It was a time when silly bees could speake (John Dowland)
- Editor: Sabine Cassola (submitted 2016-11-05). Score information: A4, 2 pages, 72 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes:
- Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2011-08-07). Score information: A4, 3 pages, 35 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
- Editor: Walker Boyle (submitted 2011-04-24). Score information: Letter, 3 pages, 74 kB Copyright: Public Domain
- Edition notes: MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.
- Editor: Brian Russell (submitted 2008-05-07). Score information: A4, 27 pages Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes: NoteWorthy Composer file may be viewed and printed with NoteWorthy Composer Viewer.
Description: No. XVIII from The Third and Last Booke of Songs or Aires (1603)
Original text and translations
It was a time when silly bees could speak,
And in that time I was a silly bee,
Who fed on time until my heart 'gan break,
Yet never found the time would favour me.
Of all the swarm I only did not thrive,
Yet brought I wax and honey to the hive.
Then thus I buzzed when time no sap would give:
Why should this blessed time to me be dry,
Sith by this time the lazy drone doth live,
The wasp, the worm, the gnat, the butterfly?
Mated with grief I kneeled on my knees,
And thus complained unto the king of bees:
My liege, gods grant thy time may never end,
And yet vouchsafe to hear my plaint of time,
Which fruitless flies have found to have a friend,
And I cast down when atomies do climb.
The king replied but thus: Peace, peevish bee,
Thou'rt bound to serve the time, the time not thee.