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THOMAS CHATTERTON

1752-1770

493                                          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,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.
Black his cryne1 as the winter night,
White his rode2 as the summer snow,
Red his face as the morning light,
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 throstles note,
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
All under the willow-tree.
Hark! the raven flaps his wing
In the brierd dell below;
Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing
To the nightmares, as they go:
    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-loves shroud:
Whiter than the morning sky,
Whiter than the evening cloud:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.
Here upon my true-loves grave
Shall the barren flowers be laid;
Not one holy saint to save
All the coldness of a maid:
    My love is dead,
    Gone to his death-bed
All under the willow-tree.
With my hands Ill dent3 the briers
Round his holy corse to gre:4
Ouph5 and fairy, light your fires,
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,
Drain my heartàes 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
All under the willow-tree.

1 cryne: hair.

2 rode: complexion.

3 dent: fasten.

4 gre: grow.

5 ouph: elf.

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