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2. The Admonition
Isabella Whitney (1567)

from The Admonition by the Author to all Young Gentlewomen:
         And to all other Maids being in Love

Ye Virgins, ye from Cupid's tents 
do bear away the foil, 
Whose hearts as yet with raging love 
most painfully do boil. 

To you I speak: for you be they 
that good advice do lack: 
Oh, if I could good counsell get, 
my tongue should not be slack. 

But such as I can give, I will 
here in few words express, 
Which, if you do observe, it will 
some of your care redress. 

Beware of fair and painted talk, 
beware of flattering tongues: 
The Mermaids do pretend no good 
for all their pleasant songs. 

Some use the tears of crocodiles, 
contrary to their heart: 
And if they cannot always weep, 
they wet their cheeks by art. 

Ovid, within his Art of Love, 
doth teach them this same knack 
To wet their hand and touch their eyes, 
so oft as tears they lack. 

Why have ye such deceit in store? 
have you such crafty wile? 
Less craft than this, God knows, would soon 
us simple souls beguile.

Trust not a man at the first sight 
but try him well before: 
I wish all maids within their breasts 
to keep this thing in store. 

For trial shall declare his truth 
and show what he doth think, 
Whether he be a lover true, 
or do intend to shrink. 

And I who was deceived late 
by one's unfaithful tears 
Trust now for to beware, if that 
I live this hundreth years.