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 Lover’s Question
Anonymous
 
MAID, 1 will ye love me, yea or no?
Tell me the truth, and let me go.
It can be no less than a sinful deed,
        Trust me truly,
To linger a lover that looks to speed        5
        In due time duly.
 
You maids, that think yourselves as fine
As Venus and all the Muses nine,
The Father himself, when He first made Man,
        Trust me truly,        10
Made you for his help, when the world began,
        In due time duly.
 
Then sith God’s will was even so,
Why should you disdain your lover tho?
But rather with a willing heart        15
        Love him truly:
For in so doing you do but your part;
        Let reason rule ye.
 
Consider, Sweet, what sighs and sobs
Do nip my heart with cruel throbs,        20
And all, my Dear, for love of you,
        Trust me truly;
But I hope that you will some mercy show
        In due time duly.
 
Note 1. From A handful of Pleasant Delights, a miscellany edited by Clement Robinson in 1584. The full title given in the Miscellany is: A Proper Wooing-Song, intituled, Maid, will ye love me, yea or no? to the tune of The Merchant’s Daughter went over the Field. I have followed Mr. Quiller-Couch’s text and omitted the four concluding stanzas. [back]
 
 
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