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O! sing unto my roundelay

Language: English

O! sing unto my roundelay,
   O! drop the briny tear with me;
 Dance no more [at holy-day]1,
   Like a running river be:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Black his cryne as the winter night,
   White his rode as the summer snow,
 Red his face as the morning light,
   Cold he lies in the grave below:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note,
   Quick in dance as thought can be,
 Deft his tabour, cudgel stout;
   O! he lies by the willow-tree:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Hark! the raven flaps his wing,
   In the briared dell below;
 Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing
   To the night-mares as they go:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

See! the white moon shines on high;
   Whiter is my true love's shroud,
 Whiter than the morning sky,
   Whiter than the evening cloud:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Here upon my true love's grave,
   Shall the barren flowers be laid,
 Not one holy saint to save
   All the celness of a maid:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

With my hands I'll dent the briars
   Round his holy corse to gree;
 Ouphant fairy, light your fires--
   Here my body still shall be:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Come, with acorn-cup and thorn,
   Drain my heartë's-blood away;
 Life and all its goods I scorn,
   Dance by night, or feast by day:
         My love is dead,
       Gone to his death-bed,
     All under the willow-tree.

Water-witches, crowned with reytes,
   Bear me to your lethal tide.
 'I die! I come! my true love waits!'
   Thus the damsel spake, and died.


S. Wesley sets stanza 1

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1: Wesley: "on holiday"
Glossary:
'Cryne:' hair.
'Rode:' complexion.
'Dent:' fix.
'Gree:' grow.
'Ouphant:' elfish.
'Reytes:' water-flags.

Submitted by Virginia Knight

Authorship


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:24
Line count: 60
Word count: 312

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