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 i
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:11 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 4,268
Words 836
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 70, 42, 5

Stephen Hawes

Stephen Hawes was a popular English poet during the Tudor period who is now little known. more…

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