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And after her came jolly June, array'd
    All in green leaves, as he a player were;
Yet in his time he wrought as well as play'd,
    That by his plough-irons mote right well appeare.
Upon a crab he rode, that him did bare
    With crooked crawling steps an uncouth pase,
And backward-yode, as bargemen wont to fare
    Bending their force contrary to their face;
    Like that ungracious crew which faines demurest grace.


This is the sixth month of the year. According to an old author "unto June the Saxons gave the name of Weyd-monat, because their beasts did then weyd in the meddowes, that is to say, goe to feed there, and hereof a medow is also in the Tutonicke called a weyd, and of weyd we yet retaine our word wade, which we understand of going through watrie places, such as medowes are wont to be."* [1] Another author likewise says, that "weyd is probably derived from weyden (German), to go about as if to pasture;" he further says, they called it Woedmonath, and that woed means "weed"; and that they called it also by the following names: Medemonath, Midsumormonath, and Braeckmonath; thought to be so named from the breaking up of the soil from bræcan (Saxon), to break: they also named it Lida erra; the word Lida, or litha, signifying in Icelandic, "to move, or pass over," may imply the sun's passing its greatest height, and Lida erra consequently mean the first month of the sun's descent. Lida, it is added has been deemed to signify smooth-air.* [2]

Mr. Leigh Hunt observes, in his "Months," that "the name of June, and indeed that of May, gave rise to various etymologies; but the most probable one derives it from Juno, in honour of whom a festival was celebrated at the beginning of the month." He says, "it is now complete summer:—

' Summer is ycomen in,
Loud sing cuckoo;
    Groweth seed,
    And bloweth mead,
And springeth the weed new.'

"Thus sings the oldest English song extant, in a measure which is its own music.—The temperature of the air, however, is still mild, and in our climate sometimes too chilly; but when the season is fine, this is, perhaps, the most delightful month of the year. The hopes of spring are realized, yet the enjoyment is but commenced: we have all summer before us; the cuckoo's two notes are now at what may be called their ripest,—deep and loud; so is the hum of the bee; little clouds lie in lumps of silver about the sky, and sometimes fall to complete the growth of the herbage; yet we may now lie down on the grass, or the flowering bands, to read or write; the grasshoppers click about us in the warming verdure; and the fields and hedges are in full blossom with the clover, the still more exquisite bean, the pea, the blue and yellow nightshade, the fox-glove, the mallow, white briony, wild honeysuckle, and the flower of the hip or wild rose, which blushes through all the gradations of delicate red and white. The leaves of the hip, especially the young ones, are as beautiful as those of any garden rose. Towards evening, the bat and the owl venture forth, flitting through the glimmering quiet; and at night, the moon looks silveriest, the sky at once darkest and clearest; and when the nightingale, as well as the other birds have done singing, you may hear the undried brooks of the spring running and panting through their leafy channels. 'It ceased,' says the poet, speaking of a sound of heavenly voices about a ship,—

It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook,
    In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
    Singeth a quiet tune.


"There is a greater accession of flowers, in this month than in any other. In addition to those of the last, the garden sparkles with marygolds, golden-road, larkspur, sun-flowers, amarynths, (which Milton intermingles with sun-beams for his angel's hair,) lupins, carnations, Chinese pinks, holyhocks, ladies' slipper, annual stocks, campanulas, or little bells, martagons, periwinkles, wall-flower, snap-dragon, orchis, nasturtium, apocynum, chrysanthemum, cornflower, gladiolus, and convolvulus. The reader who is fond of poetry, and of the Greek fables, and does not happen to be acquanted with professor Maryn's notes upon Virgil, should here be informed, that the species of red lily, called the martagon or Turk's-cap, has been proved by that writer, at least to our satisfaction, to be the real ancient hyacinth, into which the youth of that name was turned by Apollo. The hyacinth, commonly so called, has nothing to show for its being the ancient one, which should be of a blood colour, and was said to be inscribed with the Greek exclamation of sorrow AI, AI. Now, we were struck with the sort of literal black marks with which the Turk's-cap is speckled, and on reading the professor's notes, and turning to the flower again, we could plainly see, that with some allowance, quite pardonable in a superstition, the marks might now and then fall together, so as to indicate those characters. It is a most beautiful, glowing flower; and shoots cracefully forth in a vase or glass from among white lilies, and the double narcissus:—

[Greek lines from Moschus]


'Now tell your story, Hyacinth; and show
Ai Ai the more amidst your sanguine woe.'

"The rural business of this month is made up of two employments, as beautiful to look at as they are useful,—sheep-shearing and hay-making. Something like a holiday is still made of the former, and in the south-west of England, the custom, we believe, is still kept up, of throwing flowers into the streams, and evident relic of paganism; but, altogether, the holiday is but a gleam of the same merry period in the cheap and rural time of our ancestors."

June 1.

St. Justin, Martyr, A.D. 167. St. Pamphilus, A.D. 309. St. Caprais, Abbot, A.D. 430. St. Peter, of Pisa, A.D. 1435. St. Wistan, Prince of Mercia, A.D. 849.

St. Nicomede.

This saint is in the English almanacs of this day; for what reason is unknown. He was an ancient martyr in no way distinguished from others who perished during the persecution under Domitian.


1794. Lord Howe's memorable victory by sea over the French fleet.

1814. A newspaper of this day notices that the Tuesday preceding was observed at Burton, in Dorsetshire, as a great festival, in consequence of the arrival at that place of a vat of Hambro' yarn, from London, being the first that had come into the town for many years. The inhabitants met the waggon, took out the horse, decorated the vat with ribands, and various emblems of peace, plenty, trade and commerce, and drew the same through the village, preceded by a flag and band of music, amidst the acclamations of thousands, many of whom were regaled with bread, cheese, and strong beer: one loaf (among others) baked for the occasion, claimed the admiration of every one present; its length being six feet three inches, breadth twenty-one inches, depth fourteen inches, and its weight considerably above 100 lbs. To explain the occasion of this rejoicing, it is necessary to state that Burton, as a manufacturing place, had suffered under the privation which was felt more or less throughout the British dominions, by Buonaparte declaring them to be in a state of blockade. By this decree, from the continent of Europe being within his power, he was enabled to injure and derange the industry and commerce of our artisans and merchants to an extent that was not contemplated. They have happily been liberated by an unlooked-for, and wonderful, combination of circumstances; nor so long as good faith and wise dispositions prevail, can they be prevented from arriving to a height of prosperity unparalleled in our annals.


Yellow Rose. Rosa lutea.
Dedicated to St. Justin.


Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Verstegan. [return]

2. Dr. F. Sayers. [return]