In Windsor Forest

Cantata by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)

Word count: 904

1. The conspiracy [sung text checked 1 time]

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
[ One foot in sea and one on shore;
To one thing constant never. ]1
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
[ The fraud of men was ever so
Since summer first was leavy. ]1
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Lines reversed in version set by Fisher

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. Drinking song [sung text checked 1 time]

Back and side go bare, go bare,
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old.
- Jolly good ale and old.

I cannot eat but little meat,
My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I can drink
With him that wears a hood.

Though I go bare, take ye no care,
I am nothing acold;
I stuff my skin so full within
Of jolly good ale and old.

I love no roast but a nutbrown toast,
And a crab laid in the fire,
A little bread shall do me stead,
Much bread I no desire.

No frost nor snow, no wind I trow,
Can hurt me if I would,
I am so wrapt, and throughly lapt
Of jolly good ale and old.

Back and side ...etc.

And Tib my wife, that as her life
Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she, till ye may see
The tears run down her cheek.

Then doth she trowl to me the bowl,
Ev'n as a maltworm should;
And saith 'sweetheart, I've take my part
Of this jolly good ale and old.'

Now let them drink, till they nod and wink,
Even as good fellows should do;
They shall not miss to have the bliss
Good ale doth bring men to.

And all poor souls that have scoured black bowls,
Or have them lustily trowled,
God, save the lives of them and their wives
Whether they be young or old.

Back and side ...etc.

Authorship

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "Drinklied", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Pauline Kroger

3. Falstaff and the fairies [sung text checked 1 time]

Round about in a fair ring-a,
Thus we dance and thus we sing-a,
Trip and go, to and fro, over this green-a
All about, in and out over this green-a.
Fairies black, grey, green and white
You moonshine revellers and shades of night,
You orphan heirs of fixed destiny,
Attend your office and your quality.
But till 't is one o' clock,
Our dance of custom round about the oak
Of Herne the hunter let us not forget.
Lock hand in hand, yourselves in order set,
And twenty glow-worms shall our lanterns be
to guide our measure round about the tree.
But stay! I smell a man of middle earth.
Vile worm, thou wast o'erlooked even in thy birth.
Corrupt, corrupt and tainted with desire!
A trial, come, come, will this wood take fire?
About him, fairies, sing a scornful rhyme;
And, as you sing, pinch him to your time.
Pinch him pinch him black and blue,
Saucy mortals must not view
What the Queen of stars is doing,
Nor pry into our fairy wooing.
Pinch him blue, and pinch him black
Let him not lack, let him not lack
Sharp nails to pinch him blue and red
Till sleep has rocked his addle head,
Pinch him fairies, mutually,
Pinch him for his villainy.
Pinch him and burn him and turn him about,
Till candles and starlight and moonshine be out.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "Falstaff en de feeén", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

An amalgam of texts by Shakespeare (Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V, Scene 5), Ravenscroft's The elves' dance, and Lyly's Fairy revels.

Researcher for this text: Pauline Kroger

4. Wedding chorus [sung text checked 1 time]

See the chariot at hand here of love
Wherein my lady rideth.
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
And well the car Love guideth;
As she goes all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty;
And enamoured do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,
That they still were to run by her side
Through swords, through seas whither she would ride.
Do but look on her eyes,
They do light all that Love's world compriseth.
Do but look on her hair,
It is bright as Love's star when it riseth.
Do but mark, her forehead's smoother
Than words that soothe her;
And from her arched brows such a grace
Sheds itself through the face,
As alone there triumphs to the life,
All the gain, all the good of the elements' strife.
Have you seen but a bright lily grow
Before rude hands have touched it?
Have you marked but the fall of the snow
Before the soil hath smutched it?
Have you felt the wool of the beaver
Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt of the bud of the brier
Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white, O so soft, O so sweet is she!

Authorship

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (Pauline Kroger) , "Bruiloftskoor", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Pauline Kroger

5. Epilogue [sung text checked 1 time]

Whether men do laugh or weep,
Whether they do wake or sleep,
Whether they die young or old,
Whether they feel heat or cold,
There is underneath the sun
Nothing in true earnest done.

All our pride is but a jest.
None are worst and none are best.
Grief and joy and hope and fear
Play their pageants ev'rywhere.
Vain opinion all doth sway,
And the world is but a play.

[ ... ]

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

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

Researcher for this text: Pauline Kroger