Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
It Was a Lover and His Lass
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From “As You Like It,” Act V. Scene 3

IT was a lover and his lass,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;        5
Sweet lovers love the spring.
 
Between the acres of the rye,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,        10
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
 
This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower        15
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
 
And, therefore, take the present time
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,        20
For love is crownèd with the prime
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.
 
 
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