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1344

And here I make myne protestacion,
And depely (were as mine powir to bene
Faithful, devoide of variacion,
And her forbere in angir or in tene,
And serviceable to my world'is quene
With al my reson and intelligence,
To done her honour high and reverence.

I had not fpoke so fone the worde but the
My sovèrain did thanke me hertily,
And said, Abide, ye fhal dwelle still with me
Till sefon come of May, for than truly
The king of Love and al his company
Shall holde his fefte ful rially and welle;
And there I bode zil that the feron felle.

1351

On May-day whan the lark began to ryse
To matins went the lufty nightingal
Within a temple shapin hauthorn wife,
He might not lepe in all the nyghtirtale,
But Domine labia gan he crie and gale;
My lippis opin, lord of Love, I crie,
And let my mouth tby prising nou bewrye.

1358
The egle sang Venite bodies al,
And let us joye to Love, that is oure helth,
And to the deske anon they gan to fall,
And who came late he precid in by ftelth,
Then Saied the faucon, our owen hertis welth,
Domine Dominus nofter, I wote
1'e be the god that donne us brenne tbus bote. 1365
Cali enarrant, said the popingay,
Your might is told in heven and firmament,
And then came in the goldfinche freshe and gay,
And saied this pfalme with hertely glad intent,
Domini eft terra, this Latin intent
The god of Love batb yerth in govirnaunce,
And than the wren gan scippin and to dauncé ; 1372

Jube Domine, O lorde of Love! I pray
Commaunde me wel this lefon for to rede,
This legende is of al that woldin dye
Martirs for Love, God yef the soulis spede,
And to the Venus finge we oute of drede,
By influence of al thy vertue grete,
Beseching the to kepe us in our hete.

The seconde lesson robin redebreste sang,
Hail to the god and goddes of our lay!
And to the lectorn amorily he sprang,
Hail, (quod he) o thou freshe seson of May!
Our monith glad thar fingin on the spray,
Hail to the flouris rcde, and white, and blewe,
Whiche by ther vertue makith our lust new! 1386

The thirde lesson the turtil dove toke up,
And therat lough the mavis in a scorne,
He said, O God! as mote I dine or suppe
This folishe dove wil gife us al an horne,
There bin right here a M. bettir borne
To rede this leffon, whiche as wel as he,
And eke as hote, can love in al degre.

1393

1379

The turtil dove said, Welcom, welcom May, Gladsom and light to lovirs that ben trewe, I thanke the lord of Love that doth purvey For me to rede this leffon al of dewe, For in gode foth of corage I pursuer To serve my make tyll deth us must departe, And than Tu autem fang he al aparte, ' * 14C@

Te Deum amoris fang the thrustil cocke, Tuball him self the firste musician With key of armony coude not onlocke So swete a tewne as that the thrustil can, The lorde of Love we praisin (quod he) than, And so done al the foulis gret and lite, Honour we May in fals lovirs dispite. 1487

Dominus regnavit, said the pecocke there,
The lord of Love, that mighty prince iwis,
He is recevid bere and every where.
Nowe Jubilate sang, what menith this?
Said than the lynet, Welcom lord of blije.
Oute sterte the owle with Benedicite!
What menith al this mery fare? (quod he.) 1414

Laudate fang the larke with voice ful shril,
And eke the kight Q admirabile !
This quire wil throw min eris pers and thril,
But what? welcom this May (efon (quod he)
And honoure to the lord of Love mote be,
That hath this fefe so folempne and fo hie;
Amen said a!, and so said eke thc pic.

1421

And forth the cockowe gan procede anon With Benedictus ! thanking God in haft That in this May wolde visite them echon, And gladdin them al while the feft fhal last, And therwithal a laughtir oute he braste, I thanke it God that I shuld ende the song, And al the service whiche hath ben so long. 1418

Thus sang they al the service of the feste, And that was done right erly to my dome, And furth goth al the Courte both most and left To fetche the fouris fresh, and braunch, and blonie, And namely hauthorn brought both page and grome, With frein garlantis, party blew and white, And than rejoyfin in ther grete

delite.

1433 Eke eche at ochir threwe the flouris bright, The prymerose, the violete, and the gold, So than as I beheld the roial light My lady gan me fodenly behold, And with a trewe love plitid many' a folde She smot me through the very herte as blive, And Venus yet I thanke I am alive.

1442

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Íbisbock, taken for the mosi part out of The Proverbs of So

lomon, is a warning to take beed of the deceitful company of women.

THE PROLOGUE.

Seyng the manyfolde inconvenience
Falling by unbrydlid prosperite,
Whiche is not temprid with moral prudence,
Nothing more welchie than in youth's frelte,
Moved I am bothe of right and equite
To youth'is wele somwhat for to endite
Whereby he may himselfin safecondite.


And firfte i note as a thinge moft noyous,
And unto youth a grevous malady,
Amongis us callid love encombrous,
Vexyng alway yonge peple straungèly,
Ostin by force it caufith’hem to dye,
And age is also turmentid by love,
I mene binerh the girdle' and not above.

Wherfore this werke, whiche is right laborous,
For age me nedith nat in honde to take,
To youthe me cwith to be'obsequious;
Nowe I begin thus to worke for his sake,
Whiche may the fervence of love afiake,
To the lovir as a mitigative,
To him that is none a preservative.
Volume XII.

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