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And then may chance thee to repent The time that thou hast lost and spent To cause thy lovers sigh and swoon; Then shalt thou know beauty but lent, And wish and want, as I have done.

Now cease, my lute, this is the last Q. Labour that thou and I shall waste, And ended is that we begun. Now is this song both sung and past, My lute, be still, for I have done. 4o


A face that should content me wondrous well,
Should not be fair, but lovely to behold,
Of lively look, all grief for to repell,
With right good grace, so would I that it should
Speak without word, such words as none can tell;
The tress also should be of crisped gold.
With wit and these perchance I might be tried,
And knit again with knot that should not slide.


WRITTEN to John Poins

My mother's maids, when they did sew and spin,
They sang sometime a song of the field mouse
That, for because her livelihood was but thin,
Would needs go seek her townish sister's house.
She thought herself endured too much pain;
The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse
That when the furrows swimmed with the rain,
She must lie cold and wet in sorry plight;
And worse than that, bare meat there did remain
To comfort her when she her house had dight; Io
Sometime a barly corn; sometime a bean,
For which she laboured hard both day and night
In harvest time whilst she might go and glean;
And where store' was stroyed” with the flood,
Then welaway! for she undone was clean.
Then was she fain to take instead of food
Sleep, if she might, her hunger to beguile.
“My sister,” quoth she, “hath a living good,
And hence from me she dwelleth not a mile.
In cold and storm she lieth warm and dry 2O
In bed of down, the dirt doth not defile
Her tender foot, she laboureth not as I.
Richly she feedeth and at the richman's cost,
And for her meat she needs not crave nor cry.
By sea, by land, of the delicates, the most
Her cater” seeks and spareth for no peril,
* caterer

abundance * destroyed

She feedeth on boiled bacon, meat and roast,
And hath thereof neither charge nor travail;
And when she list, the liquor of the grape
Doth glad her heart till that her belly swell.” 35
And at this journey she maketh but a jape; "
So forth she goeth, trusting of all this wealth
With her sister her part so for to shape,
That if she might keep herself in health,
To live a lady while her life doth last.
And to the door now is she come by stealth,
And with her foot anon she scrapeth full fast.
Th' other for fear durst not well scarce appear,
Of every noise so was the wretch aghast.
At last she asked softly who was there, 4o
And in her language as well as she could.
“Peep 1" quoth the other sister, “I am here.”
“Peace,” quoth the town mouse, “why speakest
thou so loud P’’
And by the hand she took her fair and well.
“Welcome,” quoth she, “my sister, by the
Rood I’’
She feasted her, that joy it was to tell
The fare they had; they drank the wine so clear,
And as to purpose now and then it fell,
She cheered her with “Ho, sister, what cheer!”
Amid this joy befell a sorry chance, 5o
That, welaway! the stranger bought full dear
The fare she had, for, as she looks askance,
Under a stool she spied two steaming” eyes
In a round head with sharp ears. In France
Was never mouse so fear'd, for, though unwise
Had not i-seen such a beast before,
Yet had nature taught her after her guise
To know her foe and dread him evermore.
The towneymouse fled, she knew whither to go;
Th' other had no shift, but wanders sore 6o
Feard of her life. At home she wished her tho,”
And to the door, alas! as she did skip,
The Heaven it would, lo! and eke her chance
was so, -
At the threshold her silly foot did trip;
And ere she might recover it again,
The traitor cat had caught her by the hip,
And made her there against her will remain,
That had forgotten her poor surety and rest
For seeming wealth wherein she thought to reign.
Alas, my Poines, how men do seek the best 7o
And find the worst by error as they stray!
And no marvel; when sight is so oppressed,
And blind the guide, anon out of the way
Goeth guide and all in seeking quiet life.
O wretched minds, there is no gold that may
Grant that ye seek; no war; no peace; no strife.
No, no, although thy head were hooped with gold,
* then

jest * gleaming

Sergeant with mace, halberd, sword nor knife,
Cannot repulse the care that follow should.
Each kind of life hath with him his disease. 8o
Live in delight even as thy lust would,
And thou shalt find, when lust doth most thee
It irketh straight and by itself doth fade.
A small thing it is that may thy mind appease.
None of ye all there is that is so mad
To seek grapes upon brambles or briars;
Nor none, I trow, that hath his wit so bad
To set his hay" for conies” over rivers,
Nor ye set not a drag-net for an hare;
And yet the thing that most is your desire 90
Ye do mistake with more travail and care.
Make plain thine heart, that it be not knotted
With hope or dread, and see thy will be bare
From all effects whom vice hath ever spotted.
Thyself content with that is thee assigned,
And use it well that is to thee allotted.
Then seek no more out of thyself to find
The thing that thou hast sought so long before,
For thou shalt feel it sitting in thy mind.
Mad, if ye list to continue your sore, Ioo
Let present pass and gape on time to come,
And dip yourself in travail more and more.
Henceforth, my Poines, this shall be all and
These wretched fools shall have nought else of me;
But to the great God and to his high dome,
None other pain pray I for them to be,
But when the rage doth lead them from the right,
That, looking backward, virtue they may see,
Even as she is so goodly fair and bright,
And whilst they clasp their lusts in arms across,
Grant them, good Lord, as Thou mayst of Thy
might, In 1
To fret inward for losing such a loss.

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What cold again is able to restore
My fresh green years, that wither thus and
Alas, I see, nothing hath hurt so sore,
But time in time reduceth a return;
In time my harm increaseth more and more,
And seems to have my cure always in scorn.
Strange kinds of death, in life that I do try,
At hand to melt, far off in flame to burn;
And like as time list to my cure apply,
So doth each place my comfort clean refuse. 20
All thing alive that seeth the heavens with eye
With cloak of night may cover and excuse
Itself from travail of the day's unrest,
Save I, alas! against all others' use,
That then stir up the torments of my breast,
And curse each star as causer of my fate.
And when the sun hath eke the dark oppresst,
And brought the day, it doth nothing abate
The travails of mine endless smart and pain;
For then, as one that hath the light in hate, so
I wish for night, more covertly to plain,"
And me withdraw from every haunted place,
Lest by my cheer my chance appear too plain.
And in my mind I measure pace by pace,
To seek the place where I myself had lost,
That day that I was tangled in the lace,
In seeming slack, that knitteth ever most.
But never yet the travail of my thought
Of better state could catch a cause to boast;
For if I found, sometime that I have sought, 4a
Those stars by whom I trusted of the port,
My sails do fall, and I advance right nought,
As anchored fast, my spirits do all resort
To stand agazed, and sink in more and more
The deadly harm which she doth take in sport.
Lo, if I seek, how I do find my sore!
And if I flee I carry with me still
The venomed shaft, which doth his force restore
By haste of flight, and I may plain my fill
Unto myself, unless this careful song 50
Print in your heart some parcel of my teen; *
For I, alas! in silence all too long
Of mine old hurt yet feel the wound but green.
Rue on my life; or else your cruel wrong
Shall well appear, and by my death be seen!


The soote * season that bud and bloom forth brings
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale;
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make" hath told her tale:

* complain * grief * Sweet * mate


Summer is come, for every spray now springs;
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter cote he flings;
The fishes flete" with new repaired scale;
The adder all her slough away she slings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies smale; 10
The busy bee her honey now she mings.”
Winter is worn, that was the flowers' bale:
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs!


Love, that liveth and reigneth in my thought,
That built his seat within my captive breast,
Clad in the arms wherein with me he fought,
Oft in my face he doth his banner rest.
She that me taught to love and suffer pain,
My doubtful hope and eke my hot desire
With shamefast cloak to shadow and refrain,
Her smiling grace converteth straight to ire.
The coward Love then to the heart apace
Taketh his flight, whereas he lurks and plains,”
His purpose lost, and dare not show his face. 11
For my lord's guilt thus faultless bide I pains.
Yet from my lord shall not my foot remove;
Sweet is his death that takes his end by love.


From Tuscan came my lady's worthy race;
Fair Florence was sometime her ancient seat;
The Western isle whose pleasant shore doth face
Wild Camber's cliffs did give her lively heat;
Fostered she was with milk of Irish breast;
Her sire, an earl; her dame, of princes' blood; "
From tender years in Britain she doth rest,
With a king's child, where she tasteth costly food;
Hunsdon did first present her to mine eyes;
Bright is her hue, and Geraldine she hight;" Io
Hampton me taught to wish her first for mine;
And Windsor, alas, doth chase me from her
Her beauty of kind,” her virtues from above.
Happy is he, that can obtain her love!


Martial, the things that do attain
The happy life be these, I find:
The riches left, not got with pain;
The fruitful ground; the quiet mind;

* float "mixes * laments * is named *from nature

The egall' friend; no grudge, no strife;
No charge of rule, no governance;
Without disease, the healthful life;
The household of continuance;
The mean” diet, no delicate fare;
True wisdom joined with simpleness; Io
The night discharged of all care,
Where wine the wit may not oppress;
The faithful wife, without debate;
Such sleeps as may beguile the night:
Contented with thine own estate,
Ne wish for death, ne fear his might.


Resteth here, that quick could never rest;
Whose heavenly gifts, encreased by disdain,
And virtue sank the deeper in his breast;
Such profit he by envy could obtain.
A head where wisdom mysteries did frame;
Whose hammers beat still in that lively brain
As on a stithe * where that some work of fame
Was daily wrought to turn to Britain's gain.
A visage stern and mild; where both did grow,
Vice to condemn, in virtue to rejoice; io
Amid great storms, whom grace assured so
To live upright and smile at fortune's choice.
A hand that taught what might be said in rhyme;
That reft “Chaucer the glory of his wit:
A mark, the which (unperfected, for time)
Some may approach, but never none shall hit.
A tongue that served in foreign realms his king;
Whose courteous talk to virtue did enflame
Each noble heart; a worthy guide to bring
Our English youth by travail unto fame. 2c.
An eye whose judgment none affect" could blind,
Friends to allure, and foes to reconcile;
Whose piercing look did represent a mind
With virtue fraught, reposed, void of guile.
A heart where dread was never so impressed,
To hide the thought that might the truth ad-
In-neither fortune lost, nor yet repressed,
To swell in wealth, or yield unto mischance.
A valiant corse, where force and beauty met;
Happy, alas, too happy, but for foes! 3o
Lived, and ran the race, that Nature set:
Of manhood's shape, where she the mold did
But to the heavens that simple soul is fled,
Which left with such as covet Christ to know
Witness of faith that never shall be dead,
Sent for our health, but not received so.

* equal *moderate * anvil "bereft "affection

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They whisted all, with fixed face attent,
When Prince AEneas from the royal seat
Thus 'gan to speak: “O Queen, it is thy will
I should renew a woe cannot be told;
How that the Greeks did spoil and overthrow
The Phrygian wealth and wailful” realm of Troy.
Those ruthful things that I myself beheld,
And whereof no small part fell to my share;
Which to express, who could refrain from tears?
What Myrmidon? or yet what Dolopes? Io
What stern Ulysses' waged soldier?
And lo! moist night now from the welkin falls,
And stars declining counsel us to rest;
But since so great is thy delight to hear
Of our mishaps and Troyés last decay,
Though to record the same my mind abhors
And plaint eschews, yet thus will I begin: —
The Greekés chieftains, all irked with the war,
Wherein they wasted had so many years,
And oft repulsed by fatal destiny, 2 o
A huge horse made, high raised like a hill,
By the divine science of Minerva, –
Of cloven fir compacted were his ribs, –
For their return a feigned sacrifice, —
The fame whereof so wandered it at point.
In the dark bulk they closed bodies of men
Chosen by lot, and did enstuff by stealth
The hollow womb with armed soldiers.
There stands in sight an isle hight Tenedon,
Rich and of fame while Priam's kingdom stood,
Now but a bay and road unsure for ship. 31
Hither them secretly the Greeks withdrew,
Shrouding themselves under the desert shore;
And, weening we they had been fled and gone,
And with that wind had fet” the land of Greece,
Troy discharged her long continued dole.”
The gates cast up, we issued out to play,
The Greekish camp desirous to behold,
The places void and the forsaken coasts.
Here Pyrrhus' band, there fierce Achillespight;"
Here rode their ships, there did their battles join.
Astonied some the scathful" gift beheld, 42
Behight' by vow unto the chaste Minerve, –
All wondering at the hugeness of the horse.
And first of all Timoetes gan advise

* became silent *lamentable *fetched, reached “sorrow * camped, tendebat "harmful 7 promised

Within the walls to lead and draw the same,
And place it eke amid the palace court, —
Whether of guile, or Troyés fate it would.
Capys, with some of judgment more discreet,
Willed it to drown, or underset with flame, 50
The suspect present of the Greek's deceit,
Or bore and gauge the hollow caves uncouth;
So diverse ran the giddy people's mind.
Lo! foremost of a rout that followed him,
Kindled Laëcoön hasted from the tower,
Crying far off: ‘O wretched citizens,
What so great kind of frenzy freteth you?
Deem ye the Greeks, our enemies, to be gone?
Or any Greekish gifts can you suppose
Devoid of guile? Is so Ulysses known? to
Either the Greeks are in this timber hid,
Or this an engine is to annoy our walls,
To view our towers, and overwhelm our town.
Here lurks some craft. Good Troyans give no trust
Unto this horse, for, whatsoever it be,
I dread the Greeks, yea when they offer gifts.”

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Alas, my lord, my haste was all too hot,
I shut my glass before you gazed your fill,
And, at a glimpse, my silly self have spied
A stranger troop than any yet were seen.
Behold, my lord, what monsters muster here,
With angel's face, and harmful hellish hearts,
With smiling looks, and deep deceitful thoughts,
With tender skins, and stony cruel minds,
With stealing steps, yet forward feet to fraud.
Behold, behold, they never stand content, ic
With God, with kind, with any help of art,
But curl their locks with bodkins and with braids,
But dye their hair with sundry subtle sleights,
But paint and slick till fairest face be foul,
But bumbast, bolster, frizzle, and perfume.
They mar with musk the balm which nature made
And dig for death in delicatest dishes.
The younger sort come piping on apace,
In whistles made of fine enticing wood,
Till they have caught the birds for whom they
birded. 2-
The elder sort go stately stalking on,
And on their backs they bear both land and fee,
Castles and towers, revenues and receipts,
Lordships and manors, fines, yea, farms and all.
What should these be? Speak you, my lovely lord.
They be not men: for why? they have no beards.
They be no boys, which wear such side" long gowns.
They be no gods, for all their gallant gloss.
They be no devils, I trow, which seem so saintish.
What be they? women? masking in men's weeds?
With Dutchkin doublets, and with jerkins jagged?
With Spanish spangs,” and ruffs fetched out of
France, 32
With high-copped” hats, and feathers flaunt-a-
They be so sure, even wo to men indeed.
Nay then, my lord, let shut the glass apace,
High time it were for my poor muse to wink,"
Since all the hands, all paper, pen, and ink,
Which ever yet this wretched world possessed,
Cannot describe this sex in colors due !
No, no, my lord, we gazed have enough; 4o
And I too much, God pardon me therefor.
Better look off, than look an ace too far;
And better mum, than meddle overmuch.
But if my glass do like" my lovely lord,
We will espy, some sunny summer's day,
To look again, and see some seemly sights.
Meanwhile, my muse right humbly doth beseech,
That my good lord accept this vent'rous verse,
Until my brains may better stuff devise.





Whereby I knew that she a goddess was, And therewithal resorted to my mind My thought, that late presented me the glass Of brittle state, of cares that here we find, Of thousand woes to silly men assigned; And how she now bid me come and behold,

To see with eye that erst in thought I rolled. 168

Flat down I fell, and with all reverence Adored her, perceiving now that she, A goddess sent by godly providence, In earthly shape thus showed herself to me, To wail and rue this world's uncertainty: 173 And while I honored thus her god-head's might, With plaining voice these words to me she shright:"

“I shall thee guide first to the griesly' lake, And thence unto the blissful place of rest, Where thou shalt see and hear the plaint they make, That whilom here bare swing * among the best.

*high-topped ‘close the eyes * dreadful “bore sway

1 wide "please

* spangles * shrieked

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This shalt thou see, but great is the unrest
That thou must bide before thou canst attain
Unto the dreadful place where these remain. 182

And with these words as I upraised stood, And 'gan to follow her that straightforth paced, Ere I was ware, into a desert wood We now were come; where, hand in hand embraced, She led the way, and through the thick so traced, As, but I had been guided by her might, It was no way for any mortal wight. 189 But lo! while thus, amid the desert dark, We passed on with steps and pace unmeet, A rumbling roar, confused with howl and bark Of dogs, shook all the ground under our feet, And struck the din within our ears so deep, As half distraught unto the ground I fell, Besought return, and not to visit hell. 196 But she forth-with uplifting me apace Removed my dread, and with a steadfast mind Bade me come on, for here was now the place, The place where we our travel's end should find. Wherewith I arose, and to the place assigned Astonied I stalk; when straight we approached near 2O2 The dreadful place, that you will dread to hear.

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