Sir John Suckling

LOVE, Reason, Hate, did once bespeak
Three mates to play at barley-break :
Love, Folly took ; and Reason, Fancy ;
And Hate consorts with Pride ; so dance they :
Love coupled last, and so it fell,
That Love and Folly were in hell.

They break, and Love would Reason meet ;
But Hate was nimbler on her feet :
Fancy looks for Pride, and thither
Hies, and they two hug together :
Yet this new coupling still doth tell
That Love and Folly were in hell.

The rest do break again, and Pride
Hath now got Reason on her side :
Hate and Fancy meet, and stand
Untoucht by Love in Folly's hand :
Folly was dull, but Love ran well ;
So Love and Folly were in hell.

    "The game of barley-break, which furnishes the idea of
    these verses, is explained in the last ecloque of Sidney's
    Arcadia, lib. i.  It was played by three couples : the mid-
    dle couple was said to be ' in hell,' and had to catch the
    other couples. The catching pair were not allowed to
    separate till they had succeeded ; while the other pairs,
    if hard pressed, were allowed to ' break ' or separate,
    from which the game derived the second part of its
    name. When all had been caught, new couples were
    formed, and the pair which failed to occupy one of the
    ends of the grounds was ' in hell.' "  p.366-367.

Suckling, John. The Works of Sir John Suckling. A. Hamilton Thompson, ed.
London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1910. 20.

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