As You Like It (1599-1600)

Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.c.
Date variant: 1599
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Act V, Scene 3

The forest

To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will we
be married.

I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no
dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world. Here come
two of the banish'd Duke's pages.

First Page
Well met, honest gentleman.

By my troth, well met. Come sit, sit, and a song.

Second Page
We are for you; sit i' th' middle.

First Page
Shall we clap into't roundly, without hawking, or
spitting, or saying we are hoarse, which are the only prologues
to a bad voice?

Second Page
I'faith, i'faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies
on a horse.
It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding.
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
In the spring time, &c.
This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower,
In the spring time, &c.
And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crowned with the prime,
In the spring time, &c.

Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great
matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.

First Page
You are deceiv'd, sir; we kept time, we lost not our

By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such
a foolish song. God buy you; and God mend your voices. Come,
Audrey. Exeunt


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