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ix never well performed at the first singing or playing." l Xlo musician of the Elizabethan age was more fanous than John Dowland, ,,vhose "heavenly touch upon the lute" was commended in a ,,velb known sonnet (long attributed to Shakespeare) by Richard Barnfield. At the age of twenty, or thereabouts, he started on his travels ; and, after rambling through "the chiefest parts of France, a nation furnished with great variety of music," he bent his course "towards the famous province of Germany," svhere he found "both excellent masters and most honourable patrons of music." In the course of his travels he visited Venice, Padua, Genoa, Ferrara, and Florence, gaining applause everywhere by his musical skill.On his return to England he took his degree at Ox- ford, as Bachelor of Music, in I S88.
A few of the lyrics here col- lected are, itis true, included in "England's Helicon," Davison's "Poetical Rhapsody," and "The Phoenix' Nest" ; and some are to be found in the modern collections of Oliphant, Collier, Rimbault, Mr. A first attempt of this kind must necessarily be imperfect. to go over the ground again I should enlarge the collection, and I should hope to gain tidings of some song-books (men- ri PREFACE.In later life he appears to have become a convert to Romanism. If thou be disposed to pray, here are psalms ; if to be merry, here are sonnets." There is, indeed, fare for ail comers ; and a reader has only him- self to blame if he goes away dissatisfied.In those days, as in these, it was h Ot uncommon for a vriter to attribute ail fauhs, 'hether of omis- sion or commission, to the luc-ldess printer.From 563 to 569 he was organist of Lincoln Cathedral. The " Psalms, Sonnets, and Songs" are dedicated to Sir Christopher Hatton.He and Tallis were granted a patent, ,vhich must have proved fairly lucrative, for the printing of music and the vending of music-paper. In the dedicatory epistle he terms the collection "this first printed work of mine in English;" in I575 he had pub- lished with Tallis " Cantiones Sacræ." From the title one would gather that Byrd's first Eng- lish collection was mainly of a sacred character, but in an epistle to the reader he hastens to set us right on that point :--" Benign reader, here is offered unto thy courteous acceptance music of sundry sorts, and to content divers humours. HE present Anthology is intended to setn.e as a companion volume to the Poetical Miscellanies published in England at the close of the sixteenth and the beginning of the seven- teenth centuries. I bave gone carefully through all the old song-books preserved in the library of the British Museum, and I have given extracts from two books of which there is no copy in our national library.
But man}' of the poems in th¢ present volume are, I bave every reason to believe, unknown even to those who have ruade a special study of Elizabethan poetry.
It is pro- bable that out Thomas Campion was the seco»d son of Thomas Campion of Witham, Essex, and that he was distantly related to Edmund Campion the famous Jesuit. she close-eyed weeps : Dreams often more than waking passions move. OME can flatter, some can feign, Simple truth shall plead for me ; Let hot beauty truth disdain, Truth is even as fair as she.
His first work was his "Epigrammatum Libri duo," published in x595,and republished ir 6 9. The day her light discloscs, And thc bright morning doth arise Out of hcr bed of roses. make haste, I say, Aud let us, without staying, Ail in out gowns of g Teen so gay htto the park a-maying. Plead, Sleep, my cause, and make her sort like thee : That she in peace may wake and pity me. But since pairs must equal prove, Let my strength her youth oppose, Love her beauty, faith her love ; On even terres so may we close.
It is hot too much to say that, for delicate perfection of form, some of the Elizabethan songs can compare with the choicest epigrams in the Greek Anthology.
In Elizabeth's days composers were hot con- tent to regard the words of a song as a mere peg on which to hang the music, but sought the ser- vices oftrue-born lyrists.
LYRICS FROM THE SONG-BOOKS OF THE ELIZABETHAN AGE: EDITED BY A. Few biographical particulars concerning Byrd have come down. Paul's in 154, he is conjectured to bave been born about 538.