The Shepherd's Week/Fourth Pastoral - Wikisource, the free online library

The shepherd's week. In six pastorals. By Mr. J. Gay. Fleuron T013920-10.png

THURSDAY;

OR, THE

SPELL.

HOBNELIA.
HOBNELIA seated in a dreary vale,
In pensive mood rehears'd her piteous tale,
Her piteous tale the winds in sighs bemoan,
And pining eccho answers groan for groan.
I rue the day, a rueful day I trow, 5
The woful day, a day indeed of woe!
When Lubberkin to town his cattle drove,
A maiden fine bedight he hapt to love;
The maiden fine bedight[1] his love retains.
And for the village he forsakes the plains: 10
Return, my Lubberkin, these ditties hear;
Spells will I try, and spells shall ease my care.
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

When first the year, I heard the cuckow sing, 15
And call with welcome note the budding spring,
I straitway set a running with such haste,
Deb'rah that won the smock scarce ran so fast.
'Till spent for lack of breath, quite weary grown,
Upon a rising bank I sat adown, 20
Then doff'd[2] my shoe, and by my troth, I swear,
Therein I spy'd this yellow frizzled hair,
As like to Lubberkin's in curl and hue,
As if upon his comely pate it grew. 24
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

At eve last Midsummer no sleep I sought,
But to the field a bag of hemp-seed brought,
I scatter'd round the seed on ev'ry side,
And three times in a trembling accent cry'd, 30
This hemp-seed with my virgin hand I sow,
Who shall my true-love be, the crop shall mow.
I strait look'd back, and if my eyes speak truth,
With his keen scythe behind me came the youth.
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground.
And turn me thrice around, around, around. 36

Last Valentine, the day when birds of kind
Their paramours with mutual chirpings find;
I rearly rose, just at the break of day,
Before the sun had chas'd the stars away; 40
Afield I went, amid the morning dew,
To milk my kine (for so should huswives do)
Thee first I spy'd, and the first swain we see,
In spite of fortune shall our true-love be;
See, Lubberkin, each bird his partner take, 45
And can'st thou then thy sweetheart dear forsake?
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

Last May-day fair I search'd to find a snail,
That might my secret lover's name reveal; 50
Upon a gooseberry bush a snail I found,
For always snails near sweetest fruit abound.
I seiz'd the vermin, home I quickly sped,
And on the hearth the milk-white embers spread.
Slow crawl'd the snail, and if I right can spell, 55
In the soft ashes mark'd a curious L:
Oh, may this wondrous omen lucky prove!
For L is found in Lubberkin and Love.
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around. 60

Two hazle nuts I threw into the flame,
And to each nut I gave a sweet—heart's name.
This with the loudest bounce me sore amaz'd,
That in a flame of brightest colour blaz'd.
As blaz'd the nut so may thy passion grow, 65
For 'twas thy nut that did so brightly glow.[3]
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

[4]
As peascods once I pluck'd, I chanc'd to see
One that was closely fill'd with three times three,
Which when I crop'd I safely home convey'd, 71
And o'er my door the spell in secret laid.
My wheel I turn'd, and sung a ballad new,
While from the spindle I the fleeces drew;
The latch mov'd up, when who should first come in,
But in his proper person ——Lubberkin. 76
I broke my yarn surpriz'd the sight to see,
Sure sign that he would break his word with me:
Eftsoons I join'd it With my wonted flight,
So may again his Love with mine unite! 80
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

This lady-fly I take from off the grass,
Whose spotted back might scarlet red surpass.
Fly, lady-bird, North, South, or East or West, 85
Fly where the man is found that I love best.
He leaves my hand, see to the West he's flown,
To call my true love from the faithless town.
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around. 90

This mellow pippin, which I pare around,
My shepherd's name shall flourish on the ground.
I fling th' unbroken paring o'er my head,[5]
Upon the grass a perfect L is read;
Yet on my heart a fairer L is seen 95
Than what the paring marks upon the green.
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

This pippin shall another tryal make,
See from the core two kernels brown I take; 100
This on my cheek for Lubberkin is worn,
And Boobyclod on t'other side is born.
But Boobyclod soon drops upon the ground,
A certain token that his love's unsound,
While Lubberkin sticks firmly to the last; 105
Oh were his lips to mine but join'd so fast!
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

As Lubberkin once slept beneath a tree,[6]
I twich'd his dangling garter from his knee; 110
He wist not when the hempen string I drew,
Now mine I quickly doff of inkle blue;
Together fast I tye the garters twain,
And while I knit the knot repeat this strain,
Three times a true-love's knot I tye secure, 115
Firm be the knot, firm may his love endure.
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

As I was wont, I trudg'd last market-day
To town, with new-laid eggs preserv'd in hay. 120
I made my market long before 'twas night,
My purse grew heavy and my basket light.
Strait to the pothecary's shop I went,[7]
And in love-powder all my money spent;
Behap what will, next Sunday after prayers, 125
When to the ale-house Lubberkin repairs,
These golden flies into his mug I'll throw,[8]
And soon the swain with fervent love shall glow.
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around. 130

But hold—our Light-foot barks, and cocks his ears,[9]
O'er yonder stile see Lubberkin appears.
He comes, he comes, Hobnelia's not bewray'd,
Nor shall she, crown'd with willow, die a maid.
He vows, he swears, he'll give me a green gown,
Oh dear! I fall adown, adown, adown! 136

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  1. Line 8. Dight or bedight, from the Saxon word dihtan, which signifies to set in order.
  2. Line 21. Doff and don, contracted from the words do off and do on.
  3. 66. Daphnis memalus urit, ego hanc in Daphnide
  4. Line 64. ————ἐγὼ δ` ἐῶἰ Δἑλφιδι δἀφναν
    Αἂθω. χ` ὠς ἀυτὰ λακέει μέγα καππυρἰσασα᾽.
    Theoc.
  5. Line
    93. Transque Caput jace; ne respexerisVirg.

  6. Line 109. Necte tribus nodis ternos, Amarylli, Colores
      Necte, Amarylli modo; & Veneris dic vincula necto.
    Virg. 

  7. 123. Has Herbas, atque hæc Ponto mihi lecta venena,
    Virg.  Ipse dedit Mæris.

  8. Line 127.
    —————— Ποντὀν κακὀν ἂυριον ὀισῶ.Theoc.

  9. 131. Nescio quid certe est: Et Hylax in limine latrat.