Page images
PDF
EPUB

LAY A GARLAND.

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.

Lay a garland on my hearse

Of the dismal yew ;
Maidens willow branches bear-

Say, I died true.
My love was false, but I was firm

From my hour of birth,
Upon my buried body lie

Lightly, gentle earth.

(Sung by Aspatia in "The Maid's Tragedy."]

A SONG TO THE LUTE.

JOHN FLETCHER.

Dearest, do not you delay me,

Since, thou know'st, I must be gone; Wind and tide, 'tis thought doth stay me, But 'tis wind that must be blown

From that breath, whose native smell

Indian odours doth excel.
Oh, then speak, thou fairest fair,

Kill not him that vows to serve thee;
But perfume this neighbouring air
Else dull silence sure, will starve me:

'Tis a word that's quickly spoken,
Which being restrain'd, a heart is broken.

[From the “ Spanish Curate," Act 2, Scene 4.)

MIRTH FILLS THE VEINS WITH BLOOD.

BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.

Tis mirth that fills the veins with blood,
More than wine, or sleep, or food;
Let each man keep his heart at ease,
No man dies of that disease.
He that would his body keep
From diseases, must not weep;
But whoever laughs and sings,
Never he his body brings
Into fevers, gouts, or rheums,
Or ling'ringly his lungs consumes ;
Or meets with aches in the bone,
Or catarrhs, or griping stone:
But contented lives for aye;
The more he laughs the more he may.

[ocr errors]

[Sang by Merrythought in "The Knight of the Burning Pestle,"

Act 2, Scene v.]

[blocks in formation]

Her murd’ring glances, snaring hairs,

And her bewitching smiles, so please me, As he brings ruin that repairs

The sweet afflictions that displease me. Hide not those panting balls of snow

With envious veils from my beholding ; Unlock those lips their pearly row

In a sweet smile of love unfolding. And let those eyes, whose motion wheels

The restless fate of every lover, Survey the pains my sick-heart feels

And wounds themselves have made discover.

LOVE WILL FIND OUT THE WAY.

Over the mountains,

And over the waves ;
Under the fountains,

And under the graves ;
Under floods that are deepest,

Which Neptune obey ;
Over rocks that are steepest

Love will find out the way.
Where there is no place

For the glow-worm to lie;
Where there is no space

For receipt of a fly;
Where the midge dares not venture,

Lest herself fast she lay ;
If love come, he will enter,

And soon find out his way.

You may esteem him

A child for his might;
Or you may deem him

A coward from his flight:
But if she, whom love doth honour,

Be conceal'd from the day,
Set a thousand guards upon her,

Love will find out the way.
Some think to lose him,

By having him confin'd,
And some do suppose him,

Poor thing to be blind;
But if ne'er so close ye wall him,

Do the best that you may,
Blind love if so ye call him,

Will find out his way.
You may train the eagle

To stoop to your fist;
Or you may inveigle

The phenix of the East ;
The lioness, ye may move her

To give o'er her prey;
But you'll ne'er stop a lover ;

He will find out his way. (“This excellent song,” says Percy, “is ancient; but we could only give it from a modern copy." Ritson accuses the poetical divine of giving it “ some of his own brilliant touches." These alterations occur in the third verse, thus printed by Allan Ramsay in the Tea-table Miscellany :

You may esteem him

A child in his force;
Or you may deem him

A coward, which is worse.
In Forbes' Aberdeen Cantus, 1666, there are some additional stanzas,

but of no great merit.)

BEAUTY INCOMPATIBLE WITH CHASTITY.

All the materials are the same

Of beauty and desire,
In a fair woman's goodly frame
No brightness is without a flame,

No flame without a fire.
Then tell me what those creatures are
That would be thought both chaste and fair.
If on her necke her haire be spred

In many a curious ringe,
Why half the heat that curles her head
Will make her madde to be a bed,

And do the tother thinge.
Then tell me what those creatures are
That would be thought both chaste and fair.
Though modesty itselfe appeare

With blushes in her face,
Doest thinke the bloud that dances there
Can revel it no other where,

Nor warm another place?
Then tell me what those creatures are
That would be thought both chaste and fair.
Go ask of thy philosophy,

What gives her lips the balm,
What sp'rit gives lightning to her eye
And makes her breasts to swell so high

And moystnesse to her palm.
Then tell me what those creatures are
That would be thought both chaste and fair.

« PreviousContinue »