Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BALLAD TO THE TUNE OF 'TO PARLIAMENT THE QUEEN IS GONE', by PATRICK CAREY



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BALLAD TO THE TUNE OF 'TO PARLIAMENT THE QUEEN IS GONE', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: This april last a gentle swain
Last Line: She shall be thine own.
Subject(s): Omens; Nightingales


I

THIS April last a gentle swain
Went early to the wood;
His business was, that he would fain
His lot have understood.
'Las! poor man!
Sad and wan
He was grown, for love of Nan;
'Twould him cheer,
Could he hear
The sweet nightingale's voice here:
Wheresoe'er he went,
Still his ear he bent
List'ning her to find.

II

His friend (it seems) was better luck'd,
And heard one in the park;
Whereat by th' sleeve her t'other pluck'd,
And cried, 'Hark! there's one! hark!'
Th' honest lad
Was right glad,
Thinking now good news t'have had:
Whilst that he
(Full of glee)
Listing stood to ev'ry tree,
Not the nightingall,
But th' affrighting-all
Ill-lov'd cuckoo sang.

III

What tidings this may signify
I leave to time to tell:
But (if it were mine own case) I
Should hope all would go well.
As I guess,
Faithfulness
With the cuckoo may express:
Mark your fill
When you will,
Him you'll find in one note still.
Though men fear him all
When they hear him call,
'Tis a lucky bird.

IV

Then cheer up, James, and never set
False comments on the text:
If with th' one bird this year th' hast met,
Thou'lt meet with t'other next.
Do not droop!
Nan shall stoop
To thy lure, though th' cuckoo whoop:
The bird saith
That thy faith
Its reward now near-hand hath.
Never think on't, man!
Come, let's drink to Nan,
She shall be thine own.





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