Category: renaissance poetry

Poem by William Shakespeare

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Springtime (1873) By Artist Pierre-Auguste Cot

IT was a lover and his lass,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green corn-field did pass,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding ;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding ;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that life was but a flower
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding ;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

And, therefore, take the present time
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crown`d with the prime
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding ;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Poem by William Shakespeare

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The Honeysuckle Bower (1609) By Artist Peter Paul Rubens

ROSES, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
  But in their hue ;
Maiden pinks, of odour faint,
Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
  And sweet thyme true ;

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver ;
Merry springtime’s harbinger,
  With her bells dim ;
Oxlips in their cradles growing,
Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
  Larks’-heels trim ;

All dear Nature’s children sweet
Lie ‘fore bride and bridegroom’s feet,
  Blessing their sense !
Not an angel of the air,
Bird melodious or bird fair,
  Be absent hence !

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
  Nor chattering pye,
May on our bride-house perch or sing,
Or with them any discord bring,
  But from it fly !

Poem By William Shakespeare

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“Romeo and Juliet” (1884) By Sir Frank Bernard Dicksee 

TAKE, O take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn :
But my kisses bring again,
Bring again —
Seals of love, but seal’d in vain,
Seal’d in vain !

Poem By William Shakespeare

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“Romeo and Juliet” (1884) By Sir Frank Bernard Dicksee 

TAKE, O take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn :
But my kisses bring again,
Bring again —
Seals of love, but seal’d in vain,
Seal’d in vain !

Poem by William Shakespeare

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Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude ;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly :
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly :
Then heigh-ho, the holly !
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot :
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho ! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly :
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly :
Then heigh-ho, the holly !
This life is most jolly.

Poem by William Shakespeare

image

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude ;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly :
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly :
Then heigh-ho, the holly !
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot :
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.

Heigh-ho ! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly :
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly :
Then heigh-ho, the holly !
This life is most jolly.

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The little Love-god lying once asleep

Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,

Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep

Came tripping by, but in her maiden hand

The fairest votary took up that fire,

Which many legions of true hearts had warmed ;

And so the general of hot desire

Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed.

This brand she quenched in a cool well by,

Which from Love’s fire took heart perpetual,

Growing a bath and healthful remedy

For men diseased ; But I, my mistress’ thrall,

Came there for cure, and this by that I prove :

Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.

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The little Love-god lying once asleep

Laid by his side his heart-inflaming brand,

Whilst many nymphs that vowed chaste life to keep

Came tripping by, but in her maiden hand

The fairest votary took up that fire,

Which many legions of true hearts had warmed ;

And so the general of hot desire

Was, sleeping, by a virgin hand disarmed.

This brand she quenched in a cool well by,

Which from Love’s fire took heart perpetual,

Growing a bath and healthful remedy

For men diseased ; But I, my mistress’ thrall,

Came there for cure, and this by that I prove :

Love’s fire heats water, water cools not love.

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Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep.

A maid of Dian’s this advantage found, 

And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep

In a cold valley-fountain of that ground ;

Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love

A dateless lively heat, still to endure,

And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove

Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.

But at my mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired,

The boy for trial needs would touch my breast ;

I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,

And thither hied, a sad distempered guest,

But found no cure ; the bath for my help lies

Where Cupid got new fire – my mistress’ eyes.

image

Cupid laid by his brand and fell asleep.

A maid of Dian’s this advantage found, 

And his love-kindling fire did quickly steep

In a cold valley-fountain of that ground ;

Which borrowed from this holy fire of Love

A dateless lively heat, still to endure,

And grew a seething bath, which yet men prove

Against strange maladies a sovereign cure.

But at my mistress’ eye Love’s brand new-fired,

The boy for trial needs would touch my breast ;

I, sick withal, the help of bath desired,

And thither hied, a sad distempered guest,

But found no cure ; the bath for my help lies

Where Cupid got new fire – my mistress’ eyes.