Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
Song in As You Like It

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
IT 1 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 Spring time, &c.        10
 
This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino!
How that life was but a flower
  In Spring time, &c.
 
And therefore take the present time,        15
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino!
For love is crownèd with the prime,
  In Spring time, the only pretty ring time;
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
    Sweet lovers love the Spring.        20
 
Note 1. Shakespeare. Song in ‘As you like it’. Thomas Morley set this song admirably in his ‘First book of Ayres’ 1600, and his version has slight variants in the words: reading In spring time and hay ding a ding a ding: also fools for folk. [back]
 
 
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