Ophelia Sings

Song Cycle by Kim Borg (1919 - 2000)

Word count: 152

1. How should I your true-love know [sung text not yet checked]

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. To‑morrow is Saint Valentine's day  [sung text not yet checked]

  [To-morrow is]1 Saint Valentine's day,
  All in the morning [betime]2,
  And I a maid at your window,
  To be your Valentine.
  Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
  And dupp'd the chamber-door;
  Let in the maid, that out a maid
  Never departed more.

[Indeed, without an oath, I'll make an end on't!]3
  By Gis and by Saint Charity,
  Alack, and fie for shame!
  Young men will do't, if they come to't;
  By cock, they are to blame.
  Quoth she, before you tumbled me,
  You promised me to wed.

  [So]4 would I ha' done, by yonder sun,
  An thou hadst not come to my bed.

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

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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 Quilter: "Good morrow, 'tis "
2 Quilter: "time"
3 omitted by Castelnuovo-Tedesco
4 Castelnuovo-Tedesco: "He answers,/ So"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. They bore him barefaced on the bier  [sung text not yet checked]

They bore him barefaced on the bier;
Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny;
And in his grave rain'd many a tear:--
[Fare you well, my dove!]1

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Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

View original text (without footnotes)

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

1 omitted by Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]