If my complaints could passions move (John Dowland)

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  • (Posted 2017-02-08)   CPDL #43031:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-02-08).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 52 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #13118, with minor corrections to underlay. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #17942:  Network.png
Editor: David Newman (submitted 2008-08-21).   Score information: Letter, 2 pages, 125 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Cross posting by Art Song Central - Edition in G minor
  • CPDL #13118:       
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2006-11-17).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 35 kB   Copyright: CPDL
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  • CPDL #11334:       
Editor: Andreas Stenberg (submitted 2006-03-25).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 384 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: This edition contains the choir parts and a transcription of the lute part from the original tabulature. Lute part also playable on a classical guitar esp. with Capodastro on 3.d fret.
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Editor: Ulrich Alpers (submitted 2003-08-18).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 49 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Scroll down to #4 of 'The Firste Booke of Songes' collection. Capella zipped file (of all works of the collection) not found.
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Editor: Laura Conrad (submitted 2000-06-21).   Score information: Letter, 9 pages, 450 kB   Copyright: GnuGPL
Edition notes: in partbook format, a cappella.

General Information

Title: If My Complaints Could Passions move
Composer: John Dowland

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

Language: English
Instruments: Lute

Published: 1597

Description: No IV from First Booke of Songs or Ayres (1597)

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1  If my complaints could passions move,
Or make Love see wherein I suffer wrong:
My passions were enough to prove,
That my despairs had govern'd me too long.
O Love, I live and die in thee,
Thy grief in my deep sighs still speaks:
Thy wounds do freshly bleed in me,
My heart for thy unkindness breaks:
Yet thou dost hope when I despair,
And when I hope, thou mak'st me hope in vain.
Thou say's thou canst my harms repair,
Yet for redress, thou let'st me still complain.

2  Can Love be rich, and yet I want?
Is Love my judge, and yet am I condemn'd?
Thou plenty hast, yet me dost scant:
Thou made a god, and yet thy pow'r contemn'd.
That I do live, it is thy pow'r:
That I desire it is thy worth:
If Love doth make men's lives too sour,
Let me not love, nor live henceforth.
Die shall my hopes, but not my faith,
That you that of my fall may hearers be
May here despair, which truly saith,
I was more true to Love than Love to me.

Polish.png Polish translation

1  Gdybyż żale mogły rozniecić namiętność
lub ogrom mej krzywdy lubej okazać,
ma pasja dowiodłaby, jakie piętno
wypala mi w piersi rozpaczy władza.
Miłości! Dla ciebie żyję i mrę,
twój smutek w moich westchnieniach brzmi,
z ran twoich moja sączy się krew,
A serce twa niechęć rozdziera mi.
Kiedy rozpaczam, nadziei nie tracisz
Lecz, gdy jej promyk ujrzę, czynisz go daremnym.
Mówisz - krzywd twoich nie zdołam naprawić
Lecz żal mój i smutek znajdujesz przyjemnym.

2  Czemu miłość każe mi chcieć, mimo swej majętności?
Czy jest moim sędzią a ja skazanym w celi?
Tak wiele masz lecz skąpisz miłości,
Stwórca mocy twej nie docenił.
Że żyję - jest twoją siłą
a twą wartością jest me pożądanie,
Jeśli życie zbyt gorzkim czyni miłość,
niech nie kocham więcej i żyć niech przestanę.
A choćbym stracił nadzieję, to trwał będę w wierze
iż, którzy wieść o mej klęsce posłyszą, ci
zrozumieją, co rozpacz wyrzekła szczerze:
wierniejszy byłem miłości niźli miłość mi.

Translation by Stanisław Jonczyk