When I was otherwise (William Byrd)

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  • CPDL #08697:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-12-10).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 101 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Feb 09. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: When I was otherwise
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1580 in Dow Partbooks, no. 96
  2nd published: 1589 in Songs of sundrie natures, no. 30
Description:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

When I was otherwise then now I am,
I loved more but skilled not so much,
faire words & smiles, could have contented than,
my symple age and ignorance was such:
But at the length, experience made me wonder,
that harts and tongues did lodge so farre asunder.

As watermen which on the Thames doe row,
Looke to the East, but West keepes on the way,
My Soveraigne sweet, her countenaunce setled so,
To feede my hope while shee her snares might laie,
And when shee saw, that I was in her danger,
Good God, how soone she proved then a ranger.

I could not choose but laugh although to late,
To see great craft dissifered [deciphered] in a toy,
I love her still, but such conditions hate,
Which so prophaines my Paradice of joy.
Love whets the wits, whose paine is but a pleasure,
A toy, by fits, to play with all at leasure.