This song was published in Playford’s second book of The Theatre of Music
in 1685. Purcell’s setting shows a sophisticated musical mind at work: the text is skilfully coloured with a melodic line which covers a wide vocal range. Word-painting is to the fore: ‘doom’ plunges to the lowest extremes of the voice, the continuo and voice chase each other in suspensions at ‘So close he has besieg’d my heart’ and the singer graphically tries to shake off the dart with which he struggles.
from notes by Robert King © 2003