Thirty days hath -- November, sayeth Bartlett's

Thirty days hath -- November, sayeth Bartlett's

I went browsing in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations to find some about September. I found only one, but with some interesting variations.

When the index of Bartlett's read "September, thirty days hath," I thought I'd find the rhyme I'd known since childhood for figuring the lengths of months. But here's what I found, attributed to Richard Grafton (? - 1572):

"Thirty dayes hath Nouember,

April, June and September,

February hath xxviii alone,

And all the rest have xxxi."

-- from "Chronicles of England," 1562.

Strangely, my edition of Bartlett's has other versions of this mnemonic poem in footnotes to the Grafton entry. The months are in the familiar order,

"Thirty days hath September,

April, June and November"

in a version listed as from "The Return from Parnassus" (1606), for which no author is cited.

My further research indicates that this is part of a trilogy, with some citations mentioning Shakespeare and others no author at all. At any rate, it's too early to be my favorite Sustaining Book about Parnassus, "Parnassus on Wheels" by Christopher Morley. Further information is welcome in the comments; if I find it myself, I will post it here.

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