Isabella Whitney

I
Isabella Whitney
An Order Prescribed, by Is. W., to two of her Younger Sisters Serving in London
Good sisters mine, when I
shall further from you dwell,
Peruse these lines, observe the rules
which in the same I tell.
So shall you wealth possess,
and quietness of mind:
And all your friends to see the same,
a treble joy shall find.

In mornings when you rise,
forget not to commend
Your selves to God, beseeching him
from dangers to defend
Your souls and bodies both,
your parents and your friends,
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A Sweet Nosegay, or Pleasant Poesy, Containing a Hundred and Ten Philosophical Flowers
Those strokes which mates in mirth do give
do seem to be but light,
Although sometime they leave a sign
seems grievous to the sight.

He that is void of any friend,
him company to keep,
Walks in a world of wilderness,
full fraught with dangers deep.

Each lover knoweth what he likes
and what he doth desire,
But seld, or never, doth he know
what thing he should require.

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To her Sister Mistress A. B.
Because I to my brethern wrote
and to my sisters two:
Good sister Anne, you this might wote,
if so I should not do
To you, or ere I parted hence,
You vainly had bestowed expence.

Yet is it not for that I write,
for nature did you bind
To do me good, and to requite
hath nature me inclined:
Wherefore good sister take in gree
These simple lines that come from me.

Wherein I wish you Nestor's days,
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Will and Testament
The time is come I must departe
from thee, ah, famous Citie:
I never yet, to rue my smart,
did finde that thou hadst pitie,
Wherefore small cause ther is, that I
should greeve from thee to go:
But many Women foolyshly,
lyke me, and other moe.
Doe such a fyxed fancy set,
on those which least desarve,
That long it is ere wit we get,
away from them to swarve,
But tyme with pittie oft wyl tel
to those that wil her try:
Whether it best be more to mell,
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A Communication Which the Author Had to London, Before She Made Her Will
The time is come, I must depart
from thee, ah famous city;
I never yet to rue my smart,
did find that thou had’st pity.
Wherefore small cause there is, that I
should grieve from thee to go;
But many women foolishly,
like me, and other moe,
Do such a fixèd fancy set,
on those which least deserve,
That long it is ere wit we get
away from them to swerve.
But time with pity oft will tell
to those that will her try,
Whether it best be more to mell,
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from The Manner of Her Will, & What She Left to London, and to All Those in It, at Her Departing
I whole in body, and in mind,
but very weak in purse,
Do make, and write my testament
for fear it will be worse.
And first I wholly do commend
my soul and body eke,
To God the Father and the Son,
so long as I can speak.
And after speech, my soul to him,
and body to the grave,
Till time that all shall rise again,
their Judgement for to have,
And then I hope they both shall meet,
to dwell for aye in joy;
Whereas I trust to see my friends
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