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Sonnet LXIX
by Edmund Spenser

FAyre cruell, why are ye so fierce and cruell?
Is it because your eyes haue powre to kill?
then know, that mercy is the mighties iewell,
and greater glory thinke to saue, then spill.
But if it be your pleasure and proud will,
to shew the powre of your imperious eyes:
then not on him that neuer thought you ill,
but bend your force against your enemyes.
Let them feele th'utmost of your crueltyes,
and kill, with looks as Cockatrices doo:
but him that at your footstoole humbled lies,
with mercifull regard, giue mercy too.
Such mercy shal you make admyred to be,
so shall you liue by giuing life to me.