On A Gentlewoman's Watch That Wanted A Key

William Strode

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Thou pretty heav'n whose great and lesser spheares
With constant wheelings measure hours and yeares
Soe faithfully that thou couldst solve the doubt
Of erring Time if Nature should be out,
Where's thy intelligence? thy Soule? the Key
That gives thee Life and Motion? must thou stay
Thus cramp'd with rusty Sloth? and shall each wheele
Disorganis'd confess it is but steele?
Art's Living Creature, is thy thread all spent?
Thy Pulse quite dead? hath Time a period sent
To his owne Sister? slaine his Eeven Match?
That when we looke 'tis doomesday by the Watch.
Prithee sweete Watch be marri'd, joyne thy side
Unto an active key, and then abide
A frequent screwing, till successively
More and more Time beget Eternity.
Knowe as a Woman never lock'd and key'd
Once in twice twelve growes faint and is downe-weighed
From Nature's full intent, and cannot live
Beyond her natural span, unlesse Man give
His vanish'd bone a quick'ning, unless Man
Doe adde an Ell unto her now shrunk span,
Unless he lengthen out posteritie
Her secret orbes will faint and She all die;
Soe will thy wheeles decay, and finde their date
Unless a Key their houres doe propagate:
Then gett a key and live; my life Ile gage
Each minute then shall grow into an age;
Then lett thy Mistresse looking smile on Thee,
And say 'tis time my Watch and I agree.

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