I am a poor tiler in simple array, And get a poor living, but eightpence a day, My wife as I get it, doth spend it away; For wedding and hanging is destiny. And I cannot help it, she saith; wot we why? I thought when I wed her, she had been a sheep, At board to be friendly, to sleep when I sleep. She loves so unkindly, she makes me to weep; But I dare say nothing, God wot! wot ye why? For wedding and hanging is destiny. Besides this unkindness whereof my grief grows, I think few tilers are match'd with such shrows; Before she leaves brawling, she falls to deal blows Which, early and late, doth cause me cry That wedding and hanging is destiny. The more that I please her, the worse she doth like me; The more I forbear her, the more she doth strike me; The more that I get her, the more she doth glike me; Woe worth this ill fortune that maketh me cry That wedding and hanging is destiny. If I had been hanged when I had been married, My torments had ended, though I had miscarried; If I had been warned, then would I have tarried; But now all too lately I feel and cry That wedding and hanging is destiny.
Confirmed with Tom Tyler and His Wife, An Excellent Old Play, As It was Printed and Acted about a hundred Years ago
Glossary: glike = gleek: trick or circumvent;
shrows = shrews: railing or scolding women ;
wot = know
- by Anonymous / Unidentified Author, first published 1661 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Peter Warlock (1894 - 1930), "Tom Tyler", 1928, published 1929 [ voice and piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
Researcher for this text: David K. Smythe
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 25
Word count: 221