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O'er yonder hill does scant the dawn appear :
Then why does Cuddy leave his cot so rear?

CUDDY.

Ah Lobbin Clout! I ween, my plight is guest, For he that leaves, a stranger is to rest : If swains belye not, thou hast prov'd the smart, And Blouzelinda's mistress of thy heart.

10 This rising rear betokeneth well thy mind, Those arms are folded for thy Blouzelind. And well, I trow, our piteous plights agree : Thee Blouzelinda smites, Buxoma me.

LOBBIN CLOUT.

Ah, Blouzelind! I love thee more by half, Than does their fawns, or cows the new-fall’n calf; Woe worth the tongue! may blisters sore it gall, That names Buxoma Blouzelind withal.

CUDDY.

20

Hold, witless Lobbin Clout, I thee advise,
Lest blisters sore on thy own tongue arise.
Lo, yonder, Cloddipole, the blithsome swain,
The wisest lout of all the neighbouring plain!
From Cloddipole we learnt to read the skies,
To know when hail will fall, or winds arise.

Ver. 5. Scant, used in the ancient British authors for scarce.

Ver. 6. Rear, an expression in several counties of England, for early in the morning.

Ver. 7. To ween, derived from the Saxon, to think, or conceive.

He taught us erst the heifer's tail to view,
When stuck aloft, that showers would straight ensue:
He first that useful secret did explain,
That pricking corns foretold the gathering rain.
When swallows fleet soar high and sport in air,
He told us that the welkin would be clear. 30
Let Cloddipole then hear us twain rehearse,
And praise his sweetheart in alternate verse.
I'll wager this same oaken staff with thee,
That Cloddipole shall give the prize to me.

LOBBIN CLOUT.

See this tobacco-pouch, that's lin'd with hair, Made of the skin of sleekest fallow-deer. This pouch, that's ty'd with tape of reddest hue, I'll wager, that the prize shall be my due.

CUDDY.

Begin thy carols then, thou vaunting slouch! Be thine the oaken staff, or mine the pouch. 40

LOBBIN CLOUT.

My Blouzelinda is the blithest lass,
Than primrose sweeter, or the clover-grass.
Fair is the king-cup that in meadow blows,
Fair is the daisie that beside her grows;
Fair is the gilliflower, of gardens sweet,
Fair is the marygold, for pottage meet :
But Blouzelind's than gilliflower more fair,
Than daisie, marygold, or king-cup rare.

Ver. 25. Erst; a contraction of ere this ; it signifies sometime ago, or formerly.

CUDDY

50

My brown Buxoma is the featest maid,
That e'er at wake delightsome gambol play'd.
Clean as young lambkins or the goose's down,
And like the goldfinch in her Sunday gown.
The witless lamb may sport upon the plain,
The frisking kid delight the gaping swain,
The wanton calf may skip with many a bound,
And my cur Tray play deftest feats around;
But neither lamb, nor kid, nor calf, nor Tray,
Dance like Buxoma on the first of May.

LOBBIN CLOUT.

60

Sweet is my toil when Blouzelind is near ;
Of her bereft, 'tis winter all the year.
With her no sultry summer's heat I know;
In winter, when she's nigh, with love I glow..
Come, Blouzelinda, ease thy swain's desire,
My summer's shadow, and my winter's fire !

CUDDY.

As with Buxoma once I work'd at hay,
Ev'n noon-tide labour seem'd an holiday;
And holidays, if haply she were gone,
Like worky-days I wish'd would soon be done.
Eftsoons, O sweetheart kind, my love repay,
And all the year shall then be holiday.

70 Ver. 56. Deft, an old word, signifying brisk, or nimble.

Ver. 69. Eftsoons, from eft, an ancient British word, signifying soon. So that eftsoons is a doubling of the word soon ; which is, as it were, to say twice soon, or very soon.

LOBBIN CLOUT.

As Blouzelinda, in a gamesome mood,
Behind a haycock loudly laughing stood,
I slily ran, and snatch'd a hasty kiss;
She wip'd her lips, nor took it much amiss.
Believe me, Cuddy, while I'm bold to say,
Her breath was sweeter than the ripen'd hay.

CUDDY.

As my Buxoma, in a morning fair, With gentle finger strok'd her milky care, I queintly stole a kiss, at first, 'tis true, She frown'd, yet after granted one or two. Lobbin, I

swear,

believe who will my vows, Her breath by far excell'd the breathing cows.

80

LOBBIN CLOUT. Leek to the Welch, to Dutchmen butter's dear, Of Irish swains potato is the cheer ; Oats for their feasts the Scottish shepherds grind, Sweet turnips are the food of Blouzelind.

Ver. 79. Queint has various significations in the ancient English authors. I have used it in this place in the same sense as Chaucer hath done in his Miller's Tale. “ As clerkes being full subtle and queint,” (by which he means arch, or waggish); and not in that obscene sense wherein he useth it in the line immediately following.

Ver. 85. Populus Alcidæ gratissima, vitis Iaccho, Formosa myrtus Veneri, sua laurea Phæbo, Phillis amat corylos. Illas dum Phillis amabit Nec myrtus vincet corylos nec laurea Phæbi, &c.

While she loves turnips, butter I'll despise,
Nor leeks, nor oatmeal, nor potato, prize.

CUDDY.

90

In good roast-beef my landlord sticks his knife, The capon fat delights his dainty wife, Pudding our parson eats, the squire loves hare, But white-pot thick is my Buxoma's fare. While she loves white-pot, capon ne'er shall be, Nor hare, nor beef, nor pudding, food for me.

LOBBIN CLOUT.

As once I play'd at blindman's buff, it hapt About

my eyes the towel thick was wrapt. I miss'd the swains, and seiz'd on Blouzelind, True speaks that ancient proverb, “ Love is blind."

CUDDY.

100

As at hot-cockles once I laid me down,
And felt the weighty hand of many a clown ;
Buxoma gave a gentle tap, and I
Quick rose, and read soft mischief in her eye.

LOBBIN CLOUT.

On two near elms the slacken'd cord I hung, Now high, now low, my Blouzelinda swung, With the rude wind her rumpled garment rose, And show'd her taper leg, and scarlet hose.

Ver. 103—110. were not in the early editions. N.

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