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Sweet Content


HOW sweet is the shepherd's sweet lot!
From the morn to the evening he strays;
He shall follow his sheep all the day,
And his tongue shall be filled with praise.
For he hears the lambs innocent call,
And he hears the ewes tender reply;
He is watchful while they are in peace,
For they know when their shepherd is nigh.


ART thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers ?

O sweet content !
Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplex'd ?

O punishment !
Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vex'd
To add to golden numbers golden numbers?

O sweet content ! O sweet, O sweet content !
Work apace, apace, apace, apace ;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny-hey nonny nonny!
Canst drink the waters of the crisped spring ?

O sweet content !
Swim’st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine own tears ?

O punishment !
Then he that patiently want's burden bears,
No burden bears, but is a king, a king !

O sweet content ! O sweet, O sweet content !
Work apace, apace, apace, apace ;
Honest labour bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny-hey nonny nonny !

The Lark's Song

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.. Look thou within : within thee is the fountain of good, and it will ever spring, if thou wilt ever delve.


GO NOT, O go not into the garden of flowers ;
Friend, go not thither.
In thy body is the garden of flowers.
Take thy seat on the thousand-petalled Lotus,

thence on the infinite Beauty.


I LOVE to rise in a summer morn,
When the birds sing on every tree ;
The distant huntsman winds his horn,
And the skylark sings with me :

O what sweet company! ...


To hear the Lark begin his flight,
And singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-towre in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise ;
Then to com in spight of sorrow,
And at my window bid good morrow,
Through the Sweet-Briar, or the Vine,
Or the twisted Eglantine.
While the Cock with lively din,
Scatters the rear of darknes thin,
And to the stack, or the Barn dore,
Stoutly struts his Dames before,
Oft list’ning how the Hounds and horn

The Book of Nature
Chearly rouse the slumbring morn,
From the side of som Hoar Hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill.
Som time walking not unseen
By Hedge-row Elms, on Hillocks green,
Right against the Eastern gate,
Wher the great Sun begins his state,
Rob’d in flames, and Amber light,
The clouds in thousand Liveries dight.
While the Plowman neer at hand,
Whistles ore the Furrow'd Land,
And the Milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the Mower whets his sithe,
And every Shepherd tells his tale
Under the Hawthorn in the dale.


WITH love exceeding a simple love of the things

That glide in grasses and rubble of woody wreck;
Or change their perch on a beat of quivering wings

From branch to branch, only restful to pipe and peck ;
Or, bristled, curl at a touch their snouts in a ball ;

Or cast their web between bramble and thorny hook ;
The good physician Melampus, loving them all,

Among them walk'd, as a scholar who reads a book.
For him the woods were a home and gave him the key

Of knowledge, thirst for their treasures in herbs and flowers.
The secrets held by the creatures nearer than we

To earth he sought, and the link of their life with ours:
And where alike we are, unlike where, and the vein'd

Division, vein'd parallel, of a blood that flows
In them, in us, from the source by man unattain'd

Save marks he well what the mystical woods disclose. . .



LA froidure paresseuse
De l’yver a fait son temps :
Voicy la saison joyeuse
Du délicieux printems.
La terre est d'herbes ornée,
L'herbe de fleuretes l'est :
La feuillure retournée
Fait ombre dans la forest.


De grand matin, la pucelle
Va devancer la chaleur,
Pour de la rose nouvelle
Cueillir l'odorante fleur.
Pour avoir meilleure grace,
Soit qu'elle en pare son sein,

que présent elle en fasse
A son amy, de sa main ;
Qui, de sa main l'ayant uë
Pour souvenance d'amour,
Ne la perdra point de vuë,
La baisant cent fois le jour .
La mer est calme et bonasse :
Le ciel est serein et cler:
La nef jusqu'aux Indes passe ;
Un bon vent la fait voler.

Les menageres avetes
Font çà et là un doux fruit,


les fleuretes Pour cueillir ce qui leur duit.

En leur ruche elles amassent
Des meilleures fleurs la fleur,
C'est à fin qu'elles en fassent
Du miel la douce liqueur.
Tout resonne des voix nettes
De toutes races d’oyseaux,
Par les chams des alouetes,

dessus les eaux.
Aux maisons les arondelles,
Les rossignols dans les boys,

gayes chansons nouvelles
Exercent leurs belles voix ...
Et si le chanter m'agrée,
N'est-ce pas avec raison,
Puis qu'ainsi tout se recrée
Avec la


saison ?


Thousand threads of rain and fine white wreathing of air-mist

Hide from us earth's greenness, hide the enarching azure. Yet will a breath of spring homeward convoying attend us,

And the mellow flutings of passionate Philomel.


SPRING, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug, jug, pu we, to witta woo.
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay,
Cuckoo, jug, jug, pu we, to witta woo.

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