A lover's complaint
As you came from the holy land
Met you not with my true love
By the way as you came ?
How shall I know your true love,
That have met many one,
As I went to the holy land,
That have come, that have gone ?
She is neither white nor brown,
But as the heavens fair ;
There is none hath a form so divine
In the earth or the air.
Such a one did I meet, good sir,
Such an angelic face,
Who like a queen, like a nymph, did appear,
By her gait, by her grace.
She hath left me here all alone,
All alone, as unknown,
Who sometimes did me lead with herself,
And me loved as her own.
What's the cause that she leaves you alone,
And a new way doth take,
Who loved you once as her own,
And her joy did you make ?
I have loved her all my youth,
But now old, as you see,
Love likes not the falling fruit
From the withered tree.
Know that Love is a careless child,
And forgets promise past ;
He is blind, he is deaf when he list,
And in faith never fast.
His desire is a dureless content,
And a trustless joy ;
He is won with a world of despair,
And is lost with a toy.
Of womankind such indeed is the love,
Or the word love abusèd,
Under which many childish desires
And conceits are excusèd.
But true love is a durable fire,
In the mind ever burning,
Never sick, never old, never dead,
From itself never turning.
Possibly a re-working of a folk text; one of many versions with many titles, some shown above.
Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
[ None yet in the database ]
Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:
- Also set in English, adapted by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist [an adaptation] FRE GER GER GER GER ITA POL and sometimes misattributed to William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) FRE GER GER GER GER ITA POL by Kim Borg, Benjamin C. S. Boyle, Johannes Brahms, Natho Henn, John Jeffreys, Osvaldo Costa de Lacerda, Elizabeth Maconchy, Roger Quilter, Maude Valérie White.
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist [an adaptation] ENG FRE ITA POL by Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg.
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845) [an adaptation] ENG ENG FRE ITA POL by Johannes Brahms, Eduard Lassen.
- Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Karl Joseph Simrock (1802 - 1876) , no title, appears in Shakespeare in deutscher Übersetzung, in 6. Hamlet, first published 1868 [an adaptation] ENG ENG FRE FRE ITA POL and sometimes misattributed to Ludwig Seeger (1810 - 1864) ENG ENG FRE FRE ITA POL by Richard Georg Strauss.
- Also set in Polish (Polski), a translation by Krystyn Ostrowski (1811 - 1882) , no title ENG FRE GER GER GER GER ITA by Stanisław Moniuszko.
Text added to the website: 2017-08-02.
Last modified: 2017-08-02 12:36:59
Line count: 44
Word count: 271
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