Giovanni Croce
(c.1557 - 1609)

Croce : Hearken O Lord : illustration

Hearken O Lord
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Croce's Sette sonetti penitentiali were first published in 1597. They arrived in England a decade later as "Musica Sacra: to Six Voyces. Composed in the Italian tongue by GIOVANNI CROCE. Newly Englished. In London Printed by Thomas Este, the assigne of William Barley. 1608."
Lyrics: Psalm 102, paraphrased in sonnet by Francesco Bembo, english'd by R.H.

Hearken O Lord unto mine humble plainings,
Hide not thy face for ever in thine anger:
My days do vade as smoke, my heart in languor,
Here (flies) to thee: why shun'st thou my complainings?
Friends have I none; now from me all are flying:
In stead of bread I have been fed with ashes,
My drink my tears,; while I have felt the lashes
Of thy fierce wrath, for all mine often crying.
All kings and nations shall admire thy glory,
When thou the sighs of humble souls attendest;
It shall be writ in an eternal story.
Ah! Leave me not, thou, thou that all defendest,
That madest all (heav'n, earth, and ocean hoary):
That never didst begin, and never endest.