Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
The Shepherds’ Holiday (from Pan’s Anniversary)
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
[From Pan’s Anniversary; or, The Shepherds’ Holiday: 1625.]

First Nymph.
      THUS, thus begin, the yearly rites
      Are due to Pan on these bright nights;
      His morn now riseth and invites
      To sports, to dances, and delights:
        All envious and profane, away!        5
        This is the shepherds’ holiday.
Second Nymph.
      Strew, strew the glad and smiling ground
      With every flower, yet not confound;
      The primrose drop, the spring’s own spouse,
      Bright day’s-eyes, and the lips of cows,        10
        The garden-star, the queen of May,
        The rose, to crown the holiday.
Third Nymph.
      Drop, drop you violets, change your hues
      Now red, now pale, as lovers use,
      And in your death go out as well,        15
      As when you lived unto the smell:
        That from your odour all may say,
        This is the shepherds’ holiday.

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