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The Goat remark’d, her pulse was high, Her languid head, her heavy eye : “ My back," says he, may


you harm; The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm.

The Sheep was feeble, and complain’d, His sides a load of wool sustain'd; Said he was slow, confess'd his fears; For Hounds eat Sheep as well as Hares.

She now the trotting Calf address'd,
To save from death a friend distress'd.

“ Shall I,” says he,“ of tender age,
In this important care engage?
Older and abler pass'd you by ;
How strong are those! how weak am I !
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine may take offence
Excuse me, then ; you know my
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
How shall we all lament! Adieu ;
For, see, the Hounds are just in view.”


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Lo, I, who erst beneath a tree
Sung Bumkinet and Bowzybee,
And Blouzelind and Marian bright,
In apron blue or apron white,
Now write my sonnets in a book,
For my good lord of Bolingbroke.

As lads and lasses stood around
To hear my boxen hautboy sound,
Our clerk came posting o'er the green
With doleful tidings of the queen ;
“ That queen,” he said, “ to whom we owe
Sweet peace, that maketh riches flow ;
That queen, who eas'd our tax of late,
Was dead, alas ! — and lay in state.”

At this, in tears was Cicely seen,
Buxoma tore her pinners clean,
In doleful dumps stood every clown,
The parson rent his band and gown.

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For me, when as I heard that Death Had snatch'd queen Anne to Elizabeth, I broke my reed, and, sighing, swore, I'd weep for Blouzelind no more.

While thus we stood as in a stound, And wet with tears, like dew, the ground, Full soon by bonfire and by bell We learnt our liege was passing well. A skilful leach (so God him speed) They said, had wrought this blessed deed. This leach Arbuthnot was yclept, Who many a night not once had slept ; But watch'd our gracious sovereign still ; For who could rest when she was ill ? Oh, may'st thou henceforth sweetly sleep! Sheer, swains, oh! sheer your softest sheep, To swell his couch ; for, well I ween, He sav'd the realm, who sav'd the queen.

Quoth I, “ Please God, I'll hye with glee
To court, this Arbuthnot to see.”
I sold my sheep, and lambkins too,
For silver loops and garment blue ;
My boxen hautboy, sweet of sound,
For lace that edg'd mine hat around;
For Lightfoot, and my scrip, I got
A gorgeous sword, and eke a knot.

So forth I far'd to court with speed,
Of soldier's drum withouten dreed;
For peace allays the shepherd's fear
Of wearing cap of grenadier.

There saw I ladies all a-row,
Before their queen in seemly show.

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No more l’ll sing Buxoma brown,
Like Goldfinch in her Sunday gowu ;
Nor Clumsilis, nor Marian bright,
Nor damsel that Hobnelia hight.
But Lansdowne, fresh as flower of May,
And Berkeley, lady blithe and gay ;
And Anglesea, whose speech.exceeds
The voice of pipe, or oaten reeds ;
And blooming Hyde, with eyes so rare ;
And Montague beyond compare :
Such ladies fair would I depaint,
In roundelay or sonnet quaint.

There many a worthy wight I've seen,
In ribbon blue and ribbon green:
As Oxford, who a wand doth bear,
Like Moses, in our Bibles fair ;
Who for our traffic forms designs,
And gives to Britain Indian mines.
Now, shepherds, clip your fleecy care ;
Ye maids, your spinning-wheels prepare ;
Ye weavers, all your shuttles throw,
And bid broad-cloths and serges grow ;
For trading free shall thrive again,
Nor leasings lewd affright the swain.

There saw I St. John, sweet of mien, Full steadfast both to church and queen ; With whose fair name I'll deck my strain; St. John, right courteous to the swain.

For thus he told me on a day,
« Trim are thy sonnets, gentle Gay :
And, certes, mirth it were to see
Thy joyous madrigals twice three,

With preface meet, and notes profound,
Imprinted fair, and well ye-bound.”
All suddenly then home I sped,
And did ev'n as my lord had said.

Lo, here thou hast mine eclogues fair,
But let not these detain thine ear.
Let not th' affairs of states and kings
Wait, while our Bouzybeus sings.
Rather than verse of simple swain
Should stay the trade of France or Spain ;
Or, for the plaint of parson's maid,
Yon emperor's packets be delay'd;
In sooth, I swear by holy Paul,
I'll burn book, preface, notes, and all.




The younglings, Cuddy, are but just awake,
No thrustles shrill the bramble-bush forsake,
No chirping lark the welkin sheen invokes,
No damsel yet the swelling udder strokes ;

Ver. 3. Welkin, the same as welken, an old Saxon word, signifying a cloud; by poetical licence it is frequently taken for the element, or sky, as may appear by this verse in the Dream of Chaucer

Ne in all the welkin was no cloud. Sheen, or shine, an old word for shining, or bright.

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