Nay let me weep (Orlando Gibbons)

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  • (Posted 2017-10-30)  CPDL #47131:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2017-10-30).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 67 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of part 1 of #30292, with minor changes to underlay, and to slurring. Verse 1 only.
  • (Posted 2013-10-08)  CPDL #30292:        (Finale 2004)
Editor: Willem Verkaik (submitted 2013-10-08).   Score information: A4, 25 pages, 378 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transcribed in modern clefs, but in original key.For SATTB transpose down ad lib.
Contains all three verses. See also Ne'er let the sun and Yet if that age.

General Information

Title: Nay let me weep (Three parts)
Composer: Orlando Gibbons

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1612 in The First Set of Madrigals and Mottets, no. 17

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

I. Nay, let me weep, tho' others' tears be spent,
Though all eyes dried be, let mine be wet,
Unto thy grave I'll pay this yearly rent,
Thy lifeless corse demands of me this debt,
I owe more tears than ever corse did crave
I'll pay more tears than e'er was paid to grave.

II. Ne'er let the sun with his deceiving light,
Seek to make glad these wat'ry eyes of mine,
My sorrow suits with melancholy night,
I joy in dole, in languishment I pine,
My dearest friend is set, he was my sun,
With whom my mirth, my joy, and all is done.

III. Yet if that age had frosted o'er his head,
Or if his face had furrow'd been with years,
I would not so bemoan that he is dead,
I might have been more niggard of my tears;
But O the sun new rose is gone to bed,
And lilies in their springtime hang their head.