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Short poem

Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (1517?-1547)

A Praise of His Love
Wherein He Reproveth Them That Compare Their Ladies With His

              1Give place, ye lovers, here before
              2That spent your boasts and brags in vain;
              3My lady's beauty passeth more
              4The best of yours, I dare well sayn,
              5Than doth the sun the candle-light,
              6Or brightest day the darkest night.

              7And thereto hath a troth as just
              8As had Penelope the fair;
              9For what she saith, ye may it trust,
            10As it by writing sealed were;
            11And virtues hath she many mo
            12Than I with pen have skill to show.

            13I could rehearse, if that I wold,
            14The whole effect of Nature's plaint,
            15When she had lost the perfit mould,
            16The like to whom she could not paint;
            17With wringing hands, how she did cry,
            18And what she said, I know it, I.

            19I know she swore with raging mind,
            20Her kingdom only set apart,
            21There was no loss by law of kind,
            22That could have gone so near her heart;
            23And this was chiefly all her pain;
            24She could not make the like again.

            25Sith Nature thus gave her the praise,
            26To be the chiefest work she wrought;
            27In faith, methink, some better ways
            28On your behalf might well be sought,
            29Than to compare, as ye have done,
            30To match the candle with the sun.


7] troth: truth, honour, trustworthiness.

8] Penelope: wife of Ulysses and classic illustration of domestic faithfulness.

11] mo: more.

21] kind: nature.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Songes and Sonettes (London: R. Tottel, 1557). Facs. edn. (Leeds: Scolar, 1966). PR 1205 T6 1966 Victoria College Library
First publication date: 1557
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP 1.89.
Recent editing: 4:2002/5/29

Rhyme: ababcc

Other poems by Henry Howard, earl of Surrey