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There was depaynted all about the wall
The grete destruccion of the cite of Troye;
And the noble actes do reygne memoryall
Of the worthy Hector that was all theyr joye.
His dolorus death was herde to occoye;
And so whan Hector was cast all downe,
The hardy Troylus was moost hyghe of renowne.
And as I cast my syght so asyde,
Beholdynge Mars how wonderly he stode,
On a whele top with a lady of pryde
Haunced aboute, I thought nothing but good,
But that she had two faces in one hode;
Yet I kneled adowne and made mine oryson,
To doughty Mars, wyth grete devocyon.
Sayenge: O Mars! O god of the warre!
The gentyll lodesterre of an hardy herte,
Dystyll adowne thy grace from so farre
To cause all fere from me to astert:
That in the felde I may ryght well subverte
The hedyus monsters, and winne the victory
Of the sturdy giauntes with famous chyvalry.
prynce of honour and of worthy fame!
O noble knightes of olde antiquite!
O redouted courage, the cause of theyr name,
Whose worthy actes fame caused to be
In bokes wrytten, as ye maye well se!
So gyve me grace ryght well to secure
The power of fame that shall long endure.
I thought me past al chyldly ygnoraunce,
The xxxi. yere of my yonge flourynge aege;
I thought that Venus might nothyng avaunce
Her strength against me with her lusty courage;
My wytte I thought had suche avauntage,
That it should rule both Venus and Cupyde:
But, alas for wo! for all my sodayne pryde!
Whan that Phebus entred was in Gemine,
Toward the Crab takynge ascencyon,
At the tyme of the great solempnite
From heven above of Goddes descencyon;
In a grete temple with hole entencyon
As I went walkyng my selfe to and fro,
Full sodaynly Venus wrought me such wo.
For as I cast than my syght all alofte,
I sawe Venus in beaute so clere,
Which caused Cupide wyth his darte so softe,
To wounde my herte wyth fervent love so dere;
Her lovynge countenaunce so hyghe dyd appere,
That it me ravyshed wyth a sodayne thought,
Alas for wo! it vayled me ryght nought.
To gyve audyence unto the melody
Of waytes and organs that were at the fest,
Love had me wounded so sore inwardly,
What was to do I knewe not the best.
Replete wyth sorowe and devoyde of rest,
Sythen the tyme that she my hert soo wounded,
My joy and pryde she hath full lowe confounded.
And so nowe, for to attayne her grace,
As thou doost knowe become adventurous,
Besechinge the in thys peryllous case,
O Mars! me succoure in tyme tempestyous,
That I may passe the passage daungerous,
And to thy laude, honoure, and glorye,
I shal a temple ryght strongly edefy.
Well than, sayd Mars, I shall the fortefye
In all thy warre as fast as I can..
But for thy payne I knowe no remedy,
For Venus reyned whan that thou began,
Fyrst for to love making the pale and wanne;
And of the trouthe to make relacyon
Thou was borne under her consolacion.
Wherefore thou must, of veray perfyte ryght,
Unto her sue by the disposicion
Whyche the constreyneth wyth hole delyght
For to love ladies by true affeccion.
Suche is her course and operacion.
Wherfore whan thou hast lerned perfytely
The for to governe by prudent chyvalry,
Than, to fulfyll the ryght hye enterpryse,
Forth on thy waye thou shalt thy jorney take,
Unto a temple in all humble wyse
Before dame Venus thine oblacion to make,
Whiche all thy payne may sone redresse and slake;
For at that tyme she holdeth a parlemente,
To redress lovers of theyr impedimente.
A, ha! quod Fortune, with the faces twayne,
Behynde syr Mars; I have a grete mervayle
That thou dost promyse him that he shal attayne
Unto his purpose with al diligent travayle,
Through thyne ayd, eke strength and counsayl;
Sythens dependeth in myn ordenaunce,
Hym to promote or brynge to myschaunce.
My power, estate, and ryall dygnyte,
Doth torne the whele of worthely glorye
Often up so downe by mutabilyte.
Have not I promoted full nobly
Many a lowe degre to reigne full ryally?
And often have made a transmutacion
Of worldly welthe into tribulacion?
Thus can I make an alteracion
Of worthely honoure, whiche doth depende
All onely in my dominacion;
Through the worlde my whele doth extende,
As reason doth ryght well comprehende;
Of my great chaunces whiche are unsure,
As dayly doth appere well in ure.
If I should worke with perfite stedfastnes,
And to exalte some to be honourable,
And that they knewe by perfyte sykernes,
That it should dure and not be variable,
It were a thyng unto me culpable;
For great orguell pryde should them so blynde,
To knowe them selfe they should lose their mynde.
Thus whan that they should them selfe forgete,
And in no wyse their owne persone knowe,
Full lytell than they would by me sette,
That them exalted to hye degre from lowe;
And by my chaunce could nought them overthrowe;
Thus should they do and drede me nothyng,
Wherfore my whele is evermore tournyng.
And where that I shoulde turne my face,
Castinge some in pytte of poverte,
They were condampned without ony grace
As for to attayne any prosperite;
Whiche were a cause of greate iniquite:
For riche mennes goodes I must ofte translate,
Unto the poore, them for to elevate.
And thyrdely; I shoulde lese my name,
For this worde fortune is well derifyde
Of an accydent chaunge, both good or shame,
Whan that the deade is so exemplifyde;
Wherfore by reason I must be duplifyde;
And nothing stable in myne hye werke,
As wryteth many a ryght noble clerke.
Therfore by reason I must be mutable,
And turne my whele right ofte up so downe,
Labouringe in werkes whiche are unstable,
On some to laughe and on some I must frowne;
Thus all aboute in every realme and towne,
I shew my power in every sundry wyse,
Some to descende and on some to aryse.