I saw my lady weep (John Dowland)

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  • (Posted 2017-02-07)  CPDL #43020:        
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-02-07).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 37 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #15997, with corrections.
  • (Posted 2008-08-11)  CPDL #17893:     
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2008-08-11).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 91 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: SB plus lute tablature (7-course, tenor G tuning).
  • (Posted 2008-02-15)  CPDL #15997:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-02-15).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 20 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. See the discussion page for full description.
  • (Posted 2001-01-31)  CPDL #02040:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and LilyPond files
Editor: Laura Conrad (submitted 2001-01-31).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 60 kB   Copyright: GnuGPL
Edition notes: partbook format, vocal parts, no lute part.

General Information

Title: I saw my lady weepe
Composer: John Dowland

Number of voices: 2vv   Voicing: SB
Genre: SecularLute song

Language: English
Instruments: Lute

First published: 1600 in The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, no. 1

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

I saw my lady weep,
And Sorrow proud to be advanced so,
In those fair eyes where all perfections keep,
Her face was full of woe;
But such a woe (believe me) as wins more hearts,
Than Mirth can do with her enticing parts.

Sorrow was there made fair,
And Passion wise, tears a delightful thing,
Silence beyond all speech a wisdom rare,
She made her sighs to sing,
And all things with so sweet a sadness move,
As made my heart at once both grieve and love.

O fairer than aught else,
The world can show, leave off in time to grieve,
Enough, enough, your joyful looks excels,
Tears kills the heart.
O strive not to be excellent in woe,
Which only breeds your beauty's overthrow.