His golden locks time hath to silver turn'd (John Dowland)

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  • CPDL #26076:   
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2012-05-03).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 109 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: SATB plus lute tablature. Based on 1st edition (1597), setting the text as usually sung (referring to Elizabeth), a less ornamented lute part and one significant different in the Cantus vocal line.
  • CPDL #26031:     
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2012-04-26).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 109 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: SATB plus lute tablature (7-course). Based on 5th edition (1613), incorporating significant revisions to earlier lute parts, changes to vocal lines and updating of text to refer to James instead of Elizabeth.
  • CPDL #25952:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2012-04-13).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 29 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Reformatting of #15996, with corrections. (Files revised 27/04/12) MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
  • CPDL #15996:       
Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-02-15).   Score information: A4, 3 pages, 24 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
Error.gif Possible error(s) identified. Error summary: A number of note errors See the discussion page for full description.
  • CPDL #05485:  Icon_pdf_globe.gif Icon_snd_globe.gif IMSLP1.png PDF, MIDI and Capella 4 files available.
Editor: Ulrich Alpers (submitted 2003-08-18).   Score information: A4, 2 pages, 47 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Scroll down to #18 of 'The Firste Booke of Songes' collection. Capella zipped file (of all works of the collection) not found.
  • CPDL #02994:  Network.png PDF, MIDI, ABC and LilyPond files.
Editor: Laura Conrad (submitted 2001-09-11).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 143 kB   Copyright: GnuGPL
Edition notes: in partbook format.

General Information

Title: His golden locks time hath to silver turn'd
Composer: John Dowland
Lyricist: George Peele or Sir Henry Lee

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

Language: English
Instruments: Lute

Published: 1597 in The First Booke of Songs or Ayres, no. 18

Description:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

1  His golden locks Time hath to silver turned.
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing:
His youth 'gainst Time and Age hath ever spurned,
But spurned in vain; youth waneth by increasing.
Beauty, strength, youth are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love are roots, and ever green.

2  His helmet now shall make a hive for bees,
And lovers' sonnets turn to holy psalms.
A man at arms must now serve on his knees,
And feed on prayers which are Age's alms.
But though from Court to cottage he depart,
His Saint is sure of his unspotted heart.

3  And when he saddest sits in homely cell,
He'll teach his swains this carol for a song:
Blest be the hearts that wish my Sov'reign well.
Curst be the soul that think her [him] any wrong.
Goddess [Ye gods], allow this aged man his right
To be your beadsman now, that was your knight.

[Variants in square brackets appear in editions published in James I's reign]

Polish.png Polish translation

Translation by Stanisław Jonczyk
1  Jego loki, pierw złote, Czas srebrem oprószył,
Czas naprzód pędzący niepowstrzymanie.
Młodość na wojnę z czasem próbowała ruszyć
Nie raz, lecz daremnie - ginęła w przmijaniu,
Piękno, siła i młodość jak kwiaty - kiedyś zwiędną,
A służba, wiara i miłość - zawsze zielone będą.

2  Z hełmu została na ul dla pszczół skorupa,
A miast miłosnych sonetów, zbożne pieśni śpiewa.
Ten żołnierz, co na wojnie i w karczmach uciech szukał,
Dziś na klęczkach, modlitwą żywi się miast chleba.
Lecz, choć opuścił dwory i na wsi teraz gości,
Jednego być pewnym można - jego serca czystości.

3  I, gdy smutny zasiądzie w domu celi,
Swych kmiotków nauczy tej wesołej ballady:
Kto pani mej dobrze życzy, niech szczęście i pokój dzieli,
W ogniu piekielnym niech spłonie, kto wytyka jej wady.
Bogini, dozwól mężczyźnie, co nad grobem już stoi,
Tak modlić się za twą duszę, jak był rycerzem twoim.