Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
William Shakespeare. 1564–1616
  
137. It was a Lover and his Lass
  
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;         5
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,  10
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  15
  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,  20
For love is crown`d 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. 
 
 
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