Mr W.S. To Mr W.H. (only begetter of the ensuing sonnet)
Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye,
That thou consum’st thyself in single life?
Ah; if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee like a makeless wife,
The world will be thy widow and still weep,
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep,
By children’s eyes, her husband’s shape in mind:
Look what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it:
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unus’d the user so destroys it:
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murd’rous shame commits.
Mr W.H. To Mr W.S. (only begetter of the ensuing retort)
With Ovid’s false nose on thy lugubrious face,
O, what a pettifogging ass thou art,
Friend Will, fond go-between, to force thy case,
Hoping with school-boy quibbles to change my heart!
Pox of your widows, sir! If I should breed,
The issue of my mint, when I must die,
May bear their mother’s image; she, indeed,
Will be as like to predecease as I.
Thou art ill-favoured, Will: shalt thou for this
Not wed for fear thy daughter die a maid?
Nay, I’ll not bait thee more; but look what is
For bawds, like thee, unbid, a thankless trade!
Come, Will, look not so sour; I do but jest;
But minding thine own business, friend, were best.