Imatges de pàgina
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To your discrecion I recommende

Myn herte and al, with every circumstance,

Al holy to be under your governaunce.

Moste desire I, and have and ever shal, Thyng whiche might your hertes ease amende Have me excused, my power is but smal; 10 Nathelesse, of right, ye oughte to commende My goode wille, which fayne wolde entende To do you servyce ; for al my suffysaunce Is holy to be under your governaunce.

Meulx un1 in herte which never shal appalle, Aye fresshe and newe, and right glad to dispende My tyme in your service, what so befalle, Besechyng your excellence to defende My symplenesse, if ignoraunce offende In any wyse; sythe that myn affyaunce 20 Is holy ben under your governaunce.

Daisy of lyght, very grounde of comforte, The Sonnes doughter ye hight, as I rede; For whan he westreth, farwel your disporte! By your nature anon, right for pure drede Of the rude night that with his boystous wede Of derkenesse shadoweth our emyspere, Than closen ye, my lives lady dere!

Dawnyng the Day to his kynde * resorte, ban Phebus your father with his stremes rede Adorneth the morowe, consumyng the sorte 3. Of misty cloudes that wolden overlede Trewe humble hertes with her mistyhede,

1 Better one. * Natural.

"MY WRITYNG JAPES." 567

Nere comforte a-dayes, whan eyen clere
Disclose and sprede my lyves lady dere, —

Je vouldray,1 but greate God disposeth
And maketh casuel, by his provydence,
Suche thyng as mannes frele witte purposeth,
Al for the best, if that our conscience
Nat grutche it, but in humble pacience 40
It receyve: for God saythe withoute fable,
A faythful herte ever is acceptable.

Cautels2 who so useth gladly, gloseth; To eschewe suche it is right high prudence; What ye sayd ones myn herte opposeth, That my writyng japes in your absence Pleased you moche tetter than my presence. Yet can I more ; ye be nat excusable, A faythful herte ever is acceptable.

Quaketh my penne; my spyrit supposeth 50 That in my writyng ye fynde wol some offence; Myn herte welkeneth * thus; anon it ryseth; Nowe hotte, nowe colde, and- efte in fervence: That mysse is, is caused of neglygence, And not of malyce; therfore bethe mercyable; A faythful herte ever is acceptable.

LENVOYE.

Forthe, complaynt! forthe, lackyng eloquence! Forthe, lytle letter, of endytyng lame I \ have besought my ladyes sapyence4

1 I would. 1 Craft. 1 Withereth. * Wisdom.

Of thy behalfe, to accept in game 60
Thyn inabylite; do thou the same:
Abyde! have more yet! Je serve Jouesse.1
Nowe forth I close the in holy Venus name!
The shal unclose my hertes governeresse.

A PRAISE OF WOMEN.

Al tho that lyste of women evyl to speke, And sayn of hem worse than they deserve, I praye to God that her neckes to-breke, Or on some evyl dethe mote tho janglers sterve , For every man were holden hem to serve, And do hem worship, honotir, and servyce, In every maner that they best coude devyse.

For we oughte first to thinke on what manere They bring us forth, and what payn they endure First in our byrth, and syth2 fro yere to yere 10 How busely they done hir busy cure,* To kepe us fro every misaventure In our youthe, whan we have no might Our selfe to kepe, neither by day nor nyght.

Alas ! howe may we say on hem but wele, Of whom we were fostred and ybore, \nd ben al our sucoure, and ever trewe as stele, And for our sake ful ofte they suffre sore? Withoute women were al our joye lore; Wherfore we ought alle women to obeye 20 tn al goodnesse; I can no more saye.

1 I Ml IB Joyous. • Then. 1 Care.

"WHAT LOVE WAS." 569

This is wel knowen, and hath ben or1 this, That women ben cause of alle lightnesse,* Of knyghthode, norture, eschewyng al malis, Encrease of worshyp, and of alle worthynesse; Therto curteys and meke, and ground of al

goodnesse, Glad and mery, and trewe in every wyse That any gentyl herte can thynke or devyse.

And though any wolde truste to your un truthe, 29 And to your fayre wordes wold aught assente, In goode fayth me thynketh it were gret ruthe, That other women sholde for hir gylt be shent,* That never knew, ne wiste nought of hir entent, Ne lyste not to here the fayre words ye write, Which ye you payne fro day to day tendyte.

But who may, beware of your tales untrewe, That ye so busyly paynt and endite? For ye wyl swere that ye never knewe, Ne sawe the woman, neyther moche ne lyte,4 Save onely her to whom ye hadde delite, 40 As for to serve of al that ever ye seye, And for her love must ye nedes deye.

Then wyl ye swere that ye knewe never before What Love was, ne his dredful observaunce, But nowe ye fele that he can wounde sore; Wherfore ye putte you into her governaunce, Whom Love hath ordeynod you to serve and da piesaunce

1 Ere. • JoiouniM 'Ruined for their fault 'Little.

With al your might your lytel lyves space, Whiche endeth sone but if she do you grace.

And then to bedde wylle ye soone drawe, 50 And sone sicke ye wylle you than fayne, And swere faste your lady hath you slawe, And brought you sudeynly so high a payne That fro your deth may no man you restrayne, With a daungerous loke of her eyen two, That to your dethe muste ye nedes go.

Thus wylle ye morne, thus wylle ye sighe sore, As though your herte anon in two wolde breste, And swere faste that ye may live no more; "Myne owne lady! that might, if ye leste, 60 Bringe myn herte somdele into reste, As if you lyst mercy on me to have ;" Thus your untrouth wyl ever mercy crave.

Thus wol ye playne, thogh ye nothyng smerte, These innocent creatures for to begyle, And swere to hem, so wounded is your herte For her love, that ye may lyve no whyle, Scarsly so longe as one mighte go a mile, So hyeth dethe to bringe you to an ende, 69 But if your soverayn lady lyst you to amende.

And if for routhe she comforte you in anj wyse

For pyte of your false othes sere,
So that innocent weneth that it be as you devyse
And weneth your herte be as she may here,
Thus for to comfort and somwhat do you
chere;

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