Sharron Kraus - Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes
July 29, 2012 1:53 AM   Subscribe

Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air,
Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chair,
Then thrice three times tie up this true love's knot,
And murmur soft "She will, or she will not."

Go burn these pois'nous weeds in yon blue fire,
These screech-owl's feathers and this prickling briar,
This cypress gathered at a dead man's grave,
That all my fears and cares an end may have.

Then come, you fairies! dance with me a round;
Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound.
In vain are all the charms I can devise:
She hath an art to break them with her eyes.
Spelt as written

The Poetry Foundation - Thomas Campion 1567–1620

And, for languagehat, albeit the quality of translation I know not, in Russian.
posted by y2karl at 1:54 AM on July 29, 2012

I have always loved this poem but, until tonight, never heard it sung. This has its merits.
posted by y2karl at 1:55 AM on July 29, 2012

Whence comes the alt text in the link?
posted by kenko at 8:11 AM on July 29, 2012

oh ha ha it's the youtube comment. Really beautiful performance.
posted by kenko at 8:12 AM on July 29, 2012

Yeah, wonderful poem and performance. Thanks, y2karl!

> And, for languagehat, albeit the quality of translation I know not, in Russian.

Thanks for that, too; it's quite a nice translation, though with a very different feel (more classical, and with a different rhythm; the first line could be retranslated as "Thrice wind around in a spiral the sparks from an oak tree"). Feldman, the translator, is an interesting guy, who's been a programmer and a philosopher as well as a poet; you get get an (automatically translated) version of his life here.
posted by languagehat at 8:24 AM on July 29, 2012

It's an amusing translation. The translator parsed the line "this cypress gathered at a dead man's grave" as subject-verb-prepositional phrase: the cypress has gathered at the grave, rather than having been gathered there.
posted by Nomyte at 3:29 PM on July 29, 2012

Thank you for this lovely post.
posted by Isadorady at 4:06 PM on July 29, 2012

Does anyone know that this is (or is not) the melody that Campion used? The performer says it is "a song that was written about 400 years ago", but she may or may not mean what I would tend to interpret that to mean.
posted by Flunkie at 4:13 PM on July 31, 2012

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