Bianco come gigli era il suo viso

John Dowland: White as lilies was her face. The Consort of Musicke diretto da Anthony Rooley; Emma Kirkby, soprano.

White as lilies was her face,
When she smiled she beguiled,
 Quitting faith with foul disgrace,
 Virtue, service thus neglected,
 Heart with sorrow hath infected.

When I swore my heart my own,
She disdained, I complained;
 Yet she left me overthrown,
 Careless of my bitter grieving,
 Ruthless bent to no relieving.

Vowes and oaths and faith assured,
Constant ever, changing never,
 Yet she could not be procured,
 To believe my pains exceeding,
 From her scant neglect proceeding.

Oh that Love should have the art,
By surmises, and disguises,
 To destroy a faithful heart,
 Or that wanton looking women,
 Should reward their friends as foemen.

All in vaine is Ladies love,
Quickly choosed, shortly loosed,
 For their pride is to remove,
 Out alas their looks first won us,
 And their pride hath straight undone us.

To thy selfe the sweetest faier,
Thou hath wounded, and confounded,
 Changles faith with soule dispaier,
 And my service hath envied,
 And my succours hath denied.

By thine error thou hast lost,
Hart unfained, truth unstained,
 And the swaine that loved most,
 More assured in love than many,
 More dispised in love than any.

For my heart, though set at nought,
Since you will it, spoile and kill it!
 I will never change my thoughts,
 But grieve that Beauty e’er was born,
 To banish love with froward scorn.


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