Frederick W. Sternfeld and David Greer (eds), English Madrigal Verse: 1588–1632 (Third Edition)

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Editor’s Noteviii

  • 1It fell on a summer day,
  • 2While sweet Bessy sleeping lay
  • 3In her bower, on her bed,
  • 4Light with curtains shadowed,
  • 5Jamy came. She him spies,
  • 6Opening half her heavy eyes.
  • 7Jamy stole in through the door.
  • 8She lay slumbering as before.
  • 9Softly to her he drew near;
  • 10She heard him, yet would not hear.
  • 11Bessy vowed not to speak;
  • 12He resolved that dump to break.
  • 13First a soft kiss he doth take;
  • 14She lay still and would not wake.
  • 15Then his hands learned to woo;
  • 16She dreamt not what he would do,
  • 17But still slept, while he smiled
  • 18To see love by sleep beguiled.
  • 19Jamy then began to play;
  • 20Bessy as one buried lay,
  • 21Gladly still through this sleight,
  • 22Deceived in her own deceit.
  • 23And since this trance begun,
  • 24She sleeps every afternoon.

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Editor’s Note
viii. In British Museum MS. Add. 24665, f. 9v, there is a song with similar words, beginning 'As on a day Sabina fell asleep'. Possibly alluded to in Allan Ramsay's T a Table Miscellany, 'As afternoon, one summer's day'.
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