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The Unquiet Grave (ii)

From an Indo-European superstition that excessive mourning can disturb and torment the dead.

This version from oral tradition, mostly in England.
This tune collected from Herefordshire, England.
See also version (i), from America, and
version (iii), tune from Upwey, Dorset, England.
MIDI


    How cold the wind do blow, dear love,
    Cold are the drops of rain.
    The very first love that ever I had
    In the cold grave he is lain.

    I'll do as much for my true love
    As any young girl may,
    I'll sit and mourn above his grave
    For a twelvemonth and a day.

    When twelve months and a day had gone
    The ghost began to speak,
    Why sit you here by my graveside
    And will not let me sleep ?

    O down in yonder green, sweetheart,
    Where you and I did walk,
    The fairest flower that blossomed there
    Is withered to a stalk.

    The stalk will bear no leaves, sweetheart,
    The flower will never return,
    And my true love is dead and gone,
    And I do nought but mourn.

    O don't you see the fire, sweetheart,
    The fire that burns so blue,
    Where my poor soul tormented is,
    While I remain with you.

    What is it that you want of me
    And will not let me sleep ?
    Your salten tears they trickle down
    And wet my winding sheet.

    There's one thing more I want, sweetheart,
    There's one thing more I crave,
    I want one kiss of your lily-white lips
    And I'll go from your grave.

    My cheek is cold as the clay, sweetheart,
    My breath is earthy strong,
    And if you kiss my lily-white lips
    Your days will not be long.

    Mourn not for me, my dearest dear,
    Mourn not for me, I crave,
    I must leave you and all the world,
    And turn into my grave.

    Now I have mourned upon his grave
    A twelve-month and a day,
    I'll set my sail before the wind
    To waft me far away.