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

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in Progress at Elvetham in Hampshire, by the Right Honorable
the Earl of Hertford," 1591, under the title of "The Plough-
man's Song. "

Page 60. " It was the frog in the well." There are several
versions of this old ditty: the following is from Kirkpatrick
Sharpe's "Ballad Book," 1824 :

" There lived a puddy in a well,
And a merry mouse in a mill.

Puddy he'd a wooin ride,
Sword and pistol by his side.

Puddy came to the mouse's wonne,
' Mistress mouse, are you within ? '



NOTES. 187

' Yes, kind sir, I am within ;
Saftly do I sit and spin.'

' Madam, I am come to woo ;
Marriage I must have of you.'

' Marriage I will grant you nane,
Until uncle Rotten he comes hame.'

' Uncle Rotten's now come hame ;
Fy 1 gar busk the bride alang.'

Lord Rotten sat at the head o' the table,
Because he was baith stout and able.

Wha is't that sits next the wa',

But Lady Mouse, baith jimp and sma' ?

What is't that sits next the bride,

But the sola puddy wi' his yellow side ?

Syne came the deuk, but and the drake ;
The deuk took puddy, and garred him squaik.

Then cam in the carl cat,
Wi' a fiddle on his back.
' Want ye ony music here ? '

The puddy he swam doun the brook ;
The drake he catched him in his fluke.

The cat he pu'd Lord Rotten doun ;
The kittens they did claw his croun.

But Lady Mouse, baith jimp and sma',

Crept into a hole beneath the wa' ;

' Squeak ! ' quoth she, ' I'm weel awa.' "

Doubtless Ravenscroft's version is more ancient. A ballad
entitled "A most strange weddinge of the frogge and the mouse "
was licensed for printing in 1580.



z88 NOTES.

Page 65. " Lady, when I behold." Gracefully paraphrased
from an Italian original:

" Quand' io miro le rose,

Ch' in voi natura pose ;

E quelle che v' ha 1' arte

Nel vago seno sparte ;

Non so conoscer poi

Se voi le rose, o sian le rose in voi."

Page 66. John Danyel is supposed to have been a brother of
Samuel Daniel, the poet. He took his degree of Bachelor of
Music in 1604. " At the commencement of the reign of Charles
the First he was one of the Court Musicians, and his name
occurs among the ' Musicians for the Lutes and Voices ' in a
privy seal, dated December 2oth, 1625, exempting the musicians
belonging to the Court from the payment of subsidies " (Rim-
bault).

Page 68. " Then all at once for our town cries." " I should
imagine," says Oliphant, " that there was occasionally a sort of
friendly contention in the sports between neighbouring villages ;
which idea is rather corroborated by a passage from an old play
called the ' Vow-breaker ' by Samson, 1636 : ' Let the major
play the hobby-horse an' he will ; I hope our Town lads cannot
want a hobby-horse.'" In an old play, "The Country Girl,"
(first printed in 1647), attributed to that shadowy personage
Antony Brewer, we have an allusion to this pleasant form of
rivalry :

" Abraham. Sister Gillian, I have the rarest news for you.

Gillian. For me ? 'tis well. And what news have you got, sir?

Abr. Skipping news, lipping news, tripping news.

Gil, How ! dancing, brother Abram, dancing ?

Abr, Prancing, advancing, dancing. Nay, 'tis a match, a
match upon a wager.

Gil. A match. Who be they?

Abr. Why all the wenches of our town Edmonton, and all the
mad wenches of Waltham.

Gil. A match, and leave me out ! When, when is't, brother ?

Abr. Marry, e'en this morning : they are now going to't
helter-skelter. [A treble flays within.

</'//. And leave me out ! where, brother, where?



NOTES. 189

Abr. Why there, Sister Gillian ; there, at our own door
almost, on the green there, close by the may-pole. Hark 1 you
may hear them hither." (Sig. D.)

The stage-direction at the entrance of the dancers runs thus :
" Enter six country wenches, all red petticoats, white stitch'd
bodies, in their smock-sleeves, the fiddler before them, and
Gillian with her tippet up in the midst of them dancing."

Pa s e 73- " It was the purest light of heaven " &e. I am
reminded of a fine passage in Drayton's " Barons' Wars," canto
VI. :

" Looking upon proud Phaeton wrapped in fire,

The gentle queen did much bewail his fall ;

But Mortimer commended his desire

To lose one poor life or to govern all.

' What though,' quoth he, ' he madly did aspire

And his great mind made him proud Fortune's thrall ?

Yet, in despight when she her worst had done,

He perish' d in the chariot of the sun.' "

Pa s e 74- " The Bellman's Song." In " Robin Goodfellow ;
his mad pranks and merry jests," 1628, we have another specimen
of a Bellman's Song :

"Sometimes would he go like a bellman in the night, and
with many pretty verses delight the ears of those that waked at
his bell-ringing : his verses were these :

Maids in your smocks,

Look well to your locks,

And your tinder-box,

Your wheels and your rocks,

Your hens and your cocks,

Your cows and your ox,

And beware of the fox.

When the bellman knocks

Put out your fire and candle-light,

So they shall not you affright.

May you dream of your delights,

In your sleeps see pleasing sights !

Good rest to all, both old and young :

The bellman now hath done his song.

Then would he go laughing Ho ho ho ! as his use was."



190 NOTES.

Page 77. " That kisses were the seals of love." Every
reader will recall

" But my kisses bring again, bring again,
Seals of love but sealed in vain, sealed in vain."

Page 80. " My prime of youth." This song is also set to
music in Richard Alison's " Hour's Recreation," 1606, and
Michael Este's " Madrigals of three, four, and five parts," 1604.
It is printed in "Reliquiae Wottonianae " as "By Chidick
Tychborn, being young and then in the tower, the night before
his execution." Chidiock Tychbourne of Southampton was
executed with Ballard and Babington in 1586.

Page 80. "My sweetest Lesbia." The first stanza is an
elegant paraphrase from Catullus, though the last line fails to
render the rhythmical sweetness long-drawn-out of " Nox est
perpetua una dormienda."

Page 81. " My Thoughts are winged with Hopes." This
piece is also found in " England's Helicon." A MS. copy, in a
commonplace book found at Hamburg, is signed "W. S." I
have frequently met with these initials in volumes of MS. poetry
of the early part of the seventeenth century. The following pretty
verses in Add. MS. 21,433, fol. 158, are subscribed " W. S.":

" O when will Cupid show such art
To strike two lovers with one dart ?
I'm ice to him or he to me ;
Two hearts alike there seldom be.

If ten thousand meet together,
Scarce one face is like another :
If scarce two faces can agree,
Two hearts alike there seldom be."

There is not the slightest ground for identifying "W. S." with
Shakespeare. Mr. Linton (" Rare Poems,"- p. 255) conjectures
that " My Thoughts are winged with Hopes" which has the
heading "To Cynthia" in "England's Helicon" maybe by
Raleigh.

Page 83. " Now each creature." The first stanza of " An
Ode" by Samuel Daniel, originally printed in the 1592 edition
of "Delia."



NOTES. IQI

" Now God be with old Simeon." Here is another round
from " Pammelia " :

"Come drink to me,
And I to thee,
And then shall we
Full well agree.

I've loved the jolly tankard,

Full seven winters and more ;
I loved it so long

That I went upon the score.

Who loveth not the tankard,

He is no honest man ;
And he is no right soldier,

That loveth not the can.

Tap the cannikin, troll the cannikin,
Toss the cannikin, turn the cannikin !
Hold now, good son, and fill us a fresh can.
That we may quaff it round from man to man."

Good honest verse, but ill-suited to these degenerate, tea-
drinking days.

Page 85. " Now I see thy looks were feigned." First printed
in "The Phoenix Nest," 1593, subscribed "T. L. Gent," i.e.
Thomas Lodge, one of the most brilliant of Elizabethan lyrists.

Page 87. " Shall we play barley-break." The fullest descrip-
tion of the rustic game of barley-break is to be found in the
first book of Sidney's "Arcadia."

Page 87. " Now let her change." This song is also set to
Music in Robert Jones' " Ultimum Vale" (1608).

Page 89. "Now what is love" &c. This poem originally
appeared in "The Phoenix Nest," 1593; it is also printed (in
form of a dialogue) in " England's Helicon," 1600, and Davison's
" Poetical Rhapsody," 1602. It is ascribed to Raleigh in a MS.
list of Davison's. See Canon Hannah's edition of Raleigh's
poems.

Page 93. "Oft have I mused." This poem was printed in
Davison's " Poetical Rhapsody," 1602.



i 9 2 NOTES.

Page 96. " Our Country-swains in the morris-dance."
In Morley's " Madrigals to Four Voices," 1594, there is a lively
description of the morris-dance :

" Ho ! who comes here with bag-piping and drumming ?

O, 'tis I see the morris-dance a coming.

Come, ladies, out, O come, come quickly,

And see about how trim they dance and trickly :

Hey ! there again : hark ! how the bells they shake it !

JXovrfor our town ! once there, now for our town and take it :

Soft awhile, not away so fast, they melt them !

Piper be hang'd, knave ! look, the dancers swelt them.

Out, there, stand out ! you come too far (I say) in

There give the hobby-horse more room to play in ! "

"I woo with tears and ne'er the near."- Ne'er the near (a.
proverbial expression) = Never the nigher.

Page 107. "When they came home S^ floted cream." I
suppose the meaning is that Sis skimmed the cream from the
milk. Halliwell (Arch. Diet.) gives " Flotten-milk. Same as
Flet-mitte" and "flet-mitte" is a north-country term for
skimmed milk.

" Since first I saw." This exquisite song is also found in
" The Golden Garland of Princely Delights," 1620.

Page 114. "Sweet Love, my only treasure." Printed in
Davison's "Poetical Rhapsody," 1602, where it is subscribed
with the mysterious initials "A. W."

Page 115. " Sweet, stay awhile." I suspect that this stanza
does not really belong to Donne's " Break of day ;" it is not
found in MS. copies of Donne's poems, nor in any edition prior
to that of 1669. Probably Donne's verses were written as a
companion-piece to the present poem.

Page 120. " Yet merrily sings little Robin." The loveliest
of all verses in praise of Robin Redbreast are in Chapman's
" Tears of Peace," 1609 :

" Whose face the m/hid that loves humans best,
That hath the biigle eyes and rosy breast,
And is the yellow autumn's nightingale"

Page 120. " The love of change. "This is the first stanza of



NOTES. 193

a poem which is printed entire (in six stanzas) in Davison's
' Poetical Rhapsody," 1602.

Page 121. "The lowest trees have tops." Printed in
Davison's "Poetical Rhapsody" with the signature ' Jncerto."

Page 121. "The man of life upright." In some old MS.
copies this poem is ascribed to Francis Bacon : see Hannah's
"Poems of Raleigh and Wotton," p. 119. Canon Hannah
makes no mention of Campion's claim. Campion distinctly tells
us that he wrote both the verses and the music of his songs :
and I have no doubt that he was the author ol the present lyric,
which has more merit than any of Bacon's poems. In an
epigram printed in his "Observations in the Art of English
Poetry," 1602, there is a striking image that reappears in the
present poem :

"A wise man wary lives yet most secure,
Sorrows move not him greatly, nor delights,

Fortune and death he scorning only makes

T/i' earth his sober inn, but still heaven his home."

(Sio. C 2 ).

Henceforward let nobody claim " The man of life upright "
for Bacon.

Page 124. " The Nightingale so pleasant and so gay."
" According to Peacham," says Oliphant(" Musa Madrigalesca,"
p. 45), "there was a virtuous contention between W. Byrd and
Ferrabosco who of the two should best set these words ; in
which according to his (Peacham's) opinion, Ferrabosco suc-
ceeded so well that ' it could not be bettered for sweetness of
ayre and depth of judgment.' "

Page 124. "The Nightingale so soon as April bringeth.''
From the first stanza of a poem printed in the third edition of
Sidney's "Arcadia," 1598.

Page 126. " There is a garden in her face." This poem is
also set to music in Alison's " Hour's Recreation," 1606, and
Robert Jones' " Ultimum Vale" (1608). Herrick's dainty
verses " Cherry-Ripe " are well-known :

"Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe ! I cry :
Full and fair ones, come and buy.
I f so be you ask me where
They do grow,. I answer, There,
O



194 NOTES.

Where my Julia's lips do smile,
There's the land or cherry-isle,
Whose plantations fully show
All the year where cherries grow."

Page 127. " There is a lady sweet and kind." Printed also
in "The Golden Garland of Princely Delights," 1620.

Page 128. "There were three Ravens." The north country
version of this noble dirge contains some verses of appalling
intensity :

" His horse is to the huntin gane

His hounds to bring the wild deer hame ;

His lady's ta'en another mate.

So we may mak our dinner sweet.

" O we'll sit on his bonny breast-bane,
And we'll pyke out his bonny gray een ;
Wi' ae lock o' his gowden hair,
We'll theek our nest when it blaws bare.

" Mony a anefor him wakes mane,
But none sail ken where he is ganc :
Ower his banes when they are bare.
The wind sail blawfor evermair"

Page 130. ' Think'st thou to seduce me," &c. In William
Corkine's "Airs," 1610, this song is found with considerable
variations. Corkine gives only three stanzas. The first stanza
agrees closely with Campion's text ; the second and third stanzas
run thus :

" Learn to speak first, then to woo, to wooing much pertaineth ;
He that hath not art to hide, soon falters when he feigneth,
And, as one that wants his wits, he smiles when he complaineth.

" If with wit we be deceived our faults may be excused,
Seeming good with flattery graced is but of few refused,
But of all accursed are they that are by fools abused."

Page 131. "Thou art not fair for all thy red and white."
These lines are printed in Dr. Grosart's edition of Donne's



NOTES. '95

poems, vol. ii. p. 259. They are ascribed to Donne in an early
MS. ; but I see no reason for depriving Campion of them. (The
first stanza is also set to music in Thomas Vautor's " Airs,"
1619.)

Page 132. "Though Amaryllis dance in green." Also
printed in "England's Helicon," 1600.

Page 148. " We must not part as others do." These lines are
very much in Donne's manner. The MS. from which they are
taken (Egerton MS. 2013) contains some undoubted poems of
Donne.

Page 151. "Were I a king." Canon Hannah prints these
verses (in his " Poems of Raleigh and Wotton," p. 147) from a
MS. copy, in which they are assigned to Edward Earl of
Oxford. Appended in the MS. are the following answers :

" ANSWERED THUS BY SIR P. S.
Wert thou a king, yet not command content,

Sith empire none thy mind could yet suffice ;
Wert thou obscure, still cares would thee torment ;

But wert thou dead all care and sorrow dies.
An easy choice, of these three which to crave ;
No kingdom, nor a cottage, but a grave.

"ANOTHER OF ANOTHER MIND.
A king ? oh, boon for my aspiring mind,

A cottage makes a country swad rejoice :
And as for death, I like him in his kind

But God forbid that he should be my choice !
A kingdom or a cottage or a grave,
Nor last, nor next, but first and best I crave ;
The rest I can, whenas I list, enjoy,
Till then salute me thus Vive le roy !

"ANOTHER OF ANOTHER MIND.
The greatest kings do least command content ;

The greatest cares do still attend a crown ;
A grave all happy fortunes doth prevent

Making the noble equal with the clown :
A quiet country life to lead I crave ;
A cottage then ; no kingdom nor a grave."



196 NOTES.

Page 152. " What is our life ? " A MS. copy of these verses
is subscribed " S" 1 W. R.", i.e., Sir Walter Raleigh. See Hannah's
" Poems of Raleigh and Wotton," p. 27.

Compare the sombre verses, signed " Ignoto," in " Reliquiae
Wottonianae " :

" Man's life's a tragedy ; his, mother's womb,
From which he enters, is the tiring-room ;
This spacious earth the theatre, and the stage
That country which he lives in : passions, rage,
Folly and vice are actors ; the first cry
The prologue to the ensuing tragedy ;
The former act consisteth of dumb shows ;
The second, he to more perfection grows ;
I' the third he is a man and doth begin
To nurture vice and act the deeds of sin ;
I' the fourth declines ; i' the fifth diseases clog
And trouble him ; then death's his epilogue. '

Page 153. "What needeth all this travail and turmoiling?"
Suggested by Spenser's fifteenth sonnet :

" Ye tradefull Merchants that with weary toyle

Do seeke most pretious things to make your gain,

And both the Indias of their treasure spoile,

What needeth you to seeke so farre in vaine ?

For loe ! my Love doth in her selfe containe

^All this worlds riches that may farre be found.

If Saphyres, loe ! her eies be Saphyres plaine ;

If Rubies, loe ! hir lips be Rubies sound ;

If Pearles, hir teeth be pearles, both pure and round ;

If Yvorie, her forehead yvory weene ;

If Gold, her locks are finest gold on ground ;

If Silver, her faire hands are silver sheene :
But that which fairest is but few behold,
Her mind, adornd with vertues manifold."

Page 154, 1. i. "And fortune's fate not fearing." Oliphant
boldly reads, for the sake of the rhyme, " And fickle fortune
scorning." In. " England's Helicon " the text is the same as in
the song-book.

Page 158, 1. 5. "And when she saw that I was in her



NOTES. 197

danger." Within one's danger =\.Q be in a person's power or
control.

L. 16. "White lope" Campion must have had in his mind
a passage of Propertius (ii. 28) ;

" Stint apud infernos tot millia formosarum :
Pulchra sit in superis, si licet, una locis.

Vobiscum est lope, vobiscum Candida Tyro,
Vobiscum Europe, nee proba Pasiphae."

See Hertzberg's note on that passage.

Page 162. "While that the sun." Also printed in "Eng-
land's Helicon," 1600.



LIST OF SONG-BOOKS.

ALISON, RICHARD. An Hour's Recreation in Music,
1606. Page 99.

ATTYE, JOHN. First Book of Airs of Four Parts, 1622. 94.
BATESON, THOMAS. First Set of English Madrigals, 1604.

8, 107, 124, 168, 174.
BVRD, WILLIAM. Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs of Sadness and

Piety, 1588. 24, 43, 52, 78, 123, 132, 153, 167.
Songs of Sundry Natures, 1589. 30, 59, 122, 124, 143, 157,

159, 162, 168.

Psalms, Songs, and Sonnets, 1611. 19, 53, 67, 147.
CAMPION, THOMAS. See ROSSETER, PHILIP.

Two Books of Airs [circ. 1613]. 6, 17, 32, 34, 61, 68, 125,

143, 171-

The Third and Fourth Book of Airs [circ. 1613]. 15, 18,
20, 22, 27, 51, 62, 74, 82, 87, 90,92, too, 104, 108, 126, 130,



CARLTON, RICHARD. Madrigals to five voices, 1601. 120, 157,
COPKAKIO, JOHN. Funeral Tears for the death of the Right

Honourable the Earl of Devonshire, 1606. 53.
CORKINE, WILLIAM. Airs to sing and play to the Lute and Bass-

viol, 1610. 99, 109, in.
The Second Book of Airs, 1612.
DANYEL, JOHN. Songs for the Lute, Viol, and Voice, 1606.

66, 132.
DOWLAND, JOHN. The First Book of Songs or Airs of four

parts, 1597. 14, 20, 33, 50, 81, 170.
The Second Book of Songs or Airs, of two, four, and five

parts, 1600. i, 26, 31, 46, 140, 164, 172.
The Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs, 1603. 8, 9,

121, 149, 155.
A Pilgrim's Solace, 1612. 115.



LIST OF SONG-BOOKS. 199

DOWLAND, ROBERT. A Musical Banquet furnished with

variety of delicious Airs, 1610. 12, 139.
EARSDEN, JOHN, and MASON, GEORGE. The Airs that were

snug and played at Brougham Castle in Westmoreland,

1618. 67, 97.

EGERTON, MS. 2013. 33, 146.
ESTE, MICHAEL. Madrigals to three four and 'five parts, 1604.

57, 76.
FARMER, JOHN. The first set of English Madrigals to four

voices, 1599. ii 2 4, 83, 91, 117, 169, 173.

FARNABY, GILES. Canzonets to four voices, 1598. 96,105,135.
FORD, THOMAS. Music of sundry kinds, 1607. 16, 39, 85, 105,

127, 141, 156.
GIBBONS, ORLANDO. The first set of Madrigals and Mottets,

1612. 47, 152.

GREAVES, THOMAS. Songs of sundry kinds, 1604. 58, 64, 172.
JONES, ROBERT. The first book of At'rs, 1601. 3, 28, 48,

95, 101.
The second book of Songs and Airs, 1601. 5, 70, 72, 73, 77,

78, 89.
Ultimum Vale, or the third book of Airs, 1608. 36, 84, 93,

100, 114, 129.
A Musical Dream, or tJte Fourth Book of Airs, 1609. 56,

112, 134.
LICHFILD, HENRY. Tlie first set of Madrigals to five parts,

1614. 40, 59.
MAYNARD, JOHN. The XII -wonders of the world, 1611. 39,

44, 45, 69.
MORLEY, THOMAS. Canzonets or little short songs to three

voices, 1593. 21, 98.

Madrigals to four voices, 1594 ; 1600. 5, 48, 92.
The first book of Ballets to five voices, 1595. 4, 87, 103, 106,

i37> i73-

MUNDY, JOHN. Songs and Psalms, 1594. 38, 54, 80, 151.
PEERSON, MARTIN. Mottects, or grave chamber-music, 1630.

75, 160.
PILKINGTON, FRANCIS. The first Book oj 'Songs or Airs, 1605.

38, 166.

The First Set of Madrigals and Pastorals, 1613. 97.
The Second Set of Madrigals, 1624. 144.



200 LIST OF SONG-BOOKS.

RAVENSCROFT, THOMAS. Pammelia; Music's Miscellany or

mixed -variety of Pleasant Roundelays, 1609. 83, 120,

152.
Deuteromelia ; or the second part of Music s Melody, 1609.

117, 145, 146.
Melismata ', Musical Fancies fitting the court, city, and

country humours, 1611. n, 41, 60, 74, 128.
Brief Discourse of the true use of Characf ring the Degrees,

&"., 1614. II, 19, 98.

ROSSETER, PHILIP, and CAMPION, THOMAS.

A Book of Airs, 1601. 28, 49, 63, 80, no, 121, 131, 158, 161.
TOMKINS, THOMAS. Songs of three, four, five, and six parts,

1622. 148.
VAUTOR, THOMAS. The First Set : being songs of divers Airs

and Natures, of five and six parts, 1619. .75, 116.
WARD, JOHN. The First Set of English Madrigals to three,

four, five and six parts, 1613. 91.
WEELKES, THOMAS. Madrigals to three, four, five and six

voices, 1597. 88, 96.
Ballets and Madrigals to five voices, 1598. 25, 55, 83, 86,

112, 114, 139, 147, 149, 163.

Madrigals of five and six parts, 1600. 13, 64, 88, 116, 169,
Madrigals of six parts, 1600. 2, 68.
Airs or Fantastic Spirits for three voices, 1608. 36, 119,

i33> I 4 2 -

WILBYE, JOHN. The First Set of English Madrigals to three,
four, five and six voices, 1598. 5, 7, 27, 46, 65, 113, 131,

137, 153-
The Second Set of English Madrigals to three, four, five

and six voices, 1609. 16, 21, 37, 44, 71, 108, 159.
YONGE, NICHOLAS. Musica Transalpina : the Second Book of

Madrigals to five and six voices, 1597- 9-
YOULL, HENRY. Canzonets to three voices, 1608. 7, 22, 95.



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