Gas looming through the fog in divers places in the streets, much as the sun may, from the spongey fields, be seen to loom by husbandman and ploughboy
. Most of the shops lighted two hours before their time--as the gas seems to know, for it has a haggard and unwilling look.
"Why, there's Solomon in the hall," said the Squire, "and playing my fav'rite tune, I believe--"The flaxen-headed ploughboy"-- he's for giving us a hint as we aren't enough in a hurry to hear him play.
Ah, I knew it was "The flaxen-headed ploughboy": there's no finer tune."
'I've been breaking in the grey colt - no easy business that -directing the ploughing of the last wheat stubble - for the ploughboy
has not the sense to direct himself - and carrying out a plan for the extensive and efficient draining of the low meadowlands.'
'All day had been flooding with rain; we could not go to church, so Joseph must needs get up a congregation in the garret; and, while Hindley and his wife basked downstairs before a comfortable fire - doing anything but reading their Bibles, I'll answer for it - Heathcliff, myself, and the unhappy ploughboy
were commanded to take our prayer-books, and mount: we were ranged in a row, on a sack of corn, groaning and shivering, and hoping that Joseph would shiver too, so that he might give us a short homily for his own sake.
One guessed him as the third generation, grandson to the shepherd or ploughboy
whom civilization had sucked into the town; as one of the thousands who have lost the life of the body and failed to reach the life of the spirit.
I much prefer the company of ploughboys
and tin-peddlers to the silken and perfumed amity which celebrates its days of encounter by a frivolous display, by rides in a curricle and dinners at the best taverns.
Class amusements, be they for dukes or ploughboys
, always become nuisances and curses to a country.
You have to remember the impoverished ploughboy
was about to board a ship for the West Indies to take up a post as overseer on a slave plantation, before his poetry shot to No1 in the Edinburgh singles chart of 1786.
They might be unfamiliar to those who couldn't care less but the lyrics of the Merry Ploughboy
, Sean South from Garryowen and Broad Black Brimmer don't leave any room for misinterpretation of their IRA support.
I also miss "The Ploughboy
Interview." There was one with John Holt about unschooling ("So You Want to Home-School," January/ February 1984).
You will have found yourself singing a song whose original words were about a dead cow and a delinquent ploughboy
. The song was heard in a pub in Forest Green, Surrey, in the leafy commuter-belt fringes of London, by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, sung to him by an old man called Mr Garman.