Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
V. Cautions and Complaints
The Author’s Resolution, in a Sonnet
George Wither (1588–1667)
 
From “Fair Virtue”

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,        5
Or the flowery 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?        10
Or a well disposèd nature
Joined with a lovely feature?
Be She meeker, kinder than
Turtle dove, or pelican!
  If She be not so to me,        15
  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?        20
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,        25
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!”
That, without them, dare to woo!        30
  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!)        35
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?        40
 
 
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