A Handful of Pleasant Delights/A proper Sonet, Intituled, Maid, wil you marrie
¶A proper Sonet, Intituled, Maid, wil you marrie. To the Blacke Almaine.
Aid, wil you marie? I pray sir tarie,
I am not disposed to wed a:
For he yat shal haue me, wil neuer deny me
he shal haue my maidenhed a.
Why then you wil not wed me?
No sure sir I haue sped me,
You must go seeke some other wight,
That better may your heart delight.
For I am sped I tell you true,
beleue me it greues me, I may not haue you,
To wed you and bed you as a woman shold be
¶For if I could, be sure I would,
consent to your desire:
I would not doubt, to bring about
ech thing you would require:
But promise now is made,
Which cannot be staide:
It is a womans honestie,
To keep her promise faithfully.
And so I do meane til death to do,
Consider and gather, that this is true:
Choose it, and vse it, the honester you.
¶But if you seek, for to misleeke,
with this that I haue done:
Or else disdaine, that I so plaine
this talke with you haue begone:
Farewell I wil not let you,
He fisheth well that gets you,
And sure I thinke your other friend,
Wil prooue a Cuckold in the end:
But he wil take heed if he be wise,
To watch you and catch you, with Argus eies,
Besetting and letting your wonted guise.
¶Although the Cat doth winke a while,
yet sure she is not blinde:
It is the waie for to beguile,
the Mice that run behind:
And if she see them running,
Then straightway she is comming:
Vpon their head she claps her foote,
To striue with her it is no boote.
The seelie poore Mice dare neuer play,
She catcheth and snatcheth them euery day,
Yet whip they, and skip they, when she is away.
¶And if perhaps they fall in trap,
to death then must they yeeld:
They were better then, to haue kept their den
than straie abroad the field:
But they that will be ranging,
Shall soone repent their changing:
And so shall you ere it be long,
Wherefore remember well my song:
And do not snuffe though I be plaine,
But cherily, merily, take the same.
For huffing and snuffing deserueth blame.
¶For where you say you must obay,
the promise you haue made,
So sure as I wil neuer flie,
from that I haue said:
Therefore to them I leaue you,
Which gladly wil receiue you:
You must go choose some other mate,
According to your own estate.
For I do meane to liue in rest,
Go seek you, and leek you an other guest,
And choose him, and vse him, as you like best.