The day delayed of that I most do wish (Richard Edwards)

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  • (Posted 2008-02-02)  CPDL #15885:        (Sibelius 5)
Editor: Jonathan Goodliffe (submitted 2008-02-02).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 42 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: The setting of the words of the soprano part is editorial. No attempt has been made to set the alto, second tenor or bass parts to the music.

General Information

Title: The day delayed of that I most do wish
Composer: Richard Edwards

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

Language: English
Instruments: None, but may have been intended that the parts other than the first tenor (and possibly the soprano) should be used for accompaniment

First published:
Description: From an anonymous manuscript in the library of Christ Church, Oxford. Only the words of the first tenor part are set to the music in the manuscript. The work may be by Richard Edwards, as it is similar in style to some of his compositions and he included the poem by Vaux in his posthumous work "A Paradise of Dainty Devises".

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

By Thomas, 2nd Baron Vaux of Harrowden

THE day delayed, of that I most do wish,
Wherewith I feed and starve in one degree:
With wish and want still seruèd in one dish,
Alive as dead, by proof as you may see.
To whom of old this prouerb well it serves
While grass doth grow, the silly horse he starves.
Tween these extremes, thus do I run the race
Of my poor life, this certainly I know:
Tweene would and want, unwarely that do passe,
More swift than shot out of the Archer's bow.
As Spider draws her line all day,
I watch the net, and others have the pray.

And as by proof the greedy dog doth gnaw
The barèd bone, all onely for the taste:
So to and fro this loathesome life I draw,
With fancies forst, and fed with vaine repast.
Narcissus brought unto the water brink,
So aye thirst I, the more that I do drink.
Lo thus I die, and yet I seem not sick,
With smart unseene my self, my self I wear:
With prone desire and power that is not quick,
With hope aloft, now drenchèd in despair.
Trainèd in trust, for no reward assigned,
The more I haste, the more I come behind.

With hurt to heal, in frozen ice to fry,
With loss, to laugh, this is a wonderous case:
Fast fetred here, is forst away to fly,
As hunted Hare that Hound hath in the chase.
With wings and spurs, for all the haste I make,
As like to lose, as for to draw the stake.
The days be long that hang upon desert,
The life is irk of joys that be delayed:
The time is short for to requite the smart,
That doth proceed of promise long unpaid.
That to the last of this my fainting breath,
I wish exchange of life for happy death.