What if I never speed (John Dowland)

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  • (Posted 2017-04-07)  CPDL #43916:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-04-07).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 48 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #9209, with corrections. English modernised.
  • (Posted 2013-01-05)  CPDL #27976:         
Editor: Ulrich Kapp (submitted 2013-01-05).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 1.18 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Open source MuseScore notation software may be downloaded freely.
  • (Posted 2006-01-09)  CPDL #09209:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2006-01-09).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 26 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
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  • (Posted 2001-09-11)  CPDL #02998:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and LilyPond files available.
Editor: Laura Conrad (submitted 2001-09-11).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 80 kB   Copyright: GnuGPL
Edition notes: In partbook format, listed under "What if I never speed?"

General Information

Title: What if I never speed
Composer: John Dowland

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella (originally with lute tablature)

First published: 1603 in The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires, no. 9

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

What if I never speed,
shall I straight yield to despair,
and still on sorrow feed
that can no loss repair;
or shall I change my love,
for I find pow'r to depart,
and in my reason prove
I can command my heart?
But if she will pity my desire,
and my love requite,
then ever shall she live my dear delight.
Come, come, come, while I have a heart to desire thee.
Come, come, come, for either I will love or admire thee.

Oft have I dreamed of joy,
yet I never felt the sweete,
But tired with annoy,
my griefs each other greete.
Oft have I left my hope,
as a wretch by fate forlorn,
But Love aims at one scope,
and lost will still returne.
He that once loves with a true desire
never can depart,
For Cupid is the king of every heart.
Come, come, come, while I have a heart to desire thee.
Come, come, come, for either I will love or admire thee.