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This fair lady, in this wise destitute
Who wote gif all that Chaucer wrote was Disguised, passèd far out of the town
A mile or two, unto ane mansion
Whitelyand pale, and some deal ascendent; The third Peros, right hot and right fervent, The fourth was black, and called Phlegonie, Which rolleth Phoebus down into the sea.
Venus was there present, that goddess gay, Her sonnis quarrel to defend, and mak Her own complaint, clad in a nice array, The one half green, the other sable black, White hair as gold, kambèd and shed1 aback,
But in her face seemèd great variance, Whiles perfite truth, and whiles incon
Under smiland she was dissumulate,
In tokening that all fleshly paramour, Which Venus has in rule and governance,
Is sometime sweet, sometime bitter and sour,
Right unstable, and full of variance,
Settand1 songis and singand merrily.
Boxes he bare with fine electuaries
Neist after him came Lady Cynthia,
Her gyse was gray and full of spottis black,
And on her breast a churl painted full even, Bearing a bunch of thornis on his back Which for his theft might climb no nearer heaven.
Thus when they gathered were thir goddis
Mingled with careful joy and false pleas- Mercurius they chosed with one assent
Now hot, now cold, now blithe, now full
To be fore-speaker in the parliament.
Now green as leaf, now withered and ago. Who had been there and liking for to hear