BETA

Song for the Morning of the Day of St John the Baptist.

Come forth, come forth, my maidens, ’ tis the day of good St John,1
It is the Baptist’s morning that breaks the hills upon,2
And let us all go forth together, while the blessed day is new,3
To dress with flowers the snow white wether, ere the sun has dried the dew,4
Come forth, come forth, &c.5
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, the hedgerows all are green,6
And the little birds are singing the opening leaves between,7
And let us all go forth together, to gather trefoil by the stream,8
Ere the face of Guadalquiver glows beneath the strengthening beam,9
Come forth, come forth, &c.10
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, and slumber not away11
The blessed blessed morning of John the Baptist’s day ;12
There’s trefoil on the meadow, and lilies on the lee,13
And hawthorn blossoms on the bush, which you must pluck with me,14
Come forth, come forth, &c.15
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, the air is calm and cool,16
And the violet blue far down ye’ll view, reflected in the pool ;17
The violets and the roses, and the jasmines all together.18
We’ll bind in garlands on the brow of the strong and lovely wether,19
Come forth, come forth, &c.20
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, we’ll gather myrtle boughs,21
And we all shall learn from the dews of the fern, if our lads will keep their vows.22
If the wether be still, as we dance on the hill, and the dew hangs sweet on the
flowers,
23
Then well kiss off the dew, for our lovers are true, and the Baptist’s blessing
is ours.*
24
Come forth, come forth, my maidens, ’ tis the day of good St John,25
It is the Baptist’s morning that breaks the hills upon ;26
And let us all go forth together, while the blessed day is new,27
To dress with flowers the snow white wether, ere the sun has dried the dew.28

* “ They enclose the wether in a hut of heath,” says Depping, “ and if he remains
quiet while the girl sings, all is well, but if he puts his horns through the frail wall or
door, then the lover is false hearted.”