A poor soul sat sighing (Edward Smith Biggs)

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  • (Posted 2022-12-01)  CPDL #71741:  Network.png
Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-12-01).   Score information: A4, 5 pages, 271 kB   Copyright: CC BY SA
Edition notes: Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.

General Information

Title: A poor soul sat sighing
Composer: Edward Smith Biggs
Lyricist: William Shakespeare
Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SSAB
Genre: SecularGlee

Language: English
Instruments: Keyboard

First published: c.1794
Description: A setting of Desdemona's song in Othello.

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

A poor soul sat sighing under a sycamore tree,
O willow, willow, willow.
With his hand on his bosom, his head on his knee.
O willow, willow, willow!
Sing O, the green willow shall be my garland.

He sighed in his singing, and after each groan,
O willow...
I'm dead to all pleasure, my true love is gone.
O willow...

The cold stream ran by him, his eyes wept apace,
O willow...
The salt tears fell from him, which drownèd his face.
O willow...

The mute birds sat by him, made tame by his moans,
O willow...
The salt tears fell from him, which softened the stones.
O willow...

Farewell my falsehearted; plaints end with my breath,
O willow...
Thou dost loath me: I love thee, the cause of my death.
O willow...

Original text and translations may be found at The willow song.