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Jim Clark: Music

I'll Do as Much for My True-Love

(Jim Clark)
November 22, 2010
Words: Byron Herbert Reece/Music: Jim Clark

Reece intended this as a sort of parody of "The Unquiet Grave," Child Ballad 78.  The first four lines, which I've turned into a repeating chorus, are taken from that old ballad.

I’ll Do as Much for My True-Love

 

 

I’ll do as much for my true-love

As any a young man may;

I’ll sit and mourn all at her grave

For a twelvemonth and a day.

 

Yet as he sat the grave beside

A day but barely one

He said, “It’s hard to sit and grieve

While my hawk wheels toward the sun.”

 

But still he sat the grave beside

Where his true-love was lain;

O still he sat the grave beside

And his tears fell down like rain.

 

Now as he sat the grave beside

And wept upon the ground

He said, “It’s hard to weep two days

And the fox before the hound.”

 

But still he sat the grave beside

As he had sworn to do;

O still he sat the grave beside

And his tears fell down like dew.

 

As he sat by the grave’s side

Nor wiped his eyes at all

He said, “It’s hard to weep three days

While my horse waits in the stall.”

 

Still he sat by the grave-side

Of her whom he had kissed;

O still he sat the grave beside

And his tears fell down like mist.

 

The fourth day by the grave’s side

The tears dried on his cheek.

He said, “I mind another maid

With whom I used to speak.

 

“It’s hard to weep four long, long days

Beside a clay-cold form;

It’s hard to love a clay-cold maid

While living maids are warm.”

 

His first love in her clay-cold bower

He’s left to take her rest;

He’s plucked to him a second flower

To wear against his breast.