From the preface:
In Elizabethan times the art of song-writing was carried to perfection. Composers were not then content to regard the words of a song as a mere peg on which to hang the music, but sought the services of true-born lyrists. The old song-books preserve many graceful and delightful poems that would otherwise have perished…The object that I have kept in view is to make my anthology at once novel and interesting. Well-known poems, or poems that ought to be well-known, I have avoided; and, on the other hand, no poem has been included merely on account of its rarity.
From Francis Pilkinton’s First set of Madrigals, 1613:
Have I found her? O rich finding!
Goddess-like for to behold
Her fair tresses seemly binding
In a chain of pearl and gold.
Chain me, chain me, O most fair,
Chain me to thee with that hair!
Heh nonny no!
Men are fools that wish to die!
Is’t not fine to dance and sing
When the bells of death do ring?
Is’t not fine to swin in wine,
And turn upon the toe
And sing hey nonny no,
When the winds blow and the seas flow?
Hey nonny no!