Passtime with good company

Original Text: 
British Library Add. MS 5665 ("Ritson's MS"), ff. 141v-42 (termed "The Kynges Balade"); cf. Collection of Photographic Facsimiles (MLA, 1927): xcvi, and John Stevens, Music & Poetry in the Early Tudor Court.
1Pastime with good company
2I love and shall unto I die.
3Grudge whoso will, but none deny,
5For my pastance
6Hunt, sing, and dance.
7My heart is set
8All godely sport
9To my comfort.
11Youth will have needs daliance,
12Of good or ill some pastance.
13Company me thinketh then best
15For idleness
16Is chief mistress
17Of vices all.
18Than who can say
19But "pass the day"
20Is best of all?
21Company with honesty
22Is virtue, and vice to flee.
23Company is good or ill
24But every man hath his free will.
26The worst eschew,
27My mind shall be.
28Virtue to use,
29Vice to refuse,


4] this: thus. Back to Line
10] let: forbid. Back to Line
14] thoftes:
digest: Back to Line
25] ensure: follow (virtue). Back to Line
30] use: employ. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.