John Wilbye Poems

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John Wilbye
John Wilbye (baptized 7 March 1574, d. September 1638) was an English madrigal composer. He was born at Brome in Norfolk, the son of a tanner, and received the patronage of the Cornwallis family. It is thought that he accompanied Elizabeth Cornwallis to Hengrave Hall near Bury St. Edmunds in around 1594 when she married Sir Thomas Kytson the Younger. A set of madrigals by him appeared in 1598 and a second in 1608, the two sets containing sixty-four pieces. In 1600 he was chosen to proofread John Dowland's Second Booke of Songs. In 1628, on the death of Elizabeth Cornwallis, Wilbye went to live with her daughter Mary Darcy, Countess Rivers in Colchester. He died there in 1638. Wilbye is probably the most famous of all the English madrigalists; his pieces have long been favourites and are often included in modern collections. His madrigals include Weep, weep o mine eyes and Draw on, sweet night. His style is characterized by delicate writing for the voice, acute sensitivity to the text and the use of 'false relations' between the major and minor modes.

love not me for comely grace
Love not me for comely grace,
For my pleasing eye or face;
Nor for any outward part,
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