Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AELLA: THE MINSTREL'S SONG, by THOMAS CHATTERTON



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AELLA: THE MINSTREL'S SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O sing unto my roundelay
Last Line: Thus the damsel spake and died.
Variant Title(s): The Minstrel's Roundelay
Subject(s): Death; Mourning; Dead, The; Bereavement


O sing unto my roundelay;
O drop the briny tear with me;
Dance no more at holiday;
Like a running river be.
My love is dead,
Gone to his death-bed,
All under the willow-tree.

Black his hair as the winter night,
White his skin 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 briared dell below;
Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing
To the night-mares, 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 fix the briars
Round his holy corse to grow,
Elfin 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 own heart's 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.

Water-witches, crowned with reytes,
Bear to me your lethal tide.
I die; I come; my true love waits.
Thus the damsel spake and died.





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