Song: "Shall I, wasting in despair."

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Song

Shall I, wasting in despair,
Die, because a woman's fair?
Or make pale my cheeks with care
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flow'ry meads in May;
  If she be not so to me,
  What care I how fair she be.

Should my heart be grieved or pined
'Cause I see a woman kind?
Or a well-disposèd nature
Joinèd with a lovely creature?
Be she meeker, kinder than
Turtle-dove or pelican:
  If she be not so to me,
  What care I how kind she be.

Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or, her well-deserving known,
Make me quite forget mine own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of best
  If she be not such to me,
  What care I how good she be.

'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die?
Those that bear a noble mind,
Where they want or riches find,
Think what with them they would do
That without them dare to woo.
  And unless that mind I see,
  What care I though great she be.

Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve.
If she slight me, when I woo,
I can scorn, and let her go.
  For, if she be not for me,
  What care I for whom she be.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.