Keepe On Your Maske (Version For His Mistress) - Poem by William Strode
Keepe on your maske and hide your eye
For in beholding you I dye.
Your fatall beauty Gorgon-like
Dead with astonishment doth strike.
Your piercing eyes that now I see
Are worse than Basilisks to me.
Shut from mine eyes those hills of snow,
Their melting vally do not shew:
Those azure paths lead to despaire,
O vex me not, forbear, forbear;
For while I thus in torments dwell
The sight of Heaven is worse than Hell.
In those faire cheeks two pits doe lye
To bury those slaine by your eye:
So this at length doth comfort me
That fairely buried I shall be:
My grave with Roses, Lillies, spread,
Methinks tis life for to be dead:
Come then and kill me with your eye,
For if you let me live I dye.
When I perceive your lips againe
Recover those your eyes have slaine,
With kisses that (like balsome pure)
Deep wounds as soone as made doe cure,
Methinks tis sicknesse to be sound,
And there's no health to such a wound.
When in your bosome I behold
Two hills of snow yet never cold,
Which lovers, whom your beauty kills,
Revive by climing those your hills,
Methinks there's life in such a death
That gives a hope of sweeter breath:
Then since one death prevails not where
So many antidotes are nere,
And your bright eyes doe but in vaine
Kill those who live as fast as slaine;
That I no more such death survive
Your way's to bury me alive
In place unknown, and so that I
Being dead may live and living dye.
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