In the coalfields

This morning Mr. Berkenshaw came again, and after he had examined me and taught me something in my work, he and I went to breakfast in my chamber upon a collar of brawn, and after we had eaten, asked me whether we had not committed a fault in eating to-day; telling me that it is a fast day ordered by the Parliament, to pray for more seasonable weather; it having hitherto been summer weather, that it is, both as to warmth and every other thing, just as if it were the middle of May or June, which do threaten a plague (as all men think) to follow, for so it was almost the last winter; and the whole year after hath been a very sickly time to this day. I did not stir out of my house all day, but conned my musique, and at night after supper to bed.

This mine I work
and break upon—
we pray for it.
The weather is
as warm as an ear
after a day of music.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Wednesday 15 January 1661/62.

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