Shew mercy, Lord, on me (Giovanni Croce)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2020-10-03). Score information: A4, 15 pages, 413 kB Copyright: Personal
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First published: 1608 in Musica Sacra to Six Voices, no. 4
Description: A contrafact of Croce's Miserere mei, o Deus. Croce's Sette sonetti penitentiali were first published in 1596. They arrived in England a decade later as "Musica Sacra: to Six Voyces. Composed in the Italian tongue by GIOVANNI CROCE. Newly Englished. In London Printed by Thomas Este, the assigne of William Barley. 1608."
Original text and translations
Shew mercy Lord on me most heinous sinner,
And mortify my sin so grievous guilty;
O cleanse me from it, purify me filthy;
For in thy sight Lord I am only sinner.
In sin (thou know'st) my sinful mother bore me:
But O thou guide unto the heav'nly city,
Wash, wash my soul in laver of thy pity,
So shall no snow in whiteness go before me,
Give me a clean heart, an untainted spirit;
And of thy grace and face bereave me never;
So shall I more adore thy name and fear it,
And to thy service more and more endeavour;
Sith broken hearts (as doth thy voice aver it)
Are th'only sacrifice thou joy'st in ever.
Psalm 51, paraphrased in sonnet by Francesco Bembo, english'd by R.H.