Monday, February 25, 2008

The Shepherd , another ribald song that dates to about 1600

A shepherd sat 'neath a tree one day
And as the shadows grew more long
Pull'd out his pipe and began to play
And sweet and merry was his song.

A country damsel from the town
With basket made of woven straw
Came gathering rushes on the down
And boldly smiled when she him saw.

The shepherd's pipe did gaily sound
As tempting on her back she lay
And when his quivering note she found
How sweetly then this lass could play.

She ne'er so much as blush'd at all
So sweetly play'd her shepherd swain
But e'er anon to him she'd call
To play her another double strain.

The shepherd again did tune his pipe
And play'd her a lesson loud and shrill.
The maid his face did often wipe
With many a thank for his good will.

She said, "I ne'er was so pleas'd before
And this is the first time that I knew thee.
Come play me this very tune once more
And never doubt that I'll dance to thee."

The shepherd, he said, "As I am a man,
I have kept playing from sun till moon.
Thou knowst I can do no more than I can,
My pipe is clearly out of tune."

"To ruin a shepherd, I'll not seek,"
She said as she kiss'd him 'neath the tree.
"I'll come again to the down next week
And thou shalt pipe and I'll come to thee."


From Ed McCurdy's Song Book of Wit & Mirth

 Thomas D'Urfey
Wit and Mirth: Or Pills to Purge Melancholy

1 comment:

Gimmer said...

Other Versions I have noted are as follows:

26 DOWNE SATE THE SHEPARD
DOWNE SATE THE SHEPARD

[1620-50]

[From The Percy Folio Manuscript, page 201 of MS.].

Downe sate the shepeard swaine
soe sober & demure,
wishing for his wench againe
soe bonny & soe pure,
w«th his head on hillocke lowe,
& his armes a Cimbo,
And all for the losse of his hinononino!

The leaves the fell as thin
as water from a still;
the heire vpon his head did growe
as time vpon a hill;
his cherry cheekes as pale as snowe
to testifye his mickle woe;
& all was for the loue of his hinononino!

ifayre shee was to loue, as eu«- liked swaine;
neuer such a dainty one
shall none enioy againe;
sett a thousand on a rowe,

DOWNE SATE THE SHEPARD 27
time forbidds that any showe
euer the like to her hinononino!

faire shee was, [of] comly hew,
her bosome like a swan;
backe shee had of bending yew,
her wast was but a span;
her hayre as blacke as any croe,
from the top to the toe,
all downe along to her hinononino!

w/'th her Mantle tucked vp
shee fothered her flocke,
soe that they that doe her see
may then behold her smocke,
soe finely doth shee vse to goe,
and neatly dance on tripp on toe,
that all men run madd for her hinononino!

In a Meadow fayre & greene
the shepard layeth him downe,
thinking there his loue to find
sporting on a round,
A round which Maidens vse to go;
Cupid bidds itt shold bee soe,
because all men were made for her hinononino!

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