Shew mercy, Lord, on me (Giovanni Croce)

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  • (Posted 2020-10-03)  CPDL #60783:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2020-10-03).   Score information: A4, 15 pages, 413 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: Shew mercy, Lord, on me
Composer: Giovanni Croce
Lyricist: Psalm 51

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSATTB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1608 in Musica Sacra to Six Voices, no. 4
Description: A contrafact of Croce's Miserere mei, o Deus. Croce's Sette sonetti penitentiali were first published in 1596. They arrived in England a decade later as "Musica Sacra: to Six Voyces. Composed in the Italian tongue by GIOVANNI CROCE. Newly Englished. In London Printed by Thomas Este, the assigne of William Barley. 1608."

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Shew mercy Lord on me most heinous sinner,
And mortify my sin so grievous guilty;
O cleanse me from it, purify me filthy;
For in thy sight Lord I am only sinner.
In sin (thou know'st) my sinful mother bore me:
But O thou guide unto the heav'nly city,
Wash, wash my soul in laver of thy pity,
So shall no snow in whiteness go before me,
Give me a clean heart, an untainted spirit;
And of thy grace and face bereave me never;
So shall I more adore thy name and fear it,
And to thy service more and more endeavour;
Sith broken hearts (as doth thy voice aver it)
Are th'only sacrifice thou joy'st in ever.

Psalm 51, paraphrased in sonnet by Francesco Bembo, english'd by R.H.