Tottel sig. Xiiiiv

[sig. Xiiiiv]

To view what brute by vertue got their liues could iustly crane, And bad them shew what praise by truth they worthy were to haue. (5) Wherwith I saw how Uenus came and put her selfe in place, And gaue her ladies leaue at large to stand and pleade their case. Ech one was calde by name a row, in that assemble there, That hence are gone or here remaines, in court or other where. A solemne silence was proclaimde, the iudges sate and herd, (10) What truth could tell, or craft could fain, & who should be preferd. Then beauty stept before the barre, whose brest and neck was bare With heare trust vp, and on her hed a caule of gold she ware. Thus Cupides thralles began to flock whose hongry eyes did say That she had stayned all the dames, that present were that day. (15) For er she spake, with whispring words, the prease was fild through∣out And fansy forced common voyce, therat to giue a shoute. Which cried to fame take forth thy trump, & sound her praise on hy That glads the hart of euery wight that her beholdes with eye. What stirre and rule (quod order than) do these rude people make, (20) We hold her best that shall deserue a praise for vertues sake. This sentence was no soner said, but beauty therwith blusht, The noise did cease, the hall was stil and euery thing was whusht. Then finenesse thought by training talke to win that beauty lost, And whet her tonge with ioly wordes, and spared for no cost: (25) Yet wantonnesse could not abide, but brake her tale in hast, And peuish pride for Pecockes plumes + would nedes behiest plast. And therwithall came curiousnesse and carped out of frame. The audience laught to heare the strife as they beheld the same. Yet reason sone apesde the brute her reuerence made and doon, (30) She purchased fauour for to speake, and thus her tale begoon. Sins bounty shall the garland weare, and crowned be by fame, O happy iudges call for her, for she deserues the same. Where temperance gouerns beauties flowers & glory is not sought, And shamefast mekenes mastreth pride, & vertu dwels in thought. (35) Bid her come forth and shew her face, or els assent eche one, That true report shall graue her name in gold or marble stone. For all the world to rede at will, what worthines doth rest, In perfect pure vnspotted life, which she hath here possest. Then skill rose vp and sought the prease to finde if that he might, (40) A person of such honest name, that men should praise of right. This one I saw full sadly sit, and shrinke her self aside, Whose sober lokes did shew what giftes her wifely grace did hide. Lo here (quod skill, good people all) is Lucrece left aliue, And she shall most excepted be, that least for praise did striue.