The water is wide I cannot get o'er, And neither have I wings to fly. Give me a boat that will carry two, And both shall row, my love and I. O, down in the meadows the other day, A-gathering flowers both fine and gay, A-gathering flowers both red and blue, I little thought what love can do. I leaned my back up against some oak Thinking that he was a trusty tree; But first he bended, and then he broke; And so did my false love to me. A ship there is, and she sails the sea, She's loaded deep as deep can be, But not so deep as the love I'm in: I know not if I sink or swim. O! love is handsome and love is fine, And love's a jewel while it is new; But when it is old, it groweth cold, And fades away like morning dew.
D. Thomas sets stanzas 2 and 4 are switched
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "O Waly, Waly" [text verified 1 time]
- by David Evan Thomas (b. 1958), "O, Waly Waly", 1989/2003, stanzas 2 and 4 are switched. [medium voice, piano] [text verified 1 time]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Non posso attraversare il mare vasto", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]