I. W. To her unconstant Lover

As close as you your weding kept
yet now the trueth I here:
Which you (yer now) might me have told
what nede you nay to swere?

You know I alwayes wisht you wel
so wyll I during lyfe:
But sith you shal a Husband be
God sent you a good wyfe.

And this (where so you shal become)
full boldly may you boast:
That once you had as true a Love,
as dwelt in any Coast.

Whose constantnesse had never quaild
if you had not begonne:
And yet it is not so far past,
but might agayne be wonne.

If you so would: yea and not change
so long as lyfe should last:
But yf that needes you marry must?
then farewell hope is past.

And if you cannot be content
to lead a single lyfe?
(Although the same right quiet be)
then take me to your wife.

So shall the promises be kept,
that you so firmly made:
Now chuse whether ye wyll be true,
or be of SINONS trade.

Whose trade if that you long shal use,
it shal your kindred stayne:
Example take by many a one
whose falshood now is playne.

As by ENEAS first of all,
who dyd poore DIDO leave,
Causing the Quene by his untrueth
with Sword her hart to cleave,

Also I finde that THESEUS did,
his faithfull love forsake:
Stealyng away within the night,
before she dyd awake.

JASON that came of noble race,
two Ladies did begile:
I muse how he durst shew his face,
to them that knew his wile.

For when he by MEDEAS arte,
had got the Fleece of Gold
And also had of her that time,
al kynd of things he wolde.

He toke his Ship and fled away
regarding not the vowes;
That he dyd make so faithfully,
unto his loving Spowes,

How durst he trust the surging Seas
knowing himselfe forsworne?
Why dyd he scape safe to the land,
before the ship was torne?

I think King Aeolus stayd the winds
and Neptune rulde the Sea:
Then might he boldly passe the waves
no perils could him slea.

But if his falsehed had to them,
bin manifest befor:
They wold have rent the ship as soone
as he had gon from shore.

Now may you heare how falsenes is
made manyfest in time:
Although they that commit the same,
think it a veniall crime.

For they, for their unfaithfulnes,
did get perpetuall Fame:
Fame? wherefore dyd I terme it so?
I should have cald it shame.

Let Theseus be, let Jason passe,
let Paris also scape:
That brought destruction unto Troy
all through the Grecian Rape,

And unto me a Troylus be,
if not you may compare:
With any of these parsons that
above expressed are.

But if I can not please your minde,
for wants that rest in me:
Wed whom you list, I am content,
your refuse for to be.

It shall suffise me simple soule,
of thee to be forsaken:
And it may chance although not yet
you wish you had me taken.

But rather then you shold have cause
to wish this through your wyfe:
I wysh to her, ere you her have,
no more but losse of lyfe.

For she that shal so happy be,
of thee to be elect:
I wish her vertues to be such,
she nede not be suspect.

I rather wish her HELENS face,
then one of HELENS trade:
With chastnes of PENELOPE
the which did never fade.

A LUCRES for her constancy,
and Thisbie for her trueth:
If such thou have, then PETO be
not PARIS, that were rueth.

Perchance, ye will think this thing rare
in on woman to fynd:
Save Helens beauty, al the rest
the Gods have me assignd.

These words I do not spek thinking
from thy new Love to turne thee:
Thou knowst by prof what I deserve
I nede not to informe thee.

But let that passe: would God I had
Cassandraes gift me lent:
Then either thy yll chaunce or mine
my foresight might prevent.

But all in vayne for this I seeke,
wishes may not attaine it
Therefore may hap to me what shall,
and I cannot refraine it.

Wherfore I pray God be my guide
and also thee defend:
No worser then I wish my selfe,
untill thy lyfe shal end.

Which life I pray God, may agayne,
King Nestors lyfe renew:
And after that your soule may rest
amongst the heavenly crew.

Therto I wish King Xerxis wealth,
or els King Cressus Gould:
With as much rest and quietnesse
as man may have on Mould.

And when you shall this letter have
let it be kept in store?
For she that sent the same, hath sworn
as yet to send no more.

And now farewel, for why at large
my mind is here exprest?
The which you may perceive, if that
you do peruse the rest?
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