Some of you may know I went to school for classical voice performance. I loved it, but not so much as writing and performing my own songs. Still, I relish an opportunity to flex my classical muscles (so to speak). Classical singers and popular singers alike, from Barbara Bonny to Sting, have recorded versions of “Come Again” by Renaissance composer, John Dowland. This dramatic portrayal of unrequited love, typical of Dowland, has remained popular since it’s original print in Dowland’s “First Book of Songes or Ayres” in 1597. No doubt it was a favorite of William Shakespeare! (Total conjecture…)
There are six verses. Though I present only the first, second, and sixth verses here, you can find all six verses printed below. Enjoy!
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.
That I may cease to mourn
Through thy unkind disdain;
For now left and forlorn
I sit, I sigh, I weep, I faint, I die
In deadly pain and endless misery.
All the day
The sun that lends me shine
By frowns do cause me pine
And feeds me with delay;
Her smiles, my springs that makes my joys to grow,
Her frowns the Winters of my woe.
All the night
My sleeps are full of dreams,
My eyes are full of streams.
My heart takes no delight
To see the fruits and joys that some do find
And mark the storms are me assign’d.
My faith is ever true,
Yet will she never rue
Nor yield me any grace;
Her eyes of fire, her heart of flint is made,
Whom tears nor truth may once invade.
Draw forth thy wounding dart,
Thou canst not pierce her heart;
For I, that do approve
By sighs and tears more hot than are thy shafts
Did tempt while she for triumph laughs