Since secret Spite hath sworn my wo,
And I am driven by Destiny
Against my will, God knows, to go
From Place of gallant company,
And, in the stead of sweet delight,
To reap the fruits of foul despite:
As it hath been a custom long,
To bid farewell when men depart,
So will I sing this solemn song,
Farewell, to some, with all my heart:
But those my friends: but to my foes,
I wish a nettle in their nose.
I wish my friends their hearts' content:
My foes, again, the contrary:
I wish myself, the time were spent
That I must spend in misery:
I wish my deadly foe, no worse
Than want of friends, and empty purse.
But, now my wishes thus are done,
I must begin to bid farewell:
With friends and foes I have begun,
And therefore, now I cannot tell
Which first to choose, or ere I part,
To write a farewell from my heart.
First, place of worldly Paradise,
Thou gallant court, to thee farewell!
For froward Fortune me denies
Now longer near to thee to dwell.
I must go live, I wot not where,
Nor how to live when I come there.
And next, adieu you gallant dames,
The chief of noble youth's delight!
Untoward Fortune now so frames,
That I am banish'd from your sight,
And, in your stead, against my will,
I must go live with country Jill.
Now next, my gallant youths farewell;
My lads that oft have cheer'd my heart!
My grief of mind no tongue can tell,
To think that I must from you part.
I now must leave you all, alas,
And live with some odd lobcock ass!
And now farewell thou gallant lute,
With instruments of music's sounds!
Recorder, citern, harp, and flute,
And heavenly descants on sweet grounds;
I now must leave you all indeed,
And make some music on a reed!
And now you stately stamping steeds
And gallant geldings fair, adieu!
My heavy heart for sorrow bleeds,
To think that I must part with you:
And on a strawen pannel sit,
And ride some country carting tit!
And now farewell both spear and shield,
Caliver, pistol, arquebus,
See, see, what sighs my heart doth yield
To think that I must leave you thus;
And lay aside my rapier blade,
And take in hand a ditching spade!
And you farewell, all gallant games,
Primero and Imperial,
Wherewith I used, with courtly dames,
To pass away the time withall:
I now must learn some country plays
For ale and cakes on holidays!
And now farewell each dainty dish,
With sundry sorts of sugar'd wine!
Farewell, I say, fine flesh and fish,
To please this dainty mouth of mine!
I now, alas, must leave all these,
And make good cheer with bread and cheese!
And now, all orders due, farewell!
My table laid when it was noon;
My heavy heart it irks to tell
My dainty dinners all are done:
With leeks and onions, whig and whey,
I must content me as I may.
And farewell all gay garments now,
With jewels rich, of rare device!
Like Robin Hood, I wot not how,
I must go range in woodman's wise;
Clad in a coat of green or grey,
And glad to get it if I may.
What shall I say, but bid adieu
To every dra[ch]m of sweet delight,
In place where pleasure never grew,
In dungeon deep of foul despite,
I must, ah me! wretch, as I may,
Go sing the song of welaway!