I’m a day late and a dollar short, but all day long, the fact that yesterday was Valentine’s Day has had me singing and hearing an old song called Come Again that I used to sing in my voice class when I was a Music Theory major back at Arizona State in the mid ’80s. It’s by John Dowland, circa 1600.
Come again, sweet love doth now invite
Thy graces that refrain
To do me due delight
To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die
With thee again, in sweetest sympathy.
Come again, that I may cease to mourn
Through thy unkind disdain,
For now left and forlorn,
I sit, I sigh, I weep, I faint, I die
In deadly pain, and endless misery.
Gentle love, draw forth thy wounding dart.
Thou cans’t not pierce her heart
For I that do approve,
By sighs and tears more hot than are thy shafts, did tempt,
While she for triumph laughs.
To truly appreciate this stuff, you have to remember that in a more chivalrous age, around the time when people started saying “God bless you!” every time somebody sneezed to keep their souls from leaving their bodies, “to die” meant to have a really good orgasm.
Or so I’ve been told.