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PLOUGHMAN, what is the matter with you, pray ?
You cannot draw the furrow straight to-day,
Nor with your neighbour even do you keep,
But lag behind like a thorn-wounded sheep.
If you cannot the furrow now devour,
What will you be, my friend, at evening hour ?

BATTUS.

You rock-chip, reaping till the sun's descent,
Did you some absent darling ne'er lament?

MILON.

Never.

A labourer's heart with love-grief ache!

BATTUS.

Did you ne'er chance for love to lie awake?

MILON.

No-never may I! When a dog has eaten
Meat for his master, the poor dog is beaten.

BATTUS.

I'm deep in love-almost eleven days.

MILON.

From a full wine-cask you your fancies raise ;
I have not even vinegar enough.

BATTUS.

Thence lie the sweepings of all sort of stuff
Before my door.

MILON.

Who is your mischief-bringer ?

BATTUS.

The child of Polybotas—the sweet singer,
Who for the mowers at Hippocoon's chaunted.

MILON.

Sinners heaven pricks—you have what long you wanted; A dry tree-frog will hug you close in bed.

BATTUS.

None of your jibes : care-breeding Love is said,
And not old Plutus only, to be blind.
Don't talk too big.

MILON.

I do not-only mind
To cut the corn down, and some love-song try
About your girl ; you'll work more pleasantly:
And Battus once, at least, was musical.

BATTUS.

To sing my charmer, slender, straight, and tall,
Best Muses ! aid me ; for, with skill divine,
Ye, whatsoe'er ye please to touch, refine.

Lovely Bombyce ! tho' all men beside
Call you a Syrian sun-embrowned, and dried,
I call you a transparent sweet brunette.
The lettered hyacinth and violet
Are dark; yet these are chosen first of all
For the sweet wreath and festive coronal.
The goat the cytisus, the wolf the goat,
And cranes pursue the plough — on thee I dote.
Would that I had the wealth report hath told
Belonged to Crosus ! wrought in purest gold,
Statutes of both of us should then be seen,
Due dedications to the Cyprian Queen :
Thou with a fute, an apple, and a rose ;
I sandalled, in a robe that proudly flows.
Lovely Bombyce ! beautiful your feet,
Twinkling like the quick dice ; your voice is sweet ;
But your sweet nature language cannot tell.

MILON.

He privily hath learned to sing – how well !
But my poor chin in vain this great beard nurses ;
List to a snatch or two of Lytierses.

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