UPon a fair morning for soft recreation,
I heard a fair lady was making her moan,
With sighing and sobing, and sad lamentation,
Saying, my black bird most royal is flown.
My thoughts they deceive me,
Reflections do grieve me,
And I am o’er burthen’d with sad misery;
Yet if death should blind me,
As true love inclines me,
My black bird I’ll seek out, wherever he be.
Once in fair England my black bird did flourish,
He was the chief flower that in it did spring;
Prime ladies of honour his person did nourish,
Because he was the true son of a king:
But since that false fortune,
Which still is uncertain,
Has caused this parting between him and me,
His name I’ll advance,
In Spain and in France,
And seek out my black bird, wherever he be.
The birds of the forest all met together,
The turtle has chosen to dwell with the dove;
And I am resolv’d in foul or fair weather,
Once in the spring to seek out my love.
He’s all my heart’s treasure,
My joy and my pleasure;
And justly (my love) my heart follows thee,
Who are constant and kind,
And couragious of mind.
All bliss on my black bird, wherever he be.
In England my black bird and I were together,
Where he was still noble, and generous of heart.
Ah! wo to the time that first he went thither,
Alas! he was forc’d soon thence to depart.
In Scotland he’s deem’d,
And highly esteem’d,
In England he seemeth a stranger to be;
Yet his fame shall remain
In France and in Spain.
All bliss to my black bird, wherever he be.
What if the fowler my black bird has taken,
Then sighing and sobbing will be all my tune,
But if he is safe, I’ll not be forsaken,
And hope yet to see him in May or in June.
For him through the fire,
Through mud and through mire,
I’ll go; for I love him to such a degree,
Who is constant and kind,
And noble of mind,
Deserving all blessings wherever he be.
It is not the ocean can fright me with danger,
Nor tho’ like a pilgrim I wander forlorn,
I may meet with friendship of one is a stranger,
More than of one that in Britain is born.
I pray heaven so spacious,
To Britain be gracious,
Tho’ some there be odious to both him and me,
Yet joy and renow,
And lawrels shall crown
My black bird with honour wherever he be.