And if an eye may save or slay

And if an eye may save or slay,
And strike more deep than weapon long,
And if an eye by subtle play
May move one more than any tongue,
How can ye say that I do wrong
Thus to suspect without desert?
For the eye is traitor of the heart.

To frame all well, I am content
That it were done unweetingly;
But yet I say, who will assent
To do but well, do no thing why
That men should deem the contrary?
For it is said, by men expert,
That the eye is traitor of the heart.

But yet, alas, that look, all soul,
That I do claim of right to have
Should not methinks go seek the school
To please all folk, for who can crave
Friendlier thing than heart withsave
By look to give in friendly part?
For the eye is the traitor of the heart.

And my suspect is without blame,
For, as ye say, not only I
But other mo have deem'd the same.
Then is it not [my] jealousy,
But subtle look of reckless eye
Did range too far, to make me smart,
For the eye is traitor of the heart.

But I your Friend shall take it thus,
Since you will so, as stroke of chance,
And leave further for to discuss
Whether the stroke did stick or glance.
But 'scuse who can, let him advance
Dissembled looks, but for my part,
My eye must still betray my heart.

And of this grief ye shall be quit,
In helping Truth steadfast to go:
The time is long that [he] doth sit
Feeble and weak, and suff'reth woe.
Cherish him well, continue so:
Let him not fro your heart ascart;
Then fears not the eye to show the heart.
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