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Best Famous William Strode Poems

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by William Strode | |

A Girdle

 Whene'er the wast makes too much hast,
That hast againe makes too much wast.
I here stand keeper while 'tis light, 'Tis theft to enter when 'tis night.
This girdle doth the wast embrace To keepe all others from that place.
This circle here is drawne about To keepe all tempting spiritts out.
Whoe'er the girdle doth undoe Hee quite undoes the owner too

by William Strode | |

A Lover To His Mistress

 Ile tell you how the Rose did first grow redde,
And whence the Lilly whitenesse borrowed:
You blusht, and then the Rose with redde was dight:
The Lillies kissde your hands, and so came white:
Before that time each Rose had but a stayne,
The Lilly nought but palenesse did containe:
You have the native colour, these the dye;
They flourish only in your livery

by William Strode | |

A Necklace

 These veines are nature's nett,
These cords by art are sett.
If love himselfe flye here, Love is intangled here.
Loe! on my neck this twist I bind, For to hang him that steales my mynde: Unless hee hang alive in chaynes I hang and dye in lingring paynes.
Theis threads enjoy a double grace, Both by the gemme and by the place

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by William Strode | |

A New Years Gift

 We are prevented; you whose Presence is
A Publick New-yeares gift, a Common bliss
To all that Love or Feare, give no man leave
To vie a Gift but first he shall receave;
Like as the Persian Sun with golden Eies
First shines upon the Priest and Sacrifice.
Ile on howere; May this yeare happier prove Than all the Golden Age when Vertue strove With nothing but with Vertue; may it bee Such as the Dayes of Saturnes Infancy.
May every Tide and Season joyntly fitt All your Intents and your Occasions hitt: May every Grayne of Sand within your Glass Number a fresh content before it pass.
And when success comes on, stand then each howre Like Josuah's Day, & grow to three or fowre: At last when this yeare rounds and wheeles away, Bee still the next yeare like the old yeares Day.

by William Strode | |

A Paralell Between Bowling And Preferment

 Preferment, like a Game at bowles,
To feede our hope with diverse play
Heer quick it runnes, there soft it rowles:
The Betters make and shew the way.
As upper ground, so great Allies Doe many cast on theyr desire: Some uppe are thrust, and forc't to rise, When those are stopt that would aspire.
Some whose heate and zeale exceed Thrive well by Rubbs that curb theyr hast Some that languish in theyr speede Are cherisht by a gentle blast.
Some rest: and others cutting out The same by whome themselves were made: Some fetch a compasse farre about And secretly the marke invade.
Some gett by knocke, and so advance Theyr fortune by a boystrous ayme: And some who have the sweetest chance Theyr mistresse hitt, and winne the game.
The fayrest casts are those that owe No thanks to Fortunes giddy sway: Such honest men good bowles doe throw, Whose owne true Byass cutts the way.

by William Strode | |

A Purse-String

 We hugg, imprison, hang, and save,
This foe, this friend, our Lord, our slave.
While thus I hang, you threatned see The fate of him that stealeth mee.

by William Strode | |

A Riddle: On A Kiss

 What thing is that, nor felt nor seene
Till it bee given? a present for a Queene:
A fine conceite to give and take the like:
The giver yet is farther for to seeke;
The taker doth possesse nothing the more,
The giver hee hath nothing lesse in store:
And given once that nature hath it still,
You cannot keepe or leave it if you will:
The workmanshippe is counted very small,
The labour is esteemed naught at all:
But to conclude, this gift is such indeede,
That, if some see't 'twill make theyr hearts to bleede

by William Strode | |

A Watch Sent Home To Mrs. Eliz: King Wrapt In Theis Verses

 Goe and count her better houres;
They more happie are than ours.
The day that gives her any blisse Make it as long againe as tis: The houre shee smiles in lett it bee By thy art increas'd to three: But if shee frowne on thee or mee Know night is made by her not thee: Bee swift in such an houre, and soon Make it night though it bee noone: Obey her tymes, who is the free Fayre sun that governes thee and mee

by William Strode | |

A Watch-String

 Tyme's picture here invites your eyes,
See with how running wheeles it flyes!

These strings can do what no man could--
The tyme they fast in prison hold.

by William Strode | |

A Song On A Sigh

 O tell mee, tell, thou god of wynde,
In all thy cavernes canst thou finde
A vapor, fume, a gale or blast
Like to a sigh which love doth cast?
Can any whirlwynde in thy vault
Plough upp earth's breast with like assault?
Goe wynde and blowe thou where thou please,
Yea breathles leave mee to my ease.
If thou be wynde, O then refrayne From wracking whiles I thus complayne: If thou be wynde then light thou art, Yet O! how heavy is my hart! If thou be wynde then purge thy way, Lett cares that clogge thy force obey.
Goe wynde and blow thou where thou please, Yea breathles leave mee to my ease.
Those blasts of sighing raised are By influence of my bright starre; Their ?olus from whom they came Is love that straynes to blow his flame, The powerfull sway of whose behest Makes hearth and bellowes of my breast.
Goe wynde and blowe then where thou please, Yea breathles leave mee to my ease.
Know 'tis a wynde that longs to blowe Upon my Saint wherere shee goe, And stealing through her fanne it beares Soft errands to her lippes and eares, And then perhapps a passage makes Downe to her heart when breath shee takes.
Goe wynde and blowe then where thou please, Yea breathles leave mee to my ease.
Yes, gentle gale, trye that againe, O doe not passe from mee in vayne, Goe mingle with her soule divine Ingendring spiritts like to mine: Yea take my soule along with thee To worke a stronger sympathie: Goe wynde and blowe thou where thou please, Yea breathles leave mee to my ease.
My soule, before my grosser part, Thus to her heaven should departe, And where the body cannott lye On wings of wynde my soule shall flye: If not one soule our bodies joyne, One body shall our soules confine, Goe wynde and blowe thou where thou please, Yea breathles leave mee to my ease.

by William Strode | |

A Song On The Baths

 What Angel stirrs this happy Well,
Some Muse from thence come shew't me,
One of those naked Graces tell
That Angels are for beauty:
The Lame themselves that enter here
Come Angels out againe,
And Bodies turne to Soules all cleere,
All made for joy, noe payne.
Heate never was so sweetely mett With moist as in this shower: Old men are borne anew by swett Of its restoring pow'r: When crippl'd joynts we suppl'd see, And second lives new come, Who can deny this Font to be The Bodies Christendome? One Bath so fiery is you'l thinke The Water is all Spirit, Whose quick'ning streames are like the drink Whereby we Life inheritt: The second Poole of middle straine Can wive Virginity, Tempting the blood to such a vayne One sexe is He and She.
The third where horses plunge may bring A Pegasus to reare us, And call for pens from Bladud's wing For legging those that beare us.
Why should Physitians thither fly Where Waters med'cines be, Physitians come to cure thereby, And are more cur'd than we

by William Strode | |

An Antheme

 O sing a new song to the Lord,
Praise in the hight and deeper strayne;
Come beare your parts with one accord,
Which you in Heaven may sing againe.
Yee elders all, and all the crowd That in white robes apparrell'd stands Like Saints on earth, sing out aloud, Think now the palmes are in your hands.
Yee living pipes, whose stormy layes Have borrowed breath to praise our king, A well-tun'd thunder loudly raise: All that have breath his honor sing.

by William Strode | |

A Strange Gentlewoman Passing By His Window

 As I out of a casement sent
Mine eyes as wand'ring as my thought,
Upon no certayne object bent,
But only what occasion brought,
A sight surpriz'd my hart at last,
Nor knewe I well what made it burne;
Amazement held me then so fast
I had no leasure to discerne.
Sure 'twas a Mortall, but her name, Or happy parentage or place, Or (that which did mee most inflame) I cannot tell her very Face: No; 'twere prophane to think I could, And I should pitch my thoughts too lowe If ever sett my love I should On that which Art or Words can shewe.
Was ever man so vext before, Or ever love so blind as this, Which vows and wishes to implore, And yet not knows for what to wish? Thus children spend theyr wayward cryes, Not knowing why they doe complayne; Thus sicke men long for remedyes, Not knowing what would ease theyr payne.
Some god call backe againe that sight; Ile suffer double payne to boote, For griefe and anger in mee fight So strongly at no marke to shoote! Not only meanes to winne her grace, But meanes to seeke are barr'd from mee; Despayre enforc't by such a case Is not a sinne but miserie.
Pygmalion hold thine Image fast, 'Tis something to enjoy Love so: Narcissus thou a shaddowe hast, At least thereby to cheate thy woe; But I no likenesse can inferre My pyning fancy to supply; Nothing to love instead of her For feare of some idolatry.

by William Strode | |

A Superscription On Sir Philip Sidneys Arcadia Sent For A Token

 Whatever in Philoclea the fair
Or the discreet Pamela figur'd are,
Change but the name the virtues are your owne,
And for a fiction there a truth is knowne:
If any service here perform'd you see,
If duty and affection paynted bee
Within these leaves: may you be pleas'd to know
They only shadow what I truly owe
To your desart: thus I a glasse have sent
Which both myself and you doth represent.

by William Strode | |

An Eare-Stringe

 'Tis vayne to add a ring or gemme,
Your eare itselfe outpasseth them.
When idle words are passing here, I warne and pull you by the eare.
This silken chayne stands wayting here For golden tongues to tye on there.
Here silken twynes, there locks you see-- Now tell me which the softer bee?

by William Strode | |

Anthem For Good Fryday

 See sinfull soul thy Saviours suffering see,
His Blessed hands and feet fix't fast to tree:
Observe what Rivulets of blood stream forth
His painful pierced side, each drop more worth
Than tongue of men and Angels can express:
Hast to him, cursed Caitiffe, and confess
All thy misdeeds, and sighing say, 'Twas I
That caus'd thee thus, my Lord, my Christ, to dye.
O let thy Death secure my soul from fears, And I will wash thy wounds with brinish tears: Grant me, sweet Jesu, from thy pretious store One cleansing drop, with grace to sin no more.

by William Strode | |

Chloris in the Snow

 I SAW fair Chloris walk alone, 
When feather'd rain came softly down, 
As Jove descending from his Tower 
To court her in a silver shower: 
The wanton snow flew to her breast, 
Like pretty birds into their nest, 
But, overcome with whiteness there, 
For grief it thaw'd into a tear: 
 Thence falling on her garments' hem, 
 To deck her, froze into a gem.

by William Strode | |

An Epitaph On Sr John Walter Lord Cheife Baron

 Farewell Example, Living Rule farewell;
Whose practise shew'd goodness was possible,
Who reach'd the full outstretch'd perfection
Of Man, of Lawyer, and of Christian.
Suppose a Man more streight than Reason is, Whose grounded Habit could not tread amisse Though Reason slepd; a Man who still esteem'd His wife his Bone; who still his children deem'd His Limbes and future Selfe; Servants trayn'd friends; Lov'd his Familiars for Themselves not ends: Soe wise and Provident that dayes orepast He ne're wish'd backe again; by whose forecast Time's Locke, Time's Baldness, Future Time were one, Since nought could mende nor marre one Action, That man was He.
Suppose an Advocate In whose all-conquering tong true right was Fate; That could not pleade among the grounded throng Wrong Causes right nor rightfull causes wrong, But made the burnish'd Truth to shine more bright Than could the witnesses or Act in sight.
Who did soe breifely, soe perspicuously Untie the knots of darke perplexity That words appear'd like thoughts, and might derive To dull Eares Knowledge most Intuitive.
A Judge soe weigh'd that Freinde and one of Us Were heard like Titius and Sempronius.
All Eare, no Eie, noe Hande; oft being par'd The Eies Affections and the Hands Reward.
Whose Barre and Conscience were but two in Name, Sentence and Closet-Censure still the Same: That Advocate, that judge was He.
Suppose A sound and setled Christian, not like those That stande by fitts, but of that Sanctity As by Repentence might scarce better'd be: Whose Life was like his latest Houre, whose way Outwent the Journey's Ende where others stay: Who slighted not the Gospel for his Lawe, But lov'd the Church more than the Bench, and sawe That all his Righteousnes had yet neede fee One Advocate beyond himselfe.
'Twas He.
To this Good Man, Judge, Christian, now is given Faire Memory, noe Judgment, and blest Heaven.

by William Strode | |

Consolatorium Ad Parentes

 Lett her parents then confesse
That they beleeve her happinesse,
Which now they question.
Thinke as you Lent her the world, Heaven lent her you: And is it just then to complayne When each hath but his owne againe? Then thinke what both your glories are In her preferment: for tis farre Nobler to gett a Saint, and beare A childe to Heaven than an Heyre To a large Empire.
Thinke beside Shee dyde not yong, but livde a Bride.
Your best wishes for her good Were but to see her well bestowde: Was shee not so? Shee marryed to The heyre of all things: who did owe Her infant Soule, and bought it too.
Nor was shee barren: markt you not Those pretty little Graces, that Play'd round about her sicke bedde; three Th' eldst Faith, Hope, & Charity.
Twere pretty bigge ones, and the same That cryde so on theyr Fathers name.
The yongst is gone with Her: the two Eldest stay to comfort you, And little though they bee, they can Master the biggest foes of man.
Lastly thinke that Hir abode With you was some fewe years boarde; After hir marriage: now shee's gone Home, royally attended on: And if you had Elisha's sight To see the number of her bright Attendants thither; or Paul's rapt sprite To see her Welcome there; why then, Wish if you could Her here agen.
Ime sure you could not: but all passion Would loose itselfe in admiration, And strong longings to be there Where, cause shee is, you mourn for Her

by William Strode | |

Epitaph On Mr. Bridgeman

 One pitt containes him now that could not dye
Before a thousand pitts in him did lye;
Soe many spotts upon his flesh were shewne
'Cause on his soule sinne fastned almost none.

by William Strode | |

For A Gentleman Who Kissinge His Friend At His Departure Left A Signe Of Blood On Her

 What mystery was this; that I should finde
My blood in kissing you to stay behinde?
'Twas not for want of color that requirde
My blood for paynt: No dye could be desirde
On that fayre silke, where scarlett were a spott
And where the juice of lillies but a blotte.
'Twas not the signe of murther that did taynt The harmlesse beauty of so pure a saynt: Yes, of a loving murther, which rough steele Could never worke; such as we joy to feele: Wherby the ravisht soule though dying lives, Since life and death the selfsame object gives.
If at the presence of a murtherer The wound will bleede and tell the cause is ther, A touch will doe much more, and thus my heart, When secretly it felt the killing darte, Shew'd it in blood: which yet doth more complayne Because it cannot be so touched againe.
This wounded heart, to shew its love most true, Sent forth a droppe and writ its minde on you.
Never was paper halfe so white as this, Nor waxe so yeelding to the printed kisse, Nor seal'd so strong.
Noe letter ere was writt That could the author's minde so truly hitt.
For though myselfe to foreigne countries flie, My blood desires to keepe you company.
Here could I spill it all: thus I can free Mine enemy from blood, though slayne I be: But slayne I cannot bee, nor meete with ill, Since but by you I have no blood to spill.

by William Strode | |

Her Epitaph

 Happy Grave, thou dost enshrine
That which makes thee a rich mine:
Remember yet, 'tis but a loane;
And wee must have it back, Her owne,
The very same; Marke mee, the same:
Thou canst not cheat us with a lame
Deformed Carcase; Shee was fayre,
Fresh as Morning, sweete as Ayre:
Purer than other flesh as farre
As other Soules than Bodies are:
And that thou mayst the better see
To finde her out: two stars there bee
Eclipsed now; uncloude but those
And they will poynt thee to the Rose
That dyde each cheeke, now pale and wan,
But will bee when shee wakes againe
Fresher than ever: And howere
Her long sleepe may alter Her
Her Soule will know her Body streight,
Twas made so fitt for't.
Noe deceite Can suite another to it: none Cloath it so neatly as its owne.

by William Strode | |

In Commendation Of Musick

 When whispering straynes doe softly steale
With creeping passion through the hart,
And when at every touch wee feele
Our pulses beate and beare a part;
When thredds can make
A hartstring shake
Can scarce deny
The soule consists of harmony.
When unto heavenly joy wee feyne Whatere the soule affecteth most, Which onely thus wee can explayne By musick of the winged hoast, Whose layes wee think Make starres to winke, Philosophie Can scarce deny Our soules consist of harmony.
O lull mee, lull mee, charming ayre, My senses rock with wonder sweete; Like snowe on wooll thy fallings are, Soft, like a spiritts, are thy feete: Greife who need feare That hath an eare? Down lett him lye And slumbring dye, And change his soule for harmony.

by William Strode | |


 I hold as fayth
What Rome's Church sayth
Where the King's head,
That flock's misled
Where th' Altar's drest
That People's blest
Who shuns the Masse
Hee's but an Asse
Who Charity preach
They Heav'n soone reach
On Fayth t'rely,
'Tis heresy

What England's Church allows
My Conscience disavowes;
That Church can have no seame;
That holdes the Pope supreme;
There's service scarce divine;
With table, bread and wine;
Hee's Catholique and wise;
Who the Communion flyes;
That Church with schismes fraught;
Where only fayth is taught;
Noe matter for good workes,
Makes Christians worse than Turkes.

by William Strode | |


 See how the Rainbow in the skie
Seems gaudy through the Suns bright eye;
Harke how an Eccho answere makes,
Feele how a board is smooth'd with waxe,
Smell how a glove putts on perfume,
Tast how theyr sweetnesse pills assume:
So by imputed Justice, Clay
Seemes faire, well spoke, smooth, sweet, each way.
The eye doth gaze on robes appearing, The prompted Eccho takes our hearing, The board our touch, the sent our smell, The pill our tast: Man, God as well.