O sweet deceit (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2011-03-29)  CPDL #23309:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2011-03-29).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 122 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Based on #12303, with minor corrections to underlay. Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score.
  • (Posted 2006-08-12)  CPDL #12303:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: John Henry Fowler (submitted 2006-08-12).   Score information: Letter, 14 pages, 89 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: O Sweet Deceit
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SSATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

O sweet deceit in speech contained;
O sugar’d cup, wherein we drink our poison;
O false disembl’d thoughts of most disdained;
O subtle seas, that none can sound with reason!
What Circe can with all her craft and witches,
More mischief work than men with flatt’ring speeches?
Like Harpias vile, which poets’ feigning graces
To make the world the more at them to wonder,
They say these people have fair women’s faces
And claws that tear men’s hearts asunder;
In court they dwell and make their occupation
To cozen simple folk with adulation.