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Published in 1782, Paxton's setting utilises a tune also used by William Shield in his opera Rosina of the same year ('The morn returns in saffron drest'). Whether one borrowed from the other, or both shared a common source (probably North British), I have been unable to trace.

Lyrics: Thomas Chatterton

O sing unto my roundelay.
O drop the briny tear with me;
Dance no more on holiday,
Like a running river be.
My love is dead, gone to his deathbed
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 deathbed
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;
Oh, he lies by the willow tree.
My love is dead, gone to his deathbed
All under the willow tree.


Hark the raven flaps his wing
In the briar'd dell below;
Hark the death-owl loud doth sing
To the nightmares as they go.
My love is dead, gone to his deathbed
All under the willow tree.


Here upon my true love's grave
Shall the barren flow'rs be laid,
Not one holy saint to save
All the sorrow of a maid.
My love is dead, gone to his deathbed
All under the willow tree.


Wat'ry witches crown'd with reeds,
Bear to me your deadly tide;
I die, I come, my true love waits:
Thus the damsel spoke and died
Lo, both are dead, gone to their deathbed
All under the willow tree.

Stephen Paxton
(1734 - 1787)

O sing unto my roundelay

(A.T.B.Kbd.)

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