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Grace stirreth well, the grace of God is great
Whych you hath brought to your ryall-se,
And in your ryght it hath you surely sette
Above us all, to have the soveraintie:
Whose worthy power, and regall dygnitie
All our rancour, and our debate gan cease
And hath us brought, both welthe, rest, and peace.
From whom dyscendeth, by the ryghtful lyne
Noble prynce Henry, to succede the crowne
That in his youth, doth so clearely shyne
In euery vertue, casting the vyce adowne:
He shall of fame, attayne the hye renowne
No doubte but grace,

shall hym well enclose
Whych by true ryght, sprang of the red rose.
Your noble grace, and excellent hyenes
For to accepte I beseche ryght humbly,
Thys little boke, opprest wyth rudenes
Without rethoryke, or colour crafty:
Nothynge I am experte in poetry,
As the monke of Bury, floure of eloquence
Which was in the time of great excellence,
Of your predecessour, the. V. king Henry,
Unto whose grace, he dyd present
Ryght famous bokes, of parfit memory:
Of hys faynyng, wyth termes eloquent.
Whose fatall ficcions, are yet permanent.
Grounded on reason, wyth cloudy fygures
He cloked the truth of al his scriptures.
The light of trouth, I lacke cunnyng to cloke
To drawe a curtayne, I dare not to presume
Nor hyde my matter, with a misty smoke
My rudenes cunnyng, dothe so sore consume
Yet as I may, I shall blowe out a fume
To hyde my mynde, underneth a fable
By covert coloure, well and probable,

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Besechyng your grace to pardon minè ignoraunce,
Whiche this fayned fable, to eschue idlenes,
Have so compiled, nowe without doubtance
For to present, to your hye worthines
To folowe the trace, and all the perfitenes
Of my master Lydgate, with due exercise
Suche fayned tales, I do fynde and devise.
For under a culoure, a truthe may arise
As was the guise, in olde antiquitye
Of the poetes olde, a tale to surmise
To cloke the trouthe, of their infirmitye
Or yet on joye to haue moralitye
I me excuse, if by negligence
That I do offende, for lacke of science.

Your graces most bounden seruaunt, Stephen Hawes, one of the gromes of your maiesties chamber, the. xxi. yeare of your pro

sperous raygne.



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WHEN Phæbus entred was, in Geminy
Shinyng above, in his fayre goldē spere
And horned Dyane, then but one degre
In the Crabbe had entred, fayre and cleare
When that Aurora, did well appeare
In the depured ayre, and cruddy firmament
Forthe then I walked, without impediment
In to a medowe bothe gaye and glorious,
Whiche Flora depainted with many a colour
Like a place of plesure most solacious
Encensyng out, the aromatike odoure
Of Zepherus breathe, whiche that every floure
Throughe his fume, dothe alwaie engender.
So as I went among the floures tender

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By sodaine chaunce, a faire pathe I founde
On whiche I loked, and right oft I mused
And then all about, I behelde the grounde
With the faire pathe, whiche I sawe so used
My chaunce or fortune, I nothing refused
But in the pathe, forth I went a pace
To knowe whither, and unto what place
It woulde me bryng, by any similitude
So forth I went, were it ryght or wrong
Tyll that I sawe, of royall pulcritude
Before my face an ymage fayre and strong
With two fayre handes, stretched out along
Unto two hye wayes, there in particion
And in the right hande was this description:
This is the strayght waye of contemplacion
Unto the ioyfull tower perdurable
Who that wyll walke, unto that mancion
He must forsake, all thynges variable
With the vayne glory, so muche deceyvable
And though the way, be hard and daungerous
The last ende thereof shal be ryght precious.
And in the other hande ryght fayre written was
This is the waye, of worldly dignitye
Of the active lyfe, who wyll in it passe
Unto the tower of fayre dame Beautye
Fame shal tell hym, of the way in certaintye
Unto La bell Pucell, the fayre lady excellent
Above all other in cleare beauty splendent
I behelde ryght well, bothe the wayes twayne
And mused oft, whyche was best to take:
The one was sharpe, the other was more plaine
And unto my selfe, I began to make
A sodayne argument, for I myght not slake
Of my great musyng, of this royall ymage
And of these two wayes, so much in usage

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For thys goodly pieture was in altitude,
Nyne fote and more, of fayre marble stone
Ryght well favored, and of great attribute,
Thoughe it were made full many yeres agone.
Thus stode I musynge, my selfe all alone
By right long tyme; but at the last I went
The actyve way, with all my whole entent.
Thus all alone I began to travayle
Forthe on my waye by long continuaunce;
But often times, I had great marvayle
Of the by pathes so full of plesaunce,
Whiche for to take, I had great doubtaunce
But evermore, as nere as I myght
I toke the waye, whiche went before me right
And at the laste, when Phebus in the west
Gan to avayle with all his beames merye,
When cleare Dyana in the fayre southest
Gan for to ryse, lightyng our emispery
With clowdes cleare wythout the stormy pery,
Me thought afarre, I had a vysyon
Of a picture, of marveylous facyon.
To whiche I went, without lenger delaye
Beholdyng well, the right faire portrayture
Made of fine copper, shynyng faire and gaye
Full well truely, according to mesure
And, as I thought, nine fote of stature;
Yet in the breast with letters fayre and blewe
Was written a sentence, olde and true:
This is the waye, and the sytuacion
Unto the toure, of famous Doctrine,
Who that will learne, must be ruled by Reason
And with all his diligence he must encline
Slouthe to eschue, and for to determine
And set his hert to be intelligible
To a willyng herte is nought impossible

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· Beside the ymage I adowne me sette
After my laboure, my selfe to repose,
Till at the last, with a gasping nette
Slouth my head caught, with his whole purpose
It vayled not, the bodye for to dispose
Againste the heade, when it is applied,
The heade must rule, it can not be denied
Thus as I satte in deadly slomber
Of a great horne, I hearde a royall blast,
With which I awoke, and had a great wonder
From whence it came; it made me sore agast,
I loked about, the night was well nere past
And fayre golden Phebus in the morow graye
With clowdes redde began to breake the daye.
I sawe come ridyng in a valey farre
A goodly ladye, environned about
With tongues of fire, as bright as any starre
That fiery flambes, ensensed al way out
Whiche I behelde, and was in great doubt,
Her palfrey swift, rennyng as the winde
With two white greyhouds, that were not behind.
When that these greyhoundes had me so espied
With faunyng chere of great humilitie
In goodly haste, they fast unto me hied;
I mused why, and wherfore it shoulde be,
But I welcomed them, in every degree;
They leaped oft, and were of me right faine,
I suffred them, and cherished them againe.
Their collers were of golde and of tyssue fine
Wherin their names appeared by scripture
Of dyamondes that clerely do shine;
The letters were grauen fayre and pure
To reade their names, I did my busye cure:
The one was Gouernaunce, the other named Grace,
Then was I gladde of all this sodayne cace
Five Centuries.


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