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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
329. Song from Ælla
 
Thomas Chatterton (1752–1770)
 
 
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 1 as the winter night,
White his rode 2 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 3 the briers
Round his holy corse to gre: 4
Ouph 5 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.
 
Note 1. Hair. [back]
Note 2. Complexion. [back]
Note 3. Fasten. [back]
Note 4. Grow. [back]
Note 5. Elf. [back]
 

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