by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931)

What is life without a wife
Language: English 
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.

Authorship

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: Mike Pearson

This text was added to the website: 2015-04-08
Line count: 32
Word count: 190