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The temple of her royall consistory
Was walled all about with yvory,
All of golde, like a place solacious,
The roufe was made of knottes curious.
I can nothing extende the goodlines
Of her temple, so much of ryches.
This Godfrey Gobilyve went lightly
Unto dame Sapience, the secretary,
That did him make this supplication
To the goddesse Venus with brevacion:
Redresse my payne of mortall heavines;
I did once woe an olde mayden ryche
A foule thefe, an olde wydred wiche.
Fayre mayde, I sayd, will ye me have?
Nay sir, so God me kepe and save!
For you are evill favoured and also ugly,
I am the worse to se your visnamy;
Yet was she fouler many an hundred folde
Then I my selfe, as ye may well beholde.
And therewithall he caused to depaynte
His face and hers, all under his complaynte.
And to Venus he made deliveraunce
Of his complaint by a short circumstaunce;
Whiche ryght anone, when she had it sene,
Began to laughe with all the courte I wene.
Lo here the fygures of them both certayne,
Judge whiche is best favoured of them twayne.
Thus Godfrey Gobilyve did make such a sporte,
That many lovers to hym did resorte;
When I sawe tyme I went to Sapience,
Shewyng to her with all my diligence
Howe that my hart by Venus was trapt,
With a snare of love so prively bewrapt;
And in her tower to have a dwellyng place,
I seke adventures to attayne her grace.
Her name, quod I, La Bell Pucell is,
Both east and west she is well knowen ywys:
And my name, La Graunde Amoure is called,
Whose harte with payne she all about hath walled
With her beautie, whiche dame Nature create,
Above all other in most hygh estate.
Well, sayde Sapience, I thinke in my mynde
Her love and favoure you shall attayne by kynde;
And I wyll drawe to you incontinent.
All your complaynt, as is convenient
Unto dame Venus, to se directly
For your payne and sorowe sone a remedy.
She drewe my pyteous lamentacion,
Accordyng to this supplication:
O, VENUS! lady, and excellent goddesse,
O celestiall starre! havyng the soverayntie
Above all other starres as lady and princes,
As is according unto your deitie;
Pleaseth it nowe your great benignitie
Unto my complaynt for to geve audience,
Whiche burne in love with pearcyng vyolence,
For so it happened that the lady Fame
Did with me mete, and gan to expresse
Of a fayre lady whiche had unto name
La Bell Pucel, come of hye noblesse;
Whose beautie cleare and comely goodlines
From day to day doth ryght well renenue,
With grace brydled and with great vertue.
She tolde me of her fayre habitation,
And of the wayes therto full daungerous;
Her swete report gave me exhortation
Unto my herte for to be courigious,
To passe the passage harde and troublous;
And to bring me out of great encumbraunce,
She me delyvered both Grace and Governaunce.
So forth we went to the toure of Science,
For to attayne in every artike poole.
And first Doctryne by good experience
Unto dame Grammer did sette me to scoole,
Of mysty ignoraunce to oppres the dole;
And so I ascended unto dame Logyke,
And after her unto lusty Rethorike.
Tyll at the last, at a feast solemply
To a temple I went, dame Musike to heare
Play on her organs with swete armony;
But than on lofte I saw to me appeare
The floure of comforte, the sterre of vertue clere, Whose beaute bright into
Lyke as fayre Phebus doth shyne in the glasse.
So was my herte by the stroke of love
With sorow prest, and with mortall payne;
That unneth I myght from the place remove,
Where as I stode I was so take certayne,
Yet up I loked to se her agayne,
And at aventure with a sory moode,
Up than I went where as her person stode.
And first of all my herte gan to lerne
Right well to register in remembraunce,
How that her beautie I might than decerne,
From top to to endued with pleasaunce,
Which I shall shew withouten variaunce;
Her shining here so properly she dresses
Alofe her forehed with fayre golden tresses.
Her forehead stepe, with fayre browes ybent,
Her eyen gray, her nose streyght and fayre,
In her whyte chekes the fayre bloud it went
As among the whyte the rede to repayre:
Her mouth right small, her breth swete of ayre,
Her lyppes softe and ruddy as a rose,
No hert on lyve but it wold him appose.
Wyth a lyttle pytte in her well-favored chynne; Her necke longe as whyte as ony lylly,
With vaynes blew in which the blode ran inne;
Her paypes round and therto right prety;
Her armes sclender and of goodly body;
Her fingers small and therto right longe,
White as the milke, with blew vaynes among.
Her fete proper, she gartered well her hose,
I never saw so swete a creature;
Nothing she lacketh as I do suppose,
That is longing to fayre dame Nature;
Yet more over her countenaunce so pure,
So swete, so lovely, wold my hert inspyre,
Wyth fervent love to attayne his desyre.
But what for her maners passeth all,
She is both gentyll, good, and vertuous;
Alas! what fortune did me to her call
Without that she be to me piteous?
With her so fettered in paynes dolorous,
Alas! shall pite be from her exyled,
Which all vertues hath so undefiled?
Thus in my mynde whan I had engraved
Her goodly countenaunce and fayre figure,
It was no wonder that I was amased,
My herte and minde she had so tane in cure.
Nothing of love I durst to her discure;
Yet for bicause I was in her presence,
I toke acquaintaunce of her excellence.
My herte was drenched in great sorow depe,
Though outwardly my countenaunce was lyght;
The inward wo into my hert did crepe,
To hide my payne it was great force and myght.
Thus her swete beaute with a soden sight
My hert hath wounded, which much nedes obey
Unto such a sorow, alas, welawaye!