The lyf so short the craft so lōge to lerne
Thassaye so hard so sharp the conqueryng
The dredeful ioye that alway flit so yerne
Al this mene I by loue that my felyng
Astoneth with his wonderful werkyng
So sore ywis that whan I on hym thinke
Note I wel whethir that I flete or synke
For al be that I knowe not loue in dede
Ne wote howe he quyteth folk their hyre
Yet happeth me ful ofte in bookes rede
Of his myraclys and his cruel yre
There fynde I wel he wil be lord & sire
I dare not saye his strokis ben so sore
But god saue suche a lord I can nomore
Of vsage what for lust & what for lore
On bookes rede I ofte as I you tolde
But wherfore I speke al this not yore
Agon / it happed me to beholde
Vpon a book was writen with frēs olde
And there vpon a certayn thing to lerne
The long daye ful fast I redde & yerne
For out of olde feldes as men seith
Cometh al this newe corn from yere to yere
And out of old bookes / in good feith
Cometh al this newe science that men lere
But now to purpose of this matere
To rede forth I gan me so delite
That al the day me thought it but a lyte
This book the whiche I make of mencion̄
Entitled was right thus as I shal telle
Tullius of the dreme of scipyon
Chapitres seuen it had of heuen & helle
And erthe / and sowles that therin dwelle
Of the whiche as shortly as I can trete
Of his sentence I wil you say the grete
Fyrst tellith it whan scipion was comen
In asfrike / how he meteth macenys
That hym for ioye In armes hath ynome
Than telleth he her speche and al the blys
That whas bitwen them / til ye day gan mys
And how his auncester affrican so dere
Gan in his slepe that nyght to hym appere
Than tellith it that from a sterry place
How affrican hath hym cartage shewd
And warned hym by fore al of his grace
And said hym what man lered or lewd
That loueth comyn prouffyt wel yt hewed
He shold in to a blisful place wende
Ther as ioye is with enten ony ende
Than asked he yf folk that here ben dede
Haue lyf and dwellyng in another place
And affrican sayd ye with outen ony drede
And hou our present worldis lyues space
Nis but amaner deth what way we trace
And rightful folk shal goo after they dye
To heuene and shewde hym the galaxye
Themie shewde he hym ye lityl erthe ye here is
At the regarde of the heuens quantyte
And after shewed he hym the nyne speris
And after that the melodye herd he
That cometh of thilke sperys thries thre
That wellis of musyk ben and melodye
In this world here & cause of armonye
Thenne said he hym / syn the erthe was so lite
And ful of torment / and of hard grace
That he ne shold hym in this world delite
Thenne told he hym in certayn yeris space
That eueri sterre shold come in to his place
Ther it was first / & shuld be out of mynde
That in this world is don of al mankynde
Thenne praide hym scipion to tel hym all
The way to come vnto that heuen blisse
And he him said first knowe thi self mortal
And loke ay bisyly that thou werk & wisse
To comyn prouffit / & thou shalt not mysse
To comen swiftly in to that place dere
That ful of Ioye is / and of sowles clere
But brekers of the lawe soth to sayne
And lecherons folk / after they ben dede
Shal whirle aboute the world in payne
Til many a world be passid out of drede
And thenne forgyuen al their wickid dede
Thenne shal they come to that blisful place
To which to come / god the sende his grace
The day gan fayllen and the derk nyght
That reueth bestes from her besynesse
Birafte me my book / for lak of light
And to my bed I gan me for to dresse
Fulfyld of thought and besy heuynes
For bothe I had thing / whiche that I nolde
And eek I ne had the thing that I wolde
But fynally my spirite at the laste
For wery of my labour al the day
Toke reste / that made me to slepe faste
And in my slepe I mette as I laye
How affriaine / right in the self araye
That Scipion hym sawe / byfore that tyde
Was come and stode right by my bed side
The wery hunter slepyng in his bedde
To the wood agayn his mynde goth anone
The Iuge dremeth / hou his plees ben sped
The carter dremeth / hou his cartis gone
The rich of gold ye knyht fight with his son
The seke metith he drynketh of the tonne
The louer metith he hath his lady wonne
Can I not saye / yf the cause were
For I had red of affrycan biforn
That made me to mete that he stode there
But thus said he thou hast the so wel born
In lokyng of myn old bookes to born
Of the whiche / macrobie roght not a lite
That somdele / of thy labour I wil the quyte
Citherea thou blisful lady swete
That with thy firebrōd dauntest whom ye lest
And madest me this sweuen for to mete
Be thou my help in this for thou maist best
As wisly / as I sawe the north north west
Whan I began my sweuen for to wryte
So gyue me myght to ryme it and endite
This forsaid affrican me hente anone
And forth with hym to a yate me brought
Right of a parke walled with grete stone
And on ye yate / with lrēs large ywrought
There were verses wreton / as me thought
On eyther half / of ful grete difference
Of whiche I shal you telle the playn sentēce
Thurgh me men go in to that blisful place
Of hertis hele and dedly wondes cure
Thurgh me men gon vnto ye welle of grace
There grene and lusty may shal euer endure
This is the waye to alle good auenture
Be glad thou redere and thy sorow of caste
Alle open am I passe in and spede the faste
Thurgh me men gon thēne spak ye other side
Vnto mrotal strokes of the spere
Of whiche disdaygn & daunger is the gyde
Ther neuer tree shal fruyt ne leuys bere
This streme you ledeth to the sorouful were
There as the fyssh in pryson is al drye
The schewyng is only the remedye
Thise versis of gold & black ywreton were
The whiche I gan a stounde to biholde
For with that one encrecyd ay my fere
And with that other began my herte to bolde
That one me hete that other me colde
None in wytte had I for errour for to chese
To entre or fle or me to saue or lese
For right as betwene adamantes two
Of euen myght / a pece of yron sette
Ne hath no myght / to meue to ne fro
For what that one may hale / that other lette
So farid I / that nyst whether me was bette
To entre / or leuen / til affrican my gyde
Me hente / and shof in at the gates side
And said it standes wreton in thy face
Thyn errour yf thou telle it not to me
But drede the not / to come in to this place
For this wrytyng is not ment by the
Ne by none / but yf he loues seruant be
For thou of loue hast lost the taste I gesse
As sekeman hath / of swete and bitternesse
But neuertheles al yf that thou be dull
Yf that thou can not do / yet may thou see
For many a man ye may not stande apull
Yet liketh to him / at wrastlyng for to be
And demeth yet whethir he do better or he
And yf thou haddest connyng for tendite
I shold the shewe mater of to wryte
With that my honde in his he toke anone
Of whiche I confort caght / & went in faste
But lord so I was glad / and wele begone
For al ouerwhere that I myn eyen caste
Were trees clad with leef ye ay shal laste
Eche in his kinde with colour fresh & grene
As emerawde / that Ioye it was to sene
The byldar oke / and eke the hardy all he
The piler elme / the cofre vnto carayn
The boxtre pyper holin to whyppes basshe
The saylyng fyrre / ye cypresse deth to playne
The shoter ewe / the aspe for shaftis playn
The olyue of pees / and eke the drōkin vyne
The victour palme / the lawrer to deuine
A gardyn sawe I ful of blossome bowes
Vpon a ryuer in a grene mede
Ther as swetnes euermore ynowh is
Of flouris. white. blewe. yelowe. & rede
And colde welle stremes nothing dede
That swymmen ful of smale fisshes light
With fynnes rede / & skales siluer bright
On euery boughe the birdes herde I synge
With voys of aungellis in her armonye
Som̄e besied them their birdes forth to bringe
Thee litil conyes to their playe gan hye
And further al aboute I gan aspye
The dredeful Xoo the buk the herte and hinde
Squerels and smale bestis of gentil kynde
On Iustrumentis of strenges in accorde
Herde I so pleye a rauysshyng swetenes
That god that maker is of alle and lord
Ne herde neuer better as I gesse
Ther with awīde vnnethe it myght be lesse
Made in the leuis grene a noyse softe
Accordyng to the fowles song a lofte
The ayer of the place so attempre was
That neuer was greuance of hete ne oold
Ther was eke euery holsome spice and gras
Ne noman may there wexe seke ne old
Yet was ther Ioye more a thousand fold
Then any mā can tell ne neu wold it night
But ay clere day to any mannes sight
Vnder a tree besyde a welle I saye
Cupide our lord his arows forge & fyle
And at his feet, his howe alredy laye
And wylle his doughter / tēpred al ye while
The heedes in the welle and with hir wile
She touched them after they shuld serue
Som̄e for to slee / & som̄e to wounde & kerue
Ther I was ware of plesaunce anon ryght
And of aray and lust / and our tasye
And of ye craft ye can and hath the myght
To do by force a wight to do folye
Dysfygurate was she / I wil not lye
And by hym self vnder an oke I gesse
Sawe I delyte that stode by gentilesse
I sawe bewte with outen ony atyre
And yougthe ful of game and Iolyte
Fole hardynes-flaterie and desire
Messagery and mede and other thre
Theyr names shal not her be told for me
And vpon pilers grete of Iasper longe
I sawe a temple of bras / yfound stronge
Aboute the temple dainised alway
Wōmen ynowe of whiche som̄e ther were
Fayr of them self & som̄e of hem were gay
In kyrtlys al dissheueld went they there
That was theyr office alway yere by yere
And on the temple / of duues whyt & fayr
Sawe I syttyng many a thousand payr
Before the temple dore ful soberly
Dame pees sat with a curteyn in her hond
And by her side wonder discretly
Dame pacience syttyng there I fonde
With face pale vpon on hill of sonde
And aldernext with in and eke with oute
Byhest and arte and of their folk a rowte
Within the temple of syghes hote as fire
I herde a swogh that gan aboute renne
Whiche sighes were engendrid with desire
That made euery auter for to brenne
Of newe flame and wel espied I thenne
That all ye causis of sorewes that they drye
Comen of the bitter goddesse Ialousye
The god priapus saw I as I wente
Within the temple in souerayn place stonde
In suche array as whan the asse hym shente
With crye by nyght & with his septre t̄ hōde
Ful besily men gun assaye and fonde
Vpon his hede to sette of sondry hewe
Garlondes ful of fressh floures newe
And in a preuy corner in disporte
Fonde I venus / and her pert richesse
That was ful noble / and haute in of her porte
Derk was ye place but afterward lightnesse
I sawe a litil vnnethe it myght be lesse
And on a bed of gold she laye to reste
Til that the hote sonne yede to the weste
Her gilt heris with a gold threde
Y bounden were vntressid as she laye
And naked fro the brest vnto the hede
Men myght her see & sothly for to saye
The remenant wel couerd to my paye
Right with a subtil couerchef of wlence
Ther was no thykker cloth of defence
The place gaf a thousand sauours sote
And bachus god of wyn sat by her syde
And ceres next that doth of hunger bote
And as I sawe amyddes laye cupide
To wom on knees two yong folk cryde
To ben their helpe but thus I lete her lye
And ferther in the temple I gan espie
That in despit of dyane the chast
Ful many a vowe broken heng on the wal
Of maydens suche as gan her tyme wast
In her seruyse and paynted overal
Ful many a storye whiche I touche shal
A fewe as of caliste and athalant
And many a one of whiche the name I wāt
Semyramis / candace / and hercules
Cibelle / dido / tesbe / and piramus
Tristram / ysowde / paris / and achilles
Helayne / cleopatre / and troylus
Silla / and eke the moder of romulus
Alle these were paynted on that other side
And alle their loue & in what plite they dyde
Whan I was comen agayn̄ / in to the place
That I of spak that was so swete and grene
Forth welke I tho / my self to solace
Ther was I waar / wher ther sat a quene
That as the light somer sonne shene
Passeth the sterre / right so ouer mesure
She fayrer was than ony creature
And in a lawnde vpon a hil of flouris
Was set this noble goddesse nature
Of braunchis wer her hallis & bowris
Y wroght after her tast and her mesure
Ne ther was fowle that cometh of engēdrure
That they ne were prest in her presence
To take their dome / and gyue her audience
For this was on seynt valentyns day
Whan euery birde cometh te chese his make
Of euery kynde / that men thynke may
And that so huge a noyse gan they make
That erthe & tree / and see & euery lake
So ful was / that vunethe was ther space
For me to stonde / so ful was the place
And right as abeyn in the playnt of kynde
Deuysed nature of suche araye & face
In suche aray men myght her there fynde
This noble emperesse ful of grace
Bad euery fowle to take her owen place
As they were wont alway fro yere to yere
On seynt valentyns day to stonden there
That is to saye the fowle of Xauyne
Were hyghest set & then the fowles smale
That eten as hem nature wold enclyne
As worm or thing of whiche I telle no tale
And waterfowle sat lowest in the dale
But fowles that lyue by seed sat on ye grene
And that so fele that wonder was to sene
There myght men the rial egle fynde
That with his sharp loke perceth the sōne
And other egles of a lower kynde
Of whiche that clerkys wel deuysen conne
Ther was ye tyrant with his fethers donne
And graye I mene ye goshauke yt doth pyne
To birdes for his outrageous rauyne
The gētil fallcon yt with his fet distreineth
The kynges hand the hardy sperehauke eke
The quayles foo the merlion that peyneth
Hym self ful ofte the larke for to seke
There was the douue with her eyen meke
The Ielouse swan̄ agayn his deth yt syngeth
The owle eke that of deth ye bodwor [...] bringeth
The crane the geānt with his trōpes sowne
The theef the choughe & eke the I anglīg pye
The skornyng Iaye the egles foo herowne
The fals lapwynk ful of trecherye
The stare that the counceil can bewrye
The tame ruddok and the coward kyte
The cok the orloge of the thorpes lyte
The sparow venus sone the nyghtyngale
That clepeth forth the grene leues newe
The swalow mortherar of the fowles smale
That maken houy of floures fressh of hewe
The wedded turtil with her herte trewe
The pecok with his armgellis fethers bright
The fesaunt skorner of the cok by nyght
The waker goos / the cuekow euer vnkynde
The popengay full of delycaisye
The drake / stroyer of his owen kynde
The stork wrekar of aduoultrye
The hote cormeran̄t ful of glotonye
The rauens & crowes with their voys of aire.
The throstil olde / and the frosty feldfare
What shold I saye of fowlis of euy kynde
That in this world haue fethers & stature
Men myght in that place assemblid fynde
Before the noble goddes of nature
And eche of hem dide his besy cure
Benyngly to chese or for to take
By her accord his fourmel or his make
But to the poynt nature helde on her honde
A fourmele egle of shap the gentillest
That euer she amonge her werkis fonde
The most benygne / and the goodlyest
In her was euery vertu at his rest
So ferforth / ye nature her self had blisse
To loke on her / and ofte her bek gan kysse
Naturve the vicaire of thalmyghty lorde
That hote. colde. heuy. lyght. moyst & dreye
Hath knytte by euen nombre and accord
In esy wys began to speke and seye
Fowlis take kepe of my sentence I preye
And for your ese in furthryng of your nede
As fast as I maye speke I wil you spede
Ye knowen wel how that seynt valētins day
By my statute and thurgh my gouernāce
Ye come for to chese and fle your way
With your make as I prik you with plesāce
But neuertheles my rightful ordenance
May I not lette for al this world to wynne
That he that is most worthy shal begynne
The tersel egle as ye that knowen wele
The foule Xial abouen you in degre
The wyse the worthy secrete trwe as stele
The whiche I formed as ye may see
In euery poynt as it best liketh me
Hit nedeth not his shap you to deuyse
He shal first chese and speken in his gyse
And after hym by ordre shal ye chese
After your kynde / eueriche as you liketh
And as your hap is / shal ye wynne or lese
But whiche of you / ye loue moost entriketh
God sende hem her / that sorest for him siketh
And ther with al / the tercel gan she calle
And said my sone the choyse is to the falle
But neuertheles on this condicion
Mote be the choys / of euerich that is here
That she agree to his elecciōn
Who so he be that shal be her fere
This is our vsage / alwaye yere by yere
And who so may haue at this tyme his ḡce
In blisful tyme he come in to this place
With hede enclined & with ful humble chere
This rial tercel spack and taried nought
Vnto my souerayn lady / and not my fere
I chees and chese withwil hert & thought
The fourmel on your hand so wely wrought
Whos I am al / and euer shal her serue
Do what her lyst to do me lyue or sterue
Besechyng her of marcy and of grace
As she that is my lady souerayne
Or late me dye present in this place
For certes longe I may not lyue in payne
For in my herte coruen is euery vayne
And hauyng reward only to my trouthe
My dere herte haue of my woo som̄e routhe
And yf I be founde to her vntrewe
Disobeysan̄t or wilful necligent
Auaunter / or in processe loue anewe
I pray to / god this be my Iugement
That with thise foules I be al to rent
That ylke day / that euer she me fynde
To her vntrewe / or in my gylt vnkynde
And sith that none loueth her so wel as I
Al be that she neuer of loue me behette
Thēne ought she be myn thurgh her mercy
For other bonde can I none on her knytte
Ne neuer for none other shal I lette
To louen her / hou ferre so that she wende
Saye what you liste / my tale is at an ende
Right as the fressh rede rose newe
Agayn the somer sonne colourd is
Right so for shame / as wexen gan the hewe
Of this fourmel / whan she herd al this
She neyther answerd wel / ne said amys
So sore abasshid was she / til that nature
Sayd doughter / drede you not I you assure
Another tersel egle spack anone
Of lower kynde and said that shuld not be
I loue her better / than ye do by seynt Iohn
Or at the leste / I loue as wele as ye
And lenger haue serued her in my degre
And yf she shold loue / for long louyng
To me allone shold ben the guerdonyng
I dare eke saye yf she me fynde fals
Vnkynde Iangler / or rebell in ony wyse
Or Ielouse / do me hange by the hals
And but I bere me in her seruyse
As wele as my wytte can me suffyse
Fro poynt to poynt her honour for to saue
Take she my lyf / and al the good I haue
The thirde tersel egle answerd tho
Now sizs ye sene the lityl leyser here
For euery foule crieth out to ben ago
Forth with his make / or with his lady dere
And eke nature her self / ne wil not here
For taryeng / not half that I wold seye
And but I speke / I muste for sow we deye
Of longe seruyse auaunt I me nothing
But as possible is me to deye this daye
For woo / as he that hath be languysshyng
This twēty yere / and wel it happen maye
A man to serue bette / and more to paye
In half a yere / al yf it were no more
Than som̄ men doo / yt haue serued ful yore
I say not this by me / for I ne can
Do no seruyse / that may my lady plese
But I dar saye / I am her trewest man
As to my dome / and faynest wold her plese
At short wordes / til that deth me sese
I wil ben heeris / whether I wake or wynke
And trewe in al that hert may thynke
Of al my lyf / sith first that I was bore
So gentil plee in loue or other thing
Ne herd I neuer / ne noman me bifore
Who that had leyzer and connyng
For to reherce their chere and spekyng
And from the morn̄ / gan their speche last
Til dounward wente the sonne wonder fast
The noyse of foulis for to be delyuerd
So lowde ronge / haue don / and late vs wende
That wel I wende the wode had alto shyuerd
Come of / they cryed / alas ye wil vs shende
Whan shal your cursid pleting haue an ende
How shold a Iuge eyther partye leue
For ye or nay withouten ony preue
The goos the doke and the cukko also
Cryden keke. keke cucko. queke. queke hye
That thurgh myn eris the noyse wente tho
The goos said al this is not worth aflye
But I can shape herof a Xemedye
And I wil saye my verdyte fair & swythe
For waterfoule who so be wroth or blythe
And I for wormfowle / said ye lewd cuckow
For I wil of myn owen auctorite
For comyn spede / take on me ye charge now
For to delyuer vs / hit were grete charite
Ye may abide a wyle yet parde
Said the turtil / yf it be your will
Awight may speke / hym were better be styll
I am a sede foule one of vnworthyest
That wote I wel and lityl of connyng
But better is that a wyghtis tong rest
Than entermete them of suche doyng
Of whiche they nether rede can ne synge
And who so doth / ful fowl him self acloyeth
For offyce vncōmyttyd / ful ofte anoyeth
Nature which that alway had an ere
To mormur of the lewdnes by kynde
With facōdewis saide holde your tōgis there
And I shal sone I hope a counceyl fynde
You to delyuer / and fro this noyse vnbynde
I charge of euery folk / that ye one calle
To saye the verdyt / for you fowles alle
Assentid were to this conclusion
The birdes alle / and the foules of Xauyne
Haue chosen first / by playn election̄
The tercelet of the fawcon to diffyne
Alle her sentence / and as hym list termyne
And to nature / hym gūne presente
And she accepte hym wyth glad entente
The tercelet said thrnne in this manere
Ful hard were it to preuen by reson
Who loueth best this gentil fourmel here
For euerich hath suche replecacion
That by skylles may none be brought doun̄
I can not see that argumentis auaylle
Theme semeth it wele / ther must be batayll
Alle redy quod these terselis egles tho
Nay sirs said he / yf I durst it saye
Ye do me wronge / my tale is not al dod
For sirs take ye not to greef I you pray
Hit may not gon as ye wold in this way
Oure is the wys that haue the charge on hōde
And to the Iuges domes ye mote stonde
And therfore pees I saye / as to my wytte
Me wold thynke / hou that the worthyest
Of knyghthode / and lengest had vsed it
Most of estate / of blood the gentillest
Were sittynge for her / yf that her lest
And of thise thre / she wote her self I trowe
Who that he be / for it is ethe to knowe
The waterfowles haue her heedes leyd
To geder / and of short auysement
Whan eueryth had his large golye seyd
They seyden sothly al by one assent
How that the goos with her faconde gent
That she desired to pronon̄ce our nede
Shal tele our tale / & praye to god lxr spede
And for these waterfowlis / tho began
The goos to speke in her kakelyng
She said pees / now take kepe euery man
And herkne whiche a reson I shal forth brīg
My witte is sharp / I loue no taryeng
I saye I rede hym though he were my brother
But she wil loue hym late hym loue another
Lo here a parsight reson of a goos
Quod the sperhauke / neuer mote she the
Lo suche is hit to haue a tonge loos
Now parde fool / yet were it bet for the
Haue hold thy pees / than shewd thy nycete
Hit lyeth not in his wit / ne in his will
But soth is said / a fole can not be styll
The laughter rose of gentil fowles alle
And right anon the seed fowl chosen had
The turtle trewe / and gan her to hym calle
And praid her to saye / the soth sad
Of this matere / and asked what she rad
And she answerd that pleynly her entent
She wold declare / and sothly what she mēt
Nay god forbede / a louer shold change
The turtle said / and wex for shame al rede
Yf that his lady / euermore be strange
Yet late hym serue her euer / til he be dede
For sothe I preyse not the gooses reede
For yf she deyde / I wolde none other make
I wolde be hers / til that the deth me take
Wele bourded qd the doke by my hatte
That men sholde alway louen causeles
Who can a reson fynde or witte in that
Daunseth he mery he that is myrthles
Who shold recche that is reccheles
Ye queke said the doke ful wele and fayr
Ther ben mo sterres god wote than a pair
Now fye chorle qd the gentil tercelet
Out of ye donghyl cam that word ful right
Thou can not see whiche thing is wel beset
Thou farist by loue / as owle doth by light
The day them blīdes wel they see by nyght
Thy kynde is of so lowe wrecchednes
That what loue is thou can not see ne gesse
Tho gan the cuckow put hym forth in prees
For fowlis that eten wormes & said by lyue
So I qd he may haue my make in pees
I recche neuer how longe that ye siryue
Late eche of hem be soleyn al their lyue
This is my rede sith they may not accorde
This short lesson nedeth not to recorde
Ye haue the gloton filled y now his paunche
Than ar we wele said the merlion
Thou mortherer of the heysug on the branche
That brought the forth thou rewful gloton
Lyue thou soleyn wormes corupsion
For no force is of lak of thy nature
Go lewd be yu whiles this world may dure
Now pees said nature I comande here
For I haue herd alle your oppynyon
And maffay yet ar we neuer the nere
But fynally this is my conclusion̄
That she her self shal haue the election̄
Of whom her list who so be wroth or blithe
Hym that she chese shal her haue as swythe
For sith it may not here discussed be
Who loueth her best as said the terselet
Thenne shal I do this fauour to her that she
Shal haue right hym on whom her hert is set
And he her that his herte hath on her knet
This Iuge I nature for I may not lye
To none estate I haue none other eye
But as for counceyl for to these a make
Yf it were reson / thenne wolde I
Counceyl you the Xyal tercel take
As said the tercelet ful skilfully
As for the gentilest and most worthy
Whom I haue wroght so wel to my plesan̄ce
That to you ought haue ben a suffysaunce
With dredeful voys ye formele her auswerd
My right ful lady goddesse of nature
Soth it is that I am vnder your yerd
And muste be youris while my lif may dure
And so muste be euerych ylk a ceature
And therfore graunte me my first bone
And myn entent / I wil you saye right sone
I graunt it you qd she & right anone
This formele egle spake in this degre
Al myghty quene vnto this yere be done
I aske respyte for to aduyse me
And after that / to haue my choyse fre
This is al & som̄e / that I wil speke & seye
Ye gete no more al yf ye do me deye
I wil not serue venus ne cupide
Forsothe als yet by no maner of way
Now fith it may non other wayes betide
Quod nature here is nomore to saye
Thenne will I that these fowles were away
Eche with his make for taryeng lenger here
And said hem thus as ye shal after dere
To you speke I ye tersellis quod nature
Bee ye of good herte and serue ye al thre
Ayere is not so longe to endure
And ylk of you peyne hym in his degre
For to do wele for god wote quyt is she
Fro you this yere what after so befalle
This entermesse is dressid for you alle
And whā this werk al broght was to anēde
To euery foule nature gaf his make
By euen acorde and on their way they wēde
And lord the blisse and Ioye they make
For eche of hem gan other in wynges take
And with her neckis eche gan other winde
Thākyng alway the noble goddes of kinde
But first were chosen / fowles for to syn̄ge
As yere by yere was alway her vsance
To synge a roundel at her departyng
To do nature honour laude and plesance
The note I trowe made was in france
The wordes were suche as ye may here fynde
The next vers / as I now haue in mynde
Que bien ayme / tarde oublie
And with ye shoutyng / whan ye soug was do
That fowles made at her flight away
I woke / and other bokes toke me to
To rede vpon / and yet I red alway
I hope ywis to rede so som̄e day
That I shal mete som̄e thinge for to fare
The better / and thus to rede I wil not spare
Explicit the temple of bras

Here next foloweth a tretyse / whiche Iohn Gkogan Sente vnto the lordes and gentilmen of the kynges hows / exortyng them to lose no tyme in theyr yougthe / but to vse vertues.

[Page]My noble sones / and also my lordes deer
I your fader called vnworthely
Sende vnto you / this lytyl tretyse here
Wreton with my hand ful rudely
And though it be / that I not reuerently
Have wreton to your estates / I you praye
Myn vnconnyng take it benygnly
For goddes sake / and herkne what I saye
I complayne whan I remembre me
The sodein age / that is vpon me falle
More I compleyne / my myspent Iuuente
Whiche is Impossible agayn for to calle
But certaynly / the most complaynt of alle
Is to thenke / that I haue ben so nyce
That I ne wolde vertues to me calle
In al my yougthe / but vyces ay chery [...]
Of wylke I aske mercy of the lord
That art almyghty god in mageste
Be sechyng the to make so euen accorde
Betwene the and my sowle / that vanyte
Worldly lust nor blynde prosperyte
Haue no lordship / of my flessh so freel
The lord of vertue & parfight vnyte
[Page]Put fro me vices / for my sowles heel
And gyue me myht while I haue lyf & space
Me to conforme fully to thy plesaunce
Shewe vpon me the habundan̄ce of thy grace
In good werkis grante me perseueraunce
Of al my yougthe forgete the ygnoran̄ce
Geue me good will to serue the ay to queme
Set al my lyf after thyn ordenan̄ce
And able me to mercy / or thou deme
My lordes dere why I this ꝯpleynyng wryte
To you / whom̄ that I loue eutierly
Is for to warne you / as I can endyte
That tyme lost in yougthe folily
Greueth a wight bodely and gostly
I mene hym / that to vices list entende
Wherfore I pray you lordes specially
Your yougthe in vertue shape ye to dispende
Thynke how betwene vertue and estate
Ther is a blissid parfyght mariage
Vertue is cause of pees vice of debate
In mānes sowle / for which with ful corage
Cherisshe ye vertue / the vices to outrage
Dryue ye away / late hem haue wōnyng
[Page]That your sowles lese not the heritage
Whiche god hath gyuen to vertuꝰ lyuyng
Take ye hede also how folk of poure degre
Thurgh vertue haue ben set in grete honour
And euer haue lyued in gret prosperite
Thurgh cherisshyng of vertuous labour
Thynke also / how many agouernour
Called to estate / hath ben set ful lowe
Thurgh misusyng of right / and of errour
Therfore I counceile / vertu / that ye knowe
Thꝰ by your eldres ye may nothīg claime
As my maister chawcer seith expresse
But tēperal thing / yt may hurte & mayme
Thenne god is stock / of vertuous noblesse
And sythen he is lord of blessidnesse
And made vs alle / and for vs alle deyde
Folowe ye hym in vertue with ful besynesse
And of this thing / herkne hou it is seyde
The first stok / fader of gentilnesse
What man that claymeth gentil for to be
Must folowe his trace and his wittes dresse
Vertue to folowe / and vices for to fle
For vnto vertue longeth dignyte
[Page] And not the reuerce / saufly dar I deme
Al were he mytor crowne or dyademe
This first stok was ful of rightwisnes
Trewe of his word / sobre pyetous and free
Clene of his goste / and loued besynes
Agayn vice of slouthe / in honeste
And but his eyer loue vertue as did he
He is not gentil though he riche seme
Al were he mytor crowne or diademe
Vice may wel be to holde richesse
But ther may no man / almen may wel see
Bequethe his eyer / his vertuoꝰ noblesse
That is appropred vnto no degre
But to the first fader in mageste
That makes hem eyres / that can hem qneme
Al were he crowne mytor or diademe
Plante the rote of yougthe / in suche awyse
That in vertue / your growyng be alway
Loke ay godenes / be in your excersyse
That shal you myghty make at eche asay
The frende for to withstōde / and his affray
Passe ye wisely this perilous pilgremage
Thynke ye on this word & wirke euery day
[Page]That shal you gyue a parfyt flourid age
Take ye also hede / hou ye thise noble clerkis
Wryten our bookes / of grete sapience
Sayng that feyth is dede with oute werkis
So is estate withoute Intelligence
Of vertue / therfore with diligence
Shape ye of vertue / so to plante the rote
That ye come by experyence
To worship of lyf / and sowlis bote
Thynke also that lordship / ne other astate
Withoute vertue / may not longe endure
Thynke also / hou vice & vertue be at debate
Hath ben & shal be whiles ye world may dure
And euer the vicyous / by auenture
Is ouerthrawe / and thynketh euermere
That god is lord of vertue & figure
Of al godenes / therfore folowe ye the lore
My maister chawcer / god his soule haue
That in his langage was so curyous
He saide the fader that is ded & in graue
Bequeth nothing his vertue with his hous
Vnto his sone / therfore laboryous
Owe ye to be / bysechyng god of grace
[Page]Thurgh whiche / ye ought to be vertuous
And graunt you to gete part of his place
Here may ye see / that vertuous nobles
Cometh not to you / by way of auncetrye
But it cometh thurgh leefful besynes
Of honest lyf / and not by slogardye
Wherfore in yougthe / I rede you edyfye
The house of vertue / in suche a manere
That in your age / it kepe you and gye
Fro the tempest of worldly wawes sere
Lo he the noble poete of bretayne
Hou he telleth in vertuouse sentence
The losse of yougthe / & vertu gan cōpleyne
Wherfore I pray you do your diligence
For goddis loue / and goddes reuerence
To enprynte vertue / in your mynde
That whan ye come in your Iuḡes presence
Ye be not sette / as vertules behynde
Ye lordes / can a manere now a dayes
Thaugh one shewe you a vertuous matere
Your feruent thought / is of fals alayes
That of that arte / ye haue no Ioye to here
But as a ship that is withouten stere
[Page]Ay rowīg vp & down withoute gouernāce
Wenyng ye the calme wil last yere by yere
Right so fare ye thurgh ygnoraunce
For very shame knowe ye not by reson
That after an ebbe ther cometh a flode rage
In suche wyse whā yougthe passeth his seson
Cometh croked and vnweldy age
And sone after come kalendes of dotage
And yf your yougthe no vertue hath ꝓuided
Alle men wil saye / fy on your vasselage
Thꝰ hath slouthe / fro worship you deuyded
Borce the clerk / as men may rede and see
Saith in his book of consolacon̄
What man desireth to haue of the vyn̄ tree
Plentyuous fruyt / in the ripyng seson
Muste aye eschewe to do oppression̄
Vnto the rote / whiles it is yong & grene
Ye may see / by this conclusion
That yougthe vertueles doth ofte moche tene
Seen ther agayn how vertuous noblesse
Roted in yougthe with gode perseueran̄ce
Dryueth a way al vice and wrecehidnesse
As slogardy Xyot / and dystaunce
[Page]Seen also / holi vertue causeth suffysance
And suffysance exyleth couetyse
Thus who so hath vertue / hath al habon̄dāce
Of welfare / as fer as reson can deuyse
Take hede of Tullius and of hym hostiliꝰ
That fro pouert come to hyghe degre
Thurgh vertue / rede ye also of Iulius
The conquerour / hou poure a man was he
That thurgh his vertue & his humanyte
Of many a contre / had he gouernaunce
Thus vertue bryngeth to hye degre
Euery wight that list do hym attendance
Rede here agayn of nero vertueles
Take hede also of proud baltazare
They hated vertuys. equyte and pees
Loke how anthiocus fyl fro his chare
That the skyn & the bones al to tare
Loke what mischan̄ce they had for their vicis
Who so wil not by thise signes beware
I dar wel say / Infortunat or nyce he is
I can say nomore / but hereby may ye see
Hou vertue / parfight charite cawses
And vices exyles al prosperyte
[Page]The best is to chese as I gesse
But do as ye list / I me excuse expresse
I wil be sory / yf that ye me myschese
God conforme you / in vertuous goodnes
So that thurgh necligence / no thing ye lese
Thus endeth the traytye wiche Iohn Skogan sent to the lordes and estates of the kynges hous.
Wyth empty honde men may no hawkes lure
Bye yf thou maye / for al is for to selle
Lytyl wit suffyseth with good auenture
And alway as the wīde stādeth set thy melle
The heuene to heuens lord / & feend to helle
Man to the world p̄tēde / & thou shal strecche
And wene thy self be noght / & be a wrecche

The good counceyl of chawcer

Fle ye fro ye prees & dwelle with sothfastnes
Suffyse vnto the good yf it be smal
For horde hath hate / & clym̄yng tikelnes
Prese hath enuye / & wele is blent ouer al
Sauoure nomore / than the behoue shal
Rede wel thy self that other folk rede
And trouthe the shal delyue / it is no drede
Payne the not eche croked to redresse
In trust of her / that torneth as a balle
Grete reste standith in litil besynesse
Beware also to spurne agayn an alle
Stryue not as doth a crock with a wall
Deme thy self / that demest others dede
And trouthe ye shal deliue it is no drede
That the is sent / resceyue in buxomnes
The wrastlyng of this world axith a fall
Here is no home / here is but wildernes
Forth pylgrym / forth best out of thy stall
Loke vpon high / and thank god of all
Weyue thy lust / and late thy gost the lede
And trouthe the shal delyuer / it is no drede
[Page]Balade of the vilage without peyntyng
Playntyf to fortune
This wrecchid worldes transmutacon̄
As wele as woo / now poure / & now honour
Withoute ordre or due discrecion̄
Gouerned is / by fortunes errour
But natheles the lack of her fauour
Ne may not do me synge / though I dye
I ay tout perdu mon temps it labour
For fynally fortune I desfye
Yet is me left the sight of my resoun
To knowe frend fro foo / in thy myrrour
So moche hath yet thy tornyng vp & doun
Y taught me / to knowen in an hour
But trewly no fors of thy reddour
To hym that ouer hym self hath maystrye
My suffysance shal be my socour
For fynally fortune I deffye
O socrates thou stedfast champion
She myght neuer be thy tormentour
Thou neuer dreddest her oppression
[Page]Ne in her chere fonde thou no fauour
Thou knewe the deceyte of her colour
And that her moste worship is for lye
I knowe her eke a fals dissymylour
For fynally fortune I deffye
Thanswer of fortune to the pleintyf
No man is wrecchid but him self it wene
And he that hath hym self / hath suffysance
Why sayst thou / thenne I am to the so kene
That hast thy self / out of my gouernaunce
Seye thus / grānt mercy of thin habundāce
That yu hast lēt or this thou shalt not striue
What woost thou yet / hou I the wil auāce
And eke thou hast thy best frend a lyue
I haue the taught deuysion bytwene
Frende of effect / and frende of cōntenance
The nedeth not the galle of none hiene
That cureth eyen derk for penance
Now seest thou clere yu were in ygnorance
Yet holt thyn anker / & yet yu maist arryue
There bounte bereth the keye of my substāce
And eke thou hast thy best frende a lyue
How many haue I refused to sustene
Syn I haue the fostred in thy plesaunce
Wilthou then̄e make a statute on thy quene
That I shal be ay at thyn ordenaunce
Thou born art in my regne of variaunce
Aboute the whele with other must thou dryue
My lore is bett / than wick is thy greuaunce
Aud eke thou hast thy best frende a lyue
Thanswer to fortune
Thy lore I dampne / it is aduersite
My frēde mayst thou not reue blynd goddesse
That I thy frendes knowe / I thanke it the
Take hem agayn / lete hem go lye a presse
The nygardes / in kepyng her richesse
Prenostik is thou wolt her tour assaylle
Wyck appetite comth ay bifore sekenesse
In general this rule may not fayle
Thou pynchest at my mutabilite
For I the lent a drope of my richesse
And now me liketh / to withdrawe me
Why sholdest thou my Xyalte oppresse
The see may ebbe and flow more and lesse
[Page]The welkē hath might to shyne teme & haile
Ryght so muste I / kythe my brotylnesse
In general this rule may not fayle
The pleyntyf
Lo thexecucon̄ of the mageste
That all purueyeth of his rightwisnes
That same thing / fortune clepen ye
Ye blynde bestes ful of lewdnes
The heuene hath properte of sikernes
This world hath euer restles trauayll
The last day is ende of myn entrees
In general this rule may not fayle
Thenuoye of fortune
Pryncis I pray you of your gentyllesse
Lete not this man on me thus crye & pleyne
And I shal quyte you this besynesse
And yf ye list / releue hym of his peyne
Praye ye his best frende of his noblesse
That to som better estate / he may atteyne

Thenuoye of chaucer to skegan

To broken ben the statutes hye in heuen
That create were / eternally tendure
Syn that I see / the bright goddis seuen
Mowe wepe and wayle / and passion endure
As may in erthe a mortal crature
Alas frowhens / may this thing procede
Of whiche errour / I dye almost for drede
By worde eterne whylom was it shape
That fro the fyfthe cerl [...]e in no manere
Ne myghte of teris down̄ escape
But now so wepeth venus in her spere
That with her teris / she wil drenche vs here
Alas scogan / this is for thyn offence
Thou causest this deluge of pestilence
Hast thou not said in blaspheme of ye goddes
Thurgh pryde or thurgh thy grete rekelesnes
Suche thing as in ye lawe of loue forbode is
That for thy lady / sawe not thy distres
Therfore thou yaf her vp at mighelmes
Alas scogan of olde folk ne yonge
Was neuer erst scogan blamed for his tōge

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