Page images



To the Nightingale That, to hear her so complain, Scarce I could from tears refrain; For her griefs, so lively shown,

Made me think upon mine own. * Ah!” (thought I) “thou mourn'st in vain;

None takes pity on thy pain;
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee;
Ruthless bears, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion, he is dead;
All thy friends are lapped in lead :
All thy fellow-birds do sing,
Careless of thy sorrowing!
Whilst as fickle Fortune smiled,
Thou and I were both beguiled.
Every one that flatters thee
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.
Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;
But, if stores of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.
If that one be prodigal,
Bountiful' they will him call;
And, with such-like flattering,
* Pity but he were a king.'
If he be addict to vice,
Quickly him they will entice;
If to women he be bent,
They have at commandment;
But if Fortune once do frown,
Then farewell his great renown:


40 50

They that fawned on him before,
Use his company no more.
He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need;
If thou sorrow, he will weep ;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep.
Thus, of every grief in heart,
He with thee doth bear a part.
These are certain signs to know

Faithful friend from flattering foe.” 1598.

Richard Barnfield.


From L. L. L.

WHEN daisies pied and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue

Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men ; for thus sings he,

Cuckoo !
Cuckoo, cuckoo !-0 word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!


When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,

And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,

Over Hill, Over Dale
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he,

Cuckoo, cuckoo!-0 word of fear,

Unpleasing to a married ear! 1598.

William Shakespeare.



From M. N. Dream

OVER hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see ;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,

In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dew-drops here,

And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear. 1600.

William Shakespeare.



From The Tempest


WHERE the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch, when owls do cry:
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer me

Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough!



Come unto these yellow sands,

And then take hands:
Courtsied when you have and kiss'd

The wild waves whist,
Foot it featly here and there;
And, sweet Sprites, the burthen bear.

Hark, hark!

The watch-dogs bark:


Hark, hark! I hear
The strain of strutting chanticleer

Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow! 1623.

William Shakespeare.



From As You Like It

UNDER the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note

Unto the sweet bird's throat-
Come hither, come hither, come hither!

Here shall we see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.


Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats

And pleased with what he gets-
Come hither, come hither, come hither!

Here shall he see

No enemy

But winter and rough weather.

16 1623.

William Shakespeare.

« PreviousContinue »