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(JAMES I. KING OF SCOTLAND, was born in 1394. When he was eleven years old, he was sent by his father to France, and, on his passage across the sea, fell into the hands of the English, who put him in the Tower, where he was confined for nineteen years. His misfortunes were not, however, without their advantages, since he received, while a prisoner, a most excellent education, of which he afterwards made good use. He married Joanna Beaufort, daughter of the Earl of Somerset, with whom he fell in love while he was a captive. He was assassinated in 1437 by his uncle Walter, Earl of Athol, and Robert Graham. James I. was remarkable for skill in poetry and music, and many productions which have been ascribed to him are still popular. ]


AND though I stood abasit tho a lite,
No wonder was; for why? my wittis all
Were so overcome with pleasance and delight,
Only through letting of my eyen fall,
That suddenly my heart became her thrall,
For ever of free will,—for of menace
There was no token in her sweete face.

And in my head I drew right hastily,
And eftesoons I leant it out again,
And saw her walk that very womanly,
With no wight mo', but only women twain.
Then gan I study in myself, and sayn,
“Ah, sweet! are ye a worldly creature,
Or heavenly thing in likeness of nature?

Or are ye god Cupidis own princess,
And comin are to loose me out of band ?
Or are ye very Nature the goddess,
That have depainted with your heavenly hand,
If ye a goddess be, and that ye like
To do me pain, I may it not astart :
If ye be warldly wight, that doth me sike,
Why list God make you so, my dearest heart,
To do a seely prisoner this smart,
That loves you all, and wot of nought but wo
And therefore mercy, sweet! sin' it is so." *


This garden full of flowers as they stand ? What shall I think, alas ! what reverence Shall I mister unto your excellence ?

Of her array the form if I shall write,
Towards her golden hair and rich attire,
In fretwise couchit with pearlis white
And great balas leaming as the fire,
With mony ane emeraut and fair sapphire ;
And on her head a chaplet fresh of hue,
Of plumis parted red, and white, and blue.

Full of quaking spangis bright as gold,
Forged of shape like to the amorets,
So new, so fresh, so pleasant to behold,
The plumis eke like to the flower jonets,
And other of shape, like to the flower jonets;
And above all this, there was, well I wot,
Beauty enough to make a world to doat.

About her neck, white as the fire amail,
A goodly chain of small orfevory,
Whereby there hung a ruby, without fail,
Like to ane heart shapen verily,

That as a spark of low, so wantonly
Seemed burning upon her white throat,
Now if there was good party, God it wot.

And for to walk that fresh May's morrow,
Ane hook she had upon her tissue white,
That goodlier had not been seen to-forow,
As I suppose ; and girt she was alite,
Thus halflings loose for haste, to such delight
It was to see her youth in goodlihede,
That for rudeness to speak thereof I dread.

In her was youth, beauty, with humble aport,
Bounty, richess, and womanly feature,
God better wot than my pen can report :
Wisdom, largess, estate, and cunning sure,
In every point so guided her measure,
In word, in deed, in shape, in countenance,
That nature might no more her child avance !



And when she walked had a little thraw

Under the sweete greene boughis bent,
Her fair fresh face, as white as any snaw,
She turned has, and furth her wayis went;
But tho began mine aches and torment,
To see her part and follow I na might;
Methought the day was turned into night.




(John LYDGATE was born about the year 1375. He became a monk of Bury, and taught the art of versification in his monastery, a proof that poetry was then highly appreciated. He had improved his mind by travelling, and was the author of a great number of pieces. He was a humorous and versatile writer, and is considered one of those to whom the improvement of our language is due. Lydgate was in great repute for his skill and taste in arranging mummings and pageants. He died about the year 1461.]

Within the hall, neither rich, nor yet poor

Would do for me ought, although I should die : Which seeing, I gat me out of the door,

Where Flemings began on me for to cry,

“Master, what will you copen or buy?
Fine felt hats? or spectacles to read ?
Lay down your silver, and here you may speed.

Then to Westminster gate I presently went,

When the sun was at high prime :
Cooks to me they took good intent,

And proffered me bread, with ale, and wine

Ribs of beef, both fat and full fine;
A fair cloth they gan for to spread,
But, wanting money, I might not be sped.

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