Where fancy fond (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2003-10-21)  CPDL #05822:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2003-10-21).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 92 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Sept 08.

General Information

Title: Where fancy fond
Composer: William Byrd

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1580 in Dow Partbooks, no. 63
First published: 1588 in Psalmes, Sonnets and Songs, no. 15

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Wher fancie fond for pleasure pleads,
and reason keeps poore hope in Jayle,
there time it is to take my beads,
and pray, that beautie may prevaile:
or else dispaire will win the field,
wher reason, hope, and pleasure yeeld.

My eyes presume to judge this case,
whose judgement reason doth disdaine:
but beautie with her wanton face,
stands to defend, the case is plaine:
and at the barre of sweet delight,
she pleads that fancie must be right.

But shame will not have reason yeeld,
though griefe doe sweare it shall be so:
as though it were a perfect shield,
to blush and feare to tell my woe:
where silence force will at the last,
to wish for wit when hope is past.

So farre hath fond desire out runne,
the bond which reason set out first:
that where delight the fray begun,
I would now say if that I durst:
that in her steed ten thousand woes,
have sprong in field where pleasure growes.

O that I might declare the rest,
of all the toies which fancie turnes:
like towres of winde within my brest,
where fire is hid that never burnes,
then should I try one of the twaine,
either to love, or to disdaine.

But since conceit dares not declare,
the strange conflict of hope and feares
least reason should be left so bare,
that love durst whisper in mine eare,
and tell mee how my fancie shall,
bring reason to be beauties thrall.

I must therefore with silence build,
the Laborinth of my delight:
till Love hath try’d in open field,
which of the twaine shall win the fight:
I feare mee reason must give place,
If fancy fond win beauties grace.