Were every thought an eye (John Dowland)

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  • (Posted 2008-06-09)  CPDL #17142:     
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2008-06-09).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 120 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: SATB plus lute tablature (tenor G tuning)

General Information

Title: Were every thought an eye
Composer: John Dowland

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularLute song

Language: English
Instruments: Lute

First published: 1612 in A Pilgrimes Solace, no. 6
Description:  May be performed by: solo voice (S/T) plus lute and (preferably) bass viol; SATB plus lute; S, 3 viols plus lute.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Were every thought an eye,
and all those eyes could see,
Her subtill wiles their sights would beguile,
and mocke their jelousie.

Her fires doe inward burne,
they make no outward show.
And her delights amid the dark shades,
which none discover, grow.

Desire lives in her heart,
Diana in her eyes.
T’were vaine to wish women true, t’is well,
if they prove wise.

The flowers growth is unseene,
yet every day it growes.
So where her fancy is set it thrives,
but how none knowes.

Such a Love deserves more grace,
Then a truer heart that hath no conceit,
To make use both of time and place,
When a wit hath need of all his sleight.