Digital Tradition Mirror

Shall I Wasting in Despair

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or 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]


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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