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With that she is so wise and circumspecte
That prudence none her folie can infecte.
Is it not joye that soche one of her age,
Within the boundes of so grete tendirnese,
Should in her werke be so fadde and so sage,
That of the weddyng sawe all the noblesse
Of Quene Jane, and ywas tho as I gesse
But of the age of yeris ten and five ?
I trowe there are not many foche alive.
For, as Jesu my finfull soulè save,
There n'is creture in all this worlde livyng
Like unto her that I would gladly have,
So plesith mine hert that godely swete thyng,
Whose foule in haste unto his blis ybryng
That first her formid to be a creture,
For were she well of me I did no cure.
Explicit the discrivyng of a fuire ladie.
O Moslie quince! yhangyng hy your stalke,
The whiche no man dare plucke awaie nor take
Of all the folke that passe forthe by or walke,
Your flouris freshe be fallen awaie and shake;
I am right forie, maistresse, for your fake;
Ye seme a thyng that all men have forgoten ;
Ye be so ripe ye waxin almoste roten.
Your uglie cherè, deinous and froward, Your grene eyin, frownyng and nothing glad, Your chekes, enbolned like a melowe coftard, Colour of orenge, your brestes fatournad, Gilt on wara'ntife, the colour wil not fade, Bawsin buttockid, belied like a tonne, Men crie S. Barba'ry at the' lofing of your gonne.14
Lovely lende mailtris, take confideracion, l'am so sorowfull there as ye be'abfent, Floure of the barkfate fouleft of al the nacion, To love you but a little’ is myne entent; The swert hach fwent you, the fmoke hath you shent, I trow ye' have ben laid on some kill to drie, You do soch worship there as ye be present, Of al women I love you beft a M. cimis fie.
A balade warnyng men to beware of deceitfull women.
Lore well aboute ye that loviris be,
Let not your luftis lede you to dotage,
Be not enamoured on all thynges ye se;
Sampson the forte and Salomon the fage
Decevid were for all ther grete courage;
Men demin it right that thei fe with eye,
Beware therefore, The Llind eteth many'a flie.
I mene of women; for all ther cheres queint
Truft them not to much, ther truthe is but treson,
The fairist outward wel can thei ypaint,
Ther stedfastneffe endurith but a fefon,
For thei faine frendlines and worchin treson,
And for thei are chaungable natu'rally,
Beware therefore, The blind etetb many'a
What wight on lyve ytrustith on ther cheres
Shall have at last his guerdon and his mede;
Thei can fhave nerir than rafours or Theres:
Al is not gold that foinith, men take hede,
Their galle is hid undir a sugrid wede;
It is but queint cher fantasie to'aspie,
Beware therefore, The blind eteth many'a flie.
Though all the worldè doe his busie cure
To make women standin in tableneffe
It would not be; it is against nature;
The worlde is doc when theilacke doublenes,
-For thei laugh and love not, this is expreffe ;
To trust on them it is but fantafie,
Beware therfore, The blind eteth many' a flie.
Women of kindè hath condicions thre;
The first is that thei be full of diffeite,
To spinnin also is ther propertie,
And women have a wondirfull conseite,
For thei can wepe oft, and all is a fleite,
And when thei lift the tere is in the eye,
Beware therfore, Tbe blind eteth many' a fie.
In foth to faie, though all the yerth fo wanne
Wer parchèment (moth, white and fcribabell,
And the gret se, that called is the’ Ocean,
Were tournid into ynke blackir then fabell,
Eche sticke a pen, eche man a fcrivener abel,
Not coud thei writin woman's trechirie,
Beware therfore, The blind eteth many' a flie.
A balade declaring that womens chafite doetb moche excel
all tresure worldly.
In womanhede, as auctours al ywrite,
Most thing commendid is chafte honefte,
Thing most Naund'erous ther nobles to acwite,
As when women of hasty fraëlte
Exceden the bondes of wifely chastite,
For what availeth lynage or rial blode
When of ther lyving the report 'is not gode? 7
The holy bed defoilid of mariage
For ones defoiled may not recovered be,
The vice goth forth and the froward langage
By many'a relme and many’a grete cite;
Slaundir hath a custome, and that’ is grete pite,
That true or fals, by a contrarious foune,
Onis areised it goth not lyghtly downe:
For when a lechour by force or mastry
Defoulid hath of virgins the clennes,
Widous oppressed, and lye in advoutry,
Affailid wives that ftode in ftablenes,
Who may then ther saunderous harme redresse
When ther gode name is hurt by foch report?
For fame loft ones can ner bave bis refurt.
A thefe may robbe a man of his richeffe,
And by fome mene make restitucion,
And some man maye dysherit and oppresse
A povir man from his poffeffion,
And aftir make him satisfaccion,
But No man may restore in no degre
A maide robbid of her virginite.
A man may also bete a castil doune,
And bilde it aftir more freshe to the fight,
Exile a man out of his regioune,
And him revoke whether it be wrong or right,
But Noman bath the powir ne the might
For to restore the palace virginal
Of Chaftite wben brokin is the wal.
also put out of ther service,
And officirs remeve out of ther place,
And at a day, when Fortune lill devise,
They may again restorid be to grace,
But Ther n'is timè notbir fet ne space,
Nor ner in flory neithir rad ne fain,
That maydenhode loft recovered was again;
For whiche men shouldin have a conscience,
Rewe in ther hertis and repentin sore,
And havin a remorce of gret offence,