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Oxford Lieder Festival Live Online

Songs

It was a time when silly bees could speak (1603)

It was a time when silly bees could speak

It was a time when silly bees could speak,
And in that time I was a silly bee,
Who fed on time until my heart ’gan break,
Yet never found the time would favour me.
Of all the swarm I only did not thrive,
Yet brought I wax and honey to the hive.
Then thus I buzzed when time no sap would give:
Why should this blessed time to me be dry,
Sith by this time the lazy drone doth live,
The wasp, the worm, the gnat, the butterfly?
Mated with grief I kneeled on my knees,
And thus complained unto the king of bees:
My liege, gods grant thy time may never end,
And yet vouchsafe to hear my plaint of time,
Which fruitless flies have found to be a friend,
And I cast down when atomies do climb.
The king replied but thus: Peace, peevish bee,
Thou’rt bound to serve the time, the time not thee.

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Oxford Lieder Live Online

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