ABC 1 Almighty and al merciable queene,
ABC 2 To whom that al this world fleeth for socour,
ABC 3 To have relees of sinne, of sorwe, and teene,
ABC 4 Glorious virgine, of alle floures flour,
ABC 5 To thee I flee, confounded in errour.
ABC 6 Help and releeve, thou mighti debonayre,
ABC 7 Have mercy on my perilous langour.
ABC 8 Venquisshed me hath my cruel adversaire.
ABC 9 Bountee so fix hath in thin herte his tente
ABC 10 That wel I wot thou wolt my socour bee;
ABC 11 Thou canst not warne him that with good entente
ABC 12 Axeth thin helpe, thin herte is ay so free.
ABC 13 Thou art largesse of pleyn felicitee,
ABC 14 Haven of refut, of quiete, and of reste.
ABC 15 Loo, how that theeves sevene chasen mee.
ABC 16 Help, lady bright, er that my ship tobreste.
ABC 17 Comfort is noon but in yow, ladi deere;
ABC 18 For loo, my sinne and my confusioun,
ABC 19 Which oughten not in thi presence appeere,
ABC 20 Han take on me a greevous accioun
ABC 21 Of verrey right and desperacioun;
ABC 22 And as bi right thei mighten wel susteene
ABC 23 That I were wurthi my dampnacioun,
ABC 24 Nere merci of you, blisful hevene queene.
ABC 25 Dowte is ther noon, thou queen of misericorde,
ABC 26 That thou n' art cause of grace and merci heere;
ABC 27 God vouched sauf thurgh thee with us to accorde.
ABC 28 For certes, Crystes blisful mooder deere,
ABC 29 Were now the bowe bent in swich maneere
ABC 30 As it was first of justice and of ire,
ABC 31 The rightful God nolde of no mercy heere;
ABC 32 But thurgh thee han we grace as we desire.
ABC 33 Evere hath myn hope of refut been in thee,
ABC 34 For heer-biforn ful ofte in many a wyse
ABC 35 Hast thou to misericorde receyved me.
ABC 36 But merci, ladi, at the grete assyse
ABC 37 Whan we shule come bifore the hye justyse.
ABC 38 So litel fruit shal thanne in me be founde
ABC 39 That, but thou er that day correcte [vice],
ABC 40 Of verrey right my werk wol me confounde.
ABC 41 Fleeinge, I flee for socour to thi tente
ABC 42 Me for to hide from tempeste ful of dreede,
ABC 43 Biseeching yow that ye you not absente
ABC 44 Thouh I be wikke. O, help yit at this neede!
ABC 45 Al have I ben a beste in wil and deede,
ABC 46 Yit, ladi, thou me cloth. with thi grace.
ABC 47 Thin enemy and myn -- ladi, tak heede --
ABC 48 Unto my deth in poynt is me to chace!
ABC 49 Glorious mayde and mooder, which that nevere
ABC 50 Were bitter, neither in erthe nor in see,
ABC 51 But ful of swetnesse and of merci evere,
ABC 52 Help that my Fader be not wroth with me.
ABC 53 Spek thou, for I ne dar not him ysee,
ABC 54 So have I doon in erthe, allas the while,
ABC 55 That certes, but if thou my socour bee,
ABC 56 To stink eterne he wole my gost exile.
ABC 57 He vouched sauf, tel him, as was his wille,
ABC 58 Bicome a man, to have oure alliaunce,
ABC 59 And with his precious blood he wrot the bille
ABC 60 Upon the crois as general acquitaunce
ABC 61 To every penitent in ful creaunce;
ABC 62 And therfore, ladi bright, thou for us praye.
ABC 63 Thanne shalt thou bothe stinte al his grevaunce,
ABC 64 And make oure foo to failen of his praye.
ABC 65 I wot it wel, thou wolt ben oure socour,
ABC 66 Thou art so ful of bowntee, in certeyn,
ABC 67 For whan a soule falleth in errour
ABC 68 Thi pitee goth and haleth him ayein.
ABC 69 Thanne makest thou his pees with his sovereyn
ABC 70 And bringest him out of the crooked strete.
ABC 71 Whoso thee loveth, he shal not love in veyn,
ABC 72 That shal he fynde as he the lyf shal lete.
ABC 73 Kalenderes enlumyned ben thei
ABC 74 That in this world ben lighted with thi name,
ABC 75 And whoso goth to yow the righte wey,
ABC 76 Him thar not drede in soule to be lame.
ABC 77 Now, queen of comfort, sith thou art that same
ABC 78 To whom I seeche for my medicyne,
ABC 79 Lat not my foo no more my wounde entame;
ABC 80 Myn hele into thin hand al I resygne.
ABC 81 Ladi, thi sorwe kan I not portreye
ABC 82 Under the cros, ne his greevous penaunce;
ABC 83 But for youre bothes peynes I yow preye,
ABC 84 Lat not oure alder foo make his bobaunce
ABC 85 That he hath in his lystes of mischaunce
ABC 86 Convict that ye bothe have bought so deere.
ABC 87 As I seide erst, thou ground of oure substaunce,
ABC 88 Continue on us thi pitous eyen cleere!
ABC 89 Moises, that saugh the bush with flawmes rede
ABC 90 Brenninge, of which ther never a stikke brende,
ABC 91 Was signe of thin unwemmed maidenhede.
ABC 92 Thou art the bush on which ther gan descende
ABC 93 The Holi Gost, the which that Moyses wende
ABC 94 Had ben a-fyr, and this was in figure.
ABC 95 Now, ladi, from the fyr thou us defende
ABC 96 Which that in helle eternalli shal dure.
ABC 97 Noble princesse, that nevere haddest peere,
ABC 98 Certes if any comfort in us bee,
ABC 99 That cometh of thee, thou Cristes mooder deere.
ABC 100 We han noon oother melodye or glee
ABC 101 Us to rejoyse in oure adversitee,
ABC 102 Ne advocat noon that wole and dar so preye
ABC 103 For us, and that for litel hire as yee
ABC 104 That helpen for an Ave-Marie or tweye.
ABC 105 O verrey light of eyen that ben blynde,
ABC 106 O verrey lust of labour and distresse,
ABC 107 O tresoreere of bountee to mankynde,
ABC 108 Thee whom God ches to mooder for humblesse!
ABC 109 From his ancille he made the maistresse
ABC 110 Of hevene and erthe, oure bille up for to beede.
ABC 111 This world awaiteth evere on thi goodnesse
ABC 112 For thou ne failest nevere wight at neede.
ABC 113 Purpos I have sum time for to enquere
ABC 114 Wherfore and whi the Holi Gost thee soughte
ABC 115 Whan Gabrielles vois cam to thin ere.
ABC 116 He not to werre us swich a wonder wroughte,
ABC 117 But for to save us that he sithen boughte.
ABC 118 Thanne needeth us no wepen us for to save,
ABC 119 But oonly ther we dide not, as us oughte,
ABC 120 Doo penitence, and merci axe and have.
ABC 121 Queen of comfort, yit whan I me bithinke
ABC 122 That I agilt have bothe him and thee,
ABC 123 And that my soule is worthi for to sinke,
ABC 124 Allas, I caityf, whider may I flee?
ABC 125 Who shal unto thi Sone my mene bee?
ABC 126 Who, but thiself, that art of pitee welle?
ABC 127 Thou hast more reuthe on oure adversitee
ABC 128 Than in this world might any tonge telle.
ABC 129 Redresse me, mooder, and me chastise,
ABC 130 For certeynly my Faderes chastisinge,
ABC 131 That dar I nouht abiden in no wise,
ABC 132 So hidous is his rightful rekenynge.
ABC 133 Mooder, of whom oure merci gan to springe,
ABC 134 Beth ye my juge and eek my soules leche;
ABC 135 For evere in you is pitee haboundinge
ABC 136 To ech that wole of pitee you biseeche.
ABC 137 Soth is that God ne granteth no pitee
ABC 138 Withoute thee; for God of his goodnesse
ABC 139 Foryiveth noon, but it like unto thee.
ABC 140 He hath thee maked vicaire and maistresse
ABC 141 Of al this world, and eek governouresse
ABC 142 Of hevene, and he represseth his justise
ABC 143 After thi wil; and therfore in witnesse
ABC 144 He hath thee corowned in so rial wise.
ABC 145 Temple devout, ther God hath his woninge,
ABC 146 Fro which these misbileeved deprived been,
ABC 147 To you my soule penitent I bringe.
ABC 148 Receyve me -- I can no ferther fleen.
ABC 149 With thornes venymous, O hevene queen,
ABC 150 For which the eerthe acursed was ful yore,
ABC 151 I am so wounded, as ye may wel seen,
ABC 152 That I am lost almost, it smert so sore.
ABC 153 Virgine, that art so noble of apparaile,
ABC 154 And ledest us into the hye tour
ABC 155 Of Paradys, thou me wisse and counsaile
ABC 156 How I may have thi grace and thi socour,
ABC 157 All have I ben in filthe and in errour.
ABC 158 Ladi, unto that court thou me ajourne
ABC 159 That cleped is thi bench, O freshe flour,
ABC 160 Ther as that merci evere shal sojourne.
ABC 161 Xristus, thi sone, that in this world alighte
ABC 162 Upon the cros to suffre his passioun,
ABC 163 And eek that Longius his herte pighte
ABC 164 And made his herte blood to renne adoun,
ABC 165 And al was this for my salvacioun;
ABC 166 And I to him am fals and eek unkynde,
ABC 167 And yit he wole not my dampnacioun --
ABC 168 This thanke I yow, socour of al mankynde!
ABC 169 Ysaac was figure of his deth, certeyn,
ABC 170 That so fer forth his fader wolde obeye
ABC 171 That him ne roughte nothing to be slayn;
ABC 172 Right soo thi Sone list as a lamb to deye.
ABC 173 Now, ladi ful of merci, I yow preye,
ABC 174 Sith he his merci mesured so large,
ABC 175 Be ye not skant, for alle we singe and seye
ABC 176 That ye ben from vengeaunce ay oure targe.
ABC 177 Zacharie yow clepeth the open welle
ABC 178 To wasshe sinful soule out of his gilt.
ABC 179 Therfore this lessoun oughte I wel to telle,
ABC 180 That, nere thi tender herte, we were spilt.
ABC 181 Now, ladi bryghte, sith thou canst and wilt
ABC 182 Ben to the seed of Adam merciable,
ABC 183 Bring us to that palais that is bilt
ABC 184 To penitentes that ben to merci able. Amen.
Adam 1 Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle
Adam 2 Boece or Troylus for to wryten newe,
Adam 3 Under thy long lokkes thou most have the scalle,
Adam 4 But after my makyng thow wryte more trewe;
Adam 5 So ofte adaye I mot thy werk renewe,
Adam 6 It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape,
Adam 7 And al is thorugh thy negligence and rape.
BalComp 1 Compleyne ne koude, ne might myn herte never,
BalComp 2 My peynes halve, ne what torment I have,
BalComp 3 Though that I sholde in your presence ben ever,
BalComp 4 Myn hertes lady, as wisly he me save
BalComp 5 That Bountee made, and Beautee list to grave
BalComp 6 In your persone, and bad hem bothe in-fere
BalComp 7 Ever t' awayte, and ay be wher ye were.
BalComp 8 As wisly he gye alle my joyes here
BalComp 9 As I am youres, and to yow sad and trewe,
BalComp 10 And ye, my lyf and cause of my gode chere,
BalComp 11 And deeth also, whan ye my peynes newe,
BalComp 12 My worldes joye, whom I wol serve and sewe,
BalComp 13 Myn heven hool, and al my suffisaunce,
BalComp 14 Whom for to serve is set al my plesaunce.
BalComp 15 Beseching yow in my most humble wyse
BalComp 16 T' accepte in worth this litel pore dyte,
BalComp 17 And for my trouthe my servyce not despyse,
BalComp 18 Myn observaunce eke have not in despyte,
BalComp 19 Ne yit to longe to suffren in this plyte;
BalComp 20 I yow beseche, myn hertes lady, here,
BalComp 21 Sith I yow serve, and so wil yeer by yere.
Buk 1 My maister Bukton, whan of Crist our kyng
Buk 2 Was axed what is trouthe or sothfastnesse,
Buk 3 He nat a word answerde to that axing,
Buk 4 As who saith, " No man is al trewe, " I gesse.
Buk 5 And therfore, though I highte to expresse
Buk 6 The sorwe and wo that is in mariage,
Buk 7 I dar not writen of it no wikkednesse,
Buk 8 Lest I myself falle eft in swich dotage.
Buk 9 I wol nat seyn how that yt is the cheyne
Buk 10 Of Sathanas, on which he gnaweth evere,
Buk 11 But I dar seyn, were he out of his peyne,
Buk 12 As by his wille he wolde be bounde nevere.
Buk 13 But thilke doted fool that eft hath levere
Buk 14 Ycheyned be than out of prison crepe,
Buk 15 God lete him never fro his wo dissevere,
Buk 16 Ne no man him bewayle, though he wepe.
Buk 17 But yet, lest thow do worse, take a wyf;
Buk 18 Bet ys to wedde than brenne in worse wise.
Buk 19 But thow shal have sorwe on thy flessh, thy lyf,
Buk 20 And ben thy wives thral, as seyn these wise;
Buk 21 And yf that hooly writ may nat suffyse,
Buk 22 Experience shal the teche, so may happe,
Buk 23 That the were lever to be take in Frise
Buk 24 Than eft to falle of weddynge in the trappe.
Buk 25 This lytel writ, proverbes, or figure
Buk 26 I sende yow; take kepe of yt, I rede;
Buk 27 Unwys is he that kan no wele endure.
Buk 28 If thow be siker, put the nat in drede.
Buk 29 The Wyf of Bathe I pray yow that ye rede
Buk 30 Of this matere that we have on honde.
Buk 31 God graunte yow your lyf frely to lede
Buk 32 In fredam, for ful hard is to be bonde.
Compldam 1 I, which that am the sorwefulleste man
Compldam 2 That in this world was ever yit livinge,
Compldam 3 And leest recoverer of himselven can,
Compldam 4 Beginne right thus my deedly compleininge
Compldam 5 On hir that may to lyf and deeth me bringe,
Compldam 6 Which hath on me no mercy ne no rewthe,
Compldam 7 That love hir best, but sleeth me for my trewthe.
Compldam 8 Can I noght doon ne seye that may yow lyke?
Compldam 9 Ne, certes now; allas, allas the whyle!
Compldam 10 Your plesaunce is to laughen whan I syke,
Compldam 11 And thus ye me from al my blisse exyle.
Compldam 12 Ye han me cast in thilke spitous yle
Compldam 13 Ther never man on lyve mighte asterte;
Compldam 14 This have I, for I love you, swete herte!
Compldam 15 Sooth is, that wel I woot, by lyklinesse,
Compldam 16 If that it were a thing possible to do
Compldam 17 For to acompte youre beautee and goodnesse,
Compldam 18 I have no wonder thogh ye do me wo;
Compldam 19 Sith I, th' unworthiest that may ryde or go,
Compldam 20 Durste ever thinken in so hy a place.
Compldam 21 What wonder is, thogh ye do me no grace?
Compldam 22 Allas, thus is my lyf brought to an ende;
Compldam 23 My deeth, I see, is my conclusioun.
Compldam 24 I may wel singe, " In sory tyme I spende
Compldam 25 My lyf. " That song may have confusioun.
Compldam 26 For mercy, pitee, and deep affeccioun,
Compldam 27 I sey for me, for al my deedly chere,
Compldam 28 Alle thise diden, in that, me love yow dere.
Compldam 29 And in this wyse and in dispayr I live
Compldam 30 In love -- nay, but in dispayr I dye!
Compldam 31 But shal I thus yow my deeth foryive,
Compldam 32 That causeles doth me this sorwe drye?
Compldam 33 Ye, certes, I! For she of my folye
Compldam 34 Hath nought to done although she do me sterve,
Compldam 35 Hit is nat with hir wil that I hir serve.
Compldam 36 Than sithen I am of my sorwe the cause
Compldam 37 And sithen I have this withoute hir reed,
Compldam 38 Than may I seyn right shortly in a clause,
Compldam 39 It is no blame unto hir womanheed
Compldam 40 Though swich a wrecche as I be for hir deed.
Compldam 41 Yet alwey two thinges doon me dye,
Compldam 42 That is to seyn, hir beautee and myn ye';
Compldam 43 So that, algates, she is verray rote
Compldam 44 Of my disese and of my deth also,
Compldam 45 For with oon word she mighte be my bote,
Compldam 46 If that she vouched sauf for to do so.
Compldam 47 But than is hir gladnesse at my wo?
Compldam 48 It is hir wone plesaunce for to take
Compldam 49 To seen hir servaunts dyen for hir sake.
Compldam 50 But certes, than is al my wonderinge,
Compldam 51 Sithen she is the fayrest creature,
Compldam 52 As to my doom, that ever was livinge,
Compldam 53 The benignest and beste eek that Nature
Compldam 54 Hath wrought or shal, whyl that the world may dure,
Compldam 55 Why that she lefte Pite so behinde?
Compldam 56 It was, ywis, a greet defaute in Kinde.
Compldam 57 Yit is al this no lak to hir, pardee,
Compldam 58 But God or Nature sore wolde I blame.
Compldam 59 For though she shewe no pite unto me,
Compldam 60 Sithen that she doth othere men the same,
Compldam 61 I ne oughte to despyse my ladyes game;
Compldam 62 It is hir pley to laughen whan men syketh,
Compldam 63 And I assente al that hir list and lyketh.
Compldam 64 Yet wolde I, as I dar, with sorwful herte
Compldam 65 Biseche unto your meke womanhede
Compldam 66 That I now dorste my sharpe sorwes smerte
Compldam 67 Shewe by word, that ye wolde ones rede
Compldam 68 The compleynte of me, which ful sore I drede
Compldam 69 That I have seid here, through myn unkonninge,
Compldam 70 In any word to your displesinge.
Compldam 71 Lothest of anything that ever was loth
Compldam 72 Were me, as wisly God my soule save,
Compldam 73 To seyn a thing through which ye might be wroth;
Compldam 74 And, to that day that I be leyd in grave,
Compldam 75 A trewer servaunt shulle ye never have;
Compldam 76 And, though that I have pleyned unto you here,
Compldam 77 Foryiveth it me, myn owne lady dere.
Compldam 78 Ever have I been, and shal, how-so I wende,
Compldam 79 Outher to live or dye, your humble trewe.
Compldam 80 Ye been to me my ginning and myn ende,
Compldam 81 Sonne of the sterre bright and clere of hewe;
Compldam 82 Alwey in oon to love yow freshly newe,
Compldam 83 By God and by my trouthe, is myn entente;
Compldam 84 To live or dye, I wol it never repente!
Compldam 85 This compleynte on Seint Valentynes day,
Compldam 86 Whan every foughel chesen shal his make,
Compldam 87 To hir, whos I am hool and shal alwey,
Compldam 88 This woful song and this compleynte I make,
Compldam 89 That never yit wolde me to mercy take;
Compldam 90 And yit wol I evermore her serve
Compldam 91 And love hir best, although she do me sterve.
For 1 This wrecched worldes transmutacioun,
For 2 As wele or wo, now povre and now honour,
For 3 Withouten ordre or wys discrecioun
For 4 Governed is by Fortunes errour.
For 5 But natheles, the lak of hir favour
For 6 Ne may nat don me singen though I dye,
For 7 Jay tout perdu mon temps et mon labour;
For 8 For fynally, Fortune, I thee defye.
For 9 Yit is me left the light of my resoun
For 10 To knowen frend fro fo in thy mirour.
For 11 So muchel hath yit thy whirling up and doun
For 12 Ytaught me for to knowen in an hour.
For 13 But trewely, no force of thy reddour
For 14 To him that over himself hath the maystrye.
For 15 My suffisaunce shal be my socour,
For 16 For fynally Fortune, I thee defye.
For 17 O Socrates, thou stidfast champioun,
For 18 She never mighte be thy tormentour;
For 19 Thou never dreddest hir oppressioun,
For 20 Ne in hir chere founde thou no savour.
For 21 Thou knewe wel the deceit of hir colour,
For 22 And that hir moste worshipe is to lye.
For 23 I knowe hir eek a fals dissimulour,
For 24 For fynally, Fortune, I thee defye!
For 25 No man is wrecched but himself it wene,
For 26 And he that hath himself hath suffisaunce.
For 27 Why seystow thanne I am to thee so kene,
For 28 That hast thyself out of my governaunce?
For 29 Sey thus: " Graunt mercy of thyn haboundaunce
For 30 That thou hast lent or this. " Why wolt thou stryve?
For 31 What wostow yit how I thee wol avaunce?
For 32 And eek thou hast thy beste frend alyve.
For 33 I have thee taught divisioun bitwene
For 34 Frend of effect and frend of countenaunce;
For 35 Thee nedeth nat the galle of noon hyene,
For 36 That cureth eyen derked for penaunce;
For 37 Now seestow cleer that were in ignoraunce.
For 38 Yit halt thyn ancre and yit thou mayst arryve
For 39 Ther bountee berth the keye of my substaunce,
For 40 And eek thou hast thy beste frend alyve.
For 41 How many have I refused to sustene
For 42 Sin I thee fostred have in thy plesaunce.
For 43 Woltow than make a statut on thy quene
For 44 That I shal been ay at thyn ordinaunce?
For 45 Thou born art in my regne of variaunce,
For 46 Aboute the wheel with other most thou dryve.
For 47 My lore is bet than wikke is thy grevaunce,
For 48 And eek thou hast thy beste frend alyve.
For 49 Thy lore I dampne; it is adversitee.
For 50 My frend maystow nat reven, blind goddesse;
For 51 That I thy frendes knowe, I thanke it thee.
For 52 Tak hem agayn, lat hem go lye on presse.
For 53 The negardye in keping hir richesse
For 54 Prenostik is thou wolt hir tour assayle;
For 55 Wikke appetyt comth ay before syknesse.
For 56 In general, this reule may nat fayle.
For 57 Thou pinchest at my mutabilitee
For 58 For I thee lente a drope of my richesse,
For 59 And now me lyketh to withdrawe me.
For 60 Why sholdestow my realtee oppresse?
For 61 The see may ebbe and flowen more or lesse;
For 62 The welkne hath might to shyne, reyne, or hayle;
For 63 Right so mot I kythen my brotelnesse.
For 64 In general, this reule may nat fayle.
For 65 Lo, th' execucion of the majestee
For 66 That al purveyeth of his rightwysnesse,
For 67 That same thing " Fortune " clepen ye,
For 68 Ye blinde bestes ful of lewednesse.
For 69 The hevene hath propretee of sikernesse,
For 70 This world hath ever resteles travayle;
For 71 Thy laste day is ende of myn intresse.
For 72 In general, this reule may nat fayle.
For 73 Princes, I prey you of your gentilesse
For 74 Lat nat this man on me thus crye and pleyne,
For 75 And I shal quyte you your bisinesse
For 76 At my requeste, as three of you or tweyne,
For 77 And but you list releve him of his peyne,
For 78 Preyeth his beste frend of his noblesse
For 79 That to som beter estat he may atteyne.
FormAge 1 A blisful lyf, a paisible and a swete,
FormAge 2 Ledden the peples in the former age.
FormAge 3 They helde hem payed of the fruites that they ete,
FormAge 4 Which that the feldes yave hem by usage;
FormAge 5 They ne were nat forpampred with outrage.
FormAge 6 Unknowen was the quern and ek the melle;
FormAge 7 They eten mast, hawes, and swich pounage,
FormAge 8 And dronken water of the colde welle.
FormAge 9 Yit nas the ground nat wounded with the plough,
FormAge 10 But corn up-sprong, unsowe of mannes hond,
FormAge 11 The which they gnodded and eete nat half ynough.
FormAge 12 No man yit knew the forwes of his lond,
FormAge 13 No man the fyr out of the flint yit fond,
FormAge 14 Unkorven and ungrobbed lay the vyne;
FormAge 15 No man yit in the morter spyces grond
FormAge 16 To clarre ne to sause of galantyne.
FormAge 17 No mader, welde, or wood no litestere
FormAge 18 Ne knew; the flees was of his former hewe;
FormAge 19 No flesh ne wiste offence of egge or spere.
FormAge 20 No coyn ne knew man which was fals or trewe,
FormAge 21 No ship yit karf the wawes grene and blewe,
FormAge 22 No marchaunt yit ne fette outlandish ware.
FormAge 23 No trompes for the werres folk ne knewe,
FormAge 24 Ne toures heye and walles rounde or square.
FormAge 25 What sholde it han avayled to werreye?
FormAge 26 Ther lay no profit, ther was no richesse;
FormAge 27 But cursed was the tyme, I dare wel seye,
FormAge 28 That men first dide hir swety bysinesse
FormAge 29 To grobbe up metal, lurkinge in derknesse,
FormAge 30 And in the riveres first gemmes soghte.
FormAge 31 Allas, than sprong up al the cursednesse
FormAge 32 Of coveytyse, that first our sorwe broghte.
FormAge 33 Thise tyraunts putte hem gladly nat in pres
FormAge 34 No wildnesse ne no busshes for to winne,
FormAge 35 Ther poverte is, as seith Diogenes,
FormAge 36 Ther as vitaile is ek so skars and thinne
FormAge 37 That noght but mast or apples is therinne;
FormAge 38 But, ther as bagges ben and fat vitaile,
FormAge 39 Ther wol they gon, and spare for no sinne
FormAge 40 With al hir ost the cite for to asayle.
FormAge 41 Yit was no paleis-chaumbres ne non halles;
FormAge 42 In caves and wodes softe and swete
FormAge 43 Slepten this blissed folk withoute walles
FormAge 44 On gras or leves in parfit quiete.
FormAge 45 Ne doun of fetheres ne no bleched shete
FormAge 46 Was kid to hem, but in seurtee they slepte.
FormAge 47 Hir hertes were al oon withoute galles;
FormAge 48 Everich of hem his feith to other kepte.
FormAge 49 Unforged was the hauberk and the plate;
FormAge 50 The lambish peple, voyd of alle vyce,
FormAge 51 Hadden no fantasye to debate,
FormAge 52 But ech of hem wolde other wel cheryce.
FormAge 53 No pryde, non envye, non avaryce,
FormAge 54 No lord, no taylage by no tyrannye;
FormAge 55 Humblesse and pees, good feith the emperice.
FormAge 56 Yit was not Jupiter the likerous,
FormAge 57 That first was fader of delicacye,
FormAge 58 Come in this world; ne Nembrot, desirous
FormAge 59 To regne, had nat maad his toures hye.
FormAge 60 Allas, allas, now may men wepe and crye!
FormAge 61 For in oure dayes nis but covetyse,
FormAge 62 Doublenesse, and tresoun, and envye,
FormAge 63 Poyson, manslawhtre, and mordre in sondry wyse.
Gent 1 The firste stok, fader of gentilesse --
Gent 2 What man that desireth gentil for to be
Gent 3 Must folowe his trace, and alle his wittes dresse
Gent 4 Vertu to love and vyces for to flee.
Gent 5 For unto vertu longeth dignitee
Gent 6 And noght the revers, saufly dar I deme,
Gent 7 Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe.
Gent 8 This firste stok was ful of rightwisnesse,
Gent 9 Trewe of his word, sobre, pitous, and free,
Gent 10 Clene of his gost, and loved besinesse,
Gent 11 Ayeinst the vyce of slouthe, in honestee;
Gent 12 And, but his heir love vertu as dide he,
Gent 13 He is noght gentil, thogh he riche seme,
Gent 14 Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe.
Gent 15 Vyce may wel be heir to old richesse,
Gent 16 But ther may no man, as men may wel see,
Gent 17 Bequethe his heir his vertuous noblesse
Gent 18 (That is appropred unto no degree
Gent 19 But to the firste fader in magestee,
Gent 20 That maketh hem his heyres that him queme),
Gent 21 Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe.
Lady 1 The longe nightes, whan every creature
Lady 2 Shulde have hir rest in somwhat as by kynde,
Lady 3 Or elles ne may hir lif nat longe endure,
Lady 4 Hit falleth most into my woful mynde
Lady 5 How I so fer have broght myself behynde
Lady 6 That, sauf the deeth, ther may nothyng me lisse,
Lady 7 So desespaired I am from alle blisse.
Lady 8 This same thoght me lasteth til the morwe
Lady 9 And from the morwe forth til hit be eve;
Lady 10 Ther nedeth me no care for to borwe,
Lady 11 For bothe I have good leyser and good leve;
Lady 12 Ther is no wyght that wol me wo bereve
Lady 13 To wepe ynogh and wailen al my fille;
Lady 14 The sore spark of peyne now doth me spille.
Lady 15 This Love, that hath me set in such a place
Lady 16 That my desir [he] nevere wol fulfille,
Lady 17 For neither pitee, mercy, neither grace
Lady 18 Can I nat fynde, and yit my sorwful herte
Lady 19 For to be deed I can hit nought arace.
Lady 20 The more I love, the more she doth me smerte,
Lady 21 Thourgh which I see withoute remedye
Lady 22 That from the deeth I may no wyse asterte.
Lady 23 Now sothly what she hight I wol reherse:
Lady 24 Hir name is Bountee set in womanhede,
Lady 25 Sadnesse in youthe and Beautee prydelees
Lady 26 And Plesaunce under governaunce and drede;
Lady 27 Hir surname is eek Faire Rewthelees
Lady 28 The Wyse, yknit unto Good Aventure,
Lady 29 That, for I love hir, she sleeth me giltelees.
Lady 30 Hir love I best, and shal, whyl I may dure,
Lady 31 Bet than myself an hundred thousand deel,
Lady 32 Than al this worldes richesse or creature.
Lady 33 Now hath not Love me bestowed weel
Lady 34 To love ther I never shal have part?
Lady 35 Allas, right thus is turned me the wheel,
Lady 36 Thus am I slayn with Loves fyry dart!
Lady 37 I can but love hir best, my swete fo;
Lady 38 Love hath me taught no more of his art
Lady 39 But serve alwey and stinte for no wo.
Lady 40 In my trewe [and] careful herte ther is
Lady 41 So moche wo and [eek] so litel blis
Lady 42 That wo is me that ever I was bore;
Lady 43 For al that thyng which I desyre I mis
Lady 44 And al that ever I wolde not ywis,
Lady 45 That finde I redy to me evermore;
Lady 46 And of al this I not to whom me pleyne.
Lady 47 For she that mighte me out of this brynge
Lady 48 Ne reccheth nought whether I wepe or synge,
Lady 49 So litel rewthe hath she upon my peyne.
Lady 50 Allas! Whan slepyng-tyme is than I wake,
Lady 51 Whan I shulde daunce, for fere, lo, than I quake.
Lady 52 This hevy lif I lede, lo, for your sake
Lady 53 Thogh ye therof in no wyse hede take,
Lady 54 Myn hertes lady and hool my lyves quene.
Lady 55 For trewly durste I seye as that I fele,
Lady 56 Me semeth that your swete herte of stele
Lady 57 Is whetted now ageynes me to kene.
Lady 58 My dere herte and best beloved fo,
Lady 59 Why lyketh yow to do me al this wo?
Lady 60 What have I doon that greveth yow or sayd,
Lady 61 But for I serve and love yow and no mo?
Lady 62 And while I lyve I wol ever do so,
Lady 63 And therfor, swete, ne beth nat yvel apayd.
Lady 64 For so good and so fair as ye be
Lady 65 Hit were right gret wonder but ye hadde
Lady 66 Of alle servantes, bothe of goode and badde;
Lady 67 And leest worthy of alle hem, I am he.
Lady 68 But nevertheles, my righte lady swete,
Lady 69 Thogh that I be unconnyng and unmete
Lady 70 To serve, as I coude best, ay your hynesse,
Lady 71 Yit is ther noon fayner, that wolde I hete,
Lady 72 Than I, to do yow ese, or elles bete
Lady 73 What so I wiste that were to youre hevynesse;
Lady 74 And hadde I myght as good as I have wille,
Lady 75 Than shulde ye fele wher it were so or noon;
Lady 76 For in this world livyng than is ther noon
Lady 77 That fayner wolde your hertes wil fulfille.
Lady 78 For bothe I love and eek drede yow so sore,
Lady 79 And algates moot, and have doon yow, ful yore,
Lady 80 That bettre loved is noon ne never shal;
Lady 81 And yit I wolde beseche yow of no more,
Lady 82 But leveth wel and be not wrooth therfore,
Lady 83 And lat me serve yow forth; lo, this is al.
Lady 84 For I am not so hardy ne so wood,
Lady 85 For to desire that ye shulde love me,
Lady 86 For wel I wot -- allas -- that wil nat be;
Lady 87 I am so litel worthy and ye so good.
Lady 88 For ye be oon the worthiest on-lyve
Lady 89 And I the most unlykly for to thryve,
Lady 90 Yit for al this, witeth ye right wele
Lady 91 That ye ne shul me from your servyce dryve
Lady 92 That I ne wil ay, with alle my wittes fyve,
Lady 93 Serve yow trewly, what wo so that I fele.
Lady 94 For I am set on yow in such manere
Lady 95 That, thogh ye never wil upon me rewe,
Lady 96 I moste yow love and been ever as trewe
Lady 97 As any man can, or may, on-lyve [here].
Lady 98 But the more that I love yow, goodly free,
Lady 99 The lasse fynde I that ye loven me;
Lady 100 Allas, whan shal that harde wit amende?
Lady 101 Wher is now al your wommanly pitee,
Lady 102 Your gentilesse and your debonairtee?
Lady 103 Wil ye nothyng therof upon me spende?
Lady 104 And so hool, swete, as I am youres al,
Lady 105 And so gret wil as I have yow to serve,
Lady 106 Now certes, and ye lete me thus sterve,
Lady 107 Yit have ye wonne theron but a smal.
Lady 108 For at my knowyng I do nought why,
Lady 109 And this I wol beseche yow hertely,
Lady 110 That ther ever ye fynde, whyles ye lyve,
Lady 111 A trewer servant to yow than am I,
Lady 112 Leveth thanne and sleeth me hardely,
Lady 113 And I my deeth to yow wol al foryive.
Lady 114 And if ye fynde no trewer verrayly,
Lady 115 Wil ye suffre than that I thus spille
Lady 116 And for no maner gilt but my good wille?
Lady 117 As good were thanne untrewe as trewe to be.
Lady 118 But I, my lyf and deeth, to yow obeye
Lady 119 And with right buxom herte hooly I preye
Lady 120 As is your moste plesure, so doth by me;
Lady 121 Wel lever is me liken yow and deye
Lady 122 Than for to anythyng or thynke or seye
Lady 123 That yow myghte offende in any tyme.
Lady 124 And therfor, swete, rewe on my peynes smerte,
Lady 125 And of your grace graunteth me som drope,
Lady 126 For elles may me laste no blis ne hope,
Lady 127 Ne dwelle within my trouble careful herte.
Mars 1 Gladeth, ye foules, of the morowe gray;
Mars 2 Lo, Venus, rysen among yon rowes rede.
Mars 3 And floures fressh, honoureth ye this day,
Mars 4 For when the sunne uprist then wol ye sprede.
Mars 5 But ye lovers, that lye in any drede,
Mars 6 Fleeth, lest wikked tonges yow espye.
Mars 7 Lo, yond the sunne, the candel of jelosye!
Mars 8 Wyth teres blewe and with a wounded herte
Mars 9 Taketh your leve, and with Seint John to borowe
Mars 10 Apeseth sumwhat of your sorowes smerte.
Mars 11 Tyme cometh eft that cese shal your sorowe;
Mars 12 The glade nyght ys worth an hevy morowe --
Mars 13 Seynt Valentyne, a foul thus herde I synge
Mars 14 Upon thy day er sonne gan up-sprynge.
Mars 15 Yet sang this foul -- I rede yow al awake,
Mars 16 And ye that han not chosen in humble wyse,
Mars 17 Without repentynge cheseth yow your make,
Mars 18 And ye that han ful chosen as I devise,
Mars 19 Yet at the leste renoveleth your servyse.
Mars 20 Confermeth hyt perpetuely to dure,
Mars 21 And paciently taketh your aventure.
Mars 22 And for the worship of this highe feste,
Mars 23 Yet wol I, in my briddes wise, synge
Mars 24 The sentence of the compleynt, at the leste,
Mars 25 That woful Mars made atte departyng
Mars 26 Fro fresshe Venus in a morwenynge,
Mars 27 Whan Phebus with his firy torches rede
Mars 28 Ransaked every lover in hys drede.
Mars 29 Whilom the thridde hevenes lord above,
Mars 30 As wel by hevenysh revolucioun
Mars 31 As by desert, hath wonne Venus his love,
Mars 32 And she hath take him in subjeccioun,
Mars 33 And as a maistresse taught him his lessoun,
Mars 34 Commaundynge him that nevere, in her servise,
Mars 35 He nere so bold no lover to dispise.
Mars 36 For she forbad him jelosye at al,
Mars 37 And cruelte, and bost, and tyrannye.
Mars 38 She made him at her lust so humble and tal,
Mars 39 That when her deyned to cast on hym her ye,
Mars 40 He tok in pacience to lyve or dye.
Mars 41 And thus she brydeleth him in her manere,
Mars 42 With nothing but with scourging of her chere.
Mars 43 Who regneth now in blysse but Venus,
Mars 44 That hath thys worthy knyght in governaunce?
Mars 45 Who syngeth now but Mars, that serveth thus
Mars 46 The faire Venus, causer of plesaunce?
Mars 47 He bynt him to perpetuall obeisaunce,
Mars 48 And she bynt her to loven him for evere,
Mars 49 But so be that his trespas hyt desevere.
Mars 50 Thus be they knyt and regnen as in hevene
Mars 51 Be lokyng moost; til hyt fil on a tyde
Mars 52 That by her bothe assent was set a stevene
Mars 53 That Mars shal entre, as fast as he may glyde,
Mars 54 Into hir nexte paleys, and ther abyde,
Mars 55 Walkynge hys cours, til she had him atake,
Mars 56 And he preide her to haste her for his sake.
Mars 57 Then seyde he thus, " Myn hertes lady swete,
Mars 58 Ye knowe wel my myschef in that place,
Mars 59 For sikerly, til that I with yow mete,
Mars 60 My lyf stant ther in aventure and grace;
Mars 61 But when I se the beaute of your face,
Mars 62 Ther ys no drede of deth may do me smerte,
Mars 63 For al your lust is ese to myn herte. "
Mars 64 She hath so gret compassioun of her knyght,
Mars 65 That dwelleth in solitude til she come --
Mars 66 For hyt stod so that thilke tyme no wight
Mars 67 Counseyled hym ther, ne seyde to hym welcome --
Mars 68 That nygh her wit for wo was overcome;
Mars 69 Wherfore she sped her as faste in her weye
Mars 70 Almost in oo day as he dyde in tweye.
Mars 71 The grete joye that was betwix hem two
Mars 72 When they be mette ther may no tunge telle.
Mars 73 Ther is no more but unto bed thei go,
Mars 74 And thus in joy and blysse I lete hem duelle.
Mars 75 This worthi Mars, that is of knyghthod welle,
Mars 76 The flour of feyrnesse lappeth in his armes,
Mars 77 And Venus kysseth Mars, the god of armes.
Mars 78 Sojourned hath this Mars of which I rede
Mars 79 In chambre amyd the paleys prively
Mars 80 A certeyn tyme, til him fel a drede
Mars 81 Throgh Phebus, that was comen hastely
Mars 82 Within the paleys yates sturdely,
Mars 83 With torche in honde, of which the stremes bryghte
Mars 84 On Venus chambre knokkeden ful lyghte.
Mars 85 The chambre ther as ley this fresshe quene
Mars 86 Depeynted was with white boles grete,
Mars 87 And by the lyght she knew, that shon so shene,
Mars 88 That Phebus cam to brenne hem with his hete.
Mars 89 This sely Venus nygh dreynt in teres wete
Mars 90 Enbraceth Mars and seyde, " Alas, I dye!
Mars 91 The torche is come that al this world wol wrie. "
Mars 92 Up sterte Mars; hym liste not to slepe
Mars 93 When he his lady herde so compleyne,
Mars 94 But, for his nature was not for to wepe,
Mars 95 In stede of teres, from his eyen tweyne
Mars 96 The firi sparkes brosten out for peyne,
Mars 97 And hente his hauberk that ley hym besyde.
Mars 98 Fle wolde he not, ne myghte himselven hide.
Mars 99 He throweth on his helm of huge wyghte,
Mars 100 And girt him with his swerd, and in his hond
Mars 101 His myghty spere, as he was wont to fyghte,
Mars 102 He shaketh so that almost hit towond.
Mars 103 Ful hevy was he to walken over lond;
Mars 104 He may not holde with Venus companye
Mars 105 But bad her fleen lest Phebus her espye.
Mars 106 O woful Mars -- alas -- what maist thou seyn,
Mars 107 That in the paleys of thy disturbaunce
Mars 108 Art left byhynde in peril to be sleyn?
Mars 109 And yet therto ys double thy penaunce,
Mars 110 For she that hath thyn herte in governaunce
Mars 111 Is passed half the stremes of thin yen;
Mars 112 That thou nere swift, wel maist thou wepe and crien.
Mars 113 Now fleeth Venus unto Cilenios tour
Mars 114 With voide cours for fere of Phebus lyght --
Mars 115 Alas -- and ther ne hath she no socour,
Mars 116 For she ne found ne saugh no maner wyght,
Mars 117 And eke as ther she hath but litil myght,
Mars 118 Wherfor, herselven for to hyde and save,
Mars 119 Within the gate she fledde into a cave.
Mars 120 Derk was this cave and smokyng as the helle;
Mars 121 Not but two pas within the yate hit stod.
Mars 122 A naturel day in derk I lete her duelle.
Mars 123 Now wol I speke of Mars, furious and wod.
Mars 124 For sorow he wolde have sen his herte blod;
Mars 125 Sith that he myghte don her no companye,
Mars 126 He ne roghte not a myte for to dye.
Mars 127 So feble he wex for hete and for his wo
Mars 128 That nygh he swelte, he myghte unnethe endure;
Mars 129 He passeth but o steyre in dayes two.
Mars 130 But nathelesse, for al his hevy armure,
Mars 131 He foloweth her that is his lyves cure,
Mars 132 For whos departyng he tok gretter ire
Mars 133 Then for al his brennyng in the fire.
Mars 134 After he walketh softely a paas,
Mars 135 Compleynyng, that hyt pite was to here,
Mars 136 He seyde, " O lady bryght, Venus, alas,
Mars 137 That evere so wyd a compas ys my spere!
Mars 138 Alas, when shal I mete yow, herte dere?
Mars 139 This twelfte daye of April I endure
Mars 140 Throgh jelous Phebus this mysaventure. "
Mars 141 Now God helpe sely Venus allone.
Mars 142 But as God wolde, hyt happed for to be
Mars 143 That, while that Venus weping made her mone,
Mars 144 Cilenius, rydinge in his chevache,
Mars 145 Fro Venus valaunse myghte his paleys se,
Mars 146 And Venus he salueth and doth chere,
Mars 147 And her receyveth as his frend ful dere.
Mars 148 Mars dwelleth forth in his adversyte,
Mars 149 Compleynyng ever on her departynge,
Mars 150 And what his compleynt was, remembreth me;
Mars 151 And therfore, in this lusty morwenynge
Mars 152 As I best can, I wol hit seyn and synge;
Mars 153 And after that I wol my leve take,
Mars 154 And God yeve every wyght joy of his make!
Mars 155 The ordre of compleynt requireth skylfully
Mars 156 That yf a wight shal pleyne pitously,
Mars 157 Ther mot be cause wherfore that men pleyne;
Mars 158 Or men may deme he pleyneth folily
Mars 159 And causeles; alas, that am not I.
Mars 160 Wherfore the ground and cause of al my peyne,
Mars 161 So as my troubled wit may hit atteyne,
Mars 162 I wol reherse; not for to have redresse,
Mars 163 But to declare my ground of hevynesse.
Mars 164 The firste tyme, alas, that I was wroght
Mars 165 And for certeyn effectes hider broght
Mars 166 Be him that lordeth ech intelligence,
Mars 167 I yaf my trewe servise and my thoght
Mars 168 For evermore -- how dere I have hit boght --
Mars 169 To her that is of so gret excellence
Mars 170 That what wight that first sheweth his presence,
Mars 171 When she is wroth and taketh of hym no cure,
Mars 172 He may not longe in joye of love endure.
Mars 173 This is no feyned mater that I telle;
Mars 174 My lady is the verrey sours and welle
Mars 175 Of beaute, lust, fredom, and gentilnesse,
Mars 176 Of riche aray -- how dere men hit selle! --
Mars 177 Of al disport in which men frendly duelle,
Mars 178 Of love and pley, and of benigne humblesse,
Mars 179 Of soun of instrumentes of al swetnesse;
Mars 180 And therto so wel fortuned and thewed
Mars 181 That thorogh the world her goodnesse is yshewed.
Mars 182 What wonder ys it then, thogh I besette
Mars 183 My servise on such on that may me knette
Mars 184 To wele or wo sith hit lyth in her myght?
Mars 185 Therfore my herte forever I to her hette,
Mars 186 Ne truly, for my deth, I shal not lette
Mars 187 To ben her truest servaunt and her knyght.
Mars 188 I flater noght, that may wete every wyght;
Mars 189 For this day in her servise shal I dye.
Mars 190 But grace be, I se her never wyth ye.
Mars 191 To whom shal I than pleyne of my distresse?
Mars 192 Who may me helpe? Who may my harm redresse?
Mars 193 Shal I compleyne unto my lady fre?
Mars 194 Nay, certes, for she hath such hevynesse,
Mars 195 For fere and eke for wo that, as I gesse,
Mars 196 In lytil tyme hit wol her bane be.
Mars 197 But were she sauf, hit were no fors of me.
Mars 198 Alas, that ever lovers mote endure
Mars 199 For love so many a perilous aventure!
Mars 200 For thogh so be that lovers be as trewe
Mars 201 As any metal that is forged newe,
Mars 202 In many a cas hem tydeth ofte sorowe.
Mars 203 Somtyme her lady wil not on hem rewe;
Mars 204 Somtyme yf that jelosie hyt knewe,
Mars 205 They myghten lyghtly leye her hed to borowe;
Mars 206 Somtyme envyous folk with tunges horowe
Mars 207 Depraven hem; alas, whom may they plese?
Mars 208 But he be fals, no lover hath non ese.
Mars 209 But what availeth such a long sermoun
Mars 210 Of aventures of love up and doun?
Mars 211 I wol returne and speken of my peyne.
Mars 212 The poynt is this of my distruccioun:
Mars 213 My righte lady, my savacyoun,
Mars 214 Is in affray, and not to whom to pleyne.
Mars 215 O herte swete, O lady sovereyne!
Mars 216 For your disese wel oughte I swowne and swelte,
Mars 217 Though I non other harm ne drede felte.
Mars 218 To what fyn made the God, that sit so hye,
Mars 219 Benethen him love other companye
Mars 220 And streyneth folk to love, malgre her hed?
Mars 221 And then her joy, for oght I can espye,
Mars 222 Ne lasteth not the twynkelyng of an ye,
Mars 223 And somme han never joy til they be ded.
Mars 224 What meneth this? What is this mystihed?
Mars 225 Wherto constreyneth he his folk so faste
Mars 226 Thing to desyre, but hit shulde laste?
Mars 227 And thogh he made a lover love a thing
Mars 228 And maketh hit seme stedfast and during,
Mars 229 Yet putteth he in hyt such mysaventure
Mars 230 That reste nys ther non in his yeving.
Mars 231 And that is wonder, that so juste a kyng
Mars 232 Doth such hardnesse to his creature.
Mars 233 Thus, whether love breke or elles dure,
Mars 234 Algates he that hath with love to done
Mars 235 Hath ofter wo then changed ys the mone.
Mars 236 Hit semeth he hath to lovers enmyte,
Mars 237 And lyk a fissher, as men alday may se,
Mars 238 Baiteth hys angle-hok with som plesaunce
Mars 239 Til many a fissh ys wod til that he be
Mars 240 Sesed therwith; and then at erst hath he
Mars 241 Al his desir, and therwith al myschaunce;
Mars 242 And thogh the lyne breke, he hath penaunce;
Mars 243 For with the hok he wounded is so sore
Mars 244 That he his wages hath for evermore.
Mars 245 The broche of Thebes was of such a kynde,
Mars 246 So ful of rubies and of stones of Ynde
Mars 247 That every wight, that sette on hit an ye,
Mars 248 He wende anon to worthe out of his mynde;
Mars 249 So sore the beaute wolde his herte bynde.
Mars 250 Til he hit had, him thoghte he moste dye;
Mars 251 And whan that hit was his, then shulde he drye
Mars 252 Such woo for drede, ay while that he hit hadde,
Mars 253 That wel nygh for the fere he shulde madde.
Mars 254 And whan hit was fro his possessioun,
Mars 255 Then had he double wo and passioun
Mars 256 For he so feir a tresor had forgo;
Mars 257 But yet this broche as in conclusioun
Mars 258 Was not the cause of his confusioun,
Mars 259 But he that wroghte hit enfortuned hit so
Mars 260 That every wight that had hit shulde have wo;
Mars 261 And therfore in the worcher was the vice,
Mars 262 And in the covetour that was so nyce.
Mars 263 So fareth hyt by lovers and by me;
Mars 264 For thogh my lady have so gret beaute
Mars 265 That I was mad til I had gete her grace,
Mars 266 She was not cause of myn adversite,
Mars 267 But he that wroghte her, also mot I the,
Mars 268 That putte such a beaute in her face,
Mars 269 That made me coveyten and purchace
Mars 270 Myn oune deth -- him wite I that I dye,
Mars 271 And myn unwit that ever I clamb so hye.
Mars 272 But to yow, hardy knyghtes of renoun,
Mars 273 Syn that ye be of my devisioun,
Mars 274 Al be I not worthy to so gret a name,
Mars 275 Yet, seyn these clerkes, I am your patroun;
Mars 276 Therfore ye oghte have som compassioun
Mars 277 Of my disese, and take hit not a-game.
Mars 278 The proudest of yow may be mad ful tame;
Mars 279 Wherfore I prey yow of your gentilesse
Mars 280 That ye compleyne for myn hevynesse.
Mars 281 And ye, my ladyes, that ben true and stable,
Mars 282 Be wey of kynde, ye oughten to be able
Mars 283 To have pite of folk that be in peyne.
Mars 284 Now have ye cause to clothe yow in sable,
Mars 285 Sith that youre emperise, the honurable,
Mars 286 Is desolat; wel oghte ye to pleyne.
Mars 287 Now shulde your holy teres falle and reyne.
Mars 288 Alas, your honour and your emperise,
Mars 289 Negh ded for drede ne can her not chevise!
Mars 290 Compleyneth eke, ye lovers, al in-fere,
Mars 291 For her that with unfeyned humble chere
Mars 292 Was evere redy to do yow socour;
Mars 293 Compleyneth her that evere hath had yow dere;
Mars 294 Compleyneth Beaute, Fredom, and Manere;
Mars 295 Compleyneth her that endeth your labour;
Mars 296 Compleyneth thilke ensample of al honour,
Mars 297 That never dide but al gentilesse;
Mars 298 Kytheth therfore on her sum kyndenesse.
MercB 1 Your yen two wol slee me sodenly;
MercB 2 I may the beautee of hem not sustene,
MercB 3 So woundeth hit thourghout my herte kene.
MercB 4 And but your word wol helen hastily
MercB 5 My hertes wounde while that hit is grene,
MercB 6 Your yen [two wol slee me sodenly];
MercB 7 [I may the beautee of hem not sustene].
MercB 8 Upon my trouthe I sey you feithfully
MercB 9 That ye ben of my lyf and deeth the quene,
MercB 10 For with my deeth the trouthe shal be sene.
MercB 11 Your yen [two wol slee me sodenly];
MercB 12 [I may the beautee of hem not sustene],
MercB 13 [So woundeth it thourghout my herte kene].
MercB 14 So hath your beautee fro your herte chaced
MercB 15 Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne,
MercB 16 For Daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne.
MercB 17 Giltles my deeth thus han ye me purchaced;
MercB 18 I sey you sooth, me nedeth not to feyne;
MercB 19 So hath your beautee [fro your herte chaced]
MercB 20 [Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne].
MercB 21 Allas, that Nature hath in you compassed
MercB 22 So greet beautee, that no man may atteyne
MercB 23 To mercy though he sterve for the peyne.
MercB 24 So hath your beautee [fro your herte chaced]
MercB 25 [Pitee, that me ne availeth not to pleyne],
MercB 26 [For Daunger halt your mercy in his cheyne].
MercB 27 Sin I fro Love escaped am so fat,
MercB 28 I never thenk to ben in his prison lene;
MercB 29 Sin I am free, I counte him not a bene.
MercB 30 He may answere and seye this and that;
MercB 31 I do no fors, I speke right as I mene.
MercB 32 Sin I fro Love [escaped am so fat],
MercB 33 [I never thenk to ben in his prison lene].
MercB 34 Love hath my name ystrike out of his sclat,
MercB 35 And he is strike out of my bokes clene
MercB 36 For evermo; [ther] is non other mene.
MercB 37 Sin I fro Love [escaped am so fat],
MercB 38 [I never thenk to ben in his prison lene];
MercB 39 [Sin I am free, I counte him not a bene].
Pity 1 Pite, that I have sought so yore agoo
Pity 2 With herte soore and ful of besy peyne,
Pity 3 That in this world was never wight so woo
Pity 4 Withoute deth -- and yf I shal not feyne,
Pity 5 My purpos was to Pite to compleyne
Pity 6 Upon the crueltee and tirannye
Pity 7 Of Love, that for my trouthe doth me dye.
Pity 8 And when that I, be lengthe of certeyne yeres,
Pity 9 Had evere in oon a tyme sought to speke,
Pity 10 To Pitee ran I al bespreynt with teres
Pity 11 To prayen hir on Cruelte me awreke.
Pity 12 But er I myghte with any word outbreke
Pity 13 Or tellen any of my peynes smerte,
Pity 14 I fond hir ded, and buried in an herte.
Pity 15 Adoun I fel when that I saugh the herse,
Pity 16 Ded as a ston while that the swogh me laste;
Pity 17 But up I roos with colour ful dyverse
Pity 18 And pitously on hir myn eyen I caste,
Pity 19 And ner the corps I gan to presen faste,
Pity 20 And for the soule I shop me for to preye.
Pity 21 I was but lorn, ther was no more to seye.
Pity 22 Thus am I slayn sith that Pite is ded.
Pity 23 Allas, that day, that ever hyt shulde falle.
Pity 24 What maner man dar now hold up his hed?
Pity 25 To whom shal any sorwful herte calle?
Pity 26 Now Cruelte hath cast to slee us alle,
Pity 27 In ydel hope, folk redeless of peyne,
Pity 28 Syth she is ded, to whom shul we compleyne?
Pity 29 But yet encreseth me this wonder newe,
Pity 30 That no wight woot that she is ded, but I --
Pity 31 So many men as in her tyme hir knewe --
Pity 32 And yet she dyed not so sodeynly,
Pity 33 For I have sought hir ever ful besely
Pity 34 Sith first I hadde wit or mannes mynde,
Pity 35 But she was ded er that I koude hir fynde.
Pity 36 Aboute hir herse there stoden lustely,
Pity 37 Withouten any woo as thoughte me,
Pity 38 Bounte parfyt, wel armed and richely,
Pity 39 And fresshe Beaute, Lust, and Jolyte,
Pity 40 Assured Maner, Youthe, and Honeste,
Pity 41 Wisdom, Estaat, Drede, and Governaunce,
Pity 42 Confedred both by bonde and alliaunce.
Pity 43 A compleynt had I, writen in myn hond,
Pity 44 For to have put to Pite as a bille;
Pity 45 But when I al this companye ther fond,
Pity 46 That rather wolden al my cause spille
Pity 47 Then do me help, I held my pleynte stille,
Pity 48 For to that folk, withouten any fayle,
Pity 49 Withoute Pitee ther may no bille availe.
Pity 50 Then leve I al these vertues, sauf Pite,
Pity 51 Kepynge the corps as ye have herd me seyn,
Pity 52 Confedered alle by bond of Cruelte
Pity 53 And ben assented when I shal be sleyn.
Pity 54 And I have put my complaynt up ageyn,
Pity 55 For to my foes my bille I dar not shewe,
Pity 56 Th' effect of which seith thus, in wordes fewe:
Pity 57 Humblest of herte, highest of reverence,
Pity 58 Benygne flour, coroune of vertues alle,
Pity 59 Sheweth unto youre rial excellence
Pity 60 Youre servaunt, yf I durste me so calle,
Pity 61 Hys mortal harm in which he is yfalle,
Pity 62 And noght al oonly for his evel fare,
Pity 63 But for your renoun, as he shal declare.
Pity 64 Hit stondeth thus: your contraire, Crueltee,
Pity 65 Allyed is ayenst your regalye
Pity 66 Under colour of womanly Beaute --
Pity 67 For men shulde not, lo, knowe hir tirannye --
Pity 68 With Bounte, Gentilesse, and Curtesye,
Pity 69 And hath depryved yow now of your place
Pity 70 That hyghte " Beaute apertenant to Grace. "
Pity 71 For kyndely by youre herytage ryght
Pity 72 Ye ben annexed ever unto Bounte;
Pity 73 And verrayly ye oughte do youre myght
Pity 74 To helpe Trouthe in his adversyte.
Pity 75 Ye be also the corowne of Beaute,
Pity 76 And certes yf ye wanten in these tweyne,
Pity 77 The world is lore; ther is no more to seyne.
Pity 78 Eke what availeth Maner and Gentilesse
Pity 79 Withoute yow, benygne creature?
Pity 80 Shal Cruelte be your governeresse?
Pity 81 Allas, what herte may hyt longe endure?
Pity 82 Wherfore, but ye the rather take cure
Pity 83 To breke that perilouse alliaunce,
Pity 84 Ye sleen hem that ben in your obeisaunce.
Pity 85 And further over yf ye suffre this,
Pity 86 Youre renoun ys fordoo than in a throwe;
Pity 87 Ther shal no man wite well what Pite is.
Pity 88 Allas, that your renoun is falle so lowe!
Pity 89 Ye be than fro youre heritage ythrowe
Pity 90 By Cruelte that occupieth youre place,
Pity 91 And we despeyred that seken to your grace.
Pity 92 Have mercy on me, thow Herenus quene,
Pity 93 That yow have sought so tendirly and yore;
Pity 94 Let som strem of youre lyght on me be sene
Pity 95 That love and drede yow ever lenger the more;
Pity 96 For sothly for to seyne I bere the soore,
Pity 97 And though I be not konnynge for to pleyne,
Pity 98 For Goddis love have mercy on my peyne.
Pity 99 My peyne is this, that what so I desire
Pity 100 That have I not, ne nothing lyk therto;
Pity 101 And ever setteth Desir myn hert on fire.
Pity 102 Eke on that other syde where so I goo,
Pity 103 What maner thing that may encrese my woo,
Pity 104 That have I redy, unsoght, everywhere;
Pity 105 Me lakketh but my deth and than my bere.
Pity 106 What nedeth to shewe parcel of my peyne?
Pity 107 Syth every woo that herte may bethynke
Pity 108 I suffre and yet I dar not to yow pleyne;
Pity 109 For wel I wot although I wake or wynke,
Pity 110 Ye rekke not whether I flete or synke.
Pity 111 But natheles yet my trouthe I shal sustene
Pity 112 Unto my deth, and that shal wel be sene.
Pity 113 This is to seyne I wol be youres evere,
Pity 114 Though ye me slee by Crueltee your foo,
Pity 115 Algate my spirit shal never dissevere
Pity 116 Fro youre servise for any peyne or woo.
Pity 117 Sith ye be ded -- allas that hyt is soo --
Pity 118 Thus for your deth I may wel wepe and pleyne
Pity 119 With herte sore and ful of besy peyne.
Prov 1 What shul these clothes thus manyfold,
Prov 2 Lo this hote somers day?
Prov 3 After grete hete cometh cold;
Prov 4 No man caste his pilche away.
Prov 5 Of al this world the large compas
Prov 6 Yt wil not in myn armes tweyne;
Prov 7 Who so mochel wol embrace,
Prov 8 Litel therof he shal distreyne.
Purse 1 To yow, my purse, and to noon other wight
Purse 2 Complayne I, for ye be my lady dere.
Purse 3 I am so sory, now that ye been lyght;
Purse 4 For certes but yf ye make me hevy chere,
Purse 5 Me were as leef be layd upon my bere;
Purse 6 For which unto your mercy thus I crye,
Purse 7 Beth hevy ageyn, or elles mot I dye.
Purse 8 Now voucheth sauf this day or hyt be nyght
Purse 9 That I of yow the blisful soun may here
Purse 10 Or see your colour lyk the sonne bryght
Purse 11 That of yelownesse hadde never pere.
Purse 12 Ye be my lyf, ye be myn hertes stere.
Purse 13 Quene of comfort and of good companye,
Purse 14 Beth hevy ageyn, or elles moot I dye.
Purse 15 Now purse that ben to me my lyves lyght
Purse 16 And saveour as doun in this world here,
Purse 17 Out of this toune helpe me thurgh your myght,
Purse 18 Syn that ye wole nat ben my tresorere;
Purse 19 For I am shave as nye as any frere.
Purse 20 But yet I pray unto your curtesye,
Purse 21 Beth hevy agen, or elles moot I dye.
Purse 22 O conquerour of Brutes Albyon,
Purse 23 Which that by lyne and free eleccion
Purse 24 Been verray kyng, this song to yow I sende,
Purse 25 And ye, that mowen alle oure harmes amende,
Purse 26 Have mynde upon my supplicacion.
Ros 1 Madame, ye ben of al beaute shryne
Ros 2 As fer as cercled is the mapamounde,
Ros 3 For as the cristal glorious ye shyne,
Ros 4 And lyke ruby ben your chekes rounde.
Ros 5 Therwith ye ben so mery and so jocounde
Ros 6 That at a revel whan that I see you daunce,
Ros 7 It is an oynement unto my wounde,
Ros 8 Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.
Ros 9 For thogh I wepe of teres ful a tyne,
Ros 10 Yet may that wo myn herte nat confounde;
Ros 11 Your semy voys that ye so smal out twyne
Ros 12 Maketh my thoght in joy and blis habounde.
Ros 13 So curtaysly I go with love bounde
Ros 14 That to myself I sey in my penaunce,
Ros 15 " Suffyseth me to love you, Rosemounde,
Ros 16 Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce. "
Ros 17 Nas never pyk walwed in galauntyne
Ros 18 As I in love am walwed and ywounde,
Ros 19 For which ful ofte I of myself devyne
Ros 20 That I am trewe Tristam the secounde.
Ros 21 My love may not refreyde nor affounde,
Ros 22 I brenne ay in an amorous plesaunce.
Ros 23 Do what you lyst, I wyl your thral be founde,
Ros 24 Thogh ye to me ne do no daliaunce.
Scog 1 Tobroken been the statutz hye in hevene
Scog 2 That creat were eternally to dure,
Scog 3 Syth that I see the bryghte goddis sevene
Scog 4 Mowe wepe and wayle, and passioun endure,
Scog 5 As may in erthe a mortal creature.
Scog 6 Allas, fro whennes may thys thing procede,
Scog 7 Of which errour I deye almost for drede?
Scog 8 By word eterne whilom was it shape
Scog 9 That fro the fyfte sercle, in no manere,
Scog 10 Ne myght a drope of teeres doun escape.
Scog 11 But now so wepith Venus in hir spere
Scog 12 That with hir teeres she wol drenche us here.
Scog 13 Allas! Scogan, this is for thyn offence;
Scog 14 Thow causest this diluge of pestilence.
Scog 15 Hastow not seyd, in blaspheme of the goddis,
Scog 16 Thurgh pride, or thrugh thy grete rekelnesse,
Scog 17 Swich thing as in the lawe of love forbode is,
Scog 18 That, for thy lady sawgh nat thy distresse,
Scog 19 Therfore thow yave hir up at Michelmesse?
Scog 20 Allas! Scogan, of olde folk ne yonge
Scog 21 Was never erst Scogan blamed for his tonge.
Scog 22 Thow drowe in skorn Cupide eke to record
Scog 23 Of thilke rebel word that thow hast spoken,
Scog 24 For which he wol no lenger be thy lord.
Scog 25 And, Scogan, though his bowe be nat broken,
Scog 26 He wol nat with his arwes been ywroken
Scog 27 On the, ne me, ne noon of oure figure;
Scog 28 We shul of him have neyther hurt ne cure.
Scog 29 Now certes, frend, I dreed of thyn unhap,
Scog 30 Lest for thy gilt the wreche of Love procede
Scog 31 On alle hem that ben hoor and rounde of shap,
Scog 32 That ben so lykly folk in love to spede.
Scog 33 Than shal we for oure labour have no mede;
Scog 34 But wel I wot, thow wolt answere and saye,
Scog 35 " Lo, olde Grisel lyst to ryme and playe! "
Scog 36 Nay, Scogan, say not so, for I m' excuse --
Scog 37 God helpe me so! -- in no rym, dowteles,
Scog 38 Ne thynke I never of slep to wake my muse,
Scog 39 That rusteth in my shethe stille in pees.
Scog 40 While I was yong, I put hir forth in prees;
Scog 41 But al shal passe that men prose or ryme;
Scog 42 Take every man hys turn, as for his tyme.
Scog 43 Scogan, that knelest at the stremes hed
Scog 44 Of grace, of alle honour and worthynesse,
Scog 45 In th' ende of which strem I am dul as ded,
Scog 46 Forgete in solytarie wildernesse --
Scog 47 Yet, Scogan, thenke on Tullius kyndenesse;
Scog 48 Mynne thy frend, there it may fructyfye!
Scog 49 Far-wel, and loke thow never eft Love dyffye.
Sted 1 Somtyme the world was so stedfast and stable
Sted 2 That mannes word was obligacioun,
Sted 3 And now it is so fals and deceivable
Sted 4 That word and deed, as in conclusioun,
Sted 5 Ben nothing lyk, for turned up-so-doun
Sted 6 Is al this world for mede and wilfulnesse,
Sted 7 That al is lost for lak of stedfastnesse.
Sted 8 What maketh this world to be so variable
Sted 9 But lust that folk have in dissensioun?
Sted 10 For among us now a man is holde unable,
Sted 11 But if he can by som collusioun
Sted 12 Don his neighbour wrong or oppressioun.
Sted 13 What causeth this but wilful wrecchednesse,
Sted 14 That al is lost for lak of stedfastnesse?
Sted 15 Trouthe is put doun, resoun is holden fable,
Sted 16 Vertu hath now no dominacioun;
Sted 17 Pitee exyled, no man is merciable.
Sted 18 Through covetyse is blent discrecioun.
Sted 19 The world hath mad a permutacioun
Sted 20 Fro right to wrong, fro trouthe to fikelnesse,
Sted 21 That al is lost for lak of stedfastnesse.
Sted 22 O prince, desyre to be honourable,
Sted 23 Cherish thy folk and hate extorcioun.
Sted 24 Suffre nothing that may be reprevable
Sted 25 To thyn estat don in thy regioun.
Sted 26 Shew forth thy swerd of castigacioun,
Sted 27 Dred God, do law, love trouthe and worthinesse,
Sted 28 And wed thy folk agein to stedfastnesse.
Truth 1 Flee fro the prees and dwelle with sothfastnesse;
Truth 2 Suffyce unto thy thing, though it be smal,
Truth 3 For hord hath hate, and climbing tikelnesse,
Truth 4 Prees hath envye, and wele blent overal.
Truth 5 Savour no more than thee bihove shal,
Truth 6 Reule wel thyself that other folk canst rede,
Truth 7 And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.
Truth 8 Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse
Truth 9 In trust of hir that turneth as a bal;
Truth 10 Gret reste stant in litel besinesse.
Truth 11 Be war therfore to sporne ayeyns an al,
Truth 12 Stryve not, as doth the crokke with the wal.
Truth 13 Daunte thyself, that dauntest otheres dede,
Truth 14 And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.
Truth 15 That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse;
Truth 16 The wrastling for this world axeth a fal.
Truth 17 Her is non hoom, her nis but wildernesse:
Truth 18 Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal!
Truth 19 Know thy contree, look up, thank God of al;
Truth 20 Hold the heye wey and lat thy gost thee lede,
Truth 21 And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.
Truth 22 Therfore, thou Vache, leve thyn old wrecchednesse;
Truth 23 Unto the world leve now to be thral.
Truth 24 Crye him mercy, that of his hy goodnesse
Truth 25 Made thee of noght, and in especial
Truth 26 Draw unto him, and pray in general
Truth 27 For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich mede;
Truth 28 And trouthe thee shal delivere, it is no drede.
Ven 1 Ther nys so high comfort to my pleasaunce,
Ven 2 When that I am in any hevynesse,
Ven 3 As for to have leyser of remembraunce
Ven 4 Upon the manhod and the worthynesse,
Ven 5 Upon the trouthe and on the stidfastnesse
Ven 6 Of him whos I am al, while I may dure.
Ven 7 Ther oghte blame me no creature,
Ven 8 For every wight preiseth his gentilesse.
Ven 9 In him is bounte, wysdom, governaunce,
Ven 10 Wel more then any mannes wit can gesse,
Ven 11 For grace hath wold so ferforth hym avaunce
Ven 12 That of knyghthod he is parfit richesse.
Ven 13 Honour honoureth him for his noblesse;
Ven 14 Therto so wel hath formed him Nature
Ven 15 That I am his for ever, I him assure,
Ven 16 For every wight preyseth his gentilesse.
Ven 17 And notwithstondyng al his suffisaunce,
Ven 18 His gentil herte is of so gret humblesse
Ven 19 To me in word, in werk, in contenaunce,
Ven 20 And me to serve is al his besynesse,
Ven 21 That I am set in verrey sikernesse.
Ven 22 Thus oghte I blesse wel myn aventure
Ven 23 Sith that him list me serven and honoure,
Ven 24 For every wight preiseth his gentilesse.
Ven 25 Now certis, Love, hit is right covenable
Ven 26 That men ful dere bye thy nobil thing,
Ven 27 As wake abedde and fasten at the table,
Ven 28 Wepinge to laughe and singe in compleynyng,
Ven 29 And doun to caste visage and lokyng,
Ven 30 Often to chaunge hewe and contenaunce,
Ven 31 Pleyne in slepyng and dremen at the daunce,
Ven 32 Al the revers of any glad felyng.
Ven 33 Jelosie be hanged by a cable!
Ven 34 She wolde al knowe thurgh her espying;
Ven 35 Ther doth no wyght nothing so resonable
Ven 36 That al nys harm in her ymagenyng.
Ven 37 Thus dere abought is Love in yevyng,
Ven 38 Which ofte he yiveth withouten ordynaunce,
Ven 39 As sorwe ynogh and litil of plesaunce,
Ven 40 Al the revers of any glad felyng.
Ven 41 A lytel tyme his yift ys agreable,
Ven 42 But ful encomberous is the usyng,
Ven 43 For subtil Jelosie, the deceyvable,
Ven 44 Ful often tyme causeth desturbyng.
Ven 45 Thus be we ever in drede and sufferyng;
Ven 46 In nouncerteyn we languisshe in penaunce,
Ven 47 And han wele ofte many an hard mischaunce,
Ven 48 Al the revers of any glad felyng.
Ven 49 But certes, Love, I sey not in such wise
Ven 50 That for t' escape out of youre las I mente,
Ven 51 For I so longe have ben in your servise
Ven 52 That for to lete of wil I never assente;
Ven 53 No fors thogh Jelosye me turmente.
Ven 54 Sufficeth me to sen hym when I may,
Ven 55 And therfore certes, to myn endyng day
Ven 56 To love hym best ne shal I never repente.
Ven 57 And certis, Love, when I me wel avise
Ven 58 On any estat that man may represente,
Ven 59 Then have ye made me thurgh your fraunchise
Ven 60 Chese the best that ever on erthe wente.
Ven 61 Now love wel, herte, and lok thou never stente,
Ven 62 And let the jelous putte it in assay
Ven 63 That for no peyne wol I not sey nay;
Ven 64 To love him best ne shal I never repente.
Ven 65 Herte, to the hit oughte ynogh suffise
Ven 66 That Love so high a grace to the sente
Ven 67 To chese the worthieste in alle wise
Ven 68 And most agreable unto myn entente.
Ven 69 Seche no ferther, neythir wey ne wente,
Ven 70 Sith I have suffisaunce unto my pay.
Ven 71 Thus wol I ende this compleynt or this lay;
Ven 72 To love hym best ne shal I never repente.
Ven 73 Princes, receyveth this compleynt in gre,
Ven 74 Unto your excelent benignite
Ven 75 Direct after my litel suffisaunce.
Ven 76 For elde, that in my spirit dulleth me,
Ven 77 Hath of endyting al the subtilte
Ven 78 Wel nygh bereft out of my remembraunce,
Ven 79 And eke to me it ys a gret penaunce,
Ven 80 Syth rym in Englissh hath such skarsete,
Ven 81 To folowe word by word the curiosite
Ven 82 Of Graunson, flour of hem that make in Fraunce.
WomNobl 1 So hath myn herte caught in remembraunce
WomNobl 2 Your beaute hoole and stidefast governaunce,
WomNobl 3 Your vertues al and yowre hie noblesse,
WomNobl 4 That you to serve is set al my plesaunce.
WomNobl 5 So wel me liketh your womanly contenaunce,
WomNobl 6 Your fresshe fetures and your comlynesse,
WomNobl 7 That whiles I live myn hert to his maystresse
WomNobl 8 You hath ful chose in trewe perseveraunce
WomNobl 9 Never to chaunge, for no maner distresse.
WomNobl 10 And sith I shal do [you] this observaunce,
WomNobl 11 Al my lif withouten displesaunce
WomNobl 12 You for to serve with al my besynesse,
WomNobl 13 And have me somwhat in your souvenaunce.
WomNobl 14 My woful herte suffreth greet duresse,
WomNobl 15 And [loke] how humbly with al symplesse
WomNobl 16 My wil I conforme to your ordynaunce,
WomNobl 17 As you best list, my peynes for to redresse.
WomNobl 18 Considryng eke how I hange in balaunce
WomNobl 19 In your service, such, lo, is my chaunce,
WomNobl 20 Abidyng grace, whan that your gentilnesse
WomNobl 21 Of my grete wo liste do alleggeaunce,
WomNobl 22 And with your pite me som wise avaunce
WomNobl 23 In ful rebatyng of myn hevynesse;
WomNobl 24 And thynketh by resoun that wommanly noblesse
WomNobl 25 Shuld nat desire for to do the outrance
WomNobl 26 Ther as she fyndeth non unbuxumnesse.
WomNobl 27 Auctour of norture, lady of plesaunce,
WomNobl 28 Soveraigne of beautee, floure of wommanhede,
WomNobl 29 Take ye non hede unto myn ignoraunce,
WomNobl 30 But this receyveth of your goodlihede,
WomNobl 31 Thynkyng that I have caught in remembraunce,
WomNobl 32 Your beaute hole, your stidefast governaunce.
WomUnc 1 Madame, for your newefangelnesse
WomUnc 2 Many a servaunt have ye put out of grace.
WomUnc 3 I take my leve of your unstedfastnesse,
WomUnc 4 For wel I wot, whyl ye have lyves space,
WomUnc 5 Ye can not love ful half yeer in a place,
WomUnc 6 To newe thing your lust is ay so kene.
WomUnc 7 In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.
WomUnc 8 Right as a mirour nothing may impresse,
WomUnc 9 But, lightly as it cometh, so mot it pace,
WomUnc 10 So fareth your love, your werkes beren witnesse.
WomUnc 11 Ther is no feith that may your herte enbrace,
WomUnc 12 But as a wedercok, that turneth his face
WomUnc 13 With every wind, ye fare, and that is sene;
WomUnc 14 In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.
WomUnc 15 Ye might be shryned for your brotelnesse
WomUnc 16 Bet than Dalyda, Creseyde or Candace,
WomUnc 17 For ever in chaunging stant your sikernesse;
WomUnc 18 That tache may no wight fro your herte arace.
WomUnc 19 If ye lese oon, ye can wel tweyn purchace;
WomUnc 20 Al light for somer (ye woot wel what I mene),
WomUnc 21 In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.