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Upon iii. pointis ftant Christ's pece oppressed, First holy churchè in her selfe dividid, Whiche ought of reson first to be redressed, But yet so highe a caufe is not desidid, And thus whan humble pacience is pridid The remènaunt, whiche that they fhuldin rule, No wondir is though it stande out of rule. 259

Of that the hed is ficke the lymmis aken;
These reignis that to Christ'is pece belongen
For world'is gode these dedly werris maken,
Whiche helpèleffe, as in balaunce yhongen,
The hed above 'hem hath nat undirfongen
To set pece, but every man sleith other,
And in this wise hath Charité no brother. 266

The two defautis bringin in the thirde,
Of myscreantes, that seen how we debate,
Betwene the two they fallin in amydde,
Where now al day they finde an opin gate;
Lo! thus the dedly werrè ftant algate,
But evir I hope of King Henrie's grace
That he it is which shal the


embrace. * 273 My worthy noble prince, and king anoynt! Whom God hath of his grace so preserved, Beholde and se the world upon this point, As for thy part, that Christ'is pece be served, And so fhal thy high medè be deserved, To him which al fhal quite the at the lafte, For this life here ne may no while laste. 280

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Se Alexandir, Hector, and Julius, Se Machabeus, David, and Josue, Se Charlemaine, and Godefray, and Arthus, Fulfilled of werre and of mortalyte, Ther fame abytte; but al' is but vanite; For Deth, which hath the werris undir fote, Hath made an ende, of which there is no bote. 287

So many a man the foth were and know
That pece is gode for every kinge to have,
The fortune of the werre is er unknowe,
But where pece is ther is the marchis save,
That now is up to morow' is undir grave,
The myghtye God yhath al grace in hande,
Withoutin him men may not longè ftande.

Of the tennis to winne or lese a chace
May no life wete or that the bal be ronne ;
Al ftant in God what thing men shall purchace;
Th’ende is in hym or that it be begonne;
Men faine the wolle, when it is well ysponne,
Doth that the cloth is stronge and profitable,
And ellis it maye nevir be durable.

The world'is chauncis upon avinture
Ben evir sette, but thilke chaunce of pese
Is so behovely to the creature
That it is above al othir pereles,
But it may not begetin natheles
Amonge the men to lastin any while
But where the herte is plaine withoutin gile.

308 N

The pece is as it were a facrament
Tofore the God, and fhal with wordis plaine,
Without any double entendement,
Be tretid, for the trouth ae can not faine,
But yf the men within ’hemselfé ben vaine ;
The substaunce of the pece may not be trewe,
But every day it chaungith upon newe. 315

But who that is of charite parfice
He voidith allè leightis ferre awaye,
And sette his worde upon the same plyte
Where that his hert hath found a fikir waye,
And thus when conscience is trewly waye,
And that these ben yhandlid with the wise,
It shal abyde and ftande in alle wise.

The' Apostil faith, ther may no life be gode
Whiche is not groundid upon charite,
For charite ne sheddè neyir blode,
So hath the werre as there no properte,
For thilkè vertue whiche is sayd pite
With Charite fo ferforth is acquainted
That in her may no false semblant be paynted. 329

Caffodore, whose writinge is authorised,
Saithe, where that Pite reignith ther is grace,
Thrugh which the pece hath al his welth affysed,
So that of Werre he dredith no manace;
Where Pyte dwellith in the same place
'There may no dedly cruilte sojourne
Whcrof that Mercy shoulde his wayè tourne.



To se what pyte forth with mercy doth
The cronique is at Rome in thilke empire
Of Constantine, whiche is a talè sothe,
When him was levir his owne deth desire
Then do the yongè childrin to marțire,
Of cruiltie he leftin the quarele,
Pyte he wrought, and pyte was his hele. 343

For thilkè mann'is pyte whiche he dede
God was pytous, and made him whole at al,
Silvester came, and in the same stede
He yave him baptisme first in special,
Whiche did awaye the finne original,
And al his lepre' it hath so purified
That his pyte for er is magnified.

Pyle was the cause why this emperour
Was whole in body and in soulè bothe,
And Rome also was sette in thilke honour
of Christ'is faith, so that they leve or loth,
Whiche haddin be with Christ toforè wroth,
Recevid werin unto Christ'is lore;
Thus fhal pyte be praisid evirmore.

My worthy liege Lorde, Henry by name,
Whiche Englande hafte to governin and right,
Men oughtin wel thy pyte to proclame,
Whiche opinliche in al the world’is light
It shewith, with the helpe of God almight,
To yeve us pece, which long hath be debated
Wherof thy prise Thal nevir be abated.



My Lorde, in whom hath evir yet be founde
Pyte, withoutin fpotte of violence,
Kepe thilkė pece alwayis within bounde
Whiche God hath plantid in thy counscience,
So shal the cronique of thy pacience
Amonge the saintes be taken into memorie,
To the legende of perdurable glorie.

371 And to thin erthely prise, so as I can, Whiche every man is holdin to commende, 9 Gower, whiche am al thy liegè man, This lettir to thine Excellence I sende, As I whiche evit unto my live's ende

for the estate of thy persone, In worshippe of thy fceptre and thy throne.

Not onely to my kinge of pece I write, But to these othir princis Chriftin al, That eche of 'hem his ownè herte endite, And cese the werre or more mifchefe yfal, Sette eke the rightful puppe upon his stall, Kepe charitè, and drawe pite to hande, And maintaine lawe, and so the pece hallstande. 383

Explicit carmen de pacis commendatione, quod, ad laudem et inemoriam fereniffimi principis domini regis Henrici Quarti, fuus humilis orator Johannes Gower compofuit.

Wol pray


Electus Christi pie rex Henrice fuifti,
Qui bene venifti, cum propria regna petisti,
Tu mala vicistique bonis bona restituisti,
Et populo tristi nova gaudia contribuifti.

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