Time's eldest son, Old Age, the heir of Ease (John Dowland)

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  • (Posted 2017-03-14)   CPDL #43549:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-03-14).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 31 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #16796. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #16796:       
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-05-06).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 14 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
  • CPDL #02195:  Network.png PDF, MIDI and LilyPond files available.
Editor: Laura Conrad (submitted 2001-03-21).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 53 kB   Copyright: GnuGPL
Edition notes: partbook format, vocal parts, no lute part

General Information

Title: Tymes eldest sonne, old age the heire of ease (First part)
Composer: John Dowland

Number of voices: 2vv   Voicing: SB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1600 in The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, no. 6

Description: First part of three

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Time's eldest son, Old Age, the heir of Ease,
Strength's foe, Love's woe, and foster to Devotion,
Bids gallant youths in martial prowess please,
As for himself, he hath no earthly motion,
But thinks sighs, tears, vows, prayers, and sacrifices,
As good as shows, masks, jousts, or tilt devises.

Then sit thee down, and say thy Nunc Dimittis,
With De profundis, Credo and Te Deum,
Chant Miserere for what is now so fit is,
As that, or this, Paratum est cor meum,
O that thy Saint would take in worthy heart,
Thou canst not please her with a better part.

When others sing Venite exultemus,
Stand by and turn to Noli aemulari,
For Quare fremuerunt use Oremus;
Vivat Eliza for an Ave Maria,
And teach those swains that live about thy cell,
To say Amen when thou dost pray so well.