Five XVIth Century Poems

Song Cycle by John (Nicholson) Ireland (1879 - 1962)

Word count: 0

1. A thanksgiving [sung text checked 1 time]

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.

Authorship

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

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.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

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.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

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.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

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.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry