For if I were a Lorde, and come of high degree, And had all thing at will, as best contented mee: My Prince therwith well pleased, that nothing might offend, (10) And all my deedes so done, that eche man might commend. My parent of great state, and eke of worthy fame, That worldly men did wish, the honor of his name: My friends and mine allyes so worthy in eche presse, That I néede beare no wrong, that I could not redresse. (15) Of courage and of strength, so doughty of my hand, That Ladyes might mee loue, that dwell in forrayn land. And enemyes might mee dread, for feare of ouerthrow, And that all this were true, eche worldly wight did know. Yet were I but a man, and mortall in this earth, (20) For death doth not accept, the worship of my byrth: Since so I holde it best, that eche man should contend, So to directe himselfe, that after this liues ende, Yet vertue might remayne, that soundes a Trompet, loe, A comfort to a freend, a wound vnto a foe.
(25) As some to simple turne from sage, And ouerthrow with euery winde, Some eke correct with rigorous rage Whom wealth could neuer foord good minde, Hath wonne in prison such a feelde, (30) As liberty could neuer yeelde.
Virtute nulla possessio maior . +FINIS.
¶ Of a happy wished time. +
E Che thing must haue a time, + and tyme doth try mens troth, And troth deserues a special trust, on trust great frenship groth: And freendship is full fast, where faythfulnesse is found And faythfull thinges be ful of fruicte, and fruitful things be sound (5) The sound is good in proofe, and proofe is Prince of prayse, And woorthy prayse is such a pearle, as lightly not decayes.