Tom Tyler and his Wife

Original Text: 
Tom Tyler and His Wife, An Excellent Old Play, As It was Printed and Acted abou a hundred Years ago (London, 1661); ed. John S. Farmer, Six Anonymous Plays, 2nd series (London, 1906): 293-94. Also Tudor Facsimile Texts, 1912. PR 2411 T57 1661A Robarts Library
1  I am a poor tiler in simple array,
2And get a poor living, but eightpence a day,
3My wife as I get it, doth spend it away;
4    And I cannot help it, she saith; wot we why?
5    For wedding and hanging is destiny.
6  I thought when I wed her, she had been a sheep,
7At board to be friendly, to sleep when I sleep.
8She loves so unkindly, she makes me to weep;
9    But I dare say nothing, God wot! wot ye why?
10    For wedding and hanging is destiny.
11  Besides this unkindness whereof my grief grows,
13Before she leaves brawling, she falls to deal blows
14    Which, early and late, doth cause me cry
15    That wedding and hanging is destiny.
16  The more that I please her, the worse she doth like me;
17The more I forbear her, the more she doth strike me;
19    Woe worth this ill fortune that maketh me cry
20    That wedding and hanging is destiny.
21  If I had been hanged when I had been married,
22My torments had ended, though I had miscarried;
23If I had been warned, then would I have tarried;
24    But now all too lately I feel and cry
25    That wedding and hanging is destiny.


12] shrows: shrews. Back to Line
18] glike: jeer at. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1. 242; RPO 1996-2000.