William Shakespeare: As You Like It, Act V, Scene III

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Scene III

The forest

Enter Touchstone and Audrey


To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will we be married.


I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the world. Here comes two of the banished duke's pages.

Enter two Pages

First Page

Well met, honest gentleman.


By my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.

Second Page

We are for you: sit i' the middle.

First Page

Shall we clap into't roundly, without hawking or spitting or saying we are hoarse, which are the only prologues to a bad voice?

Second Page

I'faith, i'faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies on a horse.


It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That 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 a hey nonino
These pretty country folks would lie,
In spring time, &c.
This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower
In spring time, &c.
And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;
For love is crowned with the prime
In spring time, &c.


Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.

First Page

You are deceived, sir: we kept time, we lost not our time.


By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such a foolish song. God be wi' you; and God mend your voices! Come, Audrey.