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
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
1 omitted by Parry.
- possibly by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616), no title, appears in Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV, Scene 3 [author's text checked 1 time 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 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 [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- 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 [ sung text checked 1 time]
Set in a modified version by Daniel Ruyneman.
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2011-06-27
Line count: 26
Word count: 163