Why do I use my paper, ink and pen? (William Byrd)

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  • CPDL #05314:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2003-07-07).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 119 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised March 2008. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Why do I use my paper, ink and pen?
Composer: William Byrd
Lyricist: St. Henry Walpolecreate page (1558-95), attrib.

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1580 in Dow Partbooks, no. 66
  2nd published: 1588 Psalmes, sonets, & songs…, no. 33

Description:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1.
Why do I use my paper, ink and pen,
And call my wits to counsel what to say?
Such memories were made for mortal men;
I speak of Saints whose names cannot decay.
An Angel's trump were fitter for to sound
Their glorious death if such on earth were found

2.
That store of such were once on earth pursued,
The histories of ancient times record,
Whose constancy great tyrants' rage subdued
Through patient death, professing Christ the Lord:
As his Apostles perfect witness bare,
With many more that blessed Martyrs were.

3.
Whose patience rare and most courageous mind,
With fame renowned perpetual shall endure,
By whose examples we may rightly find,
Of holy life and death a pattern pure.
That we therefore their virtues may embrase
Pray we to Christ to guide us with his grace.