A. H. (Arthur Henry) Bullen.

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

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Still made more eager by delay.
Is this fair excusing ?
O no, all is abusing.

When another holds your hand.

You'll swear I hold your heart ;
Whilst my rival close doth stand

And I sit far apart,



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 135

I am nearer yet than they,
Hid in your bosom, as you say.
Is this fair excusing ?
O no, all is abusing.

Would a rival then I were

Or l else a secret friend,
So much lesser should I fear

And not so much attend.
They enjoy you, every one,
Yet must I seem your friend alone.
Is this fair excusing ?
O no, all is abusing.



From GILES FARNABY'S Canzo-
nets, 1598.

npHRICE blessed be the giver
JL That gave sweet love that golden quiver,
And live he long among the gods anointed
That made the arrow-heads sharp-pointed :
If either of them both had quailed,
She of my love and I of hers had failed.

1 Old ed. " Some."



136 LYRICS



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



toss these oaken ashes in the air,
JL Thrice sit thou mute in the enchanted chair,
Then thrice-three times tie up this true love's knot,
And murmur soft " She will or she will not."

Go, burn these poisonous weeds in yon blue fire,
These screech-owl's feathers and this prickling briar,
This cypress gathered at a dead man's grave,
That all my fears and cares an end may have.

Then come, you Fairies ! dance with me a round !
Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound !
In vain are all the charms I can devise :
She hath an art to break them with her eyes.



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

THUS I resolve and Time hath taught me so :
Since she is fair and ever kind to me,
Though she be wild and wanton-like in show,

Those little stains in youth I will not see.
That she be constant, heaven I oft implore ;
If prayers prevail not, I can do no more.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 137

Palm-tree the more you press, the more it grows ;

Leave it alone, it will not much exceed :
Free beauty, if you strive to yoke, you lose,

And for affection strange distaste you breed.
What nature hath not taught no art can frame ;
Wild-born be wild still, though by force you tame.



From JOHN WILBYE'S Madrigals,
1598.

THUS saith my Chloris bright
When we of love sit down and talk together :
' ' Beware of Love, dear ; Love is a walking sprite,
And Love is this and that
And, O, I know not what,
And comes and goes again I wot not whether." '
No, no, these are but bugs to breed amazing,
For in her eyes I saw his torch-light blazing.



From THOMAS MORLEY'S First
Book of Ballets to Five Voices,
1595-



T



HUS saith my Galatea :

Love long hath been deluded,
When shall it be concluded ?



The young nymphs all are wedded :
Ah, then why do I tarry ?
Oh, let me die or marry.



1 Old form of " whither.'



i 3 8 LYRICS FROM



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

TO his sweet lute Apollo sang the motions of the
spheres,

The wondrous orders of the stars whose course divides
the years,

And all the mysteries above ;
But none of this could Midas move :
Which purchased him his ass's ears.

Then Pan with his rude pipe began the country wealth

t' advance,

To boast of cattle, flocks of sheep, and goats on hills
that dance,

With much more of this churlish kind,
That quite transported Midas' mind,
And held him wrapt in trance.

This wrong the God of Music scorned from such a

sottish judge,

And bent his angry bow at Pan, which made the
piper trudge :

Then Midas' head he so did trim
That every age yet talks of him
And Phoebus' right revenged grudge.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 139



From ROBERT DOWLAND'S Mu-
sical Banquet, 1610. (The
lines are assigned to Robert
Deveureux, Earl of Essex.)

TO plead my faith, where faith hath no reward,
To move remorse where favour is not borne,
To heap complaints where she doth not regard,
Were fruitless, bootless, vain, and yield but scorn.

I loved her whom all the world admired,
I was refused of her that can love none,

And my vain hopes which far too high aspired
Is dead and buried and for ever gone.

Forget my name since you have scorned my love,
And woman-like do not too late lament :

Since for your sake I do all mischief prove,
I none accuse nor nothing do repent :

I was as fond as ever she was fair,

Yet loved I not more than I now despair.

.



From THOMAS WEELKES' Ballets
and Madrigals, 1598.

TO shorten winter's sadness
See where the nymphs with gladness
Fa la la !






140 LYRICS FROM

Disguised all are coming,
Right wantonly a-mumming.

Fa la la !

Though masks encloud their beauty,
Yet give the eye her duty.

Fa la la !

When Heaven is dark it shineth
And unto love inclineth.

Fa la la !



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

TOSS not my soul, O Love, 'twixt hope and
fear!

Show me some ground where I may firmly stand,
Or surely fall ! I care not which appear,

So one will close me in a certain band.
When once of ill the uttermost is known ;
The strength of sorrow quite is overthrown !

Take me, Assurance, to thy blissful hold !

Or thou Despair, unto thy darkest cell !
Each hath full rest : the one, in joys enroll 'd ;

Th' other, in that he fears no more, is well.
When once the uttermost of ill is knovyn,
The strength of sorrow quite is overthrown.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS.



From THOMAS CAMPION'S Fourth
Book of A irs (circ. 1613).



TURN all thy thoughts to eyes,
Turn all thy hairs to ears,
Change all thy friends to spies
And all thy joys to fears ;

True love will yet be free
In spite of jealousy.

Turn darkness into day,
Conjectures into truth,
Believe what th' envious say,
Let age interpret youth :

True love will yet be free

In spite of jealousy.

Wrest every word and look,
Rack every hidden thought ;
Or fish with golden hook,
True love cannot be caught :

For that will still be free

In spite of jealousy.



From THOMAS FORD'S Music oj
Sundry Kinds ) 1607.

UNTO the temple of thy beauty,
And to the tomb where pity lies,
I, pilgrim-clad with zeal and duty,
Do offer up my heart, mine eyes.



i 4 2 LYRfCS FROM

My heart, lo ! in the quenchless fire,

On love's burning altar lies,
Conducted thither by desire

To be beauty's sacrifice.

But pity on thy sable hearse,

Mine eyes the tears of sorrow shed ",
What though tears cannot fate reverse,

Yet are they duties to the dead.
O, Mistress, in thy sanctuary

Why wouldst thou suffer cold disdain
To use his frozen cruelty,

And gentle pity to be slain ?

Pity that to thy beauty fled,

And with thy beauty should have lived,
Ah, in thy heart lies buried,

And nevermore may be revived ;
Yet this last favour, 'dear, extend,

To accept these vows, these tears I shed,
Duties which I thy pilgrim send,

To beauty living, pity dead.



From THOMAS WEELKES' Airs or
Fantastic Spirits, 1608.

UPON a hill the bonny boy
Sweet Thyrsis sweetly played,
And called his lambs their master's joy,

And more he would have said ;
But love that gives the lover wings
Withdrew his mind from other things.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 143

His pipe and he could not agree,

For Milla was his note ;
The silly pipe could never get

This lovely name by rote :
With that they both fell in a sound, 1
He fell a-sleep, his pipe to ground.

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

UPON a summer's day Love went to swim,
And cast himself into a sea of tears ;
The clouds called in their light, and heaven waxed dim,

And sighs did raise a tempest, causing fears ;
The naked boy could not so wield his arms,

But that the waves were masters of his might,
And threatened him to work far greater harms

If he devised not to scape by flight :
Then for a boat his quiver stood instead,

His bow unbent did serve him for a mast,
Whereby to sail his cloth of veil he spread,

His shafts for oars on either board he cast :
From shipwreck safe this wag got thus to shore,
And sware to bathe in lovers' tears no more.

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

VAIN men ! whose follies make a god of love ;
Whose blindness, beauty doth immortal deem,
Praise not what you desire, but what you prove ;
Count those things good that are, not those that
seem.

1 Swoon.



.

t

144 LYRICS FROM

I cannot call her true, that's false to me ;
Nor make of women, more than women be.

'

How fair an entrance breaks the way to love !

How rich the golden hope, arid gay delight !
What heart cannot a modest beauty move ?

Who seeing clear day once will dream of night ?
She seemed a saint, that brake her faith with me ;
But proved a woman, as all other be.

So bitter is their sweet that True Content
Unhappy men in them may never find :

Ah ! but without them, none. Both must consent,
Else uncouth are the joys of either kind.

Let us then praise their good, forget their ill !

Men must be men, and women women still.



From FRANCIS PILKINGTON'S
Second Set of Madrigals,
1624.

WAKE, sleepy Thyrsis, wake
For Love and Venus' sake !
Come, let us mount the hills
Which Zephyrus with cool breath fills ;
Or let us tread new alleys,
In yonder shady valleys.
Rise, rise, rise, rise !
Lighten thy heavy eyes :



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 145

See how the streams do glide
And the green meads divide :
But stream nor fire shall part
This and this joined heart.



From Deitteromelia, 1609.

WE be soldiers three,
Par dona moy je vous an pree,
Lately come forth of the Low Country
With never a penny of money.

Fa la la la lantido dilly.

Here, good fellow, I drink to thee,
Pardona moy je vous an pree,
To all good fellows wherever they be,
With never a penny of money.

And he that will not pledge me this,
Pardona moy je vous an pree,
Pays for the shot whatever it is,
With never a penny of money.

Charge it again, boy, charge it again,
Pardona moy je vous an pree,
As long as there is any ink in thy pen,
With never a penny of money.



146 LYRICS FROM



From Deuteromclia, 1609.

WE be three poor mariners,
Newly come from the seas ;
We spend our lives in jeopardy

While others live at ease.
Shall we go dance the round, the round,

Shall we go dance the round ?
And he that is a bully boy

Come pledge me on this ground !

We care not for those martial men

That do our states disdain ;
But we care for the merchant men

Who do our states maintain :
To them we dance this round, around,

To them we dance this round ;
And he that is a bully boy

Come pledge me on this ground !



From Egerton MS., 2013.

WE must not part as others do,
With sighs and fears, as we were two :
Though with these outward forms we part,
We keep each other in our heart.
What search hath found a being, where
I am not, if that thou be there ?



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 14?

True love hath wings, and can as soon
Survey the world as sun and moon,
And everywhere our triumphs keep
Q'er absence which makes others weep :
By which alone a power is given
To live on earth, as they in heaven.



From THOMAS WEELKES' Ballets
and Madrigals to Five Voices,
1598.

WE shepherds sing, we pipe, we play,
With pretty sport we pass the day :

Fa la!

We care for no gold,
But with our fold
We dance
And prance
As pleasure would.

Fa la !



From WILLIAM BYRD'S Psabns,
Songs, and Sonnets, 1611.

WEDDED to will is witless,
And seldom he is skilful
That bears the name of wise and yet is wilful.
To govern he is fitless



148 LYRICS FROM

That deals not by election,

But by his fond affection.
O that it might be treason
For men to rule by will and not by reason.



From THOMAS TOMKINS' Songs of
Three, Four, Five, and Six
Parts, 1622.

WEEP no more, thou sorry boy ;
Love's pleased and anger'd with a toy.
Love a thousand passion brings,
Laughs and weeps, and sighs and sings.
If she smiles, he dancing goes,
And thinks not on his future woes :
If she chide with angry eye,
Sits down and sighs " Ah me, I die ! "
Yet again, as soon revived,
Joys as much as late he grieved.
Change there is of joy and sadness,
Sorrow much, but more of gladness.
Then weep no more, thou sorry boy,
Turn thy tears to weeping joy.
Sigh no more * ' Ah me ! I die ! "
But dance, and sing, and ti-hy cry.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 149



From JOHN DOWLAND'S Third
and Last Book of Songs or
Airs i 1603.

WEEP you no more, sad fountains ;
What need you flow so fast ?
Look how the snowy mountains

Heaven's sun doth gently waste !
But my sun's heavenly eyes,
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Softly, now softly lies

Sleeping.

Sleep is a reconciling,

A rest that peace begets ;
Doth not the sun rise smiling

When fair at ev'n he sets ?
Rest you then, rest, sad eyes !

Melt not in weeping,

While she lies sleeping,
Softly, now softly lies

Sleeping.



From THOMAS WEELKES' Ballets
and Madrigals to Five Voices,

1598.

WELCOME, sweet pleasure,
My wealth and treasure ;



1 50 LYRICS FROM

To haste our playing
There's no delaying,

No no !

This mirth delights me
When sorrow frights me.
Then sing we all

Fa la la la la !

Sorrow, content thee,
Mirth must prevent thee :
Though much thou grievest
Thou none relievest.

No no !

Joy, come delight me,
Though sorrow spite me.
Then sing we all

Fa la la la la !

Grief is disdainful,
Sottish and painful :
Then wait on pleasure,
And lose no leisure.

No no!

Heart's ease it lendeth
And comfort sendeth.
Then sing we all

Fa la la la la !



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 151



From JOHN MUNDY'S Songs and
Psalms, 1594.

WERE I a king, I might command content ;
Were I obscure, unknown should be my cares :
And were I dead, no thoughts should me torment,
Nor words, nor wrongs, nor loves, nor hopes, nor

fears.

A doubtful choice, of three things one to crave ;
A kingdom, or a cottage, or a grave.



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

WERE my heart as some men's are, thy errors
would not move me,
But thy faults I curious find and speak because I love

thee;
Patience is a thing divine, and far, I grant, above me.

Foes sometimes befriend us more, our blacker deeds

objecting,
Than th' obsequious bosom-guest with false respect

affecting ;
Friendship is the Glass of Truth, our hidden stains

detecting.



i 5 * LYRICS FROM

While I use of eyes enjoy and inward light of reason,
Thy observer will I be and censor, but in season ;
Hidden mischief to conceal in state and love is treason.



From Pammelia, 1609.

WHAT hap had I to marry a shrow !
For she hath given me many a blow,
And how to please her alack I do not know.

From morn to even her tongue ne'er lies,
Sometimes she brawls, sometimes she cries,
Yet I can scarce keep her talents ' from mine eyes.

If I go abroad and late come in,
" Sir knave," saith she, " Where have you been ?"
And do I well or ill she claps me on the skin.



From ORLANDO GIBBONS' First
Set of Madrigals, 1612. (As-
cribed to Sir Walter Raleigh.)

WHAT is our life ? a play of passion :
Our mirth ? the music of division.
Our mothers' wombs the tyring-houses be
Where we are drest for this short comedy :
Heaven the judicious sharp spectator is
That sits and marks whoe'er doth act amiss :

1 Old form of " talons."



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 153

Our graves, that hide us from the searching sun,
Are like drawn curtains when the play is done :
Thus march we playing to our latest rest,
Only we die in earnest, that's no jest.



From JOHN WILBYE'S Madrigals,
1598.

WHAT needeth all this travail and turmoiling,
Short'ning the life's sweet pleasure
To seek this far-fetched treasure
In those hot climates under Phoebus broiling ?

O fools, can you not see a traffic nearer

In my sweet lady's face, where Nature showeth
Whatever treasure 6ye sees or heart knoweth ?
Rubies and diamonds dainty
And orient pearls such plenty,
Coral and ambergreece sweeter and dearer

Than which the South Seas or Moluccas lend us,
Or either Indies, East or West, do send us !



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

WHAT pleasure have great princes
More dainty to their choice
Than herdsmen wild, who careless
In quiet life rejoice,



154 LYRICS FROM

And fortune's fate not fearing
Sing sweet in summer morning ?

Their dealings plain and rightful,

Are yoid of all deceit ;

They never know how spiteful,

It is to kneel and wait

On favourite presumptuous

Whose pride is vain and sumptuous.

All day their flocks each tendeth ;
At night, they take their rest ^
More quiet than who sendeth
His ship into the East,
Where gold and pearl are plenty ;
But getting, very dainty.

For lawyers and their pleading,
They 'steem it not a straw ;
They think that honest meaning
Is of itself a law :

Whence conscience judgeth plainly,
They spend no money vainly.

O happy who thus liveth !
Not caring much for gold ;
With clothing which sufficeth
To keep him from the cold.
Though poor and plain his diet
Yet merry it is, and quiet.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 155



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

WHAT poor astronomers are they,
Take women's eyes for stars !
And set their thoughts in battle 'ray,
To fight such idle wars ;
When in the end they shall approve,
'Tis but a jest drawn out of Love.

And Love itself is but a jest

Devised by idle heads,

To catch young Fancies in the nest,

And lay them in fool's beds ;

That being hatched in beauty's eyes

They may be fledged ere they be wise.

But yet it is a sport to see,
How Wit will run on wheels !
While Wit cannot persuaded be,
With that which Reason feels,
That women's eyes and stars are odd
And Love is but a feigned god !

But such as will run mad with Will,

I cannot clear their sight

But leave them to their study still,

To look where is no light !

Till time too late, we make them try,

They study false Astronomy !



i 5 6 LYRICS FROM



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

WHAT then is love, sings Corydon,
Since Phyllida is grown so coy ?
A flattering glass to gaze upon,
A busy jest, a serious toy,
A flower still budding, never blown,
A scanty dearth in fullest store
Yielding least fruit where most is sown.
My daily note shall be therefore
Heigh ho, chil love no more.

'Tis like a morning dewy rose

Spread fairly to the sun's arise,

But when his beams he doth disclose

That which then flourish'd quickly dies ;

It is a seld-fed dying hope,

A promised bliss, a salveless sore,

An aimless mark, and erring scope.

My daily note shall be therefore,

Heigh ho, chil love no more.

'Tis like a lamp shining to all,
Whilst in itself it doth decay ;
It seems to free whom it doth thrall,
And lead our pathless thoughts astray.
It is the spring of wintered hearts
Parched by the summer's heat before
Faint hope to kindly warmth converts.

My daily note shall be therefore

Heigh ho, chil love no more.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 157



From RICHARD CARLTON'S Ma-
drigak, 1601.

WHEN Flora fair the pleasant tidings bringeth
Of summer sweet with herbs and flowers

adorned,

The nightingale upon the hawthorn singeth
And Boreas' blasts the birds and beasts have scorned ;
When fresh Aurora with her colours painted,
Mingled with spears of gold, the sun appearing,
Delights the hearts that are with love acquainted,
And maying Maids have then their time of cheering ;
All creatures then with summer are delighted,
The beasts, the birds, the fish with scale of silver ;
Then stately dames by lovers are invited
To walk in meads or row upon the river.
I all alone am from these joys exiled
No summer grows where love yet never smiled.



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

WHEN I was otherwise than now I am,
I loved more but skilled not so much
Fair words and smiles could have contented then,

My simple age and ignorance was such :
But at the length experience made me wonder
That hearts and tongues did lodge so far asunder.



IS8 LYRICS FROM

As watermen which on the Thames do row,

Look to the east but west keeps on the way ;

My sovereign sweet her count'nance settled so,

To feed my hope while she her snares might lay

And when she saw that I was in her danger,

Good God, how soon she proved then a ranger !

I could not choose but laugh, although too late,
To see great craft decypher'd in a toy ;

I love her still, but such conditions hate
Which so profanes my paradise of joy.

Love whets the wits, whose pain is but a pleasure ;

A toy, by fits to play withal at leisure.



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

"I T 7HEN thou must home to shades of underground,

V V And there arrived, a new admired guest,
The beauteous spirits do engirt thee round,
White lope, blithe Helen, and the rest,
To hear the stories of thy finished 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.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 159



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

Seivbg *Epw , Szivog ' T'I St TO TrXtov, YIV TraXiv CITTW,
rat TraAo', oi'/uaa*v 7roAA<m, Seiv& 'Epiog ;

MELEAG.

WHEN younglings first on Cupid fix their sight,
And see him naked, blindfold, and a boy,
Though bow and shafts and firebrand be his might,

Yet ween they he can work them none annoy ;
And therefore with his purple wings they play,

For glorious seemeth love though light as feather,
And when they have done they ween to scape away,

For blind men, say they, shoot they know not

whither.
But when by proof they find that he did see,

And that his wound did rather dim their sight,
They wonder more how such a lad as he

Should be of such surpassing power and might.
But ants have galls, so hath the bee his sting :
Then shield me, heavens, from such a subtle thing !



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

WHERE most my thoughts, there least mine eye
is striking ;

Where least I come there most my heart abideth ;
Where most I love I never show my liking ;

From what my mind doth hold my body slideth ;



i6o LYRICS FROM

I show least care where most my care dependeth ;
A coy regard where most my soul attendeth.

Despiteful thus unto myself I languish,
And in disdain myself from joy I banish.

These secret thoughts enwrap me so in anguish
That life, I hope, will soon from body vanish,

And to some rest will quickly be conveyed
That on no joy, while so I lived, hath stayed.



From MARTIN PEARSON'S Mot-
tects or Grave Chamber-
Music, 1630.

A MOURNING-SONG FOR THE DEATH OF SlR
FULKE GREVILLE, LORD BROOKE.

WHERE shall a sorrow great enough be sought
For this sad ruin which the Fates have wrought,
Unless the Fates themselves should weep and wish
Their curbless power had been controlled in this ?
For thy loss, worthiest Lord, no mourning eye
Has flood enough ; no muse nor elegy
Enough expression to thy worth can lend ;
No, though thy Sidney had survived his friend.
Dead, noble Brooke shall be to us a name
Of grief and honour still, whose deathless fame
Such Virtue purchased as makes us to be
Unjust to Nature in lamenting thee ;
Wailing an old man's fate as if in pride
And heat of Youth he had untimely died.



ELIZABETHAN SONG-BOOKS. 161



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

Traf 6 (3iog, Kai iraiyviov,

PALLAD.



WHETHER men do laugh or weep,
Whether they do wake or sleep,
Whether they die young or old,
Whether they feel heat or cold ;
There is underneath the sun
Nothing in true earnest done.

All our pride is but a jest,
None are worst and none are best ;
Grief and joy and hope and fear
Play their pageants everywhere :
Vain Opinion all doth sway,
And the world is but a play.

Powers above in clouds do sit,
Mocking our poor apish wit,
That so lamely with such state
Their high glory imitate.
No ill can be felt but pain,
And that happy men disdain.



162 LYRICS FROM



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

WHILE that the sun with his beams hot
Scorched the fruits in vale and mountain,
Philon, the shepherd, late forgot
Sitting beside a chrystal fountain
In shadow of a green oak-tree,
Upon his pipe this song play'd he :
Adieu, Love ! adieu, Love ! untrue Love !
Untrue Love, untrue Love ! adieu, Love !
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

So long as I was in your sight,

I was your heart, your soul, your treasure ;
And evermore you sobb'd and sigh'd,
Burning in flames beyond all measure.
Three days fendured your love for me,


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Online LibraryA. H. (Arthur Henry) BullenLyrics from the song-books of the Elizabethan age: → online text (page 7 of 9)