As You Like It

Act V

Scene III

William Shakespeare

The forest.


To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will we be married.

I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world. Here comes two of the banished duke’s pages.

Enter two PAGES

Well met, honest gentleman.

By my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.

We are for you: sit i’ the middle.

Shall we clap into’t roundly, without hawking or spitting or saying we are hoarse, which are the only prologues to a bad voice?

I’faith, i’faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies on a horse.

        It was a lover and his lass,
            With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
        That o’er the green corn-field did pass
            In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
        When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:
        Sweet lovers love the spring.

        Between the acres of the rye,
            With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
        These pretty country folks would lie,
            In spring time, &c.

        This carol they began that hour,
            With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
        How that a life was but a flower
            In spring time, &c.

        And therefore take the present time,
            With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;
        For love is crowned with the prime
            In spring time, &c.

Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.

You are deceived, sir: we kept time, we lost not our time.

By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such a foolish song. God be wi’ you; and God mend your voices! Come, Audrey.


As You Like It - Contents    |     Act V - Scene IV

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