William Strode

On A Good Legg And Foot

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If Hercules tall stature might bee guest
But by his thumbe, wherby to make the rest
In due proportion; the best rule that I
Would choose to measure Venus' beauty by
Should bee her legg and foot. If husbandmen
Measure theyr timber by the foot, why then
Not we our wives? Whether wee goe or stride
Those native compasses are seldome wide
Of telling true: the round and slender foot
Is a sure index, and a secrett note
Of hidden parts; and well this way may lead
Unto the closett of a maydenheade:
Here, Emblemes of our youth, we roses tye,
And here the garter, love's deare mystery:
For want of beauty here the peacock's pride
Letts fall her trayne, and fearing to bee spide
Shutts upp her paynted witnesses to lett
Those eyes from view which are but counterfett.
Who looks not if this part be good or evill
May meet with cloven feet and match the divell,
For this doth make the difference betweene
The more unhallowed creatures and the cleane,
Well may you judge her other stepps are lighte,
Her thoughts awry that doth not tread aright:
But then there's true perfection when wee see
Those parts more absolute that hidden bee:
Nature nere layd a fayre foundation
For an unworthy frame to rest upon.
Lett others view the topp and limbes throughout,
The deeper knowledge is to know the roote:
And reading of the face the weakest know,
What beauty is; the learned looke below;
Who, looking there, doe all the rest, descrie
As in a poole the moon we use to spie:
Pardon (sweetehart) the pride of my desire
If but to kisse your toe it should aspire.

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William Strode