Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
A Lullabye
By John Skelton (1460?–1529)
 
WITH Lullay, lullay, lyke a chylde
  Thou slepyst to long, thou art begylde.
My darlyng dere, my daysy floure,
  Let me, quod he, ly in your lap.
Ly styll, quod she, my paramoure,        5
  Ly styll hardely, and take a nap.
  Hys hed was hevy, such was his hap,
All drowsy, dremyng, dround in slepe,
That of hys love he toke no kepe.
                        With Hey, lullay, &c.
 
With ba, ba, ba, and bas, bas, bas,        10
  She cheryshed hym both cheke and chyn,
That he wyst neuer where he was:
  He had forgotten all dedely syn.
  He wantyd wyt her love to wyn,
He trusted her payment, and lost all hys pray: 1        15
She left hym slepyng, and stale away,
                        Wyth Hey, lullay, &c.
 
The ryvers rowth, 2 the waters wan;
  She sparyd not to wete her fete;
She wadyd over she found a man
  That halsyd 3 her hartely, and kyst her swete.        20
  Thus after her cold she cought a hete.
My lafe, she sayd, rowtyth 4 in hys bed:
I wys he hath a hevy hed,
                        Wyth Hey, lullay, &c.
 
What dremyst thou, drunchard, drowsy pate!
  Thy lust 5 and lykyng is from thé gone:        25
Thou blynkerd blowboll, 6 thou wakyst to late;
  Behold thou lyeste, luggard, alone!
  Well may thou sygh, well may thou grone,
To dele wyth her so cowardly:
I wys, powle hachet, she bleryd thyne I. 7        30
 
Note 1. Or pay (?). [back]
Note 2. rough. [back]
Note 3. embraced. [back]
Note 4. snoreth. [back]
Note 5. pleasure. [back]
Note 6. drunkard. [back]
Note 7. deceived you. [back]
 
 
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