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THy 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;
O'er yonder hill does scant the dawn appear,
Then why does Cuddy leave his cot so rear?
Cud. Ah! Lobbin Clout, Iween my plight is guest,
For he that loves, a stranger is to rest;
If swains belie not thou hast prov'd the smart,
And Blouzelinda's mistress of thy heart.
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.
Lob. Cl. 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.
Cud. 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;
He taught us erst the heifer's tail to view,
When stuck aloft, that showers would strait 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.
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.
Lob. Cl. See this tobacco pouch that’s lin'd with
Made of the skin of sleetest fallow-deer; -
This pouch that's ty'd with tape of reddest hue,
I'll wager, that the prize shall be my due.
Cud. Begin thy carols, then, thou vaunting slouch,
Be thine the oaken staff, or mine the pouch.
, Lob. Cl. 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 daisy that beside her grows;
Fair is the gilliflower, of gardens sweet,
Fair is the mary-gold, for pottage meet;
But Blouzelind's than gilliflower more fair,
Than daisy, mary-gold, or king-cup rare.
Cud. 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.
Lob. Cl. 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!
Cud. 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 sweet-heart kind, my love repay,
And all the year shall then be holiday.
Lob, Cl. 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.
Cud. As my Buxoma, in a morning fair,
With gentle-finger strok'd her milky care,
I quaintly 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 cow's.
Lob. Cl. Leek to the Welch, to Dutchmen but-
Of Irish swains potatoe is the cheer; -
Oats for their feasts the Scotish shepherds grind,
Sweet turnips are the food of Blouzelind:
While she loves turnips, butter I'll despise,
Nor leeks, nor oatmeal, nor potatoe, prize.
Cud. In good roast-beef my landlordsticks 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.
• Lob. Cl. As once I play'd at Blindman's-buff, ithapt
About my eyes the towel thick was wrapt:
I miss'd the swains, and seiz'd on Blouzelind.
True speaks that andient proverb, ‘Love is blind.'
Cud. 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.
Lob. Cl. On two near elms the slacken'd cord I
With the rude wind her rumpled garment rose,
And show'd her taper leg and scarlet hose.
Cud. Across the fallen oak the plank I laid,
And myself pois'd against the tottering maid:
High leapt the plank; adown Buxoma fell:
I spied—but faithful sweethearts never tell.
Loë. Cl. This riddle, Cuddy, if thou canst, explain,
This wily riddle puzzles every swain ;
What flower is that which bears the Virgin's name*,
The richest metal joined with the same?
Cud. Answer, thou carl, and judge this riddle right,
I'll frankly own thee for a cunning wight;
What flower is that which royal honour craves,
Adjoin the Virgint, and 'tis strown on graves?
Clod. Forbear, contending louts, give o'er your
An oaken staff each merits for his pains.
But see the sunbeams bright to labour warn,
And gild the thatch of Goodman Hodges' barn.
Your herds for want of water stand adry,
They're weary of your songs—and so am I.
OUNG Colin Clout, a lad of peerless meed,
Full well could dance, and deftly tune the reed,
In every wood his carols sweet were known,
At every wake his nimble feats were shown.
When in the ring the rustic routs he threw,
The damsels' pleasures with his conquests grew ;
Or when aslant the cudgel threats his head,
His danger smites the breast of every maid;
But chief of Marian. Marian lov'd the swain,
The parson's maid, and neatest of the plain:
Marian, that soft could stroke the udder'd cow,
Or lesson with her sieve the barley mow:
Marbled with sage the hardening cheese she press'd,
And yellow butter Marian's skill confess'd
But Marian now, devoid of country cares,
Nor yellow butter nor sage-cheese prepares;
For yearning love the withess maid employs,
And love, says swains, all busy heed destroys.
Colin makes mock at all her piteous smart,
A lass, that Cicly hight, had won his heart,
Cicly, the western lass that tends the kee,
The rival of the parson's maid was she,
In dreary shade now Marian lies along,
And mixt with sighs thus wails in Plaining song:
“Ah! woful day; ah woful noon and morn 1
When first by thee my younglings white were shorn;
Then first, I ween, I cast a lover's eye,
My sheep were silly, but more silly I.
Beneath the shears they felt no lasting smart;
They lost but fleeces, while I lost a heart.
“Ah! Colin canst thou leave thy sweetheart true;
What I have done for thee, will cicly do -
Will she thy linen wash or hosen darn,
And knit thee gloves made of her own spun yarn?
Will she with huswife's hand provide thy meat,
And every Sunday-morn thy neckcloth plait 2
Which o'er thy kersy-doublet spreading wide,
In service-time drew Cic'ly's eyes aside.
‘Where’er I gad I cannot hide my care,
My new disasters in my look appear.
White as the curd my ruddy cheek is grown,
So thin my features that I'm hardly known;
Our neighbours tell me oft, in joking talk,
Of ashes, leather, oatmeal, bran, and chalk;
Unwittingly of Marian they divine,
And wist not that with thoughtful love I pine :
Yet Colin Clout, untoward shepherd swain,
Walks whistling blithe, while pitiful I plain.