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

The Stately Dames of Rome Their Pearls Did Wear

George Gascoigne (d. 1577)

THE STATELY dames of Rome their pearls did wear

About their necks to beautify their name:

But she whom I do serve, her pearls doth bear

Close in her mouth, and, smiling, shew the same.

No wonder, then, though every word she speaks

A jewel seem in judgment of the wise,

Since that her sugared tongue the passage breaks

Between two rocks, bedecked with pearls of price.

Her hair of gold, her front of ivory—

A bloody heart within so white a breast—

Her teeth of pearl, lips ruby, crystal eye,

Needs must I honour her above the rest,

Since she is formed of none other mould

But ruby, crystal, ivory, pearl and gold.