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The delectable history of sundry
adventures passed by Dan Bartholmew of Bathe.
TO tell a tale without authoritye,
Or fayne a Fable by invencion,
That one proceedes of quicke capacitye,
That other proves but small discretion,
Yet have both one and other oft bene done.
And if I were a Poet as some be,
You might perhappes here some such tale of me.
But far I fynde my feeble skyll to faynt,
To faine in figurs as the learned can,
And yet my tongue is tyde by due constraint,
To tell nothing but trueth of every man:
I will assay even as I first began,
To tell you nowe a tale and that of truth,
Which I my selfe sawe proved in my youth.
I neede not seeke so farre in costes abrode,
As some men do, which write strange histories,
For whiles at home I made my cheife abode
And sawe our lovers plate their Tragedyes,
I found enough which seemed to suffice,
To set on worke farre finer wittes than mine,
In paynting out the pangs which make them pine.
Amongst the rest I most remember one
Which was to me a deere familyar friend,
Whose doting dayes since they be paste and gone,
And his annoye (neare) come unto an ende,
Although he seeme his angry brow to bend,
I wyll be bold (by his leave) for to tell,
The restlesse state wherein he long dyd dwell.
Learned he was, and that became him best,
For though by birth he came of worthy race,
Yet beutie, byrth, brave personage, and the rest,
In every choyce, must needes give learning place:
And as for him he had so hard a grace,
That by aspect he seemde a simple man,
And yet by learning much renowne he wan.
His name I hide, and yet for this discourse,
Let call his name Dan Bartholmew of Bathe,
Since in the ende he thither had recourse,
And (as he sayd) dyd skamble there in skathe:
In deede the rage which wrong him there, was rathe,
As by this tale I thinke your selfe will geese,
And then (with me) his lothsome lyfe confesse.
For though he had in all his learned lore,
Both redde good rules to bridle fantasie,
And all good authours taugh[t] him evermore,
To love the meane, and leave extremitie,
Yet kind hath lent him such a qualitie,
That at the last he quite forget his bookes,
And fastned fansie with the fairest lookes.
For proofe, when greene youth lept out of his eye,
And left him now a man of middle age,
His happe was yet with wandring lookes to spie,
A fayre yong impe of proper personage,
Eke borne (as he) of honest parentage:
And truth to tell, my skill it cannot serve,
To praise hir bewtie as it dyd deserve.
First for hir head, the heeres were not of Gold,
But of some other metall farre more fine,
Whereof eache crinet seemed to behold,
Like glistring wiers against the Sunne that shine,
And therewithall the blazing of hir eyne,
Was like the beames of Titan, truth to tell,
Which glads us all that in this world do dwell.
Upon hir cheekes the Lillie and the Rose,
Did entremeete, with equall change of hewe,
And in hir giftes no lacke I can suppose,
But that at last (alas) she was untrue,
Which flinging fault, bicause it is not new,
Nor seldome seene in kits of Cressides kind,
I marvaile not, nor beare it much in mind.
Dame Natures fruits, wherewith hir face was fraught,
Were so frost bitten with the cold of craft,
That all (save such as Cupides snares had caught)
Might soone espie the fethers of his shaft:
But Bartholmew his wits had so bedaft,
That all seemd good which might of hir be gotten,
Although it provde no sooner ripe than rotten.
That mouth of hirs which seemde to flowe with mell,
In speeche, in voice, in tender touch, in tast,
That dympled chin wherein delight dyd dwell,
That ruddy lippe wherein was pleasure plast,
Those well shapt hands, fine armes and slender wast,
With al the giftes which gave hir any grace,
Were smiling baites which caught fond fooles apace.
Why strive I then to paint hir name with praise?
Since forme and fruites were found so farre unlyke,
Since of hir cage Inconstance kept the keyes,
And Change had cast hir honoure downe in dike:
Since fickle kind in hir the stroke did strike,
I may no prayse unto a knife bequeath,
With rust yfret, though paynted be the sheath.
But since I must a name to hir assigne,
Let call hir now Ferenda Natura,
And if thereat she seeme for to repine,
No force at all, for hereof am I sure a,
That since hir prankes were for the most unpure a,
I can appoint hir well no better name,
Than this where in dame Nature bears the blame.
And thus I say, when Bartholmew had spent
His pride of youth (untide in linkes of love)
Behold how happe contrary to intent,
(Or destenies ordained from above,
From which no wight on earth maye well remove)
Presented to his vew this fierie dame,
To kindle coles where earst had bene no flame.
Whome when he sawe to shine in seemely grace,
And therewithall gan marke hir tender youth,
He thought not like, that under such a face
She could convey the treason of untruth:
Whereby he vowed (alas the more his ruth)
To serve this saynt for terme of all his life,
Lo here both roote and rind of all his strife.
I cannot nowe in loving termes displaye
His suite, his service, nor his sorie fare:
His observaunces, nor his queynt aray,
His skalding sighes, nor yet his cooling care,
His wayting still to snatch himselfe in snare,
I can not write what was his sweetest soure,
For I my selfe was never Paramoure.
But to conclude, much worth in litle writte,
The highest flying hauke will stoupe at laste,
The wildest beast is drawne with hungrye bitte
To eate a homlye bayte some times in hast.
The pricke of kinde can never be unplaste,
And so it seemed by this dayntye dame,
Whome he at last with labour did reclame.
And when he had with mickel payne procured
The calme consent of hir unweldie will,
When he had hir by faith and troth assured,
To like him beste, and aye to love him still,
When fansie had of flatterie fedde his fill,
I not discerne to tell my tale aright,
What man but he had ever such delight?
The lingring dayes he spent in trifling toyes,
To whette the tooles which carved his contente:
The poasting nightes he past in pleasing joyes,
Wearing the webbe which love to him had lente:
In such a pinfolde were his pleasures pent
That selde he could hir company eschewe,
Or leave such lookes as might his *sport renewe.
But if by force he forced were to parte,
Then mighte you see howe fansie fedde his minde,
Then all alone he mused on his marte.
All company seemde then (but hirs) unkind:
Then sent he tokens true love for to bind,
Then wrote he letters, lines and loving layes,
So to beguile his absent dolefull dayes.
And since I know as others eake can tell,
What skyll he had, and howe he could endite,
Mee thinkes I cannot better doe than well,
To set downe here, his ditties of delyght,
For so at least I maye my selfe acquite,
And vaunt to shewe some verses yet unknowne,
Well worthy prayse though none of them myne owne.
No force for that, take you them as they be,
Since mine emprice is but to make report:
Imagine then, before you that you see
A wight bewitcht in many a subtile sort,
A Lover lodgd in pleasures princely port,
Vaunting in verse what joyes he dyd possesse,
His triumphes here I thinke wyll shewe no lesse.
Dan Bartholmew his first Triumphe.
REsigne king Priams sonnes, that princes were in Troy,
Resigne to me your happy dayes, and boast no more of joy:
Syr Paris first stand forth make aunswere for thy pheare,
And if thou canst defend hir cause, whome Troy did bye so deare:
What? blush not man, be bold, although thou beare some blame,
Tell truth at last, and so be sure to save thy selfe from shame.
Then gentle Sheapheard say: what madnesse dyd thee move,
To choose of all the flowers in Greece, foule Helene for thy love?
Needs must I coumpt hir foule, whose first frutes were forlorne,
Although she solde hir seconde chaffe, above the price of corne.
Alas, shee made of thee, a noddye for the nonce,
For Menelaus lost hir twise, though thou hir foundst but once.
But yet if in shine eye, shee seemde a peerelesse peece,
Aske Theseus ye mighty Duke, what towns she knew in Greece?
Aske him what made hir leave hir wofull aged sire,
And steale to Athens gyglot like: what? what but foule desire?
Alas poore Paris thou didst nothing else but gleane,
The partched eares which he cast by, when he had reaped cleane:
He slivde the gentle slippe, which could both twist and twind,
And growing left the broken braunch, for them that came behind,
Yet hast thou fild the world with brute, (the more thy blame,)
And sayest, that Hellens bewty past each other stately dame,
For profe thou canst alledge the tast of ten years warre,
And how hir blazing beames first brought both Greece & Troy to jarre.
No no, thou art deceivde, the drugs of foule despite,
Did worke in Menelaus will, not losse of such delighte,
Not love, but lothsome hate, not dolour, but disdain,
Did make him selfe a sharpe revenge, til both his foes were slain,
Thy brother Troylus eke, that gemme of gentle deedes,
To thinke howe he abused was, alas my heart it bleedes:
He bet about the bushe, whiles other caught the birds,
Whome crafty Gresside mockt to muche, yet fede him still with words.
And god he knoweth not I, who pluckt hir first sprong rose,
Since Lollius and Chaucer both, make doubt upon that glose.
But this I knowe to well, and he to farre it felte,
How Diomede undid his knots, & caught both brooch and belt,
And how she chose to change, and how she changed still,
And how she dyed leaper like, against hir lovers will.
Content you then good knightes, your triumphe to resigne,
Confesse your starres both dimme and darke, wheras my sunne doth shine:
For this I dare avow, without vaunt be it told,
My derling is more faire than she, for whome proud Troy was solde.
More constant to conteyne, than Cresside to be coy,
No Calcas can contrive the craft, to traine hir out of Troye,
No Diomede can drawe hir setled harte to change,
No madding moode can move hir mind, nor make hir thoughtes to range
For hir alone it is, that Cupide blindfolde goes,
And dare not looke for feare least he his libertie should loose:
At hir dame Venus chafes, and pines in jelowsie,
Least bloudy Mars should hir espie, and chang his fantasie,
Of hir the Quene of Heaven doth stand in dreadfull doubt,
Least Jove should melte in drops of gold, if once he find hir out.
Oh that my tonge had skill, to tell hir prayse aright,
Or that my pen hir due desertes, in worthy verse could write:
Or that my minde could muse, or happie heart conceive,
Some words that might resound hir worth, by high Minervas leave.
Oh how the blooming joyes, do blossome in my brest,
To think within my secret thought, how far she steines ye rest.
Me thinkes I heare hir speake, me thinkes I see hir still,
Me thinkes I feele hir feelingly, me thinkes I know hir will.
Me thinkes I see the states which sue to hir for grace,
Me thinkes I see one looke of hirs repulse them all apace.
Me thinkes that houre is yet, and evermore shall be,
Wherein my happie happe was first, hir heavenly face to see:
Wherein I spice the writte, which wooed betweene hir eyne,
And sayd behold, be bold, for I, am borne to be but thine.
Me thinks I feele the joyes, which never yet were felt,
Whome flame before yet never toucht, me thinks I feele them melt.
One word & there an end, me thinks she is the sunne,
Which only shineth now a daies, she dead, ye world were done.
The rest are twinkling starres, or Moones which borow light,
To comfort other carefull soules, which wander in the night.
And night God knowes it is, where other Ladies bee,
For sure my dame adornes the day, there is no sunne but shee.
Then lovers by your leave, and thinke it nothing strange,
Although I seme with calme content, in seas of joyes to range:
For why, my sailes have found both wind and waves at wyll,
And depthes of all delightes in hir, with whome I travell styll.
And ancors being wayed, I leave you all at large,
To steare this seemelye Shippe my selfe, suche is my mistresse charge.
Fato non fortuna.
Dan Bartholmew his second Triumphe.
FYe pleasure fye, thou cloyest me with delight,
Thou fylst my mouth with sweete meates overmuch,
I wallowe styll in joye both daye and night.
I deeme, I dreame, I doe, I taste, I touch:
No thing but all that smelles of perfect blisse,
Fye pleasure fye, I cannot like of this.
To taste (sometimes) a baite of bytter gall,
To drinke a draught of sower Ale (some season)
To eate browne bread with homely handes in Hall
Doth much encrease mens appetites by reason:
And makes the sweete more sugred that ensewes,
Since mindes of men do styll seeke after newes.
The pampred horse is seldome seene in breath,
Whose maunger makes his greace (oftimes) to melt,
The crammed Fowle comes quickly to his death.
Such coldes they catche in hottest happes that swelt.
And I (much like) in pleasure scawled styll,
Doe feare to starve although I feede my fill.
It might suffice that love hath built his bowre,
Betwene my Ladies lively shyning eyes,
It were inough that Bewties fading flowre:
Growes ever freshe with hir in heavenly wise.
It had bene well that shee were faire of face,
And yet not robbe all other Dames of grace.
To muse in minde, how wise, how faire, how good,
How brave, howe franke, how curteous, and how true,
My Lad[y] is: doth but inflame my blood,
With humors such, as byd my health adue.
Since happe alwaies when it is clombe on hye,
Doth fall full lowe, though earst it reachte the Skye.
Lo pleasure lo, lo thus I leade a life,
That laughes for joye, and trembleth oft for dread,
Thy panges are such as call for changes knife,
To cut the twist, or else to stretch the thread,
Which holdes yfeere the bondell of my blisse,
Fye pleasure fye, I dare not trust to this.
Fato non fortuna.
Dan Bartholmewes his third Triumphe.
YF ever man yet found the bathe of perfect blisse,
Then swimme I now amid the seas where nought but pleasure is.
I love and am beloved, without vaunt be it tolde,
Of one more faire then she of Greece, for whome proud Troy was solde.
As bountifull and good as Cleopatra Queene,
As constant as Penelope, unto her make was seene.
What would you more? my penne, unable is to write,
The least desert that seemes to shine within this worthy wight.
So that (for nowe) I ceasse with handes helde up on hye.
And crave of God that when I chaunge, I may be forst to dye.
Fato non Fortuna.
THese vaunting verses with a many mo,
(To his mishap) have come unto my handes,
Whereof the rest (bicause he sayled so,
In braggers boate which set it selfe on sandes,
And brought him eke fast bound in follyes bands)
Of curtesie I keepe them from your sight,
Let these suffice which of my selfe I write.
The highest tree that ever yet could growe,
Although full fayre it florisht for a season,
Founde yet at last some fall to bring it lowe,
This olde sayd sawe is (God he knoweth) not geason:
For when things passe the reach and bounds of reason,
They fall at last, although they stand a time,
And bruse the more, the higher that they clime.
So Bartholmew unto his paine dyd prove,
For when he thought his hap to be most hye,
And that he onely reaps the fruictes of love,
And that he swelt in all prosperitie,
His comfort chaunged to calamitie:
And though I doe him wrong to tell the same,
Yet reade it you, and let me beare the blame.
The Saint he serv'd became a craftie devill,
His goddesse to an Idoll seemde to chaunge,
Thus all his good transformed into evill,
And every joy to raging griefe dyd raunge:
Which Metamorphosis was marvels straunge:
Yet shall you seldome otherwise it prove,
Where wicked Lust doth beare the name of Love.
This sodaine chaunge when he began to spye,
And colde suspect into his minde had crept,
He bounst and bet his head tormentingly,
And from all company him selfe he kept,
Wherby so farre in stormes of strife he stept,
That nowe he seemed an Image not a man,
His eyes so dead, his colour waxt so wan.
And I which alwayes beare him great good wyll,
(Although I knew the cause of all his griefe,
And what had trainde and tysed him theretyll,
And plaine to speake, what moved his mischiefe)
Yet since I sought to ease him with reliefe:
I dyd become importunate to knowe,
The secreete cause whereon this grudge should growe.
At last with much ado, his trembling tonge,
Bewrayde theffect of his unwylling wyll,
Which here to tell since it were all to longe,
And I therewith too barren am of skyll,
And trouble you with tedious tydinges styll,
Content you now to heare himselfe rehearse,
His strange affectes in his lamenting verse.
Which verse he wrote at Bathe (as earst was sayd)
And there I sawe him when he wrote the same,
I sawe him there with many moanes dismaide,
I sawe him there both fryse and flashe in flame,
I sawe him greev'd when others made good game:
And so appeareth by his darke discourse,
The which to reade I crave your just remorse.
Dan Bartholmewes Dolorous
I Have entreated care to cut the thread,
Which all to long hath held my lingring life,
And here aloofe nowe have I hyd my head,
From company thereby to stint my strife.
This solitarye place doth please me best,
Where I may weare my wylling mind with moane,
And where the sighes which boyle out of my brest,
May skald my heart, and yet the cause unknowne.
All this I doe, for thee my sweetest sowre,
For whome (of yore) I counted not of care,
For whome with hungrie jawes I dyd devoure
The secrete baite which lurked in the snare:
For whome I thought all forreine pleasures paine,
For whome againe, all paine dyd pleasure seeme,
But onely thine, I found all fansies vaine,
But onely thine, I dyd no dolours deeme.
Such was the rage, that whilome dyd possesse,
The privie corners of my mazed mind:
When hote desire, dyd compt those tormentes lesse
Which gaind the gaze that dyd my freedome bind.
And now (with care) I can record those dayes,
And call to mind the quiet lyfe I led,
Before I first beheld thy golden rayes,
When thine untrueth yet troubled not my hed.
Remember thou, as I can not forget
Howe I had layde, both love, and lust aside,
And howe I had my fixed fancie set,
In constant vowe, for ever to abide.
The bitter proofe of panges in pleasure past,
The costlye tast, of hony mixt with gall:
The painted heaven, which turnde to hell at last.
The freedome fainde, which brought me but to thrall.
The lingring sute, well fed with freshe delayes,
The wasted vowes which fled with every winde:
The restlesse nightes, to purchase pleasing dayes,
The toyling daies to please my restlesse minde.
All these (with mo) had brused so my brest,
And graft such grefe within my groning heart,
That had I left Dame fansie and the rest,
To greener yeeres, which might endure the smart.
My wearie bones did beare away the skarres,
Of many a wound received by disdaine:
So that I found the fruite of all those warres,
To be naught else but panges of unknowen paine.
And nowe mine eyes were shut from such delight,
My fansie faint, my hote desires were colde,
When cruell hap, presented to my sight
The maydens face, in yeeres which were not olde.
I thinke the Goddesse of revenge devisde,
So to bee wreackt on my rebelling wyll,
Bicause I had in youthfull yeeres dispisde,
To taste the baites, which tyste my fansie styll.
Howe so it were, God knowes, I cannot tell:
But if I lye, you Heavens, the plague be mine,
I sawe no sooner, how delight dyd dwell
Betweene those litle infantes eyes of thine,
But straight a sparkling cole of quicke desire,
Dyd kindle flame within my frozen heart,
And yelding fansie softly blewe the fire,
Which since hath bene the cause of all my smart.
What neede I say? thy selfe for me can sweare,
Howe much I tendred thee in tender yeares:
Thy life was then to me (God knowes) full deare,
My life to thee is light, as nowe appeares.
I loved the first, and shall do to my last,
Thou flattredst first, and so thou wouldst do styll:
For love of thee full many paines I past,
For deadly hate thou seekest me to kyll.
I cannot nowe, with manly tongue rehearse,
How sone that melting mind of thine dyd yelde,
I shame to write, in this waymenting verse,
With howe small fight, I vanquisht thee in fielde:
But Cæsar he, which all the world subdude,
Was never yet so proude of Victorye,
Nor Hanyball, with martiall feates endude,
Dyd so much please himselfe in pollicie,
As I (poore I) dyd seeme to triumphe then,
When first I got the Bulwarkes of thy brest,
With hote Alarmes I comforted my men,
In formost ranke I stoode before the rest,
And shooke my flagge, not all to shewe my force,
But that thou mightst thereby perceive my minde:
*As who should say
Askaunces* lo, nowe coulde I kyll thy corce,
And yet my life is unto thee resinde.
Well let this passe, and thinke uppon the joye,
The mutuall love, the confidence, the trust,
Whereby we both abandoned annoye,
And fed our mindes with fruites of lovely lust.
Thinke on the Tythe, of kysses got by stealth,
Of sweete embracinges shortened by feare.
Remember that which did maintaine our helth,
Alas alas why shoulde I name it here.
And in the midst of all those happie dayes,
Do not forget the chaunges of my chaunce,
When in the depth of many waywarde wayes,
I onely sought, what might thy state advaunce.
Thou must confesse how much I carde for thee,
When of my selfe, I carde not for my selfe,
And when my hap was in mishappes to be,
Esteemd thee more, than al the worldly pelfe.
Mine absente thoughtes did beate on thee alone,
When thou hadst found a fond and newfound choice:
For lacke of thee I sunke in endlesse mone,
When thou in chaunge didst tumble and rejoyce.
O mighty goddes needes must I honor you,
Needes must I judge your judgmentes to be just,
Bicause she did for sake him that was true,
And with false love, did cloke a fained luste.
By high decrees, you ordayned the chaunge,
To light on such, as she must needes mislike,
A meete rewarde for such as like to raunge,
When fansies force, their feeble fleshe doth strike.
But did I then give brydle to thy fall,
Thou head strong thou accuse me if thou can?
Did I not hazard love yea life and all,
To warde thy will, from that unworthy man?
And when by toyle I travayled to finde,
The secrete causes of thy madding moode,
I found naught else but tricks of Cressides kinde,
Which playnly provde, that thou weart of hir bloud.
I found that absent Troylus was forgot,
When Dyomede had got both brooch and belt,
Both glove and hand, yea harte and all god wot,
When absent Troylus did in sorowes swelt.
These tricks (with mo) thou knowst thy self I found,
Which nowe are needelesse here for to reherse,
Unlesse it were to touche a tender wound,
With corosives my panting heart to perse.
But as the Hounde is counted little worth,
Which giveth over for a losse or twaine,
And cannot find the meanes to single forth
The stricken Deare which doth in heard remaine:
Or as the kindly Spaniell which hath sprong
The prety Partriche, for the Falcons flight,
Doth never spare but thrusts the thornes among,
To bring this byrd yet once againe to sight,
And though he knowe by proofe (yea dearely bought)
That selde or never, for his owne availe,
This wearie worke of his in vaine is wrought,
Yet spares he not but labors tooth and nayle.
So labord I to save thy wandring shippe
Which reckelesse then, was running on the rockes,
And though I saw thee seeme to hang the lyppe,
And set my great good wyll, as light as flockes:
Yet hauld I in, the mayne sheate of the minde,
And stayed thy course by ancors of advice,
I woon thy wyll into a better winde,
To save thy ware, which was of precious price.
And when I had so harbored thy Barke,
In happy haven, which saufer was than Dover,
The Admyrall, which knewe it by the marke,
Streight challengde all, and sayd thou wert a rover.
Then was I forst in thy behalfe to pleade,
Yea so I dyd, the Judge can saye no lesse,
And whiles in toyle, this lothsome life I leade,
Camest thou thy selfe the faulte for to confesse,
And downe on knee before thy cruell foe,
Dydst pardon crave, accusing me for all,
And saydst I was the cause, that thou didst so,
These thinges are mistical and not to bee understoode but by Thaucthour him selfe.
And that I spoone the thred of all thy thrall.
Not so content, thou furthermore didst sweare
That of thy selfe thou never ment to swerve,
For proofe wherof thou didst the colours weare,
Which might bewray, what saint thou ment to serve.
And that thy blood was sacrifced eke,
To manyfest thy stedfast martyrd mynde,
Till I perforce, constraynd thee for to seeke,
These raging seas, adventures there to finde.
Alas, alas, and out alas for me,
Who am enforced, thus for to repeate
The false reports and cloked guyles of thee,
Whereon (to oft) my restlesse thoughts do beate.
But thus it was, and thus God knowes it is.
Which when I founde by playne and perfect proofe,
My musing minde then thought it not amisse,
To shrinke aside, lamenting all aloofe,
And so to beate my simple shiftlesse brayne,
For some device, that might redeeme thy state.
Lo here the cause, for why I take this payne,
Lo how I love the wight which me doth hate:
Lo thus I lye, and restlesse rest in Bathe,
Whereas I bathe not now in blisse pardie,
But boyle in Bale and skamble thus in skathe,
Bycause I thinke on thine unconstancie.
And wylt thou knowe howe here I spend my time,
And howe I drawe my dayes in dolours styll?
Then staye a while: give eare unto my rime,
So shalt thou know the weight of all my wyll.
When Titan is constrained to forsake,
His Lemans couche, and clymeth to his carte,
Then I begin to languishe for thy sake,
And with a sighe, which maye bewray my smarte,
I cleare mine eyes whome gumme of teares had glewed,
And up on foote I set my ghostly corse,
And when the stony walles have oft renewed
My pittious plaintes, with Ecchoes of remorce,
Then doe I crye and call upon thy name,
And thus I saye, thou curst and cruell bothe,
Beholde the man, which taketh griefe for game,
And loveth them, which most his name doe lothe.
Behold the man which ever truely ment,
And yet accusde as aucthour of thine yll,
Behold the man, which all his life hath spent
To serve thy selfe, and aye to worke thy wyll:
Behold the man, which onely for thy love,
Dyd love himselfe, whome else he set but light:
Behold the man, whose blood (for thy behove)
Was ever prest to shed it selfe outright.
And canst thou nowe condemne his loyaltie?
And canst thou craft to flatter such a friend?
And canst thou see him sincke in jeoperdie?
And canst thou seeke to bring his life to ende?
Is this the right reward for such desert?
Is this the fruite of seede so timely sowne?
Is this the price, appointed for his part?
Shall trueth be thus by treason overthrowne?
Then farewell faith, thou art no womans pheare:
And with that word I staye my tongue in time,
With rolling eyes I loke about eache where,
Least any man should heare my raving rime.
And all in rage, enraged as I am,
I take my sheete, my slippers and my Gowne,
And in the Bathe from whence but late I came,
I cast my selfe in dollours there to drowne.
There all alone I can my selfe conveye,
Into some corner where I sit unseene,
And to my selfe (there naked) can I saye,
Behold these braunefalne armes which once have bene
Both large and lustie, able for to fight,
Nowe are they weake, and wearishe God he knowes
Unable now to daunt the fowle despight,
Which is presented by my cruel foes.
My thighes are thin, my body lanck and leane,
It hath no bumbast now, but skin and bones:
And on mine Elbowe as I lye and leane,
I see a trustie token for the nones.
I spie a bracelet bounde about mine arme,
Which to my shaddowe seemeth thus to saye,
Beleeve not me: for I was but a Charme,
To make thee sleepe, when others went to playe.
And as I gaze thus galded all with griefe,
I finde it fazed almost quite in sunder,
Then thinke I thus: thus wasteth my reliefe,
And though I fade, yet to the world, no wonder.
For as this lace, by leysure learnes to weare,
So must I faint, even as the Candle wasteth,
These thoughts (deere sweet) within my brest I beare,
And to my long home, thus my life it hasteth.
Herewith I [f]eele the droppes of sweltring sweate,
Which trickle downe my face, enforced so,
And in my body feele I lykewise beate,
A burning heart which tosseth too and fro.
Thus all in flames I sinderlyke consume,
And were it not that wanhope lendes me wynde,
Soone might I fret my fa[n]cyes all in fume,
And lyke a Ghost my ghost his grave might finde.
But frysing hope doth blowe ful in my face,
And colde of cares becommes my cordiall,
So that I styl endure that yrksome place,
Where sorrowe seethes to skalde my skinne withal.
And when from thence or company me dri[ve]s,
Or weary woes do make me change my seate,
Then in my bed my restlesse paines revives,
Until my fellowes call me downe to meate.
And when I ryse, my corpse for to araye,
I take the glasse, sometimes (but not for pride,
For God he knowes my minde is not so gaye)
But for I would in comelynesse abyde:
I take the glasse, wherein I seeme to see,
Such wythred wrinckles and so fowle disgrace,
That lytle marvaile seemeth it to mee,
Though thou so well dydst like the noble face.
The noble face was faire and freshe of hewe,
My wrinckled face is fowle and fadeth fast:
The noble face was unto thee but newe,
My wrinckled face is olde and cleane outcast:
The noble face might move thee with delight,
My wrinckled face could never please thine eye:
Loe thus of crime I covet thee to quite.
And styll accuse my selfe of Surcuydry:
As one that am unworthy to enjoye,
The lasting fruite of suche a love as thine,
Thus am I tickled styll with every toye,
And when my Fellowes call me downe to dyne,
No chaunge of meate provokes mine appetite,
Nor sauce can serve to taste my meates withall,
Then I devise the juyce of grapes to dight,
For Sugar and for Sinamon I call,
For Ginger, Graines, and for eche other spice,
Wherewith I mixe the noble Wine apace,
My Fellowes prayse the depth of my devise,
And saye it is as good as Ippocrace.
As Ippocrace saye I? and then I swelt,
My faynting lymmes straight fall into a sowne,
Before the taste of Ippocrace is felt,
The naked name in dollours doth mee drowne,
For then I call unto my troubled mynde,
That Ippocrace hath bene thy daylye drinke,
That Ippocrace hath walkt with everye winde.
In bottels that were fylled to the brinke,
With Ippocrace thou banquetedst full ofte,
With Ippocrace thou madst thy selfe full merrye,
Such cheere had set thy new love so alofte,
That olde love nowe was scarcely worth a cherry.
And then againe I fall into a traunce,
But when my breth returnes against my wyll,
Before my tongue can tell my wofull chaunce,
I heare my fellowes how they whisper still.
One sayth that Ippocrace is contrary,
Unto my nature and complexion,
Whereby they judge that all my malladye,
Was long of that by alteration.
An other sayth, no, no this man is weake,
And for such weake, so hote thinges are not best,
Then at the last I heare no lyar speake,
But one which knowes the cause of mine unrest,
And sayth, this man is (for my life) in love,
He hath received repulse, or dronke disdaine.
Alas crye I: and ere I can remove,
Into a sowne I sone returne againe.
Thus drive I foorth, my doolefull dining time,
And trouble others with my troubles styll,
But when I here, the Bell hath passed prime,
Into the Bathe I wallowe by my wyll,
That there my teares (unsene) might ease my griefe,
For though I starve yet have I fed my fill,
In privie panges I count my best relife.
And still I strive in weary woes to drench,
But when I plondge, than woe is at an ebbe,
My glowing coles are all to quicke to quenche.
And I (to warme) am wrapped in the webbe,
Which makes me swim against the wished wave,
Lo thus (deare wenche) I leade a lothsome life,
And greedely I seeke the greedy grave,
To make an ende of all these stormes and strife,
But death is deafe, and heares not my desire,
So that my dayes continewe styl in dole,
And in my nightes I feele the secrete fire,
Which close in embers, coucheth lyke a cole,
And in the daye hath bene but raked up,
With covering ashes of my company,
Now breakes it out, and boyles the careful cuppe,
Which in my heart doth hang full heavily.
I melt in teares, I swelt in chilling sweat,
My swelling heart, breakes with delay of paine,
I freeze in hope, yet burne in haste of heate,
I wishe for death, and yet in life remaine.
And when dead sleepe doth close my dazeled eyes,
Then dreadful dreames my dolors do encrease.
Me thinkes I lie awake in wofull wise,
And see thee come, my sorrowes for to cease.
Me seemes thou saist (my good) what meaneth this?
What ayles thee thus to languish and lament?
How can it be that bathing all in blisse:
Such cause unknowne disquiets thy content?
Thou doest me wrong to keepe so close from me
The grudge or griefe, which gripeth now thy heart,
For well thou knowest, I must thy partner be
In bale, in blisse, in solace, and in smarte.
Alas, alas, these things I deeme in dreames,
But when mine eyes are open and awake,
I see not thee: where with the flowing streames,
Of brinishe teares their wonted floods do make.
Thus as thou seest I spend both nightes and dayes,
And for I find the world did judge me once
A witlesse wryter of these lovers layes,
I take my pen and paper for the nonce,
I laye aside this foolishe ryding rime,
And as my troubled head can bring to passe,
I thus bewray the torments of my time:
Beare with my Muse, it is not as it was.
Fato non fortuna.
The extremitie of his Passion.
AMong the toyes which tosse my braine,
and reeve my mind from quiet rest,
This one I finde, doth there remaine,
to breede debate within my brest.
When wo would work, to wound my wyl,
I cannot weepe, nor waile my fyll.
My tongue hath not the skill to tell,
the smallest griefe which gripes my heart,
Mine eyes have not the power to swell,
into such Seas of secrete smart,
That will might melt to waves of woe,
and I might swelt in sorrowes so.
Yet shed mine eyes no trickling teares,
but flouddes which flowe abundauntly,
Whose fountaine first enforst by feares,
found out the gappe of jelousie.
And by that breache, it soketh so,
that all my face, is styll on flowe.
My voice is like the raging wind,
which roareth still, and never staies,
The thoughtes which tomble in my minde,
are like the wheele which whirles alwayes,
Nowe here, nowe there, nowe up, now downe,
in depth of waves, yet cannot drowne.
The sighes which boyle out of my brest,
are not lyke those, which others use,
For lovers sighes, sometimes take rest,
And lend their mindes, a leave to muse.
But mine are like the surging Seas,
whome calme nor quiet can appeas.
And yet they be but sorrowes smoke,
my brest the fordge where furie playes,
My panting heart, yt strikes the stroke,
my fancie blowes the flame alwaies,
The coles are kindled by desire,
and Cupide warmes him by the fire.
Thus can I neyther drowne in dole,
nor burne to ashes though I waste,
Mine eyes can neyther quenche the cole,
which warmes my heart in all this haste.
Nor yet my fancie make such flame,
that I may smoulder in the same.
Wherefore I come to seeke out Care
beseeching him of curtesie,
To cut the thread which cannot weare,
by panges of such perplexitie.
And but he graunt this boone of mine,
thus must I live and ever pine.
Fato non fortuna.
LO thus (deere heart) I force my frantike Muse,
To frame a verse in spite of my despight,
But whiles I doo these mirthlesse meeters use,
This rashe conceite doth reve me from delight.
I call to minde howe many loving layes,
Howe many Sonets, and how many songes,
I dyd devise within those happie dayes,
When yet my wyl, had not received wronges,
All which were evermore regarded so,
That litle fruite I seemd thereby to reape,
But rather when I had bewrayed my woe,
Thy love was light, and lusted styll to leape.
The rimes which pleased thee were all in print,
And mine were ragged, hard for to be read,
Lo deere: this dagger dubbes me with this dint,
And leave this wound within my jelous head.
But since I have confessed unto Care,
That now I stand uppon his curtesie,
And that the bale, which in my brest I bare,
Hath not the skill to kyll me cunningly
Therefore with all my whole devotion,
To Care I make this supplication.
Fato non fortuna.
His libell of request exhibited to Care.
O Curteous Care, whome others (cruell) call,
And raile upon thine honourable name,
O knife that canst cut of the thread of thrall,
O sheare that shreadst the seemerent sheete of shame,
O happye ende of every greevous game:
Vouchsafe O Prince, thy vassall to behold,
Who loves thee more, than can with tongue be told.
And nowe vouchsafe to pittie this his plaint,
Whose teares bewray,
His truth alway,
Although his feeble tongue be forst to faint.
I must confesse O noble king to thee,
That I have beene a Rebell in my youth,
I preast alwaies in pleasures court to bee,
I fled from that, which Cupide still eschuth,
I fled from Care, lo now I tell the truth,
And in delightes, I loved so to dwell,
Thy heavenly house dyd seeme to me but hell.
Such was my rage, the which I now repent,
And pardon crave,
My soule to save,
Before the webbe of weary life be spent.
But marke what fruites dyd grow on such a tree,
What crop dyd rise upon so rashe sowne seede,
For when I thought my selfe in heaven to bee,
In depth of hell I drowned was in deede:
Whereon to thinke my heavie hart doth bleede:
Me thought I swumme in Seas of all delight,
When as I sunke in puddles of despight,
Alas alas I thought my selfe belov'd,
When deadly hate,
Did play checke mate,
With me poore pawne, that no such prancks had prov'd,
This when I tryed (ay me) to be to true,
I wept for woe, I pined all for paine,
I tare my heere, I often chaunged hewe,
I left delight, with dollours to complaine.
I shund each place where pleasure dyd remaine,
I cride, I calde on every kinde of death,
I strove eache way to stop my fainting breath.
Short tale to make, I stept so farre in strife,
That still I sought,
With all my thought,
Some happie helpe to leave my lothed life.
But hope was he that held my hande abacke,
Hope is ever
a lovers Passion.
From quicke dispatch of all my griping griefe,
When heate of hate had burnt my will to wracke,
Then hope was colde, and lent my life reliefe,
In every choice hope challengde to be chiefe.
When coldest crampes had cleane orecome my heart,
Then hope was hote, and warnde my weary smart,
[W]hen heart was heardie, hope was still in dread,
When heart was faint,
(With feares attaint,)
Then hardie hope held up my fearefull head.
Thus when I found that neither flowing teares,
Could drowne my heart in waves of wery wo,
Nor hardy hand could overcome my feares,
To cut the sacke of all my sorrowes so,
Nor death would come, nor I to death could go.
And yet I felt great droppes of secrete smart,
Distilling styll within my dying heart:
I then perceivde that onely care was he,
Which as my friend,
Might make an end,
Of all these paines, and set my fansie free.
Wherefore (oh Care) graunt thou my just request,
Oh kyll my corpse, oh quickly kyll me nowe.
Oh make an ende and bring my bones to rest,
Oh cut my thread (good Care) I care not howe,
Oh Care be kinde: and here I make a vowe,
That when my life out of my brest shall part,
I wyll present thee with my faithfull hart:
And send it to thee as a Sacrifice,
Bicause thou hast,
Vouchsaft at last,
To ende my furies in this friendly wise.
Fato non Fortuna.
WHat greater glory can a Keysar gaine,
If madde moode move his subjectes to rebell,
Than that at last (when all the traytours traine,
Have bode the pathe, of deepe repentaunce well,
And naked neede with Cold and Hunger both,
Hath bitten them abrode in forren land,
Whereby they may their lewde devises loth.
When hairbraind haste, with cold advise is scande)
If then at last, they come upon their knee,
And pardon crave with due submission:
And for this cause, I thinke that Care of me,
Was moved most, to take compassion.
For now I find, that pittie prickes his mind,
To see me plonged still in endlesse paine,
And right remorse, his princely heart doth bind,
To rule the rage wherein I do remaine.
I feele my teares doe now begin to stay,
For Care from them their swelling springs doth soke,
I feele my sighes their labours now allaye,
For Care hath quencht the coles that made them smoke.
I feele my panting heart begins to rest,
For Care hath staide the hammers of my head,
I feele the flame which blazed in my brest,
Is nowe with carefull ashes overspread.
And gentle Care, hath whet his karving knife,
To cut in twaine the thread of all my thrall,
Desired death nowe overcommeth life,
And wo still workes to helpe in haste with all.
But since I feele these panges approching so,
And lothed life begin to take his leave,
Me thinkes it meete, to give before I go,
Such landes and goodes, as I behind me leave.
So to discharge my troubled conscience,
And eke to set an order for my heyre,
Who might (perhaps) be put to great expence,
To sue for that, which I bequeath him here.
Wherefore (deere wenche) with all my full intent,
I thus begin to make my Testament.
Fato non fortuna.
His last wyll and Testament.
IN Jove his mighty name, this eight and twentith day,
Of frosted bearded Januar, the enemy to May:
Since Adam was create, five thousand yeeres I gesse,
Five hundreth, forty more and five, as stories do expresse.
I being whole of minde, (immortall Gods have praise)
Though in my body languishing with panges of paine alwayes,
Do thus ordaine my wyll which long in woes have wepte,
Beseeching mine executours to see it duely kept.
Fyrst I bequeath my soule on Charons boate to tende,
Untill thy life (my love) at last may light on luckye ende,
That there it may awaite, to wayte upon thy ghost,
When thou hast quite & clene forgot what pranks now please thee most.
So shall it well be seene whose love is like to mine:
For so I meane to trye my truth, and there tyll then to pine.
My body be enbalmde, and cloased up in chest,
With oyntments and with spiceries of every sweete the best:
And so preserved styll untill the day do come,
That death divorce my love from life, & trusse hir up in tombe.
Then I bequeath my corps to couche beneathe hir bones,
And there to feede the greedy wormes that linger for the nones.
To frette uppon her fleshe, which is to fine therefore,
This service may it doe hir yet, although it do no more.
My heart (as heretofore) I must bequeathe to Care,
And God he knowes, I thinke the gift to simple for his share.
But that he may perceive, I meane to pay my dew,
I will it shall be taken quicke, and borne him bleeding new,
As for my funerals, I leave that toye at large,
To be as mine executours wyll give thereto in charge.
Yet if my goodes will stretche unto my strange device,
Then let this order be observ'd, mine heyre shall pay the price:
First let the torche bearers be wrapte in weedes of woe,
Let all their lightes be virgin waxe, because I lov'de it so.
And care not though the twist be course that lends them light,
If fansie fume, & freewil flame, then must they needs burn bright.
Next them let come the quier, with psalmes and dolefull song,
Recording all my rough repulse and wraying all my wrong.
And when the deskant singes, in treeble tunes above,
Then let fa burden say, (by lowe) I liv'd and dyde for love:
About my heavy hearte, some mourners would I have,
Who migh[t] the same accompany and stand about the grave,
But let them be such men, as maye confesse with me,
How contrary the lots of love, to all true lovers bee.
Let Patience be the Priest, the Clarke be Close conceipt,
The Sextin be Simplicitie, which meaneth no disceipt.
Let almes of Love be delt, even at the Chaunsell doore,
And feede them there with freshe delayes, as I have bene of yore:
Then let the yongest sort, be set to ring Loves Bels,
And pay Repentance for their paines, but give them nothing else,
Thus when the Dirge is done, let every man depart,
And learne by me what harme it is to have a faithfull hart.
Those litle landes I have, mine heyre must needes possesse,
His name is Lust, the landes be losse, few lovers scape with lesse.
The rest of all my goodes, which I not here rehearse,
Give learned Poets for their paines, to decke my Tombe with verse:
And let them write these wordes upon my carefull chest,
Lo here he lies, that was as true (in love) as is the best.
Alas I had forgot the Parsons dewe to paye,
And so my soule in Purgatorye, might remaine alway.
Then for my privie Tythes, as kysses caught by stealth,
Sweete collinges & such other knackes as multiplied my wealth:
I give the Vickar here, to please his greedie wyll,
A deintie dishe of suger soppes, but saust with sorrow stil:
And twise a weeke at least, let dight them for his dishe,
On Fridayes and on wednesdaies, to save expence of fishe.
Nowe have I much bequeathed and litle left behinde,
And others mo must yet be served or else I were unkinde.
Wet eyes and wayling wordes, Executours I make,
And for their paines ten pound of teares let either of them take.
Let sorrow at the last my Supravisor be,
And stedfastnesse my surest steade, I give him for his fee.
Yet in his pattent place this Sentence of proviso,
That he which loveth stedfastly, shall want no sauce of sorrow.
Thus now I make an ende, of this my wearie wyll,
And signe it with my simple hand, and set my scale there tyll.
And you which reade my wordes, although they be in rime,
Yet reason may perswade you eke, Thus lovers dote sometime.
The Subscription and seale.
MY mansion house was Mone: from Dolours dale I came,
I Fato: Non Fortuna, hight, lo now you know my name:
My seale is sorrowes sythe, within a fielde of flame,
Which cuts in twaine a carefull heart, yt sweltreth in the same.
Fato non Fortuna.
ALas, lo now I heare the passing Bell,
Which Care appointeth carefullye to knoule,
And in my brest, I feele my heart now swell,
To breake the stringes which joynde it to my soule.
The Crystall yse, which lent mine eyes their light,
Doth now waxe dym, and dazeled all with dread,
My senses all, wyll now forsake me quite,
And hope of health abandoneth my head,
My wearie tongue can talke no longer now,
My trembling hand nowe leaves my penne to hold,
My joynts nowe stretch, my body cannot bowe,
My skinne lookes pale, my blood now waxeth cold.
And are not these, the very panges of death ?
Yes sure (sweete heart) I know them so to bee,
They be the panges, which strive to stop my breath,
They be the panges, which part my love from thee.
What sayd I? Love? Nay life: but not my love,
My life departes, my love continues styll:
My lothed lyfe may from my corpse remove,
My loving Love shall alwayes worke thy wyll.
It was thy wyll even thus to trye my truth,
Thou hast thy wyll, my truth may now be sene,
It was thy wyll, that I should dye in youth,
Thou hast thy wyll my yeares are yet but grene.
Thy penaunce was that I should pine in paine,
I have performde thy penaunce all in wo,
Thy pleasure was that I should here remaine,
I have bene glad to please thy fansie so.
Nowe since I have performed every part
Of thy commaunde: as neare as tongue can tell,
Content thee yet before my muse depart,
To take this Sonet for my last farewell.
Fato non fortuna.
FArewell deere Love whome I have loved and shall,
Both in this world, and in the world to come,
For proofe whereof my sprite is Charons thrall,
And yet my corpse attendant on thy toome.
Farewell deere sweete, whose wanton wyll to please
Eche taste of trouble seemed mell to me,
Farewell sweete deare, whose doubles for to appease,
I was contented thus in bale to be.
Farewell my lyfe, farewell for and my death,
For thee I lyv'd for thee nowe must I dye,
Farewell from Bathe, whereas I feele my breath
Forsake my breast in great perplexitie,
Alas how welcome were this death of mine,
If I had dyde betweene those armes of thine?
Fato non Fortuna.
The Reporters conclusion.
WHere might I now fnd flooddes of flowing teares,
So to suffice the swelling of mine eyes?
How might my breast unlode the bale it beares?
Alas alas how might my tongue devise
To tell this weary tale in wofull wise?
To tell I saye these tydinges nowe of truth,
Which may provoke the craggy rockes to ruth?
In depth of dole would God that I were drownde,
Where flattering joyes might never find me out,
Or graved so within the greedy grounde,
As false delights might never breede my doubt,
Nor guilefull love hir purpose bring about:
Whose trustlesse trainee in collours for to paint,
I find by proofe my wittes are all to faint.
I was that man whome destinies ordeine,
To beare eche griefe that groweth on the mold,
I was that man which proved to my paine,
More panges at once than can with tongue be told,
I was that man (hereof you maye be bold)
Whome heaven and earth did frame to scoffe and scorne,
I, I was he which to that ende was borne.
Suffized not my selfe to taste the fruite,
Of sugred sowres which growe in gadding yeares,
But that I must with paine of lyke pursute,
Perceive such panges by paterne of my peares,
And feele how fansies fume could fond my pheares?
Alas I find all fates against me bent,
For nothing else I lyve but to lament.
The force of friendship bound by holy othe,
Dyd drawe my wyll into these croked wayes,
For with my freed I went to Bathe (though loth)
To lend some comfort in his collie dayes,
The stedfast friend stickes fast at all assayes:
Yet was I loth such time to spend in vaine,
The cause whereof, lo here I tell you playne.
By proofe I found as you may well perceive,
That all good counsell was but worne in wast,
Such painted paines his passions did deceive,
That bitter gall was mell to him in tast,
Within his will such rootes of wine plast,
As graffes of griefes were only given to growe,
Where youth did plant and rash conceite did sowe.
I sawe at first his eares were open aye
To every tale which fed him with some hope,
As fast againe I sawe him turne away
From grave advise, which might his conscience grope,
From reasons rule his fancie lightly lope,
He only gave his mind to get that gaine,
Which most he wisht and least could yet attaine.
Not I alone, but many mo with me,
Had found what ficklenesse his Idoll used,
And how she claimed Cressides heire to be,
And how she had his great good will abused,
And how she was of many men refused,
Who bide hir tricks and knew hir by the kinde,
Save only him she made no lover blinde.
But what for this? whose face is plainer seene,
Than he which thinkes he walketh in a net?
Or who in bale hath ever deeper beene,
Than he which thought his state might not be bet.
In such a jollitye these lovers jet,
That weale to them doeth seeme to bee but wo,
And griefe seemes joye, they feede theyr fancyes so.
Tell him that reason ought to be his rule,
And he allowed no reason but his owne,
Tell him that best were quicklye to recule,
Before all force by feares were overthrowne,
And that his bale were better overblowne,
Then thus to pine remedylesse in griefe,
And he would saye that griefe was his reliefe.
Short tale to make so long he lyved thus,
Tyll at the last he gan in deede to dye
Beleeve me Lordes (and by him that dyed for us)
I sawe him give to close his dying eye,
I sawe him stryve and strangle passingly.
And suche a griefe I tooke, that yet I not,
If he or I had then more griefe ygot.
But who hath scene a Lampe begyn to fade
Which lacketh oyle to feede his lyngring lyght,
And then againe who so hath scene it made
With oyle and weecke to last the longsome night.
Let him conceyve that I sawe such a sight
Whereof to thinke (although I sighde erewhile)
Loe nowe I laughe my sorrowes to beguile.
Upon the stones a trampling steede we heard
Which came ful straight unto our lodging doore,
And straight therwith we heard how one enquirde
If such a Knight (as I describde before)
Were lodged there: the Hoast withouten more
Sayd yes forsooth, and God he knowes (quod he)
He is as sicke as any man maye bee.
The messenger sware by no bugges I trowe,
But bad our hoast to bring him where he laye
(Quod I to Bartholmew) I heare by lowe,
A voice which seemes somewhat of you to saye
And eare that past not full a furlong waye,
Behold the man came stowping in at doore,
And truth to tell he syked wondrous sore.
At last from out his bosome dyd he take,
A Letter sealde yfolded fayre and well,
And kyssing it (I thinke for Mistresse sake)
He sayd to Bartholmew: Syr Knight be well,
Nowe reade these lines the which I neede not tell,
Prom whence they come: but make an ende of mone,
For you are sicke, and she is woe begone.
The theefe condemnde and gone to gallowe tree,
(If one crye Grace: lo here a Pardon prest)
Doth dye sometimes, when most he seemde to be,
From death redeemd, such bronts may breede in brest,
Twyxt sodaine joye, and thoughts which paine oppress,
The Romaine Widdowe dyed when she beheld,
Hir Sunne (whome earst She compted slaine in field).
So Bartholmew tweene griefe and sodaine joye,
Laye styll in traunce, me thinkes I see him yet,
And out of doubte it gave me such anoye,
To see him so, him selfe in fancies fret,
That sure I thought his eyes in head were set.
And that he laye (as some saye) drawing on,
Untill his breath and all were past and gone.
But high de[c]rees of heaven which had ordainde,
(For his decaye) a freshe delaye of paine,
Revived him: yet from his eyes downe raind,
Such rewfull teares as moved me to plaine,
The dolefull plight wherein he dyd remaine.
For trust me now, to see him sorrowe so,
It might have made a stone to melt in wot
Thrise dyd his tongue beginne to tell his thought,
And thrise (alas) it foltred in his mouth,
With stopping sobbes and skalding sighes he sought
To utter that which was to me uncouth.
So staies the streame, when furiouslie it flouth.
And filles the dikes where it had wont to swimme,
Untill by force it breakes above the brimme.
At last (with paine) the first word that he spake,
Was this: Alas, and therewithall he stayed,
His feebled Jawes and hollowe voyce could make,
None other sounde, his thoughtes were all dismayed,
His hearye head full lowe in bosome rayed.
Yet when he sawe me marke what he would saye,
He cryed right out Alas and welawaye.
Alas (quod he) deare friend behold this bloode,
And with that word he gan againe to sorrowne:
The messenger which in a studdye stoode,
Awakt at last: and in mine eare dyd rowne,
Saying: those lines which I have there throwen downe.
Were written all with blood of hir owne hande,
For whome he nowe in this distresse doth stande.
And since (quod he) She hath vouchsafed so,
To shead hir blood in witnesse of hir griefe,
Me thinkes he rather should relieve hir wo:
Then thus deny to send hir some reliefe.
Alas alas (quod he) she holdes him chiefe.
And well wote I (what ere his fansie bee)
There sittes no man so neere hir heart as hee.
Therewith he raysde his heavy head alight,
Askaunces Ha? in deede and thinkst thou so?
But out alas his weake and weary sprit,
Forbad his tongue in furder termes to go.
His thought sayd Haight, his sillie speache cryed Ho.
And thus he laye in dompes and dolefull trance,
Tyll darksome night dyd somewhat change his chance.
For when the light of day began to fade,
And courtins round about his bed were drawne,
A golden slomber dyd his lymmes invade,
And held him husht tyll daye againe gan dawne,
Whereby Dame quiet put him in a pawne,
To set his thoughts (which strived earst) at one,
And bad debate be packing to be gone.
Percase sweete love dyd lull him so on sleepe,
Perhaps Dame fansie rocks the Cradell too,
How so it were I take thereof no keepe,
With such conceiptes have I nothing to doo,
But when he wakt he asked plainly who,
Had brought him so from rage to quiet rest,
And who had borne the torments from his brest?
(Quod I) my friend: here is a letter lo,
Behold it here and be all hole againe,
What man were he that wyther would in wo,
Which thus might prosper in despite of paine?
Were he not worse then mad which would complaine,
On such a friend as this to me doth seeme?
Which (for thy health) hir blood doth not esteeme?
Thus much I sayd to comfort him God knowes,
(But what I thought that keepe I cloose in hold)
Sometimes a man must flatter with his foes,
And sometimes saye that brasse is bright as Gold:
For he that hath not all thinges as he would,
Must winke sometimes, as though he dyd not see,
And seeme to thinke thinges are not as they bee.
Dan Bartholmew gan take the briefe in hand,
And brake the seale, but when he saw the blood,
Good Lord how bolt upright his heere dyd stand?
For though the friendly wordes therein were good,
Yet many a thought they moved in his moode.
As well appeared by his flecked cheekes,
Nowe cherrye redde, nowe pale and greene as leekes.
I dreamt (quod he) that I was done to death,
And that I laye full colde in earth and claye,
But that I was restored unto breath,
By one that seemde lyke Pellycane to playe,
Who shed his blood to give me foode alwaye,
And made me live in spite of sorrowe styll,
See how my dreame agrees now with this byll ?
His feebled wittes forgotten had there whyle,
By whome and howe he had this letter first,
But when he spyde the man, then gan he smile,
For secreete joye his heart dyd seeme to burst,
Now thought he best that (earst) he compted worst.
And lovingly he dyd the man embrace,
And askt howe farde the roote of all his grace?
See sodaine chaunge, see subtile sweete disceipte
Behold how love can make his subjectes blinde,
Let all men marke hereby what guilefull baite,
Dan Cupide layeth to tyse the lovers minde:
Alacke alacke a slender thread maye binde,
That prysonor fast, which meanes to tarrye styll,
A lytle road correctes a ready wyll.
The briefe was writte and blotted all with gore,
And thus it sayde: Behold howe stedfast love,
Hath made me hardy (thankes have he therefore)
To write these wordes thy doubtes for to remove
With mine owne blood: and yf for thy behove
These bloody lynes do not thy Cares convert:
I vowe the next shall bleede out of my heart.
I dwell to long upon this thriftlesse tale,
For Bartholmew was well appeasde hereby,
And feelingly he banished his bale,
Taking herein a tast of remedy,
By lyte and lyte his fittes away gan flye.
And in short space he dyd recover strength,
To stand on foote and take his horse at length.
So that we came to London both yfere,
And there his Goddesse tarryed tyll we came,
I am to blame to call hir Goddesse here,
Since she deservde in deede no Goddesse name,
But sure I thinke (and you may judge the same)
She was [to] him a Goddesse in his thought,
Although perhaps hir Shrines was overbought.
I maye not write what words betweene them past,
How teares of griefe were turnde to teares of joye,
Nor how their dole became delight at last.
Nor how they made great myrth of much anoye,
Nor how content was coyned out of coye,
But what I sawe and what I well maye write,
That (as I maye) I meane for to endite.
In lovely London love gan nowe renew,
This blooddye Letter made it battle much,
And all the doubtes which he in fansies drew,
Were done away as there had bene none such,
(But to him selfe) he bare no body grutch.
Him selfe (he sayde) was cause of all this wo,
Withouten cause that hir suspected so.
O loving Youthes this glasse was made for you,
And in the same you may your selves behold,
Beleeve me nowe not one in all your crew,
Which (where he loves) hath courage to be bold,
Your Cressides climes are alwaies uncontrold.
You dare not saye the Sunne is cleare and bright,
You dare not sweare that darkesome is the night.
Terence was wise which taught by Pamphilus,
Howe courage quailes where love beblinds the sence,
Though proofe of times makes lovers quarelous,
Yet small excuse serves love for just defence.
These Courtisanes have power by presence
To make a Swan of that which was a Crowe,
As though blacke pitche were turned into Snowe.
Ferenda, She whome heaven and earth had framde,
For his decaye and to bewitche his wittes,
Made him nowe thinke him selfe was to be blamde,
Which causeles thus would fret himselfe in fittes,
Shee made him thinke that sorrowe sildome sittes,
Where trust is tyed in fast and faithfull knottes,
She sayd Mistrust was meete for simple sottes.
What wyl you more shee made him to beleeve,
That she first loved although she yonger were,
She made him thinke that his distresse dyd greeve,
Hir guiltlesse minde: and (that it might appeare,
Howe these conceiptes could joyne or hang yfere)
She dyd confesse howe soone shee yeelded his,
Such force (quod she) in learned men there is.
She furder sayde that all to true it was,
Howe youthfull yeares (and lacke of him alone)
Had made hir once to choose out brittle glasse,
For perfect Gold: She dyd confesse (with mone)
That youthfully shee bytte a worthlesse bone.
But that therein she tasted deepe delight,
That sayde shee not, nor I presume to write.
Shee sware (and that I beare full well in minde)
Howe Dyomede had never Troylus place,
Shee sayd and sware (how ever sate the winde)
That Admirals dyd never know hir case,
She sayd againe that never Noble Face,
Dyd please hir eye nor moved hir to change,
She sayd her minde was never geven to range.
She sayd and sayd that Bracelettes were ybound,
To hold him fast (but not to charme his thought)
She wysht therewith that she were deepely drownd,
In Ippocrace: if ever she had sought,
Or dronke, or smelt, or tane, or found, or bought,
Such Nectar droppes as she with him had dronke,
(But this were true) she wisht hir soule were sonke.
And to conclude, she sayde no printed rymes,
Could please hir so as his brave Triumphes dyd:
Why wander I? She cov'red all hir crimes,
With deepe disceipt, and all hir guiles she hyd,
With fained teares, and Bartholmew she ryd
With double gyrthes, she byt and whyned both,
And made him love where he had cause to loth.
These be the fruictes which grow on such desire,
These are the gaines ygot by such an art,
To late commes he that seekes to quenche the fire,
When flames possesse the house in every part,
Who lyst in peace to keepe a quiet hart.
Flye love betimes, for if he once oretake him,
Then seeld or never shall he well forsake him.
If once thou take him Tenaunt to thy brest,
No wrytte nor force can serve to plucke him thence,
No pylles can purge his humour lyke the rest,
He bydes in bones, and there takes residence,
Against his blowes no buckler makes defence.
And though (with paine) thou put him from thy house,
Yet lurkes hee styll in corners lyke a Mouse.
At every hole he creepeth in by stelth,
And privilye he feedeth on thy crommes,
With spoiles unseene he wasteth all thy welth,
He playes boe peepe when any body commes,
And dastardlik he seemes to dread the drommes,
Although in deede in Embushe he awaytes,
To take thee stragling yf thou passe his straites.
So seemed now by Bartholmews successe,
Who yeelded sone unto this second charge,
Accusing styll him selfe for his distresse,
And that he had so languished at large,
Short worke to make: he had none other charge
To beare loves blowes, but styll to trust hir tale,
And pardon crave because he bread hir bale.
And thus he lyvde contented styll with craft,
Mistrusting most, that gave least cause of doubt,
He fledde mishappe and helde it by the haft,
He banisht bale and bare it styll about,
He let in love and thought to hold him out.
He seemde to bathe in perfect blisse againe,
When (God he knowes) he fostred privie paine.
For as the Tree which crooked growes by kinde,
(Although it be with propping underset)
In trackt of time to crooked course wyll twinde,
So could Ferenda never more forget,
The lease at large where she hir flinges had fet.
But rangde againe, and to hir byas fell,
Such chaunges chaunce where lust (for love) doth dwell.
And as it hapt (and God his wyll it was)
Dan Bartholmew perceyvde it very plaine,
So that perforce he let his pleasures passe?
And strave no more against the streame in vaine,
But therewithall he purchased such paine,
As yet I shrinke in minde thereof to muse,
And marvaile more howe he the same could use.
His lustlesse limmes which wonted were to syt,
In quiet chaire, with pen and paper prest,
Were armed nowe with helme and harnesse fyt,
To seeke adventures boldly with the best,
Hee went to warres that wont to live in rest.
And warres in deede he made withouten blowes,
For why his friendes were nowe become his foes.
Such was his hap to warre both night and daye,
To watche and warde at every time and tyde,
Though foes were farre yet skowted he alwaye,
And when they came he must their brontes abide.
Who ever fled he would his head not hyde.
For sure dispayre his corpse so close had armed,
That by deathes darte he could no whit be harmed.
In his Ensigne these collours gan he chuse,
Blacke, white, and greene, first blacke for morning mone,
Then white for chaste, because he did refuse,
(Thenceforth) to thinke but even of hir alone.
A bende of greene: for though his joyes were gone,
Yet should it seeme he hoped for a daye,
And in that bende his name he dyd displaye.
That selfe same name which in his will he wrote,
(You knowe my minde) when he was out of tune a,
When he subscribde (which may not bee forgote)
Howe that his name was Fato Non F[o]rtuna.
And as I gesse bicause his love was Una,
That played hir pranckes according to hir kinde,
He wrote these wordes hir best excuse to finde.
As who should saye, lo destenies me drive,
And happe could not have overthrowen me thus:
I constrew this because I do beleeve,
That once againe he wyll bee amorous,
I fere it muche by him that dyed for us,
And who so doubtes that causeles thus I faint
Let him but reade the greene Knights heavy plaint.
Bartello he which writeth ryding tales,
Bringes in a Knight which cladde was all in greene,
That sighed sore amidde his greevous gales,
And was in hold as Bartholmew hath beene.
But (for a placke) it maye therein be seene,
That, that same Knight which there his griefes begonne,
Is Batts owne Fathers Sisters brothers Sonne.
Well since my borrell braine is all to bloont
To give a gesse what ende this man shall have,
And since he rageth not as he was woont,
Although sometimes he seeme (elite) to crave,
Yet wyll I not his doinges so deprave,
As for to judge (before I see his ende)
What harder happe his angrie starres can sende.
And therewithall my wearye muse desires,
To take her rest: and pardon craves also,
That shee presumde to bring hir selfe in bryers,
By penning thus this true report of wo:
With sillye grace these sorye rimes maye go,
In such a rancke as Bartholmew hath plast,
So that shee feares hir cunning is disgrast.
But take them yet in gree as they be ment,
And wayle with mee the losse of such a man:
I coumpt him lost because I see him bent,
To yeld againe where first his greefe began,
And though I cannot write as others can
Some mournefull verse to move you mone his fall,
Yet weepe (with me) you faythfull lovers all.
Finis. quod Dixit & Dixit.
SYr Salamanke to thee this tale is tolde,
Peruse it well and call unto thy minde,
The pleasaunt place where thou dydst first behold
The rewfull rymes: remember how the Winde
Dyd calmelye blowe: and made me leave behinde
Some leaves thereof: whiles I sate reading styll,
And thou then seemdst to hearken with good wyll.
Beleeve me nowe, hadst thou not seemd to lyke
The wofull wordes of Bartholmews discourse,
They should have lyen styll drowned in the dyke,
Lyke Sybylls leaves which flye with lytle force,
But for thou seemdst to take therein remorce,
I sought againe in corners of my brest,
To finde them out and place them with the rest.
Such skyll thou hast to make me (foole) beleeve,
My babies are as brave as any bee,
Well since it is so, let it never greeve
Thy friendly minde this worthlesse verse to see
In print at last: for trust thou unto mee,
Thine onely prayse dyd make me venture forth,
To set in shewe a thing so litle worth.
Thus unto thee these leaves I recommend,
To reade, to raze, to view, and to correct,
Vouchsafe (my friend) therein for to amend
That is amisse, remember that our sect,
Is sure to bee with floutes alwayes infect.
And since most mockes wyll light uppon my muse,
Vouchsafe (my friend) hir faultes for to peruse.
Tam Marti quam Mercurio.