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THE EXCUSE

Calling to mind, my eyes went long about
To cause my heart to forsake my breast,
All in a rage I sought to pull them out,
As who had been such traitors to my rest:
What could they say to win again my grace? –
Forsooth, that they had seen my mistress’ face.

Another time, my heart I called to mind, –
Thinking that he this woe on me had brought,
Because that he to love his force resigned,
When of such wars my fancy never thought:
What could he say when I would him have slain? –
That he was hers, and had forgone my chain.

At last, when I perceived both eyes and heart
Excuse themselves, as guiltless of my ill,
I found myself the cause of all my smart,
And told myself that I myself would kill:
Yet when I saw myself to you was true,
I loved myself, because myself loved you.

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THE EXCUSE - WALTER RALEIGH