Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
Rustic Song: ‘Haymakers, rakers, reapers, and mowers’ (from The Sun’s Darling)
By Thomas Dekker (c. 1570–1632)
 
HAYMAKERS, rakers, reapers, and mowers,
  Wait on your Summer-Queen!
Dress up with musk-rose her eglantine bowers,
  Daffodils strew the green!
      Sing, dance, and play,        5
      ’Tis holiday!
  The Sun does bravely shine
  On our ears of corn.
      Rich as a pearl
      Comes every girl.        10
  This is mine, this is mine, this is mine.
Let us die ere away they be borne.
 
Bow to our Sun, to our Queen, and that fair one
  Come to behold our sports:
Each bonny lass here is counted a rare one,        15
  As those in princes’ courts.
      These and we
      With country glee,
  Will teach the woods to resound,
  And the hills with echoes hollow.        20
      Skipping lambs
      Their bleating dams
  ’Mongst kids shall trip it round;
For joy thus our wenches we follow.
 
Wind jolly huntsmen, your neat bugles shrilly,        25
  Hounds make a lusty cry;
Spring up, you falconers, partridges freely,
  Then let your brave hawks fly!
      Horses amain,
      Over ridge, over plain,        30
  The dogs have the stag in chase:
  ’Tis a sport to content a king.
      So ho! ho! through the skies
      How the proud bird flies,
  And sousing, kills with a grace!        35
Now the deer falls; hark! how they ring.
 
 
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