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Never had man more joyfull day then this,
Whom heaven would heape with blis.
Make feast therefore now all this live long

This day for ever to me holy is;

Poure out the wine without restraint or stay, Poure not by cups, but by the belly full, 251 Poure out to all that wull,

And sprinkle all the postes and wals with wine,

That they may sweat, and drunken be withall.

Crowne ye God Bacchus with a coronall, And Hymen also crowne with wreathes of vine;

And let the Graces daunce unto the rest, For they can doo it best:

The whiles the maydens doe theyr carroll sing,

To which the woods shal answer, and theyr eccho ring.


Ring ye the bels, ye yong men of the towne,
And leave your wonted labors for this day:
This day is holy; doe ye write it downe,
That ye for ever it remember may.
This day the sunne is in his chiefest hight,
With Barnaby the bright,

From whence declining daily by degrees,
He somewhat loseth of his heat and light,
When once the Crab behind his back he sees.
But for this time it ill ordained was,
To chose the longest day in all the yeare,
And shortest night, when longest fitter



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As joying in the sight

Of these glad many, which for joy doe sing, That all the woods them answer, and their echo ring!

Now ceasse, ye damsels, your delights forepast;

Enough is it that all the day was youres: Now day is doen, and night is nighing fast: Now bring the bryde into the brydall boures. The night is come, now soone her disaray, 300 And in her bed her lay;

Lay her in lillies and in violets,

And silken courteins over her display,
And odourd sheetes, and Arras coverlets.
Behold how goodly my faire love does ly,
In proud humility!

Like unto Maia, when as Jove her tooke,
In Tempe, lying on the flowry gras,
Twixt sleepe and wake, after she weary was
With bathing in the Acidalian brooke.
Now it is night, ye damsels may be gon,
And leave my love alone,


And leave likewise your former lay to sing: The woods no more shal answere, nor your echo ring.

Now welcome, night! thou night so long expected,

That long daies labour doest at last defray, And all my cares, which cruell Love collected,

Hast sumd in one, and cancelled for aye: Spread thy broad wing over my love and me, That no man may us see,


And in thy sable mantle us enwrap,
From feare of perrill and foule horror free.
Let no false treason seeke us to entrap,
Nor any dread disquiet once annoy
The safety of our joy:

But let the night be calme and quietsome,
Without tempestuous storms or sad afray:
Lyke as when Jove with fayre Alcmena lay,
When he begot the great Tirynthian groome:
Or lyke as when he with thy selfe did lie,
And begot Majesty.


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But let stil Silence trew night watches keepe,

That sacred Peace may in assurance rayne, And tymely Sleep, when it is tyme to sleepe, May poure his limbs forth on your pleasant playne,

The whiles an hundred little winged loves, Like divers fethered doves,

Shall fly and flutter round about our bed, And in the secret darke, that none reproves, Their prety stealthes shall worke, and snares shal spread 361

To filch away sweet snatches of delight,
Conceald through covert night.

Ye sonnes of Venus, play your sports at will:

For greedy Pleasure, carelesse of your


Thinks more upon her paradise of joyes, Then what ye do, albe it good or ill.

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There, in a meadow, by the rivers side,
A flocke of nymphes I chaunced to espy, 20
All lovely daughters of the flood thereby,
With goodly greenish locks all loose untyde,
As each had bene a bryde:

And each one had a little wicker basket,
Made of fine twigs entrayled curiously,
In which they gathered flowers to fill their

And with fine fingers cropt full feateously
The tender stalkes on hye.

Of every sort, which in that meadow grew, They gathered some; the violet pallid blew, The little dazie, that at evening closes, 31 The virgin lillie, and the primrose trew, With store of vermeil roses,

To decke their bridegromes posies Against the brydale day, which was not long:

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end

my song.

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Upon your brydale day, which is not long: Sweete Themmes, run softlie, till I end my song.'


So ended she; and all the rest around
To her redoubled that her undersong,
Which said, their bridale daye should not
be long.

And gentle Eccho from the neighbour ground

Their accents did resound.

So forth those joyous birdes did passe along, Adowne the lee, that to them murmurde low,

As he would speake, but that he lackt a tong,
Yeat did by signes his glad affection show,
Making his streame run slow.

And all the foule which in his flood did dwell
Gan flock about these twaine, that did excell
The rest so far as Cynthia doth shend
The lesser starres. So they, enranged well,
Did on those two attend,


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From those high towers this noble lord issuing,

Like radiant Hesper when his golden hayre
In th' ocean billowes he hath bathed fayre,
Descended to the rivers open vewing,
With a great traine ensuing.

Above the rest were goodly to bee seene Two gentle knights of lovely face and feature,

Beseeming well the bower of anie queene, 170 With gifts of wit and ornaments of nature, Fit for so goodly stature:

That like the twins of Jove they seem'd in


Which decke the bauldricke of the heavens bright.

They two, forth pacing to the rivers side, Received those two faire brides, their loves delight,

Which, at th' appointed tyde,

Each one did make his bryde, Against their brydale day, which is not long:

Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end

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