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George Gascoigne

Sonnet I

IN haste, post haste, when first my wandering mind
Beheld the glistring Court with gazing eye,
Such deep delights I seemed therein to find,
As might beguile a graver guest than I.
The stately pomp of Princes and their peers
Did seem to swim in floods of beaten gold;
The wanton world of young delightful year
Was not unlike a heaven for to behold,
Wherein did swarm (for every saint) a Dame
So fair of hue, so fresh of their attire,
As might excel Dame Cynthia for Fame,
Or conquer Cupid with his own desire.
These and such like baits that blazed still
Before mine eye, to feed my greedy will.

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Sonnet III

And every year a world my will did deem,
Till lo! at last, to Court now am I come,
A seemly swain that might the place beseem,
A gladsome guest embraced by all and some.
Not there content with common dignity,
My wandering eye in haste (yea post post haste)
Beheld the blazing badge of bravery,
For want whereof I thought myself disgraced.
Then peevish pride puffed up my swelling heart,
To further forth so hot an enterprise;
And comely cost began to play his part
In praising patterns of mine own devise.
Thus all was good and might be got in haste,
To prink me up, and make me higher placed.

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Sonnet V

All were too little for the merchant's hand,
And yet my bravery bigger than his book;
But when this hot account was coldly scanned,
I thought high time about me for to look.
With heavenly cheer I cast my head aback
To see the fountain of my furious race,
Compared my loss, my living, and my lack
In equal balance with my jolly grace,
And saw expenses grating on the ground
Like lumps of lead to press my purse full oft,
When light reward and recompense were found,
Fleeting like feathers in the wind aloft.
These thus compared, I left the Court at large,
For why the gains doth seldom quit the charge.

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Sonnet II

Before mine eye, to feed my greedy will,
'Gan muster eke mine old acquainted mates,
Who helped the dish (of vain delight) to fill
My empty mouth with dainty delicates;
And foolish boldness took the whip in hand
To lash my life into this trustless trace,
Till all in haste I leapt a loof from land
And hoist up sail to catch a Courtly grace.
Each lingering day did seem a world of woe,
Till in that hapless haven my head was brought;
Waves of wanhope so tossed me to and fro
In deep despair to drown my dreadful thought;
Each hour a day, each day a year, did seem
And every year a world my will did deem.

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Sonnet VI

For why the gains doth seldom quit the charge:
And so say I by proof too dearly bought,
My haste made waste; my brave and brainsick barge
Did float too fast to catch a thing of naught.
With leisure, measure, mean, and many moe
I mought have kept a chair of quiet state.
But hasty heads cannot be settled so,
Till crooked Fortune gave a crabbed mate.
As busy brains must beat on tickle toys,
As rash invention breeds a raw devise,
So sudden falls do hinder hasty joys;
And as swift baits do fleetest fish entice,
So haste makes waste, and therefore now I say,
No haste but good, where wisdom makes the way.

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Sonnet VII

No haste but good, where wisdom makes the way,
For proof whereof behold the simple snail
(Who sees the soldier's carcass cast away,
With hot assault the Castle to assail)
By line and leisure climbs the wall,
And wins the turret's top more cunningly
Than doughty Dick, who lost his life and all
With hoisting up his head so hastily.
The swiftest bitch brings forth the blindest whelps;
The hottest Fevers coldest cramps ensue;
The nakedest need hath ever latest helps.
With Nevil then I find this proverb true,
That Haste makes waste, and therefore still I say,
No haste but good, where wisdom makes the way.

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For That He Looked Not Upon Her

YOU must not wonder, though you think it strange,
To see me hold my louring head so low;
And that mine eyes take no delight to range
About the gleams which on your face do grow.
The mouse which once hath broken out of trap,
Is seldom 'ticed with the trustless bait,
But lies aloof for fear of more mishap,
And feedeth still in doubt of deep deceit.
The scorched fly, which once hath 'scaped the flame,
Will hardly come again to play with fire:
Whereby I learn that grievous is the game
Which follows fancy dazzled by desire:
So that I wink or else hold down my head,
Because your blazing eyes my bale* have bred.

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Inscription In A Garden

IF any flower that here is grown
Or any herb may ease your pain,
Take and account it as your own,
But recompense the like again;
For some and some is honest play,
And so my wife taught me to say.

If here to walk you take delight,
Why, come and welcome, when you will;
If I bid you sup here this night,
Bid me another time, and still
Think some and some is honest play,
For so my wife taught me to say.

Thus if you sup or dine with me,
If you walk here or sit at ease,
If you desire the thing you see,
And have the same your mind to please,
Think some and some is honest play,
And so my wife taught me to say.

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You must not wonder, though you think it strange

You must not wonder, though you think it strange,
To see me hold my lowering head so low;
And that mine eyes take no delight to range
About the gleams which on your face do grow.
The mouse which once hath broken out of trap
Is seldom teased with the trustless bait,
But lies aloof for fear of more mishap,
And feedeth still in doubt of deep deceit.
The scorched fly which once hath 'scap'd the flame
Will hardly come to play again with fire.
Whereby I learn that grievous is the game
Which follows fancy dazzled by desire.
So that I wink or else hold down my head,
Because your blazing eyes my bale have bred.



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Sonnet IV

To prink me up, and make me higher placed,
All came too late that tarried any time;
Piles of provision pleased not my taste,
They made my heels too heavy for to climb.
Methought it best that boughs of boistrous oak
Should first be shread to make my feathers gay,
Till at the last a deadly dinting stroke
Brought down the bulk with edgetools of decay.
Of every farm I then let fly a leaf
To feed the purse that paid for peevishnesss,
Till rent and all were fallen in such disease,
As scarce could serve to maintain cleanliness;
They bought the body, fine, farm, leaf, and land;
All were too little for the merchant's hand.

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