John Wilbye (baptized 7 March 1574 – September 1638), was an English madrigal composer. The son of a tanner, he was born at Brome, Suffolk, near Diss, and received the patronage of the Cornwallis family. It is thought that he accompanied Elizabeth Cornwallis to Hengrave Hall near Bury St. Edmunds in around 1594 when she married Sir Thomas Kytson the Younger. Wrote the poem Love me not for comely grace.
A set of madrigals by him appeared in 1598 and a second in 1608, the two sets containing sixty-four pieces. In 1600 he was chosen to proofread John Dowland's Second Booke of Songs. In 1628, on the death of Elizabeth Cornwallis, Wilbye went to live with her daughter Mary Darcy, Countess Rivers in Colchester, where he died.
Wilbye is probably the most famous of all the English madrigalists; his pieces have long been favourites and are often included in modern collections. His madrigals include Weep, weep o mine eyes and Draw on, sweet night. His style is characterized by delicate writing for the voice, acute sensitivity to the text and the use of "false relations" between the major and minor modes.
Love me not for comely grace
Love me not for comely grace,
For my pleasing face;
Not for any outward part,
No, nor for my constant heart:
For those may fail to turn to ill,
So thou and I shall sever.
Keep therefore a true woman's eye,
And love me still, but know not why;
So hast thou the same reason,
Still to doat upon me ever.