The Temple of Glass
by John Lydgate
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The Temple of Glass by John Lydgate

Printed at Westminster by William Caxton about the year 1477

Cambridge at the University Press 1905

The unique book here reprinted in facsimile came to the Cambridge University Library in a famous volume of tracts described by Mr Blades (Biography and Typography of W. Caxton, 1882, p. 201).

The volume had formed part of the collection of John Moore, Bishop of Ely, which was given to the University by King George the First in 1715.

The first leaf, which is wanting, was probably blank.


* * * * *

I certify that I have printed 250 copies only of this facsimile, that the impressions have been rubbed off the plates and the negatives destroyed.


.The temple of glas.

For thought constreynt & greuous heuynes For pensifhed and high distres To bed I went now this other nyght Whan that lucina with hir pale light Was Ioyned last with phebus in aquarye Amyd decembre, whan of Ianuarye Ther be kalendes of the new yere And derk dyane horned and nothing clere Had her beames vnder a mysty cloude With in my bed for cold I gan me shroude Al desolate for constraynt of my woo The long nyght walowyng to and fro Til at laste er I began take kepe Me dyde oppresse a sodeyn dedly slepe With in the whiche me thought I was Rauysshed in spiryte in to a temple of glas I nyste how fer in wildernes That founded was as by liklynes Not vpon stele, but on a craggy roche Lyke yse y froze, and as I did approche Agayn the sonne that shone so clere

As ony Cristal and euer ner and ner As I cam nyghe this grisly dredful place I wex astonyed, the light so in my face Be gan to smyte, so persing euer in one On euery part wher that I gan gone That I ne might no thing as I wolde Aboute me considere and beholde The wonder estres for brightnes of the sonne Til atte last certayn skyes donne With wynde chaced han her cours y went To fore the stremes of titan and y blent So that I mighte with in and with oute Wherso I wolde beholden me aboute For to reporte the facōn and manere Of a[=ll] this place that was circuler In compas wyse, round by entayle wrought And whan I had longe gone and sought I found a wiket and entred in as fast In to the temple and myn eyen cast On euery syde now lowe eft alofte And right anon as I gan walken softe Yf I the soth a right reporte shal I sawe depeynted vpon a wal

From este to weste many a fair ymage Of sondry louers lyke as they were of age Y sette in ordre after they were trewe With liuely colours wonder fresh of hue And as me thought I sawe som sitte & som stāde And some knelyng with billes in their hande And some with compleynt woful & pietous With doleful chere to putten to venus So as she sat fleetyng in the see Vpon her woo forto haue pitee And first of alle I saugh there of cartage Dido the quene so goodly of visage That gan compleyne hir auenture and cas How she deceyued was of Eneas For al his hestes and his othes sworn And said alas that euer she was born Whan she sawe that ded she must be And next I sawe the compleynt of Medee How that she falsed was of Iason And nygh by venus sawe I sitte atheon And al the maner how the boor hym slough For whom she wepte and had pyne ynough Ther saw I also how that penolope

For she so longe her lord ne mighte see Was of colour bothe pale and grene And after next was the fresh quene I mene alcest the noble trewe wyf And for admete hou she lost her lif And for her trouth yf I shal not lye How she was torned in to a daysye Ther was Grisildes Innocence And al her mekenes and pacience There was eke Isode & many other moo And al the torment and the cruel woo That she had for tristram al her lyue And how that Tisbe her hert dyde ryue With thilk swerd of sir Piramus And al the maner hou that Theseus The mynotaure slow amyd the hous That was forwrynked by crafte of dedalus Whan he was in pryson shit in Crete And how that philles felte of loues hete The grete fyre of demephon allas And for his falshed and for his trespas Vpon the walles depeynt men might see How she henge vpon a fylberd tree

And many a story moo than I rekene can Were in the temple, and how that paris wan The fayr Eleyne a lusty fresh quene And hou Achilles was for Policene Y slayn vnwarly withyn Troye toun Al this sawe I walkyng vp and doun Ther sawe I wreton eke the hole tale How Philomene in to a nyghtyngale Y torned was, and proigne vnto a swalowe And how the sabyns in their maner halowe The feste of lucresse yet in Rome toun Ther saw I also the sorow of Palamon That he in prison felte and al the smert And how that he thurgh vnto his hert Was hurt vnwarly by castyng of an eye On fair fresh the lusty yong Emelye And al the stryf bytwene hym & his brother And how that one faught with that other Withyn the groue, til they by Theseus Accorded were as Chaucer telleth vs And furthermore as I gan beholde I sawe hou phebus with an arowe of golde Y wounded was thurgh out his syde

Only by enuye of the god Cupyde And how that dyane vnto a laurer tre Y torned was whan that she dide fle And how that Ioue changed his cope Only for loue of the fair Eurepe And in to a hole, whan he did he sue Liste of his godhed his fourme to transmue And hou that he by transmutacion The shap gan take of Amphitrion For Alcumena so passing was of beaute So was he hurt for al his deyte With louys dart, and might it not escape Ther sawe I also how mars was take Of vulcanus and with venus founde And with the cheynes Inuysible bounde Ther was also al the poesye Of hym Mercurye and al the philogye And how that she for her sapience Y wedded was to the god of eloquence And how the Muses lowly did obeye High in to heuyn this lady to conueye And with her songe hou she was magnefied With Jubiter there to be stellefied

And vppermore depeynt men might see How with her ryng the goodly canace Of euery fowle, the leydons and songe Coude vnderstond as she walked them among And hou her brother so often holpen was In his myschief, by the stede of bras And furthermore in the temple were Ful many a thousand louers here & there In sondry wyse redy to compleyne Vnto the goddesse, of her woo and peyne How they were hyndred som for enuye And how the serpent of fals Ielousie Ful many a louer hath put a back And causeles on them haue leid a lack And some ther were that playned on absence That were exiled and put out of presence Thurgh wicked tunges and fals suspecōn Withoute mercy or ony remissiōn And other eke her seruyse spent in veyn And of her lady were not loued ageyn And other eke that for pouerte Dursten in no wyse her grete aduersite Discouere ne opene, lest they were refused

And some for wantyng also were accused And other eke that loued secretly And of her lady durst axe no mercy Lest that she wolde of hym haue despyte And some also that putten right grete wite Ou double louers that loue thinges newe Thurgh whos falsenes hyndred be the trewe And som there were as hit is ofte founde That for her lady many a blody wounde Endured hath in many a regyon Whiles that an other hath had possession Al of his lady and bereth a way the fruyt Of his labour and of a[=ll] his fuyt And other compleyned of richesse How he with tresour doth his besynesse To wynne agaynst al kynde and right Where as true louers haue force none ne might And som ther were as maydyns yong of age That pleyneth so with pipyng & with rage That were coupled agayn al nature With croked elde that may not long endure For to perfourme the lust of loues playe For hit ne fit not vnto fressh maye

For to be coupled to olde Ianuarye They be so dyuerse that they must varye For elde is gruoching and malencolious Ay ful of yre and suspecious And yongth entendeth to Ioye & lustynes To mirth and play and to al gladnes Allas that euer hit shold falle So swete sugre y coupled be to galle These yonge folke cryeden oft sithe And praid venus her power to kythe Vpon this myschief and shape remedye And right anone I herde other crye With sobbyng teres and pietous sowne To fore the goddesse by lamentacion That were constrayned in their yougthe And in childhode as is ofte couthe Y entrid were in to Religion Or they had yeris of discrescōn That al her lif can not but compleyne In wyde Copes perfection forto feyne Ful couertly for to coueren thair smert And shewe the contrary of thair hert Thus saw I wepe many a fair mayde

That on theyr frendes al the wyte thay layde And other next I saw ther in grete rage That they were maried in theyr tendre age With oute fredom of fre election Where loue hath selde domynacion For loue at large and at liberte Wolde frely chese and not with suche trete And other saw I ful ofte wepe and wrynge That they in men fonde suche varyynge To loue a season whyle that beaulte flourith And after by disdayn so vngoodly lourith On her that whylom he callyd his lady dere That was to hym so playsant and entier But lust with fairnes is so ouer goon That in her herte trouthe abideth noon And some also I sawe in teres reyne And pietously on god and kynde pleyne That euer they wold on ony creature So moche beaute passing be mesure Sette on a woman to yeue occasion A man, to loue to his confusion And namely there, where he shal haue no grace For with a loke forth by as he doth pace

Ful ofte falleth thurgh castyng of an eye A man is wounded that he must nedis deye That neuer peraunter after he shal her see Why wil god don so grete a cruelte To ony man, or to his creature To make hym so muche woo endure For her, percas, whom he shal in no wyse Reioyse neuer, but so forth in Iuyse Lede his lif til that he be graue For he ne durst of hir no mercy craue And eke [per]aunter though he durst & wolde He can not wite where he hir fynd sholde I sawe ther eke, and therof had I couthe That som were hyndred by couetyse & slougthe And some also for their hastynes And other eke for their rechelesnes But altherlast as I walked and behelde Beside pallas with her Cristal sheld Tofore the statue of venus set on height Ther kneled a lady in my sight To fore the goddesse, whiche as the sonne Passeth the sterris, and eke the stormys donne And lucifer to voyde the nyghtes sorowe

In clerenes passeth erly the morowe And so as maye hath the souereynte Of euery moneth the fayrnes and beaute And as the rose in swetnes and odour Surmounted flouris, and baine of al licour Hath the pryse, and as the rubye bright Of al stones in beaute and in sight As it is knowe hath the Regalye Right so this ladye with her goodly eye And with the stremys of hir loke so bright Surmounteth al thourgh beaute in my sight That for to tel her grete semelines Her womanhed her porte and her fairnes Hit was a meruayle, how euer that nature Cowde in her werkes make a creature So angelyk so goodly on to see So femynyn or passing of beaute Whos sonnysh heer brighter than goldwire Lyche phebus beames shynyng in his spyre The goodlihed eke of her fresh face So replenyshed of beaute and of grace So wel ennewed by nature and depeynt As Rose and lilyes to gyder were meynt

So egally by good proporcion That as me tought by myn inspection I gan meruaylle hou god or werk of kynde Mighten of beaute suche a tresour fynde To yeuen hir so passing excellence For in good faith thurgh her hye presence The temple was ensumyned enuyron And forto speke of her condicion She was the beste that might be on lyue For ther was none [that] with her might stryue To speke of bounte or of gentilesse Of womanhede or of lowlynesse Of curtoysie or of goodlihede Of speche of chere or of semelihede Of poort benigne or of daliaunce The best taught and therto of playsaunce She was the welle eke of honeste An Examplair and mirrour eke was she Of secretnes of trouthe of feithfulnes And to alle other lady and maistres To shewe vertu who so list to lere And so this lady right humble of chere Kneling I sawe, clad in grene and whyte

To fore venus goddesse of al delyte Enbrowded al with stones and perre So richely that Ioye it was to see With sondry rolles on her garnement For texpowne the trouth of her entent To shewe fully that for her humblesse And for her vertu and her stablenesse That she was cote of al womanly playsance Therfore her word withoute variance Enbrowded was as men might see De mieulx en mieulx with stones of perre This is to sayne that she was so benygne From better to better her hert doth resigne And al her wy[=ll] to venus the goddesse Whan that her list her harmes to redresse For as me thought somwhat by her chere For to compleyne she had grete desire For in her hand she held a lityl bylle For to declare the sume of al her wylle And to the goddesse her quarel for to shewe Theffect of whiche was in wordes fewe

.The copye of the supplicacion.

O lady venus moder of cupyde That in this world hast the gouernance And hertes hye that hawteyn be by pryde Enclynest mekely to thyn obeyssance Causer of Ioye Relees of penance And with thy stremes canst euery thing discern Thurgh heuenly fire of loue that is etern

O blesful sterre persaunt and ful of light Of beames gladsom, deuoyder of derknes Chief recomfort after the blak nyght To wyde woful hertes out of theyr heuynes Take now good hede lady and goddesse So that my bille may your grace attayne Redresse to fynde of that I me compleyne

For I am bounde to thing that I nolde Frely to chese ther lack I liberte And so I want of that myn herte wolde The body is knyt, though my thought be fre So that I muste of necessite My hertes lyst outward contrarye Though we be oon the dede muste varye

My worship sauf I faylle election Agayn al right both of god and kynde Therto be knyt vnder subiection For whens for both ar out of mynde My thought goth furth my body is behynde For I am here, and yond my remembrance Betwene two so hange I in balance

Deuoyde of Ioye, of woo I haue plente What I desire, that may I not possede For that I nolde is redy ay to me And that I loue, for to sue I drede To my desire contrary is my mede And thus I stonde departed in tweyne Of wy[=ll] and dede ylaced in a cheyne

For though I brenne with feruence & hete Withyn myn herte I mote compleyne of colde And by excesse though I swelte and swete Me to compleyne god wote I am not bolde Vnto no wight, ner one word vnfolde Of al my peyne, allas the hard stounde The hotter that I brenne, [the] colder is my wounde

For he that hath myn hert feythfully And hool my loue in al honeste Withoute chaunge al be hit secretly I haue no space with hym for to be O lady venus consider now and see Vnto theffecte and compleynt of my by[=ll] Sith lyf and deth I put a[=ll] in thy wy[=ll]

And tho me thought the goddes did enclyne Mekely her hede and softly gan expresse That in short tyme her torment shold fyne And how of hym for whom al her distresse Contynned had and al her heuynesse She shold haue Ioye and of her purgatorye Be holpen sone and so lyue forth in glorye

And said doughter for thy sad trouthe Thy faithful menyng and Innocence That planted be with outen ony slouthe In your persone deuoyed of al offence So han they atteyned to our audience That with our grace ye shal be wel releuyd I you behete of al that hath you greuyd

And for that ye be euer of one entent Withoute chaunge or mutabilyte And in your paynes ben so pacient To take lowly your aduersyte And that so longe thurgh the cruelte Of olde saturne my fader vnfortuned Your woo shal now no lenger be contuned

And thinketh this with in a litil whyle Hit shal aswage and ouer passen sone For men by laysir passen many a myle And ofte after a droppyng mone The weder clereth, and whan [the] storme is done The sonne shyneth in his spyer bright And Ioye waketh whan woo is putto flight

Remembre eke how neuer yet no wight Ne cam to worship with out som debate And folke reioyse also more of light That they with derknes were waped & mate No mans chance is allewey fortunate Ne no wight preyseth of sugre the swetnes But they to fore haue tasted bitternes

Gryssyld was asayed atte fu[=ll] That torned after to encrese of Ioye Penolope gan eke for sorowes dulle For that her lord abode so long at troye Also the torment ther coude noman accoye Of dorygene flour of al Bretaigne Thus euer Ioye is fyn and ende of payne

And trusteth this for conclusion The ende of sorow is Ioye voyde of drede For hoolly seyntes thurgh her passion Haue heuyn wonne by their souerain mede And plente gladly foloweth after nede And so my doughter after your greuaunce I you behote ye shal haue ful plesaunce

For euer of loue the maner and the gyse Is for to hurte his seruaunt & to wounde And whan he hath taught them his empryse He can in Ioye make them to habounde And sith that ye haue in my laas be bounde With oute gruoching or rebellyon Ye muste of night haue consolacion

This to sayne dowteth neuer a deel That ye shal haue ful possession Of hym that ye now cherisshe so weel In honest maner with oute offencion By cause I knowe youre entencion Is truly sette in party and in a[=ll] To loue hym best and most in specia[=ll]

For he that ye haue chosen you to serue Shal be to you suche as ye desire With oute chaunge fully til he sterue So with my bronde I haue sette hym a fyre And with my grace I shal hym so enspyre That he in herte shal be right at your wylle Wherso you liste to saue hym or to spylle

For vnto you I shal his herte so lowe With oute spotte of ony doblenesse That he ne shal escape from the bowe Thaugh that hym self by vnstedfastnesse I mene of cupide that shal hym so distresse Vnto your honde with tharowe of golde That he ne shal escapen thaugh he wolde

And sith ye list of pyte and of grace In vertu only his yonghthe to cherisshe I shal by aspectes of my benigne face Make hym beschewe euery synne and vice So that he shal haue no maner spice In his corage to loue thinges newe He shal to yow so playn be found and trewe

And whan this goodly fair fressh of hue Humble and benygne of trouth crop & rote Conceyued had how venus gan to rewe On her prayer plainly to do bote To chaunge her bitter attones in to sote She fyl on knees of high deuocion And in this wyse began her orison

Hyghest of hye quene and Emperice Goddesse of loue, of good yet the best That thurgh your beaute withoute vice Whylom conquerd thappel atte fest That Iubiter thurgh his hye request To alle the goddes aboue celestyal Made in his palais most Imperyal

To you my lady vpholder of my lyf Mekely I thanke so as I may suffise That ye list now with herte ententyf So graciously for me to deuyse That whyle I lyue with humble sacrefise Vpon your auters your fest yer by yer I shal encence casten in to the fyre

For of your grace I am ful reconsiled From euery troble vnto ioye and ease That sorowes alle be from me exiled Sith ye my lady list now tappease My paynes olde and fully my disease Vnto gladnes so sodenly to torne Hauyng no cause from hens forth to morne

For sithen ye so mekely liste to daunte To my seruise hym that loueth me best And of your bounte so graciously to graunte That he ne shal barye though hym leste Wherof myn herte is fully brought to reste For now and euer o lady myn benigne That hert and wi[=ll] I hooly to you resigne

Thankyng you with al my ful herte That of your grace and visitacion So humble liste hym to conuerte Fully to ben at my subiection With oute chaunge or transmutacion Vnto his laste, now laude and reuerence Be to your name and excellence

This al and sum and chief of my request And hool substance of my ful entente You thankyng euer of your graunt & hest Both now and euer that ye me grace sent To conquer hym that neuer shal repent Me for to serue and humblye for to please As fynal tresour of my hertes ease

And than anon venus cast a doun In to her lappe braunches whyte and grene Of hawthorn that wenten enuyron Aboute her heed that ioye was to sene And had her kepe hem honestly and clene Whiche shold not fade ne neuer wexe olde Yf she her biddyng kepe as she hath told

And as these vowes be bothe fair and swete Folowe theffecte that they do specifye This is to seyne both in cold and hete Be ye of one hert and of one fantasye As ar these leues whiche may not dye By no duresse of stormes that be kene Nomore in wynter than in somer grene

Right so by ensample of wele or woo For Ioye torment or for aduersite Whether so fortune fauoure, or be foo For pouert riches or prosperyte That ye your hert kepe in on degre To loue hym best for no thing that ye fyne Whom I haue bound so low vnder your cheyne

And with [that] word the goddesse shoke her heed And was in pees & spack as tho nomore And therwith a[=ll] ful femynyn of drede Me thought this lady sighen gan ful sore And said agayn, lady that maist restore Hertes in Ioye from theyr aduersite To do your wil de mieulx en mieulx ma gree

Thus euer slepyng dremyng as I laye Withyn the temple me thought I saye Grete prees of folk with murmur wonderful To croude and shoue, the temple was so ful Euerich ful besy, in his owne cause That I ne may shortly in a clause Discriuen alle the rites and the guyse And eke I wante connyng to deuyse How some ther were with blood, encence & milk And some with flouris sote & softe as silk And some with sparowes & douues whyte That for to offren gan hem delyte Vnto the goddesse with sighe and prayer Hem to relese of that they most desire That for the prees shortly to conclude I wente my way for the multitude Me for to refressh out of the prees allone And by my self me thought as I gan gone With in the estres and gan a whyle tarye I sawe a man that walked al solitarye That as me semed for heuynes and dole Hym to compleyne, that he walked so sole With oute espyyng of ony other wight

And yf I shal diseryuen hym a right Yf that he had not ben in heuynes Me thought he was, to speke of semelines Of shap of fourme, and also of stature The most passing, that euer yet nature Made in her werkes, and lyke to be a man And ther with al as I reherce can Of face and chere the most gracyous To be biloued happy and ewrous Bur as it semed outward by his chere That he complayned for lack of his desire For by hym self as he walked vp and doun I herde hym make a lamentacion And said alas, what thing may this be That now am bonde that whylom was fre And wente at large at myn election Now am I caught vnder subiection For to become a beray homager To god of loue, wher er I cam here Felt in myn herte, nought of loues peyne But now of newe, within hur firy cheyne I am embraced so that I may not stryue To serue and loue whyle I am on lyue

The godly freshe in the temple yonder I sawe right now, that I had wonder How euer god, for to rekene a[=ll] Might make a thing so celestia[=ll] So angelike on erthe to appere For with the stremes of her eyen clere I am wounded euen to the hert That fro the deth I may not astert And most I meruayle that so sodeinly I was so yolde to be at hur mercy Withoute more, I muste her lust obeye Whether that she liste me to lyue or deye And take mekely my sodeyn auenture For sith my lif, my deth, and eke my cure Is in her hand it wil not auaylle To gruoche agayn, for of this bataylle The palme is heris, and plainly the victorye Yf I rebellid honour none ne glorye I might not in ony wyse achyeue Sith I am [the]olden, how shold I thenne preue To renne a wey, I wote hit wil not be Though I be loos, at large I may not fle O god of loue how sharp is now thyn arowe

How mayst thou now so cruelly and so narowe With oute cause hurte me and wounde And takest none hede my sorowes to founde But liche a birde that fleeth at her desire Tyl sodeynly withyn the pantere She is caught thaugh late she was at large Anewe tempest forcasteth now my barge Now vp now doun, with wynd it is so blowe So am I possed and almost ouerthrowe For dryue in derknes of many sondry wawe Alas whan shal this tempest ouerdrawe To clere the skyes of myn aduersite The lode sterre whan that I ne may see Hit is so hid with clowdes that be blake Alas whan wy[=ll] this torment ouerslake I can not wyte, for who is hurt of newe And bledeth inward til he wex pale of hue And hath his wound vnwarly fressh & grene And hit is not couthe vnto the harmes kene Of myghty cupyde that can so hertes daunte That no man may in his warre hym vaunte To gete a pryce but only by mekenes For ther ne hayleth stryf ne sturdynes

So may I sayne that with a loke am yolde And haue no power to stryue thaugh I wolde Thus stonde I euer betwix lif and deth To loue and serue whyle I haue breth In suche a place where I dar not pleyne Liche hym that is in torment and in peyne And knoweth not to whom to discure For ther that I haue holly set my aire I dar not wel for drede ne for daunger And for vnknowen tellen how the fyre Of loues bronde is kyndlid in my breste Thus am I murdred and slayn atte leste So priuely withyn my thought O lady venus whom I haue sought So wysse me now what me is best to doo That am distraught with my self so That I ne wote what way for to torne Sauf by my self soleyn for to morne Hangyng in balance betwix hope and drede With oute comfort remedye or rede For hope biddeth pursue and assaye And agaynward drede answerth naye And now with hope I am set a lofte

But drede and daunger hard & nothyng softe Hath ouerthrowe my trust and put a doun Now at my large, now fetred in prisoun Now in torment, now in souerayn glorye Now in paradyse and now in purgatorye As man dispayred in a double were Born vp with hope, and thene anon daunger Me draweth aback, and saith it shal not be For where as I of myne aduersite Am bolde somwhyle mercy to requyre Thenne cometh dispair & gynneth me to lere A newe lesson to hope ful the contrary They be so diuerse they wil do me varye And thus I stand dismayed in a traunce For whan that hope were likly me tauaunce For drede I tremble & dar one word not speke And yf hit so be, that I not out breke To telle the harmes that greuen me so sore But in my self encrece them more and more And to be slayn fully me delyte When of my deth she is nothing to wyte For but yf she my constreynt plainly knewe How shold she euer, on my peynes rue

Thus oft tyme with hope I am meuyd To tel her a[=ll], how I am greuyd And to be hardy on me for to take To axe mercy, but drede doth me thene awake And than wanhop answerth me agayn That better were than she haue disdayn To dye attones vnknowe of ony wight And ther with a[=ll] biddeth hope anon right Me, to be bold and prayen her of grace And fith alle vertues be portreyd in her face Hit were not sittyng, that pyte were behynde And right anon withyn my self I fynde A newe plee brought on me with drede That me so maseth that I see no spede Be cause he saith that stonyeth al my blood I am so symple and she is so good Thus hope & drede in me wyl not sece To plete and stryue my harmys to encrece But at hardest yet or I be dede Of my distresse sith I can no rede But stande dom styl as ony stone To fore the goddesse I wil me haste anon And compleyne with oute more sermon

Though deth be fyn and ful conclusion Of my request, yet I wyl assaye And right anon me thought I saye This woful man as I haue memorye Ful lowly entre in to an oratorye And knelid a doun in ful humble wyse To fore the goddesse and gan anon deuyse His pitous quarel with a doleful chere Sayng right this as ye sha[=ll] here

.The compleynt of the man.

Redresse of sorow O Citherea That with the stremys of thy playsaunt hete Gladest the mounte of al Cirrea Where thou hast chosen thy paleys and sete Whos bright beames ben wesshen and wete In the ryuer of Elycon the welle Haue now pyte of that I shal you telle

And not desdayne ye of your benygnyte My mortal woo O lady myn goddesse Of grace and bounte & mercyful pyte Benygnely to helpe and to redresse And thaugh so be I can not wel expresse The greuous harmes that I fele in my herte Haue neuer yet the lesse mercy of my smerte

This is to sayne O cler heuenes light That next the sonne sercled han your spere Sith ye me hurte with your dredful myght By influence of your beames clere And that I by your seruyse now so dere As ye me brought in to this maladye Be ye gracyous and shape ye remedye

For in you hoolly lieth help of al this caas And knowe best my sorow and al my peyne For drede of deth, how I ne dar allas To aren mercy ones, ne me compleyne Now with your fyre her hert so constrayne With oute more, or I deye atte leste That she may witte what is my request

How I no thyng in al this world desire But for to serur fully to myn ende That goodly freshe so womanly of chere Without chaunge whyle I haue lyf & mynde And that ye wold suche grace sende Of my seruyse that she not disdeyne Sithen her to serue I may not me restreyne

And sith that hope me hath yeue hardynes To loue her best and neuer to repente Whylis that I lyue with al my besynes To drede & serue, thaugh daunger neuer assente And here vpon ye knowe myn entente How I haue vowed fully in myn mynde To ben her man, thaugh I no mercy fynde

For in my hert emprynted is so sore Her shap her forme & al her semelynes Her porte her chere, her godenes more & more Her womanhed and eke her gentiles Her trouth, her faith and her kyndnes With alle vertues eche set in her degre Ther is no lack, sauyng only of pyte

Her sad demenyng of wyl not variable Of loke benygne, and rote of al plesance And exemplayre to alle that wyl be stable Discrete prudent of wisedom suffisance Mirrour of witte ground of gouernance A world of beaute compassed in her face Whos persant loke doth thurgh my hert race

And ouer this wonder secrete and true A wel of fredome and right bounteous And euer encrecyng in vertu new & newe Of speche goodly, and wonder gracyous Deuoyd of pryde, to poure not despytous And yf that I shortly shal not feyne Saue vpon mercy I no thing compleyne

What wonder thenne, though I be with drede Inly supprised for to axen grace Of her that is quene of womanhede For wel I wote in so high a place Hit wil not be, therfore I ouer pace And take lowly what wo I endure Til she of pyte me take to her cure

But one auowe plainly here I make That whethir so be, she do me lyue or deye I wil not gruoche, but humbly hit take And thanke god and wilfully obeye For by my trouth my hert shal neuer reneye For lyf ne deth mercy ne daunger Of wil and thought to be at her desire

To ben as trewe as euer was antonyus To cleopatre whyle hym lasteth breth Or vnto thesbe yong Piramus That was faithful found, til them deptid deth Right so shal I til Antropos me sleth For whele or woo her faithful man be found Vnto my last, like as my hert is bound

To loue as wel as did Achilles Vnto his laste the fair Polixene Or as the grete famous Hercules For dyanyre that felte the shott kene Right so shal I saye right as I mene Whyle that I lyue, her both drede and serue For lack of mercy though she do me sterue

Now lady venus to whom nothing vnknowe Is in the world hid, ne nought may be For ther nys thing nether hye ne lowe May be conceyled from your pryuete Fro whom my menyng is not now secret But wite fully that myn entent is true And liche my trouthe now on my peyne rue

For more of grace than of presumpcion I axe mercy, and no thing of dute Of lowly humbles, with oute offencion That ye enclyne of your benygnyte Your audience vnto my humylyte To graunte me that to you I clepe & calle Sum day relees yet of my peynes alle

And sith ye haue the guerdon and the mede Of alle louers pleinly in your honde Now of grace and pyte take ye hede Of my distrees, that am vnder your bonde So lowly bound, as ye wel vnderstonde In that place where I toke first my wounde Of pyte suffre ye my helth may be founde

That liche as she me hurte with a sight Right so with helth late me hur sustene And as the stremes of her eyen bright Whylom my hert with woundes sharp & kene Thurgh persed haue and yet be fresh & grene So as she me hurte, lete her me socoure Or ellis certayn I may not long endure

For lack of speche I can say you no more I haue mater but I can not pleyne My witte is du[=ll] to tel al my sore A mouth I haue, And yet for al my peyn For want of wordes I may not now atteyn To tel half, that doth my hert greue Mercy abydyng, til she me list releue

But this theffect of my mater fynal With deth or mercy relees for to fynde For hert body thought lyf lust and al With al my reson and al my ful mynde And fyue wittes of on assent I bynde To her seruyse with oute ony stryf And make her pryncesse of my deth or lyf

And now I pray of routh and eke pyte O goodly planet, O lady venus bright That ye your sone of his deyte Cupide I mene that with his dredful myght And with his brond that is so clere of light Her herte so to fyre and to marke As ye me whylem brent with a sparke

That euenlich and with the same fyre She may be hit, as I now brenne and melte So that her herte be flamed with desire That she may knowe by feruence hou I swelte For of pyte plainly yf she felte The self hete that doth myn hert enbrace I hope of routh she wi[=ll] do me grace

And ther with al bemis as me thought Towardes this man ful benyngely Gan cast her eye, like as that she rought Of his disease, and said ful goodly Sith it is so, that thou so humbly With out gruachyng our hestes liste obeye Toward thyn help I wil anon pourueye

And eke my sone Cupyde that is so blynde He shal be helpyng fully to performe Your hool desire, that nothing be behynde Ne shal be lefte, so we shal reforme This pietous cōpleynt, [that] maketh the to morne That she for whom thau sorowest most in hert Shal thurgh hur mercy relece al thy smert

Whan she sceth tyme, thurgh our purueaunce Be not to hasty, but suffre althing wele For in abydyng, thurgh lowly obeyssaunce Lyeth ful redres, of al that ye now fele And she shal be as trewe as ony stele To you allone, by our myght and grace Yf ye list mekely abyde a lityl space

But vnderstande ye that al her cherising Shal be grounded vpon honeste That no wight shal by ony compacyng Demen amys of hur in no degre For neyther mercy, couth ner pyte She shal not haue ne take of the non hede Further than longeth vnto her womanhede

Be not astonyed of no wilfulnes Ne not despeyred of this dissolucion Late reson bridle lust by buxumnes Without gruochyng or rebellyon For ioye shal folowe al this passion For who can suffre torment and endure Ne may not faylle, but folowe shal his cure

For to fore alle she shal the louen best So shal I her withoute offencion By Influence enspire in her brest In honest wyse with ful entencion For tenclyne by clene affection Her hert fully on the to haue routhe Be cause I knowe that thou menest trouthe

Go now to hir where as she stant a syde With humble chere, and put the in her grace And al beforn lete hope be thy guyde And thaugh that drede wold with the pace Hit sitteth wel, but loke that thou arace Out of thyn hert wanhop and despeire To her presence er thou haue repeir

And mercy first shal thy way make And honest menyng afore do thy message To make pyte in her herte awake And secretnes to further thy viage With humble porte to her that is so sage Shal menes be, and I my self also Shal the fortune, or thy tale be do

Go forth anon, and be right good of chere For specheles nothing mayst thou spede Be good of trust & be no thing in were Sith I my self shal helpen in this nede For atte lest of her goodly hede She shal to the her audience enclyne And lowe the to her til thou thy tale fyne

For wel thou wost yf I shal not feyne Withoute speche thou maist no mercy haue For who that wil of his pryue peyne Fully be cured his lyf to helpe and saue He must mekely out of his hert graue Discure his wound and shewe hit his leche Or ellis deye for defaute of speche

For he that is in myschief reklees To seche help I holde hym a wrecche And she ne may thyn hert bryng in pees But yf thy compleynt to hir hert strecche Woldest thou be cured & wilt no salue fecche Hit wil not be, for no wight may atteyne To come to blys, yf he list lyue in peyne

Therfore attones go forth in humble wyse To fore thy lady and lowly knele a doun And in al trouthe thy wordes so deuyse That she on the haue compassion For she that is of so hye renoun In al vertues as quene and souerayn Of womanhed shal rue on thy payn

And whan the goddes this lesson had told Aboute me so I gan behold Right so a stoned stode in a traunce To se the maner and contenance And al the chere of this woful man That was of hue dedely pale and wan With drede supprised in his owne thought

Makyng chere as thaugh he rought nought Of lyf ne deth ne what so hym betyde So moche fere he had on euery side To put hym forth to tel his peyne Vnto his lady, other to compleyne What woo he felt torment or disese What dedely sorow his hert dide sese For couth of whiche his wo as I endite My penne I fele quaken as I wryte Of hym I had so grete compassion For to reherce his weymentacion That vnnethe, though I with my self stryue I want connyng his peynes to discryue Allas to whom shal I for help calle Not to the muses for cause they ben alle Help of right in Ioye and not in woo And in matiers that they delite also Wherfore they nyl as now directe my style Nor me enspiren Alas the hard whyle I can no further but to the siphon And to her suster to calle help vpon That be goddesses of torment and peyne Nowe lete your teris in to myn Inke reyne

With woful wordes my paper for to blotte This woful mater not to peynt, but spotte To tel the maner of this dredeful man Vpon his complaynt whan he first began To tel his lady whan he gan declare His hid sorowis, and his euel fare That at his herte constreyned so sore Theffect of whiche was this withoute more

Pryncesse of yougth & flour of gentilesse Ensample of vertu ground of curtesye Of beaute rote quene and eke maistres To alle women how they shal hem gye And sothfast mirrour texemplifye The right way of port and of womanhede What I shal saye, of mercy take ye hede Besechyng first vnto your hye nobles With quakyng hert of my Inward drede Of grace and pyte & not of right wysnes Of verrey couthe to help in this nede This is to say O wel of goodlyhede That I ne rekke thaugh ye do me deye So ye list first to heven what I seye

The dredeful stroke the gret force and might Of god cupide that noman may rebelle So inwardly thurgh out myn hert right Y perced hath that I ne may councele Myn hid wound ne I ne may apele Vnto no gretter, this mighty god so faste You to serue hath me bound vnto my laste

That hert and a[=ll] with out stryf ar yolde For lyf or deth to your seruyse allone Right as the goddesse myghty venus wolde To for her mekely whan I made my mone She me constrayned withoute chaunge anone To your seruyse and neuer for to fayne Wherso euer ye list to do me ease or payne

So that I can no thing but mercy crye Of you my lady, and chaunge for no newe That ye list godely to fore er that I dye Of verray couthe vpon my paynes rue For by my trouthe, and ye my peynes knewe What is the cause of myne aduersite On myn disese ye wolde haue pyte

For vnto you trewe and eke secre I wil be founde to serue as I best can And therwith al as lowly in eche degre To you be allone as euer yet was man Vnto his lady from the tyme I began And shal so forth withouten ony sleuth Whylis that I lyue, by god & by my trouth

For leuer I had to deyen sodenly Than you offende in any maner wyse And suffre paynes inward priuely Than my seruyse as now ye shold dispyse For I right neught wil axe in no wyse But for your seruaunt ye wold me accepte And whan I trespace, goodly me correcte

And for to graunte of mercy the prayer Only of grace and womanly pyte From day to day that I myght leve You for to plese, and therwith al that ye Whan I do mys, list for to teche me In your seruyse hou that I may amende From hensforth and neuer you offende

For vnto me it doth ynowh suffyse That for your man ye wold me resseyue Fully to ben as you lyst deuyse And as ferforth as my wittes can conceyue And therwith al liche as ye preue That I be true, to guerdone me of grace Or ellis to punysshe after my trespace

And yf so be that I may not atteyne Vnto your mercy, yet graunte at the leste In your seruyse for al my wo and peyne That I may deyen after my beheste This is al and som the fyn of my request Outher with mercy your seruaunt to saue Or mercyles that I may be begraue

And whan this benygne of her entent true Conceyued hath the compleynt of this man Right as the fresh rody Rose newe Of her colour to wexen she began Her blood astoned so from her herte ran In to her face of verray femynyte Thurgh honest drede abasshed was she

And humbly she began her eyen caste Towardes hym of hir benygnyte So that no word by her lippes past For hast nor drede mercy ne pyte For so demened she was in honeste That vnaduysed no thing fro her stert So moche of reson was compassed in her hert

Til atte last of whiche she did abreyd Whan she is trouthe and menyng did fele And vnto hym ful goodly spack and seyd Of your behest and your menyng wele And your seruyse so faithful euerydele Whiche vnto me so lowly now ye offre With al my herte, I thanke you of your profre

That for so moche your entent is sette Only in vertu y bridled vnder drede Ye must of right nedis face the bet Of your request, and the better spede But as for me I may of womanhede No further graunte to you in myn entente Than as my lady venus wil assente

For she wel knoweth I am not at my large To doon right nought but by her ordynance So am I drownd vnder her dredeful charge Her lyste tobbeye withoute variaunce But for my parte so hit be pleasaunce Vnto the goddesse for trouth in your empryse I you accepte fully to my seruyse

For she my herte hath in subiection Whiche hoolly is youres & neuer shal repente In thought ner dede in myn election Witnes on venus that knoweth myn entent Fully tobeye hir dome and Iugement So as hir liste disposen and ordeyne Right as she knoweth the trouth of vs tweyne

For vnto the tyme that venus list prouyde To shape away for our hertis ease Bothe ye and I mekely must abyde To take at gree, and not of our disease To grucche agayn til that she list tappease Our hid woo so Iuly that constreyneth From day to day and our hertis peyneth

For in abidyng of woo and al affraye Who so can suffre is founden remedye And for the beste ful ofte is made delaye Er men be heled of their maladye Wherfore as venus list this mater to gye Leet vs agreen, and take al for the best Til her liste, sette bothe our hertes in rest

For she is that byndeth and can constreyn Hertes in one, this fortunate planete And can relece louers of her peyn To turne fully her bitter in to swete Now blisful goddes doun fro thy sterry sete Vs to fortune cast your stremes shene Lyke as ye knowe, that we trouth mene

And ther with al as I myn eyen caste For to perceyue the maner of these tweyne To fore the goddesse mekely as they paste Me thought I saw with a goldyn cheyne Venus, anon enbrace and constreyne Her bothe hertes in one, for to perseuere Whilis that they lyue, and neuer to disseuere

Seyng right thus with a benygne chere Sith it is so, ye be vnder my myght My wil is thus, that ye my doughter dere Ful accepte this man as it is right Vnto your grace anon here in my sight That euer hath ben so lowly you to serue Hit is good shil your thank that he deserue

Your honour sauf and eke your womanhede Hym to cherisshe, hit sitteth you right wele Sith he is bounde vnder hope and drede Amyd my cheyne that forged is of stele Ye must of mercy shape that he fele In yow som grace of his long seruyse And that in hast lik as I shal deuyse

This is to sayn that ye taken hede Hou he to you most faithful is and true Ofal your seruauntes, & nothing for his mede Of you ne asketh, but ye on hym rue For he vowed hath to change for no newe For lyf ne deth, for ioye ne for peyne Ay to be youris, so as ye list ordeyne

Wherfore ye muste or els it were wrong Vnto your grace fully hym receyue In my presence, by cause he hath so long Hooly ben youris, as ye may conceyue That from your mercy, yf ye hym weyue I wyl my silf recorden cruelte In your persone, and gret lack of pyte

Late hym for his trouth fynde than agayn For long seruyse, guerdon hym with grace And late ye pyte weye doun his payn For tyme is now daunger to arace Out of your hert, and mercy in to pace And loue for loue world wel beseme To yeue agayn and this I plainly deme

And as for hym I wil ben his borowe Of lowlihede and besy attendance How he shal be bothe eue and morowe Ful diligent to doon his obseruance And euer awaytyng, you to do playsance Wherfore my sone, listen and take hede Fully tobeye, as I shal the rede

And first of a[=ll] my wi[=ll] is that thou be Feithful in hert and constant as a wal True humble, meke and therwith al secre With out change in partie or in a[=ll] And for no torment that the fallen shal Tempest the not, but euer in stedfastnes Rote thyn herte, and wyde doublenes

And furthermore haue in reuerence These women al for thy lady sake And suffre neuer that men hem do offence For loue of one, but euermore vndertake Hem to defende whether they slept or wake And ay be redy to holden them party Ayenst a[=ll] tho that to hem haue enuye

Be curtais ay and lowly of thy speche To riche and poure ay fressh & wel beseyn And euer besy weyes for to seche Alle true louers to relece of her peyn Sith thou art one, & of no wight haue disdeyn For loue hath power hertes for to daunte And neuer for cherising, the to muche auaunte

Be lusty eke voyd of a[=ll] tristesse And take no thought but euer be iocound And not to pensif for none heuynes And with thy gladnes, lete sadnes ay be found Whan woo approched, lete mirth most habound As manhod ayid, and though [thou] fele smert Late not to many knowen of thyn hert

And alle vertues besily thou sue Vices eschewe for the loue of one And for no tales thyn hert not renewe Word is but wynd that shal soon ouergoon What euer thou here be domb as ony stoon And to answere to sone, not the delyte For here she standeth that al this shal [the] quyte

And wherther thou be absent or in presence None others beawte lete in thy hert myne Sith I haue yeue hir of beaute excellence Aboue al other in vertu for to shyne And thynke hou in fyre men ar wont to fyne this pured gold to put hit in assaye So to the proue, thou art put in delaye

But tyme shal come thou shalt for thy suffrance Be wel apaid and take for thy mede Thy lyurs ioye and al thy suffisance So that good hope alway thy bridel lede Lete no dispeir hyndre the with drede But ay thy trust vpon her mercy grounde Sith none but she may thy sorowe sounde

Eche hour and tyme. weke. day and yere Be lich faithful and vary not for lyte Abyde a whyle and than of thy desire The tyme neygheth that shal the most delyte And late no sorow in thy hert byte For no differring, sith thou for thy mede Shal reioyse in pees the flour of womanhede

Thinke hou she is this worldis sonne & light The sterre of beaute the flour eke of fairnes Both crop and robe and eke the rubye bright Hertes to glade, y troubled with derknes And hou I haue made her, thin hertes Empresse Be glad therfore to be vnder her bond Now come ner doughter & take him by the hond

Vnto this syn that aftir alle these shouris Of his torment he may be glad and light Whan by your grace ye take hym to be youris For euermore anon here in my sight And eke I wil also as hit is right Without more his langour for to lysse In my presence anon that ye hym kysse

That ther may be of al your old smertis A ful relees vnder ioye assured And that one lok be of your bothe hertis Shet with my keye of gold so wel pured Only in signe that ye haue recured Your hool desire here in this hooly place Within my temple now in the yere of grace

Eternally be bounde of assuraunce The knot is knyt, that may not be vnbounde That alle the goddes of this aliaunce Satorne. Joue. and Mars as it is founde And eke Cupyde that first did you wounde Shal bere record, and ouermore bewreke On whiche of yow, his trouth first breke

So that by aspectes of their fair lokis Withoute mercy shal fal the vengeance For to be raced clene out of my bokis On whiche of you be found of variance Therfore attones setteth your plesance Fully to ben whyle ye haue lyf and mynde Of one acorde vnto your lyues ende

That yf the spiryte of newfanglenes In ony wyse your hertes wold assaylle To meue or styre to brynge in doublenes Vpon your trouth to gyuen a bataylle Lete not your corage ne your force faylle Nor none assaultes you flitten or remeue For vnassayed no man may trouth preue

For whyte is whitter yf it be set by black And swete is swetter after bitternes And falshed euer is dryue and put a back Where trouthe is roted with doblenes Without preue ther may be no sekernes Of loue or hate and therfore of you two Shal loue be more, for hit was bought with woo

And euery thing is had more in deynte And more of pris whan it is dere bought And eke loue stondeth more in sewrte Whan it is to fore with payne woo & thought Conquerd was first whan hit was sought And euery conquest hath his excellence In his poursute as it fyndeth resistence

And so to you more sote and agreable Shal loue be found I do you plainly assure Without grucchyng that ye were suffrable So lowe so meke paciently to endure That al attones I shal do now my cure For now and euer your hertis so to bynde That nought but deth shal the knot vnbynde

Now in this mater what shold I lenger dwelle Come ye attones and do as I haue said And first my doughter that ar of bounte welle In hert and thought be glad & wel apayd To done hym grace that shal & hath obeyd Your lustes euer, and I wil for his sake Of trouth to you be bounde and vndertake

And so forth within presence as they stand To fore the goddes this fair and wele Her humble seruant toke goodly by the hond As he to fore her, mekely did knele And kyssed hym after fulfillyng eueridele From poynt to poynt in ful thryfty wyse As ye to forn haue venus herd deuyse

Thus is this man to ioye and al plesance From heuynes and from his peynes olde Ful reconcyled, and hath ful suffisance Of her that euer ment wel, and wold That in good faith and I tel shold The inward mirthes did her hertis brace For al my lyf to telle, it were to lityl space

For he hath wonne hir that he loueth best And she to grace hath take hym of pyte And thus her hertes ben both set in rest Withoute chaunge or mutabilite And venus hath of her benygnyte Confermed al what shal I lenger tary These tweyne in one and neuer to vary

That for the ioye in the temple aboute Of this acorde by grete solempnyte Was laude and honour within & withoute Yeue to venus, and to the deyte Of god cupide, so that Caliope And al her sustren in her armonye Soon with songes the goddes did magnifye

And al attones with notes loud & sharp They did her honour and her reuerence And Orpheus among them with his harp Gan strynges touche with his diligence And Amphion that hath suche excellence Of musyke ay dyde his besynes To plese and queme venus the goddesse

Only for cause of the affinyte Betwix these two not lusty to disseuere And euery louer of lowe and hye degre Gan venus pray fro thens forth and euer That hool of them the loue may [per]seuere Withouten ende in suche wyse as they gonne And more encrece that hit of hard was wonne

And the goddes heryng this request As she that knewe the clene entencion Of bothe them tweyne made a bihest Perpetuelly by confirmacion Whylis they lyue of one affection They shal endure ther is no more to sayne That neyther shal haue mater to complayne

So ferfurth euermore in our eternal see The goddes haue in our presence Fully deuysed thurgh their deyte And hooly concluded by her Influence That by thair myght and Iuste prudence The loue of hem by grace and eke fortune With oute chaunge shal euermore contune

Of whiche graunt the temple enuiron Thurgh hye comfort of them that were present Anon was begun with a melodyous sowun In name of tho that trouth in loue ment A balade newe in ful good entent To fore the goddes with notis londe and clere Syngyng right this anon as ye shal here

Fayrest of sterres that with your [per]sant light And with the cherysyng of your stremes clere Causen in loue hertes to be light Only by shynyng of your glad spere Now lawde and pryce O venus lady dere Be to your name that haue without synne This man fortuned his lady for to wynne

Willy planete O esperus so bright That woful hertes can appese and stere And euer ar redy by your grace & might To helpe al tho that bye loue so dere And haue power hertis to sette on fyre Honour to you of al that ben here Inne That haue this man his lady made to wynne

O mighty goddesse day sterre after nyght Gladyng the morowe whan ye don appere To wyde derknes by freshnes of your sight Only with twinkyng of your plesaunt chere To you we thanke louers that ben here That ye this man and neuer for to twynne Fortune haue, his lady for to wynne

And with the noyse an heuenly melodye With that they made in her armonye Thurgh out the temple for this mans sake Out of my slepe anon I dyde awake And for astonyed knewe as tho no rede For sodeyn chaunge oppressed with drede Me thought I was cast in a traunce So clene away was tho my remembrance Of alle my dreme, wherof gret thought & wo I had in herte and nyst what was to doo For heuynes for that I had lost the sight Of her that I al the longe nyght Had dremed of in myn aduision Wherof I made grete lamentacion Be cause I had neuer in my lyf beforn Saw none so fair sith that I was born For loue of whom so as I can endyte I purpose here to make and to wryte A lityl tretyse and processe make In pryce of women only for her sake Hem to comence as it is skyl and right For her godenes with al my myght Prayng to her that is so bounteuous

So ful of vertu and so gracyeus Of womanhede and mercyful pyte This symple tretyse for to take in gre Til I haue leyzer vnto her hye renoun For to expound my forsaid visioun And tel in playn the signefyaunce As it cometh to my remembraunce So that her after my lady may hit loke Now go thy way thou litil rude boke To her presence as I the comande And first of a[=ll] thou me recomande Vnto hir and to her excellence And pray to hir, hit be non offence Yf ony word in the be myssaid Besechyng her, she be not euyl a paid For as her list I wil the efte correcte Whan that her liketh ageinward the directe I mene that benygne and goodly of face Now go thy way and put the in her grace

.Explicit the temple of glas.


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