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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

George Wither

204. The Lover’s Resolution

SHALL I, wasting in despair,

Die because a woman’s fair?

Or my cheeks make pale with care

’Cause another’s rosy are?

Be she fairer than the day

Or the flowery meads in May—

If she be not so to me

What care I how fair she be?

Shall my foolish heart be pined

’Cause I see a woman kind;

Or a well disposèd nature

Joinèd with a lovely feature?

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 merits’ value known

Make me quite forget mine own?

Be she with that goodness blest

Which may gain her name of Best;

If she seem 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 of riches find,

Think what with them they would do

Who without them dare to woo;

And unless that mind I see,

What care I how 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?