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Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601)
Ayres I to II.

to 'Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601) Ayres III to V.'

SIR, the generall voice of your worthines,
and the manie particular fauours which I
haue heard Master Campion (with dutifull
respect often acknowledge himselfe to haue
receiued from you) haue emboldned mee to
present this Booke of Ayres to your fauoura-
ble iudgement, and gracious protection; es-
pecially because the first ranke of songs are of
his owne composition, made at his vacant
houres, and priuately emparted to his friends, whereby they grew
both publicke, and (as coine crackt in exchange corrupted: some
of them both words and notes vnrespectiuely challenged by others.

In regard of which wronges, though his selfe neglects these light
fruits as superfluous blossomes of his deeper Studies, yet hath it plea-
sed him vpon my entreaty, to grant me the imprefsion of part of
them, to which I haue added an equall number of mine owne
. And
this two-faced Janus thus in one bodie vnited, I humbly entreate
you to entertaine and defend, chiefely in respect of the affection
which I suppose you beare him, who I am assured doth aboue all o-
thers loue and honour you. And for my part, I shall think my selfe
happie if in anie seruice I may deserue this fauour.

Your Worships humbly deuoted,


SWeete come againe,
your happie sight so much desir'd
since you from hence are now retir'd
I seeke in vaine,
stil must I mourn,
& pine in longing paine,
till you my liues delight
againe vouchsafe your wisht returne.

If true desire,
Or faithfull vow of endless loue,
Thy heart enflam'd may kindly moue
With equall fire;
O then my ioies.
So long distraught shall rest,
Reposed soft in thy chast brest,
Exempt from all annoies.

You had the power
My wandring thoughts first to restraine,
You first did heare my loue speake plaine,
A child before:
Now it is growne
Confirm'd, do you it keep,
And let it safe in your bosome sleepe,
There euer made your owne.

And till we meete,
Teach absence inward art to find,
Both to disturbe and please the mind,
Such thoughts are sweete,
And such remaine
In hearts whole flames are true,
Then such will I retaine till you
To me returne againe.

Source ; From a Facsimile of Rosseter's 1601 Book

I. Sweet, come again - Notes, Recordings and Comments

In his book 'The Life And Works of Philip Rosseter' (probably the only book fully dedicated to the life and works of Rosseter) John Jeffreys makes a comment on all the songs in Rosseter's portion of "A Book of Ayres". He writes;

" The great majority of the poems which fire the music within Rosseter's imagination are of a consistently fine quality. The first 'Sweet come again' is delightful for its sweet simplicity and the second 'And would you see my mistress' face?' is similar but with some shadows to stir the attention." [* p. 46]

A recording of this song is on the CD; Airs & danses au temps de Shakespeare - John Elwes, tenor ; Stephen Stubbs, lute ; Musica Antiqua ; Christian Mendoze, conductor. This record also has Rossetter's 'If she forsake me' as well as other works by William Brade, Thomas Campion, Antony Holborne, John Johnson, Thomas Morley, Francis Pilkington, etc. Recorded Nov. 16-17, 1986.
8003/VSCCAT/ABX-1466 or 1993-10-12 Pierre Verany Records 787092

Another recording of this song is on the LP; Elizabethan Lute Songs and Solos by Frank Patterson (tenor) and Robert Spencer (lute).
This record also has Rossetter's 'Whether me do laugh or weep' and 'What then is love but mourning?' as well as other works by Dowland, Cutting, Campion, Morley
Philips 6500 282 (LP)


1. And would you see my mistress' face,
2. It is a flow'ry garden place
3. Where knots of beauties have such grace
4. That all is work and nowhere space.

5. lt is a sweet delicious morn,
6. Where day is breeding never born,
7. lt is a meadow yet unshorn,
8. Whom thousand flowers do adorn.

9. It is the heavens' bright reflex,
10. Weak eyes to dazzle and to vex,
11. It is th' Idaea of her sex,
12. Envy of whom doth world perplex.

13. It is a face of death that smiles,
14. Pleasing, though it kills the whiles,
15. Where death and love in pretty wiles,
16. Each other mutually beguiles.

17. It is fair beauty's freshest youth,
18. It is the feign'd Elysium's truth,
19. The Spring that winter'd hearts renew'th,
20. And this is that my soul pursu'th.

Source ; From The English School of Lutenist Song-Writers Series - Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601) by Strainer & Bell 1923, revised 1966.

II. 'And would you see my mistress' face' - Notes, Recordings and Comments

See the comment by Jeffreys in the first song (above). I don't know of any recordings of this song.

To 'Philip Rosseter's A Book of Ayres (1601) Ayres III to V.'
* 'The Life And Works of Philip Rosseter' by John Jeffreys (1990) Roberton Publications, The Windmill, Wendover, Aylesbury HP22 6JJ. Printed in Great Britain by Lavenham Press Ltd.
Complied and/or written by Patrick Thomas Connolly - September, 2003 - January 2004
All materials are copyright, 2003, by Patrick Thomas Connolly