Folding the Flocks

Shepherds all, and maidens fair,
Fold your flocks up; for the air
'Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dew-drops, how they kiss
Every little flower that is;
Hanging on their velvet heads,
Like a string of crystal beads.
See the heavy clouds low falling,
And bright Hesperus down calling
The dead night from under ground;
At whose rising, mists unsound,
Damps and vapours, fly apace,
And hover o'er the smiling face
Of these pastures, where they come,
Striking dead both bud and bloom.
Therefore from such danger lock
Every one his loved flock;
And let your dogs lie loose without,
Lest the wolf come as a scout
From the mountain, and, ere day,
Bear a lamb or kid away;
Or the crafty, thievish fox,
Break upon your simple flocks;
To secure yourself from these
Be not too secure in ease;
So shall you good shepherds prove,
And deserve your master's love.
Now, good night! may sweetest slumbers
And soft silence fall in numbers
On your eyelids: so farewell:
Thus I end my evening knell.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Beaumont and Fletcher

Beaumont and Fletcher were the English dramatists Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, who collaborated in their writing during the reign of James I (1603–25). They became known as a team early in their association, so much so that their joined names were applied to the total canon of Fletcher, including his solo works and the plays he composed with various other collaborators including Philip Massinger and Nathan Field. The first Beaumont and Fletcher folio of 1647 contained 35 plays; 53 plays were included in the second folio in 1679. Other works bring the total plays in the canon to about 55. While scholars and critics will probably never render a unanimous verdict on the authorship of all these plays — especially given the difficulties of some of the individual cases — contemporary scholarship has arrived at a corpus of about 12 to 15 plays that are the work of both men. (See the individual pages on Beaumont and Fletcher for more details). more…

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"Folding the Flocks" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/4238/folding-the-flocks>.

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