Pleasure it is To hear, iwis, The Birdès sing. The deer in the dale, The sheep in the vale, The corn springing. God’s purveyance For sustenance, It is for man. Then we always To give him praise, And thank him than, And thank him than.
Five XVIth Century Poems
Song Cycle by John (Nicholson) Ireland (1879 - 1962)
1. A thanksgiving  [sung text checked 1 time]
- by William Cornish (d. 1523) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
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2. All in a garden green  [sung text checked 1 time]
Whenas the mildest month Of jolly June doth spring, And gardens green with happy hue Their famous fruits do bring; When eke the lustiest time Reviveth youthly blood, Then springs the finest featured flower In border fair that stood. Which moveth me to say, In time of pleasant year, Of all the pleasant flowers in June The red rose hath no peer.
- by Thomas Howell (flourished 1568-1581) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
3. An aside  [sung text checked 1 time]
These women all Both great and small Are wavering to and fro, Now here, now there, Now everywhere; But I will not say so. So they love to range, Their minds doth change And make their friend their foe; As lovers true Each day they choose new; But I will not say so. They laugh, they smile, They do beguile As dice that men doth throw. Who useth them much Shall never be rich; But I will not say so. Some hot, some cold, There is no hold But as the wind doth blow; When all is done, They change like the moon; But I will not say so. So thus one and other Taketh after their mother, As cock by kind doth crow. My song is ended, The best may be amended; But I will not say so.
- by Anonymous / Unidentified Author [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
4. A report song  [sung text checked 1 time]
Shall we go dance the hay, the hay? Never pipe could ever play Better shepherd's roundelay. Shall we go sing the song, the song? Never Love did ever wrong. Fair maids, hold hands all along. Shall we go learn to woo, to woo? Never thought came ever to Better deed could better do. Shall we go learn to kiss, to kiss? Never heart could ever miss Comfort, where true meaning is. Thus at base they run, they run When the sport was scarce begun. But I waked, and all was done.
- by Nicholas Breton (1542 - 1626) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
5. The sweet season  [sung text checked 1 time]
When May is in his prime, then may each heart rejoice. When May bedecks each branch with green, each bird strains forth his voice The lively sap creeps up into the blooming thorn. The flowers, which cold in prison kept, now laugh the frost to scorn. All nature's imps triumph while joyful May doth last; When May is gone, of all the year the pleasant time is past. May makes the cheerful hue, May breeds and brings new blood. May marcheth throughout every limb, May makes the merry mood. May prieketh tender hearts their warbling notes to tune. Full strange it is, yet some we see do make their May in June. Thus things are strangely wrought while joyful May doth last; Take May in time, when May is gone the pleasant time is past. All ye that live on earth, and have your May at will Rejoice in May, as I do now, and use your May with skill. Use May while that you may, for May hath but his time When all the fruit is gone, it is too late the tree to climb. Your liking and your lust is fresh while May doth last; When May is gone, of all the year the pleasant time is past.
- by Richard Edwards (1523? - 1566) [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]