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To ravishe thing which they may not restore,
For it is saide, and hath be said ful yore,
The emeraud grene of parfite chaftite
Stole ones away may not recovered be.
And hard it is to ravishe a trefour
Whiche of nature is not recuparable ;
Lordship may not of kinge nor emperour
Reforme a thinge whiche is nat reformable;
Ruft of defame is inseparable,
And Maidinhode gloft of newe or yore
No man on live may it again restore.
The Romanes olde thorough ther pacience Suffirid tyrauntes in ther tyranyes On ther cites to do grote violence, The peple to opprefse with ther roberies, But them to punishe they set gret espies On false avouterers, as it is wel couth, Which widowes ravish and maidens in ther youth. 63
Chaucer's wordes unto bis own scrivenere. Adam Scrivenere, yf ever it the befalle Boece or Troiles for to write new Under thy longe lockes thou maist have the fcalle, But after my makynge thou write more true, So ofte adaye I mote thy werke renew It to correcte and eke to rubbe and scrape, And al is thorow thy negligence and rape. 7
End of Chaucer's Il'orks.
John Gower unto the noble King Henry IV. O Noble worthie Kyng Henrie the Ferth! In whom the gladdè fortune is befall The peple to governe here upon yerth, God hath the chosen in comfort of us all; The worship of this land, which was doun fal, Now ftant upright through grace of thy godenese, Which every man is hold for to blesse.
The most high God of his justice alone
The right whiche longith to thy regalie
Declarid hath to stande in thy persone,
And more then God maie no nian justific,
Thy title' is knowe upon thyne auncestrie,
The land'is folk hath eke thy right affirmed,
So stant thy reigne of God and man confirmed. 14
There is no man maie faie in othirwise
That God hymself ne hath the right declared,
Whercof the lande is bounde to thy service,
Whiche for defaute of helpc hath long ycared,
But now there is no mann'is hertè fpared
To love, and serve, and worchin thy plesaunce,
And all this is through God’is purveiaunce.
In alle thing whiche is of God begonne
There foloweth grace, if it be well governed,
Thus tellin chei whiche oldè bokis conne,
Wherof, my Lorde, I wote well thou art lerned,
Aske of thy God, so shalt thou not be werned
Of no request the whiche is resonable,
For God unto the gode is favourable.
King Salomon, whiche had at his askyng
Of God what thing hym was levist to crave,
He chase wifedome to the right govirnyng
Of Godis folke, the whiche he wouldin fave,
And as he chafe, it fill hym for to have
For through his wit while that his reign did last
He gate hym pece and rest into his last.
But Alexandre', as tellith his storie,
Unto the God besought in ochir waie,
Of all the worlde to win the victorie,
So that undir his fwerde it might obaie;
In werre he had all that he wouldin praie;
The mightie God behight hym that behefte,
The worlde he wanne, and had it of conquefte.
But though it fill at thilkè tymè so
That Alexandre' his alkyng had atchived,
This finfull worldè was all Painim tho,
Was none whiche hath the high God beleved,
No wondir was though thilk world was greved
Though a tyrant his purpose might ywin,
All was vengeaunce and infortune of fin.
But now the faith of Christ is come aplace
Emongis the princis in this yerth here,
It fitte 'hem well to doe pite and grace,
But yet it must be temprid in manere,
For that thei findin cause in the mattere,
Upon the poinct; what aftirward betide,
The lawę of right shall not be laied aside.
So maie a king of werrè the voyage
Ordain and take, as he thereto is holde,
To claime and aske his rightfull heritage
In al placis whereas it is withholde,
But othirwise, if God himselfe would
Affirmin love and pece bitwene the kinges
Pece is the best above al erthely thinges.
Gode is to eschewe warre; and nathèles
A king may makin werrc upon his right,
For of bataile the final ende is pese,
Thus ftant the lawè that a worthy knight
Upon his trouth may goin to the fight,
But if so werè that he mightin chese
Bettir is pece, of which may no man lese.
To stere pece ought everyche one on lyve
First for to sectin his liege lorde in rest,
And eke these othir men that they ne strive,
For so this landè may fandin at best;
What king that woldè be the worthyest,
The more he might our dedly werris cese
The more he should his worthineffe encrese.
Pece is the chefe of al the world'is welth,
And to the heven it ledith eke the way,
Pece is of soule and life the mann'is helth,
of pestilence, and doth the werre away;
My liege Lorde, take hede of that I say,
If that werre may be lefte take pece on hande,
Whiche may not be withoutin Godd'is fande.
pece stant every creture in rest, Withoutin
there may no lyfe be gladde, Above al othir gode pece is the best, Pece hath himself whan werre is all bestadde, The pece is safe, the werre is evir dradde, Pece is of allé charite the kay, Whiche hath the life and soulè for to way. 91
My liege Lorde, if that the lyste to feche The soth ensamplis what the werre hath wrought 'Thou shalt wel herin of wise mennis (peche That dedly werrè tournith into nought, For if these old bokis be wel ysought There might thou se what thing that werre hath do Both of conquest and conquerour also.
For vaine honour or for the world'is gode They that whilom the strongè werris made Wher be they now? bethinke wel in thy mode The day is gone, the night is derke and fade, Ther cruilte, whiche that made hem than glade, They sorowen now, and yet have naught the more; The blode is thad which no man may restore. 105
The werre is nothir of the wrongis al, It seeth the priest in holy churche at masse, Forlith the maide, and doth her flour to fal, The werrè makith the grete cite laffe, And dothe the lawe his rulis ovirpasse : Ther is nothing wherof mischefe may growe Whiche is not caufid of the werre I trowe. 117