A. H. (Arthur Henry) Bullen.

Lyrics from the song-books of the Elizabethan age: online

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Yet be just and constant still, Love may beget a


Not unlike a summer's frost or winter's fatal thunder :
He that holds his sweetheart true unto his day of dying,
Lives, of all that ever breathed, most worthy the


nets, 1598.

SIMKIN said that Sis was fair,
And that he meant to love her ;
He set her on his ambling mare,
All this he did to prove her.

When they came home Sis floted cream
And poured it through a strainer,

But sware that Simkin should have none
Because he did disdain her.

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

SINCE first I saw your face I resolved to honour
and renown ye,
If now I be disdained I wish my heart had never

known ye.
What ? I that loved and you that liked shall we begin

to wrangle ?
No, no no, my heart is fast, and cannot disentangle.


If I admire or praise you too much, that fault you may

forgive me
Or if my hands had strayed but a touch, then justly

might you leave me.
I asked you leave, you bade me love ; is't now a time

to chide me ?
No no no, I'll love you still what fortune e'er betide me.

The sun whose beams most glorious are, rejecteth no

And your sweet beauty past compare made my poor

eyes the bolder,
Where beauty moves, and wit delights and signs of

kindness bind me
There, O there ! where'er I go I'll leave my heart

behind me.

Book of Ballets, 1595.

SING we and chant it
While love doth grant it.

Fa la la !

Not long youth lasteth,
And old age hasteth.

Fa la la !

Now is best leisure
To take our pleasure.

Fa la la !


All things invite us
Now to delight us.

Fa la la !

Hence care be packing,
No mirth be lacking.

Fa la la !

Let spare no treasure
To live in pleasure.

Fa la la !

Set of English Madrigals,

SISTER, awake ! close not your eyes !
The day her light discloses,
And the bright morning doth arise
Out of her bed of roses.

See, the clear sun, the world's bright eye,

In at our window peeping :
Lo ! how he blusheth to espy

Us idle wenches sleeping.

Therefore, awake ! make haste, I say,

And let us, without staying,
All in our gowns of green so gay

Into the park a- may ing.


Book of Airs (cvcc. 1613).

SLEEP, angry beauty, sleep and fear not me !
For who a sleeping lion dares provoke ?
It shall suffice me here to sit and see

Those lips shut up that never kindly spoke :
What sight can more content a lover's mind
Than beauty seeming harmless, if not kind ?

My words have charmed her, for secure she sleeps,
Though guilty much of wrong done to my love ;

And in her slumber, see ! she close-eyed weeps :
Dreams often more than waking passions move.

Plead, Sleep, my cause, and make her soft like thee :

That she in peace may wake and pity me.

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

SO light is love, in matchless beauty shining,
When he revisits Cypris' hallowed bowers,
Two feeble doves, harness'd in silken twining,

Can draw his chariot midst the Paphian flowers,
Lightness in love ! how ill it fitteth !
So heavy on my heart he sitteth.



SOME can flatter, some can feign,
Simple truth shall plead for me ;
Let not beauty truth disdain,
Truth is even as fair as she.

But since pairs must equal prove,
Let my strength her youth oppose,

Love her beauty, faith her love ;
On even terms so may we close.

Cork or lead in equal weight

Both one just proportion yield,
So may breadth be peis'd ' with height,

Steepest mount with plainest field.

Virtues have not all one kind,

Yet all virtues merit be,
Divers virtues are combined ;

Differing so, deserts agree.

Let then love and beauty meet,

Making one divine consent
Constant as the sounds and sweet,

That enchant the firmament.

1 Balanced.


Book of Airs, 1601.

SWEET, come again !
Your happy sight, so much desired
Since you from hence are now retired,
I seek in vain :
Still I must mourn,

And pine in longing pain,
Till you, my life's delight, again
Vouchsafe your wish'd return.

If true desire,

Or faithful vow of endless love,

Thy heart inflamed may kindly move
With equal fire ;
O then my joys,

So long distraught, shall rest,

Reposed soft in thy chaste breast,
Exempt from all annoys.

You had the power

My wand'ring thoughts first to restrain,

You first did hear my love speak plain ;
A child before,
Now it is grown

Confirmed, do you it 1 keep !

And let 't safe in your bosom sleep,
There ever made your own !

1 Old ed. "do you keep it."


And till we meet,

Teach absence inward art to find,

Both to disturb and please the mind !
Such thoughts are sweet :
And such remain

In hearts whose flames are true ;

Then such will I retain, till you
To me return again.


SWEET Cupid, ripen her desire,
Thy joyful harvest may begin ;
If age approach a little nigher,
'Twill be too^late to get it in.

Cold Winter storms lay standing Corn,
Which once too ripe will never rise,
And lovers wish themselves unborn,
When all their joys lie in their eyes.

Then, sweet, let us embrace and kiss i
Shall beauty shale ' upon the ground ?
If age bereave us of this bliss,
Then will no more such sport be found.

1 Shell, husk (as peas^.


and Madrigals, 1598.

SWEET heart, arise ! why do you sleep
When lovers wanton sports do keep ?
The sun doth shine, the birds do sing,
And May delight and joy doth bring :
Then join we hands and dance till night,
'Tis pity love should want his right.

From ROBERT JONES' Musical
Dream, 1609.

Of late

Ran away and left me plaining.
Abide !
(I cried)

Or I die with thy disdaining.
Te hee, quoth she ;
Make no fool of me ;
Men, I know, have oaths at pleasure,
But, ftieir hopes attained,
They bewray they feigned,
And their oaths are kept at leisure.

I find
Thy delight is in tormenting :


Abide !
(I cried)

Or I die with thy consenting.
Te hee, quoth she,
Make no fool of me ;
Men, I know, have oaths at pleasure,
But, their hopes attained,
They bewray they feigned,
And their oaths are kept at leisure.

Her words,
Like swords,

Cut my sorry heart in sunder,
Her flouts
With doubts

Kept my heart -affections under.
Te hee, quoth she,
What a fool is he
Stands in awe of once denying !
Cause I had enough
To become more rough,
So I did O happy trying !

From JOHN WILBYE'S Madrigals,

SWEET Love, if thou wilt gain a monarch's glory,
Subdue her heart who makes me glad and sorry;
Out of thy golden quiver,
Take thou thy strongest arrow


That will through bone and marrow,
And me and thee of grief and fear deliver :
But come behind, for, if she look upon thee,
Alas ! poor Love, then thou art woe-begone thee.

and Madrigals, 1598.

SWEET Love, I will no more abuse thee,
Nor with my voice accuse thee ;
But tune my notes unto thy praise
And tell the world Love ne'er decays.
Sweet Love doth concord ever cherish :
What wanteth concord soon must perish.

From ROBERT JONES' Ultimum
Vale, or Third Book of Airs

SWEET Love, my only treasure,
For service long unfeigned
Wherein I nought have gained,
Vouchsafe this little pleasure,
To tell me in what part
My Lady keeps her heart.


If in her hair so slender,

Like golden nets entwined

Which fire and art have fined,
Her thrall my heart I render

For ever to abide

With locks so dainty tied.

If in her eyes she bind it,

Wherein that fire was framed

By which it is inflamed,
I dare not look to find it :

I only wish it sight

To see that pleasant light.

But if her breast have deigned

With kindness to receive it,

I am content to leave it
Though death thereby were gained :

Then, Lady, take your own

That lives by you alone.

From J

Solace, 1612. (The first stanza
is found in a poem of Donne.)

SWEET, stay awhile ; why will you rise ?
The light you see comes from your eyes ;
The day breaks not, it is my heart,
To think that you and I must part.
O stay ! or else my joys must die
And perish in their infancy.


Dear, let me die in this fair breast,
Far sweeter than the phoenix nest.
Love raise Desire by his sweet charms
Within this circle of thine arms !
And let thy blissful kisses cherish
Mine infant joys that else must perish.

divers Airs and Natures,

Tu-whoo, tuwhit, tuwhit, tmvhoo-o-o.

SWEET Suffolk owl, so trimly dight
With feathers like a lady bright,
Thou sing'st alone, sitting by night,

Te whit, te whoo !
Thy note, that forth so freely rolls,
With shrill command the mouse controls,
And sings a dirge for dying souls,
Te whit, te whoo !

gals of Five and Six Parts,

TAKE here my heart, I give it thee for ever !
No better pledge can love to love deliver.
Fear not, my dear, it will not fly away,


For hope and love command my heart to stay.
But if thou doubt, desire will make it range :
Love but my heart, my heart will never change.

From FARMER'S First Set of Eng-
lish Madrigals, 1599.

r ~T'AKE time while time doth last,

JL Mark how fair fadeth fast ;
Beware if envy reign,
Take heed of proud disdain ;
Hold fast now in thy youth,
Regard thy vowed truth,
Lest, when thou waxeth old,
Friends fail and love grow cold.

From Deuterotnelia, 1609.

THE Fly she sat in shamble-row
And shambled with her heels I trow ;

And then came in Sir Cranion
With legs so long and many a one ;

And said "Jove speed, dame Fly, dame Fly
"Marry, you be welcome, Sir," quoth she :


" The master Mumble Bee hath sent me to thee
To wit and if you will his true love be."

But she said " Nay, that may not be,
For I must have the Butterfly,

For and a greater lord there may not be."
But at the last consent did she.

And there was bid to this wedding

All Flies in the field and Worms creeping.

The Snail she came crawling all over the plain,
With all her jolly trinkets in her train.

Ten Bees there came, all clad in gold,
And all the rest did them behold ; ,

But the Thornbud refused this sight to see,
And to a cow-plat away flies she.

But where now shall this wedding be ?
For and hey-nonny-no in an old ivy-tree.

And where now shall we bake our bread ?
For and hey-nonny-no in an old horse-head.

And where now shall we brew our ale ?
But even within one walnut-shale.

And also where shall we our dinner make ?
But even upon a galled horse-back :


For there we shall have good company

With humbling and bumbling and much melody.

When ended was this wedding-day,
The Bee he took his Fly away,

And laid her down upon the marsh
Between one marigold and the long grass.

And there they begot good master gnat
And made him the heir of all, that's flat.

Fantastic Spirits, 1608.

Audivere, Lyce. HORACE.

HE gods have heard my vows,
JL Fond Lyce, whose fair brows
Wont scorn with such disdain
My love, my tears, my pain.

Fa la!

But now those spring-tide roses
Are turn'd to winter-posies,
To rue and thyme and sage,
Fitting thy shrivell'd age.

Fa la!

Now, youths, with hot desire
See, see, that flameless fire,


Which erst your hearts so burned,
Quick into ashes turned.

Fa la!

From Pammelia, 1609.

The household-bird with the red stomacher. DONNE.

THE lark, linnet and nightingale to sing some say
are best ;

Yet merrily sings little Robin, pretty Robin with the
red breast.

drigAls, 1601.

THE love of change hath changed the world

And what is counted good but that is strange ?
New things wax old, old new, all turns about,
And all things change except the love of change.
Yet find I not that love of change in me,
But as I am so will I always be.


and last Book of Songs and
Airs, 1603.

r ~T*HE lowest trees have tops, the ant her gall, .
JL The fly her spleen, the little spark his heat ;
And slender hairs cast shadows, though but small,

And bees have stings, although they be not great ;
Seas have their source, and so have shallow springs ;
And love is love, in beggars and in kings !

Where waters smoothest run, deep are the fords ;

The dial stirs, yet none perceives it move ;
The firmest faith is in the fewest words ;

The turtles cannot sing, and yet they love ;
True hearts have eyes and ears, no tongues to speak ;
They hear, and see, and sigh, and then they break !

Book of Airs, 1601.

THE man of life upright,
Whose guiltless heart is free
From all dishonest deeds,
Or thought of vanity ;

The man whose silent days
In harmless joys are spent,


Whom hopes cannot delude
Nor sorrow discontent :

That man needs neither towers
Nor armour for defence,

Nor secret vaults to fly
From thunder's violence :

He only can behold
With unaffrighted eyes

The horrors of the deep
And terrors of the skies.

Thus scorning all the cares
That fate or fortune brings,

He makes the heaven his book,
His wisdom heavenly things ;

Good thoughts his only friends,
His wealth a well-spent age,

The earth his sober inn
And quiet pilgrimage.

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

'T^HE greedy hawk with sudden sight of lure

JL Doth stoop in hope to have her wished prey ;
So many men do stoop to sights unsure,

And courteous speech doth keep them at the bay :
Let them beware lest friendly looks be like
The lure whereat the soaring hawk did strike.


Sonnets and Songs > 1588.

THE match that's made for just and true respects,
With evenness both of years and parentage,
Of force must bring forth many good effects.
Pari jugo dulcis tractus.

For where chaste love and liking sets the plant,
And concord waters with a firm good-will,
Of no good thing there can be any want.
Pari jugo dulcis tractus.

Sound is the knot that Chastity hath tied,
Sweet is the music Unity doth make,
Sure is the store that Plenty doth provide.
Pari jugo dulcis tractus.

Where Chasteness fails there Concord will decay,
Where Concord fleets there Plenty will decease,
Where Plenty wants there Love will wear away.
Pari jugo dulcis tractus.

I, Chastity, restrain all strange desires ;
I, Concord, keep the course of sound consent ;
I, Plenty, spare and spend as cause requires.
Pari jugo dulcis tractus.

Make much of us, all ye that married be ;
Speak well of us, all ye that mind to be ;
The time may come to want and wish all three.
Pari jugo dulcis tractus.


From WILLIAM BYRD'S Songs of
S'tindry Natures, 1589.

THE Nightingale so pleasant and so gay
In greenwood groves delights to make his

In fields to fly, chanting his roundelay,

At liberty, against the cage rebelling ;
But my poor heart with sorrows over swelling,

Through bondage vile, binding my freedom short,
No pleasure takes in these his sports excelling,
Nor in his song receiveth no comfort.

Set of English Madrigals,
1604. (By Sir Philip Sidney.)

THE Nightingale, so soon as April bringeth
Unto her rested sense a perfect waking,
While late-bare earth proud of her clothing springeth,
Sings out her woes, a thorn her songbook making ;
And mournfully bewailing,

Her throat in tunes expresseth :
While grief her heart oppresseth,
For Tereus' force o'er her chaste will prevailing.


Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

'T~MTE peaceful western wind

JL The winter storms hath tamed,
And Nature in each kind

The kind heat hath inflamed :
The forward buds so sweetly breathe

Out of their earthly bowers,
That heaven, which views their pomp beneath,

Would fain be decked with flowers.

See how the morning smiles

On her bright eastern hill,
And with soft steps beguiles

Them that lie slumbering still !
The music-loving birds are come

From cliffs and rocks unknown,
To see the trees and briars bloom

That late were overthrown. 1

What Saturn did destroy,

Love's Queen revives again ;
And now her naked boy

Doth in the fields remain,
Where he such pleasing change doth view

In every living thing,
As if the world were born anew

To gratify the spring.

1 Old ed. " overflown."


If all things life present,

Why die my comforts then ?
Why suffers my content ?

Am I the worst of men ?
O, Beauty, be not thou accused

Too justly in this case !
Unkindly if true love be used,

'Twill yield thee little grace.

Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

is a garden in her face
JL Where roses and white lilies grow ;
A heavenly paradise is that place
Wherein all pleasant fruits doth flow.

There cherries grow which none may buy,
Till * ' Cherry ripe " themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose

Of orient pearl a double row,

Which when her lovely laughter shows,

They look like rose-buds filled with snow ;

Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy,
Till " Cherry ripe " themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still,
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threatening with piercing frowns to kill
All that attempt with eye or hand

Those sacred cherries to come nigh
Till " Cherry .ripe" themselves do cry.


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

'T^IIERE is a Lady sweet and kind,
_L Was never face so pleased my mind ;
I did but see her passing by,
And yet I love her till I die.

Her gesture, motion and her smiles
Her wit, her voice my heart beguiles,
Beguiles my heart, I kno\v not why,
And yet I love her till I die.

Her free behaviour, winning looks
Will make a Lawyer burn his books ;
I touched her not, alas ! not I,
And yet I love her till I die.

Had I her fast betwixt mine arms,

Judge you that think such sports were harms ;

Were't any harm ? no, no, fie, fie,

For I will love her till I die.

Should I remain confined there
So long as Phoebus in his sphere,
I to request, she to deny,
Yet would I love her till I die.

Cupid is -winged and doth range,
Her country so my love doth change :
But change she earth, or change she sky,
Yet will I love her till I die.


From MeKsmata, 1611.

^ INHERE were three Ravens sat on a tree,

-L Down-a-down, hey down, hey down !
There were three Ravens sat on a tree,
With a down !

There were three Ravens sat on a tree,
They were as black as they might be :

With a down, deny derry derry down down !

The one of them said to his make *
Where shall we our breakfast take ?

Down in yonder greene field

There lies a knight slain under his shield.

His hounds they lie down at his feet :
So well they their master keep.

His hawks they fly so eagerly,
There's no fowl dare him come nigh.

Down there comes a fallow doe,
Great with young as she might go.

She lift up his bloody head,

And kist his wounds that were so red.

She gat him upon her back
And carried him to earthen lake.

1 Old ed. "mate"; but "make," which is required for the
rhyme, was a recognised form of " mate."


She buried him before the prime ;
She was dead ere even-time.

God send every gentleman
Such hounds, such hawks, and such a leman !
With a down, deny.

From ROBERT JONES' Ultimwn
Vale or Third Book of Airs

HTHINK'ST thou, Kate, to put me down
JL With a ' No ' or with a frown ?
Since Love holds my heart in bands
I must do as Love commands.

Love commands the hands to dare
When the tongue of speech is spare,
Chiefest lesson in Love's school,
Put it in adventure, fool !

Fools are they that fainting flinch
For a squeak, a scratch, a pinch :
Women's words have double sense :
* Stand away ! ' a simple fence.

If thy mistress swear she'll cry,
Fear her not, she'll swear and lie :
Such sweet oaths no sorrow bring
Till the prick of conscience sting.


Book of Airs (circ. 1613).

r ~pIIINK'ST thou to seduce me then with words

_L that have no meaning ?
Parrots so can learn to prate, our speech by pieces

gleaning :
Nurses teach their children so about the time of


Learn to speak first, then to woo, to wooing much

pertaineth :
He that courts us, wanting art, soon falters when he

Looks asquint on his discourse and smiles when he


Skilful anglers hide their hooks, fit baits for every

season ;
But with crooked pins fish thou, as babes do that

want reason :
Gudgeons only can be caught with such poor tricks of


Ruth forgive me (if I erred) from human heart's com-

When I laughed sometimes too much to see thy foolish
fashion :

But, alas, who less could do that found so good occasion !



From JOHN WILBYE'S Madrigals,
x S9 8.

THOU art but young, thou say'st,
And love's delight thou weigh'st not :
O, take time while thou may'st,

Lest when thou would'st thou may'st not.

If love shall then assail thee,

A double anguish will torment thee ;
And thou wilt wish (but wishes all will fail thee,)

" O me ! that I were young again ! " and so repent

Book of Airs, 1601. (Ascribed
to Dr. Donne. )

THOU art not fair, for all thy red and white,
For all those rosy ornaments in thee ;
Thou art not sweet, tho' made of mere delight,

Nor fair, nor sweet unless thou pity me.
I will not soothe thy fancies, thou shalt prove
That beauty is no beauty without love.

Yet love not me, nor seek not to allure

My thoughts with beauty were it more divine ;

Thy smiles and kisses I cannot endure,

I'll not be wrapped up in those arms of thine :

Now show it, if thou be a woman right,
Embrace and kiss and love me in despite.


From JOHN DANYEL'S Songs for
the Lute, Viol, and Voice,

THOU pretty Bird, how do I see
Thy silly state and mine agree !
For thou a prisoner art ;
So is my heart.

Thou sing'st to her, and so do I address
My Music to her ear that's merciless ;
But herein doth the difference lie,
That thou art grac'd, so am not I ;
Thou singing liv'st, and I must singing die.

Sonnets, and Songs of Sadness
and Piety, 1588.

r ~T*HOUGH Amaryllis dance in green
_L Like Fairy Queen,

And sing full clear ;
Corinna can, with smiling cheer.
Yet since their eyes make heart so sore,
Hey ho ! chil love no more.

My sheep are lost for want of food

And I so wood 1

That all the day
I sit and watch a herd-maid gay ;

1 Distracted.


Who laughs to see me sigh so sore,
Hey ho ! chil love no more.

Her loving looks, her beauty bright,

Is such delight !

That all in vain

I love to like, and lose my gain
For her, that thanks me not therefore.
Hey ho ! chil love no more.

Ah wanton eyes ! my friendly foes

And cause of woes ;

Your sweet desire

Breeds flames of ice, and freeze in fire !
Ye scorn to see me weep so sore !
Hey ho ! chil love no more.

Love ye who list, I force him not :

Since God is wot,

The more I wail,

The less my sighs and tears prevail.
What shall I do ? but say therefore,
Hey ho ! chil love no more.

Fantastic Spirits, 1608.


HOUGH my carriage be but careless,
Though my looks be of the sternest.
Yet my passions are compareless ;
When I love, I love in earnest.


No ; my wits are not so wild,
But a gentle soul may yoke me ;

Nor my heart so hard compiled,
But it melts, if love provoke me.

From ROBERT JONES' Musical
Dream, 1609. (This song is
also printed in Thomas Cam-
pion's Two Books of Airs,
circ. 1613.)

r T^HOUGH your strangeness frets my heart,
JL Yet must I not complain ;
You persuade me 'tis but art

Which secret love must feign ;
If another you affect,
'Tis but a toy, t' avoid suspect.
Is this fair excusing ?
O no, all is abusing.

When your wish'd sight I desire,

Suspicion you pretend,
Causeless you yourself retire

'Whilst I in vain attend,
Thus a lover, as you say,

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Online LibraryA. H. (Arthur Henry) BullenLyrics from the song-books of the Elizabethan age: → online text (page 6 of 9)