Shepherds all, and maidens fair,
Fold your flocks up; for the air
'Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dew-drops, how they kiss
Every little flower that is;
Hanging on their velvet heads,
Like a string of crystal beads.
See the heavy clouds low falling,
And bright Hesperus down calling
The dead night from under ground;
At whose rising, mists unsound,
Damps and vapours, fly apace,
And hover o'er the smiling face
Of these pastures, where they come,
Striking dead both bud and bloom.
Therefore from such danger lock
Every one his loved flock;
And let your dogs lie loose without,
Lest the wolf come as a scout
From the mountain, and, ere day,
Bear a lamb or kid away;
Or the crafty, thievish fox,
Break upon your simple flocks;
To secure yourself from these
Be not too secure in ease;
So shall you good shepherds prove,
And deserve your master's love.
Now, good night! may sweetest slumbers
And soft silence fall in numbers
On your eyelids: so farewell:
Thus I end my evening knell.

More verses by Beaumont and Fletcher

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