Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Why So Pale and Wan?
By Sir John Suckling (1609–1642)
 
WHY 1 so pale and wan, fond lover?
      Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can’t move her,
      Looking ill prevail?
      Prithee, why so pale?        5
 
Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
      Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can’t win her,
      Saying nothing do ’t?
      Prithee, why so mute?        10
 
Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;
      This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
      Nothing can make her:
      The devil take her!        15
 
Note 1. This song, perhaps the most perfect example of the satirical lyric of the Caroline period, appears in Aglaura, act iv. sc. 1, printed 1638. It is sung by young Orsames, who calls it “a little foolish counsel I gave a friend of mine four or five years ago when he was falling into a consumption.” [back]
 
 
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