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HOWE ETERNYTE CAME INTO THE TEMPLE, AND OF HER VERTUOUS EXHORTACYON.
AND thus, as Tyme made his conclusion,
Eternitie, in a fayre white vesture
To the temple came, with whole affection,
And on her head a diademe ryght pure,
With thre crownes of precious treasure;
Eternitie, she sayde, I am nowe doubtles,
Of heaven quene and of hell empresse.
First God made heaven his propre habitacle,
Though that his power be in every place,
In eterne heaven is his tabernacle;
Time is there in no maner of case;
Time renneth alway his ende to embrace;
Nowe I my selfe shall have no endyng,
And my maker had no begynnyng.
In heaven and hell I am continually
Withouten ende to be inextinguissible,
As evermore to reygne full royally,
Of every thyng I am invincible:
Man of my power shall be intelligible.
When the soule shall ryse against the body,
To have judgement to live eternally
In heaven or hell as he doth deserve:
Who that loveth God above every thyng
All his commaundementes he will then observe,
And spende his tyme in vertuous livyng;
Idlenes will evermore be escheuyng;
Eternall joye he shall then attayne,
After his laboure and his busy payne.
O mortall folke! revolve in your mynde
That worldly joye and frayle prosperitie
What is it lyke, but a blast of wynde?
therof can have no certaintie:
It is nowe so full of mutabilitie;
Set not your mynde upon worldly wealth,
But evermore regarde your soules health.
When earth in earth hath tane his corrupt taste,
Then to repent it is for you to late;
When you save tyme, spende it nothing in waste;
Tyme past with vertue must enter the gate
Of joye and blysse, with myne hye estate,
Without tyme for to be everlastyng,
Whiche God graunt us at our last endyng.
Nowe, blessed lady of the health eternall,
The quene of comfort and of heavenly glory,
Praye to thy swete sonne whiche is infinall,
To geve me grace to wynne the victory
Of the devill, the worlde, and of my body,
And that I may my selfe well apply
Thy sonne and the to laude and magnifie.
Here endeth the Pastime of Pleasure.
THE EXCUSATION OF THE AUCTOUR.
UNTO all Poetes I do me excuse,
If that I offende for lacke of science;
This lyttle boke yet do ye not refuse,
Though it be devoyde of famous eloquence;
Adde or detra by your hye sapience;
And pardon me of my hye enterpryse,
Whiche of late this fable dyd fayne and devise.
Go, little boke! I praye God the save
From misse metryng by wrong impression;
And who that ever list the for to have,
That he perceyve well thyne intencion,
For to be grounded without presumption,
As for to eschue the synne of ydlenes;
To make suche bokes I apply my busines.
Besechyng God for to geve me grace
Bokes to compyle of moral vertue;
Of my maister Lidgate to folowe the trace,
His noble fame for laude and renue,
Whiche in his lyfe the slouthe did eschue;
Makyng great bokes to be in memory,
On whose soule I pray God have mercy.
Imprinted at London in Fletestreate, at the signe of the Hande and Starre, by Rychard Tottell.