Tuesday, March 11, 2014



Nicholas Grimald (1519-1562), "Of Mirth," in Tottel's Miscellany (1557), line numbers added:
A heauy hart, with wo encreaseth euery smart:
A mirthfull minde in time of need, defendeth sorowes dart.
The sprite of quicnesse seems, by drery sadnesse slayn:
By mirth, a man to liuely plight, reuiued is agayn.
Dolour dryeth vp the bones: the sad shall sone be sick:        5
Mirth can preserue the kyndly helth, mirth makes the body quick.
Depe dumps do nought, but dull, not meet for man but beast:
A mery hart sage Salomon countes his continuall feast.
Sad soll, before thy time, brings thee vnto deaths dore:
That fond condicions haue bereft, late daye can not restore.        10
As, when the couered heauen, showes forth a lowryng face,
Fayr Titan, with his leam of light, returns a goodly grace:
So, when our burdened brest is whelmd with clowdy thought,
A pleasant calm throughout the corps, by chereful heart is brought.
Enioye we then our ioyes, and in the lorde reioyce:        15
Faith makyng fast eternall ioye, of ioyes while wee haue choyce.
1 smart: pain
2 defendeth: guards against, keeps away
3 sprite of quicnesse: spirit of liveliness or animation
4 plight: condition, state
5 sone: soon
6 kyndly: good, natural; quick: lively
7 dumps: fit of melancholy, dejection; dull: make dull
8 Salomon: Proverbs 15.15 (All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast)
9 soll: soul
10 fond condicions: foolish dispositions, tempers?
12 Titan: the sun god; leam: flash, gleam
14 corps: body

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