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Robert Henryson

(1425 - 1505 / Scotland)

The Garment Of Good Ladies


Would my good Lady love me best,
And work after my will,
I should ane garment goodliest
Gar mak' her body till.

Of high honour should be her hood
Upon her head to wear,
Garnish'd with governance so good
No deeming should her deir.

Her sark should be, her body next,
Of chastity so white;
With shame and dread together mix'd,
The same should be perfyt.

Her kirtle should be of clear Constance,
Lasit with lesum love ,
The maillies of continuance,
For never to remove.

Her gown should be of goodliness,
Well ribbon'd with renown,
Purfill'd with pleasure in ilk place,
Furred with fine fashion.

Her belt should be of benignity
About her middle meet;
Her mantle of humility,
To thole baith wind and wet.

Her hat should be of fair having,
And her tippet of truth,
Her patelet of good pansing,
Her hats-ribbon of ruth.

Her sleeves should be of esperance,
To keep her from despair;
Her gloves of the good governance,
To hide her fingers fair.

Her shoon should be of sickerness,
In sign that she nought slide;
Her hose of honesty, I guess,
I should for her provide.

Would she put on this garment gay,
I durst swear by my seill,
That she wore never green nor gray
That set her half so weil.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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