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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Let the Bells Ring, and Let the Boys Sing

John Fletcher (1579–1625)

LET the bells ring, and let the boys sing,

The young lasses skip and play;

Let the cups go round, till round goes the ground;

Our learned old vicar will stay.

Let the pig turn merrily, merrily, ah!

And let the fat goose swim;

For verily, verily, verily, ah!

Our vicar this day shall be trim.

The stewed cock shall crow, cock-a-loodle-loo,

A loud cock-a-loodle shall he crow;

The duck and the drake shall swim in a lake

Of onions and claret below.

Our wives shall be neat, to bring in our meat

To thee our most noble adviser;

Our pains shall be great, and bottles shall sweat

And we ourselves will be wiser.

We’ll labour and swink, we’ll kiss and we’ll drink,

And tithes shall come thicker and thicker;

We’ll fall to our plough, and get children enow,

And thou shalt be learnèd old vicar.