(This score available as
a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available
Shall I Wasting in Despair Shall I, wasting in despair, Die because a woman's fair? Shall my cheeks look pale and fair, Because another's rosy are? Be she fairer than the day, or the flowrie meads of May; Yet if she be not such to me, What care I how fair she be? Shall my foolish heart be pin'd 'Cause I see a woman kind? Or with a well-disposed nature, Joined with a lovely feature? Be she kind, or meeker than Turtle-dove or pelican; If she be not so to me, What care I how kind she be? Great, or good, or kind, or fair, I will ne'er the more dispair I she love me, this believe, I will die ere she shall grieve. If she slight me when I woo, I can slight and let her go; If she be not fit for me, What care I for whom 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 be not such to me, What care I how good she be? From a manuscript in the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. Also located in the Pepys Collection, and in "the Golden Garden of Princely Delights, " c1620. WBO note: This, as far as I can tell, is the "Shall I Wasting" referred to in the Whiffenpoof Song. RG [tune: Shall I wasting in despair] WBO oct97
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!