Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age, by Various (1887)

From Thomas Campion’s Two Books of Airs, 1613.

AWAKE, awake! thou heavy sprite
That sleep’st the deadly sleep of sin!
Rise now and walk the ways of light,
’Tis not too late yet to begin.
Seek heaven early, seek it late;
True Faith finds still an open gate.
Get up, get up, thou leaden man!
Thy track, to endless joy or pain,
Yields but the model of a span:
Yet burns out thy life’s lamp in vain!
One minute bounds thy bane or bliss;
Then watch and labour while time is.

From Henry Youll’s Canzonets to three voices, 1608.

AWAKE, sweet Love! ’tis time to rise:
Phœbus is risen in the east,
Spreading his beams on those fair eyes
Which are enclosed with Nature’s rest.
Awake, awake from heavy sleep
Which all thy thoughts in silence keep!

From Thomas Bateson’s First Set of English Madrigals, 1604.

AY me, my mistress scorns my love;
I fear she will most cruel prove.
I weep, I sigh, I grieve, I groan;
Yet she regardeth not my moan.
Then, Love, adieu! it fits not me
To weep for her that laughs at thee.

From John Dowland’s Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs, 1603.

BEHOLD a wonder here!
Love hath receiv’d his sight!
Which many hundred year
Hath not beheld the light.
Such beams infusèd be
By Cynthia in his eyes,
As first have made him see
And then have made him wise.
Love now no more will weep
For them that laugh the while!
Nor wake for them that sleep,
Nor sigh for them that smile!
So powerful is the Beauty
That Love doth now behold,
As Love is turned to Duty
That’s neither blind nor bold.
Thus Beauty shows her might
To be of double kind;
In giving Love his sight
And striking Folly blind.

From John Dowland’s Third and Last Book of Songs or Airs, 1603.

BY a fountain where I lay,
(All blessèd be that blessèd day!)
By the glimm’ring of the sun,
(O never be her shining done!)
When I might see alone
My true Love, fairest one!
Love’s dear light!
Love’s clear sight!
No world’s eyes can clearer see!
A fairer sight, none can be!
Fair with garlands all addrest,
(Was never Nymph more fairly blest!)
Blessèd in the highest degree,
(So may she ever blessèd be!)
Came to this fountain near,
With such a smiling cheer!
Such a face,
Such a grace!
Happy, happy eyes, that see
Such a heavenly sight as She!
Then I forthwith took my pipe,
Which I all fair and clean did wipe,
And upon a heavenly ground,
All in the grace of beauty found,
Play’d this roundelay:
“Welcome, fair Queen of May!
Sing, sweet air!
Welcome, Fair!
Welcome be the Shepherds’ Queen,
The glory of all our green!”

From Thomas Ravenscroft’s Brief Discourse, &c., 1614.

The Urchins’ Dance.

BY the moon we sport and play,
With the night begins our day:
As we frisk the dew doth fall;
Trip it, little urchins all!
Lightly as the little bee,
Two by two, and three by three;
And about, about go we.

The Elves’ Dance.

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.