An ape, a lion, a fox and an ass, Z 241 (Henry Purcell)

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  • (Posted 2019-05-22)  CPDL #54291:       
Editor: Raymond Nagem (submitted 2019-05-22).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 49 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: From The Second Book of the Catch Club or Merry Companions (London: John Walsh, c. 1700).

General Information

Title: An ape, a lion, a fox and an ass, Z 241
Composer: Henry Purcell

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: 3 equal voices
Genre: SecularCanon

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

An Ape, a Lion, a Fox, and an Ass,
Do shew forth Man's Life as it were in a Glass:
For Apish we are till Twenty and one,
And after that, Lions till Forty be gone;
Then witty as Foxes till Threescore and Ten,
but after that Asses, and so no more Men.

A Dove, a Sparrow, a Parrot, a Crow,
As plainly sets forth how you Women may know:
Harmless they are, till Thirteen be gone,
Then Wanton as Sparrows till Forty draw on;
Then Prating as Parrots till Threescore be o'er,
Then Birds of ill Omen, and Women no more.