Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 4 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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WILLOW, WILLOW, WILLOW.
From Percy's Beligues, i. 210.
This is the " song of willow" from which Desde-mona sings snatches in the Fourth Act of Othello, (Sc. 3.) The portions which occur in Shakespeare are the first stanza, and fragments of the fifth, sixth, and seventh; he also introduces a couplet which does not belong to the ballad as here given.
The Second Part is very likely a separate composi­tion. Songs upon this model or with the same burden were not infrequent. See one in Park's Heliconia, Part i. 132, and another in The Moral Play of Wit and Science, (Shakespeare Society,) p. 86.
Percy gave this song from a black-letter copy in the Pepys collection, entitled A Lover's Complaint, being forsaken of his Love. Another version, differing prin­cipally in arrangement, is printed in the above cited publication of the Shakespeare Society, p. 126, from a MS. in the British Museum," written about the year 1633."
A poore soule sat sighing under a sicamore tree;
0 willow, willow, willow ! With his hand on his bosom, his head on his knee.
0 willow, willow, willow !
0 willow, willow, willow !                                   s
Sing, 0 the greene willow shall be my garland.







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