Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age
Author: Various
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NOTE.—Two hundred and fifty copies of this large paper edition printed, each of which is numbered.

No. 221.


Edited by A.H. BULLEN.

LONDON: JOHN C. NIMMO, 14, King William Street, Strand, W.C. 1887.

CHISWICK PRESS:—C. Whittingham and Co., Tooks Court, Chancery Lane.


The present Anthology is intended to serve as a companion volume to the Poetical Miscellanies published in England at the close of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries. A few of the lyrics here collected are, it is true, included in "England's Helicon," Davison's "Poetical Rhapsody," and "The Ph[oe]nix' Nest"; and some are to be found in the modern collections of Oliphant, Collier, Rimbault, Mr. W.J. Linton, Canon Hannah, and Professor Arber. But many of the poems in the present volume are, I have every reason to believe, unknown even to those who have made a special study of Elizabethan poetry. I have gone carefully through all the old song-books preserved in the library of the British Museum, and I have given extracts from two books of which there is no copy in our national library. A first attempt of this kind must necessarily be imperfect. Were I to go over the ground again I should enlarge the collection, and I should hope to gain tidings of some song-books (mentioned by bibliographers) which I have hitherto been unable to trace.

In Elizabeth's days composers were not content to regard the words of a song as a mere peg on which to hang the music, but sought the services of true-born lyrists. It is not too much to say that, for delicate perfection of form, some of the Elizabethan songs can compare with the choicest epigrams in the Greek Anthology. At least one composer, Thomas Campion, wrote both the words and the music of his songs; and there are no sweeter lyrics in English poetry than are to be found in Campion's song-books. But it may be assumed that, as a rule, the composers are responsible only for the music.

It was in the year of the Spanish Armada, 1588, that William Byrd published "Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs of Sadness and Piety," the first Elizabethan song-book of importance. Few biographical particulars concerning Byrd have come down. As he was senior chorister of St. Paul's in 1554, he is conjectured to have been born about 1538. From 1563 to 1569 he was organist of Lincoln Cathedral. He and Tallis were granted a patent, which must have proved fairly lucrative, for the printing of music and the vending of music-paper. In later life he appears to have become a convert to Romanism. His last work was published in 1611, and he died at a ripe old age on the 24th of July, 1623. The "Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs" are dedicated to Sir Christopher Hatton. In the dedicatory epistle he terms the collection "this first printed work of mine in English;" in 1575 he had published with Tallis "Cantiones Sacrae." From the title one would gather that Byrd's first English collection was mainly of a sacred character, but in an epistle to the reader he hastens to set us right on that point:—"Benign reader, here is offered unto thy courteous acceptance music of sundry sorts, and to content divers humours. If thou be disposed to pray, here are psalms; if to be merry, here are sonnets." There is, indeed, fare for all comers; and a reader has only himself to blame if he goes away dissatisfied. In those days, as in these, it was not uncommon for a writer to attribute all faults, whether of omission or commission, to the luckless printer. Byrd, on the other hand, solemnly warns us that "in the expression of these songs either by voices or instruments, if there be any jar or dissonance," we are not to blame the printer, who has been at the greatest pains to secure accuracy. Then the composer makes a modest appeal on behalf of himself, requesting those who find any fault in the composition "either with courtesy to let the same be concealed," or "in friendly sort" point out the errors, which shall be corrected in a future impression. This is the proper manner of dealing between gentlemen. His next publication was "Songs of Sundry Natures," 1589, which was dedicated to Sir Henry Carey, who seems to have been as staunch a patron of Byrd as his son, Sir George Carey, was of Dowland. In 1611 appeared Byrd's last work, "Psalms, Songs, and Sonnets." The composer must have taken to heart the precepts set down by Sir Edward Dyer in "My mind to me a kingdom is," (printed in "Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs") for his dedicatory epistle and his address to the reader show him to have been a man who had laid up a large store of genial wisdom, upon which he could draw freely in the closing days of an honourable life. His earlier works had been well received, and in addressing "all true lovers of music" he knew that he could rely upon their cordial sympathy. "I am much encouraged," he writes, "to commend to you these my last labours, for mine ultimum vale;" and then follows a piece of friendly counsel: "Only this I desire, that you will be as careful to hear them well expressed, as I have been both in the composing and correcting of them. Otherwise the best song that ever was made will seem harsh and unpleasant; for that the well expressing of them either by voices or instruments is the life of our labours, which is seldom or never well performed at the first singing or playing."

No musician of the Elizabethan age was more famous than John Dowland, whose "heavenly touch upon the lute" was commended in a well-known sonnet (long attributed to Shakespeare) by Richard Barnfield. Dowland was born at Westminster in 1562. At the age of twenty, or thereabouts, he started on his travels; and, after rambling through "the chiefest parts of France, a nation furnished with great variety of music," he bent his course "towards the famous province of Germany," where he found "both excellent masters and most honourable patrons of music." In the course of his travels he visited Venice, Padua, Genoa, Ferrara, and Florence, gaining applause everywhere by his musical skill. On his return to England he took his degree at Oxford, as Bachelor of Music, in 1588. In 1597 he published "The First Book of Songs or Airs of four parts, with Tableture for the Lute." Prefixed is a dedicatory epistle to Sir George Carey (second Lord Hunsdon), in which the composer alludes gracefully to the kindness he had received from Lady Elizabeth Carey, the patroness of Spenser. A "Second Book of Songs or Airs" was published in 1600, when the composer was at the Danish Court, serving as lutenist to King Christian the Fourth. The work was dedicated to the famous Countess of Bedford, whom Ben Jonson immortalized in a noble sonnet. From a curious address to the reader by George Eastland, the publisher, it would appear that in spite of Dowland's high reputation the sale of his works was not very profitable. "If the consideration of mine own estate," writes Eastland, "or the true worth of money, had prevailed with me above the desire of pleasing you and showing my love to my friends, these second labours of Master Dowland—whose very name is a large preface of commendation to the book—had for ever lain hid in darkness, or at the least frozen in a cold and foreign country." The expenses of publication were heavy, but he consoled himself with the thought that his high-spirited enterprise would be appreciated by a select audience. In 1603 appeared "The Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs;" and, in 1612, when he was acting as lutenist to Lord Walden, Dowland issued his last work, "A Pilgrime's Solace." He is supposed to have died about 1615, leaving a son, Robert Dowland, who gained some fame as a composer. Modern critics have judged that Dowland's music was somewhat overrated by his contemporaries, and that he is wanting in variety and originality. Whether these critics are right or wrong, it would be difficult to overrate the poetry. In attempting to select representative lyrics one is embarrassed by the wealth of material. The rich clusters of golden verse hang so temptingly that it is difficult to cease plucking when once we have begun.

In his charming collection of "Rare Poems" Mr. Linton quotes freely from the song-books of Byrd and Dowland, but gives only one lyric of Dr. Thomas Campion. As Mr. Linton is an excellent judge of poetry, I can only suppose that he had no wide acquaintance with Campion's writings, when he put together his dainty Anthology. There is clear evidence[1] that Campion wrote not only the music but the words for his songs—that he was at once an eminent composer and a lyric poet of the first rank. He published a volume of Latin verse, which displays ease and fluency (though the prosody is occasionally erratic); as a masque-writer he was inferior only to Ben Jonson; he was the author of treatises on the arts of music and poetry; and he practised as a physician. It would be interesting to ascertain some facts about the life of this highly-gifted man; but hitherto little information has been collected. The Oxford historian, good old Anthony-a-Wood, went altogether wrong and confused our Thomas Campion with another person of the same name who took his degree in 1624—five years after the poet's death. It is probable that our Thomas Campion was the second son of Thomas Campion of Witham, Essex, and that he was distantly related to Edmund Campion the famous Jesuit. His first work was his "Epigrammatum Libri duo," published in 1595, and republished in 1619. The first edition is exceedingly rare; there is no copy in the British Museum. Francis Meres, in his very valuable (and very tedious) "Wit's Treasury," 1598, mentions Campion among the "English men, being Latin poets," who had "attained good report and honorable advancement in the Latin empire." In 1601 Campion and Philip Rosseter published jointly "A Book of Airs." The music was partly written by Campion and partly by Rosseter; but the whole of the poetry may be safely assigned to Campion. From a dedicatory epistle, by Rosseter, to Sir Thomas Monson, we learn that Campion's songs, "made at his vacant hours and privately imparted to his friends," had been passed from hand to hand and had suffered from the carelessness of successive transcribers. Some impudent persons, we are told, had "unrespectively challenged" (i.e. claimed) the credit both of the music and the poetry. The address To the Reader, which follows the dedicatory epistle, is unsigned, but appears to have been written by Campion. "What epigrams are in poetry," it begins, "the same are airs in music: then in their chief perfection when they are short and well seasoned. But to clog a light song with a long preludium is to corrupt the nature of it. Many rests in music were invented either for necessity of the fugue, or granted as an harmonical licence in songs of many parts; but in airs I find no use they have, unless it be to make a vulgar and trivial modulation seem to the ignorant strange, and to the judicial tedious." It is among the curiosities of literature that this true poet, who had so exquisite a sense of form, and whose lyrics are frequently triumphs of metrical skill, should have published a work (entitled "Observations in the Art of English Poesy") to prove that the use of rhyme ought to be discontinued, and that English metres should be fashioned after classical models. "Poesy," he writes, "in all kind of speaking is the chief beginner and maintainer of eloquence, not only helping the ear with the acquaintance of sweet numbers, but also raising the mind to a more high and lofty conceit. For this end have I studied to induce a true form of versifying into our language; for the vulgar and artificial custom of rhyming hath, I know, deterr'd many excellent wits from the exercise of English poesy." The work was published in 1602, the year after he had issued the first collection of his charming lyrics. It was in answer to Campion that Samuel Daniel wrote his "Defence of Rhyme" (1603), one of the ablest critical treatises in the English language. Daniel was puzzled, as well he might be, that an attack on rhyme should have been made by one "whose commendable rhymes, albeit now himself an enemy to rhyme, have given heretofore to the world the best notice of his worth." It is pleasant to find Daniel testifying to the fact that Campion was "a man of fair parts and good reputation." Ben Jonson, as we are informed by Drummond of Hawthornden, wrote "a Discourse of Poesy both against Campion and Daniel;" but the discourse was never published. In his "Observations" Campion gives us a few specimen-poems written in the unrhymed metres that he proposed to introduce. The following verses are the least objectionable that I can find:—

"Just beguiler, Kindest love yet only chastest, Royal in thy smooth denials, Frowning or demurely smiling, Still my pure delight.

Let me view thee With thoughts and with eyes affected, And if then the flames do murmur, Quench them with thy virtue, charm them With thy stormy brows.

Heaven so cheerful Laughs not ever; hoary winter Knows his season, even the freshest Summer morns from angry thunder Yet not still secure."

There is artful ease and the touch of a poet's hand in those verses; but the Muses shield us from such innovations! Campion's second collection, "Two Books of Airs," is undated; but, from an allusion to the death of Prince Henry, we may conclude that it was published about the year 1613. The first book consists of "Divine and Moral Songs" and the second of "light conceits of lovers." In dealing with sacred themes, particularly when they venture on paraphrases of the Psalms, our poets seldom do themselves justice; but I claim for Campion that he is neither stiff nor awkward. Henry Vaughan is the one English poet whose devotional fervour found the highest lyrical expression; and Campion's impassioned poem "Awake, awake, thou heavy sprite!" (p. 6) is not unworthy of the great Silurist. Among the sacred verses are some lines ("Jack and Joan they think no ill," p. 61) in praise of a contented countryman and his good wife. A sweeter example of an old pastoral lyric could nowhere be found, not even in the pages of Nicholas Breton. The "Third and Fourth Books of Airs" are also undated, but they were probably published in 1613. In this collection, where all is good, my favourite is "Now winter nights enlarge" (p. 90). Others may prefer the melodious serenade, worthy even of Shelley, "Shall I come, sweet love, to thee" (p. 100). But there is one poem of Campion (printed in the collection of 1601) which, for strange richness of romantic beauty, could hardly be matched outside the sonnets of Shakespeare:—

"When thou must home to shades of underground, And there arrived, a new admired guest, The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round, White Iope, blithe Helen, and the rest, To hear the stories of thy finish'd love From that smooth tongue whose music hell can move:

Then wilt thou speak of banqueting delights, Of masques and revels which sweet youth did make, Of tourneys and great challenges of knights, And all these triumphs for thy beauty sake: When thou hast told these honours done to thee, Then tell, O tell, how thou didst murder me!"

The mention of "White Iope" was suggested by a passage of Propertius:—

"Sunt apud infernos tot millia formosarum; Pulchra sit, in superis, si licet, una locis. Vobiscum[2] est Iope, vobiscum candida Tyro," &c.

Campion was steeped in classical feeling: his rendering of Catullus' "Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus" (p. 80) is, so far as it goes, delightful. It is time that Campion should again take his rightful place among the lyric poets of England. In his own day his fame stood high. Camden did not hesitate to couple his name with the names of Spenser and Sidney; but modern critics have persistently neglected him. The present anthology contains a large number of his best poems; and I venture to hope that my attempt to recall attention to the claims of this true poet will not be fruitless.

There is much excellent verse hidden away in the Song-books of Robert Jones, a famous performer on the lute. Between 1601 and 1611 Jones issued six musical works. Two of these—"The First Set of Madrigals," 1607, and "The Muses' Garden for Delight," 1611,—I have unfortunately not been able to see, as I have not yet succeeded in discovering their present resting-place. Of "Ultimum Vale, or the Third Book of Airs" [1608], only one copy is known. It formerly belonged to Rimbault, and is now preserved in the library of the Royal College of Music. The other publications of Jones are of the highest rarity. By turns the songs are grave and gay. On one page is the warning to Love—

"Little boy, pretty knave, hence, I beseech you! For if you hit me, knave, in faith I'll breech you." (p. 72.)

On another we read "Love winged my hopes and taught me how to fly," (p. 73); but the vain hopes, seeking to woo the sun's fair light, were scorched with fire and drown'd in woe,

"And none but Love their woeful hap did rue, For Love did know that their desires were true; Though Fate frowned. And now drowned They in sorrow dwell, It was the purest light of heaven for whose fair love they fell."

The last line is superb.

I have drawn freely from the madrigals of Weelkes, Morley, Farmer, Wilbye and others. Thomas Ford's "Music of Sundry Kinds," 1607, has yielded some very choice verse; and Francis Pilkington's collections have not been consulted in vain. From John Attye's "First Book of Airs," 1622, I have selected one song, (p. 94), only one,—warm and tender and delicious. Some pleasant verses have been drawn from the rare song-books of William Corkine; and Thomas Vautor's "Songs of Divers Airs and Natures," 1619, have supplied some quaint snatches, notably the address to the owl, (p. 116) "Sweet Suffolk owl, so trimly dight." I have purposely refrained from giving many humorous ditties. Had I been otherwise minded there was plenty of material to my hand in the rollicking rounds and catches of Ravenscroft's admirable collections.

As I have no technical knowledge of the subject, it would be impertinent for me to attempt to estimate the merits of the music contained in these old song-books; but I venture with all confidence to commend the poetry to the reader's attention. There is one poem which I have deliberately kept back. It occurs in "The First Part of Airs, French, Polish, and others together, some in tableture and some in prick-song," 1605. The composer was a certain Captain Tobias Hume, but who the author of the poem was I know not. Here is the first stanza:—

"Fain would I change that note To which fond love hath charm'd me, Long long to sing by rote, Fancying that that harm'd me: Yet when this thought doth come, 'Love is the perfect sum Of all delight,' I have no other choice Either for pen or voice To sing or write."

The other stanza shall occupy the place of honour in the front of my Anthology; for among all the Elizabethan song-books I have found no lines of more faultless beauty, of happier cadence or sweeter simplicity, no lines that more justly deserve to be treasured in the memory while memory lasts.

[1] In his address To The Reader prefixed to the "Fourth Book of Airs" he writes:—"Some words are in these books which have been clothed in music by others, and I am content they then served their turn: yet give me leave to make use of mine own." Again, in the address To the Reader prefixed to the "Third Book of Airs:"—"In these English airs I have chiefly aimed to couple my words and notes lovingly together; which will be much for him to do that hath not power over both."

[2] Some editions read "Vobiscum Antiope."



CAPTAIN HUME's First Part of Airs, 1605.


A little pretty bonny lass was walking (Farmer) A shepherd in a shade his plaining made (John Dowland) A sparrow-hawk proud did hold in wicked jail (Weelkes) A woman's looks (Jones) About the maypole new, with glee and merriment (Morley) Adieu! sweet Amaryllis (Wilbye) April is in my mistress' face (Morley) Arise, my thoughts, and mount you with the sun (Jones) Awake, awake! thou heavy sprite (Campion) Awake, sweet Love! 'tis time to rise (Youll) Ay me, can every rumour (Wilbye) Ay me, my mistress scorns my love (Bateson)

Behold a wonder here (John Dowland) Brown is my Love, but graceful (Musica Transalpina) By a fountain where I lay (John Dowland) By the moon we sport and play (Ravenscroft)

Canst thou love and lie alone (Melismata) Change thy mind since she doth change (Robert Dowland) Cold Winter's ice is fled and gone (Weelkes) Come away! come, sweet Love! (John Dowland) Come, O come, my life's delight (Campion) Come, Phyllis, come into these bowers (Ford) Come, shepherd swains, that wont to hear me sing (Wilbye) Come, you pretty false-eyed wanton (Campion) Could my heart more tongues employ (Campion) Crowned with flowers I saw fair Amaryllis (Byrd)

Dare you haunt our hallow'd green (Ravenscroft) Dear, if I with guilt would gild a true intent (Campion) Dear, if you change I'll never choose again (John Dowland) Do you not know how Love lost first his seeing (Morley) Draw on, sweet Night, best friend unto those cares (Wilbye)

Each day of thine, sweet month of May (Youll) Every dame affects good fame, whate'er her doings be (Campion)

Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone (Farmer) Farewell, false Love, the oracle of lies (Byrd) Farewell, my joy! (Weelkes) Fine knacks for ladies, cheap, choice, brave and new (John Dowland) Fire that must flame is with apt fuel fed (Campion) Flora gave me fairest flowers (Wilbye) Follow your saint, follow with accents sweet (Campion and Rosseter) Fond wanton youths make Love a God (Jones) From Citheron the warlike boy is fled (Byrd) From Fame's desire, from Love's delight retired (John Dowland)

Give Beauty all her right (Campion) Go, crystal tears! like to the morning showers (John Dowland) Go, turn away those cruel eyes (Egerton MS. 2013) Good men, show! if you can tell (Campion)

Ha! ha! ha! this world doth pass (Weelkes) Happy he (Jones) Happy, O! happy he, who not affecting (Wilbye) Have I found her? O rich finding (Pilkington) Heigh ho! chill go to plough no more (Mundy) How many things as yet (Maynard) How shall I then describe my Love (Ford)

I always loved to call my lady Rose (Lichfild) I have house and land in Kent (Melismata) I joy not in no earthly bliss (Byrd) I live and yet methinks I do not breathe (Wilbye) I marriage would forswear (Maynard) I only am the man (Maynard) I saw my Lady weep (John Dowland) I sung sometime my thoughts and fancy's pleasure (Wilbye) I weigh not Fortune's frown nor smile (Gibbons) I will no more come to thee (Morley) If fathers knew but how to leave (Jones) If I urge my kind desires (Campion and Rosseter) If my complaints could passions move (John Dowland) If thou long'st so much to learn, sweet boy, what 'tis to love (Campion) If women could be fair and never fond (Byrd) In crystal towers and turrets richly set (Byrd) In darkness let me dwell, the ground shall sorrow be (Coprario) In midst of woods or pleasant grove (Mundy) In pride of May (Weelkes) In Sherwood lived stout Robin Hood (Jones) In the merry month of May (Este) Inconstant Laura makes me death to crave (Greaves) Injurious hours, whilst any joy doth bless me (Lichfild) Is Love a boy,—what means he then to strike (Byrd) It was the frog in the well (Melismata)

Jack and Joan they think no ill (Campion)

Kind are her answers (Campion) Kind in unkindness, when will you relent (Campion and Rosseter)

Lady, the birds right fairly (Weelkes) Lady, the melting crystal of your eye (Greaves) Lady, when I behold the roses sprouting (Wilbye) Let not Chloris think, because (Danyel) Let not the sluggish sleep (Byrd) Let us in a lovers' round (Mason and Earsden) Like two proud armies marching in the field (Weelkes) Lo! country sport that seldom fades (Weelkes) Lo! when back mine eye (Campion) Long have I lived in Court (Maynard) Love is a bable (Jones) Love not me for comely grace (Wilbye) Love's god is a boy (Jones) Love winged my hopes and taught me how to fly (Jones)

"Maids are simple," some men say (Campion) Maids to bed and cover coal (Melismata) More than most fair, full of all heavenly fire (Peerson) Mother, I will have a husband (Vautor) My hope a counsel with my heart (Este) My love bound me with a kiss (Jones) My love is neither young nor old (Jones) My mind to me a kingdom is (Byrd) My prime of youth is but a frost of cares (Mundy) My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love (Campion) My Thoughts are winged with Hopes, my Hopes with Love (John Dowland)

Never love unless you can (Campion) Now each creature joys the other (Farmer) Now every tree renews his summer's green (Weelkes) Now God be with old Simeon (Pammelia) Now have I learn'd with much ado at last (Jones) Now I see thy looks were feigned (Ford) Now is my Chloris fresh as May (Weelkes) Now is the month of maying (Morley) Now let her change! and spare not (Campion) Now let us make a merry greeting (Weelkes) Now what is love, I pray thee tell (Jones) Now winter nights enlarge (Campion)

O say, dear life, when shall these twin-born berries (Ward) O stay, sweet love; see here the place of sporting (Farmer) O sweet, alas, what say you (Morley) O sweet delight, O more than human bliss (Campion) Oft have I mused the cause to find (Jones) On a time the amorous Silvy (Attye) Once did I love and yet I live (Jones) Once I thought to die for love (Youll) Our country swains in the morris dance (Weelkes)

Pierce did love fair Petronel (Farnaby) Pour forth, mine eyes, the fountains of your tears (Pilkington)

Robin is a lovely lad (Mason and Earsden) Round-a, round-a, keep your ring (Ravenscroft)

See, see, mine own sweet jewel (Morley) Shall a frown or angry eye (Corkine) Shall I abide this jesting (Alison) Shall I come, sweet Love, to thee (Campion) Shall I look to ease my grief (Jones) She whose matchless beauty staineth (Jones) Shoot, false Love! I care not (Morley) Silly boy! 'tis full moon yet, thy night as day shines clearly (Campion) Simkin said that Sis was fair (Farnaby) Since first I saw your face I resolved to honour and renown ye (Ford) Sing we and chant it (Morley) Sister, awake! close not your eyes (Bateson) Sleep, angry beauty, sleep and fear not me (Campion) So light is love, in matchless beauty shining (Wilbye) Some can flatter, some can feign (Corkine) Sweet, come again (Campion and Rosseter) Sweet Cupid, ripen her desire (Corkine) Sweet heart, arise! why do you sleep (Weelkes) Sweet Kate (Jones) Sweet Love, if thou wilt gain a monarch's glory (Wilbye) Sweet Love, I will no more abuse thee (Weelkes) Sweet Love, my only treasure (Jones) Sweet, stay awhile; why will you rise (John Dowland) Sweet Suffolk owl so trimly dight (Vautor)

Take here my heart, I give it thee for ever (Weelkes) Take time while time doth last (Farmer) The fly she sat in shamble-row (Deuteromelia) The Gods have heard my vows (Weelkes) The lark, linnet and nightingale to sing some say are best (Pammelia) The love of change hath changed the world throughout (Carlton) The lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall (John Dowland) The man of life upright (Campion and Rosseter) The greedy hawk with sudden sight of lure (Byrd) The match that's made for just and true respects (Byrd) The Nightingale so pleasant and so gay (Byrd) The Nightingale so soon as April bringeth (Bateson) The peaceful western wind (Campion) There is a garden in her face (Campion) There is a lady sweet and kind (Ford) There were three Ravens sat on a tree (Melismata) Think'st thou, Kate, to put me down (Jones) Think'st thou to seduce me then with words that have no meaning (Campion) Thou art but young, thou say'st (Wilbye) Thou art not fair, for all thy red and white (Campion and Rosseter) Thou pretty bird, how do I see (Danyel) Though Amaryllis dance in green (Byrd) Though my carriage be but careless (Weelkes) Though your strangeness frets my heart (Jones) Thrice blessed be the giver (Farnaby) Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air (Campion) Thus I resolve and Time hath taught me so (Campion) Thus saith my Chloris bright (Wilbye) Thus saith my Galatea (Morley) To his sweet lute Apollo sang the motions of the spheres (Campion) To plead my faith, where faith hath no reward (Robert Dowland) To shorten winter's sadness (Weelkes) Toss not my soul, O Love, 'twixt hope and fear (John Dowland) Turn all thy thoughts to eyes (Campion)

Unto the temple of thy beauty (Ford) Upon a hill the bonny boy (Weelkes) Upon a summer's day Love went to swim (Byrd)

Vain men! whose follies make a god of love (Campion)

Wake, sleepy Thyrsis, wake (Pilkington) We be soldiers three (Deuteromelia) We be three poor mariners (Deuteromelia) We must not part as others do (Egerton MS. 2013) We shepherds sing, we pipe, we play (Weelkes) Wedded to will is witless (Byrd) Weep no more, thou sorry boy (Tomkins) Weep you no more, sad fountains (John Dowland) Welcome, sweet pleasure (Weelkes) Were I a king I might command content (Mundy) Were my heart as some men's are, thy errors would not move me (Campion) What hap had I to marry a shrow (Pammelia) What is our life? a play of passion (Gibbons) What needeth all this travail and turmoiling (Wilbye) What pleasure have great Princes (Byrd) What poor astronomers are they (John Dowland) What then is love, sings Corydon (Ford) When Flora fair the pleasant tidings bringeth (Carlton) When I was otherwise than now I am (Byrd) When thou must home to shades of underground (Campion and Rosseter) When younglings first on Cupid fix their sight (Byrd) Where most my thoughts, there least mine eye is striking (Wilbye) Where shall a sorrow great enough be sought (Peerson) Whether men do laugh or weep (Campion and Rosseter) While that the sun with his beams hot (Byrd) Whilst youthful sports are lasting (Weelkes) White as lilies was her face (John Dowland) Whither so fast? see how the kindly flowers (Pilkington) Who likes to love, let him take heed (Byrd) Who made thee, Hob, forsake the plough (Byrd) Who prostrate lies at women's feet (Bateson) Who would have thought that face of thine (Farmer) Why are you Ladies staying (Weelkes) Wilt thou, Unkind! thus 'reave me (John Dowland) Wise men patience never want (Campion) Woeful heart with grief oppressed (John Dowland)

Ye bubbling springs that gentle music makes (Greaves) You blessed bowers whose green leaves now are spreading (Farmer) You that wont to my pipe's sound (Morley) Your shining eyes and golden hair (Bateson)


Let well-tuned words amaze With harmony divine. CAMPION.


From FARMER's First Set of English Madrigals, 1599.

A little pretty bonny lass was walking In midst of May before the sun gan rise; I took her by the hand and fell to talking Of this and that as best I could devise: I swore I would—yet still she said I should not; Do what I would, and yet for all I could not.

From JOHN DOWLAND's Second Book of Songs or Airs, 1600.

A shepherd in a shade his plaining made Of love and lover's wrong Unto the fairest lass that trod on grass, And thus began his song: "Since Love and Fortune will, I honour still Your fair and lovely eye: What conquest will it be, sweet Nymph, for thee If I for sorrow die? Restore, restore my heart again Which love by thy sweet looks hath slain, Lest that, enforced by your disdain, I sing 'Fie on love! it is a foolish thing.'

"My heart where have you laid? O cruel maid, To kill when you might save! Why have ye cast it forth as nothing worth, Without a tomb or grave? O let it be entombed and lie In your sweet mind and memory, Lest I resound on every warbling string 'Fie, fie on love! that is a foolish thing.' Restore, restore my heart again Which love by thy sweet looks hath slain, Lest that, enforced by your disdain, I sing 'Fie on love! it is a foolish thing.'"

From THOMAS WEELKES' Madrigals of Six Parts, 1600.

A Sparrow-Hawk proud did hold in wicked jail Music's sweet chorister, the nightingale, To whom with sighs she said: "O set me free! And in my song I'll praise no bird but thee." The hawk replied, "I will not lose my diet To let a thousand such enjoy their quiet."

From ROBERT JONES' First Book of Airs, 1601.

A woman's looks Are barbed hooks, That catch by art The strongest heart When yet they spend no breath; But let them speak, And sighing break Forth into tears, Their words are spears That wound our souls to death.

The rarest wit Is made forget, And like a child Is oft beguiled With love's sweet-seeming bait; Love with his rod So like a God Commands the mind; We cannot find, Fair shows hide foul deceit.

Time, that all things In order brings, Hath taught me how To be more slow In giving faith to speech, Since women's words No truth affords, And when they kiss They think by this Us men to over-reach.

From THOMAS MORLEY's First Book of Ballets to Five Voices, 1595.

About the maypole new, with glee and merriment, While as the bagpipe tooted it, Thyrsis and Chloris fine together footed it: And to the joyous instrument Still they went to and fro, and finely flaunted it, And then both met again and thus they chaunted it. Fa la!

The shepherds and the nymphs them round enclosed had, Wond'ring with what facility, About they turn'd them in such strange agility; And still when they unloosed had, With words full of delight they gently kissed them, And thus sweetly to sing they never missed them. Fa la!

From JOHN WILBYE's First Set of English Madrigals, 1598.

Adieu, sweet Amaryllis! For since to part your will is, O heavy, heavy tiding! Here is for me no biding. Yet once again, ere that I part with you, Adieu, sweet Amaryllis; sweet, adieu!

From THOMAS MORLEY's First Book of Madrigals, 1594.

April is in my mistress' face, And July in her eyes hath place; Within her bosom is September, But in her heart a cold December.

From ROBERT JONES' Second Book of Songs and Airs, 1601.

Arise, my thoughts, and mount you with the sun, Call all the winds to make you speedy wings, And to my fairest Maya see you run And weep your last while wantonly she sings; Then if you cannot move her heart to pity, Let Oh, alas, ay me be all your ditty.

Arise, my thoughts, no more, if you return Denied of grace which only you desire, But let the sun your wings to ashes burn And melt your passions in his quenchless fire; Yet, if you move fair Maya's heart to pity, Let smiles and love and kisses be your ditty.

Arise, my thoughts, beyond the highest star And gently rest you in fair Maya's eye, For that is fairer than the brightest are; But, if she frown to see you climb so high, Couch in her lap, and with a moving ditty, Of smiles and love and kisses, beg for pity.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Two Books of Airs (circ. 1613).

Awake, awake! thou heavy sprite That sleep'st the deadly sleep of sin! Rise now and walk the ways of light, 'Tis not too late yet to begin. Seek heaven early, seek it late; True Faith finds still an open gate.

Get up, get up, thou leaden man! Thy track, to endless joy or pain, Yields but the model of a span: Yet burns out thy life's lamp in vain! One minute bounds thy bane or bliss; Then watch and labour while time is.

From HENRY YOULL's Canzonets to three voices, 1608.

Awake, sweet Love! 'tis time to rise: Ph[oe]bus is risen in the east, Spreading his beams on those fair eyes Which are enclosed with Nature's rest. Awake, awake from heavy sleep Which all thy thoughts in silence keep!

From JOHN WILBYE's First Set of English Madrigals, 1598.

Ay me, can every rumour Thus start my lady's humour? Name ye some galante to her, Why straight forsooth I woo her. Then burst[s] she forth in passion "You men love but for fashion;" Yet sure I am that no man Ever so loved woman. Then alas, Love, be wary, For women be contrary.

From THOMAS BATESON's First Set of English Madrigals, 1604.

Ay me, my mistress scorns my love; I fear she will most cruel prove. I weep, I sigh, I grieve, I groan; Yet she regardeth not my moan. Then, Love, adieu! it fits not me To weep for her that laughs at thee.

From JOHN DOWLAND's Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs, 1603.

Behold a wonder here! Love hath receiv'd his sight! Which many hundred year Hath not beheld the light.

Such beams infused be By Cynthia in his eyes, As first have made him see And then have made him wise.

Love now no more will weep For them that laugh the while! Nor wake for them that sleep, Nor sigh for them that smile!

So powerful is the Beauty That Love doth now behold, As Love is turned to Duty That's neither blind nor bold.

Thus Beauty shows her might To be of double kind; In giving Love his sight And striking Folly blind.

From the Second Book of Musica Transalpina, 1597.

Brown is my Love, but graceful: And each renowned whiteness Match'd with thy lovely brown loseth its brightness.

Fair is my Love, but scornful: Yet have I seen despised Dainty white lilies, and sad flowers well prized.

From JOHN DOWLAND's Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs, 1603.

By a fountain where I lay, (All blessed be that blessed day!) By the glimm'ring of the sun, (O never be her shining done!) When I might see alone My true Love, fairest one! Love's dear light! Love's clear sight! No world's eyes can clearer see! A fairer sight, none can be!

Fair with garlands all addrest, (Was never Nymph more fairly blest!) Blessed in the highest degree, (So may she ever blessed be!) Came to this fountain near, With such a smiling cheer! Such a face, Such a grace! Happy, happy eyes, that see Such a heavenly sight as She!

Then I forthwith took my pipe, Which I all fair and clean did wipe, And upon a heavenly ground, All in the grace of beauty found, Play'd this roundelay: "Welcome, fair Queen of May! Sing, sweet air! Welcome, Fair! Welcome be the Shepherds' Queen, The glory of all our green!"

From THOMAS RAVENSCROFT's Brief Discourse, &c., 1614.


By the moon we sport and play, With the night begins our day: As we frisk the dew doth fall; Trip it, little urchins all! Lightly as the little bee, Two by two, and three by three; And about, about go we.


Round about in a fair ring-a, Thus we dance and thus we sing-a; Trip and go, to and fro, Over this green-a; All about, in and out, Over this green-a.

From Melismata, 1611.


Canst thou love and lie alone? Love is so disgraced, Pleasure is best Wherein is rest In a heart embraced. Rise, rise, rise! Daylight do not burn out; Bells do ring and birds do sing, Only I that mourn out.

Morning-star doth now appear, Wind is hushed and sky is clear; Come, come away, come, come away! Canst thou love and burn out day? Rise, rise, rise! Daylight do not burn out; Bells do ring [and] birds do sing, Only I that mourn out.

From ROBERT DOWLAND's Musical Banquet, 1610. (Lines by the Earl of Essex.)

Change thy mind since she doth change, Let not fancy still abuse thee, Thy untruth cannot seem strange When her falsehood doth excuse thee: Love is dead and thou art free, She doth live but dead to thee.

Whilst she loved thee best a while, See how she hath still delayed thee: Using shows for to beguile, Those vain hopes that have deceived thee: Now thou seest, although too late, Love loves truth which women hate.

Love no more since she is gone, She is gone and loves another: Being once deceived by one, Leave her love but love none other. She was false, bid her adieu, She was best but yet untrue.

Love, farewell, more dear to me Than my life, which thou preservest. Life, all joys are gone from thee; Others have what thou deservest. Oh my death doth spring from hence, I must die for her offence.

Die, but yet before thou die, Make her know what she hath gotten, She in whom my hopes did lie Now is changed, I quite forgotten. She is changed, but changed base, Baser in so vild a place.

From THOMAS WEELKES' Madrigals of Five and Six Parts, 1600.

Cold Winter's ice is fled and gone, And Summer brags on every tree, The red-breast peeps amidst the throng Of wood-born birds that wanton be: Each one forgets what they have been, And so doth Phyllis, Summer's queen.

From JOHN DOWLAND's First Book of Songs or Airs, 1597.

Come away! come, sweet Love! The golden morning breaks; All the earth, all the air, Of love and pleasure speaks! Teach thine arms then to embrace, And sweet rosy lips to kiss, And mix our souls in mutual bliss. Eyes were made for beauty's grace Viewing, ruing, love's long pain; Procured by beauty's rude disdain.

Come away![3] come, sweet Love! The golden morning wastes While the sun from his sphere His fiery arrows casts: Making all the shadows fly, Playing, staying in the grove To entertain the stealth of love. Thither, sweet Love, let us hie, Flying, dying in desire, Wing'd with sweet hopes and heavenly fire.

Come away! come, sweet Love! Do not in vain adorn Beauty's grace, that should rise Like to our naked morn! Lilies on the river's side, And fair Cyprian flowers new-blown, Desire no beauties but their own: Ornament is nurse of pride. Pleasure measure[s] love's delight: Haste then, sweet love, our wished flight!

[3] This stanza is not in the original, but is added in England's Helicon.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Third Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

Come, O come, my life's delight! Let me not in languor pine! Love loves no delay; thy sight The more enjoyed, the more divine! O come, and take from me The pain of being deprived of thee!

Thou all sweetness dost enclose, Like a little world of bliss; Beauty guards thy looks, the rose In them pure and eternal is: Come, then, and make thy flight As swift to me as heavenly light!

From THOMAS FORD's Music of Sundry Kinds, 1607.

Come, Phyllis, come into these bowers: Here shelter is from sharpest showers, Cool gales of wind breathe in these shades, Danger none this place invades; Here sit and note the chirping birds Pleading my love in silent words.

Come, Phyllis, come, bright heaven's eye Cannot upon thy beauty pry; Glad Echo in distinguished voice Naming thee will here rejoice; Then come and hear her merry lays Crowning thy name with lasting praise.

From JOHN WILBYE's Second Set of Madrigals, 1609.

Come, shepherd swains, that wont to hear me sing, Now sigh and groan! Dead is my Love, my Hope, my Joy, my Spring; Dead, dead, and gone! O, She that was your Summer's Queen, Your days' delight, Is gone and will no more be seen; O, cruel spite! Break all your pipes that wont to sound With pleasant cheer, And cast yourselves upon the ground To wail my Dear! Come, shepherd swains, come, nymphs, and all a-row To help me cry: Dead is my Love, and, seeing She is so, Lo, now I die!

From Two Books of Airs, by THOMAS CAMPION (circ. 1613).

Come, you pretty false-eyed wanton, Leave your crafty smiling! Think you to escape me now With slipp'ry words beguiling? No; you mocked me th' other day; When you got loose, you fled away; But, since I have caught you now, I'll clip your wings for flying: Smoth'ring kisses fast I'll heap And keep you so from crying.

Sooner may you count the stars And number hail down-pouring, Tell the osiers of the Thames, Or Goodwin sands devouring, Than the thick-showered kisses here Which now thy tired lips must bear. Such a harvest never was So rich and full of pleasure, But 'tis spent as soon as reaped, So trustless is lore's treasure.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Third Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

Could my heart more tongues employ Than it harbours thoughts of grief, It is now so far from joy That it scarce could ask relief: Truest hearts by deeds unkind To despair are most inclined.

Happy minds that can redeem Their engagements how they please, That no joys or hopes esteem Half so precious as their ease: Wisdom should prepare men so, As if they did all foreknow.

Yet no art or caution can Grown affections easily change; Use is such a lord of man That he brooks worst what is strange: Better never to be blest Than to lose all at the best.

From WILLIAM BYRD's Psalms, Songs, and Sonnets, 1611.

Crowned with flowers I saw fair Amaryllis By Thyrsis sit, hard by a fount of crystal, And with her hand more white than snow or lilies, On sand she wrote My faith shall be immortal: And suddenly a storm of wind and weather Blew all her faith and sand away together.

From THOMAS RAVENSCROFT's Brief Discourse, 1614.


Dare you haunt our hallow'd green? None but fairies here are seen. Down and sleep, Wake and weep, Pinch him black, and pinch him blue, That seeks to steal a lover true! When you come to hear us sing, Or to tread our fairy ring, Pinch him black, and pinch him blue! O thus our nails shall handle you!

From THOMAS CAMPION's Fourth Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

Dear, if I with guile would gild a true intent, Heaping flatt'ries that in heart were never meant, Easily could I then obtain What now in vain I force; Falsehood much doth gain, Truth yet holds the better course.

Love forbid that through dissembling I should thrive, Or, in praising you, myself of truth deprive! Let not your high thoughts debase A simple truth in me; Great is Beauty's grace, Truth is yet as fair as she.

Praise is but the wind of pride if it exceeds, Wealth prized in itself no outward value needs: Fair you are, and passing fair; You know it, and 'tis true; Yet let none despair But to find as fair as you.

From JOHN DOWLAND's First Book of Songs or Airs, 1597.

Dear, if you change, I'll never choose again; Sweet, if you shrink, I'll never think of love; Fair, if you fail, I'll judge all beauty vain; Wise, if too weak, more wits I'll never prove. Dear, sweet, fair, wise! change, shrink, nor be not weak; And, on my faith, my faith shall never break.

Earth with her flowers shall sooner heaven adorn; Heaven her bright stars through earth's dim globe shall move; Fire heat shall lose, and frosts of flames be born; Air, made to shine, as black as hell shall prove: Earth, heaven, fire, air, the world transformed shall view, Ere I prove false to faith or strange to you.

From THOMAS MORLEY's Canzonets, 1593.

Do you not know how Love lost first his seeing? Because with me once gazing On those fair eyes where all powers have their being, She with her beauty blazing, Which death might have revived, Him of his sight and me of heart deprived.

From JOHN WILBYE's Second Set of Madrigals, 1609.

Draw on, sweet Night, best friend unto those cares That do arise from painful melancholy; My life so ill through want of comfort fares, That unto thee I consecrate it wholly.

Sweet Night, draw on; my griefs, when they be told To shades and darkness, find some ease from paining; And while thou all in silence dost enfold, I then shall have best time for my complaining.

From HENRY YOULL's Canzonets to three Voices, 1608.

Each day of thine, sweet month of May, Love makes a solemn holyday: I will perform like duty, Since thou resemblest every way Astraea, Queen of Beauty.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Fourth Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

Every dame affects good fame, whate'er her doings be, But true praise is Virtue's bays, which none may wear but she. Borrowed guise fits not the wise, a simple look is best; Native grace becomes a face though ne'er so rudely drest. Now such new-found toys are sold these women to disguise, That before the year grows old the newest fashion dies.

Dames of yore contended more in goodness to exceed, Than in pride to be envied for that which least they need. Little lawn then serve[d] the Pawn, if Pawn at all there were; Homespun thread and household bread then held out all the year. But th' attires of women now wear out both house and land; That the wives in silk may flow, at ebb the good men stand.

Once again, Astraea! then from heaven to earth descend, And vouchsafe in their behalf these errors to amend. Aid from heaven must make all even, things are so out of frame; For let man strive all he can, he needs must please his dame. Happy man, content that gives and what he gives enjoys! Happy dame, content that lives and breaks no sleep for toys!

From FARMER's First Set of English Madrigals, 1599.

Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone, Feeding her flock near to the mountain-side; The shepherds knew not whither she was gone, But after her lover Amyntas hied. Up and down he wandered, whilst she was missing; When he found her, oh then they fell a-kissing!

From WILLIAM BYRD's Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs, 1588.

Farewell, false Love, the oracle of lies, A mortal foe and enemy to rest, An envious boy from whom all cares arise, A bastard vile, a beast with rage possest; A way of error, a temple full of treason, In all effects contrary unto reason.

A poison'd serpent cover'd all with flowers, Mother of sighs and murderer of repose; A sea of sorrows from whence are drawn such showers As moisture lend to every grief that grows; A school of guile, a net of deep deceit, A gilded hook that holds a poison'd bait.

A fortress foiled which Reason did defend, A Siren song, a fever of the mind, A maze wherein affection finds no end, A raging cloud that runs before the wind; A substance like the shadow of the sun, A goal of grief for which the wisest run.

A quenchless fire, a nurse of trembling fear, A path that leads to peril and mishap, A true retreat of sorrow and despair, An idle boy that sleeps in Pleasure's lap; A deep distrust of that which certain seems, A hope of that which Reason doubtful deems.

From THOMAS WEELKES' Ballets and Madrigals, 1598.

Farewell, my joy! Adieu, my love and pleasure! To sport and toy We have no longer leisure. Fa la la!

Farewell, adieu Until our next consorting! Sweet love, be true! And thus we end our sporting. Fa la la!

From JOHN DOWLAND's Second Book of Songs or Airs, 1600.

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap, choice, brave and new, Good pennyworths,—but money cannot move: I keep a fair but for the Fair to view,— A beggar may be liberal of love. Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true, The heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again, My trifles come as treasures from my mind; It is a precious jewel to be plain; Sometimes in shell the orient'st pearls we find: Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain! Of me a grain!

Within this pack pins, points, laces, and gloves, And divers toys fitting a country fair, But my heart, wherein duty serves and loves, Turtles and twins, court's brood, a heavenly pair— Happy the heart that thinks of no removes! Of no removes!

From THOMAS CAMPION's Third Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

Fire that must flame is with apt fuel fed, Flowers that will thrive in sunny soil are bred: How can a heart feel heat that no hope finds? Or can he love on whom no comfort shines?

Fair, I confess there's pleasure in your sight; Sweet, you have power, I grant, of all delight; But what is all to me if I have none? Churl that you are t'enjoy such wealth alone!

Prayers move the heavens but find no grace with you, Yet in your looks a heavenly form I view; Then will I pray again, hoping to find, As well as in your looks, heaven in your mind.

Saint of my heart, queen of my life and love, O let my vows thy loving spirit move! Let me no longer mourn through thy disdain, But with one touch of grace cure all my pain!

From JOHN WILBYE's First Set of English Madrigals, 1598.

Flora gave me fairest flowers, None so fair in Flora's treasure; These I placed on Phyllis' bowers, She was pleased, and she my pleasure: Smiling meadows seem to say, "Come, ye wantons, here to play."

From CAMPION and ROSSETER's Book of Airs, 1601.

Follow your saint, follow with accents sweet! Haste you, sad notes, fall at her flying feet! There, wrapped in cloud of sorrow, pity move, And tell the ravisher of my soul I perish for her love: But, if she scorns my never-ceasing pain, Then burst with sighing in her sight and ne'er return again.

All that I sang still to her praise did tend, Still she was first, still she my songs did end; Yet she my love and music both doth fly, The music that her echo is and beauty's sympathy: Then let my notes pursue her scornful flight! It shall suffice that they were breathed and died for her delight.

From ROBERT JONES' First Book of Airs, 1601.

{ouk esti gemas hostis ou cheimazetai, legousi pantes; kai gamousin eidotes.} Anthol. Graec.

Fond wanton youths make love a God Which after proveth Age's rod; Their youth, their time, their wit, their art They spend in seeking of their smart; And, which of follies is the chief, They woo their woe, they wed their grief.

All find it so who wedded are, Love's sweets, they find, enfold sour care; His pleasures pleasing'st in the eye, Which tasted once with loathing die: They find of follies 'tis the chief, Their woe to woo, to wed their grief.

If for their own content they choose Forthwith their kindred's love they lose; And if their kindred they content, For ever after they repent; O 'tis of all our follies chief, Our woe to woo, to wed our grief.

In bed, what strifes are bred by day, Our puling wives do open lay; None friends, none foes we must esteem But whom they so vouchsafe to deem: O 'tis of all our follies chief, Our woe to woo, to wed our grief.

Their smiles we want if aught they want, And either we their wills must grant Or die they will, or are with child; Their longings must not be beguiled: O 'tis of all our follies chief, Our woe to woo, to wed our grief.

Foul wives are jealous, fair wives false, Marriage to either binds us thrall; Wherefore being bound we must obey And forced be perforce to say,— Of all our bliss it is the chief, Our woe to woo, to wed our grief.

From WILLIAM BYRD's Songs of Sundry Natures, 1589.

From Citheron the warlike boy is fled And smiling sits upon a Virgin's lap,— Thereby to train poor misers to the trap, Whom Beauty draws with fancy to be fed: And when Desire with eager looks is led, Then from her eyes The arrow flies, Feather'd with flame, arm'd with a golden head.

Her careless thoughts are freed of that flame Wherewith her thralls are scorched to the heart: If Love would so, would God the enchanting dart Might once return and burn from whence it came! Not to deface of Beauty's work the frame, But by rebound It might be found What secret smart I suffer by the same.

If Love be just, then just is my desire; And if unjust, why is he call'd a God? O God, O God, O Just! reserve thy rod To chasten those that from thy laws retire! But choose aright (good Love! I thee require) The golden head, Not that of lead! Her heart is frost and must dissolve by fire.

From JOHN DOWLAND's Second Book of Songs and Airs, 1600.


From Fame's desire, from Love's delight retired, In these sad groves an hermit's life I lead: And those false pleasures, which I once admired, With sad remembrance of my fall, I dread. To birds, to trees, to earth, impart I this; For she less secret, and as senseless is. O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness! O how much do I love your solitariness!

Experience which repentance only brings, Doth bid me, now, my heart from Love estrange! Love is disdained when it doth look at Kings; And Love low placed base and apt to change. There Power doth take from him his liberty, Her[e] Want of Worth makes him in cradle die. O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness! O how much do I love your solitariness!

You men that give false worship unto Love, And seek that which you never shall obtain; The endless work of Sisyphus you prove, Whose end is this, to know you strive in vain. Hope and Desire, which now your idols be, You needs must lose, and feel Despair with me. O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness! O how much do I love your solitariness!

You woods, in you the fairest Nymphs have walked: Nymphs at whose sights all hearts did yield to love. You woods, in whom dear lovers oft have talked, How do you now a place of mourning prove? Wanstead! my Mistress saith this is the doom. Thou art love's child-bed, nursery, and tomb. O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness! O how much do I love your solitariness!

From THOMAS CAMPION's Two Books of Airs (circ. 1613).

Give Beauty all her right! She's not to one form tied; Each shape yields fair delight Where her perfections bide: Helen, I grant, might pleasing be, And Ros'mond was as sweet as she.

Some the quick eye commends, Some swelling[4] lips and red; Pale looks have many friends, Through sacred sweetness bred: Meadows have flowers that pleasures move, Though roses are the flowers of love.

Free beauty is not bound To one unmoved clime; She visits every ground And favours every time. Let the old loves with mine compare, My sovereign is as sweet and fair.

[4] Old ed. "smelling."

From JOHN DOWLAND's First Book of Songs or Airs, 1597.

Go crystal tears! like to the morning showers, And sweetly weep into thy lady's breast! And as the dews revive the drooping flowers, So let your drops of pity be addrest! To quicken up the thoughts of my desert, Which sleeps too sound whilst I from her depart.

Haste hapless sighs! and let your burning breath Dissolve the ice of her indurate heart! Whose frozen rigour, like forgetful Death, Feels never any touch of my desert. Yet sighs and tears to her I sacrifice Both from a spotless heart and patient eyes.

From EGERTON MS., 2013. The Verses were set to Music by Dr. John Wilson.

Go, turn away those cruel eyes, For they have quite undone me; They used not so to tyrannize When first those glances won me.

But 'tis the custom of you men,— False men thus to deceive us! To love but till we love again, And then again to leave us.

Go, let alone my heart and me, Which thou hast thus affrighted! I did not think I could by thee Have been so ill requited.

But now I find 'tis I must prove That men have no compassion; When we are won, you never love Poor women, but for fashion,

Do recompense my love with hate, And kill my heart! I'm sure Thou'lt one day say, when 'tis too late, Thou never hadst a truer.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Second Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

Good men show! if you can tell, Where doth Human Pity dwell? Far and near her I would seek, So vexed with sorrow is my breast. "She," they say, "to all, is meek; And only makes th' unhappy blest."

Oh! if such a saint there be, Some hope yet remains for me: Prayer or sacrifice may gain From her implored grace, relief; To release me of my pain, Or at the least to ease my grief.

Young am I, and far from guile, The more is my woe the while: Falsehood, with a smooth disguise, My simple meaning hath abused: Casting mists before mine eyes, By which my senses are confused.

Fair he is, who vowed to me, That he only mine would be; But alas, his mind is caught With every gaudy bait he sees: And, too late, my flame is taught That too much kindness makes men freeze.

From me, all my friends are gone, While I pine for him alone; And not one will rue my case, But rather my distress deride: That I think, there is no place, Where Pity ever yet did bide.

From THOMAS WEELKES' Airs or Fantastic Spirits, 1608.

Ha ha! ha ha! this world doth pass Most merrily, I'll be sworn; For many an honest Indian ass Goes for an Unicorn. Farra, diddle dino; This is idle fino.

Ty hye! ty hye! O sweet delight! He tickles this age that can Call Tullia's ape a marmosyte And Leda's goose a swan. Farra diddle dino; This is idle fino.

So so! so so! fine English days! When false play's no reproach: For he that doth the coachman praise, May safely use the coach. Farra diddle dino; This is idle fino.

From ROBERT JONES's Ultimum Vale or Third Book of Airs (1608).

Happy he Who, to sweet home retired, Shuns glory so admired, And to himself lives free, Whilst he who strives with pride to climb the skies Falls down with foul disgrace before he rise.

Let who will The active life commend And all his travels bend Earth with his fame to fill: Such fame, so forced, at last dies with his death, Which life maintain'd by others' idle breath.

My delights, To dearest home confined, Shall there make good my mind Not aw'd with fortune's spites: High trees heaven blasts, winds shake and honors[5] fell, When lowly plants long time in safety dwell.

All I can, My worldly strife shall be They one day say of me 'He died a good old man': On his sad soul a heavy burden lies Who, known to all, unknown to himself dies.

[5] Qy. "hammers"?

From JOHN WILBYE's Second Set of Madrigals, 1609.

Happy, O! happy he, who not affecting The endless toils attending worldly cares, With mind reposed, all discontents rejecting, In silent peace his way to heaven prepares, Deeming this life a scene, the world a stage Whereon man acts his weary pilgrimage.

From FRANCIS PILKINGTON's First Set Of Madrigals, 1613.

Have I found her? O rich finding! Goddess-like for to behold, Her fair tresses seemly binding In a chain of pearl and gold. Chain me, chain me, O most fair, Chain me to thee with that hair!

From JOHN MUNDY's Songs and Psalms, 1594.

Heigh ho! chill go to plough no more! Sit down and take thy rest; Of golden groats I have full store To flaunt it with the best. But I love and I love, and who thinks you? The finest lass that e'er you knew, Which makes me sing when I should cry Heigh ho! for love I die.

From JOHN MAYNARD's Twelve Wonders of the World, 1611.


How many things as yet Are dear alike to me! The field, the horse, the dog, Love, arms, or liberty.

I have no wife as yet That I may call mine own; I have no children yet That by my name are known.

Yet, if I married were, I would not wish to thrive If that I could not tame The veriest shrew alive.

From THOMAS FORD's Music of Sundry Kinds, 1607.

How shall I then describe my Love? When all men's skilful art Is far inferior to her worth, To praise the unworthiest part.

She's chaste in looks, mild in her speech, In actions all discreet, Of nature loving, pleasing most, In virtue all complete.

And for her voice a Philomel, Her lips may all lips scorn; No sun more clear than is her eye, In brightest summer morn.

A mind wherein all virtues rest And take delight to be, And where all virtues graft themselves In that most fruitful tree:

A tree that India doth not yield, Nor ever yet was seen, Where buds of virtue always spring, And all the year grow green.

That country's blest wherein she grows, And happy is that rock From whence she springs: but happiest he That grafts in such a stock.

From HENRY LICHFILD's First Set of Madrigals, 1613.

I always loved to call my lady Rose, For in her cheeks roses do sweetly glose, And from her lips she such sweet odours threw As roses do 'gainst Ph[oe]bus' morning-view: But when I thought to pull't, hope was bereft me,— My rose was gone and naught but prickles left me.

From Melismata, 1611.


I have house and land in Kent, And if you'll love me, love me now; Twopence-halfpenny is my rent, I cannot come every day to woo. Chorus. Twopence-halfpenny is his rent, And he cannot come every day to woo.

Ich am my vather's eldest zonne, My mother eke doth love me well, For ich can bravely clout my shoone, And ich full well can ring a bell. Chorus. For he can bravely clout his shoone, And he full well can ring a bell.

My vather he gave me a hog, My mouther she gave me a zow; I have a God-vather dwels thereby, And he on me bestowed a plow. Chorus. He has a God-vather dwells thereby, And he on him bestowed a plough.

One time I gave thee a paper of pins, Another time a tawdry-lace; And if thou wilt not grant me love, In truth ich die bevore thy face. Chorus. And if thou wilt not grant his love, In truth he'll die bevore thy vace.

Ich have been twice our Whitson-lord, Ich have had ladies many vair, And eke thou hast my heart in hold And in my mind zeems passing rare. Chorus. And eke thou hast his heart in hold And in his mind seems passing rare.

Ich will put on my best white slops And ich will wear my yellow hose, And on my head a good grey hat, And in't ich stick a lovely rose. Chorus. And on his head a good grey hat, And in't he'll stick a lovely rose.

Wherefore cease off, make no delay, And if you'll love me, love me now; Or else ich zeek zome oderwhere, For I cannot come every day to woo. Chorus. Or else he'll zeek zome oderwhere, For he cannot come every day to woo.

From WILLIAM BYRD's Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs of Sadness and Piety, 1588.

I joy not in no earthly bliss, I force not Cr[oe]sus' wealth a straw; For care I know not what it is I fear not Fortune's fatal law: My mind is such as may not move For beauty bright nor force of love.

I wish but what I have at will, I wander not to seek for more; I like the plain, I climb no hill; In greatest storms I sit on shore And laugh at them that toil in vain To get what must be lost again.

I kiss not where I wish to kill; I feign not love where most I hate; I break no sleep to win my will; I wait not at the mighty's gate; I scorn no poor, nor fear no rich; I feel no want, nor have too much.

The court and cart I like nor loath; Extremes are counted worst of all; The golden mean between them both Doth surest sit and fears no fall. This is my choice: for why? I find No wealth is like the quiet mind.

From JOHN WILBYE's Second Set of Madrigals, 1609.

I live, and yet methinks I do not breathe; I thirst and drink, I drink and thirst again; I sleep and yet do dream I am awake; I hope for that I have; I have and want: I sing and sigh; I love and hate at once. O, tell me, restless soul, what uncouth jar Doth cause in store such want, in peace such war?

Risposta. There is a jewel which no Indian mines Can buy, no chymic art can counterfeit; It makes men rich in greatest poverty; Makes water wine, turns wooden cups to gold, The homely whistle to sweet music's strain: Seldom it come, to few from heaven sent, That much in little, all in nought,—Content.

From JOHN MAYNARD's Twelve Wonders of the World, 1611.


I marriage would forswear, But that I hear men tell That she that dies a maid Must lead an ape in hell.

Therefore, if fortune come, I will not mock and play Nor drive the bargain on Till it be driven away.

Titles and lands I like, Yet rather fancy can A man that wanteth gold Than gold that wants a man.

From JOHN MAYNARD's Twelve Wonders of the World, 1611.


I only am the man Among all married men That do not wish the priest, To be unlinked again.

And though my shoe did wring I would not make my moan, Nor think my neighbours' chance More happy than mine own.

Yet court I not my wife, But yield observance due, Being neither fond nor cross, Nor jealous nor untrue.

From JOHN DOWLAND's Second Book of Songs or Airs, 1600.

I saw my Lady weep, And sorrow proud to be advanced so In those fair eyes where all perfections keep. Her face was full of woe, But such a woe (believe me) as wins more hearts Than Mirth can do with her enticing parts.

Sorrow was there made fair, And Passion wise; Tears a delightful thing; Silence beyond all speech, a wisdom rare; She made her sighs to sing, And all things with so sweet a sadness move As made my heart at once both grieve and love.

O fairer than aught else The world can show, leave off in time to grieve. Enough, enough; your joyful look excels; Tears kill the heart, believe. O strive not to be excellent in woe, Which only breeds your beauty's overthrow.

From JOHN WILBYE's First Set of English Madrigals, 1598.

I sung sometime my thoughts and fancy's pleasure, Where I did list, or time served best and leisure; While Daphne did invite me To supper once, and drank to me to spite me. I smiled, but yet did doubt her, And drank where she had drunk before, to flout her; But, O! while I did eye her, Mine eyes drank love, my lips drank burning fire.

From ORLANDO GIBBONS' First Set of Madrigals, 1612.

I weigh not Fortune's frown nor smile, I joy not much in earthly joys, I seek not state, I reak [sic] not style, I am not fond of Fancy's toys. I rest so pleased with what I have I wish no more, no more I crave.

I tremble not at noise of war, I quake not at the thunder's crack, I shrink not at a blazing star, I sound not at the news of wreck, I fear no loss, I hope no gain, I envy none, I none disdain.

I see Ambition never pleased, I see some Tantals starve in store, I see gold's dropsy seldom eased, I see each Midas gape for more: I neither want nor yet abound, Enough's a feast, content is crowned.

I feign not friendship where I hate, I fawn not on the great for grace, I prize, I praise a mean estate Ne yet too lofty, nor too base, This is all my choice, my cheer— A mind content and conscience clear.

From THOMAS MORLEY's Madrigals to Four Voices, 1600.

I will no more come to thee That flout'st me when I woo thee; Still ty hy thou criest And all my lovely rings and pins denyest. O say, alas, what moves thee To grieve him so that loves thee? Leave, alas, then, ah leave tormenting And give my burning some relenting.

From ROBERT JONES' First Book of Songs and Airs, 1601.

If fathers knew but how to leave Their children wit as they do wealth, And could constrain them to receive That physic which brings perfect health, The world would not admiring stand A woman's face and woman's hand.

Women confess they must obey, We men will needs be servants still; We kiss their hands, and what they say We must commend, be't ne'er so ill: Thus we, like fools, admiring stand Her pretty foot and pretty hand.

We blame their pride, which we increase By making mountains of a mouse; We praise because we know we please; Poor women are too credulous To think that we admiring stand Or foot, or face, or foolish hand.

From CAMPION and ROSSETER's Book of Airs, 1601.

If I urge my kind desires, She, unkind, doth them reject, Women's hearts are painted fires, To deceive them that affect. I alone love's fires include: She alone doth them delude.

She hath often vowed her love: But alas no fruit I find. That her fires are false I prove Yet, in her, no fault I find. I was thus unhappy born, And ordained to be her scorn.

Yet if human care or pain, May the heavenly order change; She will hate her own disdain, And repent she was so strange: For a truer heart than I, Never lived, nor loved to die.

From JOHN DOWLAND's First Book of Songs and Airs, 1597.

If my complaints could passions move, Or make Love see wherein I suffer wrong; My passions were enough to prove That my despairs had governed me too long. O Love, I live and die in thee! Thy wounds do freshly bleed in me.

Thy grief in my deep sighs still speaks, Yet thou dost hope when I despair; My heart for thy unkindness breaks; Thou say'st thou can'st my harms repair, And when I hope thou mak'st me hope in vain; Yet for redress thou let'st me still complain.

Can Love be rich, and yet I want? Is Love my judge, and yet am I condemned? Thou plenty hast, yet me dost scant; Thou made a god, and yet thy power contemned! That I do live, it is thy power; That I desire it is thy worth.

If love doth make men's lives too sour, Let me not love, nor live henceforth! Die shall my hopes, but not my faith, That you, that of my fall may hearers be, May hear Despair, which truly saith "I was more true to Love, than Love to me."

From THOMAS CAMPION's Third Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

If thou long'st so much to learn, sweet boy, what 'tis to love, Do but fix thy thoughts on me and thou shalt quickly prove: Little suit at first shall win Way to thy abashed desire, But then will I hedge thee in, Salamander-like, with fire.

With thee dance I will, and sing, and thy fond dalliance bear; We the grovy hills will climb and play the wantons there; Other whiles we'll gather flowers, Lying dallying on the grass; And thus our delightful hours, Full of waking dreams, shall pass.

When thy joys were thus at height, my love should turn from thee, Old acquaintance then should grow as strange, as strange might be: Twenty rivals thou shouldst find, Breaking all their hearts for me, While to all I'll prove more kind And more forward than to thee.

Thus thy silly youth, enraged, would soon my love defy, But, alas, poor soul, too late! clipt wings can never fly. Those sweet hours which we had past, Called to thy mind, thy heart would burn; And couldst thou fly ne'er so fast, They would make thee straight return.

From WILLIAM BYRD's Psalms, Sonnets and Songs, 1588.

If women could be fair and never fond, Or that their beauty might continue still, I would not marvel though they made men bond By service long to purchase their goodwill: But when I see how frail these creatures are, I laugh that men forget themselves so far.

To mark what choice they make and how they change, How, leaving best, the worst they choose out still; And how, like haggards wild, about they range, And scorning reason follow after will![6] Who would not shake such buzzards from the fist And let them fly (fair fools!) which way they list?

Yet for our sport we fawn and flatter both, To pass the time when nothing else can please: And train them on to yield by subtle oath The sweet content that gives such humour ease: And then we say, when we their follies try, "To play with fools, O, what a fool was I!"

[6] So Oliphant.—Old ed., "Scorning after reason to follow will."

From WILLIAM BYRD's Psalms, Songs, and Sonnets, 1611.

In crystal towers and turrets richly set With glitt'ring gems that shine against the sun, In regal rooms of jasper and of jet, Content of mind not always likes to won;[7] But oftentimes it pleaseth her to stay In simple cotes enclosed with walls of clay.

[7] Dwell.

From JOHN COPRARIO's Funeral Tears, etc., 1606.

In darkness let me dwell, the ground shall sorrow be, The roof despair to bar all cheerful light from me, The walls of marble black that moistened still shall weep, My music hellish jarring sounds to banish friendly sleep: Thus wedded to my woes, and bedded in my tomb O let me dying live till death doth come.

My dainties grief shall be, and tears my poisoned wine, My sighs the air through which my panting heart shall pine, My robes my mind shall suit exceeding blackest night, My study shall be tragic thoughts sad fancy to delight, Pale ghosts and frightful shades shall my acquaintance be: O thus, my hapless joy, I haste to thee.

From JOHN MUNDY's Songs and Psalms, 1594.

In midst of woods or pleasant grove, Where all sweet birds do sing, Methought I heard so rare a sound Which made the heavens to ring.

The charm was good, the noise full sweet, Each bird did play his part; And I admired to hear the same, Joy sprang into my heart.

The black bird made the sweetest sound, Whose tunes did far excel; Full pleasantly, and most profound Was all things placed well.

Thy pretty tunes, mine own sweet bird, Done with so good a grace, Extolls thy name, prefers the same Abroad in every place.

Thy music grave, bedecked well With sundry points of skill, Bewrays thy knowledge excellent Ingrafted in thy will.

My tongue shall speak, my pen shall write In praise of thee to tell; The sweetest bird that ever was, In friendly sort farewell.

From THOMAS WEELKES' Ballets and Madrigals, 1598.

In pride of May The fields are gay, The birds do sweetly sing. Fa la la! So Nature would That all things should With joy begin the spring. Fa la la!

Then, Lady dear, Do you appear In beauty like the spring: Fa la la! I dare well say The birds that day More cheerfully will sing. Fa la la!

From ROBERT JONES's Musical Dream, 1609.

{Pheugein de ton Erota kenos ponos.}—Archias.

In Sherwood lived stout Robin Hood, An archer great, none greater, His bow and shafts were sure and good, Yet Cupid's were much better; Robin could shoot at many a hart and miss, Cupid at first could hit a heart of his. Hey, jolly Robin Hood, ho jolly Robin Hood, Love finds out me As well as thee, To follow me to the green-wood.

A noble thief was Robin Hood, Wise was he could deceive him; Yet Marian in his bravest mood Could of his heart bereave him: No greater thief lies hidden under skies, Than beauty closely lodged in women's eyes. Hey, jolly Robin, &c.

An outlaw was this Robin Hood, His life free and unruly, Yet to fair Marian bound he stood And love's debt paid her duly: Whom curb of strictest law could not hold in, Love[8] to obedience with a wink could win. Hey, jolly Robin, &c.

Now wend we home, stout Robin Hood, Leave we the woods behind us, Love-passions must not be withstood, Love everywhere will find us. I lived in field and town, and so did he; I got me to the woods, Love followed me. Hey, jolly Robin, &c.

[8] Old ed.,—"Love with obeyednes and a winke could winne."

From MICHAEL ESTE's Madrigals of three, four and five parts, 1604. (By Nicholas Breton. Originally published in 1591.)

In the merry month of May, On a morn by break of day, Forth I walk'd by the wood-side, Whereas May was in her pride: There I spyed all alone Phillida and Corydon. Much ado there was, God wot! He would love and she would not. She said, never man was true; He said, none was false to you. He said, he had loved her long; She said, Love should have no wrong. Corydon would kiss her then; She said, maids must kiss no men Till they did for good and all; Then she made the shepherd call All the heavens to witness truth Never lov'd a truer youth. Thus with many a pretty oath, Yea and nay, and faith and troth, Such as seely shepherds use When they will not love abuse, Love, which had been long deluded, Was with kisses sweet concluded; And Phillida with garlands gay Was made the Lady of the May.

From THOMAS GREAVES' Songs of Sundry Kinds, 1604.

Inconstant Laura makes me death to crave, For wanting her I must embrace my grave; A little grave will ease my malady And set me free from love's fell tyranny. Intomb me then and show her where I lie, And say I died through her inconstancy.

From HENRY LICHFILD's First Set of Madrigals, 1613.

Injurious hours, whilst any joy doth bless me, With speedy wings you fly and so release me; But if some sorrow do oppress my heart, You creep as if you never meant to part.

From WILLIAM BYRD's Songs of Sundry Natures, 1589.

Is Love a boy,—what means he then to strike? Or is he blind,—why will he be a guide? Is he a man,—why doth he hurt his like? Is he a God,—why doth he men deride? No one of these, but one compact of all: A wilful boy, a man still dealing blows, Of purpose blind to lead men to their thrall, A god that rules unruly—God, he knows.

Boy, pity me that am a child again; Blind, be no more my guide to make me stray; Man, use thy might to force away my pain; God, do me good and lead me to my way; And if thou beest a power to me unknown, Power of my life, let here thy grace be shown.

From Melismata, 1611.


It was the frog in the well, Humbledum, humbledum, And the merry mouse in the mill, Tweedle, tweedle, twino.

The frog would a wooing ride Sword and buckler by his side.

When he upon his high horse set, His boots they shone as black as jet.

When he came to the merry mill-pin,— "Lady Mouse, been you within?"

Then came out the dusty mouse: "I am Lady of this house:

Hast thou any mind of me?" "I have e'en great mind of thee?"

"Who shall this marriage make?" "Our Lord which is the rat,"

"What shall we have to our supper?" "Three beans in a pound of butter?"

When supper they were at, The frog, the mouse, and e'en the rat;

Then came in Gib our cat, And catched the mouse e'en by the back.

Then did they separate, And the frog leaped on the floor so flat.

Then came in Dick our drake, And drew the frog e'en to the lake.

The rat run up the wall, Humbledum, humbledum; A goodly company, the Devil go with all! Tweedle tweedle twino.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Two Books of Airs (circ. 1613).

Jack and Joan, they think no ill, But loving live, and merry still; Do their week-days' work, and pray Devoutly on the holy day: Skip and trip it on the green, And help to choose the Summer Queen; Lash out at a country feast Their silver penny with the best.

Well can they judge of nappy ale, And tell at large a winter tale; Climb up to the apple loft, And turn the crabs till they be soft. Tib is all the father's joy, And little Tom the mother's boy. All their pleasure is Content; And Care, to pay their yearly rent.

Joan can call by name her cows And deck her windows with green boughs; She can wreaths and tutties[9] make, And trim with plums a bridal cake. Jack knows what brings gain or loss; And his long flail can stoutly toss: Makes the hedge which others break, And ever thinks what he doth speak.

Now, you courtly dames and knights, That study only strange delights; Though you scorn the homespun gray And revel in your rich array; Though your tongues dissemble deep, And can your heads from danger keep; Yet, for all your pomp and train, Securer lives the silly swain.

[9] Nosegays.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Third Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

Kind are her answers, But her performance keeps no day; Breaks time, as dancers, From their own music when they stray. All her free favours and smooth words Wing my hopes in vain. O, did ever voice so sweet but only feign? Can true love yield such delay, Converting joy to pain?

Lost is our freedom When we submit to women so: Why do we need 'em When, in their best, they work our woe? There is no wisdom Can alter ends by Fate prefixt. O, why is the good of man with evil mixt? Never were days yet called two But one night went betwixt.

From CAMPION and ROSSETER's Book of Airs, 1601.

Kind in unkindness, when will you relent And cease with faint love true love to torment? Still entertained, excluded still I stand; Her glove still hold, but cannot touch the hand.

In her fair hand my hopes and comforts rest: O might my fortunes with that hand be blest! No envious breaths then my deserts could shake, For they are good whom such true love doth make.

O let not beauty so forget her birth That it should fruitless home return to earth! Love is the fruit of beauty, then love one! Not your sweet self, for such self-love is none.

Love one that only lives in loving you; Whose wronged deserts would you with pity view, This strange distaste which your affection sways Would relish love, and you find better days.

Thus till my happy sight your beauty views, Whose sweet remembrance still my hope renews, Let these poor lines solicit love for me, And place my joys where my desires would be.

From THOMAS WEELKES' Madrigals of Five and Six Parts, 1600.

Lady, the birds right fairly Are singing ever early; The lark, the thrush, the nightingale, The make-sport cuckoo and the quail. These sing of Love! then why sleep ye? To love your sleep it may not be.

From THOMAS GREAVES' Songs of Sundry Kinds, 1604.

Lady, the melting crystal of your eye Like frozen drops upon your cheeks did lie; Mine eye was dancing on them with delight, And saw love's flames within them burning bright, Which did mine eye entice To play with burning ice; But O, my heart thus sporting with desire, My careless eye did set my heart on fire.

O that a drop from such a sweet fount flying Should flame like fire and leave my heart a-dying! I burn, my tears can never drench it Till in your eyes I bathe my heart and quench it: But there, alas, love with his fire lies sleeping, And all conspire to burn my heart with weeping.

From JOHN WILBYE's Madrigals, 1598.

Lady, when I behold the roses sprouting, Which clad in damask mantles deck the arbours, And then behold your lips where sweet love harbours, My eyes present me with a double doubting: For viewing both alike, hardly my mind supposes Whether the roses be your lips or your lips [be] the roses.

From J. DANYEL's Songs for the Lute, Viol and Voice, 1606.

Let not Chloris think, because She hath unvassel'd me, That her beauty can give laws To others that are free: I was made to be the prey And booty of her eyes! In my bosom, she may say. Her greatest kingdom lies.

Though others may her brow adore, Yet more must I that therein see far more Than any other's eyes have power to see; She is to me More than to any others she can be. I can discern more secret notes That in the margin of her cheeks Love quotes Than any else besides have art to read; No looks proceed From those fair eyes but to me wonder breed.

O then why Should she fly From him to whom her sight Doth add so much above her might? Why should not she Still joy to reign in me?

From WILLIAM BYRD's Psalms, Songs and Sonnets, 1611.

Let not the sluggish sleep Close up thy waking eye, Until with judgment deep Thy daily deeds thou try: He that one sin in conscience keeps When he to quiet goes, More vent'rous is than he that sleeps With twenty mortal foes.

From GEORGE MASON's and JOHN EARSDEN's Airs that were sung and played at Brougham Castle in Westmoreland in the King's Entertainment given by the Earl of Cumberland, 1618.

Let us in a lovers' round Circle all this hallowed ground; Softly, softly trip and go, The light-foot Fairies jet it so. Forward then, and back again, Here and there and everywhere, Winding to and fro, Skipping high and louting low; And, like lovers, hand in hand, March around and make a stand.

From THOMAS WEELKES' Madrigals of Six Parts, 1600.

Like two proud armies marching in the field,— Joining a thund'ring fight, each scorns to yield,— So in my heart your beauty and my reason: One claims the crown, the other says 'tis treason. But oh! your beauty shineth as the sun; And dazzled reason yields as quite undone.

From THOMAS WEELKES' Madrigals to Three, Four, Five and Six Voices, 1597.

Lo! country sport that seldom fades; A garland of the spring, A prize for dancing, country maids With merry pipes we bring. Then all at once for our town cries! Pipe on, for we will have the prize.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Two Books of Airs (circ. 1613).

Lo, when back mine eye Pilgrim-like I cast, What fearful ways I spie Which, blinded, I securely passed!

But now heaven hath drawn From my brows that night; As when the day doth dawn, So clears my long-imprisoned sight.

Straight the Caves of Hell Dressed with flowers I see, Wherein False Pleasures dwell, That, winning most, most deadly be.

Throngs of masked fiends, Winged like angels, fly; Even in the gates of friends, In fair disguise black dangers lie.

Straight to heaven I raised My restored sight, And with loud voice I praised The LORD of ever-during light.

And since I had strayed From His ways so wide, His grace I humbly prayed Henceforth to be my guard and guide.

From JOHN MAYNARD's Twelve Wonders of the World, 1611.


Long have I lived in Court, Yet learned not all this while To sell poor suiters smoke, Nor where I hate to smile; Superiors to adore, Inferiors to despise, To flie from such as fall, To follow such as rise:

To cloak a poor desire Under a rich array, Nor to aspire by Vice, Though 'twere the quicker way.

From ROBERT JONES' Second Book of Songs and Airs, 1601.

Love is a bable, No man is able To say 'tis this or 'tis that; So full of passions Of sundry fashions, 'Tis like I cannot tell what.

Love's fair in the cradle, Foul in the fable, 'Tis either too cold or too hot; An arrant liar, Fed by desire, It is and yet it is not.

Love is a fellow Clad oft in yellow,[10] The canker-worm of the mind, A privy mischief, And such a sly thief No man knows which way to find.

Love is a wonder That's here and yonder, As common to one as to moe; A monstrous cheater, Every man's debtor; Hang him and so let him go.

[10] The colour of jealousy.

From JOHN WILBYE's Second Set of Madrigals, 1609.

Love not me for comely grace, For my pleasing eye or face, Nor for any outward part: No, nor for a constant heart! For these may fail or turn to ill: So thou and I shall sever. Keep therefore a true woman's eye, And love me still, but know not why! So hast thou the same reason still To doat upon me ever.

From ROBERT JONES' Second Book of Songs and Airs, 1601.

Love's god is a boy, None but cowherds regard him, His dart is a toy, Great opinion hath marred him: The fear of the wag Hath made him so brag; Chide him, he'll flie thee And not come nigh thee. Little boy, pretty knave, shoot not at random, For if you hit me, slave, I'll tell your grandam.

Fond love is a child And his compass is narrow, Young fools are beguiled With the fame of his arrow; He dareth not strike If his stroke do mislike: Cupid, do you hear me? Come not too near me. Little boy, pretty knave, hence I beseech you, For if you hit me, knave, in faith I'll breech you.

Th' ape loves to meddle When he finds a man idle, Else is he a-flirting Where his mark is a-courting; When women grow true Come teach me to sue, Then I'll come to thee Pray thee and woo thee. Little boy, pretty knave, make me not stagger, For if you hit me, knave, I'll call thee, beggar.

From ROBERT JONES' Second Book of Songs and Airs, 1601.

Love winged my hopes and taught me how to fly Far from base earth, but not to mount too high; For true pleasure Lives in measure, Which if men forsake, Blinded they into folly run and grief for pleasure take.

But my vain hopes, proud of their new-taught flight, Enamoured sought to woo the sun's fair light, Whose rich brightness Moved their lightness To aspire so high That all scorched and consumed with fire now drown'd in woe they lie.

And none but Love their woeful hap did rue, For Love did know that their desires were true; Though Fate frowned, And now drowned They in sorrow dwell, It was the purest light of heaven for whose fair love they fell.

From THOMAS CAMPION's Third Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

"Maids are simple," some men say, "They forsooth will trust no men." But should they men's wills obey, Maids were very simple then.

Truth a rare flower now is grown, Few men wear it in their hearts; Lovers are more easily known By their follies than deserts.

Safer may we credit give To a faithless wandering Jew, Than a young man's vows believe When he swears his love is true.

Love they make a poor blind child, But let none trust such as he; Rather than to be beguiled, Ever let me simple be.

From Melismata, 1611.


Maids to bed and cover coal; Let the mouse out of her hole; Crickets in the chimney sing Whilst the little bell doth ring; If fast asleep, who can tell When the clapper hits the bell?

From MARTIN PEERSON's Mottects or Grave Chamber-Music, 1630.

More than most fair, full of all heavenly fire, Kindled above to shew the Maker's glory; Beauty's first-born, in whom all powers conspire To write the Graces' life and Muses' story; If in my heart all nymphs else be defaced, Honour the shrine where you alone are placed.

Thou window of the sky, and pride of spirits, True character of honour in perfection, Thou heavenly creature, judge of earthly merits, And glorious prison of men's pure affection: If in my heart all nymphs else be defaced Honour the shrine where you alone are placed.

From THOMAS VAUTOR's Songs of divers Airs and Natures, 1619.

Mother, I will have a husband, And I will have him out of hand! Mother, I will sure have one In spite of her that will have none.

John-a-Dun should have had me long ere this: He said I had good lips to kiss. Mother, I will sure have one In spite of her that will have none.

For I have heard 'tis trim when folks do love; By good Sir John I swear now I will prove. For, Mother, I will sure have one In spite of her that will have none.

To the town, therefore, will I gad To get me a husband, good or bad. Mother, I will sure have one In spite of her that will have none.

From MICHAEL ESTE's Madrigals of Three, Four and Five Parts, 1604.

My hope a counsel with my heart Hath long desired to be, And marvels much so dear a friend Is not retain'd by me.

She doth condemn my haste In passing the estate Of my whole life into their hands Who nought repays but hate:

And not sufficed with this, she says, I did release the right Of my enjoyed liberties Unto your beauteous sight.

From ROBERT JONES' Second Book of Songs and Airs, 1601.

My love bound me with a kiss That I should no longer stay; When I felt so sweet a bliss I had less power to part away: Alas, that women doth not know Kisses make men loath to go.

Yes, she knows it but too well, For I heard when Venus' dove In her ear did softly tell That kisses were the seals of love: O muse not then though it be so, Kisses make men loath to go.

Wherefore did she thus inflame My desires heat my blood, Instantly to quench the same And starve whom she had given food? I the common sense can show, Kisses make men loath to go.

Had she bid me go at first It would ne'er have grieved my heart, Hope delayed had been the worst; But ah to kiss and then to part! How deep it struck, speak, gods, you know Kisses make men loath to go.

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