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

Epigram: The Doubt

Queen Elizabeth (1533–1603)

THE DOUBT of future foes

Exiles my present joy,

And wit me warns to shun such snares

As threaten mine annoy.

For falsehood now doth flow,

And subject faith doth ebb,

Which would not be if reason ruled,

Or wisdom weaved the web.

But clouds of toys untried

Do cloak aspiring minds,

Which turn to rain of late repent,

By course of changèd winds.

The top of hope supposed

The root of ruth will be,

And fruitless all their graffèd guiles,

As shortly ye shall see.

Then dazzled eyes with pride,

Which great ambition blinds,

Shall be unsealed by worthy wights,

Whose foresight falsehood finds.

The daughter of debate,

That eke discord doth sow,

Shall reap no gain where former rule

Hath taught still peace to grow.

No foreign banished wight

Shall anchor in this port;

Our realm it brooks no stranger’s force;

Let them elsewhere resort.

Our rusty sword with rest

Shall first his edge employ,

To poll their tops that seek such change

And gape for future joy.