Love's Labour's Lost
Love's Labour's Lost Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
ROSALINE: My face is but a moon, and clouded too. KING: Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds do. Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, to shine, Those clouds removed, upon our watery eyne. (5.2.81-82)
Rosaline, masked as the Princess, tries to give the King a clue that she's only second in this party (i.e., not the sun). The King just hears romance.
UNNAMED. When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight, The cuckoo then on every tree Mocks married men, for thus sings he: 'Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo'- O word of fear, Unpleasing to a married ear! (5.2.399)
Like we said, Spring is all about sexual activity. "Cuckoo" is unwelcome to the married man's ear because it sounds like "cuckold" – someone whose wife is cheating on him. Shakespeare often ended plays with teasing, light-hearted songs like this.
UNNAMED: When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring owl: 'Tu-who; Tu-whit, Tu-who'- A merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
While Spring is about sex, Winter is about endurance. The verse points out the potentially bleak side of marriage.