Dowland – Flow my tears

Song Information

Title: Flow, my tears

Music: John Dowland (1563-1626)

Text: John Dowland (1563-1626)

Sheet Music

Free at Art Song Central:

  • PDF file: Dowland – Flow my tears
    • Key: a minor
    • Range: D4 – E5
    • From: The Second Book of Airs
    • Source: Stainer & Bell edition, ed. Fellowes ©1922
    • Note: This edition includes lute tabulature as well as a piano transcription.

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Audio Files

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Song Text

Flow, my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled for ever, let me mourn;
Where night’s black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.

Down vain lights, shine you no more!
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their lost fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.

Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.

From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain for my deserts
Are my hopes, since hope is gone.

Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to contemn light.
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world’s despite.


  • Wikipedia has an entry for “Flow, my tears,” including the text.