The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

VI. The Song-Books and Miscellanies

§ 6. Anthony Munday

It seems probable, though it is strange, that Shepherd Tony, the sweet singer of England’s Helicon, is no other than “the Grub Street patriarch,” the translator and playwright, Anthony Munday. The evidence rests mainly on the charming song, “Beauty sat bathing by a spring,” which occurs both in England’s Helicon and in Munday’s translation of Primaleon. His work in this miscellany is far superior to that in his Banquet of Dainty Conceits (1588). He replies to the old pastoral, “Phylida was a fayer mayde,” which, as we have seen, England’s Helicon ascribes to Surrey, and makes a lovelier melody by his mixed use of iambics and trochaics. In The Woodman’s Walk, he carries us back, both by his use of the divided fourteener and the old subject of the failings of court and city life, to an earlier day; in “Fair nymphes, sit ye here by me,” he is well abreast of his age in the long stanzas of short lines with interwoven rimes, which discuss pleasantly and sweetly the pleasures and pains of love—only to break at the close into a hymn in its praise.