Say love if ever thou didst find (John Dowland)

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General Information

Title: Say love if ever thou didst finde
Composer: John Dowland

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

Language: English
Instruments: Lute

Published: No VII from The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires (1603)

Description:

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Say, Love if ever thou didst find,
A woman with a constant mind,
None but one,
And what should that rare mirror be,
Some goddess or some queen is she,
She and only she,
She only queen of love and beauty.

But could thy fiery poison'd dart
At no time touch her spotless heart
Nor come near?
She is not subject to Love's bow,
Her eye commands, her heart saith 'No',
No and only no
One no another still doth follow.

How might I that fair wonder know
That mocks desire with endless no
See the moon
That ever in one change doth grow
Yet still the same and she is so
So and only so
From Heav'n her virtues she doth borrow

To her then yield thy shafts and bow,
That can command affections so:
Love is free,
So are her thoughts that vanquish thee,
There is no queen of love but she,
She and only she,
She only queen of love and beauty.
 

German.png German translation

Sag, Liebe, fandest du je
eine Frau mit treuem Sinn?
Nur die eine! Nur sie!
Und wer sollte dieses Idealbild sein?
Eine Göttin, eine Königin ist sie!
Sie, sie … und nur sie,
die einzige Königin der Liebe und Schönheit!
Ihr überreiche deine Pfeile und den Bogen,
die eine solche Macht über Gefühle haben:
Die Liebe ist frei! Die Liebe ist frei!
So auch ihre Gedanken, die dich bezwingen,
Nur sie ist die Königin der Liebe: Sie, sie….