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A Celebration of Charis: I. His Excuse for Loving

 Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years, I have had, and have, my peers; Poets, though divine, are men, Some have lov'd as old again.
And it is not always face, Clothes, or fortune, gives the grace; Or the feature, or the youth.
But the language and the truth, With the ardour and the passion, Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If you then will read the story, First prepare you to be sorry That you never knew till now Either whom to love or how; But be glad, as soon with me, When you know that this is she Of whose beauty it was sung; She shall make the old man young, Keep the middle age at stay, And let nothing high decay, Till she be the reason why All the world for love may die.

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