Richard Alison
(fl.1586 - 1606)

What if a day
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This work, Alison : What if a day : scoreid 148285, as published by notAmos Performing Editions, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All relevant attributions should state its URL as Permissions beyond the scope of this licence may be available at
Published in An Howres Recreation in Musicke, London, 1606, and (according to the frontispiece) "framed for the delight of gentlemen and others which are well affected to that quality; all for the most part with two trebles necessary for such as teach in private families".
Lyrics: Thomas Campion

What if a day, or a month, or a year
Crown thy desire with a thousand sweet contentings;
Cannot the chance of a night or an hour
Cross thy delight with as many sad tormentings?
Fortune, honour, beauty, youth,
Are but blossoms dying;
Wanton pleasures, doting love,
Are but shadows flying.
All our joys are but toys,
Idle thoughts deceiving.
None have pow'r of an hour
In their lives' bereaving.

Earth's but a point to the world; and a man
Is but a point to the earth's compared censure.
Shall then a point of a point be so vain
As to triumph in a silly point's adventure?
All is hazard that we have,
There is nothing biding;
Days of pleasure are like streams
Through fair meadows gliding.
Weal and woe, time doth go,
Time is never turning.
Secret fates guide our states
Both in mirth and mourning.