Page images
PDF
EPUB

Dum. The worthy knight of Troy.

Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave: I am a votary; I have vowed 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 sbould have followed in the end of our show.

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

Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, Moth, Costard, and

others.

This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring; the one maintain'd by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.

SONG.

Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,

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

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 merrylarks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,

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

Cuckoo;

Cuckoo, cukoo,–0 word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married car!

III.

Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,

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

And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

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

IV,

Then all aloud the wind doth blow,

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

And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabst hiss in the bowl.
Then nightly sings the staring vwl,

To-who;
Tu-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.

[blocks in formation]

'In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must be confessed that there are many

passages mean, childish, and vulgar : and some which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered through the whole many sparks of genius; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare.

JOHNSON

MERCHANT OF VENICE.

« PreviousContinue »