Traditional, see also The Milking Pail
You rural goddesses,|
That woods and fields possess,
Assist me with your skill, that may direct my quill,
More jocundly to express,
The mirth and delight, both morning and night,
On mountain or in dale,
Of them who choose this trade to use,
And, through cold dews, do never refuse
To carry the milking-pail.
2. The bravest lasses gay,
3. Their hearts are free from care,
4. Base idleness they do scorn,|
They rise very early i' th' morn,
And walk into the field, where pretty birds do yield
Brave music on every thorn.
The linnet and thrush do sing on each bush,
And the dulcet nightingale
Her note doth strain, by jocund vein,
To entertain that worthy train,
Which carry the milking-pail.
5. Their labour doth health preserve,
6. Upon the first of May,
7. If any think that I|
Do practise flattery,
In seeking thus to raise the merry milkmaids' praise,
I'll to them thus reply:
It is their desert inviteth my art,
To study this pleasant tale;
In their defence, whose innocence,
And providence, gets honest pence
Out of the milking-pail.
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