I have never won the lottery
but if I ever did I'd buy
A lovely little run a round car
something pleasing to my eye
The color of my car would be yellow
it would be nick named The sun
I would drive to all the beaches
having loads of holiday fun
I have never won the lottery
maybe that's because I do not play
but the thought of winning millions
just blows my mind away
By Marie Causey
They Do Not Play By The Rules
No one wants to believe,
They have been made a fool...
By lies told they have accepted.
And deceived by those who are evil too!
But a telling of a truth,
Few people do.
And they are the ones,
Because they do not play by the rules.
The Holy Grail
From noiseful arms, and acts of prowess done
In tournament or tilt, Sir Percivale,
Whom Arthur and his knighthood called The Pure,
Had passed into the silent life of prayer,
Praise, fast, and alms; and leaving for the cowl
The helmet in an abbey far away
From Camelot, there, and not long after, died.
And one, a fellow-monk among the rest,
Ambrosius, loved him much beyond the rest,
And honoured him, and wrought into his heart
A way by love that wakened love within,
To answer that which came: and as they sat
Beneath a world-old yew-tree, darkening half
The cloisters, on a gustful April morn
That puffed the swaying branches into smoke
Above them, ere the summer when he died
The monk Ambrosius questioned Percivale:
`O brother, I have seen this yew-tree smoke,
Spring after spring, for half a hundred years:
For never have I known the world without,
Nor ever strayed beyond the pale: but thee,
When first thou camest--such a courtesy
Spake through the limbs and in the voice--I knew
For one of those who eat in Arthur's hall;
For good ye are and bad, and like to coins,
Some true, some light, but every one of you
Stamped with the image of the King; and now
Tell me, what drove thee from the Table Round,
My brother? was it earthly passion crost?'
`Nay,' said the knight; `for no such passion mine.
But the sweet vision of the Holy Grail
Drove me from all vainglories, rivalries,
And earthly heats that spring and sparkle out
Among us in the jousts, while women watch
Who wins, who falls; and waste the spiritual strength
Within us, better offered up to Heaven.'
To whom the monk: `The Holy Grail!--I trust
We are green in Heaven's eyes; but here too much
We moulder--as to things without I mean--
Yet one of your own knights, a guest of ours,
Told us of this in our refectory,
But spake with such a sadness and so low
We heard not half of what he said. What is it?
The phantom of a cup that comes and goes?'
`Nay, monk! what phantom?' answered Percivale.
`The cup, the cup itself, from which our Lord
Drank at the last sad supper with his own.
This, from the blessd land of Aromat--
After the day of darkness, when the dead
Went wandering o'er Moriah--the good saint
Arimathan Joseph, journeying brought
To Glastonbury, where the winter thorn
Blossoms at Christmas, mindful of our Lord.
And there awhile it bode; and if a man
Could touch or see it, he was healed at once,
By faith, of all his ills. But then the times
Grew to such evil that the holy cup
Was caught away to Heaven, and disappeared.'
To whom the monk: `From our old books I know
That Joseph came of old to Glastonbury,
And there the heathen Prince, Arviragus,
Gave him an isle of marsh whereon to build;
And there he built with wattles from the marsh
A little lonely church in days of yore,
For so they say, these books of ours, but seem
Mute of this miracle, far as I have read.
But who first saw the holy thing today?'
`A woman,' answered Percivale, `a nun,
And one no further off in blood from me
Than sister; and if ever holy maid
With knees of adoration wore the stone,
A holy maid; though never maiden glowed,
But that was in her earlier maidenhood,
With such a fervent flame of human love,
Which being rudely blunted, glanced and shot
Only to holy things; to prayer and praise
She gave herself, to fast and alms. And yet,
Nun as she was, the scandal of the Court,
Sin against Arthur and the Table Round,
And the strange sound of an adulterous race,
Across the iron grating of her cell
Beat, and she prayed and fasted all the more.
`And he to whom she told her sins, or what
Her all but utter whiteness held for sin,
A man wellnigh a hundred winters old,
Spake often with her of the Holy Grail,
A legend handed down through five or six,
And each of these a hundred winters old,
From our Lord's time. And when King Arthur made
His Table Round, and all men's hearts became
Clean for a season, surely he had thought
That now the Holy Grail would come again;
But sin broke out. Ah, Christ, that it would come,
And heal the world of all their wickedness!
"O Father!" asked the maiden, "might it come
To me by prayer and fasting?" "Nay," said he,
"I know not, for thy heart is pure as snow."
And so she prayed and fasted, till the sun
Shone, and the wind blew, through her, and I thought
She might have risen and floated when I saw her.
`For on a day she sent to speak with me.
And when she came to speak, behold her eyes
Beyond my knowing of them, beautiful,
Beyond all knowing of them, wonderful,
Beautiful in the light of holiness.
And "O my brother Percivale," she said,
"Sweet brother, I have seen the Holy Grail:
For, waked at dead of night, I heard a sound
As of a silver horn from o'er the hills
Blown, and I thought, `It is not Arthur's use
To hunt by moonlight;' and the slender sound
As from a distance beyond distance grew
Coming upon me--O never harp nor horn,
Nor aught we blow with breath, or touch with hand,
Was like that music as it came; and then
Streamed through my cell a cold and silver beam,
And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail,
Rose-red with beatings in it, as if alive,
Till all the white walls of my cell were dyed
With rosy colours leaping on the wall;
And then the music faded, and the Grail
Past, and the beam decayed, and from the walls
The rosy quiverings died into the night.
So now the Holy Thing is here again
Among us, brother, fast thou too and pray,
And tell thy brother knights to fast and pray,
That so perchance the vision may be seen
By thee and those, and all the world be healed."
`Then leaving the pale nun, I spake of this
To all men; and myself fasted and prayed
Always, and many among us many a week
Fasted and prayed even to the uttermost,
Expectant of the wonder that would be.
`And one there was among us, ever moved
Among us in white armour, Galahad.
"God make thee good as thou art beautiful,"
Said Arthur, when he dubbed him knight; and none,
In so young youth, was ever made a knight
Till Galahad; and this Galahad, when he heard
My sister's vision, filled me with amaze;
His eyes became so like her own, they seemed
Hers, and himself her brother more than I.
`Sister or brother none had he; but some
Called him a son of Lancelot, and some said
Begotten by enchantment--chatterers they,
Like birds of passage piping up and down,
That gape for flies--we know not whence they come;
For when was Lancelot wanderingly lewd?
`But she, the wan sweet maiden, shore away
Clean from her forehead all that wealth of hair
Which made a silken mat-work for her feet;
And out of this she plaited broad and long
A strong sword-belt, and wove with silver thread
And crimson in the belt a strange device,
A crimson grail within a silver beam;
And saw the bright boy-knight, and bound it on him,
Saying, "My knight, my love, my knight of heaven,
O thou, my love, whose love is one with mine,
I, maiden, round thee, maiden, bind my belt.
Go forth, for thou shalt see what I have seen,
And break through all, till one will crown thee king
Far in the spiritual city:" and as she spake
She sent the deathless passion in her eyes
Through him, and made him hers, and laid her mind
On him, and he believed in her belief.
`Then came a year of miracle: O brother,
In our great hall there stood a vacant chair,
Fashioned by Merlin ere he past away,
And carven with strange figures; and in and out
The figures, like a serpent, ran a scroll
Of letters in a tongue no man could read.
And Merlin called it "The Siege perilous,"
Perilous for good and ill; "for there," he said,
"No man could sit but he should lose himself:"
And once by misadvertence Merlin sat
In his own chair, and so was lost; but he,
Galahad, when he heard of Merlin's doom,
Cried, "If I lose myself, I save myself!"
`Then on a summer night it came to pass,
While the great banquet lay along the hall,
That Galahad would sit down in Merlin's chair.
`And all at once, as there we sat, we heard
A cracking and a riving of the roofs,
And rending, and a blast, and overhead
Thunder, and in the thunder was a cry.
And in the blast there smote along the hall
A beam of light seven times more clear than day:
And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail
All over covered with a luminous cloud.
And none might see who bare it, and it past.
But every knight beheld his fellow's face
As in a glory, and all the knights arose,
And staring each at other like dumb men
Stood, till I found a voice and sware a vow.
`I sware a vow before them all, that I,
Because I had not seen the Grail, would ride
A twelvemonth and a day in quest of it,
Until I found and saw it, as the nun
My sister saw it; and Galahad sware the vow,
And good Sir Bors, our Lancelot's cousin, sware,
And Lancelot sware, and many among the knights,
And Gawain sware, and louder than the rest.'
Then spake the monk Ambrosius, asking him,
`What said the King? Did Arthur take the vow?'
`Nay, for my lord,' said Percivale, `the King,
Was not in hall: for early that same day,
Scaped through a cavern from a bandit hold,
An outraged maiden sprang into the hall
Crying on help: for all her shining hair
Was smeared with earth, and either milky arm
Red-rent with hooks of bramble, and all she wore
Torn as a sail that leaves the rope is torn
In tempest: so the King arose and went
To smoke the scandalous hive of those wild bees
That made such honey in his realm. Howbeit
Some little of this marvel he too saw,
Returning o'er the plain that then began
To darken under Camelot; whence the King
Looked up, calling aloud, "Lo, there! the roofs
Of our great hall are rolled in thunder-smoke!
Pray Heaven, they be not smitten by the bolt."
For dear to Arthur was that hall of ours,
As having there so oft with all his knights
Feasted, and as the stateliest under heaven.
`O brother, had you known our mighty hall,
Which Merlin built for Arthur long ago!
For all the sacred mount of Camelot,
And all the dim rich city, roof by roof,
Tower after tower, spire beyond spire,
By grove, and garden-lawn, and rushing brook,
Climbs to the mighty hall that Merlin built.
And four great zones of sculpture, set betwixt
With many a mystic symbol, gird the hall:
And in the lowest beasts are slaying men,
And in the second men are slaying beasts,
And on the third are warriors, perfect men,
And on the fourth are men with growing wings,
And over all one statue in the mould
Of Arthur, made by Merlin, with a crown,
And peaked wings pointed to the Northern Star.
And eastward fronts the statue, and the crown
And both the wings are made of gold, and flame
At sunrise till the people in far fields,
Wasted so often by the heathen hordes,
Behold it, crying, "We have still a King."
`And, brother, had you known our hall within,
Broader and higher than any in all the lands!
Where twelve great windows blazon Arthur's wars,
And all the light that falls upon the board
Streams through the twelve great battles of our King.
Nay, one there is, and at the eastern end,
Wealthy with wandering lines of mount and mere,
Where Arthur finds the brand Excalibur.
And also one to the west, and counter to it,
And blank: and who shall blazon it? when and how?--
O there, perchance, when all our wars are done,
The brand Excalibur will be cast away.
`So to this hall full quickly rode the King,
In horror lest the work by Merlin wrought,
Dreamlike, should on the sudden vanish, wrapt
In unremorseful folds of rolling fire.
And in he rode, and up I glanced, and saw
The golden dragon sparkling over all:
And many of those who burnt the hold, their arms
Hacked, and their foreheads grimed with smoke, and seared,
Followed, and in among bright faces, ours,
Full of the vision, prest: and then the King
Spake to me, being nearest, "Percivale,"
(Because the hall was all in tumult--some
Vowing, and some protesting), "what is this?"
`O brother, when I told him what had chanced,
My sister's vision, and the rest, his face
Darkened, as I have seen it more than once,
When some brave deed seemed to be done in vain,
Darken; and "Woe is me, my knights," he cried,
"Had I been here, ye had not sworn the vow."
Bold was mine answer, "Had thyself been here,
My King, thou wouldst have sworn." "Yea, yea," said he,
"Art thou so bold and hast not seen the Grail?"
`"Nay, lord, I heard the sound, I saw the light,
But since I did not see the Holy Thing,
I sware a vow to follow it till I saw."
`Then when he asked us, knight by knight, if any
Had seen it, all their answers were as one:
"Nay, lord, and therefore have we sworn our vows."
`"Lo now," said Arthur, "have ye seen a cloud?
What go ye into the wilderness to see?"
`Then Galahad on the sudden, and in a voice
Shrilling along the hall to Arthur, called,
"But I, Sir Arthur, saw the Holy Grail,
I saw the Holy Grail and heard a cry--
`O Galahad, and O Galahad, follow me.'"
`"Ah, Galahad, Galahad," said the King, "for such
As thou art is the vision, not for these.
Thy holy nun and thou have seen a sign--
Holier is none, my Percivale, than she--
A sign to maim this Order which I made.
But ye, that follow but the leader's bell"
(Brother, the King was hard upon his knights)
"Taliessin is our fullest throat of song,
And one hath sung and all the dumb will sing.
Lancelot is Lancelot, and hath overborne
Five knights at once, and every younger knight,
Unproven, holds himself as Lancelot,
Till overborne by one, he learns--and ye,
What are ye? Galahads?--no, nor Percivales"
(For thus it pleased the King to range me close
After Sir Galahad); "nay," said he, "but men
With strength and will to right the wronged, of power
To lay the sudden heads of violence flat,
Knights that in twelve great battles splashed and dyed
The strong White Horse in his own heathen blood--
But one hath seen, and all the blind will see.
Go, since your vows are sacred, being made:
Yet--for ye know the cries of all my realm
Pass through this hall--how often, O my knights,
Your places being vacant at my side,
This chance of noble deeds will come and go
Unchallenged, while ye follow wandering fires
Lost in the quagmire! Many of you, yea most,
Return no more: ye think I show myself
Too dark a prophet: come now, let us meet
The morrow morn once more in one full field
Of gracious pastime, that once more the King,
Before ye leave him for this Quest, may count
The yet-unbroken strength of all his knights,
Rejoicing in that Order which he made."
`So when the sun broke next from under ground,
All the great table of our Arthur closed
And clashed in such a tourney and so full,
So many lances broken--never yet
Had Camelot seen the like, since Arthur came;
And I myself and Galahad, for a strength
Was in us from this vision, overthrew
So many knights that all the people cried,
And almost burst the barriers in their heat,
Shouting, "Sir Galahad and Sir Percivale!"
`But when the next day brake from under ground--
O brother, had you known our Camelot,
Built by old kings, age after age, so old
The King himself had fears that it would fall,
So strange, and rich, and dim; for where the roofs
Tottered toward each other in the sky,
Met foreheads all along the street of those
Who watched us pass; and lower, and where the long
Rich galleries, lady-laden, weighed the necks
Of dragons clinging to the crazy walls,
Thicker than drops from thunder, showers of flowers
Fell as we past; and men and boys astride
On wyvern, lion, dragon, griffin, swan,
At all the corners, named us each by name,
Calling, "God speed!" but in the ways below
The knights and ladies wept, and rich and poor
Wept, and the King himself could hardly speak
For grief, and all in middle street the Queen,
Who rode by Lancelot, wailed and shrieked aloud,
"This madness has come on us for our sins."
So to the Gate of the three Queens we came,
Where Arthur's wars are rendered mystically,
And thence departed every one his way.
`And I was lifted up in heart, and thought
Of all my late-shown prowess in the lists,
How my strong lance had beaten down the knights,
So many and famous names; and never yet
Had heaven appeared so blue, nor earth so green,
For all my blood danced in me, and I knew
That I should light upon the Holy Grail.
`Thereafter, the dark warning of our King,
That most of us would follow wandering fires,
Came like a driving gloom across my mind.
Then every evil word I had spoken once,
And every evil thought I had thought of old,
And every evil deed I ever did,
Awoke and cried, "This Quest is not for thee."
And lifting up mine eyes, I found myself
Alone, and in a land of sand and thorns,
And I was thirsty even unto death;
And I, too, cried, "This Quest is not for thee."
`And on I rode, and when I thought my thirst
Would slay me, saw deep lawns, and then a brook,
With one sharp rapid, where the crisping white
Played ever back upon the sloping wave,
And took both ear and eye; and o'er the brook
Were apple-trees, and apples by the brook
Fallen, and on the lawns. "I will rest here,"
I said, "I am not worthy of the Quest;"
But even while I drank the brook, and ate
The goodly apples, all these things at once
Fell into dust, and I was left alone,
And thirsting, in a land of sand and thorns.
`And then behold a woman at a door
Spinning; and fair the house whereby she sat,
And kind the woman's eyes and innocent,
And all her bearing gracious; and she rose
Opening her arms to meet me, as who should say,
"Rest here;" but when I touched her, lo! she, too,
Fell into dust and nothing, and the house
Became no better than a broken shed,
And in it a dead babe; and also this
Fell into dust, and I was left alone.
`And on I rode, and greater was my thirst.
Then flashed a yellow gleam across the world,
And where it smote the plowshare in the field,
The plowman left his plowing, and fell down
Before it; where it glittered on her pail,
The milkmaid left her milking, and fell down
Before it, and I knew not why, but thought
"The sun is rising," though the sun had risen.
Then was I ware of one that on me moved
In golden armour with a crown of gold
About a casque all jewels; and his horse
In golden armour jewelled everywhere:
And on the splendour came, flashing me blind;
And seemed to me the Lord of all the world,
Being so huge. But when I thought he meant
To crush me, moving on me, lo! he, too,
Opened his arms to embrace me as he came,
And up I went and touched him, and he, too,
Fell into dust, and I was left alone
And wearying in a land of sand and thorns.
`And I rode on and found a mighty hill,
And on the top, a city walled: the spires
Pricked with incredible pinnacles into heaven.
And by the gateway stirred a crowd; and these
Cried to me climbing, "Welcome, Percivale!
Thou mightiest and thou purest among men!"
And glad was I and clomb, but found at top
No man, nor any voice. And thence I past
Far through a ruinous city, and I saw
That man had once dwelt there; but there I found
Only one man of an exceeding age.
"Where is that goodly company," said I,
"That so cried out upon me?" and he had
Scarce any voice to answer, and yet gasped,
"Whence and what art thou?" and even as he spoke
Fell into dust, and disappeared, and I
Was left alone once more, and cried in grief,
"Lo, if I find the Holy Grail itself
And touch it, it will crumble into dust."
`And thence I dropt into a lowly vale,
Low as the hill was high, and where the vale
Was lowest, found a chapel, and thereby
A holy hermit in a hermitage,
To whom I told my phantoms, and he said:
`"O son, thou hast not true humility,
The highest virtue, mother of them all;
For when the Lord of all things made Himself
Naked of glory for His mortal change,
`Take thou my robe,' she said, `for all is thine,'
And all her form shone forth with sudden light
So that the angels were amazed, and she
Followed Him down, and like a flying star
Led on the gray-haired wisdom of the east;
But her thou hast not known: for what is this
Thou thoughtest of thy prowess and thy sins?
Thou hast not lost thyself to save thyself
As Galahad." When the hermit made an end,
In silver armour suddenly Galahad shone
Before us, and against the chapel door
Laid lance, and entered, and we knelt in prayer.
And there the hermit slaked my burning thirst,
And at the sacring of the mass I saw
The holy elements alone; but he,
"Saw ye no more? I, Galahad, saw the Grail,
The Holy Grail, descend upon the shrine:
I saw the fiery face as of a child
That smote itself into the bread, and went;
And hither am I come; and never yet
Hath what thy sister taught me first to see,
This Holy Thing, failed from my side, nor come
Covered, but moving with me night and day,
Fainter by day, but always in the night
Blood-red, and sliding down the blackened marsh
Blood-red, and on the naked mountain top
Blood-red, and in the sleeping mere below
Blood-red. And in the strength of this I rode,
Shattering all evil customs everywhere,
And past through Pagan realms, and made them mine,
And clashed with Pagan hordes, and bore them down,
And broke through all, and in the strength of this
Come victor. But my time is hard at hand,
And hence I go; and one will crown me king
Far in the spiritual city; and come thou, too,
For thou shalt see the vision when I go."
`While thus he spake, his eye, dwelling on mine,
Drew me, with power upon me, till I grew
One with him, to believe as he believed.
Then, when the day began to wane, we went.
`There rose a hill that none but man could climb,
Scarred with a hundred wintry water-courses--
Storm at the top, and when we gained it, storm
Round us and death; for every moment glanced
His silver arms and gloomed: so quick and thick
The lightnings here and there to left and right
Struck, till the dry old trunks about us, dead,
Yea, rotten with a hundred years of death,
Sprang into fire: and at the base we found
On either hand, as far as eye could see,
A great black swamp and of an evil smell,
Part black, part whitened with the bones of men,
Not to be crost, save that some ancient king
Had built a way, where, linked with many a bridge,
A thousand piers ran into the great Sea.
And Galahad fled along them bridge by bridge,
And every bridge as quickly as he crost
Sprang into fire and vanished, though I yearned
To follow; and thrice above him all the heavens
Opened and blazed with thunder such as seemed
Shoutings of all the sons of God: and first
At once I saw him far on the great Sea,
In silver-shining armour starry-clear;
And o'er his head the Holy Vessel hung
Clothed in white samite or a luminous cloud.
And with exceeding swiftness ran the boat,
If boat it were--I saw not whence it came.
And when the heavens opened and blazed again
Roaring, I saw him like a silver star--
And had he set the sail, or had the boat
Become a living creature clad with wings?
And o'er his head the Holy Vessel hung
Redder than any rose, a joy to me,
For now I knew the veil had been withdrawn.
Then in a moment when they blazed again
Opening, I saw the least of little stars
Down on the waste, and straight beyond the star
I saw the spiritual city and all her spires
And gateways in a glory like one pearl--
No larger, though the goal of all the saints--
Strike from the sea; and from the star there shot
A rose-red sparkle to the city, and there
Dwelt, and I knew it was the Holy Grail,
Which never eyes on earth again shall see.
Then fell the floods of heaven drowning the deep.
And how my feet recrost the deathful ridge
No memory in me lives; but that I touched
The chapel-doors at dawn I know; and thence
Taking my war-horse from the holy man,
Glad that no phantom vext me more, returned
To whence I came, the gate of Arthur's wars.'
`O brother,' asked Ambrosius,--`for in sooth
These ancient books--and they would win thee--teem,
Only I find not there this Holy Grail,
With miracles and marvels like to these,
Not all unlike; which oftentime I read,
Who read but on my breviary with ease,
Till my head swims; and then go forth and pass
Down to the little thorpe that lies so close,
And almost plastered like a martin's nest
To these old walls--and mingle with our folk;
And knowing every honest face of theirs
As well as ever shepherd knew his sheep,
And every homely secret in their hearts,
Delight myself with gossip and old wives,
And ills and aches, and teethings, lyings-in,
And mirthful sayings, children of the place,
That have no meaning half a league away:
Or lulling random squabbles when they rise,
Chafferings and chatterings at the market-cross,
Rejoice, small man, in this small world of mine,
Yea, even in their hens and in their eggs--
O brother, saving this Sir Galahad,
Came ye on none but phantoms in your quest,
No man, no woman?'
Then Sir Percivale:
`All men, to one so bound by such a vow,
And women were as phantoms. O, my brother,
Why wilt thou shame me to confess to thee
How far I faltered from my quest and vow?
For after I had lain so many nights
A bedmate of the snail and eft and snake,
In grass and burdock, I was changed to wan
And meagre, and the vision had not come;
And then I chanced upon a goodly town
With one great dwelling in the middle of it;
Thither I made, and there was I disarmed
By maidens each as fair as any flower:
But when they led me into hall, behold,
The Princess of that castle was the one,
Brother, and that one only, who had ever
Made my heart leap; for when I moved of old
A slender page about her father's hall,
And she a slender maiden, all my heart
Went after her with longing: yet we twain
Had never kissed a kiss, or vowed a vow.
And now I came upon her once again,
And one had wedded her, and he was dead,
And all his land and wealth and state were hers.
And while I tarried, every day she set
A banquet richer than the day before
By me; for all her longing and her will
Was toward me as of old; till one fair morn,
I walking to and fro beside a stream
That flashed across her orchard underneath
Her castle-walls, she stole upon my walk,
And calling me the greatest of all knights,
Embraced me, and so kissed me the first time,
And gave herself and all her wealth to me.
Then I remembered Arthur's warning word,
That most of us would follow wandering fires,
And the Quest faded in my heart. Anon,
The heads of all her people drew to me,
With supplication both of knees and tongue:
"We have heard of thee: thou art our greatest knight,
Our Lady says it, and we well believe:
Wed thou our Lady, and rule over us,
And thou shalt be as Arthur in our land."
O me, my brother! but one night my vow
Burnt me within, so that I rose and fled,
But wailed and wept, and hated mine own self,
And even the Holy Quest, and all but her;
Then after I was joined with Galahad
Cared not for her, nor anything upon earth.'
Then said the monk, `Poor men, when yule is cold,
Must be content to sit by little fires.
And this am I, so that ye care for me
Ever so little; yea, and blest be Heaven
That brought thee here to this poor house of ours
Where all the brethren are so hard, to warm
My cold heart with a friend: but O the pity
To find thine own first love once more--to hold,
Hold her a wealthy bride within thine arms,
Or all but hold, and then--cast her aside,
Foregoing all her sweetness, like a weed.
For we that want the warmth of double life,
We that are plagued with dreams of something sweet
Beyond all sweetness in a life so rich,--
Ah, blessd Lord, I speak too earthlywise,
Seeing I never strayed beyond the cell,
But live like an old badger in his earth,
With earth about him everywhere, despite
All fast and penance. Saw ye none beside,
None of your knights?'
`Yea so,' said Percivale:
`One night my pathway swerving east, I saw
The pelican on the casque of our Sir Bors
All in the middle of the rising moon:
And toward him spurred, and hailed him, and he me,
And each made joy of either; then he asked,
"Where is he? hast thou seen him--Lancelot?--Once,"
Said good Sir Bors, "he dashed across me--mad,
And maddening what he rode: and when I cried,
`Ridest thou then so hotly on a quest
So holy,' Lancelot shouted, `Stay me not!
I have been the sluggard, and I ride apace,
For now there is a lion in the way.'
`Then Sir Bors had ridden on
Softly, and sorrowing for our Lancelot,
Because his former madness, once the talk
And scandal of our table, had returned;
For Lancelot's kith and kin so worship him
That ill to him is ill to them; to Bors
Beyond the rest: he well had been content
Not to have seen, so Lancelot might have seen,
The Holy Cup of healing; and, indeed,
Being so clouded with his grief and love,
Small heart was his after the Holy Quest:
If God would send the vision, well: if not,
The Quest and he were in the hands of Heaven.
`And then, with small adventure met, Sir Bors
Rode to the lonest tract of all the realm,
And found a people there among their crags,
Our race and blood, a remnant that were left
Paynim amid their circles, and the stones
They pitch up straight to heaven: and their wise men
Were strong in that old magic which can trace
The wandering of the stars, and scoffed at him
And this high Quest as at a simple thing:
Told him he followed--almost Arthur's words--
A mocking fire: "what other fire than he,
Whereby the blood beats, and the blossom blows,
And the sea rolls, and all the world is warmed?"
And when his answer chafed them, the rough crowd,
Hearing he had a difference with their priests,
Seized him, and bound and plunged him into a cell
Of great piled stones; and lying bounden there
In darkness through innumerable hours
He heard the hollow-ringing heavens sweep
Over him till by miracle--what else?--
Heavy as it was, a great stone slipt and fell,
Such as no wind could move: and through the gap
Glimmered the streaming scud: then came a night
Still as the day was loud; and through the gap
The seven clear stars of Arthur's Table Round--
For, brother, so one night, because they roll
Through such a round in heaven, we named the stars,
Rejoicing in ourselves and in our King--
And these, like bright eyes of familiar friends,
In on him shone: "And then to me, to me,"
Said good Sir Bors, "beyond all hopes of mine,
Who scarce had prayed or asked it for myself--
Across the seven clear stars--O grace to me--
In colour like the fingers of a hand
Before a burning taper, the sweet Grail
Glided and past, and close upon it pealed
A sharp quick thunder." Afterwards, a maid,
Who kept our holy faith among her kin
In secret, entering, loosed and let him go.'
To whom the monk: `And I remember now
That pelican on the casque: Sir Bors it was
Who spake so low and sadly at our board;
And mighty reverent at our grace was he:
A square-set man and honest; and his eyes,
An out-door sign of all the warmth within,
Smiled with his lips--a smile beneath a cloud,
But heaven had meant it for a sunny one:
Ay, ay, Sir Bors, who else? But when ye reached
The city, found ye all your knights returned,
Or was there sooth in Arthur's prophecy,
Tell me, and what said each, and what the King?'
Then answered Percivale: `And that can I,
Brother, and truly; since the living words
Of so great men as Lancelot and our King
Pass not from door to door and out again,
But sit within the house. O, when we reached
The city, our horses stumbling as they trode
On heaps of ruin, hornless unicorns,
Cracked basilisks, and splintered cockatrices,
And shattered talbots, which had left the stones
Raw, that they fell from, brought us to the hall.
`And there sat Arthur on the das-throne,
And those that had gone out upon the Quest,
Wasted and worn, and but a tithe of them,
And those that had not, stood before the King,
Who, when he saw me, rose, and bad me hail,
Saying, "A welfare in thine eye reproves
Our fear of some disastrous chance for thee
On hill, or plain, at sea, or flooding ford.
So fierce a gale made havoc here of late
Among the strange devices of our kings;
Yea, shook this newer, stronger hall of ours,
And from the statue Merlin moulded for us
Half-wrenched a golden wing; but now--the Quest,
This vision--hast thou seen the Holy Cup,
That Joseph brought of old to Glastonbury?"
`So when I told him all thyself hast heard,
Ambrosius, and my fresh but fixt resolve
To pass away into the quiet life,
He answered not, but, sharply turning, asked
Of Gawain, "Gawain, was this Quest for thee?"
`"Nay, lord," said Gawain, "not for such as I.
Therefore I communed with a saintly man,
Who made me sure the Quest was not for me;
For I was much awearied of the Quest:
But found a silk pavilion in a field,
And merry maidens in it; and then this gale
Tore my pavilion from the tenting-pin,
And blew my merry maidens all about
With all discomfort; yea, and but for this,
My twelvemonth and a day were pleasant to me."
`He ceased; and Arthur turned to whom at first
He saw not, for Sir Bors, on entering, pushed
Athwart the throng to Lancelot, caught his hand,
Held it, and there, half-hidden by him, stood,
Until the King espied him, saying to him,
"Hail, Bors! if ever loyal man and true
Could see it, thou hast seen the Grail;" and Bors,
"Ask me not, for I may not speak of it:
I saw it;" and the tears were in his eyes.
`Then there remained but Lancelot, for the rest
Spake but of sundry perils in the storm;
Perhaps, like him of Cana in Holy Writ,
Our Arthur kept his best until the last;
"Thou, too, my Lancelot," asked the king, "my friend,
Our mightiest, hath this Quest availed for thee?"
`"Our mightiest!" answered Lancelot, with a groan;
"O King!"--and when he paused, methought I spied
A dying fire of madness in his eyes--
"O King, my friend, if friend of thine I be,
Happier are those that welter in their sin,
Swine in the mud, that cannot see for slime,
Slime of the ditch: but in me lived a sin
So strange, of such a kind, that all of pure,
Noble, and knightly in me twined and clung
Round that one sin, until the wholesome flower
And poisonous grew together, each as each,
Not to be plucked asunder; and when thy knights
Sware, I sware with them only in the hope
That could I touch or see the Holy Grail
They might be plucked asunder. Then I spake
To one most holy saint, who wept and said,
That save they could be plucked asunder, all
My quest were but in vain; to whom I vowed
That I would work according as he willed.
And forth I went, and while I yearned and strove
To tear the twain asunder in my heart,
My madness came upon me as of old,
And whipt me into waste fields far away;
There was I beaten down by little men,
Mean knights, to whom the moving of my sword
And shadow of my spear had been enow
To scare them from me once; and then I came
All in my folly to the naked shore,
Wide flats, where nothing but coarse grasses grew;
But such a blast, my King, began to blow,
So loud a blast along the shore and sea,
Ye could not hear the waters for the blast,
Though heapt in mounds and ridges all the sea
Drove like a cataract, and all the sand
Swept like a river, and the clouded heavens
Were shaken with the motion and the sound.
And blackening in the sea-foam swayed a boat,
Half-swallowed in it, anchored with a chain;
And in my madness to myself I said,
`I will embark and I will lose myself,
And in the great sea wash away my sin.'
I burst the chain, I sprang into the boat.
Seven days I drove along the dreary deep,
And with me drove the moon and all the stars;
And the wind fell, and on the seventh night
I heard the shingle grinding in the surge,
And felt the boat shock earth, and looking up,
Behold, the enchanted towers of Carbonek,
A castle like a rock upon a rock,
With chasm-like portals open to the sea,
And steps that met the breaker! there was none
Stood near it but a lion on each side
That kept the entry, and the moon was full.
Then from the boat I leapt, and up the stairs.
There drew my sword. With sudden-flaring manes
Those two great beasts rose upright like a man,
Each gript a shoulder, and I stood between;
And, when I would have smitten them, heard a voice,
`Doubt not, go forward; if thou doubt, the beasts
Will tear thee piecemeal.' Then with violence
The sword was dashed from out my hand, and fell.
And up into the sounding hall I past;
But nothing in the sounding hall I saw,
No bench nor table, painting on the wall
Or shield of knight; only the rounded moon
Through the tall oriel on the rolling sea.
But always in the quiet house I heard,
Clear as a lark, high o'er me as a lark,
A sweet voice singing in the topmost tower
To the eastward: up I climbed a thousand steps
With pain: as in a dream I seemed to climb
For ever: at the last I reached a door,
A light was in the crannies, and I heard,
`Glory and joy and honour to our Lord
And to the Holy Vessel of the Grail.'
Then in my madness I essayed the door;
It gave; and through a stormy glare, a heat
As from a seventimes-heated furnace, I,
Blasted and burnt, and blinded as I was,
With such a fierceness that I swooned away--
O, yet methought I saw the Holy Grail,
All palled in crimson samite, and around
Great angels, awful shapes, and wings and eyes.
And but for all my madness and my sin,
And then my swooning, I had sworn I saw
That which I saw; but what I saw was veiled
And covered; and this Quest was not for me."
`So speaking, and here ceasing, Lancelot left
The hall long silent, till Sir Gawain--nay,
Brother, I need not tell thee foolish words,--
A reckless and irreverent knight was he,
Now boldened by the silence of his King,--
Well, I will tell thee: "O King, my liege," he said,
"Hath Gawain failed in any quest of thine?
When have I stinted stroke in foughten field?
But as for thine, my good friend Percivale,
Thy holy nun and thou have driven men mad,
Yea, made our mightiest madder than our least.
But by mine eyes and by mine ears I swear,
I will be deafer than the blue-eyed cat,
And thrice as blind as any noonday owl,
To holy virgins in their ecstasies,
`"Deafer," said the blameless King,
"Gawain, and blinder unto holy things
Hope not to make thyself by idle vows,
Being too blind to have desire to see.
But if indeed there came a sign from heaven,
Blessd are Bors, Lancelot and Percivale,
For these have seen according to their sight.
For every fiery prophet in old times,
And all the sacred madness of the bard,
When God made music through them, could but speak
His music by the framework and the chord;
And as ye saw it ye have spoken truth.
`"Nay--but thou errest, Lancelot: never yet
Could all of true and noble in knight and man
Twine round one sin, whatever it might be,
With such a closeness, but apart there grew,
Save that he were the swine thou spakest of,
Some root of knighthood and pure nobleness;
Whereto see thou, that it may bear its flower.
`"And spake I not too truly, O my knights?
Was I too dark a prophet when I said
To those who went upon the Holy Quest,
That most of them would follow wandering fires,
Lost in the quagmire?--lost to me and gone,
And left me gazing at a barren board,
And a lean Order--scarce returned a tithe--
And out of those to whom the vision came
My greatest hardly will believe he saw;
Another hath beheld it afar off,
And leaving human wrongs to right themselves,
Cares but to pass into the silent life.
And one hath had the vision face to face,
And now his chair desires him here in vain,
However they may crown him otherwhere.
`"And some among you held, that if the King
Had seen the sight he would have sworn the vow:
Not easily, seeing that the King must guard
That which he rules, and is but as the hind
To whom a space of land is given to plow.
Who may not wander from the allotted field
Before his work be done; but, being done,
Let visions of the night or of the day
Come, as they will; and many a time they come,
Until this earth he walks on seems not earth,
This light that strikes his eyeball is not light,
This air that smites his forehead is not air
But vision--yea, his very hand and foot--
In moments when he feels he cannot die,
And knows himself no vision to himself,
Nor the high God a vision, nor that One
Who rose again: ye have seen what ye have seen."
`So spake the King: I knew not all he meant.'
- quotes about plow
- quotes about saint
- quotes about swimming
- quotes about sound
- quotes about sheep
- quotes about screams
- quotes about wisdom
- quotes about television
- quotes about summer
Let's Not Play The Game
 - So if this is you
Here's what you should do
Don't even come up
Don't even say stuff
You know it ain't true
Baby what's the use
Let's not play the game
She used to be the dreams I'd dreamed of
The air that I breathe
The words I speak of
But in reality the girl was out for gold
That evening the forest of organ pipes did not play
That evening the forest of organ pipes did not play.
A native cradle sang Schubert for us,
The mill was grinding, the music's blue-eyed drunkenness
Laughed in the songs of the hurricane.
The brown-green world of the old song,
But only eternally young where the Erl-king
Shakes the rumbling crowns of nightingaled
Linden trees in savage rage.
The awesome force of night's return,
That wild song, like black wine:
It is a double, a hollow ghost
Peering senselessly through the cold window!
The Thought Of You
It actually frightens me
The though of you
Because there are countless things
That it can make me do
The thought of you can make my heart race
It can leave me restless at night
Can make me fidgety to the point where I pace
The thought of you can leave me buzzing with an unknown high
It can form a pit in my stomach
And can leave me love sick and sighing
The thought of you above all other thoughts in my mind shines
It can send shivers down my spine
And make me long for you to be mine
The thought of you can take my breath away
The thought of you from my mind never really strays
But even though the thought of you can send me flying sky high
I'm not gonna lie
I haven't forgotten my heartaching past
Which is why part of me hopes this infatuation doesn't last
But until the thought of you finally fades away
I guess I'll enjoy it
Who knows how long the thought of you will be here to stay
The Old Camp
There is a cloud before the sun,
The wind is hushed and still,
And silently the waters run
Beneath the sombre hill.
The sky is dark in every place,
As is the earth below:
Methinks it wore the self-same face
Two thousand years ago.
No light is on the ancient wall,
No light upon the mound;
The very trees, so thick and tall,
Cast gloom, not shade, around.
So silent is the place and cold,
So far from human ken,
It hath a look that makes me old,
And spectres time again.
I listen, half in thought to hear
The Roman trumpet blow-
I search for glint of helm and spear
Amidst the forest bough:
And armour rings, and voices swell-
I hear the legion's tramp,
And mark the lonely sentinel
Who guards the lonely camp.
Methinks I have no other home,
No other hearth to find;
For nothing save the thought of Rome
Is stirring in my mind.
And all that I have heard or dreamed,
And all I had forgot,
Are rising up, as though they seemed
The household of the spot.
And all the names that Romans knew
Seem just as known to me,
As if I were a Roman too-
A Roman born and free:
And I could rise at Cæsar's name,
As though it were a charm
To draw sharp lightning from the tame,
And brace the coward's arm.
And yet, if yonder sky were blue,
And earth were sunny gay,
If nature wore the summer hue
That decked her yesterday,
The mound, the trench, the rampart's space,
Would move me nothing more
Than many a sweet sequestred place
That I have marked before.
I could not feel the breezes bring
Rich odours from the trees;
I could not hear the linnets sing,
And think on themes like these.
The painted insects as they pass
In swift and motley strife,
The very lizard in the grass
Would scare me back to life.
Then is the past so gloomy now
That it may never bear
The open smile of nature's brow,
Or meet the sunny air?
I know not that-but joy is power,
However short it last;
And joy befits the present hour,
If sadness fits the past.
Every Insight, The Big Bang, And The Thought That Follows, A Universe
Every insight, the Big Bang, and the thought that follows, a universe.
Every image that flashes across the moonscape like a silhouette
in reverse of the dark matter and starmud that surrounds it,
a black swan among the white when there's snow on the river.
Worlds bubbling out of the mouth of a fish through a hole in the ice
that looks like the third eye of a glacier taking a long, hard look
at whether it was worth opening all those lakes
and then filling them like eyes with the runoff of its own tears
as it disappears into a more fertile approach to letting go of itself.
I could always see a human shape hidden in the landscape
and I wanted to free it so I scraped and gouged
and dug my way into it like a dog unearthing the fossil
of a distant ancestor that ran with the wolves.
Even now when their ghosts howl it's a sad ballad
of the lyrical hills going mad by themselves
and sometimes it breaks my heart like water
in the cleft of a pseudomorphic rock to write picture-music
in striated cuneiform on the cliff faces to sing to themselves
like a lost people with more legend than life in its veins.
I can take a single thread and weave it into a flying carpet.
I can take a string theory and make it resonate with membranes
that occasionally break their eardrums like water from a womb.
There are protocols of the imagination that have been imposed
by iconic means like straitjackets fitted to the inside of your psyche.
Cuckoos in your nest, memes in your mind,
nudging your cosmic eggs out to smash on the rocks below
like the stillborn of the sun. Embryos and fractals,
astronomical forensics sweeping the night sky for fetal stars,
hidden paradigms ferreted out like secrets
that will bloom each in their own good time
like the mysteries of life unravelling
the sequel of a waterclock that keeps on outliving itself
by transcending its own emptiness by pouring itself out
like a serpent that's always shedding its own skin
or a zodiac confabulating a false dawn
of mythically deflated metaphors, red giants
burnt out into black dwarfs and sink holes
where the stars plunge like butterflies into
the gaping maw of the dragon that consumes them like krill,
knowing its destiny, too, is just a provisional scaffolding of quicksand.
Yes, but how many make it all the way through
like wild salmon responding to the death call
of the spawning ground on the far side of the white hole
when the hourglass gets turned around like a fountain
instead of leaking out of a mortal wound in the side of the universe?
The morphology of knowledge is the history of shapeshifters.
Cosmology is an aesthetic expression of enculturated preferences.
Zero among the Hindus the form of the abundance of their emptiness.
Among the Greeks, a political exile. And for a Westerner
far sighted enough to see in aerial perspective,
the bluing of a way of life that's always over the next hill.
Sight is a kind of love I once read on a poster the sixties.
So astronomy for poets. And poets for astronomy.
Observatories on forbidden mountain tops
opening their eyes like blind prophets to the visions
engendered by a seven year eclipse of their visuals.
Who hasn't stepped out of their own well lit doorway
and walked up to the high field on a cold winter night
and watched their breath mingle with the Milky Way
like a tributary of a river on intimate terms with the mindstream
we're all flowing into like red-tailed hawks
riding our own thermals for the sheer joy of it
down the helical stairwells of our own polished bannisters of dna.
Twenty years a Druid in a vatic college learning
to speak to trees in the demotic of their own alphabet,
poetry isn't the calling of a clown or a gleeman
amusing the whimsical caprice of the king's court,
it's a summons to risk your life exploring the mystery
of every facet of what you're doing here turning jewels
like stars in the translucency of your own light
reflected in a brainstorm of parabolic mirrors that bloom at night.
Haul yourself up out of your tidal pool of awareness
into the rarefied bliss of a whole new medium that exceeds
the planetary boundary stones of the space time continuum
you've been so far, by devoting your disobedience
by bringing back enlightened serpent fire
from the hearths and the middens in the starfields
of the gods who first domesticated it like a selective ordeal of birth
in the imagination of a hungry human thief enough
to root a new kind of lightning in the earth that bears
all the birthmarks of the compassionate fruits of insight
into the nature of a mind that embodies all this
as if one moment the crescents of the moon were scars on its eyes
and the next, the talons of an owl flying out of the abyss in the grip
of a nocturnal imagination that's as wise as it is dangerous.
All my thoughts have fingertips. Blood your abstractions.
Lavish your mindstream on the available dimensions of the future
as if what you wanted to achieve were already behind you
like a star in pursuit of an earthly excellence.
Humanize the uninhabitable as if it were just
another room in a spatially enchanted palace
you haven't finished yet like Thomas Jefferson.
If you look for the cure in the heart of the disease,
by corollary, look for the disease in the heart of the cure
like the lesser vehicle in a pathology of grails.
Safer to drink from your own skull to an eclipse
that patched the eye of the moon with the crossbones
of its colours, than sip rainbows from the goblets
of lilaceous irises blooming like an effulgent halo
around the pupil of a black hole on a starless night
anticipating a cadaverous moonrise
like the dark beginning of death breaking into
the unimaginable radiance of another side to all this
that makes the light seem a mere carbon copy
of the shining that can be emanated by an enlightened mind
that never hesitates to contaminate the purity
of its numinous ignorance for the sake
of opening the gate like an exile to a secret garden
everybody must enter at the crossroads of a threshold
without the screening myth of a backdoor to duck out of.
- quotes about astronomy
- quotes about Thomas Jefferson
- quotes about eclipse
- quotes about myth
- quotes about genealogy
- quotes about frontiers
- quotes about outer space
- quotes about palaces
- quotes about ice
The Libelle of Englyshe Polycye
Here beginneth the Prologe of the processe of the Libelle of Englyshe polycye, exhortynge alle Englande to kepe the see enviroun and namelye the narowe see, shewynge whate profete commeth thereof and also whate worshype and salvacione to Englande and to alle Englyshe menne.
The trewe processe of Englysh polycye
Of utterwarde to kepe thys regne in rest
Of oure England, that no man may denye
Ner say of soth but it is one the best,
Is thys, as who seith, south, north, est and west
Cheryshe marchandyse, kepe thamyralte,
That we bee maysteres of the narowe see.
For Sigesmonde the grete Emperoure,
Whyche yet regneth, whan he was in this londe
Wyth kynge Herry the vte, prince of honoure,
Here moche glorye, as hym thought, he founde,
A myghty londe, whyche hadde take on honde
To werre in Fraunce and make mortalite,
And ever well kept rounde aboute the see.
And to the kynge thus he seyde, 'My brothere',
Whan he perceyved too townes, Calys and Dovere,
'Of alle youre townes to chese of one and other
To kepe the see and sone for to come overe,
To werre oughtwardes and youre regne to recovere,
Kepe these too townes sure to youre mageste
As youre tweyne eyne to kepe the narowe see'.
For if this see be kepte in tyme of werre,
Who cane here passe withought daunger and woo?
Who may eschape, who may myschef dyfferre?
What marchaundy may forby be agoo?
For nedes hem muste take truse every foo,
Flaundres and Spayne and othere, trust to me,
Or ellis hyndered alle for thys narowe see.
Therfore I caste me by a lytell wrytinge
To shewe att eye thys conclusione,
For concyens and for myne acquytynge
Ayenst God, and ageyne abusyon
And cowardyse and to oure enmyes confusione;
For iiij. thynges oure noble sheueth to me,
Kyng, shype and swerde and pouer of the see.
Where bene oure shippes, where bene oure swerdes become?
Owre enmyes bid for the shippe sette a shepe.
Allas, oure reule halteth, hit is benome.
Who dare weel say that lordeshype shulde take kepe,
(I wolle asaye, thoughe myne herte gynne to wepe,
To do thys werke) yf we wole ever the,
For verry shame to kepe aboute the see?
Shall any prynce, what so be hys name,
Wheche hathe nobles moche lyche to oures,
Be lorde of see and Flemmynges to oure blame
Stoppe us, take us and so make fade the floures
Of Englysshe state and disteyne oure honnoures?
For cowardyse, allas, hit shulde so be;
Therfore I gynne to wryte now of the see.
Of the commodytees of Spayne and of Flaundres. The fyrste chapitle.
Knowe welle all men that profites in certayne
Commodytes called commynge oute of Spayne
And marchandy, who so wyll wete what that is,
Bene fygues, raysyns, wyne, bastarde and dates,
And lycorys, Syvyle oyle and also grayne,
Whyte Castell sope and wax is not in vayne,
Iren, wolle, wadmole, gotefel, kydefel also,
(For poyntmakers full nedefull be the ij.)
Saffron, quiksilver; wheche Spaynes marchandy
Is into Flaundres shypped full craftylye
Unto Bruges as to here staple fayre.
The havene of Sluse they have for here repayre,
Wheche is cleped the Swyne, thro shyppes gydynge,
Where many wessell and fayre arne abydynge.
But these merchandes wyth there shyppes greet,
And suche chaffare as they bye and gette
By the weyes, most nede take one honde
By the costes to passe of oure Englonde
Betwyxt Dover and Calys, thys is no doute.
Who can weell ellis suche matere bringe aboute?
And whenne these seyde marchauntz discharged be
Of marchaundy in Flaundres neere the see,
Than they be charged agayn wyth marchaundy
That to Flaundres longeth full rychelye,
Fyne clothe of Ipre, that named is better than oures,
Cloothe of Curtryke, fyne cloothe of all colours,
Moche fustyane and also lynen cloothe.
But ye Flemmyngis, yf ye be not wrothe,
The grete substaunce of youre cloothe at the fulle
Ye wot ye make hit of oure Englissh wolle.
Thanne may hit not synke in mannes brayne
But that hit most, this marchaundy of Spayne,
Bothe oute and inne by oure coostes passe?
He that seyth nay in wytte is lyche an asse.
Thus if thys see werre kepte, I dare well sayne,
Wee shulde have pease with tho growndes tweyne;
For Spayne and Flaundres is as yche othere brothere,
And nethere may well lyve wythowghten othere.
They may not lyven to mayntene there degrees
Wythoughten oure Englysshe commodytees,
Wolle and tynne, for the wolle of Englonde
Susteyneth the comons Flemmynges I understonde.
Thane, yf Englonde wolde hys wolle restreyne
Frome Flaundres, thys foloweth in certayne,
Flaundres of nede muste wyth us have pease
Or ellis he is distroyde wythowghten lees.
Also, yef Flaundres thus distroyed bee,
Some marchaundy of Spayne wolle nevere ithe.
For distroyed hit is, and as in cheffe
The wolle of Spayne hit cometh not to preffe
But if it be tosed and menged well
Amonges Englysshe wolle the gretter delle;
For Spayneshe wolle in Flaundres draped is
And evere hath be that mene have mynde of this.
And yet woll is one the cheffe marchaundy
That longeth to Spayne, who so woll aspye;
Hit is of lytell valeue, trust unto me,
Wyth Englysshe woll but if it menged be.
Thus, if the see be kepte, then herkene hedere,
Yf these ij. londes comene not togedere,
So that the flete of Flaundres passe nought,
That in the narowe see it be not brought
Into the Rochell to feche the fumose wyne,
Nere into Britounse bay for salt so fyne,
What is than Spayne, what is Flaundres also?
As who seyth, nought; there thryfte is alle ago.
For the lytell londe of Flaundres is
But a staple to other londes iwys,
And all that groweth in Flaundres, greyn and sede,
May not a moneth fynde hem mete of brede.
What hath thenne Flaundres, be Flemmynges leffe or lothe,
But a lytell madere and Flemmyshe cloothe?
By draperinge of oure wolle in substaunce
Lyvene here comons, this is here governaunce,
Wythoughten whyche they may not leve at ease;
Thus moste hem sterve or wyth us most have peasse.
Of the commoditees of Portingalle. The ij. capitle.
The marchaundy also of Portyngale
To dyverse londes torneth into sale.
Portyngalers wyth us have trought on hande,
Whose marchaundy cometh muche into Englande.
They bene oure frendes wyth there commoditez,
And wee Englysshe passen into there countrees.
Here londe hathe oyle, wyne, osey, wex and greyne,
Fygues, reysyns, hony and cordeweyne,
Dates and salt hydes and suche marchaundy.
And if they wolde to Flaundres passe forth bye,
They schulde not be suffrede ones ner twyes
For supportynge of oure cruell enmyes,
That is to saye Flemmynges wyth here gyle,
For chaungeable they are in lytel whyle.
Than I conclude by resons many moo,
Yf wee sufferede nethere frende nere foo,
What for enmyes and so supportynge,
To passe forby us in tyme of werrynge,
(Sethe oure frendys woll not bene in causse
Of oure hyndrenge, yf reason lede thys clausse)
Than nede frome Flaundres pease of us be sought,
And othere londes shulde seche pease, doute nought;
For Flaundres is staple, as men tell me,
To alle nacyons of Crystiante.
The commodytes of Pety Brytayne, wyth here revers on the see. The iij. capitle.
Forthermore to wryten I hame fayne
Somwhate spekynge of the Lytell Bretayne.
Commodite therof there is and was
Salt and wynes, crestclothe and canvasse;
And the londe of Flaunderes sekerly
Is the staple of there marchaundy,
Wheche marchaundy may not passe awey
But by the coste of Englonde, this is no nay.
And of thys Bretayn, who so trewth levys,
Are the gretteste rovers and the gretteste thevys
That have bene in the see many a yere;
And that oure marchauntes have bowght alle to dere.
For they have take notable gode of oures
On thys seyde see, these false coloured pelours,
Called of Seynt Malouse and elles where,
Wheche to there duke none obeysaunce woll bere.
Wyth suche colours we have bene hindred sore,
And fayned pease is called no werre herefore.
Thus they have bene in dyverse costes manye
Of oure England, mo than reherse can I,
In Northfolke coostes and othere places aboute,
And robbed and brente and slayne by many a routte;
And they have also raunsouned toune by toune,
That into the regnes of bost have ronne here soune,
Whyche hathe bene ruthe unto thys realme and shame.
They that the see shulde kepe are moche to blame;
For Brytayne is of easy reputasyone,
And Seynt Malouse turneth hem to reprobacione.
A storie of kynge Edwarde the iiide hys ordynaunce for Bretayne.
Here brynge I in a storye to me lente,
That a goode squyere in tyme of parlemente
Toke unto me well wrytene in a scrowe,
That I have comonde bothe wyth hygh and lowe;
Of whyche all mene accordene into one
That hit was done not monye yeris agone,
But whene that noble kyng Edwarde the thride
Regned in grace ryght thus hit betyde.
For he hadde a manere gelozye
To hys marchauntes and lowede hem hartelye.
He felt the weyes to reule well the see,
Whereby marchauntes myght have prosperite.
Therfore Harflewe and Houndflewe dyd he makene,
And grete werres that tyme were undertakene
Betwyx the kynge and the duke of Bretayne.
At laste to falle to pease bothe were they feyne,
Upon the whyche, made by convencione,
Oure marchaundys they made hem redy boune
Towarde Brytayne to lede here marchaundye,
Wenynge hem frendes, and wente forthe boldelye.
But sone anone oure marchaundes were itake,
And wee spede nevere the better for treuse sake;
They loste here goode, here navy and spendynge.
But when there compleynte come unto the kynge,
Then wex he wrothe and to the duke he sente
And compleyned that such harme was hente
By convencione and pease made so refused.
Whiche duke sent ageyne and hym excused,
Rehersynge that the Mount of Seynte Michell
And Seynt Malouse wolde nevere a dele
Be subject unto his governaunce
Ner be undere hys obë¹³aunce,
And so they did withowten hym that dede.
But whan the kynge anone had takene hede,
He in his herte set a jugemente,
Wythoute callynge of ony parlemente
Or grete tary to take longe avyse;
To fortefye anone he dyd devyse
Of Englysshe townes iij., that is to seye
Derthmouth, Plymmouth, the thyrde it is Foweye,
And gaffe hem helpe and notable puissaunce,
Wyth insistence set them in governaunce
Upon the Pety Bretayn for to werre.
Than gode seemenne wolde no more deferre,
But bete theme home and made they myght not route,
Tooke prysoners and lernyd hem for to loutte.
And efte the duke in semblable wyse
Wrote to the kynge as he fyrste dyd devyse,
Hym excusynge; bot oure meny wode
Wyth grete poure passed overe the floode
And werred forth into the dukes londe
And had neygh destrued free and bonde.
But whan the duke knewe that tho townes thre
Shulde have loste all hys natale cuntree,
He undertoke by sewrte trewe not false
For Mount Seynt Mychelle and Seinte Malouse als
And othere partees of the Lytell Bretaynne,
Whych to obeye, as seyde was, were nott fayne.
The duke hymselfe for all dyd undertake,
Wyth all hys herte a full pease dyd he make,
So that in all the lyffe tyme of the kynge
Marchaundes hadde pease wythowtene werrynge.
He made a statute for Lumbardes in thys londe,
That they shulde in no wysse take on honde
Here to enhabite, to charge and to dyscharge,
But xl. dayes, no more tyme had they large.
Thys goode kynge be wytt of suche appreffe
Kepte hys marchauntes and the see fro myscheffe.
Of the commodites of Scotelonde and drapynge of here woll in Flaundres. The iiij. chapitle.
Moreover of Scotlonde the commoditees
Ar felles, hydes and of wolle the fleesse;
And alle these muste passe bye us aweye
Into Flaundres by Englonde, sothe to saye.
And all here woll was draped for to sell
In the townes of Poperynge and of Bell,
Whyche my lorde of Glowcestre wyth ire
For here falshede dyd sett upon a fyre.
And yett they of Bell and Poperynge
Cowde never draper her woll for any thynge
But if they hadde Englysshe woll wythall,
Oure godely woll that is so generall,
Nedeful to hem in Spayne and Scotlande als
And othere costis; this sentence is not fals.
Ye worthi marchauntes, I do it upon yow;
I have this lerned, ye wott well where and howe.
Ye wotte the staple of that marchaundye
Of this Scotlonde is Flaundres sekerlye.
And the Scottes bene chargede, knowene at the eye,
Out of Flaundres wyth lytyll mercerye
And grete plentee of haburdasshers ware;
And halfe here shippes wyth carte whelys bare
And wyth barowes ar laden as in substaunce.
Thus moste rude ware be in here chevesaunce;
So they may not forbere thys Flemyssh londe.
Therefor if we wolde manly take on honde
To kepe thys see fro Flaundres and fro Spayne
And fro Scotelonde lych as fro Pety Bretayne,
Wee schulde ryght sone have pease for all here bostes,
For they muste nede passe by oure Englysshe costes.
Of the commoditees of Pruse and Hyghe Duchemenne and Esterlynges. The v. chapitle.
Now goo wee forthe to the commoditees
That cometh fro Pruse in too manere degrees;
For too manere peple have suche use,
This is to sayen Highe Duchmene of Pruse
And Esterlynges, whiche myghte not be forborne
Oute of Flaundres but it were verrely lorne.
For they bringe in the substaunce of the beere
That they drynken fele to goode chepe not dere.
Ye have herde that twoo Flemmynges togedere
Wol undertake, or they goo ony whethere
Or they rise onys, to drinke a barell fulle
Of gode berkyne; so sore they hale and pulle,
Undre the borde they pissen as they sitte.
This cometh of covenaunt of a worthy witte.
Wythoute Calise in ther buttere they cakked,
Whan they flede home and when they leysere lakked
To holde here sege; they wente lyke as a doo,
Wel was that Flemmynge that myght trusse and goo.
For fere they turned bake and hyede faste,
Milorde of Gloucestre made hem so agaste
Wyth his commynge and sought hem in here londe
And brente and slowe as he hadde take on honde,
So that oure enmyse durste not byde nor stere;
They flede to mewe, they durste no more appere.
[Thene his meyné ³eidene that he was dede.
Tille we were goo, ther was no bettir reede;
For cowardy knyghthode was aslepe,
As dede there duke in mewe they dide hym kepe,]
Rebukede sore for evere so shamefully
Unto here uttere everelastinge vylany.
After bere and bacone odre gode commodites ensuene.
Now bere and bacone bene fro Pruse ibroughte
Into Flaundres, as loved and fere isoughte,
Osmonde, coppre, bowstaffes, stile and wex,
Peltreware and grey, pych, terre, borde and flex,
And Coleyne threde, fustiane and canvase,
Carde, bokeram; of olde tyme thus it wase.
But the Flemmynges amonge these thinges dere
In comen lowen beste bacon and bere.
[Thus are they hoggishe and drynkyn wele ataunte.
Farewel, Flemmynges, hay haro, hay avaunt.]
Also Pruse mene maken here aventure
Of plate of sylvere, of wegges gode and sure
In grete plente, whiche they bringe and bye
Oute of the londes of Bé¡¬me and Hungrye;
Whiche is encrese ful grete unto thys londe.
And thei bene laden agayn, I understonde,
Wyth wollen clothe all manere of coloures
By dyers crafted ful dyverse that bene ours.
And they aventure ful gretly unto the baye
For salte, that is nedefull wythoute naye.
Thus, if they wolde not oure frendys bee,
Wee myght lyghtlye stope hem in the see.
They shulde not passe oure stremes wythoutene leve;
It wolde not be but if we shulde hem greve.
Of the commoditees of the Januays and here grette karekkys. The vi. chapitle.
The Janueys comyne in sondre wyses
Into this londe wyth dyverse marchaundyses
In grete karrekkis arrayde wythouten lake
Wyth clothes of golde; silke and pepir blake
They bringe wyth hem and of woad grete plente,
Woll-oyle, wood-aschen by vessell in the see,
Coton, roche-alum and gode golde of Jene.
And they be charged wyth woll ageyne, I wene,
And wollene clothe of owres of colours all.
And they aventure, as ofte it dothe byfall,
Into Flaundres wyth suche thynge as they bye;
That is here cheffe staple sykerlye.
And if they wold be oure full ennemyse,
They shulde not passe oure stremez with marchaundyse.
The commodites and nycetees of Venicyans and Florentynes with there galees. The vij. capitle.
The grete galees of Venees and Florence
Be wel ladene wyth thynges of complacence,
All spicerye and other grocers ware,
Wyth swete wynes, all manere of chaffare,
Apes and japes and marmusettes taylede,
Nifles, trifles, that litell have availed,
And thynges wyth whiche they fetely blere oure eye,
Wyth thynges not endurynge that we bye.
For moche of thys chaffare that is wastable
Mighte be forborne for dere and dyssevable;
And that I wene as for infirmitees
In oure Englonde are suche comoditees
Wythowten helpe of any other londe,
Whych ben by wytte and prattike bothe ifounde,
That all ill humors myght be voyded sure,
Whych that we gadre wyth oure Englysh cure,
That wee shulde have no nede to skamonye,
Turbit, euforbe, correcte, diagredie,
Rubarbe, sené¬ and yet they bene to nedefulle.
But I knowe wele thynges also spedefull
That growene here as these thynges forseyde.
Lett of this matere no mane be dysmayde,
But that a man may voyde infirmytee
Wythoute drugges fet fro beyonde the see.
And yf there shulde excepte be ony thynge,
It were but sugre, truste to my seyinge;
And he that trustith not to my sentence
Lett hym better serche experience.
In this mater I woll not ferthere prese;
Who so not beleveth let hym leve and cease.
Thus these galeise for this lykynge ware
And etynge ware bere hens oure beste chaffare,
Clothe, woll and tynne, whiche, as I seyde beforne,
Oute of this londe werste myght be forborne;
For eche other londe of necessite
Have grete nede to by some of the thre.
And wee resseyve of hem into this coste
Ware and chaffare that lyghtlye wol be loste.
And wolde Ihesu that oure lordis wolde
Considre this wel, both the yonge and olde,
Namelye the olde that have experience,
That myghte the yonge exorten to prudence.
What harme, what hurte and what hinderaunce
Is done to us unto oure grete grevaunce
Of suche londes and of suche nacions,
As experte men knowe by probacions!
By wretynge ar discured oure counsayles
And false coloured alwey the countertayles
Of oure enmyes, that dothe us hinderinge
Unto oure goodes, oure realme and to the kynge,
As wysse men have shewed well at eye,
And alle this is colowred by marchaundye.
Ane emsampelle of deseytte.
Also they bere the golde oute of thys londe
And souke the thryfte awey oute of oure honde;
As the waffore soukethe honye fro the bee,
So myn? oure commodite.
Now woll ye here how they in Cotteswolde
Were wonte to borowe, or they schulde be solde,
Here wolles gode (as als fro yere to yere
Of clothe and tynne they did in lych manere),
And in her galeys schyppe this marchaundye;
Then sone at Venice of them men wol it bye.
They utterne ther the chaffare be the payse,
And lyghtlye also ther they make her reys.
And whan tho gode bene at Venice solde,
Than to carrye her chaunge they ben full bolde
Into Flaundres; whan they this money have,
They wyll it profre, ther sotelte to save,
To Englysshe marchaundis to yeve it oute by eschaunge.
To be paide agayne they make it nothing straunge
Here in Englonde, semynge for the better,
At the receyvyng and sighte of a letter,
By iiij. penyes losse in the noble rounde,
That is xij. penyes in the golden pounde.
And yf we woll have of paymente
A full monythe, than moste hym nedes assente
To viij. penyes losse, that is shellynges tweyne
In the Englysshe pounde; as efte sones agayne
For ij. monythes xij. penyes muste he paye.
In the Englysshe pounde what is that to seye
But iij. shyllinges? So that in pounde felle
For hurte and harme harde is wyth hem to delle.
And whene Englysshe marchaundys have contente
This eschaunge in Englonde of assente,
Than these seyde Venecians have in wone
And Florentynes to bere here golde sone
Overe the see into Flaundres ageyne;
And thus they lyve in Flaundres, sothe to sayne,
And in London wyth suche chevesaunce
That men call usure to oure losse and hinderaunce.
Anothere exemple of disceytte.
Now lestene welle how they made us a baleys,
Whan they borowed at the toune of Caleys,
As they were wonte, ther woll that was hem lente;
For yere and yere they schulde make paymente,
And sometyme als for too yere and too yere.
This was fayre lone; but yett woll ye here
How they to Bruges wolde her wolles carye
And for hem take paymente wythowten tarye
And sell it faste for redy money in honde
(For fifty pounde of losse thei wolde not wonde
In a thowsande pounde) and lyve therebye
Tyll the day of paymente easylye,
Some gayne ageyne in exchaunge makynge,
Full lyke usurie as men make undertakynge.
Than whan thys payment of a thowsande pounde
Was well contente, they shulde have chaffare sounde
Yff they wolde fro the staple at the full
Reseyve ageyne ther thousande pounde in woll.
[And thus they wolde, if ye will so beleve,
Wypen our nose with our owne sleve.
Thow this proverbe be homly and undew,
Yet be liklynesse it is for soth full trew.]
In Cotteswolde also they ryde aboute
And al Englonde and bien wythouten doute
What them liste wythe fredome and fraunchise,
More then we Englisshe may getyn in any wyse.
But wolde God that wythoute lenger delayse
These galeise were unfraught in xl. daies
And in tho xl. dayes were charged ageyne,
And that they myght be put to certeyne
To go to oste, as wee there wyth hem doo.
It were expediente that they did right soo,
As wee do there; for, if the kynge wolde itt,
A! what worschip wold fall to Englysshe witte!
What profite also to oure marchaundye,
Whiche wolde of nede be cherisshed hartelye!
For I wolde wete why nowe owre navey fayleth,
Whan many a foo us at oure dorre assayleth,
Now in these dayes that, if there come a nede,
What navey shulde wee have it is to drede.
In Denmarke were full noble conquerours
In tyme passed, full worthy werriours,
Whiche when they had here marchaundes destroyde,
To poverte they fell, thus were they noyede,
And so they stonde at myscheffe at this daye.
This lerned I late well wryten, this is no naye.
Therefore beware, I can no better wylle,
Yf grace it woll, of other mennys perylle.
For yef marchaundes were cherysshede to here spede,
We were not lykelye to fayle in ony nede;
Yff they bee riche, thane in prosperite
Schalbe oure londe, lordes and comonte.
And in worship nowe think I on the sonne
Of marchaundy Richarde of Whitingdone,
That loodes sterre and chefe chosen floure.
Whate hathe by hym oure England of honoure,
And whate profite hathe bene of his richesse,
And yet lasteth dayly in worthinesse,
That penne and papere may not me suffice
Him to describe, so high he was of prise,
Above marchaundis to sett him one the beste!
I can no more, but God have hym in reste.
Nowe the principalle matere.
What reason is it that wee schulde go to oste
In there cuntrees and in this Englisshe coste
They schulde not so, but have more liberte
Than wee oure selfe? Now, all so mot I the,
I wolde men shulde to geftes take no hede,
That lettith oure thinge publique for to spede.
For this wee see well every day at eye,
Geftes and festes stopene oure pollicye.
Now se that fooles bene eyther they or wee;
But evere wee have the warse in this contre.
Therefore lett hem unto ooste go wyth us here,
Or be wee free wyth hem in like manere
In there cuntres; and if it woll not bee,
Compelle them unto ooste and ye shall see
Moche avauntage and muche profite arise,
Moche more than I write can in any wyse.
Of oure charge and discharge at here martes.
Conseyve well here that Englyssh men at martes
Be discharged, for all her craftes and artes,
In the Braban of all here marchaundy
In xiiij. dayes and ageyne hastely
In the same dayes xiiij. are charged efte.
And yf they byde lengere, alle is berefte;
Anone they schulde forfet here godes all
Or marchaundy, it schulde no bettere fall.
And wee to martis of Braban charged bene
Wyth Englyssh clothe, full gode and feyre to seyne.
Wee bene ageyne charged wyth mercerye,
Haburdasshere ware and wyth grocerye.
To whyche martis, that Englissh men call feyres,
Iche nacion ofte maketh here repayeres.
Englysshe and Frensh, Lumbardes, Januayes,
Cathá¬¯nes, theder they take here wayes;
Scottes, Spaynardes, Iresshmen there abydes,
Whiche grete plente bringen of salte hydes.
And I here saye that wee in Braban bye
Flaundres and Seland more of marchaundy
In comon use then done all other nacions;
This have I herde of marchaundes relacions.
And yff the Englysshe be not in the martis,
They bene febell and as noughte bene here partes;
For they bye more and more fro purse put oute
For marchaundy than all the othere route.
Kepte than the see, shyppes schulde not bringe ne feche,
And than the carreys wolde not theder streche;
And so tho martes wolde full evel thee,
Yf wee manly kepte aboute the see.
Of the commoditees of Brabane and Selande and Henaulde and marchaundyses caryed by londe to the martes. The viij. chapitle.
The marchaundy of Brabane and Selande
Be madre and woade, that dyers take one hande
To dyen wythe, garleke and onyons,
And saltfysche als for husbond and comons.
But they of Holonde at Caleyse byene oure felles
And oure wolles that Englysshe men hem selles,
And the chefare that Englysshe men do byene
In the martis, that no man may denyene,
It is not made in Brabane that cuntre.
It commeth frome oute of Henaulde, not be the see
But all by londe by carris and frome Fraunce,
Burgoyne, Coleyn, Camerete in substaunce.
Therfore at martis yf there be a restereynte,
Men seyne pleynly, that liste no fables peynte,
Yf Englysshe men be wythdrawene awey,
Is grete rebuke and losse to here affraye,
As thoughe wee sent into the londe of Fraunce
Tenne thousande peple, men of gode puissaunce,
To werre unto her hynderynge multiphary;
So bene oure Englysshe marchauntes necessary.
Yf it be thus assay and ye schall weten
Of men experte by whome I have this wryten.
For seyde is that this carted marchaundye
Drawethe in valew as moche verralye
As all the gode that commethe in shippes thedyre,
Whyche Englisshe men bye moste and bryng it hedire;
For here martis bene feble, shame to saye,
But if Englisshe men thedir dresse here waye.
Conclusione of this deppendinge of kepinge of the see.
Than I conclude, yff nevere so moche by londe
Werre by carres ibrought unto there honde,
Yff well the see were kepte in governaunce,
They shulde by see have no delyveraunce.
Wee shulde hem stoppe and wee shulde hem destroy,
As prysoners wee shulde hem brynge to noy.
And so wee shulde of oure cruell enmysse
Maken oure frendes for fere of marchaundysse,
Yff they were not suffred for to passe
Into Flaundres; but wee be frayle as glasse
And also bretyll, not tough, nevere abydynge.
But when grace shyneth sone are wee slydynge;
Wee woll it not reseyve in any wysse,
That maken luste, envye and covetysse.
Expoune me this and ye shall sothe it fynde;
Bere it aweye and kepe it in youre mynde.
The nayle of thys conclusione.
Than shulde worshyp unto oure noble be,
In feet and forme to lorde and mageste.
Liche as the seale, the grettest of thys londe,
On the one syde hathe, as I understonde,
A prince rydynge wyth hys swerde idrawe,
In the other syde sittynge, sothe is this sawe,
Betokenynge goode reule and ponesshynge
In verry dede of Englande by the kynge
(And hit is so, God blessyd mote he bee);
So one lychewysse I wolde were on the see.
By the noble that swerde schulde have powere
And the shippes one the see aboute us here.
What nedeth a garlande whyche is made of ivye
Shewe a taverne wynelesse? Nowe, also thryve I,
Yf men were wyse, the Frenshemen and Flemmynge
Shulde bere no state in the see by werrynge.
Of Hankyne Lyons.
Thane Hankyn Lyons shulde not be so bolde
To stoppe us and oure shippes for to holde
Unto oure shame; he hadde be betene thens.
Allas, allas, why dede wee this offence
Fully to shende the olde Englisshe fames
And the profittes of Englonde and there names?
Why is this powdre called of covetise
Wyth fals colours caste thus beforne oure eyes?
That, if goode men called werryours
Wolde take in hand for the comon socours
To purge the see unto oure grete avayle
And wynne hem gode, and to have up the sayle
And one oure enmyes there lives to juparte,
So that they myght there pryses well departe,
As reason wolde, justice and equite,
To make this lande have lordeshyp of the sea,
Than shall Lumbardes and other feyned frendes
Make her chalenges by coloure false of fendes
And sey ther chafare in the shippes is
And chalenge all. Loke yf this be amisse.
For thus may all that men have bought to sore
Ben sone excused and saved by false coloure.
Beware ye men that bere the grete on honde,
That they destroy the polycye of this londe
By gifte and goode and the fyne golden clothes
And silke and othere. Sey ye not this sothe is?
Bot if ye hadde verry experience
That they take mede wyth pryve violence,
Carpettis and thynges of price and of pleysaunce,
Whereby stopped shulde be gode governaunce,
And if it were as ye seye unto me,
Than wolde I seye, allas, cupidite,
That they that have here lyves put in drede
Schalbe sone oute of wynnynge al for mede,
And lese here costes and brought to poverte,
That they shall nevere have luste to go to see.
Sterynge to an ordinaunce ayens coloure of maynteners and excusers.
For thys colour, that muste be seyde alofte
And be declared of the grete fulle ofte,
That oure seemen woll by many wyse
Spoylle oure frendys in stede of oure enmyse-
For thys coloure and Lumbardes mayntenaunce
The kynge it nedeth to make an ordinaunce
Wyth hys counsell, that may not fayle, I trowe,
That frendes shuld frome enmyes well be knowe,
Oure enmyes taken and oure frendes spared;
The remedy of hem muste be declared.
Thus may the see be kept now in no sele,
For, if ought be taken, wotte ye weel,
Wee have the strokes and enmyes have the wynnynge;
But maynteners ar parteners of the synnynge.
Wee lyve in luste and byde in covetyse;
This is oure reule to mayntene marchaundyse,
And polycye that we have on the see,
And, but God helpe, it woll none other bee.
Of the commoditees of Irelonde and policye and kepynge therof and conquerynge of wylde Iryshe, wyth an incident of Walys. The ix. chapitle.
I caste to speke of Irelonde but a lytelle.
Commoditees of it I woll entitell
Hydes and fish, samon, hake and herynge;
Irish wollen and lynyn cloth, faldynge,
And marterns gode bene in here marchaundye;
Hertys hydes and other hydes of venerye,
Skynnes of oter, squerel and Irysh hare,
Of shepe, lambe and fox is here chaffare,
Felles of kydde and conyes grete plente.
So that yf Irelond halpe us to kepe the see,
Because the kynge clepid is rex Anglie
And is dominus also Hibernie,
Of old possessyd by progenitours,
The Yrichemen have cause lyke to oures
Oure londe and herres togedre to defende,
So that none enmye shulde hurte ne offende
Yrelonde ne us, but as one comonte
Shulde helpe to kepe well aboute the see.
For they have havenes grete and godely bayes,
Sure, wyde and depe and of ryght gode assayes
Att Waterforde and coostes monye one;
And, as men seyn, in England be there none
Better havenes for shyppes in to ryde,
Ne none more sure for enmyes to abyde.
Why speke I thus so muche of Yrelonde?
For also muche as I can understonde,
It is fertyle for thynge that there do growe
And multiplyen, loke who so lust to knowe,
So large, so gode and so comodyouse
That to declare is straunge and merveylouse.
For of sylvere and golde there is the oore
Amonge the wylde Yrishe, though they be pore,
For they ar rude and can thereone no skylle;
So that, if we had there pese and gode wylle
To myne and fyne and metall for to pure,
In wylde Yrishe myght we fynde the cure.
As in Londone seyth a juellere,
Whych brought from thens gold oore to us here,
Wherof was fyned metalle gode and clene,
That at the touche no bettere coude be sene.
Nowe here beware and hertly take entente,
As ye woll answere at the laste jugemente,
That, but for sloughe and for recheleshede,
Ye remembere and wyth all youre myghte take hede
To kepen Yrelond that it be not loste,
For it is a boterasse and a poste
Undre England, and Wales is another.
God forbede but eche were othere brothere,
Of one ligeaunce dewe unto the kynge.
But I have pite in gode feythe of thys thynge,
That I shall saye wythe gode avysemente
I ham aferde that Yrelonde wol be shente;
It muste awey, it woll be loste frome us,
But if thow helpe, thow Ihesu graciouse,
And yeve us grase all sloughte to leve bysyde.
For myche thynge in my harte is ihyde,
Whyche in another tretyse I caste to wrytte,
Made all onelye for that soyle and site
Of fertile Yerelonde, whiche myghte not be forborne
But if Englond were nyghe as gode as lorne.
God forebede that a wylde Yrishe wyrlynge
Shulde be chosene for to be there kynge
Aftere here conqueste of oure laste puisshaunce
And hyndere us by other londes allyaunce.
Wyse mene seyne, whyche folyne not ne dotyne,
That wylde Yrishe so muche of grounde have gotyne
There upon us, as lykelynesse may be,
Lyke as England to shires two or thre
Of thys oure londe is made comparable;
So wylde Yrishe have wonne on us unable
It to defenden and of none powere,
That oure grounde there is a lytell cornere
To all Yrelonde in treue comparisone.
It nedeth no more this matere to expone.
Which if it be loste, as Criste Ihesu forbede,
Farewell Wales; than Englond cometh to drede
For alliaunce of Scotlonde and of Spayne
And other moo, as the Pety Bretayne,
And so to have enmyes environ aboute.
I beseche God that some prayers devoute
Mutt lett the seyde apparaunce probable.
Thys is disposed wythought feyned fable,
But alle onely for parelle that I see
Thus ymynent as lykely for to be.
And well I wott that frome hens to Rome,
And, as men sey, in alle Cristendome,
There ys no grounde ne land to Yreland lyche,
So large, so gode, so plenteouse, so riche,
That to this worde Dominus dothe longe.
Than me semyth that ryght were and not wronge
To gete that lond, and it were piteouse
To us to lese thys hygh name Dominus;
And all this worde Dominus of name
Shulde have the grounde obeisaunte, wylde and tame,
That name and peple togedere myght accorde,
And all the grounde be subjecte to the lorde.
And that it is possible to be subjecte
Unto the kynge well shall it be detecte
In the lytell boke that I of spake;
I trowe reson all this woll undertake.
And I knowe well with Irland howe it stant.
Allas, fortune begynneth so to scant,
Or ellis grace, that dede is governaunce;
For so mynusshyth partyes of oure puissaunce
In that land that we lesen every yere
More grounde and more, as well as ye may here.
I herde a man speke unto me full late,
Whyche was a lorde and of ful grete astate,
That exspenses of one yere don in Fraunce,
Werred on men well wylled of puissaunce
Thys seyde grounde of Yrelonde to conquere,
(And yit because Englonde myght not forbere
These seyde exspenses gedred in one yere,
But in iij. yere or iiij. gadred up here)
Myght wynne Yrelonde to a fynall conquest
In one soole yere, to sett us all in reste.
And how sone wolde thys be payde ageyne,
What were it worthe yerely, yf wee not feyne,
I wylle declaren, who so luste to looke,
I trowe ful pleynly in my lytell boke.
But covetyse and singularite
Of owne profite, envye, carnalite
Hathe done us harme and doo us every daye,
And mustres made that shame it is to saye,
Oure money spente all to lytell avayle;
And oure enmyes so gretely done prevayle,
That what harme may falle and overthwerte
I may unneth wrytte more for sore of herte.
An exhortacione to the kepynge of Walys.
Beware of Walys, Criste Ihesu mutt us kepe,
That it make not oure childes childe to wepe,
Ne us also, if so it go his waye
By unwarenesse; sethen that many a day
Men have be ferde of here rebellione
By grete tokenes and ostentacione.
Seche the menys wyth a discrete avyse,
And helpe that they rudely not aryse
For to rebellen; that Criste it forbede
Loke well aboute, for God wote we have nede,
Unfayllyngly, unfeynynge and unfeynte,
That conscience for slought you not atteynte.
Kepe well that grounde for harme that may ben used,
Or afore God mutt ye bene accused.
Of the comodius stokfysshe of Yselonde and kepynge of the see, namely the narowe see, wyth an incident of the kepynge of Calyse. The tenne chapitule.
Of Yseland to wryte is lytill nede
Save of stokfische; yit for sothe in dede
Out of Bristow and costis many one
Men have practised by nedle and by stone
Thiderwardes wythine a lytel whylle,
Wythine xij. yeres, and wythoute parille,
Gone and comen, as men were wonte of olde
Of Scarborowgh, unto the costes colde.
And now so fele shippes thys yere there were
That moche losse for unfraught they bare.
Yselond myght not make hem to be fraught
Unto the hawys; this moche harme they caught.
Thene here I ende of the comoditees
For whiche grete nede is well to kepe the sees.
Este and weste and sowthe and northe they be,
And chefely kepe sharply the narowe see
Betwene Dover and Caleise, and as thus
That foes passe not wythought godewyll of us,
And they abyde oure daunger in the lenghte,
What for oure costis and Caleise in oure strenghte.
An exortacion of the sure kepynge of Calise.
And for the love of God and of his blisse
Cherishe ye Caleise better than it is.
See well therto and here the grete compleynte
That trewe men tellen, that woll no lies peynte,
And as ye knowe that writynge commyth from thens.
Do not to England for sloughte so grete offens
But that redressed it be for ony thynge,
Leste a songe of sorow that wee synge.
For lytell wenythe the fole, who so myght chese,
What harme it were gode Caleise for to lese,
What woo it were for all this Englysshe grounde.
Whiche well conceyved the emperoure Sigesmounde,
That of all joyes made it one the moste
That Caleise was soget unto Englyssh coste.
Hym thought it was a jewel moste of alle,
And so the same in latyn did it calle.
And if ye woll more of Caleise here and knowe,
I caste to writte wythine a litell scrowe,
Lyke as I have done byforene by and bye
In othir parties of oure pollicie.
Loke well how harde it was at the firste to gete,
And by my counsell lyghtly be it not lete.
For, if wee leese it wyth shame of face,
Wylfully it is, it is for lake of grace.
Howe was Hareflewe cryed upon at Rone
That it were likely for slought to be gone!
How was it warened and cryed on in Englonde!
I make recorde wyth this penne in myne honde,
It was warened pleynly in Normandye
And in England, and I thereone dyd crye.
The worlde was deef, and it betid ryght soo.
Farewell Hareflewe, leudely it was agoo.
Now ware Caleise, for I can sey no bettere;
My soule discharge I by this presente lettere.
Aftere the chapitles of commoditees of dyuerse landes shewyth the conclusione of kepynge of the see environ by a storye of kynge Edgare and ij. incidentes of kynge Edwarde the iijde and kynge Herry the vth. The xi. chapitle.
Now see well thane that in this rounde see
To oure noble be paryformytee.
Within the shypp is shewyd there the sayle
And oure kynge of royall apparaylle,
Wyth swerde drawen, bryght, sharp and extente,
For to chastisen enmyes vyolente;
So shulde he be lorde of the see aboute,
To kepe enmyes fro wythine and wythoute,
And to be holde thorowgh Cristianyte
Master and lorde environ of the see,
For all lyvinge men suche a prince to drede,
Of suche a regne to be aferde indede.
Thus prove I well that it was thus of olde,
Whiche by a cronicle anone shalbe tolde,
Ryght curiouse (but I woll interprete
Hit into Englishe as I did it gete)
Of kynge Edgare, oo the moste merveyllouse
Prince lyvynge, wytty and moste chevalrouse,
So gode that none of his predecessours
Was to hym lyche in prudens and honours.
He was fort?and more gracious
Then other before and more glorious;
He was benethe no man in holinesse;
He passed alle in vertuuse swetenesse.
Of Englysshe kynges was none so commendá¢¬e
To Englysshe men, ne lasse memoriá¢¬e
Than Cirus was to Perse by puissaunce;
And as grete Charlis was to them of Fraunce,
And as to Romains was grete Romulus,
So was to England this worthy Edgarus.
I may not write more of his worthynesse
For lake of tyme ne of his holynesse,
But to my mater I hym examplifie
Of condicions tweyne of his policie.
Wythine his land was one, this is no doute,
And anothere in the see wythoute,
That in the tyme of wynter and of vere,
Whan boistous wyndes put seemen into fere,
Wythine his lande aboute by all provinces
He passyd thorowghe, perceyvynge his princes,
Lordes and othir of the commontee,
Who was oppressoure, and who to poverte
Was drawe and broughte, and who was clene in lyffe,
And who was falle by myscheffe and by stryffe
Wyth overeledynge and extorcione;
And gode and bad of eche condicione
He aspied and his mynisters als,
Who did trought and whiche of hem was fals,
And how the ryght and lawes of his londe
Were execute, and who durste take on honde
To disobeye his statutes and decrees,
And yf they were well kepte in all cuntrees.
Of these he made subtile investigacione
By hys owyne espye and other mens relacione.
Amonge othyr was his grete besines
Well to bene ware that grete men of rycchesse
And men of myght in citee ner in toune
Shuld to the pore doo none oppressione.
Thus was he wonte as in this wynter tyde
One suche enserchise busily to abyde.
This was his laboure for the publique thinge;
This occupied a passynge holy kynge.
Now to the purpose, in the somer fayre
Of lusty season, whan clered was the eyre,
He had redy shippes made by him before,
Grete and huge, not fewe but manye a score,
Full thre thousande and sex hundred also,
Statelye inowgh on any see to goo.
The cronicle seyth these shippes were full boisteous;
Suche thinges longen to kynges victorious.
In somere tide wolde he have in wone
And in custome to be full redy sone
Wyth multitude of men of gode array
And instrumentis of werre of beste assay.
Who coude hem well in ony wyse descrive?
Hit were not lyght for ony man on lyve.
Thus he and his wolde entre shippes grete,
Habilementis havynge and the fete
Of see werres, that joyfull was to see
Suche a naveie and lord of mageste
There present in persone hem amonge,
To saile and rowe environ all alonge
So regaliche aboute the Englisshe yle,
To all straungeours a terroure and perille.
Whose soune wente oute in all the world aboute
Unto grete ferre of all that be wythoute,
And exercise to knyghtes and his meyné¼¢r> To hym longynge of his natall contré¬¼br> (For corage muste of nede have exercise)
Thus occupied for esshewynge of vise.
This knewe the kynge, that policie espied;
Wynter and somer he was thus occupied.
And thus conclude I by auctorite
Of cronicle that environ the see
Shulde bene oures subjecte unto the kynge,
And he be lorde therof for ony thynge,
For grete worship and for profite also,
And to defende his londe fro every foo.
That worthy kynge I leve, Edgar by name,
And all the cronique of his worthy fame;
Save onely this, I may not passe awey
A word of myghty strenght til that I seye,
That grauntyd hym God suche worship here
For his meritis he was wythouten pere,
That sumtyme at his grete festivite
Kynges and yerles of many a contre
And of provinces fele were there presente,
And mony lordes come thidere by assente
To his worship. But in a certayne daye
He bade shippes be redy of arraye,
For to visite seynte Jonys chyrche he lyste,
Rowynge unto the gode holy Baptiste.
He assyned to yerles, lordes, knyghtes
Many shippes ryght godely to syghtes;
And for hymselfe and for viij. kynges mo
Subdite to hym he made kepe one of tho,
A gode shipp, and entred into it
Wyth tho viij. kynges, and doune did they sit.
And eche of them an ore toke in honde
At the ore holes, as I understonde,
And he hymselfe satte in the shipp behynde
As sterisman; it hym becam of kynde.
Suche another rowynge, I dare well saye,
Was not sene of princes many a day.
Lo than how he on waters had the price,
In land, in see, that I may not suffice
To tell aright the magnanimite
That this kynge Edgar had upon the see.
An incident of the lorde of the see kynge Edwarde the thredde.
Of kynge Edwarde I passe and his prowesse;
On londe, on see ye knowe his worthynesse.
The siege of Caleise ye wote well all the mater,
Rounde aboute by londe and by the water
How it lasted not yeres many agoo,
After the bataille of Crecy was idoo
How it was closed environ aboute.
Olde men sawe it whiche lyven, this is no doute.
Olde knyghtis sey that the duke of Burgoyne,
Late rebuked for all his golden coyne,
Of shipp and see made no besegynge there.
For wante of shippes, that durste not come for fere,
It was no thynge beseged by the see;
Thus calle they it no seage for honeste.
Gonnes assayled, but assaute was there none,
No sege but fuge; well was he that myght gone.
This manere carpynge have knyghtes ferre in age,
Experte of olde in this manere langage.
But kynge Edwarde made a sege royall
And wanne the toune, and in especiall
The see was kepte and thereof he was lorde;
Thus made he nobles coigned of recorde.
In whose tyme was no navey in the see
That myght wythstonde the power of hys mageste.
The bataylle of Sluce ye may rede every day;
How it was done I leve and go my way.
Hit was so late done that ye it knowe,
In comparison wythine a lytel throwe.
For whiche to God yeve we honoure and glorye,
For lorde of see the kynge was wyth victó²¹¥.
Anothere incident of kepynge of the see in the tyme of the merveillouse werroure and victorius prince kynge Herry the vth and of his grete shippes.
And yf I shulde conclude al by the kynge
Henry the fifte, what was hys purposynge
Whan at Hampton he made the grete dromons,
Which passed other grete shippes of all the comons,
The Trinite, the Grace Dieu, the Holy Goste
And other moo, whiche as now be loste?
What hope ye was the kynges grette entente
Of tho shippes and what in mynde he mente?
It was not ellis but that he caste to be
Lorde rounde aboute environ of the see.
And whan Harflew had his sege aboute,
There came carikkys orrible, grete and stoute,
In the narowe see wyllynge to abyde,
To stoppe us there wyth multitude of pride.
My lorde of Bedeforde came one and had the cure;
Destroyde they were by that discomfiture,
(This was after the kynge Hareflew had wonne,
Whane oure enmyes to besege had begonne)
That all was slayne or take by treue relacione
To his worship and of his Englisshe nacione.
Ther was presente the kynges chamburleyne
At bothe batayles, whiche knowethe this in certayne;
He can it tell other wyse than I.
Aske hym and witt; I passe forthe hastelye.
What had this kynge of high magnificens,
Of grete corage, of wysdome and prudence,
Provision, forewitte, audacite,
Of fortitude, justice, agilite,
Discrecion, subtile avisifenesse,
Atemperaunce, noblesse and worthynesse,
Science, proesce, devocion, equyte,
Of moste estately magnanimite,
Liche to Edgare and the seyd Edwarde,
A braunche of bothe, lyche hem as in regarde!
Where was on lyve man more victoriouse,
And in so shorte tyme prince so mervelouse?
By lande and see so well he hym acquite,
To speke of hym I stony in my witte.
Thus here I leve the kynge wyth his noblesse,
Henry the fifte, wyth whome all my processe
Of this trewe boke of the pure pollicie
Of see kepinge entendynge victorie
I leve endely, for aboute in the see
No better was prince of strenuite.
And if he had to this tyme lyved here,
He had bene prince named wythouten pere;
His grete shippes shulde have bene put in preffe
Unto the ende that he mente of in cheffe.
For doute it nat but that he wolde have be
Lorde and master aboute the rounde see,
And kepte it sure, to stoppe oure enmyes hens,
And wonne us gode and wysely brought it thens,
That no passage shulde be wythought daungere
And his licence on see to meve and stere.
Of unité ³hewynge of oure kepynge of the see, wyth ane endely processe of pease by auctorite. The xij. chapitule.
Now than, for love of Cryste and of his joye,
Brynge yit Englande out of troble and noye;
Take herte and witte and set a governaunce,
Set many wittes wythouten variaunce
To one acorde and unanimite
Put to gode wylle for to kepe the see,
Furste for worshyp and for profite also,
And to rebuke of eche evyl-wylled foo.
Thus shall richesse and worship to us longe,
Than to the noble shall wee do no wronge,
To bere that coigne in figure and in dede,
To oure corage and to oure enmyes drede;
For whiche they muste dresse hem to pease in haste,
Or ellis there thrifte to standen and to waste,
As this processe hathe proved by and bye,
All by reason and experte policie,
And by stories whiche preved well this parte,
And elles I woll my lyffe put in jeparte.
But many landes wolde seche her peace for nede;
The see well kepte, it must be do for drede.
Thus muste Flaundres for nede have unite
And pease wyth us, it woll none other bee,
Wythine shorte while, and ambassiatours
Wolde bene here sone to trete for ther socours.
This unité ©s to Goddes plesaunce,
And pease after the werres variaunce;
The ende of bataile is pease sikerlye,
And power causeth pease finall verily.
Kepe than the see abought in speciall,
Whiche of England is the rounde wall,
As thoughe England were lykened to a cite
And the wall environ were the see.
Kepe than the see, that is the wall of Englond,
And than is Englond kepte by Goddes sonde;
That, as for ony thinge that is wythoute,
Englande were than at ease wythouten doute,
And thus shuld everi lande, one with another,
Entrecomon as brother wyth his brother,
And live togedre werreles in unite
Wythoute rancoure in verry charite,
In reste and pese to Cristis grete plesaunce,
Wythouten striffe, debate and variaunce.
Whiche pease men shulde enserche with besinesse
And knytt it sadely, holdyng in holynesse.
The apostil seyth, if that ye liste to see,
'Be ye busy for to kepe unite
Of the spirite in the bonde of pease,'
Whiche is nedefull to all wythouten lees.
The profete bideth us pease for to enquere;
To purseue it, this is holy desire.
Oure lord Ihesu seith 'Blessid mot they be
That maken pease', that is tranquillite;
For 'peasemakers', as Mathew writeth aryght,
'Shall be called the sonnes of God Allmight'.
God yeve us grace the weyes for to kepe
Of his preceptis and slugly not to slepe
In shame of synne, that oure verry foo
Mow be to us convers and torned too.
For in Proverbis a texte is to purpose
And pleyne inowgh wythouten ony glose,
'Whan mennes weyes please unto oure Lorde,
It shall converte and brynge to accorde
Mannes enmyes unto the pease verray',
In unité ´o live to Goddis pay.
Whiche unité¬ pease, reste and charite
He that was here cladde in humanite,
That came from hevyne and stiede with our nature
(Or he ascendid he yafe to oure cure
And lefte us pease ageyne striffe and debate),
Mote gefe us-pease so well iradicate
Here in this worlde that after att his feste
Wee mowe have pease in the londe of beheste,
Jerusalem, which of pease is the sight,
Wyth the bryghtnes of his eternall lighte,
There glorified in reste wyth his tuicione,
The Deite to see wyth full fruicione.
He secunde persone in divinenesse is;
He us assume and brynge us to his blisse.
Here endithe the trewe processe of the libelle of Englysshe policie, exhortynge all Englande to kepe the see environ and namely the narowe see, shewynge whate worshipe, profite and salvacione commeth thereof to the reigne of Englonde, etc.
Go furthe, libelle, and mekely shewe thy face,
Apperynge ever wyth humble contynaunce,
And pray my lordes thee to take in grace
In opposaile and, cherishynge thee, avaunce
To hardynesse, if that not variaunce
Thow haste fro troughte by full experience,
Auctours and reasone; yif ought faile in substaunce,
Remitte to heme that yafe thee this science.
Sythen that it is sothe in verray feythe
That the wyse lorde baron of Hungerforde
Hathe thee oversene, and verrily he seithe
That thow arte trewe, and thus he dothe recorde,
Nexte the Gospell: God wotte it was his worde,
Whanne he thee redde all over in a nyghte.
Go forthe, trewe booke, and Criste defende thi ryghte.
Explicit libellus de policia conservativa maris.
The Court Of Love
With timerous hert and trembling hand of drede,
Of cunning naked, bare of eloquence,
Unto the flour of port in womanhede
I write, as he that non intelligence
Of metres hath, ne floures of sentence;
Sauf that me list my writing to convey,
In that I can to please her hygh nobley.
The blosmes fresshe of Tullius garden soote
Present thaim not, my mater for to borne:
Poemes of Virgil taken here no rote,
Ne crafte of Galfrid may not here sojorne:
Why nam I cunning? O well may I morne,
For lak of science that I can-not write
Unto the princes of my life a-right
No termes digne unto her excellence,
So is she sprong of noble stirpe and high:
A world of honour and of reverence
There is in her, this wil I testifie.
Calliope, thou sister wise and sly,
And thou, Minerva, guyde me with thy grace,
That langage rude my mater not deface.
Thy suger-dropes swete of Elicon
Distill in me, thou gentle Muse, I pray;
And thee, Melpomene, I calle anon,
Of ignoraunce the mist to chace away;
And give me grace so for to write and sey,
That she, my lady, of her worthinesse,
Accepte in gree this litel short tretesse,
That is entitled thus, 'The Court of Love.'
And ye that ben metriciens me excuse,
I you besech, for Venus sake above;
For what I mene in this ye need not muse:
And if so be my lady it refuse
For lak of ornat speche, I wold be wo,
That I presume to her to writen so.
But myn entent and all my besy cure
Is for to write this tretesse, as I can,
Unto my lady, stable, true, and sure,
Feithfull and kind, sith first that she began
Me to accept in service as her man:
To her be all the plesure of this boke,
That, whan her like, she may it rede and loke.
When I was yong, at eighteen yere of age,
Lusty and light, desirous of pleasaunce,
Approching on full sadde and ripe corage,
Love arted me to do myn observaunce
To his astate, and doon him obeysaunce,
Commaunding me the Court of Love to see,
A lite beside the mount of Citharee,
There Citherea goddesse was and quene
Honoured highly for her majestee;
And eke her sone, the mighty god, I wene,
Cupid the blind, that for his dignitee
A thousand lovers worship on their knee;
There was I bid, on pain of death, t'apere,
By Mercury, the winged messengere.
So than I went by straunge and fer contrees,
Enquiring ay what costes to it drew,
The Court of Love: and thiderward, as bees,
At last I sey the peple gan pursue:
Anon, me thought, som wight was there that knew
Where that the court was holden, ferre or ny,
And after thaim ful fast I gan me hy.
Anone as I theim overtook, I said,
'Hail, frendes! whider purpose ye to wend?'
'Forsooth,' quod oon that answered lich a maid,
'To Loves Court now go we, gentill frend.'
'Where is that place,' quod I, 'my felowe hend?'
'At Citheron, sir,' seid he, 'without dowte,
The King of Love, and all his noble rowte,
Dwelling within a castell ryally.'
So than apace I jorned forth among,
And as he seid, so fond I there truly.
For I beheld the towres high and strong,
And high pinácles, large of hight and long,
With plate of gold bespred on every side,
And presious stones, the stone-werk for to hide.
No saphir ind, no rubè riche of price,
There lakked than, nor emeraud so grene,
Baleis Turkeis, ne thing to my devise,
That may the castell maken for to shene:
All was as bright as sterres in winter been;
And Phebus shoon, to make his pees agayn,
For trespas doon to high estates tweyn,
Venus and Mars, the god and goddesse clere,
Whan he theim found in armes cheined fast:
Venus was then full sad of herte and chere.
But Phebus bemes, streight as is the mast,
Upon the castell ginneth he to cast,
To plese the lady, princesse of that place,
In signe he loketh aftir Loves grace.
For there nis god in heven or helle, y-wis,
But he hath ben right soget unto Love:
Jove, Pluto, or what-so-ever he is,
Ne creature in erth, or yet above;
Of thise the révers may no wight approve.
But furthermore, the castell to descry,
Yet saw I never non so large and high.
For unto heven it streccheth, I suppose,
Within and out depeynted wonderly,
With many a thousand daisy, rede as rose,
And white also, this saw I verily:
But what tho daises might do signify,
Can I not tell, sauf that the quenes flour
Alceste it was that kept there her sojour;
Which under Venus lady was and quene,
And Admete king and soverain of that place,
To whom obeyed the ladies gode ninetene,
With many a thowsand other, bright of face.
And yong men fele came forth with lusty pace,
And aged eke, their homage to dispose;
But what thay were, I could not well disclose.
Yet ner and ner furth in I gan me dresse
Into an halle of noble apparaile,
With arras spred and cloth of gold, I gesse,
And other silk of esier availe:
Under the cloth of their estate, saunz faile,
The king and quene ther sat, as I beheld:
It passed joye of Helisee the feld.
There saintes have their comming and resort,
To seen the king so ryally beseyn,
In purple clad, and eke the quene in sort:
And on their hedes saw I crownes tweyn,
With stones fret, so that it was no payn,
Withouten mete and drink, to stand and see
The kinges honour and the ryaltee.
And for to trete of states with the king,
That been of councell chief, and with the quene,
The king had Daunger ner to him standing,
The Quene of Love, Disdain, and that was seen:
For by the feith I shall to god, I wene,
Was never straunger [non] in her degree
Than was the quene in casting of her ee.
And as I stood perceiving her apart,
And eke the bemes shyning of her yen,
Me thought thay were shapen lich a dart,
Sherp and persing, smale, and streight as lyne.
And all her here, it shoon as gold so fyne,
Dishevel, crisp, down hinging at her bak
A yarde in length: and soothly than I spak:—
'O bright Regina, who made thee so fair?
Who made thy colour vermelet and white?
Where woneth that god? how fer above the eyr?
Greet was his craft, and greet was his delyt.
Now marvel I nothing that ye do hight
The Quene of Love, and occupy the place
Of Citharee: now, sweet lady, thy grace.'
In mewet spak I, so that nought astert,
By no condicion, word that might be herd;
B[ut] in myn inward thought I gan advert,
And oft I seid, 'My wit is dulle and hard:'
For with her bewtee, thus, god wot, I ferd
As doth the man y-ravisshed with sight,
When I beheld her cristall yen so bright,
No respect having what was best to doon;
Till right anon, beholding here and there,
I spied a frend of myne, and that full soon,
A gentilwoman, was the chamberer
Unto the quene, that hote, as ye shall here,
Philobone, that lovëd all her life:
Whan she me sey, she led me furth as blyfe;
And me demaunded how and in what wise
I thider com, and what myne erand was?
'To seen the court,' quod I, 'and all the guyse;
And eke to sue for pardon and for grace,
And mercy ask for all my greet trespace,
That I non erst com to the Court of Love:
Foryeve me this, ye goddes all above!'
'That is well seid,' quod Philobone, 'in-dede:
But were ye not assomoned to apere
By Mercury? For that is all my drede.'
'Yes, gentil fair,' quod I, 'now am I here;
Ye, yit what tho, though that be true, my dere?'
'Of your free will ye shuld have come unsent:
For ye did not, I deme ye will be shent.
For ye that reign in youth and lustinesse,
Pampired with ese, and jolif in your age,
Your dewtee is, as fer as I can gesse,
To Loves Court to dressen your viage,
As sone as Nature maketh you so sage,
That ye may know a woman from a swan,
Or whan your foot is growen half a span.
But sith that ye, by wilful necligence,
This eighteen yere have kept yourself at large,
The gretter is your trespace and offence,
And in your nek ye moot bere all the charge:
For better were ye ben withouten barge,
Amiddë see, in tempest and in rain,
Than byden here, receiving woo and pain,
That ordeined is for such as thaim absent
Fro Loves Court by yeres long and fele.
I ley my lyf ye shall full soon repent;
For Love will reyve your colour, lust, and hele:
Eke ye must bait on many an hevy mele:
No force, y-wis, I stired you long agoon
To draw to court,' quod litell Philobon.
'Ye shall well see how rough and angry face
The King of Love will shew, when ye him see;
By myn advyse kneel down and ask him grace,
Eschewing perell and adversitee;
For well I wot it wol non other be,
Comfort is non, ne counsel to your ese;
Why will ye than the King of Love displese?'
'O mercy, god,' quod ich, 'I me repent,
Caitif and wrecche in hert, in wille, and thought!
And aftir this shall be myne hole entent
To serve and plese, how dere that love be bought:
Yit, sith I have myn own penaunce y-sought,
With humble spirit shall I it receive,
Though that the King of Love my life bereyve.
And though that fervent loves qualitè
In me did never worch truly, yit I
With all obeisaunce and humilitè,
And benign hert, shall serve him til I dye:
And he that Lord of might is, grete and highe,
Right as him list me chastice and correct,
And punish me, with trespace thus enfect.'
Thise wordes seid, she caught me by the lap,
And led me furth intill a temple round,
Large and wyde: and, as my blessed hap
And good avénture was, right sone I found
A tabernacle reised from the ground,
Where Venus sat, and Cupid by her syde;
Yet half for drede I gan my visage hyde.
And eft again I loked and beheld,
Seeing full sundry peple in the place,
And mister folk, and som that might not weld
Their limmes well, me thought a wonder cas;
The temple shoon with windows all of glas,
Bright as the day, with many a fair image;
And there I sey the fresh quene of Cartage,
Dido, that brent her bewtee for the love
Of fals Eneas; and the weymenting
Of hir, Anelida, true as turtill-dove,
To Arcite fals: and there was in peinting
Of many a prince, and many a doughty king,
Whose marterdom was shewed about the walles;
And how that fele for love had suffered falles.
But sore I was abasshed and astonied
Of all tho folk that there were in that tyde;
And than I asked where thay had [y-]woned:
'In dyvers courtes,' quod she, 'here besyde.'
In sondry clothing, mantil-wyse full wyde,
They were arrayed, and did their sacrifice
Unto the god and goddesse in their guyse.
'Lo! yonder folk,' quod she, 'that knele in blew,
They were the colour ay, and ever shall,
In sign they were, and ever will be trew
Withouten chaunge: and sothly, yonder all
That ben in blak, with morning cry and call
Unto the goddes, for their loves been
Som fer, som dede, som all to sherpe and kene.'
'Ye, than,' quod I, 'what doon thise prestes here,
Nonnes and hermits, freres, and all thoo
That sit in white, in russet, and in grene?'
'For-soth,' quod she, 'they wailen of their wo.'
'O mercy, lord! may thay so come and go
Freely to court, and have such libertee?'
'Ye, men of ech condicion and degree,
And women eke: for truly, there is non
Excepcion mad, ne never was ne may:
This court is ope and free for everichon,
The King of Love he will nat say thaim nay:
He taketh all, in poore or riche array,
That meekly sewe unto his excellence
With all their herte and all their reverence.'
And, walking thus about with Philobone,
I sey where cam a messenger in hy
Streight from the king, which let commaund anon,
Through-out the court to make an ho and cry:
'A! new-come folk, abyde! and wot ye why?
The kinges lust is for to seen you soon:
Com ner, let see! his will mot need be doon.'
Than gan I me present to-fore the king,
Trembling for fere, with visage pale of hew,
And many a lover with me was kneling,
Abasshed sore, till unto tyme thay knew
The sentence yeve of his entent full trew:
And at the last the king hath me behold
With stern visage, and seid, 'What doth this old,
Thus fer y-stope in yeres, come so late
Unto the court?' 'For-soth, my liege,' quod I,
'An hundred tyme I have ben at the gate
Afore this tyme, yit coud I never espy
Of myn acqueyntaunce any with mine y;
And shamefastnes away me gan to chace;
But now I me submit unto your grace.'
'Well! all is perdoned, with condicion
That thou be trew from hensforth to thy might,
And serven Love in thyn entencion:
Swere this, and than, as fer as it is right,
Thou shalt have grace here in my quenes sight.'
'Yis, by the feith I ow your crown, I swere,
Though Deth therfore me thirlith with his spere!'
And whan the king had seen us everichoon,
He let commaunde an officer in hy
To take our feith, and shew us, oon by oon,
The statuts of the court full besily.
Anon the book was leid before their y,
To rede and see what thing we must observe
In Loves Court, till that we dye and sterve.
And, for that I was lettred, there I red
The statuts hole of Loves Court and hall:
The first statut that on the boke was spred,
Was, To be true in thought and dedes all
Unto the King of Love, the Lord ryall;
And to the Quene, as feithful and as kind,
As I coud think with herte, and will and mind.
The secund statut, Secretly to kepe
Councell of love, nat blowing every-where
All that I know, and let it sink or flete;
It may not sown in every wightes ere:
Exyling slaunder ay for dred and fere,
And to my lady, which I love and serve,
Be true and kind, her grace for to deserve.
The thrid statut was clerely write also,
Withouten chaunge to live and dye the same,
Non other love to take, for wele ne wo,
For brind delyt, for ernest nor for game:
Without repent, for laughing or for grame,
To byden still in full perseveraunce:
Al this was hole the kinges ordinaunce.
The fourth statut, To purchace ever to here,
And stiren folk to love, and beten fyr
On Venus awter, here about and there,
And preche to thaim of love and hot desyr,
And tell how love will quyten well their hire:
This must be kept; and loth me to displese:
If love be wroth, passe forby is an ese.
The fifth statut, Not to be daungerous,
If that a thought wold reyve me of my slepe:
Nor of a sight to be over squeymous;
And so, verily, this statut was to kepe,
To turne and walowe in my bed and wepe,
When that my lady, of her crueltè,
Wold from her herte exylen all pitè.
The sixt statut, it was for me to use,
Alone to wander, voide of company,
And on my ladys bewtee for to muse,
And to think [it] no force to live or dye;
And eft again to think the remedy,
How to her grace I might anon attain,
And tell my wo unto my souverain.
The seventh statut was, To be pacient,
Whether my lady joyfull were or wroth;
For wordes glad or hevy, diligent,
Wheder that she me helden lefe or loth:
And hereupon I put was to myn oth,
Her for to serve, and lowly to obey,
Shewing my chere, ye, twenty sith a-day.
The eighth statut, to my rememb[e]raunce,
Was, To speke, and pray my lady dere,
With hourly labour and gret attendaunce,
Me for to love with all her herte entere,
And me desyre, and make me joyfull chere,
Right as she is, surmounting every faire,
Of bewtie well, and gentill debonaire.
The ninth statut, with lettres writ of gold,
This was the sentence, How that I and all
Shuld ever dred to be to over-bold
Her to displese; and truly, so I shall;
But ben content for thing[es] that may falle,
And meekly take her chastisement and yerd,
And to offende her ever ben aferd.
The tenth statut was, Egally discern
By-twene thy lady and thyn abilitee,
And think, thy-self art never like to yern,
By right, her mercy, nor of equitee,
But of her grace and womanly pitee:
For though thy-self be noble in thy strene,
A thowsand-fold more nobill is thy quene,
Thy lyves lady, and thy souverayn,
That hath thyn herte all hole in governaunce.
Thou mayst no wyse hit taken to disdayn,
To put thee humbly at her ordinaunce,
And give her free the rein of her plesaunce;
For libertee is thing that women loke,
And truly, els the mater is a-croke.
The eleventh statut, Thy signes for to con
With y and finger, and with smyles soft,
And low to cough, and alway for to shon,
For dred of spyes, for to winken oft:
But secretly to bring a sigh a-loft,
And eke beware of over-moch resort;
For that, paraventure, spilleth al thy sport.
The twelfth statut remember to observe:
For al the pain thow hast for love and wo,
All is to lite her mercy to deserve,
Thow must then think, where-ever thou ryde or go;
And mortall woundes suffer thow also,
All for her sake, and thinke it well beset
Upon thy love, for it may be no bet.
The thirteenth statut, Whylom is to thinke,
What thing may best thy lady lyke and plese,
And in thyn hertes botom let it sinke:
Som thing devise, and take [it] for thyn ese,
And send it her, that may her herte apese:
Some hert, or ring, or lettre, or device,
Or precious stone; but spare not for no price.
The fourteenth statut eke thou shalt assay
Fermly to kepe the most part of thy lyfe:
Wish that thy lady in thyne armes lay,
And nightly dreme, thow hast thy hertes wyfe
Swetely in armes, straining her as blyfe:
And whan thou seest it is but fantasy,
See that thow sing not over merily,
For to moche joye hath oft a wofull end.
It longith eke, this statut for to hold,
To deme thy lady evermore thy frend,
And think thyself in no wyse a cocold.
In every thing she doth but as she shold:
Construe the best, beleve no tales newe,
For many a lie is told, that semeth full trewe.
But think that she, so bounteous and fair,
Coud not be fals: imagine this algate;
And think that tonges wikke wold her appair,
Slaundering her name and worshipfull estat,
And lovers true to setten at debat:
And though thow seest a faut right at thyne y,
Excuse it blyve, and glose it pretily.
The fifteenth statut, Use to swere and stare,
And counterfet a lesing hardely,
To save thy ladys honour every-where,
And put thyself to fight [for her] boldly:
Sey she is good, virtuous, and gostly,
Clere of entent, and herte, and thought and wille;
And argue not, for reson ne for skille,
Agayn thy ladys plesir ne entent,
For love wil not be countrepleted, indede:
Sey as she seith, than shalt thou not be shent,
The crow is whyte; ye, truly, so I rede:
And ay what thing that she thee will forbede,
Eschew all that, and give her sovereintee,
Her appetyt folow in all degree.
The sixteenth statut, kepe it if thow may:—
Seven sith at night thy lady for to plese,
And seven at midnight, seven at morow-day;
And drink a cawdell erly for thyn ese.
Do this, and kepe thyn hede from all disese,
And win the garland here of lovers all,
That ever come in court, or ever shall.
Ful few, think I, this statut hold and kepe;
But truly, this my reson giveth me fele,
That som lovers shuld rather fall aslepe,
Than take on hand to plese so oft and wele.
There lay non oth to this statut a-dele,
But kepe who might, as gave him his corage:
Now get this garland, lusty folk of age.
Now win who may, ye lusty folk of youth,
This garland fresh, of floures rede and whyte,
Purpill and blewe, and colours ful uncouth,
And I shal croune him king of all delyt!
In al the court there was not, to my sight,
A lover trew, that he ne was adred,
When he expresse hath herd the statut red.
The seventeenth statut, Whan age approchith on,
And lust is leid, and all the fire is queint,
As freshly than thou shalt begin to fon,
And dote in love, and all her image paint
In rémembraunce, til thou begin to faint,
As in the first seson thyn hert began:
And her desire, though thou ne may ne can
Perform thy living actuell, and lust;
Regester this in thy rememb[e]raunce:
Eke when thou mayst not kepe thy thing from rust,
Yit speke and talk of plesaunt daliaunce;
For that shall make thyn hert rejoise and daunce.
And when thou mayst no more the game assay,
The statut bit thee pray for hem that may.
The eighteenth statut, hoolly to commend,
To plese thy lady, is, That thou eschewe
With sluttishness thy-self for to offend;
Be jolif, fresh, and fete, with thinges newe,
Courtly with maner, this is all thy due,
Gentill of port, and loving clenlinesse;
This is the thing that lyketh thy maistresse.
And not to wander lich a dulled ass,
Ragged and torn, disgysed in array,
Ribaud in speche, or out of mesure pass,
Thy bound exceding; think on this alway:
For women been of tender hertes ay,
And lightly set their plesire in a place;
Whan they misthink, they lightly let it passe.
The nineteenth statut, Mete and drink forgete:
Ech other day, see that thou fast for love,
For in the court they live withouten mete,
Sauf such as cometh from Venus all above;
They take non heed, in pain of greet reprove,
Of mete and drink, for that is all in vain;
Only they live by sight of their soverain.
The twentieth statut, last of everichoon,
Enroll it in thyn hertes privitee;
To wring and wail, to turn, and sigh and grone,
When that thy lady absent is from thee;
And eke renew the wordes [all] that she
Bitween you twain hath seid, and all the chere
That thee hath mad thy lyves lady dere.
And see thyn herte in quiet ne in rest
Sojorn, to tyme thou seen thy lady eft;
But wher she won by south, or est, or west,
With all thy force, now see it be not left:
Be diligent, till tyme thy lyfe be reft,
In that thou mayst, thy lady for to see;
This statut was of old antiquitee.
An officer of high auctoritee,
Cleped Rigour, made us swere anon:
He nas corrupt with parcialitee,
Favour, prayer, ne gold that cherely shoon;
'Ye shall,' quod he, 'now sweren here echoon,
Yong and old, to kepe, in that ye may,
The statuts truly, all, aftir this day.'
O god, thought I, hard is to make this oth!
But to my pouer shall I thaim observe;
In all this world nas mater half so loth,
To swere for all; for though my body sterve,
I have no might the hole for to reserve.
But herkin now the cace how it befell:
After my oth was mad, the trouth to tell,
I turned leves, loking on this boke,
Where other statuts were of women shene;
And right furthwith Rigour on me gan loke
Full angrily, and seid unto the quene
I traitour was, and charged me let been:
'There may no man,' quod he, 'the statut[s] know,
That long to woman, hy degree ne low.
In secret wyse thay kepten been full close,
They sowne echon to libertie, my frend;
Plesaunt thay be, and to their own purpose;
There wot no wight of thaim, but god and fend,
Ne naught shall wit, unto the worldes end.
The quene hath yeve me charge, in pain to dye,
Never to rede ne seen thaim with myn ye.
For men shall not so nere of councell ben,
With womanhode, ne knowen of her gyse,
Ne what they think, ne of their wit th'engyn;
I me report to Salamon the wyse,
And mighty Sampson, which begyled thryes
With Dalida was: he wot that, in a throw,
There may no man statut of women knowe.
For it paravénture may right so befall,
That they be bound by nature to disceive,
And spinne, and wepe, and sugre strewe on gall,
The hert of man to ravissh and to reyve,
And whet their tong as sharp as swerd or gleyve:
It may betyde, this is their ordinaunce;
So must they lowly doon the observaunce,
And kepe the statut yeven thaim of kind,
Or such as love hath yeve hem in their lyfe.
Men may not wete why turneth every wind,
Nor waxen wyse, nor ben inquisityf
To know secret of maid, widow, or wyfe;
For they their statutes have to thaim reserved,
And never man to know thaim hath deserved.
Now dress you furth, the god of Love you gyde!'
Quod Rigour than, 'and seek the temple bright
Of Cither[e]a, goddess here besyde;
Beseche her, by [the] influence and might
Of al her vertue, you to teche a-right,
How for to serve your ladies, and to plese,
Ye that ben sped, and set your hert in ese.
And ye that ben unpurveyed, pray her eke
Comfort you soon with grace and destinee,
That ye may set your hert there ye may lyke,
In suche a place, that it to love may be
Honour and worship, and felicitee
To you for ay. Now goth, by one assent.'
'Graunt mercy, sir!' quod we, and furth we went
Devoutly, soft and esy pace, to see
Venus the goddes image, all of gold:
And there we founde a thousand on their knee,
Sum freshe and feire, som dedely to behold,
In sondry mantils new, and som were old,
Som painted were with flames rede as fire,
Outward to shew their inward hoot desire:
With dolefull chere, full fele in their complaint
Cried 'Lady Venus, rewe upon our sore!
Receive our billes, with teres all bedreint;
We may not wepe, there is no more in store;
But wo and pain us frettith more and more:
Thou blisful planet, lovers sterre so shene,
Have rowth on us, that sigh and carefull been;
And ponish, Lady, grevously, we pray,
The false untrew with counterfet plesaunce,
That made their oth, be trew to live or dey,
With chere assured, and with countenaunce;
And falsly now thay foten loves daunce,
Barein of rewth, untrue of that they seid,
Now that their lust and plesire is alleyd.'
Yet eft again, a thousand milion,
Rejoysing, love, leding their life in blis:
They seid:—'Venus, redresse of all division,
Goddes eterne, thy name y-heried is!
By loves bond is knit all thing, y-wis,
Best unto best, the erth to water wan,
Bird unto bird, and woman unto man;
This is the lyfe of joye that we ben in,
Resembling lyfe of hevenly paradyse;
Love is exyler ay of vice and sin;
Love maketh hertes lusty to devyse;
Honour and grace have thay, in every wyse,
That been to loves law obedient;
Love makith folk benigne and diligent;
Ay stering theim to drede[n] vice and shame:
In their degree it maketh thaim honorable;
And swete it is of love [to] bere the name,
So that his love be feithfull, true, and stable:
Love prunith him, to semen amiable;
Love hath no faut, there it is exercysed,
But sole with theim that have all love dispised.
Honour to thee, celestiall and clere
Goddes of love, and to thy celsitude,
That yevest us light so fer down from thy spere,
Persing our hertes with thy pulcritude!
Comparison non of similitude
May to thy grace be mad in no degree,
That hast us set with love in unitee.
Gret cause have we to praise thy name and thee,
For [that] through thee we live in joye and blisse.
Blessed be thou, most souverain to see!
Thy holy court of gladness may not misse:
A thousand sith we may rejoise in this,
That we ben thyn with harte and all y-fere,
Enflamed with thy grace, and hevinly fere.'
Musing of tho that spakin in this wyse,
I me bethought in my rememb[e]raunce
Myne orison right goodly to devyse,
And plesauntly, with hartes obeisaunce,
Beseech the goddes voiden my grevaunce;
For I loved eke, sauf that I wist nat where;
Yet down I set, and seid as ye shall here.
'Fairest of all that ever were or be!
Lucerne and light to pensif crëature!
Myn hole affiaunce, and my lady free,
My goddes bright, my fortune and my ure,
I yeve and yeld my hart to thee full sure,
Humbly beseching, lady, of thy grace
Me to bestowe into som blessed place.
And here I vow me feithfull, true, and kind,
Without offence of mutabilitee,
Humbly to serve, whyl I have wit and mind,
Myn hole affiaunce, and my lady free!
In thilkë place, there ye me sign to be:
And, sith this thing of newe is yeve me, ay
To love and serve, needly must I obey.
Be merciable with thy fire of grace,
And fix myne hert there bewtie is and routh,
For hote I love, determine in no place,
Sauf only this, by god and by my trouth,
Trowbled I was with slomber, slepe, and slouth
This other night, and in a visioun
I sey a woman romen up and down,
Of mene stature, and seemly to behold,
Lusty and fresh, demure of countynaunce,
Yong and wel shap, with here [that] shoon as gold,
With yen as cristall, farced with plesaunce;
And she gan stir myne harte a lite to daunce;
But sodenly she vanissh gan right there:
Thus I may sey, I love and wot not where.
For what she is, ne her dwelling I not,
And yet I fele that love distraineth me:
Might ich her know, that wold I fain, god wot,
Serve and obey with all benignitee.
And if that other be my destinee,
So that no wyse I shall her never see,
Than graunt me her that best may lyken me,
With glad rejoyse to live in parfit hele,
Devoide of wrath, repent, or variaunce;
And able me to do that may be wele
Unto my lady, with hertes hy plesaunce:
And, mighty goddes! through thy purviaunce
My wit, my thought, my lust and love so gyde,
That to thyne honour I may me provyde
To set myne herte in place there I may lyke,
And gladly serve with all affeccioun.
Gret is the pain which at myn hert doth stik,
Till I be sped by thyn eleccioun:
Help, lady goddes! that possessioun
I might of her have, that in all my lyfe
I clepen shall my quene and hertes wife.
And in the Court of Love to dwell for ay
My wille it is, and don thee sacrifice:
Daily with Diane eke to fight and fray,
And holden werre, as might well me suffice:
That goddes chaste I kepen in no wyse
To serve; a fig for all her chastitee!
Her lawe is for religiositee.'
And thus gan finish preyer, lawde, and preise,
Which that I yove to Venus on my knee,
And in myne hert to ponder and to peise,
I gave anon hir image fressh bewtie;
'Heil to that figure sweet! and heil to thee,
Cupide,' quod I, and rose and yede my way;
And in the temple as I yede I sey
A shryne sormownting all in stones riche,
Of which the force was plesaunce to myn y,
With diamant or saphire; never liche
I have non seyn, ne wrought so wonderly.
So whan I met with Philobone, in hy
I gan demaund, 'Who[s] is this sepulture?'
'Forsoth,' quod she, 'a tender creature
Is shryned there, and Pitè is her name.
She saw an egle wreke him on a fly,
And pluk his wing, and eke him, in his game,
And tender herte of that hath made her dy:
Eke she wold wepe, and morn right pitously
To seen a lover suffre gret destresse.
In all the court nas non that, as I gesse,
That coude a lover half so well availe,
Ne of his wo the torment or the rage
Aslaken, for he was sure, withouten faile,
That of his grief she coud the hete aswage.
In sted of Pitè, spedeth hot corage
The maters all of court, now she is dede;
I me report in this to womanhede.
For weile and wepe, and crye, and speke, and pray,—
Women wold not have pitè on thy plaint;
Ne by that mene to ese thyn hart convey,
But thee receiven for their own talent:
And sey, that Pitè causith thee, in consent
Of rewth, to take thy service and thy pain
In that thow mayst, to plese thy souverain.
But this is councell, keep it secretly;'
Quod she, 'I nold, for all the world abowt,
The Quene of Love it wist; and wit ye why?
For if by me this matter springen out,
In court no lenger shuld I, owt of dowt,
Dwellen, but shame in all my life endry:
Now kepe it close,' quod she, 'this hardely.
Well, all is well! Now shall ye seen,' she seid,
'The feirest lady under son that is:
Come on with me, demene you liche a maid,
With shamefast dred, for ye shall spede, y-wis,
With her that is the mir[th] and joy and blis:
But sumwhat straunge and sad of her demene
She is, be ware your countenaunce be sene,
Nor over light, ne recheless, ne to bold,
Ne malapert, ne rinning with your tong;
For she will you abeisen and behold,
And you demaund, why ye were hens so long
Out of this court, without resort among:
And Rosiall her name is hote aright,
Whose harte as yet [is] yeven to no wight.
And ye also ben, as I understond,
With love but light avaunced, by your word;
Might ye, by hap, your fredom maken bond,
And fall in grace with her, and wele accord,
Well might ye thank the god of Love and lord;
For she that ye sawe in your dreme appere,
To love suche one, what are ye than the nere?
Yit wot ye what? as my rememb[e]raunce
Me yevith now, ye fayn, where that ye sey
That ye with love had never acqueintaunce,
Sauf in your dreme right late this other day:
Why, yis, parde! my life, that durst I lay,
That ye were caught upon an heth, when I
Saw you complain, and sigh full pitously;
Within an erber, and a garden fair
With floures growe, and herbes vertuous,
Of which the savour swete was and the eyr,
There were your-self full hoot and amorous:
Y-wis, ye ben to nice and daungerous;
A! wold ye now repent, and love som new?'—
'Nay, by my trouth,' I seid, 'I never knew
The goodly wight, whos I shall be for ay:
Guyde me the lord that love hath made and me.'
But furth we went in-till a chambre gay,
There was Rosiall, womanly to see,
Whose stremes sotell-persing of her ee
Myn hart gan thrill for bewtie in the stound:
'Alas,' quod I, 'who hath me yeve this wound?'
And than I dred to speke, till at the last
I gret the lady reverently and wele,
Whan that my sigh was gon and over-past;
And down on knees full humbly gan I knele,
Beseching her my fervent wo to kele,
For there I took full purpose in my mind,
Unto her grace my painfull hart to bind.
For if I shall all fully her discryve,
Her hede was round, by compace of nature,
Her here as gold,—she passed all on-lyve,—
And lily forhede had this crëature,
With lovelich browes, flawe, of colour pure,
Bytwene the which was mene disseveraunce
From every brow, to shewe[n] a distaunce.
Her nose directed streight, and even as lyne,
With fourm and shap therto convenient,
In which the goddes milk-whyt path doth shine;
And eke her yen ben bright and orient
As is the smaragde, unto my juggement,
Or yet thise sterres hevenly, smale and bright;
Her visage is of lovely rede and whyte.
Her mouth is short, and shit in litell space,
Flaming somdele, not over-rede, I mene,
With pregnant lippes, and thik to kiss, percas;
(For lippes thin, not fat, but ever lene,
They serve of naught, they be not worth a bene;
For if the basse ben full, there is delyt,
Maximian truly thus doth he wryte.)
But to my purpose:—I sey, whyte as snow
Ben all her teeth, and in order thay stond
Of oon stature; and eke hir breth, I trow,
Surmounteth alle odours that ever I fond
In sweetnes; and her body, face, and hond
Ben sharply slender, so that from the hede
Unto the fote, all is but womanhede.
I hold my pees of other thinges hid:—
Here shall my soul, and not my tong, bewray:—
But how she was arrayed, if ye me bid,
That shall I well discover you and say:
A bend of gold and silk, full fressh and gay;
With here in tresse[s], browdered full well,
Right smothly kept, and shyning every-del.
About her nek a flour of fressh devyse
With rubies set, that lusty were to sene;
And she in gown was, light and somer-wyse,
Shapen full wele, the colour was of grene,
With aureat seint about her sydes clene,
With dyvers stones, precious and riche:—
Thus was she rayed, yet saugh I never her liche.
For if that Jove had [but] this lady seyn,
Tho Calixto ne [yet] Alcmenia,
Thay never hadden in his armes leyn;
Ne he had loved the faire Europa;
Ye, ne yet Dane ne Antiopa!
For al their bewtie stood in Rosiall;
She semed lich a thing celestiall
In bowntè, favor, port, and semliness,
Plesaunt of figure, mirrour of delyt,
Gracious to sene, and rote of gentilness,
With angel visage, lusty rede and white:
There was not lak, sauf daunger had a lite
This goodly fressh in rule and governaunce;
And somdel straunge she was, for her plesaunce.
And truly sone I took my leve and went,
Whan she had me enquyred what I was;
For more and more impressen gan the dent
Of Loves dart, whyl I beheld her face;
And eft again I com to seken grace,
And up I put my bill, with sentence clere
That folwith aftir; rede and ye shall here.
'O ye [the] fressh, of [all] bewtie the rote,
That nature hath fourmed so wele and made
Princesse and Quene! and ye that may do bote
Of all my langour with your wordes glad!
Ye wounded me, ye made me wo-bestad;
Of grace redress my mortall grief, as ye
Of all myne harm the verrey causer be.
Now am I caught, and unwar sodenly,
With persant stremes of your yën clere,
Subject to ben, and serven you meekly,
And all your man, y-wis, my lady dere,
Abiding grace, of which I you requere,
That merciles ye cause me not to sterve;
But guerdon me, liche as I may deserve.
For, by my troth, the dayes of my breth
I am and will be youre in wille and hert,
Pacient and meek, for you to suffre deth
If it require; now rewe upon my smert;
And this I swere, I never shall out-stert
From Loves Court for none adversitee,
So ye wold rewe on my distresse and me.
My destinee, my fate, and ure I bliss,
That have me set to ben obedient
Only to you, the flour of all, y-wis:
I trust to Venus never to repent;
For ever redy, glad, and diligent
Ye shall me finde in service to your grace,
Till deth my lyfe out of my body race.
Humble unto your excellence so digne,
Enforcing ay my wittes and delyt
To serve and plese with glad herte and benigne,
And ben as Troilus, [old] Troyes knight,
Or Antony for Cleopatre bright,
And never you me thinkes to reney:
This shall I kepe unto myne ending-day.
Enprent my speche in your memorial
Sadly, my princess, salve of all my sore!
And think that, for I wold becomen thrall,
And ben your own, as I have seyd before,
Ye must of pity cherissh more and more
Your man, and tender aftir his desert,
And yive him corage for to ben expert.
For where that oon hath set his herte on fire,
And findeth nether refut ne plesaunce,
Ne word of comfort, deth will quyte his hire.
Allas! that there is none allegeaunce
Of all their wo! allas, the gret grevaunce
To love unloved! But ye, my Lady dere,
In other wyse may govern this matere.'
'Truly, gramercy, frend, of your good will,
And of your profer in your humble wyse!
But for your service, take and kepe it still.
And where ye say, I ought you well cheryse,
And of your gref the remedy devyse,
I know not why: I nam acqueinted well
With you, ne wot not sothly where ye dwell.'
'In art of love I wryte, and songes make,
That may be song in honour of the King
And Quene of Love; and than I undertake,
He that is sad shall than full mery sing.
And daunger[o]us not ben in every thing
Beseche I you, but seen my will and rede,
And let your aunswer put me out of drede.'
'What is your name? reherse it here, I pray,
Of whens and where, of what condicion
That ye ben of? Let see, com of and say!
Fain wold I know your disposicion:—
Ye have put on your old entencion;
But what ye mene to servë me I noot,
Sauf that ye say ye love me wonder hoot.'
'My name? alas, my hert, why [make it straunge?]
Philogenet I cald am fer and nere,
Of Cambrige clerk, that never think to chaunge
Fro you that with your hevenly stremes clere
Ravissh myne herte and gost and all in-fere:
This is the first, I write my bill for grace,
Me think, I see som mercy in your face.
And what I mene, by god that al hath wrought,
My bill, that maketh finall mencion,
That ye ben, lady, in myne inward thought
Of all myne hert without offencion,
That I best love, and have, sith I begon
To draw to court. Lo, than! what might I say?
I yeld me here, [lo!] unto your nobley.
And if that I offend, or wilfully
By pompe of hart your precept disobey,
Or doon again your will unskillfully,
Or greven you, for ernest or for play,
Correct ye me right sharply than, I pray,
As it is sene unto your womanhede,
And rewe on me, or ellis I nam but dede.'
'Nay, god forbede to feffe you so with grace,
And for a worde of sugred eloquence,
To have compassion in so litell space!
Than were it tyme that som of us were hens!
Ye shall not find in me suche insolence.
Ay? what is this? may ye not suffer sight?
How may ye loke upon the candill-light,
That clere[r] is and hotter than myn y?
And yet ye seid, the bemes perse and frete:—
How shall ye than the candel-[l]ight endry?
For wel wot ye, that hath the sharper hete.
And there ye bid me you correct and bete,
If ye offend,—nay, that may not be doon:
There come but few that speden here so soon.
Withdraw your y, withdraw from presens eke:
Hurt not yourself, through foly, with a loke;
I wold be sory so to make you seke:
A woman shuld be ware eke whom she toke:
Ye beth a clark:—go serchen [in] my boke,
If any women ben so light to win:
Nay, byde a whyl, though ye were all my kin.
So soon ye may not win myne harte, in trouth
The gyse of court will seen your stedfastness,
And as ye don, to have upon you rewth.
Your own desert, and lowly gentilness,
That will reward you joy for heviness;
And though ye waxen pale, and grene and dede,
Ye must it use a while, withouten drede,
And it accept, and grucchen in no wyse;
But where as ye me hastily desyre
To been to love, me think, ye be not wyse.
Cese of your language! cese, I you requyre!
For he that hath this twenty yere ben here
May not obtayn; than marveile I that ye
Be now so bold, of love to trete with me.'
'Ah! mercy, hart, my lady and my love,
My rightwyse princesse and my lyves guyde!
Now may I playn to Venus all above,
That rewthles ye me give these woundes wyde!
What have I don? why may it not betyde,
That for my trouth I may received be?
Alas! your daunger and your crueltè!
In wofull hour I got was, welaway!
In wofull hour [y-]fostred and y-fed,
In wofull hour y-born, that I ne may
My supplicacion swetely have y-sped!
The frosty grave and cold must be my bedde,
Without ye list your grace and mercy shewe,
Deth with his axe so faste on me doth hewe.
So greet disese and in so litell whyle,
So litell joy, that felte I never yet;
And at my wo Fortune ginneth to smyle,
That never erst I felt so harde a fit:
Confounded ben my spirits and my wit,
Till that my lady take me to her cure,
Which I love best of erthely crëature.
But that I lyke, that may I not com by;
Of that I playn, that have I habondaunce;
Sorrow and thought, thay sit me wounder ny;
Me is withhold that might be my plesaunce:
Yet turne again, my worldly suffisaunce!
O lady bright! and save your feithfull true,
And, er I die, yet on[e]s upon me rewe.'
With that I fell in sounde, and dede as stone,
With colour slain, and wan as assh[es] pale;
And by the hand she caught me up anon,
'Aryse,' quod she, 'what? have ye dronken dwale?
Why slepen ye? it is no nightertale.'
'Now mercy, swete,' quod I, y-wis affrayed:
'What thing,' quod she, 'hath mad you so dismayed?
Now wot I well that ye a lover be,
Your hewe is witnesse in this thing,' she seid:
'If ye were secret, [ye] might know,' quod she,
'Curteise and kind, all this shuld be allayed:
And now, myn herte! all that I have misseid,
I shall amend, and set your harte in ese.'
'That word it is,' quod I, 'that doth me plese.'
'But this I charge, that ye the statuts kepe,
And breke thaim not for sloth nor ignoraunce.'
With that she gan to smyle and laughen depe.
'Y-wis,' quod I, 'I will do your plesaunce;
The sixteenth statut doth me grete grevaunce,
But ye must that relesse or modifie.'
'I graunt,' quod she, 'and so I will truly.'
And softly than her colour gan appeare,
As rose so rede, through-out her visage all,
Wherefore me think it is according here,
That she of right be cleped Rosiall.
Thus have I won, with wordes grete and small,
Some goodly word of hir that I love best,
And trust she shall yit set myne harte in rest.
'Goth on,' she seid to Philobone, 'and take
This man with you, and lede him all abowt
Within the court, and shew him, for my sake,
What lovers dwell withinne, and all the rowte
Of officers; for he is, out of dowte,
A straunger yit:'—'Come on,' quod Philobone,
'Philogenet, with me now must ye gon.'
And stalking soft with esy pace, I saw
About the king [ther] stonden environ,
Attendaunce, Diligence, and their felaw
Fortherer, Esperaunce, and many oon;
Dred-to-offend there stood, and not aloon;
For there was eke the cruell adversair,
The lovers fo, that cleped is Dispair,
Which unto me spak angrely and fell,
And said, my lady me deceiven shall:
'Trowest thow,' quod she, 'that all that she did tell,
Is true? Nay, nay, but under hony gall!
Thy birth and hers, [they] be nothing egall:
Cast of thyn hart, for all her wordes whyte,
For in good faith she lovith thee but a lyte.
And eek remember, thyn habilite
May not compare with hir, this well thow wot.'
Ye, than cam Hope and said, 'My frend, let be!
Beleve him not: Dispair, he ginneth dote.'
'Alas,' quod I, 'here is both cold and hot:
The tone me biddeth love, the toder nay;
Thus wot I not what me is best to say.
But well wot I, my lady graunted me,
Truly to be my woundes remedy;
Her gentilness may not infected be
With dobleness, thus trust I till I dy.'
So cast I void Dispaires company,
And taken Hope to councell and to frend.
'Ye, kepe that wele,' quod Philobone, 'in mind.'
And there besyde, within a bay-window,
Stood oon in grene, full large of brede and length,
His berd as blak as fethers of the crow;
His name was Lust, of wounder might and strength;
And with Delyt to argue there he thenkth,
For this was all his [hool] opinion,
That love was sin! and so he hath begon
To reson fast, and legge auctoritè:
'Nay,' quod Delyt, 'love is a vertue clere,
And from the soule his progress holdeth he:
Blind appetyt of lust doth often stere,
And that is sin: for reson lakketh there,
For thow [dost] think thy neigbours wyfe to win:
Yit think it well that love may not be sin;
For god and seint, they love right verely,
Void of all sin and vice: this knowe I wele,
Affeccion of flessh is sin, truly;
But verray love is vertue, as I fele,
For love may not thy freil desire akele:
For [verray] love is love withouten sin.'
'Now stint,' quoth Lust, 'thow spekest not worth a pin.'
And there I left thaim in their arguing,
Roming ferther in the castell wyde,
And in a corner Lier stood talking
Of lesings fast, with Flatery there besyde;
He seid that women were attire of pryde,
And men were founde of nature variaunt,
And coud be false, and shewen beau semblaunt.
Than Flatery bespake and seid, y-wis:
'See, so she goth on patens faire and fete,
Hit doth right wele: what prety man is this
That rometh here? Now truly, drink ne mete
Nede I not have; myne hart for joye doth bete
Him to behold, so is he goodly fressh:
It semeth for love his harte is tender nessh.'
This is the court of lusty folk and glad,
And wel becometh their habit and array:
O why be som so sorry and so sad,
Complaining thus in blak and whyte and gray?
Freres they ben, and monkes, in good fay:
Alas, for rewth! greet dole it is to seen,
To see thaim thus bewaile and sory been.
See how they cry and wring their handes whyte,
For they so sone went to religion!
And eke the nonnes, with vaile and wimple plight,
There thought that they ben in confusion:
'Alas,' thay sayn, 'we fayn perfeccion,
In clothes wide, and lak our libertè;
But all the sin mote on our frendes be.
For, Venus wot, we wold as fayn as ye,
That ben attired here and wel besene,
Desiren man, and love in our degree,
Ferme and feithfull, right as wold the quene:
Our frendes wikke, in tender youth and grene,
Ayenst our will made us religious;
That is the cause we morne and wailen thus.'
Than seid the monks and freres in the tyde,
'Wel may we curse our abbeys and our place,
Our statuts sharp, to sing in copes wyde,
Chastly to kepe us out of loves grace,
And never to fele comfort ne solace;
Yet suffre we the hete of loves fire,
And after than other haply we desire.
O Fortune cursed, why now and wherefore
Hast thow,' they seid, 'beraft us libertè,
Sith nature yave us instrument in store,
And appetyt to love and lovers be?
Why mot we suffer suche adversitè,
Diane to serve, and Venus to refuse?
Ful often sith this matier doth us muse.
We serve and honour, sore ayenst our will,
Of chastitè the goddes and the quene;
Us leffer were with Venus byden still,
And have reward for love, and soget been
Unto thise women courtly, fressh, and shene.
Fortune, we curse thy whele of variaunce!
There we were wele, thou revest our plesaunce.'
Thus leve I thaim, with voice of pleint and care,
In raging wo crying ful pitously;
And as I yede, full naked and full bare
Some I behold, looking dispitously,
On povertè that dedely cast their y;
And 'Welaway!' they cried, and were not fain,
For they ne might their glad desire attain.
For lak of richesse worldely and of gode,
They banne and curse, and wepe, and sein, 'Alas,
That poverte hath us hent that whylom stode
At hartis ese, and free and in good case!
But now we dar not shew our-self in place,
Ne us embolde to duelle in company,
There-as our hart wold love right faithfully.'
And yet againward shryked every nonne,
The prang of love so straineth thaim to cry:
'Now wo the tyme,' quod thay, 'that we be boun!
This hateful ordre nyse will don us dy!
We sigh and sobbe, and bleden inwardly,
Freting our-self with thought and hard complaint,
That ney for love we waxen wode and faint.'
And as I stood beholding here and there,
I was war of a sort full languisshing,
Savage and wild of loking and of chere,
Their mantels and their clothës ay tering;
And oft thay were of nature complaining,
For they their members lakked, fote and hand,
With visage wry and blind, I understand.
They lakked shap, and beautie to preferre
Theim-self in love: and seid, that god and kind
Hath forged thaim to worshippen the sterre,
Venus the bright, and leften all behind
His other werkes clene and out of mind:
'For other have their full shape and bewtee,
And we,' quod they, 'ben in deformitè.'
And nye to thaim there was a company,
That have the susters waried and misseid;
I mene, the three of fatall destinè,
That be our werdes; and sone, in a brayd,
Out gan they cry as they had been affrayd,
'We curse,' quod thay, 'that ever hath nature
Y-formed us, this wofull lyfe t'endure!'
And there he was contrite, and gan repent,
Confessing hole the wound that Citherè
Hath with the dart of hot desire him sent,
And how that he to love must subjet be:
Than held he all his skornes vanitè,
And seid, that lovers lede a blisful lyfe,
Yong men and old, and widow, maid and wyfe.
'Bereve me, goddesse,' quod he, '[of] thy might,
My skornes all and skoffes, that I have
No power forth, to mokken any wight,
That in thy service dwell: for I did rave:
This know I well right now, so god me save,
And I shal be the chief post of thy feith,
And love uphold, the révers who-so seith.'
Dissemble stood not fer from him in trouth,
With party mantill, party hood and hose;
And said, he had upon his lady rowth,
And thus he wound him in, and gan to glose
Of his entent full doble, I suppose:
And al the world, he seid, he loved it wele;
But ay, me thoughte, he loved her nere a dele.
Eek Shamefastness was there, as I took hede,
That blusshed rede, and durst nat ben a-knowe
She lover was, for thereof had she drede;
She stood and hing her visage down alowe;
But suche a sight it was to sene, I trow,
As of these roses rody on their stalk:
There cowd no wight her spy to speke or talk
In loves art, so gan she to abasshe,
Ne durst not utter all her privitè:
Many a stripe and many a grevous lasshe
She gave to thaim that wolden loveres be,
And hindered sore the simpill comonaltè,
That in no wyse durst grace and mercy crave;
For were not she, they need but ask and have;
Where if they now approchin for to speke,
Than Shamefastness returnith thaim again:
Thay think, if we our secret councell breke,
Our ladies will have scorn on us, certain,
And [per]aventure thinken greet disdain:
Thus Shamefastness may bringin in Dispeir,
Whan she is dede, the toder will be heir.
Com forth, Avaunter! now I ring thy bell!
I spyed him sone; to god I make a-vowe,
He loked blak as fendes doth in hell:—
'The first,' quod he, 'that ever [I] did wowe,
Within a word she com, I wot not how,
So that in armes was my lady free;
And so hath ben a thousand mo than she.
In Englond, Bretain, Spain, and Pycardie,
Arteys, and Fraunce, and up in hy Holand,
In Burgoyne, Naples, and [in] Italy,
Naverne, and Grece, and up in hethen land,
Was never woman yit that wold withstand
To ben at myn commaundement, whan I wold:
I lakked neither silver, coin, ne gold.
And there I met with this estate and that;
And here I broched her, and here, I trow:
Lo! there goth oon of myne; and wot ye what?
Yon fressh attired have I leyd full low;
And such oon yonder eke right well I know:
I kept the statut whan we lay y-fere;
And yet yon same hath made me right good chere.'
Thus hath Avaunter blowen every-where
Al that he knowith, and more, a thousand-fold;
His auncetrye of kin was to Lière,
For firste he makith promise for to hold
His ladies councell, and it not unfold;
Wherfore, the secret when he doth unshit,
Than lyeth he, that all the world may wit.
For falsing so his promise and behest,
I wounder sore he hath such fantasie;
He lakketh wit, I trowe, or is a best,
That can no bet him-self with reson gy.
By myn advice, Love shal be contrarie
To his availe, and him eke dishonoure,
So that in court he shall no more sojoure.
'Take hede,' quod she, this litell Philobone,
'Where Envy rokketh in the corner yond,
And sitteth dirk; and ye shall see anone
His lenë bodie, fading face and hond;
Him-self he fretteth, as I understond;
Witnesse of Ovid Methamorphosose;
The lovers fo he is, I wil not glose.
For where a lover thinketh him promote,
Envy will grucch, repyning at his wele;
Hit swelleth sore about his hartes rote,
That in no wyse he can not live in hele;
And if the feithfull to his lady stele,
Envy will noise and ring it round aboute,
And sey moche worse than don is, out of dowte.'
And Prevy Thought, rejoysing of him-self,
Stood not fer thens in habit mervelous;
'Yon is,' thought [I], 'som spirit or some elf,
His sotill image is so curious:
How is,' quod I, 'that he is shaded thus
With yonder cloth, I not of what colour?'
And nere I went, and gan to lere and pore,
And frayned him [a] question full hard.
'What is,' quod I, 'the thing thou lovest best?
Or what is boot unto thy paines hard?
Me think, thow livest here in grete unrest;
Thow wandrest ay from south to est and west,
And est to north; as fer as I can see,
There is no place in court may holden thee.
Whom folowest thow? where is thy harte y-set?
But my demaunde asoile, I thee require.'
'Me thought,' quod he, 'no crëature may let
Me to ben here, and where-as I desire:
For where-as absence hath don out the fire,
My mery thought it kindleth yet again,
That bodily, me think, with my souverain
I stand and speke, and laugh, and kisse, and halse,
So that my thought comforteth me full oft:
I think, god wot, though all the world be false,
I will be trewe; I think also how soft
My lady is in speche, and this on-loft
Bringeth myn hart to joye and [greet] gladnesse;
This prevey thought alayeth myne hevinesse.
And what I thinke, or where to be, no man
In all this erth can tell, y-wis, but I:
And eke there nis no swallow swift, ne swan
So wight of wing, ne half [so] yern can fly;
For I can been, and that right sodenly,
In heven, in helle, in paradise, and here,
And with my lady, whan I will desire.
I am of councell ferre and wyde, I wot,
With lord and lady, and their previtè
I wot it all; but be it cold or hot,
They shall not speke without licence of me,
I mene, in suche as sesonable be;
For first the thing is thought within the hert,
Ere any word out from the mouth astert.'
And with that word Thought bad farewell and yede:
Eke furth went I to seen the courtes gyse:
And at the dore cam in, so god me spede,
Twey courteours of age and of assyse
Liche high, and brode, and, as I me advyse,
The Golden Love, and Leden Love thay hight:
The ton was sad, the toder glad and light.
. . .
'Yis! draw your hart, with all your force and might,
To lustiness, and been as ye have seid;
And think that I no drop of favour hight,
Ne never had to your desire obeyd,
Till sodenly, me thought, me was affrayed,
To seen you wax so dede of countenaunce;
And Pitè bad me don you some plasaunce.
Out of her shryne she roos from deth to lyve,
And in myne ere full prevely she spak,
'Doth not your servaunt hens away to dryve,
Rosiall,' quod she; and than myn harte [it] brak,
For tender reuth: and where I found moch lak
In your persoune, than I my-self bethought;
And seid, 'This is the man myne harte hath sought.''
'Gramercy, Pitè! might I but suffice
To yeve the lawde unto thy shryne of gold,
God wot, I wold; for sith that thou did rise
From deth to lyve for me, I am behold
To thanken you a thousand tymes told,
And eke my lady Rosiall the shene,
Which hath in comfort set myn harte, I wene.
And here I make myn protestacion,
And depely swere, as [to] myn power, to been
Feithfull, devoid of variacion,
And her forbere in anger or in tene,
And serviceable to my worldes quene,
With al my reson and intelligence,
To don her honour high and reverence.'
I had not spoke so sone the word, but she,
My souverain, did thank me hartily,
And seid, 'Abyde, ye shall dwell still with me
Till seson come of May; for than, truly,
The King of Love and all his company
Shall hold his fest full ryally and well:'
And there I bode till that the seson fell.
On May-day, whan the lark began to ryse,
To matens went the lusty nightingale
Within a temple shapen hawthorn-wise;
He might not slepe in all the nightertale,
But 'Domine labia,' gan he crye and gale,
'My lippes open, Lord of Love, I crye,
And let my mouth thy preising now bewrye.'
The eagle sang 'Venite, bodies all,
And let us joye to love that is our helth.'
And to the deske anon they gan to fall,
And who come late, he pressed in by stelth:
If I'm Not The One
If I'm not the one you want
Take your time to figure out
I'm staring at your picture every night
The thought of you still lingers in my mind
I wonder if you're alone and feel alright
and the sun has come out of the clouds
And sometimes when I listen to our song
The nights seem so cold and far too long
I wanna call you up cuz in the end
I keep writing letters to my garbage can
Flowering Of The Thought
was becoming a method
exploring the path.
In the backyard unpleasant fumes
Nocturnal swoop of enlightment,
clearly becomes a festival
of yellow death.
Who was hiding the truth?
Flowering of the thought in sky
ripens cessation of grief.
Slopes and summits,
bring tears in eyes.
Solace of ancestral home
was gone. Bold ceilings were hung by ungodly fears.
Wet hands lift the body of past,
classical future was gleaming slowly.
Just the Thought of You
When days like these...
Come and go to leave me feeling drained,
Just the thought of you,
Brightens my point of view.
Giving me a strength to endure.
Just the thought of you,
Helps me through...
When days like these,
Traps me inside to welcome despair.
You may be there and not here,
When days like these...
Seem to come along with a mission to squeeze,
Every breath I breathe.
Just the thought of you,
Unclouds my view.
When days like these...
Come to pursue those moments I am alone.
And subdued in wishes I desire to exist.
But you give me reasons to remember,
I am loved!
And I choose those thoughts of you,
To keep me lifted.
When days like these insist to visit me.
The Thought Police
(d. pickerill/p. odonoughue)
They will put you under
The thought police
They will take you in
The thought police
They will clean your mind out
The thought police
You can never win
You can never win
You can never, never, never, never, never win
There are people around with problems
Those who live in fear
Running from the shadows
Waiting for another year
Thought of the secrets
Secrets of the mind
Thoughts can spell out danger
To the leaders of the time
Thoughts are fleeting glimpses
Of the future or the past
They lock ideas in a bottle
Its time to break the glass
Hiding out in the daytime
Crawling through the night
Keeping out of danger
Just trying to find the light
Chorus (x2 and fade)
The Thought Of Being Heard
Should I spare you the agony,
Of believing there is a need for your response?
As long as we keep between us,
This rare eye contact...
I will remain appreciative of that.
I am accustomed to communicating with those,
Who scan anyone from head to toe.
And those who don't have turned up noses,
As they walk down the streets...
Often talk to me standing sideways,
With their eyes staring at my feet.
As if my voice is coming from any place other,
Than my mouth.
With the aid of using my lips and teeth!
The people living in my environment,
Are more prepared to gossip...
Than they are to have a one on one.
Something that is meaningly done.
And having this eye contact you give me,
Makes me feel you understand.
And you don't have to say a word.
It's just the thought of being heard,
That has been worth this entire experience.
Freed of the Thought of Foreclosure
It is what it is!
When did you begin,
To acknowledge that fact?
When did you begin,
To focus your sights on that?
If things are seen as whacked.
And way off track.
It is what it is!
Perhaps for you,
All of this has been a quiz!
You just didn't want to see it,
As it is.
You wished to see it,
As an affliction affecting...
Others you were taught to detest.
Now that 'mess' you ignored...
Has come to lay upon your own doorstep,
To comfortably rest.
It is what it is!
When did you begin,
To acknowledge that fact?
When did you begin,
To believe your ideals were being attacked?
Now you find yourself sleeping with a weapon.
Feeling safe and secured.
Keeping sure you are protected...
In a neighborhood free of enemies.
Knowing you can not trust who lives next door!
Who's life are you living?
And what is your life lived for?
When you just might kill yourself...
To escape from your own safety zone!
Freed of the thought of foreclosure.
Today... The Thought of You Disgust Me to Tears
You are just not worthy,
Of my love and loyalty.
You dismiss my attempts,
To be totally devoted...
As something owed.
As if I was born to be attracted to you.
Happened to have been doing charity work.
With a decision you made to do me a favor.
You are just not worthy,
Of my patience I give with blind tolerance.
Others tried to convince me,
I made it too easy for you to use and abuse...
My inability to stop loving you.
Others tried to convince me,
You did nothing for me but treat me like a fool.
But the fool made in this scenerio is Y-O-U.
And you've proven that is if proud to announce it.
There is nothing left for you to announce.
No integrity left for you to save.
I use to think of you as being bold and brave.
Honest to a fault and inspiring.
The thought of you disgust me to tears.
Any picture I have of you,
Sitting high on a pedestal in my mind...
I seek to medicate to have you removed.
Anything to get me to feel I am cleansed.
The thought of ever being near you,
Embraced in a nakedness, exposed to show truth...
Has left me feeling cheap and dirty!
You disgust me to tears.
Today... The Thought of You Disgust Me to Tears
You are just not worthy,
Of my love and loyalty.
You dismiss my attempts,
To be totally devoted...
As something owed.
As if I was born to be attracted to you.
Happened to have been doing charity work.
With a decision you made to do me a favor.
You are just not worthy,
Of my patience I give with blind tolerance.
Others tried to convince me,
I made it too easy for you to use and abuse...
My inability to stop loving you.
Others tried to convince me,
You did nothing for me but treat me like a fool.
But the fool made in this scenerio is Y-O-U.
And you've proven that is if proud to announce it.
There is nothing left for you to announce.
No integrity left for you to save.
I use to think of you as being bold and brave.
Honest to a fault and inspiring.
The thought of you disgust me to tears.
Any picture I have of you,
Sitting high on a pedestal in my mind...
I seek to medicate to have you removed.
Anything to get me to feel I am cleansed.
The thought of ever being near you,
Embraced in a nakedness, exposed to show truth...
Has left me feeling cheap and dirty!
You disgust me to tears.
The Magnetic Lady To Her Patient
'Sleep, sleep on! forget thy pain;
My hand is on thy brow,
My spirit on thy brain;
My pity on thy heart, poor friend;
And from my fingers flow
The powers of life, and like a sign,
Seal thee from thine hour of woe;
And brood on thee, but may not blend
'Sleep, sleep on! I love thee not;
But when I think that he
Who made and makes my lot
As full of flowers as thine of weeds,
Might have been lost like thee;
And that a hand which was not mine
Might then have charmed his agony
As I another's--my heart bleeds
'Sleep, sleep, and with the slumber of
The dead and the unborn
Forget thy life and love;
Forget that thou must wake forever;
Forget the world's dull scorn;
Forget lost health, and the divine
Feelings which died in youth's brief morn;
And forget me, for I can never
'Like a cloud big with a May shower,
My soul weeps healing rain
On thee, thou withered flower!
It breathes mute music on thy sleep
Its odour calms thy brain!
Its light within thy gloomy breast
Spreads like a second youth again.
By mine thy being is to its deep
'The spell is done. How feel you now?'
'Better—Quite well,' replied
The sleeper.--'What would do
You good when suffering and awake?
What cure your head and side?--'
‘What would cure, that would kill me, Jane:
And as I must on earth abide
Awhile, yet tempt me not to break
The Time Has Come...
The vicar went to the valley,
A mountain on either side,
He built a small log cabin
To comfort his future bride,
The wind between the mountains
Brought echoes of far-off plains,
More often than not in the heart of the night,
Someone called his name.
The voice was sometimes muffled,
The voice, it sometimes screamed,
Whole sentences were chanted
Broke in on the vicar's dreams,
The sounds were like a mirage
Half heard from a distant town,
Whenever the wind would begin to rise
He heard the strangest sounds.
A tap-tap-tap in the morning,
A tap-tap-tap at night,
As if someone was typing
Up on the mountain's height,
The rhythm was pervasive
As it typed some ancient log,
He heard the words: 'The quick brown fox
Jumps over the lazy dog.'
He ran from out of the cabin
And scanned the dusty plain,
His trusty dog was lying
Asleep on the track again,
When out from the brittle bushes
Aside of the narrow track,
A quick brown fox with a startled look,
Jumped over his old Ridge-back.
The vicar ran to the cabin
And fell on his knees in prayer,
What are you trying to tell me, lord,
That you're really, really there?
I thought you were, but I wasn't sure,
It'll take some getting used to!
A voice intoned: 'England expects
Each man to do his duty! '
The vicar jumped up off his knees
And praised the lord again,
You've saved my very soul, my lord,
From Hell, and the pits of pain,
I'd thought that God was mine alone,
And not for everyone,
But now I find - and it blows my mind;
'God is an Englishman! '
The wind was slowly rising,
It whined and whooped and roared,
It swooped along the valley,
Came in at the cabin door,
The vicar, sleeping restlessly
Heard everything, hale and hearty:
'The time has come for all good men
To come to the aid of the party.'
The vicar's not been seen of late
He's busy, light and dark,
With hammer, nails, and canvas sails
He's building himself an Ark,
While in a tiny township that
Lies hidden in mountain haze,
A typing teacher has just locked up,
And gone on his holidays.
12 April 2008
And that the thought was just another day/I da je misao bila još samo jedan dan
And that the thought was just another day
No one has said as yet
An unsaid one that cracks with the boughs
Still being dawned for a day to be
I knew for
The outbreak slippery among the fingers
Pours down the beads of sunbeams through the clouds
No one has said as yet
The sides of the world folded on a sheet of paper
An origami of unspreadedness
Unwritten hours sealed in emptiness
On the first geometry class where we will learn
We're perhaps a square with headless points
In an alphabet of beheaded words
No one has said as yet no one has dared
The distant counting of Euclid's vows
Xenon's accounts and Pythagoras' secrets
Hung around the neck of a bird
That due to gold of knowledge cannot fly
No one has shaped as yet
A mathematical axiom at the top part of an operational table
Edged by formulae algorhithms
By which Reason the mother of order
Protectively hides the chaos of the possible
We'll be silent about the tents
Under which we've hidden security particles
Precious dust of knowledge in the urn light we'll store
We'll be silent about the warm blankets of thoughts
Covering dreams in an early morning
The marbles of small deceptions the spherical many colouring
We could be stolen them all
And to stand like nothing facing the loveless world
Only Love can do
Who we've never been enough
I da je misao bila još samo jedan dan
Niko rekao nije
Nedorečen što s granjem puca
A za riječ osvanut znala sam jer
Svanuće klizavo medj prstima
Brojanice sunčevih zraka kroz oblake sipa
Niko nije rekao
Na listu papira presavijene stranice svijta
Neispisivanjem sati zapečaćen u prazno
Na prvom času geometrije gdje saznaćemo
Da možda smo samo naučen kvadrat obezglavljenih tjemena
Azbukom odrubljene riječi
Niko nije rekao niko nije smio
Daleka prebrojavanja Euklidovih zavjeta
Zenonovih računa Pitagorinih tajni
O vrat ptice obješenih
Što od zlata znanja otežala ne može da leti
Niko nije oblikovao
Matematički aksiom na vrhu operacionog stola
Oivičen formulama algoritmima
Kojim Razum majka reda vješto prikriva
Prećutaćemo šatore pod kojim
Skrili smo truni sigurnosti
Dragocjeni prah saznanja u urnu laku pohraniti
Prećutaćemo toplu ćebad misli
U rano jutro snom pokriveni
Klikere sitnih obmana male šarene sferičnosti
Sve bi mogli nam ukrasti
A stajati k'o ništa spram svijeta bez ljubavi
Može samo Ljubav
Koja nikad dovoljno nismo