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NORTH winds send hail, South winds bring rain,
East winds we bewail, West winds blow amain :
North-east is too cold, South-east not too warm,
North-west is too bold, South-west doth no harm.
The North is a noyer to grass of all suites,
The East a destroyer to herb and all fruits;
The South, with his showers, refresheth the corn,
The West, to all flowers, may not be forborne.
The West, as a father, all goodness doth bring,
The East, a forbearer no manner of thing:
The South, as unkind, draweth sickness too near,
The North, as a friend, maketh all again clear.
With temperate wind, we be blessed of God,
With tempest we find, we are beat with his rod :
All power, we know, to remain in his hand,
How ever wind blow, by sea or by land.

Though winds do rage, as winds were wood,
And cause spring tides to raise great flood,
And lofty ships leave anchor in mud
Bereaving many of life, and of blood;
Yet true it is, as cow chews cud,
And trees, at spring, do yield forth bud,
Except wind stands, as never it stood,
It is an ill wind turns none to good.

Thomas Tusser, 1523'-80.


COME, Sleep, O Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
The baiting place of wit, the balm of woe,
The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release,
The indifferent judge between the high and low,
With shield of proof shield me from out the prease
Of those fierce darts, Despair at me doth throw;
O make in me those civil wars to cease:
I will good tribute pay, if thou do so.

Take thou of me smooth pillows, sweetest bed;
A chamber, deaf to noise, and blind to light;
A rosy garland, and a weary head.

And if these things, as being thine by right,
Move not thy heavy grace, thou shalt in me
Livelier than elsewhere Stella's image see.

Sir Philip Sidney, 1554-'86


The loppéd tree in time may grow again,
Most naked plants renew both fruit and flower,
The sorriest wight may find release of pain,
The driest soil suck in some moistening shower;
Time goes by turns, and chances change by course,
From foul to fair, from better hap to worse.

The sea of Fortune doth not ever flow;
She draws her favors to the lowest ebb;

Her tides have equal times to come and go;
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest web:
No joy so great but runneth to an end,

No hap so hard but may in time amend.

Robert Southwell, 1560-'95.


Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That valleys, groves, and hills and fields,
Woods or steepy mountains yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers and a kirtle,
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle:

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold:

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing,
For thy delight, each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move
Then live with me, and be my love.

Christopher Marlow, 1565-'95.


If all the world and love were young,
And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
These pretty pleasures might me move
To live with thee, and be thy love.

Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
When rivers rage and rocks grow cold;
And Philomel becometh dumb,
The rest complain of cares to come.

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields;
A honey tongue—a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.

Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies,

Soon break, soon wither, soon forgotten,
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.

Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
Thy coral clasps and amber studs;
All these in me no means can move
To come to thee and be thy love.

But could youth last, and love still breed,
Had joys no date, nor age no need,
Then these delights my mind might move
To live with thee and be thy love.

Sir Walter Raleigh, 1552-1618.


O CUPID, monarch over kings,
Wherefore hast thou feet and wings?
Is it to show how swift thou art,
When thou wound'st a tender heart?
Thy wings being clipped, and feet held still,
Thy bow so many could not kill.

It is all one in Venus' wanton school,
Who highest sits, the wise man or the fool,

John Lyly, 1554-1600.


LOVE in a humor play'd the prodigal,
And bad my senses to a solemn feast;
Yet more to grace the company withal,
Invites my heart to be the chiefest guest:
No other drink would serve this glutton's turn
But precious tears distilling from mine eyne,
Which with my sighs this epicure doth burn,
Quaffing carouses in this costly wine;
Where, in his cups o'ercome with foul excess,
Straightways he plays a swaggering ruffian's part,
And at the banquet in his drunkenness,
Slew his dear friend, my kind and truest heart:
A gentle warning (friends) thus may you see,
What 'tis to keep a drunkard company.

Michael Drayton, 1563-1631


As it fell upon a day,

In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made;

Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trees did grow, and plants did spring;
Everything did banish moan,

Save the nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn;
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty,
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Teru, teru, by and by ;

That, to hear her so complain,
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs, so lively shown,
Made me think upon mine own.
Ah! (thought I) thou mourn'st in vain;
None takes pity on thy pain:

Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless bears they will not cheer thee:
King Pandion he is dead;

All thy friends are lapp'd in lead;
All thy fellow-birds do sing,
Careless of thy sorrowing!

Whilst as fickle Fortune smil'd,
Thou and I were both beguil'd.
Every one that flatters thee
Is no friend in misery.

Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find.
He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need;
If thou sorrow, he will weep,
If thou wake he cannot sleep:
Thus, of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.

Richard Barnfield

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