Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

On A Dissembler

William Strode 1602 – 1645

Could any shewe where Plynyes people dwell
Whose head stands in their breast; who cannot tell
A smoothing lye because their open hart
And lippes are joyn'd so neare, I would depart
As quick as thought, and there forgett the wrongs
Which I have suffer'd by deceitfull tongues.
I should depart where soules departed bee,
Who being freed from cloudy flesh, can see
Each other so immediately, so cleare
That none needs tongue to speak, nor ears to hear.
Were tongues intended to express the soule,
And can wee better doe't with none at all?
Were words first made our meaning to reveale,
And are they usde our meaning to conceale?
The ayre by which wee see, will that turne fogg?
Our breath turne mist? Will that become a clogg
That should unload the mynde? Fall we upon
Another Babell's sub-confusion?
And in the self-same language must wee finde
A diverse faction of the words and minde?
Dull as I am, that hugg'd such emptie ayre,
And never mark't the deede (a phrase more faire,
More trusty and univocall): joyne well
Three or foure actions, we may quickly spell
A hollow hart: if those no light can lend
Read the whole sentence, and observe the end:
I will not wayte so long: the guilded man
On whom I ground my speech, no longer can
Delude my sense; nor can the gracefull arte
Of kind dissembling button upp his hart.
His well-spoke wrongs are such as hurtfull words
Writt in a comely hand; or bloody swords
Sheath'd upp in velvett; if hee draw on mee
My armour proofe is incredulity.

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:23 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,460
Words 271
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 34

William Strode

William Strode (c. 1602 – 1645) was an English poet, Doctor of Divinity and Public Orator of Oxford University, one of the Worthies of Devon of John Prince (d.1723). more…

All William Strode poems | William Strode Books

(0 fans)

Discuss this William Strode poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "On A Dissembler" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41664/on-a-dissembler>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    January 2023

    Poetry Contest

    Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    An esteemed poet appointed by a government or conferring institution such as the Royal Household is called?
    • A. British Writer
    • B. Pulitzer
    • C. Poet Laureate
    • D. Official