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There's not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up and gone to bring in May.

A deal of youth, ere this, is come
Back, and with white-thorn laden home.
Some have despatch'd their cakes and cream,

Before that we have left to dream :
And some have wept and woo'd, and plighted troth,
And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth :

Many a green-gown1 has been given,
Many a kiss, both odd and even:
Many a glance, too, has been sent

From out the eye, love's firmament:
Many a jest told of the keys betraying
This night, and locks pick'd : yet we're not a-

Maying.

Come, let us go, while we are in our prime,
And take the harmless folly of the time !

We shall grow old apace, and die
Before we know our liberty.
Our life is short, and our days run

As fast away as does the sun.
And, as a vapour or a drop of rain,
Once lost, can ne'er be found again,

So when or you or I are made
A fable, song, or fleeting shade,
All love, all liking, all delight

Lies drown'd with us in endless night.
Then, while time serves, and we are but decaying,
Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.

R. Herrick. i Tumble on the grass.

VII

THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY Is not thilke the merry month of May, When love-lads masken in fresh array? How falls it, then, we no merrier been, Ylike as others, girt in gaudy green? Our blanket liveries been all too sad For thilke same season, when all is yclad With pleasaunce; the ground with grass, the woods With green leaves, the bushes with blossoming buds. Young folk now flocken in every where To gather May buskets 1 and smelling brere; And home they hasten the postes to dight, And all the kirk-pillars ere day-light, With hawthorne buds and sweet eglantine, And garlands of roses and sops-in-wine.

Spenser.

VIII
O, the month of May, the merry month of May,

So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green ! O, and then did I unto my true love say,

Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer's Queen. Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale,

The sweetest singer in all the forest choir, Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love's

tale : Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier. UPON JULIA'S HAIR FILL'D WITH DEW

i Small bushes.

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But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo !

See where she sitteth; come away, my joy : Come away, I prithee, I do not like the cuckoo

Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy. O, the month of May, the merry month of May,

So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green ! O, and then did I unto my true love say, Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer's Queen.

T. Dekker.

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SEE where my Love a-maying goes

With sweet dame Flora sporting !
She most alone with nightingales

In woods delights consorting.
Turn again, my dearest !

The pleasant'st air's in meadows;
Else by the river let us breathe,

And kiss amongst the willows.

Anon.

UPON JULIA'S HAIR FILL’D WITH DEW

Dew sat on Julia's hair,

And spangled too,
Like leaves that laden are

With trembling dew :

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O MISTRESS mine, where are you roaming ?
O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,

That can sing both high and low :
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers meeting,

Every wise man's son doth know.
What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;

What's to come is still unsure :
In delay there lies no plenty ;
Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty,
Youth 's a stuff will not endure.

Shakespeare.

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THE IMPATIENT MAID

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Roses blushing as they blow,

And enticing men to pull,
Lilies whiter than the snow,
Woodbines of sweet honey full:

All love's emblems, and all cry,
• Ladies, if not plucked, we die.'

Yet the lusty spring hath stay'd ;

Blushing red and purest white

Daintily to love invite
Every woman, every maid :
Cherries kissing as they grow,

And inviting men to taste,
Apples even ripe below,
Winding gently to the waist :

All love's emblems, and all cry,
• Ladies, if not plucked, we die.'

J. Fletcher.

XIII

THE IMPATIENT MAID

WHEN as the rye reach'd to the chin,
And chop cherry, chop cherry ripe within,
Strawberries swimming in the cream,
And schoolboys playing in the stream ;
Then O, then O, then O, my true love said,
'Til that time come again
She could not live a maid !

Geo. Peele.

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