Thomas Weelkes (1576–1623) was a talented, popular, and gifted madrigalist, who moved from one job to another because of his unruly and drunken behaviour. Perhaps this was why none of his church music was published during his lifetime. His setting of the short Absalom lament in the Second Book of Samuel highlights the deeply personal nature of King David's public and private mourning for his dead son:
When David heard that Absalom was slain, he went up to his chamber over the gate, and wept: and thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
(From: 2 Samuel 18: 33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Ab'salom! my son, my son Ab'salom! would God I had died for thee, O Ab'salom, my son, my son!)