1 Abroad in the meadows to see the young lambs,
Run sporting about by the side of their dams
With fleeces so clean, and so white;
Or a nest of young doves in a large open cage,
When they play all in love without anger or rage,
How much may we learn from the sight!
2 If we had been ducks, we might dabble in mud:
Or dogs, we might play till it ended in blood;
So foul, or so fierce are their natures.
But Thomas and William, and such pretty names,
Should be cleanly and harmless as doves, or as lambs, Those lovely sweet innocent creatures.
3 Not a thing that we do, nor a word that we say,
Should injure another in jesting or play;
For he's still in earnest that's hurt.
How rude are the boys that throw pebbles and mire!
There's none but a mad-man will fling about fire,
And tell you, |`Tis all but in sport.|