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النشر الإلكتروني

Fortune the back him turned, and there- In tender youth how she was first my foe, fore And eft my friend, and how I got recure

He maketh joy and comfort that he quits Of my distress, and all my aventure1 Of their unsekir worldis appetites,

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I gan o'erhale, that longer sleep ne rest Ne might I not, so were my wittis wrest.2

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To fortune both and to infortune hable,1

Wist thou thy pain to come and thy travail,

XVIII.

The rockis clepe1 I, the prolixity
Of doubtfulness that doth my wittis pall;

For sorrow and dread well might thou The lack of wind is the difficulty,

weep and wail.

XV.

Thus stant thy comfort in unsekerness,3
And wantis it, that should thee rule and
gye, 4

Right as the ship that saileth steerless,
Upon the rock must to harms hye, 5
For lack of it that should been her supply;
So standis thou here in this worldis rage,
And wantis that should guide all thy
viage.

XVI.

I mean this of myself, as in party," Though nature gave me suffisance in youth,

The ripeness of reason lacked I

To govern with my will, so lyte I couth,7 When steerless to travel I begouth,8 Among the waves of this world to drive; And how the case, anon I will discrive.

XVII.

In inditing of this little treaty small: The boat I clepe, the matter whole of all; My wit into the sail that now I wind, To seek conyng,2though I but little find.

XIX.

At my beginning first I clepe and call
To you Clio, and to you Polyme,3
With Terpsichore goddess and sisters all,
In number nine, as bookis specify;
In this process my wilsum4 wittis gye,

And, with your bright lanternis, well
convoy

My pen to write my torment and my joy.

CANTO II.

I.

In vere 5 that full of virtue is and good,
When nature first beginneth her enprise,6
That whilom was by cruel frost and flood,
And showers sharp opprest in many
wise,

With doubtful heart, among the rockis And Cynthius beginneth to arise

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And with the tickling of his heat and light, The tender flowers opened them and spread,

And, in their nature, thanked him for glad.

III.

Not far passed the state of innocence
But near about the number of years
three,1

Were it caused through heavenly influence
Of Goddis will, or other casualty,
Can I not say, but out of my country,

By their avise that had of me the cure2
By sea to pass, took I my aventure.

IV.

Purvait3 of all that was us necessary, With wind at will, up early by the

morrow,

Straight unto ship, no longer would we tarry,

The way we took, the time I told to forowe, 4

With many farewell, and Saint John to borowe, 5

Of fellow and friend, and thus with one assent,

VI.

Where as in strait ward, and in strong prison,

So fare forth of my life the heavy line, Without comfort in sorrow, abandoune,

The second sister looked hath to twine,1 Near by the space of years twice nine, Till Jupiter his mercy list2 advert, And send comfort in release of my smert.

VII.

Where as in ward full oft I would bewail My deadly life, full of pain and penance, Saying right thus, what have I guilt to faille,3

My freedom, in this world, and my

plesance?

Sen every wight has thereof suffisance,
That I behold, and I a creature
Put from all this; hard is mine aventure!

VIII.

The bird, the beast, the fish eke in the sea, They live in freedom everich5 in his kind;

And I a man, and lacketh liberty;

What shall I seyne, what reason may I find,

We pulled up sail and forth our wayis That fortune should do so? Thus in my

went.

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mind,

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