Ye Sacred Muses

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Ye Sacred Muses is William Byrd's Musical elegy on the death of his colleague and sometime mentor, Thomas Tallis. It is scored for 5 vv (usually four viols and countertenor).

The words are:-

Ye sacred Muses, race of Jove,
whom Music's lore delighteth,
Come down from crystal heav'ns above
to earth where sorrow dwelleth,
In mourning weeds, with tears in eyes:
Tallis is dead, and Music dies.

The concluding lines are particularly effective and are repeated.

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