White as lilies was her face: When she smilèd She beguilèd, Quitting faith with foul disgrace. Virtue’s service thus neglected. Heart with sorrows hath infected. When I swore my heart her own, She disdainèd; I complainèd, Yet she left me overthrown: Careless of my bitter grieving, Ruthless, bent to no relieving. Vows and oaths and faith assured, Constant ever, Changing never, — Yet she could not be procured To believe my pains exceeding From her scant respect proceeding. O 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 vain is ladies' love -- Quickly choosèd. Shortly loosèd; For their pride is to remove. Out, alas! their looks first won us, And their pride hath straight undone us. To thyself, the sweetest Fair! Thou hast wounded, And confounded Changeless faith with foul despair; And my service hast envièd And my succours hast denièd. By thine error thou hast lost Heart unfeignèd, Truth unstainèd. And the swain that lovèd most, More assured in love than many, Move despised in love than any. For my heart, though set at nought, Since you will it, Spoil and kill it! I will never change my thought: But grieve that beauty e’er was born Thus to answer love with scorn.
- by Anonymous / Unidentified Author [author's text not yet checked against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by John Dowland (1562 - 1626), "White as lilies was her face", published 1600 [voice and lute], from the collection Second Book of Songs or Airs [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 48
Word count: 221