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COMPLAINT OF MARS & VENUS,
GLADITH ye lovirs in the morowe graie;
Lo Venus rissen emong yon rowis rede!
And flouris freshè honour ye this daie,
For when the fonne uprist then would thei sprede;
But ye lovirs that lie in any drede
Flyith, leste wickid tonguis you alpie ;
Lo, yonde the sonne, the candle' of Jelousie! 7
With teris blewe and with a woundid hert
Taketh your leve, and with Sainct Ihon to borowe
A pesith somwhat of your painis smert,
Time comith eft that cellin shall your sorow; .
The glad night is worthe an hevie morowe.
Sainct Valentine, a foule thus herde I fing
Upon thy daie or sopnè gan up spring:
Yet sang this foule; I rede you all awake,
And ye that have not chosen in humble wise,
Without repentyng, chefith now your make,
Yet at the left renoveleth your service,
And ye that have full chosen, as I devise,
Confermith it perpetually to dure,
And pacientlie takith your avinture.
And for the worship of this highè feste
Yet woll I in my bridd'is wise yfyng
The sentence of the Complaint at the leste
That wofull Mars made at the departyng
Fro freshe Venus in a morownyng,
When Phæbus with his firie torchis rede
Ransaked hath every lovir in his drede,
Whilome the thre hevenis lorde above,
As well by hevenliche revolucion
As by deserte, hath wonne Venus his love,
And he hath take hym in subjeccion,
And as a mailtresle taught him his lesson,
Commaundyng hym nevir in her service
He were so bolde no lovir to dispise :
For she forbade hym jeloufie at all,
And cruiltie, and hofte, and tirannie;
She made him at her lufte fo humble' and thrall,
That when she dained to cast on him her eye
He toke in pacience to live or die;
And thus the bridlith him in her manere
With nothing but with scorning of her chere. 42
Who reignith nowe in bliffe but faire Venus,
That hath this worthi knight in govirnaunce?
Who singith nowe but Mars, that servith thus
The fayre Venus, the causir of plesaunce ?
He bint him to perpetuel obeiffaunce,
And she binte her to lovin him for ever,
But fo be that his trespace it difcever.
Thus he they knitte, and reignin as in heven,
By loking most, as it fel on a tide,
That by ther hothe affent was set a sleven
That Mars ihall entre as fast as he may glyde
into her nextè palays to abyde,
Walking his course til fhe had him ytake,
And he prayed her to hafte her for his fake.
Than faide he thus; Myne hert'is lady swete!
Ye knowin wel my myfchefe in that place,
For fikirly tyl that i with you mete
My lyfe stante there in avinture and grace,
But whan I fe the beaute of your face
There is no drede of deth may do me smerts,
For al your lufte is ese unto mine herte.
She hach so grete compasion of her knight,
That dwellith in solitude til she come,
For it stode so that ylkè time no wight
Counfailid him, ne faide to him welcome,
That nigh her wit for forowe was oercome,
Wherfore she spedd her as fast in her way
Almofte in one daye as he did in tway.
The gret joye that ywas betwixe 'hém two
Whan they be mette there maye no tongè tel;
There is no more but unto bedde they go,
And thus in joye and blisse I lette 'heñ dwel;
This worthy Mars, that is of knighthode wel,
The floure of fairnesle happith in his armes,
And Venus kyllith Mars the god of Armes.
Sojournid hath this Mars, of which I rede,
In chambre’amydde the palais privily
A certaine time, til that him fel a drede
Through Phæhus, that was comin hastily
Within the palais yatis sturdily
With torch in honde, of which the stremis bright
On Venus chambre knockicin ful light.
The chambre there as laye this freshè quene Depaintid was with white bolis grete, And by the light the knew that shon fo fhene That Phæbus came to bren 'hem with his hete; This filly Venus, ny dreint in teres wete, Enbrasith Mars, and said, Alas I die! The torch is come that all this worlde wol wrie. 91
Up sterte tho Mars, him liftid not to slepe Whan he his lady herdin fo complaine, But for his nature was not for to wepe, In stede of reris from his eyin twaine. The firie sparclis sprongin out for paine, And hente his hauberke that lay him beside; Fly wold he nought, ne might him selfin hide. 98
He throwith on his helme of huge weight,
And girt him with his swerde, and in his hondc
His mighty fpere, as he was wont to feight,
Hc shakith so that it almoft to wonde;
Ful hevy was he to walken ovir londe;
He may not holde with Venus company,
But badde her flye, leste Phæhus her espy. 105
O woful Mars, alas! what maist thou fain!
That in the palais of thy difturbaunce
Arte lefte behind in parilto be Naine,
And yet thereto is double thy penaunce,
For she that hath thine hert in govirnaunce
Is paffid halfe the stremis of thine eyen;
you n'ere swift wel maist thou wepe and crien.
Nowe flyeth Venus into Ciclinius tour With voidè corse, for fere of Phæbus light; Alas! and there ne hath she no focour,.. For she ne founde ne fey no manir wight, And eke as there she had but litil night, Wherfore her felvin for to hide and save Within the gate she fledde into a cave.
119 Darke was this cave, and smoking as the hel, Nat but two paas within the yate it ftode; A naturel day in darke I let her dwel. Now wol I speke of Mars, furious and wode, For forowe he wolde have seen his hert blode; Sith that he might done her no companie He ne rought not a mitè for to die.
126 So feble' he wext for here and for his wo That nigh he swelt; he might unneth endure; He passith but a sterre in dayis two; But nertheles for al his hevy armure He foloweth her that is his liv'is cure, For whose de parting he toke gretir yre Than he did for his brevning in the fire. 1133
Aftir he walkith fuftily a paas, Complaining that it pite was to here; He saide, O lady bright, Venus! alas That er so wide a compas is my spliere! Alas, whan shall mete you, hertè dere! This twelve dayis of April I endure Through jelcus Phæbus this misa vintpre. 140