Twelve English Songs

Song Cycle by Thomas Chilcot

Word count: 477

?. The words by Shakespeare in Measure for Measure [sung text not yet checked]

Take, o take those lips away,
That so sweetly [were]1 forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights [that]2 do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again;
Seals of love, [but]3 seal'd in vain, sealed in vain.

Hide, o hide those hills of snow
that thy frozen bosom wears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
are yet of those that April wears;
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.

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

  • DUT Dutch (Nederlands) (L. A. J. Burgersdijk)
  • FIN Finnish (Suomi) (Paavo Cajander)
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) (Sarah L. Weller) , "Nimm, so nimm doch Deine Lippen fort", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • POL Polish (Polski) (Jan Kasprowicz) , "Śpiew Pacholęcia", Warsaw, first published 1907

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Note: quoted by John Fletcher, in Bloody Brother, 1639 and by William Shakespeare, in Measure for Measure, Act IV, scene 1, c1604 (just one stanza)
1 Bishop: "are"
2 Bishop: "which"
3 Bishop: "tho'"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The words by Shakespeare in Henry the Eight [sung text not yet checked]

Orpheus with his lute made trees,
And the mountain-tops that freeze,
Bow themselves, when he did sing:	

To his music, plants and flowers
Ever [sprung]1; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.

Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,
Hung their heads, and then lay by.

In sweet music is such art:
Killing care and grief of heart
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

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Quoted in Shakespeare's Henry VIII, Act III scene 1
1 Greene: "rose"; Blitzstein: "sprang"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. The words by Shakespeare in as you like it [sung text not yet checked]

Wedding is great Juno's crown:
    O blessed bond of board and bed!
'Tis Hymen peoples every town;
    High wedlock then be honoured.
Honour, high honour, and renown,
To Hymen, god of every town!

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The words by Shakespeare in much ado about nothing [sung text not yet checked]

Pardon, goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight;
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.
Midnight, assist our moan;
Help us to sigh and groan,
Heavily, heavily:
Graves, yawn, and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,
Heavily, heavily.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The words by Shakespeare in Antony & Cleopatra [sung text not yet checked]

Come thou Monarch of the Vine,
Plumpie Bacchus, with pinke eyne:
In thy Fattes our Cares be drown'd,
With thy Grapes out haires be Crown'd.
     Cup us till the world go round,
     Cup us till the world go round.

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Confirmed with Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. London. Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623 (Facsimile from the First Folio Edition, London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly. 1876), page 351 of the Tragedies.


Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]

?. The words by Shakespeare in Love's labour lost [sung text not yet checked]

On a day -- alack the day! --
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
[This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
O, would the king, Biron, and Longaville,
Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note;
For none offend where all alike do dote.]1

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

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1 omitted by Parry.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The words by Shakespeare in Cymbeline [sung text not yet checked]

Hearke, hearke, the Larke at Heavens gate sings,
     and Phœbus gins arise,
[His Steeds to water at those Springs
     on chalic'd Flowres that lyes:]1
And winking Mary-buds begin to ope their Golden eyes
With every thing that pretty is, my Lady sweet arise:
     Arise arise.

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Confirmed with Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Published according to the True Originall Copies. London. Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed. Blount. 1623 (Facsimile from the First Folio Edition, London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly. 1876), page 377 of the Tragedies.

Note: The poem is Cloten's song in act II, scene 3.

1 omitted by Johnson.

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Peter Rastl [Guest Editor]