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PROLOGUE

To the Right Honourable the

Lord Viscount "BOLING BROKE.

O, I who erst beneath a tree
Sung Bumkinet and Borwzybee,
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 laffes stood around
To hear my boxen haut-boy sound,
Our Clerk came posting o'er the green
With dolefal tidings of the Queek ;

That

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 ftate.

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

For me, when as I heard that death
Had snatch'd Queen ANNE to Elzabeth,
I broke my reed, and fighing 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 banfire 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 y clept,
Who many a night not once had slept;

But

But watch'd our gracious Sov'reign still :
For who could rest when 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 say'd the realm who sav'd the Queen.

Quoth I, please God, I'll hye with glee
To court, this Arbuthnot to see.
I sold my sheep and lambkins too,
For silver loops and garment blue :
My boxen haut-boy 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.

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So forth I fard to court with speed, Of soldier's drum withouten dreed; For Peace allays the shepherd's fear Of wearing cap of Granadier.

There saw I ladies all a-row Before their Queen in seemly show.

NO

: 72

No more I'll fing Buxoma brown,
Like goldfinch in her Sunday gown ;
Nor Clumfilis, nor Marian bright,
Nor damsel that Hobnelia hight.
But Landsdown fresh as flow'r of May,
And Berkely 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 wou'd I depaint
In roundelay or fonnet quaint.

There many a worthy wight I've seen
In ribbon blue and ribbon green.
As Oxford, who a wand doth bear,
Like Mofes in our Bibles fair;
Who for our traffick forms designs,
And gives to Britain Indian mines.
Now, shepherds, clip your fleecy care,
Ye maids, your spinning-wheels prepare,
Ye weavers all your shuttles throw,
And bid broad-cloths and serges grow,

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For trading free shall thrive again,
Nor leasings leud affright the fwain.

There faw I St. John, sweet of mien, Full ftedfast 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 y-bound.
All suddenly then home I sped,
And did ev'n as my Lord had said.

Lo here, thou hast mine Eclogues fair,
But let not these detain thine ear.
Let not affairs of States and Kings
Wait, while our Bowzybeus fings.
Rather than verse of fimple swain
shou'd stay the trade of France or Spais,

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