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[ 405 ]

XXII. A GOODLY BALADE.

¶ Moder of norture, best beloved of al,
And fresshest flour, to whom good thrift god sende.
Your child, if it list you me so to cal,
Al be I unable my-self so to pretende,
To your discrecioun I recommende       5
Myn herte and al, with every circumstaunce,
Al hoolly to be under your governaunce.

Most desyre I, and have, and ever shal
Thing, whiche might your hertës ese amende;
Have me excused, my power is but smal;       10
Natheles, of right ye ought[e] to commende
My good[e] will, which fayn wolde entende
To do you service; for al my suffisaunce
Is hoolly to be under your governaunce.

Meulx un: in herte, which never shal apal,       15
Ay fresshe and newe, and right glad to dispende
My tyme in your servyce, what-so befal,
Beseching your excéllence to defende
My simplenesse, if ignoraunce offende
In any wyse; sith that myn affiaunce       20
Is hoolly to be under your governaunce.
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¶ Daisy of light! very ground of comfort!
The sonnes doughter ye hight, as I rede;
For when he westreth, farwel your disport!
By your nature anon, right for pure drede       25
Of the rude night, that with his boystous wede
Of derkness shadoweth our emispere,
Than closen ye, my lyves lady dere!

Dawing the day to his kinde resort,
Phebus your fader, with his stremes rede,       30
Adorneth the morow, cónsuming the sort
Of misty cloudës, that wolde overlede
Trewe humble hertës with hir mistihede,
Nere comfort a-dayes, whan eyën clere
Disclose and sprede my lyves lady dere.       35

[A stanza lost; lines 36-42.]

Je vouldray:—but [the] gret[e] god disposeth
And maketh casuel by his providence
Such thing as mannës frelë wit purposeth;       45
Al for the best, if that our conscience
Nat grucche it, but in humble pacience
It receyve; for god saith, without[e] fable,
A faithful hertë ever is acceptáble.

Cautels who useth gladly, gloseth;       50
To eschewe suche it is right high prudence;
What ye said[e] onës, [now] myn herte opposeth,
"That my wryting japës, in your absence,
Plesed you moche bet than my presence!"
Yet can I more, ye be nat excusáble;       55
A faithful hertë ever is acceptáble.

Quaketh my penne; my spirit supposeth
That in my wryting ye finde wol som offence;
Myn herte welkeneth thus sone, anon it †roseth;
Now hot, now cold, and eft in [al] fervence;       60
[ 407 ]That mis is, is caused of negligence
And not of malice; therfor beth merciable;
A faithful hertë ever is acceptáble.

Lenvoy.

¶ Forth, complaynt! forth, lakking eloquence,
Forth, litel lettre, of endyting lame!       65
I have besought my ladies sapience
Of thy behalfe, to accept in game
Thyn inabilitee; do thou the same!
Abyd! have more yet; Je serve Jonesse.
Now forth; I close thee, in holy Venus name;       70
Thee shal unclose my hertes governeresse.

Finis.


From Th. (Thynne's ed. 1532). Title. A goodly balade of Chaucer. I note here rejected spellings. 3. childe; lust. 4. selfe. 5. discrecion; recomende. 7. holy. 9. ease. 10. small. 11. Nathelesse; ought. 12. good; whiche fayne. 14. holy. 17. befall. 20. sythe. 21. holy; ben.

22. grounde; comforte. 24. disporte. 27. derkenesse. 29. resorte. 30. And Phebus (I omit And); father. 31. morowe; sorte. 32. wolden. 34. comforte. 43. great (read the grete). 45. Suche; mans (read mannes); witte. 47. grutche. 48. Read Receyve it (?); saythe withoute. 52. sayd; I supply now. 53. Read wryting of iapes (?). 54. Pleased; better (read bet). 58. Omit wol (?); some. 59. ryseth (!); read roseth. 60. Nowe hotte, nowe colde; efte; I supply al.

61. mysse. 62. therfore bethe. 64. Headed Lenuoye. Forthe; forthe lackyng. 65. Forthe. 68. inabylite. 69. Iouesse. 70. Nowe; the. 71. The.