Giovanni Croce
(c.1557 - 1609)

Croce : Shew mercy Lord on me : illustration

Shew mercy Lord on me
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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 51, paraphrased in sonnet by Francesco Bembo, english'd by R.H.

Shew mercy Lord on me most heinous sinner,
And mortify my sin so grievous guilty;
O cleanse me from it, purify me filthy;
For in thy sight Lord I am only sinner.
In sin (thou know'st) my sinful mother bore me:
But O thou guide unto the heav'nly city,
Wash, wash my soul in laver of thy pity,
So shall no snow in whiteness go before me,
Give me a clean heart, an untainted spirit;
And of thy grace and face bereave me never;
So shall I more adore thy name and fear it,
And to thy service more and more endeavour;
Sith broken hearts (as doth thy voice aver it)
Are th'only sacrifice thou joy'st in ever.