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The force of Love in Strangers

The feeble thred which Lachesis hath sponne,
To drawe my dayes in short abode with thee,
Hath wrought a webbe which now (welneare) is donne,
The wale is worne: and (all to late) I see
That lingring life doth dally but in vaine,
For Atropos will cut the twist in twaine.

I not discerne what life but lothsome were,
When faithfull friends are kept in twayne by want:
Nor yet perceive what pleasure doth appeere,
To deepe desires where good successe is skant.
Such spight yet showes dame fortune (if she frowne,)
The haughty harts in high mishaps to drowne.

Hot be the flames which boyle in friendly mindes,
Cruell the care and dreadfull is the doome:
Slipper the knot which tract of time untwynds,
Hatefull the life and welcome were the toome.
Blest were the day which might devoure such youth,
And curst the want that seekes to choke such trueth.

This wayling verse I bathe in flowing teares,
And would my life might end with these my lines:
Yet strive I not to force into thine eares,
Such fayned plaints as fickell faith resignes.
But high forsight in dreames hath stopt my breath,
And causde the Swanne to sing before his death.

For lo these naked walles do well declare,
My latest leave of thee I taken have:
And unknowne coastes which I must seeke with care
Do well divine that there shalbe my grave:
There shall my death make many for to mone,
Skarce knowne to them, well knowne to thee alone.

This bowne of thee (as last request) I crave,
When true report shall sounde my death with fame:
Vouchsafe yet then to go unto my grave,
And there first write my byrth and then my name:
And how my life was shortned many yeares,
By womens wyles as to the world appeares.

And in reward of graunt to this request,
Permit O God my toung these woordes to tell:
(When as his pen shall write upon my chest)
With shriking voyce mine owne deare friend farewell:
No care on earth did seeme so much to me,
As when my corps was forst to part from thee.

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The force of Love in Strangers - GEORGE GASCOIGNE