James Yates: Sonnets from The Castell of Courtesie (1582) FULL TEXT


James Yates, ‘Not beautie but bounty’ sonnets from The castell of courtesie  (1582)

Catalogue Number: 8

Type: Philosophical

Publication: The castell of courtesie whereunto is adioyned the holde of humilitie: with the chariot of chastitie thereunto annexed. Also a dialogue betweene age and youth, and other matters herein conteined. By Iames Yates seruingman.  pp 65-66.

Year of publication: 1582

Sonnets numbered? No

Sonnets entitled? ‘Ditties’

Introductory sonnets: No

Number of sonnets in sequence: 6

Lines per sonnet: 14

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Not Beautie but Bountie.

THe Prime of yeeres delightes in Beauties blaze,
And much esteemes the seemely shewe thereof:
The pleasant hue inforceth many a gaze,
To feede the eye on Dames, that loue to scoffe.
But who can tell what gaine such Fancy breedes,
Or what reward for due Deserte they get.
With fruitfull graine, we see there comes vp weedes,
And gasing eies are soonest ouer set.
Yet trueth to tell, it is a bayte Perdie,
Which doth intice the wisest wights of all:
For well we see, experience doth not lie,
They readie are to come when so they call.
But I must say, though Beautie likes it least,
Dame Bountie sure, in my conceipt is best.


Dame Bountie sure in my conceipt is best,
And so of trueth I may vphold for true:
For Beautie serues for to intice a ghest
To spend his Coyne, as well some doe it view.


Page  [unnumbered]


When Bountie bids Expence to shutte his dore,
And opens hers for to prepare with speede,
With liberall hand to giue vnto the poore
And meanest soules, which stande in greatest neede.
Doth Beautie so? no, no, I thinke not much,
For all is skant to prancke her vp in pride:
Some vaine Desires we see are alwaies such,
To haue delight in brauerie to abide.
To shine in shew like Phoebus beames so bright,
Which solace sendes to euery worldly wight,


Which solace sendes to euery worldly wight,
And yet perchance greate ruth thereby doth fall:
Some foolish fond will drinke their owne Despight,
That proues in taste as bitter as the gall.
But let such mates as meddle in that lore,
Abide the smart, and feele the worst for me:
Yet some are greeu’d to see what griefe therefore,
Is got vnwares, a meane to misery.
For trust me true, who more esteemes the hue
Of Beauties badge, then Bounties liberall hand:
Hath not the hap that Good lucke might renew.
Nor halfe the skill the case to vnderstand.
Nor yet doth se the charge, the coile and cost,
That Beautie bringes, yet in the end is lost.


That Beautie bringes, yet in the end is lost.
O Lorde why then doe worldlings so delight
In that which is aswell a Care as Lost,
The gaine they got, a simple Clarcke may wright.
Oh Bounty thou, that Bountifully dost giue
Of cost full free and neuer dost repine:
Poore Simple I, am thine while I doe liue,
Fall backe, fall edge till Fall my Fatall fine.
I will remaine thy seruant ready prest,
Yea readie sure at thy command to be:


Page  66


Though Beauty blaze, yet Bountie is the best,
And liked of for liberallitie.
Bountie doth giue when Beautie doth retaine,
To Prancke her selfe with Pride, that is but vaine.


To Prancke her selfe with Pride, that is but vaine.
For thats the way for to maintaine her glosse:
What forceth she though others feele the paine,
She sure is, she tasteth o no losse.
Doth Bountie binde her Bounteous liberall hand,
Or doth she force of coyne to keepe in store?
No, no in deede, if truth be iustly skand,
She rather lettes it flie at loose the more.
The Bounteous Dame esteemeth not the shewe
Of Beauties blaze, that glistereth to the eye:
Some say Deceipt doth rest therin they know,
Experience telles, and triall doth it trie.
Wherefore to say now as my Theame doth moue,
Not Beautie sure, but Bountie I doe proue.


Not Beauty sure, but Bounty I doe proue.
In this respect perchaunce I shall offend
The Beautifull Dame, to mallice I shall moue,
Because I seeme her for to discommend,
And doe preferre Dame Bountie in her place,
But beare with me my Theame pertaines thereto,
You gallant Dames whose hue Declares your grace,
Conceaue no ill for writing as I doe.
For of my truth, if Theame had thus beene saide,
Not Bounty Sir, but Beauty beares the bell:
I must haue then her praise at full displai’d,
To write wherein Dame Beauty doth excell.
I hope I haue no Courteous Dame offended,
For God doth knowe I neuer so intended.

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