How have I stray'd, Z 188 (Henry Purcell)

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  • (Posted 2019-05-29)   CPDL #54394:     
Editor: Raymond Nagem (submitted 2019-05-29).   Score information: Letter, 4 pages, 96 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Original key, with original basso continuo part only (no editorial realization).
  • (Posted 2019-05-29)   CPDL #54393:     
Editor: Raymond Nagem (submitted 2019-05-29).   Score information: Letter, 5 pages, 111 kB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Original key. Contains an editorial realization of the continuo part.

General Information

Title: How have I stray'd, Z 188
Composer: Henry Purcell
Lyricist: William Fuller

Number of voices: 1v   Voicing: Solo high with chorus TB or SB
Genre: SacredSacred song

Language: English
Instruments: Basso continuo

First published: 1688

Description: Although Purcell adds a bass voice in the chorus, with some independent melodic material, this song can also be performed with solo voice and continuo only.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

How have I stray’d! My God, where have I been,
Since first I wander’d in the Maze of Sin!
Lord, I have been I know not where,
So intricate Youth’s Follies are;
And Age hath its Lab’rinths too,
Yet neither hath a wise returning Clue!
Thy Look, thy Call, to me,
Shall my far better Ariadne be.
O most sweet dear Jesu!
Hark, hark, I hear my Shepherd call away,
And in a doleful accent say,
“Why does my Lamb thus stray?”
O blessed Voice,
That prompts me to new choice!
And fain, dear Shepherd, would I come,
But I can find no Track
To lead me back,
And if I still go on,
I am undone.
‘Tis thou, O Lord, must bring me home,
Or show the way,
For poor Souls have thousand ways to stray,
Yet to return, but only one.