¶Here begynneth a lytel treatyse called the dysputacyon or cōplaynt of the her­te thorughe perced with the lokynge of the eye.

¶My herte is[?] throughe perced wt the lokynge of thyne[?] eye.

IN the fyrst weke of the season of Maye
Whan the wodes be couered in grene
In whiche the nyghtyngale lyst for to play
To shewe his voys amonge ye thornes kene
Thē to reioyce whiche loue seruaūtes bene
Whiche fro all cōforte thȳke thē fast behȳde
My pleasyr was as it was after sene
For my dysporte to chase harte and hynde.
Than I commaunded my houndes to goo
To drawe aboute yf they myght fynde a vewe
And forthe we wente bothe I and other moo
Nowe here now there the huntes for to sewe
Whiche in theyr hornes many blastes dyde blowe
To fynde an harte they dyde theyr full entente
In a forest of myn for to say trewe
In whiche to hunte I had grete talente.
We sought so moche about in euery parte
Tyll at the last we founde ryght well to chace
Grete hartes out of the hyrde a parte
Whiche went about theyr pastoure to purchace
And than anone we wente for to embrace
Many braunches of Elme and of hable tre
With whiche to dresse[?] vs a good standynge place
We made vs busshes well as semed me.
Whan this was done I tourned my bak anone
To fette my houndes and came sone agayne
Where of aloundes I brought many one
And whan I cam in to the forest[?] playne
I founde anone the hounte of hartes twayne Herte & eye.
[Page] For whiche I made to blowe hornes hye
And houndes syxe score and mo certayne
Whiche made me thought a Ioyous melodye.
For that poure herte that sorowe doth manace
Myght haue pleasaunce and also grete comforte
To here the houndes make that mery chace
So properly they ranne of one accorde
And eke so swyfte was theyr mery reporte
That it me thought as very paradyse
For in that forest was moch more dysporte
Than Instrument coud make to my deuyse.
And in chasynge not fer out of my way
I herde a womans voyse wonder clere
More swetter herde I neuer none to my pay
Than of my hors I descended ryght there
To vnderstande the better and to here
So longe tyll yt theyr songes were songe & done
And for to knowe the place I drewe me nere
Where as I herde this noble enprese sone.
And I serched ladyes many one
I founde syttynge about a fayre fountayne
Under a pyne whiche shadowed them echone
It was thynge to me yet vncertayne
To knowe of theym whiche was the souerayne
Theyr behauynge so Inly notable
And to theyr beaute yf I sholde not fayne
Of all other they were Incomperable.
And in thyr presence yf I sholde not lye
[Page] Were gentyll women of ryght goodly statute
I had not seen afore in company
More fressher folke of shap I you ensure
And in theyr doynge sad and eke demure
To fest the people they had grete delyght
All that I sawe was done by good measure
And well demend euery maner wyght.
And I approched as nygh as I myght
And saluted them anone full curteysly
And towarde me there came two anone ryght
Whiche sayd to me vs semeth verely
Ye lyst to take your dysporte secretly
As it appereth well in your persone
Whan ye be wery ye may rest hardely
And lete your houndes make them game alone.
Than we pray you that ye wyll come and se
These ladyes and damoysselles in fere
And they shall fest you as they can perde
To youre worshyp and theyres in all manere
And in syngynge they haue none here theyr pere
For aboue all other they haue the name
And goodly storyes who so lyst to here
They can reporte and there of haue grete fame.
So moch of wele they gan to me recorde
That I was rauysshed meruelously
For whiche my thoughtes felle sone to accorde
To se theym and whan I sawe trewly
Theyr fayre bodyes made so parfytly
Where god hym selfe and also dame nature Herte & eye.
[Page] Had planted beaute ryght plentyuously
Ferre aboue ony erthely creature.
And to all them I dyde such reuerence
Which as to me thought I ought to do soone
Not oonly after the hygh apperence
Of theyr noblenesse but after one by oone
And there wanted nothynge that sholde be done
Of worshyppe there men myghte ensample fynde
So goodly folke yet sawe I neuer none
For in all plesaunce set was hole theyr mynde.
And I was of these ladyes gracyous
Receyued well with perfyte gentylnesse
The whiche of floures ryght delycyous
Made a fresshe chapelet the soth for the expresse
I had not seen suche one by fore doubtelesse
The whiche they gaue to me ryght courteysly
And than I founde that eye of all gladnesse
Was retresshed ryght well and Ioyously.
Than one of them me by the hande dyde take
And gan to synge a songe of grete pleasaunce
And to all that other answeres sone gan make
Hole togyder without varyaunce
So parfyely with all the cyrcumstaunce
That I haue not harde none of suche mesure
It was a lyfe to voys all dyspleasaunce
Out of a troubled herte I you ensure.
All these[?] lerners that were present
Began to synge that Ioy it was to here
[Page] In suche places where they dyde talent
They cast theyr syght eche man in his gre there
And some gan syghe with pytuous loke and chere
Offrynge theyr hertes with hole intente
Whyle that / that theyr lyfe and body were in fere
So moche that loue sholde there with be contente
That one of them wente out fro the feest
And with drewe her out of the company
And can not say why it was at the leest
But well I wote and dare say verely
Myn eye had grete pleasure her to aspy
Warnynge my hert on her to take good hede
Which of all sorowe was all voyd trewely
Whan I behelde her goodly woman hede.
It semed an aungell that god had made
To come adowne for beaute souerayne
There coude no man se with his eyen glade
A more gracyous lady the sothe to sayne
Her for to please though I dyde all my payne
I coude not telle her fetures halfendele
Therfore I commytte this matere all playne
With them that lust with materes to dele.
And for her beaute which was imperyall
My pleasure alway gan me to complayne
To sewe for grace and dyde me hole trauayll
To whome my thought gan to strayne certayne
Yet my poure herte sayd he wolde do his payne
And toke none hede to her noble grace
In his seruyse for to be trewe and playne
[Page] Her for to serue durynge my lyues space.
And whan she had thought all that her lyst
To the feest she tourned anone ryght
And with her voys whiche was most swetyst
Began to synge with all her force and myght
And as she cast aboute her gooly syght
Whiche was grete plesaunce to all there
Unto myn eye it gaue so greate a lyght
That in all comforte I stode verely clere.
And or that she had ended her songe
An harte came rynnynge by them haftly
And lepte in to a welle all them amonge
Than for myn houndes I blewe certaynly
With whome the harte was holde so strayt truely
That he thought he sholde not longe endure
And for grete rere he lept full besely
For of his deth he demed hym very sure.
The ladyes and the grete gentyll women also
Had grete pleasure to be holde and se
And dyde theyr part to helpe the houndes so
The harte to take at soyle yf it myght be
But suche dysporte before I dyde not se
Myn eye wolde not therof no treasure make
But her in whome all vertue was plente
Behelde all waye I dare well vndertake.
And whan this harte aspyed well his tyme
He leped lyghtly out of the fountayne clere
My wery houndes layd them styll by me
[Page] For none of them myght nothynge nygh hyre nē
He brake the busshes so here and there
He went his way withouten ony arest
And rennynge for the amonge the bowes shere
He scope vs fro and toke the thyk forest
I went to these ladyes my leue to take
The harte to pursewe I dyde myne entente
Within a whyle my corage gan to shake
Myn herte suche dyscomforte to hym hath hente
That I ne knewe well what hontynge mente
But well I wote I was full of dysease
Me to dysporte I had but small talente
But late my thought forthe all at his ease.
And what for walkynge I was wery sone
Seynge the sonne began to go to rest
Of harte ne houndes I coud se ryght none
As ferre as I coud loke both est and west
An one the nyght began to make hym prest
So fast he came that I lost my place
And styll to abyde me thought it for the best
Tyll that the day began to shewe his face.
I tyed myn hors vnto a fayre grene tre
Agayne the whiche myn hede anone I sette
The erthe as colde as marble semed me
Whiche made my tethe all in myn heed to whette
My selfe compleynynge how that I was sette
That I myght not that lady se agayne
Whome that myn eye promysed an behette
Whan I had fyrst syght of her certayne Herte & eye.
[Page] And with that thought I founde that eye
Had lost myn hope and Ioyes[?] euerychone
And that harde sorowe ny [...]hed me so nye
That I sholde not but wepe wayle and grone
And dyuers paynes come vpon me sone
For I coud not se in no maner wyse
Her in whome all my Ioyes were alone
And than I slepte a whyle me to suffyse.
And in slepynge myn herte I herde complayne
And with myn eye anone began debate
Seynge fals eye thou doost me grete payne
To be so hardy that erely or late
To cast my loke vpon so grete estate
Where all beaute is set in lytell space
I trowe to me thou hast some manere hate
That thou hast set me in so hye a place.
The eye than sayd thou herte to what entente
Sayst thou that I haue done the ony wronge
I am thy frende yf thou lyst be contente
I may well swere myn othe yf thou wyll it songe
And leue me well bothe at shorte and longe
That I dyde neuer euyll vnto the
I doubte me not though thou with wordes strōge
Lyst thus to chyde take this for certaynte.
Hast thou not made by ryght swete auenture
Me for to chese the floure of womanhede
The moost pleasant of lyuynge creature
Surmountynge in verrey goodly hede
And for the swetnesse that in her doth sprede
[Page] Thou hast on her planted thy stedefast syght
Whiche is to me grete preuydyce in dede
Syth I may not se her as it were ryght.
For soth I wyll not the contrarye
But that I haue a goodly lady sayne
In pleasaunte wyse I woll not fro it varye
In all honoure she hath no pere certayne
Amonge all other chosen souerayne
As for the fayrest and the best also
Therfore thou hast no cause on me to complayne
No me to hate / a well why doyst thou so.
Yes for soth for whan thou so doo
O [...] so[?] grete desyre thy syght on her thou cast
Through the whiche I was rauysshed soo
That in all Ioy me thought I was stedefast
And her goodnesse in me portted thou hast
And or I aske mercy or grace
She was ryght ferre out of thy syght ypast
For whiche dyspayre me straytly doth embrace.
I haue fraunchyse that all myn owne pleasaunce
My syght to cast whan that me lyketh best
For whiche thou ought to haue no dyspleasaunce
Thy drede and myn be not lyke at the lest
Though that we bothe in one place take our rest
I am ordeyned to beholde and se
And than to leue sholdest alway be prest
Why puttest thou this blame than all on me.
Lyke as fruyte may not wexe type kyndely Herte & eye.
[Page] But yf he take of the sonne some maner hete
In lyke wyse I may not lyue trewely
Without thy counseyle wherfore cause grete
I haue to blame the syth I may not gete
Syth of her alas the harde whyle
I am not lyke with her to mete
How mayst thou forth me thus begyle.
Though I beholde a ladyes grete beaute
Through whiche thou art be comen amerous
And as of hope thou arte in no suerte
Which maketh the haply ryght dolorous
Yet sholdest thou not with wordes rygorous
So wofully me to repreue and blame
Now in good fayth thou arte not vertuous
To do or say that sholde be to my shame.
Thou oughtest well somwhat lenger to abyde
Tyll that the mouth had her be sought of grace
And that the ere had take good hede that tyde
In his concept yf I had ony place
So myght thou to me his pleasaunce purchace
But I nowe fele that I am so purueyde
Of sorowe whiche doth me sore embrace
And of all Ioye I knowe me dysperueyde.
I recke no of the mouth nor of the nose
Of eere nor fote nor of the handes twayne
It sytteth me moch better as I suppose
To loke vpon a fayre lady certane
And to be holde them I shall do my payne
Which is my pleasaunce and euer shall be
[Page] For I recke not whether thou laugh or complayne
Take now ryght good hede what I say to the.
Thou scornest fast mortherer as I trowe
Thou hast me smyte with a stroke mortall
By thy fals loke thou hast me ouerthrowe
I wende full lytell thou had be such at all
Thou hast me cast with out the castell wall
Of good comforte and out of all gladnesse
Therfore in fayth I may the ryght well call
Worse than an erytyke the trouth to expresse.
I am no mortherer nor out of byleue
Thou shalte me fynde alway both playne & trewe
Nor by no wytnesse shalte thou neuer preue
That euer I was to man vntrewe
And namly to name whoos stappes I shewe
And yf thou wolde say ought to the contrary
To desyre the marshall I wyll pursewe
And make hym Iuge I wyll not lenger tary.
As moch as is in me I am contente for certayne
Byfore hym the causes nede
Of our stryfe betwene vs twayne
And lete the trouthe for vs procede
That he may knowe where the faute is in dede
And lete hym Iuge for vs both ryghtfully
Without mercy for ryght so god me spede
In that quarell I dare well fyght trewely.
Than the eye answered in this manere
That he wolde hym defende with all his myght Herte & eye.
[Page] Than both two were accorded thus in fere
To go towardes the courte of loue full ryght
Whan they came to shewe theyr ryght
Than sayd desyre of loue the marshall
Tell thou thy cause anone here in our fyght
Of our rumor that is bytwene you fall.
The herte than toke no maner of counseyll
But his owne tale he tolde full trewely
And desyre lo here my cause saunsfefayll
The eye hath done to me vncurteysly
Not longe a go he put his syght trewly
On the fayrest and best where euer she go
For his pleasure and not for myn trewly
Ryght in this wyse as I shall telle you lo.
Whan the eye had on her set his syght
Loue put in me of his grete worthynesse
Thought desyre / & pleasaunce these thre ful ryght
Whiche sholde make me to stand in stedefulnesse
For to loue her without doublenesse
Yf than I myght her grace to attayne
Whome I am lyke neuer to se doubtlesse
Wherfore I haue grete heuynesse and payne.
And thus the eye hath sette me in such plyght
For whan he sawe that I was thus take
With loue of her he parted from him quyght
Or that I coud my certaynte make
Wherfore of tyme I trymble sore and quake
And thynke ryght longe after allygeaunce
Thus by the eye my wo begynneth to wake
[Page] All in dyspayre thus standynge in balaunce.
And with this gryefe I am to deth brought
And out of Ioye standefull forowfully
All in dyscomforte as I ne rought
Of erthely thynge so troubleth me the eye
For yf the fayre had not so pleasauntely
Her goodly loke on me be set so sore
This sorowe had not comen to me trewly
But I had lyued as I dyd before.
Wherfore I complayne me thus ryghtfully
Of grete iniurye that the eye hath done
And my cause is mente moost faythfully
Wherfore to you I do submyssyon
And on my trouth I make promyssyon
To fyght with hym in loues hygh presence
Byfore the whiche we shall knowe soone
The ryght fro wronge without more dyffence.
The eye answered and sayd in this manere
I haue done nothynge contrarye to thyne herte
For though I cast myn loke bothe here and there
Upon the fayre yf ye lyst well aduerte
The herte sholde not in his conceyt peruerte
Syth loue hath graunted me the hygh offyce
I wyll it kepe an neuer fro it sterte
Of hym I haue none other benefyce.
The herte replyed with his full entente
And sayd thou eye thou arte fals and vntrewe
I cast to fyght in this quarell presente
[Page] The eye answered and sayd I am as trewe
As euer thou were therfore in wordes fewe
To knowe the ryght thy wedde I vp take
And in presence of loue we shall it shewe
Who hath the wronge and no more noyse to make.
Than whan desyre had herde the matere playne
In myddes of Maye he sygned a day
The grete quarell before[?] loue to tarrayne
And letters wryte and seald both to say
With sealys of theyr armes fresshe and gay
Eche one of them his ryght for to mayntayne
Thus to be there in all best aray
They made there both two theyr ꝓmysse certayne
Than wente this worthy mershall of loue
To telle his lorde and mayster parte and all
Of this affraye rehersed here aboue
And loue anone commaunded forth with all
To make a felde where in bothe grete and small
Myght haue theyr syght closed about with lyces
And there with all yf I the soth say shall
A rych scaffolde arayde with delyces.
And whan loue had hym his charge thus tolde
And anone was made a felde both longe & wyde
With double lystes all of ryght good golde
Couered with tyssewe well on euery syde
Nabugodonosor with all his pryde
Whiche was the rychest kynge as in his dayes
Had[?] neuer suche one before that ylke tyde
As was that felde with all the ryche arrayes.
For in that felde were two fayre entrees
All made of Iasper and of clere crystall
Whiche good worke men of straunge countrees
With baryers of passynge fyne corall[?]
Had wrought ryght well by crafte especyall
All set with keyes made of yuery
Whiche a locke smyth that came fro portyngale
Fyled with a fyle smothe and craftely.
The scaffolde of loue was made of ambre
Founded on pyllours of ryght fayre baleys
With warderobe an hall and also with chambre
As though it were within a grete paleyse
The tapettes also as the boke sayes
Were the story of the rose the romaunce
For louers to rede both clerkes and layes
Were wryten ryght well with good dyamaunce.
The chayre was also passynge fresshe and gay
Where loue hymselfe in his estate syt sholde
Of clere burell well polysshed soth to say
And foure spare hawkes made of massy golde
And on the backe there were to beholde
Syxte carbuncles ryght well set and euen
Whiche were clerer and bryghter many folde
Than ben the planettes shynynge from heuen.
The day and the houre aboue sayd
Whan the herte sholde fyght ayenst the eye
Loue came hym selfe with his wynges dysplayd
Dyscendynge downe of his scafolde trewely
And in his chayre he sat downe softely
[Page] A robe on hym embrodered with rych stones
And fyne perles sette full craftely
Browderede of emeraudes for the nones.
The flores fresshe of the crowne of loue
And chamehyeux were made of grete rychesse
And of clere saphers set all aboue
All his wynges were of suche bryghtnesse
Federed de byen en meulx doubtelesse
As of tapyses shynynge wonderfully
I trowe none aungelles the trouth to expresse
Haue not theyr wynges made so plesauntly.
He had also a bowe of vnycorne
And two strynges made of grete substaunce
Of golde of cypresse at eche ende
A shefe of arowes set in ordenaunce
To teche the louers his trace to daunce
Federed with fyne rubyes bryght and shene
Whiche gaue hym for a grete pleasaunce
Poynted with dyamondes sharpe and kene.
And whan that loue this noble god archere
Had bowe and arowes[?] set downe hym besyde
Regarde his heraude with voyce inly clere
Thryes as it was commaunded that tyde
Called the herte that he sholde not lange abyde
Whiche had promysed to fyght there tha day
Ayenst the eye whiche was so full of pryde
And not to make taryenge nor delay.
The herte came forthe to fyght ayenst the eye
[Page] Upon a courser couered all with larmes
His armes were made of sorowe truely
Also thre syghes he bare in his armes
Paynted well vpon his cote of armes
They appered all with pyteous wepynge
And his swerde wt whiche he sholde do his armes
Was tempered with sorowfull complaynynge.
In whose companye came honoure also
Hardynesse / prowesse / and eke gentylnesse
Thought and good hope and many other mo
That were of his alyaunce as I gesse
All clothed lyke for theyr worthynesse
With roses reed and also with lylyes whyte
Chapelettes they had eke for theyr noblenesse
Of lauendre a floure of grete delyte.
And whan he entred into the fresshe felde
Than from his hors he dessended lyghtely
And on his knees fell downe and behelde
This noble loue and salued hym goodly
And a lytell after full worshypfully
With drewe hym selfe and toke hym to his tente
Whiche of roses many made was pleasauntly
There tabyde the eye was his hole entente.
Than regarde this noble heraulde and wyse
Called the eye before loue tapere
Which was redy in all goodly wyse
Armed with swete dysporte on a coursere
Whiche to my conceyt had no where his pere
And semed well he had no werynesse
[Page] Couered with myrth embroded here and there
His swerde was of solace and of lustynesse.
Of Ioye was made his cote of armes ryche
Fygured all with pleasaunce and gladnesse
Ryght goodly folke also none of them lyche
He had as happed hym beaute and prowesse
Goodly porte melodye and eke noblenesse
Of peruyncle arayde all in grene
And of mergelyne in ryght grete largesse
His fayre coursers were couered all be dene.
And as sone as this full noble eye
This lystes approched on fote he lyght
And entred in and salued curteysly
His worshypfull lorde loue as it was ryght
Which had made promyse with the herte to fyght
And after wente in to his pauylyon
All arayde with gyllofres reed and whyght
Whiche was worthe a kynges grete raunson.
The ordeyner of the felde named desyre
Made come anone in to the hygh presence
Of whiche was theyr noble lorde and fyre
Both the herte and the eye full of prudence
And made them swere vpon theyr conseyence
That in theyr cause eche of them had ryght
And to crye it in open audyence
And not to tarye that they haue be hyght
Than after this the herte went agayne
Unto his tente his rest for to make
[Page] And set hym on his sege the sothe for to fayne
Made of eglantyne for his owne sake
Also the eye his frendes had lete make
A sege for hym of woderon plesauntly
Where he made good watche I vndertake
Upon the eye whan he sholde come trewely.
And after came loue the felde vnto
And chose knyghtes to awayt vpon them twayne
Thought swete hope / and rememberaunce
And honoure eke and I sholde not fayne
All armed with margaretes certayne
And eche of them bare in his hand a spere
Of grene lauer well made both smoth & playne
To departe these champynyons yf nede were.
And than this loue whiche is worthy and dygne
To whome no creature may hym resemble
Unto regarde his heraulde made a sygne
That he sholde make ye herte & the eye to assemble
And whan they were thus both two assemble
The heralde cryed do your deuour anone
For whiche the herte and the eye began to tremble
And so dyde they that were presente eche one.
And thus the herte whiche was thappalaunte
Out of his tente yssues ryght manly
Whiche bare as he that was ryght valeaunt
A spere heed with sorowe sekerly
The eye from his pauylyon by and by
Yssued also in his hande a launce
The whiche he gyded full gentylmanly Herte & eye.
[Page] Poynted it was ryght fresshely with plesaunce.
Forth with the herte hente in his fyst a spere
Thryse byfore the eye / namly he wente
The eye anone as he that had no fere
Came forth a goodly pace anone of his tente
And the herte with a good auysemente
Cast his spere and perced the vysere
Of the eye whiche demed hym almoost shente
And thought he was vnto deth ryght nere.
And whan the eye felte hym thus sore wounded
Rudly ayenst the herte he wente anone
And fyrst of all that his herte was founded
His spere he caught manly and tyght soone
Unneth the herte myght stande his fete vpon
For he smote one of his platys a parte
And of that stroke he had so moche to done
That he demed that his body & soule sholde parte
Yet for all this his herte he toke agayne
And ryght manly his swerde anone he toke
And on the eye he smote ryght fast certayne
Such myghty strokes that all the grounde shoke
And than the eye with a courageous loke
The herte strongly he bare so with his swerde
Ayenst the lystes and hym not for soke
Wherof the herte was than ryght sore aferde.
The herte sawe that he was in daungere
And ryght nye dyscomfyted thus by the eye
Full hardtly he cast away his spere
And drewe his dagger well amsely
[Page] And layde on fast and smote so feruently
Upon the eye that he was nere attaynte
And from his strokes he voyded lyghtly
For whiche to couer he had grete constraynte.
And as they fought these grete chāpyons twayne
With theyr sharpe daggers with so grete courage
Whiche were lyke to fall downe in the playne
Dame pyte than that lady swete and sage
Came forth anone with a certayne message
To loue and prayed her crande for to here
Ryght as he sat on hygh vpon his stage
Whiche came from venus his owne modet dere.
Than loue to her made glad and Ioyfull chere
And gaue to her a welcome honourable
Saynge thus dame pyte myn owne frende dere
Syth my moder of her estate notable
Uenus I meane the goddesse amyable
Hath you commaunded thus to come to me
Thynke it is to me ryght agreable
To here your message what so it be.
And than pyte thanked loue ryght mekely
Whiche was alway on knees as I rede
Saynge ryght hygh lorde here is trewele
A grete debate of these knyghtes in dede
Whiche haue ben euer both in worde and dede
Wykynge of loue the stepes for to shewe
And of Uenus who so lyst to take hede
Aboue all other seruauntes good and trewe. Herte & eye.
For whan Uenus herde this mortall stryfe
That was betwene the herte and eye thus fall
Of very loue and of herte attentyfe
Cōsydereth the begynnynge and all
And wote full well that her esate ryall
Without them two may not be kepte vp ryght
Nor her mayeste exalted be at all
But they were redy alway in her syght.
And for they be bothe of her courte in fere
She now commaundeth them to call agayne
And byfore her they bothe must nedes appere
As for this cause thus fell betwene them twayne
For she wolde knowe the very cause all playne
Of theyr debate whiche to her eere appertayneth
And wolde they were in pease full fayne
For all suche causes vnto her perteyneth.
Than loue for the whiche to gyue his obeyssaunce
To his moder and wolde no more abyde
Saynge thus she shole haue cognoyssaunce
And there debate wolde no lenger hyde
But called the watches that wente by theyr syde
Chargynge them the champyons to dysioyne
And to pyte whoos goodnesse is knowen wyde
Delyuer both in peas them for to Ioyns.
The pyte bad them warne them bothe
And after wente of loue her leue to take
And charged thē whether they were leefe or lothe
Bytwene thē twayne no more quarelles to make
But late theyr stryfe / an theyr debat slake
[Page] And eschewe hate and loue togyder agayne
What meruayle though theyr hertes dyde quake
Towardes Uenus whan they sholde go certayne.
By wene them wente his good lady pyte
And led them by the handes in full frendly gyse
And sayd to them now syth ye are with me
I shall you two make to morowe or ye ryse
My cosyns germayns your hate to depryse
And Uenus shall you of one accorde
Whiche wyll not suffre in no manere wyse
Her owne folkes to be at dyscorde.
Than they aryued all in a stronge yle
That was made ryght stronge about with all
Ofbrennynge brondes by crafte abyle
Bycause it was so derke in especyall
Were two foules whiche ostrydges men call
Bare on hygh in the eyre in lettere
Of golde enhameled of a [...]ure at all
Uenus the goddesse of loue moost entere.
I sawe his lettere whiche borne was so hye
Couered with cloth of grete substaunce
And she in whome all Ioye is moost trewly
And gladnesse contynued with pleasaunce
A robe of purple she had at her ordeynaunce
With flames of fyre and sperles lyght
Whiche was made to the suffysaunce
Of yonge louers for comforte day and nyght
And whan madame pyte founde there presente Herte & eye.
[Page] Her lady venus of loue goddesse
With a sote salue she dyde her presente
And sayd madame to your hygh noblenesse
Are come these two knyghtes of grete prowess.
The herte and the eye to knowe your entente
Whome loue hath drede and with humblenesse
Now at this tyme by me to you hath sente.
To that intente that of theyr grete debate
As ye my lady commaunded by me
That ye myght knowe the cause of all theyr hate
For he wolde ye had the soueraynte
By cause he knoweth verely that ye
Can best Iuge them as to theyr behoue
Also he wote that ye be oonly she
Bycause all goodnes falleth to loue.
And than Uenus with a goodly countenaunce
Toke to her these noble champyons
Which had so longe at theyr vtteraunce
With hardy hertes fought as were lyons
Whiche trowed well in theyr opynyons
Yf pyte had not take them into warde
And made to staunche theyr heuy accyons
Ony of them to scape it had ben harde.
The herte hym set anone vp his kne
And sayd Uenus our souerayne lady dere
Syth it pleaseth you to knowe the certaynte
Of our dyscord the very trew manere
Not lyenge a worde but both playne and clere
I shall you tell begynnynge and the ende
[Page] Of our debate thus standynge here in fere
Yf it please your hyghnesse now to entende.
That forthe with venus gaue the herte lycence
That he sholde of his cause the substaunce
Also the eye sholde ordayne his sentence
To answere hym in waye of replyaunce
And eke they were charged on theyr alygeaunce
That in theyr causes they sholde nothynge varye
And for to stande at venus ordeynaunce
And none of them therto say naye.
The herte attayned his cause thus trewely
Saynge to venus our souerayne lady goddesse
Lo here nature hath gyuen to me the eye
To sette me in the way of ryghtwysnesse
To fynde Ioye / solace and also gladnesse
And he hath taken a pyler to beholde
The fayre plesaunte aud floure of lustynesse
Whiche fro me parted soner than I wolde.
And of that pleasure that the eye had take
He warned me and that ryght sodaynly
And than anone in me there dyde awake
Louely desyre / and remembraunce trewly
And lodged them in me full plesauntly
And so dyde thought and in many other mo
And also swete hope to holde me company
And hap comforte lakked not also.
And after this it happed me full yll
For the eye had no lyst there to abyde
[Page] Tyll I requyred as it was skyll
Other that I had chosyn to be me gyde
But her absentynge taught me well that tyde
That who soeuer that is ferre from the eye
Is ferre from the herte and thus on euery syde
I lyue in tourmente and grete paynes trewly.
Wherfore yf he had not thus set his syghte
I had not be taken in the snare
But that I had yet hope my Ioy vp ryght
And in no wyse I sholde haue this care
For his beholdynge causeth euyll fare
As to me for this rale is full trewe
That folkes say that women called are
That the eye seeth the herte doth rewe.
For in the eye is the gate whiche in no wyse
Sholde not open to lete in heuynesse
But alway sholde be redy to deuyse
To kepe me surely from all pensyuenesse
And lette in hope good happe and gladnesse
Comforte and Ioye and also good auenture
For whome he sholde do his trewe besynesse
And not to make an hasty auenture.
I fele well he dyde the contrarye
For he hath lete wepynges and complayntes
Entre in me he may not from it varye
With whiche my Ioy with grete sorowmentes
And all my comforte in me now attaynted is
Whiche is to me a marterdome mortall
Thus I conclude that by his constrayntes
[Page] That he is causer of my sorowe all.
Than the eye whiche hym gretly applyed
To fynde matere to his saluacyons
With ryght goodly aduyse anone replyed
Unto the hertes composycyons
And sayd I se well by his accyons
That he hath ben at scole I trowe of loue
Whiche bryngeth forth plesaunte Intencyon
Hymselfe further for his owne behoue.
And sayd lady Uenus of loue goddesse
The herte sayth thus that he hath of nature
Gyuen vnto hym as he doth expresse
That he all way in gladnesse sholde endure
Yet myght it hap by some auenture
That he shall not in Ioye alway abounde
For as I trowe there is no creature
But in the contrary some tyme shall be founde.
Yet wyll I in no wyse my selfe excuse
But that nature me made for hym doubtlesse
And yet forsoth he ought me not to accuse
That he bereth by me the heuynesse
Of sorowe nor of no manere dystresse
For in good fayth there can nothyng be done
Without his consente as I can expresse
For all the cause by hym is wrought alone.
And as the clocke may smyte in no wyse
But that he haue some manere of moeuynge[?]
As he that kepeth hym lyst to deuyse
[Page] So of myselfe in dede I haue nothynge
But to beholde and then in tydynges brynge
And thus the herte is cause of all trewly
For without hym thus haue I no doynge
But as an Instrumente forfoth am I
Yf Ion her haue set all my beholdynge
By his aduyse that causeth me therto
And to this cause he is moost attendynge
By his desyre her for to loue also
Yf he absente hym and sorow come hym to
I may not get that he lyst not to saue
For as some say the herte the worke must do
Yf he wyll not / I may no pleasure haue
So my lady I praye you to take hede
To these cau [...]es and how I me excuse
And kepe ye well my ryght and so procede
Ayenst[?] the herte whiche doth you obstuse
To this intente that he shall not refuse
But at the lest that he be take anone
And pi [...] in prysorn[?] there to be recluse
Tyll he haue amended all that is mysdone.
Than Uenus thought well that without thē too
She myght in no wyse her courte mayntayne
Wherfore[?] the dyde the processe call her to
And made to wryte the mater hole and playne
And [...] there of sholde remayne
In her owne[?] hande what so euer be fall
And for they sholde abyde her warde both twayn
She[?] made them swere afore her folkes all.
Of which trewely they were contente
And Uenus than wrote vnto her seruauntes all
And to all trewe louers the hole entente
Them commaundynge both grete and small
Eche man serche on payne that myght fall
As to theyr aduyse whiche of them had ryght
And this was the very cause in especyall
There peas to make she dyde her wyll and myght
And who coud brynge the very trewe reporte
Of the oppenyon of this foresayd matere
As for eyther sholde haue for his reporte
Of her a chapelet of roses to were
Than anone I founde all the substaunce clere
Of my thoughtes whiche I had done byfore
Whiche I wrote as ye haue herde me here
With ony leasynge lesse or more.
I pray them whiche lede theyr lyfe
And of trewe loue be set in the waye
That of the herte and eye and the doutfull stryfe
Wyll in theyr conceyte euerymā assaye
To sende his opynyon as sone as he may
Unto Uenus and who the chapelet playne
Shall get than to loue for hym I pray
That to all his desyers he may attayne.
¶Here endeth a lytell treatyse called the dysputacyon or the complaynte of the herte through perced with the lokynge of the eye.

Inprynted at Londō in Fletestrete at ye sygne of the sonne / by Wynkyn de Worde.


Wynkyn ·de· Worde.

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