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THE COUNTRY'S RECREATIONS

49

Where strain'd sardonic smiles are glozing still,
And grief is forced to laugh against her will ;

Where mirth's but mummery,
And sorrows only real be!

Fly from our country pastimes, fly,
Sad troop of human misery !

Come, serene looks,

Clear as the crystal brooks,
Or the pure azured heaven, that smiles to see
The rich attendance of our poverty !

Peace, and a secure mind,
Which all men seek, we only find.

Abused mortals ! did

you

know Where joy, heart's ease, and comforts grow,

You'd scorn proud towers,

And seek them in these bowers
Where winds sometimes our woods perhaps may

shake,
But blustering care could never tempest make,

Nor murmurs e'er come nigh us,
Saving of fountains that glide by us.

Here's no fantastic mask, nor dance
But of our kids that frisk and

prance :
Nor wars are seen

Unless upon the green
Two harmless lambs are butting one another-
Which done, both bleating run, each to his mother;

And wounds are never found,
Save what the ploughshare gives the ground.

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Here are no false entrapping baits
To hasten too-too hasty Fates;

Unless it be

The fond credulity
Of silly fish, which worldling-like still look
Upon the bait, but never on the hook :

Nor envy, unless among
The birds, for prize of their sweet song.

Go, let the diving negro seek
For gems hid in some forlorn creek;

We all pearls scorn

Save what the dewy morn
Congeals upon each little spire of grass,
Which careless shepherds beat down as they pass;

And gold ne'er here appears
Save what the yellow Ceres bears.

Blest silent groves! O may ye be
For ever mirth's best nursery !

May pure contents

For ever pitch their tents Upon these downs, these meads, these rocks, these

mountains, And peace still slumber by these purling fountains;

Which we may every year
Find when we come a-fishing here !

Anon.

THE SHEPHERD'S WIFE'S SONG

51

LVIII

THE SHEPHERD'S WIFE'S SONG

AH, what is Love? It is a pretty thing,
As sweet unto a shepherd as a king;

And sweeter too;
For kings have cares that wait upon a crown,
And cares can make the sweetest love to frown:

Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?

His flocks are folded, he comes home at night, As merry as a king in his delight;

And merrier too;
For kings bethink then what the state require,
Where shepherds careless carol by the fire :

Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?

He kisseth first, then sits as blithe to eat
His cream and curds as doth the king his meat;

And blither too ;
For kings have often fears when they do sup,
Where shepherds dread no poison in their cup:

Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?

To bed he goes, as wanton then, I ween,
As is a king in dalliance with a queen;

More wanton too;
For kings have many griefs affects to move,
Where shepherds have no greater grief than love:

Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?

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Upon his couch of straw he sleeps as sound
As doth a king upon his beds of down;

More sounder too;
For cares cause kings full oft their sleep to spill,
Where weary shepherds lie and snort their fill :

Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?

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Thus with his wife he spends the year, as blithe
As doth the king at every tide or sithe ;1

And blither too ;
For kings have wars and broils to take in hand,
Where shepherds laugh and love upon the land :

Ah then, ah then,
If country loves such sweet desires do gain,
What lady would not love a shepherd swain ?

R. Greene,

1 Time.

COUNTRY NIGHTS

53

LIX

COUNTRY NIGHTS

The damask meadows and the crawling streams

Sweeten and make soft thy dreams : The purling springs, groves, birds, and well-weaved

bowers,
With fields enamelled with flowers,
Present thee shapes, while phantasy discloses

Millions of lilies mixt with roses.
Then dream thou hearest the lamb with many a

bleat
Woo'd to come suck the milky teat;
Whilst Faunus in the vision vows to keep

From ravenous wolf the woolly sheep; With thousand such enchanting dreams, which meet

To make sleep not so sound as sweet. Nor can these figures so thy rest endear

As not to up when chanticleer Speaks the last watch, but with the dawn dost rise

To work, but first to sacrifice: Making thy peace with Heaven for some late fault, With holy meat and crackling salt.

Herrick.

LX

Heigho! chill go to plough no more!

Sit down and take thy rest;
Of golden groats I have full store

To flaunt it with the best.

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