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Prin. [To the King.] Ay, sweet my lord; and so

I take my leave. King. No, madam ; we will bring you on your

way. Bir. Our wooing doth not end like an old play ; Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy Might well have made our sport a comedy. King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a

day. And then 'twill end. Bir.

That's too long for a play.

Enter ARMADO.

Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,
Prin. Was not that Hector ?
Dum. The worthy knight of Troy.

Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave: I am a votary; I have vow'd to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckoo ? it should have followed in the end of our show.

King. Call them forth quickly: we will do so. Arm. Holla! approach.

Enter HOLOFERNES, Sir NATHANIEL, Moth,

COSTARD, and others. This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring ; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo

Ver, begin.

Song.

I.
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,49

Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:

Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo,-0 word of fear!
Unpleasing to a married ear.

II.

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,

And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks;
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,

And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he:

Cuckoo,
Cuckoo, cuckoo, - word of fear!
Unpleasing to a married ear.

III.

Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, so And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail;

49 Gerarde in his Herbal, 1597, says, that the flos cuculi carda: mine, &c., are called “ in English cuckoo flowers, in Norfolk Canterbury bells, and at Namptwich, in Cheshire, Ladie-smocks." In Lyte's Herbal, 1578, it is remarked, that cowslips are, in French of some called coquu prime vere, and brayes de coquu. Herbe a coqu was one of the old French names for the cowslip, which it seems probable is the flower here meant.

50 A similar expression occurs in one of South's Sermons : “So

When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who,
To-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot."

51

IV.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs 52 hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who,
To-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

Arm The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You, that way; we, this

way. [Exeunt.

that the king, for any thing that he has to do in these matters, may sit and blow his nails; for use them otherwise he cannot."

61 To keel, or kele, is to cool. Latterly it seems to have been applied particularly to the cooling of boiling liquor. To keel the pot is to cool it by stirring the pottage with the ladle to prevent the boiling over.

62 The crab-apple, which used to be roasted and put hissing hot into a bowl of ale, previously enriched with toast, and spice, and sugar. How much this was relished in old times, may be guessed by those who appreciate the virtues of apple-toddy. Warner thus speaks of a shepherd :

“ And with the sun doth folde againe ;

Then, jogging home betime,
He turnes a crab, or tunes a round,
Or sings some merrie ryme

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