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The expression implies a wishful or idealized alternative to an undesired reality. The phrase was coined by Robert Robinson, an English radio and television presenter, journalist and author.

{I} would that it were {so} = {I} wish it were {so}
"I hope, that's be the end of all our troubles."
"Would that it were, would that it were."
by pho3nix January 13, 2016
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