First Book of Songs or Airs

Song Cycle by John Dowland (1562 - 1626)

Word count: 748

?. Come away, come sweet love [sung text checked 1 time]

Come away, come sweet love,
The golden morning breaks.
All the earth, all the air
of love and pleasure speaks:
Teach thine arms to embrace,
And sweet rosy lips to kiss,
And mix our souls in mutual bliss,
Eyes were made for beauty's grace,
Viewing, rueing love's long pain
Procur'd by beauty's rude disdain.

Come away, come sweet love,
The golden morning wastes,
While the sun from his sphere
his fiery arrows casts,
Making all the shadows fly,
Playing, Staying in the grove
To entertain the stealth of love.
Thither, sweet love, let us hie,
Flying, dying in desire
Wing'd with sweet hopes and heav'nly fire.

Come away, come sweet love,
Do not in vain adorn 
Beauty's grace, that should rise
like to the naked morn.
Lilies on the riverside
And the fair Cyprian flow'rs newblown
Desire no beauties but their own,
Ornament is nurse of pride,
Pleasure, measure love's delight.
Haste then, sweet love, our wished flight!


Note: the second stanza was not in the original. It was added in England's Helicon, according to Lyrics from the Song-Books of the Elizabethan Age, ed. by A. H. Bullen, London, John C. Nimmo, 1887, p. 14.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. My thoughts are wing'd with hopes [sung text checked 1 time]

My thoughts are winged with hopes, my hopes with love.
  Mount, Love, unto the moon in clearest night
And say, as she doth in the heavens move,
  In earth, so wanes and waxeth my delight.
And whisper this but softly in her ears:
Hope oft doth hang the head and Trust shed tears.

And you, my thoughts, that some mistrust do carry,
  If for mistrust my mistress do you blame,
Say though you alter, yet you do not vary,
  As she doth change and yet remain the same.
Distrust doth enter hearts but not infect,
And love is sweetest seasoned with suspect.

If she for this with clouds do mask her eyes,
  And make the heavens dark with her disdain,
With windy sighs disperse them in the skies,
  Or with thy tears dissolve them into rain,
Thoughts, hopes and love, return to me no more
Till Cynthia shine as she hath done before.


Researcher for this text: David Newman

?. Dear, if you change [sung text checked 1 time]

Dear, if you change, I'll never choose again.
Sweet, if you shrink, I'll never think of love.
Fair, if you fail, I'll judge all beauty vain.
Wise, if too weak, more wits I'll never prove.
Dear, Sweet, Fair, Wise, change, shrink, nor be not weak:
And on my faith, my faith shall never break.

Earth with her flowers shall sooner heav'n adorn.
Heaven her bright stars through earth's dim globe shall move.
Fire heat shall lose, and frosts of flame be born.
Air, made to shine, as black as hell shall prove.
Earth, Heav'n, Fire, Air, the world transform'd shall view,
Ere I prove false to faith, or strange to you.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Go crystal tears [sung text checked 1 time]

Go crystal tears, like to the morning showers,
And sweetly weep into thy lady's breast.
And as the dews revive the drooping flow'rs.
So let your drops of pity be address'd
To quicken up the thoughts of my desert,
Which sleeps too sound whilst I from her depart.

Haste, restless sighs, and let your burning breath
Dissolve the ice of her indurate heart,
Whose frozen rigour, like forgetful Death,
Feels never any touch of my desert,
Yet sighs and tears to her I sacrifice
Both from a spotless heart and patient eyes.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Wilt thou, unkind, thus reave me? [sung text checked 1 time]

Wilt thou, Unkind! thus 'reave me
Of my heart and so leave me?
But yet, or ere I part, O Cruel,
Kiss me, Sweet, my Jewel!

Hope by disdain grows cheerless,
Fear doth love, love doth fear;
  Beauty peerless,

If no delays can move thee,
Life shall die, death shall live
  Still to love thee.

Yet be thou mindful ever!
Heat from fire, fire from heat,
  None can sever.

True love cannot be changèd,
Though delight from desert
  Be estrangèd.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

. His golden locks Time hath to silver turned [sung text checked 1 time]

His golden locks Time hath to silver turned.
O Time too swift! Oh 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 lover's 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 Sovereign well.
Curst be the soul that think her any wrong.
Goddess, allow this aged man his right
To be your bedesman now that was your knight.


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 by John Dowland (1562 - 1626), published 1597
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]