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To catche the forked cap. Forsothe they are to lewd To say so, all beshrewd !


Lord, how he wolde pry
After the butterfly !
Lorde, how he wolde hop
After the gressop !!
And whan I sayd, “Phyp! Phyp!”
Than he wold lepe and skyp,
And take me by the lyp

140 Alas, it wyll me slo, That Phillyp is gone me fro!


(c. 1500)

(Unknown Author) “Be it right or wrong, these men among lon

women do complaine, Affermyng this, how that it is a labour spent

in vaine To love them wele, for never a dele they love a

man agayne; For lete a man do what he can ther favor to

attayne, Yet yf a newe to them pursue, ther furst

trew lover than 2 Laboureth for nought, and from her thought

he is a bannisshed man.




FROM COLYN CLOUTE My name is Colyn Cloute. I purpose to shake oute All my connyng bagge, Lyke a clerkely hagge; For though my ryme be ragged, Tattered and jagged, Rudely rayne beaten, Rusty and moughte-eaten, If ye take well therwith, It hath in it some pyth. For, as farre as I can se, It is wronge with eche degre; For the temporalte Accuseth the spiritualte; The spirituall agayne Dothe grudge and complayne Upon the temporall men: Thus eche of other blother 4 The tone 5 agayng the tother. Alas, they make me shoder ! For in hoder moder 6 The Churche is put in faute.? The prelates ben so haut, They say, and loke so hy, As though they wolde fly Above the sterry skye. Laye-men say indede How they take no hede Theyr sely shepe to fede, But plucke away and pull The fieces of theyr wull; Unethes 9 they leve a locke Of wull amonges theyr flocke. And as for theyr connynge, A glommynge and a mummynge, And make therof a jape; They gaspe and they gape, All to have promocyon ; There is theyr hole devocyon, With money, if it wyll hap,

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“Now syth that ye have shewed to me the

secret of your mynde, I shalbe playne to you agayne, lyke as ye shal

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“Syth I have here ben partynere with you

of joy and blysse, I muste also parte of your woo endure, as

"I shal, as now, do more for you than longeth

to womanhede, To short my here, a bowe to bere to shote in

reason is;

time of nede.

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“Nay, nay, not soo, ye shal not goo! and I

shal tell you why: Your appetyte is to be lyght of love, I wele

aspie; For right as ye have sayd to me, in lykewise

hardely Ye wolde answere, whosoever it were, in way

of company. It is sayd of olde, ‘sone hote, sone colde,' and

so is a woman; Wherfore I too the woode wyl goo, alone, a

banysshid man.”

I can;

“Yef that ye went, ye shulde repent, for in

the forest now I have purveid me of a maide, whom I love

more than you, Another fayrer than ever ye were, I dare it

wel avowe; And of you both, eche shuld be wrothe with

other, as I trowe. It were myn ease to lyve in pease; so wyl I yf Wherfore I to the wode wyl goo, alone, a banysshid man.”

150 “Though in the wood I undirstode ye had a

paramour, All this may nought remeve my thought, but

that I wyl be your; And she shal fynde me softe and kynde, and

curteis every our, Glad to fulfylle all that she wyl commaunde

me, to my power; For had ye, loo ! an hondred moo, yet wolde I

be that one; For in my mynde of all mankynde I love but

“Yef' ye take hede, yet is noo nede, suche

wordis to say bee ? me, For oft ye preyd, and longe assayed, or I you

lovid, perdee! And though that I of auncestry a barons

doughter bee, Yet have you proved how I you loved, a squyer of lowe degree,

130 And ever shal, what so befalle, to dey therfore

anoon; For in my mynde of all mankynde I love but

you alone.”

you alone.

“A barons childe to be begyled, it were a

curssed dede, To be felaw with an outlawe, almyghty God

forbede! Yet bettyr were the power squyer alone to

forest yede, Than ye shal say, another day, that be ? my

wyked dede Ye were betrayed; wherfore, good maide, the

best red 5 that I can, Is that I too the grenewode goo, alone, a ban

ysshed man.


“Myn owne dere love, I see the prove that ye

be kynde and trewe; Of mayde and wyfe, in all my lyf, the best

that ever I knewe! Be mery and glad, be no more sad, the case

is chaungèd newe; For it were ruthe that for your trouth you

shuld have cause to rewe. Be not dismayed, whatsoever I sayd, to you

whan I began, I wyl not too the grenewode goo, I am noo

banysshyd man. “Theis tidingis be more glad to me than to be

made a quene, Yf I were sure they shuld endure; but it is

often seen, When men wyl breke promyse, they speke the

wordis on the splene.?

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Here may ye see that wymen be in love

meke, kinde, and stable, Late never man repreve them than, or calle

them variable, But rather prey God that we may to them

be comfortable, Whiche somtyme provych suche as he loveth,

yf they be charitable. For sith men wolde that wymen sholde be

meke to them echeon, Moche more ought they to God obey, and serve but hym alone.


I 2



Thys ender nyght ?
I saw a syght,

A star as bright as day;
And ever among
A maydyn song:

By-by, baby, lullay!
Thys vyrgyn clere
Wythowtyn pere

Unto hur son gane say: “My son, my lorde, My fathere dere,

Why lyest thow in hay?
“Methynk by ryght
Thow, kyng and knyght,

Shulde lye in ryche aray,
Yet none the lesse
I wyll not cesse

To syng, By-by, lullay!”
Thys babe full bayne 4
Aunsweryd agayne,

And thus, me-thought, he sayd: “I am a kyng Above all thyng,

Yn hay yfi I be layde;
“For ye shall see
That kynges thre

Shall cum on the twelfe day.
For thys behest
Geffe me thy brest

And sing, By-by, lullay!”




Who shall have my fayr lady?
I ho but I? Who but 1? Who?
Who shall have my fayr lady?
Who hath more ryght therto?


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