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And though, perhaps, I missed some by chance,
I hit some right, I do not doubt the same.
But let them be such as they were! by chance
And then, you know, the youth must needs go
"Old lusty gallant;" " all flowers of the bloom;"
And then, a hall! for dancers must have room.
And to it then; with set and turn about,
Change sides, and cross, and mince it like a hawk; Backwards and forwards, take hands then, in and out; And, now and then, a little wholesome talk, That none could hear, close roomed* in the ear; Well! I say nought: but much good sport was there.
Then might my minion hear her mate at will:
Some men, I know, would soon imagine ill,
But let them leave such jealousy for shame!
And, when friends meet, some merry sign must pass
Of welcoming unto each other's sight:
Dancers, besides, may claim a kiss of right,
But what? I had almost myself forgot
Some were, alas, with dancing grown so hot,
And thus forsooth our dancing held us on
Till midnight full; high time for to be gone.
But to behold the graces of each dame!
How some would dance as though they did but walk; And some would trip as though one leg were lame; And some would mince it like a sparrow-hawk; And some would dance upright as any bolt: And some would leap and skip like a young colt!
And some would fidge, as though she had the itch;
And some would bow half crooked in the joints; And some would have a trick; and some a twitch;
Some shook their arms, as they had hung up points: With thousands more that were too long to tell, But made me laugh my heart sore, I wot well.
But let them pass: and now " sir we must part;
"I thank you, sir, for my exceeding cheer."— "Welcome," quoth the good man, "with all my "heart:
"In faith the market serves but ill to year, "When one could not devise more meat to dress."— Jesu! (thought I) what means this foolishness?
But let that pass.—Then, parting at the door,
Believe me now, it was a sport to see
Such curtsies low, with " Pray you pardon me"— "You shall not choose"—" In faith you are to
"blame."— Goodsooth! (thought I) a man would think the same!
Now being forth (with much ado) at last,
Then part they all; each one unto their house;
And who had mark'd the pretty looks that past
From privy friend unto his pretty mouse, Would say with me, at twelve o'clock at night, It was a parting, trust me, worth the sight.
But let them part, and pass in God his name!
God speed them well, I pray, and me no worse! Some are gone home with dancing almost lame;
And some go light by means of empty purse: And, to be short, home goeth every one, And home go I unto my lodge alone.
A Pastoral of Phillis and Corydon.
On a hill there grows a flower,
By that flower there is a bower,
In that bower there is a chair
Where doth sit the fairest fair
It is Phillis, fair and bright,
She that is the shepherd's joy, She that Venus did despite,
And did blind her little boy.
Who would not this face admire?
Who would not this saint adore? Who would not this sight desire,
Though he thought to see no more?
O fair eyes, yet let me see
One good look, and I am gone:
Look on me, for I am he,
Thou, that art the shepherd's queen,
By thy comfort have been seen