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A balade ubiche Chaucer made against women uncon

flaunt. Madame, ye have for

your newfanglenesse Many a fervaunt put out of your grace; I take my leve of your unftedfastnesse, For well I wote while ye to live have space Ye can not love full halse yere in a place; To new thingis your lufte is evere kene; In stede of blew thus may ye were al grene. 7

Ryght as a mirour that nothing may' enpresse, But lightli as it cometh so mote it passe, So fareth your love, your workis bereth witnes; Ther is no faithè may youre herte enbrace, But as a wedircock, that turneth his face With every winde, ye fare, and that is fene; In sted of blew thus may ye were al grene. 14 Ye might be Mrinid for

your

brotilnefle
Bettir than Dalila, Cresseide, or Candace,
For ever in chaunging ttondeth your fikirnesse,
That tatche may no wight from your
If ye lose one ye can wel tweine purchace,
Al light for somar, ye’ wot wel what I mene;
In stede of blcwe thus may ye were al grene.

Explicit

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Here foloweth a balade whiche Chaucer made in the praiso

or rather difpreise of women for ther doublenes.
This world is full of variaunce
In everye thinge, who takith hede,
That faithe and truste, and all constaunce,
Exilid ben, this is no drede,
And save only in womanhed
I can yse no sikirnes;
But for al that yet, as I rede,
Beware alwaye of doublenes.

Al fo that the freshe fomir flourcs,
The white and rede, the blewe and grene,
Ben fodenly with wintir fhours
Made feinte and fade, withoutin wene,
That truft is none, as ye may sene,
In no thing, nor no stedfastnes,
Except in women,
Yet
aye beware of doublenes.

16
The crokid mone, this is no tale,
Some while ifhene and bright of hewe,
And aftir that ful derke and pale,
And every monith chaungith newe,
That who the veray sothè knew
Althinge is bilt on brotlenes,
Save that women alwaye be trewe;
Yet aye beware of doublenes,

24

thus I mene;

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The lasty freshè sommirs daye,
And Phoebus with his bemis clere,
Towardis night they drawe awaye,
And non lengir list to appere,
That in this prefentę life now here
Nothinge abieth in his fairenes,
Save women aye be found intere,
And devoide of alle doublenes.

The se eke with his fternè wawes
Eche daye yflowith new againe,
And by the concours of his lawes
The ebbe yflowith in certeine;
Aftir grete drought there cometh a raine ;
That farewel here al stabilnes,
Save that women be whole and pleine;
Yet aye beware of doublenes,

Fortune's whele goith round aboute
A thousand timis daye and nighte,
Whose cours sandith evir in doute
For to transmew, she is so lighte,
For whiche advertith in your sight
The' untrust of worldely fikilnes,
Save women, whiche of kindely right
Ne hath no reche of doublenes.

What man ymay the wind restreine,
Or holdin a snake by the taile ?
Who may a flippir ele conftreine
That it will voide withoutin faile

48 36 88

64

Or who can drivin so a naile
To make suere newfongilnes,
Save women, that can gie ther saile
To row cher bote with doublenes?

At every haven they can arive
Wher as they wote is gode passage;
Of innocence they can not strive
With wawis, nor no rockis rage;
So happy is ther lodemanage
With nedle' and stone ther cours to dresse,
That Salomon was not so fage
To finde in them no doublenes:

Therfore who fo doth them accuse
Of any double entencion,
To spekè rowne, othir to muse,
To pinch at ther condicion,
All is but false collusion,
I dare right wel the sothe expresie,
They have no bettir protection,
But shroud them undir doublenes.

So wel fortunid is ther chaunce,
The dice to turnin uppe so doune,
With fise and fincke they can avaunce,
And than by revolucioun
They set a fel conclufioun
Of lombis, as in fothesafines,
Though clerkis makin mencioun
Ther kinde is fret with doublenes.

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Sampfon yhad experience
That women were ful trew ifound
Whan Dalila of innocence
With Iberis gan his here to round;
To speke also of Rofamounde,
And Cleopatri's feithfulnes,
The stories plainly wil confounde
Men that apeche cher doublenes.

Single thinge ne is not ypraised,
Nor of olde is of no renoun,
In balaunce whan they be ypeised,
For lacke of waighte they be bore doune,
And for this cause of jufte resoun
These women al of rightwisenes
Of chois and fre electioun
Most love eschaunge and doublenes.

L'envoye.
O ye women! whiche ben enclined
By influence of your nature
To ben as pure as golde yfined,
And in your trouth for to endure,
Armith

your

felfe in strong armure,
Left men assaile your fikirnes,
Set on your breft, your self to'assure,
A mightie shelde of doublenes.

Explicit.

96

104

Volume XIII,

K

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