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When that these grayhoundes had me so espied,
With faunyng chere of great humilitie
In goodly haste they fast unto me hyed;
I mused why and wherfore it should be,
But I welcomed them in every degre.
They leaped oft and were of me ryght fayne;
I suffred them, and cheryshed them agayne.
Their collers were of golde and of tyssue fine,
Wherin their names appeared by scripture
Of dyamondes that clerely do shyne:
The letters were graven fayre and pure.
To reade their names I did my busy cure;
The one was Governaunce, the other named Grace;
Then was I glad of all this sodayne cace.
And then the lady, with fiery flambe
Of brennying tongues, was in my presence
Upon her palfrey, whiche had unto name
Pegase the swyfte, so fayre in excellence,
Whiche sometime longed with his preminence
To kyng Percius the sonne of Jubiter,
On whome he rode by the worlde so farre.
To me she sayde, she marvelled muche why
That her grayhoundes shewed me that favoure.
What was my name she asked me truly?
To whome I sayde 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?
My name, quod she, in all the worlde is knowen,
I-clipped Fame in every region,
For I my horne in sundry wyse have blowen
After the death of many a champion,
And with my tongues have made aye
Of their great actes agayne to revive,
In flaming tongues for to abyde on lyve.
It was the custome of an olde antiquitie,
When the golden worlde had dominacion,
And nature, hyghe in her aucthoritie,
More stronger had her operacion
Then she had nowe in her digression,
The people then dyd all their busye payne
After their death in fame to lyve agayne.
Recorde of Saturne, the first kyng of Crete,
Whiche in his youth through his diligence
Founde first plowyng of the landes swete;
And after this, by his great sapience,
For the comen profite and benevolence
Of all metalles he made division
One from another by good provision.
And then also, as some poetes fayne,
He found shotyng and drawyng of the bowe,
Yet as of that I am nothyng certayne;
But for his cunnynge, of hye degre and lowe
He was well beloved, as I do well knowe;
Through whose laboure and aye busy cure
His fame shall lyve and shall ryght long endure.
In whose tyme reigned also in Thessayle,
(A parte of Grece) the kyng Melizyus,
That was ryght strong and fierce in battaile;
By whose laboure, as the story sheweth us,
He brake first horses wilde and rigorious,
Teaching his men on them ryght well to ryde,
And he hym selfe did fyrst the horse bestryde.
Also Mynerve, the ryght hardy goddese
In the same time of so hyghe renowne,
Vainquished Pallas by her great worthynes,
And first made harneys, to laye his pryde adowne:
Whose great defence in every realme and towne
Was spredde about for her hye chyvalrye,
Whiche by her harneys wanne the victorye.
Doth 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 wealth of the commens sake.
Thus the whole myndes were ever fixt and set
Of noble men in olde tyme to devyse
Suche thynges as were to the comeyn proffet;
For in that tyme suche was their goodly guyse,
That after dethe theyr fame should aryse,
For to endure and abyde in mynde,
As yet in bokes we may them wrytten fynde.
O ye estates surmountynge in noblenesse,
Remember well the noble paynyms all,
How by theyr labour they wanne the hyenesse
Of worthy fame to raygne memoryall,
And them applyed ever, in specyall,
Thynges to practyse whiche should profyte be
To the comyn welthe and their heyres in fee.
OF THE SWETE REPORTE OF FAME OF THE FAYRE LADY
LA BELL PUCELL IN THE TOURE OF MUSYCKE.
AND after thys, Fame gan to expresse
Of jeoperdous way to the toure peryllous,
And of the beaute and the semelynesse
Of La Bel Pucell, so gaye and gloryous,
That dwelled in the toure so marveylous;
Unto whyche might come no maner of creature,
But by great laboure and harde adventure.
For by the way theyr lye in wayte
Gyauntes great, dysfigured of nature,
That all devoureth by theyr yll conceyte;
Agaynst whose streingth there may no man endure,
They are so huge and stroonge out of measure;
Wyth many serpentes foule and odyous,
In sundry lykenesse blacke and tedyous.
But behynde them a great see there is,
Beyonde whyche see there is a goodly lande
Most full of fruyte replete wyth joye and blysse.
Of ryght fyne golde appereth all the sande
In this fayre realme, where the tower doth stand,
Made all of golde, enameled aboute
Wyth noble storyes whyche do appere wythout.
In whyche dwelleth by great aucthorytie
Of La Bell Pucell, whyche is so fayre and bryght,
To whome in beaute no pere I can se;
For lyke as Phebus above all sterres in lyght,
Whan that he is in his spere aryght,
Dothe excede wyth his beames cleare,
So dothe her beaute above other appeare.
She is bothe good, ay 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 may ryght longe domine.
And I, dame Fame, in every nacyon
Of her do make the same relacyon.
Her swete reporte so my hert set on fyre
Wyth brennyng love moost hot and fervent,
That her to se I had greate desyre;
Sayenge to Fame; O lady excellent,
I have determyned in my judgement,
For La Bell Pucell the most fayre lady
To passe the waye of so greate jeopardy.