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Madam, quoth I, sith that this day
Hatḥ served you at all assays, ' I yield to you, without delay,
Here of the fortress all the keys.
And, sith that I have been the mark
At whom you shot at with your eye, Needs must you with your handy-wark,'
Or salve my sore, or let me die.
Of a contented Mind.
When all is done and said,
In the end thus shall you find; He most of all doth bathe in bliss,
That hath a quiet mind.
To deem can be content
In thinking to be spent.
The body subject is
To fickle. Fortune's pow'r, And to a million of mishaps Is casual every hour.
And death in time doth change
It to a clod of clay;
Runs never to decay.
Companion none is like
Unto the mind alone:
Through thinking, few, or none.
But makes not thoughts to cease; And he speaks best, that hath the skill
When for to hold his peace.
Our wealth leaves us at death;
Our kinsmen at the grave: But virtues of the mind unto
The heavens with us we have.
I can be well content,
To deem in thinking, spent.
Being asked the occasion of his white head, he
WHERE seething sighs, and sower sobs
Have slain the slips that Nature set; And scalding show'rs, with stony throbs,
The kindly sap from them hath fet; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be ?
Where Thought hath thrill’d and thrown his spears,
To hurt the heart that harm’d him not; And groaning Grief hath ground forth tears,
Mine eyne to stain, my face to spot; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be?
Where pinching Pain himself hath placed,
There peace with pleasures were possess'd : And walls of wealth are fall’n to waste,
And poverty in them is prest; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be ?
Where wretched Woe doth weave her web,
Where Care the clue can catch and cast; And floods of joy are fall’n to ebb,
So low, that life may not long last; What wonder then though you do see Upon my head white hairs to be ?
These hairs, of age are messengers;
Which bid me fast, repent, and pray: They be of death the harbingers,
That do prepare and dress the way. Wherefore I joy that you may see Upon my head such hairs to be.
They be the lines that lead the length,
How far my race was for to run: They say my youth is fled, with strength,
And how old age is well begun. The which I feel : and you may see Upon my head such lines to be.
They be the strings, of sober sound,
Whose musick is harmonical: Their tunes declare-a time from ground
I came and how thereto I shall ! Wherefore I joy that you may see Upon my head such strings to be.
God grant to those that white hairs have,
No:worse them take than I have meant: That after they be laid in grave,
Their souls may joy, their lives well spent. God grant likewise that you may see Upon your head such hairs to be. [Paradise of Dainty Devices, edit. 1576. N.B.
In edit. 1580, it is attributed, I believe falsely, to W. Hunnis.]