Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
V. Death and Bereavement
Minstrel’s Song
Thomas Chatterton (17527#150;1770)
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,        5
      Gone to his death-bed,
      All under the willow-tree.
Black his hair as the winter night,
  White his neck as the summer snow,
Ruddy his face as the morning light;        10
  Cold he lies in the grave below.
      My love is dead, etc.
Sweet his tongue as the throstle’s note;
  Quick in dance as thought can be;
Deft his tabor, cudgel stout;
  O, lie lies by the willow-tree!
      My love is dead, etc.
Hark! the raven flaps his wing
  In the briered dell below;
Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing
  To the nightmares as they go.
      My love is dead, etc.
See! the white moon shines on high;        20
  Whiter is my-true-love’s shroud,
Whiter than the morning sky,
  Whiter than the evening cloud.
      My love is dead, etc.
Here, upon my true-love’s grave
  Shall the barren flowers be laid,        25
Nor one holy saint to save
  All the coldness of a maid.
      My love is dead, etc.
With my hands I ’ll bind the briers
  Round his holy corse to gre;
Ouphant fairy, light your fires;        30
  Here my body still shall be.
      My love is dead, etc.
Come, with acorn-cup and thorn,
  Drain my heart’s blood away;
Life and all its good I scorn,
  Dance by night, or feast by day.
      My love is dead, etc.
Water-witches, crowned with reytes,
  Bear me to your lethal tide.
I die! I come! my true-love waits….
  Thus the damsel spake, and died.

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