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

The Doubt Which Ye Misdeem

Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

THE DOUBT which ye misdeem, fair love, is vain,

That fondly fear to lose your liberty;

When, losing one, two liberties ye gain,

And make him bond that bondage erst did fly.

Sweet be the bands, the which true love doth tie,

Without constraint, or dread of any ill:

The gentle bird feels no captivity

Within her cage, but sings, and feeds her fill.

There pride dare not approach, nor discord spill

The league ’twixt them that loyal love hath bound;

But simple truth, and mutual good will,

Seeks with sweet peace to salve each other’s wound:

There Faith doth fearless dwell in brazen tower,

And spotless Pleasure builds her sacred bower.