For though this clime were blest of yore,
Yet was it never proud before.

O beauteous queen of second Troy,
Accept of our unfeigned joy.

Now th' air is sweeter than sweet balm,
And satyrs dance about the palm;
Now earth, with verdure newly dight,
Gives perfect signs of her delight.
O beauteous queen, &c.

Now birds record new harmony,
And trees do whistle melody;
Now every thing that Nature breeds

Doth clad itself in pleasant weeds
O beauteous queen, &c.

Herrick is the great May-day Poet:

Get up, get up for shame, the blooming morn
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colours through the air;
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see


The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Each flower has wept, and bow'd toward the east,
Above an hour since, yet you not drest;

Nay, not so much as out of bed;

When all the birds have matins said,
And sung their thankful hymns; 'tis sin,
Nay, profanation to keep in,

When as a thousand virgins on this day
Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.

Rise, and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,
And, sweet as Flora, take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair,
Fear not, the leaves will strew

Gems in abundance upon you;

Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept.
Come and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night;
And Titan on the eastern hill

Retires himself, or else stands still

Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying; Few beads are best when once we go a Maying.

Come, my Corinna, come; and, coming, mark
How each field turns a street, each street a park
Made green, and trimm'd with trees; see how
Devotion gives each house a bough


Or branch; each porch, each door, ere this,
An ark, a tabernacle is,

up of white-thorn neatly interwove;

As if here were those cooler shades of love.
Can such delights be in the street
And open fields, and we not see 't?
Come, we'll abroad, and let 's obey
The proclamation made for May;

And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let's go a Maying.

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 gown 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 key's 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.


The decay of the old custom forms the subject of an anonymous lament, a century old, written under the title of Pasquil's Palinodia : '— Fairly we marched on, till our approach

Within the spacious passage of the Strand
Objected to our sight a summer broach,
Yclep'd a Maypole, which, in all our land,
No city, town, nor street, can parallel,
Nor can the lofty spire of Clerkenwell,
Although he have the advantage of a rock,
Perch up more high his turning weathercock.
Stay, quoth my Muse, and here behold a sign

Of harmless mirth and honest neighbourhood,
Where all the parish did in one combine

To mount the rod of peace, and none withstood:
When no capricious constables disturb them,
Nor justice of the peace did seek to curb them,
Nor peevish puritan, in railing sort,
Nor overwise churchwarden, spoiled the sport.

Happy the age, and harmless were the days,
For then true love and amity was found,
When every village did a Maypole raise,

And Whitsun ales and May games did abound:

And all the lusty younkers, in a rout,
With merry lasses danced the rod about,
Then friendship to their banquets bid the guests,
And poor men fared the better for their feasts.
The lords of castles, manors, towns, and towers,

Rejoiced when they beheld the farmers flourish,
And would come down unto the summer bowers

To see the country gallants dance the morrice.



["O RARE BEN JONSON!"-the inscription on his tomb-stone in Westminster Abbey, which a mason cut for eighteen pence to please a looker on when the grave was covering-is a familiar phrase to many who have not ever opened the works of this celebrated man. Jonson was born in 1574, and died in 1637. He was a ripe scholar-a most vigorous thinker. There are passages and delineations of character in his plays, which are matchless of their kind;-but he is the dramatist of peculiarities, then called "humours; "he is the converse of what he described Shakspere to be-he is “ for an age," and not “for all time."]


Lovewit, a housekeeper in London, has fled to the country during a season when the plague was raging. His servant, Face, abusing his opportunities, admits an impostor, Subtle, and his female confederate, Dol, into the house; and there the three worthies carry on a profitable trade by pretending to tell fortunes, and transmute metals into gold The first Scene exhibits the Alchemist and the Servant in high quarrel:

Dol. Will you have

The neighbours hear you? Will you betray all?

Hark! I hear somebody.

Face. Sirrah

Subtle. I shall mar

All that the tailor has made if you approach.

Face. You most notorious whelp, you insolent slave,
Dare you do this?

Sub. Yes, faith; yes, faith,

Face. Why, who

Am I, you mongrel? Who am I?

Sub. I'll tell you,

Since you know not yourself.

Face. Speak lower, rogue.

Sub. Yes, you were once (time 's not long past) the good, Honest, plain, livery-three-pound-thrum, that kept

Your master's worship's house here in the Friars,

For the vacations

Face. Will you be so loud?

Sub. Since, by my means, translated suburb-captain.
Face. By your means, doctor dog?

Sub. Within man's memory,

All this I speak of.

Face. Why, I pray you, have I

Been countenanced by you, or you by me?
Do but collect, Sir, where I met you first,
Sub. I do not hear well.

Face. Not of this, I think it.

But I shall put you in mind, Sir; at Pie-corner,
Taking your meal of steam in, from cooks' stalls,
Where, like the father of hunger, you did walk
Piteously costive, with your pinch'd-horn-nose,
And your complexion of the Roman wash,
Stuck full of black and melancholie worms,
Like powder-corns shot at the artillery yard.

Sub. I wish you could advance your voice a little.
Face. When you went pinn'd up in the several rags
You had raked and pick'd from danghills, before day;
Your feet in mouldy slippers, for your kibes;

A felt of rug, and a thin threaden cloak,

That scarce would cover your no buttocks

Sub, So, Sir!

Face. When all your alchemy, and your algebra,
Your minerals, vegetals, and animals,

Your conjuring, cozening, and your dozen of trades,
Could not relieve your corps with so much linen

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