Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
VI. Animate Nature
Folding the Flocks
Francis Beaumont (1584–1616) and John Fletcher (1579–1625)
SHEPHERDS all, and maidens fair,
Fold your flocks up; for the air
’Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dew-drops, how they kiss        5
Every little flower that is;
Hanging on their velvet heads,
Like a string of crystal beads.
See the heavy clouds low falling
And bright Hesperus down calling        10
The dead night from underground;
At whose rising, mists unsound,
Damps and vapors, fly apace,
And hover o’er the smiling face
Of these pastures; where they come,        15
Striking dead both bud and bloom.
Therefore from such danger lock
Every one his lovèd flock;
And let your dogs lie loose without,
Lest the wolf come as a scout        20
From the mountain, and ere day,
Bear a lamb or kid away;
Or the crafty, thievish fox,
Break upon your simple flocks.
To secure yourself from these,        25
Be not too secure in ease;
So shall you good shepherds prove,
And deserve your master’s love.
Now, good night! may sweetest slumbers
And soft silence fall in numbers        30
On your eyelids. So farewell:
Thus I end my evening knell.

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