Nosegay

Set by Stephen Wilkinson (b. 1919), "Nosegay" [ voice and piano ], from Eternal Summer, no. 12  [sung text checked 1 time]

Note: this setting is made up of several separate texts.


If ever two were one, then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee. 
If ever wife [was]1 happy in a man, 
Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
Nor [ought]2 but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay;
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. 
Then while we live, in love let's so [persever]3,
That when we live no more, we may live ever.

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Confirmed with The Complete Works of Anne Bradstreet, 1981.

1 Wilkinson: "were"
2 Wilkinson: "aught"
3 Rorem: "persevere"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]


My true love hath my heart and I have his.
By just exchange, one [for]1 the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a [bargain better]2 driven[.]3
His heart in me keeps [me and him]4 in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides[.]3
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

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Parodied in Archibald Stodart-Walker's My true friend hath my hat.

1 Foote: "to"
2 Foote, Gounod, Wilkinson: "better bargain"
3 Foote: ":/ My true love hath my heart and I have his." (first line is repeated)
4 Foote: "him and me"

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry


I
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful [Pussy]1 you are, 
you are, 
you are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are."

II
Pussy said to the Owl "You elegant fowl, 
How charmingly sweet you sing.
O let us be married, too long we have tarried;
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows,
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring [at]2 the end of his nose, 
his nose, 
his nose,
With a ring [at]1 the end of his nose.

III
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring?"
Said the Piggy, "I will"
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon.
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand.
They danced by the light of the moon, 
the moon, 
the moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

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

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Bertram Kottmann) , "Der Eul’ und die Miezekatz", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • RUS Russian (Русский) [singable] (Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov) , "Совёнок и Кошечка", copyright © 1982, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Harmati: "puss"
2 Wilkinson: "in"

Research team for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] , Garrett Medlock [Guest Editor]