Fine knacks for Ladies, cheap, choise, braue and new (John Dowland)

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General Information

Title: Fine knacks for Ladies, cheap, choice, brave and new
Composer: John Dowland

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1600 in The Second Booke of Songs or Ayres, no. 12

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. Fine knacks for ladies, cheap, choice, brave and new,
god penniworths, but money cannot prove,
I keep a fair, but for the fair to view
a beggar may be liberal of love,
Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true.

2. Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again,
My trifles come as treasures from my mind,
It is a precious jewel to be plain,
Sometimes in shell the Orient's pearls we find.
Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain

3. Within this pack pins, points, laces and gloves,
And divers toys fitting a country fair,
But in my heart, where duty serves and loves,
Turtles and twins, Court's brood, a heav'nly pair.
Happy the man that thinks of no removes.

Polish.png Polish translation

Drobiażdżki dla dam
1. Piękne drobiazgi dla dam i panien.
Warte swej ceny lecz pieniądz jest niczym,
Więc wolę jeno ich oglądanie.
Żebrak też może być wolnym w miłości,
I memu sercu nie brak szczerości.

2. Chciwość rozbudza prezent raz dany,
Te głupstwa podobne skarbom umysłu.
Prostota to klejnot, choć nieoszlifowany.
Bo czasem w muszli perła być może,
Ziarnko ode mnie, jest jak innych korzec.

3. Szpilki, trzewiczki, koronki, rękawki.
Zabawki warte wiejskiego jarmarku.
Ale w mym sercu, niczym turkawki,
Są dworska powinność i miłość na stanie.
Szczęśliwym kto za nic ma posiadanie.
Translation by Stanisław Jonczyk