by Robert Greene (1558 - 1592)

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee
Language: English 
Available translation(s): GER
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.
      Mother's wag, pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy;
      When thy father first did see
      Such a boy by him and me,
      He was glad, I was woe;
      Fortune changèd made him so,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Last his sorrow, first his joy.

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.
      Streaming tears that never stint,
      Like pearl-drops from a flint,
      Fell by course from his eyes,
      That one another's place supplies;
      Thus he grieved in every part,
      Tears of blood fell from his heart,
      When he left his pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy.

Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee;
When thou art old there's grief enough for thee.
      The wanton smiled, father wept,
      Mother cried, baby leapt;
      More he crow'd, more we cried,
      Nature could not sorrow hide:
      He must go, he must kiss
      Child and mother, baby bliss,
      For he left his pretty boy,
      Father's sorrow, father's joy.
Weep not, my wanton, smile upon my knee,
When thou art old there 's grief enough for thee.

B. Britten sets stanzas 1, 3

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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):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Sephestias Wiegenlied", copyright © 2015, (re)printed on this website with kind permission


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:31
Line count: 32
Word count: 198