The Shepherd's Week : Thursday; or, The Spell

Hobnelia.
Hobnelia, seated in a dreary vale,
In pensive mood rehears'd her piteous tale,
Her piteous tale the wind in sighs bemoan,
And pining echo answers groan for groan.
I rue the day, a rueful day I trow,
The woful day, a day indeed of wo!
When Lubberkin to town his cattle drove,
A maiden fine bedight he hap'd to love;
The maiden fine bedight his love retains,
And for the village he forsakes the plains.
Return, my Lubberkin, these ditties hear;
Spells will I try, and spells shall ease my care.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
When first the year, I heard the cuckoo sing,
And call with welcome note the budding spring,
I straightway set a running with such haste,
Deborah that won the smock scarce ran so fast.
'Till spent for lack of breath quite weary grown,
Upon a rising bank I sat adown,
Then doff'd my shoe, and by my troth I swear,
Therein I spy'd this yellow frizzled hair,
As like to Lubberkin's in curl and hue,
As if upon his comely pate it grew.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
At eve last midsummer no sleep I sought,
But to the field a bag of hemp-seed brought,
I scatter'd round the seed on every side,
And three times in a trembling accent cried,
'This hemp-seed with my virgin hand I sow,
Who shall my true-love be, the crop shall mow.'
I straight look'd back, and if my eyes speak truth,
With his keen scythe behind me came the youth.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
Last Valentine, the day when birds of kind
Their paramours with mutual chirpings find;
I rearly rose, just at the break of day,
Before the sun had chas'd the stars away,
A-field I went, amid the morning dew,
To milk my kine (for so should huswifes do)
Thee first I spy'd, and the first swain we see,
In spite of fortune shall our true-love be;
See, Lubberkin, each bird his partner take,
And canst thou then thy sweet-hear dear forsake?
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
Last May-day fair I search'd to find a snail
That might my secret lover's name reveal;
Upon a gooseberry bush a snail I found,
For always snails near sweetest fruit abound.
I seiz'd the vermin, home I quickly sped,
And on the hearth the milk-white embers spread
Slow crawl'd the snail, and if I right can spell,
In the soft ashes mark'd a curious L :
Oh, may this wondrous omen lucky prove!
For L is found in Lubberkin and Love.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
Two hazel-nuts I threw into the flame,
And to each nut I gave a sweet-heart's name.
This with the loudest bounce me sore amaz'd,
That in a flame of brightest colour blaz'd.
As blaz'd the nut, so may thy passion grow,
For 'twas thy nut that did so brightly glow.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
As peascods once I pluck'd, I chanc'd to see
One that was closely fill'd with three times three,
Which when I crop'd I safely home convey'd,
And o'er the door the spell in secret laid,
My wheel I turn'd, and sung a ballad new,
While from the spindle I the fleeces drew;
The latch mov'd up, when who should first come in,
But in his proper person - Lubberkin.
I broke my yarn, surpris'd the sight to see,
Sure sign that he would break his word with me.
Eftsoons I join'd it with my wonted slight,
So may again his love with mine unite!
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
This lady-fly I take from off the grass,
Whose spotted back might scarlet red surpass.
'Fly, lady-bird, North, South, or East, or West,
Fly where the man is found that I love best.'
He leaves my hand, see to the West he's flown,
To call my true-love from the faithless town.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
I pare this pippin round and round again,
My shepherd's name to flourish on the plain,
I fling the unbroken paring o'er my head,
Upon the grass a perfect L is read;
Yet on my heart a fairer L is seen
Than what the paring makes upon the green.
'With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.'
This pippin shall another trial make,
See from the core two kernels brown I take;
This on my cheek for Lubberkin's is worn,
And Boobyclod soon drops upon th
Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
124 Views

John Gay

John Gay, a cousin of the poet John Gay, was an English philosopher, biblical scholar and Church of England clergyman. more…

All John Gay poems | John Gay Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Translation

Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • Chinese - Simplified 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • Chinese - Traditional 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Spanish Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • Japanese 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Portuguese Português (Portuguese)
  • German Deutsch (German)
  • Arabic العربية (Arabic)
  • French Français (French)
  • Russian Русский (Russian)
  • Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • Korean 한국어 (Korean)
  • Hebrew עברית (Hebrew)
  • Ukrainian Український (Ukrainian)
  • Urdu اردو (Urdu)
  • Hungarian Magyar (Hungarian)
  • Hindi मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesian Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italian Italiano (Italian)
  • Tamil தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Turkish Türkçe (Turkish)
  • Telugu తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • Thai ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Vietnamese Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Czech Čeština (Czech)
  • Polish Polski (Polish)
  • Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Romanian Românește (Romanian)
  • Dutch Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Greek Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latin Latinum (Latin)
  • Swedish Svenska (Swedish)
  • Danish Dansk (Danish)
  • Finnish Suomi (Finnish)
  • Persian فارسی (Persian)
  • Yiddish ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • Armenian հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norwegian Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English English (English)

Discuss this John Gay poem with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"The Shepherd's Week : Thursday; or, The Spell" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 20 Nov. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/22791/the-shepherd's-week-:-thursday;-or,-the-spell>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets

»

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.