See, the shepherds dance across

Grass as though parquet:

Dukes and princes, at a loss

Whom to obey.


As that milkmaid, a marquise,

Deftly churns the milk,

Time, far off, along the breeze

Rustles like silk.


All around this village green

Slumber ribboned sheep:

Shepherdess. a sometime Queen,

Laughs while they sleep.


Millers, who are marshals, grind

Wheat to powder for

Simple meals to bring to mind

Lives of the poor.


See, the village idiot

Comes to watch a play:

Wife and brothers mock him. but

The fool will stay.


Now the milk is butter, and

Now the wheat is cake:

Now the sheep are stirring. stand

Up, wide awake.


Dancing shepherds, why so still?

Milkmaids, do you weep?

Millers, in that rustic mill,

Were these once sheep?

Shepherdess has turned to Queen:

Fool again is King:

Pastoral in sylvan scene

Ends everything.