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

Truth Doth Truth Deserve

Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586)

WHO doth desire that chaste his wife should be,

First be he true, for truth doth truth deserve:

Then such be he as she his worth may see,

And one man still credit with her preserve.

Not toying kind, nor causelessly unkind;

Not stirring thoughts, nor yet denying right;

Not spying faults, nor in plain errors blind;

Never hard hand, nor ever reins too light.

As far from want as far from vain expense

(The one doth force, the latter doth entice);

Allow good company, but keep from thence

All filthy mouths that glory in their vice.

This done, thou hast no more, but leave the rest

To virtue, fortune, time and woman’s breast.