Monday, July 7, 2008

When Daisies Pied


When Daisies Pied

by William Shakespeare
from his play, "Love's Labour's Lost"

When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,
Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring-owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who;
Tu-whit, tu-who—a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

A famous tale told by my former piano teacher and choir master was of the year he adjudicated at a very large music festival... and a sprightly little boy stood before him, and pronounced the first line of this song, "When Daisies PEED". Ever the gentleman, my teacher kept a straight face throughout the performance, and even while he delivered his "notes" to the contestants at the end of the class. I've no doubt he nearly "peed" himself laughing, once he had safely made it out to his car and was driving home, however...

1 comment:

mrinz said...

Shakespeare paints a vivid picture with his words!

 
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