Alas! So All Things Now Do Hold Their Peace

Alas! so all things now do hold their peace,
Heaven and earth disturbed in nothing.
The beasts, the air, the birds their song do cease,
The night{:e}s chare the stars about doth bring.
Calm is the sea, the waves work less and less:
So am not I, whom love, alas, doth wring,
Bringing before my face the great increase
Of my desires, whereat I weep and sing
In joy and woe, as in a doubtful ease.
For my sweet thoughts sometime do pleasure bring,
But by and by the cause of my disease
Gives me a pang that inwardly doth sting,
When that I think what grief it is again
To live and lack the thing should rid my pain.

The Soote Season

The soote season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale;
The nightingale with feathers new she sings,
The turtle to her make hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs,
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale,
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings,
The fishes float with new repaired scale,
The adder all her slough away she slings,
The swift swallow pursueth the flyës smale,
The busy bee her honey now she mings--
Winter is worn that was the flowers' bale.
And thus I see, among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.

The Lover Describeth His Restless State

AS oft as I behold, and see
The sovereign beauty that me bound ;
The nigher my comfort is to me,
Alas ! the fresher is my wound.

As flame doth quench by rage of fire,
And running streams consume by rain ;
So doth the sight that I desire
Appease my grief, and deadly pain.

Like as the fly that see'th the flame,
And thinks to play her in the fire ;
That found her woe, and sought her game
Where grief did grow by her desire.

First when I saw those crystal streams,
Whose beauty made my mortal wound ;
I little thought within their beams
So sweet a venom to have found.

But wilful will did prick me forth,
Blind Cupid did me whip and guide ;
Force made me take my grief in worth ;1
My fruitless hope my harm did hide ;

Wherein is hid the cruel bit,
Whose sharp repulse none can resist ;
And eke the spur that strains each wit
To run the race against his list.

As cruel waves full oft be found
Against the rocks to roar and cry ;
So doth my heart full oft rebound
Against my breast full bitterly.

And as the spider draws her line,
With labour lost I frame my suit ;
The fault is her's, the loss is mine :
Of ill sown seed, such is the fruit.

I fall, and see mine own decay ;
As he that bears flame in his breast,
Forgets for pain to cast away
The thing that breedeth his unrest

Complaint Of The Absence Of Her Lover Being Upon The Sea

O HAPPY dames! that may embrace
The fruit of your delight,
Help to bewail the woful case
And eke the heavy plight
Of me, that wonted to rejoice
The fortune of my pleasant choice:
Good ladies, help to fill my mourning voice.

In ship, freight with rememberance
Of thoughts and pleasures past,
He sails that hath in governance
My life while it will last:
With scalding sighs, for lack of gale,
Furthering his hope, that is his sail,
Toward me, the sweet port of his avail.

Alas! how oft in dreams I see
Those eyes that were my food;
Which sometime so delighted me,
That yet they do me good:
Wherewith I wake with his return
Whose absent flame did make me burn:
But when I find the lack, Lord! how I mourn!

When other lovers in arms across
Rejoice their chief delight,
Drownàed in tears, to mourn my loss
I stand the bitter night
In my window where I may see
Before the winds how the clouds flee:
Lo! what a mariner love hath made me!

And in green waves when the salt flood
Doth rise by rage of wind,
A thousand fancies in that mood
Assail my restless mind.
Alas! now drencheth my sweet foe,
That with the spoil of my heart did go,
And left me; but alas! why did he so?

And when the seas wax calm again
To chase fro me annoy,
My doubtful hope doth cause me plain;
So dread cuts off my joy.
Thus is my wealth mingled with woe
And of each thought a doubt doth grow;
—Now he comes! Will he come? Alas! no, no.

Complaint Of The Absence Of Her Lover Being Upon The Sea.

O HAPPY dames that may embrace
The fruit of your delight ;
Help to bewail the woful case,
And eke the heavy plight,
Of me, that wonted to rejoice
The fortune of my pleasant choice :
Good ladies ! help to fill my mourning voice.

In ship freight with rememberance
Of thoughts and pleasures past,
He sails that hath in governance
My life while it will last ;
With scalding sighs, for lack of gale,
Furthering his hope, that is his sail,
Toward me, the sweet port of his avail.

Alas ! how oft in dreams I see
Those eyes that were my food ;
Which sometime so delighted me,
That yet they do me good :
Wherewith I wake with his return,
Whose absent flame did make me burn :
But when I find the lack, Lord ! how I mourn.

When other lovers in arms across,
Rejoice their chief delight ;
Drowned in tears, to mourn my loss,
I stand the bitter night
In my window, where I may see
Before the winds how the clouds flee :
Lo ! what a mariner love hath made of me.

And in green waves when the salt flood
Doth rise by rage of wind ;
A thousand fancies in that mood
Assail my restless mind.
Alas ! now drencheth1 my sweet foe,
That with the spoil of my heart did go,
And left me ; but, alas ! why did he so ?

And when the seas wax calm again,
To chase from me annoy,
My doubtful hope doth cause me plain ;
So dread cuts off my joy.
Thus is my wealth mingled with woe :
And of each thought a doubt doth grow ;
Now he comes ! will he come ? alas ! no, no!

Lady Surrey's Lament For Her Absent Lord

Good ladies, you that have your pleasure in exile,
Step in your foot, come take a place, and mourn with me a while,
And such as by their lords do set but little price,
Let them sit still: it skills them not what chance come on the dice.
But ye whom Love hath bound by order of desire
To love your lords, whose good deserts none other would require:
Come you yet once again, and set your foot by mine,
Whose woeful plight and sorrows great no tongue may well define.
My love and lord, alas, in whom consists my wealth,
Hath fortune sent to pass the seas in hazard of his health.
That I was wont for to embrace, contented mind's,
Is now amid the foaming floods at pleasure of the winds.
There God him well preserve, and safely me him send,
Without which hope, my life alas were shortly at an end.
Whose absence yet, although my hope doth tell me plain,
With short return he comes anon, yet ceaseth not my pain.
The fearful dreams I have, oft times they grieve me so,
That then I wake and stand in doubt, if they be true, or no.
Sometime the roaring seas, me seems, they grow so high,
That my sweet lord in danger great, alas, doth often lie.
Another time the same doth tell me, he is come;
And playing, where I shall him find with T., his little son.
So forth I go apace to see that liefsome sight,
And with a kiss me thinks I say: "Now welcome home, my knight;
Welcome my sweet, alas, the stay of my welfare;
Thy presence bringeth forth a truce betwixt me and my care."
Then lively doth he look, and salveth me again,
And saith: "My dear, how is it now that you have all this pain?"
Wherewith the heavy cares that heap'd are in my breast,
Break forth, and me dischargeth clean of all my huge unrest.
But when I me awake and find it but a dream,
The anguish of my former woe beginneth more extreme,
And me tormenteth so, that uneath may I find
Some hidden where, to steal the grief of my unquiet mind.
Thus every way you see with absence how I burn;
And for my wound no cure there is but hope of good return;
Save when I feel, by sour how sweet is felt the more,
It doth abate some of my pains that I abode before.
And then unto myself I say: "When that we two shall meet,
But little time shall seem this pain, that joy shall be so sweet."
Ye winds, I you convert in chiefest of your rage,
That you my lord me safely send, my sorrows to assuage;
And that I may not long abide in such excess,
Do your good will to cure a wight that liveth in distress.

So Cruel Prison

So cruel prison how could betide, alas,
As proud Windsor? Where I in lust and joy
With a king's son my childish years did pass
In greater feast than Priam's sons of Troy;
Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour:
The large green courts, where we were wont to hove,
With eyes cast up unto the maidens' tower,
And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love;
The stately salles, the ladies bright of hue,
The dances short, long tales of great delight;
With words and looks that tigers could but rue,
Where each of us did plead the other's right;
The palm play where, despoiled for the game,
With dazed eyes oft we by gleams of love
Have miss'd the ball and got sight of our dame,
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above;
The gravel'd ground, with sleeves tied on the helm,
On foaming horse, with swords and friendly hearts,
With cheer, as though the one should overwhelm,
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts;
With silver drops the mead yet spread for ruth,
In active games of nimbleness and strength,
Where we did strain, trailed by swarms of youth,
Our tender limbs that yet shot up in length;
The secret groves which oft we made resound
Of pleasant plaint and of our ladies' praise,
Recording oft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed, what dread of long delays;
The wild forest, the clothed holt with green,
With reins aval'd, and swift ybreathed horse,
With cry of hounds and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart a force;
The void walls eke that harbor'd us each night,
Wherewith, alas, revive within my breast
The sweet accord, such sleeps as yet delight,
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest;
The secret thoughts imparted with such trust,
The wanton talk, the divers change of play,
The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just,
Wherewith we pass'd the winter nights away.
And with this thought the blood forsakes the face,
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue,
The which as soon as sobbing sighs (alas)
Upsupped have, thus I my plaint renew:
"O place of bliss, renewer of my woes,
Give me account--where is my noble fere?
Whom in thy walls thou didst each night enclose,
To other lief, but unto me most dear."
Echo (alas) that doth my sorrow rue,
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
In prison pine with bondage and restraint;
And with remembrance of the greater grief
To banish the less, I find my chief relief.

London, Hast Thou Accursed Me

London, hast thou accused me
Of breach of laws, the root of strife?
Within whose breast did boil to see,
So fervent hot, thy dissolute life,
That even the hate of sins that grow
Within thy wicked walls so rife,
For to break forth did convert so
That terror could it not repress.
The which, by words since preachers know
What hope is left for to redress,
By unknown means it liked me
My hidden burden to express,
Whereby it might appear to thee
That secret sin hath secret spite;
From justice' rod no fault is free;
But that all such as work unright
In most quiet are next ill rest.
In secret silence of the night
This made me, with a reckless breast,
To wake thy sluggards with my bow--
A figure of the Lord's behest,
Whose scourge for sin the Scriptures show.
That, as the fearful thunder-clap
By sudden flame at hand we know,
Of pebble-stones the soundless rap
The dreadful plague might make thee see
Of God's wrath that doth thee enwrap;
That pride might know, from conscience free
How lofty works may her defend;
And envy find, as he hath sought,
How other seek him to offend;
And wrath taste of each cruel thought
The just shapp higher in the end;
And idle sloth, that never wrought,
To heaven his spirit lift may begin;
And greedy lucre live in dread
To see what hate ill-got goods win;
The lechers, ye that lusts do feed,
Perceive what secrecy is in sin;
And gluttons' hearts for sorrow bleed,
Awaked, when their fault they find:
In loathsome vice each drunken wight
To stir to God, this was my mind.
Thy windows had done me no spite;
But proud people that dread no fall,
Clothed with falsehood and unright,
Bred in the closures of thy wall;
But wrested to wrath in fervent zeal,
Thou haste to strife, my secret call.
Endured hearts no warning feel.
O shameless whore, is dread then gone
By such thy foes as meant thy weal?
O member of false Babylon!
The shop of craft, the den of ire!
Thy dreadful doom draws fast upon;
Thy martyrs' blood, by sword and fire,
In heaven and earth for justice call.
The Lord shall hear their just desire;
The flame of wrath shall on thee fall;
With famine and pest lamentably
Stricken shall be thy lechers all;
Thy proud towers and turrets high,
En'mies to God, beat stone from stone,
Thine idols burnt that wrought iniquity;
When none thy ruin shall bemoan,
But render unto the right wise Lord
That so hath judged Babylon,
Immortal praise with one accord.

A Satire Against The Citizens Of London

London, hast thou accused me
Of breach of laws, the root of strife?
Within whose breast did boil to see,
So fervent hot, thy dissolute life,
That even the hate of sins that grow
Within thy wicked walls so rife,
For to break forth did convert so
That terror could it not repress.
The which, by words since preachers know
What hope is left for to redress,
By unknown means it liked me
My hidden burden to express,
Whereby it might appear to thee
That secret sin hath secret spite;
From justice' rod no fault is free;
But that all such as work unright
In most quiet are next ill rest.
In secret silence of the night
This made me, with a reckless breast,
To wake thy sluggards with my bow--
A figure of the Lord's behest,
Whose scourge for sin the Scriptures show.
That, as the fearful thunder-clap
By sudden flame at hand we know,
Of pebble-stones the soundless rap
The dreadful plague might make thee see
Of God's wrath that doth thee enwrap;
That pride might know, from conscience free
How lofty works may her defend;
And envy find, as he hath sought,
How other seek him to offend;
And wrath taste of each cruel thought
The just shapp higher in the end;
And idle sloth, that never wrought,
To heaven his spirit lift may begin;
And greedy lucre live in dread
To see what hate ill-got goods win;
The lechers, ye that lusts do feed,
Perceive what secrecy is in sin;
And gluttons' hearts for sorrow bleed,
Awaked, when their fault they find:
In loathsome vice each drunken wight
To stir to God, this was my mind.
Thy windows had done me no spite;
But proud people that dread no fall,
Clothed with falsehood and unright,
Bred in the closures of thy wall;
But wrested to wrath in fervent zeal,
Thou haste to strife, my secret call.
Endured hearts no warning feel.
O shameless whore, is dread then gone
By such thy foes as meant thy weal?
O member of false Babylon!
The shop of craft, the den of ire!
Thy dreadful doom draws fast upon;
Thy martyrs' blood, by sword and fire,
In heaven and earth for justice call.
The Lord shall hear their just desire;
The flame of wrath shall on thee fall;
With famine and pest lamentably
Stricken shall be thy lechers all;
Thy proud towers and turrets high,
En'mies to God, beat stone from stone,
Thine idols burnt that wrought iniquity;
When none thy ruin shall bemoan,
But render unto the right wise Lord
That so hath judged Babylon,
Immortal praise with one accord.

Complaint Of A Lover That Defied Love


WHEN Summer took in hand the winter to assail,
With force of might, and virtue great, his stormy blasts to quail :
And when he clothed fair the earth about with green,
And every tree new garmented, that pleasure was to seen :
Mine heart gan new revive, and changed blood did stir,
Me to withdraw my winter woes, that kept within the dore. 1
'Abroad,' quoth my desire, 'assay to set thy foot ;
Where thou shalt find the savour sweet ; for sprung is every root.
And to thy health, if thou were sick in any case,
Nothing more good than in the spring the air to feel a space.
There shalt thou hear and see all kinds of birds y-wrought,
Well tune their voice with warble small, as nature hath them taught.'
Thus pricked me my lust the sluggish house to leave,
And for my health I thought it best such counsel to receive.
So on a morrow forth, unwist of any wight,
I went to prove how well it would my heavy burden light.
And when I felt the air so pleasant round about,
Lord ! to myself how glad I was that I had gotten out.
There might I see how Ver 2 had every blossom hent, 3
And eke the new betrothed birds, y-coupled how they went ;
And in their songs, methought, they thanked Nature much,
That by her license all that year to love, their hap was such,
Right as they could devise to choose them feres 4 throughout :
With much rejoicing to their Lord, thus flew they all about.
Which when I gan resolve, and in my head conceive,
What pleasant life, what heaps of joy, these little birds receive ;
And saw in what estate I, weary man, was wrought,
By want of that, they had at will, and I reject at nought ;
Lord ! how I gan in wrath unwisely me demean !
I cursed Love, and him defied ; I thought to turn the stream.
But when I well beheld, he had me under awe,
I asked mercy for my fault, that so transgrest his law :
' Thou blinded God,' quoth I, ' forgive me this offence,
Unwittingly I went about, to malice thy pretence.'
Wherewith he gave a beck, and thus methought he swore :
' Thy sorrow ought suffice to purge thy fault, if it were more.'
The virtue of which sound mine heart did so revive,
That I, methought, was made as whole as any man alive.
But here I may perceive mine error, all and some,
For that I thought that so it was ; yet was it still undone ;
And all that was no more but mine expressed mind,
That fain would have some good relief, of Cupid well assign'd.
I turned home forthwith, and might perceive it well,
That he aggrieved was right sore with me for my rebel.
My harms have ever since increased more and more,
And I remain, without his help undone, for ever more.
A mirror let me be unto ye lovers all ;
Strive not with love ; for if ye do, it will ye thus befall.

A Song Written By The Earl Of Surrey

EACH beast can choose his fere according to his mind,
And eke can show a friendly chere, like to their beastly kind.
A lion saw I late, as white as any snow,
Which seemed well to lead the race, his port the same did show.
Upon the gentle beast to gaze it pleased me,
For still methought he seemed well of noble blood to be.
And as he pranced before, still seeking for a make,
As who would say, 'There is none here, I trow, will me forsake',
I might perceive a Wolf as white as whalèsbone,
A fairer beast of fresher hue, beheld I never none ;
Save that her looks were coy, and froward eke her grace :
Unto the which this gentle beast gan him advance apace,
And with a beck full low he bowed at her feet,
In humble wise, as who would say, 'I am too far unmeet.'
But such a scornful chere, wherewith she him rewarded !
Was never seen, I trow, the like, to such as well deserved.
With that she start aside well near a foot or twain,
And unto him thus gan she say, with spite and great disdain :
'Lion,' she said, 'if thou hadst known my mind before,
Thou hadst not spent thy travail thus, nor all thy pain for-lore.
Do way ! I let thee weet, thou shalt not play with me :
Go range about, where thou mayst find some meeter fere for thee.'
With that he beat his tail, his eyes began to flame ;
I might perceive his noble heart much moved by the same.
Yet saw I him refrain, and eke his wrath assuage,
And unto her thus gan he say, when he was past his rage :
' Cruel ! you do me wrong, to set me thus so light ;
Without desert for my good will to shew me such despite.
How can ye thus intreat a Lion of the race,
That with his paws a crowned king devoured in the place.2
Whose nature is to prey upon no simple food,
As long as he may suck the flesh, and drink of noble blood.
If you be fair and fresh, am I not of your hue ?3
And for my vaunt I dare well say, my blood is not untrue.
For you yourself have heard, it is not long ago,
Sith that for love one of the race did end his life in woe,
In tower both strong and high, for his assured truth,
Whereas in tears he spent his breath, alas ! the more the ruth.
This gentle beast so died, whom nothing could remove,
But willingly to lese his life for loss of his true love.4
Other there be whose lives do linger still in pain,
Against their will preserved are, that would have died fain.
But now I do perceive that nought it moveth you,
My good intent, my gentle heart, nor yet my kind so true.
But that your will is such to lure me to the trade,
As other some full many years trace by the craft ye made.
And thus behold my kinds, how that we differ far ;
I seek my foes ; and you your friends do threaten still with war.
I fawn where I am fled ; you slay, that seeks to you ;
I can devour no yielding prey ; you kill where you subdue.
My kind is to desire the honour of the field ;
And you with blood to slake your thirst on such as to you yield.
Wherefore I would you wist, that for your coyed looks,
I am no man that will be trapp'd, nor tangled with such hooks.
And though some lust to love, where blame full well they might ;
And to such beasts of current sought, that should have travail bright ;
I will observe the law that Nature gave to me,
To conquer such as will resist, and let the rest go free.
And as a falcon free, that soareth in the air,
Which never fed on hand nor lure ; nor for no stale 5 doth care ;
While that I live and breathe, such shall my custom be
In wildness of the woods to seek my prey, where pleaseth me ;
Where many one shall rue, that never made offence :
Thus your refuse against my power shall boot them no defence.
And for revenge thereof I vow and swear thereto,
A thousand spoils I shall commit I never thought to do.
And if to light on you my luck so good shall be,
I shall be glad to feed on that, that would have fed on me.
And thus farewell, Unkind, to whom I bent and bow ;
I would you wist, the ship is safe that bare his sails so low.
Sith that a Lion's heart is for a Wolf no prey,
With bloody mouth go slake your thirst on simple sheep, I say,
With more despite and ire than I can now express ;
Which to my pain, though I refrain, the cause you may well guess.
As for because myself was author of the game,
It boots me not that for my wrath I should disturb the same

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