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This book is DUE on iast date stamped below 

Mi? 1962 

yS SEFl tii' 



^ertp ^otictp. 









V. \8 





Sin ^llcprical Porm, 






Council, 1845-6. 


THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Treas. S.A. 

J. O. HALLIWELL, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 
T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F S.A. 
W. J. THOMS, Esq. F.S.A. 

THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., V.>iS, Secretary 
and Treasurer. 


Stephen Hawes, the author of the following 
poem, was, according to the information gathered 
by Warton, a native of Suffolk, and studied in 
the University of Oxford, after which he travelled 
much in France, and "became a complete master 
of the French and Italian poetry." He subse- 
quently obtained the favour of King Henry VII, 
who made him groom of his privy chamber. To 
Warton''s information, we are at present able only 
to add, that it appears from a book of the expenses 
of the 12th Henry VIII, among the records in the 
Rolls House, that the following payment was made 
to our author on the 6th of January in that year : 
the play referred to is now perhaps lost. 

" Item, to Mr. Hawse, for his play, vj''- xiij*- iiij''-" 

Hawes was the author of several other works 
besides the one here printed, for an account of 
which we refer the reader to " Warton's History 
of English Poetry." They are in general of very 
little importance. " The Pastime of Pleasure," 
which AVarton characterises as his " capital work," 

is one of those allegorical writings which were 
popular with our forefathers, but which can now 
only be looked upon as monuments of the bad 
taste of a bad age. It is however a monument ; 
and being one of the most remarkable productions 
between the age of Lydgate and that of Wyatt 
and Surrey, it deserves to be reprinted as one of 
the links in the history of English poetry, without 
which that history would be incomplete. The old 
editions of this poem are very rare. 

The present edition is a reprint of that of 1555, 
of which there is a copy in the British Museum. 
In two passages the language is so gross in the 
original, that it has been considered necessary to 
omit a few lines. These relate chiefly to the 
denouement of a tale which was extremely popu- 
lar in the Middle Ages, and which will be found 
told with somewhat more decency in the common 
chap-book story of the enchanter Virgil. It has 
been thought sufficient to print the simple text of 
this poem, without illustrative notes. From the 
nature of the work, the choice lay between giving 
a large mass of explanatory matter, or none at all, 
and the circumstances under which it has been 
published placed the former alternative entirely 
out of the question. 

T. W. 

The History of 



Conteynyng the Knowledge of the Seven Sciences, and the 
Course of Mans Life in this Worlde. 

Invented by STEPHEN HAWES, 

Grome of Kyng Henry the Seventh his chamber. 

Anno Domini 



1 . Howe Graunde Amoure walked in a medowc, and mot 

with Fame envyroned with tongues of fyre . . 4 

2. Of the swete report of Fame of the faj're lady La Bell 

Pucell, in the tower of Musike . . .11 

3. Howe Fame departed from Graunde Amoure, and left 

him Governaunce and Grace, and how he went to the 
tower of Doctrine .... 

4. Howe he was let in by Countcnaunce, the portresse, and 
of the marveylous buildyng of the same tower 

.5. How Science sent him first to Gramer, where he was 
receyved by dame Congruitie . 

6. Howe he was receyved of Logyke 

7. Howe he was receyved of Rethoryke, and what retho 

ryke is . 

8. Of the first part, called Invencion, and a commendacion 

of poetes ..... 

9. A replication against ignoraunt persones 

10. Of Disposition, the ii. parte of rethorike 

11. Of Elocution, the thirde part of rethoryke, with colour 

yng of sentences . . , , 







12. Of Pronunciation, the iiii. part of rethoryke . . .47 

13. Of Memory, the v. part of rethorike . . .50 

14. A commendation of Gower, Chaucer, and Lydgate . 52 

15. Of Arsmetrike . . . . . .56 

16. Of Musike: mundain, humayn, and instrumental . 58 

17. Howe Graunde Amoure was enamoured of La Bell 

Pucell in the tower of Musike, and met with Counsayle 

in a temple . . , . . .64 

18. Of the dolorous and lowly disputacion betwene La Bell 
Pucell and Graunde Amoure . . . .77 

19. Howe La Bell Pucell graunted Graunde Amoure love, 

and of her dispiteous departage . . .87 

20. Of the great sorowe that Graunde Amour made after her 

departyng, and of the wordes of Counsayl . . 93 

21. Howe Graunde Amoure went to Geometry, and what 

geometry is . . . ... .99 

22. Of dame Astronomic . . . . .103 

23. Of the direct operation of nature . . 106 

24. Of the fyve internall wyttes . . , .108 

25. Of the hye influences of the supernall bodies . .112 

26. Howe Graunde Amoure departed from the tower of Sci- 

ence, and went to the tower of Chivalry, where he 
was let in by Fortytude . . . .114 

27. Of the marveylous argument betwene Mars and Fortune 1 1 7 

28. Howe Minerve Icdde Graunde Amoure to kyng Mely- 

zyus, whiche made hym knyght . 127 


29. Howe he departed from kynge Melyzyus, with his 

grayhoundes and Attendauiice his varlet, and met 
with False Rejjorte, that chaunged his name to God- 
frey Gobilyve , . . . . .134 

30. Howe Graund Amoure in the temple of Venus made his 

supplication . . . . . .144 

31. The copy of a letter that Venus sent to La Bell Pucell. 150 

32. Howe Godfrey Gobilive was taken of Correction and 

punyshed ...... 156 

33. Howe Graunde Amoure disconfited the gyant with thro 

heads, and was received hi iii. ladies . . .161 

34. Howe he met with Perceveraunce, and reposed hym in 

the manour place of dame Comfort . . .170 

35. Howe he vainquyshed a gyaunt with seven heades, and 

was received of vi. ladyes . . . .178 

36. How he made oblacyon to the godes Pallas and sayled 

over the tempestuous Hode . . . .185 

37. How he dj'scomfited the wonderfull monstre of the vii. 

mettalles made by enchauntment . . . 191 

38. How he was received of La Bell Pucell . . .195 

39. The mariage of Graund Amour and La Bell Pucell . 200 

40. How whan Graunde Amoure had lived longe wyth La 

Bell Pucell, he was an-ested by Aege, that brought unto 
him Polycy and Avaryce .... 202 

41. Howe he was arested by Deatli .... 203 

42. Howe Remembi'aunce made his epytaphy on his grave 205 

43. Howe Fame came into the ti'niple wyth burnyng tongues 

and other j^rays<» ..... 208 


44. Howe Tyme came into the temple in marvaylous se- 

militude, and of his replycation . . .212 

45. Howe Eternyte came into the temple, and of her vertu- 

ous Exhortacyon . . . . . .218 

46. The excusation of the auctour .... 220 

^ This boke, called the Pastime of Pleasure, was made and 
compyled by Stephen Hawes, one of the gromes of the most 
honorable chambre of our soverayne lorde Kynge Henry the 
Seventh, the xxi. yere of his most noble reyne ; chapitred and 
marked after the table here before sette. 



Ryght myglity prynce and redoubted soverayiie, 
Saylinge forth well in the shyppe of gi'ace. 
Over the waves of this lyfe uncertayne 
Ryght towarde heven to have dwellyng place, 
Grace dotlie you guyde in every doubtfull cace. 
Your governaunce dothe evermore eschewe 
The synne of slouthe, enemy to vertewe. 

Grace stereth well, the grace of God is grete, 

Whyche you hath brought to your ryall se, 

And in your ryght it hath you surely settc 

Above us all to have the sovcrayntie; 

Whose worthy power and regall dygnite. 

All our rancour and our debate gan ceace, 

Hath to us brought bothe welthe, reste and jjeace. 

Frome whorae descendeth by the ryglitfull lyne 
Noble prynce Henry, to succede the crowne; 
That in his youth doth so clerely shyne, 
In every vertue castinge the vyce adowne. 
He shall of fame attaine the hye renowne; 
No doubte but grace shal him well enclose, 
Whiche by true right sprange of the reed rose. 


Your noble grace and excellent highnes 
For to accepte I beseche right humbly 
Thys lytic boke, opprest wyth rudenes. 
Without rethorycke or coloure crafty; 
Nothinge I am experte in poetry, 
As the monke of Bury, floure of eloquence, 
Whiche was in the time of great excellence 

Of your predecessour, the v. kyng Henry, 
Unto whose grace he did present 
Ryght famous bokes of parfit memory, 
Of hys faynyng with termes eloquent; 
Whose fatall fictions are yet permanent. 
Grounded on reason, with cloudy fygures 
He cloked the trouth of all his scryptures. 

The lyght of trouth 1 lacke cunnying to cloke. 
To drawe a curtayne I dare not to presume, 
Nor hyde my matter with a misty smoke. 
My rudenes cunnying doth so sore consume: 
Yet as I may I shall blowe out a fume 
To hyde my mynde underneth a fable, 
By covert coloure well and probable. 

Besechying your grace to pardon myne ignoraunce, 
Whiche this fayned fable, to esdiue idlenes, 
Have so compyled nowe witliout doubtance. 
For to present to your hye worthynes. 
To folowe the trace and all the perfitenes 
Of my maister Lydgate with due exercise, 
Suche fiiyned tales I do fynde and devyse. 


For under a coloure a trutlie may aryse, 
As was the guyse in olde antiquitie, 
Of the poetes olde, a tale to surmyse, 
To cloke the truthe of their infirmitie, 
Or yet on joye to have mortalitie. 
I me excuse if by neglygence 
That I do oftende for lacke of science. 


CAP. I. 


When Phebus entred was in Geminy, 
Shynyng above in his fayre golden spere, 
And horned Dyane then but one degre 
In the Crabbe had entred fayre and cleare; 
"When that Aurora did well appeare 
In the depured ayre and cruddy firmament, 
Forth then I walked without impediment 

Into a medowe both gaye and glorious, 
Whiche Flora depainted with many a colour, 
Lyke a place of pleasure moste solacious, 
Encensyng out the aromatike odoure 
Of Zepherus breath, whiche that every floure 
Through his fume doth alwaye engender. 
So as I went among the flowres tender, 

By sodayne chaunce a fayre path I founde. 
On whiche I loked and ryght oft I mused, 
And then all about I behelde the grounde 
With the fayre path whiche I sawe so used. 
My chaunce or fortune I nothyng refused; 
But in the path forth I went apace, 
To knowe whether and unto what place 


It woulde me bryng by any similitude. 
So forth I went, were it ryght or wrong, 
Tyll that I sawe of royall pulchritude 
Before my face an ymage fayre and strong, 
With two fayre handes stretched out along 
Unto two hye wayes there in particion, 
And in the ryght hande was this description: 

This is the strayght waye of contemplacion 
Unto the joyfull tower perdurable: 
Who that will unto that mancion, 
He must forsake all thinges variable, 
With the vayne glory so muche deceivable, 
And though the way be hard and daungerous, 
The last ende therof shal be ryght precious. 

And in the other hande ryght fayre wrytten was, 
This is the way of worldly dignitie; 
Of the active life who wyll in it passe 
Unto the tower of fayre dame Beautye, 
Fame shall tell hym of the way of certaintie 
Unto La Bell Pucell, the fayre lady excellent, 
Above all other in cleare beauty splendent. 

I behelde ryght well bothe the wayes twayne, 

And mused oft whiche was best to take; 

The one was shai'pe, the other was more playue; 

And unto my selfe I began to make 

A sodayne argument, for I myght not slake 

Of my great musyng of this royall ymage, 

And of these two wayes so muche in usage. 


For this goodly picture was in altitude 
Nyne fote and more, of fayre marble stone, 
Ryght well favoured and of great altitude, 
Thougli it were made full many yeres agone. 
Thus stode I musynge my selfe all alone 
By right long tyme; at the last I went 
The active waye with all my whole entent. 

Thus all alone I began to travayle 

Forthe on my waye by long continuaunce; 

But often tymes I had great marvayle 

Of the by pathes so full of pleasaunce, 

Whiche for to take I had great doubtaunee; 

But evermore, as nere as I myght 

I toke the Avaye whiche went before me ryght. 

And at the last, when Phebus in the west 
Gan to avayle with all his beames mery. 
When cleare Dyana in the fayre south est 
Gan for to ryse, lightyng our emispery 
With clowdes cleare without the stormy pery, 
Me thought afarre I had a vysyon 
Of a picture of marveylous facion : 

To whiche I went without lenger delaye, 
Beholdyng well the ryght faire portrayture 
Made of fyne copper, shydyng faire and gaye, 
Full well truely accordyng to measure. 
And, as I thought, nyne fote of stature, 
Yet in the brest with letters fayre and blewe 
Was wrytten a sentence olde and true: 


This is the waye and the sytuacion 

Unto the toure of famous doctrine; 

Who that wil learne must be ruled by reason 

And with all his diligence he must enclyne 

Slouthe to eschue and for to determine, 

And set his hert to be intelligible ; 

To a willyng harte is nought impossible. 

Besyde the ymage I adowne me sette, 

After my laboure my selfe to repose, 

Tyll at the last with a gaspyng nette 

Sloutli my head caught with his whole purpose. 

It vayled not the bodye for to dispose 

Against the head, when it is applyed, 

The head must rule, it cannot be denied. 

Thus as I satte in a deadly slomber, 
Of a great home I harde a royal blast, 
With which I awoke, and had a great wonder 
From whence it came: it made me sore agast. 
I loked about; the nyght was wel nere past. 
And fayre golden Phebus in the morow graye 
With cloudes redde began to breake the daye. 

I ^ I sawe come ryding in a valey farre 
A goodly ladye, envyroned about 
With tongues of fyre as bright as any starre, 
That fyry flambes ensensed alway out, 
Whiche I behelde and was in great doubte; 
Her palfrey swyft renning as tlie winde, 
With two white grayhoundes that were nut behyiule. 


When that tliese grayhoundes had me so espied, 

With faunyng chere of great humilitie 

In goodly haste they fast unto me hyed; 

I mused why and wherfore it should be, 

But I welcomed them in every degre. 

They leaped oft and were of rae ryght fayne; 

I suffred them, and cheryslied them agayne. 

1'heir collers were of golde and of tyssue fine, 

Wherin their names appeared by scripture 

Of dyamondes that clerely do shyne: 

The letters were graven fayre and pure. 

To reade their names I did my busy cure; 

The one was Governaunce, the other named Grace; 

Then was I glad of all this sodayne cace. 

And then the lady, with fiery flambe 

Of brennying tongues, was in ray presence 

.Upon her palfrey, whiche had unto name 

Pegase the swyfte, so fayre in excellence, 

Whiche sometime longed with his preminence 

To kyng Percius the sonne of Jubiter, 

On whome he rode by the worlde so farre. 

To me she sayde, she marvelled muche why 

That her grayhoundes shewed me that favoure. 

What was my name she asked me truly? 

To whome I sayde it was La Graunde Amoure, 

Besechyng you to be to me succoure 

To the tower of Doctrine, and also me tell 

Your proper name and where you do dwell? 


My name, quod she, in all the worlde is knowen, 

I-clipped Fame in every region, 

For I my home in sundry wyse have blowen 

After the death of many a champion, 

And with my tongues have made aye menciou 

Of their great actes agayne to revive. 

In flaming tongues for to ahyde on lyve. 

It was the custome of an olde autiquitie, 
When the golden worlde had doniinacion. 
And nature, hyghe in her aucthoritie, 
More stronger had her operacion 
Then she had nowe in her digression, 
The people then dyd all their busye payne 
After their death in fame to lyve agayne. 

Recorde of Saturne, the first kyng of Crete, 
Whiche in his youth through his diligence 
Founde first plowyng of the landes swetej 
And after this, by his great sapience, 
For the comen profite and benevolence 
Of all metalles he made division 
One from another by good provision. 

And then also, as some poetes fayne. 

He found shotyng and drawyng of the bowe, 

Yet as of that I am nothyng certayne; 

But for his cunnynge, of hye degre and lowe 

He was well beloved, as I do well knowe; 

Through whose laboure and aye busy cure 

His fame shall lyve and shall ryght long endure. 


In whose tyme reigned also in Tliessayle, 
(A parte of Grece) the kyng Melizyus, 
That was ryght strong and fierce in battaile; 
By whose laboure, as the story sheweth us, 
He brake first horses wikle and rigorious, 
Teaching his men on them ryght well to lyde, 
And he hym selfe did fyrst the horse bestryde. 

Also Mynerve, the ryght hardy goddese 
In the same time of so hyghe renowne, 
Vainquished Pallas by her great worthynes, 
And first made barneys, to laye his pryde adowne: 
Whose great defence in every realme and towne 
Was spredde about for her hye chyvalrye, 
Whiche by her barneys wanne the victorye. 

Doth not remayne yet in remembraunce 
The famous actes of the noble Hercules, 
That so many monsters put to utteraunce 
By his great wisdome and hye prowes? 
As the recule of Troye beareth good witnes; 
That in his time he would no battayle take 
But for the wealth of the commens sake. 

Thus the whole myndes were ever fixt and set 

Of noble men in olde tyme to devyse 

Suche thynges as were to the comeyn profiet; 

For in that tyme suche was their goodly guyse. 

That after dethe theyr fame should aryse, 

For to endure and abyde in mynde, 

As yet in bokes we may them wry t ten fynde. 


O ye estates surinountynge in noblenesses 
Remember well the noble paynyms all, 
How by tlieyr labour they wanne the hyenessc 
Of worthy fame to raygne memoryall, 
And them applyed ever, in specyall, 
Thynges to practyse whiche should profyte be 
To the comyn welthe and their heyres in fee. 



And after thys, Fame gan to expresse 
Of jeoperdous way to the toure peryllous. 
And of the beaute and the semelynesse 
Of La Bel Pucell, so gaye and gloryous, 
That dwelled in the toure so marveylous; 
Unto whyche might come no maner of creature, 
But by great laboure and harde adventure. 

For by the way theyr lye in wayte 
Gyauntes great, dysfigured of nature, 
That all devoureth by theyr yll conceyte; 
Agaynst whose streingth there may no man endure, 
They are so huge and stroonge out of measure; 
Wyth many serpentes foule and odyous, 
In sundry lykenesse blacke and tedyous. 


But behynde tliem a great see there is, 

Beyonde whyche see there is a goodly lande 

Most full of fruyte replete wyth joye and blysse. 

Of lyght fyne golde appereth all the sande 

In this fayre realme, where the tower doth stand, 

Made all of golde, enameled aboute 

Wyth noble storyes whyche do appere wythout. 

In whyche dwelleth by great aucthorytie 

Of La Bell Pucell, whyche is so fayre and bryght, 

To whome in beaute no pere I can se; 

For lyke as Phebus above all sterres in lyght, 

Whan that he is in his spere aryght, 

Dothe excede wyth his beames cleare. 

So dothe her beaute above other appeare. 

She is bothe good, ay wyse and vertuous, 
And also dyscended of a noble lyne; 
Ryche, comly, ryght rneke, and bounteous; 
All maner vertues in her clerely shyne: 
No vyce of her may ryght longe domine. 
And I, dame Fame, in every nacyon 
Of her do make the same relacyon. 

Her swete reporte so my hert set on fyre 
Wyth brennyng love moost hot and fervent, 
That her to se I had greate desyre; 
Sayenge to Fame; O lady excellent, 
I have determyned in my judgement, 
For La Bell Pucell the most fayre lady 
To passe the waye of so greate jeopardy. 


You shall, ([uod Fame, obtayne the vyctory. 

If you wyl do as 1 shall you saye, 

And all my lesson retayne in memory. 

To the toure of Doctryne ye shall take your waye. 

You are now wythin a dayes journeye; 

Bothe these greyhoundes shal kepe you company: 

Loke that yon cheryshe them full gentely. 

And Countenance, the goodly portres, 
Shall let you in ful well and nobly, 
And also shewe you of the parfytenes 
Of all the seven scyences ryght notably. 
There in your mynde you may ententyfly 
Unto dame Doctryne gyve parfyte audyence, 
Whyche shall enforme you in every scyence. 

Farewell, she sayde, I maye not now abyde; 

"Walke on your waye, wyth all your hole delyght, 

To the toure of Doctrine at thys morowe tyde, 

Ye shall to morowe of it have a syght. 

Kepe on your waye now before you right, 

For I must hence to specyfy the dedes 

Of theyr worthynesse accordynge to theyr medes. 

And wyth that she dyd from me depart, 
Upon her stede swyfter than the wynde. 
Whan she was gone, full wofull was my herte ; 
Wyth inward trouble oppi-essed was my mynde. 
Yet were the greyhoundes left wyth me behynde, 
Whyche did me comforte in my great vyage 
To the toure of Docti'yne,with their fawnynge 



So forthe I went, tossynge on my brayne, 
Greatly musyng, over liyll and vale. 
The way was troublous, and ey nothing playne; 
Tyll at the laste I came to a dale, 
Beholdyng Phebus declinyng lowe and pale; 
With my grayhoundes, in the fayre twylight, 
I sate me downe for to rest me all nyght. 

Slouthe upon me so fast began to crepe. 
That of fyne force I downe me layed 
Upon an hyll with my greyhoundes to slepe. 
When I was downe, I thought me well apayed, 
And to my selfe these wordes then I sayde: 
Who will attaine sone to his journeys ende, 
To nouryshe slouthe he may not condiscende. 





Thus then T slept, tyl that Auroras hemes 
Gan for to spreade abovit the firmament. 
And the clere sunne with his golden stremes 
Began for to ryse fayre in the orient. 
Without Saturnus blacke encombrement, 
And the litle byrdes raakyng melodye 
Did me awake wyth their swete armony. 


I loked about, and sawe a craggy roche 

Farre in the west, neare to the element; 

And as I dyd then unto it approche, 

Upon the toppe I sawe refulgent 

The royall tower of Morall Document, 

Made of flue copper, with turrettes fayre and hye, 

Which against Phebus shone so marveylously ; 

That for the very perfect bryghtnes. 
What of the tower and of the cleare sunne, 
I coulde nothyng beholde the goodlines 
Of that palaice where as Doctrine did wonne; 
Tyll at the last, with mysty wyndes donne. 
The radiant bryghtnes of golden Phebus 
Auster gan cover with clowde tenebrus. 

Then to the tower I drewe nere and nere. 

And often mused of the great hyghnes 

Of the craggy rocke, whiche quadrant did appeare; 

But the fayre tower so muche of ryches 

Was all about sexangled doubtles, 

Gargeyld with grayhoundes and with many lyons, 

Made of fyne golde, with divers sundry dragons. 

The little turrets with ymages of golde 
About was set, whiche with the wynde aye moved. 
Wyth propre vices that I did well beholde. 
About the towers in sundry wyse they hoved, 
Wyth goodly pypes in their mouthes i-tuned, 
That with the wynde they pyped a daunce, 
I-ciipped Amour de la hault plesaunce. 




The toiire was great, and of marvelous wydnes, 
To whyclie there was no way to passe but one, 
Into the toure for to have an intres; 
A grece there was, y-chesyled all of stone 
Out of the rocke, on whiche men dyd gone 
Up to the toure; and in lykewise did I, 
Wyth bothe the greyhoundes in my company. 

Tyll that I came to a ryall gate, 
"Where I sawe stondynge the goodly portres, 
Whiche axed me from whence I came alate? 
To whome I gan in every thynge expresse 
All myne adventure, chaunce, and busynesse, 
And eke my name I tolde her every dell. 
"When she herde this, she lyked me ryght well. 

Her name, she sayd, was called Cour'^enaunce: 

Into the besy courte she dyd me then lede, 

"Where was a fountayne depured of plea:ance, 

A noble sprynge, a ryall conduyte hede, 

Made of fyne golde enameled with reed, 

And on t)ie toppe foure dragons blewe, and stoute 

Thys dulcet water in foure partyes dyd spout. 


Of whyche tliere flowed foure ryvers rjght clere, 
Sweter than Nysus or Ganges was theyr odoure, 
Tygrys or Eufrates unto tliem no pere. 
I dyd than taste the aroniatyke lycoure, 
Fragraunt of fume, swete as any floure, 
And in my mouthe it had a marveylous cent 
Of divers spyces; I knewe not what it ment. 

And after thys farther forth me brought 

Dame Countenaunce into a goodly hall: 

Of jasper stones it was wonderly wrought 

The wyndowes cleare, depured all of cry stall, 

And in the roufe on hye over all 

Of golde was made a ryght crafty vyne; 

In stede of grapes the rubies there did shyne. 

The flore was paved with berall clarified, 
With pillers made of stones precious, 
Like a place of pleasure so gayely glorified. 
It might be called a palaice glorious, 
So muche delectable and solacious. 
The hall was hanged, hye and circuler, 
With cloth of arras in the rychest maner, 

That treated v, 3II of a ful noble story. 
Of the doubty waye to the tower perillous; 
Howe a noble knyglit should wynne the victory 
Of many a serpen'^e fovvle and odious: 
And the first matter then appeared thus; 
Howe at a venture and by sodayne chaunce 
lie met with Fame by fortunes purveyaunce. 



Whiche did liym shewe of the famous pulcvitude 
Of La Bell Pucell so cleare in beauty, 
Excellyng all other in every similitude; 
Nature her favoured so muche in degree. 
When he heard this, with fervent amytie, , 
Accompanied with Grace and Governaunce, 
He toke his waye without encombraunce 

Unto the ryght famous tower of learnyng, 
And so fi'om thence unto the tower of chyvalry, 
Where he was made knight the noble kyng 
Called Melizeus, well and worthely; 
And furthermore it sheweth full notably 
Upon the arras imbrodred all of blewe, 
What was his name with letters all of Grewe. 

Thus with his verlet he toke on his waye 
To the perillous tower and sytuation, 
Metyng Folye, as he rode on his journey, 
Eyding on a mare by great illusion; 
After whom ensued fast Correction, 
And in her hande a strong knotted whippe; 
At every yarke she made hym for to skyppe. 

And then Correction brought La Graund Amour 
Unto the tower, whereas he myght well se 
Divers men makyng ryght great dolour, 
That defrauded women by their duplicitie; 
Yet before this in perfite certaintie, 
As the arras well did make relacion, 
In Venus temple be made his oblacion. 


After wliiche he mette an hjdeous gyaunt 
Havyng thre heades of marveylous kynde; 
With his great strokes he did liym daunt, 
Castyng hym downe under the lynde, 
With force and myght he did hym bynde, 
Strikyng of his heades then everychone, 
That of all thre heades he left not one. 

This terryble gyant yet had a brother, 

Whiche Graunde Amoure destroyed also. 

Having foure heades more then the other, 

That unto hym wrought mikel wo; 

But he slewe sone his mortall foe, 

Whiche was a great gyaunt with heades seven. 

To marveylous nowe for me to neven. 

Y'et moreover he put to utteraunce 

A venemous beast of sundry likenes, 

Of divers beastes of ryght great mischaunce 

Wherof the picture bare good wytnes; 

For by his power and his hye worthynes 

He did discomfyte the wonderous serpente 

Of the seven metals, made by enchauntmeut. 

And eke the clothe made demonstration 
Howe he wedded the great lady beauteous, 
La Bell Pucell, in her owne dominacion, 
After his labour and passage daungerous. 
With solemne joye and myrtlie melodious. 
This famous storye well pictured was 
In the fayre hall upon the arras. 

c 2 


The marshall ycclipped was dame Reason, 
And the yewres also Ohservaunce, 
The panter Plesaunce at every season; 
The good butler Curteis Continuaunce 
And the chefe coke was called Temperaunce, 
The lydy chamberlayne named Fidelitie, 
And the liye stewarde Liberalitie. 

There sate dame Doctrine, that lady gent, 
Whiche called me unto her presence, 
For to knowe al the whole entent 
Of my comyng unto her excellence. 
Madame, I sayde, to leai-n your science 
I am comen nowe me to applye. 
With all my cure and perfect study. 

And yet, also, I unto her then shewed 
My name and purpose wythout doublenes. 
For very greate joye than were endued 
Her cry stall eyes full of lowlenes, 
Whan that she knewe of very sykernesse. 
That I was he that should so attayne 
La Bell Pucell wyth my busy payne. 

And after thys I had ryght good chere; 

Of meate and drynke there was great plenty. 

Nothynge I wanted, were it chepe or dere. 

Thus was I served wyth dylycate dysshes deyntie; 

And after thys wyth all humylite 

I went to Doctryne, prayenge her good grace, 

For to assygne me my fyrst lernynge place. 


Seven dougliters, moost expert in eonnynge, 
Wythouten foly she had well engendred: 
As the seven Scyences in vertue so shynynge, 
At whose encreace there is great thankes rendred 
Unto the mother, as nothynge surreudred 
Her good name and her dulcet sounde, 
Whych did engendre theyr orygynall grounde. 

And fyrst to Grammer she forthe me sent, 
To whose request I dyd well obay; 
Wyth delygence forth on my way I went. 
Up to a chamber depaynted fay re and gay; 
And at the chambre in ryght ryche araye 
We were let in, by hygh auctoryte 
Of the ryght noble dame Congruyte. 

CAP. V. 


The lady Graraer, in all humbly wyse, 

Dyd me reeeyve into her goodly scoole; 

To whose doctrine I dyd me advertise 

For to attayne, in her artyke poole. 

Her gylted dewe, for to oppresse my doole; 

To whom I sayde that I wold gladly lerne 

Her noble eonnynge, .so that I niyght descerne 


What that it is, and why that it was made? 

To whych she answered than, in speciall, 

By cause that connynge shoulde not pale ne fade, 

Of every scyence it is original!, 

Whycli doth us tech ever in generall 

In all good ordre to speke directly, 

And for to wryte by true ortografy. 

Somtyme in Egypt reygned a noble kyng, 
Iclyped Evander, whych dyd well abounde 
In many vertues, especially in lernyng; 
Whych had a doughter, that by her study found 
To wryte true Latyn the fyrst parfyt ground. 
Whose goodly name, as her story sayes. 
Was called Carmentis in her livyng dayes. 

Thus in the tyme of olde antiquytie. 

The noble phylosophers, wy th theyr whole delyghte, 

■For the comon proufFyte of all humanite. 

Of the seven sciences for to knowe the ryght, 

They studied many a long wynters nyght, 

Eche after other theyr partes to expresse, 

Thys was theyr guyse to eschewe ydelnesse. 

The pomped carkes wyth foode dilicious 
They dyd not feed, but to theyr sustinaunce; 
They folowed not theyr fleshe so vycious. 
But ruled it by prudent governaunce; 
They were content alway wyth suffisaunce, 
They covey ted not no worldly treasure. 
For they knewe that it mygli| not endure. 


But novve a clayes the contrary is used: 

To Wynne the mony theyr studyes be all set. 

The commen profyt is often refused, 

For well is he that may the money get 

From his neyghbour wythout any let. 

They thynke nothynge they shall from it pas, 

Whan all that is shall be tourned to was. 

The bryttel fleshe, nourisher of vyces, 
Under the shadowe of evyll slogardy, 
Must need haunte the carnall delices; 
Whan that the brayne, by corrupt glotony, 
Up so downe is tourned than contrary. 
Frayle is the bodye to grete unhappynes, 
Whan that the head is full of dronkennes. 

So doo they now; for they nothyng prepence 
Howe cruell deth doth them sore ensue. 
They are so blynded in worldly necligence, 
That to theyr merite they wyll nothyng renew e 
The seven scyences, theyr slouth to eschewe; 
To an others profyt they take now no keepe, 
But to theyr owne, for to eate, drynke, and sleepe. 

And all thys dame Gramer told me every dele, 
To whom I herkened wyth all my diligence; 
And after thys she taught me ryght well 
Fyrst my Donet and then my accidence. 
I set my mynde wyth percyng influence 
To lerne her scyence, the fyrst famous arte, 
Eschewyng ydlenes and layeng all aparte. 


Madame, quod I, for as much as there be 

Eight partes of speche, I would knowe ryght fayne, 

What a noune substantive is in hys degre, 

And wherefore it is so called certayne? 

To whom she answered ryght gentely agayne, 

Sayeng alway that a nowne substantyve 

Might stand wythout helpe of an adjectyve. 

The Latyn worde whyche that is i*eferred 
Unto a thynge whych is subtancyall, 
For a nowne substantyve is wel averred, 
And wyth a gender is declynall; 
So all the eyght partes in generall 
Are Laten wordes, annexed properly 
To evei'y speche, for to speke formally. 

And gramer is the fyrst foundement 
Of every science to have construccyon: 
Who knewe gramer wythout impediment 
■ Shoulde perfytely have iutelleccion 
Of a lytterall cense and moralyzacion. 
To construe every thynge ententifly, 
The worde is gramer wel and ordinatly. 

By worde the world was made orygynally, 

The hye Kynge sayde, it was made incontinent; 

He dyd commaunde, al was made shortly. 

To the world the worde is sentencious judgemente. 

I marked well dame Gramers sentement, 

And of her than I dyd take my lycence, 

Goynge to Logyke wyth all my dylygence. 




So up I went unto a chambre bryghte, 
Where was wonte to be a rygbt fayre lady, 
Before wbome than, it was my hole delyght, 
I kneeled adowne ful well and mekely, 
Besechynge her to eustructe me shortely 
In her noble science, which is expedient 
For man to knowe in many an argmnent. 

You shall, quod she, my scyence wel lerne, 

In tyme and space, to your gret utilite; 

So that in lokynge you shal than decerne 

A frende from fo, and good from iniquyte : 

Ryght from wronge ye shall know in certainte. 

My scyence is all the yll to eschewe. 

And for to knowe the false from the trewe. 

Who wyll take payne to folowe the trace, 

In this wrecched woi'ld, of trouth and ryghtwysenes, 

In heven above he shal have dwellynge place. 

And who that walketh the waye of derkenes, 

Spendyng his tyme in worldly wretchednes, 

Amyddes the erth, in hel most horrible, 

He shall have payne nothyng extinguyssible. 


So by logyke is good perceyveraunce 

To devyde the good and the evyll asondre: 

It is alwaye at mannes pleasaunce 

To take the good and caste the evyll under. 

If God made hell, it is thereof no wonder, 

For to punyshe man that hadde intelligence, 

To knowe goode from yll by trewe experience. 

Logyke alwaye doth make probacion, 
Provyng the pro well from the contrary, 
In sondry wyse by argumentacion, 
Grounded on reason well and wonderly. 
Who understod all Logyke truely, 
Nothynge by reason myght be in pledynge, 
But he the trouth should have in knowlegyng. 

Her wyse doctryne I marked in memory, 
And toke my leve of her hye person, 
.Because that I myght no lenger tary. 
The yere was spent, and so ferre than gon. 
And of my lady yet syght had I none, 
Wliych was abydyng in the toure of Musyke: 
Wherfore anone I went to Rethoryke. 




Than above Logyke up we went a stayre, 

Into a chambre gayly glorified, 

Strowed wytli floures of all goodly ayre; 

Where sate a lady gretly magnified,, 

And her true vesture clerely purified, 

And over her head, that was bryght and shene. 

She had a garlande of the laurell grene. 

Her goodly chambre was set all about 
With depured myrrours of speculacion; 
The fragraunt fumes dyd well encense out 
All misty vapours of perturbacion. 
More lyker was her habitacyon 
Unto a place which is celestiall, 
Than to a certayne mancion fJUall. 

Before whom, than, I dyd knele adowne, 
Sayeng: O sterre of famous eloquence, 
O gylted goddesse of hyghe renowne, 
Enspyred wyth the hevenly influence 
Of the doulcet well of complacence, 
Upon my mynd, wyth dewe aromatyke, 
Distyll adowne thy lusty rethoryke. 


And depaynt my toiig wjth thy ryall floures 
Of delicate odoures, that I may easue 
In my purpose to glad myne audytours, 
And wyth thy power that thou me endue 
To moralise thy lytterall censes trewe, 
And dense away the myst of ygnoraunce 
With depured beames of goodly ordiuaunce. 

With humble eres of perfyt audience, 
To my request she dyd than enclyne; 
Sayeng she wolde in her goodly scyence 
In short space me so well indoctryne, 
That my dull mynde it shoulde enlumyne 
With golden beames, for ever to oppresse 
My rude language and all my semplenesse. 

I thanked her of her great gentylnes. 
And axed her, after, this question: 
Madame^ I sayde, I wolde knowe doubtles 
What rethoryke is, without abusion. 
Eethoryke, she sayde, was founde by reason, 
Man for to governe wel and prudently; 
His wordes to ordre, his speche to purify. 

Fyve partes hath Rethoryke, for to werke trewe. 
Without whiche fyve there can be no sentence. 
For these fyve do well evermore renue 
The matter parfyte with good intellygence. 
Who that will se them with all his dyligence, 
Here foloweng I shall them specify, 
Accordyug well all unto myne ordynary. 




The fyrste of them is called Invencion, 
Whiche surdeth of the most noble werke 
Of V. inward wittes with hole aiFeccion, 
As writeth right many a noble clerke, 
Wyth mysty colour of cloudes derke, 
How comyn wytte doothe full Avell electe 
What it shoulde take, and what it shall abjecte. 

And secondly, by yinaginacyon 

To di'awe a matter full facundious, 

Full mervaylus is the operacion, 

To make of nought, reason sentencious, 

Clokynge a trouthe wyth colour tenebrous; 

For often under a fayre fayned fable 

A trouthe appereth gretely profitable. 

It was the guyse in old antiquyte, 
Of famous poets ryght ymaginatife. 
Fables to fayne by good auctorite; 
They were so wyse and so inventife, 
Theyr obscure reason, fayre and sugratife, 
Pronounced trouthe under cloudy figures, 
By the inventyon of theyr fatall scriptures. 


And thyrdly, they hadde suche a fontasy, 

In this hyghe arte to be intelligible, 

Theyr fame encresynge evermore truely, 

To slouth ever they were invincible: 

To theyr wofull hertes was nought impossible; 

Wyth brennynge love of insaciate fyre 

Newe thynges to fynde they set theyr desyre. 

For though a man of his proper mynde 

Be inventife, and he do not apply 

His fantasye unto the besy kynde, 

Of hys connynge it maye not ratifye; 

For fantasye must nedes exemplify 

Hys new invencion, and cause hym to entende 

Wyth hole desyre to brynge it to an ende. 

And fourtely, by good estimacion 

He must nombre al the hole cyrcumstaunce 

Of thys mater wyth brevyacion, 

That he walke not by longe continaunce 

The perambulat waye, full of all variaunce. 

By estimacion is made annunciate 

Whether the mater be long or brevyate. 

For to invention it is equipolent, 

The mater founde ryght well to.comprehende 

In suche a space as is convenient; 

For properly it doth ever pretende 

Of all the purpose the length to extender 

So estimacion maye ryght well conclude 

The parfyte nombre of every similitude. 


And yet, than, the retentyfe memory, 
Whyche is the fifte, must ever agregate 
All maters thought to retayne inwardly, 
Tyll reason therof hath made a brobate, 
And by scripture wyll make demonstrate 
Outwardly accordynge to tlie thought, 
To prove a reason upon a thyng of nought. 

Thus, whan the fourth hath wrought full Avonderly, 

Then must the mynde werke upon them all. 

By cours ingenious to rynne dyrectly 

After theyr thoughtes, than in generall 

The mynde must cause them to be memoriall; 

As after this shall appere more openly, 

All hole exprest by dame Phylosophy. 

O thrust of vertue and of ryall pleasure 

Of famous poetes many yeres ago! 

insaciate covetyse of the speciall treasure 

Of new invencion, of ydelnes the foo! 

We may you laude, and often prayse also, 

And specially for worthy causes thre, 

Whiche to thys daye we may both here and se. 

As to the fyrst, your hole desyre was set 
Fables to fayne to eschewe ydlenes, 
Wyth amplyacion more connyng to get, 
By the laboure of inventyfe busynes, 
Touchynge the trouthe by covert lykenes 
To dysnull vyce and the vycious to blame; 
Your dedes therto exeniplifyde the same. 


And secondly, ryglit well you dyd endyte 
Of the worthy actes of many a conquerour; 
Through whych labour that you dyd so wryte 
Unto this day reygneth the honour 
Of every noble and myghty warriour, 
And for your labour and your busy payne 
Your fame yet lyveth, and shall endure certayne. 

And eke to prayse you we are gretely bounde, 
Because our connyng from you so procedeth, 
For you therof were fyrst originall ground, 
And upon your scripture our science ensueth. 
Your splendent verses our lyghtnes renueth; 
And so we ought to laude and magnify 
Your excellent spi'inges of famous poetry. 



But rude people, opprest with blyndnes, 
Agaynst your fables wyll often solisgyse, 
Suche is theyr mynde, such is theyr folyshnes; 
For they beleve in no maner of wyse 
That under a colour a troutli may aryse. 
For folysh people, blynded in a matter, 
Will often erre whan they of it do clatter. 


O all ye cursed and sucli evyll fooes, 

Whose syglites be blynded over all wytli foly, 

Open your eyes in the pleasaunt schooles 

Of periit connyng, or that you reply 

Agaynst fables for to be contrary; 

For lacke of connyng no mervayle though you erre, 

In suche science, whych is from you so fer. 

For now the people, whych is dull and rude, 
If that you rede a fatall scripture, 
And can not moralyse the semilitude 
Whych to theyr wyttes is so hard and obscure, 
Than wyll they say that it is sene in ure 
That nought do poetes but depaynt and lye, 
Deceyvyng them by tongues of flatery. 

But what for that? they can not defame 

The poetes actes, whych are in eftecte; 

Unto them selfe remayneth the shame 

To dysprayse that whych they can not correcte; 

And yf that they had in it inspecte, 

Thau they would it prayse, and often elevate 

For it should be to them so delicate. 


CAP. X. 


The second parte of crafty Rethoryke 
Maye well be called Disposicion, 
That doth so hyglie mater aromatyke 
Adowne dystyll by consolacion; 
As olde poetes make demonstracion 
That Mercury, through his preeminence, 
Hys natives endeth wyth famous eloquence. 

By veray reason it maye ryght well appere, 
That divers persons in sundry wyse delyght; 
Theyr consolacions doth contrary so steere 
That many myndes maye not agree aryglit. 
Such is the pianettes of theyr course and myght. 
But what for that? be it good or yll, 
Them for to folowe it is at mannes fre wyl. 

And dysposicion, the true seconde parte 
Of rethorike, doth evermore dyrecte 
The maters founde of this noble arte, 
Gyvyng them place after the aspect, 
And of tyme it hath the inspect. 
As from a fayre parfit narracion, 
Or els by stedfast argumentacion. 


The whych was constitute by begynnyng, 
As on the reason, and if apparaunce 
Of the cause than by outwarde semyng 
Be hard and difficulte in the utteraunce, 
So as the mynde have no perceyveraunce, 
Nor of the beginnyng can have audience, 
Than must nai-racion begynne the sentence. 

And if it be a lytic probable, 

From any maner stedfast argument, 

We ordre it for to be ryght stable, 

And than we never begyn our sentement, 

Recityng letters not convenient, 

But thys commutacion shoulde be refused, 

Wythoiit cause or thynge make it be used. 

Thys that I wryte is harde and covert 
To them that have nothynge intelligence ; 
Up so downe they make oft transvert. 
Or that they can knowe, they experience 
Of thys craft and facundious science, 
By dysposicion the rethorician 
To make lawes ordinatly began. 

Wythout disposicion none ordre gan be, 
For the disposicion ordreth every matter, 
And gyveth the place after the degre: 
Wythout ordre, wythout reason we clatter. 
Where is no reason it vayleth not to chatter. 
Disposicion ordreth a tale directly, 
In a perfit reason, to conclude trucly. 



The fatall problemes of olde antiquyte, 
Cloked wyth myst and wyth cloudes derke, 
Ordred wytli reason and hye auctorite, 
The trouth dyd shewe of all theyr covert werke. 
Thus have they made many a noble clerke. 
To dysnull myschefe and inconvenyence, 
They made our lawes wyth grete diligence. 

Before the lawe, in a tumblyng barge 
The people sayled, wythout parfitnes, 
Throughe the worlde all about at large; 
They hadde none ordre nor no stedfastnes, 
Tyll rethoricians founde justyce doubtles, 
Ordeynyng kynges, of ryght hye dygnite, 
Of all comyns to have the soverainte ; 

The barge to stere, wyth lawe and j ustice, 
Over the waves of thys lyfe transitory, 
To direct wronges, and also prejudice. 
And tho that wyl resyst a contrarye 
Agaynst theyr kynge, by justice openly, 
For theyr rebellion and evyll treason. 
Shall suffer death by ryght and reason. 

O what laude, glory, and greate honoure, 
Unto these poetes shall be notefyed. 
The whiche dystylled aromatyke lycoure 
Clensynge our syght wyth ordre puryfyed ; 
Whose famous draughtes so exemjjlyfyed 
Set us in ordre, grace, and governaunce. 
To lyve dyrectly, without encombraunce. 


But many one, the which e is rude and dull, 
Wyll dyspice theyr warke for lacke of connynge: 
All in vaine they do so hayle and pull, 
Whan they thei'of lacke understandinge, 
They grope over where is no felynge; 
So dull they are, that they can not fynde 
This ryall arte for to pei"ceyve in mynde. 



And than the iii. parte is Elocusyon, 

"Whan Invencion hath the purpose wrought, 

And set it in ordre by Disposicion. 

Without this thyrde parte it vayleth ryght nought, 

Though it be founde and in ordre brought. 

Yet Elocusion with the powre of Mercuiy, 

The mater exorneth right well facundyously 

In fewe wordes, swete and sentencious, 

Depaynted with golde harde in construction. 

To the artyke eres swete and dylycious 

The golden rethoryke is good refeccion, 

And to the reder ryght consolacion; 

As we do golde frome copper purifye 

So that Elocucyon doth ryght well claryfy. 

4 D D h <1 


The dulcet speclie from the langage rude, 
Tellynge tlie tale in termes eloquent, 
The barbarj tongue it doth ferre exclude, 
Electynge wordes whiclie are expedjent, 
In Latyn or in Englyshe, after the entent 
Encensyng out the aromatyke fume, 
Our langage rude to exyle and consume. 

But what avayleth evermore to sowe 

The precyous stones amonge gruntynge hogges ? 

Draffe unto them is more meter I trowe. 

Let an hare and swyne be amonge curre dogges; 

Though to the hares were tyed grete clogges. 

The gentyll beast they wyll regarde nothyng, 

But to the swyne take course of rennyng. 

To cloke the sentence under mysty figures. 
By many colours as I make relacyon, 
As the olde poetes covered theyr scryptures, 
Of which the fyrste is dystrybucyon ; 
That to the evyll, for theyr abusyon. 
Doth gyve payne, and, to the worthy, 
Laude and prayse, them for to magnyfy. 

Of beste or byrd they take a symylytude 
Of the condycyon lyke to the party, 
Feble, fay re, or yet of forty tude; 
And under colour of this beste, pryvely 
The morall sense they cloke full subtyly, 
In prayse or dysprayse, as it is reasonable : 
Of whose faynyng fyrst rose the fable. 


Conckulyng reason gretely profitable; 
Who that theyr fables can well moralyse, 
The fruytfull sentences are delectable, 
Though that the ficcion they doo so devyse 
Under the colour the trouth doth aryse, 
Concludyng reason, rychesse, and connyng, 
Pleasure, example, and also lernyng. 

They fayned no fable without reason, 
For reasonable is al theyr moralitie, 
And upon reason was theyr conclusion, 
That the comon wyt, by possibilitie, 
Maye well a judge the perfyt veritie 
Of theyr sentence for reason openly 
To the comon wyt it doth so notify. 

Theyr fruitfull sentence was grete rychesse, 
The whych ryght surely they myght well domyne. 
For lordshyp, welth, and also noblesse. 
The chaunce of fortune can some deterrayne. 
But what for this? she can not declyne 
The noble science, whiche, after poverte, 
Maye bryng a man agayne to dignitie. 

Theyr sentence is connyng, as appereth well. 
For by conning theyr arte doth engendre, 
And wythout connyng we knowe never a dele, 
Of theyr sentence, but may sone surrendre 
A true tale, that myght to us rendre 
Grete pleasure, if we were intelligible 
Of theyr connyng nothyng impossible. 


O what pleasure to the intelligent 
It is to knowe and have percejveraunce 
Of tlieyr connyng, so much expedient, 
And therof to have good utteraunce! 
Redyng newe thynges of so grete pleasaunce, 
Fedyng the mynd wyth foode insaciate, 
The tales newe they are so delicate. 

In an example, with a mysty cloud 
Of covert lykenesse, the poetes do wryte; 
And underneth the trouth doth so shroude, 
Both good and yll, as they lyst acquyte, 
With similitude they dyd so well endyte. 
As I here after shall the ti'outh sone shew, 
Of all theyr mysty and theyr fatall dewe. 

The poetes fayne how that kyng Athlas 
Heaven should here upon his shoulders hye; 
Because in connyng he dyd all other pas, 
Especially in the hygh astronomye: 
Of the vi. pianettes he knewe so perfytly 
The operacions, how they were domified; 
For Avhych poetes hym so exemplyfied. 

And in lyke wyse, unto the Sagittary 
They feyne the Centures to be of lykenesse, 
As halfe man and halfe horse truely; 
Because Mylyzyus wyth hys worthynesse 
Dyd fyrst attame and breke the wyldenes 
Of the riall stedes, and ryght swyftly 
Hys men and he rode on them surely. 


And also Pluto, somtyiae kynge of hell; 
A cyte of Grece, standyng in Thessayle, 
Betwene grete rockes, as the boke doth tell, 
Wherin were people wythout any fayle, 
Huge, fyerse, and strong in battayle, 
Tyrauntes, theves, replete with treason; 
Wherfore poetes, by true comparison, 

Unto the devylles, blacke and tedious, 

Dyd them resemble, in terrible fygure, 

For theyr mysselyvyng so foule and vycyous, 

As to thys daye it doth appere in ure 

Of Cerebus the defloured pycture. 

The porter of hell, wyth thre heades ugly, 

Lyke an horrible gyaunt fyrce and wonderly: 

Because alway hys customed tyranny 

Was elevate in herte by hygh presumpcion, 

Thynkyng hym selfe most strong and myghty; 

And secondly, he was destruction 

Of many ladies by yll compulcion; 

And thyrdly, his desyre insaciable 

"Was to get ryches full innumerable. 

Thus, for these thre vyces abhominable 
They made hym wyth thre hedes serpentyne. 
And like a feend his body semblable, 
For his pryde, avaryce, and also rapyne. 
The morall cense can soone enlumyne 
The fatall pycture to be exuberaunt, 
And to our syglit clere, and not variaunte. 


Also I'ehersed the ci-onicles of Spayne, 
How redoubted Hercules by puyssaunce 
Fought with an ydre, ryght grete certayne, 
Having seven heades of full grete myschaunce; 
For whan that he wyth all hys valiaunce 
Had stryken of an head, ryght shortly, 
Another anon arose ryght sodaynly. 

Seven sophyms full hard and fallacyous 

Thys ydre used in preposicion 

Unto the people, and was full rigorious 

To devoure them, where lacked responsion; 

And whan one reason had conclusion, 

Another reason than incontinent 

Began agayne wyth subtyll argument. 

For whych cause the poetes covertly 
With vii. heades doth thys ydre depaynt, 
For these vii. sophyms full ryght closely; 
But of rude people the wyttes are so faynt, 
That wyth theyr connyng they can not acquaynt, 
But who that lyst theyr scyence to lerne, 
Their obscure fygures he shall well decerne. 

O redolent well of famous poetry, 

O clere fountayne replete wyth swetenes, 

Reflerynge out the dulcet delicacy 

Of iiii. ryvers in mervaylous wydenesse, 

Fayrer than Tygrys or yet Eufrates; 

For the fyrst ryver is Understandyng ; 

The seconde ryver Close-concluding; 


The thyrd lyver is called Noveliy; 
The fourth ryver is called Carbuncles, 
Amyddes of whom the toure is so goodly 
Of Vyrgyll standeth, most solacious, 
Where he is entered in stones precious; 
By thys fixyre toure, in a goodly grene, 
Thys well doth spryng both bryght and sheen. 

To understandyng these iiii. accident: 

Doctryne, perceyveraunce, and exercyse. 

And also therto is equypolent 

Evermore the perfyt practysc, 

For fyrst doctryne in all goodly wyse 

The perceyveraunt trow the in hys bote of wyll 

In understandyng for to knowe good from yll. 

So famous poetes did us endoctrine 
Of the ryght way for to be intellectyfe; 
Theyr fables they dyd ryght so ymagyne, 
That by example we may voyde the stryfe, 
And wythout myschefe for to lede our lyfe, 
By the advertence of theyr storyes olde, 
The fruit wherof we may full well beholde 

Depaynted on aras, how in antiquitie, 

Dystroyed was the grete citie of Troye, 

For a lytell cause, grounded on vanitie, 

To mortall ruyn they tourned theyr joy e. 

Theyr understandyng they dyd than occupy, 

Nothyng prepensyng how they dyd prepare 

To scourge them selfe and bryng them in a snare. 


Who is opprest with a lytell wrong, 
Revengyng it he may it soone encrease; 
For better it is for to suffer among 
An injury, as for to keepe the peace, 
Than to begyne whych he shall never cease. 
Warre ones begon, it is hard to know 
Who shall abyde and who shall overthrowe. 

The hygh power, honour, and noblenes, 

Of the myghty Romaynes, to whose excellence 

All the wyde worlde so niuche of gretenes 

Unto theyr empyre was in obedience, 

Suche was theyr famous porte and preemynence, 

Tyll within themselfe there was a contraversy 

Makyng them lese theyr worthy sygneoury. 

It is ever the grounde of sapience, 

Before that thou accomplysh outwardly, 

For to revolve understandyng and prepence 

All in thy selfe full often inwardly^ 

The begynnyng and the myddle certaynly 

Wyth the ende, or thou put it in ure. 

And werke wyth councell that thou mayst be sure. 

And who that so doth shall never repent, . 
For his dede is founded on a perfyt grounde, 
And for to fall it hath none impediment, 
Wyth surenes it is so hygh-walled rounde. 
In welth and ryches it must needes habound, 
On every syde it hath suche ordinaunce 
That nothynge can do it anoyaunce. 


Thus the poetes conclude full closely 
Their fruitful! problemes for reformacion, 
To make us lerne to lyve directly, 
Theyr good entent and true construccion, 
Shewyng to us the whole aiFeccion 
Of the way of vertue, welth, and stablenes, 
And to shut the gate of myschevous entres. 

And evermore they are ymaginatyfe, 
Tales newe from daye to daye to fayne, 
The erryng people, that are retractif, 
As to the ryght way to bryng them agaync: 
And who that lyst their sentence retayne, 
It shall hym prouffyt yf he wyll apply 
To doo therafter ful conveniently. 

Carbunctes in the most derke nyght 

Dothe shyne fayre wyth clere radiant beames, 

Exylyng dei'kenes wyth his rayes lyght; 

And so these poetes, with theyr golden streames, 

Devoyde our rudenes wyth grete fyry lemes; 

Theyr centencious verses are refulgent 

Encensyng out the odour redolent. 

And is theyr worke also extynguyshible? 
Nay, truely, for it doth shyne ryght cleere 
Thrugh cloudes derke unto the odyble, 
To whom truely it may nothyng appeere 
"Where connyng fayleth, the scyence so deere 
Ignoraunce hateth wyth fervent envy, 
And unto connyng is mortall ennemy. 


O ygnoraunce, wyth slouth so opprest, 

Open thj curtayne, so ryght dymme and derke, 

And evermore remembre the behest 

Of thy labour to understande thy werke, 

Of many a noble and ryght famous clerke. 

Fy upon slouth, the nourysher of vyce, 

Whych unto youth doth often prejudice. 

Who in youth lyst nothyng to lerne, 
He wyl repent hym often in hys age, 
That he the connynge can nothynge decerne; 
Therfore now youth, with lusty courage, 
Rule thy fleshe and thy slouth aswage, 
And in thy youth the scyence engender 
That in thyne age it may the worship render. 

Connyng is lyght and also pleasaunt, 
A gentyll burden wythout grevousnes, 
, Unto hym that is ryght well applyaunt 
For to here it wyth al his besenes; 
He shal attaste the well of frutefulnes, 
Which Vyrgyl claryfied, and also Tullyus, 
Wyth Latyn pure, swete, and delicyous. 

From wheuse my mayster Lydgate veryfyde 
The depured rethoryke in Englysh language; 
To make our tongue so clerely pui-yfyed, 
That the vyle termes should nothing arage 
As like a pye to chatter in a cage, 
But for to speke wyth rethoryke formally. 
In the good order, wythouten vylany. 


And who his bokes lyst to here or se, 
In them he shall fynd elocucyon, 
With as good order as any may be, 
Kepyng ful close the moralyzacyon 
Of the trouth of his great intencyon, 
Whose name is regestred in remembraunce 
For to endure by longe contynuannce. 

Nowe after this, for to make relacyon 
Of famous rethoryke so in this party. 
As to the fourth part, Pronouncyacyon, 
I shal it shew anone ryght openly, 
Wyth many braunches of it sykerly; 
And how it taketh the hole effect 
In every place, degre, and aspecte. 



Whan the matter is founde by invencyon. 

Be it mery or yet of grete sadnes, 

Sette in a place by the disposycyon, 

And by elocucyons famous clerenes 

Exornate well and redy to expres. 

Then pronouncyacyon, wyth chcre and countenance, 

Convenyently must make the utteraunce. 


Wyth humble voyce and also moderate, 
Accordynge as by liym is audyence, 
And if there be a ryght hye estate, 
Then under honour and obedyence 
Reasonably done unto his excellence, 
Pronouncyng his matter so facundious, 
In all due maner to be centencyous. 

For though a matter be never so good, 
Yf it be tolde wyth tongue of barbary, 
In rude maner w3'tliout the discrete mode. 
It is distourbance to a hole company 
For to se them so rude and boystously 
Demeane them selfe, utterynge the sentence 
Wythout good maner or yet intellygehce. 

It is a thinge ryght greatly convenable 

To pronounce the matter as it is convenient, 

And to the herers ryght delectable. 

Whan the utterer, wythout impediment, 

Wyth ryght good maner, countenaunce, and entent 

Dothe his tale unto tliem tretably, 

Kepynge his maner and voyce full moderately. 

This is the costome that the poetes use, 
To tel theyr tale with al due circumstance, 
The vylayne courage they do much refuse 
That is boystous and rude of governaunce, 
And evermore they do to them avaunce 
Nurture, maner, and al gentylnes. 
In their behavyng wyth all semelynes. 


And thus the geiityl rethoricyan, 
Through the labour of his ryal clergy, 
The famous nurture originally began 
Oppressynge our rudenes and our foly, 
And for to governe us ryglit prudently, 
The good maner encreaseth dignitie, 
And the rudenes also iniquitie. 

The famous poete who so lyst to here, 
To tell this tale it is solacyous, 
Beholdyng hys maners and also hys chere 
After the maner be it sad or joyous. 
Yf it be sad, his chere is dolorus, 
As in bewaylyng a woful tragedy 
That vrorthy is to be in memory. 

And if the matter bejoyfuU and glad, 
Lyke countenaunce outwardly they make; 
But moderacyon in theyr myndes is had. 
So that outrage may them not overtake. 
I can not wryte to muche for theyr sake, 
Them to laude, for my tyme is shorte 
And the matter longe which I must reporte. 




And the v. parte is than memoratyfe, 
The whiche the perfyte mynystracyon 
Ordinately causeth to be retentyfe, 
Dryving the tale to good conclusyon; 
For it behoveth to have respeccycn 
Unto the tale, and the veray grounde 
And on what ymage he his matter found. 

If to the oratour many a sundry tale, 
One after other, treatably be tolde. 
Than sundry ymages in his closed male 
Eche for a mater he doth than well holde, 
Lyke to the tale he doth than so beholde, 
And inwarde a recapitulacyon, 
Of eche ymage the moralazacyon. 

Whiche be the tales he grounded pryvely 
Upon these ymages significacyon. 
And whan tyme is for him to specify 
All his tales by demonstracion, 
In due order, maner and reason. 
Than eche ymage inwarde dyrectly 
The oratour doth take full properly. 


So is enprynted in his propre myiule 
Every tale wyth hole resemblaunce. 
By this ymage he doth his mater fynde, 
Eche after other wythouten varyaunce. 
Who to this arte wyl gyve attendaunce, 
As therof to knowe the perfytenes, 
In the poetes scole he must have intres. 

Than shal he knowe, by perfyte study, 
The memorial arte of rethoryke defuse, 
It shal to him so wel exemplefy. 
If that him lyst, the scyence to use; 
Though at the fyrste it be to hym obtuse, 
With exercyse he shal it well augment, 
Under cloudes derke and termes eloquent. 

But nowadayes the synne of avaryce 
Exyleth the mynde and the hole delyght. 
To coveyt connyng, which is gret prejudice, 
For insacyatly so blynded is theyr syght 
Wyth the sylver and the golde so bryght. 
They nothing thynke on fortune varable, 
Whyche al theyr ryches shal make transmutable. 

The olde sawes they ryght clene abject, 
Whych for our lernyng the poetes dyd wryte; 
With avaryce they arose so sore infect. 
They take no hede nothyng they wryte, 
Whyche morally dyd so nobly endyte, 
Reprovyng vyce, praysyng the vertue, 
Whiche idelnes dyd evei'more eschewe. 

E 2 


Nowe wyl I cease of lusty rethoryke; 

I may not tary, for my tyme is short; 

For I must procede, and shew of Arismetrik 

With divers nombres which I must reporte. 

Hope inwardly doth me wel comforte, 

To brynge my boke unto a fynyshment, 

Of al my matter and my true entent. 



O THOUGHTFUL hei'tc, tomblcd all aboute 
Upon the se of stormy ignoraunce, 
For to sayle forthe thou arte in grete doute, 
Over the waves of grete encombraunce; 
"Wythout ony comforte, saufe of esperaunce, 
Whiche the exhorteth hardely to sayle 
Unto thy purpose wyth diligent travayle. 

Afrycus, Auster bloweth frowardly, 

Towarde the lande and habitacyon 

Of thy wel faverde and moost fayre lady, 

For whose sake and delectacyon 

Thou hast take this occupacyon, 

Principally ryght well to attayne 

Her swete rewarde for thy besy payne. 


O pensyfe lierte, in the stormy pery 
Mercury northwest thou mayst se apperc, 
After tempest to ghid thyne emespery; 
Hoyse up thy sayle, for thou must drawe nere 
Towarde the ende of thy purpose so clere, 
Remembre the of the trace and daunce 
Of poetes olde Avyth all the purveyaunce. 

As morall Gower, whose sentencyous dewe 
Adowne I'eflayreth with fayre golden hemes, 
And after Chancers all abrode doth shewe, 
Our vyces to dense; his depared stremes 
Kyndlynge our hertes wyth the fyry lemes 
Of moral vei'tue, as is probable 
In all hys bokes so swete and profytable. 

The boke of fame, which is sentencyous, 

He drewe hym selfe on hys own invencyon; 

And than the tragidyes so pytous 

Of the xix. ladyes, was his translacyon; 

And upon hys ymaginacyon 

He made also the tales of Caunterbury; 

Some vertuous, and some glad and mery. 

And of Troylus the pytous dolour 
For his lady Cresyde, full of doublenes, 
He did bewayle ful well the langoure. 
Of all hys love and grete unhappines. 
And many other bokes doubtles 
He dyd compyle, whose godly name 
In printed bokes doth remaync in fame. 


Anclj after him, my mayster Lydgate, 
The monke of Bury, dyd hym wel apply 
Both to contryve and eke to translate; 
And of vertue ever in especyally, 
For he dyd compyle than full nyally 
Of our blessed lady the conversacion, 
Saint Edmunde's life martred with treson. 

Of the fall of prynces, ryght wofully 

Pie did endyte in all piteous wyse, 

Folowynge his auctoure Bocas rufully; 

A ryght greate boke he did truly compryse, 

A good ensample for us to dispyse 

This worlde, so ful of mutabilyte, 

In whiche no man can have a certente. 

And thre reasons ryght greatly profytable 
Under coloure he cloked craftely; 
And of the chorle he made the fable 
That shutte the byrde in a cage so closely, 
The pamflete sheweth it espressely; 
He fayned also the courte of Sapyence, 
And translated wyth al his dylygence 

The grete boke of the last destruccyon 
Of the cyte of Troye, whylome so famous, 
How for woman was the confusyon ; 
And betweue vertue and the lyfe vycyous 
Of goddes and goddes, a boke solacyous 
He did compyle, and the tyme to passe. 
Of love he made the bryght temple of glasse. 


"Were not these thre gretly to commende, 
Whyclie them applyed such bokes to contiyve, 
Whose famous di-aughtes no man can amende? 
The synne of slouth they dyd from them dry ve, 
After theyr death for to abyde on lyve 
In worthy fame by many a nacyon, 
Their bokes theyr actes do make relacyon. 

mayster Lydgate, the most dulcet sprynge 
Of famous rethoryke, wyth balade ryall, 
The chefe orygynal of my lernyng, 

What vayleth it on you for to call 
Me for to ayde, now in especiall; 
Sythen your body is now wrapte in chest, 

1 pray God to gyve your soule good rest. 

O what losse is it of suche a one ! 

It is to grete truely me for to tell; 

Sythen the tyme that his lyfe was gone, 

In al this realme his pere did not dwell; 

Above al other he did so excell, 

None sith his time in arte wolde succede, 

After their death to have fame for their mede. 

But many a one is ryght well experte 

In this connyng, but upon auctoryte. 

They fayne no fables pleasaunt and covert, 

But spende theyr time in vaynful vanyte, 

Makynge balades of fervent amyte. 

As gestes and tryfles wythout frutefulnes; 

Thus al in vayne they spende their besynes. 


I, lytell or nought expert in poetry, 
Of my mayster Lydgate wyll folowe the trace, 
As evermore so his name to magnyfy 
Wyth suche lytle bokes, by Goddes grace. 
If in this worlde I may have the space; 
The lytell connyng that his grace me sente 
In tyme amonge in suche wyse shall be spente. 

And yet nothinge upon presumpcyon 

My mayster Lydgate I wyll not envy, 

But all onely is mine entencyon 

With suche labour my selfe to occupy; 

As whyte by blacke doth shyne more clerely, 

So shal theyr matters appeare more pleasaunt 

Besyde my draughtes rude and ignoraunt. 



Now in my boke ferder to precede; 

To a chambre I went, replete wyth rychesse. 

Where sat Arysmatryke in a golden wede, 

Lyke a lady pure and of great worthynes. 

The walles about dyd full well expres, 

AVith golde depaynted, every perfyte nombre, 

To adde, detraye, and to devyde asonder. 


The rofc was paynted Avitli golden beames, 
The wyndowes cristall clerely claryfyde, 
The golden rayes and depured streames 
Of radyant Phebus that was puryfyde 
Right in the Bull, that tyme so domysyde, 
Through window es was resplendyshaunt 
About the chambre fayre and radyauut. 

I kneled downe I'ight soone on my kne, 
And to her I sayd: O lady raarveylous, 
I right humbly beseche your majeste 
Your arte to shewe me so facundyous, 
Whyche is defuse and right fallacyous; 
But I shall so apply myne exercyse, 
That the vary trouth I shall well devyse. 

My scyence, said she, is right necessary, 
And in the myddes of the scyences all 
It is now sette right well and parfytely; 
For unto them it is so specyall, 
Nombrynge so theyr werkes in generall, 
Wythout me they had no parfytenes, 
I must them nombre alwayes doubteles. 

Without nombre is no maner of thynge. 
That in our sight we may well se; 
For God made all the begynnynge 
In nombre perfyte well in certaynte, 
Who knewe arsmetryke in every degre, 
All maner nombre in his minde were had, 
Bothe to detraye and to devyde and adde. 


But wlio wyl knowe all the experience, 

It behoveth hym to have great lei-njnge 

In many thinges, wyth true intelligence, 

Or that he can have perfyte rekeuynge 

In every nombre by expert connynge. 

To reherse in Englysshe more of this science, 

It were foly and the great neclygence. 

I thought fuU longe, till I had a syght 

Of La Bell Pucell, the most fayi-e ladye; 

My minde upon her was bothe day and nyght, 

The fervent love so perst me inwardly, 

Wherfore I went anone right shortly 

Unto the toure swete and melodyous, 

Of dame Musyke so gaye and gloryous. 



Whan splendent Phebus, in his midday spere, 

Was hyght in Gemine in the fresshe season 

Of lusty Maye, with golden beanies clere, 

And derke Diane made declynacion; 

Whan Flora florisshed in this nacion, 

I called to mynde right inwardly 

The reporte of Fame so muche ententifly 


Of La Bell Piicell in the toure musycall, 
And lyglit anonc unto the toure I went; 
Where I sawe a temple made of christal, 
In whiche Musyke, the lady excellent, 
Played on base organs expedient, 
Accordyng well unto dyopason, 
Dyapenthe, and eke dyetesseron. 

In this temple was great solempnyte, 

And of muche people there was great prease; 

I loked about whether I coude se 

La Bell Pucell, my langour to cease; 

I coude not se her; my payne dyd encrease, 

Tyl that I spyed her above, in a vaute, 

Whiche to my hert did make so sore assaute, 

Wyth her beaute clere and swete countenaunce. 

The stroke of love I coulde nothyuge resyste: 

And anone, wythout lenger cyrcumstaunce, 

To her I wente, or that her person wyste; 

Her thought I knewe not, she thought as she lyst; 

By her I stode, with herte sore and faynte, 

And dyd ray selfe wyth her sone acquaynt. 

The comyn wyt dyd full lytell regarde 
Of dame Musyke the dulcet armony; 
The eres herde not, for the mynde inwarde 
Venus had rapte and taken fervently: 
Imaginacion wrought full prively. 
The fantasy gave perfyte jugement 
Alway to her for to be obedyent. 


By estyraacion muche doubtfully I cast 
"Whether I should by long tyme and space 
Atteyne her, or els to love in wast. 
My herte sobbed and quaked in this case; 
I stode by her ryght nere in the place, 
Wyth many other fayre ladyes also, 
But so fayre as she 1 never sawe no mo. 

The feste done, dame Musyke dyd go; 

She folowed after, and she wolde not tary. 

Fare well, she sayde, for I must parte you fro. 

Alas! thought I, that fortune doth so vary; 

My sadde body my hevy hert did cary; 

I coude not speke, my herte was nere broken, 

But wyth my head I made her a token. 

Whan she was gone, inwardly than wrought 
Upon her beaute my mynde retentyfe; 
Her goodly fygure I graved in my thought; 
Except her selfe all were expulcyfe; 
My mynde to her was so ententyfe, 
That I folowed her into a temple ferre, 
Replete wyth joy, as bryght as any sterre; 

Where dulcet Flora her aromatyke dewe 
In the ftiyre temple adowne dyd dystyll. 
All abrode the fayre dropes dyd shewe, 
Encensynge out all the vapours yll; 
With suche a swetenes Flora dyd fulfyll 
All the temple, that my gowne Avell shewed 
The lycoure swete of the droppes endewed. 


And so to a chambre full solacyous 

Dame IMusyke wente wyth La Bell Pucell; 

All of jasper, wyth stones precyous, 

The rofe was wrought, curyously and well ; 

The wyndowes glased marvaylously to tell. 

With cloth of tyssue in the rychest maner 

The walles were hanged hye and cyrculer. 

There sat dame Musyke, with all her mynstrasy; 
As tabours, trumpettes, with pipes melodious, 
Sakbuttes, organs, and the recorder swetely, 
Harpes, lutes, and crouddes ryght delycyous; 
Cymphans, doussemers, wyth claricimbales glorious. 
Rebeckes, clarycordes, eche in theyr degre, 
Dyd sytte aboute theyr ladyes mageste. 

Before dame Musike I dyd knele adowne, 

Saying to her : fayre lady plesaunt, 

Your prudence reyneth most hye in renowne. 

For you be ever ryght concordant 

With perfyte reason, whiche is not variaunt; 

I beseche your grace, with all my diligence, 

To instructe me in your noble science. 

It is, she sayde, right gretely profRtable; 
For musike doth sette in all unyte 
The discorde thynges whiche are variable 
And devoydeth myschiefe and greate iniquite. 
Where lacketh musyke there is no pleynte; 
For musyke is Concorde and also peace, 
Nothyng without musyke may well encrcace. 


The vii. scyences in one monacorde, 
Eche upon other do full well depende; 
Musyke hath them so set in concorde, 
That all in one may right well extende. 
All perfite reason they do so comprehende, 
That theyr waye and perfite doctryne 
To the joye above, whiche is celestine. 

And yet also the perfite physyke, 

Which appertayneth well to the body, 

Doth well resemble unto the musyke, 

Whan the inwarde intrayles tourneth contrary. 

That nature can not worke dyrectly; 

Then doth physike the partes interiall 

In ordre set to their originall. 

But yet physyke can not be lyberall 
As the vii. science by good auctorite, 
Which ledeth the soule the way in specyall 
By good doctrine to dame Eternite; 
Onely of phisike it is the properte 
To ayde the body in every sekenes, 
That is right frayle and full of bryttilnes. 

And because phisyke is appendaunt 
Unto the body by helpe of medecyne. 
And to the soule nothing approtenaunt, 
To cause the body for to enclyne 
In eternal helth so the soule to domyne. 
For to the body the science seven 
Doth teche to lede the soule to heven. 


And musike selfe is melodious 

To rejoyce the yeres and comfort the brayne, 

Sharping the wittes with sounde solacious, 

Devoydyng bad thoughtes whiche dyd remaync, 

It gladdeth the herte also Avell certayne; 

Lengthe the lyfe with dulcet armony, 

As is good recreacion after study. 

She commaunded her mynstrelles right anone to play 
Mamours the swete and the gentill daunce; 
With La Bell Pucell, that was fayre and gaye, 
She me recommaunded, with all pleasaunce, 
To daunce true mesures without varyaunce. 

Lorde God! how glad than was I, 
So for to daunce with my swete lady. 

By her propre hande, soft as any sylke, 
With due obeysaunce I dyd her then take; 
Her skynne was white as whales bone or mylke. 
My thought was ravysshed, I might not aslake 
My brennynge hert, she the fyre dyd make; 
These daunces truely musyke hath me tought 
To lute or daunce, but it aA^ayleth nought: 

For the fyre kyndled, and waxed more and more, 
The dauncynge blewe it, wyth her beaute clere, 
My hert sekened and began to waxe sore; 
A mynute vi. houres, and vi. houres a yere 

1 thought it was, so hevy was my chere; 
But yet for cover my great love aryght. 

The outwarde countenaunce I made glad and light. 


And for fere myne eyes should my hert bewray, 
I toke my leva and to a temple wente, 
And all alone I to my selfe dyd saye: 
Alas! what fortune hath me hyther sente, 
To devoyde my joye and my hert torment; 
No man can tell.howe great payne it is, 
But yf he wyll fele it, as I do ywys. 

Alas! O lady, how cruell arte thou, 

Of pyteous doloure for to buylde a nest 

In my true hert, as thou dost ryght nowe ! 

Yet of all ladyes I must love the best; 

Thy beaute therto dyd me sure arest. 

Alas, wyth love, whan that it doth the please, 

Thou mayest cease my care and my payhe sone ease. 

Alas! how sore maye I nowe bewayle 

The pyteous chaunce whyche did me happe; 

My ladyes lokes dyd me so assayle. 

That sodaynly my herte was in a trap 

By Venus caught, and wyth so sore a clap, 

That through the greate stroke did perse: 

Alas for wo I could not reverse! 

Farewel all joye and al perfyte pleasure! 
Fare wel my luste and my lykynge! 
For wo is comen wyth me to endure; 
Now must I lede my lyfe in mornynge; 
I may not lute, or yet daunce or synge! 
O! La Bel Pucel, my lady glorious; 
You are the cause that I am so dolorous. 


Alas! fayre lady, and myne owne swete herte, 
Wyth my servyce I yelde me to your wyll, 
You have me fettered; I may not asterte; 
At your pleasure ye may me save or kyll; 
Bicause I love you, wyl you me spyl ? 
Alas ! it were a pyteous case in dede, 
That you wyth deth should rewarde my mede. 

A, a! that I am ryght wo bygone, 

For I of love dare not to you speke, 

For feare of nay, that may encrease my mone; 

A nay of you mygln cause my hei'te to breke. 

Alas ! I wretche and yet unhappy peke 

Into suche trouble, misery, and thought: 

With sight of you I am into it brought. 

And to my selfe as I made complainte, 
I espyed a man ryght nere me beforne, 
"Wliyche right anone dyd wyth me acquaynt. 
Me thynke, he sayde, that ye are nere forlorne, 
"Wyth inwarde payne that your heart hath borne. 
Be not to pensyfe; call to mynde agayne 
How of one soroAve ye do now make twayne. 

Myne inwarde sorowe ye begyn to double; 
Go your waye, quod I, for ye can not me ayde. 
Tell me, he sayde, the cause of my trouble, 
And of my wo be nothynge afrayde. 
Me thynke that sorowe hath you overlayde: 
Dryve of no lenger, but tell me your mynde, 
It may me happe a remedy to fyndc. 


A, a! quod I, it vayleth not your speclie, 
I wyll wytli you iievei' have medlynge. 
Let me alone, the most vinhappy wretche 
Of all the wretches that is yet lyvynge. 
Suche is the chaunce of my bewaylyng; 
Go on your waye, you are nothyng the better 
To me to speke to make the sorowe gretur. 

Forsoth, he sayd, remembre thynges thre; 
The fyrst is, that ye may sorowe longe 
Unto your selfe or that ye ayeded be: 
And secondly, in great paynes stronge, 
To muse alone it myght turne you to wronge: 
The thyrde is, it myght you wel ease truely 
To tel your mynde to a frende ryght trusty. 

It is a jewel of a frende of trust, 

As at your nede to tell your secretenes 

Of all your payne and fervent lust. 

His counseyle soone may helpe and redres 

Your payneful wo and mortall heavynes; 

Alone is nought for to thynke and muse, 

Therfore, good sonne,do me not refuse. 

And syth that you are plunged all in thought. 
Beware the pyt of dolorus dispayre; 
So to complayne it vayleth you ryght nought. 
It may so fortune ye love a lady fayre, 
Whych to love you wyl nothyng repayre; 
Or els ye have lost great londe or substaunce, 
By fatall chaunge of fortunes ordinaunce. 


Tell me the cause, though that it be so, 
In cause you love I knowe it by experience, 
It is a payne engendryng great wo, 
And hai'd it is for to make resystencc 
Agaynst suche love of fervent vyolencc. 
The love is dredefuU, but nevertheles 
There is no sore nor yet no sykenes, 

But there is a salve and remedy therfore; 
So for your payne and your sorowe great 
Councell is medicine, which may you restore 
Unto your desyre wythout any let, 
Yf ye wyll tell me where your herte is set. 
In the chayre of sorowe no great doubt it is 
To fynde a remedy for your payne^ ywys. 

A physycyen, truely, can lyttel descerne 
Ony maner sekenes wythout syght of uryne; 
No more can I by good councell you lerne 
All suche wofull trouble for to determyne. 
But yf you mekely wyl to rae enclyne, 
To tell the cause of your gi'eat hevynesse, 
Of your inwarde trouble and woful sadnes. 

Than I began with all my diligence 
To here him speke so grounded on reason. 
And in my minde did make advertence. 
Howe it was holsome, in tribulation, 
To save a good and a trewe companion; 
For to know my sorow and woful grefe. 
It myght me comforte and ryght wel relefe. 



And of him, than, I asked this question: 
What was his name I prayd him to tel ? 
Counseyl, quod he; the which solueion 
In my woful mynde whiche I like ryght wel. 
And pryvely I did his lesson spel, 
Sayeng to him, my chance and desteny 
Of al other is the moste unhappy. 

Why so? quod he; though fortune be straunge, 
To you a whyle turnyng of her face, 
Her louring chere she may ryght sone chaunge, 
And you excepte and cal unto her grace. 
Dyspayre you not, for in good tyme and space 
Nothynge there is but wysdom may it wynne, 
To tell your mynde I praye you to begynne. 

Unto you, quod I, wyth al my hole assent 
I wyl tell you trouth, and you wyl not bewray 
Unto none other my mater and entent. 
Nay, nay, quod he, you shall not se that day; 
Your hole alFyaunce and trust ye well ye may 
Into me put, for I shall not vary, 
But kepe your counsell as a secretary. 

And than to hym, in the maner folowynge, 
I did complayne, wyth syghing teres depe: 
Alas! quod I, you shall have knowledgyng 
Of my hevy chaunce that causeth me to wepe; 
So wo I am, that I can never slepe, 
But walowe and tumble in the trappe of care; 
My heart was caught or that I was ware. 


It happened so that in a temple olde, 
By the toiu'e of Musyke at great solemnyte, 
La Bell Pucell I dyd ryght well beholde, 
Whose beaute clere and great humilite 
To my heart dyd cast the darte of amyte; 
After whyche stroke so harde and farvent, 
To her excellence I came incontinent. 

Beholdyng her chere and lovely countenaunce, 
Her garmentes ryche and her propre stature, 
I regestered well in my remembraunce 
That I never sawe so fayre a creature, 
So well favoured create by nature; 
That harde it is for to wryte wyth yncke 
All the beaute.. or any hert to thynke. 

Fayrer she was than was quene Elyne, 
Proserpyne, Cresyde, or yet Ypolyte, 
Medea, Dydo, or yonge Polexyne, 
Alcumena, or quene Menelape; 
Or yet dame Rosamunde; in certaynte, 
None of all these can have the premynence. 

Durynge the feest I stode her nere by. 

But than hir beaute encreased my payne; 

I coude nothyng resyst the contrary; 

She wrapt my lierte in a brennyng chayne. 

To the musycall toure she went than agayne; 

I wente after, I roude not behynde. 

The chayne she haled whych my heart dyd bynde. 


Tyl that we came into a chamber gaye, 
Where that Musyke, wyth all her minstralsy, 
Dy vers base daunces moost svvetely dyd playe, 
That them to here it was great melody; 
And dame Musyke commaunded curteysly 
La Bell Pucell wyth me than to daunce, 
Whome that I toke wyth all my pleasaunce 

By her swete honde, begynnyng the trace, 

And longe dyd daunce tyl that I myght not hyde 

The payufull love whyche dyd my heart embrace; 

Bycause wherof I toke my leve that tyde, 

And to thys temple where I do abyde 

Forthe than I went, alone to bewayle 

My mortall sorowe wythout any fayle. 

Now have I tolde you all the veray trouthe 
Of my wofull chaunce aud great unhappynesse. 
■ I praye you nothyng wyth me to be wrothe, 
Whyche am drouned in carefull wrethchednesse, 
By fortune plunged ful of doublenes, 
A, a! said Counseyle, doubte ye never a dele, 
But your disease I shal by wysdome hele. 

Remember yet, that never yet was he, 
That in this worlde dyd lede all his lyfe 
In joy e and pleasure, wythout adversyte; 
No worldely thyng can be wythout stryfe. 
For unto pleasure payne is affyrmatyfe. 
Who wyll have pleasure he must fyrst apply 
To take the payne wyth hys cure besely. 


To serve the joye wliych after death ensue, 
Kewardyng payne for the great businesse, 
No doubte your lady wyl upon you rue, 
Seing you apply all your gentylnes 
To do her pleasure and servyce doubtles. 
Harde is the heart that no love hath felt. 
Nor for to love wyl than encline and melt. 

Remember ye that in olde antiquyte 

Howe worthy Troylus, that mighty champion, 

What paine he suiFered by great extremyte 

Of fervent love, by a great longe ceason, 

For his lady Cresyde, by great tribulacyon. 

After his sorowe had not he great joye 

Of hys lady, the fayrest of all Troye? 

And the famous knyght yclepped Ponthus, 
Whych loved Sydoyne so muche entyerly, 
What payne had he and what care dolorus 
For his lady wyth love so marvaylously. 
Was not her heart wounded ryght wofully? 
After hys payne his ladie dyd her cure. 
To do him joye, honoure, and pleasure. 

Who was wyth love more wofully arayed, 
Than were these twayne, and many other mo? 
The power of love hath them so asayde. 
That, and I lyst, I coude now reherse also 
To whom true love hath wi'ought mykel wo, 
And at the ende have had their desyre, 
Of al their sorow for to quenche the fyre. 


Languysshe no more, but plucke up tliyne lierte, 
Exyle dyspayre, and live a whyle in hope; 
And kepe your love all close and coverte; 
It may so fortune that your lady grope 
Somwhat of love for to dryuke a slope; 
Though outwardly she dare not let you know, 
But at the last, as I beleve and trowe, 

She can not kepe it so prively and close, 
But that somwhat to you it shal appere, 
By countenaunce, how that her love arose. 
If that she love you, the love is so dere, 
"Whan you come to her she wyl make you chere 
With countenaunce, accordyng unto love, 
Full pryvely for to come to her above. 

Sendyng of love the messanger before, 
Which is her eyes, with lovely lokes swete, 
For to beholde you than ever more and more, 
After the tyme that you together mete. 
With lovyng wordes she wyl you, than grete. 
Sorow no more, for I tliynke in my mynde 
That at the last she wyl be good and kynd. 

Alas! quod I, she is of bye degre. 

Borne to great land, treasure, and substaunce: 

I fere to sore I shal disdayned be. 

The whych wyl trouble al my grevaunce. 

Her beaute is the cause of my penaunce: 

I have no great lande, treasure, nor ryches. 

To Wynne the favour of her noblenes. 


What thoughe? quod he, draw you not abacke, 

For she hath inough in her possession 

For you botli; for you shal never lacke 

If that ye order it by good reason; 

And so, in perfite consyderacyon, 

She wyll wyth love her grene flouryng age 

Passe forth in joye, pleasure, and courage. 

Youth is alway of the course ryght lyglit, 
Hote, and moyste, and full of lustines, 
Moost of the ayre it is ruled by ryght, 
And her complexion hatli chefe intres 
Upon sanguyn, the ayres holsomnes. 
She is not yet in al above xviii. yere; 
Of tender age, to pleasure most dere. 

Golde, or sylver, in any maner of wyse^ 
For sanguyne youth it is al contrary; 
So for to coveyte for it, doth aryse 
Onely engendred upon the melancoly, 
Whych is drye, colde, and also ertliely, 
In which the golde is truely nutryfyde, 
Ferre frome the ayre so clerely purifyed. 

Thus covetyse shal nothyng surmount 
Your yonge ladyes herte; but onely nature 
Shal in her niynde make her to account 
The great losse of youth, her specyal treasure. 
She knoweth she is a ryght fayre creature, 
No double it is but ye pryvely anionge. 
So hye is nature wyth his werkes stronge. 


That she of force the mannes company 
Must well conveyte; for she may not resyste 
Dame natures werke, which is so secretely. 
Thoughe she be mayde, let her say what she lyst, 
She Avolde have man, though do man it wyst 
To make her joye whan nature doth agre, 
Her thought is hers, it is unto her fre. 

Who spareth to speke he spareth to spede; 
I shall provyde for you convenyent 
A gentyl tyme for to attayne your mede, 
That you shall go to your lady excellent; 
And ryght before take good advysement 
Of all the matter that ye wyl her shewe, 
Upon good reason and in wordes fewe. 

Thus past we tyme in communicacyon, 

The after none wyth many a sentement, 

And what for love was best conclusyon 

We demed oft and gave judgement; 

Tyll that in the even was refulgent 

Fayre golden Mercury, wyth hys bemes bryght, 

About the ayre castinge his pured lyght. 

Then to a chambre swete and precyous, 
Councell me ledde, for to take my reste. 
The night was wete, and also tenebrous; 
But I my selfe, with sorowe opprest, 
Dyd often muse what was for me best 
Unto my fayre lady for to tell or saye, 
And all my drede was for fere of a naye. 


Though that my bedde was easy and softe, 
Yet dyd I tomble, I inyght not lye sty 11; 
On every syde I tourned me ful ofte, 
Upon tlie love I had so set my wyll, 
Longynge ryght sore my mynde to fulfyll, 
I called Counseyle, and prayed liym to awake 
To gjve me counseyle what were best to take. 

Ha, ha! quod he, love doth you so prycke, 

That yet your heart will nothynge be eased, 

But evermore be feble and sycke, 

Tyll that your lady hath it well appesed; 

Thoughe ye thynke longe, yet ye shall be plesed. 

I wolde, quod I, that it were as ye say. 

Fye, fye, quod he, dryve suche dyspayre away. 

And lyve in hope, whych shall do you good. 

Joy cometh after, whan the payne is past. 

Be ye pacyent and sobre in mode; 

To wepe and wayle all is for you in wast: 

Was never payne, but it had joye at last. 

In the fayre morrow, ryse and make you I'edy, 

At ix. at the clocke, the time is necessary 

For us to walke unto your lady gent; 
The bodj-es above be than well domysyde 
To helpe us forwarde without ympedimcnt. 
Loke what ye saye; loke it be deryfyde 
Frome perfyt reason well exemplyfyde; 
Forsake her not, thoughe that she say naye, 
A womans guyse is evermore to delaye. 


No castell can be of so great a strength, 
If that there be a sure syege to it layde, 
It must yelde up or els be vvonne at length, 
Though that tofore it hath bene louge delayde. 
So continuance may you ryght wel ayde. 
Some womans lierte can not so harded be, 
But besy labour may make it agre. 

Labour and dylygence is full mervaylus, 
Whych bryngeth a lover to his promocyon. 
Nothyng to love is more desyrous 
Than instant labour and delectacyon: 
The harded harte it geveth occasyon 
For to consider how that her servaunt 
To obtayne her love is so attendaunt. 

Thus al in comonyng we the nyght did passe, 
Tyll in the ayre wyth clowdes fayre and red 
Rysyn was Phebus, shynyng in the glasse, 
In the chamber his golden rayes were spred, 
And Dyane derlyng pale as any leade, 
Wlian the lytic byrdes swetely dyd syng 
With tunes musicall in the fayre mornyng. 




CouNCELL and I than rose ful quickely 
And made us redy on her way to walke, 
In our clenly wede apparayled properly. 
What I wolde saye I dyd unto hym talke, 
Tyl on his boke he began to calke 
How the Sonne entred was in Gemyne; 
And eke Dyane, ful of uiutabilite, 

Entred the Crab, her propre mancyon, 
Than ryght amyddes of the Dragons hed; 
And Venus and she made conjuncyon. 
Frome the combust way she had her so sped, 
She had no let that was to be dredde, 
The assured ayre was depaynted clere 
With golden beames of fay re Phebus spere. 

Than forth so went good Counsell and I, 
At vi. a clocke, unto a garden fayre; 
By Musykes toure walked most goodly, 
Where La Bell Pucell used to repayre 
In the swete mornyng for to take the ayre 
Among the floures of aromatyke fume, 
The rnysty ayre to exyle and consume. 


And at the gate we met the portresse, 
That was right gentill, and called Curtejsy, 
Whych salved us wyth wordes of mekenesse, 
And axed us the veraye cause and why 
Of our comynge to the gardeine sothel ? 
Truly, saide we, for nothyng but well, 
A lytel to speke with La Bell Pucell. 

Truly, quod she, in the garden grene 

Of many a swete and sundry floure 

She maketh a garlonde that is veray shene ; 

Wyth true loves wrought in many a coloure, 

Replete with swetenes and dulcet odoure; 

And all alone, vvythout company, 

Amyddes an herber she sitteth plesauntly. 

Nowe stande you styl for a lytle space, 
I wyll let her of you have knowledgynge. 
And ryght anone she went to her grace, 
Tellyng her than how we were comynge. 
To speke wyth her gretly desyrynge. 
Truly, she sayd, I am right well content 
Of theyr comyng to know the liole entent. 

Then good Curteysy, wythout taryenge. 
Came unto us wyth all her diligence, 
Prayeng us to take our entryng 
And come unto the ladies precence. 
To tell your erande to her excellence. 
Than in we wente to the garden gloryous, 
Lyke to a place of pleasure most solacyous. 


Wyth Floi'a paynted and wrought cnryou.slj, 
In divers knottes of marvaylous gretenes; 
Eampande lyons stode up wondersly, 
Made all of licrbes with dulcet swetenes, 
Wytli many dragons of marvaylos likenes, 
Of dyvers floures made ful craftely, 
By Flora couloured wyth colours sundry. 

Amiddes the garden so moche delectable 

There was an herber fayre and quadrante, 

To paradyse right well comparable, 

Set all about with flours fragraunt; 

And in the myddle there was resplendyshaunte 

A dulcet spring and marvaylous fountaine, 

Of golde and asure made all certaine. 

; In wonderfull and curious similitude 
There stode a dragon, of fyne golde so pure, 
Upon his tayle of myghty fortitude. 
Wretched and skaled al wyth asure, 
Havyng thre hedes divers in fygure, 
Whych in a bathe of the sylver grette 
Spouted the water that was so dulcette. 

Besyde whiche fountayne, the moost fayre lady 

La Bel Pucel was gayly syttyng; 

Of many floui-es fayre and ryally 

A goodly chaplet she was in makynge. 

Her heer was downe so clerely shynynge, 

Lyke to the golde late purifyed with fyre, 

Her heer was bryght as the drawne wyre. 


Lyke to a lady for to be moost trewe, 
She ware a fayre and goodly garment, 
Of most fyne velvet, al of Indy blewe, 
Wytli armynes powdred bordred at the vent. 
On her fayre handes, as was convenient, 
A payre of gloves ryght sclender and softe. 
In approchyng nere I did beholde her oft. 

And whan that I came before her presence, 

Unto the ground I dyd knele adowne; 

Sayeng: O lady! moost fayre of excellence, 

O stere so clere of vertuous renowne! 

Whose beaute fayre in every realme and towne, 

Indued wyth grace and also wyth goodnes, 

Dame Fame the her selfe doth evermore expresse. 

Please it your grace for to gyve audyence 
Unto my wofull and pitous complaynte; 
How fervent love, wythout resystence, 
My careful herte hath made low and faynte, 
And you therof are the hole constraynt; 
Your beauty truly hath me fettered faste, 
Wythout your helpe my life is nere hand paste. 

Stande up, quod she; I marvayle of this cace, 
What sodayne love hath you so arayde 
Wyth so great payne your heart to embrace? 
And why for me ye should be so dismayde? 
As of your lyfe ye nede not to be afrayde. 
For ye of me now have no greater awe, 
But whan ye lyst ye may your love wythdraw. 


Than stode I up, and right so did she, 
AUis! I sayd than, my heart is so set, 
That it is yours, it may none other be; 
Your selfe hath caught it in so sure a net. 
That if that I may not your favour get. 
No doubt it is, tlie great payne of love 
May not aswage tyl death it remove. 

Truely, quod she, I am obedient 
Unto my frendes why eh do me so guyde; 
They shal me rule as is convenient, 
In the snare of love I wyl nothyng slyde. 
My chaunce or fortune I wyl yet abide. 
I thanke you for your love right humbly. 
But I your cause can nothing remedy. 

Alas ! madame, yf I have enterprysed 
A thyng to hye truly for my degre, 
All that causes whych I have commysed 
Hath ben on fortunes gentyl unyte, 
Trustyng truely that she wold favour me. 
In this case wherfore now excuse 
Your humble servaunte, and not me refuse. 

Ha, ha! what vayleth all your flattery? 
Your fayned wordes shall not me appese 
To make myne herte to enclyne inwardly; 
For I my selfe nowe do nothynge suppose 
But for to prove me you flatter and glose. 
You shall not dye as longe as you speke, 
There is no love can cause your herte to breke. 


I wokle, raadame, ye hadcle prerogatyve 
To knowe the prevyte of my perfyte mynde, 
How all in payne I lede my wofull lyfe; 
Than, as I trowe, ye wolde not be unkynde, 
But that some grace I myght in you fynde, 
To cause myne herte, whyche you fetred sure 
Wyth brenninge clieynes, suche wo to endure. 

By veraye reason I may give judgement, 
That it is guyse of you everychone 
To fayne you sicke wyth subtyll argument, 
Whan to your lady ye list to make your nione: 
But of you true is there fewe or none. 
For all your payne and wordes eloquent, 
Wyth dame Repentaunce I will not be shent. 


swete madame ! now all my desteny 
Unhap and happy, upon you doth growe : 
Yf that you call me unto your mercy 

Of all happy the most happy, I trow, 
Than shall I be, of hye degre or lowe; 
And yf ye lyste so me than to forsake. 
Of all unhappy none shal be my make. 

Your fortune on me is not more applyed. 
Than upon othei", for my minde is fre; 

1 have your purpose oft ynoughe denyed, 
You knowe your answere now certayne; 
What nede your wordes of curyosyte ? 

Wo we here no more, for thou shalt not spede; 
Go love another where ye may have mede. 


That shall I not; though that I contynewe 
All my lyfe in payne and hevynes, 
I shall not chaunge you for none other now; 
You are my lady, you are my masteres, 
Whome I shall serve with all my gentylnes, 
Exyle him never from your hert so dere, 
Whyche unto hys hath sette you most nere. 

The minde of men chaungeth as the mone. 
If you mete one whyche is fayre and bryght, 
Ye love her best tyll ye se, right soone, 
An other fayrer unto your owne syght. 
Unto her than your minde is tourned ryght, 
Truely your love, though ye make it straunge, 
I knowe full well ye wyl often chaunge. 

Alas ! madame, nowe the bright lodes sterre 
Of my true herte, where ever I go or lyde, 
Thoughe that my body be from you aferre, 
Yet my herte onely shall wyth you abyde, 
Whan than you lyst ye may for me provyde. 

Nay, truly, it can nothyng be myne, 
For I therof take no possessyon; 
Your heart is your by substancyall lyne, 
It is not in my domynacyon. 
Love where ye list; at every season 
Your heart is fre, I do not it accept: 
It is your owne, I have it never kept. 



Alas! madame, ye may say as ye liste, 
"With your beaute ye toke mine hert in snare; 
Your lovely lokes I coucle not resyst, 
Your vertuous maner encreaseth my care, 
That of all joye I am devoyde and bare. 
I se you ryght often when I am aslepe, 
And whan I wake do sygh with teres depe. 


So great deceyt amonge men there is, 

That harde it is to finde one full stable; 

Ye are so subtil and so false, ywis : 

Your great deceyte is nothing commendable. 

In storyes olde it is well provable 

How many ladyes hath bene right falsely 

Wyth men deceyved yll and subtylly. 


goodd madame ! though that they abused 
Them to theyr ladyes in theyr great deceyte, 
Yet am I true; let me not be refused: 

Ye have me taken wyth so fayre a bayte. 
That ye shall never out of my conceyte. 

1 can not wrynche by no wyle nor croke, 
My heart is fast upon so sure a hoke. 

Ye, so sayd they, tyll that they had their wyll; 
Theyr wyll accomplysshed, they dyd fle at large; 
For men say wel, but they thinke full yll. 
Though outwarde swetenes your tonge doth enlarge, 
Yet of your heart I never can have charge; 
For men do love, as I am right sure, 
Nowe one, now other, after theyr pleasure. 


All that, madame, I knew lyght perfetly, 
Some men there be of tliat condicyon; 
That them delyte often in novelty, 
And many also love perfeccyon. 
I cast all suche noveltes in objection; 
My love is set upon a perfet grounde, 
No falshed in me truly shal be founde. 

Ye saye full well, yf ye meane tlie same; 
But I in you can have no confydence; 
I tliinke right well that it is no game 
To love unloved wyth percynge influence. 
You shall in me fynde no suche neclygence 
To grante you love, for ye are unthryfty, 
As two or thre to me doth specify. 

Was never lover without enemies thre. 
As Envy, Malyce, and Perturbaunce ? 
Tlieyr tongues are poyson unto amyte; 
What man on live can use suche governaunce 
To attayne the favoure withouteu varyaunce 
Of every persone, but right pryvely 
Behinde his backe some sayth unhappely ? 

Trouthe it is ; but yet, in this cace, 
Your love and myne is full ferre asunder: 
But thoughe that I do your herte so race 
Yf I drede you it is therof no wonder; 
Wyth my frendes I am so sore kepte under, 
I dare not love but as they accorde, 
They thynke to wedde me to a myghty lorde. 


I kuowe, madarae, that your frendes all 
Unto me sure wyll be contraryous; 
But what for that ? your selfe in speciall 
Remembre there is no love so joyous 
As is your owne to you most precyous; 
Wyll you gyve your youthe and your flourynge aege 
To them agaynst your mynde in maryage ? 

Agaynst my mynde, of that were I lothe, 
To wed for fere, as them to obey; 
Yet had I lever they were somwhat wrothe, 
For I my selfe do bere the locke and kaye 
Yet of my mynde, and wyll do many a daye. 
Myne owne I am, what that I lyste to do 
I stand untyed, there is no joye therto. 

O swete lady ! the good perfyte sterre 
Of my true herte, take ye now pyte; 
Thynke on my payne whiche am tofore you here, 
Wyth your swete eyes beholde you and se, 
How thought and wo, by great extremyte, 
Hath chaunged my hue into pale and wanne: 
It was not so whan I to love began. 

So, me thynke, it doth right well appere 
By your coloure that love hath done you wo; 
Your hevy countenaunce and your dolefull chere; 
Hath love suche myght for to aray you so 
In so short a space ? I marvayle moche also 
That ye wolde love me so sure in certayne. 
Before ye knewe that I wolde love agayne ? 


My good dere herte ! it is no mervayle why; 
Your beaute cleare and lovely lokes swete 
My herte dyde perce with love so sodaynly 
At the fyrste tyme that I dyde you mete; 
In the olde temple whan I dyde you grete, 
Your beaute my herte so surely assayde, 
That syth that tyme it hath to you obayde. 



Your wo and payne, and all your languishynge 
Continually ye shall not spende in vayne, 
Sythen I am cause of your great mornynge, 
Nothyuge exyle you shall I by dysdayne; 
Youre hert and myne shall never parte in twayne: 
Though at the fyrste I wolde not condescende, 
It was for fere ye dyde some yll entende. 

With thought of yll my mynde was never myxte, 
To you, madame, but alway clene and pure, 
Bothe daye and nyght upon you hole perfyxte. 
But I my mynde yet durst nothynge discure. 
How for your sake I dyd suche wo endure, 
Tyll now this houre with dredfull hert so faynt 
To you, swete herte, I have made my complaynt. 

88 thp: pastime of pleasure. 

I deraed ofte you loved me befoi'e, 
By your demenour I dyde it aspye, 
And in my mynde I j uged evermore 
That at the laste ye wolde full secretly 
Tell me your mynde of love right geutilly; 
As ye have done, so my mercy to crave, 
In all worshyppe you shal my true love have. 


Lorde God than ! how joyfull was I ! 
She loked on me wyth lovely countenaunce; 

1 kyst her ones or twise right swetely; 

Her depured vysage, replete with pleasaunce, 
Rejoyced my heart with amerous purveaunce. 
O lady clere! that perste me at the rote, 
floure of comforte, all my hele and bote! 

gemme of vertiie, and lady excellent! 
Above all other in beauteous goodlynesse! 
O eyen bright as sterre refulgent, 

profouude cause of all my sekenesse, 
Now all my joye and all my gladnes, 
Wolde God that we were joyned in one, 
In maryage, before this day were gone. * 


A, a! sayd she, ye must take a payne a whyle; 

1 must depart, by the comjjulcyon 
Of my frendes, I wyl not you begyle, 
Though they me led to a ferre nacion, 
My heart shall be without variacion 
Wyth you present, in periite sykernes, 
As true and stable without doublenes. 


To me to come is liarde and dauDgerous, 
When I am there; for gyauntes ugly, 
Wyth two monstres also, blacke and tedyous^ 
That by the waye awayte full cruelly 
For to distroye you yll and utterly. 
Whan you that way do take the passage, 
To attayne my love by hye advauntage. 

All that, madame, was to me certyfyde 
By good dame Fame, at the begynnynge, 
Whan she to me of you well notyfide, 
As she came frome the toure of Lernynge, 
Of all such enemyes the myght excludynge. 
I promyse unto you here, full faythfuUy, 
Whan I departe frome dame Astronomy, 

That I wyll to the toure of Chyvalry, 

And for your sake become adventurous 

To subdue all enemyes to me contrary; 

That I may after be ryght joyous 

Wyth you, my lady, most swete and precyous. 

Wo worth the cause of your departynge. 

Which all my sorowes is in renuynge! 

Alas! what pleasure, and eke wythout disporte, 
Shall I now have, whan that ye be gone? 
Ha, ha! truly now wythout good conforte, 
My dolorous herte shall be left alone, 
Wythout your presence to me is none; 
For every houre I shall thynke a yere, 
Tyll fortune brynge me unto you more nere. 


Yet after you I wyll not be rjght longe, 

But hast me after as faste as I maye; 

In the toure of Chyvahy I shall make me stronge, 

And after that passe shortly on my way, 

Wyth diligent laboure on my journay. 

Spyte of your enemyes, I shal me so spede, 

That in short tyme ye may rewarde my mede. 

I thanke you, quod she, with my hert entere; 
But yet with me ye shall make covenaunt, 
As I to you am ryght lefe and dere, 
Unto no persone ye shall so advaunte 
That I to love you am so attendaunte, 
For any thynge your councell not bewraye, 
For that full soone might us bothe betraye. 

And to tell me I pray you hertely; 

Yonder is Counseyle, how were ye acquaynted? 

He is bothe honest and true certaynly: 

Doth he not knowe how your hert is faynted, 

Wyth fervent love so surely attaynted? 

Yf ye so do, yet I nothyug repent, 

He is so secrete and true, of entent. 

Truely, madame, because ye are content 

I shall you tell how the matter was; 

Whan that your beaute, clerely splendent, 

Into my herte full wonderly dyd passe, 

Lyke as fayre Phebus dothe shyne in the glas, 

All alone, wyth inwarde care so rent. 

Into a temple forth on my way I went. 


Where that I walked, plunged in the pytte 
Of great dispayre; and he than me niette. 
Alas! he sayde, me thinke ye lose your wytte; 
Tell me the troiith now, wythout any lete, 
Why ye demeane suche mortall sorow great. 
A voyde! quod I, you shall nothing it knowe, 
You can not helpe in the case I trow. 

But he suche reason and fruytfull sentence 
Dyd for him laye, that I tolde hym all. 
AVhan he it kncwe with all my diligence, 
He dyd me conforte than in specyall: 
Unto my minde he bad me to call, 
Who spareth to speke he to spede doth s})are; 
Go tell your lady the cause of your care. 

By whose counseyle grounded in wysdome, 
To the entent I should spede the better. 
And ryght shortly I dyd than to you come, 
But drede alway made my sorowe greatter; 
After great payne the joyes is the sweter. 
For who that tasteth paynfull bytternes, 
The joye to him is double swetenes. 

And, therwythall, I did unto her brynge 
Councell my frende, and full right meke 
Dyd him receive as he was comynge; 
And of all thynges she did hym beseke, 
After her departinge, the same weke, 
To hast me forwarde to my journeyes ende. 
Therto, quod I, I do well condysccnde. 


Fare well, quod she, I may no lengev taiy; 

My frendes wyll come; of that were I lothe: 

I shall retayne you in my memory, 

And they it knewe they wolde with me be wrothe. 

To love you best I promise you my trouthe! 

And than mine eyen great sorowe shewed, 

Wyth teres salte my chekes were endewed. 

Her eyes graye began to loke right reed. 

Her gaye whyte coloure began for to pale, 

Upon her chekes so the droppes were sprede 

Whiche from her eyen began to ad vale; 

Frome her swete herte she dyd the syghes hale; 

Never before, as I trowe and wene. 

Was suche departyng true lovers bet wene. 

We wyped our chekes our sorowe to cloke. 
Outwardly faynyng us to be glad and mery, 
That the people should not perceyve the smoke 
Of our hote fyi*e to lyght the emyspery: 
Thoughe inwardly wyth a stormy pery 
The fyre was blovven, yet we dyd it cover, 
Bycause abrode it should nothyng perceyver. 

Out of the garden to an haven syde 

Forth he went, where as a shyppe ryght large 

That taryed there after tlie floynge tyde, 

And so than dyd there many a bote and barge. 

The shyp was great, fyve c. tonne to charge. 

La Bell Fucell ryght anone me tolde: 

In youdre shyp, whyche that ye beholds, 


Forthe must I sayle wythout longer delaye; 
It is full see; ray frendes wyll come soone; 
Therfore I pray you to go hence your waye, 
It draweth fast now towarde the none. 
Madame, quod I, your pleasure slial be done. 
Wyth wofuU herte and great syghes, ofte 
I kyssed her lyppes, that were swete and softe. 

She unto me nor I unto her colde speke, 
And as of that it was no great wondre, 
Our hertes swelled as that they should breke; 
The fyre of love was so sore kept under. 
Whan I from her should depart asundre, 
Wyth her fayre head she dyd lowe enclyne, 
And in lykewyse so dyd I wyth myne. 





Her frendes and she on theyr waye they sayled 
Alonge the haven, God them save, and bryng 
Unto the londe! I herd whan that they hayled, 
Wyth a great peale of gunnes, at theyr departyng, 
The marvaylous toure of famous cunnynge; 
No gunne was shotte, but my herte dyd wepe 
For her departynge wyth wofull teres depe. 


Councell me comforted as ever he rayglit, 
Wyth many storyes of olde antyquyte. 
Remembre, he saide, that never yet was wyght 
That lyved alway in great tranquylyte, 
But that him happed some adversyte; 
Than after that, whan the payne was paste, 
The double joye dyd comfort them at laste. 

Ye nede nothynge for to make great dolour, 
Fortune to you hath bene ryght favourable, 
Makyng you to attayne the good favour 
Of your lady so swete and amy able. 
No doubte it is she is true and stable; 
And demeane you so that in no wyse 
No man perceyve of your love surmyse. 

Be hardy, fyers, and also coragyous, 
In all your batayles without feblenes. 
For ye shall be ryght well vyctoryous 
Of all your enemyes so full of subtylnes. 
Arme you wyth wysdome for more surenes, 
Let wysdome werke, for she can stedfastly 
In tyme of nede resyste the contrary. 

Was never man yet surely at the bayte 
Wyth Sapyence, but that he dyd repent; 
Who that is ruled by her higher estate. 
Of hys after wytte shall never be shent; 
She is to man ryght benyvolent; 
Wyth walles sure she doth hym fortyfye, 
Whan it is nede to resyste a contrary. 


Was never place where as she did guyde 
Wyth enemyes brought to destriiceyon; 
A remedy she Can so well provyde; 
To her hygh werke is no comparison, 
It hath so stronge and sure foundacyon: 
Nothyng there is that can it molyfy, 
So sure it is agaynst a contrary. 

Of her alwayes it is the parfyte guyse 
To begynne nothyng of mutabylyte, 
As is the Avarre which may sone aryse 
And wyl not downe, it may so stourdy be, 
The begynuer oft hath the iniquite. 
"Whan he began, wysdome did reply, 
In his grete nede to resyst the contrary. 

The myghty Pryant, somtyme kynge of Troye, 
Wyth all his cyte so well fortyfyed, 
Lytle regarded all his welth or joye, 
Wythout wysdome truely exemplyfied. 
His propre death him selfe he nutrifyed; 
Agaynst his warre wysdome did reply, 
At his grete nede to resyst the contrary. 

And where that wysdome ruleth hardynes, 

Hardynes than is ever invincyble, 

There may nothinge it vanquishe oroppres; 

For prudence is so well intellygyble, 

To her there is nothing impossible; 

Her grounded werke is made so perfytely, 

That it must nedes resyst the contrary. 


To wofull creatures she is goodly leche, 
Wytli her good syster called Pacyence, 
To the toure of joye she doth them tell weche, 
In the way of hope wythout resystence; 
Who to her lyst to applye hys dylygence, 
She wyll hym brynge to worshyppe shortly 
That he shall well resyst the contrary. 

Ryght so let wysdome your sorowe surrendre, 

And hye you fast unto dame Geometry, 

And let no thought in your herte engendre, 

But after thys speke to Astronomye; 

And so frome thence to the toure of Chyvalry, 

Wher of the worthy kynge Melyzyus 

You shall be made soone knyght adventurous. 

And fare you well, for I must frome you go, 
To other lovers whyche are in dyspayre, 
As I dyd you, to confort them also: 
It is great nede that I to them repayre, 
Habundant teres theyr hertes do refleyre. 
Farewell! quod I, my good frende so true, 
I wolde wyth me ye might alwaye ensue! 

Then agayne I went to the toure melodyous 
Of good dame Musyke, my leve for to take; 
And pryvely wyth these wordes dolorous 
I sayd: O toure ! thou mayst well aslake 
Suche melody now in the more to make 
The gemme is gone of all famous porte, 
That was chefe cause of the great comforte. 


Whylome thou was the f'tiyre tonre of lyght, 
But now thou arte replete with darkened; 
She is now gone that shone in the so bryglit; 
Thou was some time the toure of gladnes, 
Now mayst thou be the toure of hevynes, 
For the chefe is gone of all thy melody, 
Whose beauty clere made moost swete armony. 

The fayre carbuncle, so ful of clerenes, 
That in thee truely dyd moost purely shyne. 
The perle of pyte replete with swetenes, 
The gentyll gyllofer, the goodly columbyne, 
The redolente plant of the dulcet vyne. 
The dede aromatyke may no more ensence, 
For she is so ferre out of thy presence. 

A, a! truly in the tyme so past, 
Myne erande was the often for to se; 
Now for to enlre I may be agast, 
When thou art hens, the sterre of l)eaute, 
For all my delyte was to beholde the! 
A! toure, toure! all my joye is gone. 
In the to entre comfort is there none! 

So then inwardly my selfe bewaylynge. 

In the toure I went, into the habytacle 

Of dame Musyke, where she was syngynge 

The ballades swete in her fayre tabernacle. 

Alas! thought I, this is no spectacle 

To fede myn eyne, whiche ar now all blynde; 

She is not here that I was wonte to fynde. 



Than of dame Musyke, with all lowlines 

I dyde take my leve, withouten itarenge. 

She thanked me with all hei-e mekenes; 

And all alone fourth I went musynge. 

A, a! quod I, my love and lykinge 

Is nowe ferre hence, on whome my hole delyght 

Dayly Avas sette, upon her to have sight. 

Fai'e well, swete herte! farwell, farewell, farewell! 

Adieu, adieu! I wold I were you by! 

God gyve me grace with you sone to dwell, 

Lyke as I dyd for to se you dayly. 

Your lowly chere and gentyll company 

Rejoysed my herte with fode most delycate, 

Myne eyen to se you were insaciate. 

Now, good swete herte! my lady and maystresse, 

I recommende me unto your pyte; 

Besechyng you wytli all my gentylnes, 

Yet other whyle to thynke upon me; 

What payne I suffer by great extremyte, 

And to pardon me of my rude wrytyng. 

For with woful herte was myne endytynge! 




So forth I went, upon a craggy roche, 

Upon the toure nioost wonderfully wrought 

Of Geometry; and as I did approche 

The altitude all in my mynd I sought. 

Sixe hundreth fote, as by my nomber thought; 

Quadrant it was, and did heve and sette 

At every storme wdian the wind was great. 

Thus at the last I came into an hall, 
Hanged with arres riche and precious, 
And every window^ glased with cristall, 
Lyke a place of plesure much solacious. 
With knottes sixeangled, gay and glorious, 
The rofe did hange, right high and pleasauntly, 
By Geometry made right well and craftely. 

In this marveylous hall, replete with richesse, 
At the hye ende she sat full worthely. 
I came anone unto her great noblenesse. 
And kneled adowne before her mekely. 
Madame, I sayd, ye werke full ryally; 
I beseche you, with all my diligence, 
To instructe me in your wonderfull science. 

H 2 


My science, she sayd, it is moost profitable 
Unto Astronomy, for I do it mesure 
In every thing as it is probable; 
For I my selfe can ryght well discure 
Of every sterre, which is sene in ure, 
The mervaylous gretnes by my mesuring; 
For God made all at the begynnyng. 

By good mesuryng both the heyght and depnes 
Of every thing, as I understand, 
The length and brede with al the greatnes, 
Of the firmament so compassing the land; 
And who my cunning list to take in hand, 
In his emyspery of hye or low degre 
Nothing there is but it may measure be. 

Though that it be from us hye and farre. 

If ony thing fall we may it truely se, 

As the Sonne or moone or any other sterre, 

We may therof know well the quantite. 

Who of this science dooth know the certaynte. 

All maysteries might measure perfytely; 

For geometry doth shew it openly. 

Where that is mesure there is no lacking; 
Where that is mesure hole is the body; 
Where that is mesure good is the living; 
Where that is mesure wisdome is truely; 
Where that is mesure werke is directly; 
Where that is mesure, natures werking 
Nature increaseth by right good knowledging. 


Where lacketh mesure there is no plente; 
Where hicketh mesure seke is the courage; 
Where lacketh mesure there is inic^uite; 
Where hicketh mesure there is great outrage; 
Where lacketh mesure is none advauntage; 
Where lacketli mesure there is great glotony; 
AVhere lacketh mesure is moost unhappy. 

For there is no hye nor great estate, 
Without mesure can kepe his (lignite; 
It doth preserve him both early and late, 
Keping him from the pytte of poverte. 
Mesure is moderate to all bounte, 
Gretely nedeful for to take the charge 
Man for to rule, that he go not at large. 

Who loveth mesure can not do amys, 
So pei'fitely is the high opcracion 
Among all thynges; so wonderfull it is. 
That it is full of all delectacion, 
And to vertue hath inclynacion. 
Mesure also doth well exemplefy. 
The hasty dome to swage and modefy. 

Without mesure wo worth the jugement; 
Without mesure wo worth the temperaunce; 
Without mesure wo worth the punishmeut; 
Without mesure wo worth the purvcyaunce; 
Without mesure wo worth the sustenaunce; 
Without mesui-e wo worth the sadnes; 
And without mesure wo worth the gladnes. 


Mesure mesuring mesurably taketh; 
Mesure mesuring mesuratly dooth all; 
Mesure mesuring mesuratly maketh; 
Mesure mesuring mesuratly guyde shall; 
Mesure mesuring mesuratly doth call; 
Mesure mesuryng to right hye preemynence, 
For alway mesure is grounde of excellence. 

Mesure mesureth mesure in effecte; 
Mesure mesureth every quantyte; 
Mesure mesureth all waye the aspecte; 
Mesure mesureth all in certayne; 
Mesure mesureth in the stabilitie; 
Mesure mesuryth in every doutful case; 
And mesure is the lodesterre of all grace. 

Affycte of mesure is long continuaunce, 
Quantite v^ithout mesure is nought; 
Aspect of mesure devoydeth repentaunce; 
'Certayne wold weye all thinges thouglit; 
Stabilitie upon a perfite grounde is wrought; 
Cace doubtfull may yet a whyle abyde; 
Grace may in space a remedy provyde. 

Countenaunce causeth the promocyon; 
Nought avayleth service without attendaunce, 
Repentaunce is after all abusion; 
Thought afore Avolde have had perseveraunce; 
Wrought how should be bydede the mischaunce; 
Abyde nothing tyll tliou do the dede; 
Provyde in mynde how thou mayst have mede. 


Promocion groweth after good governaunce; 

Attendaunce doth attayne good favour; 

Abusyon is causer of all variaunce; 

Pei'ceyveraunce causeth great honour; 

Mischaunce alway is roote of dolour; 

Dede done can not be called agayne; 

Mede well rewarded both with joye and payne. 

Than I toke my leve, and went from Geometry 
Toward Astronomy as fast as I myght: 
For all my mynde was set right inwardly 
Upon my lady that was fayre and bryght. 
My herte with her was bothe day and night: 
She had it locked with a locke so sure, 
It was her owne, she had therof the cure. 



Than forth I wente into a raedow greue, 
With Flora paynted in many a sundry colour, 
Lyke a gay goddesse of all floures the queue, 
She encenced out her aromatyke odour. 
The brethe of Zepherus encreased the floure. 
Amiddes tlie medow fayre replendishaunt, 
Was a pavilyon right hye and quadraunt, 


Of grene sarcenet bordered with golde^ 
Wherein dede hange a fayre astrology. 
Which oft Astronomy did full well beholde; 
Unto whome than I came full shortly, 
And kneled adowne before her mekely, 
Beseching her of her great gentylnes 
Of her scyence to shew the perfitenes. 

My scyence, sayd she, it is ryght resonable, 
And is the last of the sciences seven; 
Unto man it is also ryght profitable. 
Shewing the course above of the heaven; 
Right merveylous for any man to neven. 
Who knew astronomy at every maner ceason, 
Might set in ordre every thing by reason. 

Also the other vi. sciences liberall 
By astronomy principally were found; 
And one were lost they were vanished all, 
Eche upon other had so sure a ground. 
In all the world, that is so wide and round. 
Is none so wise that can then multiply, 
Nor know them all right well and surely. 

The hye astronomier, that is God omnipotent, 
That the first day devided all the lyght 
Fi'ome the derkenes with his wyll prepotent; 
And the second day, with his excellent might. 
The waters above he did devide aryght, 
From the erthely waters which are inferiall; 
The third daye herbes and fruytes in speciall 


In ertlie he planted for to have their life 
By divers vertues and sundry growing, 
So to continue and be vegitative; 
And the third day he sette in wei'king 
The bodies above to have their moving, 
In the xii. signes them selfe to domify. 
Some rethrogarde, and some dyrectly. 

The fyfth day he dyd fysshes make; 
In the see the great stormy flode, 
To and fro theyr courses for to take 
And in the water for to have theyr fode, 
Lyke to the same colde alway theyr blode; 
The vi. day, bestes, wyth foules sensatyve, 
And man also, with soule intellectyve. 

The sevent day he restes of hys werke, 
Nothynge con stray ned as of werynes, 
As wryteth many a ryght famous clerke; 
But that he had accoraplysshe doutles 
Her purpensed purpose by infynite prowes, 
As to us doth moost playnely discure 
The perfyte grounde of holy Scrypture. 

Thus God hym selfe is chyef astronomyer. 
That made all thyng according to his wyll; 
The sunne, the mone, and every lytle sterre, 
To a good entent and for no maner of yll. 
Wythouten vayne he dyd all thyng fulfyll. 
As astronomy doth make apparaunce. 
By reason he weyed all thynges in balauns. 


CAP. xxm. 


And forasmuclie that he made nature 

Fyrst of all to have domynacyon, 

The power of her I shall anone dyscure, 

How that she taketh her operacyon, 

And whereupon is her fundacyon, 

In symple and rude, opprest wyth neclygence, 

Shall discryve the myght of her preemynence. 

For though that aungell be invysyble, 
Inpalpable, and also celestial!, 
Wythouten substaunce as incencyble. 
Yet have they nature Avhych is angelycall; 
For nature naturynge nature made all, 
Heven and earth and the bodyes above, 
By cours of nature for to werke and move. 

On man or beest, wythouten ony mys. 
She werketh directly after the aspecte 
Of the mater, be it more or lesse, ywys. 
And doth therof the hole fourme dyrecte, 
After the qualyte it doth take effecte; 
Yf there be more than may one suffyse, 
A bye membre she wyll than more devyse. 


As that in ure ye may it dayly se, 

Upon one hande some hath thombes twayne; 

And other also somtyme amies thre; 

The superfluite is cause therof certayne; 

Whyche that dame Nature dooth constrayne 

So for to do, for she lesed noughte 

Of the mater, but liath it hooly wroughte. 

And in like wyse, where is not suffycyent 
Of the mater for the hole reformacion, 
There lacketh a membre by great impediment, 
So that there can be no perfy te facyon ; 
As may be judged by perfy te reason, 
After the qualyte of thy matter lackynge. 
So lacketh the of natures fourmynge. 

Some lacketh a legge, some an arme also, 

Some a fynger, and some more or lesse; 

All these causes, wytli many other mo. 

Nature werketh so dyrectly doutles 

Upon the mater, as I do expresse. 

After the qualyte in many a sundry wyse. 

The kynde of her we ought nothyng to despyse. 

Some be fay re and replete with grace; 
Some be fay re and yet right unhappy; 
Some be foule and can sone purchace 
Landes and possessyons to them shortely; 
Some be fooles and some be ryght wytty; 
Whereupon I shall shewe a dyfference 
Of the V. wyttes by good experyence. 




The eyen, the eres, and also the nose, 

The mouth, and handes, inwarde wyttes are none; 

But outwarde ofijces, as ye may suppose. 

To the inwarde wyttes, whiche do judge alone; 

For unto them all thinges have gone, 

But these outwarde gates to have the knowledginge, 

By the inwarde wyttes to have decernynge. 

These are the v. wyttes remeuing inwardly: 

Fyrst, commyn wytte, and than ymaginacyon, 

Fantasy, and estymacyon truely. 

And memory, as I make narracyon; 

Eche upon other hath occupacyon. 

Fyrst, the comyn wytte unto the front aplyde. 

Doth thynke, decerne, it may not be denyde. 

Of the eyen the offyce only is the syght. 

To se the fayre, the lowe, or altytude. 

The whyte, or blacke, the hevy, or the lyght, 

The lytle or great, the weyke or fortytude, 

The ugly favour, or yet the pulcrytude; 

This is the use of the eyene intere, 

To se all thynges whiche may well appere. 


But of tliemselfe they can decerne nothynge 
One frome an other; but the comyn wytte 
Decerneth colours by spyrytuall connynge, 
To the fyve inwarde wittes it is so well knytte, 
Nothynge is sene but it doth judge it: 
It doth decerne the good from badnes, 
The hye, the lowe, tlie fonle, the fayrenes. 

The nose, also, every ayre doth sniel, 
But yet it hath nothynge auctoryte 
Yf it be swete for to judge and tell; 
But the comyn wyt doth it in certaynte, 
Decernynge favours in every degre, 
Knowynge the swete ayre from the stynkinge, 
Whan that the nose therof hath smellinge. 

The eres, also, right well gyve audyence 
Unto a tale, herynge it perfytely; 
But they can not decerne the sentence 
To knowe whereupon it doth so ratyfy, 
Upon great wysedome or elles upon foly : 
Thus, whether the tale be ryght good or bad 
By the comyn wytte the knowledge is had. 

Foly hath eres as well as sapience, 

But he can not determyne by his herynge 

"What tale it is, for lacke of intelligence; 

For the comyn wytte is all understandynge, 

And that he lacketh to gyve hym knowynge. 

Wherfore the eres are but an intres 

To commyn wytte that sheweth the perfytncs. 


The mouth tasteth both swete and bytternes, 
But the comyn wyt decerneth proprely 
Yf it be soure or replete wyth swetenes; 
Nor yet the handes fele noth^'ug certaynly, 
But the comyn wytte decerneth subtylly 
Whether it be harde, moyst, or drynes, 
Hote, hevy, softe, or yet colde, doutles. 

Thus comyn wytte worketh wonderly, 
Upon the V, gates whyche are receptatyve 
Of every thynge for to take inwardly, 
By the comyn wytte to be affyrmatyve 
Or by decernynge to be negatyve; 
The comyn wytte, the fyrst of wyttes all, 
Is to decerne all thinges in generall. 

And than, secondly, ymagynacyon; 

Whan the comyn M'ytte hath the thinge electe. 

It werketh by all due inclynacyon 

For to brynge the mater to the hole eflfecte; 

And fantasy than hath the hole aspecte. 

The ymagyned matter to bring to finysshement, 

Wyth good desyi-e and inwarde judgement. 

And estymacion doth well comprehende 
The space, the place, and all the purveyaunce 
At what time the poAver might entende 
To brynge the cause unto perfyte utteraunce. 
Often it weyetli the cause in balaunce. 
By estymacyon ony thinge is nombred. 
By length or shortnes how it is accombred. 


Fyftly, the mynde, whan the fourth have wrought, 

Retayned all tyll the miiide have made 

An outwarde knowlege to the mater thought, 

Bycause nothynge shall declyne and fade, 

It kepeth the mater nothynge rethrogarde, 

But dyrectly, tyll the minde have proved 

All suche maters whyche the iiij. have moved. 

Plauto, the connynge and famous clerke, 
That well exjjert was in phylosophy, 
Doth right reherse upon natures werke, 
How that she werketh upon all Avonderly, 
Bothe for to minysshe and to multeply, 
In sondry wyse by great dyreccyon 
After the maner with all the hole affeccyon. 

In my natyf language I wyl not opres, 
More of her werke, for it is obscure; 
Who wyl therof knowe all the perfeytnes 
In phylosophy he shall fynde it ryglit sure, 
Whyche all the trouth can to hym discure. 
No man can attayne perfecte connynge 
But by longe stody and diligent lernynge. 




The ryght hygli power natures naturyng, 
Nature made the bodyes above, 
In sundry wyse to take theyr workynge, 
That aboute the worlde naturallye do move, 
As by good reason the phylosophres prove, 
That the pianettes and sterres instrumentes be 
To natures werkynge in every degre. 

God gave great vertue to the pianettes all, 

And specially unto depured Phebus, 

To enlurayne the worlde ever in specyall; 

And than the mone, of her selfe tenebrus, 

Made lyght wyth the beames gaye and gorgyous 

Of the sunne, is fayre replendysshaunte. 

In the longe nyght wyth ray^s radyaunte. 

By these twayne every thyng hath growynge; 
Bothe vegitatyfe and censatyve also, 
And also intellectyve wythout lesynge: 
No erthly thyng may have lyfe and go, 
But by the pianettes that move to and fro; 
"Whan that God set them in operacyon, 
He gave them vertue in dyvers facyon. 


Some bote and moyst, and some colde and dry; 

Some bote and diye, mojst and colde; 

Tbus every one batb vertues sundry, 

As is made mencyon in tbe bokes olde. 

Tbey sbewe tbeyr power and wcrke many a folde; 

Man ujion them bath bis dysposycyon, 

By tbe natnrate power of constellacyon. 

>:; What sboukle I wryte more in tbys matter bye, 
In my maternall tonge opprest wytb ignoraunce? 
For wlio tbat lyst to lerne asti'onomye, 
He sball fynde all fruytfull pleasaunce 
In tbe Latyn tonge by goodly ordenaunce; 
Wberfore of it I wyll no lenger tary, 
For fere from troutbe tbat I bappen to vary. 

Of dame Astronomy I dyd take my lycence 
For to travayle to tbe toure of Cbyvalry; 
For al my minde, wytb percyng influence, 
Was sette upon tbe most fayre lady 
La Bell Pucell, so mucbe ententyfly, 
Tbat every daye I dyd tbinke fyftene, 
Tyl I agayne bad ber swete person sene. 

To you experte in tbe seven scyence. 
Now al my maysters, I do me excuse 
If I offended by my great neclygence. 
Tbis lytel werke yet do ye not refuse; 
I am but yonge, it is to me obtuse 
Of tbese maters to presume to endyte, 
But for my lernyng tbat I lyst to wryte. 


Under obedyence and the true correctyon 
Of you my maysters experte in conninge, 
I me submytte now wyth hole afFeccyon 
Unto your perfyte understandynge; 
As evermore mekely to you inclynyng, 
With diligent labour now without doutaunce 
To detraye or adde all at your plesaunce. 



Whan clene Aurora, with her golden hemes, 
Gan to enlumyne the derke cloudy ayre, 
And combust Dyane her gret fyry lemes 
Amyddes of the Bull began to refiayre; 
Than on my jorney, my selfe to repayre, 
Wyth my verlet called Attendaunce, 
Forthe on I rode by longe contynuaunce: 

Wyth my grayhoundes,both Grace and Governaunce, 

Over an hyll and so downe in a valley, 

Araonge the thornes of great encumbraunce, 

The goodli greyhounds caught me on mi wey. 

So foorth I passed my troublous journey, 

Tyll that I came unto a ryall playne, 

With Flora paynted in many a sundry vayne. 


Wyth purple colour tlic floures enliewetl, 
In dyvers knottes wyth many one ful blue, 
The geutyll gelofer his odoure renued 
Wyth sundry herbes rejilete wyth vertue: 
Amonge these floures as I dyd ensue, 
Castynge my syght sodaynly so ferre. 
Over a toure I sawe a flambynge sterre. 

Towarde this toure as I rode nere and nere, 
I behelde the rocke of merveylous altytude, 
On whych it stode that quadrante did appere. 
Made all of stele wonderous fortytude, 
Gargeylde wyth beestes in sundry symylytude; 
And many turrettes above the toures hye, 
With ymages was set full marveylously. 

Towarde thys toure forth on my way I wente, 
Tyll that I came to a myghty fortresse, 
Where I saw hange a merveylous instrumente, 
Wyth a shelde and helmet before the entres: 
I knewe nothynge therof the perfytnes. 
But at aventure the instrument I toke, 
And blewe so loude that all the toure I slioke. 

Whan the porter herde the hedyous sounde 
Of my ryght lusty and stormy blast. 
That made the walles therof to redounde, 
Full lyke a kuyght that was nothinge agast, 
Towarde the gate gave hym selfe to hast, 
And opened it, and asked my name, 
And fro whence I came, to certyfy the same, 

I 2 


My name, quod I, is Graunde Amoure; 
Of late I came fro the toure of Doctryne, 
Where I attayned all the hygh honoure 
Of the seven scyences, me to enlumyne; 
And frome thence I dyd detei'myne 
Forthe to travayle to thys toure of Chyvahy, 
Where I have blowen thys blast so sodeynly. 

Whan he herd thys, ryght gentylly he sayd: 
Unto thys toure ye must resorte by ryght 
For to renue that hath be longe decay d. 
The flour of Chyvalry, with your hole delyght. 
Come on your way, it draweth toward nyghte. 
And therwith all he ledde me to his warde, 
Me to repose in pleasaunt due saufgard. 

After the travayle my selfe for to ease, 
I did there reste in all goodly wyse. 
And slept right well without any disease, 
Till on the morow the sonne did aryse; 
Than up I rose, as was my perfyte guyse, 
And made me redy into the courte to go, 
With my verlet and greyhoundes also. 

The gentil porter, named Stedfastnes, 

Into the basse courte on my way he brought. 

Where stode a toure of mervaylous highnes. 

That al of jasper ful wonderly wrought, 

As ony man can printe in his thought; 

And foure ymages above the toure there were, 

On horsebacke, armed, and every one a spere. 


These ymages were made ful curiously, 
Wyth tlieyr horses of the stele so fyne, 
And eche of them, in theyr places sundry, 
Ahout were sette that clerely dyd shyne, 
Lyke Dyane clere in her spere celestyne; 
And under eche horse there was, ful pryvely, 
A great whele made by craftly Geometry, 

Wyth many cogges, unto whiche were tyed 
Dyvers cordes that in the horses holowe 
To every joy nte full wonderly applyed; 
Whan the wheles wente the horses dyd folowe, 
To trotte and galop both even and morowe, 
Brekynge theyr speres and coude them dyscharge, 
Partynge asonder for to turney at large. 



Besyde this toure of olde foundacion 
There was a temple sti-ongly edefyed; 
To the high honoure and reputacyon 
Of the mighty Mars it was so fortefyed: 
And for to know what it signifycd 
I entred in, and sawe of golde so pure 
Of worthy Mars the mervaylous pycturc. 


There was clepaynted all about the wall 

The grete destruccion of the cite of Troye ; 

And the noble actes do reygne memory all 

Of the worthy Hector that was all theyr joye. 

His dolorns death was herde to occoye; 

And so whan Hector was cast all downe, 

The hardy Troylus was moost hyghe of renowne. 

And as I cast ray syght so asyde, 
Beholdynge Mars how wonderly he stode, 
On a whele top with a lady of pryde 
Haiinced aboute, I thought nothing but good, 
But that she had two faces in one hode; 
Yet I kneled adowne and made mine oryson, 
To doughty Mars, wyth grete devocyon. 

Sayenge : O Mars ! O god of the warre! 
The gentyll lodesterre of an hardy herte, 
■ Dystyll adowne thy grace from so farre 
To cause all fere from me to astert: 
That in the felde I may I'yght well subverte 
The hedyus monsters, and winne the victory 
Of the sturdy giauntes with famous chyvalry. 

4 O prynce of honour and of worthy fame! 
O noble knightes of olde antiquite! 
O redouted courage, the cause of theyr name. 
Whose worthy actes fame caused to be 
In bokes wrytten, as ye maye well se! 
So gyve me grace ryght well to secure 
The power of fame that shall long endure. 


I thought me past al chyklly ygnoraunce, 
The xxxi. yere of my yonge flourynge aege; 
I thought that Venus might iiothyng avaunce 
Her strength against me with her lusty courage; 
My wytte I thought had suche avauntage, 
That it should rule both Venus and Cupyde: 
But, alas for wo ! for all my soday ne pryde ! 

Whan that Phebus entred was in Gemine, 
Toward the Crab takynge ascencyon, 
At the tyme of the great solempnite 
From heven above of Goddes descencyon; 
In a grete temple with hole entencyon 
As I went Avalkyng my selfe to and fro, 
Full sodaynly Venus wrought me such wo. 

For as I cast than my syght all alofte, 

I sawe Venus in beaute so clere, 

Which caused Cupide wyth his darte so softe, 

To wounde my herte wyth fervent love so dere; 

Her lovynge countenaunce so hyghe dyd appere, 

That it me ravyshed wyth a sodayne thought, 

Alas for wo! it vayled me ryght nought. 

To gyve audyence unto the melody 
Of waytes and organs that were at the fest, 
Love had me wounded so sore inwardly, 
What was to do I knewe not the best. 
Replete wyth sorowe and devoyde of rest, 
Sythen the tyme that she my hert soo wounded. 
My joy and pi-yde she hath full lowe confounded. 


And so nowe, for to attayne lier grace, 
As thou doost knowe become adventurous, 
Besechinge the in thys peryllous case, 

Mars! me succoure in tyme tempestyous, 
That I may passe the passage daungerous, 
And to thy laude, honoure, and glorye, 

1 shal a temple ryght strongly edefy. 

Well than, sayd Mars, I shall the fortefye 
In all thy warre as fast as I can. 
But for thy payne I knowe no remedy, 
For Venus reyned whan that thou began, 
Fyrst for to love making the pale and wanne; 
And of the trouthe to make relacyon 
Thou was borne under her consolacion. 

Wherefore thou must, of veray perfyte ryght, 

Unto her sue by the disposicion 

Whyche the constreyueth wyth hole delyght 

For to love ladies by true affeccion. 

Suche is her course and operacion. 

Wherfore whan thou hast lerned perfytely 

The for to governe by prudent chy valry, 

Than, to fulfyll the ryght liye enterpryse. 

Forth on thy waye thou shalt thy jorney take, 

Unto a temple in all humble wyse 

Before dame Venus thine oblacion to make, 

Whiche all thy payne may sone redresse and slake; 

For at that tyme she holdeth a parlemente, 

To redress lovers of theyr irapedimente. 



A, ha! quotl Fortune, with the faces twayne, 
Behynde syr Mars; I have a grete mervayle 
That thou dost promyse him that he shal attayne 
Unto his purpose with al diligent travayle, 
Through thyne ayd, eke strength and counsayl; 
Sythens dependeth in myn ordenaunce, 
Hym to promote or bryngc to myschaunce. 

My power, estate, and ryall dygnyte, 
Doth torne the whele of worthely glorye 
Often up so downe by mutabilyte. 
Have not I promoted full nobly 
Many a lowe degre to reigne full ryally? 
And often have made a transrautacion 
Of worldly welthe into tribulacion ? 

Thus can I make an alteracion 

Of worthely honoure, whiche doth depende 

All onely in my dominacion; 

Through the worlde my whele doth extende, 

As reason doth ryght well comprehende; 

Of my great chaunces whiche are unsure, 

As dayly doth appere well in ure. 

If I should worke with perfite stedfastnes. 

And to exalte some to be honourable, 

And that they knewe by perfyte sykernes, 

That it should dure and not be variable. 

It were a thyng unto me culpable; 

For great orguell pryde should them so blynde, 

To knowe them sclfe they should lose their mynde. 


Thus whan that tliey should them selfe forgete, 
And in no wyse their owne persone knowe, 
Full lytell than they would by me sette, 
That them exalted to hye degre from lowe; 
And by my chaunce could nought them overthrowe; 
Thus should they do and drede me nothyng. 
Wherfore my whele is evermore tournyng. 

And where that I shoulde turne my face, 

Castinge some in pytte of poverte, 

They were condampned without ouy grace 

As for to attayne any prosperite; 

Whiche were a cause of greate iniquite : 

For riche mennes goodes I must ofte translate. 

Unto the poore, them for to elevate. 

And thyrdely; I shoulde lese my name, 
For this worde fortune is well derifyde 
Of an accydent chaunge, both good or shame, 
Whan that the deade is so exemplify de; 
Wherfore by reason I must be duplifyde; 
And nothing stable in myne hye werke, 
As wryteth many a ryght noble clerke. 

Therfore by reason I must be mutable, 
And turne my whele right ofte up so downe, 
Labouringe in werkes whiche are unstable, 
On some to laughe and on some I must frowne; 
Thus all aboute in every realme and towne, 
I shew my power in every sundry wyse, 
Some to descende and on some to uryse. 


Wherforc my power doth ryght well excell 

Above the, Mars, in thine house enclosed; 

For to rule man tliou hast power never a dele, 

Save after the somwhat he is disposed: 

Thy consolacion hath him so apposed 

Who under the taketh his nativitie, 

Yet God hath gyven him power to rule the. 

Wherfore I am of a ferre hyer power 
Than thou arte; for there is no defence 
Agaynst my wyll at any time or houre; 
And in my name there is a difference, 
For in these wordes in my magnifycence 
Predestinate, and also desteny, 
As I shall shew anone more formably. 

Predestinate doth right well signify 
A thing to come, whiche is prepared: 
None but God doth know it openly, 
Tyl that the dede caused to be declared; 
For many one, whan they well fared, 
Full lytell thought that tribulacion 
To them was ordeyned by predestinacion. 

1 / The desteny is a thyng accydent, 

And by the werke doth take the effecte; 
Tyll it be done it is ay precedent, 
And man from it can him selfe abject. 
Thus evei'y chaunce doth Fortune derecte. 
Wherfore, by reason, La Graunde Amoure 
Must sue unto me to do him socour. 


Aha! quod Mars, suclie a one as thou 

I never knew before this ceason; 

For thou thy selfe doost so much enprou 

Above the havens by exaltacion; 

But what for all thy commendacion? 

Arte thou now any thing substanciall, 

Spirituall, or els yet terrestryall? 

How can a werke perfitely be grounded 
But in these two? and thou arte of those: 
Wherfore for nought thou mayst be confounded; 
For nought in substaunce can nothing transpose; 
Of none effecte thou canst thy selfe disclose; 
How hast thou power, in any maner of case, 
In heven or earth without a dwellyng place? 

But that poetes hath made a figure 
Of the, for the great sygnification 
The chaunge of man so for to discure, 
' Accordyng to a moralyzacion; 
And of the trouth to make relacion, 
The man is fortune in the propre dede, 
And not thou that causeth hym to spede. 

What nedeth liim unto his selfe to sue, 
Sythen thou art the dedes of his chaunce; 
Thou to rule man, it is a thynge not true, 
Nowe wherupon doth hange this ordeuaunce, 
But accedent upon the governaunce 
Of the hye bodis, whiche doth man dispose 
The dede to do as hym lyst purpose. 


To here of Mars the marveylous argument, 
And of Fortune, I was sore amased; 
Tyll that I sawe a lady excellent, 
Clerely armed, upon whome I gased. 
And her amies ful prevely I biased: 
The shelde of golde, as I well understande, 
With a lyon of asure through passande. 

To me she came, with lowely countenaunce. 
And bad me welcome unto that mancion, 
Ledyng me forth wyth joy and pleasauncc 
Into an hall of mervaylous facion. 
Right strongly fortyfyde of olde foundacion. 
The pillers of yvery garnished with golde, 
With perles sette and bi-oudred many a folde. 

The flore was paved with stones precious, 

And the rofe was braunched curiously 

Of the beten golde both gaye and glorious, 

Knotted with pomaunders right swetely, 

Encencing out the yll odours misty; 

And on the walles right well did appere 

The sege of Thebes depaynted fayre and clere. 

There were knightes playeng at the chesse, 
Which saw Minerve lede me in the hall; 
They lefte their play and all tlieyr besines, 
And welcomed me right gentely withall. 
With sir Nurture than moost in special!, 
Accompanied of his brother Curtesy; 
They made me chere than full effectuall. 


And after that they brought me up a stayre, 

Into a chambre gayly glorified; 

And at the dore there stode a knight right fayre, 

Ye cleped Trouth, right clerely purified; 

His countenaunce was right well modified; 

To me he sayde that, before mine entres, 

Him for to love I should him promes. 

Of ryght, he sayde, I have in custody 
This chambre dore of king Melezius, 
That no man enter into it wrongfully, 
Without me, Trouthe, for to be chivalrous; 
Here knightes be made to be victorious. 
I shall you promise, quoth I, faythfully. 
You for to love and serve prudently. 

Abyde, quod he, I wyll speke with the kynge; 

Tell me your name and habitation, 

And the chefe cause now of your coming, 

That I to him may make relacion. 

To knowe his minde without variacion. 

La Graund Amour my name is, sayd I; 

The cause of my coming, intentifly, 

Is for bicause that I have enterprised. 
Now for the sake of fayre La Bell Pucell, 
To passe the passage that I her promised 
That is so daungerous with serpentes cruell; 
And for as much as I know never a dell 
The festes of armes to attayne lionoure, 
I am come to lerne with diligent labour. 



Then forth he went unto the mageste 
Of king Melizius the mighty conquerour, 
Sayeng: O power so hye in dignitie! 
prynce victorious and famous emperour! 
Of justynge truely the originall floure; 
One Graunde Amoure wolde be acceptable, 
In your hye courte for to be tendable. 

With all my herte I wyll, quod he, accepte 
Hym to my servyce, for he is right worthy: 
For unto Doctryne the hye way he kept. 
And so from thens to the toure of Chyvalry. 
He shall attayne great actes wonderly. 
Go on your way, and bryng him fast to me, 
For I thinke long him to beholde and se. 

And than the good knight Trouth incontinent 
Into the chambre so pure soone me lede. 
Where sate the king so much benevolent. 
In purple clothed, set full of rubyes rede; 
And all the flore on which we did tread 
Was crystall clere, and the rofe at night 
With carbuncles did geve a merveylous lyght. 

The walles were hanged with cloth of tyssue, 

Bi'oudred with perles and rubies rubicond, 

Mixte with emerauds so full of vertue 

And brodred above witli many a diamonde. 

An hevy herte it Avolde make jocunde 

For to behold the merveylous riches, 

The lordship, welth, and the great worthines. 


There sate Melezius, in his hye estate, 
And over his head was a payre of balaunce; 
With his crowns and septer, after the true rate 
Of another wordly king for to have governaunce, 
In his hand a ball of right great cyrcumstaunce. 
Before whome than I did knele adowne, 
Sayeng : O Emperour ! moost hye of renowne, 

I the beseche, of thine haboundaunt grace, 
Me to accepte in this courte the for to serve. 
So to contynue by longe time and space, 
Of chivah-y that I may now deserve 
The order right, and well it to observe; 
For to attayne the high advauntage 
Of the enterpryse of my dougty vyage. 

Welcome, he sayd, to this coui't ryal ! 

Mynerve shall arme you with grete dylygence. 

And teche you the feates of armes all; 

For she them knoweth by good experyence. 

In the olde tyme it was her scyence. 

And I my selfe shall gyve you a worthy stede, 

Called Galantyse, to helpe you in your nede. 

^(^ I humbly thanked his grete hyenes ; 

And so to IMynerve I dyd than applye, 
Whiche dyd me teche with syker perfytnes 
For to haunt armes ryght well and nobly. 
Sapyence me ruled well and prudently; 
Thus amonge knyghtes for to just and tourney, 
Mynerve me taught iu sundry wyse all day. 


It was a joyfull and a knyghtly syght, 
For to behokle so fayre and good a sortc 
Of goodly knyghtes armed clere and bryglit, 
That I sawe there, whichc dyd me well exorte 
Armes to liaunte with coragyous comforter 
Mynerve me taught my strokes and defence, 
That in short space was no resystence 

Agaynst my powre and myghty puyssaunce; 

To my wylfull herte was nought impossyble, 

1 bare my selfe so without doubtaunce 

My herte made my courage invyncible, 

Of whiche the trouthe was soone intellygyble, 

"With my behavynge before the preemynence 

Of kynge Melezius famous excellence. 

Which right anone for dame Minerve sent, 
And me also, with sir Trouth to obey. 
We thought full litell what the mater ment, 
But unto him we toke anone the way, 
Entring the chambre so fayre, clere, and gay. 
The king us called unto his person, 
Sayeng: I wyll Graund Amoure anone 

Truly make knight; for the time approcheth 
That he must haunt and seke adventure 
For La Belle Pucell, as true love requireth. 
And first of all began to me discure 
The highe order how I shoulde take in cure; 
And than anone he gan to expresse 
What knighthode was to perfite sekernesse. 



Knighthocle, he sayd, was first established 
The comenwelth in right to defende, 
That by the wrong it be not minished; 
So every knight did truely condiscende, 
For the comynwelth his power to entende 
Ageynst aU suche rebelles contrarious, 
Them to subdue with power victorious! 

For knighthode is not in the feates of warre, 
As for to fight in quarell right or wronge, 
But in a cause which trouth can not defarre; 
He ought him selfe for to make sure and stronge 
Justice to kepe mixt with mercy amonge; 
And no quarell a knight ought to take, 
But for a trouth or for the comins sake. 

For fyi'st, good hope his legge barneys sholde be; 

His habergion of perfyte ryghtwy senes ; 

Gyrde faste wyth the gyrdle of chastite, 

His riche placarde should be good besines, 

Brandi'ed with almes so full of larges; 

The helmet mekenes, and the shelde good faytli; 

His swerde Goddes worde, as saynt Poide saytli. 

Also true wyddowes he ought to restore 
Unto their right for to attayne theyr dower, 
And to upliolde and mainteyne evermore 
The welth of maydens with his myghty power. 
And to his soverayne, at every maner hower, 
To be redy, true, and eke obeysavuit, 
In stable love fixt and not variaunt. 


Thus, after this noble and solerapne doctryne, 
He made me knight, and gave me in charge 
Unto these poyntes right low to enclyne. 
And to stere well the frayle tonibling barge 
Over vayne glory whan I sayle at large. 
Whan the winde is right, the barge can not fayle, 
Unto his purpose so with hardines to sayle. 

•^ I dyd well register in my remembraunce 
Every thing which he hath to me tolde. 
And right anone in good resemblaunce 
The kyng I thanked, with courage right bolde, 
Of his great grace and giftes many a folde, 
Which unto me right openly he shewed, 
With golden droppes so lyberally indewed. 

I toke my leve of his right hye estate; 
And than Mynerve into the hall me brought, 
Accompanied by Trouth, my faythfull mate. 
Us for to solace ther lacced right nought, 
That ony man can printe in his thought; 
The knightes all unto their armes went, 
To bryng me forward with a true entent. 

And Mynerve armed me as she coude devyse, 
And brought unto me my fayre barbed stede, 
On whome I mounted in all goodly guyse. 
With shelde and spere, as nothing to drede 
In right to fyglit for to attayne my mede. 
So with me wente both my greyhoundes twayne, 
And good Attendaunce, my verlet certayne. 


The good knight Trouth brouglit me on the way, 

Accompanied then of syr Fidelitie, 

Wyth liaute courage betrapped fayre and gaye 

Wyth shyning trappers of curiositie; 

And then also there rode forth wyth me 

The sturdy knight well named Fortitude, 

With the noble veterane syr Consuetude. 

And eke syr justice and syr Mysericorde, 

Syr Sa^Jience, with good syr Curteysy; 

Wyth famous Nurture, and than syr Concorde 

Accompanied me full ryght gentylly 

Oute of the castell, ryding ryally; 

And dame Minerve, the chevalryous goddes, 

Dyd me endue then with harty hardyues. 

(^; And whan we came into a goodly playne, 
Right of them all I toke my lycence ; 
Me thought it time that they tourne agayne 
Unto the king with all their diligence. 
I made mine othe with percing influence, 
Unto them all for to remayne full true 
In stedfast love, all treason to eschue. 

Full loth they were fro me to departe. 
Every one of them, as ye may understande; 
With salt teres full wofuli was ixiy herte, 
Whan all on rowe they toke me by the hande. 
Adew ! they sayd, and grace with you stand, 
You for to ayde whan that you do fyght! 
And so they turned unto the castell ryght. 


And good dame Mynerve unto me then sayd: 
Be not adredde of your hye enterpryse; 
Be bolde and hardy and nothing afrayde; 
And rather deye in ony maner of wyse, 
To attayne honour and the lyfe dyspyse, 
Than for to lyve and I'emayne in shame; 
For to dye with honour it is a good name. 

Fare well! she sayd, and be of good chere; 
I must departe, I may no lenger tary; 
Ryde on your way, the weder is full clere; 
Seke your adventure, and loke you not vary 
Frome your hye order by ony contrary. 
And thervvithall forth on her way she rode, 
Ryght so did I, which no longer abode, 

With both my greyhoundes and my varlet, 
Through the playne and into wyldernes, 
And so alofte amonge the hylles greate, 
Tyll it was nyght so thicke of darkenes 
That of constraynt of very werynes 
We lyght adowne, under an hyll syde, 
Unto the day to rest us there that tyde. 

And whan my page my helmet unlaced, 

He layde it downe underneth my hede, 

And to his legge he my stede enbraced 

To grase about while on the grase he fed; 

And than also his horse in lyke stede 

With both our greyhoundes lyeng us nere by; 

And slouthe our hedes had caught so sodaynly. 


That all the nyght we slepte in good reste, 
Tyll agaynst day began to nese and cry 
My stede Galantyse with a roryng bi-este, 
And eke began to stampe full marveylously ; 
Whose hye courage awaked us wonderly, 
And ryght anone we kast up our eyes, 
Beholdyng above the fayre crystall skyes. 

v^*? Seynge the cloudes rayed fayre and rede 
Of Phebus rysinge in the orient, 
And Aurora her golden hemes sprede 
About the ayre clerely refulgent, 
Withouten mysty blacke encombremente, 
Up I arose and also my page, 
Makyng us redy for to take our vyage. 






And so forth we rode, tyll we sawe aferre 

To us came rydyng, on a lytell nagge, 

A folysshe dwarfe, nothynge for the warre, 

With a hood, a bell, a foxtayle, and a bagge; 

In a pyed cote he rode brygge a bragge; 

And whan that he unto us drewe nye, 

I behelde his body and his visnamy. 


His head was greate, beteled was his browes, 
Hys eyen holow, and his nose ci'oked; 
His bryes brystled truely lyke a sowes; 
His chekes here, and God wote he loked 
Full lyke an ape, here and thei*e he toted 
With a pyed berde and hangyng lyppes grete. 
And evei'y tothe as blacke as ony gete. 

His necke shorte, his sholders stode awry, 
His breste fatte and bolne in the wast; 
His amies great, with fyngers crokedly; 
His legges kewed; he rode to me fast, 
Full lyke a patron to be shaped in hast. 
Good even, he sayd, and have good day, 
If that it lyke you for to ryde merely. 

"Welcome, I sayde; I praye the now tell 
Me what thou arte and wliere thou dost dwell ? 
Sothelyche, quod he, whan Icham in Kent 
At home Icham ; though I be hether sente, 
Icham a gentylman of much noble kynne, 
Though Iclie be clad in a knaves skynne. 
For there was one called Peter Pratefast, 
That in all hys lyfe spake no worde in waste ; 
He wedde a wyfe that was called Maude. 
I trowe, quod I, she was a gorgious baude. 
Thou lyest, quod he, she was gentyl and good, 
She gave her husbande many a furde hode. 
And at his melys, without any mys, 
She wolde him serve in clenly wyse ywys. 
God love her soule as she loved clennes, 
And kepe her dysshes from al foulnes. 


Whan she lacketh cloutes, without any fayle 
She wypecl her disshes wyth her dogges tayle. 
And they liad yssue Sym Sadie-gander, 
That for a wyfe in all the worlde did wander, 
Tyll at the last, in the wynters nyght. 
By Temmes he say led, aryved by ryght 
Amonge the nunnes of the grene cote. 
He wente to lande out of his prety bote, 
And wedde thei-e one that was comen anewe: 
He thought her stable, and fayfthfuU, and trewe. 
Her name was Betres, that so clenly was. 
That no fylthe by her in any wyse shoulde passe. 

And betwene them bothe they did get a sonne, 

Whiche was my father, that in Kente did wonne. ' 

His name was Davy Dronken-nole, 

He never dranke but in a fayre blacke boule. 

He toke a wyfe that was very fayre, 

And gate me on her for to be his ayre. 

Her name Avas Alyson, she loved nought elles 

But ever more to rynge her blacke belles. . 

Now are they deade all, so mote I well thryve, 

Excepte my selfe Godfray Gobelive, 

Whiche rode about a wyfe me to seke. 

But I can finde none that is good and meke; 

For all are shrewes in the world aboute, 

I coude never mete with none Qther route; 

For some develles wyll their husbandes bete, 

And tho that can not, they wyll never let 

Their tongues cease, but gyve thre wordes for one, 

Fy on them all ! I wyll of them have none : 

Who loveth any for to make hym sadde, 


I wene that he become worse than madde, 
Tliey are not stedfast nothyng in their mynde, 
But alway toruyng lyke a bhvste of wynde. 
For let a man love them never so wele, 
They will hym love agayne never a dele. 
For though a man all his lyfe certayne 
Unto her sue to have release of payne, 
And at the last she on hym do rewe, 
If by fortune there come another newe, . 
The first shall be clene out of her favoure. 
Recorde of Creseyd and of Troylus the doloure. 
They are so subtyll and so false of kyude, 
There can no man wade beyonde their mynde. 
Was not Aristotle for all his clergy, 
For a woman rapt in love so marveylously, 
That all his counyng he had sone forgotten. 
This unhap love had his mynde so broken, 
That evermore the salte teres downe hayled 
Whan the chaunce of love he hymselfe bewayled. 
Aferde he was of the true love to breke, 
For sayng nay whan he therof should speke ; 
Tyll of constraynt of wofuU hevynes. 
For to have remedy of his sore sekenes, 
Whan he her spyed ryght secrete alone, 
Unto her he wente and made all his mono. 
Alas! he sayd, the cause of my wo, 
Myne only lady and maystres also, 
Whose goodly beaute hath my harte enrached, 
With fervent love and fyry lemes entached, 
Wherfore take pyte of the paynfuU sorowe 
Of me your servaunt both even and morowe. 
She stode ryght styll, and hearde what he sayde: 
Alas! quod she, be ye no more dismayed. 


For I am content to fulfill your will 
In every maner, be it good or ill, 
Of tliis conclicion; that ye shall release 
Me first of my wo and great distresse; 
For I my selfe have thought many a daye 
To you to speake, but for feare of a nay 
I durst never of the matter meve 
Unto your person, lest it should you greve. 
Nay, nay, quod he, with all my whole entente, 
I shall obeye to your commaundement. 
Well then, quod she, I shall you nowe tell 
Howe the case standeth, truely, every dele: 
For you knowe well that some women do long- 
After nyce thynges, be it ryght or wrong. 
Ryght so must I upon your backe nowe ryde. 
In your mouthe also a brydle you to guyde. 
And so a brydle she put in his mouthe, 
Upon his backe she rode both north and soutli, 
About a chamber as some clarkes wene, 
Of many persones it was openly sene! 
Lo! what is love, that can so sore blynde 
A philosopher to bryng hym out of kynde? 
For love doth passe any maner of thyng, 
It is harde and privy in workyng. 
So on the grounde Aristotle crept, 
And in his teeth she long the brydle kept, 
Till she therof had inough her fyll; 
And yet for this he never had his wyll. 
She dyd nothing but for to mocke and scorne 
This true lover whiche was for love forlorne: 
But when he knewe the poynt of the case, 
The fyry angre dyde hys herte enbrace. 
That he him selfe dyd anone well knowe. 


His angre dyd his love so overthrowe, 

And ryglit anone, as some poets wryte, 

He tlie gret mockage dyd licr well acquyte. 

Dyd not a woman the fiimouse Vyrgyle 

By her greate fraude full craftely begyle? 

For on a day, for hys owne dysporte, 

To the court of Rome he gan to resorte, 

Araonge the ladyes the tyme for to passe; 

Tyl at the last, lyke Phebus in the glasse. 

So dyd a lady wyth her beaute clere 

Shyne throughe his hert wyth suche love so dere, 

That of great force he must nedes obey, 

She of his mynde bare bothe the locke and tlie kay: 

So was his hart set upon a fyre 

Wyth fervent love to attayne hys desyre. 

She had him caught in suche a wyly snare, 

Great was his payne and muche more his care. 

To fynde a tyme whan it should be meved 

To her of love and he nothynge repreved. 

Thus every day, by ymagynacyon, 

In his mynde was suche perturbacyon, 

And at the last he had found a tyme 

Hym thought to speke, and unto hym no crynie. 

Mercy! lady, nowe, in all humble wyse, 

To her he sayd: for yf ye me dyspyse 

So hath your beaute my true hart aryed. 

It is no mervayle thoughe I be afrayde 

To you to speake it, that you deny 

My purpose truely I am marde utterly. 

So do I love now wyth all my heart entere, 

Wyth inwarde care I by your beauty dere, 

I must abyde wyth all my hole entente 

Of lyfe or death your onely judgement. 


Wyth fayned eares of perfyte audyence 
She did him here, gyvyng this sentence: 
Vyrgyl, she sayd, I wolde fayne you ease 
Of your trouble, and of your great disease; 
But I wote not howe that it should be, 
Without tournynge us to great dyshoneste; 
If it be knowen, than bothe you and I 
Shall be reheited at full shamefully. 
But what for that ? I have me bethought 
A praty craft by me shalbe wrought. 
Ye knowe my chambre joyneth to a wall, 
Beynge right hyghe and a wyndowe wythall. 
Soone at nyght, when all folke be at reast. 
I shall take a basket as rae thynketh beast, 
And therto I shall a longe corde well tye. 
And from the wyndowe let it downe pryvely. 
Eight so, whan it is downe on the grounde, 
Ye may well entre in it, both hole and sound, 
And my two maydens the whiche secrete be 
Shall anone helpe to hale you up with me. 
Lo! in this wyse you may have ryght well 
Your owne desyre in short space every deel. 
At xi. of the clocke, in the nyght so darke. 
They did appoyut for to fulfyll this worke. 
He often thanked her gentlines. 
And so departed with great gladnes; 
And so he went unto his study, 
Passyng the tyme himselfe full merely, 
Tyll that the clocke did strike aleven, 
Then to the wall he went full even, 
And founde the basket at the grounde already, 
And entred into it full sodaynly, 
Waggyng the rope, which the lady espied. 


Whiche to the wyndowc I'yglit anonc her hyed. 
With her two iiiaydens she did him up wyiide, 
Amiddes tlie wall, and left hym there behynde, 
That was fyve fadom and more from the grouude. 
When him selfe in suche a case he founde, 
Alas! he sayde, myne owne ladj--, save 
Myne honestye, and what ye list to have, 
Ye shall have it at your owne desire. 
Nowe wynde me up, my hart is on fyre. 
Thou shalt, quod she, in that place abyde, 
That all the cytie so ryght long and wyde 
May the beholde and the matter knowe. 
For myne honestie, and thy shame, I trowe. 
So there he hong tyll noone of the daye. 
That every persone whiche went by the waye 
Myght hym well se and also beholde, 
And unto them the very cause she tolde. 
Lo, howe with shame she her love rewarded. 
His payne and sorowe she nothyng regarded; 
Thus at the last he adowne was brought. 
Replete with shame, it vayleth hym ryght nought. 
Thus with great anger he his love confounded, 
Healyng the stroke whiche that she hath wounded. 
And by his craft he in Rome did drenche 
Every fyre for he left none to quenche, 
And towarde Rome a great circuite aboute, 
There was no fyre that was un-put-out. 



* * * 

Thus all tlie cytie upon her did wonder, 

For perfite sorowe her harte was nere asunder; 

And thus Vyrgyle, with crafty suhtilnes, 

Rewarded her falshode and doublenes. 

All this I tell though that I be a fole, 

To the, yong knight, for thou maist go to schole. 

In tyme commyng of true love to learne. 

Beware of that for thou canst not decerne 

Thy ladies mynde: though that she speake the fay re, 

Her harte is false, she wyll no truthe repayre. 

Nay, quod I, they are not all disposed 

So for to do as ye have here disclosed. 

Aha! quod he, I trowe well ye be 

A true lover: so mote I thrive and the. 

Let not thy lady of thy harte be rother; 

When thou art gone, she wyll sone have another. 

Thus forth we rode tyll we sawe afarre 

A royall tower as bryght as any starre, 

To whiche we rode as fast as we myght. 

When we came there, adowne my stede I lyght. 

So dyd this Godfrey Gobilive also; 

Into the temple after me gan go. 

There sate dame Venus and Cupide her sonne, 

Whiche had their parliament ryght newly begone. 

To redresse lovers of their payne and wo, 

Whiche in the temple did walke to and fro. 

And every one his byll did present 

Before Venus in her hyghe parliament. 


The temple of her royall consistory- 
Was walled all about with yvory, 
All of golcle, like a place solacious, 
The roufe was made of knottes curious. 
I can nothing extendc the goodlines 
Of her temple, so much of ryches. 
This Godfrey Gobilyve went lightly 
Unto dame Sapience, the secretary, 
That did him make this supplication 
To the goddesse Venus with brevacion: 
Rcdresse my payne of moi'tall heavines; 
I did once woe an olde mayden ryche 
A foule thefe, an olde wydred wiche. 
Fayre mayde, I sayd, will ye me have? 
Nay sir, so God me kepe and save! 
For you are evill favoured and also ugly, 
I am the worse to se your visnamy; 
Yet was she fouler many an hundred fokhi 
Then I my selfe, as ye may well beholde. 
And therewithall he caused to depaynte 
His face and hers, all under his complaynte. 
And to Venus he made deliveraunce 
Of his complaint by a short circumstaunce; 
Whiche ryght anone, when she had it sene, 
Began to laughe with all the courte I wene. 
Lo here the fygures of them both certayne. 
Judge whiche is best favoured of them twayne. 
Thus Godfrey Gobilyve did make such a sporte. 
That many lovers to liym did resorte; 
"When I sawe tyme I went to Sapience, 
Shewyng to her with all my diligence 
Howe that my hart by Venus was trapt. 
With a snare of love so prively be wrapt; 


And ill liei' tower to have a dwellyng place, 

I seke adventures to attayne her grace. 

Her name, quod I, La Bell Pucell is, 

Both east and west she is well knowen ywys: 

And my name, La Graunde Amoure is called, 

Whose harte with payne she all about hath walled 

With her beautie, whiche dame Natui'e create, 

Above all other in most hygh estate. 

Well, sayde Sapience, I thinke in my mynde 

Her love and favoure you shall attayne by kynde; 

And I wyll drawe to you incontinent. 

All your complaynt, as is convenient 

Unto dame Venus, to se directly 

For your payne and sorowe sone a remedy. 

She drewe my pyteous lamentacion, 

Accordyng to this supplication: 



O, Venus! lady, and excellent goddesse, 
O celestiall starre ! havyng the soverayntie 
Above all other starres as lady and princes, 
As is according unto your deitie; 
Pleaseth it nowe your great benignitic 
Unto my complaynt for to geve audience, 
Whiche burne in love with pearcyng vyolence. 


For so it happened that the lady Fame 
Did witli me mete, and gan to expresse 
Of a fayre lady whiche had unto name 
La Bell Pucel, come of hye noblesse; 
Whose beautie clearc and comely goodlines 
From day to day doth ryght well renenue, 
With grace brydled and with great vertue. 

She tolde me of her fayre habitation, 

And of the wayes therto full daungerous; 

Her swete report gave me exhortation . 

Unto my herte for to be courigious, 

To passe the passage harde and troublous; 

And to bring me out of great encumbraunce. 

She me delyvered both Grace and Governaunce. 

So forth we went to the toure of Science, 
For to attayne in every artike poole. 
And first Doctryne by good experience 
Unto dame Grammer did sette me to scoole, 
Of mysty ignoraunce to oppres the dole; 
And so I ascended unto dame Logyke, 
And after her unto lusty Rethorike. 

^ Tyll at the last, at a feast solemply 

To a temple I went, dame Musike to heare 

Play on her organs with swete armony; 

But than on lofte I saw to me appeare 

The floure of comforte, the sterre of vertue clere, 

Whose beaute bright into my herte did passe, 

Lyke as fayre Phebus doth shyne in the glasse. 


So was my herte by the stroke of love 

Witli sorow prest, and with mortall payne; 

That unneth I myght from the place remove, 

Where as I stocle I was so take certayne, 

Yet up I loked to se her agayne, 

And at aventure with a sory moode, 

Up than I went where as her person stode. 

And first of all my herte gan to lerne 
Eight well to register in remembraunce, 
How that her beautie I might than decerne, 
From top to to endued with pleasaunce, 
Which I shall shew withouten variaunce; 
Her shining here so properly she dresses 
Alofe her forehed with fay re golden tresses. 

Her forehead stepe, with fayre browes ybent, 
Her eyen gray, her nose streyght and fayre. 
In her whyte chekes the fayre bloud it went 
As among the whyte the rede to repay re: 
Her mouth right small, her breth swete of ayre, 
Her lyppes softe and ruddy as a rose, 
No hert on lyve but it wold him appose. 

Wyth a lyttle pytte in her well-favored chynne; 
Her necke longe as whyte as ony hdly, 
With vaynes blew in which the blode ran inne; 
Her paypes round and therto right prety; 
Her armes sclender and of goodly body; 
Her fingers small and therto right longe. 
White as the milke, with blew vaynes among. 


Her fete pi'Q[)er, she gai'tcrecl well her hose, 
I never saw so swete a creature; 
Nothing she lacketh as I do suppose, 
Tliat is longing to fayre dame Nature; 
Yet more over her countenaunce so pure, 
So swete, so lovely, wold my hert inspyre, 
Wyth fervent love to attayne his desyre. 

But what for her maners passeth all, 
She is both gentyll, good, and vertuous; 
Alas! what fortune did me to her call 
Without that she be to me piteous? 
With her so fettei'ed in paynes dolorous, 
Alas! shall pite be from her exyled. 
Which all vertues hath so undefiled? 

Thus in my mynde whan I had engraved 

Her goodly countenaunce and fayre figure. 

It was no wonder that I was amased. 

My herte and minde she had so tane in cure. 

Nothing of love I durst to her discurc; 

Yet for bicause I was in her presence, 

I toke acquaintaunce of her excellence. 

My herte was drenched in great sorow depe. 

Though outwardly my countenaunce was lyght; 

The inward wo into my hert did crepe^ 

To hide my payne it was great force and myght. 

Thus her swete beaute with a soden sight 

My hert hath wounded, which much nodes obey 

Unto such a sorow, alas, welawaye! 



For she is gone, and departed i-iglit ferre, 
In her countre where slie doth abyde; 
She is now gone, the fayre shining sterre! 
O lady Venus ! I pray the provide 
That I may after at the morow tide. 
And by the way, with hert rigorious, 
To subdue mine enemies contrarious. 

, S And yet thy grace moost humbly I pray. 
To send thy sonne lytle Cupide before. 
With loving letters as fast as thou may, 
That she may know somwhat of my paynes sore, 
Which for her sake I suffer evermore. 
Now, lady Venus, with my hole intent 
Of lyfe or death I byde the judgement. 

Well than, sayd Venus, I have perseveraunce 
That you know somwhat of mighty power 
Which to my court sue for my quayntaunce, 
■ To have release of your great paynes sower. 
Abyde a whyle, ye must tary the hower; 
The time renneth toward right fast: 
Joy cometh after whan the sorow is past. 

Alas! I sayd, who is fettered in chaynes 
He thinketh long after delyveracion 
Of his great wo and eke mortal! paynes; 
For who abideth paynfuU penaunce 
Thinketh a short whyle a longe contynuaunce; 
Who may not speke with her he loveth best, 
It is no wonder tliough he take no rest. 


Abyde, quod she; you must a wliyle yet tary, 
Though to have comfort ye right long do thinke: 
I shall provide for you a lectuary, 
Which after sorow into your herte shall sinks. 
Though you be brought now unto dethes drynke, 
Yet drede exile and lyve in hope and trust, 
For at the last you shall attayne your lust. 

And specially I gyve to you a charge 
To fyxe your love, for to be true and stable 
Upon your lady, and not to fie at large 
As in sundry wise for to be variable. 
In corrupt thoughtes vyle and culpable; 
Prepence nothing unto her dishonesty, 
For love dishonest hath no certaynte. 


And sithen that I was cause you be gone 
Fyrst for to love, I shall a letter make 
Unto your lady, and send it by my sonne, 
Lytle Cupyde, that shall it to her take, 
That she your sorow may detray or slake. 
Her harded herte it shall well revolve, 
AVyth pyteous wordes that shall it dissolve. 

And right anon, as the mater foloweth, 
She caused Sapyence a letter to wryte; 
Lo! what her favour unto me avayleth 
Whan for my selfe she did so well indite, 
As I shall shew in a short respyte 
The gentyll fourme and tenour of her letter, 
To spede my cause for to attayne the better. 




Right geutyll herte of grene flouring age, 
The sterre of beute and of famous porte, 
Consyder well that your lusty courage 
Age of his cours must at the last transporter 
Now trouth of his right dooth our selfe exhorte 
That you your youth in ydelnes wyll spende, 
"Wythouten pleasure to bryng it to an ende. 

What was the cause of your creacion, 
But man to love, the world to raulteply? 
As to sow the sede of generaciou, 
Wyth fervent love so well conveniently. 
The cause of love eugendreth perfytely. 
Upon an entent of dame Nature, 
Which you have made so fayre a creature. 

Than of dame Nature what is the entent 
But to accomplyshe her fayre sede to sow? 
In such a place as is convenient, 
To Gods pleasure, for to increase and grow. 
The kinde of her ye may not overthrow: 
Say what ye lyst, ye can nothing deny, 
But otherwhyle ye thinke full prively 


What the man is, and what he can do 
Of cliambre werke, as nature can agre, 
Though by experience ye know nothing therto, 
Yet oft ye muse, and thinke what it may be. 
Nature provoketh of her strong degre, 
You so to as hath bene her ohle guyse; 
Why wyll you than the true love dispyse? 

In our court there is a byll presented 
By Graund Amour, whose hert in dures 
You fast have fettered, not to be absented 
Frome your person with mortall hevynes: 
His hert and service, with all gentylncs. 
He to you oweth, as to be obedient 
For to fulfyll your swete commaundement. 

What you avayleth your beaiite so fayre. 

Your lusty youth and your gentill countenaunce, 

Without that you in your minde will repayre 

It for to spend in joye and plesaunce? 

To folow the trace of dame Natures daunce; 

And thus in doing you shall your servaunt hele, 

Of his disease and hurte you never a dele. 

One must you love, it can not be denied, 
For harde it is to voyde you of the chaunce 
Than to love him best that you have so arayed 
Wyth fyry chaynes fettered in penauuce; 
For he is redy without doubtaunce 
In every thing for to fulfyll your wyll, 
And as ye lyst ye may him save or spyll. 


Alas! what payne and mortall wo 
Were it to you and you were in lyke cace, 
Wyth him dismayde which you have rayed so; 
Wold you not than thinke it a longe space 
In his swete herte to have a dwellyng place? 
Than in your minde you may revolve that he 
Moost longe do tbinke that joyfull day to se. 

Is not he yonge, both wyse and lusty, 
And eke descended of the gentyll lyne? 
What wyll you have more of him truely, 
Than you to serve as true love wyll inclyne? 
But, as I thinke, you do now determine 
To fyxe your minde for worldly treasure, 
Though in your youth ye lese your pleasure. 

Alas I remember first your beaute. 

Your youth, your courage, and your tender herte; 

What payne hereafter it may to you be 

^Vhan you lacke that which is true lovers deserte; 

I tell you this your selfe to converte, 

For lytle know ye of this payne ywys, 

To lyve with him in whome no pleasure is. 

Where that is love, there can be no lacke; 
Fye on that love for the land or substaunce, 
For it must nedes right soone abacke 
Whan that youth hath no joye nor pleasaunce 
In the party with natures sufiisaunce; 
Than wyll you, for the sinne of averiche, 
Unto your youth do such a prejudice? 


Thus, sithen Nature hath you well indued 
With so much beaute; and dame Grace also 
Your vertuous maner hath so well renued; 
Exyle Disdayne and let her from you go, 
And also Straungenes, and to love the fo ; 
And let no covetous your true herte subdue. 
But that in joye you may your youth ensue. 

For of I love the goddes dame Venus, 

Right well to know that in the world is none 

That unto you shall be more joyous 

Than Graund Amour, that loveth you alone; 

Sith he so did, it is many dayes agone. 

Who ever saw a fayre yong hart so harde, 

Which for her sake wolde se her true love mard? 

And so shall he, without ye take good hede, 
If it so be ye be cause of the same, 
For love with deth wyll ye reward his mede? 
And if ye do ye be to muche to blame. 
To love unloved ye know it is no game: 
Wherfore, me thinke, ye can do no lesse 
But with your love his paynes to I'edi'es. 

If ye do not, this may be his songe; 

Wo worth the time that ever he you met; 

Wo worth your hert so doing him wrong; 

Wo worth the houre that his true herte was set; 

Wo worth dysdayne that wold his purpose let; 

Wo worth the flour that can do no bote; 

Wo worth you tliat perst him at the I'oute. 


Wo worth my love, the cause of my sorow; 
AVo worth my lady that wyll not it releace; 
"Wo worth fortune both even and morow; 
Wo worth trouble that shall have no peace; 
Wo worth cruelte that may never cease; 
AVo worth youth that wyll not pitie have; 
Wo worth her that wyll not her love save; 

Wo worth the trust without assuraunce; 

Wo worth love rewarded with hate; 

Wo worth love replete with variaunce; 

Wo worth love without a frendly mate; 

Wo worth the herte with love at debate; 

Wo worth the beaute Avhicli toke me in snare; 

Wo worth the hert that wyll not cease my care; 

Wo worth her maners and her goodlynes; 
Wo worth her eyes so clere and amy able; 
AVo worth such cause of my great sicknes; 
Wo worth pite on her not tendable; 
Wo worth her raiude in disdayne so stable; 
Wo worth her that hath me fettered fast; 
And wo worth love that I do spend in wast. 

Wlierefore of right I pray you to remembre 
All that I wryte unto you right now: 
How your true love is of age but tendre, 
His umble service we pray you alow: 
And he him selfe evermore emprowe, 
You for to please and give the soveraynte, 
How can you have a more true love than he ? 


And fare ye well: there is no more to say; 
Under our signet, in our court ryall, 
Of September the two and twenty day. 
She closed the letter, and to her did call 
Cupyde her sonne, so dere aijd speciall, 
Commaunding him, as fast as he myght, 
To La Belle Puoell for to take his flyght. 

So did Cupyde with the letter flye 

Unto La Belle Pucelles dominacion, 

There that he spedde full well and wonderly, 

As I shall after make relacion. 

But to my matter with brevyacion: 

A turtle I offred for to magnefy 

Dame Venus hye estate to glorify. 

She me exhorted for to be right hardy. 

Forth on travayle, and to drede nothing; 

I toke my leve of her full humbly, 

And on my way as I Avas riding 

This Godfrey Gobelyve came rennyng, 

Wyth his little nagge, and cryed: tary! tary! 

For I wyll come and here you company. 




And for because that I was than full sadde 
And bj the way he made me good game; 
To have his company I was somwhat gladde. 
I was not proude, I toke of him no shame: 
He came to me and sayd : Ye are to blame 
So to ryde louring for a womans sake, 
Unto the devyll I do them all betake. 

They be not stedfast, but chaunge as the mone; 
Whan one is gone, they love another sone. 
Who that is single and wyll have a wyfe, 
Right out of joy he shall be brought in stryfe. 
Thus whan Godfrey did so mery make, 
There did a lady us sone overtake, 
And in her hand she had a knotted whyp; 
At every yerte she made Godfrey to skyppe. 
Alas! he sayd, that ever I was borne; 
Now am I take for all my mocke and scorne! 
I loked about whan that I hei'de hym crye, 
Seing this lady on her palfray ryde hye: 
Madame, I sayde, I pray you me tell 
Your proper name, and where that you dwell ? 
My name, quod she, is called Correccion; 
And the toure of Chastite is my mancyon. 
This strong thefe, called False Reporte, 
Wyth Vylayne Courage, and an other sorte 


And vyle perlers False Conjecture, 

All these I had in pryson full sure. 

But this False Eeporte hath broken pryson, 

"With his subtyl crafte and evyl treason, 

And this journey pi'ively to spede 

He hath clad him in this fooles wede. 

Now have I answered you your question, 

And I pray you of a lyke solucion ; 

You seme, me thinke, for to be a knight; 

I pray you first to tell me your name aryght. 

My name, quod I, is La Graund Amour. 

A! well, quod she, you are the perfite floure 

Of al true lovers, as I do wel know; 

You shall attayne La Belle Pucell, I trow. 

I know right well ye are adventurous, 

Onward your way to the toure peryllous; 

And for as much as the night is nere, 

I humbly pray you for to take the chere 

That I may make you in my toure this night: 

It is here by, you shall of it have a sight. 

And I pray you to helpe me to bynde 

This False Reporte, as you should do by kynde. 

What! Godfrey, quod I,wyllyou chaunge yourname? 

Nay, nay, quod he, it was for no shame; 

But, alas! for wo, that she hath me taken! 

I must obey, it can not be forsaken. 

His fete were fettered underneth his nagge. 

And bound his handes behinde to his bagge; 

Thus Correction, with her whyp did dryve 

The litle nagge wytli Godfrey Gobelyve 

Tyll at the last we gan to approche 

Her riall tour upon a craggy roche. 

The night was come, for it was right late; 


Yet right anone we came unto the gate, . 
Where we were let in by dame Measure, 
That was a fayre and a goodly creature. 
And so Correccion brought me to the hall, 
Of gete well wrought, glased with cristall; 
The rofe was golde, and amiddes was set 
A carbuncle that was large and great, 
Whose vertue clere in the hall so bryght 
About did cast a great mervaylous lyght. 
So forth we went unto a chamber fayre, 
Wliere many ladies did them selfe repayre, 
And at our coming than incontinent 
They welcomed us as was convenient. 
But of Correccyon they were very glad, 
Which False Reporte agayne take had. 
There was quene Phantasyle with Penalape, 
Queue Helayne and quene Menelape, 
Queue Ythesile and quene Prosperine, 
The lady Meduse and yong Polixine; 
With many mo that I do not rehearse : 
My time is short, T must from them reverse. 
And dame Correccion into a chainbre ledde 
Me right anone, for to go to my bedde. 
What nede I shew of my great chere and rest ? 
I wanted nought, but had all of the best. 
And so I slept tyll that Aurora clere 
Began to shyne amiddes the golden spere. 
Tlian up I rose, and my verlet also. 
Which made me redy, and to niy stede did go; 
And dame Correccion, at the morow tyde. 
Did me entreat a while to abyde; 
And right anone my breakfast was brought, 
To make me chere there wanted ri^ht nou2;ht. 


And after this, dame Correccion 

Did lede me to a mervaylous dongen: 

And first she led me to the upper ward, 

Where Shamefastnes did us well regardc, 

For he was gayler, and had at his charge 

Every rebell not for to go at large. 

In the first ward there wente to and fro 

Both men and women might no ferther go, 

But yet they hoped for to have releve 

Of theyr imprison which did them so greve. 

These prisoners, whan true love was meved, 

They wold dryve of and release the greved; 

And for this cause, by egal jugement, 

Lyke as they did, here hath they punishment. 

And Shamefastnes lower did us bring 

Where we saw men in great tormenting, 

With many ladies, that their mouthes gagged; 

And Fales Reporte on me his head wagged. 

Than right anone a lady gan to scrape 

His furred tonge, that he cryed lyke an ape; 

And, vyle peller, in lykewyse also. 

His tonge was scraped that he suffered wo; 

And yet we went into a depe vale, 

Where I saw men that were in great bale. 

In holly bushes they did hange aloft, 

Theyr liedes downeward for to fall unsofte; 

And two ladyes dyde theyr bodyes bete. 

With knotted whyppes in the flesshe to frete, 

That the desyre it sholde sone aswage 

And specyally of the Vylayne Courage. 

These men, with sugred mouthes so eloquente, 

A maydens herte coude ryght sone relente, 

And these yonge madens for to take in snare 


Tliey fayne greate wo and for to suffer care: 

The folyshe maydens dyd byleve they smarted, 

That to theyr wyll the men them converted: 

Thus whan that they had them so begyled, 

And with theyr fraude these maydens defyled, 

They cast them of; they toke no lenger kepe; 

Go where ye lyst, though they crye and wepe; 

Therfore these ladyes, wyth theyr whyppes harde, 

Theyr bodyes bete that theyr bodyes had marde. 

And every man as he hath deserved 

A payne there is whiche is for hym observed. 

Thus whan I had all the pryson sene, 

With the tourmente of many a one I wene, 

And forthe we wente agayne to the hall; 

My stede was redy and brought to the wall, 

And of the ladyes clere in excellence 

I toke my leve, with all due reverence, 

And thanked Correccyon, with my herte entere, 

Of my repose and of her lovynge cliere. 

To me she sayd: Remembi'e you well 

Of the swete beaute of La Belle Pucell, 

Whan you her herte in fetters have chayned. 

Let her have yours in lykewyse retayned; 

Loke that your herte, your worde, and countenaunce, 

Agre all in one without varyaunce. 

Yf she for pyte do release your payne, 

Consyder it and love her best agayne. 

Be true and secrete, and make none advaunte 

Whan you of love have a perfyte graunte. 

And if ye wyll come unto your wyll. 

Both here and se and than holde you styll. 

Drede you nothing, but take a good herte, 

For right sone after you from hens departe 


Right high adventures unto you shall fall- 
In tyme of fight unto your mind than call, 
If you prevayle you shall attayne the fame 
Of hye honour to certify the same. 
And therwith I lyght upon my stede. 
Madame, I sayd, I pray God do you mede ! 
Farewell ! she sayd, for you must now hens, 
Adue, quod I, with all my diligens. 





Whan golden Phebus in the Capricorne 
Gan to ascend fast unto Aquary, 
And Janus Bifrus the crowne had wone 
AVith his frosty herd in January; 
Whan clere Diana joyned with Mercury, 
The cristall ayre and assured firmanent 
Were all depured without encumbrement. 

Forth than I rode, at rayne owne adventure. 
Over the mountaynes and the craggy roche; 
To beholde the countrees I had great pleasure, 
Where corall growed by right hye flackes; 
And the popyngayes in the tre toppes; 
Than as I rode I sawe me beforne 
Besyde a welle hange both a shelde and home. 


Wlian I came there, adowne my stede I lyght, 
And the fayre bugle I right well bchclde; 
Blasynge the armes as well as I myghte 
That was so graven upon the goodly shclde; 
Fyrst all of sylver dyd appcre the felde, 
With a rampynge lyon of fyne golde so pure, 
And under the shelde there was this scrypture: 

Yf ony knyght that is adventurous 

Of his great pride dare the bugle blowe, 

There is a gyaunte bothe fyerce and rygorous 

That wyth his might shall hym soune overthrowe. 

This is the waye as ye shall nowe knowe 

To La Belle Pucell, but withouten fayle 

The sturdy gyaunte wyll geve you batayle. 

Whan I the scripture ones or twyes hadde rcdde, 
And knewe therof all the hole effecte, 
I blewe the home without any drede, 
And toke good herte all fare to abjecte, 
Makynge me redy, for I dyde suspecte 
Tliat the great gyaunte unto me wolde hast 
Whan he had herde me blowe so loude a blast. 

I alyght anone upon my gentyll stede, 
Aboute the well then I rode to and fro, 
And thought ryght well upon the joyfull medc 
That I shouldc have after my paync and wo; 
And on my lady I dyd tliynke also: 
Tyll at the last my varlet dyd me tell, 
Take hede, quod he, here is a fcnde of hell! 


My greylioundes leped and my stedo did stcrtc, 
My spere I toke and did loke aboute; 
Wyth hardy courage I did arrae me hcrte; 
At last I saw a sturdy giaunt stoute, 
Twelve fote of length to fere a great route, 
Thre hedes he had, and he armed was 
Both hedes and body all about with bras. 

Upon his first head in his helmet crest 
There stode a fane of the silke so fyne. 
Where was wryttcn, with letters of the best. 
My name is Falshed, I shall cause enclyne 
My neyghbours goods for to make them myne : 
Alway I get theyr lande or substaunce, 
With subtyll fraude, deceyte, or variaunce. 

And whan a knyght with noble chyvalry 
Of La Bell Pucell should attayne the grace, 
Wyth my great falshed I werke so subtylly 
That in her herte he hath no place: 
Thus of his purpose I do let the cace. 
This is I my jiower and my condicion, 
Love to remove by great illusion. 

And of the second head, in a silken tassell, 
There I saw wrytten: Ymaginacion; 
My crafty wytte is withouten fayle 
Love for to bring in perturbacion; 
Where La Bell Pucell wold have affeccion 
To Graund Amour, I shall a tale devyse 
To make her hate him and him to dispyse. 

M 2 


By my false wytte so muche imaginative 
The trouth full ofte I bring in disease; 
Whereas was peace I cause to be stryfe; 
I wyll suffer no man for to lyve in ease; 
For if by fortune he wyll be displease, 
I shall of him ymagin such a tale, 
That out of joy it shall turne into bale. 

And on the thirde hede, in a stremer grene, 

There was written: My name is Perjury; 

In many a towne I am knowen as I wene, 

Where as I lyst I do great injury. 

And do forswere my selfe full wrongfully: 

Of all thinges I do hate conscience. 

But I love lucre with all diligence. 

Betwene two lovers I do make debate; 
I will so swere, that they thinke I am true; 
For ever falshed with his owne estate 
To a lady cometh, and sayeth to eschew 
An inconvenience that ye do not rue; 
Your love is nought ymaginacion knoweth ; 
I swere in lykewise and anon she troweth. 

That we have sayd is of very trouth, 
Her love she casteth right clene out of minde; 
That with her love she is wonderly wroth; 
With fayned kindnes we do her so blynde, 
Than to her lover she is full unkinde. 
Thus our thre powers were joyned in one, 
In this mighty giaunt many dayes agone. 


And whan that I had sene every thinge, 
My spere I charged that was very great, 
And to this giaunt so fyersly coming 
I toke my course, that I with him mette, 
Breking my spere upon his first helmet. 
And right anone adowne my stede I lyght. 
Drawing my swerde that was fayre and biyght, 

Iclyped Clara Prudence, that was fayre and sure. 
At the giaunt I stroke with all my vyolence. 
But he my strokes might right well endure 
He was so great and huge of puysaunce; 
His glave he did agaynst me advauuce, 
Whiche was foure fote and more of cuttyng; 
And as he was his stroke dischargyng, 

Because his stroke wys hevy to beare 
I lept asyde from hym full quickly, 
And to him I ran without any feare. ^ 
Whan he had discharged agayne full lightly. 
He rored loude, and sware I should abye. 
But what for that ? I stroke at him fast, 
And he at me, but I was not agast. 

But as he faught he had a vauntage. 
He was right hye and I under him low; 
Tyll at the last, with lusty courage 
Upon the side I gave hnn such a blow 
That I right nere did him overthrow, 
But right anone he did his might enhirge, 
That upon me lie did such a stroke discharge. 


That unueth I might make resistaunce 
Agayng his powex', for he was so stronge. 
I (1yd defend me agaynst his vyolence, 
And thus the battayll dured right longe; 
Yet evermore I did thinke amonge 
Of La Belle Pucell, whom I shold attayne 
After my battayles, to release my payne. 

lo And as I loked I saw than overale 

Fayre golden Phebus with his beames read, 
Than up my courage I began to hale, 
"Which nigh before was agone and dead. 
My swerde so entred that the giaunt blede, 
And with my strokes I cut of anone 
One of his legges amiddes the thye bone. 

Than to the ground he adowne did fall. 
And upon me he gan to loure and glum, 
Enforcing him so for to ryse withall. 
But that I shortly unto hem did cum, 
With his thre hedes he spytte all his venum, 
And I with my swerde, as fast a coude be, 
With all my force cut of his hedes thre. 

Whan I had so obteyned the victory. 

Unto me than my verlet well sayd : 

You have demaunded well and worthely: 

My greyhoundes lepte and my stede than brayde, 

And than from ferre I saw, well arayed. 

To me come ryding thre ladyes swete; 

Forth than I rode and did wyth them mete. 


The fyrst of them was called Veryte, 

And the second Good Operacion, 

The thirde and cleped Fydelyte: 

All they at ones wyth good opinion 

Did geve to me great laudacion, 

And me beseched with her hert entere 

Wyth them to rest and to make good chere. 

I graunted them, and than backeward we rode 

The mighty giaunt to se and behold, 

Whose huge body was more than five carte lode, 

Which lay there bleding that was almost colde; 

They for his death did thanke me many a fold, 

For he to them was enmy mortall, 

Wherfore his thre hedes they toke in special. 

And than Verite, on the first fane, 
Did sette aloft of Falshoed the hede. 
And Good Operacion in lykewise had tane 
Of Ymaginacion that full sore than bledde 
His hede alofte upon his baner rede. 
And in likewise Fydelite had served 
Perjuries hede, as he had well deserved. 

And with swete songes and swete armony 
Before me they rode to their fay re castell; 
So forth I rode, with great joy and gloiy, 
Unto the place where these ladies did dwell, 
Sette on a rocke beside a spryng or a well, 
And fayre Observaunce, the goodly portj-es, 
Did us receyve with solempe gladnes. 


Than to the chambre, that was very bryght, 
They did me lede for to take myne ease, 
After my trouble and my great sturdy fight; 
But thre woundes I had, causing my disease: 
My pane and wo they did sone appease. 
And heled my woundes with salves aromatyke, 
Telling me of a great giaunt lunatyke, 

Whose name truely was called Variaunce, 
Whome I should mete after my departyng. 
These ladies unto me did great pleasaunce; 
And in meane while as we were talking 
For me my suppour was in ordeyning; 
Thus whan by Temperaunce it was prepared, 
And than to it we went and right well fared. 

Tell me, quod Veritie, if you be content, 
What is your name so hye adventurous, 
And who that you into this cost hath sent? 
Madame, I sayd, I was so amarous 
Of La Belle Pucell so fayre and beauteous, 
La Graunde Amoure truely is my name. 
Which seke adventures to attayne the same. 

A, ha! quod she, I thought as much before. 

That you were he, for your great hardines. 

La Bell Pucell must love you evermore. 

Which for her sake, in your hye nobles. 

Doth such actes by chyvalrous exces: 

Her gentyl hert may nothing deny 

To rewarde your mede with love full fervently. 


Tlius did we passe time in all maner of joye^ 
I lacketh nothyng that might make me solace, 
But evermore, as noble Troyelus of Troy, 
Full ofte I thought on my fayre ladyes face, 
And her to se a rauche longer space. 
When time was come, to rest I was brought, 
All to me longyng there lacked right nought. 

What should I wade by perambulucion ? 
My tyme is shorte and I have farre to sayle 
Unto the lande of my conclusion. 
The wynde is east, ryght slowe without fayle, 
To blowe my shyppe of diligent travayle 
To the last ende of my matter troublous. 
With waves enclosed so tempestuous. 

'^^ Ryght in the morowe, when Aurora clere 
Her radiaunt beames began for to spreade. 
And splendent Phebus, in his golden spere, 
The cristalle ayr did make fayre and redde, 
Darke Dyane declining pale as any ledde, 
When the lytic byrdes swetely dyd gyng 
Laudes to their maker early in the mornyng. 




Up I rose, and did make me ready, 

For I thought long unto my journeys ende: 

My grahoundes lept on me ryght merely, 

To cheax'e me forwarde they condescende; 

And the thre ladies, my cheare to amende, 

A good breakefast did for me ordayne; 

They were ryght gladde the gyaunt was slayne. 

I toke my leave and on my way I ryde, 
Through the woodes and on rockes hye. 
I loked about, and on the hyll abode. 
Till in the vale I sawe full hastely 
To me come ryding a lady sikerly: 
I well behelde the hye waye so used, 
But of this lady ryght often I mused: 

Till at the last we did mete together. 
Madame, I sayde, the hye God you save ! 
She thanked me, and did aske me whether 
That I so rode, and what I would have ? 
Truely, quod I, nothyng els I crave 
Of the hye God, but to be so fortunate. 
La Bell Pucell to have to my mate. 


What is your name ? then sayde she. 
La Graunde Amoure, forsothe, madame, quod I. 
Then was she glad as any one myght be, 
And sayde she was sent fi'O myne owne lady. 
Tidynges, I sayde, I praye you hartely! 
Your lady, quod she, is in perfect health. 
And would be glad to heare of your wealth. 

v. She promised you in a garden grene 
To love you best of any creature; 
So doth she yet, as I thynke and wene, 
Though that Disdayne brought her to her lure 
But of her harte nowe you shall be sure. 
Be of good chere, and for nothyng dismaye, 
I spake with her but nowe this other daye. 

And she my selfe unto you hath sent; 

My name is called dame Perce veraunce. 

A little before that I from her went, 

To her came Cupide, Avith great circumstaunce, 

And brought a letter of Venus ordinaunce, 

Whiche unto her he did anone present. 

When she it reade and knewe the entent, 

All inwardly full wondersly dismayed, 

Withouten worde she did stande right well, 

Her harded harte was full well delayed. 

What for to do she knewe not good or yll. 

You for to helpe or let you so spyll. 

Disdayne and Strangenes did stande then therby; 

Seing her countenaunce they gan to drawe nye. 


Madame, quod they, why are ye so sadde? 
Alas I quod she, it is no marvayle why. 
Ryght nowe of Cupide a letter I had, 
Sent from Venus, full ryght marveylously, 
By whiche I have perceyved utterly 
That a yoag knyght called Graunde Amoure 
Doth for my sake suffer suche doloure, 

That of constraynte of wofull hevines 

He is nere dead all onely for my sake; 

Shall he nowe dye, or shall I him relese 

Of his great wo and to my mercy take? 

Abyde, quod Strangeues, and your sorowe slake: 

Have you hym sene in any time before ? 

Yes, yes, quod she ; that doth my wo restore. 

At Penticost, nowe many dayes agone, 

Musike to heare at great solemnitie. 

To and fro he walked him selfe all alone 

In a great temple of olde antiquitie; 

Tyll that by fortune he had espied me ; 

And ryght anone, or that I was ware. 

To me he came: I knewe nought of his care. 

He semeth gentle, his maners ryght good, 
I behelde ryght well all his condicion: 
Humble of chere and of goodly mode; 
But I thought nothyng of his affliction; 
But his behavour sheweth the occasion 
Of fervent love, as then in myne eutent 
I oft dyd deme, and geve a judgement. 


So after this I dyd then sone departe 
Home to my countrey where I dyd abyde; 
When I was gone full heavy was his harte. 
As Cupide sayeth, I must for hym provyde 
A gentle remedy at this sodayne tydej 
And for ray sake he is adventurous 
To subdue mine enemies to me contrarious. 

A ! quod Disdayne, knowe ye his substaunce ? 

Why wyll you love suche a one as he ? 

Though he seme gentle and of good govcrnaunce, 

You shall have one of farre hyer degre. 

He is nothyng mete, as it semeth me, 

To be your fere your favour to attayne. 

What is it to you though he suffer payne ? 

Coulde your selfe let his eyen to have a syght 

Of your beauty or his harte to be set, 

What skilleth you though that he dye this nyght ? 

You called hym not when he with you mette; 

And he will love you, you can not hym let. 

Be as be may, ye shall have myne assent 

Him for to forsake as is moste expedient. 

, ( Alas! madame, then saide dame Strangenes, 
When he cometh hether your courage abate; 
Loke hye upon hym; beware of mekenes; 
And thinke that you shall have an hie estate. 
Let not Graunde Amour saye to you checkmate. 
Be straunge unto hym, as ye knowe nothyng 
The perfite cause of his true commyng. 


And in meane wliyle came to lier presence 
Dame Peace and Mei'cie, and to lier they sayde: 
Alas! madarae, consyder your excellence, 
And liowe your beauty hath hym so arayed : 
If you have hym ye may be well apayed. 
And doubt you not if that ye love for love, 
God will sende ryches to come to you above. 

Will you for love let hym dye or peryshe, 
Whiche loveth you so with fervent desyre ? 
And you your selfc may his sorowe minishe, 
That with your beauty set his harte a fyre. 
Your swete lokes did his harte enspire, 
That of fyne force he must to you obeye, 
To live or dye there is no more to saye. 

Alas! quod Peace, wyll ye let him endure 
In mortal payne withouten remedy ? 
Sithen his harte you have so tane in cure, 
Your hasty dome loke that ye modefy. 
Exile Disdayne and Strangenes shortly, 
And sende Perceverance as fast as ye may 
To comfort hym in his ti'oublous journey. 

Then in her mynde she gan to revolve 

The lovyng wordes of Mercy and Peace; 

Her hardy hai'te she gan for to. dissolve. 

And inwai'dly she did to me release 

Her periite love your great payne to cease ; 

And did exile then from her to wyldernes 

Bothe dame Disdayne and eke dame Strangenes. 


-7 ^ And did nie.sende to you incontinent, 

With this goodly shclde, that ye shoukl it were, 

For her swete sake as is convenient. 

It is sure; ye shall not node to feare 

The stroke of swerde or yet the grate of spere. 

She prayeth you to be of good chere ; 

Above all men ye are to her moste deare. 

Nowe, sayde Perceverance, I pray you repose 

This long nyght with my cosen Comfort, 

A gentle lady as any may suppose; 

She can you tell and also well exhort 

Of La Bell Pucell with a true report. 

I thanke her of her great goodnes, 

And so we rode with joye and gladnes, 

Tyll that we came unto a manour place, 
Moted about under a woode syde. 
Alyght, she sayde, for by ryght long space. 
I payne and wo you did ever abyde. 
After an ebbe there commeth a fiowyng tyde. 
So downe I lyght from my goodly stede, 
After my payne to have rest for my mede. 

Then dame Perceverance on the way me ledde 
Into the place, where did us gentilly mete 
The Lady Comfort without any dredde, 
With countenaunce that was demure and swete; 
In goodly maner she dyd us then grete, 
Leadyng us to a chamber precious, 
Dulcet of odoure and most solacious. 


And pryvely slie asked a question, 
Of Perceverance, what I called was ? 
La Graunde Amoure, without abusion, 
Cosen, quod she: he doth all lovers passe; 
Like as dothe Phebus in the pure glasse, 
So doth his dedes extolle the soverayntie 
Of the darke gyauntes by highe aucthoritie. 

When she it knewe, she was of me ryght fayne; 
Nothyng I lacked that was to my plesaunce, 
After my travayle and my wofull payne: 
Good meate and drynke I had to sustenaunce; 
We sate together by long continaunce, 
But evermore Comfort gave exhortacion 
To me of pacience in tribulacion. 

Thinke well, quod she, that in the worlde is none 
Whiche can have pleasure without wo and care; 
Joye cometh after, when the payne is gone: 
Was never man that was devoyde or bare 
Alway of joye after his wofull snare; 
Who knoweth payne and hath bene in trouble, 
After his wo his joye is to him double. 

It may so fox'tune that La Bell Pucell 
Hath divers frendes, that be not content 
That her favoure ye should attayne so well; 
For you of them she may often be shent, 
But what for that ? she shall not her repent, 
And if her frendes be with you angry. 
Suffer their wordes and take it paciently. 


Agaynst their yll do unto them good, 
Them for to please be ahvaye diligent ; 
So shall you swage the tempesteous floode 
Of their stormy myndes so impacient, 
And inwardly they shall them selves repent 
Tliat they to you have bene contrarious, 
In suche fyry anger bote and furious. 

Thus by your wisdome ye shall them so wynne 

Unto your frendes that dyd you so hate; 

For it is reason you should obeye your kynne, 

As by obedience both early and late 

Make them your frendes without the debate; 

For evermore the spirite of pacience 

Doth overcome the angry violence. 

Be hardy, bolde, and couragious; 
For after that ye be gone from hence, 
You shall mete with a gyaunt rigorious, 
Havyng seven heades of yll experience. 
You shall subdue him with your prudence ; 
And other adventures shall unto you fall, 
"Whiche Fame shall cause to be memoriall. 

"When it was tyme, I was brought to bedde, 
So all the long nyght I endured in rest ; 
With suche a slouth i-taken was my heade, 
That my soft pyllowe founde a good gest. 
For long before I was so opprest 
With inwarde trouble that I myght not slepe, 
But oft wake and syghe with tcares depe. 




When mornyng came, up anone I rose, 

And armed me as fast as I myght, 

Forth for to travaile unto my purpose. 

I toke my leave and on my stede I lyght; 

Thankyng dame Comforte of her chere that nyght; 

So, with Perceveraunce, in my company, 

Forth on the way we rode full merely 

Over the hethe, tyll we sawe from farre 
A royall castell ryght strongly fortified, 
Bulwarkes about accustomed for warre; 
On a craggy roche it was so edified, 
Walled with gate so clerely purified, 
To whiche we rode, and drewe nere and nere, 
Till in our syght did openly appeare 

A myghty gyaunt, xv. fote of length. 

With heades seven, and armed full sure; 

He semed well to be a man of strength. 

Then quod Perceveraunce: Ye must put in ure 

This daye your power, in honour to endure. 

Against tliis gyaunt your mortall enemy. 

Be of good cheare, you shall have victory. 


Besydes this gyaiint, upon every tree 

I did se hang many a goodly shelde 

Of noble knyghtes, that were of hye degre, 

Whiclie he had slayne and murdred in the fielde. 

From farre tliis gyaunt I ryglit well behelde; 

And towarde hym as I rode my waye, 

On his first head I sawe a banner gay, 

Wherin was wi"itten Dissimulation, 

Whose nature false is full of flatery. 

That, onder a fayned commendacion, 

Can cloke a mocke and fraude full subtilly; 

So doth he love deceyve oft pryvely, 

For the blinde love doth perceyve ryght nought 

That under hony the poyson is wrought. 

And on the seconde heade was a banner blewe, 

In whiche was written, in letters ryght white, 

Delay my name is, that can long eschue 

As true lover with my fatall respite, 

That love for love shall not him acquite; 

For evermore I lye oft in a wayte, 

Love to delay and cast hym from consayte. 

On the thirde head, in a banner square. 
All of reade was wrytten Discomfort, 
Causyng a lover for to drovvne in care. 
That he of love shall have no report. 
But loke hye his hart to transport. 
And I my selfe shall him so assayle 
That he in love shall nothyng prevayle. 

N 2 


On the fourth head, on the helmet crest 

There was a stremer rjght white, large and long, 

Wheron was written with vyse of the best, 

My name is Variaunce, that ever among 

The mynde of love doth chaunge with great wron^ 

That a true lover can not be certayne 

Love for his mede right stedfast to retayne. 

And yet aloft on the fift helmet 

In a blacke banner was written Envy, 

Whose hart ever inwardly is fret 

When Graund Amour should attayne his lady. 

He museth oft in hym selfe inwardly, 

To let the lady for to set her harte 

On Graund Amour for to release his smarte. 

In a russet banner on the sixt heade 
There was wrytten this worde. Detraction, 
That can open in a covert stede 
His subtile male replete with treason. 
To cause a lady to have susijection 
Unto her true lover wyth his bytter tale, 
That she her love from him than dyd hale. 

On the vii. hede, in a baner of ryches. 
Was wrytten, with letters all of Grewe, 
My name truly is called Doublenes, 
Whyche I do owe unto all ladyes true. 
At a tyme unware my dette shal be dewe, 
To Graunde Amoure for to make him repente, 
That he his love on La Bell Pucell spente. 


Whan in my minde I liad well agregate 

Every tliinge that I in hym had sene, 

Bothe of his head and of his hye estate, 

I called for helpe unto the heaven quene. 

The day was fayre, the sunne was bright and shene; 

Besyde a vyver and a craggy roche 

This gyaunt was whyche spyed me approche. 

He hurtled aboute, and kest his slielde afore, 

And toke his axe of myghty fortytude, 

That was of length xx. fote and more, 

Whiche he had used by longe consuetude 

To daunte true lovers and theyr power exclude. 

I toke my spere and did it well charge. 

And with hardines I made my force enlarge. 

I toke my course and to the gyaunt ranne, 
On his seconde head brekyng than asunder 
My mighty spere, that he to rore began 
Wyth so base a crye that I had great wonder; 
His seven heades so rored lyke the thunder. 
Ryght frome my stede I light to the grounde, 
And drewe Clara Prudence, that w^as hole and sounde. 

The mighty gyaunte his axe did up lyfte. 
Upon my head that the stroke should fall. 
But I of him was ful ware, and swyfte; 
I lept asyde, so that the stroke wythall 
In the grounde lyghted besyde a stone wall, 
Thre fote and more, and anone than I 
Dyd lepe unto hym, strykinge full quyckly. 


But above me lie had suclie altjtude 

That I at him coulde have no ful stroke. 

He stroke at me with many strokes rude, 

And called me boye, and gave me many a mocke. 

At the last he sayd: I shall geve the a knocke 

That wyth thy braynes I shall the trees depaynte. 

Abyde, quod I, thou shalt be I'yrst ful faynte. 

And right anone I bye me spyed 
On the rockes syde xii. steppes ful sure, 
And than right fast I uppon theim hyed 
That we were bothe about one stature : 
My strength I doubled, and put so in ure 
The great strokes, that I cut of anone 
Syxe of his heades, levynge him but one. 

Whan he felt him selfe hurt so grevously, 
He stretched hym up and lyft his axe a lofte, 
Strikinge at me with strokes wondersly ; 
But I ful swyftly dyd geve backe ful oft. 
For to devoyde his great strokes unsoft. 
When he sawe thys, he thought him forlore ; 
Wyth a hedious voyce he began to roi'e. 

The battayle dured betwene us right long, 
Tyll I sawe Phebus declinyng fidl lowe. 
I avaunced my swei'de that was sure and strong, 
And with my myght I gave hym suche a blowe 
On his seventh heade, that he dyd overthrowe. 
When he was downe he gan to crye and yell, 
Ful lyke a serpent or a fende of hell. 


When I sawe this, as fast as myght be 

Adowne I came, and did then unlace 

His seventh hehnet, ryght ryche for fo see, 

And hym beheaded in a ryght shortc space. 

And then full soone there came to the place 

Perceveraunce and my verlet also; 

Alas ! they sayde, we were for you ryght wo. 

But we were glad when ye had forsaken 
The lowe vale, and up the craggy fayre 
For your advauntage the bye waye had taken. 
Thus as we talked we did se ladies fayre, 
Seven in number, that were debonayre, 
Upon white palfreys eche of them dyd ryde, 
For us ryght gentylly from the castell syde. 

The first of them was named Stedfastnes; 
And the seconde Amerous Purveyaunce ; 
The thirde was Joye after great heavines ; 
The fourth of them was dame Continuaunce ; 
And the fift of them called dame Plesaunce ; 
The syxte was called Report Famous ; 
The seventh, Amitie to lovers dolorous. 

And ryght anone, with all humilitie, 

They lyght adowne, and then incontinent 

Eche after other they came unto me ; 

I kyssed them with all my whole entente. 

Hayle, knyght! they sayde, so clere and excellent, 

Whiche of this gyaunt, our hydeous enemy, 

So worthely hath wonne the victory. 


Ladies, he sayde, I am muche unworthy 

So to accept your great prayse and fame. 

They prayed me to kepe them company: 

I will, quod I, or elles I were to blame. 

They pi-ayed me to shewe them my name. 

La Graunde Amoure it is, I sayde, in dede ; 

And then sayde they, No wonder though ye spede. 

No doubte it is but ye shall obtayne 

La Bell Pucell so ryght fayre and clere ; 

We were with her exiled by Disdayne, 

And then besyeged in this castell here. 

With this great gyaunt, more then a whole yeare ; 

And you this nyght, if it do you please, 

In this pore castell shall take your ease. 

I thanked them, and so'T rode anone 
Into the castell of olde foundacion. 
Walled about with the blacke touche stone. 
I toke there then my recreacion. 
Among these ladies with commendacion ; 
And when tyme came that they thought best, 
To a royall bedde I was brought to rest. 

After my wery and troublous travayle 
I toke my ease tyll that it was day; 
Then up arose without any fayle. 
And made me ready for to ride my Avaye. 
But then anone into the chamber gaye 
The seven ladies came with Pei'ceveraunce, 
Saiyng they would geve me attendaunce, 


And bryng. me to La Bell Pucell, 
Where that she is in her court royall ; 
And lykewyse as Phebus doth liye excell 
In bryghtnes truely the fayre starres all, 
So in beauty and vertue speciall 
She doth excede any earthly creature. 
That is nowe made by fayre dame Nature. 

We brake cur fast, and we made us ready 
To La Bell Pucell on our way to ryde ; 
My stede was brought, I lept up shortly. 
So did the ladies, they would nothyng abyde. 
Thus forth we rode at the morowe tyde 
Out of the castell with all joye and pleasure. 
Forth on our way at all adventure. 



So long we rode over hill and valey, 
Tyll that we came into a wyldernes, 
On every syde there wylde beastes laye, 
Ryght straunge and fierce in sundry likenes; 
It was a place of dissolute darkenes. 
The ladies and I were in feare and doubt, 
Tyll at the last that we were gotten out 


Of the great woode upon a craggy roche, 
When cleare Dyana in the Scorpion 
Agaynst fayre Phebus began to approche, 
For to be at her whole opposition, 
We sawe from farre a goodly region, 
Where stode a palayce hye and precious, 
Beyonde an haven full tempestuous. 

Then sayd Perceveraunce ; Beholde ye and se, 

Yonder is the palays gay and glorious 

Of La Bell Pucelles great humilitie; 

A place of pleasure most solacious. 

But then we spied a fende fallicious, 

Beyond the haven at sure entres 

Blowyng out fyre by marvellous wydnes. 

The fyre was great, it made the ylande lyght, 
He rored loude, it semeth lyke the thonder; 
But, as me thought, he was of great myght. 
To knowe his likenes we were farre asonder; 
But of the fyre we did often wonder; 
We asked Perceveraunce what that it myght be. 
Alas! quod she, with fraude and subtiltie 

s Of dame Strangenes and of dame Disdayne 
When La Bell Pucell did them so abjecte, 
Because that they myght not revert agaync, 
With mortall Envie they did then conjecte 
To make a fende in lykewyse to directe 
Syr Graunde Amoure, with the fervent fyre 
Of evill treason to let his desyre. 


For dame Disclayne, the crafty sorceres, 
With arte magyke hath wrought full craftcly 
Of the vii. metalles a dragon doubtles, 
And dame Strangenes, by her nygromancy, 
Hath closed therin a fende ryght subtilly, 
That the fyre encenseth by great outrage. 
But Graunde Amoure shall it well asswage. 

Benethe this roche there is well fortified 

An olde temple, to the laude and glory 

Of wyse dame Pallas it was so edified; 

We will ryde unto it full lyghtly, 

And do oblacion unto her truely; 

She wyll us tell by good experience 

Howe we may scape the brennynge vyolence. 

So to the temple of dame Pallas 

Anone we rode, and did lyght adowne. 

Of depui'ed cristall her whole ymage was, 

The temple walles were ryght olde and browne; 

And then ryght sone before her hyghe renowne 

Prostrate we fell mekely to the grounde. 

And sodaynly we were cast in a sounde. 

Thus as we laye in a deadly chaunce, 

We thought to her we made peticion, 

And all in Englyshe with long circumstauucc 

She shewed us all the whole condicion 

Of the marveylous serpentes operacion, 

And did shewe us a perfyte remedy 

To withstande all the crafte of sorcery. 


And in lykewyse as the nianer foloweth, 
In depured verses of crafty eloquence, 
Every thyng unto us she sheweth; 
And first of all with all our diligence 
These verses we sayed unto her excellence, 
But she with crafty verses eloquent 
Gave us an aunswere full expedient. 

When golden Phebus in the first houre > 
Of his owne daye began to domiue, 
The sorceresse, the false roote of doloure, 
All of golde that was so pure and fyne, 
Of the best made the head serpentyne, 
And eke therof she dyd make his face; 
Full lyke a mayde it was, a wonders case! 

And every houre, as the pianettes raygned, 
She made the serpent of the metalles seven ; 
Till she her purpose had fully attayned, 
And when fyve bodies above on the heaven 
Wente retrogarde, marveylously to neven, 
With divers quartils and the more combust, 
In the dragons tayle, to let a lovers lust. 

These cursed witches. Disdayne and Straungenes, 
Made the monster of a subtile kynde, 
To let my purpose and all my gladnes, 
But that dame Pallas of her gentle mynde 
Of marveylous herbes a remedy did fynde ; 
And anone a boxe of marveylous oyntment 
She toke to me to withstande the serpent. 


Thus al esmarveyled we dyd then awake, 
And in my Iiande T had the oyntnient, 
Closed in a boxe, of whiche I should take 
To anoynt my harneis foi' the serpent, 
Whiche shall devoyde his fyre so fervent, 
And my swerde also to cause to departe 
Astrothe the fende, so set with magykes arte. 

Then when the sunne with his beames meiy 
Began to ryse in the fayre morowe gray, 
All about lightyng our emispery, 
Exiling mistes and darke clowdes away. 
And when we sawe that it was bryght daye, 
Nere by the ryvage at the last we spied 
A goodly shyppe whiche unto us fost hied. 

And ryght by anone the rivage syde. 
She cast an anker and did us than hayle 
With a peale of gunnes, at the morowe tyde 
Her bonet she vayled, and gan to stryke sayle. 
She was right large, of thre toppes without fayle ; 
Her boate she made out, and sent to the lande, 
What that we were to knowe and understande. 

That so did walke by the ry ver coast. 
And with two ladyes we sodaynly mette ; 
So when that they were come to us almoste. 
From their shyppe boate curiously counterfayte, 
Hayle, knyght ! they sayde, nowe from a lady great, 
Called dame Pacience, we are hether sent. 
To knowe your name and all the whole entent 


What you make here, and the ladies all ? 
Truely, quod I, over tliis stormy flowde 
We woulde have passage nowe in speciall. 
Tary, she sayde, it were to you not good: 
There is a serpent evill, ryght fierce and woode, 
On the other syde, whiche will you devoure. 
Nay then, quod I, my name is Graunde Amoure : 

I have disconfited the giauntes terrible, 
For La Bell Pucell the most fayre ladye; 
And for her sake shalbe invincible 
Of this great monster to have the victory. 
You have, quod they, demeaned you nobly, 
And we anone to our lady Pacience 
Will geve of you perfyte intelligence. 

^^ Thus they departed, and to their boate they went, 
And the royall shyppe, yclipped Perfitenes, 
They dyd aborde and then incontinent 
Unto dame Pacience they gan to expresse 
Myne name, mine actes, and all my prowes. 
Ha, ha! quod she, howe glad may I nowe be, 
Whiche in this place may him both heare and se. 

And in great haste she made them rowe agayne 
Towarde the lande, with all due reverence 
For to receyve me and the ladies certayne. 
And so we then, with all our diligence, 
Entred the boate without resistence. 
And did aborde then perfitenes so sure, 
Whiche the great waves might ryght well endure. 


And Pacience, with great solcmnitic, 

Did me receyve, and the ladies also. 

Welcome! she sayd, by hye aucthoritie, 

I am ryght gladde that it hath happened so, 

That La Bell Pucell must redresse your wo, 

And on your selfe, with your worthy dedes. 

Of fame and her hath wonne ryght hie medes. 

9 i. And then their anker they weyed in haste, 
And hoyst their sayle, when many a clarion 
Began to blowe; the mornyng Avas past, 
But Afrycus Auster made surreccion, 
Blowyng his bellowes by great occasion ; 
So forthe we sayled right playne southwest, 
On the other syde where the serpent did rest. 





And at the lande we aryved than, 
With all the ladies in my company, 
Whiche for to pray for me sodaynly began 
To the God Mars, lodestarre of chyvalrye. 
I toke my leave of them full gentylly, 
And ryght anone to fynde out my fo, 
This mortall dragon, I went to and fro. 


Tyll at the last, beside a craggy roche, 
I sawe the dragon whiche did me espie, 
And nere and nere, as I gan to approclie, 
I behelde his head with his great body, 
"Which was mishaped ful right wonderly; 
Of gold so shene was both his head and face; 
Full iyke a mayden; it was a mervaylous cace! 

His necke silver, and thicke as a bull; 
His breste stele, and like an olyphant; 
His forelegges latyn, and of fethers full; 
Ryght Iyke a grype was every tallaunt; 
And as of strength he nothing did want, 
His backe afore, Iyke brystles of a swyne, 
Of the fine copper did moost clerely shyne. 

His hinder legges wSs like to a catte. 

All of tynne, and like a scorpion; 

He had a tayle wyth a head therat, 

All of leade, of plyaunt facion; 

His herte stele, without menission. 

Toward me he came, roring like the thonder, 

Spyttyng out fyre, for to se greate wonder. 

In his forehead, with letters of Grewe, 
"Was wrytten: My name is Malyce prevy, 
That olde debate can full sone renewe 
Betwene true lovers wyth colour crafty. 
Agaynst Graund Amoure I shall so fortefj 
My evell subtell power, and cursed courage, 
To let hym trulye of his hye passage. 


I toke my boxe, as Pallas coramaunded, 

And my sworde and shcld, Avitli al my armiire, 

In every place I right well anoynted, 

To hardines she toke my herte in cure; 

Makinge me redy, and whan I thought me sure, 

I toke my swerde, and with an hardy herte 

Towarde the dragon I began to stertc. 

And as I gan my grete stroke to charge, 
He blew out so much fyre innumerable, 
That on the ground I did my might discharge; 
The smoke was derke, full gretely domageable, 
And the bote fyre was so intollerable, 
Above me fleying, that unneth I might 
Through my visure cast abrode my sight. 

But the swete oyntmente had suche a vertue. 
That the wilde fyre might nothing endomage 
Me through hete, for it did extue 
The magikkes arte with greate advantage. 
Causing the fyre right wel to asswage; 
And wyth my swerde, as nothing agast. 
Upon the serpente I did stryke full fast. 

His body was great as any tunne, 

The devyll about did his body beare; 

He was as egre as grype or lyon, 

So was his tallantes he did my herneys tere. 

That ofte he put me in a mortall fere. 

Tyll at the last I did his body perce 

With my good swerde, he might it not reverce. 


Ryght ther wythall the dragon to-brast, 
And out there flew, ryght blacke and tedyous, 
A foule Ethyope, which such smoke did cast, 
That all the ylond was full tenebrous; 
It thondred loude wytli clappes tempestious. 
Then all the ladyes were full sore adred, • 
They thought none other but that I was ded. 

The spiryte vanished, the ayi-e wexed clere; 
Then did I loke and beholde aboute 
Wher was the toure of my lady so dere; 
Tyll at the last I had espyed it oute, 
Set on a rocke right hie, without doubte, 
And all the ladies, wyth Perseveraunce, 
To me did come with joye and pleausaunce. 

Forsoth, quod they, you are muche fortunate, 
So to subdue the serpent venimous, 
Which by sorcery was surely ordinate 
You for to sle with fyre so vicious. 
Blessed be Pallas, the goddes glorious, 
Which that thou taught a perfyte remedy, 
For to devoyde the crafte of sorcery. 

It was no wonder though that I was glad, 
After the payne and tribulacion 
That in many places I right often had. 
For to attayne the hye promocion 
Of La Bell Pucelles dominacion; 
Considering in my passage daungerous 
All I subdued to me contrarious. 


And than right sone, with great solemi)nite, 
So forth we rode to the solempne mancion 
Of La Belle Pucelles worthy dignitc; 
Whiche was a toure of mervaylous facion, 
Replete with joy without suggestion, 
Walled with sylver, and many a story 
Upon the wall enameled ryally. 

So at the last we came unto the gate, 
Whiche all of sylver was knotted proprely; 
Where was a lady of ryght hye estate, 
Whiche us receyved well and nobly. 
And than Pei'ceveraunce went full shortly 
To La Belle Pucell, shewynge every thynge 
Of myne adventure and sodayne comynge. 



Whan she it knewe, than right incontynente 
She called to her Peace and dame Mercy, 
With Justice, and Reason the lady excellent, 
Pleasaunce, Grace, wyth good dame Memory, 
To wayte upon her full ententyfely; 
Me to receyve wyth all solempne joye, 
Adowne her chamber she went on her waye. 

2 o 


And in the meane while the gentle porteres, 
Called Countenaunce, on my way then me lede, 
Into the basse courte of greate wydenes, 
Where all of golde there was a conduyte hede, 
With many dragons enameled with reed, 
Whiche dyde spoute oute the dulcet lycoure, 
Lyke cristall clere, with aromatyke odoure. 

Alofte the basse toure foure ymages stode, 
"Whiche blewe the clarions well and wondex'ly. 
Alofte the toures the golden fanes goode 
Dyde with the wynde make full swete armony, 
Them for to here it was great melody. 
The golden toures with cristall clarefied 
About were glased moost clerely purefyed. 

And the gravell whereupon we wente, 

Ful lyke the gold that is moost pure and fyne, 

Withouten spotte of blacke encombremente 

Aboute oure fete it dyde ryghte clerely shyne; 

It semed more lyke a place celestyne, 

Than an erthly mansion, whiche shall away 

By longe tyme and proces an other day. 

And towarde me I dyde se than comynge 
La Belle Pucell, the moost fayre creature 
Of ony fayre erthely person lyvyng, 
Whiche with me mette with chere so demure. 
Of the shy ny nge golde was all her vesture ; 
I dyd my duty, and ones or twyse ywys 
Her lyppes soft I did full swetely kys. 


Aha! quod she, that I am very fayne 
That you ai-e coine, for I have thought long 
Sithen the time that we parted in twayne, 
And for my sake you have had often wronge; 
But your courage so hardy and strong, 
Hath caused you for to be victorious 
Of your enmyes so much contrarious. 

Wyth her fayre hand, white as ony lilly. 
She dyd me lede into a ryall hall. 
With knottes kerved full right craftely. 
The windowes fayre glased with cry stall. 
And all about, upon the golden wall, 
There was enameled, with figures cui'ious, 
The syege of Troye so hard and dolorous. 

The flore was paved with precious stones, 
And the rofe of mervaylous geometry, 
Of the swete sypres wrought for the nones, 
Encencing out the yll odours mysty; 
Amyddes the rofe there shone full wonderly 
A poynted dyamonde of mervaylous bygnes, 
With many other greate stones of ryches. 

So up we wente, to a chambre fayre, 
A place of pleasure and delectacyon, 
Strowed with floures flagraunte of ayre, 
Without ony spotte of [)erturbacyon. 
I behelde ryght well the operacyon 
Of the mervaylous rofe set full of rubyes, 
And tynst with saphers and many turkeys. 


The walles were hanged with golden aras, 

Whiche treated well of the syege of Thebes. 

And yet all about us depured was 

The cristallyne wyndowes of gi-eat bryghtnes. 

I can nothynge extende the goodlynes 

Of this palays, for it is impossyble 

To shewe all that unto me vysyble. 

But La Belle Pucell full ryght gentylly 
Dyde sytte adowne by a wyndowes syde, 
And caused me also full swetely 
By her to sytte at that gentyll tyde. 
Whelcome! she sayd, ye shall with me abyde, 
After your sorowe to lyve in joye and blysse; 
You shall have that ye have deserved ywys. 

Her redolente wordes of swete influence 

Degouted vapoure moost aromatyke, 

And made conversyon of complacence; 

Her depured and her lusty rethoryke 

My courage reformed, that was so lunatyke; 

My sorowe defeted, and my mynde dyde modefy, 

And my dolorous herte began to pacyfy. 

All thus my love we gan to devyse, 

For eche of other were ryght joyous. 

Than at the last in a mervaylous wyse 

Full sodaynly there came unto us 

Lyteil Cupyde with his mother Venus, 

"V\'hich was well cladde in a fayremantyll blewe, 

With golden hertes that were perst anewe. 


And rounde about us she her mantyll cast, ' 

Sajeug that she and her sone Cupyde 

Wolde us conjoyne in mariage in hast; 

And to lete knowe all youre courte soo wyde, 

Sende you Perseveraunce before to provyde, 

To warne your ladyes for to be redy, 

To morowe betyme ryght well and solemply. 

We answered bothe our hertes were in one, 
Sayeng that we dyde ryght well agre. 
For all our foes were added and gone. 
Ryght gladde I was that joyfuU day to se; 
And than anone, with grete humylytie, 
La Bell Pucell to a fayre chambre bryght, 
Dyde me than bryuge for to rest all nyght. 

And she toke her leve, I kyst her lovely. 

I wente to bedde, but I coude not slepe. 

For I thought so moche upon her inwardly, 

Her moost swete lokes in to my herte dyde crepe, 

Percy nge it thi-ough with a wounde so depe; 

For Nature thought every houre a daye 

Tyll to my lady I sholde my dette well paye. 




Than Perceveraunce, in all goodly hast, 
Unto the steward called Liberalite 
Gave warning for to make redy fast 
Agaynst this time of great solemnitie, 
That on the morow halowed should be: 
She warned the cooke called Temperaunce, 
And after that the ewres Observaunce. 

With Pleasaunce the paynter and dame Curtesy, 

The gentyll butler with the ladies all, 

Eche in her ofice was prepared shortly 

Agaynst this feast so much tryumphall. 

And La Belle Pucell then in speciall 

Was up betime in the moroAV gray, 

Right so was I, whan I sawe the daye. 

And ryght anone La Belle Pucell me sente, 
Agaynst my wedding, of the satyn fyne, 
Whyte as the milke, a goodly garment. 
Branded with jierle that clerely did shyne; 
And so the mariage for to determyne 
Venus me brought to a ryall chappell. 
Which of fyne golde was wrought every dele. 


And after that the gay and glorious 
La Belle Pucell to the chappell was ledde, 
In a white vesture fayre and precious, 
Wyth a golden chaplet on her yalow hede; 
And Lex Ecclesie did me to her wedde; 
After which wedding there was a great feast, 
Nothing we lacked, but had of the best. 

What should I tary by longe continuaunce 
Of the fest, for of my joye and pleasure 
Wysdom can judge withouten variaunce, 
That nought I lacked as ye may well be sure, 
Payeng the swete due det of nature; 
Thus with my lady was so fayre and clere, 
In joy I lived full right many a yere. 

O, lusty youth and yong tender herte ! 
The true company of my lady bryght, 
God let us never from other asterte, 
But all in joy to lyve both day and nyght! 
Thus after sorow joy aryveth aright: 
After my payne I had sporte and play; 
Full lytell thought I that it should decaye. 

Tyll that dame Nature naturing had made 
All thinge to grow to theyr fortitude, 
And nature naturing waxte retrogarde, 
By strength my youth so far to exclude, 
As was ever her olde consuetude ; 
First to augment, and then to abate, 
This is the custome of her hye estate. 






Thus as I lived in sucli pleasure gladde, 

Into the chamber came full prively 

A fayre olde man, and in his hand he hadde 

A croked stafFe; he wente full wekely: 

Unto me than he came fuU softely, 

And with his staffe he toke me on the brest, 

Obey ! he sayd, I must you nedes areste. 

My name is Age, which have often sene 

The lusty youth perysh unhappely, 

Through the desert of the selfe I wene; 

And evermore I do thinke inwardly. 

That my dedes of you they were of great foly. 

And thou thy selfe right joyous maybe 

To lyve so longe to be lyke to me. 

Happy is they that may well overpasse 

The narrow bridge over fragilite 

Of his wanton youth, brytle as the glasse; 

For the youth is open to all fraylte, 

Redy to fall to great iniquite ; 

Full well is he that is brydeled fast 

With fayre dame Reason tyll his youth be past. 


I obeyed liis rest; there was no remedy; 
My youth was past, and all my lusty nes; 
And right anone to us came Polizy, 
With Avaryce bringing great riches; 
My hole pleasure and delyte doubtles 
Was set upon treasure insaciate, 
It to beholde and for to aggregate. 

^ The fleshly pleasure I had cast asyde, 
Lytle I loved for to playe or daunce; 
But ever I thought how I might provyde 
To spare my treasure, land or substaunce. 
This was my minde, and all my purveyaunce, 
As upon deth I thought lytle or never. 
But gadred riches as I should lyve ever. 



But whan I thought longest to endure, 
Deth with his darte arest me sodenly; 
Obey! he sayd, as ye may be sure. 
You can resist nothing the contrary 
But that you must obey me naturally. 
What you avayleth such treasure to take, 
Sithens by force ye must it now forsake ? 


Alas! quod I, nothing can me ayde, 

This worldly treasure I must leva behinde, 

For erth of erth wyll have his dette now payde; 

What is this world but a blast of wynde. 

I must nedes dye, it is my native kinde. 

And as I was at his last conclusyon, 

To me did come dame Confession, 

With dame Contricion, which gan to bewayle 
My synnes great with hole repentaunce. 
And Satisfaccion without any fayle, 
Wyth dame Conscience, did wey in balaunce 
How that they might than without doutaunce 
My treasure and good so gotten wrongfully 
To restore agayne to the rightfull party. 

Of holy church with all humilite 

My rightes I toke, and than incontinent 

Nature avayled in so lowe degre 

That deth was come, and all my lyfe was spent. 

Out of my body my soule than it wente 

To Purgatory, for to be purifyed, 

That after that it might be glorified. 




The good dame Mercy, with dame Charite, 

My body buried full right humbly, 

In a fayre temple of olde antiquite: 

There was for me a dirige devoutly, 

And with many a masse full right solemyncly; 

And over my grave to be in memory 

Eemembraunce made this lytle epetaphy: 

O erth! on erth, it is a wonders case, 

That thou art blynde and wyll not the know, 

Though upon erth thou hast thy dwclljaig place; 

Yet erth at last must nedes the overthrow. 

Thou thinkest thou do be no erth I trow. 

For if thou diddest thou woldest than apply 

To forsake pleasure and to lerne to dye. 

O earth ! of earth why art thou so proud ? 
Now what thou art call to remembraunce; 
Open thine eares unto my song aloude; 
Is not thy beaute, strength, and puyssaunce, 
Though becladde with cloth of pleasaunce. 
Very erth, and also wormes fode, 
When erth to erth shall turne to the blode ? 


And, erth, with ertli why art thou so wroth ? 
Remembre the that it vayleth right nought, 
For thou mayst thinke, of a perfyte trothe, 
If with the erth thou hast a quarell sought, 
Amyddes the erth there is a place ywrought, 
Whan erth to erth is torned properly. 
The for thy synne to perrysh wonderly. 

And, erth, for erth why hast thou envy? 
And the erth upon erth to be more prosperous 
Than thou thy selfe fretting the inwardly? 
It is a sinne right foule and vicious, 
And unto God also full odious. 
Thou thinkest, I trow, there is no punishment 
Ordeyned for sinne by egall judgement. 

Toward heven to folow on the way 
Thou arte full slow, and thinkest nothing 
That thy nature doth full sore decaye 
And deth right fast is to the comyng. 
God grauut the mercy, but no tyme enlongyng; 
Whan thou hast time, take tyme and space. 
Whan time is past, lost is the tyme of grace. 

And whan erth to erth is nexte to reverte, 
And nature low in the last age. 
Of erthly treasure erth doth sette his herte 
Insaciately upon covetyse to rage; 
He thynketh not his lyfe shall asswage. 
His good is his God, with his great ryches. 
He thinketh not for to leve it doutles. 


The pomped clerkes with foles delicious 
Erth often fedeth with corrupt glotony; 
And nothing with werkes vertuous 
The soule doth fede ryght well ententifly, 
But without mesui'e full inordinatly 
The body lyveth, and wyll not remember 
Howe erth to erth must his strength surrender. 

The vyle carkes set upon a fyre 
Doth often haunte the syne of lechery, 
Fulfyllyng the foule carnall desyre: 
Thus erth with erth is corrupt mervaylously, 
And erth on erth wyll nothing purify, 
Till erth to erth be nere subverted, 
For erth with erth is so perverted. 

O mortall folke! you may beholde and se 

Howe I lye here, sometime a myghty knyght; 

The end of joye and all prosperite 

Is deth at last, through his course and myght; 

After the day there cometh the derke night; 

For though the day be never so longe, 

At last the belles ringeth to evensonge. 

And my selfe called La Graunde Amoure, 
Seking adventure in the worldly glory, 
For to attayne the riches and honour. 
Did thinke full lytle that I should here lye, 
Tyll deth dyde marke me full ryght pry vely. 
Lo what I am! and wherto you must! 
Lyke as I am so shall you be all dust. 


Than in your myncle inwardly despyse 
The bryttle worlde, so full of doublenes, 
With the vyle flesshe, and ryght sone aryse 
Out of your slepe of mortall hevynes; 
Subdue the devill with grace and mekenes, 
That after your lyfe frayle and transitory, 
You may than live in joye perdui'ably. 



And as Remembraunce niyne epytaphy set 
Over my grave, in came dame Fame, 
With brennyng tongues, without any let, 
■ Sayeng that she would spreade about my name 
To live in honoure without any shame: 
Though that deade were my erthly body, 
Yet my reuowne shoulde raigne eternally. 

The power, estate, and royall dignitie 
Of dame Fame in every region 
Is for to spreade by hye aucthoritie 
The noble dedes of many a champion. 
As they are worthy in mine opinion; 
For thoughe his body be dead and mortall, 
His fame shall endure and be memorial!. 


Did not Graunde Amoure with his royall dedes 

Winne La Bell Pucell the most fayre lady? 

And of hye honour attayned the medes, 

In the demeanyng him so worthely, 

Sleyng the gi-eat terrible giauntes ugly, 

And also the fyry monster vyolent, 

Of the seven metalles made by enchauntinent. 

About the worlde in every nacion, 
That evermore he shall abyde alyve, 
Of his great actes to make relacion, 
In bokes many I shall of him contrive, 
From one to other I shall his name so drive. 
That evermore, without extinguyshment, 
In burnyng tongues he shall be permanent. 

Hector of Troy. 
Unto this day reygneth the hye renowne 
Of the worthy Hector, prynce victorious: 
About is spredde in every region and towne 
His noble actes and courage chyvalrous. 
In full many bokes ryght delicious. 
Unto the reders howe lyst to geve audience. 
To here reporte of his great excellence. 

And in lyke wyse duke Josue the gente, 
Whiche was ryght strong and fyerce in battayle. 
Whose noble feates hyghe and excellent 
I have caused, wyth diligente travayle. 
To abyde in bokes without ony fayle : 
Who lyst his story for to se or here. 
In the Byble it doth right well appere. 



Judas Machabeus. 
Also the noble and hardy feates of warre 
Of Judas Machabeus I about have cast, 
In every nacion for to reygne aferre; 
Thoughe that his life out of this worlde be past, 
His fame shal prospere and shall never wast; 
Thus, wyth my power, of every worthy 
I spred his dedes in tonges of memory. 

Dyd not kyng Davyd a lyons jawe tere 
In his tendre youth, he so hardy was ? 
The lyons cruelte myght nothinge him fere; 
And after that he slewe great Golyas. 
All in his time he dyd in honoure pas, 
And I, dame Fame, wythout any doute, 
Have spredde his name in all the worlde aboute. 

Also kinge Alexander, the noble conquerour. 
Whose great power in all the worlde was knowen, 
Of me, dame Fame, he wanne the honoure. 
As I my trompe after his death have blowen ; 
Whose sounde aloude can not be overthrowen. 
Thus in flamynge tonges all aboute I flye 
Throughe the woi'Ide wyth my winges swyftly. 

Julius Sezar. 
And of the worthy Sezar Julyus, 
All about wyth golden beames bryght. 
His name shall dure and be full gloryous ; 
In all the worlde wyth ardaunt tongues lyght 
His fame shall reigne, he hath it wonne by ryght, 
For to abyde and ever to augment 
Wythouten lette or yet ympediraent. 


Also yet Arthur, the good kinge of lirittayne, 
Wyth all his knightes of the rounde table, 
I nowe, dame Fame, shall make to remayne 
Their worthy actes highe and honourable, 
Perpetually for to be commendable; 
In ryall bokes and jestes hystoryall, 
Theyr fame is knowen right hyghe tryumphall. 

And than Charles the great kynge of Fraunce, 
Wyth all his noble douseperes also, 
As Rowland, and Olyver, of hys alyaunce. 
With all the resydue and many other mo, 
Theyr fame encreaseth rennyng to and fro; 
The hardy dedes did them magnyfy. 
Unto me, Fame, their names to notyfy. 

Godfrey of Boleyn. 
And Godfrey of Boleine, of hardy courage, 
That of the paynyms wanne the vyctory. 
His worthy actes did their strength aswage, 
Whose fame renowmed is ful openly 
About the worlde reygnynge so ryally, 
In flamynge tongues to be intellygyble, 
His most hie actes so moche invyncible. 

And in like wise without abatement, 

I shall cause for to be memoriall 

The famus actes so hyghe benevolent 

Of Graunde Amoure, my knight in speciall: 

His name shall dure and be eternall; 

For though his body be wrapt in claye, 

Yet his good fame shall remayne alway. 


And ryght anone she called Remembraunce, 
Commaundyng her ryght truely for to wryte 
Both of myne actes and my governaimce, 
Whicli than ryght sone began to endite 
Of my feates of armes in a short respite, 
Whose goodly stories in tongues severall 
About were sent for to be perpetuall. 

And thus I, Fame, am ever magnified 

When earth in earth hath tane his estate; 

Thus after death I am all glorified. 

What is he nowe that can my power abate? 

Infinite I am, nothing can me mate; 

Tlie spryng of honour and of famous clarkes. 

My selfe I am to renowne their workes. 



And as dame Fame was in laudation, 
Into the temple with marveilous lykenes 
Sodainly came Time in breviacion, 
Whose similitude I shall anone expresse; 
Aged he was, with a bearde doubtles, 
Of swalowes feaders his wynges were long, 
His body federed; he was hye and strong. 


In his left liande he had an horology, 
And in his ryght hande a fyrc brennyng, 
A swerde about hyra gyrte full surely, 
His legges armed clerely shy nyng ; 
And on his noddle darkely flamyng 
"Was set Saturne, pale as any ledde, 
And Jupiter amiddes his foreheade. 

In the mouthe Mars; and in his ryght wynge 
"Was splendent Phebus with his golden bearaes; 
And in his breast there was replendishyng 
The shinyng Venus, with .depured streames, 
That all about did cast her fyry leames; 
In his left wynge Mercury; and above his waste 
Was horned Dyane, her opposition past. 

My name, quod he, is in division; 
As tyme was, tyme is, and the tyme future: 
I marveyle muehe of the j^resumption 
Of the dame Fame so puttyng in ure 
Thy great prayse, saiyng it shall endure 
For to be infinite evermore in prease, 
Seyng that I shall al thy honoure cease. 

Shall not I, Tyme, destroye both sea and lande? 

The sunne and mone, and the starres all. 

By very reason thou shalt understande. 

At last shall lese their course in generall. 

On tyme past it vayleth not to call: 

Nowe by this horologe it doth well appeare. 

That my last name dothe evermore drawe neare. 


In ray ryght hande the great fire so fervent 
Shall burne the tyme, and also minyshe 
The fatall tongues, for it is accident 
Unto me, Time, all thinges to peryshe, 
"When my laste ende I shall accomplyshe; 
And thus in vaine thou hast thy laboure spent, 
When by me, Tyme, thou shalt be so brent. 

In eternitie, before the creation 

Of aungell and man, all thyng was visible 

In Goddes syght, as due probation 

Of his Godheade, whiche is intellygyble, 

To whome nothyng can be impossible. 

For in my selfe a hye and sufficient 

Before all thynges he was refulgent. 

Unto whome onely is apparaunce 
Of my last ende, as myne originall 
Was in his syght without doubtaunce ; 
For onely of hym it is especiall, 
The hye power and godheade in finall. 
The future tence to knowe directly. 
Unto whome it appeareth openly. 

I am the lodestarre to dame Eternitie; 

When man of earth hath his creation, 

After the minute of his nativitie. 

He taketh then his operacion 

Upon me, Tyme, at every season. 

In the same houre the worlde was create, 

Originally I toke myne estate.. 


Coulde the nyne worthies so victorious, 
Do all their actes without tyme or space ? 
Tyme is a thyng both gay and glorious, 
When it passeth with vertue and grace. 
Man in this worlde hath a dwellyng place, 
Eyther hell or heaven, wythout lesynge, 
Alway he getteth in his tyme spendynge. 

Withouten tyme is no erthly thynge, 
Nature, fortune, or yet dame Sapyence, 
Hardines, clergy, or yet lernynge. 
Past, future, or yet in presence; 
Wherfore I am of more hye preeminence. 
As cause of fame, honoure, and clergy. 
They can nothynge wythout hym magnyfy. 

Do not I, Tyme, cause nature to augment ? 
Do not T, Tyme, cause nature to decay? 
Do not I, Tyme, cause man to be presente ? 
Do not I, Tyme, take his lyfe away ? 
Do not I, Tyme, cause death take his say ? 
Do not I, Tyme, passe his youth and age ? 
Do not I, Tyme, every thynge asswage? 

In tyme Troye the cyte was edyfied; 
By tyme also was the destruccyon; 
Nothinge without tyme can be fortified; 
No erthly joye nor tribulacion, 
Wythout time, is for to suiFre ^lassyon; 
The tyme of erthe was our dystruccyon. 
And the time of erthe was our redempcion. 


Adam of erthe, sone of virginite, 

And Eve by God of Adam create, 

These two the worlde dampned in certaynete, 

By disobedience so foule and vycyate; 

And all .other than frome them generate, 

Tyll peace and mercy made right to enclyne 

Out of the Lyon to enter the Vyrgyne. 

Lyke as the worlde was distroyed totally 
By the virgins sone, so it semed well 
A virgins sone to redeme it pyteously, 
Whose hye Godheed in the chosen vessell 
Forty wekes naturally did dwell. 
Nature wekes naturally dyd good of kynde, 
In the vyrgyn he dyd suche nature fynde. 

Thus wythout nature nature wonderly 

In a vyrgyn pure openly hath wrought; 

To the God of nature nothynge truely 

Impossyble is, for he made of nought 

Nature fyrst; whyche naturynge hath tought 

Naturately right naturate to make; 

Why may not he than the pure nature take 

By his Godheed of the vyrgin Mary ? 
His elect mother and arke of testament, 
Of holy chyrche the blessyd luniynary, 
After the byrthe of her sone excellent, 
Virgyn she was, yet alway permanent, 
Dysnullynge the sectes of false idolatry, 
And castynge downe the fatall heresy. 


Thus whan I, Tyme, in every nacyon 
Reygne in rest and also in peace; 
And Octavyan, in hys dominacyon, 
Thronglie the worlde and the peopled preace 
Letters had sent, his honoure to encreace; 
Of all the numbre for to be certayne 
For to abey hym as theyr soverayne : 

In whose tyme God toke his nativitie, 
For to redeme us with his precious bloud, 
From the devils bonde of great iniquitie: 
His hart was perst hangyng on the rode; 
Was not this tyme unto man ryglit good? 
Shall not I, Tyme, evermore abyde, 
Tyll that in Libra at the dreadfull tyde 

Of the daye of dome then in the balaunce, 
Almyghty God shall be just and egall 
To every persone withouten doubtaunce, 
Eche as they dyd deserve in generall, 
Some to have joye, and some payne eternal!, 
Then I am past, I may no lenger be, 
And after me is dame Eternitie. 




And thus, as Tyme made his conclusion, 
Eternitie, in a fayre white vesture 
To the temple came, with whole affection, 
And on her head a diademe ryght pure. 
With thre crownes of precious treasure; 
Eternitie, she sayde, I am nowe doubtles. 
Of heaven quene and of hell empresse. 

First God made heaven his propre habitacle. 
Though that his power be in every place, 
In eterne heaven is his tabernacle; 
Time is there in no maner of case; 
Time renneth alway his ende to embrace; 
Nowe I my selfe shall have no endyng. 
And my maker had no begynnyng. 

In heaven and hell I am continually 
Withouten ende to be inextinguissible, 
As evermore to i-eygne full royally, 
Of every thyng I am invincible: 
Man of my power shall be intelligible. 
When the soule shall ryse against the body, 
To have judgement to live eternally 

la heaven or hell as he doth desei've: 
AVho that loveth God above every thyng 


All his conimaniulenientes lie will then observe, 
And spende his tyme in vertnous livyng; 
Idlenes will evermore be escheuyng; 
Eternall joye he shall then attayne, 
After his laboure and his busy payne. 

O mortall folke! revolve in your mynde 
That worldly joye and frayle prosperitie 
What is it lyke, but a blast of wynde ? 
For you therof can have no certaintie : 
It is noAve so full of mutabilitie; 
Set not your mynde upon worldly wealth, 
But evermore regarde your soules health. 

When earth in earth hath tane his corrupt taste. 

Then to repent it is for you to late ; 

When you save tyme, spende it nothing in waste; 

Tyme past with vertue must enter the gate 

Of joye and blysse, with myne hye estate, 

Without tyme for to be everlastyng, 

Whiche God graunt us at our last endyng. 

Nowe, blessed lady of the health eternall, 
The queue of comfort and of heavenly glory, 
Praye to thy swete sonne whiche is infinall, 
To geve me grace to wynne the victory 
Of the devill, the worlde, and of my body, 
And that I may my selfe well apply 
Thy Sonne and the to laude and magnifie. 

Here vntklh the J'nstime of Pleasiire. 



Unto all Poetes I do me excuse, 

If that I offende for lacke of science; 

This lyttle boke yet do ye not refuse, 

Though it be devoyde of famous eloquence; 

Adde or detra by your hye sapience; 

And pardon me of my hye enterpryse, 

Whiche of late this fable dyd fayne and devise. 

Go, little boke! I praye God the save 
From misse metryng by wrong impression; 
And who that ever list the for to have, 
That he perceyve well thyne intencion, 
For to be grounded without presumption, 
As for to eschue the synne of ydlenes; 
To make suche bokes I apply my busines. 

Besechyng God for to geve me grace 
Bokes to compyle of moral vertue ; 
Of my maister Lidgate to folowe the trace, 
His noble fame for laude and renue, 
Whiche in his lyfe the slouthe did eschue; 
Makyng great bokes to be in memory. 
On Avhose soule I pray God have mercy. 

^ Imprinted at London in Flctestreate, at the signe of the 

Hande and Starrc, by Rychard Tottell. 

Anno M.D.LV. 


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