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And halted, as he were encloied,
Wherof the woman was annoied.
Thus was the hors in sory plight,
But for all that a sterre whit
Amiddes in her front she hadde.
Her sadel eke was wonder badde,
In which the wofull woman fat.
And netheles there was with that
A riche bridel for the nones
Of golde and preciouse stones,
Her cote was somdele to-tore,
About her middel twenty score
Of horse halters and well mo
There hingen ate time tho.
Thus whan she came the lady nigh,
Than toke the better hede and sigh
The woman fair was of visage,
Fresh, lusty, yong and tendre of age.
And so this lady, there she stood,
Bethought her well and understood,
That this, which came ridende tho,
Tidinges couth telle of tho,
Whiche as she sigh to-fore ride,
And put her forth and praide abide
And said : Ha suster, let me here,
What ben they, that riden now here
And ben so richely arraied ?
This woman, which came so esmaied,
Answerde with full softe fpeche
And said : Madame, I shall you teche,
These are of tho, that whilom were
Servaunts to love and trouthe bere,
There as they had their hertes sette.
Fare well, for I may nought be lette.
Madame, I go to my service,
So must I haste in alle wise
Forthy madame, yif me leve.
I may nought longe with you leve.

Ha, gode suster, yet I prey,
Tell me, why ye be so besey
And with these halters thus begone ?

Madame, whilom I was one, That to my fader hadde a king. But I was slowe and for no thing Me liste nought to love obey, And that I now full sore abey, For I whilom no love hadde, My hors is now feble and badde And all to-tore is min array, And every yere this fresshe may These lusty ladies ride aboute, And I must nedes fue her route In this maner, as ye now se And truffe her halters forth with me And am but as her horse knave. None other office I ne have, Hem thenketh I am worthy no more, For I was sowe in loves lore, Whan I was able for to lere And wolde nought the tales here

Of hem, that couthen love teche.

Now tell me than, I you beseche, Wherof that riche bridel serveth? With that her chere away she swerveth And gan to wepe and thus she tolde : This bridel, which ye now beholde, So riche upon min horse hed, Madame, afore er I was dede, Whan I was in my lusty life, There fell into min hert a strife Of love, which me overcome, So that therafter hede I nome And thought I wolde love a knight, That lafte well a fourtenight, For it no lenger mighte laste, So nigh my life was ate laste. But nowe alas to late ware That I ne had him loved ere, For deth cam so in haste byme, Er I therto had any time, That it ne mighte ben acheved. But for all that I am releved Of that my will was good therto That love suffreth it be so, That I shall such a bridel were. Nowe have ye herd all min answere, To god, madame, I you betake, And warneth alle for my fake, Of love that they be nought idel And bid hem thenke upon my bridel.

And with that worde all fodeinly
She passeth as it were a skie
All clene out of this ladies sight.
And tho for fere her herte aflight
And faide to her self: Helas !
I am right in the same cas.
But if I live after this day,
I shall amende it if I may.
And thus homward this lady went
And chaunged all her first entent
Within her herte and gan to swere,

That she no halters wolde bere.
Confessor. Lo sone, here might thou taken hede,

How idelnesse is for to drede,
Nameliche of love, as I have write.
For thou might understonde and wite,
Among the gentil nacion
Love is an occupacion,
Which for to kepe his lustes fave
Shold every gentil herte have,

For as the lady was chastised,
Non quia fic se Right so the knight may ben avised,
habet veritas, set which idel is and woll nought serve
opinio amancium.

To love, he may parcas deserve
A greater peine than she hadde,
Whan she aboute with her ladde
The horse halters, and forthy
Good is to be ware therby.
But for to loke aboven alle
These maidens how so it falle,

They shulden take ensample of this, Whiche I have tolde forsoth it is. My lady Venus, whom I serve, What woman woll her thank deserve She may nought thilke love eschue Of paramours, but she mot sue Cupides lawe, and netheles Men sene such love selde in pees, That it nis ever upon aspie Of jangling and of fals envie, Full ofte medled with disese. But thilke love is well at ese, Which set is upon mariage, For that dare Thewen the visage In alle places openly. A great merveile it is forthy, How that a maiden wolde lette, That she her time ne besette To haste unto that ilke feste, Wherof the love is all honeste. Men may recover loss of good, But so wise man yet never stood, Which may recover time ilore. So may a maiden well therfore Ensample take, of that the straungeth Her love and longe er that she chaungeth Her herte upon her lustes grene To mariage, as it is sene. For thus a yere or two or thre She lefte, er that she wedded be,

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