The Willow-Tree - (2017)    

Charles Dodgson

for soprano or mezzo soprano and piano


The morn was bright, the steeds were light,
     The wedding guests were gay:
Young Ellen stood within the wood
     And watched them pass away.
She scarcely saw the gallant train:
     The tear-drop dimmed her e'e:     [ e'er ]
Unheard the maiden did complain
     Beneath the Willow-Tree.

"Oh, Robin, thou didst love me well,
     Till, on a bitter day,
She came, the Lady Isabel,
     And stole thy heart away.
My tears are vain: I live again
     In days that used to be,
When I could meet thy welcome feet
     Beneath the Willow-Tree.

"Oh, Willow gray, I may not stay
     Till Spring renew thy leaf;
But I will hide myself away,
     And nurse a lonely grief.
It shall not dim Life's joy for him:
     My tears he shall not see:
While he is by, I'll come not nigh
     My weeping Willow-Tree.

"But when I die, oh, let me lie
     Beneath thy loving shade,
That he may loiter careless by,
     Where I am lowly laid.
And let the white white marble tell,
     If he should stoop to see,
'Here lies a maid that loved thee well,
     Beneath the Willow-tree.' "

5 pages, circa 4' 15"


 The Willow-Tree (1859) is found in "Three Sunsets and Other Poems." A tragic romance quite akin to a number of other texts including some folk songs is told in four verses.



The lightly polytonal setting is of a verse with slight variation, twice repeated, with a contrasting texture and return to the first texture.






For other setting of the texts of Charles Dodgson -- Lewis Carroll -- click here .


The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.


The Willow-Tree