In fields abroad (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2004-12-13)  CPDL #08723:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-12-13).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 237 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised July 22 (formatting).

General Information

Title: In fields abroad
Composer: William Byrd

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

    Manuscript 1580 in Dow Partbooks, no. 62
First published: 1588 in Psalmes, Sonnets and Songs, no. 22
    2nd published: 1900 in Ausgewählte Madrigale und mehrstimmige Gesänge , Book III, no. 1

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

In fields abroad, wher Trumpets shrill do sound,
wher glaves & shields, do give & take the knocks,
wher bodies dead, doe overspred the ground:
& friends to foes, are common butchers blocks,
A gallant shot well managing his peece
in my conceit deserves a golden fleece.

Amid the seas, a gallant ship set out,
where in nor men nor yet munitions lacks,
in greatest winds that spareth not a clout,
but cuts the waves in spight of wethers wracks,
would force a swain that comes of cowards kinde,
to change him selfe and be of noble minde.

Who makes his seat a stately stamping stead,
whose neighes & playes are princely to behold,
whose courage stout, whose eyes are fiery red,
whose joints well knit, whose harnes all of gold,
doth well deserve to be no meaner thing
then Percian knight whose horse made him a king.

By that beside where sits a gallant Dame,
who casteth of her brave and rich attire,
whose petecote sets forth as faire a frame,
as mortall men or gods can well desire,
who sits and sees her petecote unlast,
I say no more, the rest are all disgrast.