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Wherfore my power doth ryght well excell
Above the, Mars, in thine house enclosed;
For to rule man thou hast power never a dele,
Save after the somwhat he is disposed:
Thy consolacion hath him so apposed
Who under the taketh his nativitie,
Yet God hath gyven him power to rule the.
Wherfore I am of a ferre hyer power
Than thou arte; for there is no defence
Agaynst my wyll at any time or houre;
And in my name there is a difference,
For in these wordes in my magnifycence
Predestinate, and also desteny,
As I shall shew anone more formably.
Predestinate doth right well signify
A thing to come, whiche is prepared:
None but God doth know it openly,
Tyl that the dede caused to be declared;
For many one, whan they well fared,
Full lytell thought that tribulacion
To them was ordeyned by predestinacion.
The desteny is a thyng accydent,
And by the werke doth take the effecte;
Tyll it be done it is ay precedent,
And man from it can him selfe abject.
Thus every chaunce doth Fortune derecte.
Wherfore, by reason, La Graunde Amoure
Must sue unto me to do him socour.
Aha! quod Mars, suche a one as thou
I never knew before this ceason;
For thou thy selfe doost so much enprou
Above the havens by exaltacion;
But what for all thy commendacion?
Arte thou now any thing substanciall,
Spirituall, or els yet terrestryall?
How can a werke perfitely be grounded
But in these two? and thou arte of those:
Wherfore for nought thou mayst be confounded;
For nought in substaunce can nothing transpose;
Of none effecte thou canst thy selfe disclose;
How hast thou power, in any maner of case,
In heven or earth without a dwellyng place?
But that poetes hath made a figure
Of the, for the great sygnification
The chaunge of man so for to discure,
Accordyng to a moralyzacion;
And of the trouth to make relacion,
The man is fortune in the propre dede,
And not thou that causeth hym to spede.
What nedeth him unto his selfe to sue,
Sythen thou art the dedes of his chaunce;
Thou to rule man, it is a thynge not true,
Nowe wherupon doth hange this ordenaunce,
But accedent upon the governaunce
Of the hye bodis, whiche doth man dispose
The dede to do as hym lyst purpose.
To here of Mars the marveylous argument,
And of Fortune, I was sore amased;
Tyll that I sawe a lady excellent,
Clerely armed, upon whome I gased,
And her armes ful prevely I blased:
The shelde of golde, as I well understande,
With a lyon of asure through passande.
To me she came, with lowely countenance,
And bad me welcome unto that mancion,
Ledyng me forth wyth joy and pleasaunce
Into an hall of mervaylous facion,
Right strongly fortyfyde of olde foundacion,
The pillers of yvery garnished with golde,
With perles sette and broudred many a folde.
The flore was paved with stones precious,
And the rofe was braunched curiously
Of the beten golde both gaye and glorious,
Knotted with pomaunders right swetely,
Encencing out the yll odours misty;
And on the walles right well did appere
The sege of Thebes depaynted fayre and clere.
There were knightes playeng at the chesse,
Which saw Minerve lede me in the hall;
They lefte their play and all theyr besines,
And welcomed me right gentely withall,
With sir Nurture than moost in speciall,
Accompanied of his brother Curtesy;
They made me chere than full effectuall.
And after that they brought me up a stayre,
Into a chambre gayly glorified;
And at the dore there stode a knight right fayre,
Ye cleped Trouth, right clerely purified;
His countenaunce was right well modified;
To me he sayde that, before mine entres,
Him for to love I should him promes.
Of ryght, he sayde, I have in custody
This chambre dore of king Melezius,
That no man enter into it wrongfully,
Without me, Trouthe, for to be chivalrous;
Here knightes be made to be victorious.
I shall you promise, quoth I, faythfully,
You for to love and serve prudently.
Abyde, quod he, I wyll speke with the kynge;
Tell me your name and habitation,
And the chefe cause now of your coming,
That I to him may make relacion,
To knowe his minde without variacion.
La Graund Amour my name is, sayd I;
The cause of my coming, intentifly,
Is for bicause that I have enterprised,
Now for the sake of fayre La Bell Pucell,
To passe the passage that I her promised
That is so daungerous with serpentes cruell;
And for as much as I know never a dell
The festes of armes to attayne honoure,
I am come to lerne with diligent labour.
Then forth he went unto the mageste
Of king Melizius the mighty conquerour,
Sayeng: O power so hye in dignitie!
O prynce victorious and famous emperour!
Of justynge truely the originall floure;
One Graunde Amoure wolde be acceptable,
In your hye courte for to be tendable.
With all my herte I wyll, quod he, accepte
Hym to my servyce, for he is right worthy:
For unto Doctryne the hye way he kept,
And so from thens to the toure of Chyvalry.
He shall attayne great actes wonderly.
Go on your way, and bryng him fast to me,
For I thinke long him to beholde and se.
And than the good knight Trouth incontinent
Into the chambre so pure soone me lede,
Where sate the king so much benevolent,
In purple clothed, set full of rubyes rede;
And all the flore on which we did tread
Was crystall clere, and the rofe at night
With carbuncles did geve a merveylous lyght.
The walles were banged with cloth of tyssue,
Broudred with perles and rubies rubicond,
Mixte with emerauds so full of vertue
And brodred above with many a diamonde.
An hevy herte it wolde make jocunde
For to behold the merveylous riches,
The lordship, welth, and the great worthines.