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[ 409 ]


[The following Poems are also probably genuine; but are placed here for lack of external evidence.]



Madame, for your newe-fangelnesse,
Many a servaunt have ye put out of grace,
I take my leve of your unstedfastnesse,
For wel I wot, whyl ye have lyves space,
Ye can not love ful half yeer in a place;       5
To newe thing your lust is ever kene;
In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.

Right as a mirour nothing may enpresse,
But, lightly as it cometh, so mot it pace,
So fareth your love, your werkes bereth witnesse.       10
Ther is no feith that may your herte enbrace;
But, as a wedercok, that turneth his face
With every wind, ye fare, and that is sene;
In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.

[ 410 ]Ye might be shryned, for your brotelnesse,       15
Bet than Dalyda, Creseide or Candace;
For ever in chaunging stant your sikernesse,
That tache may no wight fro your herte arace;
If ye lese oon, ye can wel tweyn purchace;
Al light for somer, ye woot wel what I mene,       20
In stede of blew, thus may ye were al grene.


Title. None in Ct.; Balade in F.; ed. 1561 has—A Balade which Chaucer made agaynst woman unconstaunt.

The text is from Ct. (Cotton, Cleopatra D. 7); that in ed. 1561 is much the same, except in spelling. Another copy in F. (Fairfax 16). A third in Ha. (Harl. 7578); of less value.

2. Ct. Manie; F. many. Ct. F. of youre; Ha. om. youre. 4. Ct. wote while. F. have lyves; Ct. to lyve haue. 5. Ct. kunnought; F. Ha. kan not. 6. F. thing; Ct. Ha. thinges. Ct. inserts so before kene; ed. (1561) omits so; F. has ay so. 7. Ct. sted; F. stede. Ct. Blue; F. blew. 8. Ct. Mirrour; ed. mirour. Ct. Ha. ed. ins. that bef. nothing; F. om. 11. Ct. F. hert; Ha. ed. herte. 12. Ha. om. a. Ha. wethirkoc. 14. Ct. om. al; F. Ha. ed. retain it.

15. Ct. om. your; F. Ha. ed. retain it. 16. Ct. Bettir; F. Ha. ed. Better; read Bet. F. Dalyda; Ct. Dalide. Ct. Cresside; F. Creseyde. 17. Ct. Changeng; F. chaungyng. All stondeth; read stant. 18. F. tache; Ct. tacche: ed. tatche. F. Ha. herte; Ct. ed. hert. 19. Ct. Ha. lese; F. ed. lose. Ct. kunne; F. kan; ed. can; Ha. kanne. Ct. ed. tweine; F. tweyn. 20. Ct. All; ed. Al. Ct. F. wote; Ha. woote; ed. wot; cf. Cant. Ta. A 740, 829. 21. Ct. om. al; F. ed. retain it. Ct. adds Explicit.