Stephen Hawes

(1474-1523 / England)

The Pastime Of Pleasure : The First Part. - Poem by Stephen Hawes

Here begynneth the passe tyme of pleasure.

Ryyght myghty prynce / & redoubted souerayne
Saylynge forthe well / in the shyppe of grace
Ouer the wawes / of this lyfe vncertayne
Ryght towarde heuen / to haue dwellynge place
Grace dothe you guyde / in euery doubtfull cace
Your gouernaunce / dothe euermore eschewe
The synne of slouthe / enemy to vertewe
Grace stereth well / the grace of god is grete
Whiche you hathe brought / to your ryall se
And in your ryght / it hath you surely sette
Aboue vs all / to haue the soueraynte
Whose worthy power / and regall dygnyte
All our rancour / and our debate and ceace
Hath to vs brought / bothe welthe reste and peace
Frome whome dyscendeth / by the ryghtfull lyne
Noble pryuce Henry / to succede the crowne
That in his youthe / dothe so clerely shyne
In euery vertu / castynge the vyce adowne
He shall of fame / attayne the hye renowne
No doubte but grace / shall hym well enclose
Whiche by trewe ryght / sprange of the reed rose
Your noble grace / and excellent hyenes
For to accepte / I beseche ryght humbly
This lytell boke / opprest with rudenes
Without rethorycke / or colour crafty
Nothynge I am / experte in poetry
As the monke of Bury / floure of eloquence
Whiche was in tyme / of grete excellence
Of your predecessour / the .v. kynge henry
Vnto whose grace / he dyde present
Ryght famous bokes / of parfyte memory
Of his faynynge with termes eloquent
Whose fatall fyccyons / are yet permanent
Grounded on reason / with clowdy fygures
He cloked the trouthe / of all his scryptures
The lyght of trouthe / I lacke connynge to cloke
To drawe a curtayne / I dare not to presume
Nor hyde my mater / with a mysty smoke
My rudenes connynge / dothe so sore cōsume
Yet as I maye / I shall blowe out a fume
To hyde my mynde / vnderneth a fable
By conuert colour / well and probable
Besechynge your grace / to pardon myne ignoraunce
Whiche this fayned fable / to eschewe ydlenesse
Hane so compyled / now without doubtaunce
For to present / to your hye worthynesse
To folowe the trace / and all the parfytenesse
Of my mayster Lydgate / with due exercyse
Suche fayned tales / I do fynde and deuyse
For vnder a colour / a truthe maye aryse
As was the guyse / in olde antyquyte
Of the poetes olde / a tale to surmyse
To cloke the trouthe / of theyr infyrmyte
Or yet on Ioye / to haue moralyte
I me excuse / yf by neclygence
That I do offende / for lacke of scyence

How graunde Amoure walked in a medowe & met with fame enuyronned with tongues of fyre. ca. i.

Whan Phebus entred was / in Gemyny
Shynynge aboue / in his fayre golden spere
And horned Dyane / than but one degre
In the Crabbe hadde entred / fayre and clere
Whan that Aurora / dyde well appere
In the depured ayre / and cruddy fyrmament
Forthe than I walked / without impedyment
In to a medowe / bothe gaye and gloryous
Whiche Flora depaynted with many a colour
Lyke a place of pleasure / most solacyous
Encensynge out / the aromatyke odoure
Of zepherus brethe / whiche that euery floure
Throughe his fume / dothe alwaye engendre
So as I went / amonge the floures tendre
By sodayne chaunce / a fayre pathe I founde
On whiche I loked / and ryght ofte I mused
And than all aboute / I behelde the grounde
With the fayre pathe / whiche I sawe so vsed
My chaunce or fortune / I nothynge refused
But in the pathe / forthe I went a pace
To knowe whyther / and vnto what place
It wolde me brynge / by ony symylytude
So forthe I wente / were it ryght or wronge
Tyll that I sawe / of ryall pulcrytude
Before my face / an ymage fayre and stronge
With two fayre handes / stretched out alonge
Vnto two hye wayes / there in pertycyon
And in the ryght hande / was this dyscrypcyon
This is the streyght waye / of contemplacyon
Vnto the Ioyfull toure pedurable
Who that wyll walke / vnto that mancyon
He must forsake / all thynges varyable
With the vayneglory / somoche deceyuable
And thoughe the waye / be harde and daungerous
The laste ende therof / shall be ryght precyous
And in the other hande / ryght fayre wryten was
This is the waye / of worldly dygnyte
Of the actyfe lyfe / who wyll in it passe
Vnto the toure / of fayre dame beaute
Fame shall tell hym / of the waye in certaynte
Vnto labell pucell / the fayre lady excellent
Aboue all other / in clere beaute splendent
I behelde ryght well / bothe the wayes twayne
And mused oft / whiche was best to take
The one was sharpe / the other was more playne
And vnto my selfe / I began to make
A sodayne argument / for I myght not slake
Of my grete musynge / of this ryall ymage
And of these two wayes / somoche in vsage
For this goodly pycture / was in altytude
Nyne fote and more / of fayre marble stone
Ryght well fauoured / and of grete fortytude
Thoughe it were made / full many yeres agone
Thus stode I musynge / my selfe all alone
By ryhgt longe tyme / but at the last I went
The actyfe waye / with all my hole entent
Thus all alone / I began to trauayle
Forthe on my waye / by longe contynuaunce
But often tymes / I hadde grete meruayle
Of the bypathes / so full of pleasaunce
Whiche for to take / I hadde grete doubtaunce
But euermore / as nere as I myght
I toke the waye / whiche went before me ryght
And at the last / whan Phebus in the west
Gan to auayle / with all his beames mery
Whan clere Dyana / in the fayre southest
Gan for to ryse / lyghtynge our emyspery
With cloudes clere / without the stormy pery
Me thought a fer / I hadde a vysyon
Of a pycture / of meruoylous facyon
To whiche I went / without lenger delaye
Beholdynge well / the ryght fayre purtrayture
Made of fyne copre / shynynge fayre and gaye
Full well truely / accordynge to mesure
And as I thought .ix. fote of stature
Yet in the breste / with lettres fayre ande blewe
Was wryten / a sentence olde and trewe
This is the waye / and the sytuacyon
Vnto the toure / of famous doctryne
Who that wyll lerne / must be ruled by reason
And with all his dylygence / he must enclyne
Slouthe to eschewe / and for to determyne
And set his hert / to be intellygyble
To a wyllynge herte / is nought Impossyble
Besyde the ymage / I adowne me sette
After my laboure / myselfe to repose
Tyll at the last / with a gaspynge nette
Slouthe my heed caught / with his hole purpose
It vayled not / the body for to dyspose
Agaynst the heed / whan it is applyed
The heed must rule / it can not be denyed
Thus as I satte / in a deedly slombre
Of a grete horne / I herde a ryall blast
With whiche I awoke / and hadde a grete wondre
From whens it came / it made me sore agast
I loked aboute / the nyght was well nere paste
And fayre golden Phebus / in the morowe graye
With cloude reed began / to breke the daye
I sawe come rydynge / in a valaye ferre
A goodly lady / enuyronned aboute
With tongues of fyre / as bryght as ony sterre
That fyry flambes / ensensed alwaye out
Whiche I behelde / and was in grete doubt
Her palfraye swyfte / rennynge as the wynde
With two whyte grehoundes / that were not behynde
Whan that these grehoundes / had me so espyed
With faunynge chere / of grete humylyte
In goodly hast / they fast vnto me hyed
I mused why / and wherfore it shoulde be
But I welcomed them / in euery degre
They leped ofte / and were of me ryght fayne
I suffred them / and cherysshed them agayne
Theyr colers were of golde / and of tyssue fyne
Wherin theyr names / appered by scypture
Of Dyamondes / that clerely do shyne
The lettres were grauen fayre and pure
To rede rheyr names / I dyde my besy cure
The one was gouernaunce / the other named grace
Than was I gladde / of all this sodayne cace
And than the lady / with fyry flame
Of brennynge tongues / was in my presence
Vpon her palfraye / whiche hadde vnto name
Pegase the swyfte / so fayre in excellence
Whiche somtyme longed / with his premynence
To kynge Percyus / the sone of Iubyter
On whome he rode / by the worlde so fer
To me she sayde / she meruayled moche why
That her grehounde / shewed me that fauour
What was my name / she axed me treuly
To whome I sayde / it was la graunde Amour
Besechynge you / to be to me socour
To the toure of doctryne / and also me tell
Your propre name / and where you do dwell
My name quod she / in all the worlde is knowen
Yclypped Fame / in euery regyon
For I my horne / in sondry wyse haue blowen
After the dethe / of many a champyon
And with my tonges / haue made aye mencyon
Of theyr grete actes / agayne to reuyue
In flammynge tongues / for to abyde on lyue
It was the custome / in olde antyquyte
Whan the golden worlde / hadde domynacyon
And nature hygh / in her auctoryte
More stronger hadde / her operacyon
Than she hath nowe / in her dygressyon
The people than dyde / all theyr besy payne
After theyr dethe / in fame to lyue agayne
Recorde of Satourne / the fyrste kynge of Creete
Whiche in his youthe / throughe his dylygence
Founde fyrst plowynge / of the landes swete
And after this / by his grete sapyence
For the comyn profyte / and beneuolence
Of all metalles / he made deuysyon
One frome an other / by good prousyyon
And than also / as some poetes fayne
He founde shotynge / and drawenge of the bowe
Yet as of that / I am nothynge certayne
But for his connynge / of hye degre and lowe
He was well beloued / as I do well knowe
Throughe whose labour / and aye besy cure
His fame shall lyue / and shall ryght longe endure
In whose tyme reygned / also in Thessayle
A parte of Grece / the kynge Melyzyus
That was ryght stronge / and fyerce in batayle
By whose labour / as the story sheweth vs
He brake fyrst horses wylde and rygoryous
Techynge his men / on them ryght well to ryde
And he hymselfe / dyde fyrst the horse bestryde
Also Mynerue / the ryght hardy goddes
In the same tyme / of so hyghe renowne
Vaynquysshed Pallas / by her grete worthynesse
And fyrste made harneys / to leye his pryde adowne
Whose grete defence / in euery realme and towne
Was spredde aboute / for her hye chyualry
Whiche by her harneys / wanne the vyctory
Doth not remayne / yet in remembraunce
The famous actes / of the noble hercules
That so many monstres / put to vtteraunce
By his grete wysdome / and hye prowes
As the recule of Troye / bereth good wytnes
That in his tyme / he wolde no batayle take
But for the welthe / of the comyns sake
Thus the hole myndes / were euer fyxte and set
Of noble men / in olde tyme to deuyse
Suche thynges as were / to the comyn proffet
For in that tyme / suche was theyr goodly guyse
That after dethe theyr fame shoulde aryse
For to endure / and abyde in mynde
As yet in bokes / we maye them wryten fynde
O ye estates / surmountynge in nobesse
Remembre well the noble payyms all
How by theyr laboure / they wanne the hyenesse
Of worthy fame / to reygne memoryall
And them applyed / euer in specyall
Thynges to practyse / whiche shoulde prouffyte be
To the comyn welthe / and theyr heyres in fee

Of the swete reporte of Fame of the fayre lady la bel pucell in the toure of musyke. ca. ii.

And after this / fame gan to expresse
Of Ieoperdous waye / to the toure peryllous
And of the beaute / and the semelynesse
Of la bell pucell / so gaye and gloryons
That dwelled in the toure so meruaylous
Vnto whiche myght come / no maner of creature
But by grete laboure / and harde aduenture
For by the waye / there ly in wayte
Gyauntes grete dysfygured of nature
That all deuoureth / by theyr yll conceyte
Ageynst whose strength / there maye no man endure
They are so huge / and stronge out of mesure
With many serpentes / soule and odyous
In sundry lykenesse / blacke and tydeus
But behonde them / a grate see there is
Beyonde whiche see / there is a goodly lande
Moost full of fruyte / replete with Ioye and blysse
Of ryght fyne golde / appereth all the sande
In this fayre realme / where the toure dothe stande
Made all of golde / enameled aboute
With noble storyes / whiche do appere without
In whiche dwelleth / by grete auctoryte
Of la bell pucell / whiche is so fayre and bryght
To whome in beaute / no pere I can se
For lyke as Phebus / aboue all sterres in lyght
Whan that he is / in his spere aryght
Dothe excede / wieh his beames clere
So dothe her beaute / aboue other appeere
She is bothe good / aye wyse and vertuous
And also dyscended / of a noble lyne
Ryche / comly / ryght meke / and bounteous
All maner vertues / in her clerely shyne
No vyce of her / maye ryght longe domyne
And I dame fame / in euery nacyon
Of her do make / the same relacyon
Her swete reporte / so my herte set on fyre
With brennynge loue / moost hote and feruent
That her to se / I hadde grete desyre
Sayenge to fame / o lady excellent
I haue determyned / in my Iugement
For la bell pucell / the most fayre lady
To passe the waye / of so grete Ieopardy
You shall quod fame / atayne the vyctory
Yf you wyll do / as I shall to you saye
And all my lesson / retayne in memory
To the toure of doctryne / ye shall take your waye
You are now within / a dayes Iourneye
Bothe these grehounde / shall kepe you company
Loke that you cherysshe them full gentely
Ind countenaunce / the goodly portres
Shall let you in / full well and nobly
And also shewe you / of the parfytenes
Of all the seuen scyences / ryght notably
There in your mynde / you maye ententyfly
Vnto dame doctryne / gyue parfyte audyence
Whiche shall enfourme you / in euery scyence
Fare well she sayde / I maye not now abyde
Walke on your waye / with all your hole delyght
To the toure of doctryne / at this morow tyde
Ye shall to morowe / of it haue a syght
Kepe on your waye / now before you ryght
For I must hens / to specyfy the dedes
Of theyr wortynesse / accordynge to theyr medes
And with that she dyde / fro me departe
Vpon her stede / swyfter than the wynde
Whan she was gone / full wofull was my herte
With inwarde trouble / oppressed was my mynde
Yet were the grehoundes / lefte with me behynde
Whiche dyde me comforte / in my grete vyage
To the toure of doctryne / with theyr fawn&ybar;ge courage
So forthe I went / tossynge on my brayne
Gretely musynge / ouer hyll and vale
The waye was troublous / and ey nothynge playne
Tyll at the laste / I came to a dale
Beholdynge Phebus / declynynge lowe and pale
With my grehoundes / in the fayre twy lyght
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 layde
Vpon an hyll / with my greyhoundes to slepe
Whan I was downe / I thought me well apayde
And to my selfe / these wordes than I sayde
Who wyll attayne / soone to his Iournays ende
To nourysshe slouthe / he may not condyscende

Now fame departed frome graunde amoure and lefte with hym gouernaunce and grace / and howe he wente to the toure of doctryne. Ca. .iii.

Thus than I slepte / tyll y&supert; Auroras beames
Gan for to sprede / aboute the fyrmament
And y&supere; clere sonne / with his golden streames
Began for to ryse / fayre in the oryent
Without Saturnus / blacke encombrement
And the lytell byrdes / makynge melodye
Dyde me awake / with theyr swete armonye
I loked aboute / and sawe a craggy roche
Ferre in the west / nere to the element
And as I dyde than / vnto it approche
Vpon the toppe / I sawe refulgent
The ryall toure / of morall document
Made of fyne coper / with turrettes fayre and hye
Whiche agaynst Phebus / shone so meruaylously
That for the veray perfyte bryghtnes
What of the toure / and of the clere sonne
I coude nothynge / beholde the goodlynes
Of that palays / where as doctryne dyde wonne
Tyll at the last / with mysty wyndes donne
The radyant bryghtnes / of golden Phebus
Auster gan couer / with cloudes tenebrus
Than to the toure / I drewe nere and nere
And often mused / of the grete hyghnes
Of the craggy rocke / whiche quadrant dyde appere
But the fayre toure / so moche of rychesse
Was all about / sexangled doubtles
Gargeylde with grehoundes / & with many lyons
Made of fyne golde / with dyuers sundry dragons
The lytell turrets / with ymages of golde
Aboute was set / wiche with the wynde aye moued
With propre vyces / that I dyde well beholde
Aboute the toures / in sondry wyse they houed
With goodly pypes / in theyr mouthes Ituned
That with the wynde / they pyped a daunce
Yclyped amour de la hault pleasaunce

Now he was lette in by Countenannce the porteres and of the meruaylous buyldynge of the same toure. Capitulo. iiii.

The toure was grete / & of meruaylous wydnes
To whiche there was / no way to passe but one
In to the toure / for to haue an intres
A grece there was / ychefyled all of stone
Out of the rocke / on whiche men dyde gone
Vp to the toure / and in lykewyse dyde I
With bothe the grehonndes in my company
Tyll that I came / to a ryall gate
Where I sawe stondynge / the goodly portres
Whiche axed me / from whens I came a late
To whome I gan / in euery thynge expresse
All myne aduenture / chaunce and busynesse
And eke my name / I tolde her euery dell
Whan she herde this / she lyked me ryght well
Her name she sayde / was called countenaunce
In to the besy courte / she dyde me than lede
Where was a fountauyne / depured of pleasaunce
A noble sprynge / a ryall conduyte hede
Made of syue golde / enameled with reed
And on the toppe / foure dragons blewe and stonte
This doulcet water / in foure partyes dyde spoute
Of whiche there flowed / foure ryuers ryght clere
Sweter than Nysus / or Ganges was theyr odoure
Tygrys or Eufrates / vnto them no pere
I dyde than tast / the aromatyke lycoure
Fragraunt of fume / swete as ony floure
And in my mouthe / it hadde a meruaylous cent
Of dyuers spyces / I knewe not what it ment
And after this / ferder forthe me brought
Dame countenaunce / in to a goodly hall
Of Iasper stones / it was wonderly wrought
The wyndowes clere / depured all of crystall
And in the rose / on hye ouer all
Of golde was made / a ryght crafty vyne
In stede of grapes / the rubyes there dyde shyne
The flore was paued / with berall claryfyed
With pyllours made / of stones precyous
Lyke a place of pleasure / so gayly gloryfyed
It myght be called / a palays gloryous
Somoche delectable / and solacyous
The hall was hanged / hye and cyrculer
With clothe of aras / in the rychest maner
That treted well / of a full noble story
Of the doughty waye / to the toure peryllous
How a noble knyght / shoulde wynne the vyctory
Of many a serpent / foule and odyous
And the fyrste mater / than appered thus
How at a venture / and by sodayne chaunce
He met with fame / by fortunes purueyaunce
Whiche dyde hym shewe / of the famous pulcrytude
Of la bell pucell / so clere in beaute
Excellynge all other / in euery symplytude
Nature her fauoured / so moche in degre
Whan he herde this / with feruent amyte
Accompaned with grace and gouernaunce
He toke his waye / without encombraunce
Vnto the ryght famous toure of lernynge
And so frome thens / vnto the toure of clyualry
Where he was made knyght / the noble kynge
Called Melyzyus / well and worthely
And ferthermore / it shewed full notably
Vpon the aras / ybrobred all of blewe
What was his name / with lettres all of grewe
Thus with his varlet / he toke on his waye
To the peryllous toure / and sytuacyon
Metynge foly / as he rode on his Iournaye
Rydynge on a mare / by grete yllusyon
After whome / ensued fast correccyon
And in her hande / a stronge knotted whyppe
At euery Iarte / she made hym for to skyppe
And than correccyon / brought la graunde amoure
Vnto the toure / where as he myght well se
Dyuers men / makynge ryght grete doloure
That defrauded women / by theyr duplycyte
Yet before this / in perfyte certaynte
As the aras / well dyde make relacyon
In Venus temple / he made his oblacyon
After whiche / he mette an hydeous gyaunt
Hauynge thre hedes of meruaylous kynde
With his grete strokes / he dyde hym daunt
Castynge hym downe / vnder the lynde
With force and myght / he dyde hym bynde
Strykynge of his hedes than euerychone
That of all thre hedes / he left not one
This terryble gyaunt / yet hadde a broder
Whiche graunde amoure / destryed also
Hauynge foure heedes / more than the oder
That vnto hym / wrought mykell wo
But he slewe soone / his mortall fo
Whiche was a grete gyaunt / with hedes seuen
To meruaylous / now for me to nenen
Yet more ouer / he put to vtteraunce
A venymous beest / of sundry lykenes
Of dyuers beestes / of ryght grete myschaunce
Wherof the pycture / bare good wytnes
For by his power / and his hye worthynesse
He dyde scomfyte / the wonderous serpent
Of the sceun metalles / made by enchauntement
And eke the clothe / made demonstracyon
How he weded / the grete lady beauteous
La bell pucell / in her owne domynacyon
After his labour / and passage daungerous
With solempne Ioye / and myrthe melodyous
This famous story / well pyctured was
In the fayre hall / vpon the aras
The marshall / yclyped was dame reason
And the yewres / also obseruaunce
The panter pleasaunce / at euery season
The good butler / curteys contynuaunce
And the chefe coke / was called temperaunce
The lady chambrelayne / named fydelyte
And the hygh stuarde lyberalyte
There sate dame doctryne / that lady gent
Whiche called me / vnto her presence
For to knowe / all the hole entent
Of my comynge / vnto her excellence
Madame I sayde / to lerne your scyence
I am comen / now me to apply
With all my cure / in perfyte study
And yet also / I vnto her than shewed
My name and purpose / without doublenes
For very grete Ioye / than were endued
Her crystall eyes / full of lowlenes
Whan that she knewe / for veray sykernesse
That I was he / that shoulde so attayue
La bell pucell / with my busy payne
And after this / I hadde ryght good chere
Of mete and drynke / there was grete pleynte
Nothynge I wanted / were it chepe or dere
Thus was I serued / with delycate dysshes daynte
And after this / with all humylyte
I went to doctryne / prayenge her good grace
For to assygne me / my fyrst lernynge place
Seuen doughters / moost experte iu connynge
Withouten foly / she hadde well engendred
As the seuen scyences / in vertue so shynynge
At whose encreace / there is grete thankes rendred
Vnto the moder / as nothynge surrendred
Her good name / and her dulcet sounde
Whiche dyde engendre / theyr orygynall grounde
And fyrst to gramer / she forthe me sent
To whose request / I dyde well obay
With dylygence / forth on my waye I went
Vp to a chambre / depaynted fayre and gay
And at the chambre / in ryght ryche araye
We were let in / by hygh auctoryte
Of the ryght noble / dame congruyte

How Scyence / sent hym fyrste / to gramer where he was receyued by dame Congruyte. ca. v.

The lady Gramer / in all humbly wyse
Dyde me receyue / in to her goodly scole
To whose doctryne / I dyde me aduertyse
For to attayne / in her artyke poole
Her gylted dewe / for to oppresse my doole
To whome I sayde / that I wolde gladly lerne
Her noble connynge / so that I myght decerne
What that it is / and why that it was made
To whiche she answered / than in specyall
Bycause that connynge / shoulde not pale ne fade
Of euery scyence / it is orygynall
Whiche dothe vs teche / euer in generall
In all good ordre / to speke dyrectly
And for to wryte / by true artogrofy
Somtyme in Egypte / reygned a noble kynge
Yclyped Euander / whiche dyde well abounde
In many vertues / especyally in lernynge
Whiche hadde a doughter / that by her study founde
To wryte true latyn / the fyrst parfyte grounde
Whose goodly name / as her story sayes
Was called Carmentis / in her lyuynge dayes
Thus in the tyme / of olde antyquyte
The noble phylozophres / with theyr hole delyght
For the comyn prouffyte / of all humanyte
Of the seuen scyences / for to knowe the ryght
They studyed / many a longe wynters nyght
Eche after other / theyr partes to expresse
This was theyr guyse / to eschewe ydlenesse
The pomped carkes / with fode delycyous
They dyde not fede / but to theyr sustynaunce
The folowed not / theyr flesshe so vycyous
But ruled it / by prudent gouernaunce
They were content / alwaye with suffysaunce
They coueyted not / no worldly treasure
For they knewe / that it myght not endure
But now a dayes / the contrary is vsed
To wynne the money / theyr studyes be all sette
The comyn prouffyte / is often refused
For well is he / that maye the money gette
Frome his neyghboure / without ony lette
They thynke nothynge / they shall from it pas
Whan all that is / shall be tourned to was
The brytell flesshe / nouryssher of vyces
Vnder the shadowe / of euyll slogardy
Must nede haunt / the carnall delyces
Whan that the brayne / by corrupte glotony
Vp so downe / is tourued than contrary
Frayle is the body / to grete vnhappynes
Whan that the heed / is full of dronkenes
So do they now / for they nothynge prepence
How cruell dethe / dothe them sore ensue
They are so blynded / in wordly neclygence
That to theyr meryte / they wyll nothynge renewe
The seuen scyences / theyr slouthe to eschewe
To an oders profyte / they take now no kepe
But to theyr owne / for to ete drynke and slepe
And all this dame gramer / tolde me euery dele
To whome I herkened / with all my dylygence
And after this / she taught me ryght well
Fyrst my donet / and than my accydence
I sette my mynde / with percynge influence
To lerne her scyence / the fyrst famous arte
Eschewynge ydlenes / and layenge all aparte
Madame quod I / for as moche as there be
Viii. partes of speche / I wolde knowe ryght fayne
What a nowne substantyue / is in his degre
And wherfore it is / so called certayne
To whome she answered / ryght gentely agayne
Sayenge alwaye / that a nowne substantyue
Mygh stande / without helpe of an adiectyue
The latyn worde / whiche that is referred
Vnto a thynge / whiche is substancyall
For a nowne substantyue / is well auerred
And with a gendre / is declynall
So all the eyght partes in generall
Are laten wordes / annexed properly
To euery speche / for to speke formally
And gramer is / the fyrste foundement
Of euery scyence / to haue construccyon
Who knewe gramer / without impedyment
Soulde perfytely haue intelleccyon
Of a lytterall cense / and moralyzacyon
To construe euery thynge ententyfly
The worde is gramer / well and ordynatly
By worde the worlde / was made orygynally
The hye kynge sayde / it was made incontynent
He dyde commaunde / all was made shortly
To the worlde / the worde is sentencyous Iugement
I marked well / dame gramers sentement
And of her than / I dyde take my lycence
Goynge to Logyke / with all my dylygence

How he was receyued / of Logyke. ca. vi.
So vp I went / vnto a chambre bryght
Where was wonte / to be a ryght fayre lady
Before whome than / it was my hole delyght
I kneled adowne / full well and mekely
Besechynge her / to enstructe me shortely
In her noble scyence / whiche is experyent
For man to knowe / in many an argument
You shall quod she / my scyence well lerne
In tyme and space / to your grete vtylyte
So that in my lokynge / you shall than decerne
A frende from fo / and good from inyquyte
Ryght from wronge / ye shall knowe in certaynte
My scyence is / all the yll to eschewe
And for to knowe / the false from the trewe
Who wyll take payne / to folowe the trace
In this wretched worlde / of trouthe & ryghtwysenes
In heuen aboue / he shall haue dwellynge place
And who that walbeth / the waye of derkenes
Spendynge his tyme / in worldly wretchednes
Amyddes the erth / in hell most horryble
He shall haue payne / nothynge extynguyssyble
So by logyke / is good perceyueraunce
To deuyde the good / and the euyll a sondre
It is alway / at mannes pleasaunce
To take the good / and cast the euyll vnder
Yf god made hell / it is therof no wonder
For to punysshe man / that hadde intellygence
To knowe good from yll / by trewe experyence
Logyke alwaye / doth make probacyon
Prouynge the pro / well from the contrary
In sundry wyse / by argumentacyon
Grounded on reason / well and wonderly
Who vnderstode / all logyke treuly
Nothynge by reason / myght be in pledynge
But he the trouthe / shoulde haue in knowlegynge
Her wyse doctryne / I marked in memory
And toke my leue / of her hye personne
Bycause that I myght no lenger tary
The yere was spente / and so ferre than goone
And of my lady / yet syght hadde I none
Whiche was abydynge / in the toure of musyke
Wherfore anone / I went to Rethoryke

How he was receyued of Rethoryke / and what Rethoryke is. ca. vii.

Than aboue Logyke / vp we went a stayre
In to a chambre / gayly gloryfyed
Strowed with floures / of all goodly ayre
Where sate a lady / gretely magnyfyed
And her trewe vesture / clerely puryfyed
And ouer her heed / that was bryght and shene,
She hadde a garlande / of the laurell grene
Her goodly chambre / was set all about
With depured myrrours / of speculacyon
The fragraunt fumes / dyde well encense out
All mysty vapours / of perturbacyon
More lyker was / her habytacyon
Vnto a place / whiche is celestyall
Than to a terrayne / mancyon fatall
Before whome / than I dyde knele a downe
Sayenge o sterre / of famous eloquence
O gylted goddesse / of the hygh renowne
Enspyred / with the heuenly influence
Of the doulcet well / of complacence
Vpon my mynde / with dewe aromatyke
Dystyll adowne / thy lusty Rethoryke
And depaynt my tonge / with thy ryall floures
Of delycate odoures / that I maye ensue
In my purpose / to glade myne audytoures
And with thy power / that thou me endue
To moralyse / thy lytterall censes trewe
And clense awaye / the myst of ygnoraunce
With depured beames / of goodly ordynaunce
With humble eeres / of parfyte audyence
To my request / she dyde than enclyne
Sayenge she wolde / in her goodly scyence
In short space / me so well indoctryne
That my dull mynde / it shoulde enlumyne
With golden beames / for euer to oppresse
My rude langage / and all my symplenesse
I thanked her / of her grete gentylnes
And axed her / after this questyon
Madame I sayde / I welde knowe doubtles
What rethoryke is / without abusyon
Rethoryke she sayde / was founde by reason
Man for to gouerne / well and prudently
His wordes to ordre / his speche to puryfy
Fyue partes hath rethoryke / for to werke trewe
Without whiche fyue / there can be no sentence
For these fyue / do well euermore renue
The mater parfyte / with good intellygence
Who that wyll se them / with all his dylygence
Here folowenge / I shall them specyfy
Accordynge well / all vnto myne ordynary

Of the fyrste called inuencyon. And a commendacyon of poetes. Ca. viii.

The fyrste of them / is called inuencyon
Whiche fourdeth / of the most noble werke
Of .v. inwarde wyttes / with hole affeccyon
As wryteth ryght many a noble clerke
With mysty colour / of cloudes derke
How comyn wytte / dooth full well electe
What it sholde take / and what it shall abiecte
And secondly / by ymagynacyon
To drawe a mater / full facundyous
Full meruaylous / is the operacyon
To make of nought / reason sentencyous
Clokynge a trouthe / with colour tenebrous
For often vnder a fayre fayned fable
A trouthe appereth gretely profytable
It was the guyse in olde antyquyte
Of famous poetes / ryght ymagynatyfe
Fables to fayne / by good auctoryte
They were so wyse / and so inuentyfe
Theyr obscure reason / fayre and sugratyfe
Pronounced trouthe / vnder cloudy fygures
By the inuencyon / of theyr fatall scryptures
And thyrdly they hadde suche a fantasy
In this hygh arte / to be intellygyble
Theyr same encreasynge / euermore truely
To slouth euer / they were inuyncyble
To theyr wofull hertes / was nought impossyble
With brennynge loue / of insacyate fyre
Newe thynges to fynde / they set theyr desyre
For though a man / of his propre mynde
Be inuentyf / and he do not apply
His fantasye / vnto the besy kynde
Of his connynge / it maye not ratyfye
For fantasye / must nedes exemplyfy
His newe inuencyon / and cause hym to entende
With hole desyre / to brynge it to an ende
And fourtely / by good estymacyon
He must nombre all the hole cyrcumstaunce
Of this mater / with breuyacyon
That he walke not / by longe contynuaunce
The perambulat waye / full of all varyaunce
By estymacyon / is made annuncyate
Whether the mater be longe or breuyate
For to inuencyon / it is equypolent
The mater founde / ryght well to comprehende
In suche a space / as it is conuenyent
For properly / it doth euer pretende
Of all the purpose / the length to extende
So estymacyon / maye ryght well conclude
The parfyte nombre / of euery symylytude
And yet than / the retentyfe memory
Whiche is the fyfte / must euer agregate
All maters thought / to retayne inwardly
Tyll reason therof / hath made a brobate
And by scrypture / wyll make demonstrate
Outwardly / accordynge to the thought
To proue a reason / vpon a thynge of nought
Thus whan the fourth / hath wrought full wonderly
Than must the mynde / werke vpon them all
By cours ingenyous / to rynne dyrectly
After theyr thoughtes / than in generall
The mynde must cause them to be memoryall
As after this / shall appere more openly
All hole exprest / by dame phylosophy
O thrust of vertue / and of ryall pleasure
Of famous poetes / many yeres ago
O insacyate couetyse / of the specyall treasure
Of newe inuencyon / to ydlenes the fo
We maye you laude / and often prayse also
And specyally / for worthy causes thre
Whiche to this daye / we maye bothe here and se
As to the fyrste / your hole desyre was set
Fables to fayne / to eschewe ydlenes
With amplyacyon / more connynge to get
By the labour / of inuentyfe besynes
Touchynge the trouthe / by couert lykenes
To dysnull vyce / and the vycyous to blame
Your dedes therto / exemplyfyde the same
And secondly / ryght well you dyde endyte
Of the worthy actes / of many a conqueroure
Throughe whiche laboure / that you dyde so wryte
Vnto this daye reygneth the honoure
Of euery noble / and myghty warryoure
And for youe labour / and your besy payne
Youre fame yet lyueth / and shall endure certayne
And eke to prayse you / we are gretely bounde
Bycause our connynge / frome you so procedeth
For you therof / were fyrst orygynall grounde
And vpon youre scryptue / our scyence ensueth
Your splendent verses / our lyghtnes renueth
And so we ought to laude and magnyfy
Your excellent sprynges / of famous poetry

A replycacyon agaynst ignoraunt persones. Ca. ix.792 But rude people / opprest with blyndnes
Agaynst your fables / wyll often solysgyse
Suche is theyr mynde / suche is theyr folysshnes
For they byleue / in no maner of wyse
That vnder a colour / a trouthe may aryse
For folysshe people / blynded in a mater
Wyll often erre / whan they of it do clatter
O all ye cursed / and suche euyll fooles
Whose syghttes be blynded / ouer all with foly
Open your eyes / in the pleasaunt scoles
Of parfyte connynge / or that you reply
Agaynst fables / for to be contrary
For lacke of connyge / no meruayle thoughe you erre
In suche scyence / whiche is frome you so ferre
For now the people / whiche is dull and rude
Yf that they do rede / a fatall scrypture
And can not moralyse / the semelytude
Whiche to theyr wyttes / is so harde and obscure
Than wyll they saye / that it is sene in vre
That nought do poetes / but depaynt and lye
Deceyuynge them / by tongues of flatery
But what for that / they can not defame
The poetes actes / whiche are in effecte
Vnto themselfe / remayneth the shame
To dysprayse that / whiche they can not correcte
And yf that they / hadde in it inspecte
That they wolde it prayse / and often eleuate
For it shoulde be / to them so delycate.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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