Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > As You Like It
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
As You Like It
Act V. Scene III.
Another Part of the Forest.
  Touch.  To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will we be married.
  Aud.  I do desire it with all my heart, and I hope it is no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world. Here come two of the banished duke’s pages.
Enter two Pages.
  First Page.  Well met, honest gentleman.
  Touch.  By my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.
  Sec. Page.  We are for you: sit i’ the middle.
  First Page.  Shall we clap into ’t roundly, without hawking or spitting, or saying we are hoarse, which are the only prologues to a bad voice?
  Sec. Page.  I’ faith, i’ faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies on a horse.        10
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;
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, &c.
This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower
  In the spring time, &c.
And therefore take the present time,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;
For love is crowned with the prime
  In the spring time, &c.
  Touch.  Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.
  First Page.  You are deceived, sir: we kept time; we lost not our time.
  Touch.  By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such a foolish song. God be wi’ you; and God mend your voices! Come, Audrey.  [Exeunt.

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