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GEORGE PEELE

1558?-1597

111                                             Fair and Fair

                  none.   FAIR and fair, and twice so fair,
                                       As fair as any may be;
                                   The fairest shepherd on our green,
                                       A love for any lady.

                      Paris.    Fair and fair, and twice so fair,
                                       As fair as any may be;
                                   Thy love is fair for thee alone
                                       And for no other lady.

                   none.   My love is fair, my love is gay,
                                   As fresh as bin the flowers in May
                                   And of my love my roundelay,
                                   My merry, merry, merry roundelay,
                                   Concludes with Cupid’s curse,—
                                   ‘They that do change old love for new
                                   Pray gods they change for worse!’

          Ambo Simul.    They that do change old love for new,
                                    Pray gods they change for worse!

                  none.    Fair and fair, etc.

                     Paris.    Fair and fair, etc.
                                   Thy love is fair, etc.

                 none.    My love can pipe, my love can sing,
                                   My love can many a pretty thing,
                                   And of his lovely praises ring
                                   My merry, merry, merry roundelays
                                 Amen to Cupid’s curse,—
                                   ‘They that do change,’ etc.

                    Paris.   They that do change, etc.

                   Ambo.    Fair and fair, etc.

112                                              A Summer Song

WHEN as the rye reach to the chin,
      And chopcherry, chopcherry ripe within,
Strawberries swimming in the cream,
And school-boys playing in the stream;
    Then O, then O, then O my true love said,
      Till that time come again,
She could not live a maid.

113                                        A Farewell to Arms

(TO QUEEN ELIZABETH)

HIS golden locks Time hath to silver turn’d;
    O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth ’gainst time and age hath ever spurn’d,
    But spurn’d in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.
His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;
    And, lovers’ sonnets turn’d to holy psalms,
A man-at-arms must now serve on his knees,
    And feed on prayers, which are Age his alms:
But though from court to cottage he depart,
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
    He’ll teach his swains this carol for a song,—
‘Blest be the hearts that wish my sovereign well.
    Curst be the souls that think her any wrong.’
Goddess, allow this agàed man his right
To be your beadsman now that was your knight.

 

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