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LII

SPRING’S WELCOME

What bird so sings, yet so does wail ?
O'tis the ravish'd nightingale.
Jug, jug, jug, jug, tereu! she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
Brave prick-song! Who is 't now we hear ?
None but the lark so shrill and clear ;
Now at heaven's gate she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.
Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat
Poor robin redbreast tunes his note;
Hark how the jolly cuckoos sing
Cuckoo ! to welcome in the spring !
Cuckoo ! to welcome in the spring!

J. Lyly.

LIII

ON A BANK AS I SAT A-FISHING

This day Dame Nature seem'd in love ;
The lusty sap began to move ;
Fresh juice did stir th' embracing vines,
And birds had drawn their valentines;
The jealous trout that low did lie
Rose at the well-dissembled fly;
There stood my friend, with patient skill
Attending of his trembling quill.

THE HAPPY COUNTRYMAN

45

Already were the eaves possess'd
With the swift pilgrim's daubed nest;
The groves already did rejoice
In Philomel's triumphing voice;
The showers were short, the weather mild,
The morning fresh, the evening smiled;
Joan takes her neat-rubb’d pail, and now
She trips to milk the sand-red cow;
Where for some sturdy football swain
Joan strokes a syllabub or twain ;
The fields and gardens were beset
With tulip, crocus, violet ;
And now, though late the modest rose
Did more than half a blush disclose,
Thus all look'd gay and full of cheer
To welcome the new-liveried year.

Sir H. Wotton.

LIV

THE HAPPY COUNTRYMAN
Who can live in heart so glad
As the merry country lad ?
Who upon a fair green balk
May at pleasure sit and walk,
And amid the azure skies
See the morning sun arise,-
While he hears in every spring
How the birds do chirp and sing:
Or before the hounds in cry
See the hare go stealing by :

all :

Or along the shallow brook,
Angling with a baited hook,
See the fishes leap and play
In a blessed sunny day :
Or to hear the partridge call,
Till she have her

covey
Or to see the subtle fox,
How the villain plies the box;
After feeding on his prey,
How he closely sneaks away,
Through the hedge and down the furrow
Till he gets into his burrow :
Then the bee to gather honey,
And the little black-haired coney,
On a bank for sunny place,
With her forefeet wash her face :
Are not these, with thousands moe
Than the courts of kings do know,
The true pleasing spirit's sights
That may breed true love's delights?
But with all this happiness,
To behold that Shepherdess,
To whose eyes all shepherds yield
All the fairest of the field,

-Fair Aglaia, in whose face
Lives the shepherds highest grace:
For whose sake I

say
and

swear,
By the passions that I bear,
Had I got a kingly grace,
I would leave my kingly place

SWEET CONTENT

47

And in heart be truly glad
To become a country lad;
Hard to lie, and go full bare,
And to feed on hungry fare,
So I might but live to be
Where I might but sit to see
Once a day, or all day long,
The sweet subject of my song :
In Aglaia's only eyes
All my worldly Paradise.

N. Breton.

LV

SWEET CONTENT

1 Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content;

The quiet mind is richer than a crown; Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent; The

poor estate scorns fortune's angry frown : Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such

bliss, Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss. The homely house that harbours quiet rest,

The cottage that affords nor pride nor care,
The mean that 'grees with country music best,

The sweet consort of mirth and modest fare,
Obscurèd life sets down a type of bliss :
A mind content both crown and kingdom is.

R. Greene. i Orig. 'Music's fare.' Modest fare' is Mr. W. J. Linton's conjecture.

1

LVI

2
Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers ?

O sweet content!
Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex'd ?

O punishment !
Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex'd
To add to golden numbers golden numbers ?

O sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content !
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face ;
Then hey nonny nonny-hey nonny nonny !
Can'st drink the waters of the crispèd spring ?

O sweet content!
Swim'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine own tears?

O punishment!
Then he that patiently want's burden bears,
No burden bears, but is a king, a king!

() sweet content! O sweet, O sweet content !
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny-hey nonny nonny !

T. Dekker.

LVII

THE COUNTRY'S RECREATIONS
QUIVERING fears, heart-tearing cares,
Anxious sighs, untimely tears,

Fly, fly to courts !
Fly to fond worldlings' sports

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