A Tremendous TriflerInspired by my recent encounter with that miracle of musical loveliness, Dame Emma Kirkby, last night I listened to my 1976 recording of her performing Dowland with The Consort of Musicke.  The following song  (which I listened to for what must have been the x-hundred-and-somethingth time) struck me as being jolly fitting fare for posting here.  That’s all.  Do enjoy it.

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap choice brave and new,
Good pennyworths but money cannot move,
I keep a fair but for the fair to view,
A beggar may be liberal of love,
Though all my wares be trash the heart is true.

Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again,
My trifles come, as treasures from my mind,
It is a precious jewel to be plain,
Sometimes in shell the Orient´s pearls we find,
Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain.

Within this pack pins points laces and gloves,
And divers toys fitting a country fair,
But in my heart where duty serves and loves,
Turtles and twins, Court´s brood, a heav´nly pair,
Happy the heart that thinks of no removes.

John Dowland, The Second Book of Songs or Ayres

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