I went by the way, weeping for sorrow,
saw a ploughman, hanging on to his plough,
coat was of coarse stuff, that was called cary,
hood was full of holes with his hair hanging out,
trod along in knobbed shoes, clouted full thick,
hose overhung his hocks, on every side,
besmeared with mud, as he ploughed along,
mittens, made of rough stuff,
fingers hung out, covered in mud.
wallowed in mud almost to the ankle,
drove before him four feeble heifers,
might count every rib, so rueful were they,
wife walked with him, with a long goad,
a short coat, cut full high,
in a winding sheet, to warm her from weather,
on bare ice, so the blood flowed,
at the land's end lay a little bowl, [end of the strip]
therein lay a little child, wrapped in rags,
twins of two years old, upon another side,
they sung a song that sorrow was to hear;
sung all one song, a miserable note.
ploughman sighed sore, and said, "Children be still!"