The Time I've Lost In Wooing

by Thomas Moore

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"My Only Books Were Woman's Looks, And Folly's All They've Taught Me"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 181

Context: Moore wrote his Irish Melodies to be sung, and he sang them himself in some of the most aristocratic drawing rooms in London, where he was welcomed like a minstrel of old. Of his many songs which were popular when he was alive to sing them, "The Time I've Lost in Wooing" is one of the few that have survived to grace twentieth century anthologies and song books. The theme and style of the song are reminiscent of the Cavalier Poets of the seventeenth century, to whom nothing seemed more important than wooing a lady fair. The poet confesses, with obviously not very sincere regret, that though he has lost a great deal of time in wooing, he has become none the wiser, and "Against a glance/ Is now as weak as ever." The song begins:

The time I've lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing
The light that lies
In woman's eyes,
Has been my heart's undoing.
Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
I scorn'd the lore she brought me,
My only books
Were woman's looks,
And folly's all they've taught me.

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