THE MOST EXTENSIVE
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A circle cannot fill a triangle, so neither can the whole world, if it were to be compassed, the heart of man; a man may as easily fill a chest with grace as the heart with gold. The air fills not the body, neither doth money the covetous mind of man.
A sweet attractive kind of grace,
A full assurance given by looks,
Continual comfort in a face,
The lineaments of Gospel books--
I trow that countenance cannot lye
Whose thoughts are legible in the eye.
Ah, fool! faint heart fair lady ne'er could win.
All flesh doth frailty breed!
All that in this world is great or gay,
Doth, as a vapor, vanish and decay.
And all for love, and nothing for reward.
And by his side rode loathsome gluttony.
Deform'd creature, on a filthy swine;
His belly was up-blown with luxury,
And eke with fatness swollen were his eyne.
And in his lap a masse of coyne he told
And turned upside down, to feede his eye
And covetous desire with his huge treasury.
And is there care in heaven? and is there love
In heavenly spirits to the creatures base,
That may compassion of their evils move?
There is; else much more wretched were the case
Of men than beasts. But O! th' exceeding grace
Of highest God that loves His creatures so,
And all His works with mercy doth embrace,
That blessed angels lie sends to and fro
To serve to wicked man, to serve His wicked foe!
How oft do they their silver bowers leave
To come to succour us that succour want?
How oft do they with golden pinions cleave
The flitting skies, like flying pursuivant,
Against foul fiends to aid us militant?
They for us fight, they watch and duly ward,
And their bright squadrons round about us plant;
And all for love, and nothing for reward:
O why should heavenly God to men have such regard?
And next to him malicious Envy rode
Upon a ravenous wolfe, and still did chaw
Between his cankered teeth a venomous tode,
That all the poison ran about his jaw;
But inwardly he chawed his own maw
At neighbour's wealth that made him ever sad
For death it was when any good he saw;
And wept, that cause of weeping none he had;
And when he heard of harme he waxed wondrous glad.
And otherwhyles with amorous delights
And pleasing toyes he would her entertaine,
Now singing sweetly to surprise her sprights,
Now making layes of love and lover's paine,
Bransles, ballads, virelayes, and verses vaine!
Oft purposes. oft riddles, he devys'd;
And thousands like which flowed in his braine,
With which he fed her fancy, and entys'd
To take to his new love, and leave her old despys'd.
At last fell humbly down upon his knees, and of his wonder made religion.
Be bolde, be bolde, and everywhere be bolde.
Bright as does the morning star appear,
Out of the east with flaming locks bedight,
To tell the dawning day is drawing near.
But now so wise and wary was the knight
By trial of his former harms and cares,
That he descry'd and shunned still his slight;
The fish, that once was caught, new bait will hardly bite.
Change still doth reign, and keep the greater sway.
Discord oft in music makes the sweeter lay.
Each goodly thing is hardest to begin.
Fly from wrath; sad be the sights and bitter fruits of war; a thousand furies wait on wrathful swords.
For beauty is the bait which, with delight, doth man allure for to enlarge his kind.
- [Beauty : Blandishment]
For evil deeds may better than bad words be borne.
For highest looks have not the highest mind,
Nor haughty words most full of highest thought;
But are like bladders blown up with the wind,
That being prick'd evanish into nought.
For if good were not praised more than ill,
None would chuse goodness of his own free will.
For since mine eyes your joyous sight did miss, my cheerful day is turned to cheerless night.
Foul jealousy! that turnest love divine to joyless dread, and makest the loving heart with hateful thoughts to languish and to pine.
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