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O Fair Dove! O Fond Dove!
Words by Jean Ingelow.
Dedicated to Rachel Scott Russell.
Published by Ashdown & Parry, 1868.


Jean Ingelow was a popular Victorian poet. She was born on March 17 1820 in Boston, Lincolnshire, where her father was a banker. She described her childhood as "bright and joyous," and her many brothers and sisters as "'droll, full of mirth and clever." Her first work was published when she was thirty. In l863 she published her first volume of "Poems," which ran through several editions and established her popularity. She made her home in London after becoming a recognized authoress. Being a very charitable lady, for several years she gave dinners three times a week to twelve needy persons who had recently been released from the hospital.

Her last years were passed in Kensington, where she died on July 20, 1897.

Rachel
Rachel Scott Russell
Rachel Scott Russell was a young lady with whom Sullivan had a "romantic liaison" during the 1860s. This song was dedicated to her after her mother had unsuccessfully tried to prevent the pair seeing one another. Rachel would sometimes sign her letters to Sullivan "Fond Dove" or "F.D".

Karaoke File


Methought the stars were blinking bright,
And the old brig's sails unfurl'd;
I said, "I will sail to my love this night,
At the other side of the world."
I stepp'd aboard, we sailed so fast,
The sun shot up from the bourne;
But a dove that perched upon the mast,
Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn.
O fair dove! O fond dove!
And dove with the white breast!
Let me alone, the dream is my own,
And my heart is full of rest,
My heart is full of rest.

My true love fares on this great hill,
Feeding his sheep for aye;
I look'd in his hut, but all was still,
My love was gone away.
I went to graze in the forest creek,
And the dove mourn'd on apace;
No flame did flash, nor fair blue reek,
Rose up to show me his place.
O last love! O first love!
My love with the true heart!
To think I have come to this, your home,
And yet we are apart,
And yet we are apart.

My love he stood at my right hand,
His eyes were grave and sweet;
Methought he said, "In this fair land,
O is it thus we meet!
Ah, maid most dear, I am not here,
I have no place, no part,
No dwelling more by sea or shore,
But only in thy heart!
No dwelling more by sea or shore,
But only in thy heart!
O fair dove! O fond dove!
Till night rose over the bourne,
The dove on the mast as we sailed fast,
Did mourn, and mourn, and mourn,
Did mourn, and mourn.

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