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John Lyly



(From Alexander and Campaspe, 1584; acted 1581)

Cupid and my Campaspe played
At cards for kisses,-Cupid paid;
He stakes his quiver, bow and arrows,
His mother's doves, and team of sparrows:
Loses them too; then down he throws
The coral of his lip, the rose

Growing on 's cheek (but none knows how);
With these the crystal of his brow,
And then the dimple of his chin:
All these did my Campaspe win.
At last he set her both his eyes;
She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
O Love, has she done this to thee?
What shall, alas! become of me?

Robert Greene



(From Farewell to Folly, 1591)

Sweet are the thoughts that savour of content, The quiet mind is richer than a crown,

Sweet are the nights in careless slumber spent,
The poor estate scorns fortune's angry frown:
Such sweet content, such minds, such sleep, such bliss,
Beggars enjoy, when princes oft do miss,

The homely house that harbours quiet rest,

The cottage that affords no pride nor care,
The mean that grees with country music best,
The sweet consort of mirth and modest fare,
Obscured life sets down a type of bliss:
A mind content both crown and kingdom is.

Christopher Marlowe



(In The Passionate Pugrim, 1599, enlarged form in England's Helicon, 1600)

Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods or steepy mountains yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks.
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;

Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;

A belt of straw and ivy-buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
An if these pictures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

Thomas Dekker

Cir. 1570-cir. 1637


(From The Patient Grissell, acted 1599)

Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers?
O sweet content!

Art thou rich, yet is thy mind perplexed?
O punishment!

Dost thou laugh to see how fools are vexèd
To add to golden numbers, golden numbers?
O sweet content! O sweet O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labor bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny!

Canst drink the waters of the crispèd spring?
O sweet content!

Swim'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine own tears?
O punishment!

Then he that patiently want's burden bears

No burden bears, but is a king, a king!
O sweet content! O sweet O sweet content!
Work apace, apace, apace, apace;
Honest labor bears a lovely face;
Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny!

Thomas Heywood

1581 (?)-1640 (?)


(From The Rape of Lucrece, 1608 (printed), acted cir. 1605)

Pack, clouds, away, and welcome day,
With night we banish sorrow;

Sweet air blow soft, mount lark aloft,
To give my love good-morrow.
Wings from the wind to please her mind,
Notes from the lark I'll borrow;
Bird prune thy wing, nightingale sing,
To give my love good-morrow,

To give my love good-morrow,
Notes from them both I'll borrow.

Wake from thy rest, robin-redbreast,
Sing birds in every furrow;
And from each bill let music shrill
Give my fair love good-morrow.
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow,
You pretty elves, amongst yourselves
Sing my fair love good-morrow;

To give my love good-morrow
Sing birds in every furrow.

Thomas Campion
D. 1619 (?)


(In Rosseter's Book of Airs, 1601)

My sweetest Lesbia, let us live and love,
And though the sager sort our deeds reprove
Let us not weigh them. Heaven's great lamps

do dive

Into their west, and straight again revive;
But soon as once set is our litle light,
Then must we sleep one ever-during night.

If all would lead their lives in love like me, Then bloody swords and armour should not be; No drum nor trumpet peaceful sleeps should


Unless alarm came from the Camp of Love:
But fools do live and waste their little light,
And seek with pain their ever-during night.

When timely death my life and fortunes ends, Let not my hearse be vext with mourning friends;

But let all lovers, rich in triumph, come
And with sweet pastimes grace my happy tomb;
And, Lesbia, close up thou my little light
And crown with love my ever-during night.

(From the same)

The man of life upright,

Whose guiltless heart is free

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