First Date1580
Last Date
TitleEngland's Helicon
AuthorNicholas Breton (?1555-1626).
QuoteA Sweet Pastoral

GOOD Muse, rock me to sleep
With some sweet harmony;
The weary eye is not to keep
Thy wary company.

Sweet Love, begone awhile;
Thou know’st my heaviness;
Beauty is born but to beguile
My heart of happiness.

See how my little flock,
That loved to feed on high,
Do headlong tumble down the rock
And in the valley die.

The bushes and the trees
That were so fresh and green,
Do all their dainty colour leese,
And not a leaf is seen.

The blackbird and the thrush
That made the woods to ring,
With all the rest are now at hush
And not a note they sing.

Sweet Philomel, the bird
That hath the heavenly throat,
Doth now, alas! not once afford
Recording of a note.

The flowers have had a frost,
Each herb hath lost her savour,
And Phyllida the fair hath lost
The comfort of her favour.

Now all these careful sights
So kill me in conceit,
That now to hope: upon delights,
It is but mere deceit.

And therefore, my sweet Muse,
Thou know’st what help is best;
Do now thy heavenly cunning use
To set my heart at rest:

And in a dream bewray
What fate shall be my friend,
Whether my life shall still decay,
Or when my sorrow end.
NotesBreton belonged to an old family settled at Layer Breton. He was a prolific author of considerable versatility and gift, popular with his contemporaries.
ReferencesHawkins (1776, 2: 252).