Softly O! drop mine eyes (John Wilbye)

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  • CPDL #24528:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2011-09-22).   Score information: A4, 10 pages, 82 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Transposed up a major 2nd from original. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Softly O! drop mine eyes
Composer: John Wilbye

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSAATB
Genre: SecularMadrigal

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

Published: 1609

Description: No. 33 from The 2nd Set of Madrigals.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Softly, O! drop mine eyes, lest you be dry,
And make my heart with grief to melt and die.
Now pour out tears apace,
Now stay, O heavy case!
O sour sweet woe!
Alas! O grief! O joy! Why strive you so?
Can griefs and joys at once in one poor heart consent?
Then sigh and sing, rejoice, lament.
Ah me! O passions strange and violent!
Was never poor wretch so tormented:
Nor joy, nor grief can make my heart contented.
For while with joy I look on high,
Down, down I fall with grief, and die.