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Elen Lyne, my mayden, departed from this life immediately after the myd-day past, when she had lyne sik a month lacking one day.

And by and by, there approached a faire and comely mayden, not much unlike to Juno, for she had a Diademe of gold upon her head, and in her hand she bare a regall scepter : then followed another resembling Pallas, for she had on her head a shining sallet, whereon was bound a garland of Olive branches, having in one hand a target or shield : and in the other a speare as though she would fight : then came another which passed the other in beauty, and presented the Goddesse Venus, with the color of Ambrosia, when she was a maiden, and to the end she would shew her perfect beauty, shee appeared all naked, saving that her fine and dainty skin was covered with a thin smocke, which the wind blew hither and thither to testifie the youth and flowre of the age of the dame.

And in the end shee invented this kind of mischiefe : She privily stale away her husbands ring, and went into the country, whereas she commanded one of her trusty servants to take the ring and carry it to the mayden.

Streight downe she ranne, like an enraged cow,That is berobbed of her youngling dere,With knife in hand, and fatally did vow,To wreake her on that mayden messengere,Whom she had causd be kept as prisonere,By Artegall, misween'd for her owne Knight,That brought her backe.

O thyng biseke I yow, and warne also That ye ne prikke with no tormentynge This tendre mayden, as ye han doon mo.

Thow mayde and mooder, doghter of thy sone, Thow welle of mercy, synful soules cure, In whom that God for bountee chees to wone, Thow humble and heigh, over every creature Thow nobledest so ferforth oure nature, That no desdeyn the makere hadde of kynde, His sone in blood and flessh to clothe and wynde, Withinne the cloistre blisful of thy sydis Took mannes shape the eterneel love and pees, That of the tryne compas lord and gyde is, Whom erthe and see and hevene out of relees Ay heryen, and thou, virgine wemmelees, Baar of thy body, and dweltest mayden pure, The creatour of every creature.

And certes every man, mayden or wyf, May understonde that Jesus, hevene kyng, Ne wolde nat chesen vicious lyvyng.

And thow that flour of virgines art alle, Of whom that Bernard list so wel to write, To thee at my bigynnyng first I calle, Thou confort of us wrecches, do me endite Thy maydens deeth, that wan thurgh hir merite The eterneel lyf, and of the feend victorie, As man may after reden in hir storie.

Now sith that maydens hadden swich despit, To been defouled with mannes foul delit, Wel oghte a wyf rather hirselven slee, Than be defouled, as it thynketh me.

Who in a morning, when this Mayden faireWas dighting her, hauing her snowy brestAs yet not laced, nor her golden haireInto their comely tresses dewly drest,Chaunst to espy vpon her yuory chestThe rosie marke, which she remembred wellThat litle Infant had, which forth she kest,The daughter of her Lady Claribell,The which she bore, the whiles in prison she did dwell.

Shamefast she was in maydens shamefastnesse, Constant in herte, and evere in bisynesse To dryve hir out of ydel slogardye.