Get up, get up for shame! the blooming morn Upon her wings presents the god unshorn. See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colours through the air! Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see The dew bespangled herb and tree. Each flower has wept and bowed toward the east Above an hour since,—yet you not dressed; Nay! not so much as out of bed? When all the birds have matins said And sung their thankful hymns, 'tis sin— Nay, profanation—to keep in, Whenas a thousand virgins on this day Spring sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.
Rise, and put on your foliage, and be seen To come forth, like the springtime, fresh and green And sweet as Flora. Take no care For jewels for your gown or hair: Fear not, the leaves will strew Gems in abundance upon you: Besides, the childhood of the day has kept, Against you come, some orient pearls unwept. Come, and receive them while the light Hangs on the dew-locks of the night: And Titan on the eastern hill Retires himself, or else stands still Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying: Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.
Come, my Corinna, come; and coming, mark How each field turns a street, each street a park Made green and trimmed with trees! See how Devotion gives each house a bough Or branch! Each porch, each door, ere this An ark, a tabernacle is, Made up of whitethorn neatly interwove, As if here were those cooler shades of love. Can such delights be in the street And open fields and we not see 't? Come, we'll abroad; and let's obey The proclamation made for May, And sin no more, as we have done, by staying; But, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying.
There's not a budding boy or girl this day But is got up and gone to bring in May. A deal of youth, ere this, is come Back, and with whitethorn laden, home. Some have dispatched their cakes and cream, Before that we have left to dream; And some have wept and wooed and plighted troth, And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth: Many a green-gown has been given, Many a kiss, both odd and even; Many a glance too has been sent From out the eye, love's firmament; Many a jest told of the key's betraying This night, and locks picked: yet we're not a-Maying!
Come, let us go while we are in our prime, And take the harmless folly of the time! We shall grow old apace, and die Before we know our liberty. Our life is short, and our days run As fast away as does the sun; And, as a vapour or a drop of rain, Once lost can ne'er be found again; So when or you or I are made A fable, song, or fleeting shade, All love, all liking, all delight Lies drowned with us in endless night. Then while time serves, and we are but decaying, Come, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying!