The text of this song appears, without music, in a manuscript of poems and pieces collected in the late seventeenth century at Winchester College (British Museum MS 14047, f.126v). In that manuscript the poem appears under the heading ‘Some of my dear Mother Chamberlaine’s Verses’. The setting is a sad one, as a desolate lover muses on the ‘woes of my neglected love’. Purcell’s setting eloquently captures that air of melancholy, colouring the ‘dark and silent shady grove’ and ‘Death’s embraces’ at the lower end of the voice, and rising in hopeless expectation that just one look ‘from those dear eyes’ will release the poet from his torment.
from notes by Robert King © 2003