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In his left hande he had an horology,
And in his ryght hande a fyre brennyng,
A swerde about hym gyrte full surely,
His legges armed clerely shynyng;
And on his noddle darkely flamyng
Was set Saturne, pale as any ledde,
And Jupiter amiddes his foreheade.
In the mouthe Mars; and in his ryght wynge
Was splendent Phebus with his golden beames;
And in his breast there was replendishyng
The shinyng Venus, with depured streames,
That all about did cast her fyry leames;
In his left wynge Mercury; and above his waste
Was horned Dyane, her opposition past.
My name, quod he, is in division;
As tyme was, tyme is, and the tyme future:
I marveyle muche of the presumption
Of the dame Fame so puttyng in ure
Thy great prayse, saiyng it shall endure
For to be infinite evermore in prease,
Seyng that I shall al thy honoure cease.
Shall not I, Tyme, destroye both sea and lande?
The sunne and mone, and the starres all,
By very reason thou shalt understande,
At last shall lese their course in generall.
On tyme past it vayleth not to call:
Nowe by this horologe it doth well appeare,
That my last name dothe evermore drawe neare.
In my ryght hande the great fire so fervent
Shall burne the tyme, and also minyshe
The fatall tongues, for it is accident
Unto me, Time, all thinges to peryshe,
When my laste ende I shall accomplyshe;
And thus in vaine thou hast thy laboure spent,
When by me, Tyme, thou shalt be so brent.
In eternitie, before the creation
Of aungell and man, all thyng was visible
In Goddes syght, as due probation
Of his Godheade, whiche is intellygyble,
To whome nothyng can be impossible.
For in my selfe a hye and sufficient
Before all thynges he was refulgent.
Unto whome onely is apparaunce
Of my last ende, as myne originall
Was in his syght without doubtaunce;
For onely of hym it is especiall,
The hye power and godheade in finall,
The future tence to knowe directly,
Unto whome it appeareth openly.
I am the lodestarre to dame Eternitie;
When man of earth hath his creation,
After the minute of his nativitie,
He taketh then his operacion
Upon me, Tyme, at every season.
In the same houre the worlde was create,
Originally I toke myne estate.
worthies so victorious,
Do all their actes without tyme or space
Tyme is a thyng both gay and glorious,
When it passeth with vertue and grace.
Man in this worlde hath a dwellyng place,
Eyther hell or heaven, wythout lesynge,
Alway he getteth in his tyme spendynge.
Withouten tyme is no erthly thynge,
Nature, fortune, or yet dame Sapyence,
Hardines, clergy, or yet lernynge,
Past, future, or yet in presence;
Wherfore I am of more hye preeminence,
As cause of fame, honoure, and clergy,
They can nothynge wythout hym magnyfy.
Do not I, Tyme, cause nature to augment ?
Do not I, Tyme, cause nature to decay?
Do not I, Tyme, cause man to be presente?
Do not I, Tyme, take his lyfe away?
Do not I, Tyme, cause death take his say?
Do not I, Tyme, passe his youth and age ?
Do not I, Tyme, every thynge asswage?
In tyme Troye the cyte was edyfied;
By tyme also was the destruccyon;
Nothinge without tyme can be fortified;
No erthly joye nor tribulacion,
Wythout time, is for to suffre passyon;
The tyme of erthe was our dystruccyon,
And the time of erthe was our redempcion.
Adam of erthe, sone of virginite,
And Eve by God of Adam create,
These two the worlde dampned in certaynete,
By disobedience so foule and vycyate;
And all other than frome them generate,
Tyll peace and mercy made right to enclyne
Out of the Lyon to enter the Vyrgyne.
Lyke as the worlde was distroyed totally
By the virgins sone, so it semed well
A virgins sone to redeme it pyteously,
Whose hye Godheed in the chosen vessell
Forty wekes naturally did dwell.
Nature wekes naturally dyd good of kynde,
In the vyrgyn he dyd suche nature fynde.
Thus wythout nature nature wonderly
In a vyrgyn pure openly hath wrought;
To the God of nature nothynge truely
Impossyble is, for he made of nought
Nature fyrst; whyche naturynge hath tought
Naturately right naturate to make;
Why may not he than the pure nature take
By his Godheed of the vyrgin Mary?
His elect mother and arke of testament,
Of holy chyrche the blessyd lumynary,
After the byrthe of her sone excellent,
Virgyn she was, yet alway permanent,
Dysnullynge the sectes of false idolatry,
And castynge downe the fatall heresy.
Thus whan I, Tyme, in every nacyon
Reygne in rest and also in peace;
And Octavyan, in hys dominacyon,
Through the worlde and the peopled preace
Letters had sent, his honoure to encreace;
Of all the numbre for to be certayne
For to abey hym as theyr soverayne:
In whose tyme God toke his nativitie,
For to redeme us with his precious bloud,
From the devils bonde of great iniquitie:
His hart was perst hangyng on the rode;
Was not this tyme unto man ryght good?
Shall not I, Tyme, evermore abyde,
Tyll that in Libra at the dreadfull tyde
Of the daye of dome then in the balaunce,
Almyghty God shall be just and egall
To every persone withouten doubtaunce,
Eche as they dyd deserve in generall,
Some to have joye, and some payne eternall,
Then I am past, I may no lenger be,
And after me is dame Eternitie.