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And then the ladye, with fiery flambe
Of brennyng tongues, was in my presence
Upon her palfrey, whiche had unto name
Pegase the swifte, so faire in excellence
Whiche sometime longed with his preminence
To kyng Percius, the sonne of Jupiter
On whom he rode by the worlde so farre.
To me she saied, she marueyled muche why
That her greyhoundes shewed me that fauoure;
What was my name, she asked me truely.
To whom I saied: it was La Graunde Amoure
Besechyng you to be to me succoure
To the tower of Doctrine, and also me tell
Your proper name, and where you do dwell.
quod she, in all the world is knowen;
I clipped Fame in every region,
For I my horne in sundrye wise haue blowen
After the deathe of many a champion
And with my tongues have made aye mencion
Of their great actes, agayne to revive
In flamyng tongues, for to abide on live.
It was the custome of olde antiquitye
When the golden world, had domination
And nature highe in her aucthoritie
More stronger had her operation
Then she hath nowe in her digression;
The people then did all their busye payne,
After their death in fame to liue agayne.
Recorde of Saturne, the first kyng of Crete,
Whiche in his youth throughe his diligence
Founde first plowing of the landes swete
And after this by his great sapience
For the commen profite and beneuolence
Of all metalles, he made diuision
One from an other, by good provision.
And then also, as some poetes fayne,
He founde shotyng, and drawyng of the bowe;
Yet as of that, I am nothynge certaine,
But for his cunnynge of hye degre and lowe
He was well beloved, as I do well knowe
Throughe whose laboure and aye busy cure
His fame shall live, and shall right long endure.
In whose time raigned also in Thessayle,
A parte of Grece, the kyng Melizyus
That was right strong and fierce in battaile,
By whose laboure, as the storye sheweth vs
He brake first horses, wilde and rigorious,
Teachyng his men, on them right wel to ryde
And he him selfe did first the horse bestryde.
Also Mynerve, the right hardy goddese,
In the same time of so hyghe renowne,
Vainquished Pallas by her great worthines
And first made harneys, to laye his pride adowne,
Whose great defence in every realme and towne
Was spredde about for her hye chyualrye,
Whiche by her harneys wanne the victorye.
Dothe not remayne yet in remembraunce
The famous actes of the noble Hercules,
That so many monsters put to utteraunce
By his great wisdome and hye prowes ?
As the recule of Troye beareth good witnes
That in his time he would no battayle take
But for the wealthe of the commens sake.
Thus the whole mindes were ever fixt and set
Of noble men, in olde time to deuise
Suche thinges as were to the cömen profite;
For in that time, suche was their goodly guise,
That after death their fame shoulde arise
For to endure and abide in mynde,
As yet in bokes we maye them written fynde.
O ye estates, surmountyng in noblenes,
Remembre well the noble paynyms all,
Howe by their labour they wanne the highnes
Of worthy fame, to raygne memoriall,
And them applyed, ever in speciall
Thinges to practise, whiche should profite be
To the comen wealth and their heires in fee.
OF THE SWETE REPORT OF FAME OF THE FAIRE LADY
LA BEL PUCEL IN THE TOWER OF MUSIKE.
And after this Fame gan to expresse
Of jeopardous waye to the tower perillous
And of the beautye, and the semelinesse
Of La bel Pucell, so gaye and glorious,
That dwelled in the tower so marueylous,
Unto which might come no maner of creature
But by great laboure and hard adventure.
For by the waye there lye in waite
Gyantes great, disfigured of nature,
That all devoureth by their euil conceite,
Against whose strēgth there may no man endure;
They are so huge and strong out of measure
With many serpentes, foule and odious'
In sundry likenesse, blacke and tedious.
But beyonde them, a great sea there is
Beyonde whiche sea, there is a goodly land
Most full of fruite, replete with joye and blisse,
Of right fine golde appeareth all the sande
In this faire realme, where the tower doth stand,
Made all of golde, enameled aboute
With noble stories, whiche do appeare without.
In whiche dwelleth by great aucthoritye
Of La bel Pucell, whiche is so fayre and bryght,
To whom in beautye no peare I can see,
For lyke as Phebus above all starres in lyght
When that he is in his spere aryght
Dothe excede with his beames cleare,
So dothe her beauty above other appeare
She is bothe good, aye wise and vertuous
And also discended of a noble lyne,
Ryche, comely, ryght meke, and bounteous,
All maner vertues in her clearly shine,
No vyce of her maye ryght longe domyne;
And I dame Fame in euery nacion
Of her do make the same relation.
Her swete report so my hart set on fyre
With brennyng love, most hote and feruent,
That her to see I had great desyre,
Saiynge to Faine: O ladye excellent,
I have determined in my iudgement
For La bel Pucell, the most fayre ladye,
To passe the waye of so great jeopardye.
You shall, quod Fame, attayne the victory,
If you wyll do, as I shal to you say,
And all my lesson retayne in memory:
To the tower of Doctrine ye shall take your waye,
You are now wythin a dayes iourney;
Both these greyhoundes shal kepe you company;
Loke that you cherishe them full gentely.
And Countenaunce, the goodly portres,
Shall let you in full well and nobly,
And also shewe you of the perfectnes
Of all the seven sciences ryght notably.
There in your mynd you may ententifely
Unto dame Doctrine geve perfite audience
Whiche shall enfourme you in
Farewell, she sayed, I may not nowe abide!
Walke on your way with all your whole delite
To the tower of Doctrine at this morowe tide;
Ye shall to morowe, of it haue a syght.
Kepe on your waye nowe before you ryght;
For I must hence, to specifye the dedes
Of their worthines accordyng to their medes.
And with that she did from me departe
Upon her stede, swifter then the wynde.
When she was gone full wofull was my hart,
With inward trouble oppressed was my mynde;
Yet were the greyhoundes, left with me behind
Whiche did me comforte in my great vyage
To the tower of Doctrine, with their fawning courage.
So forthe I went, tossynge on my brayne,
Greatly musynge, ouer hyll and vale.
The way was troublous, and ey nothing playne,
Tyll at the laste I came to a dale
Beholdyng Phebus, declinyng lowe and pale;
With my greyhoundes in the fayre twy light
I sate me downe, for to rest me all nyght.
Slouthe vpon me so fast began to crepe,
That of fyne force I downe me layed
Upon an hyll, with my greyhoundes to slepe. &c. &c.