Second Book of Songs or Airs

by John Dowland (1562 - 1626)

Word count: 1043

?. Fine knacks for ladies [sung text checked 1 time]

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap, choice, brave and new,
Good pennyworths but money cannot move,
I keep a fair but for the fair to view,
A beggar may be liberal of love.
Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again,
My trifles come as treasures from my mind,
It is a precious jewel to be plain,
Sometimes in shell the Orient's pearls we find.
Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain.

Within this pack pins, points, laces and gloves,
And divers toys fitting a country fair,
But in my heart, where duty serves and loves,
Turtles and twins, Court's brood, a heav'nly pair.
Happy the man that thinks of no removes.

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) [singable] (Nicolaas (Koos) Jaspers) , "Snuisterij voor dames", copyright © 2017, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Javier Conte-Grand) , "Refinadas baratijas para damas", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Woeful heart, with grief oppressèd! [sung text checked 1 time]

Woeful Heart, with grief oppressèd!
Since my fortunes most distressèd
  From my joys hath me removèd,
Follow those sweet eyes adorèd!
Those sweet eyes wherein are storèd
  All my pleasures best belovèd.

Fly my breast — leave me forsaken —
Wherein Grief his seat hath taken,
  All his arrows through me darting!
Thou mayst live by her sunshining:
I shall suffer no more pining
  By thy loss than by her parting.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. I saw my lady weep [sung text checked 1 time]

I saw my lady weep,
And Sorrow proud to be advanced so,
In those fair eyes where all perfections keep,
Her face was full of woe;
But such a woe (believe me) as wins more hearts,
Than Mirth can do with her enticing parts.

Sorrow was there made fair,
And Passion wise, tears a delightful thing,
Silence beyond all speech a wisdom rare,
She made her sighs to sing,
And all things with so sweet a sadness move,
As made my heart at once both grieve and love.

O fairer than aught else,
The world can show, leave off in time to grieve,
Enough, enough, your joyful looks excels,
Tears kills the heart.
O strive not to be excellent in woe,
Which only breeds your beauty's overthrow.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Toss not my soul, O Love [sung text checked 1 time]

Toss not my soul, O Love, ’twixt hope and fear!
Show me some ground where I may firmly stand,
Or surely fall! I care not which appear,
So one will close me in a certain band.
When once of ill the uttermost is known;
The strength of sorrow quite is overthrown!

Take me, Assurance, to thy blissful hold!
Or thou Despair, unto thy darkest cell!
Each hath full rest: the one, in joys enroll’d;
Th’ other, in that he fears no more, is well.
When once the uttermost of ill is known,
The strength of sorrow quite is overthrown.

Authorship

Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age, ed. by A. H. Bullen, London, John C. Nimmo, 1887, page 140.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. A shepherd in a shade [sung text checked 1 time]

A shepherd in a shade,
His plaining made,
Of love and lovers' wrong,
Unto the fairest lass
That trod on grass,
And thus began his song.

Since Love and Fortune will,
I honour still
Your fair and lovely eye.
What conquest will it be,
Sweet nymph, for thee
If I for sorrow die?

Restore, restore my heart again,
Which love by thy sweet looks hath slain,
Lest that, enforc'd by your disdain, I sing:
"Fie, fie on love, it is a foolish thing."

My heart where have you laid?
O cruel maid,
To kill, when you might save!
Why have ye cast it forth,
As nothing worth,
Without a tomb or grave?

O let it be entomb'd and lie
In your sweet mind and memory,
Lest I resound on every warbling string:
"Fie, fie on love, that is a foolish thing!"

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. From Fame's desire [sung text checked 1 time]

From Fame's desire, from Love’s delight retired,
In these sad groves an hermit’s life I lead:
And those false pleasures, which I once admired,
With sad remembrance of my fall, I dread.
To birds, to trees, to earth, impart I this;
For she less secret, and as senseless is.
  O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness!
  O how much do I love your solitariness!

Experience which repentance only brings,
Doth bid me, now, my heart from Love estrange!
Love is disdained when it doth look at Kings;
And Love low placèd base and apt to change.
There Power doth take from him his liberty,
Her[e] Want of Worth makes him in cradle die.
  O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness!
  O how much do I love your solitariness!

You men that give false worship unto Love,
And seek that which you never shall obtain;
The endless work of Sisyphus you prove,
Whose end is this, to know you strive in vain.
Hope and Desire, which now your idols be,
You needs must lose, and feel Despair with me.
  O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness!
  O how much do I love your solitariness!

You woods, in you the fairest Nymphs have walked:
Nymphs at whose sights all hearts did yield to love.
You woods, in whom dear lovers oft have talked,
How do you now a place of mourning prove?
Wanstead! my Mistress saith this is the doom.
Thou art love’s child-bed, nursery, and tomb.
  O sweet woods! the delight of solitariness!
  O how much do I love your solitariness!

Authorship

Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age, ed. by A. H. Bullen, London, John C. Nimmo, 1887, pages 31-32.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. White as lilies was her face [sung text checked 1 time]

White as lilies was her face:
  When she smilèd
  She beguilèd,
Quitting faith with foul disgrace.
Virtue’s service thus neglected.
Heart with sorrows hath infected.

When I swore my heart her own,
  She disdainèd;
  I complainèd,
Yet she left me overthrown:
Careless of my bitter grieving,
Ruthless, bent to no relieving.

Vows and oaths and faith assured,
  Constant ever,
  Changing never, —
Yet she could not be procured
To believe my pains exceeding
From her scant respect proceeding.

O that love should have the art,
  By surmises,
  And disguises,
To destroy a faithful heart;
Or that wanton-looking women
Should reward their friends as foemen.

All in vain is ladies' love --
  Quickly choosèd.
  Shortly loosèd;
For their pride is to remove.
Out, alas! their looks first won us,
And their pride hath straight undone us.

To thyself, the sweetest Fair!
  Thou hast wounded,
  And confounded
Changeless faith with foul despair;
And my service hast envièd
And my succours hast denièd.

By thine error thou hast lost
  Heart unfeignèd,
  Truth unstainèd.
And the swain that lovèd most,
More assured in love than many,
Move despised in love than any.

For my heart, though set at nought,
  Since you will it,
  Spoil and kill it!
I will never change my thought:
But grieve that beauty e’er was born
Thus to answer love with scorn.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]