Ye little birds

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General information

Lyricist: Thomas Heywood

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Text and translations

English.png English text


1  Ye little birds that sit and sing
Amidst the shady valleys,
And see how Phillis sweetly walks
Within her garden alleys;
Go pretty birds about her bower,
Sing pretty birds she may not lower,
(Ah me, methinks I see her frown.)
Ye pretty wantons warble.

2  Go tell her through your chirping bills,
As you by me are bidden,
To her is only known my love,
Which from the world is hidden:
Go pretty birds and tell her so,
See that your notes strain not too low,
For still methinks I see her frown,
Ye pretty wantons warble.

3  Then tune your voices' melody,
Tell her I am her lover;
Sing loud and sweet, that ev'ry note,
With sweet content may move her.
And she that hath the sweetest voice,
Tell her I will not change my choice,
(Ah me, alas! I fear she frowns.)
But should you hear a kind reply,
You pretty wantons, warble.

4  Oh, fly! make haste! see, see, she falls
Into a pretty slumber!
Sing round about her rosy bed
That, waking, she may wonder:
Say to her, 'tis her lover true
That sendeth love to you, to you!
And when you hear her kind reply,
Return with pleasant warblings.

 

Walter Cecil Macfarren version
1  Ye pretty birds that sit and sing
Amidst the shady valleys,
And see how Phillis sweetly walks
Within her garden alleys;
Go, pretty birds, about her bower,
Sing, pretty birds, she may not lower;
Ah me, methinks I see her frown.
Ye pretty wantons warble.

3  Go tune your voices' harmony,
And sing, “I am her lover;”
Strain loud and sweet, that ev'ry note
With sweet content may fill her.
And she that hath the sweetest voice,
Oh! tell her I’ll not change my choice;
Yet still, methinks I see her frown.
Ye pretty wantons, warble.

4  Oh, fly! make haste! see, see, she falls
Into a pretty slumber!
Sing round about her rosy bed
That, waking, she may wonder.
Say to her,” 'tis her lover true,”
That sendeth love to you, to you!
And when you hear her kind reply,
Return with pleasant warblings.

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