Page images
PDF
EPUB

By that bedside where sits a gallant dame,
Who casteth off her brave and rich attire,
Whose petticoat sets forth as fair a frame
As mortal men or gods can well desire;
Who sits and sees her petticoat unlaced,
1 say no more the rest are all disgraced.

SONGS FROM WEELKES'S MADRIGALS. EDIT. 1604.
Like two proud armies marching in the field,
Joining a thund'ring fight, each scorns to yield,
So in my heart your beauty and my reason,
To th' other says, its treason, treason, treason:
But

your fair beauty shineth as the sun, And dazzled reason yields as quite undone.

Give me my heart and I will go,
Or else forsake

your

wonted no,
No, no, no-No, no, no.
But since my dear doth doubt me,
With no, no, no, I mean to flout thee;

No, no, no
Now there is hope we shall agree,
Since double no imparteth yea;
If that be so, my dearest,
With no, no, no, my heart thou cheerest.

Cold winter ice is filed and

gone, And summer brags on every tree;

The red-breast peeps among the throng
Of wood-brown birds that wanton be:
Each one forgets what they have been,
And so doth Phyllis, summer's queen.

Hold out my heart, with joy's delights accloy'd;
Hold out my heart and shew it,
That all the world may know it,
What sweet content thou lately.bast enjoy'd.
She that “ Come, dear!” would say,
Then laugh, and smile, and run away ;
And if I stay'd her would cry nay,
Fy for shame, fy.
My true love not regarding,
Hath giv'n me at length his full rewarding,
So that unless I tell

The joys that overfill me,
My joys, kept in full well,

I know will kill me,

SAY, dear, will you not have me?
Then take the kiss you gave me ;
You elsewhere would, perhaps, bestow it,
And I would be as loth to owe it;
Or if you will not take the thing once given,
Let me kiss you, and then we shall be even,

FROM BATESON'S MADRIGALS.

EDIT. 1606.

Love would discharge the duty of his heart
In beauty's praise, whose greatness doth deny
Words to his thoughts, and thoughts to his desert;
Which high conceit, since nothing can supply,
Love here constrained through conquest to confess,
Bids silence sigh what tongue cannot express.

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

Yer stay, alway be chained to my heart
With links of love, that we do never part;
Then I'll not call thee serpent, tiger, cruel,
But my sweet Gemma, and my dearest jewel.

TO HIS LOVE.

FROM ENGLAND'S HELICON.

Come away, come, sweet love!
The golden morning breaks,

All the earth, all the air,
Of love and pleasure speaks;
Teach thine arms then to embrace,
And sweet rosy lips to kiss,
And mix our souls in mutual bliss :
Eyes were made for beauty's grace ;
Viewing, ruing, love's long pain,
Procured by beauty's rude disdain.

Come away, come, sweet love !
The golden morning wastes,
While the sun from his sphere
His fiery arrows casts,
Making all the shadows fly,
Playing, staying, in the grove,
To entertain the stealth of love ;
Thither, sweet love, let us hie,
Flying, dying, in desire,
Wing'd with sweet hopes and heavenly fire.

Come, come, sweet love!
Do not in vain adorn
Beauty's grace, that should rise
Like to the naked morn.
Lilies on the river's side,
And fair Cyprian flow'rs newly blown,
Ask no beauties but their own.
Ornament is nurse of pride

* *

*

JOHN LYLY

Was born in the weald of Kent. Wood places his birth in 1553. Oldys makes it appear probable that he was born much earlier. He studied at both the universities, and for many years attended the court of Elizabeth in expectation of being made master of the revels. In this object he was disappointed, and was obliged, in his old age, to solicit the Queen for some trifling grant to support him ', which it is uncertain whether he ever obtained. Very little indeed is known of him, though Blount, his editor, tells us that “he sate at Apollo's table, and that the god gave him a wreath of his own bays without snatching." Whether Apollo was ever so complaisant or not, it is certain that Lyly's work of “ Euphues and his England,preceded by another called “ Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit," &c. promoted a fantastic style of false wit, bombastic metaphor, and pedantic allusion, which it was fashionable to speak at court under the name of Euphuism, and which the ladies thought it indispensable to acquire. Lyly,

· If he was an old man in the reign of Elizabeth, Oldys's conjecture as to the date of his birth seems to be verified, scarcely call a man old at fifty,

6 we

« PreviousContinue »