PRESENTED TO THE KING, AND SET BY MR NIC. LANIERE
THE SPEAKERS: MIRTILLO, AMINTAS, AND AMARILLIS
AMIN. Good day, Mirtillo. MIRT. And to you no less;
And all fair signs lead on our shepherdess.
AMAR. With all white luck to you. MIRT. But say,
Stirs in our sheep-walk? AMIN. None, save that my
My wethers, lambs, and wanton kids are well,
Smooth, fair, and fat; none better I can tell:
Or that this day Menalchas keeps a feast
For his sheep-shearers. MIRT. True, these are the least.
But dear Amintas, and sweet Amarillis,
Rest but a while here by this bank of lilies;
And lend a gentle ear to one report
The country has. AMIN. From whence? AMAR. From
whence? MIRT. The Court.
Three days before the shutting-in of May,
(With whitest wool be ever crown’d that day!)
To all our joy, a sweet-faced child was born,
More tender than the childhood of the morn.
CHORUS:–Pan pipe to him, and bleats of lambs and
Let lullaby the pretty prince asleep!
MIRT. And that his birth should be more singular,
At noon of day was seen a silver star,
Bright as the wise men’s torch, which guided them
To God’s sweet babe, when born at Bethlehem;
While golden angels, some have told to me,
Sung out his birth with heav’nly minstrelsy.
AMIN. O rare! But is’t a trespass, if we three
Should wend along his baby-ship to see?
MIRT. Not so, not so. CHOR. But if it chance to prove
At most a fault, ’tis but a fault of love.
AMAR. But, dear Mirtillo, I have heard it told,
Those learned men brought incense, myrrh, and gold,
From countries far, with store of spices sweet,
And laid them down for offerings at his feet.
MIRT. ‘Tis true, indeed; and each of us will bring
Unto our smiling and our blooming King,
A neat, though not so great an offering.
AMAR. A garland for my gift shall be,
Of flowers ne’er suck’d by th’ thieving bee;
And all most sweet, yet all less sweet than he.
AMIN. And I will bear along with you
Leaves dropping down the honied dew,
With oaten pipes, as sweet, as new.
MIRT. And I a sheep-hook will bestow
To have his little King-ship know,
As he is Prince, he’s Shepherd too.
CHOR. Come, let’s away, and quickly let’s be drest,
And quickly give:–the swiftest grace is best.
And when before him we have laid our treasures,
We’ll bless the babe:–then back to country pleasures.