Like as the doleful dove (Thomas Tallis)

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  • (Posted 2019-02-21)   CPDL #53354:     
Editor: Jason Smart (submitted 2019-02-21).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 275 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC ND
Edition notes: Vocal parts reconstructed from the keyboard arrangement in London, British Library, Add. MS 30513 (the 'Mulliner Book'). Original pitch and note values retained. A critical commentary is appended to the score.
  • CPDL #19302:     
Editor: Michael Gibson (submitted 2009-04-18).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 115 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed up by 2 semitones. Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score.

General Information

Title: Like as the doleful dove
Composer: Thomas Tallis

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

Description: This partsong now survives only in a keyboard arrangement in London, British Library Add. MS 30513 (the 'Mulliner Book'). Fortunately Mulliner's arrangement preserves all four voices complete, although one short passage appears to be corrupt. The text, identified by title only, is easily restorable from the 1578 edition of Richard Edwards (ed.),'The Paradyse of daynty devises'.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Like as the doleful dove delights alone to be,
and doth refuse the bloomed branch, choosing the leafless tree,
where on wailing his chance, his bitter tears besprent,
doth with his bill his tender breast oft pierce and all to rent;
whose grievous groanings though, whose grips of pining pain,
whose ghastly looks, whose bloody streams outflowing from each vein,
whose falling from the tree, whose panting on the ground,
examples be of mine estate, though there appear no wound.

French.png French translation

Tout comme la triste tourterelle trouve plaisir en la solitude,
et refuse la branche fleurie, préférant l’arbre dénudé,
où gémissant sur son sort, ses larmes amères s’éparpillant,
de son bec perce souvent sa tendre gorge en lambeaux ;
de qui les affreuses lamentations, de qui l’emprise d’une douleur lancinante,
de qui les horribles regards, de qui des filets ensanglantés coulant de chaque veine
de qui la chute de l’arbre, de qui les halètements sur le sol,
sont des exemples de mon état, même si aucune plaie ne se peut voir.