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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

What Guile Is This?

Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

WHAT guile is this, that those her golden tresses

She doth attire under a net of gold;

And with sly skill so cunningly them dresses,

That which is gold or hair may scarce be told?

Is it that men’s frail eyes, which gaze too bold,

She may entangle in that golden snare;

And, being caught, may craftily enfold

Their weaker hearts, which are not well aware?

Take heed, therefore, mine eyes, how ye do stare

Henceforth too rashly on that guileful net,

In which, if ever ye entrappèd are,

Out of her bands ye by no means shall get.

Fondness it were for any, being free,

To covert fetters, though they golden be.