¶Here begynneth a lytell prosses or matter called the chaūce of the dolorous louer newe­ly cōpyled or made by Crystofer Goodwyn The yere of our Lorde god, a, M. ccccc. xx.


¶The prologue of the auctour.

Upon a certayne tyme as it befell
I was all pensyfe and thoughtfull in my herte
For sondry thynges whiche I knewe full well
Coude not be remedyed as touchynge my parte
Wherfore I ymagynynge from me to astarte
Suche thoughtes & fātasies comynge thrugh ydeues
And euen so I began this lytell mater or prosses
For as I haue redde in bokes and in storyes olde
Of all vyces the chefe rote of Idelnes
And yf it be as wyse men haue tolde
Whiche veryfyenge of the same playnly dyde expres
That of all synnes Slouthe is chefe maystres
Into the whiche lest I sholde fall I made for fere
This treatyse callyd ye chaunce of the dolorous louer
Not for no prasynge but my spyrytes to wake
Whiche at that tyme were full rude and dull
And so I you requyer that you wyll it take
Whiche that dothe entende for to rede it full
Or it to here and so I trust that you wyll
That slouthe to auoyde whiche enemy is to vertue
Thys werke I toke in honde that after dothe ensewe
¶Thus endeth the prologue.

¶Here foweth a lytell treatyse called The chaunce of the dolorous louer.

AS it fortuned me for passe
Thrughe straunge countres my solace to take.
Whan the feldes were resplendent and couered with grasse
And with swete herbes and floures delycate
And byrdes melodyously syngynge on euery busshe or stake
I mene in the pleasaunt tyme of Autom
Whiche nexte vnto vere may haue the chefe rome
And thus as I rode my selfe all alone
Musynge of thynges that were in tymes past
By the space of thre dayes and than aboute none
My waye I dyde lose by rydynge ouer fast
Than I was full sory yet at the last
A pleasaunt way I founde I thanke god of his grace
In whiche I entred and rode in an esye pace
For my Journayes whiche I had the dayes afore
And also the wayes that I had reden wronge
Had made me full wery and also faynte and sore
That ferther on my hors I coude not endure longe
Wherfore I thought me to rest & wt yt I herde asonge
Nere by whiche was so melodyous and swete
That all my werynes I dyde all forgete
¶To knowe what it myght be I had grete purpose
Wherfore thyderwarde full fast I dyde me hye
And then before me I sawe a grene close
Enuyronned with grete trees & hedges full strongly
Yet not withstandynge I entred pryuely
In at the gate wiche open then I founde
And there I tyed my horse & lyghted on the grounde.
¶And whan I within this close entred was
Beynge nothynge rounde but of compas quadrant
I behelde it well in euery corner and place
Sayenge to my selfe that suche another skant
Coulde not be founde of floures so habundaunt
As was this lytell close whiche before truely
I herde the songe that was songe so swetely
¶And in beholdynge this felde rounde aboute
Ryght agaynst me then dyde I espye
A waye whiche as this close wente out
Also in another place truely
I sawe a byrde whiche sange full hye
Upon foure floures castynge so swete a sauour
yt they quyckened my spyrytes wt theyr doulcet odour
¶And euer this byrde full plesauntly dyde synge
With her sugered notes very lowde and shyll
That all aboute ye place her Iocoūde voyce dyd rynge
Whom dylygently to here I stode full softe and styll
And to vnderstonde I fyxed my mynde and wyll
The dytte of her songe whyche was so certayne
God sende euery true louer his lady to optayne
¶Than to this swete byrde or auys I [...] nere
And as I wente I stombled on a busshe
And almost had a fall and with a ragged bryere
I was constrayned to make a grete russhe
Wher with she was a ferde and sodaynly dyde flusshe
And wolde no longer tary but with all her myght
Frō thens I wyst not whyther fast she toke her flyght
¶Than I was full sory whan I sawe her gone
Not withstondynge I knewe there was no remedy
And streyght vnto the place I walked all alone
From whiche a lytell before I dyde se her flye
And whan I was this foresayd place by
I wyst not well wheder I dyde wake or slepe
So grete a swetnes in to my stomake dyde bete
¶And whā I was reuyued & come to my selfe agayne
I behelde ye meruaylous facyon of this foresayd place
Whiche was square and also lowe and playne
Compassed rounde about with hye herbes and gras
So that no man myght se in but at one space
Whiche was opyn wherin to entre I dyde purpose
Thynkynge there my selfe for to repose
¶And whan I had entred in this lytell gardyn grene
Whiche full smothe and lowe was with herbes
In all my lyfe I had neuer sene
An arbour that was so pleasant I wys
Wherin stode in the myddes
Of this sayd place foure delycyous floures
Castynge meruaylous swete & delycyous sauoures
[...] whiche I wente & downe by them dyd lye
And ouer this as I lay ryght well I dyde beholde
What herbes and floures they were yf I coude dyscry
Then of all theyr names I might rede as I wolde
The fyrst letters whiche were of beten golde
Syngulerly set on euery floure aboue
Growyng after the maner of a goodly trewe loue
The fyrste floure to my thynkynge was of a crymsyn pure
Hauynge an A wryten hym vpon
Whiche stode for ȳe fyrst letter of his name I was right sure
Yet what floure it was I lay musynge longe
And whan I had all studyed yet knewe I none
Name that it had wherfore I was right sore
For it passed all other in swetenes and beaute
¶The seconde floure was a vyolet full swete
That had on hym wryten of hys name the fyrst lettre
Whiche was an. U. bothe fayre and grete
In all the worlde coude not be a better
The .iij. herbe orfloure whiche myght none be swetter
Was Isope of sauour bothe good and holsome
Whiche had for his name an I vpon hym wryten
¶The souerayne herbe sauge was the fourte
Whiche all other herbes in vertue dothe excell
As in olde tyme wyse men dyde reporte
Whiche had wryten vpon hym an. S. as I you tell
For the fyrste letter of his name meruaylously well
And than full well I knewe these herbes amonge
Sate this lytell byrde or auys syngynge of her songe
¶All these foure floures so swete and delectable
Grewe lyke a trewe loue as I before dyde tell
Hauynge this golde lettres without ony fable
Eche one his owne whiche I to geder dyde spell
And whan I had set them to gyder than I knewe wel
That it was the name of my true loue
Whome specyally I desyryd nexte god aboue
And thus whan I had rede the name of my lady dere
From wome I was departed not longe afore
Sodaynly was chaunged all my mery chere
And my herte began to be full heuy and sore
With greuous grones and syghes more and wore
So that in fayth it was no grete wondre
Though in a hundrede peaces it had brast a sondre
¶From her the departynge to me so greuous was
Whome to the sayd floures full well lyken I myght
She is so goodly and beautefull of face
So curteys so gentyll so amyable and so bryght
That in the wyde worlde suche another wyhgt
Coude not be founde so full of grace and goodnes
As is this myne owne swete lady and maystres
¶And whan I had ben a longe tyme in this heuynes
The absence of my loue ryght peteously be waylynge
It came to my mynde my sorowes to releys
Some balade to make whiche that I myght synge
And thus I began ryght dolorously wenynge
By cause of her the syghte I had lost
Whome in this worlde I desyre moost
¶Here after foloweth the balade of the dolorous louer.
O Myserable creature wrapped all in wo
Full well may I complayne both morne & wepe
Syth my louely lady I am departed fro
That was so gentell so goodly fayre and swete
So dulcet a byrde or auys a man cannot gete
Wherfore I maye saye alas my mortall payne.
From her the departynge full nyghe hath me slayne.
¶Sle me it wyll ye and that ryght shortely
Without that I maye within a lytell space
Haue of her a lyghte or elles ryght gladly
Wolde I dye euen in this same place
And neuer to se no body more in the face
Wherfore I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of my true loue
¶Alas vnfortunate man what thynge dyd I mene
Frome her whā I departed whome I so moche set by
Has nowe out of her fauoure clene
I shall be caste than may I bothe sobbe and cry
And also to be sorowfull euer tyll I dye
Wherfore alas my mortall payne
Frome her to departe full nyghe hathe me slayne
¶O rubycunde ruby and perle moost oryent
O gyloffer gentyll and swete floure delyce
O daynty dyamounde and moost respendent
O doulset blossome of a full grete pryce
O swete maystres aboue all creatueres mooste wyse
Wherfore I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of you my true loue
¶In vertue to Magulon I maye you well acounte
In wysdome to lady Florypes ye do insewe
In mekenes Gryselde ye do surmounte
In stedfastnes to Clerymounde that lady true
In beaute to the lady Eglantyne I maye deme you
And euer alas my mortall payne
Frome you the departynge full nyghe hath me slayne
¶Also foure letters ye haue in your name
In tokenynge of loue ye sholde be true
Of whiche these floures haue the same
That be so swete and full of vertue
Wherfore to theym I may well lyken you
And yet I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of my true loue
¶This floure vnknowen and vyolet in swetenes
This Isope so holsome thys sage so souerayn a thȳge
You passe and excell thrughe your goones
Also to this byrde or auys that hereafore dyde synge
With your dulcet voyece ye maye be lykened my dere swetynge
But euer alas my mortall payne
Frome you ye departynge well nyghe hathe me slayne
¶Alas dere lady ye be myne onely hope
My Ioye my herte and the substaunce of my lyfe
My payne my sorowe and also my dethe god wote
Agaynst whiche I can make no maner of stryfe
Nor other remedy I knowe but styll morne & syghe
And yet I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of my true loue
¶That I myght to your goodly parsone declare
How faythefull I haue ben how stedfast and how true
But alas I fere that ye be voyde and bare
Of pyte and compassyon whiche I full sore may rewe
For then my wo and sorowe shall renewe
Wherfore alas my mortall payne
From you the departynge well neyghe hath me slayne
¶Alas I trowe a Iewe on me wolde take cōpassyon
Knowynge my faythfulnes and my louynge herte
Whicheuer to her I have borne wt all my hole entēcion
And styll purpose to do and neuer for to reuerte
From her my mynde thoughe she vntrewe astarte
And yet I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of her whome I do loue
Alas to call her vntrue I am gretely to blame
Seynge that as yet I neuer shewed my mynde
Unto her goodnes alas I durste not for shame
Wherfore I am yet in good hope yt I shall her fynde
To me her owne true seruaūte bothe louynge & kynde
And yet alas my mortall payne
Frome her the departynge full nyghe hathe me slayne
¶She is so gentell so louely and so meke
So fayre so swete so good to more and les
That whā I on her thȳke I wene my herte shal breke
For the loue of her I am in so grete dystres
Whiche is myne owne dere lady and maystres
Wherfore I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of my true loue
¶Of all her goodnes what sholde I more endyght
The halfe wherof it wolde not well suffyse
For to be declared is an hole seuvn nyght
If styll therat syt I sholde and neuer fer to ryse
She is so beautefull so curtyes and so wyse
Whefore alas my mortall payne
Frome her the departynge full nyghe hath me slayne
¶Alas at this tyme I maye no more synge
I feble my herte so fele and so sore
With lamentacyons and contynuall wepynge
Whiche doth in dure euer more and more
Wherfore adue the best that euer was bore
Alwaye besechynge dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of my trewe loue
¶Adue my swetynge adue my darlynge dere
Adue my helthe and solas with paynes smarte
Adue the goodlyest that euer lyfe dyde bere
Adue for whome I am bothe pale and swarte
Yet crystes dere blessynge have swete herte
But euer alas my mortall payne
Frome you the departynge full nyghe hath me slayne
¶Adue adue my lyfe so swete
Adue my dethe so sherpe and stronge
Adue fayre byrde and auys so dulset
Adue for euer I cannot endure longe
Wherfore this is the last of my songe
yet or I dye I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght or my true loue
¶There endeth the balade of the dolorous louer & foweth of the aduenture that happened vnto hym shewed by vysyon in his slepe
¶And thus whan I had of this balade made an ende
I began ryght strongely to sobbe syghe and wepe
Besechynge dame venus some conforte me to sende
And from all parelles my dere herte for to kepe
And then for pure werynes I fell in a lytell slepe
And as I slepte me thought the foresayd auys
To me dyde come and bad me aryse
¶Saynge o thou slouthfull man & full of ydylnes
Wenest thou with slouggynge thy lady to optayne
Or by alone complaynynge her sorowes to redres
Nay nay it must be througe grete labour and payne
And here thou doost but spende thy tyme in vayne
Wherfore I the counsayle that shortly to her thou go
Elles thy mynde & purpose shalte thou neuer come to
And be nothynge agast to shewe to her playne
All thy mynde and wyll requyrynge her of grace
And when she knoweth yt trouth then wyll she agayne
Some conforte the gyue & that within shorte space
Otherwyse loke neuer thy wyll to brynge to passe
Farewell for I go hens and loke thou take good hede
Unto to my forsayd wordes yf thou purpose to spede
¶Than out of my slepe sodaynly I made abrayde
And loked rounde aboute but nothynge I coude aspy
And than I remembred what ye byrde to me had sayd
And in my secrete mynde I prynted it surely
Sayenge yt I wolde do after it for me thought truely
It was the best counsayll I that herde my lyfe dayes
Wherfore I concluded to ryse and go my wayes
¶And whan I was by I wente a full softe pace
Unto my horse whome I lefte behynde
Whan I wente the songe to here and in the same place
Where as I hym lefte I dyde hym fynde
Uppon whome I lyght all thoughtfull in my mynde
And rode for the on my way besechynge our lorde Iesu
To kepe my lady and me and all louers that be true


¶Lenuoy of the auctour.

¶Go forthe lytell quayre with full due reuerence
Unto the prynces of beauty souerayne
And the humbly submyt vnto her magnyfycence
Requyrynge her to take not in dysdayne
This lytell werke whiche with grete labour & payne
Her goodnes to declare I toke on honde to make
Though I vnworthy were suche thȳges to vnder take
Wherfore I beseche all you that shall ouer rede
This lytell proses to haue me in no skornynge
Nor me to dysprayse thoughe I so rudely enterprysed
suche maters to take in honde to me nothȳge ꝑtainȳge
But where as is amys there to be amendynge
Thus I you pray with my hole affeccyon
Whiche entendeth to rede or thys dytte to loke uppon

¶Imprynted at London in Flete strete at the sygne of the Sonne by Wynkyn de Worde.

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