Fear and grief and pain

John Dowland (1563-1626): Flow, my tears, dal Second Booke of Songs or Ayres (1600). Emma Kirkby, soprano; David Thomas, basso; Anthony Rooley, liuto.

Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled for ever, let me mourn;
Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.

Down vain lights, shine you no more!
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their lost fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.

Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.

From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain for my deserts
Are my hopes, since hope is gone.

Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to contemn light.
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world’s despite.


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.

Il tempo si è fermato

John Dowland: Time stands still. Emma Kirkby, soprano, e Anthony Rooley, liuto.

Time stands still with gazing on her face,
Stand still and gaze for minutes hours and years, to her give place:
All other things shall change but she remains the same,
Till heavens changed have their course and time hath lost his name.
Cupid doth hover up and down blinded with her fair eyes,
And fortune captive at her feet contemn’d and conquered lies.

When fortune, love, and time attend on
Her with my fortunes, love, and time, I honour will alone,
If bloudless Envy say, Duty hath no desert.
Duty replies that Envy knows herself his faithfull heart,
My settled vows and spotless faith no fortune can remove,
Courage shall show my inward faith, and faith shall try my love.