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Could this ill world have been contriv'd

Language: English

Could this ill world have been contriv'd
to stand  without that mischief, woman,
how peaceful bodies wou'd have liv'd,
releas'd frae a' the ills sae common!
But since it is the waefu' case,
that man must have this teasing crony,
why such a sweet bewitching face?
Oh! had they no been made sae bonny!

I might have roam'd wi' cheerful mind,
nae sin nor sorrow to betide me,
as careless as the wand'ring wind,
as happy as the lamb beside me.
I might have screw'd my tuneful pegs,
and carol'd mountain airs fu' gayly,
had we but wanted a' the Megs,
wi' glossy e'en sae dark and wily.

I saw the danger, fear'd the dart,
the smile, the air, and a' sae taking,
yet open laid my wareless heart,
and got the wound that keeps me waking.
My harp waves on the willow green,
of wild witch notes it has nae ony,
sinc' e'er I saw that pawky quean,
sae sweet, sae wicked, and sae bonny.


Translation(s): GER

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About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Caroline Diehl

Authorship


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

  • by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827), "Could this ill world have been contriv'd", op. 108 (25 schottische Lieder mit Begleitung von Pianoforte, Violine und Violoncello) no. 16 (1815). [voice, violin, violoncello, piano] [
     text verified 1 time
    ]

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Anonymous/Unidentified Artist) , title 1: "Wenn doch die arge böse Welt"


Text added to the website: 2004-08-03.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:09
Line count: 24
Word count: 166

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Wenn doch die arge böse Welt

Language: German (Deutsch) after the English

 Wenn doch die arge böse Welt
 Nur ohne Weiber könnte dauern,
 Des Mannes friedlich Los vergällt'
 Keins von den Übeln, die jetzt lauern.
 Warum ward ihm zu seiner Pein
 Dies Kamerädchen falsch und niedlich?
 Mußt' solch bezaubernd Bild es sein,
 So wundersüß und appetitlich?

 Ich wollte schuldlos, leichtgesinnt
 Durchs Leben schweifen morgen, heute,
 Frei wie die Wandrer: Luft und Wind,
 Froh wie das Lamm an meiner Seite,
 Hell sollten Tal und Bergeshöhn
 Von meiner Saiten Jubel schallen,
 Ach, hätt' ich nimmer nur gesehn
 Die Mädchen, schön und schlau vor allen!

 Ich kannt' und scheut' des Pfeiles Schmerz
 Aus ihrem Lachen, Blick und Wesen,
 Doch offen lag mein wehrlos Herz,
 Die Wund' empfing's, kann nie genesen!
 An grüner Weide schwanket da
 Mein Saitenspiel nun stumm und friedlich,
 Seit ich die  Schmeichelkätzchen sah,
 So süß , so gottlos, ach, so niedlich.


Submitted by Ferdinando Albeggiani

Authorship


Based on
  • a text in English by James Hogg (1770 - 1835), "Could this ill world"
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Ludwig van Beethoven. Go to the text.

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]


Text added to the website: 2004-08-18.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:09
Line count: 24
Word count: 140