The fruite of Foes
The cruell hate which boyles within thy burning brest,
And seekes to shape a sharpe revenge, on them yt love thee best:
May warne all faithfull friendes, in case of jeopardie,
Howe they shall put their harmelesse hands, betweene the barck & tree.
And I among the rest, which wrote this weary song,
Must nedes alledge in my defence, that thou hast done me wrong.
For if in simple verse, I chaunc’d to touch thy name,
And toucht the same without reproch, was I therefore to blame?
And if (of great good will) I gave my best advise,
Then thus to blame without cause why, me thinkes thou art not wise.
Amongst olde written tales, this one I beare in mind,
A simple soule much like my selfe, dyd once a serpent find.
Which (almost dead for colde) lay moyling in the myre,
When he for pittie tooke it up, and bro[u]ght it to the fyre.
No sooner was the Snake, recured of hir griefe,
But straight shee sought to hurt the mane, that lent hir such reliefe.
Such Serpent seemest thou, such simple soule am I,
That for the weight of my good wil, am blam’d without cause why.
But as it best beseemes, the harmelesse gentle hart,
Rather to take an open wrong, than for to plaine his part:
I must and will endure, thy spite without repent,
The blame is mine, the triumph thine, and I am well content