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Poem by Thomas Chatterton


Song from Aella


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 cryne as the winter night,
White his rode 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 throstle's 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 brier'd 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-love's 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-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,
   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,
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 heartes 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. 



Thomas Chatterton


Thomas Chatterton's other poems:
  1. Chorus from Goddwyn
  2. The Copernican System
  3. Colin Instructed
  4. Epitaph on Robert Canynge
  5. Songe to Aella, Lorde of the Castel of Brystowe Ynne Daies of Yore


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