Jolly Boating Weather is the opening line of the Eton Boating Song, the best known school song associated with Eton College. It was written and set to music by former pupils and first performed in 1863. It is a quintessential old school song, comparing Eton favourably to rival schools Rugby and Harrow, referring to their strong rowing tradition, and celebrating the ties that bind Old Etonians together into their old age.
The Lark Now Leaves His Watery Nest was a poem written by Sir William Davenant in the 17th century. It is a romantic sonnet calling to a lover's mistress to awaken, since the dawn cannot break until it is inspired to do so by her beauty. The poem has been set to music twice, by Edward Horsman (published posthumously in 1919) and John George Calcott (1878), which must be the version sung by Mignon and her friend.
The jollity and sentimentality of both pieces of music contrast poignantly with the dangers alluded to in the previous Schubert lieder, with the odorous horse box and the abuse which both singers must suffer.