The figure of this world I can compare,
To Garden plots, and such like pleasaunt places,
The world breedes men of sundry shape and share,
As hearties in gardens, grow of sundry graces:
Some good, some bad, some amiable faces,
Some foule, some gentle, some of froward mind,
Subject like bloome, to blast of every wind.
And as you see the floures most fresh of hew,
That they prove not alwayes the holesomest,
So fayrest men are not alwayes found true:
But even as withred weedes fall from the rest,
So flatterers fall naked from their neast:
When truth hath tried, their painting tising tale,
They loose their glosse, and all their jests seeme stale.
Yet some do present pleasure most esteeme,
Till beames of braverie wither all their welth,
And some agayne there be can rightly deeme,
Those herbes for best, which may mainteine their helth.
Considering well, that age drawes on by stelth,
And when the fayrest floure is shronke and gone,
A well growne roote, will stand and shifte for one.
Then thus the restlesse life which men here leade,
May be resembled to the tender plant,
In spring it sprouts, as babes in cradle breede,
Florish in May, like youthes that wisdome want,
In Autumne ripes and rootes, least store waxe skante
In winter shrinks and shrowdes from every blast,
Like crooked age when lusty youth is past.
And as the grounde or grace whereon it grewe,
Was fatte or leane, even so by it appeares
If barreyn soyle, why then it chaungeth hewe,
It fadeth faste, it flits to fumbling yeares,
But if he gathered roote amongst his feeres,
And light on lande that was well muckte in deede,
Then standes it still, or leaves increase of seede.
As for the reste, fall sundrie wayes (God wot)
Some faynt lyke froathe at every little puffe,
Some smarte by swoorde, like hearties that serve the pot,
And some be weeded from the finer stuffe,
Some stande by proppes to maynteyne all their ruffe:
And thus (under correction bee it tolde)
Hath Gascoigne gathered in his Garden molde.