Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
An Elegy of a Woman’s Heart
By Sir Henry Wotton (1568–1639)
 
O FAITHLESS 1 World! and thy more faithless part,
                A Woman’s Heart!
The true Shop of Variety! where sits
                Nothing but fits
And fevers of Desire, and pangs of Love;        5
                Which toys remove!
Why was She born to please! or I, to trust
                Words writ in dust!
Suff’ring her eyes to govern my despair;
                My pain, for air!        10
And fruit of time rewarded with untruth,
                The food of Youth!
Untrue She was: yet I believed her eyes,
                (Instructed spies!)
Till I was taught, that Love was but a School        15
                To breed a Fool!
Or sought She more, by triumphs of denial,
                To make a trial,
How far her smiles commanded my weakness!
                Yield, and confess!        20
Excuse no more thy folly! but, for cure,
                Blush, and endure
As well thy shame, as Passions that were vain!
                And think, ’tis gain
To know,—That Love, lodged in a Woman’s Breast,        25
                Is but a guest!
 
Note 1. From Reliquiæ Wottonianæ; also printed in Davison’s Poetical Rhapsody, 1602. [back]
 
 
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