« PreviousContinue »
Lorde God! this is a sharpe examinacion
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
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.
More for reliquis than for saintis bones,
Whan maidens ar wedded and houshold have take
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.
The X. Commaundementes of Love.
Of Love's commaundèmentes x. is the nomber,