Absence, hear thou my protestation (Thomas Morley)

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  • (Posted 2017-01-21)  CPDL #42737:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-01-21).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 52 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #16208, with corrections to underlay to conform with the quoted text, and adding lyricist.
  • (Posted 2008-02-19)  CPDL #16208:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-02-19).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 22 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.

General Information

Title: Absence, hear thou my protestation
Composer: Thomas Morley
Lyricist: John Hoskins

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: T
Genre: SecularLute song

Language: English
Instruments: Lute

First published: 1600 in First Book of Ayres, no. 14

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1  Absence, hear thou my protestation
Against thy strength,
Distance and length:
Do what thou canst for alteration;
For hearts of truest mettle
Absence doth join, and time doth settle.

2  Who loves a mistress of such quality,
He soon hath found
Affection's ground
Beyond time, place, and all mortality.
To hearts that cannot vary
Absence is present, time doth tarry.

3  My senses want their outward motions,
Which now within
Reason doth win
Redoubl'd in her secret notions;
Like rich men that take pleasure
In hiding, more than handling, treasure.

4  By absence this good means I gain,
That I can catch her
Where none can watch her,
In some close corner of my brain.
There I embrace and kiss her,
And so I both enjoy and miss her.