Shall I Wasting In Despair

Original Text: 
George Wither, Fidelia (London: John Budge, 1622). PR 2392 F52 1622a Victoria College Library.
2Die because a woman's fair?
3Or make pale my cheeks with care
4'Cause another's rosy are?
5Be she fairer than the day,
6Or the flow'ry meads in May,
7    If she be not so to me,
8    What care I how fair she be?
9Shall my heart be griev'd or pin'd
10'Cause I see a woman kind?
11Or a well-disposed nature
12Joined with a lovely feature?
13Be she meeker, kinder, than
14Turtle dove or pelican,
15    If she be not so to me,
16    What care I how kind she be?
17Shall a woman's virtues move
18Me to perish for her love?
19Or her well-deserving known
20Make me quite forget mine own?
21Be she with that goodness blest
22Which may gain her name of best
23    If she be not such to me,
24    What care I, how good she be?
25'Cause her fortune seems too high
26Shall I play the fool and die?
27Those that bear a noble mind,
28Where they want of riches find,
29Think what with them they would
30That without them dare to woo;
31    And unless that mind I see,
32    What care I how great she be?
33Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
34I will ne'er the more despair;
35If she love me, this believe,
36I will die ere she shall grieve;
37If she slight me when I woo,
38I can scorn and let her go;
39    For if she be not for me,
40    What care I for whom she be?


1] In the original text called a "sonnet" and part of Fair Virtue, The Mistress of Philarete, a long poem with separate lyrics interspersed (incomplete, but over 4,000 lines long), first published in 1622. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.299; RPO 1996-2000.