John Dowland

English Renaissance composer, lutenist, and singer (1563–1626)

John Dowland (15631626) 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.

Quotes edit

  • True love cannot be changed,
    Though delight from desert
    Be estranged.
    Farewell, farewell
    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).

Criticism edit

  • 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 ([1662] 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.

External links edit

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