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 Carl 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.
  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by Boris Leonidovich Pasternak (1890 - 1960) ; composed by Georgiy Vasil'yevich Sviridov.

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