsing on worse, then thine owne were before. 
      More larger of body, the better for brede: 
      more forward of growing, the better they spede.  

55. Thy sowes, great with fare, that come best for to rere: 
      loke dayly thou seest them, and count them full dere. 
      For that time, the losse of one fare of thy sowe: 
      is greater, then losse of two calues of thy kowe.  

56. A kow good of milk, big of bulke, hayle and sounde, 
      is yerely for profet, as good as a pounde. 
      And yet, by the yere haue I proued ere now: 
      as good to the purse, is a sow as a kow.  

57. Kepe one and kepe both, so thou maist if thou wilt: 
      then all shall be saued, and nothing be spilt. 
      Kepe two bease, and one sow, and liue at thine ease: 
      and no time for nede, bye thy meate but thou please.  

58. Who both by his calues, and his lambes will be knowne: 
      may well kill a neate, and a shepe of his owne. 
      And he, that will rere vp a pig in his house: 
      shall eate sweter bakon, and cheaper fed sowse.  

59. But eate vp thy veale, pig and lambe being froth: 
      and twise in a weeke, go to bed without broth. 
      As that man that pas not, but sell away sell: 
      shall neuer kepe good house, where euer he dwell.  

60. Spende none but thyne owne, howsoeuer thou spende: 
      nor haft not to god ward, for that he doth sende. 
      Tythe truly for al thing, let pas of the rest: 
      the iust man, his dealinges god prospereth best. 
61. In January, husbandes that powcheth the grotes: 
      will breake vp their lay, or be sowing of otes. 
      Sow Jauiuer Otes, and lay them by thy wheate; 
      in May, bye thy hay for thy cattel to eate.