When to Her Lute Corinna Sings

By Thomas Campion 1567–1620 Thomas Campion
When to her lute Corinna sings,
Her voice revives the leaden strings,
And doth in highest notes appear
As any challenged echo clear;
But when she doth of mourning speak,
Ev’n with her sighs the strings do break.

And as her lute doth live or die,
Let by her passion, so must I:
For when of pleasure she doth sing,
My thoughts enjoy a sudden spring,
But if she doth of sorrow speak,
Ev’n from my heart the strings do break.

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Poet Thomas Campion 1567–1620

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

Biography

Thomas Campion's importance for nondramatic literature of the English Renaissance lies in the exceptional intimacy of the musical-poetic connection in his work. While other poets and musicians talked about the union of the two arts, only Campion produced complete songs wholly of his own composition, and only he wrote lyric poetry of enduring literary value whose very construction is deeply etched with the poet's care for its . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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