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You shall, quod Fame, obtayne the vyctory,
If you wyl do as I shall you saye,
And all my lesson retayne in memory.
To the toure of Doctryne ye shall take your waye.
You are now wythin a dayes journeye;
Bothe these greyhoundes shal kepe you company:
Loke that you cheryshe them full gentely.
And Countenance, the goodly portres,
Shall let you in ful well and nobly,
And also shewe you of the parfytenes
Of all the seven scyences ryght notably.
There in your mynde you may ententyfly
Unto dame Doctryne gyve parfyte audyence,
Whyche shall enforme you in every scyence.
Farewell, she sayde, I maye not now abyde;
Walke on your waye, wyth all your hole delyght,
To the toure of Doctrine at thys morowe tyde,
Ye shall to morowe of it have a syght.
Kepe on your waye now before you right,
For I must hence to specyfy the dedes
Of theyr worthynesse accordynge to theyr medes.
And wyth that she dyd from me depart,
Upon her stede swyfter than the wynde.
Whan she was gone, full wofull was my herte;
Wyth inward trouble oppressed was my mynde.
Yet were the greyhoundes left wyth me behynde,
Whyche did me comforte in my great vyage
To the toure of Doctryne, with their fawnynge
So forthe I went, tossynge on my brayne,
Greatly musyng, over 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 grayhoundes, in the fayre twylight,
I sate me downe for to rest me all nyght.
Slouthe upon me so fast began to crepe,
That of fyne force I downe me layed
Upon an hyll with my greyhoundes to slepe.
When I was downe, I thought me well apayed,
And to my selfe these wordes then I sayde:
Who will attaine sone to his journeys ende,
To nouryshe slouthe he may not condiscende.
HOWE FAME DEPARTED FROM GRAUNDE AMOURE, AND LEFT WITH HYM GOUVERNAUNCE AND GRACE, AND HOWE HE WENT TO THE TOWER OF DOCTRINE.
THUS then I slept, tyl that Auroras bemes
Gan for to spreade about the firmament,
And the clere sunne with his golden stremes
Began for to ryse fayre in the orient,
Without Saturnus blacke encombrement,
And the litle byrdes makyng melodye
Did me awake wyth their swete armony.
I loked about, and sawe a craggy roche
Farre in the west, neare to the element;
And as I dyd then unto it approche,
Upon the toppe I sawe refulgent
The royall tower of Morall Document,
Made of fine copper, with turrettes fayre and hye,
Which against Phebus shone so marveylously;
That for the very perfect bryghtnes,
What of the tower and of the cleare sunne,
I coulde nothyng beholde the goodlines
Of that palaice where as Doctrine did wonne;
Tyll at the last, with mysty wyndes donne,
The radiant bryghtnes of golden Phebus
Auster gan cover with clowde tenebrus.
Then to the tower I drewe nere and nere,
And often mused of the great hyghnes
Of the craggy rocke, whiche quadrant did appeare;
But the fayre tower so muche of ryches
Was all about sexangled doubtles,
Gargeyld with grayhoundes and with many lyons, Made of fyne golde, with divers sundry dragons.
The little turrets with ymages of golde
About was set, whiche with the wynde aye moved.
Wyth propre vices that I did well beholde,
About the towers in sundry wyse they hoved,
Wyth goodly pypes in their mouthes i-tuned,
That with the wynde they pyped a daunce,
I-clipped Amour de la hault plesaunce.
HOWE HE WAS LET IN BY COUNTENAUNCE THE PORTERES, AND OF THE MARVELOUS BUILDYNG OF THE SAME TOWER.
THE toure was great, and of marvelous wydnes,
To whyche there was no way to passe but one,
Into the toure for to have an intres;
A grece there was, y-chesyled all of stone
Out of the rocke, on whiche men dyd gone
Up to the toure; and in lykewise did I,
Wyth bothe the greyhoundes in my company.
Tyll that I came to a ryall gate,
Where I sawe stondynge the goodly portres,
Whiche axed me from whence I came alate?
To whome I gan in every thynge expresse
All myne adventure, chaunce, and busynesse,
And eke my name I tolde her every dell.
When she herde this, she lyked me ryght well.
Her name, she sayd, was called Countenaunce:
Into the besy courte she dyd me then lede,
Where was a fountayne depured of pleasance,
A noble sprynge, a ryall conduyte hede,
Made of fyne golde enameled with reed,
And on the toppe foure dragons blewe, and stoute
Thys dulcet water in foure partyes dyd spout.
Of whyche there flowed foure ryvers ryght clere,
Sweter than Nysus or Ganges was theyr odoure,
Tygrys or Eufrates unto them no pere.
I dyd than taste the aromatyke lycoure,
Fragraunt of fume, swete as any floure,
And in my mouthe it had a marvelous cent
Of divers spyces; I knewe not what it ment.
And after thys farther forth me brought
Dame Countenaunce into a goodly hall:
Of jasper stones it was wonderly wrought
The wyndowes cleare, depured all of crystall,
And in the roufe on hye over all
Of golde was made a ryght crafty vyne;
In stede of grapes the rubies there did shyne.
The flore was paved with berall clarified,
With pillers made of stones precious,
Like a place of pleasure so gayely glorified,
It might be called a palaice glorious,
So muche delectable and solacious.
The hall was hanged, hye and circuler,
With cloth of arras in the rychest maner,
That treated well of a ful noble story,
Of the doubty waye to the tower perillous;
Howe a noble knyght should wynne the victory
Of many a serpente fowle and odious:
And the first matter then appeared thus;
Howe at a venture and by sodayne chaunce
He met with Fame by fortunes purveyaunce.