Gateway to the Classics: Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by Arthur Quiller-Couch
Oxford Book of English Verse, Part 1 by  Arthur Quiller-Couch

May in the Green‑Wood

In somer when the shawes be sheyne,

And leves be large and long,

Hit is full merry in feyre foreste

To here the foulys song.

To se the dere draw to the dale

And leve the hilles hee,

And shadow him in the leves grene

Under the green-wode tree.

Hit befell on Whitsontide

Early in a May mornyng,

The Sonne up faire can shyne,

And the briddis mery can syng.

"This is a mery mornyng," said Litulle Johne,

"Be Hym that dyed on tre;

A more mery man than I am one

Lyves not in Christianté.

"Pluk up thi hert, my dere mayster,"

Litulle Johne can say,

"And thynk hit is a fulle fayre tyme

In a mornynge of May."

— Anonymous
15th century   

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