The monthly issues of The Gentleman’s Journal
in 1694 presented a series of songs by Purcell. In the July issue came ‘A song set by Mr Purcell, the words fitted to the Tune by Mr M[otteux]’. From this we can presume that the text was not the original one, which would explain some slightly un-Purcellian word-setting. However, no other version of the tune or song survives. Purcell’s melody is florid and Italianate, with much imitation between voice and continuo, and contains a series of ornate vocal melismas. The author realizes that the love between himself and Celia is less exciting now than it was when he was trying to woo her and she was shunning his advances.
from notes by Robert King © 2003