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What should phisike doe but if fikenes were?
What nedith salve but if there were a fore!
What nedith drink wher thirst hath no power?
What should Mercie doe but Trespas go'afore!
But Trespas Mercie woll be litil store,
Without Trespas ner execusion
Maie Mercie have ne chief perfeccion.
28 The cause at this time of my writyng, And touchyng Mercie, to whom I make mone, 1s for fere left my sovereigne and swetyng, I menin her that lovelyir is none, With me' is difplesed for caufis more than one; What caufis thei be that knoweth God and fne, but so do n'ot l; alas, it forthinketh me!
35 What se she' in me, what defaute or offence? Wliat have I doe that she on me disdaine? How might I doe come into her presence, To tell my complaint, whereof I were faine? I drede to loke, to speke, or to complaine, To her that hath my herte evèry dele; So help me God I would al thing wer wele: 42
For in this case came I nevir or now In Lov'is daunce so ferre in the trace, For with myne ese escapin i ne mow Out of this daungir, except her gode grace, For though my countenaunce be mery' in her face, As fenrith to her by worde or by chere, Yet her gudegrace settith myne hertè nere. 49
And if my foveraine have any marvaile
Why I to her now and afore ywrote,
She maie well thinke it is no grete travaile
To him that is in love brought so hote;
lt'is a simple tre that falleth with one stroke;
That mene I, though.that my soveraine toforn
Me hath denied yet grace may come to morn.
Maistris, for the gode will I have you ought,
And evir shall as long as life durith,
Pitie your servant, kepe him in your thought,
Give' him fom comfort or medicin, and curith
His ague, that encrefith, that renuith:
So grevous ben his paines and fighis fore
That without mercy his dais be forlore.
Go, litil bill, go forth, and hie the fast,
Recommende me', and excuse me as you can,
For very feble am I at the last,
My pen is woren, my hew is pale and wan,
My eyen ben sonke, disfigured like no man,
Till Deth his dart that causith for to smert
My corps have confumed, then farwel swet hert. 70
Doughere' of Phæbus in vertuous apparence,
My love elect in my rememberaunce,
My carefull herte diftreined cause of absence,
Till ye my’empreffe me relese my grevaunce,
Upon you 'is set my life, myne attendaunce,
Is fette without recure I wis untill
Ye grauntin my true herte to have his will.
Thus, my dere swetyng! in a traunce I lye, And shal, til drops of pitie from you spring, I mene your mercie, that lieth my herte nye, That me maie rejoyce, and cause for to syng Thcfe ternes of love; lo I have won the ring, My godely maistris: thus of his gode grace God graunt her bliffe in heven to have a place! 84
Here folorveth how Mercurie, with Pallas, Venus, and Ju
no, appered to Paris of Troie, he flepyng by a fountain*.
Pallas loquitur ad Parin.
Sonne of Prian, gentill Paris of Troie,
Wake of thy lepe, beholde us goddesses thre,
We havin brought to the encrese of joye,
To thy discrefion reportyng our beautie;
Take here this appill, and well advise the
Whiche of us is the fairist in thy sight,
And give thou it, we praie the, gentil knight. 7
Juno loquitur primo.
If fo be thou give it to me, Parise,
This shall give unto thy worthines,
Honour and conqueft, nobley, lose and prise,
* The title in Speght and Urry runs, How Mercury, with Pallas, Venus, and Minerva, &c. but as Pallas and Minerva is one and the same goddess, and as Juno was the third goddess at this interview with Paris, her name in the title, and as one of the appellants to the Trojan prince, is lubstituted for that of Min
Vi&orie, courage, force, and hardines,
Gode avinture, and famous manlines;
For that appil all this give I to the,
Confidir chis Parise, and give it me.
Venus loquitur ad Parin.
Naie, give it me, and this I shall you give,
A glad aspecte with favour and fairnes,
And love of ladies also while ye live,
Famous ftature and princely semelines,
Accordyng to your natife gentilnes;
Undirstand this gift well, I you advise,
And give it unto me hardly Parise.
Pallas loquitur ad Parin.
Ye, ye, Parise, takith hede unto me;
Thou art a prince yborne by thy discente,
And for to rule thy royall dignite
I shall the givin first intendèmente,
Discrecion, prudence in right judgemente,
Whiche in a prince is thing most covenable:
Give it to me; I am to have it able.
A balade plesuunle.
I Have a ladie, where so that she be,
That feldome is the soveraine of my thought,
On whose beautie when I beholde and se,
Remembryng me how well she is ywrought,
I thankc Fortune that to her grace me bronght,
So faire is she, but nothyng angelike,
Her beautie is unto none othir like.
For hardily and she were made of braffe,
Her face and all, she hath enough fairnesse;
Her eyen ben holow’and grene as any grasse,
And ravenish yelowe is her sounitresse,
Thereto she hath of every comelineffe
Soche quantitie givin her by Nature
That with the left she is of her ftature.
And as a bolt her browis ben ibent, -
And betill browed fhe is also with all,
And of her witte as simple’and innocent
As is a childe that can no gode at all;
She is not thicke, her stature is but small;
Her fingirs ben litil and nothyog long;
Her skin is smothe as any ox'is tong:
Thereto she is so wise in daliaunce,
And beset her wordis so womanly,
That her to here it doeth me displesaunce,
For that she faieth is saied so connyngly
That when there be no mo then she and I
I had levir she were of talkyng still
Then that she should so godelie fpechè spill.
And flothe none shall ye have in her entresse,
So diligent is she and vertuleffe,
And so bufie aie all gode to undresse,
That as a she ape she is harmelesse,
And as an harnet meke and pitèieffe,