And after thy desert look to what cost
Thou art conveyed at such time as thy ghost
From this wretched carcass shall dissever:
Be it joy or pain, endure it thou shall for ever.
THE NATURE AND DIGNITY OF MAN.
Remember how God hath made the reasonable
And for the suffered pains intolerable
That he for angel never would endure.
Regard O man thine excellent nature:
Thou that with angel art made to been equal,
For very shame be not the devil's thrall.
THE PEACE OF A GOOD MIND.
Why lovest thou so this brittle world's joy:
Take every game, take every wanton toy,
Take every sport that man can thee devise:
And among them all on warrantise
Thou shalt no pleasure comparable find
To th'inward gladness of a virtuous mind.
THE GREAT BENEFYCES OF GOD.
Beside that God thee bought & formed both
Though thou have moved him often to be wroth
Yet he thee kept hath and brought us up to this,
And daily calleth upon thee to his bliss:
How mayst thou then to him unloving be
That ever hath been so loving unto thee.
THE PAINFUL CROSS OF CHRIST.
When thou in flame of the temptation fryest
Think on the piteous cross of woeful Christ,
Think on his blood beat out at every vein,
Think on his precious heart carved in twain:
Let him not lose that he so dear hath bought.
THE WITNESS OF MARTYRS & EXAMPLE OF SAINTS.
Sin to withstand say not thou lackest might:
The witness of saints, & martyrs constant fight
Shall thee of slothful cowardice accuse:
God will thee help if thou do not refuse:
If other have stand ere this thou mayst eftsoon:
Nothing impossible is that hath been done.
To love one alone and contemn all other for that one.
To adorn himself for the pleasure of his love.
To suffer all thing, though it were death, to be with his love.
To desire also to suffer shame harm for his love, and to think that hurt sweet.
To be with his love ever as he may, if not in deed yet in thought.
To love all thing that pertaineth unto his love.
To covet the praise of his love, and not to suffer any dispraise.
To believe of his love all things excellent, & to desire that all folk should think the
To weep often with his love: in presence for joy, in absence for sorrow.
To serve his love, nothing thinking of any reward or profit.
THE .XII . PROPERTIES WE HAVE AT LENGTH MORE OPENLY
EXPRESSED IN BALLAD AS IT FOLLOWETH.
The first point is to love but one alone,
For whoso loveth many loveth none:
The flood that is in many channels take
In each of them shall feeble streams make:
The love that is divided among many
Unneth sufficeth that any part have any.
So thou that hast thy love set unto God
As he in sovereign dignity is odd,
So will he in love no parting fellows have:
Love him therefore with all that he thee gave:
For body, soul, wit, cunning, mind & thought,
Part will he none, but either all or nought.
THE SECOND PROPERTY.
Of his love lo the sight and company
That whoso hath the grace to come thereby
He judgeth him in perfect joy and bliss:
And whoso of that company doth miss,
He thinketh him wretched and infortunate.
So should the lover of God esteem that he
That in this world is possible to be,
Yet till the time that he may once resort
Unto that blessed joyful heavenly port
Where he of God may have the glorious sight,
Is void of perfect joy and delight.
THE THIRD PROPERTY.
The third point of a perfect lover is
Appointed well and nothing set amiss,
But all well fashioned, proper, goodly & clean:
That in his person there be nothing seen
In speech, apparel, gesture, look or pace
That may offend or minish any grace.
So thou that wilt with God get into favour
As comely be, as honest in behaviour
As it is possible for thee to devise:
I mean not hereby that thou shouldst arise,
And in the glass upon thy body prowl,
But with fair virtue to adorn thy soul.
THE FOURTH PROPERTY.
If love be strong, hot, mighty, and fervent,
There may no trouble, grief or sorrow fall,
But that the lover would be well content
All to endure and think it eke too small,
Though it were death: so he might therewithal
The joyful presence of that person get
On whom he hath his heart and love i-set.
Thus should of God the lover be content
Rather than to be from God absent,
And glad to die, so that he may be sure
By his departing hence for to procure