Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

In the Springtime, the Only Pretty Ringtime

Spring has Sprung here at the Folger, and with it rehearsals for next month’s exciting performances of HAMLET, and preparations for Shakespeare’s Birthday Open House on April 25th and the Children’s Festival in May!

The Elizabethan Garden at the Folger features flowers and herbs from Shakespeare’s plays!

To celebrate, here are some springtime quotes from the ol’ Bard to put you in a blooming mood!

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:
Sweet lovers love the spring.
As You Like It V.iii

Yes, if this present quality of war,
Indeed the instant action: a cause on foot
Lives so in hope as in an early spring
We see the appearing buds; which to prove fruit,
Hope gives not so much warrant as despair
That frosts will bite them.
2 Henry IV I.iii

Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
Suffer them now, and they’ll o’ergrow the garden
And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
2 Henry VI III.i

Faster than spring-time showers comes thought
on thought,
And not a thought but thinks on dignity.
2 Henry VI III.i

Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain tops that freeze,
Bow themselves when he did sing:
To his music plants and flowers
Ever sprung; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.
Henry VIII III.i

The April ‘s in her eyes: it is love’s spring,
And these the showers to bring it on. Be cheerful.
Antony and Cleopatra III.ii

The spring is near when green geese are a-breeding.
Loves Labours Lost I.i

See where she comes, apparell’d like the spring,
Graces her subjects, and her thoughts the king
Of every virtue gives renown to men!
Pericles I.i

Earth’s increase, foison plenty,
Barns and garners never empty,
Vines and clustering bunches growing,
Plants with goodly burthen bowing;
Spring come to you at the farthest
In the very end of harvest!
Scarcity and want shall shun you;
Ceres’ blessing so is on you.
The Tempest IV.i

Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new come spring?
Richard II V.ii

For thou are pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,
But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:
The Taming of the Shrew II.i

O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain,
That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
Than youthful April shall with all his showers:
In summer’s drought I’ll drop upon thee still;
In winter with warm tears I’ll melt the snow
And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
So thou refuse to drink my dear sons’ blood.
Titus Andronicus III.i

Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
By maidhood, honour, truth and every thing,
I love thee so, that, maugre all thy pride,
Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.
Twelfth Night III.i

O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!
The Two Gentlemen of Verona I.iii

I would I had some flowers o’ the spring that might
Become your time of day; and yours, and yours,
That wear upon your virgin branches yet
Your maidenheads growing:
The Winter’s Tale IV.iv

Welcome hither,
As is the spring to the earth.
The Winter’s Tale V.i

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress’d in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing…
Sonnet 98

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