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So poore and base a thing as this,
Cannot offend thy minde so high:
Why then, it cannot be amisse,
To take and reade it by and by.
But in the same if thou dost find
Words written ill, and not well coucht,
Knowe, that my hand did like the winde
Tremble, when that my pen it toucht.
The blots, which heere thou see’st disgrace
My letter, making it to blame,
My teares they are, that fell apace,
Knowing to thee I wrote the same.
Reade it, I pray thee, to the end:
And make an end of all my woes,
Open thine eies to this I send,
And to my griefes giue some repose.
And to the end thou maist it reede,
It comes not from an En’mies brest,
But from a faithfull hart indeede,
And from a friend aboue the rest.
It is no letter, that defies
(Defied for I am too much)
Alas in conquer’d men it lies
Not in their power to be such.
In endlesse peace I seeke to liue,
And on thy grace I doe relie,
If not, the doome and sentence giue
Vnto my life condemn’d to die.
I haue contended to this howre
Thy mighty forces to resist,
And now I finde, thy onely powre
Doth conquer (Mistresse) as thou list.
It is not much, that in the field
Vnto thy valour I giue place,
Since that the God of loue doth yeeld
Himselfe, vnto thy wounding face.
So that now subiect Iremaine
Vnto thy sou’raine force, I see,
Then wound me not, for t’is in vaine,
Since wholy I doe yeeld to thee.
My life I put into thy hands,
And now doe with me at thy will,
But yet behold, how pitie stands
Entreating thee thou wouldst not kill.
So shalt thou make thy conquest braue,
If in thy spoiles and triumphes, such
Remorse of pitie thou wilt haue,
Which all the world commends so much.
I sawe thee sit not long agoe
Feasting with ioy and pleasant fare,
And I, bicause I could not soe,
Did feede vpon my woes and care.
There leisurely thou didst begin
Of other cates and flesh to feede,
But I with haste did rauin in
My pains, wherwith my hart did bleede.
The Riuer water thou didst drinke
With freest minde deuoid of care,
But I in fluds of teares did sinke,
The which to drinke I did not spare.
I sawe thee with thy little knife
Cutting thy bread and meate againe,
And then (me thought) my wofull life
Should in like sort be cut in twaine.
A little Boy sat in thy lap,
Thou didst imbrace him with great ioy:
Oh would it had beene then my hap
To haue beene that same little Boy.
Thou gau’st to him a louing kisse:
What heere I felt, I will repeate,
Let it suffice, that I was this
Most happy childe, but in conceate.
But not contented vvith the same,
Marking the place where thou didst lay
Thy lips, vnto the childe I came,
And tooke from him the kisse avvay.
Each thing of thine so vvell I loue,
That if I see them to decay,
Me thinks, my care it doth behoue
To saue, to cast them not avvay.
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