Six Elizabethan Songs

Song Cycle by Marc Blitzstein (1905 - 1964)

Word count: 415

1. Sweet is the rose [sung text not yet checked]

Sweet is the Rose, but growes vpon a brere;
Sweet is the Iunipere, but sharpe his bough;
sweet is the Eglantine, but pricketh nere;
sweet is the firbloome, but his braunches rough.
Sweet is the Cypresse, but his rynd is tough,
sweet is the nut, but bitter is his pill;
sweet is the broome-flowre, but yet sowre enough;
and sweet is Moly, but his root is ill.
So euery sweet with soure is tempred still,
that maketh it be coueted the more:
for easie things that may be got at will,
most sorts of men doe set but little store.
Why then should I accoumpt of little paine,
that endlesse pleasure shall vnto me gaine.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Shepherd's song [sung text checked 1 time]

When daffodils begin to peer -
   With heigh! The doxy over the dale -
Why, then comes the sweet o' the year;
   For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.

The white sheet bleaching on the hedge -
   With heigh! The sweet birds, O how they sing!
Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
   For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.

The lark, that tirra-lirra chants,
   With heigh! with heigh! The thrush and the jay,
Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
   While we lie tumbling in the hay.

But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
   The pale moon shines by night:
And when I wander here and there,
   I then do most go right.

Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
    And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
   Your sad tires in a mile-a.

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Not set by Quilter.

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. Song of the glove [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

4. Court song [sung text not yet checked]

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

5. Lullaby [sung text checked 1 time]

You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy queen.

Philomel, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby;
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
[Never harm,
Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.]1

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legg'd spinners, hence!
[Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.

Philomel, with melody, etc.]2

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 moved to the end by Křenek; moved to the beginning by Blitzstein (see text below).
2 omitted by Křenek.
Text as set by Blitzstein (courtesy of Kyle Degraff):
Lulla, lulla, lullaby, lulla, lulla, lullaby:
Never harm, Nor spell nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So, good night, with lullaby.

You spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy queen.

Weaving spiders, come not here;
Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor snail, do no offence.

Philomele, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby.
Lulla, lulla, lullaby,
Lulla, lulla, lullaby.
Lullaby.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

6. Vendor's song [sung text not yet checked]

Lawn as white as driven snow;
Cyprus black as e'er was crow;
Gloves as sweet as damask roses;
Masks for faces and for noses;
Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
Perfume for a lady's chamber;
Golden quoifs and stomachers,
For my lads to give their dears:
Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
What maids lack from head to heel:
Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
Buy lads, or else your lasses cry: 
Come buy.

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

Text as set by Blitzstein (courtesy of Kyle Degraff):
Lawn as white as driven snow,
White as snow, driven snow;
Cyprus black as e'er was crow,
Black as e’er was crow:
Come buy of me, come, buy.

Gloves as sweet as damask roses,
Sweet as damask roses,
Masks for faces and for noses,
And for noses;
Come lads, buy of me, come, buy.

Diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle.
Diddle, diddle, diddle, diddle.

Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
Bracelet, necklace amber;
Perfume for a lady's chamber,
For a lady’s chamber;
Come buy of me, come, buy.

Golden quoifs and stomachers,
For my lads to give their dears;
Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
What maids lack from head to heel.

Come, lads, buy, lads;
Come, lads, buy, lads;
Buy, or else your lasses cry.
Come, buy, buy, buy, buy.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]