Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard
One morning in April Martin Pippin walked in the meadows near Adversane, and there he saw a young fellow sowing a field with oats broadcast. So pleasant a sight was enough to arrest Martin for an hour, though less important things, such as making his living, could not occupy him for a minute. So he leaned upon the gate, and presently noticed that for every handful he scattered the young man shed as many tears as seeds, and now and then he stopped his sowing altogether, and putting his face between his hands sobbed bitterly. When this had happened three or four times, Martin hailed the youth, who was then fairly close to the gate. "Young master!" said he. "The baker of this crop will want no salt to his baking, and that's flat." The young man dropped his hands and turned his brown and tear-stained countenance upon the Minstrel. He was so young a man that he wanted his beard. "They who taste of my sorrow," he replied, "will have no stomach for bread." And with that he fell anew to his sowing and sighing, and passed up the field. When he came down again Martin observed, "It must be a very bitter sorrow that will put a man off his dinner." "It is the bitterest," said the youth, and went his way. At his next coming Martin inquired, "What is the name of your sorrow?" "Love," said the youth. By now he was somewhat distant from the gate when he came abreast of it, and Martin Pippin did not catch the word. So he called louder: "What?" "Love!" shouted the youth. His voice cracked on it. He appeared slightly annoyed. Martin chewed a grass and watched him up and down the meadow.