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XL

THE BLOSSOM
On a day-alack the day! -
Love, whose month was ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air,' quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alas, my hand hath sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn :

Vow, alack, for youth unmeet; | Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.

Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were ;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.

Shakespeare.

XLI

THE FAIRY LIFE

1
OVER hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire,

THE FAIRY LIFE

35

I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs

upon

the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,

In those freckles live their savours :
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.

Shakespeare.

XLII

2

You spotted snakes, with double tongue,

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen; Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong ; Come not near our fairy queen.

Philomel, with melody

Sing in our sweet lullaby ;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby ; lulla, lulla, lullaby :

Never harm,

Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.

Weaving spiders, come not here;

Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence ! Beetles black, approach not near;

Worm, nor snail, do no offence.

Philomel, with melody

Sing in our sweet lullaby ;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby ; lulla, lulla, lullaby :

Never harm,

Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.

Shakespeare.

XLIII

3 Puck sings :

Now the hungry lion roars,

And the wolf behowls the moon;
Whilst the heavy ploughman snores,

All with weary task fordone.
Now the wasted brands do glow,

Whilst the scritch-owl, scritching loud,
Puts the wretch that lies in woe

In remembrance of a shroud.
Now it is the time of night,

That the graves, all gaping wide,
Every one lets forth his sprite,

In the churchway paths to glide :
And we fairies, that do run

By the triple Hecate's team,
From the presence of the sun,

Following darkness like a dream,

THE FAIRY LIFE

37

Now are frolic; not a mouse
Shall disturb this hallow'd house :
I am sent with broom before
To sweep the dust behind the door.

Shakespeare.

XLIV

4
Come unto these yellow sands,

And then take hands :
Courtsied when you have, and kiss’d,

The wild waves whist,
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear.

Hark, hark !

Bow, wow,
The watch-dogs bark :

Bow, wow.

Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer
Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow !

Shakespeare.

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XLV

5
WHERE the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie:
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily :

Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.

Shakespeare.

XLVI

THE FAIRY QUEEN PROSERPINA

HARK, all you ladies that do sleep!

The fairy-queen Proserpina Bids you

awake and pity them that weep. You may

do in the dark What the day doth forbid; Fear not the dogs that bark,

Night will have all hid.

But if you

lovers moan,

let

your
The fairy-queen Proserpina
Will send abroad her fairies every one,
That shall pinch black and blue

Your white hands and fair arms
That did not kindly rue

Your paramours' harms.

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In myrtle arbours on the downs

The fairy-queen Proserpina,
This night by moonshine leading merry rounds,
Holds a watch with sweet Love,

Down the dale, up the hill ;
No plaints or groans may move

Their holy vigil.

that will hold watch with Love, The fairy-queen Proserpina Will make you

All you

fairer than Dione's dove:

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