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

What Wight He Loved

William Browne (c. 1590–c. 1645)

SHALL I tell you whom I love?

Harken then awhile to me;

And if such a woman move,

As I now shall versify,

Be assured, ’tis she or none

That I love, and love alone.

Nature did her so much right

As she scorns the help of art;

In as many virtues dight

As e’er yet embraced a heart:

So much good so truly tried,

Some for less were deified.

Wit she hath without desire

To make known how much she hath;

And her anger flames no higher

Than may fitly sweeten wrath.

Full of pity as may be,

Though, perhaps, not so to me.

Reason masters every sense,

And her virtues grace her birth,

Lovely as all excellence,

Modest in her most of mirth

Likelihood enough to prove

Only worth could kindle love.

Such she is: and, if you know

Such a one as I have sung,

Be she brown, or fair, or so

That she be but somewhile young,

Be assured, ’tis she, or none

That I love, and love alone.