Monday, 19 May 2014

Poetry Revisited: The Merry Month of May by Thomas Dekker

The Merry Month of May

(From the play The Shoemaker's Holiday: 1599)

O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green!
O, and then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer's Queen.

Now the nightingale, the pretty nightingale,
The sweetest singer in all the forest quire,
Entreats thee, sweet Peggy, to hear thy true love's tale:
Lo, yonder she sitteth, her breast against a brier.

But O, I spy the cuckoo, the cuckoo, the cuckoo;
See where she sitteth; come away, my joy:
Come away, I prithee, I do not like the cuckoo
Should sing where my Peggy and I kiss and toy.

O, the month of May, the merry month of May,
So frolic, so gay, and so green, so green, so green;
And then did I unto my true love say,
Sweet Peg, thou shalt be my Summer's Queen.

                                                              Thomas Dekker
                                                               (c. 1572–1632)

2 comments:

  1. I'd love to hear this as a medieval madrigal! Is there music to it?

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    Replies
    1. Hello Jane! Yes, it's a beautiful poem. I just googled to see if there is music to it and only found library information at http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/43246985. Not much help, is it? However, thanks for your comment!

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