What is life without a wife? I’ll tell you since you ask it, A thorny bower without one flower, An empty jewel casket. What is life without a wife? A march without the music, Oh what is life without a wife? A fever without physic. What sort is joy without a boy? I think that I can tell it, ‘Tis just a rose without a nose Or eye to see or smell it. Oh what is joy without a boy? A door without a rapper, O what is life without a wife? A bell without a clapper. If that be so we’d like to know From you inconstant rovers, If all intend their ways to mend And live like faithful lovers? You hear, you hear, come answer clear, All you inconstant rovers! We do intend our ways to mend And live like faithful lovers. Come now, will you, coquettes untrue, Renounce your roving fancies, And just employ upon one boy Your smiles and sighs and glances? They will. Be Still! We will, they will Renounce our/their roving fancies And just employ upon one boy Our/their smiles and sighs and glances.
- by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931) [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 Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924), "What is life without a wife", published [1882?] [two voices and chorus], from the collection Songs of Old Ireland. A Collection of Fifty Irish Melodies Unknown in England, no. 46, arrangement ; London, Boosey & Co. ; dedicated to Johannes Brahms, August 1882 [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson
This text was added to the website: 2015-04-08
Line count: 32
Word count: 190