Michael Praetorius
(?1571 - 1621)

Praetorius : Nigra sum sed formosa : illustration

Nigra sum sed formosa
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From Musarum Sioniarum, 1607.
Lyrics: Song of Solomon, ch.1 v.4-6

Nigra sum sed formosa, O filiae Jerusalem.
Nolite me considerare, quod sum sub nigra, quia decoloravit me sol.
Indica mihi, quem diligit anima mea, ubi pascas, ubi cubes in meridie:
ne vagari incipiam per greges sodalium tuorum.

I am black but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem.
Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me.
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon:
for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?