Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch.

The golden pomp : a procession of English lyrics from Surrrey to Shirley online

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And all the candles lighted on the stairs ?

Perfume the chambers, and, in any case,

Let each man give attendance in his place ! '

Thus if a king were coming would we do ;

And 'twere good reason too ;

For 'tis a duteous thing

To show all honour to an earthly king,

And after all our travail and our cost,

So he be pleased, to think no labour lost.


But at the coming of the King of Heaven

All 's set at six and seven ;

We wallow in our sin,

Christ cannot find a chamber in the inn.

We entertain Him always like a stranger,

And, as at first, still lodge Him in a manger.



COME, bring with a noise,

My merry, merry boys,
The Christmas log to the firing ;

While my good dame, she

Bids ye all be free
And drink to your heart's desiring.

With the last year's brand

Light the new block, and
For good success in his spending

On your psaltries play,

That sweet luck may
Come while the log is a-teending. 1

Drink now the strong beer,
Cut the white loaf here ;
The while the meat is a-shredding
For the rare mince-pie,
And the plumes stand by
To fill the paste that 's a-kneading.

1 Kindling.




WHEN icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,

And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,

When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,
To-whit ;

To-who, a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel 1 the pot.

When all around the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,

And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw,

When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,

Then nightly sings the staring owl
To-whit ;

To-who, a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.




Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.


Let now the chimneys blaze

And cups o'erflow with wine ;

Let well-tuned words amaze

With harmony divine.

Now yellow waxen lights

Shall wait on honey love,

While youthful revels, masques, and courtly

Sleep's leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense

With lovers' long discourse ;

Much speech hath some defence

Though beauty no remorse.

All do not all things well ;

Some measures comely tread,

Some knotted riddles tell,

Some poems smoothly read,

The summer hath his joys,

And winter his delights ;

Though love and all his pleasures are but

They shorten tedious nights.

T. Campion.


NEW doth the sun appear,

The mountain snows decay,

Crown'd with frail flowers forth comes the baby year.

My soul, time posts away ;


And thou yet in that frost
Which flower and fruit hath lost,
As if all here immortal were, dost stay.
For shame ! thy powers awake,

Look to that Heaven which never night makes black,
And there at that immortal sun's bright rays,
Deck thee with flowers which fear not rage of days.
Drummond of Hawthornden.



How fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean
Are thy returns ! Ev'n as the flowers in Spring,

To which, besides their own demean, 1
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring ;
Grief melts away
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.

W T ho would have thought my shrivell'd heart
Could have recover' d greenness ? It was gone

Quite under ground ; as flowers depart
To see their mother-root, when they have blown,
Where they together
All the hard weather,
Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

1 Demesne, domain; "which, as coming after a season of
frost, have a pleasantness over and above their own proper


These are Thy wonders, Lord of power,
Killing and quick' ning, bringing down to Hell

And up to Heaven in an hour ;
Making a chiming of a passing bell.
We say amiss
This or that is ;
Thy word is all, if we could spell. 1

that I once past changing were,

Fast in thy Paradise where no flower can wither 1

Many a Spring I shoot up fair,

Off 'ring at Heaven, growing and groaning thither;
Nor doth my flower
Want a Spring shower,
My sins and I joining together.

But while I grow in a straight line,
Still upwards bent, as if Heaven were mine own,

Thy anger comes, and I decline ;
What frost to that ? What pole is not the zone
Where all things burn,
When Thou dost turn,
And the least frown of Thine is shown ?

And now in age I bud again,
After so many deaths I live and write ;

1 once more smell the dew and rain,
And relish versing : O my only Light !

It cannot be
That I am he
On whom Thy tempests fell all night.

1 Interpret.


These are thy wonders, Lord of love,
To make us see we are but flowers that glide ;

Which when we once can find and prove,
Thou hast a garden for us where to bide.
Who would be more,
Swelling through store,
Forfeit their Paradise by their pride.

Geo. Herbert.


LET not the sluggish sleep

Close up thy waking eye,
Until with judgment deep

Thy daily deeds thou try :
He that one sin in conscience keeps

When he to quiet goes,
More vent'rous is than he that sleeps

With twenty mortal foes.



OF this fair volume which we World do name
If we the sheets and leaves could turn with care,
Of Him who it corrects and did it frame
We clear might read the art and wisdom rare :


Find out His power which wildest powers doth tame,
His providence extending everywhere,
His justice which proud rebels doth not spare,
In every page, no period of the same.

But silly we, like foolish children, rest
Well pleased with colour'd vellum, leaves of gold,
Fair dangling ribands, leaving what is best,
On the great Writer's sense ne'er taking hold ;

Or, if by chance we stay our minds on aught,
It is some picture on the margin wrought.

Drummond of Hawthornden.


NEVER weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore,
Never tired pilgrim's limbs affected slumber more,
Than my wearied sprite now longs to fly out of my

troubled breast :
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul

to rest !

Ever blooming are the joys of heaven's high Paradise,
Cold age deafs not there our ears nor vapour dims

our eyes :
Glory there the sun outshines; whose beams the

Blessed only see :
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my sprite

to Thee !

T. Campion.




CAN I not come to Thee, my God, for these

So very-many-ineeting hindrances,

That slack my pace, but yet not make me stay ?

Who slowly goes, rids, in the end, his way.

Clear Thou my paths, or shorten Thou my miles,

Remove the bars, or lift me o'er the stiles ;

Since rough the way is, help me when I call,

And take me up ; or else prevent the fall.

I ken my home, and it affords some ease

To see far off the smoking villages.

Fain would I rest, yet covet not to die

For fear of future biting penury :

No, no, my God, Thou know'st my wishes be

To leave this life not loving it, but Thee.



WHEN God at first made Man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can;
Let the world's riches which dispersed lie

Contract into a span.


So strength first made a way,

Then beauty flow'd, then wisdom, honour, pleasure :
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that, alone of all his treasure,

Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should (said He)
Bestow this jewel also on My creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature :

So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness ;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness

May toss him to My breast.

Geo. Herbert.


I STRUCK the board and cried, No more ;

I will abroad.

What, shall I ever sigh and pine ?
My lines and life are free, free as the road,
Loose as the wind, as large as store.


Shall I be still in suit ?
Have I no harvest but a thorn
To let me blood, and not restore
What I have lost with cordial fruit ?

Sure there was wine

Before my sighs did dry it ; there was corn
Before my tears did drown it.
Is the year only lost to me ?
Have I no bays to crown it ?
No flowers, no garlands gay ? All blasted ?

All wasted ?
Not so, my heart ; but there is fruit,

And thou hast hands.
Recover all thy sigh-blown age
On double pleasure : leave thy cold dispute
Of what is fit and not ; forsake thy cage,

Thy rope of sands

Which petty thoughts have made, and made to thee
Good cable to enforce and draw

And be thy law,
While thou dost wink and would'st not see.

Away : take heed,

I will abroad.
Call in thy death's-head there : tie up thy fears.

He that forbears

To suit and serve his need

Deserves his load.
But as I raved and grew more fierce and wild

At every word,
Methought I heard one calling ' Child ! '

And I replied 'My Lord.'

Geo. Herbert.




IN this world, the Isle of Dreams,
While we sit by sorrow's streams,
Tears and terror are our themes
Reciting :

But when once from hence we fly,
More and more approaching nigh
Unto young Eternity

Uniting :

In that whiter island, where
Things are evermore sincere ;
Candour here, and lustre there
Delighting :

There no monstrous fancies shall
Out of Hell an horror call,
To create (or cause at all)

There in calm and cooling sleep
We our eyes shall never steep ;
But eternal watch shall keep


Pleasures such as shall pursue
Me immortalised, and you ;
And fresh joys, as never too
Have ending.




MOST glorious Lord of Life, that on this day
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin,
And having harrow'd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win :

This joyous day, dear Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest die,
Being with Thy dear blood clean wash'd from sin,
May live for ever in felicity :

And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same again ;
And for Thy sake, that all like dear didst buy,
With love may one another entertain.

So let us love, dear Love, like as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.






THE dew no more will weep

The primrose's pale cheek to deck :

The dew no more will sleep
Nuzzled in the lily's neck :

Much rather would it tremble here

And leave them both to be thy tear.

Not the soft gold which

Steals from the amber-weeping tree,
Makes Sorrow half so rich

As the drops distill'd from thee :
Sorrow's best jewels lie in these
Caskets of which Heaven keeps the keys.

When Sorrow would be seen

In her brightest majesty,
For she is a Queen

Then is she drest by none but thee :
Then, and only then, she wears
Her richest pearls I mean thy tears.

Not in the evening's eyes,

When they red with weeping are

For the sun that dies,

Sits Sorrow with a face so fair :

Nowhere but here doth meet

Sweetness so sad, sadness so sweet.


When some new bright guest

Takes up among the stars a room,

And Heaven will make a feast,
Angels with their bottles come,

And draw from these full eyes of thine

Their Master's water, their own wine.

Does the night arise ?

Still thy tears do fall and fall.
Does night lose her eyes ?

Still the fountain weeps for all.
Let night or day do what they will,
Thou hast thy task, thou weepest still.

R. Craahaw.


THROW away Thy rod,
Throw away Thy wrath

my God,
Take the gentle path.

For my heart's desire
Unto Thine is bent :

1 aspire
To a full consent.

Not a word or look
I affect to own,

But by book
And Thy book alone.


Though I fail, I weep ;
Though I halt in pace,

Yet I creep
To the throne of grace.

Then let wrath remove ;
Love will do the deed ;

For with love
Stony hearts will bleed.

Love is swift of foot ;
Love 's a man of war,
And can shoot,
And can hit from far.

Who can 'scape his bow ?
That which wrought on Thee,

Brought Thee low,
Needs must work on me.

Throw away Thy rod ;
Though man frailties hath,

Thou art God :
Throw away Thy wrath.

Geo. Herbert.



THE last and greatest Herald of Heaven's King,
Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
Which he than man more harmless found and mild.


His food was locusts, and what young doth spring
With honey that from virgin hives distill'd ;
Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing,
Made him appear, long since from earth exiled.

Then' burst he forth : 'All ye, whose hopes rely
On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn;
Repent, repent, and from old errors turn ! '
Who listen* d to his voice, obey'd his cry ?

Only the echoes, which he made relent,
Rung from their flinty l caves ' Repent ! Repent ! '
Drummond of Hawthornden.



IN the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When I lie within my bed,
Sick in heart and sick in head,
And with doubts discomforted,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the house doth sigh and weep,
And the world is drown' d in sleep,
Yet mine eyes the watch do keep,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me

1 v.l. 'marble.'


When the passing bell doth toll,
And the furies in a shoal
Come to fright a parting soul,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the tapers now burn blue,
And the comforters are few,
And that number more than true,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the priest his last hath pray'd,
And I nod to what is said,
'Cause my speech is now decay'd,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When, God knows, I 'm toss'd about
Either with despair or doubt ;
Yet before the glass be out,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the tempter me pursu'th
With the sins of all my youth,
And half-damns me with untruth,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the flames and hellish cries
Fright mine ears and fright mine eyes,
And all terrors me surprise,

Sweet Spirit, comfort me !

When the judgment is reveal'd,
And that open'd which was seal'd,
When to Thee I have appeal'd,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me !





DROP, drop, slow tears,

And bathe those beauteous feet
Which brought from Heaven

The news and Prince of Peace :
Cease not, wet eyes,

His mercy to entreat :
To cry for vengeance

Sin doth never cease.
In your deep floods

Drown all my faults and fears ;
Nor let His eye

See sin, but through my tears.

Phineas Fletcher.



I GOT me flowers to strew Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree ;

But Thou wast up by break of day,

And brought'st Thy sweets along with Thee.

The sun arising in the East,

Though he give light and th' East perfume,
If they should offer to contest

With Thy arising, they presume.


Can there be any day but this,

Though many suns to shine endeavour ?

We count three hundred, but we miss :
There is but one, and that one ever.

Geo. Herbert.



WILT Thou forgive that sin, where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before ?

Wilt Thou forgive that sin through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore ?

When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done ;
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sins their door ?

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallow'd in a score ?

When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done ;
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I 've spun

My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as He shines now and heretofore :
And having done that, Thou hast done ;
I fear no more.

/. Donne.




LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,

Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack

From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning

If I lack'd anything.

' A guest/ I answer' d, ( worthy to be here ' :

Love said, ' You shall be he/
' I, the unkind, ungrateful ? Ah, my dear,

I cannot look on Thee/
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,

* Who made the eyes but I ? *

* Truth, Lord ; but I have marr'd them : let my

Go where it doth deserve/

And know you not,' says Love, ' Who bore the
blame ? '

' My dear, then I will serve/

'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my

So I did sit and eat.




GIVE me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,

My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,

My gown of glory, hope's true gage ;

And thus I '11 take my pilgrimage.

Blood must be my body's balmer ;

No other balm will there be given ;
Whilst my soul, like quiet palmer,

Travelleth towards the land of heaven ;
Over the silver mountains,
Where spring the nectar fountains :
There will I kiss
The bowl of bliss ;
And drink mine everlasting fill
Upon every milken hill.
My soul will be a-dry before ;
But after it will thirst no more.

Sir W. Raleigh.




EVEN such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,

And pays us but with earth and dust ;
Who in the dark and silent grave,

When we have wander' d all our ways,

Shuts up the story of our days ;

But from this earth, this grave, this dust,

My God shall raise me up, I trust.

Sir W. Raleigh.



Page i, line i 'Hark, hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings.'
Compare with the opening line Lyly's verse on p. 44 :

1 Who is 't now we hear ?
None but the lark so shrill and clear ;
Now at heaven's gates she claps her wings,
The morn not waking till she sings.'

and Davenant's

' The lark now leaves his watery nest
And climbing shakes his dewy wings . , . '


Page 3, line i ' Phoebus, arise ! ' The text (except in the three
concluding lines) is that of the Maitland Club reprint (1832) of the
1616 edition, the last published during Drummond's lifetime. The
ending there given, however,

' The clouds bespangle with bright gold their blue :
Here is the pleasant place,
And everything, save her, who all should grace.'

seems comparatively weak.

Page 3, line 4 Memnons mother is Aurora.

Page 4, line 9 by Pentus streams. It was by Peneus, in the
vale of Tempe, that Phoebus met and loved Daphne, daughter of
the river-god. Ovid's Metaph. , Lib. I.

Page 4, line 12 When two thou did to Rome appear. Cf. Livy,
xxviii. ii (of the second Punic War, B.C. 206) : ' In civitate tanto
discrimine belli sollicita . . . multa prodigia nuntiabantur . . .
et Albae duos soles visos referebant.' A like phenomenon is men-
tioned again in xxxix. 14 (B.C. 204).

Cf. also Pliny, Natural History, ii. 31. Thus translated by
Philemon Holland : ' Over and besides, many Sunnes are seen
at once, neither above nor beneath the bodie of the true Sunne
indeed, but crosswise and overthwart : never neere, nor directly
against the earthe, neither in the night season, but when the Sunne
either riseth or setteth. Once they are reported to have been scene



at noone day in Bosphorus, and continued from morne to even.'
(This is from Aristotle, Meteor, iii. 2, 6.) ' Three Sunnes together
our Auncitors in old time have often beheld, as namely, when
Sp. Posthumius with Q. Mutius, Q. Martius with M. Porcius,
M. Antonius with P. Dolabella, and Mar. Lepidus with L. Plancus
were consuls. Yea, and we in our daies have seene the like, in
the time of Cl. Caesar of famous memorie, his consulship, together
with Cornelius Orsitus his colleague. More than three we never to
this day find to have been seene together.'

Drummond's reference is perhaps to the famous instance itali-

Page 4, line 19 These purple ports of death. Elsewhere
Drummond speaks of the lips as 'those coral ports of bliss.'
' Lips, double port of love." Ports = gates.

Page 4, line 24 Night like a drunkard reels. Professor
Masson compares Romeo and Juliet, Act ii. Sc. iii. 1. 4 :

'And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From fortk day's path and Titan's fiery wheels."

Page 5 'Corydon, arise, my Corydon.' This artless and
beautiful song is from England's Helicon, where it is signed
Ignoto. Like most pieces thus subscribed it has been attributed
to Sir Walter Raleigh, but with no good reason.


Page 7 ' Get up, get up for shame ! The blooming morn ' :
line 2, the god unshorn : Imberbis Apollo. For a full account
of the May-day customs alluded to in this glowing pastoral, con-
sult Brand's Popular Antiquities, voL i. pp. 212 sqq.


Page 10 ' Is not thilke the merry month of May.' From
The Shepherd's Calendar: May. This is one of the few instances
in which I have ventured to make a short exiract from a long
poem and present it as a separate lyric.


Page ii 'See where my Love a-maying goes.' From Francis
Pilkington's First Set of Madrigals, 1614.


Page 15 'Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.' The advice
is of course a commonplace of the poets ; but Herrick's opening
lines seem to be taken direct from Ausonius, 361, 11. 49 50 :

' Collige, virgo, rosas, dum flos novus et nova pubes,
Et memor esto aevum sic properare tuum.'


and again

' Quam longa una dies, aetas tarn longa rosarum.
which in turn reminds us of

' Et Rose, elle a vecu ce que vivent les roses
L'espace d'un matin.'

Compare this number with xvn., ' Love in thy youth, fair maid,
be wise . . .' and the sonnets of Shakespeare and Daniel that
follow (xxi.-xxiv.), where the same note is sounded with deeper
thought and feeling.


Page 15 ' Shun delays, they breed remorse. ' Southwell added
four stanzas to the three here given : they convey the same advice
in a variety of forms, and conclude

1 Happy man, that soon doth knock
Babel's babes against the rock ! '

Page 18 'Come, my Celia, let us prove.' Imitated from

' Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus.'

For auother rendering of the same see the first song in Campion
and Rosseter's first Book of Airs, the verses being undoubtedly
Campion's :

' My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love ;
And though the sager sort our deeds reprove,
Let us not weigh them : heaven's great lamps do dive
Into the west, and straight again revive:
But soon as once is set our little light,
Then must we sleep in ever-during night.

If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armour should not be ;
No drum or trumpet peaceful sleeps should move,
Unless alarm came from the camp of Love :
But fools do live, and waste their little light,
And seek with pain their ever-during night.

When timely death my life and fortune ends,
Let not my heart be vext with mourning friends ;
But let all lovers, rich in triumph, come
And with sweet pastimes grace my happy tomb I
And, Lesbia, close thou up my little light,
And crown with love my ever-during night.'


Page 23 'The ousel-cock, so black of hue' : line 6, The plain-
song cuckoo gray : In ' plain-song ' the descant rested with the
will of the singer ; in ' prick-song,' on the other hand, the harmony,


being more elaborate, was pricked or written down. Thus the
rich and involved music of the nightingale is often called ' prick-
song.' E.g.:

1 What bird so sings, yet so does wail ?
O, 'tis the ravish'd nightingale.
J*FtSqftJ*f*Jm tcreu ! she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
Brave prick-song ! . . .'


Page 23 'Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant
king.' Nashe's Summers Last Will and Testament, from which
this is taken, was acted in the autumn of 1593, while London
was being devastated by the plague. It is pathetic to contrast
these gay spring lines with numbers CCLXXVU. and CCLXXVin.,
extracts from the same play.

'Autumn hath all the summer's fruitful treasure ;

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Online LibraryArthur Thomas Quiller-CouchThe golden pomp : a procession of English lyrics from Surrrey to Shirley → online text (page 12 of 22)