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29.3.13

Good Friday Musical Meditation


William Cornysh (1465-1523), Woefully Arrayed, Stile Antico

Woefully arrayed,
My blood, man, for thee ran, it may not be nayed;
My body, blo and wan;
Woefully arrayed.

Behold me, I pray thee,
with all thy whole reason
and be not hard-hearted,
and for this encheason,
sith I for thy soul sake
was slain in good season,
Beguiled and betrayed
by Judas false treason,
unkindly entreated,
with sharp cord sore freted,
the Jews me threated,
they mowed, they grinned,
they scorned me,
condemd to death as thou mayst see;
Woefully arrayed.

Thus naked am I nailed.
O man, for thy sake;
I love thee, then love me,
why sleepst thou, awake,
remember my tender heartroot for thee brake;
with pains my veins constrained to crake;
thus tugged to and fro,
thus wrapped all in woe,
whereas never man was so entreated,
thus in most cruel wise
was like a lamb offerd in sacrifice;
Woefully arrayed.

Of sharp thorn I have worn
a crown on my head.
So pained, so strained, so rueful, so red,
thus bobbed, thus robbed,
thus for thy love dead;
unfeigned, not deigned,
my blood for to shed,
my feet and handes sore
the sturdy nailes bore;
what might I suffer more,
than I have done, O man, for thee?
Come when thou list, welcome to me!
Woefully arrayed.

The performers in the embedded video, Stile Antico, will perform a program of Renaissance polyphony next month at the Library of Congress (April 17, 8 pm).

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