Othello

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

DESDEMONA

(singing)
The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
Sing all a green willow.
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
Sing willow, willow, willow.
The fresh streams ran by her, and murmured her moans,
Sing willow, willow, willow.
Her salt tears fell from her, and softened the stones
Sing willow, willow, willow—
Lay by these—
    Willow, willow—
Prithee, hie thee, he’ll come anon—
Sing all a green willow must be my garland.
Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve—
Nay, that’s not next—Hark! Who is ’t that knocks?

DESDEMONA

(singing)
The poor soul sat singing by the sycamore tree,
Everyone sing the green willow,
She had her hand on her breast and her head on her knee,
Sing willow, willow, willow.
The fresh streams ran by her and murmured her moans,
Sing willow, willow, willow.
Her salt tears fell from her and softened the stones,
Sing willow, willow, willow.—
Put these things over there.—
Please, hurry, he’ll come right away.—
Everyone sing, a green willow must be my garland.
Nobody blame him, he’s right to hate me
No, that’s not how it goes.—Who’s knocking?

EMILIA

It’s the wind.

EMILIA

It’s the wind.

DESDEMONA

40 (sings)
I called my love false love but what said he then?
  Sing willow, willow, willow.
If I court more women you’ll couch with more men—
So, get thee gone, good night. Mine eyes do itch,
Doth that bode weeping?

DESDEMONA

(singing) I told my lover he didn’t love me, but what did he say? Sing willow, willow, willow.
If I chase more women, you’ll sleep with more men—Okay, go away now. Good night. My eyes itch—is that an omen I’ll be crying soon?

EMILIA

    'Tis neither here nor there.

EMILIA

No, it doesn’t mean anything.

DESDEMONA

45I have heard it said so. Oh, these men, these men!
Dost thou in conscience think—tell me, Emilia—
That there be women do abuse their husbands
In such gross kind?

DESDEMONA

I heard someone say that’s what it means. Oh, these men, these men! Do you honestly think—tell me, Emilia—there are women who’d cheat on their husbands in such a disgusting manner?

EMILIA

    There be some such, no question.

EMILIA

There are women like that out there, no question.