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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


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 | |

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 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 | |

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 | |

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
Philosophie
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 | |

Jacke-On-Both-Sides

 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 | |

Justification

 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.


by William Strode | |

On A Gentlewoman That Sung And Playd Upon A Lute

 Be silent you still musique of the Sphears,
And every sense make haste to be all ears,
And give devout attention to her aires,
To which the Gods doe listen as to prayers
Of pious votaries; the which to heare
Tumult would be attentive, and would swear
To keep lesse noise at Nile, if there she sing,
Or with a happy touch grace but the string.
Among so many auditors, such throngs Of Gods and men that presse to hear her songs, O let me have an unespied room, And die with such an anthem ore my tomb


by William Strode | |

Keepe On Your Maske And Hide Your Eye

 Keepe on your maske, and hide your eye,
For with beholding you I dye:
Your fatall beauty, Gorgon-like,
Dead with astonishment will strike;
Your piercing eyes if them I see
Are worse than basilisks to mee.
Shutt from mine eyes those hills of snowe, Their melting valleys doe not showe; Their azure paths lead to dispaire, O vex me not, forbeare, forbeare; For while I thus in torments dwell The sight of heaven is worse than hell.
Your dayntie voyce and warbling breath Sound like a sentence pass'd for death; Your dangling tresses are become Like instruments of finall doome.
O if an Angell torture so, When life is done where shall I goe?


by William Strode | |

Love Compared To A Game Of Tables

 Love is a game at tables where the dye
Of mayds affections doth by fancie fly:
If once you catch their fancie in a blott
It's tenne to one if then you enter not:
You being a gamester then may boldly venter,
And if you finde the point lye open enter:
But marke them well, for by false playing then,
Doe what you can they will be bearing men.


by William Strode | |

Melancholly

 Hence, hence, all you vaine delights,
As short as are the nights
Wherein you spend your folly:
Ther's nought in this life sweete,
If men were wise to see'te
But only Melancholly:
O sweetest Melancholly!


Welcome folded armes and fixed eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A looke that's fastned to the ground,
A tongue chayned upp without a sound.
Fountains heads, and pathlesse groves, Places which pale Passion loves: Moonlike wakes, when all the Fowles Are warmly housde, save Batts and Owles: A midnight knell: a parting groane: These are the sounds wee feede upon.
Then, stretch your bones in a still gloomy vally, Ther's nothing daynty, sweete, save Melancholly


by William Strode | |

Of Death and Resurrection

 Like to the rowling of an eye,
Or like a starre shott from the skye,
Or like a hand upon a clock,
Or like a wave upon a rock,
Or like a winde, or like a flame,
Or like false newes which people frame,
Even such is man, of equall stay,
Whose very growth leades to decay.
The eye is turn'd, the starre down bendeth The hand doth steale, the wave descendeth, The winde is spent, the flame unfir'd, The newes disprov'd, man's life expir'd.
Like to an eye which sleepe doth chayne, Or like a starre whose fall we fayne, Or like the shade on Ahaz watch, Or like a wave which gulfes doe snatch Or like a winde or flame that's past, Or smother'd newes confirm'd at last; Even so man's life, pawn'd in the grave, Wayts for a riseing it must have.
The eye still sees, the starre still blazeth, The shade goes back, the wave escapeth, The winde is turn'd, the flame reviv'd, The newes renew'd, and man new liv'd.


by William Strode | |

On A Friends Absence

 Come, come, I faint: thy heavy stay
Doubles each houre of the day:
The winged hast of nimble love
Makes aged Time not seeme to move:
Did not the light,
And then the night
Instruct my sight
I should believe the Sunne forgot his flight.
Show not the drooping marygold Whose leaves like grieving amber fold: My longing nothing can explain But soule and body rent in twain: Did I not moane, And sigh and groane, And talk alone, I should believe my soul was gone from home.
She's gone, she's gone, away she's fled, Within my breast to make her bed, In me there dwels her tenant woe, And sighs are all the breath I blow: Then come to me, One touch of thee Will make me see If loving thee I live or dead I be.