Upon a Summer's day - Then for a boat (William Byrd)

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  • CPDL #07378:        (Sibelius 4)
Editor: David Fraser (submitted 2004-06-30).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 108 kB    Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Revised Jan 09, incorporating numerous corrections. MusicXML source file is in compressed .mxl format.

General Information

Title: Upon a Summer's day - Then for a boat
Composer: William Byrd

Number of voices: 3vv   Voicing: SAT
Genre: SecularPartsong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1589 in Songs of sundrie natures, no. 12-13


External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

Upon a Summers day love went to swim,
and cast himselfe into a Sea of teares,
the cloudes cald in their light, and Heaven waxt dim,
and sighes did raise a tempest, causing feares.
The naked boy could not so weld his armes,
but that the waves were maisters of his might,
and threatned him to worke farr greater harmes,
if he devised not to scape by flight.

Then for a bote his quiver stood in stead,
his bow unbent, did serve him for a mast,
whereby to saile his cloth of vaile hee spread,
his shaftes for ores on either bord he cast,
from shipwracke safe this wag got thus to shore,
& sware, to bath in lovers tears no more.