When in Disgrace (Mark Chapman)

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  • (Posted 2017-08-31)   CPDL #46140:       
Editor: Mark Chapman (submitted 2017-08-31).   Score information: A4, 8 pages, 665 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC SA
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: When in Disgrace
Composer: Mark Chapman
Lyricist: William Shakespeare

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

Description: A setting of Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 (originally for men's choir TTBB), which alternates between 5/4, for passages expressing the poet's self-doubt, and 6/4 for the more optimistic parts, with corresponding changes in tonality.

External websites: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45090/sonnet-29-when-in-disgrace-with-fortune-and-mens-eyes

Original text and translations

English.png English text

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone be-weep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;

For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.