Leone Leoni
(c.1560 - 1627)

Nigra sum sed formosa
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One of a collection of settings from the Song of Solomon from Promptuarii musici (vol. 3), 1613.
Lyrics: Song of Solomon, ch.1 v.4; ch.2 v.14

Nigra sum sed formosa filiae Hierusalem,
ideo dilexit me rex, et introduxit me in cubiculum suum,
et dixit mihi: Surge, surge amica mea et veni,
ostende mihi faciem tuam, sonet vox tua in auribus meis,
vox enim tua dulcis, et facies tua decora.

I am black but comely, O daughters of Jerusalem,
therefore have I pleased the Lord, and he hath brought me into his chamber,
and hath said unto me: Arise my love, my fair one, and come away,
let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice,
for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance comely.