Why So Pale and Wan, Fond Lover?

by SIR JOHN SUCKLING (1609-1642)

WHY so pale and wan, fond lover?
Prithee, why so pale?
Will, when looking well can’t move her,
Looking ill prevail?
Prithee, why so pale?

Why so dull and mute, young sinner?
Prithee, why so mute?
Will, when speaking well can’t win her,
Saying nothing do ‘t?
Prithee, why so mute?

Quit, quit for shame! This will not move;
This cannot take her.
If of herself she will not love,
Nothing can make her:
The devil take her!

Sir John Suckling

No English poet has lived a life so public, so adventurous and so full of vicissitude … Beautiful and vigorous in body, educated in all the accomplishments that grace a gentleman, endowed from earliest youth with the prestige of a soldier and a popular courtier, his enormous wealth enabled him to indulge every whim that a fondness for what was splendid or eccentric in dress, architecture and pageantry could devise. Such a life could present no void which literary ambition could fill, and Suckling’s scorn for poetic fame was well known to his contemporaries. From The English Poets (p. 170) by Thomas Humphry Ward, Macmillan (1882)

Sir John Suckling Contemporaries
Robert Herrick
Ben Jonson
John Donne