George Gascoigne: ‘Terza Sequenza’ from The Adventures of Maister F. I. in A hundreth sundrie flowres (1573) FULL TEXT


George Gascoigne: ‘Terza Sequenza’ from ‘The Adventures of Maister F. I.’ in A hundreth sundrie flowres (1573)

Catalogue Number: 3

Type: Love

Publication: A hundreth sundrie flowres bounde up in one small poesie Gathered partely (by translation) in the fyne outlandish gardins of Euripides, Ouid, Petrarke, Ariosto, and others: and partly by inuention, out of our owne fruitefull orchardes in Englande: yelding sundrie svveete sauours of tragical, comical, and morall discourses …  pp. 211-12

Year of publication: 1573

Sonnets numbered? No

Sonnets entitled? No

Introductory sonnets: No

Number of sonnets in sequence: 3

Lines per sonnet: 14

Durable EEBO link

Page 210

Mystres (quod he) and I perceiue now, y good hap haūts me, for being by lack of oportunitie constreined to cōmit my welfare vnto these blabbing leaues of bewraying pa∣pe (shewing y in his hand) I am here recōforted wt happy view of my desired ioye, & therewithall reuerētly kissing his hand, did softly distreine hir slende arme & so stayed hir departure. The first blow thus profered & defended, they walked & talked trauersing diuers wayes, wherein I doubt not but y my friend. F.I. could quit himself reso∣nably well. And though it stood not with duty of a friend that I should therin require to know hir secrets, yet of

Page 211

him self he declared thus much, that after long talke shée was contented to accept his proferd seruice, but yet still disabling hir self, and séeming to maruell what cause had moued him to subiect his libertie so wilfully, or at least in a prison (as she termed it) so vnworthy. Whereunto I néede not rehearse his answere, but suppose now, y thus they departed: sauing I had forgotten this, shée required of him the last rehearsed letter, saying that his frist was lost, & now she lacked a new bottome for hir silke, the which I warrāt you, he graūted: and so profering to take an humble congé by Bezo las manos, shée graciously gaue him the zuccado dez labros: and so for then departed. And therupō recōpting hir words, he cōpyled these following, which he termed Terza sequenza, to swéet Mystres SHE.

G. T.

OF thee deare Dame, three lessons would I learne,
What reason first persuades the foolish Fly
(As soone as shee a candle can discerne)
To play with flame, till shee bee burnt thereby?
Or what may moue the Mouse to byte the bayte
Which strykes the trappe, that stops hir hungry breth?
What calles the Byrd, where snares of deepe deceit
Are closely caught to draw hir to hir death?
Consider well, what is the cause of this.
And though percase thou wilt not so confesse,
Yet deepe desire, to gayne a heauenly blisse,
May drowne the mynd in dole and darke distresse:
Oft is it seene (whereat my hart may bleede)
Fooles playe so long till they be caught in deed.
And then
It is a heauen to see them hop and skip,
And seeke all shiftes to shake their shackles of:
It is a world, to see them hang the lip.
Who (earst) at loue, were wnt to skorne and skof.
But as the Mouse, once caught in crafty trap,
May bounce and beate, agaynst the boorden wall,
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Till shee haue brought hir head in such mishape,
That doune to death hir fainting lymbes must fall:
And as the Flye once singed in the flame,
Cannot commaund hir wings to waue away:
But by the heele, shee hangeth in the same
Till cruell death hir hasty iourney stay.
So they that seeke to breake the linkes of loue
Stryue with the streame, and this by payne I prou.
For when
I first beheld that heauenly hewe of thyne,
Thy stately stature, and thy comly grace,
I must confesse these dazled eyes of myne
Did wincke for feare, when I first viewd thy face
But bold desire, did open them agayne,
And bad mee looke till I had lookt to long,
I pitied them that did procure my payne,
And lou’d the lookes that wrought me all the wrong:
And as the Byrd once caught (but woorks her woe)
That stryues to leaue the lymed winges behind:
Euen so the more I straue to parte thee fro,
The greater grief did growe within my minde:
Remediles then must I yeeld to thee,
And craue no more, thy seruaunt but to bee

Tyll then and euer. HE. F. I.

WHen he had wel sorted this sequence, he sought opor∣tunitie to leaue it where she might finde it before it were lost. And now the coles begā to kindle, wherof (but ere whyle) she feiged hir self altogither ignorant. The flames began to break out on euery syde: & she to quench them, shut vp hir selfe in hir chamber solitarely.


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