|Thrice happys the wooing thats not long a-doing,|
So much time is saved in the billing and cooing.
R. H. BarhamSir Rupert the Fearless.
|Why dont the men propose, mamma?|
Why dont the men propose?
Thomas Haynes BaylySongs and Ballads. Why Dont the Men Propose?
|Yes, I answered you last night;|
No, this morning, sir, I say:
Colors seen by candle-light
Will not look the same by day.
E. B. BrowningThe Ladys Yes.
|Alas! to seize the moment|
When heart inclines to heart,
And press a suit with passion,
Is not a womans part.
If man come not to gather
The roses where they stand,
They fade among their foliage,
They cannot seek his hand.
BryantSong. Trans. from the Spanish of Iglesias.
|Woo the fair one when around|
Early birds are singing;
When oer all the fragrant ground
Early herbs are springing:
When the brookside, bank, and grove
All with blossom laden,
Shine with beauty, breathe of love,
Woo the timid maiden.
|Duncan Gray cam here to woo,|
Ha, ha, the wooing ot!
On blithe Yulenight when we were fou,
Ha, ha, the wooing ot!
Maggie coost her head fu high,
Looked asklent and unco skeigh,
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh:
Ha, ha! the wooing ot!
|And let us mind, faint heart neer wan|
A lady fair.
Wha does the utmost that he can
Will whyles do mair.
BurnsTo Dr. Blacklock.
|The landlady and Tam grew gracious|
Wi favours secret, sweet and precious.
BurnsTam o Shanter. St. 7.
|Blessed is the wooing|
That is not long a-doing.
Quoted in BurtonAnatomy of Melancholy.
|How often in the summer-tide,|
His graver business set aside,
Has stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed
As to the pipe of Pan,
Stepped blithesomely with lovers pride
Across the fields to Anne.
Richard BurtonAcross the Fields to Anne. (Referring to Shakespeare.)
|He that will win his dame must do|
As love does when he draws his bow;
With one hand thrust the lady from,
And with the other pull her home.
ButlerHudibras. Pt. II. Canto I. L. 449.
|She that with poetry is won,|
Is but a desk to write upon;
And what men say of her they mean
No more than on the thing they lean.
ButlerHudibras. Pt. II. Canto I. L. 591.
|Do proper homage to thine idols eyes;|
But not too humbly, or she will despise
Thee and thy suit, though told in moving tropes:
Disguise even tenderness, if thou art wise.
ByronChilde Harold. Canto II. St. 34.
|Not much he kens, I ween, of womans breast,|
Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighs.
ByronChilde Harold. Canto II. St. 34.
|Tis an old lesson; time approves it true,|
And those who know it best, deplore it most;
When all is won that all desire to woo,
The paltry prize is hardly worth the cost.
ByronChilde Harold. Canto II. St. 35.
| And whispering, I will neer consentconsented.|
ByronDon Juan. Canto I. St. 117.
|There is a tide in the affairs of women|
Which, taken at the flood, leadsGod knows where.
ByronDon Juan. Canto VI. St. 2.
|Some are soon baggd but some reject three dozen.|
Tis fine to see them scattering refusals
And wild dismay, oer every angry cousin
(Friends of the party) who begin accusais,
Such asUnless Miss (Blank) meant to have chosen
Poor Frederick, why did she accord perusals
To his billets? Why waltz with him? Why, I pray,
Look yes last night, and yet say No to-day?
ByronDon Juan. Canto XII. St. 34.
| Tis enough|
Who listens once will listen twice;
Her heart be sure is not of ice,
And one refusal no rebuff.
ByronMazeppa. St. 6.
|Better be courted and jilted|
Than never be courted at all.
CampbellThe Jilted Nymph.
|Never wedding, ever wooing,|
Still a lovelorn heart pursuing,
Read you not the wrong youre doing
In my cheeks pale hue?
All my life with sorrow strewing;
Wed or cease to woo.
CampbellThe Maids Remonstrance.
|So mournd the dame of Ephesus her Love,|
And thus the Soldier armd with Resolution
Told his soft Tale, and was a thriving Wooer.
Colley CibberRichard III. (Altered). Act II. Sc. 1.
|Faint heart hath been a common phrase, faire ladie never wives.|
J. P. Colliers Reprint of The Rocke of Regard. (1576). P. 122.
|And when with envy Time transported|
Shall think to rob us of our joys,
Youll in your girls again be courted,
And Ill go wooing in my boys.
Gilbert Cooper, according to John Aikin, in Collection of English Songs. Winifreda. Claimed for him by Walter ThornburyTwo Centuries of Song. (1810). Bishop Percy assigns it a place in his Reliques. I. 326, (Ed. 1777), but its ancient origin is a fiction. Poem appeared in Dodsleys Magazine and in Miscellaneous Poems by Several hands. (1726).
| Chops and Tomata Sauce. Yours, Pickwick. Chops! Gracious heavens! and Tomata Sauce! Gentlemen, is the happiness of a sensitive and confiding female to be trifled away by such shallow artifices as these?|
DickensPickwick Papers. Ch. XXXIV.
|Ah, Foole! faint heart faire lady nere could win.|
Phineas FletcherBrittains Ida. Canto V. St. 1. Wm. EllertonGeorge a-Greene. Ballad written about 1569. A Proper New Ballad in Praise of My Lady Marques. (1569). Reprint Philobiblian So. 1867. P. 22. Early use in Camdens Remaines. (Ed. 1814). Originally published with Spensers name on the title page.
|Perhaps if you address the lady|
Most politely, most politely,
Flatter and impress the lady
Most politely, most politely.
Humbly beg and humbly sue,
She may deign to look on you.
W. S. GilbertPrincess Ida.
|If doughty deeds my lady please,|
Right soon Ill mount my steed,
And strong his arm and fast his seat,
That bears me from the meed.
Then tell me how to woo thee, love,
Oh, tell me how to woo thee
For thy dear sake, nae care Ill take
Though neer another trow me.
Robert GrahamTell me how to woo Thee.
|Ill woo her as the lion woos his brides.|
John HomeDouglas. Act I. Sc. 1.
| The surest way to hit a womans heart is to take aim kneeling.|
Douglas JerroldDouglas Jerrolds Wit. The Way to a Womans Heart.
|Follow a shadow, it still flies you,|
Seem to fly, it will pursue:
So court a mistress, she denies you;
Let her alone, she will court you.
Say are not women truly, then,
Styled but the shadows of us men?
Ben JonsonThe Forest. Song. That Women are but Mens Shadows.
|There be triple ways to take, of the eagle or the snake,|
Or the way of a man with a maid.
KiplingThe Long Trail. LEnvoi to Departmental Duties.
|A fool there was and he made his prayer|
(Even as you and I!)
To a rag and a bone and a hank of hair
(We called her the woman who did not care)
But the fool he called her his lady fair
(Even as you and I!)
|If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the winning.|
LongfellowCourtship of Miles Standish. Pt. III. L. 111.
|Why dont you speak for yourself, John?|
LongfellowCourtship of Miles Standish. III. Last line.
|The nightingales among the sheltering boughs|
Of populous many-nested trees
Shall teach me how to woo thee, and shall tell me
By what resistless charms or incantations
They won their mates.
LongfellowThe Masque of Pandora. Pt. V. L. 62.
|Come live in my heart and pay no rent.|
LoverVourneen! when your days were bright.
|His heart kep goin pity-pat,|
But hern went pity-Zekle.
LowellIntroduction to The Biglow Papers. Second Series. The Courtin. St. 15.
|Whaur hae ye been a day,|
My boy Tammy?
Ive been by burn and flowery brae,
Meadow green and mountain grey,
Courting of this young thing
Just come frae her mammy.
|I will now court her in the conquerors style;|
Come, see, and overcome.
MassingerMaid of Honour. Act II. Sc. 1.
|He kissed her cold corpse a thousand times oer,|
And called her his jewel though she was no more:
And he drank all the pison like a lovyer so brave,
And Villikins and Dinah lie buried in one grave.
Henry Mayhew condensed and interpolated the modern version in his Wandering Minstrel. The words of an old song given to him by the actor, Mitchell, who sang it in 1831. The ballad is older than the age of Queen Elizabeth, according to G. A. SalaAutobiography.
|And every shepherd tells his tale|
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
MiltonLAllegro. L. 67.
|Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,|
That would be wood, and not unsought be won.
MiltonParadise Lost. Bk. VIII. L. 502.
|That you are in a terrible taking,|
By all these sweet oglings I see;
But the fruit that can fall without shaking,
Indeed is too mellow for me.
Lady Mary Wortley MontaguLines written for Lord William Hamilton.
|Let this great maxim be my virtues guide:|
In part she is to blame that has been tried;
He comes too near that comes to be denied.
Lady Mary Wortley MontaguThe Ladys Resolve. In Works. Vol. V. P. 104. Ed. 1803. Quoted from Overbury.
|If I speak to thee in friendships name,|
Thou thinkst I speak too coldly;
If I mention Loves devoted flame,
Thou sayst I speak too boldly.
MooreHow Shall I Woo?
|Tis sweet to think that whereer we rove|
We are sure to find something blissful and dear;
And that when were far from the lips we love,
Weve but to make love to the lips we are near.
MooreTis Sweet to Think.
|Happy Mary Anerly, looking O so fair,|
Theres a ring upon your hand, and theres myrtle in your hair.
Somebody is with you now: Somebody I see,
Looks into your trusting face very tenderly.
Arthur James MunbyMary Anerly.
|I sat with Doris, the Shepherd maiden;|
Her crook was laden with wreathèd flowers;
I sat and wooed her through sunlight wheeling,
And shadows stealing for hours and hours.
Arthur James MunbyPastoral.
|Ye shall know my breach of promise.|
Numbers. XIV. 34.
| In part to blame is she,|
Which hath without consent bin only tride;
He comes too neere, that comes to be denide.
Sir Thos. OverburyA Wife. St. 36.
|Ah, whither shall a maiden flee,|
When a bold youth so swift pursues,
And siege of tenderest courtesy,
With hope perseverant, still renews!
Coventry PatmoreThe Chase.
|They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.|
PopeWife of Bath. L. 103.
| The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.|
Proverbs. XXX. 19.
|But in vain did she conjure him|
To depart her presence so,
Having a thousand tongues tallure him,
And but one to bid him go.
Sir Walter RaleighDulcina. Attributed to Brydges, who edited Raleighs poems.
| It was a happy age when a man might have wooed his wench with a pair of kid leather gloves, a silver thimble, or with a tawdry lace; but now a velvet gown, a chain of pearl, or a coach with four horses will scarcely serve the turn.|
RichMy Ladys Looking Glass.
|Wooed, and married, and a,|
Married, and wooed, and a!
And was she nae very weel off
That was wooed, and married, and a?
|A pressing lover seldom wants success,|
Whilst the respectful, like the Greek, sits down
And wastes a ten years siege before one town.
Nicholas RoweTo the Inconstant. Epilogue. L. 18.
|Lightly from fair to fair he flew,|
And loved to plead, lament, and sue,
Suit lightly won, and short-lived pain,
For monarchs seldom sigh in vain.
ScottMarmion. Canto V. St. 9.
|A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.|
Alls Well That Ends Well. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 66.
| Most fair,|
Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
Such as will enter at a ladys ear
And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
Henry V. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 98.
|Shes beautiful and therefore to be wood:|
She is a woman, therefore to be won.
Henry VI. Pt. I. Act V. Sc. 3. L. 78.
|Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts|
To courtship and such fair ostents of love
As shall conveniently become you there.
Merchant of Venice. Act II. Sc. 8. L. 43.
|Wooing thee, I found thee of more value|
Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
And tis the very riches of thyself
That now I aim at.
Merry Wives of Windsor. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 15.
|We cannot fight for love, as men may do;|
We should be wood and were not made to woo.
Midsummer Nights Dream. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 241.
|Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,|
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea and one on shore;
To one thing constant never.
Much Ado About Nothing. Act II. Sc. 3. L. 64. Not in original folio. See also Thos. PercyThe Friar of Orders Gray. (Weep no more, Ladies.)
| I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.|
Much Ado About Nothing. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 40.
|She wishd she had not heard it, yet she wishd|
That heaven had made her such a man: she thankd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that lovd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story
And that would woo her.
Othello. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 162.
|Was ever woman in this humour wood?|
Was ever woman in this humour won?
Richard III. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 228.
| O gentle Romeo,|
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully.
Or if thou thinkst I am too quickly won,
Ill frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo: but else, not for the world.
Romeo and Juliet. Act II. Sc. 2. L. 93.
|She is a woman, therefore may be wood;|
She is a woman, therefore may be won.
Titus Andronicus. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 82.
| Women are angels, wooing:|
Things won are done, joys soul lies in the doing:
That she belovd knows nought that knows not this:
Men prize the thing ungaind more than it is.
Troilus and Cressida. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 312.
|Win her with gifts, if she respect not words;|
Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
More than quick words do move a womans mind.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 89.
| Never give her oer;|
For scorn at first makes after-love the more.
If she do frown, tis not in hate of you,
But rather to beget more love in you;
If she do chide, tis not to have you gone,
For why, the fools are mad if left alone.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 91.
|Take no repulse, whatever she doth say;|
For, get you gone, she doth not mean, away.
Flatter and praise, commend, extol their graces;
Though neer so black, say they have angels faces.
That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 100.
|Say that upon the altar of her beauty|
You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart:
Write till your ink be dry and with your tears
Moist it again, and frame some feeling line,
That may discover such integrity.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 73.
|Bring therefore all the forces that ye may,|
And lay incessant battery to her heart;
Playnts, prayers, vowes, truth, sorrow, and dismay;
Those engins can the proudest love convert:
And, if those fayle, fall down and dy before her;
So dying live, and living do adore her.
SpenserAmoretti and Epithalamion. Sonnet XIV.
|Full little knowest thou that hast not tried,|
What hell it is in suing long to bide:
To loose good dayes, that might be better spent;
To waste long nights in pensive discontent;
To speed to-day, to be put back to-morrow;
To feed on hope, to pine with feare and sorrow.
SpenserMother Hubberds Tale. L. 895.
|Quiet, Robin, quiet!|
You lovers are such clumsy summer-flies,
Forever buzzing at your ladys face.
TennysonThe Foresters. Act IV. Sc. 1.
|When Venus said Spell no for me,|
N-O, Dan Cupid wrote with glee,
And smiled at his success:
Ah, child, said Venus, laughing low,
We women do not spell it so,
We spell it Y-E-S.
Carolyn WellsThe Spelling Lesson.