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THOMAS NASHE

1567-1601

176                                                    Spring

SPRING, the sweet Spring, is the years pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing
    Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The palm and may make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay
    Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet,
Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit,
In every street these tunes our ears do greet
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
    Spring, the sweet Spring!

177                                       In Time of Pestilence

1593

ADIEU, farewell earths bliss!
This world uncertain is:
Fond are lifes lustful joys,
Death proves them all but toys.
None from his darts can fly;
I am sick, I must die
           Lord, have mercy on us!
Rich men, trust not in wealth,
Gold cannot buy you health;
Physic himself must fade;
All things to end are made;
The plague full swift goes by;
I am sick, I must die
           Lord, have mercy on us!
Beauty is but a flower
Which wrinkles will devour;
Brightness falls from the air;
Queens have died young and fair;
Dust hath closed Helens eye;
I am sick, I must die
           Lord, have mercy on us!
Strength stoops unto the grave,
Worms feed on Hector brave;
Swords may not fight with fate;
Earth still holds ope her gate;
Come, come! the bells do cry;
I am sick, I must die
           Lord, have mercy on us!
Wit with his wantonness
Tasteth deaths bitterness;
Hells executioner
Hath no ears for to hear
What vain art can reply;
I am sick, I must die
           Lord, have mercy on us!

Haste therefore each degree
To welcome destiny;
Heaven is our heritage,
Earth but a players stage.
Mount we unto the sky;
I am sick, I must die
           Lord, have mercy on us!

 

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