Ben Jonson

"The Sad Shepherd. Act 1. Scene 3."

Tuck, George a Green, Much, Aeglamour.

       Tuc. And I, the Chaplain, here am left to be Steward to day, and charge you all in fee,
To d'on your Liveries, see the Bower drest.

And fit the fine devices for the Feast:
You, George, must care to make the Baldrick trim,
And Garland that must crown, or her, or him;
Whose Flock this Year, hath brought the earliest Lamb.
       Geo. Good Father Tuck, at your Commands I am
To cut the Table out o' the green Sword,
Or any other Service for my Lord;
To carve the Guests large Seats; and these laid in
With Turfe (as soft and smooth as the Mole's Skin:)
And hang the bulled Nosegays 'bove their Heads,
The Pipers Bank, whereon to sit and play,
And a fair Dial to meet out the day.
Our Master's Feast shall want no just delights:
His Entertainments must have all the Rites.
       Muc. I, and all choice that Plenty can send in;
Bread, Wine, Acates, Fowl, Feather, Fish, or Fin,
For which my Father's Nets have swept the Trent.
       [Aeglamour falls in with them.
       Aeg. And ha' you found her?
       Muc. Whom? AEg. My drowned Love,
Earine! the sweet Earine!
The bright, and beautiful Earine!
Have you not heard of my Earine?
Just by your Father's Mill (I think I am right)
Are you not Much, the Miller's Son? Muc. I am.
       Aeg. And Bailiff to brave Robin-hood?
       Muc. The same.
       Aeg. Close by your Father's Mills, Earine!
Earine was drown'd! O my Earine!
(Old Maudlin tells me so, and Douce her Daughter)
Ha' you swept tge River, say you? and not found her?
       Muc. For Fowl and Fish we have.
       Aeg. O, not for her?
You're goodly Friends! right charitable Men!
Nay, keep your way, and leave me: make your Toys,
Your Tales, your Poesies, that you talk'd of; all
Your Entertainments: you not injure me:
Only if I may enjoy my, Cypress Wreath!
And you will let me weep! (tis all i ask;)
Till I be turn'd to Water, as was she!
And troth. what less Suit can you grant a Man?
       Tuc. His Phantesie is hurt, let us now leave him:
The Wound is yet too fresh to admit searching.
       Aeg. Searching? Where should I search? or on what
Can my slow drop of Tears, or this dark shade
About my Brows, enough describe her loss!
Earine, O my Earine's loss!
No, no, no, np; this Heart will break first.
       Geo. How will this sad disaster strike the Ears
Of bounteous Robin-hood, our gentle Master?
       Muc. How will it mar his Mirth, abate his Feast;
And strike a Horror into every Guest!
       Aeg. If I could knit whole Clouds about my Brows,
And weep like Swithen, or those watry Signs,
The Kids that rise then, and drown all the Flocks
Of those rich Shepherds, dwelling in this Vale;
Those careless Shepherds that did let her drown!
Then I did something, or could make old Trent
Drunk with my sorrow, to start out in breaches,
To drown their Herds, their Cattle, and their Corn;
Break down their Mills, Their Dams, o'er-turn their
And see their Houses, and whole Livelihood
Wrought into Water, with her, all were good:
I'ld kiss the Torrent, and those Whirles of Trent,
That suck'd her in, my sweet Earine!
When they have cast their Body on the Shoar,
And it comes up as tainted as themselves,
All pale and bloodless, I will love it still,
For all that they can do, and make 'em mad,
To see how I will hug it in mine arms!
And hang upon the Looks, dwell on her Eyes:
Feed round about her Lips, and eat her Kisses!
Suck of her drowned Flesh! and where's their malice?
Not all their envious sousing can change that:
But I will study some Revenge past this!
I pray you give me leave, for I will study,
Though all the Bells, Pipes, Tabors, Timburines ring,
That you can plant about me: I will study.


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