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A Garland of Shakesperian and Other Old-Fashioned Songs

Word count: 597

Song Cycle by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir (1848 - 1918)

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1. Love's perjuries


On a day -- alack the day! --
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
[This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
O, would the king, Biron, and Longaville,
Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note;
For none offend where all alike do dote.]1


View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Parry.

2. A spring song


It was a lover and his lass,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
That o'er the green [corn-field]1 did pass.
  In [the]2 spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

[Between the acres of the rye,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country [folks]3 would lie,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring. ]4

[This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that [a life]5 was but a flower
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.]4

[And therefore take the present time]6
  [With]7 a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crownéd with the prime
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Morley: "cornfields"
2 omitted by Barton, Bush, and Morley, passim.
3 Delius, Dring: "folk"
4 In Dring and Parry, only the first and third lines are set.
5 sometimes "life"?
6 Barton, Morley : "Then, pretty lovers, take the time"
7 Bush: "And with"

3. A contrast


The merry bird sits in the tree
 . . . . . . . . . .

[--- The rest of this text is not
currently in the database but will be
added as soon as we obtain it. ---]

4. Love is a sickness


Love is a sickness full of woes,
  All remedies refusing;
A plant that [with most]1 cutting grows,
  Most barren with best using,
      Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
  If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries --
      Heigh ho!

Love is a torment of the mind,
  A tempest everlasting;
And Jove hath made [it of]2 a kind
  Not well, nor full, nor fasting.
      Why so?

More we enjoy it, more it dies;
  If not enjoy'd, it sighing cries --
      Heigh ho!


View original text (without footnotes)
1 Parry: "most with"
2 Ireland, Moeran, Raynor: "of it"

5. A sea dirge


Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
[Ding-dong.]1
Hark! now I hear them, - ding-dong bell.


View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Ives.

6. Merry Margaret


Merry Margaret
  As midsummer flower,
  Gentle as falcon
  Or hawk of the tower:
With solace and gladness,
Much mirth and no madness,
All good and no badness;
    So joyously,
    So maidenly,
    So womanly
    Her demeaning
    In every thing,
    Far, far passing
    That I can indite,
    Or suffice to write
  Of Merry Margaret
  As midsummer flower,
  Gentle as falcon
  Or hawk of the tower.
  As patient and still
  And as full of good will
  As fair Isaphill,
  Coliander,
  Sweet pomander,
  Good Cassander;
  Steadfast of thought,
  Well made, well wrought,
  Far may be sought,
  Ere that ye can find
  So courteous, so kind
  As merry Margaret,
  This midsummer flower,
  Gentle as falcon
  Or hawk of the tower.


Isaphill = Hypsipyle
coliander = coriander seed, an aromatic.
pomander = a ball of perfume
Cassander = Cassandra

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