All as a sea (William Byrd)

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  • CPDL #5340: Icon_pdf.gif Icon_snd.gif
Editor: David Fraser (added 2003-07-16).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 90 kbytes   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised August 08

General Information

Title: All as a sea
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: Secular, Partsong

Language: English
Instruments: a cappella
Published: Psalmes, sonets, & songs... (1588), no.28


External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Al as a Sea, the world no other is,
our selves are ships still tossed to & fro,
and loe, each man, his love to that or this,
is like a storme, that drives the ship to goe,
that thus our life in doubt of shipwrack stands,
our wils the rocks, our want of skill the sands.

Our passions be Pirates still that spoyle,
and overboard cast’s out our reasons fraight:
the Marriners that day and night doe toyle,
bee our conceits that doe on pleasure waight:
pleasure Master doth tirannize the Ship,
and giveth Vertue secretly the nip.

The compasse is a minde to compasse all,
both pleasure, profit, place and fame, for naught:
the windes that blow men overweening call,
the Merchandise is wit full deerely bought:
tryal the Anker cast upon experience,
for labor, lyfe and all a doe the recompence.