How vain the toils (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2022-09-26)  CPDL #70968:        (LilyPond)
Editor: Allen Garvin (submitted 2022-09-26).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 56 kB   Copyright: CC BY NC
Edition notes: Individual parts for the viols (or other instrument) are available at IMSLP or at
  • (Posted 2008-11-17)  CPDL #18306:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2008-11-17).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 95 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes:

General Information

Title: How vain the toils
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: A
Genre: SacredConsort song

Language: English
Instruments: 2 treble, 2 tenor & bass viols

First published: 1611 in Psalmes, Songs, and Sonnets, no. 32

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

How vaine the toyles that mortall men doe take
to hoord up gold that time doth turne to drosse,
forgetting him who onely for their sake,
his precious bloud did shed upon the Crosse.
And taught us all in heaven to hoord our treasure,
where true encrease doth grow above all measure.