The Way Of Wooing.

A poem by William Schwenck Gilbert

A maiden sat at her window wide,
Pretty enough for a Prince's bride,
Yet nobody came to claim her.
She sat like a beautiful picture there,
With pretty bluebells and roses fair,
And jasmine-leaves to frame her.
And why she sat there nobody knows;
But this she sang as she plucked a rose,
The leaves around her strewing:
"I've time to lose and power to choose;
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
But the gallant's way of wooing!"

A lover came riding by awhile,
A wealthy lover was he, whose smile
Some maids would value greatly -
A formal lover, who bowed and bent,
With many a high-flown compliment,
And cold demeanour stately,
"You've still," said she to her suitor stern,
"The 'prentice-work of your craft to learn,
If thus you come a-cooing.
I've time to lose and power to choose;
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
As the gallant's way of wooing!"

A second lover came ambling by -
A timid lad with a frightened eye
And a colour mantling highly.
He muttered the errand on which he'd come,
Then only chuckled and bit his thumb,
And simpered, simpered shyly.
"No," said the maiden, "go your way;
You dare but think what a man would say,
Yet dare to come a-suing!
I've time to lose and power to choose;
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
As the gallant's way of wooing!"

A third rode up at a startling pace -
A suitor poor, with a homely face -
No doubts appeared to bind him.
He kissed her lips and he pressed her waist,
And off he rode with the maiden, placed
On a pillion safe behind him.
And she heard the suitor bold confide
This golden hint to the priest who tied
The knot there's no undoing;
With pretty young maidens who can choose,
'T is not so much the gallant who woos,
As the gallant's way of wooing!"

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