Ophelia Sings

Song Cycle by Wolfgang Michael Rihm (b. 1952)

Word count: 64

1. How should I your true love know[sung text checked 1 time]

How should I your true love know
From another one?
By his cockle hat and staff,
And his sandal shoon.

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Note: this is often referred to as the Walsingham Ballad, and is quoted in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5. Ophelia is singing.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti's poem An old song ended refers to this song.


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

2. He is dead and gone, lady[sung text checked 1 time]

He is dead and gone, lady,
He is dead and gone;
At his head a grass green turf,
At his heels a stone.1

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These words are sung by Ophelia in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5, but they are probably not by Shakespeare.

1 Rihm adds (using some words that are spoken in the Hamlet play): "Oho! Oho! Nay, but ... mark"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. White his shroud as the mountain snow[sung text checked 1 time]

White his shroud as the mountain snow,
[Larded]1 with sweet [flowers]2;
Which bewept to the [grave did go]3
With true-love [showers]4.

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These words are sung by Ophelia in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5, but they are probably not by Shakespeare.

1 Castelnuovo-Tedesco: "Larded all"
2 White: "flow'rs"
3 Castelnuovo-Tedesco: "ground did not go"
4 White: "show'rs"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]