Robert Dowland's Musical Banquet

Word count: 620

?. In darkness let me dwell [sung text checked 1 time]

In darkness let me dwell, the ground shall sorrow be,
The roof despair to bar all cheerful light from me,
The walls of marble black that moistened still shall weep,
My music hellish jarring sounds to banish friendly sleep:
Thus wedded to my woes, and bedded [in]1 my tomb
[O let me dying live till death doth come]2.

[ ... ]


Set by possibly by John Dowland (1562 - 1626), published 1610, stanza 1

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age, ed. by A. H. Bullen, London, John C. Nimmo, 1887, pages 53-54.

1 Dowland: "to"
2 Dowland: "O, let me living die, till death do come"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. To plead my faith [sung text checked 1 time]

To plead my faith, where faith hath no reward; 
to move remorse, where favour is not borne;
to heap complaints, where she doth not regard, 
were fruitless, bootless, vain and yield but scorn.
I loved her whom all the world admir'd.
I was refus'd of her that can love none; 
and my vain hope, which far too high aspir'd,
is dead and buried and for ever gone. 

Forget my name, since you have scorn'd my love, 
and womanlike do not too late lament; 
since for your sake I do all mischief prove,
I none accuse nor nothing do repent. 
I was as fond as ever she was fair, 
yet lov'd I not more than I now despair.


Set by by Daniel Bachelar (c1574 - ?), published 1610

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

?. Change thy mind since she doth change [sung text checked 1 time]

Change thy mind since she doth change,
let not fancy still abuse thee. 
Thy untruth cannot seem strange 
when her falsehood doth excuse thee.
Love is dead and thou art free;
she doth live, but dead to thee.

Whilst she lov'd thee best awhile, 
see how she hath still delay'd thee,
using shows for to beguile 
those vain hopes that have deceiv'd thee.
Now, thou sea'st although too late
Love loves truth, which women hate. 

Love no more since she is gone;
she is gone and loves another.
Being once deceiv'd by one, 
leave her love, but love none other.
She was false, bid her adieu;
she was best, but yet; untrue. 

Love, farewell, more dear to me
than my life which thou preservest.
Life, all joys are gone from thee,
others have what thou deservest. 
O my death doth spring from hence;
I must die for her offence. 

Die, but yet before thou die, 
make her know what she hath gotten.
She in whom my hopes did lie
now is chang'd, I quite forgotten.
She is chang'd, but changed base, 
baser in so vile a place.


Set by by Richard Martin (flourished c1610), published 1610, note: this is the composer's only known surviving song

Researcher for this text: John Versmoren

. Far from triumphing court [sung text checked 1 time]

Far from triumphing Court and wonted glory
He dwelt in shady unfrequented places,
Time's prisoner now, he made his pastime story;
Glady forgets Court's erst-afforded graces.
That goddess whom he served to heaven is gone,
And he on earth in darkness left to moan.

But lo, a glorious light from his dark rest
Shone from the place where erst this goddess dwelt;
A light whose beams the world with fruit hath blest;
Blest was the knight while he that light beheld.
Since then a star fixed on his head hath shined,
And a saint's image in his heart is shrined.

Ravished with joy, so graced by such a saint,
He quite forgat his cell and self denaid;
He thought it shame in thankfulness to faint,
Debts due to princes must be duly paid;
Nothing so hateful to a noble mind
As finding kindness for to prove unkind.

But ah! poor knight, though thus in dream he ranged,
Hoping to serve this saint in sort most meet,
Time with his golden locks to silver changed
Hath with age-fetters bound him hands and feet.
Ay me! he cries, goddess, my limbs grow faint,
Though I Time's prisoner be, be you my saint.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set by possibly by John Dowland (1562 - 1626), published 1610 [ voice and lute ]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]