by John Gay

At even o' Hallowmas no sleep I sought,
But to the field a bag of hempseed brought.
I scattered round the seed on every side,
And three times three in trembling accents cried:
"This hempseed with my virgin hand I sow;
Who shall my true love be, the crop shall mow."

I pared a pippin round and round again,
My shepherd's name to flourish in the plain;
I flung the unbroken paring o'er my head;
Upon the grass a perfect L was made.

Two hazelnuts I threw into the flame,
And to each nut I gave a sweetheart's name;
This with the loudest bounce me sore amazed,
That in a flame of brightest color blazed.
So may thy passion grow,
For 'twas thy nut that did so brightly glow.

No comments: