Why fumeth in sight (Thomas Tallis)

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  • (Posted 2022-09-05)  CPDL #70697:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2022-09-05).   Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 47 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Original barring, modernized spelling, two extra verses added. I set this specifically for a beginner's class of metrical psalms at the VdGSA Conclave of 2022.
  • (Posted 2021-04-25)  CPDL #64201:     
Editor: Charles Gurnham (submitted 2021-04-25).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 40 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Modernised spelling.
  • (Posted 2021-04-25)  CPDL #64200:     
Editor: Charles Gurnham (submitted 2021-04-25).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 52 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Original spelling.
  • (Posted 2017-04-08)  CPDL #43948:      (MuseScore 2)
Editor: Pieter Beerthuizen (submitted 2017-04-08).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 1.38 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Slightly modernised English.
  • (Posted 2015-10-15)  CPDL #37211:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2015-10-15).   Score information: 7 x 10 in (landscape), 1 page, 72 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Note shapes added (4-shape). Edited: note values halved, a few note values changed; otherwise as written in 1567. Five more pairs of stanzas from Parker's paraphrase included. CPDL 37211 re-formatted 2022-11-08.
  • (Posted 2010-01-16)  CPDL #20862:       
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2010-01-16).   Score information: A4, 1 page, 20 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: George Herbert's metrical version of Psalm 23, set to Tallis's 3rd Psalm tune, but with the melody in the Soprano, not the Tenor.
  • (Posted 2012-03-04)  CPDL #09935:      (Finale 2010)
Editor: Tim Blickhan (submitted 2012-03-04).   Score information: Octavo, 1 page, 114 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes:
  • (Posted 1999-09-20)  CPDL #00415:        (Finale 1998)
Editor: Rafael Ornes (submitted 1999-09-20).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 25 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: Why fumeth in sight
Composer: Thomas Tallis
Lyricist: Matthew Parker

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SacredHymn   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.) (actually 446. 446.)

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1567 in The whole Psalter translated (1567)

External websites:

Original text and translations

Original text and translations may be found at Psalm 2.

English.png English text

Psalme. II.
The Argument. Psalme. II.
Of Christ ye see
A Prophecie
Thus Dauid spake with vs:
As merueiling
That earthly king
Should rage against him thus

Quare fremuerunt.

1. Why fumeth in sight: the Gentils spite,
In fury raging stout?
Why taketh in hond: the people fond,
Uayne thinges to bring about?

2. The kinges arise: the lordes deuise,
in counsayles mett therto:
Agaynst the Lord: with false accord,
against his Christ they go.

3. Let vs they say: breake downe their ray,
of all their bondes and cordes:
We will renounce: that they pronounce,
their loores as stately lordes.

4. But God of might: in heauen so bright,
Shall laugh them all to scorne:
The Lord on hie: shall them defie,
they shall be once forlorne.

5. Then shall his ire: speake all in fire,
to them agayne therfore:
He shall with threate: their malice beate,
in his displeasure sore.

6. Yet am I set: a king so great,
on Sion hill full fast:
Though me they kill: yet will that hill,
my lawe and worde outcast.

7. Gods wordes decreed: I (Christ) wil sprede
for God thus sayd to me/e:
My sonne I say: thou art, this day,
I haue begotten the/e.

8. Aske thou of me/e: I will geue the/e,
to rule all Gentils londes:
Thou shalt possesse: in suernesse,
the world how wide it stondes.

9. With iron rod: as mighty God,
all rebels shalt thou bruse:
And breake them all: in pieces small,
as sherdes the potters vse.

10. Be wise therfore: ye kinges the more,
Receyue ye wisdomes lore:
Ye iudges strong: of right and wrong,
aduise you now before.

11. The Lorde in feare: your seruice beare,
with dread to him reioyce:
Let rages be: resist not ye,
him serue with ioyfull voyce.

12. The sonne kisse ye: lest wroth he be,
lose not the way of rest:
For when his ire: is set on fire,
who trust in hym be blest.