‘When that I was and a little tiny boy’ (1601)

William Shakespeare

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links On

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.

Learn more about the language of this poem in the
Oxford English Dictionary:

toss-pot [tosspot]  wive, v.