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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Timothy Billings

  • Copyright Timothy Billings. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Timothy Billings
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Love's Labor's Lost (Folio 1, 1623)

    144 Loues Labour's lost
    Ile marke no words that smoothfac'd wooers say.
    Come when the King doth to my Ladie come:
    2790Then if I haue much loue, Ile giue you some.
    Dum. Ile serue thee true and faithfully till then.
    Kath. Yet sweare not, least ye be forsworne agen.
    Lon. What saies Maria?
    Mari. At the tweluemonths end,
    2795Ile change my blacke Gowne, for a faithfull friend.
    Lon. Ile stay with patience: but the time is long.
    Mari. The liker you, few taller are so yong.
    Ber. Studies my Ladie? Mistresse, looke on me,
    Behold the window of my heart, mine eie:
    2800What humble suite attends thy answer there,
    Impose some seruice on me for my loue.
    Ros. Oft haue I heard of you my Lord Berowne,
    Before I saw you: and the worlds large tongue
    Proclaimes you for a man repleate with mockes,
    2805Full of comparisons, and wounding floutes:
    Which you on all estates will execute,
    That lie within the mercie of your wit.
    To weed this Wormewood from your fruitfull braine,
    And therewithall to win me, if you please,
    2810Without the which I am not to be won:
    You shall this tweluemonth terme from day to day,
    Visite the speechlesse sicke, and still conuerse
    With groaning wretches: and your taske shall be,
    With all the fierce endeuour of your wit,
    2815To enforce the pained impotent to smile.
    Ber. To moue wilde laughter in the throate of death?
    It cannot be, it is impossible.
    Mirth cannot moue a soule in agonie.
    Ros. Why that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
    2820Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
    Which shallow laughing hearers giue to fooles:
    A iests prosperitie, lies in the eare
    Of him that heares it, neuer in the tongue
    Of him that makes it: then, if sickly eares,
    2825Deaft with the clamors of their owne deare grones,
    Will heare your idle scornes; continue then,
    And I will haue you, and that fault withall.
    But if they will not, throw away that spirit,
    And I shal finde you emptie of that fault,
    2830Right ioyfull of your reformation.
    Ber. A tweluemonth? Well: befall what will befall,
    Ile iest a tweluemonth in an Hospitall.
    Qu. I sweet my Lord, and so I take my leaue.
    King. No Madam, we will bring you on your way.
    2835Ber. Our woing doth not end like an old Play:
    Iacke hath not Gill: these Ladies courtesie
    Might wel haue made our sport a Comedie.
    Kin. Come sir, it wants a tweluemonth and a day,
    And then 'twil end.
    2840Ber. That's too long for a play.

    Enter Braggart.
    Brag. Sweet Maiesty vouchsafe me.
    Qu. Was not that Hector?
    Dum. The worthie Knight of Troy.
    2845Brag. I wil kisse thy royal finger, and take leaue.
    I am a Votarie, I haue vow'd to Iaquenetta to holde the
    Plough for her sweet loue three yeares. But most estee-
    med greatnesse, wil you heare the Dialogue that the two
    Learned men haue compiled, in praise of the Owle and
    2850the Cuckow? It should haue followed in the end of our
    Kin. Call them forth quickely, we will do so.
    Brag. Holla, Approach.

    Enter all.
    2855This side is Hiems, Winter.
    This Ver, the Spring: the one maintained by the Owle,
    Th'other by the Cuckow.
    Ver, begin.
    The Song.

    When Dasies pied, and Violets blew,
    And Cuckow-buds of yellow hew:
    And Ladie-smockes all siluer white,
    Do paint the Medowes with delight.
    The Cuckow then on euerie tree,
    2865Mockes married men, for thus sings he,
    Cuckow, Cuckow: O word of feare,
    Vnpleasing to a married eare.

    When Shepheards pipe on Oaten strawes,
    2870And merrie Larkes are Ploughmens clockes:
    When Turtles tread, and Rookes and Dawes,
    And Maidens bleach their summer smockes:
    The Cuckow then on euerie tree
    Mockes married men; for thus sings he,
    Cuckow, Cuckow: O word of feare,
    Vnpleasing to a married eare.

    When Isicles hang by the wall,
    2880And Dicke the Sphepheard blowes his naile;
    And Tom beares Logges into the hall,
    And Milke comes frozen home in paile:
    When blood is nipt, and waies be fowle,
    Then nightly sings the staring Owle
    2885Tu-whit to-who.
    A merrie note,
    While greasie Ione doth keele the pot.

    When all aloud the winde doth blow,
    And coffing drownes the Parsons saw:
    2890And birds sit brooding in the snow,
    And Marrians nose lookes red and raw:
    When roasted Crabs hisse in the bowle,
    Then nightly sings the staring Owle,
    Tu-whit to who:
    2895 A merrie note,
    While greasie Ione doth keele the pot.

    Brag. The Words of Mercurie,
    Are harsh after the songs of Apollo:
    You that way; we this way.
    2900 Exeunt omnes.