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

A Praise of His Love

Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1517–1547)

GIVE place, ye lovers, here before

That spent your boasts and brags in vain,

My lady’s beauty passeth more

The best of yours, I dare well sayen,

Than doth the sun the candle light

Or brightest day the darkest night.

And thereto hath a troth as just

As had Penelope the fair;

For what she saith, ye may it trust,

As it by writing sealèd were:

And virtues hath she many moe

Than I with pen have skill to show.

I could rehearse, if that I would,

The whole effect of Nature’s plaint,

When she had lost the perfect mould,

The like to whom she could not paint.

With wringing hands, how she did cry,

And what she said, I know it, I.

I know she swore with raging mind,

Her kingdom only set apart,

There was no loss by law of kind

That could have gone so near her heart,

And this was chiefly all her pain;

‘She could not make the like again.’

Sith Nature thus gave her the praise,

To be the chiefest work she wrought;

In faith, methink! some better ways

On your behalf might well be sought,

Than to compare, as ye have done,

To match the candle with the sun.