Stephen Hawes

Here you will find the Long Poem The Example of Vertu : Cantos VIII.-XIV. of poet Stephen Hawes

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