Page images
PDF
EPUB

The meads are mantled all with green,
The trembling leaves have clothed the treen,
The birds with feathers new do sing;
But I, poor soul, whom wrong doth rack,
Attire myself in mourning black,
Whose leaf doth fall amidst his spring.

And as you see the scarlet rose
In his sweet prime his buds disclose,
Whose hue is with the sun revived ;
So, in the April of mine age,
My lively colours do assuage,
Because my sunshine is deprived.

My heart, that wonted was of yore,
Light as the winds, abroad to soar
Amongst the buds, when beauty springs,
Now only hovers over you,
As doth the bird that's taken new,
And mourns when all her neighbours sings.

When every man is bent to sport,
Then, pensive, I alone resort
Into some solitary walk,
As doth the doleful turtle dove,
Who, having lost her faithful love,
Sits mourning on some wither'd stalk.

There to myself I do recount
How far my woes my joys surmount,

How love requiteth me with hate,
How all my pleasures end in pain,
How hate doth say my hope is vain,
How fortune frowns upon my state.

And in this mood, charged with despair,
With vapour'd sighs I dim the air,
And to the Gods make this request,
That by the ending of my life,
I

may have truce with this strange strife, And bring my soul to better rest.

SONGS,

FROM WILBYE'S MADRIGALS.

EDIT. 1598.

LADY, your words do spite me,
Yet

your sweet lips so soft kiss and delight me;
Your deeds my heart surcharg'd with overjoying,
Your taunts my life destroying;
Since both have force to kill me,
Let kisses sweet, sweet kill me!
Knights fight with swords and lancer,
Fight you with smiling glances,
So, like swans of Meander,
My ghost from hence shalt wander,
Singing and dying, singing and dying.

There is a jewel which no Indian mine can buy,
No chemic art can counterfeit;
It makes men rich in greatest poverty,
Makes water wine, turns wooden cups to gold,
The homely whistle to sweet music's strain;
Seldom it comes, to few from heaven sent,
That much in little--all in nought-Content.

Change me, O heaven! into the ruby stone
That on my love's fair locks doth hang in gold,
Yet leave me speech to her to make my moan,
And give me eyes her beauty to behold:
Or if you will not make my flesh a stone,
Make her hard heart seem flesh, that now is none.

Love me not for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face ;
Not for any outward part,
No, nor for my constant heart;
For those may fail, or turn to ill,
And thus we love shall sever:
Keep, therefore, a true woman's eye,
And love me still,
Yet know not why,
So hast thou the same reason still,
To dote upon me ever.

I SAng sometimes my thoughts and fancy’s pleasure,
Where then I list, or time serv'd best,
While Daphne did invite me
To

supper once, and drank to me to spite me:
I smil'd, yet still did doubt her,
And drank where she had drank before, to flout her.
But 0, while I did eye her,
My eyes drank love, my lips drank burning fire.

O Light is love, in matchless beauty shining,
When she revisits Cyprus’ hallowed bowers,
Two feeble doves, harness'd in silken twining,
Can draw her chariot mid the Paphian flowers :
Lightness in love how ill she fitteth,
So heavy on my heart she sitteth.

FROM BIRD'S COLLECTION OF SONGS, &c.
YOUR shining eyes and golden hair,
Your lily rosed lips most fair,
Your other beauties that excel,
Men cannot chuse but like them well;
But when for them they say they'll die,
Believe them not, they do but lie.

AMBITIOUS love hath forc'd me to aspire
To beauties rare, which do adorn thy face;

Thy modest life yet bridles my desire,
Whose law severe doth promise me no grace.

But what! may love live under any law ?
No, no, his power exceedeth man's conceit,
Of which the gods themselves do stand in awe,
For on his frown a thousand torments wait.

Proceed, then, in this desperate enterprise
With good advice, and follow love, thy guide,
That leads thee to thy wished paradise :
Thy climbing thoughts this comfort take withal,
That if it be thy foul disgrace to slide,
Thy brave attempt shall yet excuse thy fall.

Amid the seas a gallant ship set out,
Wherein nor men nor yet ’munition lacks,
In greatest winds that spareth not a clout,
But cuts the waves in spite of weather's wrack,
Would force a swain that comes of coward kind,
To change himself, and be of noble mind.

Who makes his seat a stately stamping steed,
Whose neighs and plays are princely to behold;
Whose courage stout, whose eyes are fiery red,
Whose joints well knit, whose harness all of gold,
Doth well deserve to be no meaner thing
Than Persian knight, whose horse made him a king.

« PreviousContinue »