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Short poem

Isabella Whitney (ca. 1540-after 1580)

A Sweet Nosegay, or Pleasant Poesy, Containing a Hundred and Ten Philosophical Flowers



          141Those strokes which mates in mirth do give
          142        do seem to be but light,
          143Although sometime they leave a sign
          144        seems grievous to the sight.



          205He that is void of any friend,
          206        him company to keep,
          207Walks in a world of wilderness,
          208        full fraught with dangers deep.



          249Each lover knoweth what he likes
          250        and what he doth desire,
          251But seld, or never, doth he know
          252        what thing he should require.



          301Affection fond deceives the wise
          302        and love makes men such noddies
          303That to their selves they seem as dead
          304        yet live in other bodies.



          385Ask nothing of thy neighbour that
          386        thou wouldst not let him have:
          387Nor say him nay of that which thou
          388        wouldst get if thou didst crave.



          421Two eyes, two ears, and but one tongue
          422        Dame Nature hath us framed
          423That we might see and hear much more
          424        than should with tongue be named.



          429Seek not each man to please, for that
          430        is more than God bids do:
          431Please thou the best, and neuer care,
          432        what wicked say thereto.


251] seld: seldom.

252] require: insist on.

301] fond: foolish.

302] noddies: idiots.

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: Isabella Whitney, A Sweet Nosgay, or Pleasant Posye: Contayning a Hundred and Ten Phylosophicall Flowers (London: Richard Jones, 1573): b5v, b7r, b8r, c1v, c3v, c4v.
First publication date: 1573
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/9/1

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abcb

Other poems by Isabella Whitney