Why do I use my paper, ink and pen? (William Byrd)
- Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2003-07-07). Score information: A4, 4 pages, 119 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes: Revised March 2008.
Title: Why do I use my paper, ink and pen?
Composer: William Byrd
Lyricist: St. Henry Walpolecreate page (1558-95), attrib.
Number of voices: 5vv Voicing: SAATB
Genre: Secular, Partsong
Instruments: A cappella
Manuscript 1580 in Dow Partbooks, no. 66
First published: 1588 Psalmes, sonets, & songs…, no. 33
Original text and translations
Why do I use my paper, ink and pen,
And call my wits to counsel what to say?
Such memories were made for mortal men;
I speak of Saints whose names cannot decay.
An Angel's trump were fitter for to sound
Their glorious death if such on earth were found
That store of such were once on earth pursued,
The histories of ancient times record,
Whose constancy great tyrants' rage subdued
Through patient death, professing Christ the Lord:
As his Apostles perfect witness bare,
With many more that blessed Martyrs were.
Whose patience rare and most courageous mind,
With fame renowned perpetual shall endure,
By whose examples we may rightly find,
Of holy life and death a pattern pure.
That we therefore their virtues may embrase
Pray we to Christ to guide us with his grace.