by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

Tom Tyler
Language: English 
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.

View text with footnotes

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


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

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