Celebrating National Poetry Month

Cleveland Park Library

Celebrating National Poetry Month

In celebration of National Poetry Month we're posting a new public domain poem every Monday.

"It Was a Lover and His Lass" by William Shakespeare

It was a lover and his lass,
    With a hey, and a ho, and hey nonino
Cherry BlossomsThat o'er the green corn-field did pass,
    In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey, ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,
    With a hey, and a ho, and hey nonino,
These pretty county folk would lie,
    In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey, ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

This carol they began at that hour,
    With a hey, and a ho, and hey nonino,
How that life was but a flower
    In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey, ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

And, therefore, take the present time
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crown'd with the prime
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.



The musical group Barenaked Ladies recorded this poem in 2005 for the the Stratford Festival's production of As You Like It by William Shakespeare. You can listen to their version here: