Stephen Hawes

(1474-1523 / England)

The Example of Vertu : Cantos VIII.-XIV.


Capitalum VIII.

Dame Sapyence taryed a lytell whyle
Behynd the other saynge to Dyscrecyon
And began on her to laugh and smyle
Axynge her how I stode in condycyon
Well she sayd in good perfeccyon
But best it is that he maryed be
For to eschewe all yll censualyte
I knowe a lady of meruelous beaute
Spronge out of hyghe and noble lynage
Replete with vertue and full of bounte
Whiche vnto youth were a good maryage
For she is comen of royall apparage
But herde it wyll be to gete her loue
Without youth frayltye do sore reproue
I kneled downe than vpon my kne
Afore dame Sapyence with humble chere
Besechynge her of me to haue pyte
And also Dyscrecyon her syster dere
Than dame Sapyence came me nere
Saynge youth wyll ye haue a wyfe
And her to loue durynge her lyfe
Ye madame that wolde I fayne
Yf that she be both fayre and bryght
I wyll her loue euer more certayne
And pleas her alway with all my myght
Of suche a persone wolde I haue a syght
With all my herte now at this houre
Wolde to god I had so fayre a floure
Than sayd dyscrecyon there is a kynge
Dwellynge fer hens in a fayre castell
Of whome I oft haue herd grete talkynge
Whiche hath a doughter as I you tell
I trowe that youth wyll lyke her well
She is both good eke fayre and pure
As I report me vnto dame Nature
But yf that youth sholde her go seke
Ye must syster than hym well indue
With your grete power so good and meke
That he all frayltye may eschue
For by the way it wyll oft pursue
On hym by flatery and grete temptacyon
That shall brynge hym in tribulacyon
As for that sayd she he shall not care
For he shall theym sone ouercome
And of theyr flatery ryght well beware
For I to hym shall gyue grete wysedome
Theyr dedes to withstande & make theym dōme
Wherfore dere syster as I you pray
Unto her lede hym now on the way
Loke that ye send me in his necessyte
By dame swyftnes full sone a letter
By whiche that I may knowe the certaynte
That I may come to ayde hym beter
So that fraylte to hym be no freter
And though I be not alway vysyble
With hym my power he hath inuyncyble
Than sayd dame Sapyence to dyscrecyon
Fare well dere syster I may not tary
Loke ye of youth haue the tuycyon
That he fall not into vaynglory
And that ye puruey for hym shortly
That he may wedde the fayre dame clennesse
Whiche for her loue haue ben in duresse
With that dame Sapyence downe went
Into her place that was the doctrynall
Of famous clerkes in connynge splendent
A myrrour of lernyng that was dyuynall
With all the craftes artyfycyall
Byfore her dame Fortune went to her mancyon
And eke dame hardynes to her habytacyon

Capitulum nonum

Forth than went dyscrecyon and I
Out of the castell into a grene
Where byrdys sange by grete melody
There daunst also the fayre quene
Besyde a ryuer named Ephesene
Ouer whiche we wente to the other syde
That was a medowe both longe and wyde
Longe there we wandred tyll at the last
We came vnto a ryght grete wyldernes
By that tyme Phebus was ouer past
Wherfore we walked in grete derkenes
The whiche to me was a grete heuynes
For Lucyna eke dyd her shrowde
Under a blacke and mysty clowde
For she was horned and no thynge cleere
And entred into the sygne of caprycorne
Ryght ferre from phebus fulgent speere
And not ayenst hym the crowne had worne
I went vp and downe tyll on the morne
That phebus his golden reyes dyd sprede
Than dyscrecyon ferther forth me lede
Amonge thornes sharpe & bestes wylde
There was the lyon the wolf & the bere
But I coude mete nother man ne chylde
But many serpentes that dyde me fere
And by a swete smelle I knewe a pantere
So forth I went by longe contynuaunce
Tyll that I sawe an herber of pleasaunce
To whiche I toke anone my waye
Where that I sawe a lady excellent
Rydynge on a goote in fresshe arraye
Ryght yonge of age & lusty of entent
Prayenge me to her for to assent
As to fulfyll the flesshly pleasure
Whiche she desyred me out of mesure
Nay sayd dyscrecyon that may not be
No sayd I in no maner of wyse
To her request I wyll now agree
But euermore here foule lust despyse
For I my selfe do now aduyse
To kepe me chast that I may mary
Fayre dame Clennes that noble lady

So forth I went walkynge my iournay
Metynge a lady olde and amyable
Syttynge in a castell both fressh and gay
On an olyphauntes backe in strength so stable
Whiche it to bere was good and able
Hauynge in her hande a cup of golde
Sette with perles ryght many afolde
She sayd she was the lady of rychesse
The quene of welth and worldely glory
Praynge me to company with her noblenesse
And she than wolde promote me shortely
To innumerable ryches and make me worthy
Where I am poore and sette by nought
By her to worshyp I sholde be brought
Unto her I answered I wolde not so
As for to hunt in the parke of pryde
The whiche to Clennes is mortall fo
But with Dyscrecyon I wyll abyde
Whiche doth a wyfe for me prouyde
By whome I shall haue the possessyowne
Of heuenly kyngdome & grete renowne
So forth I went and had grete trauayle
Without the comfort of ony persons
Saue of dyscrecyon whiche dyd me counsayle
As she went walkynge with me alone
Unto her I made full grete mone
And lykened the wyldernes by morall scence
Unto worldely trouble by good experyence
She sayd the fyrst lady that I dyd mete
Iclyped was dame Sensualyte
Whiche can well flater with wordes swete
Causynge a man to fall into fragylyte
And for to haunt the carnall freylte
Whiche vnto clennes is abhomynable
For they in werke be gretely varyable
The seconde was pryde enduyd with couetyse
A lady of ryght fruytles medytacyon
Delytynge gretly in the synne of auaryce
The whiche is cause of her dampnacyon
For she by her fals supportacyon
Blyndeth many a mannes conscyence
And dryueth ryght oft fer in absence
So ferther I went tyll at the last
I was in a mase goynge in and oute
Ther was none other way I was agast
But forth I walked in grete doute
Now here now there and so rounde aboute
Than sayd vnto me dame Dyscrecyon
Ye are in the besynes of worldely fastyon
There in I trauayled by longe space
Tyll that I mette a lady gloryous
Indued with vertue and grete grace
To whom I sayd o lady precyous
As ye seme to be good and vertuous
I you beseche now without delaye
Unto dame Clennes to teche me the waye
I Sapyence now wyll shewe to the
The ryght waye vnto fayre clennes
And yf thou wylt be ruled by me
Thou shalt mary that noble prynces
Yes that wyll I sayd than douteles
Dyscrecyon sayd she wolde be my suerte
Sapyence sayd none better myght be
Than sayd dyscrecyon to dame sapyence
Welcome to vs my syster dere
And I to her dyd humble reuerence
Saynge who had went to fynde you here
Yes she sayd I haue ben neere
You often tymes syth my departynge
And haue ben cause of your goode gydynge

Capitulum X.

Come on your waye walke on a pace
For ye longe for to haue a syght
Of dame Clennes so clere a face
So goodely of body in beauty bryght
That there can not be so fayre a wyght
So forth we walked to a ryuer syde
That ebbed and flowed at euery tyde
Than I saw a castell a pales royall
Bylded with marble blacke as the gette
With glasse wyndowes as clere as crystall
Whiche on the other syde was sette
No man to the castell myght gette
But ouer the water on a lytell brydge
Not halfe so brode as a hous rydge
But as I cast myn eye than asyde
I saw a lady wounderous fayre
Demure of contenaunce without pryde
That went her selfe for to repayre
By the water syde to take the ayre
Beholde and se than sayd dame sapyence
Yonder is dame Clennes the sterre of excellence
Full glad was I than in my mynde
For to se that flour of complacence
The syght of her dyd my herte bynde
Euer her to loue with percynge influence
Unto her I sayd o well of contynence
Unto your grace fayne wolde I go
Ner lettynge of this water blo
To me she answered than agayne
Saynge this worlde withouten mys
Is but a vanyte no thynge certayne
In the lyke wyse as this water is
Ye can not come to me now ywys
But by that brydge that goth ouer
This stormy troublous & wawy water
Therof sayd sapyence he shall not lette
Well sayd Clennes be you his gyde
And dyscrecyon also for to be sette
For to vpholde hym vnto the other syde
That he do not in the water slyde
So to the brydge they dyde me lede
I quacked than for fere and drede
I sawe there wryten this lytterall sence
No man this brydge may ouer go
But he be pure without neglygence
And stedfast in goddes byleue also
Yf he be ignoraunt and do not so
He must nedys into this water fall
Ouer the heed and be drowned with all
They led me ouer this brydge so peryllous
Tyll that I came to a preuy place
Where were wryten with letters gloryous
This is the kyngdome of grete grace
No man by yonde this marke may trace
But yf he be brought in by dame wysedome
If he so be he is moche welcome
So forthermore yet forth we went
Into a hall that was solacyous
Made of precyous stones splendent
That theym to se it was ryght wounderous
They were there so gretly plenteuous
That the hall paued was for the nones
With none other grauell but precyous stones

There was dame Clennes that lady gent
And eke her fader the kynge of loue
He satte in a chayre ryght clere and excellent
At the vpper ende of the hall aboue
He satte styll and dyd not remoue
Gyrde with wylowes and myght not se
No maner a thynge in his degre
He had two wynges ryght large and grete
And his body also was naked
And a dart in his ryght hand was sette
And a torche in his left hand brenned
A botell aboute his necke was hanged
His one leg armed and naked the other
Hym for to se it was a wonder
Sapyence bad me meruayll no thynge
For she wold shewe me the sygnifycacyon
Why he so sate by shorte rekenynge
Accordynge to a morylyzacyon
Now of the fyrste to make relacyon
Loue sholde be gyrde faste with stabylyte
Without whiche loue can haue no suerte
Loue may not se but is alway blynde
And wenyth no man can haue perseueraūce
Where that he loueth by naturall kynde
But he do shewe hym by wordes of vteraūce
Trught he bewreyeth hym by contenaunce
For hard it wyll be loue so to couere
But that som man shall it perceuere
Also his nakednes doth sygnyfy
That true loue no thynge ellys desyreth
But the very persone and eke body
That he so well and feruentely loueth
His wynges also well betokenyth
That his mynde fleeth vnto the persone
That he doth loue so well alone
And also loue is stryken with a sharpe darte
That maketh a man for to complayn
Whan that it hath wounded sore his herte
It brenneth hote lyke fyre certeyn
Than loue his purpose wolde fayne atteyn
And is euermore both hoot and drye
Tyll his lady gyue hym drynke of mercy
His one legge is armed to defende
The ryght that longeth vnto amyte
And wronge loue for to amende
His naked legge betokeneth charyte
That is the Ioye of grete felycyte
So charyte ryght loue and good concorde
With stablynes reygneth in this myghty lorde

Capitulum XI.

Than forth me led good dame Sapyence
Afore that myghty lordes mageste
Come on she sayd put the in presence
hat thou mayst se dame clennes beaute
Ponder in thy mynde by veryte
That so fayre as she was not quene helyn
Quene Ipolyte or yonge Polyxyn
This lady is clene without corrupcyon
And wereth thre crownes for her vyrgynyte
One is for people of perfyt relygyon
An other for maydens kepynge chastyte
The therde for true wedowes as y&superu; mayst se
I wyll the now to her fader present
Her for to mary yf she wyll consent
Than sayd dame sapyence o noble emperour
O souerayne lorde and royall potestate
O vyctoryous prynce & famous conquerour
O kynge of loue and seaser of debate
To the no creature may say chekmate
I present the now this vertuous knyght
For to mary clennes your doughter bryght
I thanke you he sayd for your good wyll
But he that to Clennes maryed must be
He must my commaundement fyrste fulfyll
As to scomfyte the dragon with heedes thre
That is a serpent of grete subtylte
Whiche well betokeneth as we do fynde
The worlde the flesshe & the deuyll by kynde
Sapyence sayd I sholde not fayle
To do his commaūdement for Clennes sake
As for to sle the dragon in batayle
That lay in a marys in a grete lake
Whiche was moche stynkynge foule & blake
Wysedome bade me be not aferde
For she wolde gyue me a shelde and swerde
And arme me also with fayre armure
To vaynquysshe that dragon so ferse & grete
She sayd it sholde be so good and sure
That I no harme of hym sholde gete
Though he his teth on me had sete
Yet sholde I slee hym for all his myght
By my grete strokes whan I dyd fyght
Fyrst she my legge harneys sette on
And after my plackerd of grete ryches
She armed me her selfe alone
And laced my helmet of her gentylnes
I thanked her for her grete goodnes
And gaue me my swerde and sheld also
Saynge lete vs to the dragon go
This is the armure for the soule
That in his epystole wrote saynt Poule
Good hope thy legge harneys shall be
The habergyn of ryghtwysnes gyrde w&supert; chastyte
Thy plackarde of besynes w&supert; braūches of almes dede
Thy shelde of beleue and mekenes for the hede
Thy swerde shall be the to defend
The worde of god the deuyll to blynde

Dame sapyence & I dyd take our lycence
Of the kynge of loue in vertue depured
And of his doughter shynynge in excellence
Whiche to me sayd with wordes assured
O vertuous knyght you for me haue dured
Ingrete wo & payne but thynke you verely
To scomfyt that dragon by wysedome shortly
Than went we forth to that serpent
In merueylous trauayle of sorowe and bale
By that tyme the daye ryght fayre was spent
And phebus his course began to auale
But at the last we came into a dale
Wher we felt the sauer of a dungeon
Of the foule and stynkynge dragon
Nere to that dragon there was a way
That men vsed vpon a fayre hyll
Unto hyghe heuen so fressh and gay
But that dragon lette theym theyr wyll
And by the way he dyd theym kyll
Bryngynge theym vnto the dungeon
Iclyped the place of grete oblyuyon
I had not be there halfe an houre
But that this dragon me approched
As though that he wolde me deuoure
He so fersly than on me marched
The batayle bytwene vs longe contynued
But he had me ryght sone ouercome
If I had not helpe of dame wysedome
I strake at hym fast with my swerde
And with my shelde dyd me defende
Wysedome bad me not be aferde
But my stroke that for to amende
As fer as my myght weld extende
So by her wordes I plucked vp myn herte
And dyd than vnto the dragon sterte
But he caught me than in his clawes
And so we wrasteled longe to gyder
But he hyld me sharpely in his pawes
Tyll wysedom my feblenesse dyd consyder
Beholde she sayd dame clennes yonder
Than as a syde I cast all my syght
I sawe that lady so pure and bryght
My strength than dobeled an hundred folde
And I from hym brake by vertuous prowes
My herte was warme that afore was colde
With the cōfortable syght of fayre dame clennes
Than I to hym gaue strokes of exces
And with my sharpe swerde cut of anone
Two of his heedes leuynge hym but one
These two heedes by good morall sens
The worlde and the flesshe do sygnyfy
As I in scrypture haue intellygence
The fyrste the worlde that is transytory
Lyeth bytwene man and heuenly glory
Lettyuge hym often of his passage
If it of hym can gete auauntage
The seconde is the flesshly desyre
That troubleth a man ryght sore within
Settynge his courage vpon a fyre
Causynge hym to enclyne to dedely syn
His flessh the batayll of hym doth wyn
Often bryngynge hym into dampnacyon
If repentaunce were not his saluacyon
Repentaunce alway requyreth mercy
And penaunce to god is a satisfaccyon
For god desyreth euermore truely
An humble herte full of contrycon
And the worlde desyreth restytucyon
Of goodes that haue be goten wrongfully
To be restored vnto the ryghtfull party
Whan I by wysedom had won the vyctory
Of these two heedes I was ryght glad
His thyrde heed marched ayenst me sharpely
But I my swerd in my hand had
Strykynge at hym with strokes sad
And blode of hym coude I drawe none
For he had nother flesshe ne bone
But at the last I dyd hym vaynquysshe
Dryuynge hym home to his derke regyon
Of infernall payne that shall not fynysshe
For hell is called his propre mancyon
And of all other of his opynyon
That do the preceptes of god forsake
And to deuelyche werkes theym do be take
God by his ryghtwysnes made a lawe
By whiche man for dedely synne is condēpned
If god his vengeaunce do not withdrawe
In euerlastynge payne he sholde be prysoned
But and man mercy of hym requyred
With penytent hert he sholde it haue
And with his mercy he wyll man saue.

Capitulum XII.
Whan I had scomfyte this serpent venymous
Sapyence to me ryght gentely sayd
Blessyd be god ye are so gracyous
That ye shall mary Clennes the mayd
But yet erwhyles ye were a frayd
Ye I sayd and swet full ryght sore
Tyll ye newe strength dyd me restore
This batayll was grete & longe endured
Whiche caused me to be ryght wery
But sapyence with her wordes me mured
With walles of comfort makynge me mery
Come on she sayd and walke on lyghtly
Unto the castell that we come fro
I answered to her I wolde do so
Than forth we went a grete pace
Tyll that we came to the castell syde
There mette vs ladyes with grete solace
And welcomed vs at the same tyde
So fayre a sort in the worlde so wyde
May not be founde by no maner of reason
As I sawe there at the same season
The fyrste lady that dyd vs mete
Iclyped was dame perseueraunce
Whiche to me sayd with wordes swete
Blessyd be god of your good gouernaunce
That hath kept you from the incomberaunce
Of the serpent with the heedes thre
And caused you vyctor of hym to be
Than came dame fayth that lady gloryous
Welcome she sayd with wordes amyable
I am ryght glad ye ar so vyctoryous
Of that foule dragon so abhomynable
She sayd that I was euermore stable
In her in dede eke worde and thought
Or elles my labour had ben to nought
Than spake the lady fayre dame charyte
Welcome vertue the noble veteran
Sythens that ye alway haue loued me
From the fyrst season that ye began
Bothe in your youth & syth ye were man
Ye haue had me in humble reuerence
And haue ben ruled by my preemynence
Than sayd dame prayer in my presence
Ye neuer cast me in oblyuyaunce
By no slouth nor wordely neglygence
But haue had me in grete remembraunce
Whiche hath ben to me very grete pleasaunce
Wherfore welcome vertue my dere
Unto this castell that ye se here
Than came fast to me dame lowelynes
Clyppynge me harde with louely chere
Byddynge me welcome with grete gladnes
As by her contenaūce it dyd well appere
Come on she sayd and walke on nere
So than amonge these fayre ladyes all
I went in to the grete castell hall
And there met me dame clennes blyue
And dame grace bare vp her trayne
Whiche euer to her was affyrmatyue
From whome dame clennes myght not refrayne
Than sayd she to me I am ryght fayne
That ye ar comen in to this place
Where ye shall wedde me in short space
Upon my kne I kneled than downe
Saynge o sterre of the blysse eterne
O well of vertue and of grete renowne
O dyuyne comfort moost sempyterne
Whan I your beautye do so well decerne
Ye set myn hert vpon a brennynge fyre
With feruent loue to come to my desyre
To me she answered in this wyse.
O my dere herte my spouse so pure
Why do ye not on your fete aryse
You of my true loue shall be sure
For ye my hert haue now in cure
Lete vs go now to our fader reuerente
So forthe vnto hym than we wente
Whan that we came afore his fayre face
Dame clennes made curtesye vnto the grounde
Saynge o fader kynge of grete grace
This knyght to loue ye are now bounde
And so am I for I haue often founde
Grete kyndnes on hym both nyght and day
For he hath loued me ryght well alway
Welcome he sayd ryght noble knyght
How haue ye done sythens your departynge
Haue ye scomfyted with your myght
The merueylous dragon so gretly stynkynge
Ye I sayd with the power shynynge
Of my maystresse good dame sapyence
I dyd hym vaynquysshe by her experyence
Wher is dame Sapyence than sayd he
And eke her syster dame dyscrecyon
Syr I sayd they are comen with me
And they haue had me in iurisdyccyon
Syns my departynge without destruccyon
Than spake dame sapyence by her faculte
Unto that myghty lordes mageste
Saynge this knyght than cleped vertue
Hath loued your doughter by longe contynuaūce
With stable loue so faythfull and true
And for her sake hath put to vteraunce
The thre heeded dragon by wyse puruyaunce
Wherfore me thynke he ought to mary
Your doughter Clennes that noble lady
The kynge sayd me thynke the same
If that my doughter wyll agre
And she do not she moche is to blame
Consyderynge his wysedome & grete beaute
Come hyder he sayd my doughter fre
To be wyfe to vertue wyll ye consent
Ye fader she sayd with hole entent
Than he called vnto his presence
Perseueraunce charyte and fydelyte
With lowlynes prayer and intellygence
Shewynge vnto theym the certeynte
How clennes his doughter wedded shall be
Unto me now vertu in all godely hast
By fore that thre dayes be ryght fully past
He called me than to his magnyfycence
Byddynge me go to bed and to rest
In the chaumbre of clene conscyence
Than so to do I thought it the best
For phebus was tourned into the west
So sapyence and I went forthe to bed
For lake of rest oppressed was my hed
A lytyll welp within this chaumbre was
That lay wakynge and barked alway
That no man in to it sholde passe
That wolde with conscyence make a fray
I dyd slepe there tyll that it was day
Than vp I rose and made me redy
Callynge vnto me dame sapyence shortely
Saynge vnto her o lady and maystres
O comfortable salue vnto euery sore
O fontayne of welth and carbuncle of clernes
Without ye helpe me I am forlore
Wherfore I shewe you as now before
Without I mary fayre dame clennes
I shall endure in mortall heuynes
Therof sayd she be no thynge adred
For ye shall mary here ryght soone
By me your mater shall be well sped
And the same daye it shall be doone
Aboute the houre truely of noone
And there shall be at your good dyner
Charyte fayth penaunce and prayer
Dame sapyence led me into a gardeyn
Where Clennes was amonge floures swete
Her to repayre without dysdeyn
As I to her wente she dyd me mete
Bryngynge me a floure called the margarete
Whiche is a floure ryght swete and precyous
Indued with beaute and moche vertuous
This floure I kyst often ryght swetely
Settynge it nere vnto my hert
Dame Clennes loked vpon me louely
Saynge that I sholde not depert
Tyll she had shewed me a grete couert
So with her I wente without delay
Where byrdes sate on many a spray
By this tyme phebus had begon
His ascencyall cours in grete bryghtnes
In to the sygne of the fierous lyon
Exylynge the fenerous frosty coldnes
And depryuynge the noxyall derkenes
And also setherus his fragraunt breth
Dystylled had vpon euery heth
Than to her I sayd my lady dere
Beholde this weder so clere and fayre
How royall walkynge that it is here
Lyke a place of pleasure you to repayre
Amonge the floures so swete of ayre
An other she had as she me tolde
Bryghter than phebus a thousande folde
This is a place of recreacyon
My mynde to comfort after study
In welth pleasure and delectacyon
For yf I sholde my selfe applye
Euer to pray to god an hye
Without this place I may not be sure
An other tyme in prayer to endure
But the other gardyn is celestyall
That longeth to vs by enherytaunce
And is entayled to vs in generall
For our clene lyfe & vertuous gouernaūce
Who that vs loueth without doubtauūce
With vs shall go to eternall glory
In short space or elles to purgatory
Than forth we went to her fader royall
Whiche welcomed vs by grete humylyte
Saynge my doughter dere and specyall
Ye shall this daye by grete solempnyte
Be wedded to vertue with benygnyte
We kneled downe and thanked his grace
And than forth we went to an other place

Capitulum XIII.
In to a chapell gayly gloryfyed
And also hanged with cloth of tyssue
A place it was ryght gretly deyfyed
The roof was set with stones of vertue
As with rubyes and emeraudes bryght of hue
The rood loft was yuery garnysshed with gold
Set with dyamoundes ryght many a fold
Ther I dyd se the arke of god
With many sayntes that suffred martyrdom
And also I sawe there Moyses rod
And saynt Austyn that brought crystendom
Into englonde by his grete wysedom
And the xii. apostles that fast gan wryte
Of our byleue and eke dyd endyte
There was saynt peter the noble pope
That dyd stande on the ryght syde
Of the hyghe auter in a ryche cope
Dame clennes and I dyd there abyde
And vp there came than at that tyde
Dame prayer with her syster charyte
And eke dame penytence with humylyte
Than came dame fayth anone to vs
With ryghtwysenes peas and dame mercy
With dame contrycyon gay and gloryous
Whiche after theym dyd not longe tary
And than came bede and eke saynt gregory
With saynt ambrose the noble doctour
Whiche of our fayth was good protectour
Than came the kynge of feruent loue
Led with argos in goodely wyse
Without whome he myght not remoue
From his sete by ryght prudent gyse
Who loueth argos wyll not deuyse
Nor yet begynne no maner of thynge
Without in his mynde hese good endynge
Also saynt Ierome the noble cardynall
Came vp to vs by humble reuerence
Whiche euermore was a good doctrynall
Prechynge to vs by vertuous influence
With exhortacyon of dyuyne complacence
And than foure bysshoppes in grete dygnyte
Ryght connynge cernynge vnto the deyte
On hym wayted by grete dylygence
And neuer dyd forsake his company
But hym obeyed by good experyence
And from his cōmaundement dyd not vary
But in the chapell they dyd there tary
And than saynt Ierome wente to the kynge
Of feruent loue vnto hym saynge
O amyable kynge seasour of debate
O ioyner of vertue and well of vnyte
O royall emperour o souerayne estate
O messenger of feruent amyte
O feruent dart of cordyall pryuyte
Here is your doughter fayre dame clennes
That must be maryed with good ryghtwysenes
Unto vertue the louely knyght
Whiche the batayle now hath won
By dame sapyence helpe and myght
Of the foule thre heeded dragon
This maryage by me shall be don
Go ye now streyght into your tabernacle
Whiche is to you moost propre habytacle
Than the souerayne kynge to hym dyd call
Dame fayth dyscrecyon and dame sapyence
With dame contrycyon & charyte withall
And eke dame mercy and dame penytence
Unto theym saynge ye haue intellygence
That this daye clennes my doughter dere
Shall be maryed to vertue that ye se here
Than they dyde all come vnto me
With dame peas and dame grace
And after theym came dame virgynyte
Whiche in her armes dyd me enbrace
Saynge that I was to her grete solace
Gyuynge me vnto my good maryage
A gowne of syluer for grete aparage
She gafe an other of the same
Unto dame clennes puttynge it one
Upon her back withouten blame
After whiche Clennes wente anone
Unto her fader her selfe alone
And I with saynt Ierome dyd there tary
To wed dame Clennes that noble lady
And all the ladyes with meke contenence
Stode on a rewe besyde the closette
Of Clennes fader without resystence
Whiche hanged was gayly with blue veluet
And with perles & rubyes rychely set
Than forth came Clennes with two aūgels led
Whiche theyr golden wynges abrode dyd spred
Dame grace after her bare vp her trayn
And .xv. ladyes her dyd ensue
Fyrst went dame humylyte certayn
And after her than dyd pursue
Dame fayth in stablenes so true
Ledynge with her the fayre dame pease
That welth and ryches doth well encrease
Than went dame reason with perseueraūce
And than dame mercy with contricyon
And than exersyce with remembraunce
After whome went dame restytucyon
With dame prayer and dame confessyon
And dame charyte with obedyence
And after theym came fayre dame abstynence
Saynt Ierome dyd make there coniunccyon
Of dame Clennes and me in matrimonye
With heuenly wordes and vertuous fastyon
And aungels came downe from heuen hye
As saynt Mychell with gabryell & the gerachye
To helpe saynt peter the masse to synge
The organs went and the bellys dyd rynge
My penne for feblenes may not now wryte
Nor my tonge for domnes may not expresse
Nor my mynde for neglygence may not endyte
Of the aungelycall Ioye and swete gladnesse
That I sawe there without heuynesse
And whan this weddynge holy was fynysshed
The aungels than to heuen vanysshed
Than downe I went in to the hall
Where ordeyned was by grete solempnyte
A dyner of vertue moost celestyall
To whiche came my wyf full of benygnyte
On the one syde led by good auctoryte
With saynt Edmond the noble kynge
And martyr whiche dyd her downe brynge
And she was led on the other syde
With saynt Edward the kynge and confessour
And so bytwene theym wente this bryde
To whom all the ladyes made grete honour
As alway seruynge her without errour
And a lytell whyle anone after her
Ergos brought downe her noble fader
The kynge of loue than sat hym downe
At the table for that tyme to ette
Causynge dame Clennes for her renowne
On his one syde than for to be sette
And I on the other without ony lette
And besyde me sapyence and dyscrecyon
And than by theym sat dame contrycyon
Than sate saynt Edwarde with vyrgynyte
And afore hym sate dame obedyence
Saynt Edmond and dame charyte
And than dame prayer with dame abstynence
And than dame fayth shynynge in excellence
With saynt Ierome and saynt Austeyn
And than saynt gregory without dysdeyn
There was two aungels holdynge fast
The table cloth at euery ende
Knelynge downe humbly and stedfast
Whose seruyce no man coude amende
Other there were that dyd entende
Us for to serue with theyr grete dylygence
That in theym founde coude be no neglygence
There dyd saynt Peter by grete holynes
Serue vs of our swete lordes body
Fyrst he serued the fader of clennes
And after that he serued her shortly
With charyte fayth and dame mercy
And I with dyscrecyon and dame sapyence
Of saynt Peter was serued with grete indulgence
So dame obedyence with contrycyon
With saynt Edwarde and virgynyte
In lykewyse were serued without corrupcyon
And saynt Edmond with dame charyte
And saynt Ierome with dame humylyte
With saynt austyn and saynt gregory
What nede I lenger of theym specyfy
This was a fest moost swete and precyous
To fede the soule with dyuyne comfort
This was a mete moost dere and gloryous
That causeth all man for to resorte
To sempyternall lyfe and comforte
Than saynt ambrose beynge dyuyne
After our mete gafe vs good wyne
By this tyme was I .lx. yere olde
And desyred for to lyue in peace
For I began to growe two folde
And my feblenes dyde sore encreace
For nature her strength than dyd seace
Wherfore after this ghoostly fest
I thought with my wyfe to abyde in rest
And I to her sayd with louynge chere
O my swete spouse moost fayre and beauteous
To me euer ryght leyfe and dere
Where is your lande that is solacyous
Ye shewyd me of your gardeyn gloryous
Unto whiche now fayne wolde I go
There for to dwell and you also
Syr she sayd the aungell raphaell
Shall with these martyrs & noble confessours
Brynge you thyder with theym to dwell
Where ye shall see all your progenytours
With many sayntes and gloryous auctours
This lande is heuen that to vs longeth
As our euydence the gospell telleth
Than came my fader in lawe to vs
Saynge by ryght I dyd combynd
Clennes my doughter with vertue precyous
And you must I loue by naturell kynde
For on you now is all my mynde
Afore hym I kyst my wyfe moost swetely
For we loued to gyder hote and truely
Than came my good aungell to me
Causynge me with hym for to go
With clennes my wyfe wher I dyd se
The paynes of hell full of grete wo
There was the dragon that I dyd slo
Bounde with chaynes in fyer infynall
With the seuen dedely synnes in generall
Than my good aungell to me sayd
If ye had loued dame sensualyte
The whiche with you dyd make a brayde
Ye had ben dampned by ryght and equyte
In to this pytte full of all iniquyte
Wherfore thanke god that sent you wysedome
Suche deedly perylles for to ouercome
Also the lady with the cup of golde
Is here condempned for her grete pryde
In endeles payne both hote and colde
Where in for synne she shall abyde
This is a dongeon longe and wyde
Made for theym that do synne dedely
And of cryst Ihesu wyll axe no mercy
This is a place full of all derkenes
Wherin be serpentes foull and odyous
This is a place of mortall heuynes
Where I sawe deuyles blacke and tedyous
Dampned soules turmented with hokes rygorous
This is the vppermoost parte of hell
In whiche paynyms dampned do dwell
For as moche as they lacked instruccyon
For to be leue in god omnypotent
They haue deserued the lesse correccyon
Yet theyr payne haue none extinguysshement
For they are dampned by true sentyment
For theyr byleue and fals idolatry
That made theyr goddes of mars & mercury
Than went we doune to an other vaute
Where Iewes lay in grete paynes stronge
Whome deuylles tourmented by grete assaute
Drawynge theym with hokes a longe
For theyr opynyon so fals and wronge
Whiche byleued not in the natyuyte
Of Ihesu cryst and the vyrgyn Mare
Nor yet that he dyd suffre passyon
Bothe for theym and all mankynde
Nother yet of his resurreccyon
In theyr byleue they are so blynde
Yet as in bokes wryten we do fynde
That they haue ben taught many a tyme
For to forsake theyr owne fals cryme
Than went we downe to a depper vale
Where crysten soules dyd weppe & crye
In grete sorowe payne and bale
Brennynge in fyer moost hote and drye
And some in Ice ryght depe dyd lye
For to expresse it is impossyble
The paynes there they are so horryble
These crysten men knowe goddes lawe
And euery daye had informacyon
From deuelysshe werkes theym to withdrawe
That they sholde not fall in dampnacyon
Yet wyll they not make sequestracyon
Of goddes cōmaundement but syn deedly
Therfore here are they dampned ryght wysey
And thou haddest set thy delectacyon
In flesshely pleasure and vayne glory
Thou haddest ben here without saluacyon
Without thou of god had axed mercy
Who that it axeth shall haue it truely
Yf he be contryt and do repent
That he his lyfe in yll hath spent
This place sythens it is moost heuy
Moost derke and moost ferre from lyghtnes
As philosophers afferme by astronomy
Is in the myddes of the erthe doutles
That is a place of dyssolate derkenes
Wherfore by reason it must nedes be sette
In the myddes of the erthe both longe & grette.

Capitulum XIIII.

My good aungell by his grete vertue
Shewed me all this in a shorte space
And after hym I dyd than pursue
With my wyfe vnto the fayre place
That we came fro full of all solace
Where was my fader in the company
Of many sayntes that dyd there tary
My wyfe and me than for to brynge
To the place of eternall glory
With heuenly tewnes swetely syngynge
That theym to here it was grete melody
More than ony tonge can specyfy
This was theyr songe so swete and gloryous
That they dyd synge with voyce so vertuous
O celestyall kynge one two and thre
All people prayse the god and lorde
Whiche art in heuen o noble trynyte
Whose royall power and miserycorde
Confermed is by thyn hye accorde
On vs with trouth for to endure
Withouten ende as we are sure
Glory be to the fader almyghty
And to the sone and to the holy ghoost
Thre persones and one god truely
Whose power neuer can be loost
For he is lorde of myghtes moost
And so hath ben without begynnynge
And euer shall be without endynge
Whan we were in the ayre of asure
There dyd vs mete the noble Ierarchy
As Cherubyn and Seraphyn so pure
With other aungels in theyr company
That dyd proclayme & synge on hye
With voyce insacyat moost melodyous
To god aboue Sanctus sanctus sanctus
There dyd I se the planettes seuen
Moue in ordre by alteracyon
To merueylous for me to neuen
For they seassed not theyr operacyon
Some assended some made declynacyon
Entrynge theyr houses of the .xii. synes
Some indyrectly and some by dyrecte lynes
To heuen we styed a place moost gloryous
Where that we dyd beholde the deyte
With insaciable contenaunce moost desyrous
And truely than the more that we
Dyd loke vpon his souerayne beaute
The more our desyre dyd encreace
This is a Ioye that shall not seace
This is a regyon moost full of swetnes
This is a realme of delectacyon
This is a lande of infenyte gladnes
Without ony stormy tribulacyon
This place is of eterne saluacyon
Where aungels and sayntes for theyr solace
Euermore do loke on goddes face
What sholde I wryte thynges of dyuynyte
Or endyght of suche maters hye
Sythen it no thynge longeth to my faculte
Therfore of it I wyll not lenger tarye
For fere that I in it sholde varye
And by cause that trouth shall be my mede
I wyll now leue and take me to my crede
So vertue and clennes by good ryght
Truely in maryage ioyned must be
For they loue to gyder with all theyr myght
Without dyscencyon or duplycyte
And they both are alway in vnyte
To whome heuen by tayll generall
Entayled is by a dede memoryall
Now are they to gyder to heuen gone
There for to dwell in Ioye eternall
Where that there is the heuenly trone
Of our sauyour Ihesu deere & specyall
Who that hym loueth truely ouer all
Ledynge his lyfe with vertue and clennes
Shall come vnto the glory endeles
But in the fynysshynge of my mater
To god the maker of all thynge
Deuoutely now I make my prayer
To saufe kynge Henry our ryghtfull kynge
From all treason and dolefull mornynge
And for to maynteyn the grete honour
Of this swete rede rose so fayre a colour
This floure was kepte ryght longe in close
Amonge the leuys holsom and sote
And regally sprange and arose
Out of the noble stoke and rote
Of the rede rose tre to be our bote
After our bale sente by grete grace
On vs to reygne by ryght longe space
O lorde god what Ioye was this
Unto his moder so good and gracyous
Whan that she sawe her sone I wys
Of his ennemys to be so vyctoryous
It caused her to be moost Ioyous
And yet there of no wonder why
For he was ryght longe from her truely
A ioyfull metynge than bytwene
The moder and the sone so dere
A daye of gladnes bryght and shene
Fressher than phebus myddaye spere
Whan her sone to vs dyd appere
He dyd vs lyght with his pure bemys
Quenchynge of mars the fyrous lemys
O heuenly kynge o eternall emperoure
O thre persons and one god equall
I praye the to kepe from all doloure
This moder with her sone in specyall
With all theyr noble buddes in generall
And laude be to the that dyd enhaunce
Hym to his ryght and propre herytaunce
The whyte rose that w&supert; tempestes troublous
Aualed was and eke blowen asyde
The reed rose fortyfyed and made delycyous
It pleased god for hym so to prouyde
That his redolent buddes shall not slyde
But euer encrease and be vyctoryous
Of fatall brerys whiche be contraryous
Thus god by grace dyd well combyne
The rede rose and the whyte in maryage
Beynge oned ryght clere doth shyne
In all clennes and vertuous courage
Of whose ryght and royall lynage
Prynce Henry is spronge our kynge to be
After his fader by ryght good equyte
O noble prynce Henry our seconde treasure
Surmontynge in vertue & myrour of beaute
O geme of gentylnes & lanterne of plasure
O rubycound blossome and sterre of humylyte
O famous bud full of benygnyte
I pray to god well for to encrease
Your hyghe estate in rest and pease
O thoughfull hert for lack of connynge
Now layde to slepe this longe wynters nyght
Ryse vp agayne loke on the shynynge
Of fayre lucyna clere and bryght
Beholde eke mercury with his fayre lyght
Castynge a doune his stremys mery
It may well glad thyn emyspery
O gower fountayne moost aromatyke
I the now lake for to depure
My rudnes with thy lusty retoryke
And also I mys as I am sure
My mayster Chaucers to take the cure
Of my penne for he was expert
In eloquent termes subtyll and couert
Where is now lydgate flourynge in sentence
That shold my mynde forge to endyte
After the termes of famous eloquence
And strength my penne well for to wryte
With maters fresshe of pure delyte
They can not helpe me there is no remedy
But for to praye to god almyghty
For to dystyll the dewe of influence
Upon my brayn so dull and rude
And to enlumyn me with his sapyence
That I my rudnes may exclude
And in my mater well to conclude
Unto thy pleasure and to the reders all
To whome I excuse me now in generall.

Explicit exemplum virtutis.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Example of Vertu : Cantos VIII.-XIV. by Stephen Hawes )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. A doggerel ounce!, Sreeram Vasudevan
  2. THE COME BACK., Terry Collett
  3. The smell that brought back memories, Sneha R.V
  4. About Me, Sreeram Vasudevan
  5. Maturity, RAJESH.C BOSE
  6. Exhausted, Paola Degli Esposti
  7. Emptiness, michael walkerjohn
  8. Invisible Love, Kumarmani Mahakul
  9. When Fishes Flew, Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  10. Restricted And Limited, Lawrence S. Pertillar

Poem of the Day

poet Robert William Service

Just Home and Love! the words are small
Four little letters unto each;
And yet you will not find in all
The wide and gracious range of speech
Two more so tenderly complete:
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Paul Muldoon

 

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Home And Love, Robert William Service
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
  10. Trees, Joyce Kilmer

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]