The Chance of the Dolorous Lover

Goodwyn, Crystofer

STC 12046
Ringler 12046 and TP 2079. UMI microfilm reel 1896

Here begynneth a lytell prosses or matter called the chaunce of the dolorous louer newely compyled M.ccccc.xx
London: Wynkyn de Worde,1520?.

Composition Date: 1520 [sig. A1].

sig: [A1]
¶Here begynneth a lytell prosses or matter called the chaunce of the dolorous louer newely compyled or made by Crystofer_Goodwyn The yere of our Lorde god. a .M.ccccc.xx.
sig: [A1v]

¶The prologue of the auctour.

Vpon 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
5 Wherfore I ymagynynge from me to astarte
Suche thoughtes and fantasies comynge thrugh yde[l]nes ydelnes] ydenes 1520
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
10 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 the chaunce of the dolorous louer

15 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
20 That slouthe to auoyde whiche enemy is to vertue
Thys werke I toke in honde that after dothe ensewe

¶Thus endeth the prologue.

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¶Here fo[lo]weth a lytell treatyse called The chaunce of the dolorous louer.
foloweth] foweth 1520

AS it fortuned me for to passe
Thrughe straunge countres my solace to take.
Whan the feldes were resplendent and couered with grasse
And with swete herbes and floures delycate
5 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 a_lone
Musynge of thynges that were in tymes past
10 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

15 For my Iournayes 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 and with that I herde a songe
20 Nere-by whiche was so melodyous and swete
That all my werynes I dyde all forgete

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¶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
25 Enuyronned with grete trees and hedges full strongly
Yet not-withstandynge I entred pryuely
In at the gate wiche open then I founde
And there I tyed my horse and lyghted on the grounde.

¶And whan I within this close entred was
30 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
35 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
40 I sawe a byrde whiche sange full hye
Vpon foure floures castynge so swete a sauour
Yt they quyckened my spyrytes with theyr doulcet odour

¶And euer this byrde full plesauntly dyde synge
With her sugered notes very lowde and shyll
45 That all aboute the place her Iocounde 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

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50 ¶Than to this swete byrde or auys [I drewe my-selfe] nere Upper margin trimmed.
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
55 And wolde no longer tary but with all her myght
From 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
60 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 whan I was reuyued and come to my-selfe agayne
65 I behelde the 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
70 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 ne[u]er sene
An arbour that was so pleasant I_wys
75 Wherin stode in the myddes
Of this sayd place foure delycyous floures
Castynge meruaylous swete and delycyous sauoures

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[¶Vnto the whiche] I wente and downe by them dyd lye Upper margin trimmed.
And ouer this as I lay ryght well I dyde beholde
80 What herbes and floures they were yf I coude dyscry
Then of all theyr names I myght 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

85 The fyrste floure to my thynkynge was of a crymsyn pure
Hauynge an A wryten hym vpon
Whiche stode for the fyrst letter of his name I was ryght sure
Yet what floure it was I lay musynge longe
And whan I had all studyed yet knewe I none
90 Name that it had wherfore I was ryght 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 .V. bothe fayre and grete
95 In all the worlde coude not be a better
The .iij. herbe or floure 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
100 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
105 Sate this lytell byrde or auys syngynge of her songe

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¶All these foure floures so swete and delectable
Grewe lyke a trewe-loue as I be_fore dyde tell
Hauynge this golde lettres without ony fable
Eche one his owne whiche I to_geder dyde spell
110 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 w[h]ome I was departed not longe afore whome] wome 1520
115 Sodaynly was chaunged all my mery chere
And my herte began to be full heuy and sore
With greuous grones and syghes more and more
So than in fayth it was no grete wondre
Though in a hundrede peaces it had brast a_sondre

120 ¶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 wy[gh]t wyght] wyhgt 1520
125 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
130 Some balade to make whiche that I myght synge
And thus I began ryght dolorously wepynge
By_cause of her the syghte I had lost
Whome in this worlde I desyre moost

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¶Here-after foloweth the balade of the dolorous louer.

O Myserable creature wrapped all in wo
135 Full well may I complayne both morne and 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 can not gete
Wherfore I maye saye alas my mortall payne.
140 From her the departynge full nyghe hath me slayne.

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¶Sle me it wyll ye and that ryght shortely
Without that I maye within a lytell space
Haue of her a syghte or elles ryght gladly
Wolde I dye euen in this same place
145 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 whan I departed whome I so moche set by
150 Alas 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

155 ¶O rubycunde ruby and perle moost oryent
O gyloffer gentyll and swete floure-delyce gyloffer: =gillyflower
O daynty dyamounde and moost resp[l]endent resplendent] respendent 1520
O doulset blossome of a full grete pryce
O swete maystres aboue all creatures mooste wyse creatures] creatueres 1520
160 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
165 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

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¶Also foure letters ye haue in your name
170 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
175 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 thynge
You passe and excell thrughe your goo[d]nes goodnes] goones 1520
Also to this byrde or auys that here a_fore dyde synge
180 With your dulcet voyece ye maye be lykened my dere swetynge
But euer alas my mortall payne
Frome you the departynge well-nyghe hathe me slayne

¶Alas dere lady ye be myne onely hope
My Ioye my herte and the substaunce of my lyfe
185 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 and syghe
And yet I beseche dame venus aboue
To sende me agayne the syght of my true loue

190 ¶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
195 Wherfore alas my mortall payne
From you the departynge well-neyghe hath me slayne

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¶Alas I trowe a Iewe on me wolde take compassyon
Knowynge my faythfulnes and my louynge herte
Which euer to her I haue borne with all my hole entencion
200 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
205 Seynge that as yet I neuer shewed my mynde
Vnto her goodnes alas I durste not for shame
Wherfore I am yet in good hope that I shall her fynde
To me her owne true seruaunte bothe louynge and kynde
And yet alas my mortall payne
210 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 whan I on her thynke I wene my herte shal breke
For the loue of her I am in so grete dystres
215 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
220 For to be declared in an hole seuyn-nyght
If styll therat syt I sholde and neuer for to ryse
She is so beautefull so curtyes and so wyse
Wherfore alas my mortall payne
Frome her the departynge full nyghe hath me slayne

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225 ¶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
230 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
235 Adue for whome I am bothe pale and swarte
Yet crystes dere blessynge haue swete-herte
But euer alas my mortall payne
Frome you the departynge full nyghe hath me slayne

¶Adue adue my lyfe so swete
240 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
245 To sende me agayne the syght of my true loue

¶Here endeth the balade of the dolorous louer and fo[lo]weth of the aduenture that happened vnto hym shewed by vysyon in his slepe
foloweth] foweth 1520

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¶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
250 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 and full of ydylnes
Wenest thou with slouggynge thy lady to optayne slouggynge: =slugging, 'playing the sluggard'
255 Or by alone complaynynge her sorowes to redres
Nay nay it must be throug[h]e grete labour and payne throughe] througe 1520
And here thou doost but spende thy tyme in vayne
Wherfore I the counsayle that shortly to her thou go
Elles thy [m]ynde and purpose shalte thou neuer come to

260 And be nothynge agast to shewe to her playne
All thy mynde and wyll requyrynge her of grace
And when she knoweth the trouth then wyll she agayne
Some conforte the gyue and that within shorte space
Otherwyse loke neuer thy wyll to brynge to passe
265 Farewell for I go hens and loke thou take good hede
Vnto my forsayd wordes yf thou purpose to spede Vnto] Vnto to 1520

¶Than out of my slepe sodaynly I made abrayde
And loked rounde aboute but nothynge I coude aspy
And than I remembred what the byrde to me had sayd
270 And in my secrete mynde I prynted it surely
Sayenge that I wolde do after it for me-thought truely
It was the best counsayll [that I] herde my lyfe-dayes that I] I that 1520
Wherfore I concluded to ryse and go my wayes

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¶And whan I was vp I wente a full softe pace
275 Vnto 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
Vppon whome I lyght all thoughtfull in my mynde
And rode forthe on my way besechynge our lorde Iesu
280 To kepe my lady and me and all louers that be true


Lenuoy of the auctour.

¶Go forthe lytell quayre with full due reuerence
Vnto the prynces of beauty souerayne
And the humbly submyt vnto her magnyfycence
Requyrynge her to take not in dysdayne
5 This lytell werke whiche with grete labour and payne
Her goodnes to declare I toke on honde to make
Though I vnworthy were suche thynges to vnder-take

Wherfore I beseche all you that shall ouer-rede
This lytell proses to haue me in no skornynge
10 Nor me to dysprayse thoughe I so rudely enterprysed
Suche maters to take in honde to me nothynge pertainynge
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 vppon

¶Imprynted at London in Flete_strete at the sygne of the Sonne by Wynkyn_de_Worde.