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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.

Poem by William Strode
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