A Musicall Consort of Heavenly Harmonie

venly harmonie (com-
pounded out of manie
parts of Musicke)
Imprinted at London, by
Ar. Hatfield, for William
Holn. 5.

PUBLISHED FOR William Holn. 1595


[Page 2]
The poore estate of people is to be pitied.
Who doth not sigh, to see the poore opprest
By rich mens reach, that wrests awry the right
Who will not waile, the woe of troubled brest
Or sore lament, the state of wronged wight
When broad day brings, darke dealings unto light
Who will not rue, our wretched race on earth
That keepes till death, no rule from day of birth.
The wealth hardly won is easilie lost.
The goods we win, are woorse to keepe than get
The wealth we lose, robs some of rest and sleepe
Our daily gaine, will answere scarce our det
We covet more, than wit can warely keepe
We slip from hence, as rich as new shorne sheepe
And that we leave, in world that well was won
Is soone consumde, and spent with riotous son.
Graceles time runs of rowling wheeles.
Who parts from world, would wish that were not so
His charitie, commands him so to thinke
But graceles time, on rowling wheeles doth go
At whose abuse, our flyring world can winke
Vice cares no whit, if vertue swim or sinke
Ambishous mind, and malice meetes in one
So that true love, and charitie is gone.
Christian love lookes to everie thing.
Love bids men looke, to all things under Sun
Beast fish, and foule, and all we see with eie
But charitie, a greater course doth run
Because it doth, in quiet conscience lie
She lookes ech where, as she had wings to flie
And hover ore, our doings on this mould
That bridle takes, and will not be contrould.
[Page 3]
Zeale is the glas that shewes the spots of face.
O then to love, and charitie I pas
Whose zeale is great, and charge is nothing small
That cleerely sees, (as in a christall glas)
The spots of face, and inward cankers all
And can in haste, unto remembrance call
Old farn yeers past, and present things of late,
Whereof a world, of wits may well debate.
Abuse runs over the brim.
Who can hold toong, to see bad worlds abuce
Run ore the brim, where vertue never floes
As havocke had, hald up the water sluce
Where out at large, great skuls of fishes goes
Poore pashence must, be pleasd with painted shoes
Alms deeds are dead, no pitty now is last
For all the world, is set on sleight and craft.
Full paunch eats up all.
If povertie, be pincht with plague or sore
He starves for food, adue the man is dead
The sound we seeke, the sicke we do abore
Full paunch eats all, the hungrie is not fed
For greedy guts, keeps needy mouth from bred
True charitie, and good devoshon old
By frost and snow, are almost kild with cold.
Faire wordes make fooles faine.
Would God good works, with faithfull honest deeds
Reformd this vice, that spreds too far I feare
And faire sweete flowrs, were planted for those weeds
That doth with fraud, infect sweet soyles ech where
Fine words doth but, betraie the simple eare
As fowlers pipe; the harmles bird disseaves
That lights on lyme, amid greene birchen leaves.
[Page 4]
Deceit deceaves milions of men.
If meere deceit, were banisht from our viewe
False dealing then, would blush to shew his face
If wisdome did, disdaine vaine follies newe
Old troth in world, would claime his woonted place
But cunning wits, doth finenes so embrace
That plainnes walkes, like pilgrim to and fro
In wandring wise, and knowes not where to go.
Wealths thirst drinks rivers dry.
Wealth hath desire, to drinke great rivers drie
His scalding thirst, cannot be quenched well
Want pines awaie, and comfortles doth lie
And water tasts, like Tantalus in hell
The needy sort, in dolour daily dwell
The hautie head, thinks skorne to turne his face
And rue the state, of naked wretches case.
A saving world spares nothing to the poore.
The fields and lanes, are full of sicke and lame,
Who beg and crave, as loud as voice can crie
But saving world, is grown so far from frame
No great remorse, remains in passers by
Hardnes holds backe, both bag and bounties eie
So that no ruth, regard nor pittie comes
From sparing hands, and graceles griping thombs.
Prisoners perish for want of comfort.
Our prisons all, are pestred with poore soules
Whose yelling noise, a tyrants hart may moove
At grates they stand, and looke through peeping holes
To purchase alms, and trie good peoples love
But penurie, doth so their pashence proove,
With emptie wombe, and hungrie meatles mawe
They lay them downe, on boords or wads of strawe.
[Page 5]
Many silly soules goes a hungrie to bed.
The silly folke, in towne or cottage rude
With belly full, do seldome go to bed
And lookes as leane, as haukes that ill are mude
Which often be, with crowes or carraine fed
How should men give, when charitie is dead
For money, meat, and clothing now is bard
From those that need, the world is waxt so hard.
Full purse follows many pleasures.
How can full purse, supplie the poore mans went
When trull at home, from sheepe lookes for a fleece
And master must, be sometimes all a flant
And prettie pus, my deere must have a peece
Whose beautie staines, the faire Helen of Greece
These things are large, and long to looke upon
By which cold cause, warme charitie is gon.
The purchesars plucks all from the poore.
More reasons rise, to make men hold and keepe
The crums they catch, from Fortunes table still
For purchesars, do walke when plow men sleepe
Their sacks of corne, is seldome from the mill
They take no rest, till thrift bare budget fill
Then locke they up, in chest their golden bags
When beggers trudge, and jet about in rags.
Craftie [...]rchers can play bopeep.
Cold parts men plaie, much like old plain bopeepe
Or counterfait, in dock out-nettle still
And for their game, there is such hold and keepe
That nothing can, escape their reaching skill
Much have yee won, when got is their good will
Tis lost againe, for one small graine of gold
Their charitie, is growne so extreme cold.
[Page 6]
Cunning raiseth the price of every thing.
They raise the price, of every thing is bought
On tenter hookes, their ware is stretched out
Seekes all the waies, for wealth that may be sought
As for the winde, a ship is swaid about
And at a trice, they turne the water spout
So from our purse, both pence and pounds they draw
By hooke or crooke, by wrest or reach of law.
Victles made deere seldome comes downe againe.
The rate of things, rackt up doth fall no more
Colde conshence takes, all-fish that coms to net
To make corne deere, they hoord much graine in store
So they may win, some care not how they get
For ev'ry bird, they do such lime-twigs set
That no bird scapes, if it be slidge to flie
Except foresight, the suddaine danger spie.
Wicked wolves devoures the lambs.
No rain nor curb, nor bridle holds them in
No lawe nor rule, nor order will they keepe
Sets all abroch, to feede and nourish sin
And plaies the wolves, with lambs when yonglings sleep
Makes old folks whine, and babes in cradle weepe
And makes the rate, of ev'ry thing so scant
That some cries out, that never thought of want.
A divelish dearth destroies thousands.
A divelish dearth, is come from darke hell gate
To kill cold harts, as hands can crush a crab
That blow fals not, upon the proud mans pate
But gives the meeke, and mildest minde the stab
Now tell I all, the secrets like a blab
As good to shew, a sore whiles wound is greene
As let men starve, before the greefe be seene.
[Page 7]
The love of wealth forgets all goodnes.
The love of wealth, forgets both God and man
And who growes rich, sets little by renowne
To catch and hold, the world doth what it can
With endles care, in court, in field and towne
Craft keepeth up, plaine honestie fals downe
Charitie is dead, and goodnes growes full sicke
Wisedome doth drowp, and follie is too quicke.
Hard hands will part from nothing.
Wealth like a worme, eats up sweete kernels all
As cankers rust, runs into iron and steele
Hard closed hands, that will let nothing fall
Wants eares to heare, yet fingers hath to feele
Well all is right, when world runs like a wheele
Round as a top, that scourging can abide
Swims up and downe, and followes time and tide.
Foolish world thinks but our present time.
On present time and muck mans mind is bent
On world to come, no care nor eie they cast
What coms with ease, is often rashlie spent
And what doth hap, in hands we hold full fast
As though our pomp, and pride should alwaies last
Yea thinking all, is ours that we can scrape
And still for more, do greedie gluttons gape.
Many yeers and maners alters the kinde of man.
The many yeers, and winters past and gone
Hath changde the kind, of grace and goodnes quite
Our bodies beares, in flesh a hart of stone
That joined is, with faintie liver white
Which never breeds, in breast one good delite
Our noughtie minds, may be the cause of this
That hath transformd, all Adams babes amisse.
[Page 8]
A golden age is turnd to copper and brasse.
The golden age, of our forefathers wise,
Is copper now, or worse than any brasse,
We quickly can, clap on a new found gife
And weare a maske, seeme shadow in a glasse
But bring no worke, nor great good thing to passe
Make shew of much, as art sets trifles forth
That proves a puffe, in substance little worth.
Words is the worst ware that ever was sold.
Words are the ware, that each man sets to sale
With phrases fine, bedeckt to blinde poore sight
Faire promise first, steps forth and tels a tale
Of bad device, that weies in ballance light
For at your need, performance taketh flight
And leaves in lake, the foole that words hath won
Who paies great paines, for shadowes in the sun.
wealth weighs downe every thing.
Wit did prefer, good people well of yore
Welth now with weights, doth wey the ballance down
Words and fine talke, leads world the dance before
But neither wealth, nor words wins true renown
For when the trumpe, doth give uncertaine sown
Men will not then, prepare them for the fight
But rather seeke, to save themselves by flight.
Words are waves tossed with wind.
Words are the waves, that welters on the seas
And works a froth, in colour white as snoe
Makes thousands sicke, and breedes a cold disease
To those that with, such swelling surges goe
Inconstant words, with tide will ebbe and floe
But fruitfull deeds, stands firme and fast as rocke
That bides the brunt, of evrie blast and shocke
[Page 9]
Fine Machevill, is now from Florence flown
Marchevill is now made an English man.
To England where, his welcome is too great,
His busie books, are heere so red and known
That charitie, thereby hath lost her heat
Want of charitie hath made me loose my pattent.
Poore prisners doe, in Ludgate die for meat
Who doth for det, in danger long remaine
Must fall down flat, and seldom rise againe.
Wit takes his toll, as milner at the mill
The milner will be sure of his toule.
Powlseakes the bags, of meale as he doth please
Thrusts thousands backe, till tricksie tanker fill
Like prentise fine, that faine would take some ease
In deed there is, no fishing to the seas
But what is caught, in conshence should be sold
In market place, that men might credit hold.
No charitie, is found when fisher feeds
A fine fisher would catch all himselfe.
On all himselfe, and gives his fellowes none
Alas poore soules, we angle in the reeds
And catch a frog, when all the fish is gone
Bullhead and loch, lies under little stone
But stones and sticks, will breake our nets I dout
Before we bring, a dish of gudgins out.
The great good turnes, in court that thousands felt
Good turnes are turnd to faire holy water.
Is turnd to cleer, faire holie water there
The scraps are small, that hungrie hands have delt
Spoile cannot spare, the paring of a peare
For snatch crust robs, almes baskets evry where
The poore so starves, or knowes not what to do
And so I feare, shall sillie suters to.


[Page 14]
In cloud unseene, new fanglenes would walke
New fanglenes is easily found out.
But he is spide, by old deepe serching sight
Fine filed toongs, like parrets prate and talke
And wonder makes, of trifling matters light
This glorious crew, triumphes in moone shine night
But when cleere day, such idols doth disclose
World will point out, where evrie shadow goes.
Wilfull heads hates good counsell.
Wilde wilfull heads, that all sound counsell hates
A careles course, of borrowed life doth lead
Whose retchles race, still argues and debates
They soone forget, good lessons that they read
But when the foot, awrie the shue doth tread
Downe goes the heele, yea seam the sole and all
And so unwares, a man in mire may fall.
And stumbling oft, makes some to snapper still
Ill custome Breedes abuse.
Use mastrie breedes, and custome pleads a law
Let bridle goe, the horse will have his will
Much water scarse, will quench hot fire in straw
A stubborne childe, that still doth backward draw
Must needes be whipt, to make him feare the rod
So we are plagud, when we forget our God.
Three sundrie plagues, the wrath of God doth show
Two plagues past threatens a third.
The first is past, the second you may see
The third ye wot, the world too well doth know
For that cuts downe, corne, grasse, and highest tree
The angrie cloudes will never calmie bee
Till better life, seaise all our showres of raine
And Gods great grace, brings sommer home againe
[Page 15]
Shame followes pride, and death comes after sin
Shame followes pride, and dearth nipped fore.
Then famine kils, up thousands where it flies
They will take heed, that hath well scourged bin
And fall to mend, their lives if they be wise
But in our world, such new found fashons rise
All frames not well, looke into ech mans waies
Small charitie, is seen in these bad daies.
When charitie, proud painted posts plucks downe
Proud painted posts are rotten in the middle.
To God and prince, great honor shall arise
When plainnes thrives, in court and civill towne
Old troth will bid, farewell our newfound gise
Goodnes will come, and so advance the wise
Dunses and dolts, shall stand beneath the bar
And pride shall blush, that doth presume too far.
The least of most, makes most of his bad stuffe
So leers and looks, as frighted were his wits
Pride a lubberly lout, lookes like a monarke.
Is never well, till pride be in his ruffe
Than monarke like, on loftie seat he sits
(Whose scornfull hart, is full of froward fits)
But speaks no word, for feare that bayard blinde
Should plunge before, and yearke at him behinde.
The woorst with best, compares and strives for place
The woorst with hie hart, compares with the best.
As gold and glas, in woorth weare all alike
Beares out his brags, with scowling brazen face
That cannot blush, no more than can blacke tike
He frowns so sore, he lookes as he would strike
The crabbish earle, so curst and cumbrous is
Then when he speakes, in schoole the schollers hisse.
This is a selection from the original text


danger, fish, grain, lament, wealth, worms

Source text

Title: A Musicall Consort of Heavenly Harmonie

Author: Thomas Churchyard

Publisher: Ar. Hatfield

Publication date: 1595

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 5245 Physical description: [20], 43, [1] p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: STC / 526:17

Digital edition

Original author(s): Thomas Churchyard

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) tp, 12-15, 18 (pp.14-15).


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > poetry

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.