by Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928)

The Ivy‑Wife
Language: English 
Available translation(s): SPA
I longed to love a full-boughed beech
  And be as high as he:
I stretched an arm within his reach,
  And signalled unity.
But with his drip he forced a breach,
  And tried to poison me.
I gave the grasp of partnership
  To one of other race -	
A plane: he barked him strip by strip
  From upper bough to base;
And me therewith; for gone my grip,
  My arms could not enlace.
In new affection next I strove
  To coll an ash I saw,
And he in trust received my love;
  Till with my soft green claw
I cramped and bound him as I wove...
  Such was my love: ha-ha!
By this I gained his strength and height
  Without his rivalry.
But in my triumph I lost sight
  Of afterhaps. Soon he,
Being bark-bound, flagged, snapped, fell outright,
  And in his fall felled me!


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

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

  • SPA Spanish (Español) (Alfredo García) , title 1: "La esposa hiedra", copyright © 2004, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2004-06-14 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:07
Line count: 24
Word count: 145