HERMIT: Now I have a mind to say
What I came to look for here.
For my wish it is to stay
In a hermitage that may
Yield me plenty of good cheer.
Ready-made would I find it: ill
Could I all these joys fulfil
Worn out by toil and labour fell.
Wide not narrow be my cell
That I may dance therein at will;
Be it in a desert land
Yielding wine and wheat alway,
With a fountain near at hand
And contemplation far away.
Much fish and game in brake and pool
Must I have for my own preserve
And as for my house it must never swerve
From an even temperature, cool
In summer and in winter warm.
Yes, and a comfortable bed
Would not do me any harm,
All of it cedar-wood,
A harpsichord hung at its head:
So do I find a monk's life good.
I would lie and take my rest
And sleep on far into the day
So that I could not my matins say
For noise of the whistling and the singing
Of shepherdesses' songs clear ringing.
On partridge would I sup and dine,
Of stockfish should my luncheon be
And of wine the very best.
And the Judge's daughter should make for me
The bed on which I would recline.
And even as my beads I tell
She should forget her flock of sheep
And embrace me in my cell
And bite my ears and make me weep:
Yes, even thus it would be well.
My brothers, since you know, I trow
The recesses of each vale and hill
Be good enough to tell me now
Where best I may so have my will
And this holy life fulfil.