A Handful of Pleasant Delights (1584)

[ The 1878 transcription by Edward Arber is also online: A handful of pleasant delights, containing sundry new sonnets and delectable histories in divers kinds of metre &c. 1584. (ed. by Edward Arber, 1878.) ]

By Clement Robinson and Divers Others

[ 1924 transcription edited by Hyder E. Rollins ]

(This subset of this book was transcribed from the 1924 transcription of Hyder Rollins, published by Harvard University Press. This same book was reprinted by Dover in 1965. I have transcribed only the ballads which I find interesting. All typoes are probably mine, but might be difficult to find. This link will return you to the pre-1600 Ballads project.)


A Nosegay Always Sweet for Lovers to Send for Tokens of Love

L. Gibson's Tantara Wherein Danea Welcometh Home her Lord Diophon. To the tune of Downright squire. [ tune BBB 194-196 ]

A Proper New Song Made by a Student in Cambridge. To the tune of I wish to see those happy days. By Thomas Richardson [ tune unk ]

The Scoff of a Lady as Pretty as May Be.

An Answer as Pretty to the Scoff of His Lady

Dame Beauty's Reply to the Lover Late at Liberty, Intituled Where is the Life that Late I Led. By J. P.

A New Courtly Sonnet of the Lady Green Sleeves. To the new tune of Green sleeves (1580). [ tune BBB 268-78, 493 ] [typed]

A Proper Sonnet Wherein the Lover Dolefully Sheweth His Grief to His L. & requireth pity. To the tune of Row well ye mariners (ca. 1566) [ tune BBB 618-619, is well known ] [typed]

The History of Diana and Actaeon. To the Quarter braules (1566) [ tune BBB 586, catchy ]

[Fragmentary Ballad. To the tune of King Solomon](ca. 1566) [ tune BBB 410 ]

The Lover Complaineth the Loss of His Lady. To Cecilia Pavan (1566). By J. Tomson [ tune not known, but would be interesting to compare the meter of the poem to the Inns of Court dance. ]

The Lover Compareth Some Subtle Suitors to the Hunter. To the tune of the Painter (ca. 1566) [ tune unk ]

A New Sonnet of Pyramus and Thisbe. To the Downright squire (ca. 1566). By J. Tomson [ tune BBB 194-196 ]

A Sonnet of a Lover in the Praise of His Lady. To Calen o custure me (ca. 1582) [ tune BBB 79-80 ]

A Proper Sonnet Intituled Maid Will You Marry? To the Black almain (1570?) [ tune BBB 42-43 ]

The Joy of Virginity. To the Gods of love (ca. 1566) [ BBB 260 ] [typed]

A Warning for Wooers That They Be Not Overy-Hasty. To Salisbury Plain (1565) [ tune unk ]

An Excellent Song of an Outcast Lover. To All in a garden green (ca. 1566) [ tune BBB 10, fits Playford if you repeat 3rd phrase of B ] [typed]

The Complaint of a Woman Lover. To the tune of Raging love (ca. 1566) [ tune unk ]

A Proper Sonnet Intituled I Smile to See How You Devise. To any pleasant tune (1566)

A Sonnet of Two Faithful Lovers Exhorting One Another to Be Constant. To the tune of Kypascie (1566?) [ tune unk? or Chi passa? ]

A Proper New Ditty Intituled Fie Upon Love and All His Laws. To the tune of Lumber me (1566?) [ tune BBB 475-476 ] [typed]

The Lover Being Wounded with His Lady's Beauty Requireth Mercy. To the tune of Apelles (1566?) [ tune unk ]

The Lamentation of a Woman Being Wrongfully Defamed. To the tune of Damon and Pythias (1566?) [ music BBB 157-159 facsimile of music in Lilly ] [typed]

A Proper Song Intituled Fain Would I Have a Pretty Thing to Give Unto My Lady. To the tune of Lusty gallant (1566) [ tune BBB 476-478 ] [typed]

A Proper Wooing Song Intituled Maid Will Ye Love Me Yea Or No? To the tune of the Merchant's daughter went over the field (ca. 1566) [ tune unk ]

The Painful Plight Of A Lover Oppressed with the Beautiful Looks of His Lady. To the tune of I loved her over well (ca. 1566) [ tune unk ]

A Faithful Vow of Two Constant Lovers. To the New Rogero (ca. 1584) [ tune BBB 612-614 ]

A Sorrowful Sonnet Made by Master George Mannington. To the tune of Labandalashot (1576) [ tune BBB 418-419 ]

A Proper Sonnet of an Unkind Damsel to Her Faithful Lover. To the Nine Muses (1566?) [ tune unk ]

The Lover Complaineth the Absence of His Lady. To the New almain (date?) [ tune is known? ]

The Lover Compareth Himself to the Painful Falconer. To the tune of I loved her over well (ca. 1566) [ tune unk ]

p. 19

A new Courtly Sonet, of the Lady Green
sleeues. To the new tune of Greensleeues.

Greensleeues was all my ioy,
  Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my hart of gold,
  And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

Alas my loue, ye do me wrong,
  to cast me off discurteously:
And I haue loued you so long
  Delighting in your companie.
Greensleeues was all my ioy,
  Greensleeues was my delight:
Greensleeues was my heart of gold,
  And who but Ladie Greensleeues.

I haue been readie at your hand,
  to grant what euer you would craue.
I haue both waged life and land,
  your loue and good will for to haue.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

I bought three kerchers to thy head,
  that were wrought fine and gallantly:
I kept thee both boord and bed,
  Which cost my purse wel fauouredly,
    Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

I bought thee peticotes of the best,
  the cloth so fine as might be:
I gaue thee iewels for thy chest,
  and all this cost I spent on thee.
    Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy smock of silk, both faire and white,
  with gold embrodered gorgeously:
Thy peticote of Sendall right:
  and thus I bought thee gladly.
    Greensleeues was all my ioie, &c.

Thy girdle of gold so red,
  with pearles bedecked sumptuously:
The like no other lasses had,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me,
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy purse and eke thy gay guilt kniues,
  thy pincase gallant to the eie:
No better wore the Burgesse wiues,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy crimson stockings all of silk,
  with golde all wrought aboue the knee,
Thy pumps as white as was the milk,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy gown was of the grossie green,
  thy sleeues of Satten hanging by:
Which made thee be our haruest Queen,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thy garters fringed with the golde,
  And siluer aglets hanging by,
Which made thee blithe for to beholde,
  And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My gayest gelding I thee gaue,
  To ride where euer liked thee,
No Ladie euer was so braue,
  And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

My men were clothed all in green,
  And they did euer wait on thee:
Al this was gallant to be seen,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

They set thee vp, they took thee downe,
  they serued thee with humilitie,
Thy foote might not once touch the ground,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

For euerie morning when thou rose,
  I sent thee dainties orderly:
To cheare thy stomack from all woes,
  and yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Thou couldst desire no earthly thing.
  But stil thou hadst it readily:
Thy musicke still to play and sing,
  And yet thou wouldst not loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

And who did pay for all this geare,
  that thou didst spend when pleased thee?
Euen I that am reiected here,
  and thou disdainst to loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Wel, I wil pray to God on hie,
  that thou my constancie maist see:
And that yet once before I die,
  thou wilt vouchsafe to loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

Greensleeues now farewel adue,
  God I pray to prosper thee:
For I am stil thy louer true,
  come once againe and loue me.
    Greensleeues was all my ioy, &c.

p. 22

A proper sonet, wherin the Louer dolefully
sheweth his grief to his L. & requireth pity.
  To the tune of, Row wel ye Marriners.

As one without refuge,
  For life doth pleade with panting breath
  And rufully the Iudge,
Beholds (whose doome grants life or death,
So fare I now my onlie Loue,
Whom I tender as Turtle Doue,
  Whose tender looks (O ioly ioy)
  Shall win me sure your louing boy:
  Faire lookes, sweet Dame,
  Or els (alas) I take my bane:
  Nice talke, coying,
  Wil bring me sure to my ending,

Too little is my skil,
  By pen (I saie) my loue to paint,
And when that my good will,
  My tong wold shew, my heart doth faint:
Sith both the meanes do faile therefore,
My loue for to expresse with lore:
  The torments of my inward smart.
  You may well gesse within your hart:
  Wherefore, sweet wench,
  Some louing words, this heat to quench
Fine smiles, smirke lookes,
And then I neede no other lookes,

Your gleams hath gript the hart,
  alas within my captiue breast:
Oh how I feele the smart,
  And how I find my grief increast:
My fancie is so fixt on you,
That none away the same can do:
  My deer vnlesse you it remooue:
  Without redresse I die for loue,
    Lament with me
    Ye Muses nine, where euer be,
  My life I loth,
  My Ioies are gone, I tel you troth,

All Musicks solmne found,
Of song, of else of instrument:
Me thinks they do resound,
  with doleful tunes, me to lament,
And in my sleep vnsound, alas,
Me thinks such dreadful things to passe:
  that out I crie in midst of dreames,
Wherwith my tears run down as streams,
  O Lord, think I,
  She is not here that should be by:
    What chance is this,
    That I embrace that froward is?

The Lions noble minde,
  His raging mood (you know) oft staies,
When beasts do yeeld by kinde,
  On them (forsooth) he neuer praies:
Then sithence that I am your thrall,
To ease my smart on you I call.
  A bloudie conquest is your part,
  To kill so kind a louing heart:
    Alas remorce,
    Or presently I die perforce:
  God grant pitie,
  Within your breast now planted be.

As nature hath you deckt,
  with worthie gifts aboue the rest,
So to your praise most great,
  Let pitie dwell within your brest,
That I may saie with heart and wil,
Lo, this is she that might me kil:
  For why? in hand she held the knife,
  And yet (forsooth) she saued my life.
  Hey-ho darling:
  With lustie loue, now let vs sing,
Plaie on, Minstrel,
My Ladie is mine onelie girle.

p. 42.

The ioy of Virginitie: to, The Gods of loue

I Iudge and finde, how God doth minde,
  to furnish, to furnish
  his heauenly throne aboue,
With virgins pure, this am I sure,
without misse, without misse:
  with other Saints he douth loue:
It is allowed as you may reade,
And eke auowed by Paul indeede,
  Virginitie is accepted,
  a thing high in Gods sight:
Though marriage is selected,
  a thing to be most right:
    yet must I praise Virginitie,
  For I would faine a Virgin be.

You Virgins pure, your selues assure,
  and credite, and credite:
    great ioy you shall possesse,
Which I (God knows) cannot disclose,
  nor spreade it, nor spreade it,
    ne yet by pen expresse.
Nor halfe the ioies that you shall finde,
I can not iudge for you assignde:
When hence your ghost shall yeelded be,
  into the throne of blisse:
In chaste and pure Virginitie,
  for thought or deed ywisse:
    Wher you shal raign, with God on hie
    For euermore eternally.

And when doubtlesse, you shal possesse,
  with Iesus, with Iesus,
    these ioies celestiall.
Then Ladie Fame, wil blaze your name
  amongst vs, amongst vs,
    which then on earth raigne shal.
She wil resound in euerie coast,
By trumpet sound, and wil you boast?
  So that although you do depart
    This mortall life so vaine:
Your chastitie in euerie heart,
  by memorie shal remaine.
But hard it is, I saie no more,
To finde a hundreth in a score.  Finis.

p. 46.

An excellent Song of an outcast Louer.
To, All in a Garden green.

My fancie did I fixe,
  in faithful forme and frame:
in hope ther shuld no blustring blast
  haue power to moue the same.

And as the Gods do know,
  and world can witnesse beare:
I neuer serued other Saint,
  nor Idoll other where.

But one, and that was she,
  whom I in heart did shrine:
And made account that pretious pearle,
  and iewel rich was mine.

No toile, nor labour great,
  could wearie me herein:
For stil I had a Iasons heart,
  the golden fleece to win.

And sure my sute was hearde,
  I spent no time in vaine:
A grant of friendship at her hand,
  I got to quite my paine.
With solemne vowe and othe.
  Was knit the True-loue knot,
And friendly did we treat of loue,
  as place and time we got.

Now would we send our sighes,
  as far as they might go,
Now would we worke with open signes,
  to blaze our inward wo.

Now rings and tokens too,
  renude our friendship stil,
And ech deuice that could be wrought,
  exprest our plaine goodwill,
True meaning went withall,
  it cannot be denide:
Performance of the promise past,
  was hopte for of ech side:

And lookt for out of hand:
  such vowes did we two make,
As God himself had present been,
  record thereof to take.

And for my part I sweare,
  by all the Gods aboue,
I neuer thought of other friend,
  nor sought for other loue.

The same consent in her,
  I saw ful oft appeare,
If eies could see, or head could iudge,
  or eare had power to heare.

Yet loe words are but winde,
  an other new come guest,
Hath won her favour (as I feare)
  as fancies rise in brest.
Her friend that wel deserues,
  is out of countenaunce quite,
She makes the game to see me shoot,
  while others hit the white.
He may wel beat the bush,
  as manie thousands doo:
And misse the bird, and haply loose
  his part of feathers too.

He hops without the ring,
  yet daunceth on the trace,
When some come after soft and faire,
  a heauie hobling pace.

In these vnconstant daies,
  such troth these women haue:
As wauering as the aspen leaf
  they are, so God me saue.

For no deserts of men
  are weid, what ere they be;
For in a mood their minds are led
  with new delights we see.

The guiltlesse goeth to wrack,
  the gorgeous peacocks gay:
They do esteem vpon no cause,
  and turne their friends away.

I blame not al for one,
  some flowers grow by the weeds,
Some are as sure as lock and key,
  and iust of words and deeds.

And yet of one I waile,
  of one I crie and plaine:
And for her sake shall neuer none,
  so nip my heart againe:

If for offense or fault,
  I had been floong at heele:
The lesse had been my bitter smart,
  and gnawing greefe I feele.

But being once reteind,
  a friend by her consent:
And after that to be disdaind,
  when best good will I ment,

I take it nothing well,
  for if my power could show,
With Larum bel and open crie,
  the world should throughly know.

p. 54

A proper new Dity: Intituled Fie vpon Loue
and al his lawes. To the tune of lumber me.

Svch bitter fruict thy loue doth yeelde,
Such broken sleepes, such hope vnsure,
Thy call so oft hath me beguilde.
That I vnneth can well indure:
  But crie (alas) as I haue cause,
  Fie vpon Loue and all his Lawes.

Like Piramus, I sigh and grone,
VVhom Stonie wals, keept from his loue,
And as the wofull Palemon,
A thousand stormes, for thee I prooue,
  Yet thou a cruell Tigers whelpe,
  All slaiest the hart, whom thou maist help.

A craggie Rocke, thy Cradle, was,
And Tigers milke sure was thy foode,
VVherby Dame Nature broought to passe,
That like the Nurse should be thy moode:
  VVild and vnkinde, cruell and fell,
  to rent the hart that loues thee well.

The Crocadile with fained teares,
The Fisher not so oft beguiles:
As thou hast luld my simple eares,
To here sweet words, ful fraught with wiles,
  that I may say, as I doo prooue,
  VVo worth the time, I gan to loue.

Sith thou hast vowd to worke my wrack,
And hast no will my wealth to way:
Farewell vnkinde, I will keepe backe,
Such toyes as may my helth decay:
  and still will cry as I haue cause.
  Fie vpon Loue and all his lawes.

p. 56

The lamentation of a woman being wrong-
fully defamed. To the tune of Damon & Pithias.

You ladies falsly deemd,
  of anie fault or crime:
Command your pensiue harts to help
  this dolefull tune of mine:
For spiteful men there are,
  that faults would fain espie:
Alas, what heart would heare their talke,
  but willingly would die.

I waile oft times in woe,
  and curse mine houre of birth,
Such slanderous pangs do me oppresse,
  when others ioy in mirth:
Belike it was ordaind to be my destinie.
Alas what heart would heare their talk, &c.

A thousand good women,
  haue guiltlesse been accusde:
For verie spite, athough that they,
  their bodies neuer abusde:
the godly Susana accused was falsly. alas &c. [a in susana overlined ]

The poisoned Pancalier,
  ful falsly did accuse
The good Dutchesse of Sauoy,
  because she did refuse,
To grant vnto his loue
  that was so vngodlie. Alas what, &c.

Such false dissembling men,
  stoong with Alectos dart:
Must needs haue place to spit their spite,
  vpon some guiltlesse hart:
Therefore, I must be pleasde,
  that they triumph on me, Alas, &c.

Therefore, Lord, I thee pray,
  the like death downe to send,
Vpon these false suspected men,
  or else their minds t'amend:
As thou hast done tofore,
  vpon these persons three. Alas, what, &c.

p. 57

A proper Song, Intituled: Fain wold I haue
a pretie thing to give vnto my Ladie.
To the tune of lustie Gallant.

Fain would I haue a pretie thing,
to giue vnto my Ladie:
I name no thing, nor I meane no thing,
But as pretie a thing as may bee.

Twentie iorneyes would I make,
  and twentie waies would hie me,
To make aduenture for her sake,
  to set some matter by me:
But I would faine haue a pretie thing, &c,
  I name nothing, nor I meane nothing, &c.

Some do long for pretie knackes,
  and some for straunge deuices:
God send me that my Ladie lackes,
  I care not what the price is, thus faine, &c

Some goe here, and some go there,
  wheare gases be not geason:
And I goe gaping euery where,
  but still come out of season. Yet faine, &c,

I walke the towne, and tread the streete,
  in euery corner seeking:
The pretie thinge I cannot meete,
  thats for my Ladies liking. Faine, &c.

The Mercers pull me going by,
  the Silkie wiues say, what lacke ye?
The thing you haue not, then say I.
  ye foolish fooles, go packe ye. But fain &c.

It is not all the Silke in Cheape,
  nor all the golden treasure:
Nor twentie Bushels on a heape,
  can do my Ladie pleasure. But faine, &c.

The Grauers of the golden showes,
  with Iuelles do beset me.
The Shemsters in the shoppes that sowes,
  they do nothing but let me: But faine, &c.

But were it in the wit of man,
  but any meanes to make it,
I could for Money buy it than,
  and say, faire Lady, take it. Thus, faine, &c.

O Lady, what a lucke is this:
  that my good willing misseth:
To finde what pretie thing it is,
  that my good Lady wisheth.
Thus fain wold I haue had this preti thing
  to giue vnto my Ladie:
I said no harme, nor I ment no harme,
  but as pretie a thing as may be.

Greg Lindahl