Tuesday Poem: Sweet lovers love the spring

IT WAS A LOVER AND HIS LASS
by William Shakespeare

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, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that life was but a flower
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

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, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Spring is absolutely here in London now, and it’s hard to notice anything else. The blossom! The leaves in bud or bursting open! The gardens! We have a veggie plot in a local community garden and we’re already proud of how everything is coming along – the early potatoes are up and the broad beans are looking very happy, and a lot of other things are planted. It’s a lovely time of year.

And it makes me think of this Shakespearean song, from ‘As You Like It’. Lots of people get rather snobby about Shakespeare’s songs but I love almost all of them, and this one has such bounce and verve it’s irresistible. Sweet lovers do indeed love the spring, and so does everyone else. Even my friends who live in the enviable tropics get wistful when you tell them how all the burgeoning season’s going.

It mightn’t last, of course. I can remember years in the UK when there’s been snow in May. But hey! (and hey nonino!) it’s so lovely now that all I can do is celebrate the present.

Do check out the Tuesday Poem site – there’s the birthday poem we all wrote together, line by line – quite a feat across three continents – and if a sidebar blog entry says ‘Tuesday Poem’, I’m sure you know by now that there’s a poem hiding in there somewhere …

2 Responses to “Tuesday Poem: Sweet lovers love the spring”

  1. Elizabeth Welsh Says:

    Oh, I envy you spring at the moment, Belinda! It causes this unreasonable evocation to dance that the bard’s song captures so brilliantly. Such a fun post!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Nanlove Says:

    For example, poems that are about love but they don’t flat out scream it until they are analyzed further.

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