To her Sister Mistress A. B.

Original Text: 
Isabella Whitney, A Sweet Nosgay, or Pleasant Posye: contayning a hundred and ten phylosophicall flowers (London: Richard Jones, 1573): d1v-d2r.
1Because I to my brethern wrote
2        and to my sisters two:
4        if so I should not do
5To you, or ere I parted hence,
6You vainly had bestowed expence.
7Yet is it not for that I write,
8        for nature did you bind
9To do me good, and to requite
10        hath nature me inclined:
12These simple lines that come from me.
14        in happy health to rest:
16        as those which God hath blest:
17Your husband with your pretty boys,
19And grant if that my luck it be
20        to linger here so long
21Till they be men, that I may see
23That they may march amongst the best
24Of them which learning have possest.
25By that time will my aged years
26        perhaps a staff require:
27And quakingly as still in fears
28        my limbs draw to the fire:
29Yet joy I shall them so to see,
30If any joy in age there be.
31Good sister so I you commend
32        to him that made us all:
34        though I to writing fall:
36From business that profit may.
37Had I a husband, or a house,
39My self could frame about to rouse,
40        as other women do:
41But till some household cares me tie,
42My books and pen I will apply.
        Your louing Sister. IS. W.

Notes

3] wote: know. Back to Line
11] in gree: contentedly. Back to Line
13] Nestor: aged king of Pylos who fought among the Greeks with distinction in the Trojan war. Back to Line
15] assays: ventures. Back to Line
18] annoys: evils. Back to Line
22] learning: teaching. Back to Line
33] huswifery: housekeeping. Back to Line
35] lenger: longer. Back to Line
38] longs: belongs. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1573
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2003
Rhyme: