When shall my wretched life (John Wilbye)

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  • CPDL #24375:         
Editor: James Gibb (submitted 2011-09-06).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 46 kB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: This version is set as SSATTB, since the original Alto has a lower range than the Tenor. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: When shall my wretched life
Composer: John Wilbye

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

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1598 in The First Set of Madrigals for 3-6 voices, no. 25

Description: Original version is SSSATB.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

When shall my wretched life give place to death?
That my sad cares may be enforc’d to leave me.
Come, saddest shadow, stop my vital breath,
For I am thine, then let not care bereave thee
Of thy sad thrall but, with thy fatal dart,
Kill care and me, while care lies at my heart.