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Cheapside without a cross3,
5Or like a dial and no
6In pity (trust me) I think no man
7But would his leg or arm expose
8To cut you out another nose;
9Nor of the female sex there’s none
one flesh, though not one bone6.
11I, though unknown, would
12That you might have so great a gain.
13Nay, any fool, did he know it,
14Would give his nose to have your wit,
15And I myself would do the same,
16Did I not fear ’twould
blur my fame8.
17I, as once said a
18My nose would
venture10, not my fame;
19For who but that
20Would know ’twere charity, not love.
21Then, sir, your pardon I must beg;
22Excuse my nose,
accept my leg12.
23But yet, be sure both night and day
24For me, as for yourself, you pray;
25For if I first should chance to go
26To visit those
27As my frail flesh there putrefies,
28Your nose, no doubt, will sympathize.
29But this I fear: lest that
descends15(yet such a
31May take the
chit17) should shoot again,
Then the next loss would be your brain.18
33Some coy young lass you might adore,
34Which would prefer some base
35And all your wit and titles slight:
36Embrace a page before a knight.
37Then should some noble-minded friend,
Astolfo-like20, to heaven ascend,
39And having searchéd near and far
40And found your most capacious jar,
41Then being, with joy, returned again
42You could not then snuff up your brain:
43Though all your strength you should expose
44You want the organ called a nose.
Prodigious21, the knight remains
or22nose, or fame, or brains.
bold ordinance23struck the title off;
48Thus the proud
Parcae24sit, and at us scoff.
49What now remains? The man at least?
50No, surely nothing left but beast.
51Then royal favor glued it on again,
52And now the knight is
bow-dyed and ingrain25.
53Then trample not that honor in the dust
In being a slave to those are slaves to lust.26