“If she be not kind” – Etherege

Happy World Poetry Day! In honour of this, I would like to share a 17th Century poem with you by Sir George Etherege:

If she be not kind as fair,
But peevish and unhandy.
Leave her – she’s only worth the care
Of some spruce jack-a-dandy.

I would not have thee such an ass,
Hadst thou ne’er so much leisure.
To sigh and whine for such a lass
Whose pride’s above her pleasure.

Make much of every buxom girl
Which needs but little courting;
Her value is above the pearl
That takes delight in sporting.

He’s saying that even if a woman is very beautiful, if she’s not a nice person, it’s not worth staying with her when there are good women available.

Hear ye! One thought — so far — on ““If she be not kind” – Etherege”:

  1. Jaqueline aka Prince Rupert's secret wife

    He’d certainly have his hands full with “every buxom girl” who abound today with obesity re-arranging us so alarmingly. Alas, we’ve seen the end of “fair” and “kind” women as they struggle to be equal with men on all levels. Poor old Etherege, he’d be appalled at our lost femininity.


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