Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Thomas Chatterton. 1752–1770
  
479. Song from Ælla
  
O SING unto my roundelay, 
O drop the briny tear with me; 
Dance no more at holyday, 
Like a running river be: 
    My love is dead,         5
    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,  10
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,  15
Quick in dance as thought can be, 
Deft his tabor, cudgel stout; 
O he lies by the willow-tree! 
    My love is dead, 
    Gone to his death-bed  20
All under the willow-tree. 
 
Hark! the raven flaps his wing 
In the brier'd dell below; 
Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing 
To the nightmares, as they go:  25
    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:  30
Whiter than the morning sky, 
Whiter than the evening cloud: 
    My love is dead, 
    Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree.  35
 
Here upon my true-love's grave 
Shall the barren flowers be laid; 
Not one holy saint to save 
All the coldness of a maid: 
    My love is dead,  40
    Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 
 
With my hands I'll dent the briers 
Round his holy corse to gre: 
Ouph and fairy, light your fires,  45
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,  50
Drain my heartès blood away; 
Life and all its good I scorn, 
Dance by night, or feast by day: 
    My love is dead, 
    Gone to his death-bed  55
All under the willow-tree. 
 
GLOSS:  cryne] hair.  rode] complexion.  dent] fasten.  gre] grow.  ouph] elf.
 
 
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