A sensual piece when done well by a small madrigal group- it should flow, in an undulating sort of way, from whisper-soft to an aching, nearly-out-of-control power, sung in mezzoforte... mind you, we do need to keep in tune. The chorus is sung so the sopranos alternate with the altos, tenors, and basses, which creates an interesting contrast, and an increase in energy, power, and passion, if done properly.
Written by John Dowland, sometime in his lifetime (1562-1626). These lyrics are pretty risque for then, and today any singing group of adolescent age works hard to keep a straight face as they sing By sighs, and tears, more hot, than are thy shafts...
Sweet love doth now invite
Thy graces that refrain
To do me due delight,
To see, to see to hear, to hear to touch, to touch to kiss, to kiss to die,
To die with thee again, in sweetest sympathy.
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,
I die in deadly pain and endless misery.
Draw forth thy wounding dart;
Thou canst not pierce her heart;
For I that do approve
By sighs and tears more hot than are thy shafts
Thy shafts did tempt while she,
For scanty triumphs laughs.