Chaucerian and Other Pieces/Piece19

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[ 359 ]


O lewde book, with thy foole rudenesse,
Sith thou hast neither beautee n'eloquence,
Who hath thee caused, or yeve thee hardinesse
For to appere in my ladyes presence?
I am ful siker, thou knowest her benivolence       5
Ful ágreable to alle hir obeyinge;
For of al goode she is the best livinge.

Allas! that thou ne haddest worthinesse
To shewe to her som plesaunt sentence,
Sith that she hath, thorough her gentilesse,       10
Accepted thee servant to her digne reverence!
O, me repenteth that I n'had science
And leyser als, to make thee more florisshinge;
For of al goode she is the best livinge.

Beseche her mekely, with al lowlinesse,       15
Though I be fer from her [as] in absence,
To thenke on my trouth to her and stedfastnesse,
And to abregge of my sorwe the violence,
Which caused is wherof knoweth your sapience;
She lyke among to notifye me her lykinge;       20
For of al goode she is the best livinge.
[ 360 ]

Aurore of gladnesse, and day of lustinesse,
Lucerne a-night, with hevenly influence
Illumined, rote of beautee and goodnesse,
Suspiries which I effunde in silence,       25
Of grace I beseche, alegge let your wrytinge,
Now of al goode sith ye be best livinge.


From F. (Fairfax 16); collated with T. (Tanner 346); and Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532). 1. F. boke; T. Th. booke. Th. foule. 2. All beaute. 3. All the (twice). 5. So all. 6. Th. abeyeng (!). 7. F. T. goode; Th. good. Th. best; F. T. beste. 9. All somme, some. Th. plesaunt; F. plesant. 10. T. thurugh; F. thorgh; Th. through. 11. All the. 12. All ne (before had). 13. So all (with the for thee). 14. Th. good. Th. best; F. T. beste. 16. I supply as. 17. T. Th. trouth; F. trouthe. 18. F. abregge; Th. abrege; T. abrigge. T. sorow; F. sorwes; Th. sorowes. 20. All amonge. T. Th. notifye; F. notefye. 21. T. Th. al; F. alle. F. T. goode; Th. good.

Th. Lenuoye; T. The Lenuoye; F. om. 24. Th. T. Illumyned; F. Enlumyned. F. Rote (with capital). All beaute. F. and of; Th. T. om. of. 25. F. Suspiries; Th. Suspires. 26. T. beseke. Th. alege. 27. F. goode; Th. T. good. After 27: Th. Explicit; F. T. om.