by Robert Herrick

COME, Anthea, let us two
Go to feast, as others do.
Tarts and custards, creams and cakes,
Are the junkets still at wakes
Unto which the tribes resort,
Where the business is the sport.
Morris-dancers thou shalt see,
Marian, too, in pageantry,
And a mimic to devise
Many grinning properties.
Players there will be, and those
Base in action as in clothes ;
Yet with strutting they will please
The incurious villages.
Near the dying of the day
There will be a cudgel-play,
Where a coxcomb will be broke
Ere a good word can be spoke :
But the anger ends all here,
Drenched in ale, or drown'd in beer.
Happy rustics ! best content
With the cheapest merriment,
And possess no other fear
Than to want the wake next year.

Marian, Maid Marian of the Robin Hood ballads.
Action, i.e., dramatic action.
Incurious, careless, easily pleased.
Coxcomb, to cause blood to flow from the opponent's
head was the test of victory.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol II.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 68.

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