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Lo, fortune is but weak in such a thing, Thou may well wot, and here ensample why,
To God it is the first cause only
Of every thing, there may no fortune fall, And why? for He foreknowing is of all.
And therefore thus I say to this sentence; Fortune is most and strongest evermore, Where, least foreknowing, or intelligence
Is in the man; and son, of wit or lore, Sen thou art weak and feeble, lo, therefore, The more thou art in danger, and commune1
With her, that clerkis clepen2 so, Fortune.
But for the sake, and at the reverence Of Venus clear, as I thee said tofore,
I have of thy distress compacience,3
And in comfort and release of thy sore, Thee shewed, here, mine avise, therefore,
Enbrouden' all with fresh floweris gay, Where through the gravel, bright as any
The crystal water ran so clear and cold,
That full of little fishes by the brim,
Now here now there, with backis blue as lead,
Leaped and played, and in a rout 'gan swim So prettily, and dressed them to spread Their coral finis, as the ruby red,
That in the sun, on their scalis bright As gesserant,4 aye glittered in my sight.
And by this ilke 5 river side alawe
An highway found I like to been, On which, on every side, a long rawe Of treeis saw I full of leavis green,
Pray Fortune help; for much unlikely That full of fruit delitable7 were to seen;
And also, as it come unto my mind, Of beastis saw I many divers kind: