The Cōforte of Louers

The prohemye.

The gentyll poetes/vnder cloudy fygures
Do touche a trouth/and clokeit subtylly
Harde is to cōstrue poetycall scryptures
They are so fayned/& made sētēcyously
For som do wryte of loue by fables pryuely
Some do endyte/vpon good moralyte
Of chyualrous actes/done in antyquyte
Whose fables and storyes ben pastymes pleasaunt
To lordes and ladyes/as is theyr lykynge
Dyuers to moralyte/ben oft attendaunt
And many delyte to rede of louynge
Youth loueth aduenture/pleasure and lykynge
Aege foloweth polycy/sadnesse and prudence
Thus they do dyffre/eche in experyence
I lytell or nought/experte in this scyence
Compyle suche bokes/to deuoyde ydlenes
Besechynge the reders/with all my delygence
Where as I offende/for to correct doubtles
Submyttynge me to theyr grete gentylnes
As none hystoryagraffe/nor poete laureate
But gladly wolde folowe/the makynge of Lydgate
Fyrst noble Gower/moralytees dyde endyte
And after hym Cauncers/grete bokes delectable
Lyke a good phylozophre/meruaylously dyde wryte
After them Lydgate/the monke commendable
Made many wonderfull bokes moche profytable
But syth the are deed/& theyr bodyes layde in chest
I pray to god to gyue theyr soules good rest

Finis prohemii.

Whan fayre was phebus/w&supere; his bemes bryght
Amyddes of gemyny/aloft the fyrmament
Without blacke cloudes/castynge his pured lyght
With sorowe opprest/and grete incombrement
Remembrynge well/my lady excellent
Saynge o fortune helpe me to preuayle
For thou knowest all my paynfull trauayle
I went than musynge/in a medowe grene
Myselfe alone/amonge the floures in dede
With god aboue/the futertens is sene
To god I sayd/thou mayst my mater spede
And me rewarde/accordynge to my mede
Thou knowest the trouthe/I am to the true
Whan that thou lyst/thou mayst them all subdue
Who dyde preserue the yonge edyppus
Whiche sholde haue be slayne by calculacyon
To deuoyde grete thynges/the story sheweth vs
That were to come/by true reuelacyon
Takynge after theyr hole operacyon
In this edyppus/accordynge to affecte
Theyr cursed calkynge/holly to abiecte
Who dyde preserue/Ionas and moyses
Who dyde preserue yet many other mo
As the byble maketh mencyon doubles
Who dyde kepe Charles frome his euyll fo
Who was he/that euer coude do so
But god alone/than in lykewyse maye he
Kepe me full sure/frome all inyquyte
Thus as I called to my remembraunce
Suche trewe examples/I tenderly dyde wepe
Remembrynge well/goddes hyghe ordynaūce
Syghynge full oft/with inwarde teres depe
Tyll at the last/I fell in to a slepe
And in this slepe/me thought I dyde repayre
My selfe alone/in to a garden fayre
This goodly gardyn/I dyde well beholde
Where I sawe a place/ryght gaye and gloryous
With golden turrettes/paynted many afolde
Lyke a place of pleasure moste solacyous
The wyndowes glased/with crystall precyous
The golden fanes/with wynde and melody
By dulcet sounde/and meruaylous armony
The knottes flagraunt/with aromatyke odoure
With goodly sprynges/of meruaylous mountaynes
I dyde than tast/the redolent lycoure
Moost clere and swete/of the goodly vaynes
Whiche dyde me ease/somwhat of my paynes
Tyll to me came/a lady of goodly age
Apareyled sadly/and demure of vysage
To me she sayd/me thynke ye are not well
Ye haue caught colde/and do lyue in care
Tell me your mynde/now shortly euerydeie
To layne the trouthe/I charge you to beware
I shall for you/a remedy prepare
Dyspeyre you not/for no thynge that is past
Tell me your mynde/and be nought agast
Al as madame/vnto her than I sayd
It is no wonder/of myne inwarde payne
Yf that my herte be meruayllously dysmayde
My trouthe and loue/therof is cause certayne
Dyuers yeres ago/I dyde in mynde retayne
A lady yonge/a lady fayre of syght
Good//wyse/and goodly/an holsome sterre of lyght
I durst not speke vnto her of my loue
Yet vnder coloure I dyuers bokes dyde make
Full pryuely/to come to my aboue
Thus many nyghtes/I watched for her sake
To her and to hers/my trouthe well to take
Without ony spotte/of ony maner yll
God knoweth all myn herte/my mynde & my wyll
The hygh dame nature/by her grete myght & power
Man/beest/and foule/in euery degre
Fro whens they came at euery maner houre
Dooth trye the trouthe/without duplycyte
For euery thynge must shewe the properte
Gentyll vngentyll/dame nature so well tryet
That all persones it openly espyeth
The lorde and knyght/de
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"The Cōforte of Louers" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/35769/the-cōforte-of-louers>.

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