Translation by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore...
Language: English  after the Middle English 
Desdemona
 The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
 Sing all a green willow:
 Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
 Sing willow, willow, willow:
 The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur'd her moans;
 Sing willow, willow, willow;
 Her salt tears fell from her, and soften'd the stones;

 [Lay by these:--]1

 Sing willow, willow, willow;

 [Prithee, hie thee; he'll come anon:--]1

 Sing all a green willow [must be my garland.]2

 [Sing all a green willow;]3

 [Let nobody blame him; his scorn I approve,-]4

 [Nay, that's not next.--Hark! who is't that knocks? 

Emilia:
 It's the wind.]1

Desdemona:
 [Sing willow, willow, willow,]3
 [I call'd my love false love; but what said he then? 
 Sing willow, willow, willow:
 If I court moe women, you'll couch with moe men!]4
 [Sing willow, willow, willow,]3

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
1 not set by Fortner, Korngold, Parry, Vaughan Williams
2 Korngold: "my garland must be"
3 added by Korngold
4 not set by Parry, Vaughan Williams; Fortner: "I'd called my love false love, but what did he say? / Sing willow, willow willow,/ If I court moe women, you'll couch with moe men!"

Authorship

Based on

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in English, [adaptation] ; composed by Percy Aldridge Grainger.
  • Also set in English, [adaptation] ; composed by Peter Warlock.
  • Also set in English, [adaptation] ; composed by Edmund Horace Fellowes.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist [an adaptation] ; composed by Wilhelm Petersen.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist [an adaptation] ; composed by Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Wolfgang Fortner.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation possibly by Johann Michael Vogl (1768 - 1840); composed by Johann Michael Vogl.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Karl Georg Mantey ; composed by Wolfgang Fortner.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Hermann Wichmann.

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


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 23
Word count: 134