Farewell false Love (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2003-08-09)  CPDL #05416:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2003-08-09).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 104 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised August 08.

General Information

Title: Farewell false Love
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1588 in Psalmes, Sonnets and Songs, no. 25

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Farewell false love, the oracle of lies,
a mortall foe, & enimie to rest:
An envious boy, from whom all cares arise,
A bastard vile, a beast, with rage possest:
A way of error, a temple full of treason,
in all effects contrarie unto reason.

A poisoned serpent covered all with flowers,
Mother of sighes, and murtherer of repose,
A sea of sorows from whence are drawen such showers,
As moisture lend to every griefe that growes,
A schole of guile, a net of deepe deceit,
A guilded hooke that holds a poisoned baite.

A fortresse foyld which reason dyd defend,
A Syren song, a feaver of the minde,
A maze wherein affection findes no ende,
A raging cloud that runnes before the winde,
A substance like the shadow of the Sunne,
A goale of griefe, for which the wisest runne.

A quenchlesse fire, a nurse of trembling feare,
A path that leades to perill and mishap,
A true retreat of sorrow and dispaire,
An idle boy that sleepes in pleasures lap,
A deepe mistrust of that which certaine seemes,
A hope of that which reason doubtfull deemes.
Sir Walter Ralegh (c.1554-1618)