A Musicall Banquet: IX. Far from triumphing court

John Dowland (1563 - 1626): Lady if you so spight me, ayre « for one voice only to sing » su testo di sir Henry Lee of Ditchley (1533 - 1611). Emma Kirkby, soprano; Anthony Rooley, liuto.

Far from triumphing Court and wonted glory
He dwelt in shady unfrequented places,
Time’s prisoner now, he made his pastime story;
Glady forgets Court’s erst-afforded graces.
That goddess whom he served to heaven is gone,
And he on earth in darkness left to moan.

But lo, a glorious light from his dark rest
Shone from the place where erst this goddess dwelt;
A light whose beams the world with fruit hath blest;
Blest was the knight while he that light beheld.
Since then a star fixed on his head hath shined,
And a saint’s image in his heart is shrined.

Ravished with joy, so graced by such a saint,
He quite forgat his cell and self denaid;
He thought it shame in thankfulness to faint,
Debts due to princes must be duly paid;
Nothing so hateful to a noble mind
As finding kindness for to prove unkind.

But ah! poor knight, though thus in dream he ranged,
Hoping to serve this saint in sort most meet,
Time with his golden locks to silver changed
Hath with age-fetters bound him hands and feet.
Ay me! he cries, goddess, my limbs grow faint,
Though I Time’s prisoner be, be you my saint.

Il brano fu pubblicato dal figlio del compositore, Robert (1591 - 1641), nella raccolta A Musicall Banquet (Londra 1610, n. VIII).

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