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[ 396 ]


To-broken been the statuts hye in hevene
That creat were eternally to dure,
Sith that I see the brighte goddes sevene
Mow wepe and wayle, and passioun endure,
As may in erthe a mortal creature.       5
Allas, fro whennes may this thing procede?
Of whiche errour I deye almost for drede.

By worde eterne whylom was hit shape
That fro the fifte cercle, in no manere,
Ne mighte a drope of teres doun escape.       10
But now so wepeth Venus in hir spere,
That with hir teres she wol drenche us here.
Allas, Scogan! this is for thyn offence!
Thou causest this deluge of pestilence.

Hast thou not seyd, in blaspheme of this goddes,       15
Through pryde, or through thy grete rakelnesse,
Swich thing as in the lawe of love forbode is?
That, for thy lady saw nat thy distresse,
Therfor thou yave hir up at Michelmesse!
Allas, Scogan! of olde folk ne yonge       20
Was never erst Scogan blamed for his tonge!

[ 397 ]Thou drowe in scorn Cupyde eek to record
Of thilke rebel word that thou hast spoken,
For which he wol no lenger be thy lord.
And, Scogan, thogh his bowe be nat broken,       25
He wol nat with his arwes been y-wroken
On thee, ne me, ne noon of our figure;
We shul of him have neyther hurt ne cure.

Now certes, frend, I drede of thyn unhappe,
Lest for thy gilt the wreche of Love procede       30
On alle hem that ben hore and rounde of shape,
That ben so lykly folk in love to spede.
Than shul we for our labour han no mede;
But wel I wot, thou wilt answere and seye:
'Lo! olde Grisel list to ryme and pleye!'       35

Nay, Scogan, sey not so, for I mexcuse,
God help me so! in no rym, doutelees,
Ne thinke I never of slepe wak my muse,
That rusteth in my shethe stille in pees.
Whyl I was yong, I putte hir forth in prees,       40
But al shal passe that men prose or ryme;
Take every man his turn, as for his tyme.


Scogan, that knelest at the stremes heed
Of grace, of alle honour and worthinesse,
In thende of which streme I am dul as deed,       45
Forgete in solitarie wildernesse;
Yet, Scogan, thenke on Tullius kindenesse,
Minne thy frend, ther it may fructifye!
Far-wel, and lok thou never est Love defye!       49

Title: so in F. and P.; Gg. has—Litera directa de Scogon per G. C. The MSS. are: Gg. (Camb. Univ. Library, Gg. 4. 27); F. (Fairfax 16); P. (Pepys 2006). Th. = Thynne (1532). I follow F. mainly.

1. F. statutez. 2. F. weren eternaly. 3. F. bryght goddis. 4. F. Mowe. 5. F. Mortale. 6. F. thys thinge. 8. F. whilome. F. yshape; Gg. it schape; P. Th. it shape. 9. F. fyfte sercle; maner. 10. F. myght; teeres; eschape. 11. F. wepith. 12. F. teeres. 14. F. cawsest; diluge. 15. Gg. Hast þu; F. Hauesthow. F. this goddis; Gg. the goddis; P. Th. the goddes. 16. F. Thurgh; thrugh. F. they (wrongly); Gg. þyn; P. thi. F. rekelnesse; P. Th. reklesnesse; Gg. rechelesnesse; see note. 17. F. P. forbede; Gg. forbodyn; Th. forbode. 18. Gg. saw; F. sawgh. 19. F. Therfore thow. Gg. Mychel-; F. Mighel-. 20. F. folke.

22. F. skorne; eke; recorde. 23. F. worde; thow. 24. F. lorde. 25. F. thow; P. Th. though. F. thy (for his, wrongly); Gg. P. his. 27. F. the. Th. our; Gg. oure; P. owre; F. youre. 28. F. hurte. Gg. P. Th. ne; F. nor. 29. F. dreed. 30. F. gilte. 31. Gg. P. hore; F. hoor. F. shappe; P. shape; Gg. schap. 32. F. folke. 33. P. shull; F. Gg. shal. Gg. P. han; F. haue. F. noo. 34. F. thow. F. wolt; Gg. wilt. 35. Gg. P. Lo olde; F. Loo tholde. F. lyste. 36. F. say; Gg. P. sey. F. soo. 37. P. help; Gg. F. helpe. F. soo. F. ryme dowteles. 38. F. Gg. to wake; P. Th. om. to. 40. F. While; yonge. Gg. putte; F. put. P. Th. her; F. hyt; Gg. it. 41. F. alle. 42. F. hys turne. 43. F. hede; Gg. hed. 45. F. dede; Gg. P. ded. 48. F. Mynne; there. 49. F. Fare; loke thow; dyffye.

N.B. All have—.i. a Windesore, and—.i. a Grenewich opposite ll. 43, 45.