Riccioli d’argento

John Dowland (1563-1626): His golden locks, dal First Booke of Songes (1597). Emma Kirkby, soprano; Anthony Rooley, liuto.

His golden locks Time hath to silver turned.
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing:
His youth ‘gainst Time and Age hath ever spurned,
But spurned in vain; youth waneth by increasing.
Beauty, strength, youth are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love are roots, and ever green.

His helmet now shall make a hive for bees,
And lovers’ sonnets turn to holy psalms.
A man at arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers which are Age’s alms.
But though from Court to cottage he depart,
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.

And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He’ll teach his swains this carol for a song:
Blest be the hearts that wish my Sov’reign well.
Curst be the soul that think her [him] any wrong.
Goddess [Ye gods], allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now, that was your knight.

His golden locks