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For she is gone, and departed right ferre,
In her countre where she doth abyde;
She is now gone, the fayre shining sterre!
O lady Venus! I pray the provide
That I may after at the morow tide,
And by the way, with hert rigorious,
To subdue mine enemies contrarious.
And yet thy grace moost humbly I pray,
To send thy sonne lytle Cupide before,
With loving letters as fast as thou may,
That she may know somwhat of my paynes sore,
Which for her sake I suffer evermore.
Now, lady Venus, with my hole intent
Of lyfe or death I byde the judgement.
Well than, sayd Venus, I have perseveraunce
That you know somwhat of mighty power
Which to my court sue for my quayntaunce,
To have release of your great paynes sower.
Abyde a whyle, ye must tary the hower;
The time renneth toward right fast:
Joy cometh after whan the sorow is past.
Alas! I sayd, who is fettered in chaynes
He thinketh long after delyveracion
Of his great wo and eke mortall paynes;
For who abideth paynfull penaunce
Thinketh a short whyle a longe contynuaunce;
Who may not speke with her he loveth best,
It is no wonder though he take no rest.
Abyde, quod she; you must a whyle yet tary,
Though to have comfort ye right long do thinke:
I shall provide for you a lectuary,
Which after sorow into your herte shall sinke.
Though you be brought now unto dethes drynke,
Yet drede exile and lyve in hope and trust,
For at the last you shall attayne your lust.
And specially I gyve to you a charge
To fyxe your love, for to be true and stable
Upon your lady, and not to fle at large
As in sundry wise for to be variable,
In corrupt thoughtes vyle and culpable;
Prepence nothing unto her dishonesty,
For love dishonest hath no certaynte.
And sithen that I was cause you be gone
Fyrst for to love, I shall a letter make
Unto your lady, and send it by my sonne,
Lytle Cupyde, that shall it to her take,
That she your sorow may detray or slake.
Her harded herte it shall well revolve,
Wyth pyteous wordes that shall it dissolve.
And right anon, as the mater foloweth,
She caused Sapyence a letter to wryte;
Lo! what her favour unto me avayleth
Whan for my selfe she did so well indite,
As I shall shew in a short respyte
The gentyll fourme and tenour of her letter,
To spede my cause for to attayne the better.
THE COPY OF THE LETTER THAT VENUS SENT TO
LA BELL PUCELL.
RIGHT gentyll herte of grene flouring age,
The sterre of beute and of famous porte,
Consyder well that your lusty courage
Age of his cours must at the last transporte:
Now trouth of his right dooth our selfe exhorte
That you your youth in ydelnes wyll spende,
Wythouten pleasure to bryng it to an ende.
What was the cause of your creacion,
But man to love, the world to multeply?
As to sow the sede of generacion,
Wyth fervent love so well conveniently,
The cause of love engendreth perfytely,
Upon an entent of dame Nature,
Which you have made so fayre a creature.
Than of dame Nature what is the entent
But to accomplyshe her fayre sede to sow?
In such a place as is convenient,
To Gods pleasure, for to increase and grow.
The kinde of her ye may not overthrow:
Say what ye lyst, ye can nothing deny,
But other whyle ye thinke full prively
What the man is, and what he can do
Of chambre werke, as nature can agre,
Though by experience ye know nothing therto,
Yet oft ye muse, and thinke what it may be.
Nature provoketh of her strong degre,
You so to as hath bene her olde guyse;
Why wyll you than the true love dispyse?
In our court there is a byll presented
By Graund Amour, whose hert in dures
You fast have fettered, not to be absented
Frome your person with mortall hevynes:
His hert and service, with all gentylnes,
He to you oweth, as to be obedient
For to fulfyll your swete commaundement.
What you avayleth your beaute so fayre,
Your lusty youth and your gentill countenaunce,
Without that you in minde will repayre
It for to spend in joye and plesaunce?
To folow the trace of dame Natures daunce; And thus in doing you shall your servaunt hele, Of his disease and hurte you never a dele.
One must you love, it can not be denied,
For harde it is to voyde you of the chaunce
Than to love him best that you have so arayed
Wyth fyry chaynes fettered in penaunce;
For he is redy without doubtaunce
In every thing for to fulfyll your wyll,
And as ye lyst ye may him save or spyll.
Alas! what payne and mortall wo
Were it to you and you were in lyke cace,
Wyth him dismayde which you have rayed so;
Wold you not than thinke it a longe space
In his swete herte to have a dwellyng place?
Than in your minde you may revolve that he
Moost longe do thinke that joyfull day to se.
Is not he yonge, both wyse and lusty,
And eke descended of the gentyll lyne?
What wyll you have more of him truely,
Than you to serve as true love wyll inclyne?
But, as I thinke, you do now determine
To fyxe your minde for worldly treasure,
Though in your youth ye lese your pleasure.
Alas! remember first your beaute,
Your youth, your courage, and your tender herte;
What payne hereafter it may to you be
Whan you lacke that which is true lovers deserte;
I tell you this your selfe to converte,
For lytle know ye of this payne ywys,
To lyve with him in whome no pleasure is.
Where that is love, there can be no lacke;
Fye on that love for the land or substaunce,
For it must nedes right soone abacke
Whan that youth hath no joye nor pleasaunce
In the party with natures suffisaunce;
Than wyll you, for the sinne of averiche,
Unto your youth do such a prejudice?