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Now God helpe fely Venus all alone!
But as God wolde it happid for to be
That while that weping Venus made her mone
Ciclinius riding in his chyvaunche
Fro Venus, Valanus might this palais fe,
And Venus he falvith and makith chere,
And her recevith as his frende ful dere.
Mars dwellith forth in his adverfite,
Complaining evir in her departing,
And what his complaint was remembrith me,
And therfore in this luftie morowning,
As I best can, I wol it saine and sing,
And aftir that I wol my leve ytake,
And God yeve every wight joy of his make!
The'ordir of Complaynt requireth skilfully
That if a wight shall plainin pitously
Ther mote be cause wherfore that men yplaine,
Or men may denie he playnith folily
And causèles: alas! that am not I,
Wherfore the grounde and cause of all my naine,
So as my troublid witte may it attaine,
I wolreherse, not for to have redresse,
But to declare my grounde of hevineffe.
The first time, alas! that I was ywrought,
And for certain effectis hidir brought
By him that lordith eche intelligence,
I yave my trewè service and my thought
For evirmo, how dere I have it bought!
To her that is of so gret excellence
That what wight that thewith first her offence,
Whan she is wrothe and taketh of him no cure,
He may not longe in joye of love endure.
This is no fainid matir that I tel;
My lady is the very lours and wel
Of beaute, lufte, fredome, and gentilnesse,
Of riche array howe dere so men it sel,
Of al disporte in whiche men frendly dwel,
Of love and play, and of benigne humbleffe,
Of sowne of inftrumentes of al swetnefle,
And thereto so wel fortuned and thewid
That through the world her godenes is fhewid: 27
What wondir is than though that I besette
My service on soche one that may me knette
To wele or wo, fiche it lithe in her might?
Therfore myne herte for er I to her hette,
Ne trewly for my deth shall I not lette
To ben her crewift servant and her knight;
I Aattir nat, that may wete every wight,
For this day in her service shal I dye;
But grace be l se her nevir with eye.
To whom shal I plainin of my distresse? Who may me help, who may my hert redresse?.. Shal I complaine unto my lady fre? Nay, certis, for she hath soche hevynesse For fere and eke for wo, that as I gesse In litil time it would her bane ybe, But were she safe it were no force of me: Alas that evir lovirs mote endure For love so many per'ilous avinture!
45 For though so be that lovirs be as trewe As any metal that is forgid newe, In many' a case 'hem tidith oft forowe; Somtime ther ladies wol nat on 'hem rewe, Somtimis if that Jelousy it knewe They mightin lightly lay ther hed to borowe; Somtime envious folke with tongis horowe Depravin 'hem : alas! whom may they plefe ? But he be false no lovir hath his ese.
54 But what availith soch a lorg sermoun Of avinturis of love up and doun? I wol retourne and spekin of my paine: The point is this, of my distructioun My right lady and my salvacioun Is in affray, and n'ot to whom to plaine : O hertè fwete! o lady fovèrayne!
difese I ought wel fwoun and swelt, Though I none othir harme ne drede yfelt.
To what âne made the god that sytte so hie
Beneth him othir love or companye,
And strainith folke to love maugre ther hed?
And than ther joye for aught I can espie
Ne lafiith not the twinkeling of an eye,
And some have nevir joye til they be ded;
What menith this, what is this mistihed?
Wherto constrainith he his folke so fast
Thing to defirin but it should ylatt?
And though he made a lovir love a thing,
And makith it feme stedfast and during,
Yet putteth he in it soche misavinture
That reft ne is there none in his yeving;
And that is wondir that so juste a king
Y dothe soche hardneffe unto his creture;
Thus whethir love breke or ellis dure
Algatis he that hath with love to done
Hath oftir wo than chaungid is the mone.
It femeth he hath to lovirs eninyte;
And lyke a fisher, as men may al day se,
Baitith his anglehoke with some plesaunce,
Til many’a fishe is wode to that he be
Cefid therwith, and then at erst hath he
Al his defire, and therwithal mischaunce,
And though the line ybreke he hath penaunce,
For with that hoke he woundid is so sore
That he his wagis hath for evirmore.
The broche of Thebis was of soche a kinde,
So ful of rubyes and of stones of Inde
That every wight that fette on it an eye
He wende anone to worthe out of his mynde;
So fore the beaute would his hert ybynde
Til it he had him thought he must ydie;
And when that it was his than should he drie
Soche wo for drede aye while that he it had
That welnigh for the fere he should be mad;
And whan it was fro his poffeffion
Than had he double wo and passion
That he so faire a jewil hath forgo;
yet this broche, as in conclufion,
Was not the cause of his confusion,
But he that wrought it enfortuned it so
That every wight that had it should have wo,
And therfore in the worchir was the vice,
And in the coveitour, that was so nice.
So farith it by losirs and by me,
For though my lady have so grete beaute
That I was mad to I had gerte her grace
She was not cause of mine adversite,
But he that wroughtin her, as mote I the,
That put so gret a beaute in her face
That made me coveitin and so purchace
Myne ownè deth ; himn wite I that I die,
And mine unwit that er I clanıbe fo hie.