What shall I do to show, Z 627/18 (Henry Purcell)

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  • (Posted 2003-10-26)  CPDL #05856:  Network.png PDF and MIDI files
Editor: Eva Toller (submitted 2003-10-26).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 162 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Arranged by Eva Toller. All files are available on http://www.evatoller.se/main_men_titles_S-OE.html (Midi files available for each part.)

General Information

Title: What shall I do to show
Composer: Henry Purcell
Lyrics: Thomas Betterton

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: TTBB
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published:

External websites:

  • Free choir training aids for this work are available at Choralia.

Original text and translations

English.png English text

What shall I do to show how much I love her?
How many millions of sighs can suffice?
That which wins other hearts never can move her;
those common methods of love she'll despise.

I will love more than man e'er lov'd before me,
gaze on her all the day and melt all the night;
till for her own sake, at last, she'll implore me
to love her less to preserve our delight.

Since Gods themselves could not ever be loving,
men must have breathing recruits for new joys;
I wish my love could be always improving,
though eager love more than sorrows destroys.

In fair aurelia's arms leave me expiring,
to be embalm'd by the sweets of her breath;
to the last moment I'll still be desiring;
never had hero so glorious a death.

Lyrics: Thomas Betterton