Soli Cantare Periti Arcades

A poem by Ernest Christopher Dowson

Oh, I would live in a dairy,
And its Colin I would be,
And many a rustic fairy
Should churn the milk with me.

Or the fields should be my pleasure,
And my flocks should follow me,
Piping a frolic measure
For Joan or Marjorie.

For the town is black and weary,
And I hate the London street;
But the country ways are cheery,
And country lanes are sweet.

Good luck to you, Paris ladies!
Ye are over fine and nice
I know where the country maid is,
Who needs not asking twice.

Ye are brave in your silks and satins,
As ye mince about the Town;
But her feet go free in pattens,
If she wear a russet gown.

If she be not queen nor goddess
She shall milk my brown-eyed herds,
And the breasts beneath her bodice
Are whiter than her curds.

So I will live in a dairy,
And its Colin I will be,
And its Joan that I will marry,
Or, haply, Marjorie.

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