Flow my tears, fall from your springs (John Dowland)

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Editor: Robin Doveton (submitted 2020-10-19).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 343 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Dowland's Lachrimae Antiquae for viol consort, transposed and arranged by Robin Doveton with minimal adjustments to accommodate the text.
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-02-05).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 37 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #15994, with minor changes to the undelay. Transposed up a minor 3rd.
Contributor: David Newman (submitted 2008-08-21).  Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 151 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: In a minor, includes lute tabulature as well as a piano transcription.
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2008-07-14).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 95 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: SB plus lute tablature (7-course, tenor G tuning)
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. See the discussion page for full description.
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-02-15).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 22 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
Editor: Robin Doveton (submitted 2008-01-24).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 110 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: arranged for SATB by Doveton. Revised Sept. 2020.
Editor: William Long (submitted 2005-03-13).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 124 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: arranged for voice and guitar with optional gamba.
  • (Posted 2001-01-11)  CPDL #01964:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and LilyPond files available.
Editor: Laura Conrad (submitted 2001-01-11).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 58 kB   Copyright: GnuGPL
Edition notes: in partbook format.

General Information

Title: Flow my tears fall from your springs
Composer: John Dowland

Number of voices: 2vv   Voicing: SB or SATB arrangement
Genre: SecularLute song

Language: English

Instruments: Lute

First published: 1600 in The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, no. 2


External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled for ever, let me mourn;
Where night's black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.

Down vain lights, shine you no more!
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their lost fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.

Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.

From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain for my deserts
Are my hopes, since hope is gone.

Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to contemn light
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world's despite.

Catalan.png Catalan translation

Fluïu, llàgrimes meves, caieu de les vostres fonts!
Exiliat per sempre, deixeu-me plorar;
On el negre ocell de la nit canta la seva trista infàmia,
deixeu-me que visqui en l’oblit.

Apagueu-vos, oh vanes llums, no brilleu més!
No hi ha nit prou fosca per a aquells
que desesperadament les seves fortunes perdudes deploren.
La llum no fa sinó revelar la nostra vergonya.

Mai seran les meves penes alleujades
des que la pietat ha fugit;
I les llàgrimes, sospirs i gemecs, als meus cansats dies
de qualsevol alegria han privat.

Des de les més altes torres de l’alegria
la meva fortuna és llençada;
I la por i el dolor i la pena merescuts
són les meves esperances, ja que l’esperança se n’ha anat.

Escolteu!, Vosaltres, ombres que habiteu la foscor,
apreneu a menysprear la llum.
Feliços, feliços, els qui des de l’infern
no senten els desdenys terrenals.

Dutch.png Dutch translation

Stroom, mijn tranen, stroom uit je bron!
Verbannen voor immer, laat me weeklagen;
Waar de nachtelijke merel zijn droefgeestige lied zingt,
Daar laat me leven in wanhoop.

Doof de lichten, stop met schijnen!
Geen nacht is duister genoeg voor hen
Die in ontreddering hun verloren geluk bejammeren.
Het licht zal enkel schaamte onthullen.

Laat mijn geween het daglicht schuwen,
Want elk medeleven is vervlogen;
Het wenen en zuchten en hunkeren: mijn zorgelijke dagen
Zijn van alle vrolijkheid gespeend.

Van de hoogste extase van vervulling
Is mijn geluk neergestort;
En angst en smart en pijn als loon
Zijn mijn verwachting, nu geen hoop meer overblijft.

Luister! Jullie schaduwen die in het duister toeven,
Leer om het licht te vervloeken
Gelukkig, gelukkig zij die in de hel
De spijt van deze wereld niet meer kennen.

Translation by Jan Wyns