Come Again (Dowland)

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Front page of First Booke of Songes or Ayres of Fowre Partes with Tableture for the Lute, 1597

"Come Again, sweet love doth now invite" is a song by John Dowland. The lyrics are anonymous. The song is bitter-sweet, typical of Dowland who cultivated a melancholy style.[1]

It was included in Dowland's First Booke of Songes or Ayres, which appeared in 1597. The piece is often performed as a lute song by soloist and lute, but, like other songs in the First Booke, it is printed in a format that can also be performed as a madrigal by a small vocal group (typically SATB).


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.[2]

Recent performances[edit]

The Scottish tenor Paul Agnew recorded the song with Christopher Wilson (from the 2005 CD Dowland: Flow My Teares).[3] Sting recorded the song with lutenist Edin Karamazov for the album Songs from the Labyrinth (performed in an episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). The song has also been recorded with Celtic harper Jay Michaels and vocalist Abby Michaels, the Celtic/Folk/Renaissance duo The Harper and The Minstrel, in their 2008 album Beloved Mine. In 1999, the Canadian singer/songwriter Garnet Rogers recorded the song on his album Sparrow's Wing.


  1. ^ Wells, Robin Headlam. "John Dowland and Elizabethan Melancholy," Early Music, Vol. 13, No. 4. November 1985, pp. 514–28.
  2. ^ Dowland, John; David Nadal (1997). "Come Again". Lute Songs of John Dowland. Courier Corporation. ISBN 9780486299358. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
  3. ^ Come Again on YouTube, Paul Agnew and Christopher Wilson

External links[edit]