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Though thy beginning hath been retro
By froward' opposite, where till aspert, Now shall they turn, and look on thee dert: 2
And therewith all unto the wheel in hye She hath me led, and bade me lear to climb,
Upon the which I stepped suddenly;
Now hold thy grippis, quoth she, for thy time,
An hour and more it runis over prime ;3 To count the whole, the half is near away;
That with thy flesh aye waking art in trouble,
And sleeping eke, of pain so hast thou double.
Covert myself all this mean I to loke,2
And therewith soon I dressed 5 me to rise,
Spend well, therefore, the remnant of the And to myself I said in this wise,
Example (quoth she) take of this tofore, That from my wheel be rolled as a ball; For the nature of it is evermore
After an height to vale,4 and give a fall, Thus when we liketh up or down to fall. Farewell, quoth she, and by the ear me toke,
So earnestly, that therewithal I woke.
O busy ghost,5 aye flickering to and fro,
Which is thy first and very proper nest From day to day so sore here art thou drest,"
1 Bold men opposed, enemies.
2 Meaning obscure, but seems to refer to the cruelty of his enemies.
3 First division of the day, six till nine; figuratively applied to life.
4 Descend. 5 Restless spirit. 6 Vexed.
What life is this? where hath my spirit be? Ah! mercy, Lord! what will ye do with me? Is this of my forethought impression ?" Or is it from the heaven a vision?