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though months they be called, of the said months therein nothing is specified, wherein I have also esteemed him worthy mine imitation.

That principally, courteous Reader, whereof I would have thee to be advertised, (seeing, I depart from the vulgar usage) is touching the language of my shepherds; which is, soothly to say, such as is neither spoken by the country maiden or the courtly dame; nay, not only such as in the present times is not uttered, but was never uttered in times past, and, if I judge aright, will never be uttered in times future ; it having too much of the country to be fit for the court; too much of the court to be fit for the country too much of the language of old times to be fit for the present; too much of the present to have been fit for the old; and too much of both to be fit for any time to come. Granted also it is, that in this my language I seem unto myself as a London mason, who calculateth his work for a term of years, when he buildeth with old materials upon á ground-rent that is not his own, which soon turn eth to rubbish and ruins. For this point no reason can I allege, only deep-learned ensamples having led me thereunto.

But here again much comfort ariseth in me, from the hopes, in that I conceive, when these words in the course of transitory things shall de.

it may so hap, in meet time, that some lover of simplicity shall arise, who shall have the hardi. ness to render these mine Eclogues into such more modern dialect as shall be then understood, to which end, glosses and explications of uncouth pastoral terms are annexed.

Gentle Reader, turn over the leaf, and entertain thyself with the prospect of thine own country, limned by the painful hand of

Thy loving countryman,

JOHN GAY.

cay.

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Vol. I.

PROLOGUE.
To the Right Hon. the Lord Viscount Bolingbroke.
LOT, who erst beneath a tree

Sung Bumkinet and Bowzybee,
And Blouzelind and Marian bright,
In apron blue or apron white,
Now write my sonnets in a book,
For my good Lord of Bolingbroke.

As lads and lasses stood around
To hear my boxen hautboy sound,
Our clerk came posting o'er the green
With doleful tidings of the Queen;
That Queen, he said, to whom we owe
Sweet peace, that maketh riches flow;
That Queen who eas'd our tax of late,
Was dead, alas !--and lay in state.

At this, in tears was Cic'ly seen,
Buxoma tore her pinners clean,
In doleful dumps stood every clown,
The parson rent his band and gown.

For me, when as I heard that death
Had snatch'd Queen Anne to El’zabeth,
I broke my reed, and sighing swore,
I'd weep for Blouzelind no more.

While thus we stood as in a stound,
And wet with tears, like dew, the ground;
Full soon by bonfire and by bell
We learnt our liege was passing well.
A skilful leach (so God him speed)
They say had wrought this blessed deed;
This leach Arbuthnot was yclept,
Who many a night not once had slept,
But watch'd our gracious sovereign still;
For who could rest while she was ill?
Oh! may'st thou henceforth sweetly sleep:
Sheer, swains ! oh! sheer your softest sheep
To swell his couch ; for well I ween,
He sav'd the realm who say'd the Queen.

Quoth I, ' Please God I'll hie with glee To court, this Arbuthnot to see.'I sold my sheep and lambkins too, For silver loops and garment blue; My boxen hautboy, sweet of sound, For lace that edg'd mine hat around; For Lightfoot and my scrip I got A gorgeous sword, and eke a knot.

So forth I far'd to court with speed, Of soldier's drum withouten dreed; For peace allays the shepherd's fear Of wearing cap of grenadier.

There saw I ladies all-a-row Before their Queen in seemly show. No more I'll sing Buxoma brown, Like goldfinch, in her Sunday gown; Nor Clumsilis, nor Marian bright, Nor damsel that Hobnelia hight; But Lansdown fresh as flower of May, And Berkeley lady blithe and gay, And Anglesey, whose speech exceeds The voice of pipe or oaten reeds, And blooming Hyde, with eyes so rare, And Montague beyond compare. Such ladies fair would I depaint In roundelay or sonnet quaint.

There many a worthy wight I've seen In ribbon blue and ribbon green; As Oxford, who a wand doth bear, Like Moses, in our Bibles, fair ; Who for our traffic forms designs, And gives to Britain Indian mines. Now, shepherds ! clip your fleecy care, Ye maids ! your spinning-wheels prepare, Ye weavers ! all your shutties throw, And bid broad-cloths and serges grow, For trading free shall thrive again, Nor leasings leud affright the swain.

There saw I St. John, sweet of mien, Full stedfast both to church and queen;

With whose fair name I'll deck my strain;
St. John, right courteous to the swain :

For thus he told me on a day,
• Trim are thy sonnets, gentle Gay!
And, certes, mirth it were to see
Thy joyous madrigals twice three,
With preface meet, and notes profound,
Imprinted fair, and well ybound.'
All suddenly then home I sped,
And did even as my Lord had said.

Lo here thou hast mine Eclogues fair,
But let not these detain thine ear:
Let not the affairs of states and kings
Wait while our Bowzybeus sings.
Rather than verse of simple swain
Should stay the trade of France or Spain,
Or for the plaint of parson's maid,
Yon Emperor's packets be delay'd,
In sooth, I swear by holy Paul,
I'd burn book, preface, notes and all,

THE SHEPHERD'S WEEK.

MONDAY:

or,
THE SQUABBLE,

Lobbin Clout, Cuddy, Cloddipole.

Lobbin Clout.
THY younglings, Cuddy, are but just awake,

No thrustles shrill the bramble-bush forsake,
No chirping lark the welkin sheen invokes,
No damsel yet the swelling udder strokes ;
O'er yonder hill does scant the dawn appear,
Then why does Cuddy leave his cot so rear?

Cud. Ah! Lobbin Clout, I ween my plight is guest,
For he that loves, a stranger is to rest;
If swains belie not thou hast prov'd the smart,
And Blouzelinda's mistress of thy heart.
This rising rear betokeneth well thy mind;
Those arms are folded for thy Blouzelind :
And well, I trow, our piteous plights agree,
Thee Blouzelinda smites, Buxoma me.

Lob, Cl. Ah Blouzelind, I love thee more by half, Than does their fawns, or cows the new fall'n calf : Woe worth the tongue, may blisters sore it gall, That names Buxoma, Blouzelind withal.

Cud. Hold, witless Lobbin Clout, I thee advise, Lest blisters sore on thy own tongue arise, Lo, yonder Cloddipole, the blithsome swain, The wisest lout of all the neighbouring plain ! From Cloddipole we learnt to read the skies, To know when hail will fall or winds arise; He taught us erst the heifer's tail to view, When stuck aloft, that showers would strait ensue: He first that useful secret did explain, That pricking corps foretold the gathering rain:

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