When I was otherwise (William Byrd)
- Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-12-10). Score information: A4, 4 pages, 101 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes: Revised Feb 09.
Title: When I was otherwise
Composer: William Byrd
Original text and translations
When I was otherwise then now I am,
I loved more but skilled not so much,
faire words & smiles, could have contented than,
my symple age and ignorance was such:
But at the length, experience made me wonder,
that harts and tongues did lodge so farre asunder.
As watermen which on the Thames doe row,
Looke to the East, but West keepes on the way,
My Soveraigne sweet, her countenaunce setled so,
To feede my hope while shee her snares might laie,
And when shee saw, that I was in her danger,
Good God, how soone she proved then a ranger.
I could not choose but laugh although to late,
To see great craft dissifered [deciphered] in a toy,
I love her still, but such conditions hate,
Which so prophaines my Paradice of joy.
Love whets the wits, whose paine is but a pleasure,
A toy, by fits, to play with all at leasure.