תמונות בעמוד

All this may nought remove my thought, but that I will be your:

And she shall fynde me soft, and kynde, and courteys every hour;

Glad to fulfyll all that she wyll commaunde me, to my power:

For had ye, lo, an hundred mo, yet wolde I be that one ;

For, in my mynde, of all mankynde I love but you alone.


Myneown dere love, Ise the prove that yebe kynde, and true; Of mayde, and wyfe, in all my lyfe, the best that ever I knewe. Be mery and glad, be no more sad, the case is chaunged newe; For it were ruthe, that, for your truthe, ye sholde have cause to rewe : 160 Be nat dismayed; whatsoever I sayd to you, whan I began, I will nat to the grene wode go, I am no banyshed Imall. B. These tydings be more gladder to me than to be made a quene, Yf I were sure they sholde endure: but it is often Sene, Whan men wyll breke promyse, they speke the wordes on the splene: Ye shape some wyle, me to begyle, and stele from me, I wene:

Than were the case worse than it was, and I more

wo-begone; For, in my mynde, of all mankynde I love but you alone. A. Ye shall nat nede further to drede; I wyll not dysarage You (God defendel) syth you descend of so grete lynage. 170

Nowe understande,-to Westmarlande, which is myne herytage,

I wyll you bringe; and with a rynge, by way of maryage

I wyll you take, and lady make, as shortely as I can :

Thus have ye won an erlys son, and no banyshed



Here may ye se, that women be, in love, meke, kynde, and stable: Late never man reprove them than, - - But, rather, pray God, that we may to them be comfortable, Which sometyme proved such as he loved, yf they be charytable. Forsoth, men wolde that women sholde be meke to them eche one; Moche more ought they to God obey, and serve but Hym alone. 180




HOU, to whose eyes I bend, at whose command ? (Though low my voice, though artless to o be my hand) I take the sprightly reed, and sing, and play; Careless of what the censuring world may say: Bright Cloe, object of my constant vow, Wilt thou awhile unbend thy serious brow; Wilt thou with pleasure hear thy lover's strains, And with one heavenly smile o'erpay his pains? No longer shall the Nut-brown Maid be old; Though since her youth three hundred years have roll'd : 10 At thy desire she shall again be rais'd; And her reviving charms in lasting verse be prais'd. No longer man of woman shall complain, That he may love, and not be lov’d again: That we in vain the fickle sex pursue, Who change the constant lover for the new. Whatever has been writ, whatever said, Of female passion feign'd, or faith decay'd : Henceforth shall in my verse refuted stand, Be said to winds, or writ upon the sand. 20 And, while my notes to future times proclaim Unconquer'd love, and ever-during flame;


O fairest of the sex be thou my Muse:
Deign on my work thy influence to diffuse.
Let me partake the blessings I rehearse,
And grant me love, the just reward of verse !
As beauty's potent queen, with every grace
That once was Emma's, has adorn'd thy face;
And as her son has to my bosom dealt
That constant flame which faithful Henry felt; 30.
0 let the story with thy life agree:
Let men once more the bright example see;
What Emma was to him, be thou to me.
Nor send me by thy frown from her I love,
Distant and sad, a banish'd man to rove.
But oh l with pity long-entreated crown
My pains and hopes; and when thousay'st that one
Of all mankind thou lov'st, oh! think on me alone.

Where beauteous Isis and her husband Tame With mingled waves for ever flow the same, 40 In times of yore an ancient baron liv'd; Great gifts bestow'd, and great respect receiv'd.

When dreadful Edward with successful care Led his free Britons to the Gallic war; This lord had headed his appointed bands, In firm allegiance to his king's commands; And (all due honours faithfully discharg'd) Had brought back his paternal coat enlarg’d With a new mark, the witness of his toil, And no inglorious part of foreign spoil. 50

From the loud camp retired, and noisy court, In honourable ease and rural sport, The remnant of his days he safely pass'd; Nor found they lagg'd too slow, nor flew too fast.

He made his wish with his estate comply,
Joyful to live, yet not afraid to die.
One child he had, a daughter chaste and fair,
His age's comfort, and his fortune's heir.
They call'd her Emma; for the beauteous dame,
Who gave the virgin birth, had borne the name:
The name th’ indulgent father doubly lov’d; si
For in the child the mother's charms improv’d.
Yet as, when little, round his knees she play'd,
He call'd her oft in sport his Nut-brown Maid,
The friends and tenants took the fondling word
(As still they please, who imitate their lord);
Usage confirm'd what fancy had begun;
The mutual terms around the lands were known;
And Emma and the Nut-brown Maid were one.
As with her stature, still her charms increas'd ;
Through all the isle her beauty was confess'd. 11
Oh! what perfections must that virgin share,
Who fairest is esteem’d, where all are fair?
From distant shires repair the noble youth,
And find report for once had lessen'd truth.
By wonder first, and then by passion mov’d,
They came; they saw; they marvell'd; and they
By public praises, and by secret sighs,
Each own'd the general power of Emma's eyes.
In tilts and tournaments the valiant strove, 80
By glorious deeds to purchase Emma's love.
In gentle verse the witty told their flame,
And grac'd their choicest songs with Emma's name.
In vain they combated, in vain they writ:
Useless their strength, and impotent their wit.
Great Wenus only must direct the dart,

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