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And that blind boy was all in blood
And like a Conqueror he stood,
'I have,' quoth he, 'more hearts at call Than CESAR could command;
And, like the deer, I make them fall!
One drops down here! another, there!
I bend a scornful, careless, ear,
To hear them make their moan.'
'Ah, Sir!' quoth HONEST MEANING then, 'Thy boylike brags I hear! When thou hast wounded many a man, As huntsman doth the deer; Becomes it thee to triumph so!
Thy mother wills it not;
For she had rather break thy bow,
'Art thou so blind, thou know'st not how I govern every age!
'My son doth shoot no shaft in waste! To me the boy is bound:
He never found a heart so chaste,
But he had power to wound!' 'Not so, fair Goddess!' quoth FREE WILL, 'In me, there is a choice! And cause I am of mine own ill; If I in thee rejoice!
And when I yield myself a slave
'Why, fool!' stepped forth Delight, and said, 'When thou art conquered thus,
Then, lo, Dame LUST, that wanton Maid,
And Lust is CUPID's darling Dear!
She creeps, the milk-warm flesh so near,
Where many privy thoughts do dwell,
For they have never mind of hell;
'Be still, GOOD MEANING!' quoth GOOD SPORT, 'Let CUPID triumph make!
For, sure, his kingdom shall be short;
If we no pleasure take!
Fair Beauty and her play-feres gay,
Shall sit, and with their fingers play,
If HONEST MEANING fall to frown,
Indeed,' quoth WIT, 'this your device,
With scowling brows, their follies check;
Let Fancy be no more at beck!
When Beauty looks so big.'
Methought, indeed, the house was fired,
The thunderbolts through windows burst; And, in their steps, a wight
Which seemed some soul, or sprite, accurst, So ugly was the sight:
'I charge you, Ladies all,' said he, 'Look to yourselves in haste!
For if that men so wilful be,
And have their thoughts so chaste, And they can tread on CUPID's breast, And march on VENUS' face: Then they shall sleep in quiet rest;
When you shall wail your case!'
With that, had VENUS, all in spite,
Whose mutt'ring words I might not mark.
The day did lower, the sun waxed dark, Away each Lady goes!
But whither went this angry flock,
Our LORD himself doth know! Wherewith full loudly crew the cock; And I awaked so.
'A dream,' quoth I, 'a dog it is! I take thereon no keep!
I gage my head, such toys as this
As you came from the holy land
Met you not with my True Love,
How shall I know your True Love,
That have come, that have gone?
She is neither white, nor brown;
Such a one did I meet, good Sir!
Who like a Queen, like a Nymph, did appear
She hath left me here all alone,
Who sometimes did me lead with herself,