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Bothè the armis and the name
Of tho that haddin large fame,
Alisander and Hercules,
That with a sherte his life did lese;
And thus founde I sittyng this goddesse
In noble honour and richesse,
Of which I stinte a while now,
Of othir thing to tellin you.

Tho sawe I ftande on th'other side,
Streight doune unto the doris wide,
From the dees many a pillere
Of metall that shone not full clere,
But though thei were of no richesse
Yet were thei made for grete noblesse,
And in 'hem was there grece sentence,
And folke of hie and digne reverence,
Of which to tellin will I fonde:

Upon a pillir sawe I stonde,
Alderfirst there lysie,
Upon a pillir stonde on hie,
That was of lede and iron fine,
Hym of the sectè Saturnine,
The Ebraike Josephus the old,
That of the Jewis gestis told,
And he bare on his shuldirs hic
All the fame up of the Jurie ;
And by hym stodin othir seven,
Full wife and worthie for to neven,




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To helpe hym berin up the charge,
It was so hevie and so large;
And for thei writtin of battailes
As well as of othir marvailes,
Therefore ywas, lo! this pillere,
Of the whiche I


tellin here,
Of lede and iron bothe iwis,
For iron Mart'is metall is,
Whiche that the god is of Battaile,
And eke the lede withoutin faile
Is, lo! the metall of Saturne,
That hath ful large whele to turne,
To standin forthe on eithir rowe
Of’hem whiche that I could yknowe,
Though I by ordir 'hem not tell,
To makin you to long to dwell.

These, of the whiche I gan to rede,
These fawe I standin out of drede
Upon an iron pillir strong,
That paintid was all endèlong
With tigr'is blode in every place,
The Tholason, with that height Stace,
That bare of Thebis up the name
Upon his sholdirs, and the fame
Also of cruill Achilles;
And by hym stode withoutin lefe
Full wondir hie on a piller
Of iron he the grete Omer,






And with him Dares and Titus
Before, and eke he Lollius,
And Guido eke de Columpnis,
And Englishe Galfride eke iwis;
And eche of these, as I have joye,
Was bufie for to bere up Troye,
So hevie thereof was the fame,
That for to bere it was no game;
But yet I gan full well efpie
Betwene 'hem was a little'envie;
One faied that Omer made lies
And feinyng in his poëtries,
And was to the Grekes favourable,
And therefore helde he it but fable,

Tho fawe I stande on a pillere
That was of tinnid iron clere,
Him the Latine poete Virgile,
That hath bore up a longè while
The fame of pius Æneas.

And nexte hym on a pillir was
Of coppir Venus clerke Ovide,
That hoth ysowin wondirs wide
The gretè god of Lov'is fame,
And there he bare up well his name
Upon this piller al so hie,
As I might se it with myne eye ;
For why! this hall whereof I rede
Was woxe on height, and length, and brede,







Well morè by a thousande dele
Than it was erit, that sawe I wele.

Tho sawe I on a pillir by
of iron, wrought full fternily,
The grete poete, him Dan Lucan,
That on his soldirs bare up than,
As hie as that I might it fe,
The fame of Julius and Pompe,
And by hym stodin all these clerkes
That write of Rom'is mightie werkes,
That if I would ther namis tell
Tho all to long ymust I dwell.

And nexte hym on a pillir stode
Of sulphure, liche as he were wode,
Dan Claudian, sothe for to tell,
That bare up all the fame of hell,
Of Pluto and of Proserpine,
That quene is of the derkè pine.
What should I more tellin of this?
The hall ywas all full iwis
Of 'hem that writtin oldè jeftes
As ben on treis rokis neites,
But it a full confuse mattere
Were all these jeftis for to here
That thei of write, and how thei height:
But while that I beheld this fight
I herde a noise approchin blive,
That fareth as bees doen in an hive




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Ayenst ther tyme of out flying,
Right soche a manir murn

For all the worlde it femid me.

I loke about, and se
That there come entryng into the hall
A right grete companie withall,
And that of sondrie regions,
Of all kind of condicions
That dwell in yerthe undir the mone,


and riche: and al fo fone
As thei were come into the hall
Thei gan on kneis doune to fall
Before this ilkè noble quene,
And sayid, Graunt us, ladie shene!
Eche of us of thy grace a bone.
And some of 'hem she grauntid fone,
And some she warnid well and faire,
And sonze she grauntid the contraire
Of ther alkyng all uttirlie;
But this I saie


What that her grace was I ne wist,
For of these folke full well I wilt
Thei haddin gode fame eche deserved,
Although thei were diverfly served,
Right as her sistir Dame Fortune
J's wont to servin in commune.

Now herkin how she gan to paie
'Hem that gan her of grace to praie,




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