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Go tell her through your chirping bills
As you by me are bidden,
To her is only known my love,
Which from the world is hidden.
Go, pretty birds, and tell her so;
See that your notes strain not too low,
For still methinks I see her frown:

Ye pretty wantons, warble.

Go tune your voices' harmony,
And sing I am her lover;
Strain loud and sweet, that every note
With sweet content may move her ;
And she that hath the sweetest voice,
Tell her I will not change my choice;
Yet still methinks I see her frown:

Ye pretty wantons, warble.

Oh, fly, make haste ! see, see she falls
Into a pretty slumber;
Sing round about her rosy bed,
That, waking, she may wonder.
Sing to her, 'tis her lover true
That sendeth love by you


you; And when you hear her kind reply,

Return with pleasant warblings.


From BYRD'S “Songs and Sonnets of Sadness and Pietie,” 1588.

What pleasure have great princes

More dainty to their choice,
Than herdmen wild, who careless

In quiet life rejoice,
And fortune's fate not fearing,
Sing sweet in summer morning ?
Their dealings, plain and rightful,

Are void of all deceit;
They never know how spiteful

It is to kneel and wait

On favourite presumptuous,
Whose pride is vain and sumptuous.

All day their flocks each tendeth;

At night they take their rest,
More quiet than he who sendeth

His ship into the East,
Where gold and pearl are plenty,
But getting very dainty.

For lawyers and their pleading,

They 'steem it not a straw ;
They think that honest meaning

Is of itself a law :
Where conscience judgeth plainly,
They spend no money vainly.

Oh, happy who thus liveth,

Not caring much for gold,
With clothing which sufficeth

To keep him from the cold;
Though poor and plain his diet,
Yet merry it is, and quiet.


WILLIAM BROWNE, born 1590, died 1645.

From a MS. copy of his Poems in the Lansdowne collection.

WELCOME, welcome, do I sing,
Far more welcome than the spring;
He that parteth from you never,
Shall enjoy a spring for ever.

Love, that to the voice is near,

Breaking from your ivory pale, Need not walk abroad to hear The delightful nightingale.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c. Love, that looks still on your eyes,

Though the winter have begun
To benumb our arteries,
Shall not want the summer's sun,

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.

Love, that still may see your cheeks,
Where all rareness still

Is a fool, if e'er he seeks
Other lilies, other roses.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.

Love, to whom your soft lip yields,

And perceives your breath in kissing,
All the odours of the fields
Never, never shall be missing.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.

Love that question would renew,

What fair Eden was of old;
Let him rightly study you,
And a brief of that behold.

Welcome, welcome, then I sing, &c.

We are indebted to Browne for having preserved in his “Shepherd's Pipe” a curious poem by Occleve. Mr. Wharton conceives his works to “have been well known to Milton," and refers to “Britannia's Pastorals” for the same assemblage of circumstances in a morning landscape as were brought together more than thirty years afterwards by Milton in a passage of "L'Allegro,” and which has been supposed to serve as the repository of imagery on that subject for all succeeding poets.”—ELLIS.


From THOMAS MORLEY's Ballads, 1595.

Now is the month of maying,
When merry lads are playing,

Fa, la, la.
Each with his bonny lass,
Upon the greeny grass,

Fa, la, la.

The spring, clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at winter's sadness,

Fa, la, la.
And to the bagpipe's sound
The nymphs tread out their ground,

Fa, la, la.

Fie, then, why sit we musing,
Youth's sweet delight refusing,

Fa, la, la.
Say, dainty nymphs, and speak,
Shall we play at barley-break ?*

Fa, la, la.

An old English melody Sheridan used for the finale of “The Duenna.”


JAMES SHIRLEY, born 1596, died 1666.

WOODMEN, shepherds, come away,
This is Pan's great holiday,

Throw off cares ;
With your heaven-aspiring airs

Help us to sing,
While valleys with your echoes ring.
Nymphs that dwell within these groves,
Leave your arbours, bring your loves;

Gather posies,
Crown your golden air with roses ;

As you pass,
Foot like fairies on the

Joy crowns our bowers; Philomel,
Leave off Tereus' rape to tell;

Let trees dance,
As they at Thracian lyre did once;

Mountains play;
This is the shepherd's holiday.

A game popular in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and peculiar to the month of May. THE PRAISE OF A COUNTRYMAN'S LIFE.

JOHN CHALKHILL. From Walton's “ Angler," 1653.

Set as a glee by HORSLEY.

Oh, the sweet contentment

The countryman doth find,
High trolollie, lollie, lol; high trolollie lee;

That quiet contemplation

Possesseth all my mind:
Then care away, and wend along with me

e ;

For courts are full of flattery,

As hath too oft been tried,
High trolollie, lollie, lol; high trolollie, lee ;

The city full of wantonness,

And both are full of pride:
Then care away, and wend along with me.

But, oh! the honest countryman

Speaks truly from his heart,
High trolollie, lollie, lol; high trolollie, lee;

His pride is in his tillage,

His horses and his cart:
Then care away, and wend along with me.

Our clothing is good sheep-skins,

Grey russet for our wives,
High trolollie, lollie, lol; high trolollie, lee;
'Tis warmth and not

gay clothing
That doth prolong our lives :
Then care away, and wend along with me.

The ploughman, though he labour hard,

Yet on the holy day,
High trolollie, lollie, lol; high trolollie, lee;

No emperor so merrily

Does pass his time away:
Then care away, and wend along with me.

To recompense our tillage

The heavens afford us showers,
High trolollie, lollie, lol; high trolollie, lee;

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