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C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.

Wooing (See Courtship)

She half consents who silently denies.


Deference and intimacy live far apart.


I’ll woo her as the lion woos his brides.

John Home.

  • And let us mind, faint heart ne’er wan
  • A lady fair.
  • Burns.

    A heaven on earth I have won by wooing thee.


    You must not contrast too strongly the hours of courtship with the years of possession.


    Men are April when they woo, December when they wed.


    Love is a child that talks in broken language, yet then he speaks most plain.


    The first thing necessary to win the heart of a woman is opportunity.


    It is against womanhood to be forward in their own wishes.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    With women worth the being won, the softest lover ever best succeeds.

    Aaron Hill.

    I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms.


    She is a woman, therefore may be wooed; she is a woman, therefore may be won.


    They dream in courtship, but in wedlock wake.


    Women are not apt to be won by the charms of verse.

    Bayard Taylor.

    If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the winning.


  • Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?
  • Was ever woman in this humour won?
  • Shakespeare.

  • And every shepherd tells his tale
  • Under the hawthorne in the dale.
  • Milton.

    Faint heart hath been a common phrase, faire ladie never wives.

    J. P. Collier.

    The surest way to hit a woman’s heart is to take aim kneeling.

    Douglas Jerrold.

  • Her virtue and the conscience of her worth,
  • That would be woo’d and not unsought be won.
  • Milton.

  • That man that hath a tongue, I say, is no man,
  • If with his tongue he cannot win a woman.
  • Shakespeare.

  • We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
  • We should be woo’d and were not made to woo.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts
  • To courtship and such fair ostents of love
  • As shall conveniently become you there.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Not much he kens, I ween, of woman’s breast,
  • Who thinks that wanton thing is won by sighs.
  • Byron.

  • Win her with gifts, if she respects not words;
  • Dumb jewels often in their silent kind
  • More than quick words do move a woman’s mind.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Most fair,
  • Will you vouchsafe to teach a soldier terms
  • Such as will enter at a lady’s ear
  • And plead his love-suit to her gentle heart?
  • Shakespeare.

  • Wooing thee, I found thee of more value
  • Than stamps in gold or sums in sealed bags;
  • And ’tis the very riches of thyself
  • That now I aim at.
  • Shakespeare.

    O subtle love! a thousand wiles thou hast, by humble suit, by service, or by hire, to win a maiden’s hold,—a thing soon done, for nature framed all women to be won.


  • His heart kep’ goin’ pity-pat,
  • But hern went pity-Zekle.
  • Lowell.

  • Quiet, Robin, quiet!
  • You lovers are such clumsy summer-flies,
  • Forever buzzing at your lady’s face.
  • Tennyson.

  • Lightly from fair to fair he flew,
  • And loved to plead, lament, and sue,—
  • Suit lightly won, and short-lived pain,
  • For monarchs seldom sigh in vain.
  • Scott.

  • Ah, whither shall a maiden flee,
  • When a bold youth so swift pursues,
  • And siege of tenderest courtesy,
  • With hope perseverent, still renews!
  • Coventry Patmore.

  • ’Tis enough—
  • Who listens once will listen twice;
  • Her heart be sure is not of ice,
  • And one refusal no rebuff.
  • Byron.

  • She that with poetry is won,
  • Is but a desk to write upon;
  • And what men say of her they mean
  • No more than on the thing they lean.
  • Butler.

  • He that will win his dame must do
  • As love does when he draws his bow;
  • With one hand thrust the lady from,
  • And with the other pull her home.
  • Butler.

  • If I speak to thee in friendship’s name,
  • Thou think’st I speak too coldly;
  • If I mention Love’s devoted flame,
  • Thou say’st I speak too boldly.
  • Moore.

  • Say that upon the altar of her beauty
  • You sacrifice your tears, your sighs, your heart:
  • Write till your ink be dry and with your tears
  • Moist it again, and frame some feeling line,
  • That may discover such integrity.
  • Shakespeare.

  • She wish’d she had not heard it, yet she wish’d
  • That heaven had made her such a man: She thank’d me,
  • And bade me, if I had a friend that lov’d her,
  • I should but teach him how to tell my story
  • And that would woo her.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Women are angels, wooing:
  • Things won are done, joy’s soul lies in the doing:
  • That she belov’d knows nought that knows not this:
  • Men prize the thing ungain’d more than it is.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O gentle Romeo,
  • If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully,
  • Or if thou think’st I am too quickly won,
  • I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
  • So thou wilt woo: but else, not for the world.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Happy Mary Anerly, looking O so fair!
  • There’s a ring upon your hand, and there’s myrtle in your hair.
  • Somebody is with you now: Somebody I see,
  • Looks into your trusting face very tenderly.
  • Arthur Jas. Munby.

  • ’Tis an old lesson; time approves it true,
  • And those who know it best, deplore it most;
  • When all is won that all desire to woo,
  • The paltry prize, is hardly worth the cost.
  • Byron.

  • Do proper homage to thine idol’s eyes;
  • But not too humbly, or she will despise
  • Thee and thy suit, though told in moving tropes:
  • Disguise even tenderness, if thou art wise.
  • Byron.

  • The nightingales among the sheltering boughs
  • Of populous and many-nested trees
  • Shall teach me how to woo thee, and shall tell me
  • By what resistless charms or incantations
  • They won their mates.
  • Longfellow.

  • Follow a shadow, it still flies you,
  • Seem to fly it, it will pursue:
  • So court a mistress, she denies you;
  • Let her alone, she will court you.
  • Say are not women truly, then,
  • Styled but the shadows of us men?
  • Ben Jonson.

  • Bring therefore all the forces that ye may,
  • And lay incessant battery to her heart;
  • Playnts, prayers, vowes, truth, sorrow, and dismay;
  • Those engins can the proudest love convert:
  • And if those fayle, fall down and dy before her;
  • So dying live, and living do adore her.
  • Spenser.

  • He sat by her side and her soft hand he pressed;
  • He felt, in the pressure returned him thrice blessed,
  • Enraptured gazing
  • On her whom he honored beyond all praising.
  • Esaias Tegner.

  • ’Tis sweet to think that where’er we rove
  • We are sure to find something blissful and dear;
  • And that when we’re far from the lips we love,
  • We’ve but to make love to the lips we are near.
  • Moore.

  • Duncan Gray cam here to woo,
  • Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!
  • On blithe Yulenight when we were fou,
  • Ha, ha, the wooing o’t!
  • Maggie coost her head fu’ high,
  • Looked asklent and unco skeigh,
  • Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh:
  • Ha, ha! the wooing o’t!
  • Burns.

  • Alas! to seize the moment
  • When heart inclines to heart,
  • And press a suit with passion,
  • Is not a woman’s part.
  • If man come not to gather
  • The roses where they stand,
  • They fade among their foliage,
  • They cannot seek his hand.
  • Bryant.