Mary's Tears (Oliver Shaw)

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  • (Posted 2019-11-28)  CPDL #56113:         
Editor: Barry Johnston (submitted 2019-11-28).   Score information: Letter, 1 page, 52 kB   Copyright: Public Domain
Edition notes: Transcribed from a separate publication. Four stanzas included, as in 1817.

General Information

Title: Mary's Tears
First Line: Were not the sinful Mary's tears
Composer: Oliver Shaw
Lyricist: Thomas Moore

Number of voices: 1v   Voicings: S or T
Genre: Sacred   Meter: 86. 86 (C.M.)

Language: English
Instruments: Piano

First published: 1817 in a separate by Oliver Shaw, Providence
Description: "Sung at the oratorio performed by the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, July 5, 1817, in presence of the President of the United States [James Monroe]." Words by Thomas Moore, 1816, with five stanzas. Shaw quoted stanzas 1, 2, 3, and 5 in his composition.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1. Were not the sinful Mary's tears
An offering worthy heaven,
When o'er the faults of former years
She wept, and was forgiven!

2. When bringing every balmy sweet
Her day of luxury stored,
She o'er her Savior's hallowed feet
The precious perfume poured.


3. And wiped them wilh that golden hair,
Where once the diamond shone,
Though now those gems of grief were there
Which shine for God alone!

4. Were not those sweets so humbly shed,
That hair, those weeping eyes,
And the sunk heart, that inly bled,
Heaven's noblest sacrifice.


5. Thou that hast slept in errors sleep,
Oh! wouldst thou wake in heaven,
Like Mary kneel, like Mary weep,
Love much, and be forgiven!