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(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

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Dawlish Fair

Over the hill and over the dale,
And over the bourn to Dawlish--
Where gingerbread wives have a scanty sale
And gingerbread nuts are smallish.
-------------
Rantipole Betty she ran down a hill
And kicked up her petticoats fairly;
Says I I'll be Jack if you will be Gill--
So she sat on the grass debonairly.

Here's somebody coming, here's somebody coming!
Says I 'tis the wind at a parley;
So without any fuss any hawing and humming
She lay on the grass debonairly.

Here's somebody here and here's somebody there!
Says I hold your tongue you young Gipsey;
So she held her tongue and lay plump and fair
And dead as a Venus tipsy.

O who wouldn't hie to Dawlish fair,
O who wouldn't stop in a Meadow,
O who would not rumple the daisies there
And make the wild fern for a bed do!

Submitted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010


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Comments about this poem (Bards of Passion and of Mirth, written on the Blank Page before Beaumont and Fletcher's Tragi-Comedy 'The Fair Maid of the Inn' by John Keats )

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  • * Sunprincess * (3/15/2014 8:04:00 AM)

    O who wouldn't hie to Dawlish fair,
    O who wouldn't stop in a Meadow,
    O who would not rumple the daisies there
    And make the wild fern for a bed do!

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  • Ian Fraser (7/15/2010 10:53:00 PM)

    It may come as a surprise to those who know Keat's poetry mainly from the great Odes and Sonnets that he was also capable of writing in this extremely rustic manner. It's a mark of a great writer that he is capable of not taking himself too seriously and is even capable on occasion of self parody.

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