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.
 
A Woman Will Have Her Will
By John Fletcher (1579–1625)
 
Question
TELL me, what is that only thing
  For which all women long;
Yet, having what they most desire,
  To have it does them wrong?
 
Answer
’Tis not to be chaste, nor fair,—
        5
Such gifts malice may impair—
Richly trimmed, to walk and ride,
Or to wanton unespied;
To preserve an honest name,
And so to give it up to fame;        10
These are toys. In good or ill
They desire to have their will;
Yet, when they have it, they abuse it,
For they know not how to use it.
 
 
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