Attention! Some of this material is not in the public domain.
It is illegal to copy and distribute our copyright-protected material without permission. It is also illegal to reprint copyright texts or translations without the name of the author or translator.
To inquire about permissions and rates, contact Emily Ezust at
If you wish to reprint translations, please make sure you include the names of the translators in your email. They are below each translation.
Note: You must use the copyright symbol © when you reprint copyright-protected material.
What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time, to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like stars at night. No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance. No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began. A poor life this if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.
- by William Henry Davies (1871 - 1940), "Leisure", appears in Songs of Joy and Others, first published 1911 [author's text not yet checked 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 Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss, Sir (1891 - 1975), "Leisure", 1923, published 1923, rev. 1972 [voice and piano], from Three songs, no. 3. [text verified 1 time]
- by Harold Walter Greenhill (1902 - ?), "Leisure" [unison chorus], note: may be wrong text [text not verified]
- by Alfred Kunz (b. 1929), "Leisure", published 1972 [TTBB chorus and piano], from Three Works for Male Chorus [text not verified]
- by Eric Leigh , "Leisure", published 1960. [2-part canon of equal voices and piano] [text not verified]
- by Robin Humphrey Milford (1903 - 1959), "Leisure", published 1930 [2-part chorus of children's voices and piano], from Rain, Wind, and Sunshine [text not verified]
- by Merle Montgomery (b. 1900), "Leisure", published 1951 [SSATBB chorus a cappella], note: may be wrong text [text not verified]
- by Barbara Pentland (b. 1912), "Leisure", 1938. [three-part chorus a cappella] [text not verified]
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
- GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , title 1: "Muße", copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 106
Was soll'n die Mühen dieser Welt, wenn uns die Zeit zum Staunen fehlt? Die Zeit zum unter Bäumen stehn, wie Kuh und Schaf das Land besehn. Die Zeit zu spähn, am Waldessaum, nach Eichhorns Nüssen unterm Baum. Die Zeit, bei Tag zu sehn die Pracht des Stroms voll Sterne, wie bei Nacht. Die Zeit, zum Blick der Schönen drehn und ihre Füße tanzen sehn. Die Zeit zu warten, bis ihr Mund dir schenkt, was erster Blick tat kund. Wie arm das Leben auf der Welt, wenn uns die Zeit zum Staunen fehlt!
- Translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2010 by Walter A. Aue, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Walter A. Aue.  Contact: waue (AT) dal (DOT) caIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in English by William Henry Davies (1871 - 1940), "Leisure", appears in Songs of Joy and Others, first published 1911
This text was added to the website: 2010-03-23
Line count: 14
Word count: 92