Love stood amazed at sweet beauty's pain (John Dowland)

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  • (Posted 2009-03-24)  CPDL #19101:     
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2009-03-24).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 95 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: SATB plus lute tablature (7-course, tenor G tuning).
  • (Posted 2008-05-07)  CPDL #16839:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-05-07).   Score information: A4, 7 pages, 32 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. Error summary: Accidental See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: Loue stood amazed at sweet beauty's pain
Composer: John Dowland

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularLute song

Language: English
Instruments: Lute

First published: 1603 in The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires, no. 10

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Love stood amazed at sweet beauty's pain,
Love would have said that all was but vain, and gods but half divine.
But when Love saw that beauty would die, he all aghast to heavens did cry,
O gods, what wrong is mine.

Then his tears bred in thoughts of salt brine,
Fell from his eyes, like rain in sunshine expelled by rage of fire:
Yet in such wise as anguish affords,
He did express in these his last words his infinite desire.

Are you fled, fair? Where are now those eyes?
Eyes but too fair, envied by the skies, you angry gods to know,
With guiltless blood your sceptres you stain,
On poor true hearts like tyrants you rain: unjust why do you so?

Are you false gods? Why then do you rain?
Are you just gods? Why then do you stain the life of love on earth,
Beauty, now thy face lives in the skies,
Beauty, now let me live in thine eyes, where bliss felt never death.

Then from high rock, the rock of despair,
He falls, in hope to smother in the air, or else on stones to burst,
Or on cold waves to spend his last breath,
Or his strange life to end by strange death, but fate forbid the worst.

With pity moved the gods then change love
To Phoenix shape, yet cannot remove his wonted property,
He loves the sun because it is fair,
Sleep he neglects, he lives but by air, and would, but cannot die.