Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
Song from Aella
By Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770)
 
O SING 1 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 hair 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:
Elfin fairies, 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.
 
Note 1. From Aella. Chatterton’s masterpiece. [back]
 
 
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