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Lorde God! this is a sharpe examinacion
Of her that is most in my memorie,
Unto you lady' I make certification,
My name' is Trew Love, of carnal desidery,
Of manne's copulacion the verye exemplary,
Which am one of your servauntes of plesaunce,
I must be chefe callid to remembraunce.

I have fought true love of yeres gret proces,
Yet fond I nevir love but for a seson;
Some men be diverse, know no gentilnes,
And some lackin both wisdome and reson;
In fom men is trust, in som men is trefon,
Wherfore I wil conclude by avysemente,
And er beware for drede that I be fhente.

The retour Tullius, gay of eloquence, And Ovide, that seweth Craft of Love expres, With habundaunce of Salomon's prudence, And pulcritude of Absalon's faireneffe, And I wer poffess’d with Job’s grete richesse, Manly'as Sampsone my persone to avaunce, Yet shuid 1 submit me' in your remembraunce. 105

Now Sir, yf that it plese your nobilnesse To gyve advertence to my question, What thingè is the plesure of swetnesse, And most bittir in final fucceflion? Or what thing gevith man occasion In tendir age to be concupiscent? Resolve this question, or drede, Sir, ye'be ihent. 112

My soveraigne lady', Ovide in his writinge Saith desire of worldly concupiscence As for a time is swete in his worchinge, And in his ende he caufith grete offence; Notwithstandinge, my lady Dame Prudence, Grene flowring age and manly countinaunce Causith ladies to have it in remembraunce. 119

Your godely answir, so notable' in subftaunce, Wold cause the hert of womanhede converte Unto delyte of natural plesaunce; But of one thing I wold faine be experte, Why menne's langage wol procure and transverte The wil of women and virgines innocente, Wherfore I am aferd or I be fhente.

126 Let nevir the love of true love be losed, My soveraine lady, in no manir wise; In

your confidence my wordes I have clofed, My’amyable love to you I doe promise ; So that


knit the knot of exercyse Both locke and key ye have in govirnaunce, Emprint my love in your rememberaunce.

Of very trust and I were certified, The plain entencion of your herte's cordial, Me semeth in blisfe than were I glorified, Unto your plefure I would be'at your call, But er I fere of chauncis casual, Of fraude, disceipte, and langage insolente, Then were I sure maidinhed should be fhent. 140

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Ther was per tresour' of terrestial richesse, Nor precious stones rekened innumerabell, To be of comparison to your high godenes, Above al cretures to' me most amiable; Truft not the contrary', I was ner discevabell; Kepe wel true love, forge no diffembèlaunce, And graciously take me to’your remembraunce. 147

Me femeth by feiture of manly properte Ye Thuld be trusty' and trewe of comprimis, I finde in you no falfe duplicite, Wherfore, True Love, ye have my hert I wis, And ermore shal endure, fo have I blis, The fede’rasy made with gode avisement, God graunt grace that nothir of us be fhent! 154

Whan Phoebus freshe was in his chare fplendente, In the moneth of Maye, erly in a morninge, I herd two lovirs profir this argu'mente, In the yere of our Lorde a M. by rekening, CCCXL. and VII.


folowing, O potent princesse ! conserve true lovirs al, Graunt them thy region and blisse celestial. 161

Explicit The Craft of Lovers.

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A balade.
Or ther nature they gretly them delite,
With holy face yftinid for the nones,
in saintwarie ther frendis to visite,

More for reliquis than for saintis bones,
Though they be clofid undir precious stones,
To gete them pardon, lyke ther olde usages,
To kisse no shrines but lufty quike images.

Whan maidens ar wedded and houshold have take
Alther humility'is exiled awaye,
And the' cruil hertes beginnith to awake,
They do'al the befy cure they can or maye
To vex ther housholdes-maistirs, soth to faye,
Wherfore, ye yong men, I rede you forthy
Beware alwaye, The blinde etetb many)

y flye.

14 Of this matir I dare make no relation, In defaute of slepe my spirites wex fainte, In my studie l'have had long habitacion, My body’and goft are grevously attaint, And therfore I make no lengir complaint ; But whethir that the blind ete flesh or fish I pray God kepe the fly out of my difhe!

Now'I make an ende, and laie nie doune to rest, For I knowe by experience veramente Jf maidinis and wivis knewe and wist Who made the mattir he should sone be shent, Wherefore I praie that God omnipotente Hym save and kepin bothè night and daie. Writtin in the lustie fefon of Maie.



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The X. Commaundementes of Love.
Certis ferre extendith yet my

This matir as it should be to discrive,
But I truste your grace will in this seson
Ccnfidir howe with conyng that I strive,
For in his favour coud I ner arrive,
Elo’quence this halade hath in grete dispite,
The makir lackith manir to endite.

Of Love's commaundèmentes x. is the nomber,
As aftirward fhall rudely be rehersed,
And lovirs, in no wise departe afunder
Where as thei be observid and redressed,
Daungir and unkindnes yben oppreffed,
And he that is commaundid this to make
Is your owne, all othir for to forsake.

Faithe is the first and principally to tell,
And verie love requirith soche credence,
That eche beleve othir true as the gospel,
Without adulacion or flatteryng audience,
In true menyng and trustie confidence;
Paint not your connyng with colour ne fable,
For then your love must nedis be unstable.

In the seconde to trete of entencion,
Your lovir to plefe doe your busie cure,
For as myn aucthor Romance maketh mencion,


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