Prostrate O Lord I lie (William Byrd)

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  • (Posted 2003-10-12)  CPDL #05681:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2003-10-12).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 99 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised August 08.

General Information

Title: Prostrate O Lord I Lie
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATBB
Genre: SacredPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

 Manuscript 1580 in Dow Partbooks, no. 94
First published: 1588 in Psalmes, Sonnets and Songs, no. 27


External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Prostrate O Lord, I lie,
beehold mee Lord, with pittie,
stop not thine eares against my cry,
my sad and mourning dittie,
Breath’d from an inward soule,
from hart hart’ly contrite,
an offering sweet, a sacrifice,
in thy high heavenly sight.

Observe not sinnes O Lord,
for who may then abide it,
but let thy mercie cancell them,
thou hast not man deni’d it,
man melting with remorse and thoughts,
thought past repenting,
O lighten Lord, O heare our songs,
our sinnes full sore lamenting.

The wonders of thy works
above all reason reacheth,
and yet thy mercie above all
this, us thy spirit teacheth,
then let no sinner fall,
in depth of foul despair,
since never soul so foul there was,
but mercie made it faire.