Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Matin-Song
By John Heywood (c. 1497–c. 1580)
 
PACK 1 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,        5
  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 all I’ll borrow.        10
 
Wake from thy nest, robin red-breast,
  Sing birds in every furrow,
And from each bill let music shrill
  Give my fair Love good-morrow!
Blackbird and thrush in every bush,        15
  Stare, 2 linnet, and cocksparrow,
You pretty elves, amongst yourselves
  Sing my fair Love good-morrow;
      To give my Love good-morrow,
      Sing, birds, in every furrow.        20
 
Note 1. Sung by Valerino in act iv. sc. 6 of the Rape of Lucrece, presented about 1605. The play was first printed in 1608, and reprinted in Dialogues and Dramas, 1637.
  “Thomas Heywood was by far the most voluminous of the dramatists of his age, and belonged to the class that wrote for bread and dealt with Henslowe. Besides his dramas, Heywood wrote many pageants and considerable prose of the pamphlet class. The loss of his Lives of All the Poets, if indeed it was ever published, is much to be deplored. Charles Lamb, in delight at Heywood’s exquisite sense of pathos and delicate insight into the human heart, dubbed him ‘a prose Shakespeare.’ But even Heywood is not all prose, as this musical song is sufficient to attest.” (Schelling: A Book of Elizabethan Lyrics.). [back]
Note 2. Stare: starling. [back]
 
 
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