Thomas Hardy was sensitive to seasonal weathers.

The comical scene of the intrepid market-going women of the first poem is matched by a spring-centred reflection and then a rain-rueing one, in the second.


Seven buxom women abreast, and arm in arm,

   Trudge down the hill, tip-toed,

       And breathing warm;

They must perforce trudge thus to keep upright

     On the glassy ice-bound road.


And they must get to market whether or no,

      Provisions running low

       With the nearing Saturday night,

While the lumber van wherein they mostly ride

       Can  nowise go:

Yet loud their laughter as they stagger and slide!


This is the weather the cuckoo likes,

                And so do I;

When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,

                And nestlings fly:

And the little brown nightingale bills his best,

And they sit outside at ‘The Travellers’ Rest,’

And maids come forth sprig-muslin drest,

And citizens dream of the south and west,

               And so do I.


This is the weather the shepherd shuns,

             And so do I;

When beeches drip in browns and duns,

            And thresh, and ply;

And hill-hid tides throb, throe on throe,

And meadow rivulets overflow,

And drops on garden-bars hang in a row,

And rooks in families homeward go,

            And so do I.