« PreviousContinue »
Cuckoo, cuckoo,-0 word of fear,
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws, **
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
Winter. When icicles hang by the wall, 6
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,7
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
[6) i. e. from the eaves of the thatch or other roofing, from which in the morning icicles are found depending in great abundance, after a night ? frost Our author (whose images are all taken from nature) has alluded in The Tempest, to the drops of water that after rain flow from such coverings, in their natural unfrozen state :
“ His tears run down his beard, like winter's dr
“ From eaves of reeds." MAL.  So, in King Henry V I. Part III :
" What tiine the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
“ Can neither call it perfect day or night.” MAL,  This word is yet used in Ireland, and signifies to scum the pot.
GOLDSMITH. Keel the pot. i. e. cool the pot : “The thing is, they mix their, thicking of oatmeal and water, which they call blending the litting (or lithing,) and put it in the pot, when they set it on, because when the meat, pudding and turnips are all in, they cannot so well mix it, but 'tis apt to go into lumps ; yet this method of theirs renders the pot liable to boil over at the first ris. ing, and every subsequent increase of the fire; to prevent which it becomes necessary for one to attend to cool it occasionally, by lading it up frequently with a lile, which they cail keeling the pot, and is indeed a greasy office.” Gent. M1g. 1760. This account seems to be accurate. RITSON
To keel signifies to cool in general, without any reference to the kitchen. Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the ancient metrical History of The Battle of Floddon, that it is a common thing in the North “ for a maid ser. IV.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw, 9
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
Arm. The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo.- You, that way ; we, this way.
vant to take out of a boiling pot a wheen, i. e. a small quantity, viz. a por. ringer or two of broth, and then to fill up the pot with cold water. The broth thus taken out, is called the keeling wheen. In this manner greasy Joan keeled the pot.
" Gie me beer, and gie me grots,
“ He's bae frae me the keeling wheen.” STEEV.  Saw seems anciently to have meant, not as at present, a proverb, & sen
त tence, but the whole tenor of any instructive discourse. STEEVENS.
Yet in As you like it, our author uses this word in the sense of a sentence, or maxim : “ Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might," &c. It is, I belicve, so used here. MAL.
 i. e. the wild apples so called. STEEVENS.
The bowl must be supposed to be filled with ale ; a toast and some spice and sugar being added, what is called lamo's wool it produced. MAL
END OF VOL. II.
MUNROE & FRANcis's