Songs from the Plays - “When that I was and a little tiny boy”

By William Shakespeare 1564–1616 William Shakespeare
When that I was and a little tiny boy,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man’s estate,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
’Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came unto my beds,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
    For the rain it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that’s all one, our play is done,
    And we’ll strive to please you every day.

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Poet William Shakespeare 1564–1616

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Living, Youth, Time & Brevity, Nature, Weather

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Refrain, Rhymed Stanza

 William  Shakespeare

Biography

While William Shakespeare's reputation is based primarily on his plays, he became famous first as a poet. With the partial exception of the Sonnets (1609), quarried since the early nineteenth century for autobiographical secrets allegedly encoded in them, the nondramatic writings have traditionally been pushed to the margins of the Shakespeare industry. Yet the study of his nondramatic poetry can illuminate Shakespeare's . . .

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Poems by William Shakespeare

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Youth, Time & Brevity, Nature, Weather

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Poetic Terms Metaphor, Refrain, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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