Come again, sweet love

This air by John Dowland was the first piece I ever attempted to learn for lute, when I was learning with my first teacher, Maistre Lucien de Pontivy. Later, I learned the full arrangement, and have performed it, self-accompanied, at my Pennsic concert in 2017, and at King’s & Queen’s Bardic Champions in 2019.


I discuss my research and experience around this piece in an A&S Journey blog entry.

Come again, sweet love doth now invite

Music by John Dowland, lyrics Anonymous
(song #17 from The Firste Booke of Songes or Ayres, 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.

Come again! 
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.

Out alas, 
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.

Gentle Love, 
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.

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