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Poem by Thomas Heywood

The Woodcock and the Daw

A WOODCOCK and a Daw sat upon a plain,
Both showed comparison each other to disdain.
"Back!" (quoth the Woodcock). "Straw for thee!" (quoth the Daw);
"Shall woodcocks keep daws now in dreadful awe?"
"None awe," (quoth the Woodcock), "but in behaviour,
Ye ought to reverence woodcocks, by your favour!"
"For what cause?" (quoth the Daw), "For your long bills?"
"Nay," (quoth the Woodcock)< "but lords will, by their wills,
Rather have one woodcock than a thousand daws;
Woodcocks are meat, daws are carrion--weigh this clause."
"Indeed, sir," (said the Daw), I must needs agree;
Lords love to eat you, and not to eat me--
Cause of daws' courtesies!--so, if woodcocks thus gather,
Ye shall have courtesy; for this, I would rather
Be a daw, and to woodcock courtesy make,
Than be a woodcock, and of daws courtesy take.
I would double a daw, had I not liever
Birders should, (in their birding endeavour),
Take up gins and alet me go when they geat me,
Than set gins to get me, for lords to eat me."

Thomas Heywood

Thomas Heywood's other poems:
  1. Matin Song
  2. The Message
  3. A Rose and a Nettle
  4. Shepherd's Song
  5. Praise of Ceres

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