On a day ‑‑ alack the day!
On a day -- alack the day! --
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, can passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn;
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet!
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee;
Thou for whom Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiope were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
[This will I send, and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love's fasting pain.
O, would the king, Biron, and Longaville,
Were lovers too! Ill, to example ill,
Would from my forehead wipe a perjured note;
For none offend where all alike do dote.]1
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1 omitted by Parry.
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)
- by Thomas Chilcot , "The words by Shakespeare in Love's labour lost", published  [high voice, 2 violins, viola, and basso continuo], from Twelve English Songs, London : Johnson ; [sic] on the title [
text not verified ]
- by Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, Sir (1848 - 1918), "Love's perjuries", op. 21 no. 1 (1873), published  [voice and piano], from A Garland of Shakesperian and Other Old-Fashioned Songs, no. 1, London : Cock [
text verified 1 time]
Set in a modified version by Daniel Ruyneman.
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Text added to the website: 2011-06-27.
Last modified: 2015-07-27 16:10:38
Line count: 26
Word count: 163
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