1] A canzonet is, in Morley's own words (Canzonets, or Little Short Songs to Foure Voyces, 1597) "a little short song" "in composition of the musick a counterfet of the madrigal." The madrigal was an unaccompanied song of from three to six voice parts, and polyphonic in character. On account of the repetition of phrases the madrigal composers seldom used more than one stanza of from six to ten lines, and their free treatment of the text makes reconstruction sometimes difficult, and to some extent, a matter of opinion. The text here given follows that of Ault, in Elizabethan Lyrics. As he notes, "the composers of the Song Books sometimes took great liberties with the poems they were setting to music, adding, repeating, transposing, substituting, and omitting words at will. Morley being in this respect perhaps the most arbitrary, it is at times difficult to reconstruct the original text he used; and thus differences of opinion arise. My reconstruction of this song differs both from Bullen's and from Dr. Fellowes'."
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Thomas Morley, Canzonets. Or little short songs to three voyces (London: T. Est, 1593). STC 18121
First publication date: 1593
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP.1.237; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/13
Other poems by Thomas Morley