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But to you hardy knightis of renowne,
Sithe that ye be of my devisyowne,
Al be' I not worthy to so gret a name,
Yet saine these clerkis I am your patrone,
Therfore ye ought have some compassione
Of my diftse, and take it nat agame,
The proudist of you may be made ful tame,
Wherfore I pray you of your gentillesse
That ye complainin for mine hevinesse. 126

And ye, my ladyes, that ben trew and stable,
By way of kinde ye oughtin to ben able
To have pite of folke that ben ir paine;
Nowe have

ye cause to clothin you in sable;
Sith that your empères the honorable
Is defolate wel oughtin ye to plaine;
Nowe shoude your holy teris fal and raine:
Alas! your honour and your emperice
Nigh ded for drede ne can her not cheyice.

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Complainith eke ye lovirs al in fere
For her that with unfainid humble chere
Was evir redy to do you socour,
Complainith her that er hath be you dere,
Complainith beaute, fredonie, and manere,
Complainith her that endith your labour,
Complainith thilke ensample' of al bonour,
That nevir yet dyd ought but gentilnefle;
Kythith therfore in her some kindèneile.

144

THE COMPLAINT OF VENUS.
There

HERE n'ys so high comfort to my plefaunce,
Whan that I am in any hevineffe,
As for to have leyfir of remembraunce
Upon the manhode and the worthynesse,
Upon the trouthe and on the stedfastnes,
Of him whofe I am al while I maye dure;
There ought to blamin me no creäture,
For every wight praisith his gentillesse.

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In hina is bounte, wisedome, govirnaunce,
Well more than any mann'is witte can gesse,
For Grace hath wolde fo fer forth him avaunce
That of knighthod he is parfite richesse,
Honour honcurith him for his noblesse,
Therto so wel hath fourmid him Nature
That I am his for er I him ensure,
For every wight praisith his gentillesse.

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And natwithstanding all his suffisaunce
His gentil herte is of fo gret humblesse
To me in worde, in werke, and in countenaunce,
And me to serve is al his befinesse,
That I am sette in

very sykirnesse;
Thus ought I to hliffe wel mine avintour,
Sith that him liste me servin and honour,
For every wight praisith his gentillesse.

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Nowe certis, Love, it is right covenable
That men ful dere abye thy noble thinges,
As wake abedde and fastin at the table,

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Weping to laugh, and singe in complainynges,
And downe to castin visage and lokinges,
Oftin to chaunge visage and countinaunce,
Playe in slepinge, and dremin at the daunce,
Al the revers of any gladde feling.

Jelousy he hangid by a cable,
She wolde al knowin through her espiyng,
There dothe no wight nothing so resonable
That al n’is harme in her ymagining;
Thus dere abought is Love in his yeving,
Whiche ofte he yevith without ordinaunce,
As forowe’ynough and litil of plesaunce,
Al the revers of any glade feling.

A litil tyme his yeft is agreable,
But ful accomberous is the usinge,
For subtil Jelousy the discevable
Ful oftin tyme ycausith distourbinge;
Thus ben we evir in drede and suffring:
In no certaine we languishen in penaunce,
And have wel ofte many an harde mischaunce,
Al the revers of any gladde feling.

But certis, Love, I saye not in soche wise
That for to scape out of your lace I ment,
For I so longe have ben in your service
That for to lete of wil I ner assent,
No force though jelousye me doe tourment;
Suflilith me to sc him whan I may,
And therfore certis to mine ending day
To love him best íhal nie nevir repent.

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And certis, Love, whan I me wel advise
Of any'estate that man may represent
Than have ye made me thorough your franchise
Chefin the best that evir in erthe went ;
Nowe love well, hert, and loke thou nevir stent,
And lette the jelous putte it in asfaye
That for no paine ne wol I not say naye;
To love him best shal I nevir repent.

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O herte! to the it ought ynoughe fuffice
That Love so highe a grace hath to you sent
To chose the worthyift in alle wise,
And most agreable to mine entent;
sekith no ferthir neithir way ne went,
Sith ye have suffisaunce unto my paye:
Thus wol I ende this Complaint or this lay;
To love him beft fhal ! nevir repent.

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L'ENVOYE,
Princes, receveth this complaininge in gre,
Unto your excellent benignite
Directe aftir my litil fuffisaunce,
Fur elde, that in my spirite dullith me,
Hath of enditing al the subtilte
Welnigh herafte out of my remembraunce;
And eke to me it is a grete penaunce,
Sith rime in Englishe hath foche scarcite,
To'folowe worde by worde the curiosite
of Granfon, flour of 'hem that make in Fraunce, 8%

Explicit.

OF MARIE MAGDALEINE.

This treatise is taken out of St. Origen, wherein Mary

Magdalen lamenteth the cruell death of ber Saviour Cbrif.

Plongid in the wawe of mortall diftreffe,
Alas for wo! to whom shall complein ?
Or who shall devoide this grete hevinesse
Fro me', wofull Marie, wofull Magdalein!
My Lord is gon; alas! who wrought this tein?
This sodain chaunce perfith my herte so depe
That nothing can I do but waile and wepe. 7

My Lorde is gone that here in grave was laicd
Aftir his grete passion and deth cruell;
Alas! who hath hym thus again betraied?
Or what man here aboutin can me tell
Where he' is become the Prince of Israeil,
Jesus of Naz’areth, my ghostly fuccour,
My parfite love, and hope of all honour!

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What creture hath hym hennis caryid,
Or how might this fo fodainly befali?
I would I had here with him taryid,
And so should I have had my purpose all:
I bought ointmentes full precious and roial,
Where with I hoped his corps to have anointed,
But he thus gone my minde is disapoincted. 21

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