A. H. (Arthur Henry) Bullen.

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

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And it was lost in other three.
Adieu, Love ! adieu, Love ! untrue Love !
Untrue Love, untrue Love ! adieu, Love !
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.

Another shepherd you did see,

To whom your heart was soon enchained ;
Full soon your love was leapt from me,
Full soon my place he had obtained :
Soon came a third your love to win ;
And we were out, and he was in.
Adieu, Love ! adieu, Love ! untrue Love !
Untrue Love, untrue Love ! adieu, Love !
Your mind is light, soon lost for new Love.


Sure, you have made me passing glad

That you your mind so soon removed,
Before that I the leisure had
To choose you for my best beloved :
For all my love was past and done
Two days, before it was begun.
Adieu, Love ! adieu, Love ! untrue Love !
Untrue Love, untrue Love ! adieu, Love !
Your mind is light, soon lost for new love.


and Madrigals, 1598.

HILST youthful sports are lasting,
To feasting turn our fasting.
Fa la la !

With revels and with wassails
Make grief and care our vassals.

Fa la la !

For youth it well beseemeth
That pleasure he esteemeth.

Fa la la !

And sullen age is hated

That mirth would have abated.

Fa la la !


Book of Songs or Airs ) 1600.

WHITE as lilies was her face :
When she smiled
She beguiled,

Quitting faith with foul disgrace.
Virtue's service thus neglected
Heart with sorrows hath infected.

When I swore my heart her own,

She disdained ;

I complained,

Yet she left me overthrown :
Careless of my bitter grieving,
Ruthless, bent to no relieving.

Vows and oaths and faith assured,

Constant ever,

Changing never,
Yet she could not be procured
To believe my pains exceeding
From her scant respect proceeding.

O that love should have the art,

By surmises,

And disguises,
To destroy a faithful heart ;
Or that wanton-looking women
Should reward their friends as foemen.


All in vain is ladies' love

Quickly choosed,

Shortly loosed ;
For their pride is to remove.
Out, alas ! their looks first won us,
And their pride hath straight undone us.

To thyself, the sweetest Fair !

Thou hast wounded,

And confounded

Changeless faith with foul despair ;
And my service hast envied
And my succours hast denied.

By thine error thou hast lost

Heart unfeigned,

Truth unstained.
And the swain that loved most,
More assured in love than many, '
More despised in love than any.

For my heart, though set at nought,

Since you will it,

Spoil and kill it !
I will never change my thought :
But grieve that beauty e'er was born
Thus to answer love with scorn.


first Book of Songs or Airs,

WHITHER so fast ? see how the kindly flowers
Perfume the air, and all to make thee stay :
The climbing wood-bine, clipping all these bowers,
Clips thee likewise for fear thou pass away ;
Fortune our friend, our foe will not gainsay.
Stay but awhile, Phoebe no tell-tale is ;
She her Endymion, I'll my Phoebe kiss.

Fear not, the ground seeks but to kiss thy feet ;
Hark, hark, how Philomela sweetly sings !

Whilst water-wanton fishes as they meet

Strike crotchet time amidst these chrystal springs,
And Zephyrus amongst the leaves sweet murmur

Stay but awhile, Phoebe no tell-tale is ;

She her Endymion, I'll my Phoebe kiss.

See how the helitrope, herb of the sun,

Though he himself long since be gone to bed,

Is not of force thine eye's bright beams to shun,
But with their warmth his goldy leaves unspread,
And on my knee invites thee rest thy head.

Stay but awhile, Phoebe no tell-tale is ;

She her Endymion, I'll my Phoebe kiss.


S outlets, and Songs, 1588.

WHO likes to love, let him take heed !
And wot you why ?
Among the gods it is decreed

That Love shall die ;
And every wight that takes his part
Shall forfeit each a mourning heart.

The cause is this, as I have heard :

A sort of dames,
Whose beauty he did not regard

Nor secret flames,
Complained before the gods above
That gold corrupts the god of love.

The gods did storm to hear this news,

And there they swore,
That sith he did such dames abuse

He should no more
Be god of love, but that he should
Both die and forfeit all his gold.

His bow and shafts they took away

Before his eyes,
And gave these dames a longer day

For to devise

Who should them keep, and they be bound
That love for gold should not be found.


These ladies striving long, at last

They did agree
To give them to a maiden chaste,

Whom I did see,

Who with the same did pierce my breast :
Her beauty's rare, and so I rest.

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

1. "\ T 7HO made thee, Hob, forsake the plough

VV And fall in love?

2. Sweet beauty, which hath power to bow

The gods above.
I. What dost thou serve ? 2. A shepherdess ;

One such as hath no peer, I guess.
I. What is her name who bears thy heart

Within her breast ?
2.' Silvana fair, of high desert,

Whom I love best;

1. O, Hob, I fear she looks too high.

2. Yet love I must, or else I die.

Set of English Madrigals,


HO prostrate lies at women's feet,
And calls them darlings dear and sweet ;


Protesting love, and craving grace,
And praising oft a foolish face ;
Are oftentimes deceived at last,
Then catch at nought and hold it fast.

From JOHN FARMER'S First Set
of English Madrigals, 1599.

WHO would have thought that face of thine
Had been so full of doubleness,
Or that within those chrystal eyn

Had been so much unstableness ?
Thy face so fair, thy look so strange !
Who would have thought of such a change ?

gals of Five and Six Paris,

WHY are you Ladies staying,
And your Lords gone a-maying ?
Run apace and meet them
And with your garlands greet them.
'Twere pity they should miss you,
For they will sweetly kiss you.


Book of Songs or Airs, 1597. .

WILT thou, Unkind ! thus 'reave me
Of my heart and so leave me ?

Farewell !

But yet, or ere I part, O Cruel,
Kiss me, Sweet, my Jewel !

Farewell !

Hope by disdain grows cheerless,
Fear doth love, love doth fear ;
Beauty peerless,

Farewell !

If no delays can move thee,
Life shall die, death shall live
Still to love thee.

Farewell !

Yet be thou mindful ever !
Heat from fire, fire from heat,
None can sever.

Farewell !

True love cannot be changed,
Though delight from desert
Be estranged.

Farewell !


Books of Airs (circ. 1613).

WISE men patience never want,
Good men pity cannot hide ;
Feeble spirits only vaunt

Of revenge, the poorest pride :
He alone forgive that can
Bears the true soul of a man.

Some there are debate that seek,

Making trouble their content ;
Happy if they wrong the meek,

Vex them that to peace are bent :
Such undo the common tie
Of mankind, Society.

Kindness grown is lately cold,

Conscience hath forgot her part ;
Blessed times were known of old

Long ere Law became an art :
Shame deterred, not statutes then \
Honest love was law to men.

Deeds from love, and words, that flow,

Foster like kind April showers ;
In the warm sun all things grow,

Wholesome fruits and pleasant flowers :
All so thrives his gentle rays
Whereon human love displays.


Book of Songs or Airs, 1600.

WOEFUL Heart, with grief oppressed !
Since my fortunes most distressed
From my joys hath me removed,
Follow those sweet eyes adored !
Those sweet eyes wherein are stored
All my pleasures best beloved.

Fly my breast leave me forsaken
Wherein Grief his seat hath taken,

All his arrows through me darting !
Thou mayst live by her sunshining :
I shall suffer no more pining

By thy loss than by her parting.

Sundry Kinds ^ 1604.

YE bubbling springs that gentle music makes
To lovers' plaints with heart-sore throbs im-

When as my dear this way her pleasure takes,

Tell her with tears how firm my love is fixed ;
And, Philomel, report my timerous fears,
And, echo, sound my heigh-ho's in her ears :
But if she asks if I for love will die,
Tell her, Good faith, good faith, good faith, not I.


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

YOU blessed bowers whose green leaves now are

Shadow the sunshine from my mistress' face,
And you, sweet roses, only for her bedding

When weary she doth take her resting-place ;
You fair white lilies and pretty flowers all,
Give your attendance at my mistress' call.

Book of Ballets, 1595.

YOU that wont to my pipe's sound
Daintily to tread your ground,
Jolly shepherds and nymphs sweet,

(Lirum, lirum.)

Here met together
Uuder the weather,
Hand in hand uniting,

The lovely god come greet.

(Lirum, lirum.)

Lo, triumphing, brave comes he,
All in pomp and majesty,

Monarch of the world and king.

(Lirum, lirum.)


Let whoso list him
Dare to resist him,
We our voices uniting,

Of his high acts will sing.

(Lirum, lirum.)

Set of English Madrigals,

YOUR shining eyes and golden hair,
Your lily-rosed lips so fair ;
Your various beauties which excel,
Men cannot choose but like them well :
Yet when for them they say they'll die,
Believe them not, they do but lie.



Page 3.

HTHOMAS WEELKES was organist of Winchester College
- in 1600, and of Chichester Cathedral in 1608. His first
collection, " Madrigals to three, four, five, or six voices," was
published in 1597. Here first appeared the verses (fraudulently
ascribed, in "The Passionate Pilgrim," 1599, to Shakespeare),
"My flocks feed not." In 1598 Weelkes published "Ballets
and Madrigals to five voices," which was followed in 1600 by
" Madrigals of five and six parts." Prefixed to the last-named
work is the following dedicatory epistle :

" To the truly noble, virtuous, and honorable, my very good
Lord Henry, Lord Winsor, Baron of Bradenham.

My Lord, in the College at Winchester, where I live, I have
heard learned men say that some philosophers have mistaken
the soul of man for an harmony : let the precedent of their error
be a privilege for mine. I see not, if souls do not partly consist
of music, how it should come to pass that so noble a spirit as
your's, so perfectly tuned to so perpetual a tenor of excellence
as it is, should descend to the notice of a quality lying single in
so low a personage as myself. But in music the base part is no
disgrace to the best ears' attendancy. I confess my conscience
is untoucht with any other arts, and I hope my confession is
unsuspected : many of us musicians think it as much praise to
be somewhat more than musicians as it is for gold to be some-
what more than gold, and if Jack Cade were alive, yet some of
us might live, unless we should think, as the artisans in the
Universities of Poland and Germany think, that the Latin
tongue comes by reflection. I hope your Lordship will pardon
this presumption of mine ; the rather, because I know before
Nobility I am to deal sincerely ; and this small faculty of mine,
because it is alone in me, and without the assistance of other
more confident sciences, is the more to be favoured and the
rather to be received into your honour's protection ; so shall I

i 7 8 NOTES.


observe you with as humble and as true an heart, as he whose
knowledge is as large as the world's creation, and as earnestly
pray for you to the world's Creator.

Your Honor's in all humble service,


In 1608 appeared Weelkes' last work, "Airs or Fantastic
Spirits for three voices," a collection of lively and humorous
ditties. Oliphant writes: "For originality of ideas, and in-
genuity of construction in part writing, (I allude more especially
to his ballets,) Weelkes in my opinion leaves all other composers
of his time far behind." The verses in Weelkes' song-books are
never heavy or laboured ; they are always bright, cheerful, and

Page 3. Robert Jones was a famous performer on the lute.
He had a share in the management of the theatre in the White-
friars (Collier's " Annals of the Stage," i. 395). His works are
of the highest rarity. The delightful lyrics in Jones' song-books
have escaped the notice of all the editors of anthologies.

Page 4. Thomas Morley, who was a pupil of William Byrd,
was the author of the first systematic treatise on music published
in this country "A plain and easy Introduction to practical
Music," 1597, quaintly set down in form of a dialogue. The
verses in his collections are mere airy trifles, and hardly bear to
be separated from the music.

"About the maypole new," &c., is a translation of some
Italian lines, beginning

" Al suon d' una sampogn' e d' una citera,
Sopra 1* herbette floride
Dansava Tirsi con 1' amata Cloride," &c.

In Morley's "Canzonets to three Voices," 1593, we have the
following pleasant description of the preparations for a country
wedding :

" Arise, get up, my dear, make haste, begone thee :

Lo ! where the bride, fair Daphne, tarries on thee.

Hark ! O hark ! yon merry maidens squealing

Spice-cakes, sops-in-wine are a-dealing.

Run, then run apace

And get a bride-lace

And gilt rosemary branch the while there yet is catching

And then hold fast for fear of old snatching.

NOTES. 179

Alas ! my dear, why weep ye ?

O fear not that, dear love, the next day keep we.

List, yon minstrels ! hark how fine they firk it,

And how the maidens jerk it !

With Kate and Will,

Tom and Gill,

Now a skip,

Then a trip,

Finely fet aloft,

There again as oft ;

Hey ho ! blessed holiday !

All for Daphne's wedding day ! "

Page 9. John Wilbye is styled by Oliphant "the first of
madrigal writers." He published his " First Set of English
Madrigals" in 1598, and his "Second Set" in 1609. The
Second Set was dedicated to the unfortunate Lady Arabella
Stuart. The composer concludes his dedicatory epistle with
the prayer, " I beseech the Almighty to make you in all the
passages of your life truly happy, as you are in the world's true
opinion, virtuous." In the very year when the epistle was
written the gifted patroness of art and learning was accused
before the Privy Council and ordered to be kept in close con-
finement. She made her escape, but after a few hours was
captured at sea in her flight to Dunkirk, brought back to
London, and committed to the Tower, where she died of a
broken heart in 1615. It is pleasant to think that the song-book
dedicated to her honour may have cheered her in the long hours
of solitude. The collection consists. chiefly of love-lyrics; but
such verses as "Happy, O happy he," &c. (p. 37) and "Draw
on, sweet Night" (p. 21), must have been carefully cherished
by the poor captive.

Page 9. "April is in my mistress' face." Compare Robert
Greene's verses in "Perimedes, the Blacksmith," 1588:

" Fair is my love, for April in her face,
Her lovely breasts September claims his part,

And lordly July in her eyes takes place :
But cold December dwelleth in her heart :

Blest be the months that set my thoughts on fire,

Accura'd that month that hindereth my desire ! "

i8o NOTES.

Page ii. "The Urchins' Dance" is from the anonymous
play "The Maid's Metamorphosis," 1600. In the same play
are the following dainty verses ;

" i Fairy. I do come about the copse
Leaping upon flowers' tops ;
Then I get upon a fly,
She carries me above the sky,
And trip and go !

2 Fairy. When a dew-drop falleth down

And doth light upon my crown,
Then I shake my head and skip
And about I trip.

3 Fairy. When I feel a girl a-sleep,

Underneath her frock I peep,
There to sport, and there I play ;
Then I bite her like a flea,
And about I skip."

Thomas Ravenscroft, compiler of the " Brief Discourse," won
his spurs at a very early age . He took his degree of Bachelor
of Music before he had reached his fifteenth year, as we learn
from some commendatory verses prefixed to the " Brief Dis-
course : "

" Non vidit tria lustra puer, quin arte probatus,
Vita laudatus, sumpsit in arte gradum."

He was twenty-two when he published the " Brief Discourse "
in 1614 ; but in 1611 he had published " Melismata, musical
fancies fitting the court, city, and country humours," and he
edited two collections that appeared in 1609 "Pammelia"
and "Deuteromelia." "Pammelia" is the earliest English
printed collection of Catches, Rounds, and Canons ; both words
and music were for the most part older than the date of publi-
cation. "Deuteromelia" was intended as a continuation of

Page 12. Robert Dowland, editor of "A Musical Banquet,"
was a son of John Dowland ; he succeeded his father as one of
the Court musicians in 1626, and was alive in 1641.

Page 16. Thomas Ford, when he published his "Music of
sundry kinds," 1607, was a musician in the suite of Prince
Henry. At the accession of Charles I. he was appointed one of

NOTES. 181

his musicians, and he died in 1648 the year before his royal
patron was beheaded.

Page 23. " Little lawn then serve[d] the Pawn." The
Pawn was a corridor, serving as a bazaar, in the Royal Ex-
change (Gresham's).

Page 24. " Farewell, false Love, the oracle of lies. " " J. C."
in " Alcilia," 1595, writes :

" Love is honey mixed with gall,

A thraldom free, a freedom thrall ;

A bitter sweet, a pleasant sour,

Got in a year, lost in an hour ;

A peaceful war, a warlike peace,

Whose wealth brings want, whose want increase ;

Full long pursuit and little gain,

Uncertain pleasure, certain pain ;

Regard of neither right nor wrong,

For short delights repentance long.

Love is the sickness of the thought,
Conceit of pleasure dearly bought ;
A restless passion of the mind,
A labyrinth of arrows blind ;
A sugared poison, fair deceit,
A bait for fools, a furious heat ;
v A chilling cold, a wondrous passion,
Exceeding man's imagination ;
Which none can tell in whole or part,
But only he that feels the smai;t."

Robert Greene has a somewhat similar description of Love
("What thing is Love? it is a power divine," &c.) in " Mena-
phon," 1589.

Page 28. " Fond wanton youths." This piece is also printed
in "The Golden Garland of Princely Delights," 1620, where it is
headed " Of the Inconveniences by Marriage," and is directed
to be sung to the tune of " When Troy town."

Page 29, I. 22. "Their longings must not be beguiled."
The original gives "Their laughings" (which is unintelligible).

Page 31. It was at Wanstead House, a seat of the Earl of
Leicester, that Sidney wrote his masque the " Lady of the May"
in honour of Queen Elizabeth's visit in 1578. " Was Raleigh

1 8a NOTES.

retired there," writes Mr. W. J. Linton (Rare Poems, p. 257),
" during some season of her displeasure? There is a look of him
about this song, not unlike the lines to Cynthia ; and what
mistress but Majesty should appoint his place of retirement ?

' Wanstead, my Mistress saith this is the doom.' "

The two lines that close each stanza are from a song in
Sidney's "Arcadia."

Page 37- "Who, known to all, unknown to himself dies."
From Seneca's " Thyestes : "

"qui notus nimis omnibus
Ignotus moritur sibi."

Page 39. " How many things." I have given four of John
Maynard's " Twelve Wonders of the World " (cf. pp. 44-5, 69) ;
and, if I am not mistaken, the reader will like to see the
remaining eight. There is much freshness and piquancy in
these quaint old rhymes ; and, I warrant, not one reader in five
hundred has ever seen them before.

My calling is Divine,

And I from God am sent ;
I will no chop-church be,

Nor pay my patron rent,

Nor yield to sacrilege ;

But like the kind true mother,
Rather will lose all the child
Than part it with another.

Much wealth I will not seek,

Nor worldly masters serve,
So to grow rich and fat

While my poor flock doth starve.

My occupation is

The noble trade of kings
The trial that decides

The highest right of things.

NOTES. 183

Though Mars my master be,

I do not Venus love,
Nor honour Bacchus oft,

Nor often swear by Jove.

Of speaking of myself

I all occasion shun,
And rather love to do,

Than boast what I have done.

The law my calling is ;

My robe, my tongue, my pen
Wealth and opinion gain

And make me judge of men.

The known dishonest cause,

I never did defend
Nor spun out suits in length,

But wish'd and sought an end

Nor counsel did bewray,
Nor of both parties take,

Nor ever took I fee

For which I never spake.

I study to uphold

The slippery state of man,
Who dies when we have done

The best and all we can.

From practice and from books
I draw my learned skill,

Not from the known receipt
Or 'pothecary's bill.

The earth my faults doth hide,
The world my cures doth see,

What youth and time effects
Is oft ascribed to me.

i8 4 NOTES.

My trade doth everything

To every land supply,
Discovers unknown coasts,

Strange countries doth ally.

I never did forestall,

I never did engross,
Nor custom did withdraw

Though I return'd with loss.

I thrive by fair exchange,
By selling and by buying,

And not by Jewish use,
Reprisal, fraud, or lying.

Though strange outlandish spirits

Praise towns and countries scorn,
The country is my home,

I dwell where I was born.

There profit and command
With pleasure I partake,

Yet do not hawks and dogs
My sole companions make.

I rule, but not oppress ;

End quarrels, not maintain ;
See towns, but dwell not there

To abridge my charge or train.

The first of all our sex

Came from the side of man,
I thither am return'd

From whence our sex began.

I do not visit oft,

Nor many when I do,

I tell my mind to few
And that in counsel too.

NOTES. 185

I seem not sick in health,

Nor sullen but in sorrow ;
I care for somewhat else

Than what to wear to-morrow.

My dying husband knew

How much his death would grieve me,
And therefore left me wealth

To comfort and relieve me.

Though I no more will have,

I must not love disdain ;
Penelope her self

Did suitors entertain.

And yet to draw on such

As are of best esteem,
Nor younger than I am

Nor richer will I seem.

Page 41. " I have house and land in Kent." This admirable
song has been frequently reprinted. Miss De Vaynes, in her
very valuable "Kentish Garland "(i., 142), observes: "We
have met with no other song in the Kentish dialect except Jan
Ploughshare's" (printed on p. 372, vol. i., of the "Garland").
Rimbault in his " Little Book of Songs and Ballads " (1851^
gives the following lines from an old MS. (temp. Henry VIII.) :

" Joan, quoth John, when will this be ?

Tell me when wilt thou marry me,

My corn and eke my calf and rents,

My lands and all my tenements ?

Say, Joan, quoth John, what wilt thou do?

I cannot come every day to woo ? "

David Herd printed a fragment of a Scotch song that was
founded on the English song :

" I hae layen three herring a' sa't,

Bonny lass, gin ze'll take me, tell me now,

And I hae brew'n three pickles o' ma't
And I cannae cum ilka day to woo.

1 86 NOTES.

To woo, to woo, to Hit and to woo,
A. nd I cannae cum ilka, day to woo.

I hae a wee ca'f that wad fain be a cow,

Bonny lassie, gin ye'll take me, tell me now,

I hae a wee gryce that wad fain be a sow,
And I cannae cum ilka day to woo.

To woo, to woo, to lilt and to woo t

And I cannae cum ilka day to woe."

Page 43. "I joy not in no earthly bliss." These stanzas are
usually. printed with " My mind tome a kingdom is" (p. 78), and
the whole poem has been attributed to Sir Edward Dyer.

Page 47. " I weigh not Fortune's frown nor smile." These
lines (which seem to have been modelled on " I joy not in no
earthly bliss " ) are by Joshua Sylvester.

In the second stanza, " I sound not at the news of wreck,"
sound is an old form of swoon.

Page 52. " If women could be fair." This poem is ascribed
to Edward, Earl of Oxford, in Rawlinson, MS. 85, fol. 16.

Pa ge 53- " In darkness let me dwell." These lines are also
found in Robert Dowland's " Musical Banquet," 1610, set to
music by John Dowland.

Page 57. " In the merry month of May." First printed in
"The Honorable Entertainment given to the Queen's Majesty

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Online LibraryA. H. (Arthur Henry) BullenLyrics from the song-books of the Elizabethan age: → online text (page 8 of 9)