John Dowland (1563–1626) was an English composer, lutenist and singer. The lyrics of most of his songs are, through lack of evidence to the contrary, conventionally attributed to Dowland himself.
- True love cannot be changed,
Though delight from desert
But yet or ere I part (O cruel),
Kiss me sweet, kiss me sweet my jewel.
- "Wilt thou unkind thus reave me of my heart", line 25, The First Book of Songs (1597).
- Come again: sweet love doth now invite,
Thy graces that refrain,
To do me due delight,
To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die,
With thee again in sweetest sympathy.
- Flow my tears, fall from your springs,
Exil'd for ever: let me mourn
Where night's black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.
- Hark you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to contemn light,
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world's despite.
- "Flow my tears", line 21, The Second Book of Songs.
- Semper Dowland semper dolens.
- Translation: Always Dowland, always sorrowful.
- Title of a pavan in Lachrimae, or Seven Tears (1604).
- He was the rarest musician that his age did behold; having travelled beyond the seas, and compounded English with foreign skill in that faculty.
- Thomas Fuller The History of the Worthies of England ( 1840), vol. 2, p. 426.
- My favourite musician happens to be the same as Shakespeare's: John Dowland. His songs are sorrowful but heal the soul by their sweetness and courage.
- Robert Graves, letter to Idries Shah, September 6, 1968; published in Between Moon and Moon: Selected Letters of Robert Graves 1946-1972, (1984), p. 272.