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Of his statùre he was of even length, And wonderly deliver and great of strength;

And he had been some time in chevachie In Flandres, in Artois, and in Picardy, And borne him well, as of so little space, In hope to standen in his lady's grace

Embroidered was he, as it were a mead All full of freshé flowers white and red. Singing he was or fluting all the day: He was as fresh as is the month of May. Short was his gown, with sleevés long

and wide;

Well could he sit on horse, and fairé ride. He couldé songés well make, and indite, Joust, and eke dance, and well pourtray

and write.

So hot he loved, that by nightertale He slept no more than doth the nightin. gale.

Courteous he was, lowly and serviceable, And carved before his father at the table.


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And musing thus, I think, the case is COMPLAINT OF THE ABSENCE


very strange,

That man from wealth, to live in wo, doth ever seke to change.

Thus thoughtfull as I lay, I sawe my withered skyn,

How it doth shew my dented chewes, the flesh was worn so thin,

And eke my totheless chaps, the gates of my right way,

That opes and shuttes, as I do speak, do thus unto me say: The white and horish heres, the messengers of age,

That shew like lines of true belief, that this life doth assuage, Biddes the lay hand, and feele them hanging on thy chin.

The whiche doth write to ages past, the third now coming in;

Hang up therefore the bitte, of thy yong wanton tyme,

And thou that therein beaten art, the happiest life defyne. Whereat I sighed, and sayde, farewell my wonted toye, Trusse up thy packe, and trudge from me, to every little boy,

And tell them thus from me, their time most happy is,

If to theyr time they reason had, to know the truth of this.


A FACE that should content me wonderous well,

Should not be fatt, but lovely to behold, Of lively look all griefe for to repell With right good grace so would I that it should. Speak without word, such words as none can tell ;

Her tress also should be of crisped gold. With wit and these, perchaunce I might be tryde And knit againe with knot that should not slide.

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To lyft me up that I might fly to follow my desyre.

Thus of that hope that doth my lyfe some.
thyng susteyne,
Alas I fear, and partly feel full little doth
Eche place doth bring me griefe where I
doe not behold,

Those lively eyes which of my thoughts,
were wont the keys to hold.
Those thoughts were pleasant sweet whilst
I enjoy'd that grace,

My pleasure past, my present pain, when
I might well embrace.
And for because my want should more
my woe increase,

In watch and sleep both day and night
my will doth never cease.
That thing to wishe whereof synce I did
lose the sight,

Was never thing that mought in ought iny wofull hart delight.

Th' ancasy life I lead doth teach me for to mete,

The floods, the seas, the land, the hills, that doth them intermete, Twene me and those shene lights that wonted for to clere,

My darked pangs of cloudy thoughts as bright as Phebus sphere;

It teacheth me also, what was my pleasant state,

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Out by these eyes, it sheweth that ever. more delight;

In plaint and teares to seek redress, and eke both day and night.

Those kindes of pleasures most wherein men soe rejoice,

To me they do redouble still of stormy sighes the voice.

For, I am one of them, whom plaint doth well content,

As doth the accumbred sprite the thoughtfull throwes discover, Of teares delyte of fervent love that in our hartes we cover,

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The crisped gold that doth surmount Appolloe's pride,

The lively streames of pleasant starrs that under it doth glyde,

Wherein the beames of love doe still increase theire heate,

Which yet so far touch me to near in cold to make me sweat,

The wise and pleasant take, so rare or else alone,

Where doth encrease my care, much better were for me,

As dumm as stone all things forgott, still absent for to be.

Alas the clear christall, the bright tran-I splendant glasse,

Doth not bewray the colours hid which underneath it hase.

That gave to me the curties gyft, that earst had never none.

far from me alas, and every other thing,

might forbear,with better will, then this that did me bring.

With pleasand woord and cheer, redress of lingred payne,

And wonted oft in kindled will, to vertue me to trayne.

Thus am I forc'd to hear and hearken after news,


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My comfort scant, my large desire in
doubtful trust renews.
And yet with more delight to move my
wofull case,

I must complaine these hands, those
armes, that firmly do embrace,
Me from myself, and rule the sterne of
my poor life,

The sweet disdaynes, the pleasant wrathes,
and eke the holy strife,
That wonted well to tune in temper just
and mete,

The rage, that oft did make me err by
furour undiscrete.

All this is hid from me with sharp and

ragged hills,

At others will my long abode, my depe THE AGED LOVER RENOUNCETH dyspayr fulfills.


And of my hope sometime ryse up by
some redresse,

It stumbleth straite for feable faint my
fear hath such excesse.
Such is the sort of hoape, the less for
more desyre,

And yet I trust e're that I dye, to see
that I require.

The resting-place of love, where virtue
dwells and growes,
There I desire my weary life sometime
may take repose,
My song thou shalt attaine, to find the
pleasant place,

Where she doth live by whom I live, may
chance to have this grace.
When she hath read and seen, the griefe
wherein I serve,

Between her brests she shall thee put,
there shall she thee reserve.
Then tell her, that I come, she shail me

Wherefore come death and let me dye.
The shorter life, less count I finde,
The less account the sooner made,
The account soon made, the merier mind,
The merier mynd doth thought evade;
Short life in truth this thing doth trye,
Wherefore come death and let me dye.

Come gentle death, the ebbe of care,
The ebbe of care, the flood of life,
The flood of life, the joyful fare,
The joyful fare, the end of strife,
The end of strife, that thing wish I,
Wherefore come death and let me die.

shortly see,

And if for waight the body fayl, the soul shall to her flee.

THE longer life the more offence
The more offence the greater paine,
The greater paine the lesse defence,
The lesse defence the lesser gaine ;
The loss of gaine long yll doth trye,

I LOTHE that I dyd love,
In youth that I thought swete,
As time requires for my behove,
Methinks they are not mete.

My muse doth not delight
Me as she dyd before,
My hand and pen are not in plight,
As they have been of yore.
For reason me denyes
This youthly ydle ryme,
And day by day to me cryes,
Leave of these toyes in tyme.

The wrinkles in my browe,
The furrows in my face,

Say lymping age will lodge hym now,
Where youth must geve him place.
The harbinger of death,
To me I see him ride,

THE LONGER LIFE THE MORE The cough, the cold, the gasping breath


Doth byd me to provyde
A pickax and a spade
And eke a shrowding shete,
A house of clay for to be made,
For such a geaste most mete.

Methinkes I hear the clarke
That knoles the carefull knell,


My lustes they do me leave,
My fancies all are fled,
And tract of time begynnes to weave
Gray heares upon my hed.

For age with stealing steppes
Hath clawde me with his crouche,
And lusty lyfe away she leap
As there had been none such.

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