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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
HENRY AND EMMA. A POEM,
UPON THE MODEL OF THE NUT - BROWN MA II).
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:
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,