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I CHANCED, of late, an ancient book to view As good as BEVIS, and as strange and true, Of lions, leopards, tigers, bears, and boars, And such ill faces as in forest roars.
Amongst the rest was one, that had a den
To read the strange description that was made
Then, in that book, a Dragon I do find,
And that the World shall witness I am read ('Gainst melancholy vexings in my head!) In ancient stories, courage to provoke; Not spending all my time in taking smoke: Although my Worship 's scandalled, now and then, Amongst the ruder sort of vulgar men.
But that I turn, and overturn again,
Old books, wherein the worm-holes do remain, Containing Acts of ancient Knights and Squires, That fought with Dragons spitting forth wild fires; The history unto you shall appear,
Even, by myself, verbatim set down here.
Sir EGLAMORE, that worthy Knight,
When he espied Sir EGLAMORE,
O, if you had but heard him roar;
But now, it is in vain to fear; Being come unto, 'fight dog! fight bear!' To it, they go! and fiercely fight A life-long day, from morn till night. The Dragon had a plaguy hide; And could the sharpest steel abide.
No sword will enter him with cuts,
Then, like a coward, he to fly
And so, I hope, to the judicious wise, Thus much of this rare story shall suffice To prove, how I in worthy Works am read; Howe'er illiterate censures are misled!
HARK! jolly Shepherds!
Hark you, yon lusty ringing! How cheerfully the bells dance; The whilst the Lads are springing! Go then! Why sit we here delaying; And all yon merry wanton Lasses playing? How gaily FLORA leads it;
And sweetly treads it!
The woods and groves they ring!
With echo sweet rebounding!
ONCE did my thoughts both ebb and flow; As Passion did them move!
Once did I hope! straight fear again!
Once did I, waking, spend the night;
Once, by my carving True Love's knot,
That wounds and tears were both our lot;
Once did I breathe another's breath;
Once wore I bracelets made of hair;
Once wore my clothes made out of wax;
Once did I sonnet to my Saint;
Once in my ear did dangling hang
Once, in a word, I was a fool;
APRIL is in my Mistress' face,