Why wail we thus? (George Kirbye)

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  • (Posted 2014-05-07)  CPDL #31851:         
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2014-05-07).   Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 108 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 2012-01-28)  CPDL #25502:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2012-01-28).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 65 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: From the 1892 edition, edited by G. E. P. Arkwright. 3/1 time signature in central section changed to 3/2.
  • (Posted 2005-11-15)  CPDL #10138:  Network.png
Editor: Vince M. Brennan (submitted 2005-11-15).   Score information: Letter, 11 pages, 99 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Copyright (c) 2004 V. M. Brennan
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. See the discussion page for full description.

General Information

Title: Why wail we thus?
Composer: George Kirbye

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1597 in The first set of English madrigalls to 4-6 voyces, no. 23
Description: 2nd part of of a 2-part madrigal, the 1st part being Up then, Melpomene

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Why wail we thus, why weary we the gods with plaints,
as if some evil were to her betight?
She reigns a goddess now among the saints,
that whilome was the saint of shepherds light,
and is installed now in heaven's height.
I see thee, blessed soul, I see,
walk in Elysian fields so free.
O, happy hearse, might I once come to thee,
O, that I might…
O, joyful verse.