Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
Extracts from The Pastime of Pleasure: The Character of a True Knight
By Stephen Hawes (d. 1523)
[From Canto xxviii.]

FOR knyghthode is not in the feates of warre
As for to fight in quarrell ryght or wrong,
But in a cause which trouthe can not defarre.
He ought himselfe for to make sure and strong
Justice to kepe, myxt with mercy among,        5
And no quarell a knyght ought to take
But for a trouthe, or for a womman’s sake.
For first good hope his legge harneyes shoulde be,
His habergion, of perfect ryghteousnes
Gyrde fast wyth the girdle of chastitie.        10
His riche placarde shoulde be good busines
Brodred with almes so full of larges;
The helmet, mekenes, and the shelde, good fayeth,
His swerde God’s word, as Saynt Paule sayeth.
Also true wydowes he ought to restore        15
Unto their ryght, for to attayne their dower;
And to vpholde, and mayntayne euermore
The wealth of maydens, wyth his myhty power,
And to his souerayne at euery maner hower
To be ready, true, and eke obeysaunt,        20
In stable loue fyxte, and not variaunt.

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