Wedded to will is witless (William Byrd)

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  • CPDL #7669: Icon_pdf.gif Icon_snd.gif
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-07-18).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 107 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Nov 08

General Information

Title: Wedded to will is witless
Composer: William Byrd
Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATTB
Genre: Secular, Partsong

Language: English
Instruments: a cappella
Published: Psalmes, Songs, and Sonnets... (1611), no.23


External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Wedded to will is witlesse,
And seldome he is skilfull,
That bears the name of wise, and yet is wilfull.
To governe he is fitlesse,
That deals not by election,
but by his fond affection.
O that it might be treason,
for men to rule by will, and not by reason.