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F.R.A.S. M.R.S.L. F.S.A.L. & E. M.R.S.X.A. &c. &c. &c. 




" Mayster Lydgate ! the most dulcet sprynge 
Of famous rethoryke, wytli balade ryall 
The chefe orygynal." 

Th" Paatyme of Plenvre. by Stephen Han es. 




€f)t \^ttt^ ^otitt^. 

J. A. CAHUSAC, Esq. F.S.A. 










E. F. RIMBAULT, Esq. Stcrelary. 



Dan John Lydgate, monk of Bury St. Edmund's, 
the immediate follower of Geoffry Chaucer, was 
one of the most prolific writers this country has 
ever produced. Ritson, in his " Bibliographia 
Poetica," enumerates no less a number than two 
hundred and fifty-one pieces which acknowledge 
him for their author; and this list is far from 
being complete. To furnish, indeed, a correct 
catalogue of all his works would require more 
time than the editor of the present volume has 
had at his disposal, and he therefore contents 
himself with referring to Ritson's useful little 
work, and to Warton's " History of English 
Poetry," for particulars concerning the life and 
writings of our author. 

Materials for an account of Lydgate's life are 
scanty; and his " Testament," although curious 
as an early specimen of autobiography, doe1s not 
contain any direct facts. That he preferred play 


to work when he was at school, and was fond of 
" telling cherrystones" and stealing apples, are 
perhaps to be considered more as characteristics 
of the age in which he lived, than of any pecu- 
liarities in his own taste. He was bom, as he 
himself tells us,* at Lidgate ; and this fact 
appears to have escaped the notice of modern 
\vriters. It does not appear that any memorial 
of him is in our Record Offices. •}■ We are even 
uncertain of the time of his death ; but it is 
very improbable that he survived as long as 
the year 1482, although most writers place the 
date of his death in that year.J In the first 
place, he \ATote a poem addressed to Abbat 
Curteys,^ " In myn oold dayes ;" and this abbat 
died in 1446, which shows that he must have 
attained an advanced age then. Again, he was 
a friend of Chaucer's, who died in 1400, and says 
that he composed one poem under his immediate 
directions. It is no proof of his surviving to the 
accession of Edward, because a stanza on that 
sovereign is found in the poet's brief chronicle of 
the kings, in MS. Harl. 2251 ; for it is well known 
that such additions were often made by the tran- 

* "I was born in Lydegate."— MS. Harl. 2251, fol.283. 

t MS. Birch, 4245,'fol. 60. 

X Ritson's Bibliof/raphica Poetica, p. 89. 

§ MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 43. 


scribers of manuscripts;* and in MS. Bib. Reg. 
18 D. ii, the same poem is continued to the reign 
of Henry VIII. From the MSS. which remain 
of his writings, I should be inclined to believe 
that he died before Edward\s accession, and there 
appears to be every adjunct of external proba- 
bility. In MS. Harl. 116, fol. 170, occurs the 
following epitaph, written probably soon after his 
death, and is probably the original inscription 
which graced his tomb : — 

Epitaphium Johannis Lidgate, monachi de Byri. 
" Lidgate Cristoticoii Edmundinn, Maro Brittanis, 
Boccasiousque viros psallit ; et hie cinis est. 
" Haee tria praecipua opera fecit: — vij. libros de Cliristo ; 
librum de vita Saucti Edmundi; et Boccasium de viris illus- 
tribus ; cum multis aliis."t 

Ritson observes that it is highly probable that 
some of the minor poems ascribed to Lydgate, 
are not by him ; and that, on the other hand, he 
may be the author of several pieces given anony- 
mously in manuscripts. The style, indeed, is 

* So in a manuscript copy of Lydgate's life of St. Edmund 
at Oxford, MS. Ashm. 46, the prologue is accommodated to 
Edward IV. 

t In the ArchcEologia, vol.iv. p. 131, is given the following 
epitaph : — 

" Mortuus seclo, superis superstes, 
Hie jacet Lyilgat tumulatus uma : 
Qui ftiit quondam Celebris Britannec 
Fama poesis." 

scarcely nufficient to determine the authorship, 
unaided by contemporary rubrics. Benedict Burgh, 
it is well known, was his pupil, and has most 
closely imitated hiiu. This latter writer finished 
Lydgate's translation of the Secreta ^ecretorum, 
which was left incomplete by the hand of death : 
" Here deyed this translatour, a nobil poete, and 
the yonge folowere gan his prologe on this wyse,"" 
which, as curious and serving for a comparison, I 
here insert : — 

[From MS. Sloan. 2464, fol. 36-38.] 

Tendienesse of age and lak of elloquence, 

This feerful matere savyng supportacioun, 

Me hath constreyned to put in suspence, 

From yow, my lord, to whoom recomendacioun, 

I mekly do sende with al subjeccioun, 

The dulnesse of my penne yow besechyng t'enlumyne. 

Which am nat aqueynted "nith the miisys nyne. 

Wher flour of knyghthood the batayUe doth refuse. 
What shulde the dwerffe entre into the place ? 
Bareyn in sentence shulde hynisylf excuse. 
And by presumpcyoun nat shewe out his face ; 
Off John Lydgate how shulde I the sotyl trace, 
Folwe in secrees, celestial and dyvyne? 
Sith I am nat aqueynted with the musys nyne. 

Frenescys sent from the lady Nature, 

For a conclusyoun hir joume to conveye, 

As of Anthyclaudyan rehersyth the scripture, 

Be sevene sustrys in her passage took the weye, 

GynnjTig at griuuper, as for lok and keye, 

In ordre and proporsyoun fidwyng the doctryne, 

Which was wel aqueynted with the musys nyne 


These sevene sustiyn sovereyn and entieere, 
Yif I my peime to this matere doo applye, 
The nyne musys hlame shal in maneere, 
That they un labouryd stant on my partye, 
I yaffe noon attendaunce, I may it nat denye, 
How shulde I thanne my matere doo combyne, 
Which am nat aqueynted with the musys nyne ? 

These sustrys cheyned in parfight unyte, 

Departe may not by natural resoun, 

Ech with othir hath eternite, 

How shulde I thanne use persuasioun, 

Of my purpoos to have conclusyoun, 

In ech science fayUyng degre and signe, 

For lak of aqueyntaunce of the musys nyne. 

Yif I shulde talke in scyencys tryvyal, 

Gynnyng at grameer, in signes and figurys, 

Or of metrys the feet to make equal, 

Be tyme and proporcioun kepyng my mesurys, 

This lady lyst nat to parte the tresourys, 

Of liire substaunce to my childhood incondigne, 

Which am nat aqueynted with the musys nyne. 

This mateer to conveye by trewe conclusyoun, 
Veritees of logyk certys I must applye, 
Wheer undir flourys restith the scorpioun, 
Wbich I fere to take for my partye, 
Premyssys congrew which can nat applye. 
Of old philisoffres to folwe the doctryne, 
Sith I am nat aqueynted with the musys nyne. 

I have «"ith Tully gadryd no fressh flours. 

The chaar of Fronescis to paynte in dewe raanere, 

With Petir Petrarke of rethoryk no colours, 

Of teeriiiys ne sentence in my ^vrytj-ng doth appere, 

Arismetryk nor musyk my dulnesse doo not clere, 

How shulde I thanne by geometrje drawe rjght lyne, 

^\Tiich am nat aqueynted with the musys nyne ? 

Off astronomye the secrecs invisible, 
Unknowe with Tiiolomye I faylle cogiiicioun, 
Which by invencyoun to me l)C impossible, 
Withoute doctoiirs and pxposicioim ; 
Or of this sevene to make a declaracioun, 
Atftir your entent this treetys to combj'ne, 
Which am nat aqueynted ■n-ith the musys iiyne. 

These thynges peysed myn hand make to quake, 
Thre causys considred in especial, 
First of this book the difficulte to take, 
Secunde of the persone, the magnificence royal, 
To whom I wrj'te into tremlyng cause me fal. 
Of dirk ignoraunce feryng the engyne, 
Which am nat aqueynted with the musys nyne. 

The thiydde cause in the audight countable. 

Entitled and roUyd of my reraembraunce, 

Is that detractours, odyous and detestable, 

Unto Allecto knet be aflyaunce, 

With sotyl menys shal make perturbaunce, 

Aflermyng to my witt to moche that I enclyne, 

The werk to a taste not knowyng the musys nyne. 

Thus atwen tweyne pereel of the see, 
Sylla and Karybdys put in desperacioun , 
What to resceyve and which for to flee, 
Constreyned I am to make dubj-tacioun, 
The sharp corosye of firetj-ng detractioun. 
First I feere to my partye shal enclyne, 
Sith I am nat aqueynted with the musys nyne. 

The secund pereel by computacioun, 

In whiche I stande this is incertayn, 

Feer and dreed of indignaciouu, 

Of youre lordship which doth nat dysdeyn, 

Me to exhorte to wryte in termys pleyn, 

A part of secrees celestial and divyne, 

Leflt of John Lydgate wel knowyng the musys nyne. 

Thus set in pereel fayl I my socour. 

Me dotli coumi'orte a proverbe in myn entent, 

Eche tale is endj'd as it liath favour, 

Wlierfore to dreed no lengere I vryl assent, 

But breeffly fulfille your comaundement. 

In modir tounge this matere to combyne, 

Wliich faulfe support knowe not the rausys nyne. 

The few notes which are added at the end of 
this vohime have been selected from materials at 
hand, and without any attempt at continuous 
illustration, which, in a work of this nature, might 
be extended to any assignable length. 


35, Alfred Place, London. 

20th September, 1840. 



1. The entry of Henry the Sixth into London after his coronation 

in France . . . . .1 

2. On the mutabihty of human afi'airs . . . .22 

3. Advice to an okl gentleman who wished for a young wife . 27 

4. Ballad on the forked headdresses of ladies . .46 

5. Lydgate's application to the Duke of Gloucester for money 49 
6 The ballad of Jack Hare . . . . .52 

7. The inconsistency of men's actions . . .55 

8. A satirical ballad on the times . . . . .58 

9. A call to devotion . . . . . .60 

10. The legend of Dan Joos . . . . . .62 

11. Rules for presennng health . . . .66 

12. The moral of the legend of Dido . . .69 

13. Legend of Wullrike, a priest of AViltshire . . .72 

14. Legend of a monk of Paris . . . .73 

15. On the instability of human affairs . . . .74 

1 6. Devotions of the fouls . . . . . .78 

17. On moderation . . . . . . .80 

18. A poem against itlleness, and the history of Sardanapalus . 84 

19. The procession at the feast of Corpus Christi . . .95 

20. London Lackpenny . . . .103 

21. The tale of the lady prioress and her three suitors . . 107 

22. Moral of the fable of the horse, the goose, and the sheep . 117 

23. On the wretchedness of worldly affairs .... 122 

24. Bycorne and Cliichevache ..... 129 


25. The legend ol' St. .Viistin at Coinptoii 
20. Advice to tittle-tattlers 

27. A poem against selflove . 

28. The order of fools 

29. As straight as a rani's horn 

30. The concords of company 

31. St. Ursula and the eleven thousand virgi 

32. The chorle and the bird 

33. On the mutability of human alFairs 

34. A satirical description of his lady 

35. A prayer to St. Leonard, made at York 

36. The deserts of tlievish millers and baker 

37. Measure is treasure 

38. Ballad on presenting an eagle to the king and queen on 

of their marriage 

39. The triump of virtue 

40. A lover's complaint 

41. A ditty upon improvement 

42. Thank God for all thiug.s 

43. Make amendes . 

44. Testament 

45. Notes 

. 13.5 
. 150 
. 150 
. 164 
. 171 
. 173 
. 178 
. 179 
. 193 
. 199 
. 205 
. 207 
. 208 

the day 

. 213 
. 216 
. 220 
. 222 
. 225 
. 228 
. 232 
. 265 





The following poem gives a very minute description of the 
manner in which Henry the Sixth was received in London after 
his coronation, and of the pageant upon that occasion. Three 
copies of it exist in MS. in the British Museum, viz. MS. Harl. 
565, fol. 114-124; MS. Cotton. Julius, B. ii. fol. 87-98; and_ 
MS. Cotton. Cleop. C. iv. fol. 38-48. From the two first of these' 
MSS. an edition was printed by Sir Harris Nicolas (London 
Chronicle, p. 235-250) ; but the third MS. has entirely escaped 
the notice of antiquaries, and, as it presents a more complete text 
than the other two, we give it verbatim. 

About one-third of this article, taken from MS. Harl. 565, is 
printed in Malcolm's " London," vol. ii. p. 89 ; but it conveys, as 
Sir H. Nicolas justly observes, " a very imperfect idea of the 
whole composition ; for not only has the orthography of the ex- 
tract been modernized, but the most interesting descriptions do 
not occur." The following extract from a continuation of the 
Brute Chronicle in MS. Harl. 3730, contains a brief account 
of the argument of onr poem: " This same yere, the vj. day of 
Decembre, Kyng Henry the vj. was crouned Kyng of Fraunce at 
Paris in the church of oure Lady, with gret solempnite ; there 
beyng present the Cardinalle of Englond, the Duke of Bedford, 
and many other lordis of Fraunce and of Englond ; and after this 
coronacion and grett lest holdyn at Parys, the Kyng retornyd 
from thens to Rone, and so toward Caleis. And ther, the ix. 
day of Feveryere, londed at Dover, whom alle the comons of Kent 
mett at Beramdoun, between Canterbury and Dover, alle in rede 


hodys. And so com fortli tyll he com to the Blake-heth, where 
he was mett with the niaier Jhon Welles, with alle the craftes of 
London, clad alle in white. And so thei brought hym to London 
the xxj. day of the same moneth." Now as Lydgate says that 
Henry entered London " on a thursday," and " toward the end 
of wyndy Februarie," the 21st of February, which fell on a 
Thursday, was doubtless the correct date at which the circum- 
stance took place. We refer the reader also to the minute account 
of the ceremony given in Fabyan's Chronicle, (London, 1559, 
p. 423-7) in which will be found several of the verses used in the 
pageants. Another curious account of it is preserved in a manu- 
script at Lambeth Palace, and will be included in a volume I am 
now editing for the Camden Society. The " Rejoice to London" 
at the end of this poem, is also preserved in another of the 
Cottonian manuscripts, in a separate form. 


Toward the ende of wyndy F"ebruarie, 
Whan Phebus whas in the flPysshe croune, 
Out of the signe, wiche callyd is aquary. 
New kalendys were enteryd and begone 
Of Marchis komyng, and the mery sone 
Upon a Thursday sched his bemys bryght 
Upon Londone, to make them glad and lyght. 

The stormy reyne of alle ther highenes 
Where passid away, and alle her old grevaunee. 
For the vj.**^ Herry, roote of her gladnes, 
Ther hertes joy, ther worldis suffisaunce, 
Be trew dissent crouned Kyng of Fraunce ; 
The hevyn rejoyseng the day of his repayre, 
Made his komyng the wedyr to be so fFayre. 


A tyme, I trow, of God for him provyded. 
In alle the hevenys ther whas no clowd seyne ; 
From other dayes that day whas so devyded, 
And fFraunchesid fFrom mystes and ffrom reyne ; 
The ayre attempered, the wyndes smowth and playne, 
The citezeins thorowou5t the citee, 
Halewyd that day withe grete solempnyte. 

And lyke for Davyd aftyr his victory 
Reyjoyssed whas alle Jerusalem, 
So this citee with lawde, preyse, and glorye, 
For joy moustered lyke the sone beme. 
To yeve ensample thorowou3t this rerae ; 
Alle of assent wPioso cane concey ve, 
Ther noble Kyng were glad to resseyve. 

Ther clothing whas of colour fulle covenable ; 
The noble Mayer clad in reed velewet, 
The Schrevys, the Aldermen, fulle notable, 
In fFurred clokys, the colour scarlett ; 
In statly wise whan thei were mett, 
Eche oone welle horsed, made no delay, 
But withe her mayer rood forthe in her way. 

The citezens eche one of the citee. 

In her entent that thei were pure and clene ; 

Chees hem of white a fulle fayre lyvere. 

In every craft as it whas welle sene ; 

To shew the trouthe that they did mene. 

Toward the Kyng had made hem feithefully, 

In sondery devise embroudered richely. 


4 lydoate's minor poems. 

And for to remembre of other alyeris, 

Fyrst Jeneveyes, thoughe they were straungeris, 

Florentynes, and Venycyens, 

And Esterlinges, glad in her maneres, 

Conveyed withe sergeauntes and other officeres, 

Estatly horsed, aftyr the maier riding, 

Passid the subbarbis to raete withe the Kyng. 

To the Elak-hethe whan the did atteyne, 

The nieyer, of prudens in especialle, 

Made hem hove in rengis twayne, 

A strete betwene eche party lyke a walle, 

Alle clad in white, and the most principalle 

Atforne in reed, withe thaire mayre ryding, 

Tyll tyme that he saughe [the Kyng] komyng. 

Than withe his sporys he toke his horsse anone, 
That to behold it whas a noble sighte. 
How lyke a man he to the Kyng is gone, 
Righte well cheryd of hert, glad, and lighte ; 
Obeyeng to him, as him owght of righte : 
And aftyr that he knonnyngly abbarayed, 
And to the Kyng evyn thus he sayd ; 

" Sovereign lord and noble Kyng, ^e be welcome oute 
of 5oure reame of Fraunce, into ihis blissed rerae of 
Englond, and in especialle unto your most notable Citee 
of London, otherwyse callyd youre chambyr. We 
thankyng God of the good and gracios arenyng of 
yowre croune of Fraunce, beseching his mereyfull grace 
to send yow prosperite and many 5eris, to the comfort 
of alle youre lovyng peple." 


But for CO teliyng alle the circumstaunces. 

Of every thinge shewid in sentence, 

Noble devices, diverse ordinances, 

Conveyed be scripture witlie fulle grete excellense ; 

Alie to declare, I have noone eloquence ; 

Wherfore I pray to alle that schalle it reede. 

For to correcte where as thei see nede. 

Fyrst whan he whas passid the Fabor, 
Enteryng the brygge of this noble cite, 
Ther whas a piler reysed lyke a toure, 
And theron stood a sturdy champion. 
Of looke and chere sterne as a lyon ; 
His swerd upreryd, proudly gave manace, 
Alle foren enmyes from the Kyng to enchase. 

And in defence of his state rialle, 
The geaunt wold abyde eche aventure. 
And all assautis that were uiartialle 
For his sake he proudly wold endure ; 
In tokyn wherof he had a scripture 
On outher side declaryng his entent, 
AViche seyd thus, be good avisement : — 

" Alltho that bethe enmyes to the Kyng, 

I schalle hem clothe withe confusione ; 

Make him myghti be vertuos levyng, 

His mortalle foon to oppressen and bere adoune, 

And him to encresin as Cristis champion ; 

Alle myscheffes from him to abrigge. 

Withe the grace of God, att the entryng of the brygge." 

lydgate's minor poems. 

Twoo antelopis stondyng on outhor sj'de, 

Withe the armys of Englond and of Fraunce, 

In tokenyng that God schalle for him provide, 

As he hathe title be juste enheritaunce, 

To regne in pees, plente, and plesaunce ; 

Sesing of werre, that men mowghe ride and gonne. 

As trewe liegis, ther hertis made bothe oone. 

Ferthermore, so as the Kyng gan ride, 

Midde of the brigge ther whas a toure over loft ; 

The lord of lordis beyng ay his gyde, 

As he hathe be and yet wolle be fuUe ofte ; 

The tour arrayed withe velwettes softe, 

Clothis of gold, silke, and tapcery, 

As apperteinethe to his regally. 

And att his commyng, of excellent beaute, 
Be[n]yng of port, most womanly of chere, 
Ther yssed oute empresses thre, 
Theire here displayed, as Phebus in her spere. 
Withe crounettes of gold and stonys clere ; 
Att whos outecomyng they gaff suche a lyghte. 
That the beholders were stonyed in ther sighte. 

The ffirst of hem callyd whas nature, 
As sche that hathe under her demeyne 
Man, best; and foule, and every creature. 
Eke hevyn, and erthe, and every creature, 
Withein the bondys of her goldyn cheyne. 
This empresse of custura dothe embrace ; 
And next her koravthe hir suster callid grace. 


Passing famos, and of the grete reverence, 

Most desired in all regiouns ; 

For where that ever schewithe her presence, 

Eche bryngithe gladnes to citees and tounnes. 

Of alle welfare sche haldithe the possessiouns, 

For, I dar say, prosperite in no place 

No while abidithe, but yef ther be grace. 

In tokyn that grace schuld long contenewe, 
Unto the kyng sche schewd her full benigne ; 
And next her come the emperesse Fortune, 
To apperyng him with many a noble signe. 
And riall tokyns, to schew that he was digne, 
Of God disposid as grace list to ordeyne, 
Upon his heede to were crownys tweyne. 

Thes thre ladyes, alle of one entent. 
Three gostly giftes, hevenly and devyne, 
Unto the kyng anone they did present, 
And to his highenes thei did anon enclyne. 
And what thei weryn pleynly to termyne ; 
Grace gaff him first at his comyng. 
Two riche gifFtis, sciens and connyng. 

Nature gaff him eke strength, and fayrenes, 
For to be lovyd and dred of every wighte ; 
Fortune gaff him eke prosperite, and richesse, 
Withe scripture appering in ther sighte, 
To him applyed of verray dew righte, 
" First understond and willfully procede, 
And long to reigne," the scripture sayd indede. 


This is to mene who so iiruIerstoixJ arighte, 

Thow schalt be fbrtuii<' iiavc? long prosperite ; 

And be nature thou schalt have strenghtp,and myghte, 

Forthe to procede in long f'elicitc ; 

And grace also liathe graunted unto the, 

Vertuosly long in thi rialle citee, 

Withe cepture and crouns to regne in equite. 

On the righte bond of this empresse 

Stode vij. maydens verray celestialle ; 

Lyke Phebus bemys shone her goldyn tresses, 

Uppon her hedis eche havyng a cornalle. 

Of port and chere semyng inmortalle. 

In sighte transendyng alle erthely creatures. 

So aungelyk thei weryn of ther figures. 

Alle clad in white, in tokyn of clennes, 

Lyke pure virginis as in ther ententis, 

Schewyng owghtewarde in hevenly fFresshe bryghtenes; 

Stremyd with sonnes were alle her garmentis, 

Afforne provyded for pur innocentis : 

Most columbyne of chere and of lokyng, 

Mekely roos up at comyne of the kyng. 

They had on bawderykys alle of safFer hewe, 
Goyng owtward gave the kyng salue, 
Hym presentyng withe her gyftes newe, 
Lyke as them thoghte it whas unto them dewe ; 
Wiche gostely gyftes here in ordyr sewe, 
Downe discendyng as sylver dewe from hevyn, 
Alle grace include withein thes gyfftes vij. 

lydgate's minor poems. 

Thes rialle gifFtes been of verteu most 
Gostly coragis, most sovereigly delyte, 
Thes gyfFtes callyd of the Holy Goste, 
Outeward ffigured ben vij. dowys white, 
Seyeng to hym, lyke as clerkes wryghte, 
" God the tfulfylle withe intelligence, 
And withe a spyrut of goostly sapience. 

God send also unto thy most vayle, 

The to preserve ffrom alle hevynesse, 

A spiryt, a strenghte, and of good counsaylle. 

Of connyng, drede, pytee, and lownesse." 

Thus thes ladies gan her gyftes dresse, 

Grasciosly at ther owte comyng, 

Be influence lighte Tipon the kyng. 

Thes empresses hadd on ther left side 

Other vij. virgenis, pure and clene. 

Be attendaunt contynuelly to abyde, 

Alle clad in white, smytt fuUe of steri'is schene ; 

And to declare what thei wold mene. 

Unto the kyng withe fulle grete reverence 

Thes were thre gilftes shortly in sentence : — 

" God the endew withe a croune of glory ; 

And withe septre of clennes and pitee, 

And withe a swerd of myghte and victory. 

And withe a mantelle of prudens clad thou be : 

A scheld of feithe for to defende the, 

An helme of helthe wroughte to thyne encreses, 

Gyrt withe a gyrdelle of love and parfite pees." 


Thes vij. virgens, of sighte most hevenly, 

Withe hert, body, and handes rejoyseng, 

And of ther cheris aperid murely, 

For the kynges gracios home coniyng; 

And fFor gladnes they began to syng, 

Most aungelyk with hevenly armony, 

This same roundelle wiche I schalle now specify. 

" Sovereigne lord, welcome to youre citee ! 
Welcome oure joye, and oure hertes plesaunce ! 
Welcome oure gladness, welcome oure suffisaunce ! 
Welcome I welcome ! righte welcome mot ye be! 
Singyng to fForn thi rialle majeste, 
We say ofFte hert, withowte variaunce, 
Sovereigne lord, welcome, welcome ye be ! 

" Meire, citezins, and alle the comynalte, 

Att youre home comyng now owghte of Fraunce, 

Be grace relevyd of ther old grevaunce, 

Sing this day, withe grete solempnite, 

Sovereigne lord, welcome to youre citee I " 

Thus resseyved, an esy pase riding. 

The kyng is intered into this citee ; 

And in Cornhille, anone at his commyng, 

To do plesaunce to his majeste, 

A tabernacle surmontyng of beaute 

Ther was ordeyned, be fulle ffresshe entayle, 

Richele arrayed withe rialle apparaylle. 

lydgate's minor poems. 11 

This tabernacle of most magnyfycence 
Wlias of his byldyng verry imperialle, 
Made for the lady dame Sapience, 
To-fore whos face, most statly and rialle, 
Were the vij. science callyd liberealle. 
Round aboughte as makyd is memory, 
Wiche never departyd ffrom her consystory. 

First ther whas Gramer, as I reherse cane, 
CheefF fFounderesse and roote of alle connyng, 
Wiche had afore her old Precyane ; 
And Logyk had afore her stondyng 
Arestotylle most clerkly desputyng ; 
And Retoryk had eke in her presence 
Tulyus, callyd " Mirrour of Eloquence." 

And Musik had, voyde of alle discord, 

Boece her clerk, withe hevenly armony. 

And instruraentes alle of oon accorde ; 

For to practyse withe sugrid melody. 

He and his scolers ther wittis did apply, 

Withe touche of strengis, on organs eke pleyeng, 

Ther craft to schew at comyng of the kyng. 

And Arsmetryk, be castyng of nombrary, 

Chees Pyktegoras for her parte. 

Called chef clerk to governe her library, 

Euclyde toke mesures, be craft of Gemytre, 

And alder-highest tooke Astronomye 

Albmusard last withe her of sevyn, 

With instrumentis that raught up into hevyn. 


The cheef princes callid Sapience, 

Had to-forn her writen this scripture, 

" Kynges," quod sche, " most of excellense, — 

By me they regne and most in joye endure, 

For thorow my helpe and my besi cure, 

To encrese ther glorye and hie renoune, 

They schalle of wisdam have full posscssione." 

And, in the ffrount of this tabernacle, 

Sapience a scripture gan devise, 

Abylle to be red withowghte a spectakle, 

As yong kynges seyeng in this wise, 

" Understondith and lernytlie of the wise. 

On righte remembryng the highe lord to queme, 

Sith ^e be jugis other folk to derae." 

Ferthermore the mater dothe devise, 
The kyng procedyng forthe upon his way, 
Kome to the Condyte made in cercle w ise, 
Whom to resceyve ther whas made no delay. 
And middes above, in fFuUe riche aray, 
Ther satt a child off beaute precellyng, 
Middes of the trone, rayed lyke a kyng. 

Whom to governe, ther were figured tweyne, 

A lady Mercy satt on his righte side, 

On his righte hond, yef I schuld not fayle, 

A lady Trouthe his domysto provide. 

The lady Clennes aloft did abyde. 

Off God ordeigned in the same place, — 

The kynges trone strongly to embrace. 

lydgate's minor poems. T3 

For be the sentence of prudent Salaman, 

Mercy and right kepyng every kyng, 

And clemence kepte be reson, 

His myghti trone ffroni rayschef and fallyng ; 

And raakithe it strong withe long abydyng ; 

For I dar say thees sayd ladyes thre 

A kyng preserve in long prosperite. 

Than stood also, afore the sayd kyng, 

Two jugis withe full hihe noblesse, 

Vii). sergeauntes, echon presentyng, 

For comyn profite, dome, and rightewisnes. 

Withe this scripture in every raannys sighte, 

" Honor of kyng, wiche I schalle expresse, 

Of comyn custome, lovithe equitc and righte." 

Kyng David wrote, the sawter berithe wittnes, 

" Lord God," quod he, " thy dome yeve to the kyng," 

And yefF thy trouthe and rightewisnes ; 

The kynges sone here in his levyng. 

To us declaryng, as by ther wrytyng. 

That kynges, princes, schuld abou5t hem drawe 

Folk that be trew, and well expert in the lawe. 

The kyng fforthe riding enterid into Chepe, 

A lusty place, a place of alle delites, 

Come to Condyte were, as cristall stoon, 

The watyr ranne lyke wellis of Paradise, 

The holsom lycor, fuUe riche and of gret prise, 

Lyke to the watyr of Archideclyne, 

Wiche be raeracle were turned into wyne. 

14 lydgate's minor poems. 

Thetes wiche is of water chef Godcles, 
Had of the welle pouer noone ne myghte, 
For Bochous schowed ther his fulsomnes 
Off holsome wynes to every maner wighte ; 
For wyne of nature makithe liertes lyghte, 
Wherfor Bachus, att reverence of the kyng, 
Shedd out his plentc at his home comyng. 

Wyne is a lycor of grate recreacioun, 

That day presentyd in tokyn of alle gladnesse, 

Unto the kyng of fFamous of highe renoun, 

From texile alle maner hevinesse ; 

For withe his comyng, the dede berithe witnesse. 

Out of the lond he put awey alle trobelle, 

And made of newe oure joies to be dobelle. 

Eke att thes wellys there were virginis thre, 
Wiche drew of wyne up joye and of plesaunce, 
Mercy and Grace, ther suster eke Pitee, 
Mercy mynestered wynes of attemperaunce ; 
Grace sched the lycour of good governance. 
And Pitee proferred, withe fFulle good ffoyson, 
Wynes of comfort and consolation. 

The wyne of Mercy staunchithe be nature 
The gredy thristis of cruelle hastynes, 
Grace withe her lycour cristallyne and pure 
Deiferrithe vengeaunce offfFuriose woodnes, 
And Pite blemeshithe the swerd of rightewisne ;— 
Covenable wellys most holsom of savour, 
For to be tasted of every governour. 

lydgate's minor poems. 15 

O, how these wellis, whoso take good hede, 

Withe her lycoros most holsome to attaine, 

Affore devised notabely indede 

For to accordyne with the maiers name,* 

Wiche by report of his worthi fame. 

That way whas besy in alle his governaunce, 

Unto the Kyng for to do plesaunce. 

Ther wher eke treen, withe levys ffresshe of hewe, 
Alle tyme of yere, fuUe of frutis lade, 
Of colour hevenly, and ever i-liche newe, 
Orengis, aimondis, and the pome-garnade, 
Lymons, datez, ther colors ffresshe and glade, 
Pipus, quinces, blaunderelle, to disport, 
And the pome-cedre corageos to recomfort. 

Eke the frutis wiche more comon be, 
Quenyngez, pechis, costardes, etiam wardons, 
And other many fulle faire and ffresshe to see ; 
The pome-watyr, and the gentylle ricardons ; 
And ageyns hertis fFor mutigacions, 
Damysyns wiche withe her taste delyte, 
Fulle grete plente bothe of blak and white. 

And beside this graciose paradise, 
And joy and gladnes for to multeplye, 
Two old men, fFull circumspecte and wise, 
Ther didd appere lyke fFolkes of fFayre, 
The tone was Ennok, the toder whas Eiye, 
The kyng presentyng ther giftes ful notable, 
That God conferme his state ay to be stabylle. 
* [John Welles.] 

16 lydgate's minor poems. 

The first seyd, withe benigne chere, 

Gretely desireng his prosperitc, 

That noon enmyes have in him povvere, 

Nor that no child be falce iniquite 

Parturbed never his felicite ; 

Thus old Ennok the processe gan welle telle, 

And prayd for the kyng, os he rod be the welle. 

Afftyr Elyas, withe his lokkes hore, 

Seyd welle devoutly, lokyn on the kyng, 

" God conserve the, and kepe the evermore," 

And make him blissed, here in erthe levyng, 

And preserve him in alle manner thing. 

And specially amongis kyngis alle, 

In enmyes handis that he nevir ffalle. 

And att fFrountor of thees welles clere, 

Ther whas a scripture commendyng ther lycour,- 

" je schall draw wateris, withe good chere, 

Oute of wellis of oure Saviour, 

Wiche have vertu to curen alle langueres, 

Be influence of her grete swettness, 

Hertis avoydyng of alle ther hevyness." 

Than ffrome these wellis of fFulsome abundaunce, 
Withe ther lycoures, as eny cristalle clene, 
The kyng rood forth, withe sober contenaunce, 
Toward a castelle bylt of jasper grene, 
Upon whos towris the sonne schone fulle schene. 
The clerly schewed, be noble remembraunce, 
This kyriges title of Englond .ind of Fraunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 1 7 

Twoo grene treene there grewe uprighte, 
Fro Seynt Edward and iFro Seynt Lowys, 
The roote I take palpable to the sighte, 
Conveyed be lynes be kynges of grete prise ; 
Sora bare leopardis, and som bare fflouredelice, 
In nowther armes found Avhas ther no lak, 
Wiche the vj.*® Herry may now bere on his bak. 

The degre be just successioune, 

As trew cronycles trewly determyne, 

Unto the kyng is now descended doune, 

From ether parte righte as eny lyne ; 

Upon M'hos hede now ffresshely dothe schyne 

Two riche crounys most sovereing of plesaunce, 

To bring in peese bitwene Englond and Fraunce. 

Upon this castelle unto the thoder side 

Ther whas a tree, wiche sprang oujt of Jesse, 

Ordeyned of God ffulle long to abyde, — 

David crounyd ffirst for his humilite, 

The braunchis conveyed, as men myght see, 

Lyneally and in the genelogie. 

To Crist Jhesu that whas born of Mary. 

And why the Jesse whas sett on that party, 

This whas the cause in especialle. 

For next to Poulys, I dar welle specify, 

Is the party most chef and principalle, 

Called be Londone the chirche cathedralle, 

Wiche ought of resone the devise to excuse. 

To alle tho that wold ageyn it ffroune or musee. 

18 lydoate's minor poems. 

And fFro that castelle the kyng fForthe gan him dresse 

Towarde Poulys, chiefF chirche of this citee, 

And att Condite a lytelle and a lykenes, 

In devisible made of the trinite, 

A trone compassid of his rialle see, 

Abowte wiche schortly to conclude, 

Of hevenly aungelys were a grete multitude. 

To whom whas yoven a precepte in scripture, 

Wrote in the ffrountor of the highe stage. 

That they schuld done theire besy cure. 

To kepe the kyng sure from alle damage, 

In his lifF here duryng alle his age, 

His highe renoune to sprede and schine fferre, 

And of these too remes to sesse the mortalle werre. 

And last was wry ten in the ffrontures, 

" I schalle fFuUefille him withe joy and habundaunce, 

And withe lengthe of holsom yeris, 

And I schalle schew him myne help withe alle ple- 

And of his liegis fFeithefFulle obeisaunce, [saunce, 

And multiplie and ecrese his lyne, 

And make his noblesse thorowoute the world to schyne. 

" Love of his people, ffavour of alle straungeris, 

In bothe his remes pees, and rest, and unite, 

Be influence of the ix. speris, 

Long to contynew in his rialle see, 

Grace to cherishe the mayr and the cite, 

Long in his mynde to be conceyved, 

Here God wolle that day he whas resseyved." 

lydgate's minor poems. 19 

Comyng to Poulys, ther he lighte a doune, 
Entered the chirche fFuUe demure of chere, 
And ther to mete him withe procession 
"Whas the erchebisshope and the chauncellere, 
Lyncolne, and Bathe, of hoole hert and entire, 
Salisbury, Norwiche, and Ely, 
In pontificalle arrayed richely. 

Ther whas the bisshope of Rouchester allso. 

The dene of Poulys, the chanons everychon, 

Of dew OS thei oughte to doo, 

On procession withe the kyng to goon, 

And thoughe I canne not reherse hem on by oone, 

3et dar I sey, as in ther entent. 

To do theyre dever fuUe treuly they ment. 

Lyke ther estatis forthe thei gan procede, 

Withe observauncez longyng for a kyng, 

Solemplye gan him conveye in dede 

Up into the chirche withe fulle devoute singing ; 

And whan he had made his offeryng. 

The maier, the citizius, aboode and left him noujt. 

Unto Westmynster tylle they had him brought. 

Where alle the covent, in copys richely, 

Met withe him off custume as they oughte. 

The abbot afftyr most solemplye, 

Amonges the relykkes the septure ought he soughte 

Of Seynt Edward, and to the kyng it broughte, 

Thoughe it were long, large, and of grete wighte. 

Yet on his schulderis he bare it on heighte. 


20 lydgate's minor poems. 

Into the mynsteris while alle the bellys rong, 
Till he kome to the highe auter, 
And fulle devoutly Te Deum ther whas song. 
And the peple, glad of looke and chere, 
Thanked God with alle her hertis entere, 
To se their kyng withe two crownys schyne, 
From two trewes trewly fet the lyne. 

And aftyr that, this is the verray sothe. 

Unto his paleys of kyngly apparaille, 

Withe his lordis the kyng forthe gothe, 

To take his rest after his travayle ; 

And than of wisdome, wiche may so moche avayle, 

The mayer, the citezins, wiche alle this did see, 

Bethe home repayred into her citee. 

The schirevis, the aldermen in fere, 

The Saterday alther nexte sewyng. 

Their meyer presentyd, withe alle ther hertis entere. 

Goodly to be resceyved of the kyng ; 

And att Westmynster confermed their askyng, 

The meyre and thei withe fulle hoole entent. 

Unto the kyng a gifFt gan present. 

The wiche gyfte they goodly han disposed, 

Tooke an hampyr of gold that schene schone, 

A M^ pound of gold therin closyd, 

And ther withalle to the kyng they gone. 

And ffylle on knees to-forne him everychone, 

Fulle humblye the trouthe to devise, 

And to the kyng the meier sayd on this wise : — 

lydgate's minor poems. 21 

" Most cristene prince and noble kyng, the good folke 
of youre most notable cite of Londone, other clepyd 
youre Chamber, beseching in her most lowly wise, 
thei mowe be recommaundyd unto youre highenes; 
and that it cane lyke unto youre noble grace to 
resceyve this litelle gift, gefFen withe a good wille of 
trouthe and loughenes, as ever eny gyfft whas 3oven to 
eny erthely prince." 

Be glad, O Londone, be glad and make grete joy ! 

Citee of citees, of noblesse precellyng, 

In thi begynneng callyd new Troy, 

For worthinesse thank God of alle thing, 

Wiche hast this day resceyved so thy kyng, 

Withe many a signe and many an observaunce, 

To encress thi name be newe remembraunce. 

Suche joy whas nat in the consistori, 

Made for the triumple withe alle the surpluage, 

Whane Sesar Julius kom home withe his viciory, 

Ne for the conquest of Sipion in Carthage, 

As London made, in every maner age, 

Oute of Fraunce att home komyng, 

Into this citee of their noble kyng. 

Of vij. thingis I prayse this cite, 

Of trew menyng and fFeytheffuUe observaunce. 

Of rightewissnes, trouthe, and equite, 

Off stabylnes, ay kept in lyegeaunce, 

And fFor of vertu thou hast suche suffisaunce, 

In this land here and other landes alle, 

The kynges chamber of custura men it calle. 

22 i.ydgate''s minor poems, 

O noble meyer, be it unto your plesaunce, 
And to alle that duelle in this cite, 
On my rudnesse and on rayne ignorance, 
Of grace and mercy for to have pitee,- 
My simple makyng for to take at gree, 
Considre this that in most lowly wise, 
My wille were good for to do yow servise. 


From MS. Q. r. 8, fol. 25, in the Library of Jesus College, 
Cambridge. Other copies are in MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 15; MS. 
Harl. 2255, fol. 3 ; and MS. Ashm. 59. 


Lat no man bost of konning nor vertue, 

Of tresoure, riches, nor of sapience. 
Of worldly support ; for all cometh of Jhesu — 

Conseul, confort, discrecion, and prudence. 
Provysion for sight and provydence, 

Like as the Lorde of Grace list dispose ; 
Some man hath wisdome, some man hath eloquence: 

All stant in chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

Holsom in smelling be the swete floures. 

Full dilectable outwarde to the sight ; 
The thorne is sharp kevered with fresshe colours ; 

All is not golde that outward shewith bright. 


A stokefissh boon in dirkenes 3eveth a light ; 

Tvvene fayre and foule, as God list to dispose ; 
A difference betwix day and nyght : 

All stant in chaunge like a raydsomer rose. 

Floures open upon every grene, 

When the larke, messengere of day, 
Salveth the uprist of the sonne shene, 

Most amerously in April and in INIay. 
And Aurora, ageyne, the morowe gray, 

Causith the daysy hir croune to unclose, 
Worldly gladnes is mailed with affray : 

All stant in change like a mydsomer rose. 

Atwene cokkovve and the nyghtingale 

There is a maner of straunge difference ; 
On fressh braunches syngith the wodvvale ; 

Jayes in musike have small experience ; 
Clatering pyes, whan tha come in presence, 

Most malapert there verdit to purpose ; 
All thing hath favoure, breifly in sentence, 

Of soft or sharpe, like a mydsomer rose. 

The royall lyon lete call a perlement, 

All beestes aboute hym every on ; 
The wolf of malys, being ther present. 

Upon the lambe compleynyd ageyn reson, — 
Saide he maade his water unholsom, 

His tender stomake to hinder and undispose, — 
Ravynours reyng the innocent is borne downe : 

All stant in chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 


All worldly thing braidith upon tyrae ; 

The Sonne chaungith, so doth the pale mone ; 
The aureat noumbre in kalenders set for prime ; 

Fortune is double, dooth favour for no boone. 
And who that hath with that queue to doon, 

Contraiouslj' she will his chaunge dispose ; 
Who sittith highest moost like to fall soon : 

All stant in chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

The golden chayre of Phebus in the eyre 

Chasith mistis blake, that thay dar not appere ; 
At whos uprist mounteyns be maade so feyre. 

As thei w^ere newly gilt with his bemys clere. 
The night doth folowe, appallith all his chere, 

Whan Western wawis his stremys overdose ; 
Reken all beaute, all fresshnes that is here, — 

All stant in chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

Constreynt of colde makith floures dare 

With winter frostes, that thei dar not appere ; 
All clad in russet, the soil of grene is bare ; 

Tellus and Ymo be duUid of theire chere. 
By revolucion and turnyng of the yere, 

A gery march his stondis doth disclose ; [clere, 

Nowe reyne, nowe storme, nowe Phebus bright and 

All stant in chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

Where is nowe David, the moost worthy kyng 
Of Juda and Israel, moost famous and notable ? 

And where is Salamon, moost sovereyn of kunning, 
Richest of bj'^lding, of tresoure incomperable ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 25 

Face of Absolon, moost fayre, moost amable ? 

Reken up ichoon, of trouth make no glose ; 
Reken up Jonathas, of frenship immutable ; 

All stant in chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

Where is Julius, proudest in his empire, 

With his triumphes moost imperiall ? 
Where is Pirrus, that was lord and sire 

Of Ynd, in his estate royall ? 
And where is Alexander, that eonquerid all, 

Failed laiser his testament to dispose ; 
Nabigodonosor, or Sadociopall ? 

All stant in chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

Where is Tullius with his sugrid tonge, 

Or Crisostomus with his golden mouthe ? 
The aureat dytees, that he rade and songe, 

Of Omerus in Grece, both North and South ? 
The tragides divers and unkouth 

Of morall Senec, the misteries to unclose, 
By many example is full koutli ; 

All stant on chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

Where been of Fraunce all the dozepiere, 

W'hich in Gaule had the governaunce ; 
Vowis of pecok, with all ther proude chere ; 

The worthy nyne, with all ther high bobbaunce ; 
Trojan knyghtes, grettest of allyaunce ; 

The flees of golde eonquerid in Colchos ; 
Rome and Cartage, moost soverayn of puisaunce? 

All stant on chaunge like a mydsomer rose. 

26 lydgate'h minor poems. 

Put in a som all marciall policy I 

Complete in Affrike and boundis of Cartage ; 
The Theban legeon, exsaumple of Chyvalry, 

At Rodomus ryver was expert there corage. 
Ten thousand knyghtes, borne of grete parage, 

The martirdorae rade in metre and prose ; 
The golden crowncs raaade in the hevenly stage 

Fressher then lilies, or ony somer rose. 

The remembraunce of every famous knyght, — 

Ground considred bilt on rightwissnes ; 
Rais oute iche quarell that is not bilt on right ; 

Withoute trouth what vailith high noblesse ? 
Laurear of martirs, foundid on holynes ! 

White was maade reede there triumphes to disclose; 
The white lillye was thei'e chaast clennes ; 

Theire blody sufferaunce was no somer rose. 

It was the rose of the blody felde ; 

Rose of Jhericho that grue in Bedlera ; 
The fyve rosis portraid in the shelde, 

Splaid in the baner at Jherusalem. 
The Sonne was clips and dirke in every reme, 

Whan Crist Jhesu five wellys list unclose, 
Toward Paradise, callid the reede streme, 

Of whos five woundes prynte in your herte a rose. 

lydgate's minor poems. 27 


The following poem is one of the best specimens of Lydgate's 
composition. It is taken from MS. Harl. 372, fol. 45-51 ; and is, 
I believe, the only copy of it known to exist. The subject is a 
very favourite one of the time, and a somewhat similar poem was 
printed by Wynkyn de Worde, under the title of " The Com- 
plainte of them that ben to late maryed." 


A PHiLosoPHRE, a good clerk seculer, 
Had a frend that sumwhat was aged, 
In suche tyraes as wyttes wex under, 
Whiche frend of his was at last encoraged, 
By flateres that by plesaunce hym faged, 
To have a wife, as happethe oftyne tyme, 
Where that requethe this fage this sory cryrae. 

And yet the man wolde his counsel take. 
Of his trewe frende, the clerk that I of tolde, 
Whiche was fill fayne feithful counsel to make, 
For he was scient, expert, and ful bolde ; 
And spared nat the man thouhe he were olde, 
For he set not by his wrethe a whistel. 
But wrot to hym this esuyng epistel. 

Myn olde dere frend, whi aske ye me counsaile ? 
If ye shal wedde to plesaunce of your lif. 

28 lydgate's minor poems. 

Fayne wolde ye wyte, if it were for availe 
For you to have a goodly one to wyf, — 
Yong, flVesshe, and fiiir, to stynt almaner strif, 
To your semyng, and ye be ronne in age, 
Which other men calle bondage and dotage. 

Take good leyser or thou have mariage, 

Be avised on Justynes counsail. 

The long cart offte hath hevy cariage, 

War placebo, leave hym for thine avail. 

After the knot it helpeth nat to bewail, 

Thanne is to late to sey, if I had wiste, 

Thynk on the end thouhe never so muche the liste. 

Remembre wele on olde January, 

Whiche maister Chauuceres ful seriously descry vethe. 

And on fresshe May, and how Justyne did vary, 

Fro placebo, but yet the olde man wy vethe; 

Thus sone he wexethe biynde, and than outhryvethe 

Fro worldly joye, for he sued bad doctryne ; 

Thenk on Damyan, Pluto, and Proserpyne, 

Thenk wisely thus, I have but yeres fewe, 

And feble I am, and febler shal bee ; 

If it me happe be coupled to a shrewe, 

My dayes are done, I may not flyt ne flee ; 

To shorte my lif and make bonde that was free, 

Become prentise and uewe to go to scole ; 

Why shulde I so than, were I but a fole? 

lydgate's minor poems. 29 

Thou seist to me that she is ful demure, 
And for thi luf dothe moorne, weepe, and sihe ; 
I say an hauke comethe oftyn unto lure, 
Whan that a kyte atal wol not come nyghe ; 
A curre berkethe and fleethe for he is slighe, 
The tauht grehound may sone be ledde away, 
Wepyng is vvayt, vengeable this no nay. 

Thou answerist me, thou maist none other do ; 
I sey to the, thou myhtest if thou wolde ; 
Thou seist ageyne, eonstreyned I am therto ; 
And I sey efte, that many a coke is colde 
Whiche is aged ; and many a cok is olde 
On the dungehil, and mayntenethe al his flokke, 
But alle oure eyren comen of the yong cokke. 

Thou seist me thus, now in my tyme of age 
I am feble, and need good help to have, 
To keep my good ; I sey thou seist dotage, 
Seest thou not ofte a wedowe wed a knave ; 
And that the good man hadde that shal he have. 
At least the yong that can hym well bestere, 
Thus may thi man at thi pelouhe appere. 

Is ther no man that thou may on truste 

To keep thi good ? is no man trewe at al ? 

Ful ofte a wife is a broken poste, 

And he that lenethe may lihtly cache a fal : 

One prively she lovethe in especial; 

Whan the man deiethe, ful often tyme is scene, 

Riht sone aftyr, ho before loved hathe beene. 

30 i.ydgate's minor poems. 

Bethenk on this the fal of thi colour, 

Thy skyn sumtyme was ful, now is it slakke, 

For eyen and nose the nedethe a mokadour, 

Or sudary ; now coorbed is thi bakke ; 

Or sone shal bene as pedeler to his pakke, 

Thi chekes hangen, thyn eyene wax read as wyne. 

And wel belyned with good read tartaryne. 

Thy raone pynnes bene lyche old yvory, 

Here are stumpes feble and her are none, 

Holes and gappes iher are, I nowe for why, 

The harpe discordethe for the pynnes are gone, 

Two and thretty made of ful myhti bone, 

Whiche thou had erst telle, weel and see what failethe. 

And loke aboute to wive if it availlethe. 

Loke sone after a potent and spectacle. 
Be not ashamed to take hem to thyn ease, 
And than to wyving be thou nat racle, 
Beware of hast thouhe she behest to please. 
For whil she levethe thou lyvest but in disease. 
And castethe one to chese to hir delite, 
That may better astaunche hir appetite. 

And where thou seist thou hast a stomak colde, 
Therfore thou must have one to lig thei'too, 
For to be sekyr, not to be cokolde, — 
Hete thi pelow, this counsel I the to doo ; 
And no invencle, for if thou say thus loo, 
Yong womraan may do more than fyere heet. 
She thynketh thi colde for hir is nothing meet. 

lydgate's minor poems. 31 

Thou tellest me ofte that thouhe thou aged be, 

Thou hast gret lust and that thou felest wele. 

Abated sone may it be, telle I the, 

Sone hast thou done, it is not worthe a dele : 

Ful esily thou may thi corage kele, 

Be nat to hasty to venge the on thi foo, 

Rise up, go walk, and than is al a goo. 

Thou seist thou haddist in yong age wantonnesse, 

Therfore in olde age the nedithe have trewe spousaille. 

Canst thou no better come to holynesse. 

Than lese thiself al for a tikeltaylle ? 

Ful wery wil she be for hir avaylle. 

For lust and good if summe better can pay. 

Whereby she bidethe thi passage every day. 

War the sicknesse that called is the pank, 
A terme of court for the tide bitte no man, 
A maladie called male de flank, 
A bocche that nedeth a good cirurgian ; 
And but he be, she woi have men that can. 
That hathe the crafte and the kunnyng pure, 
To make a parfytt and a redy cure. 

Thou tolde me, frende, I herd it of thiselfe, 

That thou kneuhest one, nameles of me as nowhe, 

Unsatisfied a day in tymes twelfe. 

Whan xij. plowmen ered at the plowhe 

She had sikenesse, I wot not where nen houhe, 

But thou caliedest it the fevere of the crevil, 

Nyne tyme a nyhte she had the wicked evyl. 

32 lydcatk's minor poems. 

Put nat the wyte of this tale upon me, 

That I forged it upon my hed, 

For I herd it first of al of the, 

And than of othere ful oftc in many a steed. 

Many an ave, and many an hooly beed, 

Mylit thou say, and praye for them niay, 

If thou myht wynne so fair a wcddyng day. 

Thi lusty leapes of thi coragious age, 
Thei are agoo thi rennyng and thi trippes, 
In thi forehed fele fridayes this no fage, 
Farwele the rudde that was upon thi lippes ; 
Unweldy wol thei be, bothe knees and hippes, 
Fele wel thiself, and parceyve every dele. 
For wommans eye al this parceyvethe well. 

Thei can ful wele aspye in every syde, 
He berethe a name of godes and richesse, 
Thouhe she be yong, yet wol she wele abide. 
Uncoupled to a fresshe man of innesse, 
And take a buffard riche of gret vilesse. 
In hope that he shal sterve withynne a while, 
After to have a yong one al bygyle. 

Than is ther crafte, whan she begynne to feyne 
As thowhe she loved the olde man al of herte, 
Halsethe and kissethe and wol hym not M'ith-seyne, 
But flaterethe fast that goode now nat asterte ; 
But she have al than, thouhe he be nat querte, 
But turn up too and caste his clook away, 
That is to sey she carethe nat thouhe he dey. 

lydgate's minor poems. 33 

She wol the chastise, if thou love honeste ; 
Voydyng slaundre, wyte the of gelousye ; 
Doute nat than but rebuked siialt thou be, 
She wol make men wonder on thi bodye ; 
Liche confessoures thei wil rowne pryvelye 
With other men, as it were gret counsail, 
Long and often ; war than the countertaile. 

Wenest thou nat ther wol be niekil stryve, 

Who shal have maistrie and the sovereynte, 

By trewe conquest betwix the and thi wife. 

Who shal prevail ? for sothe it wol be she ! 

Elles pease and rest out of thine hous shal lie, 

And mydny the, matynes, evensong, prime, and houres, 

She wol the syng and weepe, sharp are thoo shoures ! 

And yet summe wyves wol fallen to consent 
Men to be maistres, so wommen have her wille ; 
That must nede be, or elles harm shal be hent, 
The husband must his wyves wille fulfille ; 
And who so yevethe counsel but not ther-tille. 
She makethe hym werer, for sume haten ful sore 
Such as ther husbondes loven and no man more. 

Ther was a wife that vii. husbandes hadde, 
And for vj. she wepte nat whan thei deied ; 
But for the sevent she wept and was ful sadde, 
Wherefore hir neighbures merveyled, and hir preied 
To telle the cause, and thus to hem she seied, — 
"I may wele weep, and cause I have ther- to 
To care and moorne, with me standethe so. 



" Of vj. husbandcs whan thei were on bere, 

Was never none that passed unto grave, 

But I M'as purveied, whil he lyved here. 

Of a newe one ; but now, so God me save I 

I am onpurveyed, and wot never whom to have ; 

Thus must I raoorne, for I am destitute, 

For now no man to me makethe onj' sute ! " 

Lol lo ! my frend, take tent to this womman, 

That sex tymes had such purveyaunce ; 

Siker betymes, as many of them can, 

And namely in this case of chevysaunce, 

Make thou no doute but thou may leed the daunce 

Of Makabre, and the mene-while thi wife 

Is syker of suche as she loved in thi life. 

She wol perhappous raaken hir avowe, 
That she wol take the mantle and the ry ng, 
Whil thou levest, whan she knowethe wel y-nowe, 
Thou shalt be dede and have thi buryeng ; 
But yet she takethe the man and eek the thynge. 
And hir husband disceyvethe, alias ! meschaunce ! 
Til she be syker of goode to hir pleasaunce. 

Thi wif wol be ful wyly, douht it nouhte. 

She lokethe aboute whil thou lyvest here^, 

Where hir acquytaunce is, it shal be souhte. 

Most goodly persone, most leve and dere, 

That hir best likethe ; and whan thou art on bere, 

She thynkethe wel that one is yet alvve. 

That she mowe truste wol have hir unto wy ve. 

lydgate's minor poems. 85 

Thus is she recly, whanever it shal befalle, 

Ther is hir mynde til manage be made. 

Par case thi men in mynde she kepethe hem alle, 

Perhappous one is loved that wol not fade ; 

She cherisshethe hym, to hym hir hert is glade, 

He bidethe, she bidethe, at last the knot is knyt, 

Thei have thi good ; lewde man, wher is thi wytte ? 

Puraventure thou hatest thi servaunt, 
Puraventure thi wife she lovethe hym best, 
Puraventure with good she wol hym daunt, 
And meryly he shal slepe in thy nest ; 
Whan thou art dead, in thi bed shal he rest ; 
And he and she shal have lond, fee, and foode: 
Avaunt rebel of the sore goten goode ! 

He is a persone, she thynkethe, of fair figure, — 

A yong rotour, redy to hir pleasier, 

Hyr eyen she fixethe on him, this is ful sure, 

And lokkethe hym in hir herte hoote as fier, — 

And seethe the olde, hir colde and cowherand syer ; 

Thou gost thi ways into a fer cuntre, 

Thi lewde servaunt thi successour shal be. 

She wol ordeyne by menes ful dyvers, 

That the kyng, or som gret lord, shal wryte 

To hir lettres, hir hert ful sore to pers, 

Coriously and craftly to endyte 

For him, to whom was hir appetite, 

Beforn yoven, peraventure, many a day, 

Askauns she may nat to the lettres sey nay. 

D 2 

36 [.ydgate's minor poems. 

This is tlie wyle of the vvomman wyly, 

For she vvol have hir wille at al hir lust ; 

Thou wenest vvel but she is ful gyiy, — 

Thou art decey ved vvhanne thou best gynnest to trust ; 

Thou thynkest hir poUisshed whan she is ful of rust, 

Whil thou art here in hert she cherisshethe other, 

As thou he it were hir cosyn or liir brother. 

But be wel ware of feyned cosynage. 

And gossiprede, and myhte of mayntenaunce, 

And lordes lettres, and ravisshyng, and rage. 

For these are coloures and menes of mysehaunce, 

Wherby thi wif shal have to hir plesaunce 

One or other, suche as she list to have 

In dyverse wise, whan thou art gone to grave. 

To make herof a confirmacioun, 

Lo ! here a tale, and prynte it in thi mynde. 

Of a riche man who, by commoun relacioun, 

Had gret power and myhte, both lose and bynde, 

[n his cuntree ; yet, after cours of kynde. 

He was aged, and drouhe unto dotage, 

As olde men done that drawe to mariage. 

At last ther was one aspired oute, 

Goodly of port, that had experience 

Wel of the world, that semed ful devoute, 

Humble, sobre, nortured with reverence, — 

A fair woraman, save that indigence 

She was sumdele, that is for to say, 

She was nat riche and she was nat to gay. 

lydgate's minor poems. 37 

This man was called Decembre of name. 
And gan to feble moche as age it wolde, 
But the woman kept hir out of blame, 
Ful wilyly, riht lusty, and not olde ; 
Hir name was July, hardly she was not colde, 
By cause of age, and feat was hir array, 
And after good she longed nyhte and day. 

He had knowlage of hir bi his espyes, 
And gat leiser to se hir prevylye. 
And spak with hir y-nowlie onys or twyes. 
And askid hir if she myht feithfullie 
Luf him of herte, and, morover, fynallye 
Become his wife, by spousayle fortunate, — 
Notwitbstandyng his richesse and estate. 

And with that worde she fel ful humbely 

Unto the grounde, and seid, " wold God of myhte 

" I had be borne, by influence hevenly. 

So fortunate, that I myhte of rihte 

Do trewe servyce, as ancille ever in sihte 

Unto hir lord, and spare for non age, 

Wliiche was never apt to suche a mariage I 

" For to be coupled to so hihe astate, 
I am unable, I am not apt thereto. 
So to presume, but that erly and late 
It sittethe me vvele in other wise to do ; 
That if ye had a wife, yf it were so. 
That gelosesye wold not me disdeyne, 
I wolde hir serve and you and hir obevne." 

J 5°, ^ ^^ 7 


Whan this was seide, iiis hert began to melt, 
For veray sweme of this swemeful tale ; 
Aboute his hert he thoughte he gan to swelt, 
So loved he hir, he wex bothe colde and pale ; 
And from his eyen the terys fel cleere and smale, 
As aged men wol lightly weep for routhe, 
Andseid, -'my luf, gramercy, up my trouthe. 

" Save for iij. thynges that I am gylty inne, 
Shulde never erdely thyng maw make me lette, 
But that I wolde our mariage begynne, 
Which iij. thynges have me aside so sette, 
Fro al spousail withe wheche never yet I mette, 
So that as yet alle wedlok I denye. 
For whiche iij. thynges I can no remedye." 

" No remedy," quod she, " God it forbede, — 
That were mervail and a wonder thyng, 
Unto a sore with salve men must take hede, 
And for sikenesse men medycyne must bryng. 
I praye you, lorde, yf it be your likyng, 
Telle me alle thre, and a confortatife 
And remedye I shal make, up my life." 

And with this worde he wex glad in his hert, 

And wex mery and bolde to telle alle oute, 

As Sampson did, whil he weis hole and quert. 

When Dalida compassed him aboute, 

That Philistees ran in upon a route, 

And for al strengthe that Gad yaf hym before, 

Thei hym captived, whereby he was y-lore. 

lydgate's minor poems. 39 

This man for trust of femynyne promysse, 

Wolde telle out alle, in semblable wise, 

" For sotlie," quod he," ij. thynges ther been amysse 

That I wol telle, bene of a sory syse, 

I am sone wrothe and angry, this my guyse. 

The secund is ful wrothe withoutyn cause. 

These tweyne foul thynges are closid in a clause." 

Quod she, " Good lorde, can ye no remedye 

For these ij. poyntes, that bene easy and smale ; 

In good feithe, sire, I cane ful sone aspye 

Salve for suche sores ; she is a feble female, [tale 

That talkethe suche read ; good lorde, telle on your 

Of your thrid poynt, myn herte mery to make. 

And up my soule I shal al undirtake." 

" The thridde," quod he, " nay I may not for shame ;" 

" Why sir," quod she, " seith on, upon my life." 

" Forsothe," quod he, " as touchinge chambre game, 

It were ful hard for me to have a wife ; 

But I were able, we shuld ever stond in strife; 

And wel I wote that I am impotent. 

Thus must I nedes, alias ! be contynent." 

And with that worde she cauhte hym in hir arraes, 

And halsed hym and kissed hym ful swete ; 

Lo ! suche bene the wyly womens charmes, 

And with his berde he frusshed hir mouthe un-mete. 

Thus sone ayen she fel doun at his fete, 

And seide, " dere lorde, this is the laste of alle 

Your seid iij. poyntes, that rayht here aftyr falle." 


" Ya," quod lie. " Ya, syr, upon my feithe," 

Quod she, " drede nat, I undertake these thre ; 

Chiefly of alle for the third poynt," she seithe, 

" I make Maraiit, for ful on-wise is she 

That cannot counsel in sache jnparte, 

Myn owne dere lorde, take me unto your grace, 

To stande in favours of your weel favoured face." 

" Now than," quod he, " in this condicion, 
To you, dere herte, ray veray trouthe I plihte 
As to my spouse." And, withoute more sermone, 
Thei drouhe handes, as weddyng askethe of rihte ; 
What shuld I lenger tary ? soone was dihte, 
Al that wedlok askethe and spowsayles, 
Al was redy to plesaunt apparailes. 

The day was comen of the solempnyte ; 

What shulde I speke of the feest and array ? 

It were to gret a laboure unto me, 

And my paper it conteyne ne may ; 

But that at laste forthe passed was the day, 

And nyht cam on, and eche man took his leve. 

An unto bed them must whan it was eve. 

The worthi man, as it cam hym of age, 
He toke a slepe, al nyhte he was in rest 
With wery bones, but his wife of corage 
W'olde have be fed, as brid in the nest ; 
She het his bak to halse hym thouhte hir best, 
Eut al for nouhte was al hir contenaunce. 
The man was of a gentle governaunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 41 

And a man of sadde religioun, 

He kept the nyhte in peas and silence. 

He brak no covenaunt nen condicioun. 

That he with hir made first by his prudence ; 

But sobrely he kept his contynence, 

I dare wel sey ther was no speke y-broke. 

Nor wrestelyng wherby he was y-wroke. 

But also pleyne was his bedde at the raorwe, 

As at even so was he nortured wele. 

But the womman was woo, I dare be borwe, 

For cherisshyng was withdrawe every dele ; 

She was hungry and wold have had hir mele, 

As appetyt ran on in hir corage, 

For she smelled flesshe, thouhe it was of age. 

Whan it was day and lihte the chambre spradde, 
She hir bethouhte and seide, " good syr, awake ;" 
She rogged on hym, and was nothyng a-dradde, 
And badde hym turne hym for his wives sake, 
" What, syr," quod she, " wol ye no merthes make 
Of cherisshyng, as other men doon alle, 
When suche neightes of mariage befalle ? " 

He turned hym and herd al hir entente, 

Merveillyng that she suche mater meved. 

Not disposed to ony turnemente, 

He was agast, and in hert was agreved. 

" What, wife I" quod he, " I wend I had beleved. 

And myht have trusted to your iij. remedyes, 

And trewe covenawnt withoute flateryes." 


" Flateries I" quod she, " nay, syr, not soo, 

It is of ernest that I to you seid, 

I wol you telle, or that ye ferther goo, 

Al that I mente I am nothing dismayd ; 

I have you nat begyled nen betrayd, 

As to your poyntes thre thynges spoken in fere, 

I shal rehersen pleynly myne ansvvere. 

" Ye seide to me that ye wolde sone be wrothe, 

I seide ageyn I cowde a remedye, 

That is to sey, be ye never so lothe, 

I wol myself be moche more angrye ; 

Sette one ayeus anothre hardilye, 

And se aboute of that that may you greve, 

For I yef nat of al that wrethe may meve. 

"And where ye sey ye wol be wrothe also, 
Withouten cause, hardily it shal not nede ; 
Ye shal have cause y-nouhe where so ye go, 
In thouhte and worde ye shal not faile indede I 
How long agoo lerned ye, Crist crosse me spede I 
Have ye no more lernyd of youre a b c. 
Whan that ye list ye shal have cause plente. 

" To the thrid poynt of whiche ye gan to meve, 

That was grettest to your jugement, 

And me thouhte it, if ye wol me beleve. 

It the leste of alle that were y-ment ; 

Of chambre werk we carped of assent. 

And wel ye wote by holy chirches lawe, 

Dette must be payd by othe, sothe is this sawe. 

lydgate's minor poems. 4;ti 

" But good fayre sir, God hathe you endued 
With gret richesse, silver, gold, and fee ; 
That if payment of dette be so remewed, 
For noun power that it wol not be, 
Ye may, by godes of your prosperyte, 
Hire one that may fulfille al that in dede ; 
Thus shal we never lak help at al oure nede." 

" Was this your wytte ?" quod the cely man. 

" Ya, sir," quod she, " these oure remedies ; 

Now also mot I thryve ;" and the saide he than, 

" I can nat se, for alle wittes and espyes, 

And craft and kunnyng, but that the male so wryes. 

That no kunnyng may prevayl and appere, 

Ayens a wommans wytt, and hir aunsvvere." 

" Alias," quod he, " this is an insolible; 

If I stroeel, slaundred shal I be ; 

To satisfye it is but impossible, — 

It may not be parformed as for me. 

What eyled me, lord, maryed for to be. 

Or for to trust to promysse femynyne, 

Sithe not is golde al that as golds dothe shyne. 

" Appeles and peres that semen very gode, 

Ful ofte tyme are roten by the core ; 

I myhte be ware, if I hadde not be wode, 

Of Adam, Sampson, and other me before ; 

Davyd, Salamon, in liche wise were y-lore ; 

Eve, Dalida, beauteous Bersabe, 

And concubynes they myhte have warned me. 


" Hut now tlier is no more to saye, 

I se dame July must nedes haf hir wille 1 

It' I dissente, and if I make affray, 

I have the wers, thouhe I have rihte and skylle; 

1 must hir wille ayens my wylle fulfille, 

Evyr leva in shame, and that is al my woo, 

Farewele, fortune, my ioye is al agoo ! " 

Nowe is this tale done, and brouhte to ende, 

Of Januaries brother, and olde Decerabre, 

And of dame July ; wherefore, myn olde dere frende, 

This counseil I, that ye you wol remembre. 

That if ye mowe chastise your carnal membre, 

For to leve soul and keep you contynent, 

Ne weddeth not at al, be myn assent. 

And as for yssu and heyres to youre goode, 
Ther are y-nowe, thouhe ye have none at alle. 
Selle youre godes for coigne that is to goode, 
Do almesse dedes where nede is specialle ; 
And elles, my frende, sey who is he that shalle 
Make you yssu and begete you an heyr. 
That ye your lif ne shorte nen yt appeyr. 

And he that may not keep hyra contynent, 

As seith seynt Poule, lat him wedded be ; 

For better is rather than to be brent 

To be wedded, but, frend, I trowe that ye 

Have no more nede to suche fragilite 

In this youre age, if ye wel discerne. 

Than hathe a blynde man of a brihte lanterne. 

lydgate's minor poems. 45 

And ever thynk wel on this proverb trewe, 

Remembryng on age by ony weye. 

That veray dotage in olde age wol the sevve, 

That the first yere wedlokk is called pleye, 

The second dreye, and the thrid yere deye ; 

This is a mery lif to have amonge. 

It is ful fayre, if ye abide so longe. 

This is the ende of trewe relacioun, 

If thou wol wedde, and to be sette amys, 

If thou therto have gret temptacioun, 

Lifte up thyn handes, and with thi fyngres biysse 

And praye to God, that thou raut thenk on this 

Litel lessoun, and keepeit in tlii mynde, 

And hardly it shal away as wynde. 


Go pety quaier, and war where thou appere. 
In aunter that thou tourne unto displesaunce, 
Of joly bodies, that labouren fer and neer, 
To bryng olde men to her mortal myschaunce: 
To that entente that after variaunce, 
Fro lif to dethe, withinne a litle stounde, 
By sotyl crafte a morsel or pitaunce, 
A rustiler shal sone be redy founde. 

Thy wordes, quayer, ar trewe, this no dowte, 
Wherbi wisemen, if thei wol, may be ware. 


And for popholy and vyce loke wel aboute, 
That rybaudy wol calle thi wordes bare; 
Laboure thiself for to kepe out of snare, 
Cely dotardes, lat this be thyne entent ; 
Farewel and worcke, as ferforthe as thou dare, 
That life and godes take none abreggement. 


This Ballad has been printed by Sir Harris Nicolas, and in the 
" Reliquiae Antiquse ;" but its curiosity demands its insertion in 
this collection. The present version is from MS. Oxon. Laud. 
D. 31. N. 683. Bernard, 798; other copies are in MS. Rawl. 
Oxon. C. 86 ; MS. Bib. Coll. Jes. Cantab. Q. T. 8, fol. 27 ; MS. 
Harl. 2255 ; MS. Voss. Lugd. 359 ; and the first four stanzas in 
MS. Harl. 225L 


Off God and kynde procedith al bewte ; 

CrafFt may shewe a foreyn apparence ; 
But nature ay must have the sovereynte. 

Thyng countirfeet hath noon existence. 
Tween gold and gossomer is greet dyfference ; 

Trewe metalle requeryth noon allay ; 
Unto purpos by cleer experyence, 

Beute wol shewe, thogh hornys wer away. 

Ryche attyres of stonys and perre, 

Charbonclys, rubyes of moost excellence, 

Shewe in darknesse lyght where so they be, 
By ther natural hevenly influence. 

lydgate's minor poems. 47 

Doublettys of glass yeve a gret evydence, 

Thyng counterfeet wol fayler at assay ; 
On this mater concludyng in sentence, 

Beute wol shewe, thogh homes were away. 

Aleyn remembreth, his compleynt who lyst see, 

In his book of famous elloquence ; 
Clad al in flours and blosmes of a tre 

He sauhe nature in hir moost excellence. 
Upon hir hed a kerche of Valence, 

Noon other richesse of counterfet array ; 
T'exemplyfie by kyndely provydence, 

Beute wol shewe, thogh homes were away. 

Famous poetis of antyquyte. 

In Grece and Troye renomed of prudence, 
Wrot of Queen Heleyne and Penelope, 

Of Pollycene, with hir chast innocence ; 
For wyves trewe calle Lucrece to presence ; 

That they wer faire ther can no man sey nay ; 
Kynde wrouht hem with so gret dyllygence, 

Ther beute kouth hornys wer cast away. 

Clerkys recorde, by gret auctoryte. 

Homes wer yove to bestys for dyffence ; 
A thyng contrarye to feraynyte, 

To be maad sturdy of resystence. 
But arche wives, egre in ther vyolence, 

Fers as tygres for to make affray, 
They have despit, and ageyn concyence, 

Lyst nat of pryde, then homes cast away. 



Noble princessis, this litel schort dyte, 

Rudely compyled, lat it be noon offence 
To your womanly mercifulle pyte, 

Though it be rad in your audyence ; 
Peysed every thyng in your just advertence, 

So it be noon dysplesaunce to your pay ; 
Under support of your pacyence, 

Yeveth example homes to cast away. 

Grettest of vertues ys humylyte, 

As Salamon seith, sonne of sapyence, 
Most was accepted onto the Deyte, 

Taketh heed herof, yevethe to his wordis credence, 
How Maria, whiche hadde a preraynence 

Above alle women, in Bedlem whan she lay. 
At Crystys birthe no cloth of gret dispence, 

She wered a kovercheef, homes wer cast away. 

Off birthe she was hihest of degre, 

To whom alle angellis dyd obedyence ; 
Of Davidis lyne wich sprang out of Jesse, 

In whom alle vertues by just convenyence, 
Maad stable in God by gostly confydence, 

This rose of Jericho, ther grewh non suyche in May, 
Pore in spirit, parfit in pacyence, 

In whom alle homes of pride wer put away. 

Modyr of Jhesu, myrour of chastyte, 

In woord nor thouht that nevere dyd offence ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 49 

Trewe examplire of virgynyte, 

Hed spryng and welle of parfit contynence ; 
Was never clerk by rethoryk nor scyence 

Koude alle hir vertues reherse onto this day ; 
Noble pryncessis of meek benyvolence, 

Be example of hir your homes cast away. 


Three copies of this poem are in the British Museum, MS. Harl. 
2251 ; MS. Harl. 2255; and MS. Lansd. 699. The following is 
from the first of these MSS. It has been printed by Sir Harris 
Nicolas under a different title, and without any notice of what 
appears to have been the original cause of Lydgate's application. 





Right myghty prince, and it be youre wille, 

Condescende leyser for to take 
To se th' entent of this litel bille, 

Whiche whan I wrote my hand felt I quake. 
Tokyn of mournyng I wered clothis blake, 

Cause my purs was falle in grete rerage, 
Lyneng outward, his guttis were out shake, 

Only for lak of plate and of coyngnage. 

I sought lechis for a restauratif, 

In whom I fonde no counsolacioune 
To a poticary for a confortatyf, 

Dragge nor dya was none in Bury towne, 

50 lydgate's minor poems. 

Bottum of his stomak was tourned up so downe, 
A laxatif dide hym so grete outrage, 

Made hym slendir by a consumptioune, 
Only for lak of plate and coyngnage. 

Shippe was ther none, nor saile rod of hewe, 

The wynd froward to make hym therto lond. 
The floode was passed and sodainly of newe 

A lowe ground ebbe was fast by the strond, 
That no maryner durst take on hond 

To cast an anker, for stray tnes of passage ; 
The custom skars, as folke may undrestond, 

Only for lak of plate and of coyngnage. 

There was no token sent downe from the towre, 

As any gossomer the countrepase was light, 
A fretyng etyk caused his langure 

By a cotidian, whiche hield hym day and nyght. 
Sol et tuna was clipsed of hir light, 

Ther was no crosse, ne prynte of no visage, 
His lyneng derk, there were no platis bright, 

Only for lak of plate and of coyngnage. 

Harde to lyke hony out of a marble stone, 

For there is nother lycour nor moysture. 
An ernest grote whan it is drunk and gone, 

Bargayne of merchauntis stant in adventure. 
My purse and I be callid to the lure, 

Of indigence oure stuff leyde in morgage. 
But my lord may al my sorowe recure, 

With a receyte of plate and of coyngnage. 

lydgate's minor poems, 51 

Nat sugred made by the apotecarye, 

Plate of light metal yevith a mery sowne ; 
In Bokelesbury is no suche letuary, 

Gold is a cordialle gladdest confeccioun. 
Ageyne etikes of olde consumpcioun, 

Aurum potabile, folk ferre ronne in age, 
In quyntencense, best restauracioun, 

With silver plate, enprinted with coyngnage. 


O sely bille, why artow nat ashamed, 

So maleapert to shew out thy constraynt, 
But povert hath so nygh thy toune atained, 

That nichil habet is cause of thy compleynt. 
A drye tysik makith old men ful feynt, 

Rediest way to renewe theyr corage 
Is a fressh dragge, of no spices meynt. 

But of bright plate enprynted with coyngnage. 

Thow mayst afFerme, as for thyn excuse. 

Thy bareyn saile is sike and solitarye, 
Of crosse nor pile there is no recluse, 

Prynte nor impressioun in all thy seyntwarye. 
To conclude briefly and nat to tarye, 

There is no noyse herd in thyne hermitage, 
God send sone a gladder letuary, 

With a clere sowne of plate and of coyngnage. 

E 2 

r)2 lydcate's minor poems. 


The curious ballad of Jack Hare was printed from a very im- 
perfect copy in the " Reliquiae Antiquae," i. 13. The following 
copy is taken from MS. Lansd. 699, fol. 88-89. Other copies 
are in MS. Bodl. Bernard. 798. Laud. 683 ; MS. Harl. 2251, 
fol. 14; and MS. Voss. inter MSS. Bibl. Lugd. C. 189. 


A FROWARD knave pleynly to discryve, 

And a sluggard shortly to declare, 
A precious knave that cast nevyr to thryve, 

His mouth weel wett, his slevis rihte thredbare, 
A turne-broche, a boy for hogge at Ware, 

With loury face, noddyng and slombryng, 
Of new cristened and callid Jak Hare, 

Which of a bolle can plukke out the lynyng. 

This boy N. ful stuborn of his bonys, 

Sluggy on morwe his leemys up to dresse, 
A gentil harlot chose out for the nonys, 

Sone and cheeff heir to dame Idilnesse, 
Cosyn to Wecok, brothir to Reklesnesse, 

Which late at even and morwe at his risyng, 
Ne hath no joie to do no besinesse, 

Sauff of a tankarde to pluk out the lynyng. 

A boy Checrelik was his sworn brothir, 
Of every disshe a lipet out to take, 

And Fansiticoll also was anothir, 
Off every brybe the cariage to make, 

lydgate's minor poems. 53 

And he can weel warten on an oven cake, 
And of newe ale been at the clensyng, 

And of purpos his thrist for to slake, 
Can of a pichere pluk out the lynyng. 

This knave bi leiser wil don his massage, 

And hold a tale with every maner wiht, 
Ful pale drunke, weel vernyssht of visage, 

Whoos tunge ay faileth whan it drawith to nyht ; 
Of cocandel wenyth too were liht ; 

As barkid ledir his face is shynyng, 
Glasy eyed wole cleyme of dewe riht, 

Out of a bolle to pluk out the lynyng. 

He can a bedde an horscombe weel shake, 

Lik as he wold coraye his maystres hors, 
And with his one hand his maistres doublet take. 

And with the tothir pryveli cut his purs ; 
Al sich knavis shal have Cristis curs, 

Erly on morwe at his uprisyng. 
To fynde a boy I trowe ther be no wors, 

Out of a cuppe to plukke out the lynyng. 

He may be sold upon warantise. 

As for a trowant that nothyng wole done, 
Selle his hors provendre is his cheeff marchaundise. 

And for a chevesane can pluk of his hors shoon, 
And at the dees pleyen his mony anoon. 

And with his wynnyngis he makith his offryng 
At ale stakis, sittyng ageyn the moone. 

Out of a cuppe to plukke out the lynyng. 

54 lydgate's minor poems. 

Now wesseil N. unto thi jousy pate, 

Unthrift and thou to-gidre be mett, 
Late at eve thou vvolt unspere the gate, 

And grope at morwe if riggis bak be wett, 
And yifF the bak of Togace the ouht hett, 

His hevy noil at myd-morwe up liftyng, 
With un-wasshe handis, nat lacid his doublett, 

Out of a boUe to plukke out the lynyng. 

Off all thi warde thou art made officeer, 

That no man passe ■\vithoute licence of the, 
Erly on morwe or than the day be cleer. 

To cast thi cheenys redy wolt thou be ; 
Thei be nat made of iren nor of tre, 

Thyn ars cheeff smyth, on morwe at thi risyng, 
Weel the bet thou maist thi chene lat flee. 

For out of a boUe wele canst thou plukke the lynyng 

And whan thou hast weel vernyssht thi pate. 

To take a sleepe in hast thou wolt the dresse, 
But woo is he that nyht shal be thi mate, 

Thi organys so hihe begynne to syng ther messe, 
With treble meene and tenor discordyng as I gesse. 

That al the hoggis that been aboute liggyng, 
To sing with the thei gynne hem thidir dresse. 

Which of a pott so wele canst plukke the lynyng. 

Yet wassayl N. and thyne be thi thrift. 
With al thyn organys and thi melodye, 

Ful wele a cuppe of good ale canst thou lift, 
And drynk it of, and leve the cuppe drye, 


I wolde thi chenys had chenyd up the weye, 
Between the cuppe whan thou art liftyng, 

And thi mouth, for thou art evyr drye, 
Out of a pott to plukk out the lynyng. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 26-27.] 


Alle thynge in kynde desirith thynge i-like. 

But the contrary hatis every thyng, 
Save only mankynd can never wele lyke, 

Without he have a volumus livyng, 
Flesshely desire, and gostly norisshyng, 

In oone persone can never be wrought, 
Fuyre and water, togyder al brennyng, 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought. 

A man that usithe to serve lordis twayne, 

The whiche holdith contrary to oone oppynioun, 
To please hem bothe, and serve no disdayne, 

And to be triewe, without touche of ti'easoun, 
Now to talk with that oon, and with that other rowne, 

To telle hym a thyng that never was wrought, 
And to bryng this to a goode conclusioun, 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought. 

A myghti kyng, a poore regioun, 

An hasty hede, a comunalte nat wise, 
Mikel alraes-dede and false extorcioun, 

Knyghtly nianhode, and shameful cowardise, 


An hevenly hevene, a peyneful paradise, 
A chast doctryne withe a false thought, 

First don on heede, and sithen witte to wise. 
It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought. 

Freely to spende and to folwe covetise, 

To se burgyons on a dede drye stok, 
A gay temple withoute divyne service, 

A byrdles cage, a key witliouten lok, 
A torabe shyppe alway ridyng on a rok, 

A riche bisshop convauncyd with right noght ; 
And to bryng this to a goods 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought, 

To have a galle, and be clepid a doufFe, 

To be my friend, and gyve me false counsaile, 
To breke myn hede, and yeve me an houffe. 

To ben a prist, and fight in eche bataile. 
To lye in bedde, and a strong castel to assaile. 

To be a merchaunt, where nothyng may be bought, 
To have a wyf with a fikel tayle, 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought 

A prowde hert in a beggers brest, 

A fowle visage with gay temples of atyre. 
Horrible othes with an holy prist, 

A justice of juges to selle and lete to hyre, 
A knave to comande and have an empire. 

To yeve a jugement of that never was wrought, 
To preche of pees and sette eche man on fyre, 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought. 

lydgate's minor poems. 57 

A leche to thryve where none is sore ne sike, 

An instrument of musyk withouten a sown, 
A scorpion to be both mylde and meke, 

A cloyster man ever rennyng in the towne. 
First to kille and sithe to graunt pardoune, 

To yeve a stone to hem that of brede the besought, 
To make a shippard of a wielde lyoune, 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought. 

A lewde wretche to were a skarlet gowne, 

Withe a blac lamb furre without purfile of sable, 
A goode huswyfe alwey rennyng in towne, 

A chield to thryve that is unchastisable, 
But ever inconstaunte and lightly chaungeable. 

To make moche of them that never wol be ught. 
And take a rome renner without a lesyng fable, 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought. 

Religioune men alwey wonnyng in the court. 

Also curatis evil ther children to love, 
To be forsworn they hold it but a bord, 

God to serve and with the fiende to beleve, 
The riche man cherissith the poore to robbe and reve, 

Hym to disseyve that of trust the besought. 
To hele dede men with gresse on the greve. 

It may wele ryme, but it accordith nought. 

To do reddour alwey without grace or mercy, 
A powche ful of straw, a prowde purs penyles, 

Trew tayled land ayenst the right to bye, 
A blynde borne man to pley wele at chesse, 


First to dyne, and after go to messe, 

A chield without noryce to be upbrought, 

To keep trewe weight and selle peper by gesse. 
It may wele ryme, but it aceordith nought. 

Now almighti God, sith it is as thow wost, 

Among mankynd made suche variaunce, 
Send downe thy sonde from the Holi Gost, 

And fasten in us love and concordaunce ; 
And with suche dedis. Lord, thow us avaunce, 

That we be never streyned with worme nor mought, 
And bryng us al to thyn enheritaunce. 

Withe thi precious bloode, as thow us bought. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 40.] 


This world is ful of stabilnesse. 

There is therein no variaunce, 

But trowthe, feythe, and gentilnesse, 

Secretnesse and assuraunce, 

Plente, joye, and plesaunce, 

By example who can have rewarde, 

Verraily by resemblaunce, 

So as the crabbe gothe forwarde. 

There is now founde no falsenes, 
Right is so myghti in puissaunce, 
Faithe hathe exiled doublenes. 
Fortune chaungithe nat hir chaunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 59 

By heste abydithe in constaunce, 
Frendship is founde no cowarde, 
Light withe dirk hath accordaunce, 
So as the crab gothe forwarde. 

Princis susteyne rightwisnesse, 

Knyghthod in trowthe hatha whet his launce, 

Lawe hathe put mede in grete distresse, 

And voyded is acqueyntaunce ; 

Is fledde byonde mount Godarde, 

Jurrours with trowth hathe allyaunce. 

So as the crabbe gothe forwarde. 

Serjauntis, pleders of feythfulnesse, 
Han made on guerdon a defiaunce, 
Consistories for holynes, 
Atwene them and mede is great distaunce ; 
Flatterye hathe left his countenaunce, 
Plente is founde no negarde, 
Skarste is gon unto myschaunce, 
So as the crabbe gothe forwarde. 

Iche man hathe y-noughe of richesse, 
Pore folk fele no grewaunce, 
Pristhode livethe in perfitenesse, 
And can in lytel have suffisaunee ; 
Religyoun hathe none attendaunce 
Unto the worlde, but al upwarde. 
To yeve example in substaunce. 
How that the crabbe gothe forwarde. 

60 lydgate's minor poems. 

Take hede also bavisenesse, 
Wymmen fro Cartage to Fraunce, 
I-bannysshed have newfangelnesse, 
And put in his place perseveraunce ; 
In clergye hatha perfite governaunce, 
Mesure withe raarchauntes is chief styward, 
Juste weight halte justly the balaunce, 
So as the crabbe gothe forwarde. 

Pantifrasun to expresse 

Matiers of longe continuaunce, 

Entendement double is a maystresse, 

Triew people to sette at distaunce, 

To please al folk it is ful hard. 

The hevenly signe raakith deraonstraunce. 

How worldly thynges goo forwarde. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol, 9.] 


Ye devoute peple which kepe one observaunce, 
Mekely in chirche to kysse stone or tree, 
Erthe or iren, hathe in reniembraunce 
What they dothe meane and take the moralite ; 
Erthe is clere tokyn of the hutnanyte 
Of Crist Jhesu, the stone, the sepulture. 
The spere of stiele, the sharpe nayles thre 
Causide his fyve woundis remembrid in scripture. 

lydgate's minor poems. 61 

Thynk on the crosse made of iiij. dyvers trees, 
As clerkis sayne, cedre and of cipres, 
To hygh estates, to folk of lowe degres, 
Crist brought inne pees, th'olyve berithe witnesse, 
Namly whan vertu conservethe his grennes, 
Loke on these signes and have hem in memorye, 
How Cristis passion was grounded on mekenes, 
And how the palme figured his victory. 

These iiij. figures, combyned into one, 
Sette on thy mynde for a memorial ; 
Erthe and iren, foure trees, and the stone, 
To make us fre, whereas we were thral ; 
Behold the banner, victorious and royal ! 
Cristes crosse, a standard of most peyse ; 
Thynk how the thief for mercy dide calle. 
Taught by the tree the wey to paradise I 

Yowre hertis ye lyft up into the est. 
And al your body and knees bowe a-downe, 
Whan the prist seyth verbum caro factum est, 
Withe al yowre inwarde contemplacioun, 
Yowre mowthe first crosse with hyghe devocioun, 
Kissyng the tokene rehersed here aforne. 
And ever have mynde on Cristis passioun, 
Whiche for thy sake wered a crowne of thorne. 

()2 lydgate's minor poems. 


[MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 71-73. This legend is taken from the 
" Speculum Historiale" ofVincent tie Beauvais.] 

O WELLE of swetnes replete in every veyne, 
That al mankyud preserved hast fro dethe. 
And al oure joye fro langour didest restrayne. 
At thy nativite, O flour of Nazarethe I 
Whan the holigost, with liis swete brethe, 
Gan to espiren as for his chosen place, 
For love of man by influence of his grace, 

And were inviolate a bright hevenly sterre, 
Monge celestynes reigneng withouten raemorye, 
That be thyne emprise in this mortal werre. 
Of oure captivite gatest the ful victory ; 
Whan I beseche for thyn excelent glory, 
Som drope of thi grace adowne to me constille. 
In reverence of the this dyte to fulfille. 

That only my rudenes thy miracle nat deface, 

Whiche whilom sendest in a devout abbeye. 

Of an holy monk thurght thy myght and grace, 

That of al pile berest both lok and keye. 

For, benyng lady, the soth of the to say, 

Ful wele thow aquyetest that don the love and 

An hundred sithes better than they deserve. 

lydgate's minor poems. 63 

Ensample of whiche here is in portreyture, 
Witliouten fable, right as it was indede, 
O refuge and welthe to every creature. 
Thy clerk to further help now at this nede, 
For to my purpos I wil anon procede, 
The trowthe to recorde I wil no lengger tary, 
Right as it was a poynt I wil nat varye. 

Vincencius in his speculatif historialle, 
Of this saide monk makithe ful mencyoune, 
Under the fourme to yow as I reherse shalle, 
That be a gardyn as he romed up and downe, 
He herde a bisshop of fame and grete renowns, 
Sayeng fy ve psalmys in honoure of that flour, 
That bare Jhesu Crist oure alther redemptour. 

In whiche psalmes stondyng eche in hir degre, 
Who so lust take hede in synguler lettris fyve. 
This blessid name Maria, there may he see, 
That first of alle our thraldom can deprive, 
To the haven of dethe whan we gan to ryve. 
And fro the wawes of this mortal see, 
Made us t'escape from alle adversite. 

Distinctly in Latyn here may ye rede echone, 
Folowyng these baladis as for your plesaunce, 
To whom the bisshop had seyd his meditacion, 
The monke anon delitethe in his remembraunce. 
And thought he wolde as his most affiaunce, 
Cotidially withe hem only oure lady please. 
That from alle grevaunce his sorwis myght appease. 

64 lydgate's minor poems. 

And therwithalle he writethe hem in his niynde, 
So stidefastly withe devoute and highe corage, 
That never a day a word he forgate bohynde, 
But seyde hem entierly into his last age, 
His olde gyltis bothe to a soft and swage, 
After his matyns as was his appetite. 
To seyn hem ever was his most delite. 

Therto his diligence withe al his hert and mighte, 

And forthe contynued in his devoute wise, 

Til at the last it befiUe upon a nyghte, 

The hole covent at midnyght gan arise. 

As is her usage to don to God servise, 

So whan they were assembled ther in generalle. 

The suppriour beholdyng aboute overalle, 

As is his office, that non of them were absent, 

But of Dane Jose he cowde no wise espie. 

He rose hym up and priveliche he is went 

Into hys chambre, and there he fond hym lye, 

Dede as a stone, and lowde he gan to crye, 

" Help," quod he, " for the love of oure lady bright, 

Dan Joos oure brother is sodainely [dede] to nyght. 

The covent anon ganne renne half in drede. 

Til they behielde whan passid was theyre affray, 

Out of his mowthe a rose bothe sprynge and sprede, 

Fresshe in his coloure as any floure in May, 

And other tweyne out of his eyen gray, 

Of his eris as many ful freshly floury ng. 

That never yit in gardyu half so fayre gan spryng. 

lydgate's minor poems. 65 

This ruddy rose they have so long behold, 
That sprong fro his mowthe, til they han espyed, 
Ful fay re i-graven, in lettris of bourn ed gold, 
Maria ful curiously, as it is specifyed 
In bookis olde, and anon they have hyni hyed 
Unto the temple, with lowde solempnite, 
Beryng the cors that al men myght it se. 

Whiche they kept in royalte and perfeccioun, 
Sevene dayes m the temple there beyng present. 
Til thre Bisshoppes of fame and grete renovvne 
Weren comen thyder right with devout en tent. 
And many another clerk withe hem by on assent, 
To sene this myracle of this Lady bright, 
Sayeng in this wise withe al theyr hert and myght: — 

" Yowre blynde fantesies now in hertis weyve 
Of childisshe vanyte, and lete hem over slyde. 
And lovith this Lady that can no wise disceyve, 
She is so stidefast of hert in every syde, 
That for youre nedis so wonderly can provyde, 
And for youre poyesye these lettres v. ye take. 
Of this name Maria, only for hir sake, 

" That for youre travaile so wele wille you avaunce. 
Nought as these wymmen on whiche ye don delite, 
That fedithe yow al day withe feyned plesaunce, 
Hid under treason withe many wordes white ; 
But bette than ye deserve she wil yow qwyte. 
And for ye schal nat labour al in veyne, 
Ye shvd have hevene ; ther is no more to seyne. ' 


66 lydgate's minor poems. 

Whos passyng goodenes may nat be comprehendyd, 

In mannes prudence fully to determyne, 

She is so perfite she kan nat be amended. 

That ay to mercy and pite dothe enclyne ; 

Now benyng Lady, that didest cure sorowes fyne, 

In honoure of the that these psalmes rede, 

As was Dane Joos, so quyte hem for hir mede ! Amen. 


The following short poem is very common in manuscript, but 
several of the copies varj' considerably from each other. It may 
be sufficient to refer to MS. Harl. 116, fol. 166; MS. Oxen. 
Bernard. 1479; MS. Rawl. Oxon. C. 86; MS. Arund. 168; 
MS. Sloan. 775 ; and MS. Sloan. 3534, which contains a Latin 
version. Ritson has inserted this in his list of Lydgate's works 
in two places, under Nos. 55 and 61. The present text is from 
MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 4-5. 


For helth of bodv cover for cold thyn hede ; 

Ete no raw mete, — take goode heede therto ; 
Drynk holsom wyne ; feede the on light brede ; 

Withe an appetite rise from thy mete also. 
In thyn age, with wymmen have thow nat ado ; 

Upon thi slepe drynk nat of the cuppe ; 
Glad towards bedde and at raorowe both to, 

And use never late for to souppe. 

And if it so be that lechis done the faile, 

Thanne take goode [hede] and use thynges iij., — 

Temperat dyete, temperat travaile, 
Nat malicious for none adversite ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 67 

Meke in trouble, gladde in poverte ; 

Riche with litel, content with suffisaunce, 
Nat grucchyng, but mery like thi degre ; 

If phesyk lak, make this thy governaunce. 

To every tale, sone, yeve thow no credence ; 

Be nat to hasty, nor sodainly vengeable ; 
To poore folke do thow no violence ; 

Curteys of language, in spendyng mesurable ; 
On sundry mete nat gredy at the table ; 

In fedyng gentil, prudent in daliaunce ; 
Close of tunge, of word nat deceyvable. 

To sey the best sette alwey thy plesaunce. 

Have in hate mowthes that ben double : 

Suffre at thy table no distractioun ; 
Have dispite of folkes that ben trouble, 

Of false rowners and adulacioun ; 
Withyn thy court, sufFre no divisioun, 

Whiche, in thi houshold, shal cause grete encrese 
Of al welfare, prosperite, and foyson ; 

With thy neyghburghs lyve in rest and peas. 

Be clenly clad after thyn estate ; 

Passe nat thy bowndis, kepe thy promyse blyth ; 
With thre folkes thow be nat at debate : 

First with thy bettir beware for to stry ve ; 
Ayenst thy felawe no quarrele thou contryve ; 

With thy subject to stryve it were shame : 
Wherfor I counsaile thow pursue al thy lyve, 

To lyve in peas and gete the a goode name. 

F 2 

68 lydgate's minor poems. 

Fuyre at morowe, and towards bed at eve, 

For m3'stis blake, and eyre of pestilence ; 
Betytne at masse, thow shalt the better preve, 

First at thi risyng do to God reverence, 
Visite the pore, with intyre diligence, 

On al nedy have thow compassioun, 
And God shal sende grace and influence. 

To encrese the and thy possessioun. 

Suffre no surfetis in thy house at nyght, 

Ware of reresoupers, and of grete excesse, 
Of noddyng hedys and of candel light. 

And slowth at raorow, and slomberyng idelnes, 
Whiche of al vices is chief porteresse ; 

Voyde al drunklew, lyers, and leehours ; 
Of al unthriftes exile the mastres. 

That is to say, dyse, players, and haserdours. 

After mete beware, make nat to longe slepe, 

Hede, foote, and stomak preserve ay from cold ; 
Be nat to pensyf of thought, take no kepe 

After thy rent, mayntene thyn houshold, 

Suffre in tyme, in thi right be bold ; 
Swere none othis no man to begyle. 

In thi yowth be lusty ; sad whan thow art olde. 

Dyne nat at morwe aforne thyn appetite, 

Clere eyre and walkyng makith goode digestioun, 

Betwene meles drynk nat for no froward delite, 
But thurst or ti'availe yeve the occasioun ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 69 

Over salt mete doth grete oppressioun 

To fieble stomakes, whan they can nat refreyne ; 

For nothyng more contrary to theyr complexioun, 
Of gredy handes the stomak hath grete peyne. 

Thus in two thynges standith al the welthe 

Of sowle and body, who so lust to sewe, 
Moderat foode gevith to man his helthe, 

And al surfetis doth from hym remeve. 
And charite to the sowle is dewe ; 

This ressayt is bought of no poticarye, 
Of mayster Antony, nor of maister Hewe, 

To al indifferent, richest diatorye. 


[From MS. Had. 2251, fol. 94-95.] 


O fayre Dido I most noble in constaunce ! 
Qwene of Cartage, myrrour of highe noblesse ! 
Reygneng in glory and vertuous habundaunce, 
Called in thy tyme chief sours of gentillesse. 
In vvhom was never founde no doublenesse, 
Ay of on herte, and so thow didest fyne, 
With light of trouth al wydewes to enlumyne. 

Chaste and unchaunged in perseveraunce, 
And immutable founde in thy goodenesse, 
Whiche never thougtest upon variaunce. 
Force and prudence, wardeyns of thi fayrenesse. 


No langage digne thy vertus to expresse, 
By newe report so clierly they don shyne, 
Withe light of trouth al wydevves to enlumyne. 

Thy famous bounte to putte in remembraunce, 
Thow sloughe thyself of innocent puren.sse, 
Lest that thi suerte shuld hang in balaunce, 
Of suche as thought thi chastite oppresse, 
Deth was ynoughe therof to bere witnesse, 
Causyng thy beaute to al clcnnesse enclyne, 
Withe light of hevene thy lyf to enluoiyne. 

O loode-sterre of al goode governaunce ! 
AUe vicious lustes by wisdom to represse, 
Thy grene yowthe flouryng with al plesaunce, 
Diane hath demed so chastely thy clennesse, 
How didest it brydel withe vertuous sobrenesse, 
Whilest thow were soole plainly to termyne, 
Withe light of trouth al wydewes to enlumyne. 

O noble matrouns, whiche have al suffisaunce 
Of womraanhede, yowre wittes doth up dresse, 
How that fortune list oft to turn hir chaunce, 
Beth nat to rakel of sodayne hastynesse. 
But ay providith in youre hastulesse, 
That no such folye entre in your corage. 
To fohve Dydo, that was qwene of Cartage. 

Withe hir maners hath nat your acqueytaunce, 
Putte out of mynde suche foltisshe wilfulnesse, 
To sle youreself thynk it were grete penaunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 71 

God of his grace defende yow al and blesse, 
And eke preserve youre variaunt brutilnesse, 
So that youre trouthe ne f'alle in none outrage. 
To folwe Dydo, that was qw ene of Cartage. 

Withe covert colour and sobre contenaunce. 
Of faithful meanyng pretendithe a lyknesse, 
Countrefeteth in speche and daliaunce, 
Al thyng that sowneth into stidefastnesse. 
Of grete prudence by youre avisenesse, 
Youreself restreynith and of al age, 
To folwe Dydo, that was qwene of Cartage. 

Lete al youre porte be voyde of displesaunce, 
To gete youre frendis doth ay youe besynessf , 
And beth never without purviaunce. 
So shal ye best encresen in richesse, 
In oone allone may be no sykernesse, 
Unto youre hertis beothe dyvers of langage. 
Contrary to Dydo that was qwene of Cartage. 

Holdith youre servauntis under obeysaunce, 
Lete hem neyther fredam ne fraunchesse. 
But under daunger don ther observaunce, 
Dauntithe theyr pruyde and brydel hem with low- 

nesse ; 
And whan the serpent of newfangelnesse 
Assailethe yow, dothe youre avauntage, 
Contrarye to Dydo, that was qwene of Cartage. 

72 lvi)(;atk''s mixor pokm.s. 


[From MS. Harl, 2251, fol. 78.] 

In Wiltshire of Englond two pristes ther were, 
Right famulyer in goode conversacioune, 
Tlie tone was riche, that other somwhat bare, 
And both they were nygh on habitacioune ; 
The tone had ever right grete devocioun. 
Of requiem his masse to syng or say. 
And for alle Cristen soules ever to pray. 

Whan God of his grete visitacioun, 

List out of this worlde for hym to sende, 

His rightes he had by goode deliberacioun, 

And to God his soule he highly did comend, 

And as a triew Cristen man here he made his ende, 

Aboute raydnyght, as we fynde and rede, 

His felaw unknowyng that he was dede. 

Til erly on the mornyng whan he shulde gon. 

Unto the chirche his service for to say, 

Out of theyr graves he sawe many oon, 

Appere as children, in white array, 

" Arise ? aryse !" they sayde, " and lete us pray 

For Wulfryke oure prist, that no doth passe, 

That for us hathe sayde many a requiem masse." 

Devoutly they prayed, as to hym semed. 
And into theyr graves they tourned agayne. 

lydgate's minor poems. 73 

He mervailed moche and inwardly demed, 

That his felaw was past out of worldly peyn, 

The trouthe for to knawe he was right fayn, 

And homward he went hymself allone, 

Hym fonde hyra dede, wherfor he made grete mone. 

Examples we fynde and rede many oone, 

How we shulde synge and rede for to pray for other, 

And specially for them that be past and goon, 

Whiche on us only trust as brother on brother ; 

Now pray we, Jhesu, and his blessed moder. 

With help of al seyntes in hevene an hy. 

On alle Cristen soulis to have pite and mercy. 


[From MS. Harl. 225), fol. 78.] 

Remembryd by scriptures we fynde and rede, 
Holsum and holy it is to thynke and pray, 
For al the sowles that be past in dede 
Out of this wretchid world unto domesday, 
Abidyng in purgatory with soruful lay, 
Cryeng and callyng for mercy and pite, 
Unto them in special that there friendis be. 

There was a man right hooly and devoute, 

Of Parase in Fraunce, that worthy cyte. 

That daily wold sey in his chirche-yerde aboute. 

74 lydgate's minor poems. 

For alle Cristen sowles, withe mercy and pite, 

De projiindis, Pater noster, and ave. 

This prayer he used contynuauly, 

Til God purveyed for hyra contynuauly. 

It fil on a tyme, he was pursued 

Of his mortal enemyes, withe grete violence, 

He fledde for the best, and ther malice eschewed, 

And toke the chircheyerde for his defence, 

And sayde De profundis with entier diligence. 

The bodj-^es arose out of theyr graves, [staves. 

Somme appered withe gleyves, and somme withe 

So grete a multitude assemblid to fight, 
His enemyes gan fle and sore were agast, 
He thankyd God of his grete myght, 
And seyde De profundis whan they were past ; 
His reward in heven he had at last. 
Therfor it is holsora for to have in memory. 
The soulis that ly in paynes of purgatory. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 38-39.] 


The more I go, the further I am behynde ; 
The further behynde, the nere the weyes ende ; 
The more I seche, the wers can I fynde ; 
The lighter leve, the lother for to wende ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 75 

The lengger I serve, the more out of mynde ; 

Is this fortune, or is it infortune? 

Though I go loose, I tyed am withe a lyne. 

Drye in the see, and wete upon the stronde ; 

Brenne in water, in fuyre fresyng; 

In reveris thurstlew, and moyst upon the londe; 

Gladde in mornyng, in gladnes compleyneng ; 

The fuller wombe, the gredyer in etyng ; 

Is this fortune, or is it infortune ? 

Thoughe I go loose, I teyed am withe a luyne. 

A wery pees, and pees amyd the werre ; 
The better felaw, the rathir at discoi'de ; 
The neere at hande, the sonner set a-ferre ; 
Accorde debatyng, debatynge at accorde ; 
Furthest fro court, grettest withe the lorde ; 
Is this fortune, or is it infortune ? 
Thoughe I go loose, I tyed am withe a lyne. 

A wepyng laughter, a mery glad wepyng; 

A fresy thowe, a meltyng fryse ; 

The slowar paas, the further in rennyng ; 

The more I renne, the more wey I lese : 

The grettest losse whan I my chaunce do chese ; 

Is this fortune, or is it infortune? 

Thoughe I go loose, I teyed am withe a lyne. 

Weryles I walke ay in trouble and travaile, 

Ever travilyng witheout werynes ; 

In labour idel, wynnyng that may nat availe ; 

76 lydgate's minor poems. 

A troubled joy, ajoyeful hevynes; 

A sobbyng songe, a chierful distres ; 

Is it fortune, or is it in fortune? 

Thoughe I go loose, I tyed am withe a lyne. 

Wakyng a bedde, fastyng at the table ; 
Riche with wysshis, pore of possessioune ; 
Stable unassured, assured eke unstable; 
Hope dispeyred, a gwerdonles gvverdone ; 
Trusty disceyte, feythful decepcioune ; 
Is this fortune, or is it infortune ? 
Thoughe I go loose, I tiede am wythe a lyne. 

A mournyng myrthe, sobrenes savage, 
Prudent foly, stidefast wildenesse ; 
Providence conveyed ay withe rage ; 
A dronken sadnesse, and a sad drunkenesse ; 
A woode wisdom, and a wise woodenesse ; 
Is this fortune, or is it infortune ? 
Thoughe I go loose, I tyed am withe a lyne. 

Unhappy everons fortune infortunat; 

An hertles thought, a thoughtlees remembraunce 

Lo what avauntage ! and sodainly chekmate, 

Now six, now synke, now deny for my chaunce ; 

Thus al the worlde stant in variaunce : 

Late men dispute, whethir this be fortune ? 

No man so loose, but he is tied withe a luyne. 

The world unsure, contrary al stablenesse, 

Whos joy is meynt ay withe adversite ; 

Now light, now hevy, now sorwe, now gladnes; 

lydgate's minor poems. 77 

Ebbe after floode of al prosperite. 
Set al asyde and lierne this of me, 
Trust upon fortune, defye false fortune, 
And al recleyraes of hyr double luyne. 

The gretter lorde, the lasse his assuraunce ; 

The sikerest lyfTe is in glad poverte ; 

Bothe highe and loughe shal go on dethis daunce, 

Renne unto Powlis, beholde the Machabe ; 

Fraunchise of phisyk makithe no man go free ; 

Trust upon God, defye fals fortune, 

Ande al recleymes of hyr double luyne. 

Lothest departyng where is grettest richesse ; 

Al worldly tresour gothe to the worlde agayne ; 

To kepe it longe may be no sikernesse, 

Of grete receytis grete rekenyng in certayne. 

Whan we gon hens al this shalbe but vayne ; 

Trust upon God, defye false fortune. 

That al recleymes of hir double luyne. 

Nothyng more sure than al men shal deye, 
Late men aforne make theyr ordynaunce; 
vij. dedis of mercy shal best for us purveye. 
And almesdede shal make achevisaunce, 
T'exclude by grace the rigour of vengeaunce ; 
For Cristis passion ne maugre false fortune, 
Shal recleyme us to his merciable luyne. 



[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 37-38.] 

As I me lenyd unto a joyful place, 
Lusty Phebus to supervive, 
How God Alrayghti of his grete grace, 
Hath florisshed the erthe on every side. 
The woodes and the medowes wyde, 
Withe grete habundaunce of vyridite, 
Whiche caused me so grete felicite, 
That stille T sloode in perplexite. 

To Phebus my wittes gan refere, 
And on this wise he sayde to me, 
Abyde a while, and thow shalt here, 
Hym commendid whiche dide conquere, 
Thi soule from peynes perpetualle, 
And of his blisse to make the paroyalle. 

Than I herd a voyce celestialle, 

Rejoysyng my spirites inwardly, 

Of dyverse soules bothe grete and smalle, 

Praisyng God with swete melody. 

In al his werkis ful reverently, 

With an hevenly ympne and an holsum, 

Conditor alme sideruin. 

The poppinjay allone gan syng. 
And saide, this is my propirte, 
With ave or kirye salute a kyng. 

lydgate's minor poems. 79 

As Scripture makithe mencioun of me, 
In bookis of nature who list to se : 
Wherfor me thynk T do nat amys. 
To welcome the kyng of hevene blis ; 

That from the seete of the hye Trynite, 
Into a virgyns wombe immaculate, 
Descendid this tyme of fre volunte, 
And so becom man incarnate, 
To restore hym to his first estate, 
Wherfor I singe of his nativite, 
A solis oHus cardine. 

The pellican sang withe mornyng chiere. 
Of Cristes compassioun I do compleyne, 
That mankynde hathe bought so deere, 
With grevous hurtis and bytter peyne, 
And yit man can nat love hym agayne, 
Wherfore I synge as I was wont, 
Vexilla regis prodeunt. 

The nyghtyngale lepe from boughe to boughe, 

And on the pellican she made a crye. 

And seyd, '•' pellican, why mournest thow now ? 

Crist is risen from dethe triewly, 

Mankynd withe hym to glorifye; 

Wherfor syng now as we do, 

Consurgit Cristus iumulo" 

The lark also ful naturally, 
Cristes ascencioune in humanite 
Commendyd withe song specially, 


And seyde, " blissed be tliow, Lorde of I'elicite, 
That hast callid man to so highe degree, 
That never deserved of cquyte," 
Eterne rex altissime. 

Tlie douffe also that is so white, 
In hert bothe meke and beautevous, 
Unto the erthe she toke hir flight. 
And sang a song ful gracious, 
Of al songes most vcrtuous ; 
And as I perceyved, she songe thus, 
Veni Creator Spiritus. 

The briddes present upon a tre, 

Were gadred togydre as covenaunt was, 

Praisyng oon God in Trynite, 

That al this wyde world dothe enbrace ; 

And thus thay songe, both more and lasse. 

This melodious ympne withe grete solas, 

lux heata Triiiil !S. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 28-29.] 


By witte of man al thynge that is contryved, 
Standithe in proporcioune plainly to conclude, 
In olde auctours lyke as it is discryved. 
Whether it be depnesse or longitude. 

lydgate's minor poems. 81 

Cast out by compas of height or latitude, 
Bj' peyse, by nombre, tryed out by equite, 
To voyde al errour fro folkis than ben rude, 
Nothyng commendyd but it in mesure be. 

Mesours of niusyk bene the spieris nyne, 
Mevid by mesure withe hevenly arniony ; 
Lower in erthe compas, squyer, and lyne, 
Voyde al errours cause of geometrye ; 
Sownyng of instrumentis, concorde of mynstrelcye, 
Sette fulle and hoole be perfite unite ; 
Swetnesse of mesure causithe al melodye. 
By perfit musyk if it in mesure be. 

Without mesure may non artificers 

In his wirkyng parfitely procede, 

Peyntour, steynour, mason, nor carpentere. 

Without mesure accomplisshe nat in dede ; 

Where mesure faylethe, wrong wrought is every dede. 

Of thynge to longe the superfluite 

Mesure cutte of, and thus who can take heede, 

Iche thynge is praysed if it in mesure be. 

Whan mesure failethe in dome or jugement, 
Rightwisnes is tourned to woodenesse, 
A rigurous juge, a foltisshe president. 
Withe hate and rancour dothe his vertu dresse ; 
Vengeaunce by envye they re reason doth oppresse ; 
Whan they ben blynde and can no mesure se, 
False rooted malice and cruel wilfulnesse, 
Wil sufFre no mesure in theyr court to be. 

82 lydgate's minor poems. 

An olde proverbe, mesour is tresoure, 
Where mesure failethe is disconnemence ; 
In rethorik stant no parfite colour, 
But if it be conveyed by cadence, 
If mesure lak, what vailithe eloquence ? 
Concludyng thus the soveraute, 
Of every craft and of eche scyence, 
Receyvithe his price, if it in mesure be. 

Where mesure reygnithe, subgettis lyve in peas 
Roote of discorde is froward tyrannye : 
Favour in mesure causithe grete mires. 
And out of mesure it causithe grete envye. 
Men must by mesour rigour modifye, 
Atwixt love and hate mesure dothe equyte ; 
Wherfor late soverayns use this policye, 
What ever they do late it in mesure be. 

Lete men be mesure werk other travaile, 
Mesoure biddithe men do none outrages ; 
And he that ever of mesure takith counsaile, 
Can nat shewe in one hoode two visages. 
The coke by mesour sesonyth his potages, 
A teniperat hete egalle in oone degre, 
By decoccioune to take theyr avauntages, 
Aforn provyded that al in mesure be. 

Disport withe labour among is necessary ; 
Travaile requyrithe a recreacioune ; 
Pees and werre ben thynges ful contrary : 
Mesure of ereriche graun tithe his season ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 83 

Chaunge and diversite of complexioune 
In sundry agees set adversite, 
Nat to glad ne to hevy of condicioune. 
But al is wele so it in mesure be. 

That is goode that causithe no damage. 
Honest disport that causithe none hyndryng. 
Blessid of God is also that langage, 
That kepithe his tunge fro froward bakbytyng ; 
And blessid is he that saithe wele of al thyng. 
And blissed is he whiche in his poverte. 
List thank God voyde al grucchyng, 
And dothe nothyng but it in mesure be. 

Late every man wisely advertise. 
He shal agayne receyve suche mesoure, 
By egal peyse and in the same wise. 
So as he weyethe unto his neyghboure ; 
Be it of hate favour or rancoure. 
The gospel tellithe lerne this of me. 
So as thow weyest be mercy or rigoure. 
The mesure same shal be don to the. 


.S^ lydgate's minor poems. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 95-100.] 

Two maner of folkes to put in remembraunce, 
Of vice and vertu to put a difference, 
The goode alwey have set theyr plesaunce 
In vertuous labour to done theyr diligence ; 
And vicious peple in slouth and necligence ; 
Of whiche the reporte of both is thus reserved, 
With lawde or lack, liche as they have deserved. 

Men must of right the vertuous preferre. 
And triewly labour preyse and besynesse ; 
And ageynwarde dispreyse folke that erre, 
Whiche have no joye but al in idelnesse ; 
And to compare by a maner wytnesse, 
The vertuous folke I wille to mynde calle, 
In the rebukyng of the mysdoers alle. 

The olde wise cleped Pictagoras, 

By the sowne of hamours, th'auctours specifye, 

Ensample toke, and chief mayster was, 

That fonde first al rausyk and melodye ; 

Yit of Thubal som bookis specifye, 

That hevy strokis of smythes there they stoode 

Found out first musyk to-fore Noes floode. 

lydgate's minor poems. 85 

The chieldren of Seth in story ye may sp, 

Flowryng in vertu by longe successiouns, 

For to profite to theyr posteryte, 

Founds first the crafte of hevenly mocyouns. 

Of sundry sterris the revoluciouns, 

Byqwath theyr konnyng, for grete avauntage, 

To theym that com after of theyr lynage. 

For theyre vertu, God gaf hem grete konnyng, 

Touchyng natures ye bothe of erthe and hevene. 

And it remembrid sothly by writyng. 

To lasten ay for water and for levene ; 

Generaciouns of hem were sevene, 

Whiche for vertue, without werre and strj'fF, 

Travailed in konnyng duryng al theyr lyf. 

But for that Adam first dide prophecye 

That twyes this world shuld distroyed be, 

With water oonys stonde in jupartye, 

Next with the fuyre whiche no man may flee ; 

But Seeth his chieldren al this did wele see, 

And made two pillers : wherein men myght grave. 

From fuyre and water the carectis for to save. 

That oone was made of tyles ful harde y-bake, 
From touche of fuyre ay for to save scripture ; 
Of hard marble they dide another make, 
Agenst water strongly for to endure, 
To save of lettris the prynte and the fygure ; 
For theyr konnyng aforne gan so provide. 
For fuyre and water perpetually to abyde. 

86 lydgate's minor poems. 

They denied theyr konnyng hadde ben al in veyne, 
J3ut if that folke with hem han ben partable ; 
And for tlieyr labour shulde after be seene, 
They it remembred by writyng ful notable, 
Unto-fore God a thyng ful commendable. 
To hem that folwe by scripture of writyng. 
So that men dy departen theyr konnyng. 

For in th' olde tyme men dyvers craftis first fonde. 
In sundry wise, thurgh occupacioune ; 
Vertu to cherisshe and vices to confounde, 
Theyre wittes they sette and theyr entencioune. 
To putte theyr labour in execusioune, 
And to outraye, this is the verray trowth, 
For mannes lyfF is necligence and slowth. 

Olde Ennok, ful famous of vertu, 

Duryng that age fonde fyrste of everychone, 

Thurghe his prudence, the lettres of Ebrew, 

Whiche in a piler were keped al of stone. 

Til that the floode of Nooe was agone ; 

And, after hym, Cham was the secunde. 

By whom of Ebrew the lettres were first founde. 

And Catarismus the first was that founde 

Lettres also as of that langage ; 

But lettres writen withe Goddis owne hand, 

Moyses first toke most of his visage, 

On Synay as he hield his passage, 

Whiche of carectis and names in sentence, 

From other writyng had a grete difference. 

lydgate's minor poems. 87 

Eke after this, as other bokes telle, 
As seynt Jerom rehersithe in his style, 
That under th' empire of Zorobabelle 
Esdras of Ebrevv first lettres gan compile, 
And Abraham gan sithe a grete while. 
The first he was in bookis men may se, 
That fonde lettres of Cirye and of Caldee. 

Isys in Egipt fonde a diversite 
Of sundry lettres parted in tweyne ; 
First to pristes and to the comunalte. 
Vulgar lettres he dide also ordeyne. 
And Phenicis did theyr besy peyne 
Lettres of Greke to fynde in theyr entent, 
Whiche that Cadmus into Grece sent. 

Of whiche the nombre fully was seventene ; 
Whan that of Troy endid was the bataile, 
Palamydes theyr langage to sustene, 
Put thre theyrto whiche gretely dide avayle. 
Pictagoras for prudent governayle, 
Fonde first out .y. a figure to discerne, 
Theyre lyff here short and lyfF that is eterne. 

First Latyn lettres of our .a.b.c, 
Carmentis fonde hem of ful highe prudence ; 
Grete Omerus in Isodre ye may see. 
Among Grekis fonde craft of eloquence ; 
First in Rome, by soverayne excellence. 
Of rethoriques Tullius fonde the floures, 
Plee and defence of sotyl oratoures. 

88 lydgate's minor poems. 

Calcicatres a graver most uotable, 
Of white ivory he dide his besynesse, 
His hatide, liis eye, so just was and stable, 
Of an ampte to grave out the lyknesse. 
Upon tlie grounde, as nature doth hym dresse> 
This craft he fonde, as dide Sarnadapalie 
Fonde ydelnes, moder to vices alle. 

Murmy chides, he made a chare also, 
And a smal shyppe with al th' apparaile, 
So that a by myght close hem both two. 
Under his wynges, whiche is grete raervaile, 
And nothyng seyn of al the hole entaile, 
This crafte he fonde of vertuous besynesse, 
To eschew the vice of froward idelnesse. 

Perdix by compas fonde tryangle and lyne. 

And Euclyte first fonde out geometrye, 

And Phebus fonde out the craft of medicyue, 

Albuniazar fonde first Astronomye ; 

And Mynerva gan first charis to guye ; 

Jason first sayled, in story it is tolde. 

Tow ard Colchos to wynne the flees of golde. 

Ceres the Goddes fond first the tilthe of loude ; 

Dionysius fonde the tryumphes transitorye ; 

And Belloua by force first he fonde. 

Conquest by knyghthod and in the fielde victorye : 

And Martis sooue, as put is in memory, 

Called Etholus, fonde first speres sharp and kene. 

To renue in werre in platis so bright and shene. 

lydgate's minor poems. 89 

Also Aristeus fonde first the usage 

Of mylke, and cruddis, and of hony swote ; 

Peryodes, for grete avauntage, 

From flyntes smote fuyre, daryng in the roote ; 

And Pallas, whiche that may to gold do boote, 

Founde out first wevyng, this is verray sooth, 

Thurghe his prudence of al maner cloth. 

And Fydo first fonde out the science 

Of the mesures and the proporciouns, 

And for marchauntes dide well his diligence, 

To fynde balauncis by just di vision ns, 

To avoyde al fravvde in citees and in townes, 

On eyther party e plainly to compile, 

Of alle triewe weight that there were no gyle. 

Compare in ordre clierly al these thynges, 
Fouude of olde tyme by diligent travaile. 
To the plesaunce of princes and of kynges, 
To shewe how moche that konnyng may availe ; 
And wey ageynwardes the froward acquitayle, 
Contrariously how Sarnadapalle 
Founde ydelnesse, the moder of vices alle. 

Lette pryncis alle herof taken heede. 
What that availeth vertuous besynesse, 
And what damage the revers doth indeede, 
Vicious lyffe, slowthe, and ydelnesse ; 
And this ensample lete hem eke inpresse 
Amyddes theyr herte, and how Sarnadapalle 
Founde ydelnesse, moder of vices alle. 

90 lydgate's minor poems. 

Of Assurye to rekne the kynges alle, 
Whiche had that lond under subjeccioune, 
Laste of echon ther was Sarnadapalle, 
Most feraynyne of his condicioune ; 
Wherfor fortune Hst to throwe hym downe, 
And corapleyneng most uggely of manere, 
Next after Dydo to Bochas dide appere. 

To vicyous lust his lyf he did enclyne, 

Araonge the Assuriens whanne he regne began. 

Of false usage he was so femynyne, 

That on the rok amonges wymnien he spanne, 

In theyre habyte disguysed from a man, 

And of frowarde fleshly insolence 

Of any man fledde ay the presence. 

First this kynge chase to be his guyde 
The moder of vices callid Ydelnesse, 
Whiche of custume hye vertue sette aside, 
In every courte wher that she is maystresse, 
Of sorow and myschief the first founderesse, 
Whiche caused only this Sarnadapalle, 
That to alle goodenes his wittes dide appalle. 

He fonde up first ryot and dronkennesse, 
Callid a fadir of lust and lecherye ; 
Hateful of herte he was to sobrenesse, 
Cherisshyng surfaytes wacche and gloteny, 
Callid in his tyme a prince of bawdrye, 
Fonde reresoupers and fetherbeddis softe, 
To drynke late, and chaunge his wynes ofte. 

lydgate's minor poems. 91 

The ayre of metis and of bawdy cookis, 
Whiche that of custom al day rost and seethe ; 
Savours of spices, ladils, and flesshookes, 
He loved wele and toke of hem goode hede ; 
And folke that drank more than it was nede, 
Of smellyng wyne for theyr grete excesse, 
Whiche hem to abyde was holly his gladnesse. 

He thought also that it dide hym goode, 
To have aboute hym, ageyns skylle and right, 
Boystous bochers al bespreynt with bloode. 
And watry fisshers abode ay in his sight, 
Theyr cotes powdred with scalis silver bright, 
Demyng theyr odour duryng al his lyve. 
Was to his courage most preservatyve. 

For ther nas herbe, spice, grasse, ne roote, 

To hym so lusty as was the bordel house, 

Ne no gardyne so holsom, ne so sweete. 

To his plesaunce, ne so delicious, 

As was the presence of folkes lecherous. 

And ever gladde to speke of ribawdye, 

And hem to cherisshe that cowde wele flatere and lye. 

Til at the last, God, of verray right, 
Displesed was with his condiciouns, 
Bycause he was in every mannes sight 
So femynyne in his affectiouns, 
And holly gaf his inclynaciouns, 
Duryng his lyf, to every vicyous thyng, 
To horrible to here, and namly of a kyng. 

92 lydoate's minor poems. 

But as Bochas list put in mynde, 

Whanne Arbachus a prince of grete renoune, 

Sygh of his kynge the fleshly lustes blynde, 

Made with the peple of that regioune 

Agenst the kyng a conjuracioune. 

And sent to hym, for his mysgovernaunce, 

Of highe disdayne a ful playne defyaunce. 

Bad hym beware and prowdly to hym tolde. 

That he hym cast his vicyous lyf t'assaile, 

And in al hast also that he wolde, 

Withynne a fielde mete hym in bataile. 

Wherfor astonyed, his herte began to faile, 

Where he with wymmen satte and made his gawdes, 

No wight aboute hym but flaterers and bawdes. 

And up he rose and gan hymself to avaunce. 
No stuff with hym but folkes lecherous, 
And toke the fielde withouten governaunce, 
No man aboute hym but foolis ryotours, 
Whos adversarye callid Arbachus, 
Made hym proudely the fielde to forsake. 
That liche a cowarde his castelle hathe he take. 

And for his herte frowardly gan fayle, 
Nought liche a knyght, but liche a losengeour. 
His riche perre, his riche apparaile, 
His golde, his Jewells, vessels, and tresoure, 
Was brought afore hym, downe out of a towre, 
A-myddes his paleys, gaf his men in charge, 
Of coole and fagot to make a fuyre large. 

lydgate's minor poems. 93 

In whic[h]e he caste his tresoure and jewayles, 
More bestial than liche a manly man, 
And in myddes his stones and vessels, 
Into the fuyre ful furiously he ran ; 
This tryumphe this Sarnadapalle wanne, 
Withe fuyre consumed for his fynal mede, 
Brent al to asshes among the cooles reede. 

To-fore his dethe he bad that men shulde write. 
Upon his grave, the booke doth specifye. 
Withe lettres large this rayson to endyte, 
My cursed lyf, my froward ribawdye, 
Myn ydelnes, myn hateful lecherye, 
Have caused me, with many false desire. 
In my last day to be consumed with fuyre. 

This epitafF on his grave he sette, 

To shewe how that he was in al his lyve 

Ful besy ever to hyndren and to lette 

Al maner of vertue, and there agayne to stryve. 

Who foloweth his tracys is never liche to thryve, 

For whiche the princis seethe for your availe, 

Vengeaunce ay folwith the vyces at the tayle. 

O noble prynces ! here ye may wele see, 

As in a mirrour, a ful grete evydence, 

By many ensample, mo thanne two or thre, 

What harme folwith of slouthe and necligence ; 

Depe enprintyng in your advertence, 

How grete hyndryng doth wilful frowardnesse 

To youre estate, thurghe wilful ydelnesse. 

94 lydoate's minor poems. 

Whanne reason failithe, and sensualite 
HoldeUi the brydel of lecherous insolence, 
And sobrenes hath lost his liberte, 
And to false lust is done the reverence, 
And vice of vertue hath an apparence, 
Misledithe princis of wilful reklesnes. 
To grete errour of froward ydelnes. 

Ther may no slowthe no nother guerdoune bee, 
Neyther no nother condigne recompense, 
But sorow, myschief, and adversite, 
Sodayne vengeaunce and unware violence ; 
Whanne ye be frowarde in your magnificence, 
To knowe the Lorde, and bow you by mekenesse, 
T' obey his precepte and eschewe ydelnesse. 


The following poem is taken from MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 250-253, 
but tinfortimately ends imperfectly with the following note of 
the transcriber : " Shirley kowde fyiide no more for this copye.'' 

Mr. Collier has referred to this piece of Lydgate's in his History 
of Dramaiic Poetry, ii. 141, and adds, that the poem appears to 
him to be complete. It has nothing, as Mr. Collier observes, 
dramatic in its shape and conduct. Ritson, however, inserts "A 
procession of pageants from the creation" in his list of Lydgate's 
works ; copying, perhaps, from Tanner, who has conjectured the 
Coventry series of miracle-plays to have been written by him ; 
but not giving any reference to MS. Harl. 2255, as Mr. Collier 
intimates (i. 21), which belongs solely, though erroneously, to 
No. 153 of Ritson's list. 

lydgate's minor poems. 95 


This highe feste for to magnifye, 

Now fest of festis, most heveuly and devyne ! 
In gostly gladnesse to governe us and guy, 

By whiche al grace dothe upone shyne ; 
For now this day al derknesse to enlumyne, 

In youre presence sette out of figure, 
Shal be declared by many an unkouthe signe, 

Gracious mysteries grounded in Scripture. 

First that this fest may be the more magnifyed, 

Seothe and considrithe in yowre imagynatif, 
For Adam his synne how Crist was crucifyed. 

Upon a crosse to stynten al oure stryf ; 
Fruyt celestial hang on the tre of lyf. 

The fruyte of fruytes for short conclusioune, 
Oure helthe, oure foode, and oure restauratif, 

And chief repast of oure redempcioune. 

Remembrithe eke in yowre inward entent 

Melchisedech that offred brede and wyne, 
In figure only of the sacrament, 

Steyned in Bosra, on Calvarye made rede ; 
On Sherthursday to-fore that he was dede. 

For meraoryal most soverayne and goode, 
Gaf his aposteles take herof goode heede. 

His blessid body and his precious bloode. 

96 lydgate's minor poems. 

Chosen of God this patriark Abraham, 

Example playne of hospitalite. 
Recorde I take whan the Aungel cam, 

To his households which were in nombre thre ; 
In figure only of the Trynitc, 

Sette to hem brede withe ful glad chiere, 
Of grete comfort a token who list se, 

The sacrament that stondithe on the autier. 

To Isaac God list his grace shewe, 

Lyneally downe from that partye, 
In erthes fatnes and in hevtnly dewe, 

From the Holy Gost descendyng to Marie, 
That braunche of Jesse God list to glorifie. 

This Rose of Jericho fresshest on ly ve, 
Blissid among wymmem Luc dothe specific, 

Whos name is figured liere withe lettres fyve. 

Jacob saughe aungels goyng up and downe 

Upon a ladder, he slepyng certayne 
Lowe on a stone for recreacioune, 

The whete glene crowned above the greyne; 
Forged of gold an host therein I seyne, 

This Cristes brede delicious unto kynges, 
Withe gostly gladnesse gracious and soverayne, 

Geyne foreyn damage of al erthely thynges. 

This noble duk, this prudent IMoyses, 

Withe golden homes liche Phebus beames bright. 
His ark so riche his viole for to encres, 

Withe the manna to make our hertis light, 

lydgate's minor poems. 97 

Fygure and lyknesse who so looke aright, 

This gostly manna beyng here present, 
To us figurithe in oure inward sight, 

A syniilitude of the sacrament. 

This chosen Aaron beryng a lyknesse, 

In holy writ as it is clierly I'ounde, 
Of triewe priesthod and gostly perfitnesse, 

This innocent, this lambe withe large wounde, 
The fiende oure enemye outraye and confounde. 

Is token and signe of Cristes passioune, 
Spiritual gladnesse most for to habounde, 

This day mynistred til oure reffeccioune, 

Thow chose of God, David that sloughe Golye 

Withe slyng and stoone, callid the Champioune 
Of al Israel, as bookes specifye, 

That sloughe the here, that venqwysshed the lyoune, 
Figure of Jesu that witlie his passioune. 

And verray victor withe his woundes fyve, 
Brought the Philistes unto subjeccioune, 

Whan Longius spere dide thurghe his hert ryve. 

Ecclesiast, myrrour of sapyence. 

Withe close castel besyde a clowde rede, 

That same token be virgynal evydence, 
Sette in Marie, flowryng of maydenhede ; 

Whiche bare the fruyt, the celestial brede 
Of oure comfort and consolacioune. 

Into whos brest the Holy Gost, takethe heede. 

Sent to Nazarethe graciously cam downe. 


98 lydgate's minor poems. 

Beholde this prophete called Jereraye, 

Be a visioune so lievenly and divyne, 
Toke a chalice, and fast gan hym hye 

To presse out licour out of the rede vyne ; 
Greyne in the rayddes, whiche, to make us dyne, 

Was beete and bulled floure to make of brede, 
A gracious fygure that a pure virgyne. 

Should bere manna in whiche lay al oure specde. 

This I saye in token of plente, 

A braunche of vynes most gracious and meete, 
At a grete fest hym thought he dide se, 

And therwithe al a gracious gleeve of whete ; 
Token of joye from the hevenly seete, 

Whan God above list from Jessyes lyne 
To make his grace as gold dewe down to fleete, 

To staunche oure venyme which was serpentyne. 

Holy Helyas by grace that God hym sent, 

The noble prophete benygne and honurable, 
Made strongein spirite fourty dayes went 

In his journay, the brede made hym so stable ; 
Cristallyne water to hym so comfortable, 

Al his viage bothe in breede and leugthe, 
A blessed figure verray comfortable, 

Of the sacrament comythe oure gostly strengthe. 

Zacarie holdyng there the fayre censyer, 

Withe gostly fumes as any bawme so sweete. 

That up ascendithe from the hertis roote, 
Gostly tryacle and oure lyves boote, 

lydgate's minor poems, 99 

Agenst the sorwes of worldly pestilence, 
Alie infects ayres it puttithe under foote. 

Of hem that takithe this brede withe reverence, 
Be meditaciouns and grete prayer. 

Blessid Baptist of clennesse lok and key, 

Most devoutly gan marken and declare. 
Withe his fynger whan he sayde Agnus Dei, 

Shewed the lamb whiche caused oure welfare; 
On Goode Friday was on the crosse made bare, 

And ofFred up for our redempcioune, 
On Ester morvve to stynte al oure care, 

Agenst sikenes oure restauracioune. 

This holy man, the evaungelist Seynt John, 

The Apocalips wrote, and eke dranke poysoune, 
In Cristes faithe as stable as the stone, 

Abode withe Jhesu in his passyoune. 
And for to make a declaracioune, 

On the chalice patyn, a chield yong of age, 
Shewed after there the consecracioune, 

This brede is he that deyed for our outrage. 

This blessid Mark resemblyng the lyoune, 

In his gospel, partite, stable, and goode. 
Of brede and wyne for confirmacioune. 

On Sherthursday remerabrithe how it stoode, 
Sayde at his sowper, withe a blisful moode. 

To his disciples aforn or he aros, 
" This breede ray body, this wyne it is my bloode, 

Whiche that for man deyed upon the crosse." 

If 2 

100 lydoatf/s minor poems. 

Holy Mathew, this elate gospeler, 

Stable, parfite, and triewe in his entent, 
He wrote and sayde of hole hert and entier, 

Towching this blessid glorious sacrement ; 
"This is the chalice of the Newe Testament, 

That shal be shadde for many and nat for oon, 
For Crist Jhesu was from his fader sent, 

Excepcioune none, but deyed for echon." 

Lucas conferraythe of this holy bloode, 

To avoyde alwey al ambyguite. 
" This is ray body that shal for man be dede, 

Hym to delyver from infernal powste. 
To Jerusalem th' emperial citee, 

Hj-m to conduyte eternaly to abyde, 
Adam oure fader and his posterite, 

By Crist that suffred a spere to perce his syde." 

Paulus, doctor, writithe in his scripture. 

The whiche afFermythe and saythe us triewly, 
Yif ther be foundc any creature, 

Whiche that this brede receyvithe unworthily, 
He etithe his brede most dampnably. 

For whiche 1 counsaile and playnly thus I meane, 
Eche man be ware to kepe hym prudently, 

Nat to resceyve it, but if he be clene. 

He that is clepid " mayster of sentence," 

Sette in a clowde holde here a fresshe image, 

Remerabrithe eke by grete excellence. 
In this matier avoidyng al outrage, 

lydgate's minor poems. 101 

Gyven to man here in oure pilgremage, 

This sacrement after his doctryne, 
Is Cristcs body repast of our passage, 

By the Holy Gost take of a pure virgyne. 

The noble clerk the doctour ful famous, 

Writethe and recordithe remembryng trievvly, 
Geyne heretykes hooly Jeronymus 

How that this host is hole in eehe partye ; 
Bothe God and man Crist Jhesus verilye, 

In eche particle hole and endevided, 
This is oure beleeve and creaunce feithfully, 

Out of oure hertis al errours circumsided. 

Moral Gregore ful wele reherse he can, 

In his writyng and vertuous doctryne, 

How it is flesshe take of a pure virgyne, 
Geyne al sikenes oure chief restoratif. 

This sacrament, this blessid brede of lyf. 
This glorious doctour, this partite holy man, 

Touchyng this brede do thus determyne. 

Blessid Austyne rehersithe in sentence. 

Whan Crist is ete or receyve in substaunce. 
That lyf is eten of hevenly excellence, 

Qwykenyng oure hert withe al gostly plesaunee, 
Repast ay lasting, restoratyf eternal, 

Oure force, oure myght, oure strcngthe, oure sub- 
And remedy agenst al oure olde grevaunce, 

Brought in be bytyug of an aj)pul smal. 

102 lydoatf/s minor pop:ms. 

Ambrosius withe sugred eloquence, 

Writithe withe his pcnne and langagc laureate. 
Withe Cristes word substancial in sentence, 

The sacrament is justly consecrate, 
Oure daily foode renewyng oure estate, 

Reconsilyng us whan we trespas or erre. 
And makithe us myghti withe Sathan to debate. 

To Wynne tryumphe in al his mortal werre. 

Maister of storyes, this doetour ful notable, 

Holdyng a chalice here in a sonne cliere, 
An host aloft glorious and comendable, 

A pitee playneng withe a ful hevy chiere, 
Withe face downe cast shewyng the manere, 

Of hir compleynte withe hir pitous looke, 
Elas ! she bought hir sones dethe to dere, 

Whan he for man the raunsom on hym tooke. 

This holy Thomas callid of Alqwyne, 

Be highe myracle that saughe persones thre, 
An ost ful rounde, a sonne about it shyne, 

Joyned in oone by perfite unite, 
A glorious liknesse of the Trynite 

Gracious and digne for to be commendid. 
Withe feythe, withe hope, withe perfite charite, 

Al oure beleeve is therin comprehendid. 

Withe there figures shewed in yowre presence. 
By dyvers liknesse yow to do plesaunce, 

Receyvithe hem withe devout reverence. 
This brede of lyf yc kepc in remerabraunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 103 

Oute of tliis Egipt of worldly grevaunce, 

Yovvre restoratyf celestial manna. 
Of whiche God graunt eternal suffisaunce, 

Where aungels syng everlastyng Osanna. 


This is the best known of Lydgate's ballads, and has been fre- 
quently printed ; by Strutt, Pugh, Nicolas, and partly by Stowe. 
There are two copies iu the British Museum, MSS. Harl. 367 and 
542 : we take our text from the former and best of these copies, 
which differ considerably from each other. 

To London once my stepps I bent, 

Vv liere trouth in no wyse should be faynt, 

To Westmynster-ward I forthwith went, 

To a man of law to make complaynt, 

I sayd, " for Marys love, that holy saynt ! 

Pity the poore that wold proccede;" 

But for lack of mony I cold not spede. 

And as I thrust the prese amonge, 

By froward chaunce my hood was gone. 

Yet for all that I stayd not longe, 

Tyll to the kyngs bench I was come. 

Before the judge I kneled anoiie, 

And prayd hym for Gods sake to take heede 

But for lack of mony I myglit not speede. 

104 lydoate's minor poems. 

Beneth them sat clarkes a groat rout, 
Which fast dyd wryte by ono assent, 
There stoode up one and cryed about, 
Rychard, Robert, and John of Kent. 
I wyst not well what this man ment, 
He cryed so thycke there indede ; 
But he that lackt mony myght not spede. 

Unto the common place I yode thoo. 

Where sat one with a sylken hoode ; 

I dyd hym reverence, for I ought to do so. 

And told my case as well as I coode, 

How my goods were defrauded me by falshood. 

I gat not a mum of his mouth for my meed, 

And for lack of mony I myght not spede. 

Unto the Rolls I gat me from thence, 
Before the clarkes of the chauncerye, 
Where many I found earnyng of pence, 
But none at all once regarded mee. 
I gave them my playnt uppon my knee ; 
They lyked it well, when they had it reade : 
But lackyng money I could not be sped. 

In Westmynster hall I found out one, 

Which went in a long gown of raye ; 

1 crowched and kneled before hym anon. 

For Maryes love, of help I hym praye. 

" I wot not what thou meanest," gan he say : 

To get me thence he dyd me bede, 

For lack of mony I cold not speed. 

lydgate's minor poems. 105 

Within this hall, nether rich nor yett poore 

Wold do for me ought, although I shold dye. 

Which seing, I gat rae out of the doore, 

Where Flemynges began on me for to cry, 

" Master, what will you copen or by ? 

Fyne felt hattes, or spectacles to reede? 

Lay down your sylver, and here you may speede." 

Then to Westmynster-Gate I presently went. 

When the sonn was at hyghe pryme ; 

Cookes to me, they tooke good entente, 

And proferred me bread, with ale and wyne, 

Rybbs of befe, both fat and ful fyne. 

A fay re cloth they gan for to sprede ; 

But wantyng mor.y I myght not then speede. 

Then unto London I dyd me hye. 
Of all the land it beareth the pryse : 
Hot pescodes, one began to crye, 
Strabery rype, and cherryes in the ryse; 
One bad me come nere and by some spyce, 
Peper and saiforne they gan me bede, 
But for lack of mony I myght not spede. 

Then to the Chepe I began me drawne, 

W^here mutch people I saw for to stande ; 

One ofred me velvet, sylke, and lawne, 

An other he taketh me by the hande, 

" Here is Parvs thred, the fynest in the land ;" 

I never was used to such thyngs indede, 

And wantyng mony I myght not spede. 

lOfj lyi)(;atk"'s minok i' 

Then went I forth by London stone, 

Throughout all Canwyke strecte ; 

Drajiers mutch cloth me offred anone ; 

Then comes me one cryed hot shepes feete ; 

One cryde makerell, ryster grene, an other gan greete : 

On bad mo by a hood to cover my head, 

But for want of mony I myglit not be sped. 

Then I hyed me into Est-Chepe ; 

One cryes rybbs of befe, and many a pye ; 

Pewter pottes they clattered on a heape; 

There was harpe, pype, and raynstrelsye. 

" Yea, by cock ! nay, by cock !" some began crye ; 

Some songe of Jenken and Julyan for then mede ; 

But for lack of mony I myght not spede. 

Then into Corn-Hyl anon I yode, 
Where was mutch stolen gere amonge ; 
I saw where honge myne owne hoode. 
That 1 had lost amonge the thronge : 
To by my own hood I thought it wronge, 
I knew it well as I dyd my crede, 
But for lack of mony I could not spede. 

The taverner took mee by the sieve, 

" Sir," sayth he, " wyll you our wyne assay ?" 

I answered, that can not mutch me greve, 

A peny can do no more then it may, 

I drank a pynt and for it dyd paye ; 

Yet sone a hungerd from thence I yode, 

And wantyng mony I cold not spede. 

lydgate's minor poems. ]07 

Then liyed I me to Belyngsgate ; 

And one cryed, "hoo ! go we hence!" 

I prayd a barge man, for God's sake. 

That he wold spare me my expence. 

" Thou scapst not here," quod he, " under ij. pence ; 

I lyst not yet bestow any almes dede." 

Thus lackyng mony I could not speede. 

Then I couvayd me into Kent ; 

For of the law wold I meddle no more ; 

Because no man to me tooke entent, 

I dyght me to do as I dyd before. 

Now Jesus, that in Bethlem was bore, 

Save London, and send trew lawyers there mede ! 

For M'ho so wantes mony with them shall not spede. 


There can be little doubt that this humorous story is translated 
iVom a French Fabliau, but we have not been able to discover that 
the original is known. It is here printed from MS. Harl. 78. 

O GLORYUS God, oure governor, gladin alle this 

And gyfe them joye that wylle here whatt I shalle saye 

or syng. 
Me were lotlie to be under noii of them that byn not 

connyng ; 
Many maner of men there be that wylle nieddylle of 

every thyng, 
Of resons x. or xij. 


Dyversc mone fawtU's wylle Me, 
Tliat knowetlie no more then doythe my hele, 
That they thynke nothyng ys vvelle, 
But yt do meve of themselfe. 

But yt move of themselfe, for sothe they thynke yt 

ryghte nowght ; 
Many men ys so usyd, ther terme ys soen toughte. 
Sympylle ys there consayet, when yt ys forthe broughte: 
To meve you of a matter, forsothe, I am be thoughte. 

To declare you of a case. 
Make you mery alle and soue, 
And 1 shalle telle you of a noone, 
The fayryst creator under the sone, 

Was pryorys of a plase. 

The lady that was lovely, a lorddes dowter she was, 
Full pewer and fuUe precyous provyd in every plase; 
Lordes and laymen and spryttualle her gave chase. 
For her fayer beawte grette temtacyon she hase, 

Hf^r love for to wynne, 
Grett gyftes to here they brow5th ; 
Many men lowythe here out hir softe ; 
How here selfe myght from them wrowthe, 

She wyst not how to begyene. 

There wooyd a young knyght, a fresse lord and a fayer ; 
And a parson of a paryche, aperelet wythouttyn pyre; 
And a burges of a borrow ; lyst and ye shalle here 
How they had layed ther love upon the lady dere, 
And nooen of other wvst. 

lydgate's minor poems. 1 09 

They goo and com ; 
Desyryd of here loufFsoene, 
They sware by son and mone 
Of here to have there lyste. 

The young knyghte for the lad5's love narrow tornyd 

and went, 
Many bokkes and dooj's to the lady he sent ; 
The parson present her preveiy hys matters to amend, 
Bedds, brochys, and botelles of wyen he to the lady sent; 

The burges to her broght. 
Thus they trobylyd ihorow tene, 
She wyst not how here selfFe to mene. 
For to kepe here soule clene. 

Telle she her be-thought. 

The young knyght be-thought hym mervelously wythe 

lady for to melle ; 
He flatteryd her wythe many a fabylle, fast hys toung 

gan telle; 
Lessyngs lepyd out amonge, as sowend of a belle : 
" Madam, but I have my lyst of you, I schalle my- 

selefF quelle : 
Youre lovfe unto me graunt. 
In bat y lie bolde there abyde, 
To make the Jues there heddes hyde, 
With gret strokes and bloddy syd, 
And sle many a grette gyaunt. 

" AJle ys for your love, madame, my lyfe wold I venter, 
So that ye wylle graunt me, I have desyryd many a 

1 10 lydoate's minor poems. 

Under nethe your comly cowlc to have niyn intent." 
" Syr," she sayd, "ye be ower lord, ower patron, and 
ower precedent ; 

Your wylle must nedes be don. 
So that ye wylle goo thys tyde 
Dowen to the chapylle under the wood syde, 
And be rewlyd as I wylle ye gyde." 

" Alle redy," sayde he thoo. 

" Dowen in the wode there ys a chapelle, ryght as I 

you hyght lett; 
Therein must ye ly alle nyght, my love and ye wylle 

Ly there lyke a ded body sowyd in a shett, 
Than shalle ye have my love, my nawen hony swett, 

Unto morow that yt be lyght." 
" Madame," he sayd, " for your love 
Yt shalle be don, be God above 1 
Ho sayethe, naye, here ys me glove, 

In that quarelle for to fyght." 

That knyght kyssyd the lady gent, the bargen was made; 
Of no bargen syght he was borne was he never halfe 

so glade. 
He went to the chapelle, as the lady hym bad ; 
He sowyd hymselfe in a shett, he was nothyng a-dred, 

He thought apon no sorrow. 
When he com there, he layed up ryght, 
Wythe ij. tapers bornynge bryght, 
There he thought to ly alle nyght, 

To kys the lady on the morrow. 

lydgate's minor poems. Ill 

As soon as the knyght was gon, she sent for Sir John ; 

Welle I wott he was not long, he cam to her anon. 

" Madam," he sayd, " what shalle I do ?" She answeryd 

to him than, 
Sche sayd, " hyt schalle telle yow my conssell sone, 

Blowen yt ys so brode. 
I have a cosyn of my blode, 
Lyethe ded in the chapylle wood; 
For owyng of a som of good 

Hys beryng ys forbode. 

" We be not abylle to pay the good that men do crave, 
Therfore we send for you, ouer worshype for to save : 
Say his dorge and masse, and laye hym in hys grave, 
Wythin a whyle after my love shalle you have. 

And truly kepe consell." 
Hys hartte hoppyd hys wyll to worke ; 
To do alle thys he undertoke. 
To say hys servys apon a boke 

He sware be hevyn and helle. 

" Do thy dever," the lady sayd, " as farforthe as thou may. 
Then shalt thou have thy wylle of me." And serten 

to I the saye, 
Sir John was as glad of thys as ever was fowle of daye ; 
Wyth a m[a]ttake and a shovylle to the cliapylle he 
takythe the waye. 

Where he lay in his shett. 
When he cam ther, he made hys pett, 
And sayed hys dorge at his fett. 
The knyght lyethe stylle, and dremyd hyt 

That my loff'e whas hys swett. 

112 t.ydoate's minor poems. 

As soen as the pryst was gon the yong knyght fur tu bery, 
She sent after the marchaunt; to her he cam full inery. 
" Dowen in the wode ther ys a chapell, ys fayer under 

a pere, 
Therin lyethe a ded corse, thefore must ye stere ye. 

To helpe us in owcr ryght; 
He owyth ua a som of guide, 
To forbyd liys beryng I am bolde ; 
A pryst ys theder, as yt ys me tolde, 

To bery hym thys nyght. 

" Yf the corse beryd be, and ower mony not payed, 
Yt were a fowUe sham for us so for to be bytrayed ; 
And yf ye wyl! do after me, the pryst shalle be afrayed ; 
In a develles garment ye shalle be arayed. 

And stalke ye theder fulle stylle. 
When ye se the pryst styre, 
To bery hym that lyeth on bere, 
liepe in at the quyer dore, 

Like a fend of helle." 

" Madam, for your love, soen I shall be tyryd, 

So that ye wylle graunt me that I have oft desyryd." 

" Syr," she sayd, " ye shalle yt have, but fyrst I wyll be 

That ower cownselle ye wylle kepe that they be not 

Tell to morow that yt be day. 
Yf thou voyed, or ells flee, 
For ever thou lesyst the love of me." 
•' I graunt, madame," sythe he, 

And uu wythe ys araye. 


He dyght hym in a dyvelles garment, fFurthe gan he goo ; 
He cam in at the chrych dore, as the dyrge was doo, 
Rynnyng, roryng, wythe hys rakyls, as devilles semyd 

to doo. 
The pryst brayed up as a boke, hys hartt was allemost goo. 

He demyd hymselfe but ded. 
He was afered he was to slowe ; 
He rose up he wyst not howe, 
And brake out at a wyndow, 

And brake fowle ys heed. 

But he that bod all the brunt, how sherwly he was egged, 

For to here hys dyrge do, and se hys pet deggyd. 

'' I trow I had my damys curse, I myght have byn 

better beddyd ; 
For now I am but lost, the lyghtter but I be leggyd." 

And up rose he then. 
The devyll se the body rose ; 
Then hys hart began to gryse : 
" I trow we be not alle wyse," 

And he began to ryen. 

His ragys and hys rattelles clen be had forgett ; 

So had the yong knyght, that sowyed was in the shett. 

The pryst demyd them devylles both, wyth them he 

wolde not mett ; 
He sparyd nother hylle, nor holte, buschc, gryne, 

nor grett ; 
Lord ! he was fowle scrapyd I 

114 lydgate's minor poems. 

The other twayen was elle aferd, 
They sparyd nethe stylle ne sherd, 
They had lever then raydylle erd, 
Ayther from other have scapyd. 

The pryst toke a by pathe, wyth them he wolde not mett; 
Y[]i3t ys hed was fowle brokyn, the blod ran dowen to 

ys fett ; 
He ran in a fyrryd gowen, he cast of alle hys clothys, 

alle his body gan reke. 
To the bare breke 

Because he wolde goo lyght. 
He thought he harde the devylle loushe, 
He start into a bryer boushe, 
That al his skyen gan rowsshe 

Of hys body quyt. 

The knyth he ran into a wood, as fast as he myght 

weend ; 
He felle apon a stake, and fowle his lege gan rentt; 
Therefore he toke no care, he was aferd of the fend ; 
He thought yt was a longe waye to the pathes end. 

But then cam alle hys care I 
In at a gape as he glent 
By the raedylle he was hent, 
Into a tre tope he went 

In a bokes snarre. 

The marchaunt ran apon a laund there where growyth 
no thoren, 


He felle apoii a bollys bake, he causte hym apon liys 

" Out ! alas !" he sayd, " that ever I was boren, 
For now I goo to the devylle bycause I dyd hym scoren. 

Unto the pytt of helle." 
The bolle ran into a myre, 
There he layed ower fayer syer. 
For alle the world he durst not stere, 

Tylle that he herde a belle. 

On the morrow he was glad that lie was so scapyd ; 
So was the pryst also, thoo he was body nakyd. 
The knyght was in the tre tope, for dred fere he quaked ; 
The best jowelle that he had fayne he wolde forsake, 

For to com dowene. 
He caught the tre by the tope, 
Ye and eke the calle trope ; 
He felle and brake hys fore tope 

Apon the bare growend. 

Thus they went from the game, begylyd and beglued ; 

Nether on other wyst, hom they went be-shrewyd ; 

The parsone tolde the lady on the morrow, what mys- 

chyf ther was shewed, 

How that he had ronne for her love, hys raerthys wer 

but lewed, 

He was so sore dred of dethe. 

" VVhen I shuld have beryd the corse, 

The devylle cam in, the body rose, 

To se alle thys ray hart grese, 

AlyfFe I scapyd unnethe." 

I 2 


" Remember," the lady saythe, " what myschyfe heron 

goythe ; 
Had I never lover yet that ever dyed good dethe." 
" Be that lord !" sayd the pryst, " that shope bothe ale 

and mette I 
Thow shaltte never be wooed for me, whylyst I have 
speche or brethe, 
Whyle I may se or here." 
Thus they to mad ther bost ; 
Furthe he went wythout the corse. 
Then com the knyght for hys purpos. 
And told her of hys fare. 

*' Now I hope to have your love, that I have servyd 

youre ; 
For bought I never love soo dere syth I Mas man i-bore." 
" Hold thy pese !" the lady sayd, " therof speke thou 

no more, 
For by the newe bargen my love thou hast for-lore, 

Alle thys hundrythe wynter." 
She answered hym ; he went hys way. 
The marchaunt cam the same day. 
He told her of hys grett afray. 

And of hys hyght aventure. 

" Tylle the corse shulde be beryd, be the bargen I abode ; 
When the body ded ryse, a grymly gost a-gleed, 
Then was tyme me to stere, many a foyle I be-strood ; 
There was no hegge for me to hey, nor no watter to brod, 
Of you to have my wylle. ' 

lydgate's minor poems. 117 

The lady said, " pese, fuUe blethe. 
Neer,"' she said, " whylle thou art man on lyfFe ; 
For I shalle shew yt to they vvyfF, 
And alle the centre yt tylle. 

And proclam ytte in the markyt towene, they care to 

Therwyth he gave her xx. marke that she shold hold 

her pese. 
Thus the burges of the borrowe, after hys dyses, 
He eudewed into the place wyth dedes of good relese, 

In fee for ever more. 
Thus the lady ded fre. 
She kepythe her vyrgenyte, 
And indevved the place wyth fFee, 

And salvyd them of ther soore. 


Copies of this moral tale are common in manuscript, and it has 
been printed by our early printers, Caxton and Wynkyn de Worde. 
See MS. Lansd. 699 ; MS. Lamb. 306 ; MS. Rawl. Oxon. C. 86 ; 
MS. Bodl. Laud. 598, Bern. 1475. I have thought it sufficient 
to give the moral from MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 314-316. 


Of this fable conteynethe this sentence. 
At goode leyser dothe the matier see, 
Whiche inportithe grete intelligence. 
If ye list, take the moralitc I 

118 lydgate's minor poems. 

Profitable to every comunalte, 

Whiche includithe in many sundry wise, 

No man shuld, of highe or low degre, 

For no prerogatif his neyghburghe to dispise, 

Trappours of golde ordeyned were for stiedis, 
Sheepe in tlieyr pasture to grace withe mekenes, 
Yitte of theyr wuUis bien wonder riche wedis, 
Of smothe downe made pilwes for softnes, 
Fether-beddis to sleepe on whan men hem dresse, 
Toward Aurora ageyn til they rise, 
Rolle up this problem, thynke it dothe expresse. 
For no prerogatif his neyghburghe to dispise. 

The inward meanes, aforn as it is told. 
The hors is taken of marcial noblesse, 
Withe his bellis and boosis brode of gold, 
Estate of tirauntis the poraile dothe expresse. 
The wolfe iu fieldis the shepe dothe grete duresse, 
Rukking in foldis for fere dar nat arise. 
Ye that have power be ware in yowre highnesse, 
For no prerogatif yowre subgettis to dispise. 

As pronostatike clerks beren witnesse, 

Be ware of Phebus that erly castithe hir light. 

Of reyue, storme, or myst, or of derkenesse, 

Shal after folowe long or it be nyght ; [flight, 

Signe of grete wynter whan wielde gees take theyr 

Nat highe nor lowe presumen of his rayght, 

For no prerogatif his neyghburghe to dispise. 

lydgate's minor poems. 119 

Of many straunge unkowthe simylitude, 
Poetis of olde fables han contryved, 
Of sheepe, of hors, of gees, and bestis rude, 
By whiche theyr witte was secretely approved, 
Under covert terraes tirauntes eke reproved, 
Theyr oppressiouns and malice to chastice, 
By example of reasen goodely to be meved, 
For no prerogatif the poraile to dispise. 

Fortunes course diversly is dressid, 

By liknes of many another tale ; 

Men, beste, and fowle, and fisshes bien oppressed, 

Of greie fisshes devoured bien the smale. 

In theyr nature bi female or bi male ; 

Whiche in nature is a ful straunge guyse, 

To sen a cukkow murther a nvsrhtyngale. 

An innocent bridde of hatered to dispise. 

Withe this processe who that be wrothe or woode, 
Thynges outrage bien founde in every kynde, 
A cherol of birthe hatithe gentil bloode ; 
It were a monstre geyne nature, as I fynde, 
That a grete mastyfe shuld a lyoun bynde ; 
A perilous clymbyng whan beggers up arise 
To hye estate, marke this in yowre mynde, 
By false prerogatif theyr neyghburghs to dispise. 

False supplantyng, clymbyng of foolis 

Unto chayers of worldly dignite, 

Looke of discrecioune sette jobbardis upon stoolis, 

Whiche hathe distroyed many a comunalte, 

1 20 lydgate'8 minor poems. 

Marchol to sitte in Salamons see, 

Wliat fohvithe after no reason no justice, 

Injuste promoeioune and parcialite, 

By false prerogatyf theyr neyghburghs to dispise. 

Atwene riche and poore, what is the difference, 
Whan dethe approchithe, in every creature? 
Sauf a gay tumbe fresshe of apparence, 
The riche is shitte withe colours and picture. 
To hide his careyne stuffid withe foule ordure, 
The poore lithe lowe after the comune guyse. 
To techon al prowde men of reason and nature. 
For no prerogatif his neyghburghe to dispise. 

Ther was a kyng whilom as I rede, 
As is remembred, of not ful yoore agon, 
Whiche cast awey crowne and purpur wede, 
Bicause that he knew nat boon from boon ; 
Of poore ne riche hym tempte they were aloon. 
Refused his corowne and gan to advertise, 
Princis buryed in glasse ane precious stone, 
Sliuld of no pompe theyr subgettis to dispise. 

This thyng was done in Alisaundre tyme, 

Bothe authentique and historialle. 

Bode nat til nyghte left his estate at pryme, 

His purpul mantel his garnementis royalle, 

To exemplifie in especial, 

To emperial power that perol is to rise, 

Who clymbythe hyest most dredfulle is his falle, 

Eche man be ware his neyghburghe to dispise. 

lydgate's minor poems. 121 

Highe and lowe were made of oo nature. 
Of erthe we cam to erthe we shal ageyne, 
Withe theyr victories and triumphes incertayne, 
In charis of gold lete hem have no disdayne, 
Thoughe they eche day of newe hemselfe disguyse, 
Fortune is false his sonne is meynt withe reyne. 
Beware ye princis youre subgettis to dispise. 

Hede and feete bien necessary bothe, 
Feete bere up alle and heedis shal provide, 
Hors, sheepe, and gees whi shul they be wrothe, 
For theyr comodites to abrayden up pride ; 
Nature theyr yiftes dothe dyversly divide ; 
Whos power lastithe from Cartage unto Pise, 
He hastithe wele that wisely gan abide. 
For any prerogatif his neyghburghe to dispise. 

To best and fowle nature hathe sette a lawe, 

Ordeyned stiedis in justes for the knyght, 

In cart and ploughe horsis for to draw, 

Sheepe in theyr pasture to grase day and nyght. 

Gees to swymme, among to take theyr flight ; 

Of God and kynde taken al theyr fraunchise, 

Yevynge ensample that no maner wight 

For no prerogatif his neyghburghe shal dispice. 

122 lydgate's minor poems. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 272-275.] 


Lyft up the ieen of your advertence, 

Ye that bethe blynde withe worldly vanyte, 
No better myrrour than experience, 

For to declare his mutabilite. 
Lo ! now withe joye, now withe adversite, 

To erthely pilgrymes that passen to and froo, 
Fortune shewithe ay, by chaungyng hir see. 

How this world is a thurghefare ful of woo. 

Boys in his booke of Consolacioune, 

Writethe and rehersithe fortunes variaunce, 
And raakithe there a playne discripcioune, 

To trust on hir ther is none assuraunce ; 
For who til hir, lo ! hathe atteudaunce, 

Is liche a pilgryme passyng to and froo, 
To shewe to us withe sugred false plesaunce, 

How this world is a thurghefare ful of woo. 

In this world here is none abidyug place. 

But that it is by processe reiiiuable : 
For who had ever in erthe suche a grace. 

To make fortune for to abide stable : 
Hir double face is so variable, 

Seethe by these pilgrymes that passen to and fro. 
To prudent folkes an ymage acceptable, 

How this worlde is a thurghefare ful of woo. 

lydgate's minor poems. 123 

Nis nat this world liche a pilgrymage, 

Wher highe ne lowe no while may abyde ? 
Liche a fayre peynture sette on a stage, 

That sodainly is oft so cast aside ? 
Fy on pompe, and fy on worldly pride, 

Whiche bien but pilgrymes passynge to andfroo, 
To shewe plainly, who that can provide, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Oure fader Adam bygan withe sore travaile, 

Whan he was flemed out of Paradice. 
Lord ! what myght than gentillesse availe, 

The first stokke of labour toke his price ; 
Adam in the tilthe whilom was holden wyse. 

And Eve in spynnyng prudent was also. 
For to declere as be myn advise, 

How this world is a thurghefare ful of woo. 

Is nat the cart and the laborious ploughe, 

Of lordes riches and of theyr haboyndaunce 
Roote and grounde, if they kowde have i-nowghe, 

And hold hem content withe fortunes chaunce. 
But covetise oppressithe souffisaunce, 

In worldly pilgrymes passyng to and froo, 
To shewen alias and maken demonstraunce, 

How this world is a thurghefare ful of woo. 

And for to telle plainly and nat to spare, 
Whiche bien the worthy surmountyng noblesse, 

That han betymes passid this thurghfare, 
And kowde therin fynde no surenesse. 

1 24 lydgate's minor poems. 

For to abyde but chaunge and doublenesse, 
What was ther fyne whan that they shuld goo, 

Redithe the cronycles and trouthe shal expresse, 
How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Who was more knyghtly than was Josue, 

Whicho hyng up kynges there at Gabaon? 
Or more manly than Judas Machabe, 

Meker than David, wiser than Salamon ? 
Or fayrer founde than was Absolon ? 

Icheon but pilgrymes passyng to and froo ; 
Takyng ensample also by Sampson, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of vvoo. 

Hector was slayne also of Achilles, 

As he hym mette unwarly in bataile, 
And Julius was murthred in the prese, 

Whan senatours at Rome hym dide assaile. 
What myght the conquest of Alisaundre availe ? 

Al ner but pilgrymes passing to and froo, 
Plainly to declare to riche and to the poraile. 

How this world is a thurghfare full of woo. 

Remembrithe how that many a riche realme, 

Hathe bien to-forn cast downe and overthrowe, 
Prynces of provynces whilom Jerusalem, 

Was for his synne somtyme brought ful lowe, 
Seede of discorde also that was sowe. 

Among the Trojans in myddes of theyr mortal woo, 
Gyvithe evidence to make men to knowe, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

lydgate's minor poems. 125 

Of Babyloyne the grete Balthasar, 

Whan he sat hyest in his estate royal, 
Ful sodainly, or he list be ware, 

Had from his crowne a ful dredeful fal ; 
Mane techel phares writen on the walle, 

Taught hym plainly what wey he shuld go, 
To us concludyng in especial, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Betwene Pompey and Cesar Julius, 

Was grounde and cause why that Rome towne 

Distroyed was, crony cles tellen us ; 
Cesar slayne by Brutus Cassius, 
Makyng th' empire unto declyne to goo, 

For to reporte plainly unto us, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Hertis devided have caused mochel wrake : 

Recorde on Fraunce and Parys the fayre citee, 
Betwene Burgoynonne and hateful Arraynake, 

Gynnyng and roote of grete mortalite, 
Shedyng of bloode, slaughter, and adversite, 

As Martis chaunce torned to and froo, 
To yeve ensample if men kowde se. 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

The fyft Heury, the myghti conquerour, 
To sette rest atwene Inglaund and Fraunce, 

Dide his peyne and dihgent labour, 

As he wele kydde by knyghtly governaunce, 

1 26 lydgate's minor poems. 

To grete hyndrj'ng of these reames twoo, 
Toke hym awey, to sliewe us in substaunce, 
How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Clarence the Duk, ensample of gentilesse, 

Of fredam callid the verray exeraplayre ; 
The Duk of Excestre, ful famous of prowesse, 

Thoughe he were knyghtly, he was eke debonayre ; 
But for al that fortune was yit contrayre: 

To bothe these Dukes, alias ! why dide she so ? 
But for hir list to shewe by mortal chaunce, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Of Salusbury the manly Montagw, 

Thoughe he was preved in armys a goode knyght. 
The fatal day yit might he nat eschewe, 

Whan that he dyed for his kynges right, 
And Parchas sustren list preve ther yvel myght, 

Of his paradice, whan it come therto. 
To make a myrrour how we may have a sight. 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Stabilnesse is founde in nothyng. 

In worldly honour who so lokithe wele; 
For dethe ne sparithe emperour ne kyng, 

Thoughe they be armed in plates made of Steele : 
He castithe downe princes fi'om fortunes wheele. 

As hir spokes rounde about goo. 
To exemplifye, who that markithe wele, 

How this world is a tliurglifare ful of woo. 

lydgate's minor poems. 127 

God sent aforn ful oft his officers, 

To dukes, erles, barouns of estate, 
Sommonethe also by his mynisters 

Surquidous people, pompous and elate, 
Ageyns whos somons they dare make no debate. 

Obey his preceptis and may nat go ther fro, 
To signefie to pope and to prelate, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Of his bedils the names to expresse, 

And of his sergeauntis, as I can endite, 
To somowne he sendithe langour and sikenesse, 

And som withe povert hym list to visite; 
To iche estate so wele he can hym qwyte, 

Markyng his servauntis withe tokens where they goo, 
To shewe hem plainly as I dare wele write, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Whom that he lovithe, the Lord forgethe hym nought, 

I meane the children of his heritage, 
He gyvithe hem leverey of golde ne perle i-wrought; 

The prente whiche he bare in his pilgremage, 
Scorne and rebuke cast in his visage. 

He pacient and sayde nothyng therto. 
But gaf ensample to every maner of age, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Thankithe God withe humble pacience, 

W han he yow visitethe withe suche adversite, 

Heven nys nat wonne with worldly influence, 
Withe golde ne tresour ne grete prosperito, 

1 28 lydgate's minor poems. 

But withe suff'raunce and withe humylite, 
For this lyf heere, take goode heede therto, 

Failethe ay at nede wherby ye may se, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Kynges, princis, most soverayne of renoune, 

For al theyr power, theyr myght, theyr excellence, 
Nor philosophers of every regioune. 

Nor the prophetes preferred by science. 
Were nat fraunchised to make resistence, 

But liche pilgrymes whan it cam therto, 
To shewe ensample and playn evidence, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

Reken up the realmes and the raonarchyes, 

Of erthely princes, reigneng in theyr glorye. 
Withe theyre sceptres and theyr regalyes, 

Withe theyr tryumphes conquerid bi victorye, 
Theyr marcial actes entitled by memorye, 

And to remembre whan that al this is doo. 
They doo but shewe a shadow transitorye, 

How this world is a thurghfare ful of woo. 

O, ye maysters, that cast shal yowre looke 

Upon this dyte made in wordis playne, 
Remembre sothely that I the refreyn tooke. 

Of hym that was in makyng soverayne. 
My maister Chaucier, chief poete of Bretayne, 

Whiche in his tragedyes made ful yore agoo, 
Declared triewly and list nat for to seyne, 

How this world is a thurghefare ful of woo. 

lydgate's minor roEMS. 129 


The legend of these two "strange beasts" was widely spread 
during the fifteenth century. The names are both French, 
Chichefache, or Chinchefache, which signifies literally " melan- 
choly," or " sour visage," was the more famous of the two, and is 
oftener introduced alone. In one of the Mysteries of Si. Gene- 
vieve, edited by M. Jubinal, (Paris, 1837) a townsman is made to 
say sneeringly to the Saint -. 

" Gardez-vous de la Chicheface, 
El vous mordra s'el vous eucontre." — vol. i. \i. 248. 

In the notes at the end of that volume, M. Jubinal has printed, 
from a MS. in the Royal Library of Paris, a very curious poem, 
descriptive of the Chichefache. Lydgate's poem was printed by 
Dodsley, in his Old Plays, vol. xii. p. 302. See the note at the 
end of the present volume. My text is taken from MS. Harl. 
2251, fol. 270-272. 

First ther shal stonde an ymage in Poete wise, seyeng 
these iij balades. 

O PRUDENT folkes takithe heecle, 
And remembrithe in youre lyves, 
How this story dothe procede, 
Of the husbandes and theyr wyfes, 
Of theyr accorde and theyr stry ves, 
Withe lyf or dethe whiche to derayne 
Is graunted to these bestes twayne. 

Than shal be portreyed two bestis, oon fatte, another Icene. 

For this Bycorne of his nature 

Wil nonother maner foode, 

But pacient husks never in his pasture, 


130 lydgate's minor poems. 

And Chichevache etithe wymmen goode : 
And bothe these bestes, by the roode 1 
Be fatte or leene, it may nat faile, 
Like lak or plente of theyr vitaile. 

Of Chychevache and of Bycorne 

Tretithe holy this matere, 

Whos story hathe taught us beforn, 

Howe these bestes bothe in feere 

Have ther pasture, as ye shal here, 

Of men and wymmen in sentence, 

Thurghe sufFraunce or thurghe impacience. 

Than shal he portrayed a fatte heste callid Bycorne, of the 
cuntrey of Bycornoys, and seyn these thre baladis folotvyng. 

Of Bycornoys I am Bycorne, 

Ful fatte and rounde here as I stonde, 

And in mariage bounde and sworne 

To Chivache, as hir husbonde, 

Whiche wil nat eete, on see nor londe, 

But pacient wyfes debonayre, 

Whiche to her husbondes be nat contrayre. 

Ful scarce, God wote ! is hir vitaile, 

Humble wyfes she fynt so fewe, 

For ulweys at the countre-taile 

Theyr tunge clappithe and dothe hewe ; 

Suche meke wyfes I be-shrewe, 

That neyther can at bedde ne boorde 

Theyr husbondes nat forbere oon woorde. 

lydgate's minor poems. 181 

But my foode and my cherisshyuge, 
To telle plainly and nat to varye, 
Is of siiche folke whiche theyr livynge 
Dare to theyr wyfes be nat contrarye, 
Ne from theyr lustis dare nat varye, 
Nor withe hem holde no champartye, 
Al suche my stomack vvil defye. 

Than shal be portrayed a company of men comyng towardis 
this heste Bycorne, and sey these foure haladis. 

Felawes, takethe heede, and ye may see 
How Bycorne castilhe hym to devoure 
AUe humble men, bothe yow and me, 
Ther is no gayne may us socoure : 
Woo be therfoi', in halle and boure. 
To al these husbandes whiche theyr lives 
Maken maystresses of theyr wyfes. 

Who that so dothe, this is the lawe. 

That this Bycorne wil hym oppresse, 

And devouren in his mawe, 

That of his wife makithe his maystresse ; 

This wil us bryng in grete distresse, 

For we, for oure humylite. 

Of Bycorne shal devoured be. 

We stonden plainly in suche case, 
That they to us maystressis be; 
We may wele syng, and seyn, alias I 

K 2 

132 lydoate's minor poems. 

That we gaf hem the soverante ; 
For we ben thralle and they be free ; 
Wherfor Bycorn, this cruel beste, 
Wil us devouren at the lest. 

But who that can be soverayne, 
And his wife teche and chastise, 
That she dare nat a worde gayn-seyn. 
Nor disobej-e in no manner wise ; 
Of suche a man I can devise, 
He stant under protectioune, 
From Bycornes jurisdiccioune. 

Than shal ther be a womman devoured in the moivthe of 
Chichevache, cryeng to alle wyfes, and sey these halad : 

O noble wyves, bethe wele ware, 
Takithe ensample now by me ; 
Or ellis afferme wele I dare, 
Ye shal be ded, ye shal nat flee ; 
Bethe crabbed, voydithe humylite, 
Or Chichevache ne wil nat fade 
Yow for to swolow in his entraile. 

Than shal ther be portrayed a long horned beste, sklendre and 

leene, with sharp tethe, and on his body nothyng 

sauf skyn and boon . 

Chichevache this is my name, 
Hungrjs megre, sklendre, and leene, 

lydgate's minor poems. 133 

To shewe my body I have grete shame ; 
For hunger I feele so grete teene, 
On me no fatnesse wil be seene, 
By cause that pasture I fynde none, 
Therfor I am but skyn and boon. 

For my fedyng in existence 
Is of wyramen that ben meke, 
And liche Gresield in pacience, 
Or more theyr bounte for to eeke ; 
But I ful longe may gon and seeke. 
Or I can fynde a good repast, 
A morwe to breke with my fast. 

1 trowe ther be a deere yeere 
Of pacient wyramen now these dayes ; 
Who grevithe hem withe word or chere, 
Lets hym be ware of suche assayes, 
For it is more than thritty mayes. 
That I have sought from lond to lond, 
But yit oon Gresield never I fond. 

I fonde but oon in al my lyve, 
And she was ded ago ful yoore. 
For more pasture I will nat stryve. 
Nor seche for my foode no more, 
Ne for vitaile me to restore ; 
Wymmen bien woxen so prudent, 
They wil no more be pacient. 

134 lydoate's minor poeims. 

Than shal he portrayed after Chivaehe, an olde man ivithe a 

haston on his bake, manasynge the best for devouriny 

of his wyfe. 

My wife, alias 1 devoured is, 

Most pacient and most pesible, 

She never sayde to me aniysse, 

Whom hathe nowe slayn this best horrible, 

And for it is an impossible 

To fynde ever suche a wyfe, 

I wil live sowle duryng my lyfe. 

For now of newe for theyr prow, 
The wyfes of ful highe prudence 
Have of assent made ther avow. 
For to exile for ever pacience, 
And cryed wolfes hede obedience, 
To make Chichevache faile 
Of hem to fyde more vitaile. 

Now Chichevache may fast longe. 

And dye for al hir crueltee, 

Wymmen hav made hemself so stronge 

For to outraye humylite. 

O cely husbondes, wo been yee ! 

Suche as can have no pacience 

Ageyns yowre wyfes violence. 

If that ye suflPre, ye be but ded, 
This Bycorne awaitethe yow so sore ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 135 

Eeke of yowre wyfes ye stand in drede, 
Yif ye geyn-seyn hem any more ; 
And thus ye stonde and have don yore. 
Of lyfe and dethe betwixt coveyne, 
Lynkelde in a double cheyne. 


[From MS. Had. 2255, fol. 24-32.] 


Lyk as the Bible makith meucioun, 

The original ground of devout offryng, 
Callyd of clerkys just decimacioun, 

In pleyn Ynglisshe trewe and just tithyng ; 
Abel began innocent of lyving, 

Oonly to God for to do plesaunce, 
Of frut, of beestys, reknyd every thyng, 

GafF God his part, tethe of his substaunce. 

Melchisedech, bisshop, preest, and kyng, 

To Abraham, a prynce of gret puissaunce, 
For his victorye at his hoom comyng. 

Whan Amelech was brouhte unto uttraunce, 
OfFryd bred and wyn with devout obeisaunce. 

Of alle oblaciouns figurys out to serche ; 
On bred and wyn, by roial suffisaunce, 

The feith is groundid of al hooly cherche. 

1 3G t.ydgate's minor poems. 

Of good greyn sowe growith up good wheete. 

With gret labour plantyd is the vyne, 
J'he tenthe part is to our lord moost meete, 

To wlios preceptis, hevenly and divyne, 
We muste our heedys meekly doun enclyne, 

Paye our dyiues by his coraaundementis, 
Moyses lawe and eek bi the doctryne, 

Foure Evangelistis and too Testamentis. 

Fro Melchisedeche doun to Abraham, 

To sette of tithes a fundacioun, 
Th'encrees of frute and al that therof cam 

They trewly made ther oblacioun ; 
Whan Jacob sauhe in his avisioun, 

Tyme that he slepte upon the cold stoon, 
Sauhe on a laddere goon angells up and doun, 

To Goil above made his avowhe auoon. 

This was his vowhe, with gret humylite, 

Lik his entent in ful pleyn language. 
" Lord, yif thou list to conduite me, 

Of thy grace, fortune my passage, 
To retourne hoom to myn herytage, 

My fadris hous come therto bytymes. 
Of good and tresour, with al the surplusage, 

I shal to the offren up the dymes." 

Among al frutys in especial, 

By a prerogatif excellent and notable, 
In worthynesse verray imperial, 

Of reverence condigne and honourable, 

lydgate's minor poems. 137 

By antiquite in templys custumable. 

In hooly writ reraembryd ofte sithes, 
Wyn, oyle, and wheete, frutis moost acceptable, 

To God above were ofFryd up for tythes. 

The patriark of antiquyte, 

Callyd Isaak next by siiccessioun, 
To Abraham which with thes frutys thre 

GafF to Jacob his benedictioun : 
The which thre in coniparisoun, 

Of the luoralite who so takith heed, 
To preesthood first and kynges of renoun, 

Gret mysteries in oyle wyn and breed. 

Breed and wyn to bisshopis apparteene, 

Oyle longith for to anoynte kynges, 
Offryng is maad of frutys ripe and greene, 

Of foul and beeste and of al othir thynges ; 
Brecfly conclude alle folke in there livynges, 

That trewly tithe with glad herte and face, 
Patriarkis, prophetis in ther writynges, 

Shal evere encreese with fortune, hap, and grace. 

And who fro God with-halte his dewte, 

Lat hym knowe for pleyn conclusyoun, 
Of warantise he shal nevir the, 

Lakke grace and vertuous foj'soun ; 
Of ther tresour discrete in eche sesoun, 

To hooly chirche that wil nat pay hys dyme, 
Lat hym adverte and have inspeccioun, 

What ther befyl in Awstynes tyme. 

138 lydgate's minor poems. 

I nieene Austyn tliat was fro Rome sent, 

By Seyn Gregory into this regioun, 
Graciously arryved up in Kent, 

Famous in vertu, of gret perfeccioun ; 
His lift' was lyk liis predicacioun, 

As he tauhte, sotliely so he wrouhte : 
By his moost hooly conversacioun, 

Into this lond the feith of Crist he brouhte. 

Thoruhe al the parties and provynces of the lond, 

Of Cristis gospel he gan the seee to sowe, 
Unkouth myracles wrouhte with hys bond, 

Worshipped he was bothe of hihe and lowe ; 
Withe-outeu pompe grace hath his horn so blovve, 

Thoruhe his merites that the hevenly soun, 
He callid was as it is wel knbwe, 

Cristas apostil in Brutis Albioun. 

He was Aurora whan Phebus sholde arise, 

With his brihte beemys on that loud to shyne, 
Callyd day sterre moost glorious to devise ; 

Our feith was dirkid undir the ecliptik lyne; 
Our mysbeleeve he did first enlumyne, 

Whan he out sprad the brihte beemys cleere, 
Of Cristes lawe by his parfit doctryne, 

Thoruhe al this land to make his lihte appeere. 

This was doon by grace or we wer war, 

Of th'Oly-goost by the influence, 
Whan foure steedys of Phebus goldene chare. 

List in this vegioun holde residence; 

lydgate's minor poems. 139 

Who droff the chare to conclude in sentence, 
By goostly favour of the nyne speerys, 

Tyl blissed Austyn, by goostly elloquence, 
Was trewe Auriga of foure gospelleeris. 

Or Austyn cam, we slombryd in dirknesse, 

Lyk ydolastres blyndid in our sihte, 
Of Cristes feith was curteyned the cleernesse, 

Tyl Sol justicie list shewe his beemys brihte ; 
Of his mercy to clarefye the lihte, 

Chace away our cloudy ignoraunce, 
The lord of lordys of moost imperial myhte, 

T'avoyde away our froward raescreaunce. 

First fro the Pope that callid was Gregory, 

Awstyn was sent, who that liste adverte, 
Tyme and date be put in memory, 

To Cristes feith whan he did us converte, 
Our goostly woundys felte as tho gret smerte ; 

Deed was our soule, our boody eek despised, 
Tyl Awstyn made us cast of cloth and sherte, 

In coold watir by hym we wer baptised. 

Kyng Ethelbert regnyng that tyme in Kent, 

Touchyng the date whan Awstyn cam first doun, 
Noumbryd the tyme whan that he was sent, 

By Pope Gregory into this regioun, 
Yeer of our Lord by computacioun, 

Compleet five hundryd fourty and eke nine. 
As cronyclers make mencioun, 

In ther bookys fully determync. 

1 40 lydgate's minor poems. 

Thus he began by grace of Goddis hond, 

Wher God list werche may be noon obstacle, 
By his labour was cristened at this lond, 

Feith of our lord wex moor cleer than spectacle ; 
Whan th'Oly-goost made his habitacle 

In tho personys that wern in woord and deede, 
By Awstyn tournyd, God wrouhte a gret myracle, 

To make hem stable in articles of the creede. 

But to resorte ageyn to my mateere, 

With th'Oly-goost Austyn sett a-fire, 
Gan preche and teche devoutly the maneere 

Of Cristes lawe abrood in every shire : 
Grace of our Lord did hym so inspire, 

To enlwmyne al this regioun, 
Of aventure his herte gan desire 

To entre a village that callid was Comptoun. 

The parissh preest of the same place, 

A-forn provided in ful humble wyse, 
Besouhte hym meekly that he wolde of grace 

Here his compleynt as he shal devise : 
In pleyn language told hym al the guyse, 

Lord of that thorpe requeryd ofte-sithes, 
He ay contrayre t'obeye to th'emprise, 

Of hooly chirche list nat pay his tithes. 

" Entretid hym lik to his estat, 

First secrely next afforn the toun, 
But al for nouhte I fond hym obstynat, 

Moost indurat in his oppynyoun ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 141 

Toold hym the custom groundid on resoun, 
He was bounde by lawe of oold writyng, 

To paye his dymes, and for rebellioun 
I cursyd hym, cause of fals tithyng. 

" This mateer hool ye must of rihte redresse ; 

Requeryng you of your goodly heede, 
By your discrecioun to do rihtvvisnesse, 

Peysen al the cas and prudently take heede 
That hooly chirche have no wrong in deede ; 

Al thyng commytted and weyed in ballaunce, 
Ye to be juge, and lyk as ye proceede 

We shal obeye to youre ordynaunce." 

Hooly Awstyn, sad and wel avised, 

Kneuhe by signes this compleynt was no fable. 
And in maneer was of the caas agrised, 

Fond that the lord was in that poynt coupable ; 
To reduce hym and mak hym moor tretable. 

As the lawe ordeyned hath of rihte, 
Blissid Awstyn, in Cristes feith moost stable, 

Took hym apart, seyde unto this knyghte. 

" How may this be that thou art froward 

To hooly chirche to pay thy dewtee, 
Lyk thy desert thou shalt have thy reward ; 

Thynk that thou art bounde of trouble and equitee. 
To paye thy tithes; and lerne this of mce, 

The tenthe part fro God yif thou withdrawe, 
Thou muste incurre, of necessite. 

To been accursyd by rigour of the lawe," 

142 lydgate's minor poems. 

The knyt, astonyd somwhat of his cheer, 

" Sire," quod he, " I wol wel that ye knowe, 
My labour is ay from yeer to yeer 

By revolucion that the lond be sowe, 
Afore this peple stondyng heer a-ro\ve, 

By evidence to maken an open preef, 
What maner boost that ony man list blowe, 

I with the nynthe wil have the tenth cheef. 

" Sey what ye list, I wyl have no lasse." 

This was the answere pleynly of the knyhte ; 
Hooly Austyn dispoosid hym to masse, 

Ful devoutly and in the peeplys sihte, 
Tornyd his face, comaundith anoon rihte, 

Eche cursyd man that wer out of grace 
Tyme of his masse that every maneer wihte 

That stood accursyd, voyde shulde his place. 

Present that tyme many creature, 

Witheout abood or any long taryeng, 
Ther roos up oon out of his sepulture, 

Terrible of face, the peeple beholdyng, 
A great paas the chirche-yeerd passyng, 

The seyntuarye bood ther a greet whyle, 
Al the space the masse was seyeng, 

Feerfully afore the chirche style. 

Withoute meevyng alway, stille he stood. 
The peeple feerful in ther oppynyoun, 

Almoost for dreed they gan to wexen wood, 
Atftir masse alle of assent cam doun. 


To hooly Austj'u made relacioun, 

Of al this caas righte as it was falle, 
GafF hem a spirit of consolatioun, 

Ful sobirely spak unto them alle. 

Sad and discreet in his advertence, 

Sauhe by ther poort that they stood in dreede, 
First of alle with ful devout reverence, 

Cros and hooly watir he made aforn proceede ; 
The crucifix their baner was in deede, 

Blissid Austyn the careyn gan compelle, 
" In Jhesu name, that lyst for man to bleede, 

What that thu art trewly for to telle." 

" Disobeisaunt my tithes for to paye, 

Of yoore agoon I was lord of this toun. 
My dewtees I did alwey delaye. 

Stood accursyd for my rebellioun, 
Made in my lilFe no restitucioun, 

Geyn thy biddyng I myhte no socour have ; 
My cursed careyn, ful of corrupcioun. 

By Goddis angel wast cast out of my grave. 

" Thy precept was upon eche aside, 

Beyng at masse whil thou were in presence, 
No stynkyng flesshe myht in the poorche abyde, 

I was take up, lad forth by violence ; 
On me was yove so dreedful a sentence 

Of curs, alias I which to my diffame, 
Now as ye seen, for disobedience 

Disclaundrid is perpetually my name. 

144 lydgate's minor poems. 

" Tyme whan Britouns wer lordis of this lond, 

Hadde the lordship and doniynaciouii, 
The same tyme as ye shal undirstond, 

Of this village in sothe I was patroun ; 
To hooly chirche hadde no devocioun, 

OfFte-sithe steryd of my curat 
To paye my dymes, hadde indignacioun. 

Was ay contrayre, froward, and obstinat. 

" This hundryd yeer I have enduryd peyne, 

And fifty ovir by computacioun. 
Greet cause have I to moorne and to compleyne, 

In a dirk prisoun of desolacioun, 
Mong firy flawmys, voyd of remissioun." 

And whil that he this wooful tale toold, 
Hooly Austyn with the peeple enviroun, 

Wepte of compassioun, as they to watir woold. 

Austyn gan muse in his oppynyoun, 

To fynde a mene the sowle for to save, 
Of this terrible doolful inspeccioun 

The peeplis hertys gretly gan abave, 
Whom to behoolde they cowde no coumfort have, 

Al the while the careyn was in ther presence, 
Austin axith yif he knew the grave, 

Of thilke preest that gaf un hym sentence. 

" So longe aforn for thy fals tythyng, 

As we have herd the mateere in substaunce." 

" Sothely," quod he, " ther shal be no taryeng, 
But ye shal have a recon3'saunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 145 

So ye wil digge and doon youre observaunce, 
To delvyn up his boonys dul and rude, 

Loo ! Iieer he lithe, cheef cause of my grevaunce, 
So fel a curs he did on me conclude." 

Austyn fulfilled of grace and al vertu, 

As ony pileer in our feith moost stable, 
The deed preest, in name of Crist Jhesu, 

He bad arise with woordys ful tretable ; 
Requeryd hym, by tokenys ful notable, 

Yif he hadde sithe tyme that he was born 
Seyn that owgly careyn lamentable, 

The deed body that stood hem beforn 

" Sothely," quod he, " and that me rewithe soore, 

That evir I knevvhe hym for his frowardnesse, 
I gaf hym counseil, daily moore and moore, 

To paye his tithes, the pereil did expresse ; 
He took noon heed his surfetys to redresse ; 

I warnyd hym many divers tymes. 
But al for nouhte, I can weel bere witnesse, 

Deyed accursyd, rebel to paye his dymes." 

Whan the preest hath toold every deel, 

With evy cheer and voys moost lamentable ; 
Quod Seyn Austyn, " brothii-, thou knowest weel, 

Thynk he that bouht us is evir merciable, 
By whoos exaumple we must be tretable, 

As the Gospel pleynly doth rccoorde, 
And for thy part be nat thu vengable. 

So that with rigour mercy may accoorde. 


14'f) lydcjatfAs minor poems. 

" Thynk how Jhesus bouhte us with his blood, 

Oonly of mercy sufFryd passioun, 
For mannys sake was nayled on the rood, 

Rive to the herte for our redempcioun ; 
Reraenibre how thu dist execucioun 

Upon this penaunt ploungid in greet peyno, 
Withdrawe thy sentence and do remissioun, 

Fro piirgatorye his trowblys to restreyne. 

" On hyra thu leydist a ful dreedful bond. 

To the it longith the same bond to unbynde ; 
Tak this flagelle devoutly in thy hond. 

On Cristes passion in this mateer have mynde, 
JNIany exaumple to purpoos thu mayst fynde, 

Of trespasours relesyd of ther peyne. 
Of Petir, Poule, and Sein Thomas of Ynde, 

Of Egipsiacha, and Mary Mawdeleyne. 

" Took to mercy for ther greet repentaunce, 

Ther was noon othir mediacioun, 
Thu must of rihte yeve hym is penaunce, 

With this flagelle of equite and resoun ; 
Sette on this careyn a castigacioun. 

As he requerith kneelyng afor thy face, 
Best restoratif next Cristes passioun, 

Is thyn assoylyng for his gret trespace." 

\\ this was doon by the coniaundement 
Of Seyn Austyn, the careyn ther knelyng. 

Lord of that village was also ther present, 
Al the peeple raoost pitously sobbyng ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 147 

From ther eyen the teerys distyllyng ; 

The last preest raised from his grave, 
The tothir corps with bittir fel scorgyng, 

Assoyled hym his soule for to save. 

Oo ded man assoiled hath anothir. 

An unkouth caas merveilous t'expresse ; 
Oon knelith doun, requerith of the tothir, 

Pleyn remissioun of oold cursidnesse, 
Bete with a scorge, took it with meeknesse, 

Hopyng that Jhesus shuld his soule save. 
Seyn Austyn bad hym in hast he shuld hym dresse, 

Thankyng our Lord, ageyn unto his grave. 

Circumstauncis in ordre to accounte, 

Of this myracle peised every thyng, 
Mercy of our Lord doth every thyng surmounte, 

To save and dampne he is lord and kyng; 
Hevene and helle obeye to his biddyng, 

By many exaumple expert in this mateer, 
Trajan the Emperour for his just deemyng, 

I-savid was by meene and the prayeer. 

Of Seyn Gregory .... of Rome toun, 

Cause in his doomys he did so gret rihte, 
Rigour was medlyd with remyssioun. 

For he that is of moost imperial myhte, 
List advertise in his celestial sihte, 

Tween rihte and favour, rigour and pite, 
By doom and sentence of every maneer wihte, 

Mercy of vertues hathe the sovereynte. 



Unto the preest aforn that I you toold, 

Seyn Austyn made a straunge questioun, 
To cheese of tweyne whedir that he woold, 

To goon with hym thoruhe this regioun, 
The feith of Crist by predicacioun, 

For his part groundid on Scripture, 
To doon his deveer of hool afFectioun, 

Or to resoorte ageyn to his sepulture. 

" Fadir," quod he, " with supportacioun, 

Of your benygne fadirly pite, 
I you requeere to graunte me pardoun, 

Unto my grave I may restooryd be ; 
This world is ful of mutabilite, 

Ful of trouble, chaung, and varyaunce, 
And for this tyme I pray you sufFrithe me, 

T'abyde in reste from worldly perturbaunce. 

" I reste in pees and take of nolhyng keep, 

Rejoisshe in quiete and contemplacioun, 
Voyd of al trouble, celestial is my sleep. 

And by the meene of Cristes passioun, 
Feith, hoope, and charite, with hool affectioun, 

Been pilwes foure to reste upon by grace. 
Day of the general resurrectioun, 

Whan Gabriel callith t'appeere aforn his face. 

" O brothir myn, this choys is for thy beste, 
Contemplatiff fulfilled of al plesaunce, 

I pray to God sende the good reste. 

Of goostly gladneese, sovereyn suffisaunce ; 


Pray for us and have in remembraunce, 
Al hooly chirche in quiete to be crownyd, 

That Christ Jhesus dispoose so the ballaunce, 
That Petris ship be with no tempest drownyd. 

" I meene as thus that noon heresye 

Ryse in thes dayes, nor noon that was beforn, 
Nor no darnel growe nor niulteplye, 

Nor no fals cokkyl be medlyd with good corn ; 
Cheese we the roosys, cast away the thorn, 

Crist boute us alle with his precious bloode. 
To that he bouhte us lat no thyng be lorn, 

For our redempcioun he starf upon the rood." 

The knyhte present lord of the same toun, 

Thes myracles whan he did se, 
Austyn axith of iiym this questioun, 

" Wilt thu," quod he, " paye thy dewte ?" 
He grauntith his axing, and fyl doun on his kne, 

Moost repentaunt for-sook the world as blyve, 
With devout herte and al humylite, 

Folwith Seyn Austyn duryng al his live. 

Go litil tretys, void of presumpcioun ! 

Prese nat to ferre, nor be nat to bold ; 
This labour stant undir correctioun, 

Of this myracle remembryd many fold, 
In many shire and many cite toold, 

To yon echon to whom I it directe, 
By cause I am of wittis dul and old, 

Doth your deveer this processe to corecte. 

150 lydgate's minor poems. 


[From MS. Ilarl. 2255, fol. 13M35.J 

Sum man goth stille of wysdam and resoun, 

A-forn provided, can keep weel scilence, 
Ful ofte it noyeth, be record of Catoun, 

Large language concludyng off no sentence; 
Speche is but fooly and sugryd elloquence, 

Medlyd with language wheer man have noght to don 
An old proverbe groundid on sapience, 

A lie goo we stille, the cok hath lovve shoon. 

To thynke mochyl and seyn but smal, 

Yiff thow art feerfulle to ottre thy language, 
It is no wisdam a man to seyn out al, 

Sura bird can synge raerily in his cage ; 
The stare wyl chatre and speke of long usage, 

Though in his speche ther be no greet resoun. 
Kepe ay thy tounge fro surfFeet and outi'age ; 

AUe go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Unavised speke no thyng to-forn. 

Nor of thy tounge be nat rekkelees, 
Uttre nevir no darnel with good corn, 

Begyn no trouble Avhan men trete of pees. 
Scilence is good and in every prees, 

Which of debate yevith noon occcasyoun, 
Pacience preysed of prudent Socratees ; 

AUe go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

lydgate's minor poems. 151 

Coraoun astrologeer, as folk expert weel knowe, 

To kepe the howrys and tydis of the nyght, 
Sumtyme hihe and sumtyme he syngith lowe. 

Dam Pertelot sit with hir brood doun right ; 
The fox comyth neer withoute candellyght, 

To trete of pees menyng no tresoun. 
To avoyde al gile and fraude he hath behight ; 

Alle go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Undir fals pees ther may be covert fraude, 

Good cheer outward with face of innocence, 
Feyned flaterye with language of greet laude ; 

But what is wers than shynyng apparence, 
Whan it is prevyd fals in existence ? 

Al is dul shadwe, whan Phebus is doun goon, 
Berkyng behynde, fawnyng in presence ; 

Alle go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Tlie royalle egle with his fetherys dunne, 

Of nature so hihe takith his flyght. 
No bakke of kynde may looke ageyn the sunne, 

Of frowardnesse yit wyl he fleen be nyght. 
And quenche laumpys, though they brenne bright. 

Thynges contrarye may nevir accorde in oon, 
A fowle gloowerm in dirknesse shewith a lyght ; 

Alle go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

The M'ourld is tournyd almoost up so doun : 

Under prynces ther dar noon officeer 
Peyne of his lyff do noon extorcioun ; 

Freerys dar nat flatere nor no pardowneer, 


Where evir he walke al the longe yeer, 

Awtontyk his seelys every choori. 
Up peyne of cursyng I dar remeiiibre heer ; 

AUe goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

I saughe a kevell, corpulent of stature, 

Lyk amateras redlyd was liis coote, 
And theron was sowyd this scripture, 

" A good be stille is weel worth a groote ;" 
It costith nat mekyl to be hoote, 

And paye ryght nought whan the feyre is doon, 
Suych labourerys synge may be roote, 

AUe goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Atwen a shipe with a large seyl, 

And a cokboot that goth in Tempse lowe, 
The toon hath oorys to his greet avayl, 

To spede his passage whan the wynd doth blowe : 
A blynd maryneer that doth no sterre knowe, 

His loodmaunage to conveye doun, 
A fresshe coraparisoun, a goshawk and a crowe ; 

Alle go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

The royalle egle with his fetherys dunne, 

Whoos eyen been so cleer and so bryght, 
Off nature he perce may the sunne, 

The owgly bakke wyl gladly fleen be nyght ; 
Dirk cressetys and laumpys that been lyght, 

The egle alofFte, the snayl goth lowe doun, 
Daryth in his shelle, yit may he se no sight; 

Alle go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

lydgate's minor poems. 153 

The pecok hath fetherys bryght and sheiie, 

The cormeraunt wyl daryn in the lake, 
Popyngayes froo paradys comyn al grene, 

Nyghtynggales al nyght syngen and wake, 
For long absence and wantyng of his make : 

Withoute avys make no comparysoun, 
Atween a laumperey and a shynyng snake ; 

Alle go we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

There is also a thing incomparable, 

By cleer rapoort in al the wourld thorugh right ; 
The ryche preferryd, the poore is ay cowpable, 

In ony quarelle gold hath ay moost myght ; 
Evir in dirknesse the owle takith his flight, 

It were a straunge unkouth devisyoun, 
Terfites wrecchyd Ector moost wourthy knyght ; 

Alle goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Is noon so proude, pompous in dignyte. 

As he that is so sodeynly preferryd 
To hihe estaat, and out of poverte, 

Draco twlans on nyght his tayl is sterryd ? 
Stelle erafice, nat fixed for they been erryd. 

Stable in the eyr is noon inpressioun, 
This wourld wer stable, vif it were nat werryd ; 

Alle goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Among estatys whoo hath moost quiete, 
Hihe lordshippes be vexid with bataylle, 

Tylthe of plougheraen ther labour wyl nat lete, 
Geyn Phebus uprist syngen wyl the quaylle ; 


The amerous larke of nature wyl nat faylle, 
Ageyn Aurora synge with hire mery sown, 

No laboureer wyl nat for his travaylle ; 

AUe goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Foo unto hevys and enemy is the drane, 

Men with a tabour may lyghtly catche an hare, 
Bosard with botirflyes makith beytis for a crane, 

Brechelees beerys be betyn on the bare ; 
Houndys for favour wyl nat spare. 

To pynche his pylche with greet noyse and soun, 
Slepith he merye that slombryth with greet care ; 

Alle goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

I saulie a krevys with his klawes longe, 

Pursewe a snayl poore and impotent, 
Hows of this snayl the wallys wer nat stronge, 

A slender shelle the sydes al to rent ; 
Whoo hath no goold his tresoure soone spent, 

The snayl is castel but a sklender coote, 
Whoo seith trouthe offte he shalle be shent ; 

A good be stille is offte weel wourth a groote. 

Whoo hath noon hors, on a staff may ryde ; 

Whoo hath no bed, may slepyn in his hood ; 
Whoo hath no dyneer, at leyser must abyde. 

To staunche his hungir abyde upon his food ; 
A beggers appetight is alwey fressh and good. 

With voyde walet whan al his stuff is doon. 
For fawte of vitaj-Ue may knele afore the rood ; 

Alle goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

lydgate's minor poems. 155 

The ryche man sit stufFyd at his stable, 

The poore man stant hungry at the gate. 
Of remossaylles he wolde be partable, 

The awmeneer seyth he cam to late ; 
Off poore men doolys is no sekir date, 

Smal or ryght nought whan the feeste is doon, 
He may weel grucche and with his tounge prate ; 

Alle goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

A good be stille is weel wourth a groote, 

Large language causith repentaunee, 
The kevel wroot in his redlyd coote. 

But with al this marke in your reraemhraunce ; 
Whoo cast his journe in Yngelond or in Fraunce, 

With gallyd hakeneys, whan men have moost to doon, 
A fool presumptuous to catche hym acqueyntaunce; 

Alle goo we stille, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Whoo that is hungry and hath no thyng but boonys. 

To staunche his apetyght is a froward foode. 
Among an hundryd oon chose out for the noonys, 

To dygestioun repastys be nat goode ; 
To chese suych vitaylles ther braynes wer to woode, 

That lyoun is gredy that stranglith goos or capoun. 
Fox and fulmard, togidre whan they stoode. 

Sang, be stylle, the cok hath lowe shoon. 

Here al thyng and kepe thy pacience, 

Take no quarelle, thynk mekyl and sey nought, 

A good be stille with discreet scilenco. 
For a good grote may not wel be bought ; 

156' t-yikiatf/s minor poems. 

Keep cloos thy tounge, men sey that free is tliought, 
A thyng seid oonys outhir late or soon, 

Tyl it be loost stoole thyng is nat sought; 
A lie goo we stille, the cok hath lovve shoon. 


[From MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 7-11. Anotlier copy is in MS. Rawl. 
0x011. C. 86. It was printed by Wynkyn de Worde.] 

Toward the eende of froosty Januarye, 

Whan watry Phebus had his purpoos take 
For a sesoun to sojourne in Aquarye, 

And Capricorn hadde uttirly forsake, 
Toward Aurora a-morwe as I gan wake 

A feldefare ful eerly took hir flihte. 
To fore my study sang with hir fetheris blake ; 

Look in thy merour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Thouhe the pecok have wengys brihte and sheene, 

Grauntyd be nature to his gret avayl, 
With gold and azour and emeroudis grene, 

And Argus eyen portrayed in his tayl ; 
Berthe up his fethrys displayed like a sayl, 

Toward his feet whan he cast doun his sighte, 
T'abate his pryde ther is no bet counsaylle ; — 

Look in thy merour and deerae noon othir wihte. 

lydgate's minor poems. 157 

The kyng of foulys moost imperyal, 

Which with his look percithe the fervent sonne, 
The egle, as cheef of nature moost roial, 

As oolde clerkys vveel devise konne ; 
To Phebus paleys by flighte whan he hath wonne, 

What folwith aftir for al his gret myght. 
Bit men remembre upon his fetherys donne ; 

Look in thy merour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

In large lakys and riveers fresshe rennyng, 

The yelwe swan famous and aggreable, 
Ageyn his dethe melodyously syngyng, 

His fatal notys pitous and lamentable ; 
Pleynly declare in erthe is no thyng stable, 

His byl, his feet, who look arihte, 
In tokne of moornyng be of colour sable ; 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

The hardy lioun, of beestys lord and kyng, 

Whan he sit crownyd as prynce of wyldirnesse, 
AUe othir beestys obeye at his biddyng, 

As kynde hath tauhte hem, ther lady and maistresse ; 
But natwithstondyng his bestial sturdynesse, 

Whan he is moost furyous in his myhte, 
Ther comyth a quarteyn, seith in his gret accesse. 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

The tigre of nature excellith of swiftnesse, 
The lynx with lookyng percith a stoon wal. 

The unycorn, by musical swetnesse, 

Atween too maydenys is take and hath a fal ; 


Al worldly thyng turneth as a bal, 

The hert, the roo, been of tiier cours ful lihte, 
13y ther prerogatives, but noon allone hath al ; 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Among alle bestys the leoun is moost strong, 

Of nature the lamb hath gret meeknesse, 
The wolf dispoosid by raveyn to do wrong, 

The sleihty fox smal polayl doth oppreese ; 
To fisshe in watir the otir doth duresse, 

Greet difference atwix day and nyht, 
Lak of discrecioun causeth gret blyndenesse. 

Look in thy myrour and deem noon othir wihte. 

Thouhe thu have poweer, oppresse nat the porail. 

Of o mateer was maad eche creature, 
Pryde of a tyraunt a sesoun may prevayl, 

A cherle to regne is contrary to nature ; 
No vengable herte shal no while endure, 

Extort power nor fals usurpyd myhte, 
Lyst for no doctryne nor techyng of Scripture, 

Look in ther myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Reyse up a beggere that cam up of nouhte, 

Set in a chayer of wordly dignite, 
Whan fals presumpcioun is entryd in his thouhte. 

Hath cleene forgete his stat of poverte ; 
An asse, up reysed unto the roial see 

Off" a leoun, knowithe nat day fro nyht ; 
A fool lyst nat, in his prosperyte, 

Look in his myrour and deem noon othir wihte. 

lydgate's minor poems. 159 

Thus by a maner of simylitude, 

Tirauntys lyknyd to beestis ravynous, 
Folk that be humble pleynly to conclude, 

Resemble beestys meek and vertuous ; 
Som folk pesible, som contrarious, 

Stonedemel now hevy and now lihte, 
Oon is froward, anothir is gracious. 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Som man of herte disposed to pryde. 

By disposicioun of froward surquedye, 
Som man may sufFre and long tyme abyde, 

Som man vengable of cold malencolye ; 
Som man consumyd with hate and fals envye. 

To hold a quareel whethir it be wrong or I'ihte, 
But unto purpoos this mateer to applye. 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

No man is cleer witheoute som trespace, 

Blissed is he that nevir did offence, 
O man is meeke, anothir doth manace, 

Som man is fers, som man hath pacience ; 
Oon is rebel, anothir doth reverence, 

Som man coorbyd. som man goth uprihte ; 
Lat eche man cerche his owne conscience, 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Thynges contrary be nat accordyng, 
A poore man proud is nat coraendable. 

Nor a fayr saphir set in a copir ryng, 

A baggers thret with mouth to be vengable ; 

160 lydgate's minor pokms. 

Nor fayr behestys ol" purpoos varyable ; 

A lordis herte, a purs that peisetli lihte; 
Outward gay speche, in meenyng dissey vable ; 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir vvihte. 

Som yeve no fors for to be forsworn, 

Oonly for lucre abraydyng on falsnesse; 
Som can dissymele and blovve the bukkys horn, 

By apparence of feyned kyndenesse ; 
Undir floures of fraudulent fresshenesse, 

The serpent darethe with his scalys brihte, 
Galle undir sugre hath doubyl bittirnesse. 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Cvire nat thy conceyt with no feyned glosys, 

Som goldene floures have a bittir roote. 
Sharp thornys hyd sometyme undir roosys. 

Fowl heyr oppressyd with synamomys soote; 
Lat fals presumpcioun pley bal undir foote, 

Torchis comparyd to Phebus beemys brihte ; 
What doth clear perle on a bawdy boote ? 

Look in thy mirrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Kynde in hir werkys can hyndre and preferre, 

Set differencys many moo than oon, 
Attwen Phebus and a litel steire, 

Twen a flynt and a precious stoon ; 
Twen a dul masoun and Pigmalioon, 

Twen Tercites and Hector a good kuyhte, 
Lat everey man gnawe on his own boon, 

Look in his mvrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

lydgate's minor poems. 1 i)l 

Som man is strong berys for to bynde. 

Anothir feeble preferryd with prudence ; 
Oon swyft to renne, anothir comyth behynde ; 

Oon hath slewthe, anothir dilligence : 
Som man hath konnyng, lakkith elloquence ; 

Som hath force, yit they dar nat fihte ; 
Pees most profiteth with this experience. 

Look in thy myrour and deem noon othir wihtt . 

Som man hath bewte, anothir hath goodnesse ; 

Oon hath joye, anothir adversite ; 
Som man fortune and plenteuous richesse, 

Som man content and glad with poverte ; 
Som oon hath helthe, anothir infirmyte ; 

What evyr God sent, thank hym with al thy myhte ; 
Grucche nat ageyn, and lerne oon thyng of me, 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

There is no gardeyn so ful of fresshe flouris. 

But that ther been among som weedys seene; 
The holsome roser for al his soote odouris, 

Growith on thornys prykyng sharp and keene ; 
Alcestis flower, with white, with red and greene, 

Displaieth hir crown geyn Phebus bemys brihte, 
In stormys dreepithe, conseyve what I raeene, 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

The somerys day is nevir or seelden seyn, 

With som cleer hayr, but that ther is som skye ; 

Nor no man erthely so vertuous in certeyn, 
But that he may been hyndred by cuvye; 



A voys distwnyd troublith al melodye, 

As scvri musiclens which knowe that craft a-rihte; 
On trevve accoord stant al melodye ; 

Look in tliy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Coraparysouns conceyved in nature. 

By a moralitc of vertuous lyknesse, 
Lat every man doon his besy cure, 

To race out pride and sette in first meeknesse, 
Geyn covetise compassioun and almesse ; 

Fro poore peple lat no man turne his sihte ; 
Geyn flesshly lust, chastite and clennesse. 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

Off every man, by repoort of language, 

Affile thy tunge of trewe affectioun, 
Of hast nor rancour with mouth do no damage, 

Restreyne thy corage fro fals detractioun. 
Fro flatrye and adulacioun ; 

Withstond wrong, susteyne trewthe and rihte, 
Fie doubilnesse, fraud, and collusioun. 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wilite. 

No man of kynde is moorc suspecious. 

Than he that is moost vicious and coupable, 
By cause he haltethe and is nat vertuous. 

He wold eche man to hym were reserablable ; 
A gallyd hors wyl wyncen in a stable, 

For noyse of sadlys, hevy outhir lihte ; 
A fool that is by repoort repreevable, 

Shuld look yn his myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

lydgate's minor poems. 1 63 

That man for vertu may were a dyademe, 

With stoonys xij. remembryd by auctours. 
And as a kyng weel crowned he may beene, 

That hath no weed growyng among his flours ; 
Thouhe Aprille have many soote shours. 

Fro Jubiter an unwar thundir lihte, 
Seith with an hayl fro Sagittaries tours, 

Look in thy myrour and deeme noon othir wihte. 

With vertuous pite and just compasssioun, 

Rewe on thy neihebour whan he is coupable, 
Lat mercy modefie rigerous correccioun, 

Alle we be synneres thouhe God be nat vengable ; 
We myhte nat lyve but he wer merciable, 

That his pacience peysed a-doun his rihte ; 
AfFore your doomys, ye juges moost notable, 

Look in your meroures or ye deeme any wihte. 

Set a myrour of hihe discrecioun 

To-fore youre face by polityk governaunce ; 
Farith faire with them that han contricioun, 

And for ther surfFetys in herte have repentaunce ; 
Lat nat youre swerd be whet to do vengaunce, 

Twen flat and egge thouhe shapnesse tokne lihte, 
The flat of mercy preent in youre remembraunce, 

Look weel your myrour or ye deeme any wihte. 

Go litel bille withoute title or date, 

And of hool herte recomaund me, 
Which that am callyd Johne Lydgate, 
To alle tho folk which lyst to have pite 

w 2 


On them tliat sufFre trouble and adversite, 
Beseche hem alle that the shal reede a-rihte, 

Mercy to medic with trouthe and equytc, 

Look weel youre myrours and deeme noon othir wihte. 


[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 303-305. Other copies are in MS. 
Laud. 683, Bern. 798; and MS. Cotton. Nero, A. vj.] 

The order of foles ful yore ago bigonne, 

Newly professid encresith the covent, 
Bachus and Juno hath set a-broche the tonne, 

And brought theyr braynes unto exigent, 
Marchol theyr founder, patron, and precident ; 

Nombre of this frary is Ix. and iij., 
Echeon registred bi grete avisement, 

Endosed theyr patent that they shul never the. 

The chief of foolis, as men in bokis redithe. 

And able in his foly to hold residence. 
Is he that nowther lovithe God ne dredithe, 

Nor to his chirche hathe none advertence, 
Ne to his seyntes dothe no reverence, 

To fader and moder dothe no benyvolence. 
And also hathe disdayn to folke in poverte, 

EuroUe up his patent, for he shal never the. 

lydgate's minor poems. 165 

The vj. foole this frary to begynne, 

More than a foole braynles, madde, and woode. 
Is he that never wil forsake his synne, 

Nor he that never wil lere no goode ; 
Nor he that hathe twoo faces in oon hoode, 

May be enrolled in this fraternyte, 
Cherol of condicions and born of gentil bloode, 

May clayme of right that he shal never the. 

The X. foole may hoppe on the ryng, 

Foote al aforn and lede of right the daunce, 
He that al yevithe and kepythe hymself nothyng, 

A double hert withe fayre feyned countenaunce, 
And a pretence face trouble in his daliaunce, 

Tunge spreynt withe sugre, the galle kept secret, 
A perilous mowthe is worse than spere or launce, 

Thoughe they be cherisshed, God lete hem never the ! 

Of this fraternite there is mo than oon, 

A proverbe sayde in ful old langage. 
That tendre browyce made with a mary-boon 

For fieble stomakes is holsum in potage ; 
The mary is goode, the boon dothe but damage, 

In symulacioune is false duplicite, 
Who levithe the mary braydithe on dotage, 

And chesithe the boon, God let hym never th ■ ; 

A face unstable, gasyng Est and Sowth, 
Withe lowde laughtres uttrithe langage, 

Gapithe as a rooke, abrode gothe jow and niowth< , 
Like a jay jangelyng in his cage, 

166 lydgate's minor poems. 

Maleapert of chiere and of visage, 

And comythe to counseil or he callid be, 

Of eche thyng medlithe, his thrift lithe to morgage, 
Avaunt a knave ! for he shal never the. 

In the booke of prudent Cipioune, 

Which callid is " a gardyn of floures," 
He seythe a pulter that sellithe a fat swan, 

For a goselyng that grasithe on bareyn clowris, 
And he that castithe away his cloke in showris. 

Out of the tempest whan he may nat flee, 
Or whan that spado lovithe paramouris, 

Is oon of theym that shal never the. 

And he also that holt hymself so wise, 

Whiche in workyng hatlie none experience, 
Whos chaunce gothe neyther on synk nor sice, 

But withe amhes aas encresithe his dispence, 
A foltissh face and rude of eloquence, 

Bosters withe boreas and at a brout will flee, 
Betwene wulle and gossomer is a gret difference, 

Stuf for a chapman that is nat like to the. 

I rede also of other fooles two, 

Thyng to chalaunge to whiche he hathe no right ; 
And he in trowthe is a more foole also, 

Whiche al requyrithe that comythe in his sight ; 
And he is a foole, whiche to every wight 

Tellithe his counsail and his privite, 
Who sekithe werre, and hathe hymself no myght. 

It were grete wounder that ever he shuld the. 

lydgate's minor poems. 3 67 

Another foole withe countrefete visage. 

Is he that falsly wil flater and fej'ue. 
Whether that he be olde or yong of age, 

Seythe he is sike, and felithe no maner peyne ; 
And he that dothe his owne wif disdeyne, 

And holdithe another, of what estate he be, 
Withe other foolis embrace hym in a cheyne, 

For warantise that he shal never the. 

Of this frary moo foolis to expresse, 

He that is to every man contrary, 
And he that bostithe of his cursidnesse, 

And he also that dothe prolong and tarye 
Withe fayre behestis, and from his promyse varie, 

Briefly to telle, I can non nother see, 
He is like a fugitif that rennythe to seyntwarye 

For drede of hangyng, and yit shal he never the. 

He is a foole eke, as Senek seythe. 

That long delayethe his purpos to spede, 
A gretter foole is he that brekithe his feythe, 

And he that hotithe and failithe his friend at neede ; 
And he is a foole that no shame dothe drcde, 

VVhos promyse braydithe upon duplicite ; 
An hardy mowse, that is bold to breede 

In cattis eeris, that breede shal never the. 

And he is a foole that yevithe also credence 
To newe rumours and every foltisshe fable, 

A dronken foole that sparithe for no dispence 
To drynk ataunt til he slepe at table ; 

1 68 lydgate's minor poems. 

Amonge al foolis that fooie is most culpable, 
That is cursed and hathe therof deynte ; 

A poore begger, to be vengeable 
Withe purs penyles, may never the. 

And he that holdithe a quarel agayn right, 

Holdyng his purpos stiburn ageyn reason ; 
And he is a fooie that is ay glad to fight, 

And to debate sekithe occasioun ; 
Abydithe so longe til he be betyn doune, 

Dronk and lame that he may not flee ; 
And who so requyrithe to sojourne in prisoune, 

EnroUe hym up, for he shal never the. 

A lusti galaunt that weddithe an olde wiche. 

For grete tresoure, bicause his purs is bare ; 
An hungry huntor that houndithe on a biche, 

Nemel of mowthe for to murther an hare ; 
Night motoners that wil no warnyn spare. 

Without licence or liberte, 
Til sodayn perel bryng hem in the snare, 

A preparatif that they shul never the. 

Who dothe amysse and laughithe hymselfe to skorne. 

Or com to counseil or that he be callid. 
Or lowde laughyng whan that he shuld mourne, 

Amonge al foolis of right he may be stallid ; 
That purposithe his viage whan his hors is gallid, 

And plukkithe of his shone toward his journe, 
Who forsakithe wyne and drynkithe ale pallid, 

Suche foltisshe foolis, God lete hem never the I 

lydgate's minor poems. 169 

And he that is a riatour al his lyf, 

And hathe his felavv and neyghburghe in dispite. 
And woundithe hyraself withe his owne knyf, 

And of 00 candel wenythe twoo were light; 
Slepithe on the day and wacchith al the nyght, 

That al masses be don long or he redy be, 
Suche oon may clayme, bi vei'ray title of right, 

To be a brother of theym that shal never the. 

Who holdithe it tresour that that he wysshithe, 

And gadrithe hym gossomer to pak it for wulle, 
And he is a foole to-fore the nette dothe wisshithe, 

And he is a foole that dothe fethers pulle 
Of fat capons up mewed to the fulle, 

And hathe nothyng but bones for his fee, 
NuUatenses ensealed hathe his buUe 

To al suche, that non of hem shal the. 

Whan the gander grasithe on the grene. 

The sleyghti fox dothe hir brode biholde, 
He takithe the fat and cast awey the leene, 

And sigrums chief wardeyn of the folde, 
Takithe to his larder at what price he wold, 

Of gretter larabren, j., ij., or thre, 
In wynter nyghtis frostis bien so colde, 

The sheppard slepithe, God lete hym never the ! 

A foreyn liknesse whiche shal no man displease, 
By a straunge uncowthe comparisoune, 

Whan the belwether grasithe at his ease, 

Thoughe al the flokke hathe but smal foysoune. 

1 70 lydgate's minor poems. 

He slepithe at leysor, makithe noyse none nor sowne, 
And carithe for no more so he have plente ; 

Al tho that make suche a particioune 

Amonge theyr subjettis, God lete theyn never the ! 

Withe ful wombe they preche of abstynence, 

Tlieyr hotel filled withe fresshe wyne or ale, 
Love rownyng, lowtyng, and reverence, 

Newe false report, withe many a glosyng tale ; 
The jay more cherisshed than the nyghtyngale, 

Tabourers withe theyr mokkes and false dupplicite 
Please more these dayes, whan stufEd is theyr male, 

Withe farced flateryng, God lete hem never the ! 

Paterfamulias, wise and expert of olde, 

Shulde sette botraille atwene derk and lighte, 
So prudently governe theyr housholde, 

To knowe a flight draake from a sterre bright, 
Owlis and battis of reasoun flee bi nyght, 

Late pluk theyr fethers that they mow nat flee, 
For false nyght rovvners han hyndred many a wight, 

Al suche benche whistelers, God lete hem never the ! 

Late Janus bifrons have none interesse, 

Whitche in oon hoode can shewe a double face ; 
Voyde camelyon, whiche of newfangelnesse, 

Eche colour seyn, the same he dothe enbrace ; 
And salaraandra most felly dothe manace, 

Withe his crikettis, lierne this of me, 
W^here they abide or breede in any place, 

Lord of that housholde is never like to the. 

lydgate's minor poems. 171 

Swiche a frary requyrithe Goddis curs. 

And I be shrewe al suche counsaillours, 
Can kisse withe Judas and kut a mans purs, 

Further a netle and cast out rose floures, 
Withe bury dokkes strowid bien theyr boures, 

Theyr hoked arawis dothe ever bakward flee, 
Suche false erwygges, suche covert losengeours, 

Enseals up theyr patent, for they shul never the. 


[Addressed probably to Henry VI. From MS. Harl. 172, fol. 
71-72. There is another copy in MS. Harl. 4011.] 


Alle ryghtwysnes now dothe procede, 

Sytte crownede lyke an emperesse, 
Lawe hathe defyed guerdon and alle mede. 

Sett up trouthe on heyght as a goddesse : 
Good feythe hathe contraryede dowblenes, 

And prudence seethe alle thynge aforne, 
Kepynge the ordre of parfithe stabylnes, 

Conveyede by lyne ryght as a ranimes home. 

Prynces of custome meyntene ryght in dede, 
And prelatys lyvethe in parfytnesse, 

Knyghthode woUe suffre no falsehede. 

And presthode hathe refusyde al ryehesse ; 


Relygyous of veraye holynesse 

With vertuous bene on heyght up borne, 

Envye in cloystres hathe none entresse, 

Conveyede by lyne ryght as a rammes home. 

Marchandys of lucre takethe nowe none hede. 

And usurye lyethe fetrede in dystresse, 
And, for to speke and wryte of woraanhede, 

They banysshed have from hem newfangelnes ; 
And labourers done trewlye here busynesse, 

That of the daye they wolle none houre be lorne, 
With swete and travayle avoydynge ydelnesse, 

Conveyede be lyne ryght as a rammys home. 

Pore folkes pleyne them for noo nede, 

That ryche men dothe so grete alraes, 
Plente eche daye dothe the hungrye fede, 

Clothe the nakyde in here wrecehidnes ; 
And charyte ys nowe a cheffe maystresse, [thorne, 

Sclaundre from hys tunge hathe plukked out the 
Detraccyon hys langage dothe represse, 

Conveyed by lyne ryght as a rammes horne. 

Ypocrysie chaungede hathe hys wede, 

Take an habyte of vertues gladnesse, 
Deceyte dare not abrode hys wynges sprede, 

Nor dyssymylynge out homes dresse; 
For trouthe of kynde wolle shewe hys bryghtnes, 

Without eclipsynge, thow falnes had hit sworne, 
To afferme thys dyte trewlye by processe, 

Hit ys conveyed ryght as a rammes horne. 

lydgate's minor poems. 173 

Oute of thys lande, and ellys God forbede ! 

Feynynge outelawede and alsoo falseness, 
Flaterye ys fledde for verraye shame and drede, 

Ryche and pore have chose hem to sadnessc ; 
Wyramene lefte pride and take hem to mekenes, 

Whoos pacyens ys newe waat and shorne, 
Thar tunges have no carage of sharpenes, 

Conveyede by lyne, ryghte as a rammys home. 

Pryncel remembre, and prudently take hede, 

Howe vertue is of vices a duchesse, 
Oure feithe not haltithe but lenythe on hj^s crede, 

Thorghte ryght beleve the dede berythe witnes, 
Heretykys have lefte there frowadnes, 

Wedyde the cokkelle frome the puryd corne. 
Thus eche astate ys governede in sothenes, 

Conveyed by lyne ryght as a rammes home. 

Quod John Ludgate. 



[From MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 1-3.] 


I CONSEYL what SO evyr thou be, 

Off policye, forsighte, and prudence ; 

Yiff thou wilt lyve in pees and unite, 

Conforme thysylff and thynk on this sentence, 

174 lydgate's minor poems, 

Whersoevere thou hoold residence, 

Among wolvys be wolvysshe of corage, 

Leoun with leouns, a lamb for innocence, 
Lyke the audience so uttir thy language. 

The unycorn is cauhe with maydenys song, 

By dispocicioun, record of scripture ; 
With cormerawntys make thy nekke long. 

In pondys deepe thy prayes to recure ; 
Among ffbxis be foxisshe of nature, 

Mong ravynours thynk for avauntage, 
With empty hand men may noon haukys lure, 

And lyke the audience so uttir the language. 

With hooly men speke of hoolynesse. 

And with a glotone be delicat of thy ffare, 
With dronke men do surfetys by excesse, 

And among wastours no spendyng that thou spare 
With woodecokkys lerne for to dare. 

And sharpe thy knyfF with pilours for pilage ; 
Lyke the market so preyse thy chafFare, 

And lyke the audience so uttre thy language. 

With an otir spare ryveer noon nor ponde. 

With them that ferett robbe conyngerys ; 
A bloodhound with bowe and arwe in hond, 

Mawgre the wache of fosterys and parkerj'S ; 
Lyke thy felaship spare no daungerys, 

For lyf nor dethe thy lyfF put in morgage, 
Mong knyhtes, squyers, chanouns, monkes, fryers, 

Lyke the audience uttir thy language. 

lydgate's minor poems. 175 

Danyel lay a prophete ful notable, 

Of God preservyd in prysoun with lyouns ; 
Where God lyst spare, a tygre is nat vengable, 

No cruel beestys, berys, nor gryffouns ; 
And yif thu be in caves with dragouns, 

Remembre how Abacuk brought the potage 
So feere to Danyel, to many regiouns. 

As caas requerith so uttre thy language. 

With wyse men talke of sapience, 

With philosophres speke of philosophie, 
With shipraen, seyleng that have experience. 

In troubly seis how they shal hem guye ; 
And with poetys talke of poetrye ; 

Be nat to presumptuous of cheer nor of visage, 
But where thou comyst in ony companye, 

Lyke the audience so uttir thy language. 

This litel ditee concludithe in meuyng. 

Who that caste hym this rewle for to kepe, 
Mot conforme hym lyke in every thyng, 

Wher he shal byde unto the felashipe; 
With wachemen wake ; with sloggy folkes sleepe ; 

With wood men wood ; with frentyk folke savage ; 
Renne with beestys; with wilde wormys creepe; 

And like the audience uttir thy language. 


Mong alia thes I counceyl yit take heed, 
Wher thu abydest or reste in any place, 

In cheef love God, and with thy love ha dreed, 
And be feerful ageyn hym to trespaee ; 

17() lydgate's minor poems. 

With vertuous men encrece shalle thy grace. 
And vicious folk arn cause of gret damage. 

In every ffelaship so for thysilf purchace, 

Where vertu regnyth, ther uttir thy language. 

Be paied with litel, content with suffisaunce, 

Clymb nat to hihe, thus biddith Socrates; 
Glad povert is of tresours moost substaunce, 

And Catoun seith is noon so greet encress 
Offwordly tresour, as for to live in pees, 

Which among vertues hath the vassalage : 
I take record of Diogenees, 

Which to Alisaundre had this language. 

His paleys was a litel poore tonne, 

Which on a wheel with hym he gan carye, 
Bad this Emperour ride out of his sonne, 

Which dempt hymsylf richer than kyng Darye, 
Kept with his vessel fro wyndis moost contrarye, 

Wherin he made daily his passage. 
This philosophre with pryncys lyst nat tarye, 

Nor in ther presence to uttre no language. 

Attwen thes tweyne a greet comparysoun, 

Kyng Alisaunder he conqueryd al, 
Diogenes lay in a smal dongoun ; 

Lyke sondry wedrys which turnyd as a bal, 
Fortune to Alisaundir gaff a sodeyn fal ; 

The philosophre disposed his coignage, 
He thoughts vertu was moor imperial 

Than his acqueyntaunce, with al his proud language. 

lydgate's minor poems. 177 

Antonye and Poule dispised al richesse, 

Lyved in desert of wilful poverte ; 
Cesar and Pompey of marcial woodnesse, 

By ther envious compassyd cruelte, 
Twen Gennanye and AfFryk was gret enrayte ; 

No comparisoun twen good greyn and forage ; 
Preise every thyng like to his degre ; 

And lyke the audience so uttir thy language. 

I fond a lyknesse depict upon a wal, 

Armed in vertues, as I walk up and doun, 
The hed of thre ful solempne and roial, 

Intellectus, memorye, and resoun ; 
With eyen and erys of cleer discrecioun, 

Mouth and tonge avoiden al outrage, 
Ageyn the vice of fals detraccioun, 

To do no surfet in woord nor in language. 

Hand and arrays with this discrecioun, 

Wher so man have force or febilnesse, 
Trewly to meene in his affeccioun, 

For fraude or favour to folwe rihtewisnesse ; 
Entrailes inward devocioun with meeknesse, 

Passyng Pigraalioun which graved his ymage ; 
Preyd to Venus, of lovers cheef goddesse. 

To graunt it lyff and quyknesse of language. 

Of hool entent pray we to Crist Jhesu, 

To quyke a figure in oure conscience, 
Reson as hed, with membris of vertu, 

Aforn rehersyd breeffly in sentence ; 

1 78 i^ydgate's minor poems. 

Undir support of his magnificence, 

Crist so lyst governe our wordly pilgrymage, 
Tween vice and vertu to sette a difference, 

To fiis plesaunce to uttren our language. 


[From MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 116.] 

Ye Britoun martirs, famous in parfitnesse, 

Of herte avowyd in your tendir age, 
To persevere in virginal clennesse, 

Free from the yok and bond of uiariage, 
Lyk hooly angelis hevenly of corage, 

Stable as a stoon groundid on vertu, 
Perpetuelly to your gret avauntage, 

Knet to your spouse callid Crist Jhesu, 

O ye maidenys of thousandys ful hellevene ! 

Rad in the gospel with five that wer wyse, 
Regnyng with Crist above the sterrys sevene. 

Your launpis lihte for tryuniphal emprise. 
Upon your hed your stoory doth devise. 

For martirdara crownyd with roosys reede, 
Medlyd with lilies for conquest in such wise, 

Fresshe undifFadid, tokne of yourmaydenheede. 

lydgate's minor poems. 179 

Graunt us, Jhesu, of merciful pite, 

Geyn our trespas gracious indulgence, 
Nat lik our meritis peised the qualite, 

Disespeyred of our owne offence, 
Ner that good hoope with thy pacience, 

With help of Ursula and hir sustris alle, 
Shal be meenys to thy magnificence, 

Us to socoure, Lord, whan we to the calle. 


The '• paunflet" from which this poem professes to be translated, 
was probably the old French Fabliau which is printed by Barba- 
zan, (ed. jNIeon, iii. 114) under the title of" Le Lais de I'Giselet." 
The original of the storj' is found in the Latin " Disciplina cleri- 
calis" of Petrus Alfonsi (fab. xx. Quidam habuit virgultum, &.c.) 
The Fabliau is only an enlargement of the tale from the different 
old French metrical versions of the Disciplina Clericalis, known 
by the title of " Chastoiement," or " Castoiement," where it has 
the title " Du Vilein et de I'Giselet." See the " Chastoiement" 
published by the Soclete des Bibliophiles Franpais, ii. 130, and 
that printed by Barbazan, ii. 140. The following English version 
is taken from MS. Harl. 316, fol. 146-152. It is mentioned as a 
piece of Lydgate's bj* Stephen Hawes, in his " Pastime of Pie- 
sure." It was at that time very popular, and was printed succes- 
sively by Caxton, Wynkyn de Worde, and Coplande. 

Problemys of olde likenese and figures, 
Whiche proved been fructuous of sentence, 
And hath auctorite grownded in scriptures, 
By reseniblaunces of nobille apparence, 
Withe moralites concluding of prudence, 
Like as the Bibylle rehersithe by writing. 
How trees somtyme chase hemself a kyng. 

N 2 

180 lydgate's minor poems. 

First in tiieir choise thay named the olive, 

To reigne amonge hem, Judicum dothe expresse, 

But he hym dide excuse bhthe. 

He myght not forsake his fatnesse, 

Ner the figge tree his amorows swettnes, 

Ner the vyne his holsom fressh tarage, 

Whiche yeveth comforte to al maner age. 

And semlably Poetis Laureate, 

By dyrke parables ful convenient, 

Feyne that birddis and bests of estate, 

As royalle egles and lyons be assent, 

Sent out writtes to olde a parliament, 

And made decres brefly for to saye. 

Some for to have lordshippe and some for obeye. 

Egles in the heyre highest to take hir flighte. 
Power of lyouns on the grounde is sene, 
Cedre among trees highest of sight, 
And the laurealle of nature is ay grene, 
Of flowres also Flora goddes and queue, 
Thus of al thing ther beene diversites, 
Some of estate and some of lowe degres. 

Poetes writin wonderfulle liknesses. 

And under covert kepe hemself ful closse; 

They take bestis and fowles to witnesse, 

Of whos feyninges fabilles first arosse. 

And here I cast unto my purpose, 

Out of the Frenssh a tale to translate, 

Whiche in a paunflet I redde and saw but late. 

lydgate's minor poems. 181 

This tale whiche I make of mencioun, 

In gros rehersethe plaj'nly to declare, 

Thre proverbis paj^ed for raunsouu, 

Of a faire birdde that was take out of a snare, 

Wondir desirous to scape out of hir care, 

Of my autour folwyng the processe, 

So as it fel, in order I shal expresse. 

Whilom ther was in a smal village, 

As myn autor makethe rehersayle, 

A chorle whiche hadde lust and a grete corage, 

Within hymself be diligent travayle, 

To array his gardeyn withe notable apparayle, 

Of lengthe and brede yeliche square and longe, 

Hegged and dyked to make it sure and strong. 

AUe the aleis were made playne with sond, 
The benches turned with newe turvis grene, 
Sote herbers, withe condite at the honde, 
That wellid up agayne the sonne shene, 
Lyke silver stremes as any cristalle clene, 
The burbly wawes in up boyling, 
Rounde as byralle ther beamys out shynynge. 

Amyddis the gardeyn stode a fressh lawrer, 

Theron a bird syngyng bothe day and nyghte, 

With shynnyng fedres brightar than the golde weer<\ 

Whiche with hir song made hevy hertes lighte, 

That to beholde it was an hevenly sighte, 

How toward evyn and in the dawnyng, 

She ded her payne most amourously to synge. 

182 lydgate's minor poems. 

Esperus enforced hir corage, 

Toward evyn whan Phebus gan to west, 

And the braunches to hir avauntage, 

To sj'ng hir coinplyn and than go to rest ; 

And at the rysing of the quene Alcest, 

To synge agayne, as was hir due, 

Erly on morowe the day sterre to salue. 

It was a verray hevenly melodye, 

Evyne and morowe to here the byrddis songe. 

And the soote sugred armonye. 

Of uncouthe varblys and tunys drawen on longe, 

That al the gardeyne of the noyse rong, 

Til on a morwe, whan Tytan shone ful clere, 

The birdd was trapped and kaute with a pantere. 

The chorle was gladde that he this birdde hadde take, 

Mery of chere, of looke, and of visage, 
And in a! haste he cast for to make, 
Within his house a pratie litelle cage, 
And with hir songe to rejoise his corage. 
Til at the last the sely birdde abrayed, 
And sobirly unto the chorle she sayde. 

" I am now take and stand undir daunger, 
Holde straite that I may not fle. 
Adieu, my songe and alle notes clere, 
Now that I have lost my liberte. 
Now am I thralle that somtyme was fre, 
And trust while I stand in distresse, 
I canne not synge ner make gladnesse. 

lydgate's minor poems. 183 

" And thowe my cage forged were with golde, 

And the pynacles of birrale and cristale, 

I remembre a jjroverd said of olde, 

Who lesethe his fredam, in faith ! he loseth all, 

For I hadd levyr upon a braunche smale, 

Mekely to singe amonge the wodes grene. 

Than in a cage of silver brighte and shene. 

" Songe and prison have noon accordaunce, 
Trowest thou I woUe syng in prisoun ? 
Song procedethe of joy and of plesaunce, 
And prison causethe dethe and destruccioun ; 
Rynging of fetires makethe no mery sounde, 
Or how shuld he be gladde or jocounde 
Agayne his wylle, that ligthe in chaynes bounde. 

" What avaylethe it a lyon to be kyng 

Of bestes, alle shette in a towre of stone, 

Or an egle, undir strayte kepyng, 

Called also king of fowles everichone ; 

Fy on lordshippe whan liberte is gone, 

Answere herto and lat it not asterte, 

Who syngeth merily that syngeth not of herte? 

" But if thou wilte rejoise of my syngyng, 

Lat me go flye free from al daunger, 

And every day in the mornyng, 

I shall repayre unto ihi lawrer. 

And freshly syng withe lusty notes clere, 

Undir thy chambire or afore thyne halle, 

Every season whane thou list me calle. 

184 lydgate's minor poems. 

" To be shett up and pynned undir drede, 

No thing accordethe unto my nature, 

Thoube I were fedde with mylke and wastelbredf, 

And soote cruddes browte unto my pasture, 

Yet had I lever to do my besy cure, 

Herly in the morowe to shrapyn in the vale, 

To fynde my dyner amonge the worraes smale. 

" The laborare is gladdare at his ploughe, 
Herly on raorne to fede hym withe bacon, 
Than som man is that hathe tresoure i-noughe, 
And of alle deyntes plente and foison, 
And no fredom with his possessioun. 
To go at large, but as bere to stake, 
To passe his boundis but if he leve take. 

" Take this aunswere for full conclusion, 

To synge in prison thou shalt me not constrayne. 

Till I have fredom in wodis up and downe, 

To flien at large on boughes rouhe and playne ; 

And of resoun thou shuldest not disdayne. 

Of my desire laugh and have game 

But who is a chorle wolde eche a man were the same. 

" Wele," quod the chorle, " syth it will not be 

That I desire as be thy talkyng, 

Magry thi will thou shalt chese on of thre, 

Withinne a cage merily to synge, 

Or to the kechen I shal thy body bringe, 

PuUe thi fedris that bene so brighte and clere, 

And aftir the rooste and baake to my dyner." 

lydgate's minor poems. 185 

" Than," quod the birdde, " to reson saye not nay, 
Towching my songe a fuUe aunswer thou haste, 
And when my fedres pulled been away, 
Yf I be rested, outher bake in paste. 
Thou shalt of me have a fulle smal repaste ; 
But yf thou wilt werke by my counseille. 
Thou mayest by me have passing gret avails. 

" Yf thou wilt unto ray rede assent, 
And suifre me go frely fro prisoun. 
Without raunsoun or ony other rent, 
I shal the yeve a notable gret gwerdoun, 
Thre grete wysdoras according to resoun, 
More of walewe, take hede what I do profre, 
Thane al the golde that is shet in thi cofre. 

" Trust me wele I shal the not disceyve." 

" Wele," quod the chorle, " telle oon, anone let se." 

" Nay," quod the byrdde, " thou must afore concey ve, 

Who that shal teche must of reason go free, 

It sittethe a maister to have his liberte, 

And at large to teche his lesson, 

Have me not suspecte I mene no tresone." 

" Well," quod the chorle, " I holde me content, 
I trust the prorays which thou hast made to me. ' 
The birdde fley forthe, the chorle was of assent ; 
And toke hir flighte upon the lawreer tre, 
Than thought he thus, " now I stand fre, 
With snares panters I cast not al my lyve, 
Ner withe no lyme-twygges ony more to stryve. 

1 86 lydgate's minor poems. 

" He is a f'ole that scaped is daunger, 
And broken his fedres and fled is fro prisoun, 
For to resorte, for brent childe dredotlie fire ; 
Eehe a man beware of wisdom and resoun, 
Of sngre strowed that Iiydethe fals poyson, 
Ther is no venome so parlious in sharpnes, 
Os whan it hathe of treacle a lyknes. 

" Who dredeth no parelle, in parelle he shal falle; 

Smothe waters ben ofte sithes depe ; 

The quayle pype can raoste falsly calle, 

Till the quayle undir the net doth crepe ; 

A blery-eed fowler trust not though he wepe, 

Eschewe his thombe, of weping take noon hede, 

That smale birddes can nype be the hede. 

" And now that I such daungeres am escaped, 
I wil be ware and afore provide. 
That of no fowler I wil no more be japed, 
From their lyme-twygges I will flee fer asyde ; 
Where perell is, gret perelle is to abyde. — 
Come nere, thou chorle, take hede to my speeche. 
Of thre wisdoms that I shal the teche. 

" Yeve not of wisdom to hasty credence 
To every tale nor to eche tyding ; 
But considre of resoun and prudence, 
Among many talis is many gret lesyng ; 
Hasty credence hathe caused gret hyndring ; 
Reporte of talis, and tydinges broute up newe, 
Makethe many a man to beholde untrewe. 

lydgate's minor poems. 187 

" For oon partie take this for thy raunsoun : 
Lerne the secuiid grownded in scripture, 
Desire thou nott be no condicioun, 
Thing which is impossible to recure ; 
Wordly desires stand alle in aventure, 
And who desire to clymbe highe on lofte. 
By soden torne felethe ofte his fal unsofte. 

" The thirdde is this ; beware bothe even and morowe, 

Forgete it not, but lerne this of me ; 

For tresoure loste inaketh Dever to gret sorowe, 

Which in no wise may not recovered be ; 

For who takethe sorowe for losse in that degre, 

Reknethe first his losse and aftir rekyn his peyne, 

And of oon sorowe makethe he sorowes tweyne." 

Aftir this lessone the birdde begane a songe, 

Of hir escape gretly rejoysing, 

And she remembryng also the wronge 

Don by the chorle first at hir takynge, 

Of hir affray and hir enprisonyng; 

Gladde that she was at large and out of drede. 

Said unto hym, hovyng above his hedde : 

" Thou were," quod she, " a very naturall fole, 
To suff're me departe, of thy lewdnesse ; 
Thou owghtest oft to complayne and make dole, 
And in thyne herte to have gret hevynesse, 
That thou hast loste so passing gret richesse, 
Whiche niyght suffice, by valewe in rekenyng, 
To pay the raunsoum of a myghty kyng. 

188 lydgate's minor poems. 

" There is a stone whiche called is jagounce, 
Of olde engendred withinne myne entrayle, 
Whiche of fyne golde peyssethe a gret unce, 
Cytryne of colour, lyke garnettes of entayle, 
Which maketh men victorious in batayle. 
And so ever here on hym this stone 
Is fully assured agayne his mortal foone. 

" Who hathe this stone in possession, 
Shal suffre no povert, ner no indigence, 
But of al tresour have plente and foysoun, 
And every man shal do hym reverence ; 
And no ennemy shal do hym offence. 
But from thyne handis now that I am gone, 
Pleyne if thou wilt, for thi parte is none. 

" It causethe love, it makethe men more gracious, 

And favorable in every mannys sighte ; 

It makethe acorde betwne folke envyous, 

Comforteth sorowfuU, and maketh hevy herttes lighte, 

Lyke topasion of colours sonnyssh bright ; 

I am a foole to telle al at ones, 

Or to teche a chorle the price of precious stones. 

" Men shuld not put a precious margarite, 

As rubies, saphires, or othir stones hynde, 

Emeraudes ner rounde perles whight, 

To-fore rude swyne that loven daiFe of kynde ; 

For a sowe delightethe, as I fynde. 

More in foule draffe hir pigges for to glade, 

That in al the perre that coraethe out of Garnade. 

lydgate's minor poems. 189 

" Eche thing draueth unto his semlable, 
Fysshes on the see, bestes on the stronde. 
The eyere for fowUis of nature is convenable, 
To a ploughe man to tille the lande, 
And a chorle a mokeforke in his hande; 
I lese my tyme ony more to tarye, 
To telle a bowen of the lapidarye. 

" That thou haddest, thou gettest never agayne ; 

Thi lym-twigges and panters I defye : 

To lete me go thou ware foule over sayne, 

To lese thi richesse only of foly. 

I am now fre to syng, and to flye 

Where that me lust, and he is a foole at alle, 

That gothe at large and makethe hymselff thralle. 

" To here a wisdom thyn eres been half deef, 
Lyke an asse that listithe on an harppe, 
Thou raayst go pype in an yve-leffe ; 
Better is to me to synge on thornes sharppe, 
Than in a cage withe a chorle to carppe : 
For it was saide of folkes yore a gone, 
A chorles chorle is ofte wo begone." 

The chorle felt his hert parte in twayne, 

For verray sorowe, and a-sondire ryve ; 

"Alias I" quod he, " I may wele wepe and playne, 

As a wreche never leke to thryve. 

But for to endure in poverte al my live ; 

For of foly and of wilfulnesse, 

I have now lost al holy my richesse. 

190 lydgate's minor poems. 

" I was a loi'de, I crye out of fortune. 

And hadde gret tresoure late in my keping, 

Whiclie myghte have made me long to contynue, 

Withe that stone to have lyved leke a kyng ; 

Yf that I hadde sett it in a ryng, 

Borne it on me, T hadde had goode i-no\ve, 

And never more have neded to goon to the ploughc 

Whan the birdde sawe the chorle thus morne, 
And houghe that he was hevy of his chere, 
She toke hir flighte and gayn a-gayne retorne 
Towards hym, and said as ye shal here ; — 
" O dul chorle wysdoms for to lere ! 
That I the taughte, al is lefte behynde, 
Raked away and clene out of mynde. 

"Taughte I the not thies wisdam in sentence. 

To every tale broughte to the of newe 

Not hastily to yeve therto credence, 

Into tyme thou knew that it were trewe ; 

Al is not golde that shynethe goldisshe hewe. 

Nor stonys al by nature, as I fynde, 

Be not saphires that shewethe colour Ynde. 

In this doctryne I loste my laboure, 

To teche the suche proverbis of substaunce, 

Now mayst thou se thyn owne blynde errour, 

■For al my body peyssed in balaunce, 

Weiethe not an unce ; rude is thi reniembraunce, 

I to have more payee clos in myne en tray le, 

Than al my body set for the countirvayle I 

lydgate's minor poems. 191 

" Al my bodye weyeth not an unce, 
Hough niyght I than have in me a stone, 
That peyssith more, as dothe a gret jagounce; 
Thy brayne is dul, thy witte is almoste gone ; 
Of thre wisdoms thou hast forgoteneoon. 
Thou shuldest not aftir my sentence, 
To every tale yeve hastily credence. 

" I badde also be ware bothe even and morowe, 
For thing lost of soden aventure. 
Thou shuld not make to mekelle sorowe, 
Whan thou seest thou mayst not it recure ; 
Here thou faylest, which doste thi busy cure, 
In thi snare to kache me agayne, 
Thou art a fole, thi labour is in vayne. 

" In the thirdde also thou doste rave : 
I badde thou shuldest, in no maner wyse, 
Coveyte thing whiche thou maist not have, 
In whiche thou hast forgoten myne empryse ; 
That I may sey playnly to devyse, 
Thou hast of madnesse forgoten al thre 
Notable wysdoms that I taught the. 

" It ware but foly withe the more to carpe, 

Or to preche of wysdoms more or lasse ; 

I holde hym madde that bryngeth forth his harppe, 

Therone to teche a rude for-dulle asse ; 

And madde is he that syngeth a fole a masse ; 

And he is moste madde that dothe his besynesse, 

To teche a chorle termys of gentilnesse. 

192 lydgate's minor poems. 

" And semlably in Apprille and in May, 
Wiian gentille birddes most maketli nielodie, 
The cokkowe syng can than but oon lay, 
In othir tymes she hathe no fantasye ; 
Thus every thing, as clerks specifye, 
As frute and trees, and folke of every degre, 
Fro whens they come thei take a tarage. 

" The vintere tretethe of his holsom wynes, 
Of gentille frute bostethe the gardener. 
The fyssher casteth his hokes and his lynes 
To kache fyssh in every fressh rever. 
Of tilthe of lande tretethe the boueer, 
The chorle delitethe to speke of rybaudye. 
The hunter also to speke of venerye. 

" Al oon to the a ffaucion and a kyghte, 

As goode an howle as a popingaye, 

A downghille doke as deynte as a snyghte ; 

Who servethe a chorle hathe many a carfuU day. 

Adewe ! sir chorle, farwele! I flye my way. 

O caste me never aftir my lyfe enduring 

A-fore a chorle any more to syng." 

Ye folke that shal here this fable, see or rede, 
Now forged talis I counsaille you to fle. 
For losse of goode takethe not to gret hede, 
Bethe not malicious for noon adversite, 
Coveitethe no thing that may not be ; 
And remembre, wherever that ye goone, 
A chorles chorle is woo begone. 

lydgate's minor poems. ]I 

Unto purpos this proverd is full ryfe, 

Rade and reported by olde remembraunce. 

A childes birrde and a knavis vvyfe 

Have often siethe gret sorowe and myscliaunce. 

Who hathe fredom hathe al suffisaunce; 

Bettir is fredom withe litelle in gladnesse, 

Than to be thralle withe al worldly richesse. 

Go, gentille qnayer ! and recomraaunde me 
Unto ray maister with humble efFection ; 
Eeseke hym lowly, of mercy and pite, 
Of this rude makyng to have compassion ; 
And as touching the translacioun 
Oute of Frenshe, hough ever the Englisshe be, 
Al thing is saide undir correctioun, 
With supportacion of your benignite. 


From MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 14-17. Other copies occur in MS. 
Harl. 2251 ; MS. Rawl. Oxon. C. 86; and MS. Bib. Coll. Jes. 
Cantab. Q. V. 8. See Madden's " Introduction to Sir Gawayne," 
p. 65. In MS. Harl. 7333, is the first stanza of this ballad, toge- 
ther with the opening verse of another of Lydgate's poems, with 
the following rubric: " Halsam squiere made thes ij. balades." 
These latter have been printed in the " Ileliquiag Antiquae," 
i. 234 ; but there is certainly no sufficient reason to assign either 
one or the other to the worthy " squiere." 

The world so vvyd, the hair so remevable, 

The cely man so litel of stature, 
The greve and the ground of clothyng so mutable, 

The fyr so hoot and sotil of nature, 


1.94 lydgate's minor poems. 

The watir nevir in oon, what creature 

Maad of thes foure that been thus flettyng, 

Mihte of rcson perseveren by any cure, 
Or stedfast been heer in his livyng. 

Man hath of erthe slowthe and hevynesse, 

Flux and reflux by watir made unstable, 
Kyndly of hayr he hath also swiftnesse, 

By fyr maad hasty, wood, and nat tretable ; 
To erthe ageyn by processe corumpable, 

Seelde or nevir in o point abydyng, 
Now glad, now hevy, now froward, now tretable, 

How shuld he than be stedfast of lyvyng? 

Off erthe he hath joyntes, flesshe, and boonys. 

And of watir ful manyfold humoures, 
Hayr in his arteres dispoosyd for the noonys, 

Fir in his herte, by record of auctoures; 
Coraplexionat of sondryfold coloures. 

Now brihte as Phebus, now reyn, and now shynyng, 
Now silver dewhe, now fresshe with April floures. 

How shuld man than be stedfast of lyvyng? 

With Ver he hath drynesse and moisture, 

Attwen bothe bamaner attemperaunce. 
In which tweyne deliteth hym nature, 

Yiff coold nat put hym in distemperaunce ; 
Thus meynt with dreed is mannys governaunce. 

Ay in inuncerteyn, by record of writyng, 
Now wood, now sobre, now prudent in daliaunce, 

How shuld man than be stedfast in livyng? 

lydgate's minor poems. 195 

Man hath with sorayr drynesse and heete. 

In ther bookys as auctoures lyst expresse, 
Whan Phebus entrith in the Ariete, 

Digest humoures upward doon hem dresse, 
Poorys opnyng, that sesoun of swetnessel 

With exalaciouns and mystis descendyng, 
Titan to erly whan he his cours doth dresse, 

Of his brihte shynyng no stedfast abyding. 

Autumpne to Ver foundyn is contrary, 

Galien seith in al ther qualitees, 
Disposyng man that sesoun doth so vary, 

To many unkouth straunge infirmytees. 
Of canyculer dayes takyng the propirtees, 

By revolucioun of manyfold chaungyng, 
In spiritual state temporal comowneeres, 

How shuld he than be stedfast of livyng ? 

Man hath with with wyntir in this present lyfF, 

By disposicioun cold and humydite, 
Which sesoun is to flewme nutritifF, 

Spoleth tre and herbe of al ther fresshe bewte ; 
The dayes- eye drepith, leesith hir liberte, 

Poores constreyned no roseer out shewyng, 
Fresshnesse of corages that sesoun makith ffle, 

How shuld man than be stedfast of livyng ? 

Fyr resolvethe erthe by watry, 

And watry thynges fyr turneth into hayr, 
Makith hard thyng neisshe and also naturally, 

Neisshe thyng hard by his sodeyn repair ; 


196 lydgate's minor poems. 

Tho withe hard yis that shoon as cristal fayr, 

Which element hathe in man ful greet werkyng, 

Feith, hope, and charite shal outraye al dispayr, 
Thouhe alle men be nat stedfast of ly vyng, 

Ayer of nature yevith inspiracioun, 

To mannys herte thyng moost temperatiff, 
Off kyndly heete gevyth respiracioun, 

Sotil, rare, and a gret mytigatifF, 
To tempre the spiritis by vertu vegetatifF; 

And sithe that hayr in man is thus meevyng, 
By manyfoold sawt he troublyd in his lifF, 

How shuld man than be stedfast in livyng? 

Watir somwhile is congelyd to cristalle, 

Coold and moist, as of his nature, 
Now ebbithe, flowithe, which, in especialle, 

Mihte of the moone doth hire course recure ; 
And sith that element, by record of Scripture, 

Was oon of foure compact in our makyng, 
I wold enqueere what raaneer creature 

Maad of thes foure were stedfast of livyng ? 

The sangueyn man of blood hath hardynesse, 

Wrouhte to be lovyng, large of his dispence, 
The flewmatyk slowhe, oppressyd with dolnesse, 

Whit of visage, rude of elloquence ; 
Aid sithe ther is in man suche difference 

Off complexiouns dyversly werkyng, 
Answer heerto concludyng in sentence, 

How that he myghte be stable of his livyng. 

lydgate's minor poems. 197 

The coleryk man sotil and deceyvable, 

Slendir, leene, and citryn of colour, 
Wroth sodeynly, wood and nat tretable, 

Ay ful of yre, of malys, and rancour, 
Drye and adust and a gret wastour, 

And disposyd to many sondry thyng, 
Withe pompe.and boost hasty to do rigour, 

Been such men stable heer in ther livyng ? 

Malencolik of his complexloun, 

Dispoosid of kynde for to be fraudelent, 
Malicious, froward, and by decepcioun. 

Which thynges peysed by good aviseraent, 
Forgyng discordes double of his entent ; 

I dar conclude as to ray feelyng, 
By confirraacioun as in sentement, 

Fewe men be stable heer in ther livyng. 

Satourn disposith to malencolye, 

Jubiter reiseth men to hihe noblesse, 
And sturdy Mars to strifF, werre, and envye, 

Phebus to vvysdara and to hihe prowesse, 
Mercurius to chaung and doubilnesse. 

The moone mutable, now glad, and now drepyng. 
And gery Venus, ful of newfangilnesse, 

Makith man unstable heer in this livyng. 

The world unsuyr, fortune transmutable. 
Trust on lordshipe a feynt sekirnesse ; 

Eche sesoun varieth frenship oft unstable, 

Now glad, now hevy, now holthe, now syknesse ; 


An ebbe of povert next ffloodys of richesse, 

Al staunt on chaung, now los and now wynnyng ; 

Tempest on se, and wyndes sturdynesse 
Make men unstable and feerful of livyng. 

Titan somwhile fresshly dothe appeere, 

Than corny th a storm and doth hii^ lihte difface, 
The soyl in somyr with floures glad of cheere, 

Wyntris rasour doth al away arrace; 
Al erthely thyng sodeynly doth pace, 

Which may have heer no siker abydyng, 
Eek alle estatys fals fortune doth manace ; 

How shuld man than be stedfast of lyvyng ? 

Considre and see the transmutacioun, 

How the sesoun of greene lusty age. 
Force of juventus, hardy as lioun, 

Tyme of manhood, wisdam, sad corage, 
And how decrepitus turneth to dotage, 

Al cast in ballaunce, be war, forget nothyng, 
And thu shalt fynde this lyfF a pilgrymage, 

In which ther is no stedfast abydyng. 

Man ! left up thyn eye to the hevene, 

And pray the Lord, which is eternal ! 
That sitt so ferre above the sterrys sevene, 

In his paleys moost Imperyal ! 
To graunt the grace heer in this liff mortal, 

Contricioun, shriflPt, hoosyl at thy partyng, 
And, or thu passe, rerayssioun fynal, 

Toward that lyf wher joye is ay lastyng ! 

lydgate's minor poems. 199 


[From MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 153-15C.] 


My fayr lady, so fressh of hewe, 

Good thryft come to your goodly face, 
Of colourys like the noble newe, 

As bryght as bugyl or ellys bolace ; 
So weel were he that myght purchace 

At good leyser with hire to been, 
Hire semly cors for to embrace, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of green. 

For yif I shuld hire al discrye, 

Fro the heed to the novyl, and so forth down, 
I trowe there is noon suych alyve. 

For to begynne at hire motle crown, 
The whyght flekkyd with the brown, 

Shoorn as a sheep with sherys keen. 
There is noon so fayr in al our town. 

Whan she hath on hire hood of green. 

The kyrspe skyn of hyr forheed, 

Is drawyn up and on trustily bownde. 
Of colovvrys dunue, yelewe, pale, and reed. 

And thervvithal hire cheekys been rownde ; 
A I'eynbowe hew so fayr she is fownde, 

For whan the sunne shyneth sheen. 
Alias 1 she gevith myn herte a wownde, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of srreen. 

200 i.ydgate's minor poems. 

Here smothe browys blake and fyn, 

Arn soft and tendir for to fele. 
As been the bruskelj's of a swj-n ; 

Hera jowys been rovvnde as purs or bele ; 
That though hire herte were made of stele, 

And I ne myght hire nevir seen, 
Yit must I love hire evir wele, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of green. 

Here greet shulderys, square and brood ; 

Here breestys up bere, hire bely so large. 
For upon hire is a greet carte lood, 

She is no bot, she is a barge ; 
A stouhte that no man may charge, 

Whoos boody may not sufFysed been, 
And evir abrood she beryth hire tarage, 

Undir hire daggyd hood of green. 

This fair floure of womanheed 

Hath too pappys also smalle, 
Bolsteryd out of lenghth and breed, 

Lyche a large campyng balle ; 
There is no bagpipe halfF so talle. 

Nor no cormyse, for sothe as I ween, 
Whan they been ful of wynde at alle, 

And she have on hire hood of green. 

And forth to speke of hire entraylle, 
Liche a cow hire wombe is gert, 

Ryrapled liche a nunnys veylle, 
And smothe berdyd liche a gete. 

lydgate's minor poems. 201 

Hire teeth been whight as ony jete. 

And lych a seergecloth hire nekke is clene, 
And for to kepe hire froom the heete, 

She weryth a daggyd hood of grene. 

Hire skyn is tendyr for to towche, 

As of an hownd-fyssh or of an hake, 
Whoos tewhyng hath coost many a crowche, 

Hire pylche souple for to make ; 
Wheer ovir many an hed hath ake, 

In skorn whan she lyth on the splene, 
And yit she shal hyra clene out shake, 

Undir hire daggid hood of grene. 

Hire buttokys ar not lowe sunke, 

But brood as is a Spaynych stede. 
For febylnesse she is nat shrunke, 

Men may that se thorugh out hire wede ; 
Hire crowpe doth the semys shrede. 

Whan they so streyght lasyd been ; 
Now good thryfft have he for hys mede, 

That best can shakyn hire hood of green. 

Hire lemys not smal but liche a spere, 

But jurabelyd but lyke as is an oly vaunt, 
The greet clocher up for to here, 

A belfrey for the bodyfaunt; 
Or ellys for to pley at the, 

Or for an hasard of heightene. 
So weel were he that had a graunt 

To towche hire daggyd hood of grene. 

202 lydgate's minor poems. 

This is the lady that I serve, 

That hath so many men on honde ; 
For of hire can no man thank deserve, 

That ti'ottyth on the drye londe, 
But on them she wyl have a bonde, 

As weel of bayard as of brende, 
And yit for sorelle she wyl stonde, 

Though men hire daggyd hood wolde rende. 

In cherysshyng of the yemanry. 

She hath weykyd many a bowe, 
But moost she lovith specially, 

Hym that can shote bothe styfFe and lowe ; 
And but the deer be ovir-throwe, 

The arwe was nat fyled kene, 
And to the deth she can weel blowe, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of grene. 

Hire watir lyme is maad ful weel, 

Bothe for the corraeraunt and the snyte, 
The botoore that etith the greet eel. 

Is cause yif he wyl his rochys byte ; 
The semewe with his fetherys whyte, 

Nor the caldmawe, nouthir fat nor lene, 
Gooth not from hire panteer quyght, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of grene. 

Of huntyng she beryth the greet pryse, 
For buk or doo, bothe hert and hynde ; 

But whan she dotyth and wyl be nyse, 
Maale deer to chaase and to fynde, 

lydgate's minor poems. 203 

That can hym feede on bark or rynde, 

And in hire park pasturyd been. 
That weel can beere with a tynde, 

Undir hire daggyd hood of green. 

This sovereyn lady moost enteer, 

On hobying whan she lyst to fare, 
With hire brood serkelys hire behynde, 

To make the larke for to dare, 
That fro hir gravys and hir snare, 

Goth not awey that comyth between, 
The thruschylcok nor the feldfare. 

Whan she hath on hire hood of green. 

It is deynty of this flowyr. 

That is so boold upon hire braunche, 
And wyl abyde every schowyr, 

Whoos thruste may noo stormys staunche ; 
But the flood wyl ovir launche, 

That no man may wade, it is so kene, 
It wyl not palle in hire haunche, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of grene. 

Now what she beryth I wyl yow telle, 

Although I can not armys blase. 
Nor to the fulle rynge hire belle, 

That is so wrymplyd as a mase ; 
So longe a man may loke and gase, 

To telle what shuld hire baggys been, 
Whoos fenestralle were hard to glase, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of green. 

204 lydgate's minor poems. 

Hire cote arrrmre is duskyd reed, 

With a boordure as blak as sabyl, 
A pavys or a terget for a sperys heed, 

Wyde as a chirche that hath a gabyl ; 
For who shalle justyn in that stabyl, 

But he be shodde he is not sene, 
Litel Morelle were not abyl, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of grene. 

Hire cote armure though it be rente, 

Yit hernyd she nevir the bak, 
Though many a robe hath be shente 

On hire sarpelere and on hire sak ; 
Evir moore she stood for al the wrak, 

And for shot she lyst not to fleen, 
A castyng dart took no tak, 

Undir hire daggyd hood of green. 

Now fareweel hert and have good dey, 

Of yow me lyst nat moore to endight, 
Colowryd lyche a rotyn eey, 

In morwe among your pj'lwys whight ; 
The blak crowe moote yow byght. 

Your byl clothyd thirke and on clene, 
A froward velym upon to wryt, 

Whan she hath on hire hood of grene. 

Now fareweel fayr and fressh so cleer ! 

For whoom I may noo mone take, 
Thowh I se yow not of alie this yeere, 

I can not moorne for your sake. 

lydgate's minor poems. 205 

Tyl every foul chesyth hys make, 

And the nytynggale that syngeth so sheen, 

And that the cokkow me awake, 
To looke upon your hood of green. 


[From MS. Harl. 22.55, fol. IH.] 

Reste and refuge to folk disconsolat, 

Fadir of pite and consolacioun, 
Callyd recoumfort to folk desolat, 

Sovereyn socour in tribulacioun, 
Vertuous visitour to folkys in prisoun, 

Blissid Leonard 1 graunt of thy goodnesse. 
To pray Jhesu with hool affectioun, 

To save thy servauntis fro myscheef and distresse. 

Remembre on hem that lyn in cheynes bounde, 

On folk exiled ferre from ther contre, 
On swych as lyn with many grevous wounde 

Fetryd in prisoun and have no liberie ; 
Forgete hem nouhte that pleyne in poverte. 

For thrust and hungir constreyned with siknesse ; 
Pray to Jhesu of merciful pite. 

To save alle tho that calle the in distresse. 

Lat thy prayeer and thy grace availle, 
To alle tho that calle the in tlier neede, 

And specially to women that travaille, 

To ache of boonys and goutys that do spreede ; 

206 lydgate's minor poems. 

Helpe staunchc veynes which cesse nat to bleede, 
Help feverous folk that tremble in then accesse, 

And have in niynde of mercy and tak heede, 
To pray for alls that calle the in distresse. 

Sobre and appeese suche folk as falle in furye, 

To trist and hevy do mytigacioun, 
Suche as be pensyfFmake hem glad and murye, 

Distrauhte in thouhte refourme hem to resoun ; 
Releeve the porail fro fals oppressioun 

Of tyrannye, and extort brotilnesse, 
Take hem of mercy in thy proteccioun, 

And save thy servauntis fro myscheef and distresse. 

Thes signes groundid on parfite charite, 

In thy persone encresyng ay by grace, 
O glorious Leonard ! pray Jhesu on thy kne, 

For thy servauntis resortyng to this place, 
That they may have leyseer, tyme, and space, 

Al cold surfetys to refourme and redresse, 
Hosyl and shriffte, or they hens pace, 

With the to regne in eternal gladnesse. 

Merciful Leonard ! gracious and benigne ! 
Shew to thy servauntis som palpable sygne, 
Passyng this vale of wordly wrecehydnesse, 
With the to regne in eternal gladnesse, 
Ther to be fed with celestial manna, 
Wher angelis ar w'ont to syngen Osanna ! 

lydgate's minor poems. 207 


These curious stanzas are taken from MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 157 ; 
but the ditty is unfortunately imperfect at the commencement. 
Sir Harris Nicolas has printed them at the end of his " Chronicle 
of London." 

Put out his hed lyst nat for to dare. 

But lyk a man upon that tour to abyde. 
For cast of eggys wil not oonys spare, 

Tyl he be quaylled, body, bak, and syde ; 
His heed endooryd, and of verray pryde, 

Put ouj his armys, shewith abrood his face. 
The fenestrallys be made for hym so wyde, 

Clemyth to been a capteyn of that place. 

The bastyle longith of verray dewe ryght, — 

To fals bakerys it is trewe herytage, 
Severelle to them, this knoweth every wyght, 

Be kynde assyngned for ther sittyng stage, 
Wheer they may freely shewe out ther visage, 

Whan they take oonys there possessioun, 
Owthir in youthe, or in myddyl age ; 

Men doon hem wrong, yif they take hym doun. 

Let mellerys and bakerys gadre hem a gilde, 

And alle of assent make a fraternite, 
Undir the pillory a litil chapelle bylde. 

The place amorteyse, and purchase liberie; 
For alle thoo that of ther noumbre be. 

What evir it coost aftir that they wende. 
They may cleyme be just auctorite, 

Upon that bastile to make an ende. 

208 lydgate's minor poems. 


[From MS. Harl. 22,55, fol. 143-146.J 

Men wryte of oold how mesour is tresour, 

And of al grace ground moost prineipalle, 
Of vertuous lyfe suppoort and eek favour, 

Mesour conveyeth and governith alle, — 
Trewe examplayr and orygynalle, 

To estaatys of hyhe and lowe degree, 
In ther dewe ordre, for, in especialle, 

Alle thyng is weel so it in mesure be. 

Mesure is roote of al good policye, 

Sustir-germayn unto discrocioun, 
Of poopys, prelatys, it beryth up the partye. 

Them to conduce in hyhe perfeccioun, 
To leve in preyour and in devocioun, 

Yeve good exaumple of pees and unite, 
That al ther werkys, for shoort conclusioun, 

With trewe mesure may commendid be. 

Al theyr doctryne, nor alle ther hoolynesse, 

Kunnyng, language, wisdam, nor science, 
Studye on bookys, in prechyng besynesse, 

Almesse dede, fastyng, nor abstinence; 
Clothe the nakyd with cost and dispenee, 

Rekne alle these vertues, compassioun, and pite, 
Avayllith nought, pleynly in sentence, 

But there be mesure and parfight charite. 

lydgate's minor poems. 209 

Myghty emperours, noble wourthy kynges, 

Pryncis, dukys, eriys, and barounnys, 
Ther greet conquestys, ther surquedous rydynges, 

But ther be mesure in ther condicyounnys, 
That attemperaunce conveye ther renownys, 

Rekne up the noblesse of every conquerour, 
What availlith al ther processiounnys, 

But ther ende conclude in just mesure. 

Kyng Alisaundre, that gat al myddjd erthe, 

Affryk, Asye, Europe, and eek Ynde, 
And slowh Porrus with his dreedful swerde, 

Yit in his conquest mesure was set behynde; 
For which, ye lordys, lefit up yoer eyen blynde I 

The stoon of paradys was fyn of his labour, 
In al his conquest, have ye wel in mynde. 

Was sett ferre bak for lak of just mesure. 

Knyghthood in Grece and Troye the cite 

Took hys principlys, and next in Rome toun, 
And in Cartage, a famous greet cuntre, 

Recoord of Hannybal and wourthy Scipioun ; 
The greete debaatys and the divisioun 

Among these kyngdaunnys by marcial labour, 
Fynal cause of ther destruccioun, 

Was fawte of vertu and lakkyng of mesure. 

To knyghthood longith the chirche to suppoorte, 
Wydewys, and maydenys, and poore folke to diffende, 

Men in ther ryght knyghtly to recoumfoorte, 
To comoun profight nyght and day entende, 

210 lydgate's minor poems. 

Ther lyfF tlie good manly to dispende, 

To punysshe extorcioun, raveyne, and eche robbour, 
And brynge alle unto correccioun, 

That be froward unto the just mesour. 

Trewe juges and sergeauntis of the lawe, 

For hate or frenshippe they shal ther doomys dresse, 
Withoute excepcioun, and ther band withdrawe, 

Fro meede and yifFtes alle surfFetys to represse ; 
Hoide trouthe and sustene rightwisnesse, 

Mercy preferre alwey to-for rigour, 
That fals for-sweryng have there noon interesse, 

For lak of trouthe and lak of just mesour. 

So egally ther doomys to avaunce, 

Of God and trouthe alwey to takyn hede. 
And Cambises to have in remembraunce. 

That was slayn because that he took meede 
Of poore folk, the causys they shalle speede, 

To moordre nor thefFte they shal doo no favour, 
In al ther doomys of conscience to dreede, 

That right goo not bak, equyte, nor mesour. 

Meyris, sherevys, aldirmen, cunstablys, 

Which that governe bourghes and citees, 
Kepith your fraunchise and statutys profitablys, 

That moost avaylle may to the comountees ; 
In no wise lese nought your libertees, 

Accorde eche man with his trewe neyhbour, 
As ye ar bounde to hihe and lowhe degrees. 

That peys and wheyghte be kept, and just mesour. 

lydgate's minor poems. 211 

Among yoursilf suffre noon extorcioun, 

Let no wrong be doo unto the poraylle, 
On thefFte and manslaughte doo execueioun, 

Beth weel provided for stuff and for vitaylle ; 
Let no devisioun, Salamon doth counsaylle, 

Withinne yoursilf hold no secour ; 
And for a tresour which greetly may avaylle, 

Among alle thyng kepe pays and just mesour. 

Famous marchauntys, that ferre cuntrees ryde, 

With al ther greete rychesse and wynnynges. 
And artificerys, that at horn abyde, 

So ferre castyng in many sundry thynges. 
And been expert in wondirful konnyngges, 

Of dyvers crafftys t'avoyden al errour ; 
What may avaylle al your ymagynynges, 

Withoute proporciouns of weyghte and just mesour ? 

Reken up hesyk with alle ther lectuaryes, 

Grocerys, mereerys, with ther greet habundaunce. 
Expert surgeyns, prudent potecaryes, 

And alle ther weyghtes peysed in ballaunce, 
Masouns, carpenterys, of Yngelond and of Fraunce, 

Bakerys, browsterys, vyntenerys, with fressh lycour, 
Alle set at nought to rekne in substaunce, 

Yiff peys or weyghte doo lakke, or just mesour. 

Ploughmen, carterys, with othir laborerys, 
Dicliers, delverys, that greet travayllc endure, 

Which bern up alle, and have doon many yeerys, 
The staatis alle set here in portrature, 


212 lvix.'ate's minor poems. 

On Goddys wylle and also by nature, 
Alle oon ymage divers in ther degree, 

Shulde be alle oon by recoord of Scripture, 
13e large mesour of parfight charytc. 

Fro yeer to yeer th'experience is seyn, 

Ne were the plough no staat myght endure, 
The large feeldys shulde be bareyn, 

No corn up growe nor greyn in his verdure, 
Man to suppoorte, nor beeste in his nature. 

For w^hich we shulde of trouthe for our socour 
VVourshippe the plough, sithe every creature 

Hath of the ploughman his lyffloode be mesour. 

So as the shepperde wacchith upon ther sheep. 

The hoote somyr, the coold wynterys nyght, 
Spiritual heerdys shulde take keep 

In Crystes foold, w ith al ther ful myght, 
By vertuous doctryne as they ar holde of ryght, 

To save ther sogettys fro wolvys felle rygour. 
That heretikys quenche nat the lyght 

Of Crystes feith nor of just mesour. 

Heerdys with sheep shul walke in good pasture, 

And toward nyght sewrly sette a foolde, 
Of Isaak and Jacob a ful pleyn figure, 

That wer sheppt-rdys whyloom be dayes oolde 
Which lyk prekitys and bysshoppes as I toolde, 

Th'estaatys here sett in charyte shal governe, 
Bv good exauniple in heete and froostys coolde, 

That ryght and mesure shal holde up the lanterne. 

lydgate's minor poems. 213 

Strong as Hercules of manhood and of myght, 

I am set here to stondyn at dyfFencc, 
Wrong to represse, and to suppoorte rgyht. 

With this burdoun of sturdy violence ; 
But unto alle that wyl doo reverence. 

To alle the staatys sett here in portrature, 
I shall to hem make no resistence, 

That be governyd justly be mesure. 

Among boarys, beerys, and leounnnys, 

Myn office is to walke in wyldirnesse, 
Reste a-nyght in cavys and dongeounnys, 

Tyl Phebus shewe a-morwen his bryghtnesse; 
Now stonde I here to kepe in sekirnesse 

This hows in sewyrte with al my besy cure, 
To letyn in folk that of gentilnesse 

Lyst hem governe justly be measure. 




[From MS. Harl. 2251, fol. 275.] 
This hardy fowle, this bridde victorious, 
This stately fowle most imperial, 
Of his nature fiers and corageous, 
Callid in Scripture the fowle celestial, 
This yeeris day to youre estate royal 
Lowly presentith, to encrese of youre glorye, 
Honour and knyghthod ! conquest and victorye ! 

214 lydgate's minor poems. 

This statly bridde clothe ful highe sore, 
Percyng the beames of the highe sonne, 
And of his kynde excellithe evermore. 
In soryng up above tlie skynnes donne ; 
And for this bridde hath the crowne wonne, 
Above briddes alle, presentithe to your glorye, 
Honour of knyghthode ! conquest and victory I 

This fowle is sacred unto Jupiter, 

The lord of briddis in the highe heven, 

Wele willy ng planete beholdyng from so ferre, 

Above the paleys of the sterris seven, 

Alle constellaciouns that any man can neven, 

This same fowle presentithe to youre glorie, 

Honour of knyghthode ! conquest and victorye ! 

This is the fowle, as clerkis telle can, 
Whiche leete downe falle in the nativyte 
Of Crist Jhesu unto Octovyan 
The grene olyve of pees and unite ; 
Whan the high lord toke oure humanyte, 
This royal egle sendithe to youre glorye 
Honour of knyghthode ! conquest and victorye ! 

This is the fowle whiche Ezechiel, 
In his avisioun, saugh ful yoore agon, 
He saugh foure bestis tornyng on a whele, 
Amonges whiche this royal bridde was oon, 
Callid in Scripture th' Evangelist seynt John, 
This yeeris day presentyng to youre glorye 
Honour of knyghthode I conquest and victorye ! 

lydgate's minor poems. 215 

This royal bridde most persaunt of hir sight, [sheene, 
Ageyn Phebus streaines most shynyng, fresslie, and 
Blenchithe never for al the cliere light ; 
Presentith also unto the noble qwene. 
That sittith now here ful gracious unto seene, 
This yeeris day downe from that hevenly see, 
Helthe and welfare, joy and prosperite ! 

This fowle also, by title of hir nature, 

Of fowles alle is qwene and eraperesse, 

Flyeth hiest and longest may endure, 

Batyng hir wynges witheoute werynesse ; 

To Junoes castel in heven a grete goddesse, 

Sendith to you, pryncesse, her sittyng in youre see, 

Helthe and welfare, joy and prosperite ! 

He sendithe also unto youre noblesse, 

Of al vertues fulsom habundaunce, 

Fredam, bounte, honour, and gentillesse, 

Whiche we the meane by gracious allyaunce 

To sette in pees England and Fraunce, 

To whos hyghnesse downe from the hevenly see, 

Helthe and welfare and prosperite. 

This bridde in armes of emperours is born, 
Whiche in the tyme of Cesar Julius, 
In Rome apperyng, whan Crist Jhesu was born 
Of a mayde most clene and vertuous ; 
Wherfore, O pryncesse ! happy and gracious, 
To yow presentithe this egle, as he dothe flee, 
Helthe and welfare, joy and prosperite I 

216 lydoate's minor poems. 

This fowle withe briddes hathe hold his parleraent, 

Where as the lady whiche is callid Nature 

Satte in hir see liche a president, 

And al ichon thej- dide hir besy cure, 

To sende to yow goofle happe, goods aventure, 

Al j'oure desires accomplisshed for to be, 

Helthe and welfare, joye and prosperite ! 

Most noble prince ! whiche, in especial, 

Excelle al other, as maked is memory. 

This day be gyf unto youre estate royal, 

As I sayd erst, honour, conquest, victory, 

Liche as this egle hath presented to youre glorye. 

And to yow princesse he wil also ther be 

Helthe and welfare, joye and prosperyte. 


[From MS. Harl. 2255, fol. 12-14. Other copies are in MS. 
Raw!. Oxon. C. 86, and MS. Bib. CoU. Jes. Cantab. Q. T. 8.] 


As of hony men gadren out swetnesse. 

Of wyn and spices is maad good ypocras, 
Fro silver wellys that boyle up with fresshenesse 

Cometh crista! watir rennyng a gret pas ; 
So as Phebus perceth thoruhe the glas, 

With brihte beemys, shynyng in his speere, 
Byforn our dayes this proverb provid was, — 

Of prudent folk men may vertu leere. 

lydgate's minor poems. 217 

Quyk lusty sprynges, that boile up in the welle, 

Do gret refresshyng and coumfort to the sihte, 
Mong holsoni herbys in vertu that excelle, 

What folwith aftir makith hertis glad and lihte ; 
Good haire a morwe aftir the dirke nyhte, 

Passyng holsom al sesouns of the yeere, 
Concludyng thus of verray trouthe and rihte. — 

Wo sueth vertu, vertn he shal leere. 

Frut fet fro fer tarageth of the tre, 

Wyn takith his pris of the holsom vyne. 
Of puryd flour raaad holsom breed parde, 

As clerkys wyse is holsom the doctryne ; 
The wyntres nyhte is glad whan sterrys shyne, 

Somer toward whan buddys first appeere, 
And the May-dewhe round lik perlys fyne, — 

Who sueth vertu, vertu he shal leere. 

Eche thyng of kynde drawith to his nature, 

Som to profite in wysdam and science, 
Som also to studyen in Scripture, 

A fool is dullyd of sloulh and necligence; 
Konnyng conqueryd with long experyence, 

Which noble tresour may nat be bouhte to deere, 
And who that doth his enteer dilligence, — 

Vertu to sewe, vertu he shal leere. 

A yong braunche wol soone wexe wrong, 
Dispoosyd of kynde for to been a crook. 

The ff'yr of nature wyl growe up rihte and long, 
Hoot fir and smoke makith many an angry cook ; 

218 lydgate's minor poems. 

The fisshe for beit goth to the angil hook, 
The larke with song is Phebus massageer, 

A thryvyng scoler rihte eerly to his book, — 
Who sevvith vertu, vertu he shal leere. 

Off rethoryciens men lerno fresshe language, 

Of hooly seyntes procedith parfitnesse, 
Of furyon folk debate and gret outrage, 

Of marcial pryncis vertuous hihe noblesse. 
Of wise wisdam, of gentil gentillesse; 

For lyk hymsilf kynd wyl ay appeare, 
A cherl of nature wil brayde on rewdnesse, — 

Who seweth vertu, vertu he shal leere. 

Lusty hertys in gladnesse them delite, 

Set al ther study on occupacioun. 
In joye and myrthe, rihte as an ypocrite 

Rejoysith hymsylf in symylacioun ; 
And bakbiteres in fals detractioun. 

To hurt wers than boymbyl, busk, or breere. 
Contrary to vertu of condicioun, — 

Who sueth vertu, vertu he shal leere. 

OfFknyhtis knyhthood expert in pees and werre ; 

Marchauntys by travayle gadre greet richesse ; 
Be nedle and stoon and by the lood-sterre, 

Maryneres ay ther cours they dresse ; 
And massageres with watche and gret swiftnesse, 

T' expleyte the journe al tymes of the yeere, 
Ther grettest foo is slouthe and ydilnesse, — 

To alle tho that vertu list to leere. 

lydgate's minor poems. 219 

Love hooly chirche, do therto reverence, 

Do no naan wrong, mayntene rihtewisnesse ; 
Thouhe tliu be strong, do no violence, 

Specially no poore-man oppresse ; 
With glad herte parte thyn almesse ; 

In prosperite be nat to proud of cheere ; 
In adversite be pacient with meeknesse ; 

Sewe aftir vertu, and vertu thu shalt leere. 

Touchyng also thyn occupacioun, 

Departe thy tyme prudently on thre, 
First in prayer and in orison, 

Travayl among is profitable to the ; 
Reede in bookys of antiquyte. 

Of oold stooryes be glad good thyng to heere. 
And it shal tourne to gret coraodite, — 

Sewe aftir vertu, and vertu thu shalt leere. 

Be no sloggard, fle from ydilnesse ; 

Connyng conquer by vertuous dilligence ; 
Slouthe of vices is cheef porteresse, 

And astep-moodir to wysdam and science; 
Labour cheef guyde to profit in prudence, 

With vertuous lyff take heed of this mateere, 
Withdrawe thyn hand from froward necligence ; 

Sewe aftir vertu, and vertu thu shalt leere. 

Sith thu were wrouhte to be celestial, 

Lat reson brydle thy sensualite, 
Geyn froward lustys flesshly and bestial, 

Ageyn al wordly disordinat vanyte ; 

220 lydgate's minor poems. 

With fortunys fals mutabilite, 

Peysed how short tyme thu shalt abyrlen heere, 
Pray Crist Jhesu, of mercy and pitee, 

Or thu parle hens, vertu so to leere. 

With tyme and space and gnostly remembraiiuce. 

Of oohl surfetys to have contricioun, 
ShrifFt, and hosyl, ad i hooly repentaunce, 

With a cleer mynde of Crystes passioun, 
His V. vvoundys and blood that raileth doun, 

Upon the cros he bouhte the so deere, 
Cleyme of his mercy to have possessioun, 

With hym,to dvvelle above the sterrys cleere. 


[From MS. HarL 2251, fol. 276.] 
Allas! I woful creature, 

Lyveng betwene hope and drede, 
How myght I the woo endure, 

In tendrenesse of wommanheede? 
In languor ay my lyf to leede. 

And sette myn hert in suche a place, 
Wher as I, be lyklehede, 

Am ever unlyke to stonde in grace. 

There is so grete a diflPerence 

Twene his manhede and my syraplesse, 
Tiiat daungier by grete violence 

Hath me brought in grete distresse ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 221 

Aud yit in verray sikernesse, 

Thoughe my desire I never atteyne, 

Yit without doublenesse 

To love hym best I shal nat feyne. 

For whan we were tendre of yeeris, 

Flouring both in oure chieldheede, 
We sette to nothyng oure desires, 

Sauf to p!ey, and toke none heede: 
And gadred flowris in the raeede, 

Of yowth this was oure most plesaunce, 
And love tho gaf me for my mede 

A knot in hert of remembraunce. 

Whiche that never may be unbounde, 

It is so stidefast and so triewe. 
For alwey oon I wil be founde, 

His womman, and chaunge for no newe ! 
Wolde God the sothe that he knewe, 

How oft I sighe for his sake, 
And he me list nat oonys rewe, 

Ne gyvithe no force, what ivel I make. 

His port, his chiere, and his fygure, 

Bien ever present in my sighte, 
In whos absence eeke I ensure, 

I can never be glad ne light: 
For he is my chosen knyght, 

Thoughe it to hym ne be nat kowthe. 
And so hathe he ben bothe day and nyght, 

Triewly fro my tendre yowthe. 

222 lydgate's minor poems. 

Eraprinted in myn inward thoughte, 

And ahvey shal til that I dye, 
Out of myn liert he partith nought, 

Ne never shal, I dare well sey ; 
His love so sore me dothe werrey, 

God graunt it tourne for the best I 
For I shal never, I dare well sey, 

Without his love lyve in rest. 

A trowthe in tendre age goune, 

Of love withe longe perseveraunce, 
In my persone so sore is roune, 

That ther may be no variaunce ; 
For al myn hertis suffisaunce 

Is, whether that I wake or wynke. 
To have holy my remembraunce 

On his persone, so mochil I thynki 


[From MS. Cotton. Calig. A. ij., fol. 65.1 


I SEE a rybaun ryche and newe, 

Wythe stones and perles ryally pyghte, 

Regalles, rubies, safFyres blewe. 

The grownde was alle of brent golde bryghte 

lydgate's minor poems. 223 

Wythe dyamandes fulle derely dyghte, 

Ryche saladynez sette on every syde, 
Wheron was wrytyn a resoun fulle ryghte, 

And alle was 'for the better abyde.' 

Uppoun that resoun I studyed that tyde, 

And ther to toke I good entent, 
How kynde wytte setteth sorow besyde, 

Wythe eche a moun ther he ys lent; 
Good sufFraunce ys fulle syldene schent, 

Whene weyle and woo a way schun glyde, 
Hasty mene often tymes harmes hent, 

Whene they were better to abyde. 

I have harde sungun with a harpe. 

That haste mene sholde wante no woo, 
They koun notte sliylde hem fro showres scharpe, 

Nayther kene here freende from here foo ; 
Sume mene seys that hyt ys soo, 

Who so kone suffer heyle and hyde, 
May have hys wylle ofte tyme y-doo, 

And he wylle for the better abyde. 

He that wylle not drede no schame, 

Ys putte owte of mone and oneste place, 
Lette nevere thy tonge defowele thy name, 

But be kynde and trewe in every case; 
And pray to God to gyffe the grace. 

In londe wheres'ere thow goo or ryde, 
Alle wyked werdes away to chase, 

And ever more for the better abyde. 

224 lydgate's minor poems. 

And thy luffe be yn a place, 

Have hyt in mynde and holde the stylle, 
A foles bolt ys sone schote in cace, 

Whoo spekethe mykylle sum he most spylle ; 
Lette never thy lufFe be cm an hylie, 

Rere thy councelle at the crosse be cryde, 
Lette but fewe mene wytte thy wylle, 

And ever more for the better abyde. 

For the best thou holde the stylle^ 

And for the better thy speche thou spende, 
Thoughe thou have not to day thy wylle, 

Thy wyllf to morowe God may the sende ; 
Grncche not agayne hym, y dedefende. 

Fore poverte or sekenes in any tyde, 
Godde wylle soe tyme and hyt amende, 

And ever more for the better abyde. 

I have wyste mene in prysoun be caste, 

And lyve therin sex yere or sevene. 
And 3yt be holpen owte at the laste, 

For ofte mene at un sette stevene ; 
Wythe freend and foo God makes evene, 

That for us suffered woundes wyde, 
And brynge us to the blysse of hevene, 

For the better ther evere to abyde I 

lydgate's minor poems. 225 


[From MS. Cotton. Calig. A. ij. fol. 66.'] 


By a wey vvandryng as y wente, 

Welle sore I sorowede, for sykyng sad. 
Of harde happes that I liadde hent, 

Mornyng me made almost mad, 
Tylle a lettre alle one me lad, 

That welle was wrytyn on a walle, 
A blysfulie word that on I rad. 

That alwey seyde " thonke God of alle." 

And 3yt I rad ford er more, 

FuUe good entent I toke ther tylle, 
Cryst may welle your state restore, 

Now3t ys to stry ve agayns his wylle ; 
He may us spare and also spylle, 

Thenk ry3fch welle we ben his thralle. 
What sorow we sofFre, lowde or stylle, 

Alway thonk God of alle ! 

They thou be bothe blynd and lame. 

Or ony sekenesse be on the sette, 
Thou thenke ry5t welle hit ys no shame, 

The grace of God hit hath the gret ; 
In sorow or care thowj 36 be knyt. 

And worldes wele be fro the falle, 
I kan not say thou myst do bet, 

Bot alwey thonk God of alle. 

226 lydgate's minor poems. 

They thou welde this worlds good, 

And ryally lede thy lyf in reste, 
Welle I shape of bon and blod, 

Noone the lyke by est ny west; 
Thenk God the sent as hym lest, 

Rychesse torneth as a balle, 
In alle maner hit ys the best 

Alwey to thonke God of alle. 

3yf thy good bygynnyth to passe. 

And thou wexe a pore mon, 
Take good comfort and bere good face. 

And thenk on hym that al good wan ; 
Crist hymself for sothe bygan, 

He may rene bothe bowre and halle, 
No better counseyl I ne kan, 

Bote alwey thonke God of alle. 

Thenk on Job that was so ryche, 

He wax pore fro day to day, 
His bestys dyeden in yche dyche, 

His katelle wanshed alle away ; 
He was put in pore aray, 

Nother in purpure, nother in palle, 
But in sympul wede, as clerkes say, 

And alwey he thonked God of alle. 

For Cristes love so do wee, 

He may bothe 3yve and take, 
In what myschef that we in be. 

He ys my3ty y-now5 oure sorow to slake; 

lydgate's minor poems. 227 

Fulle good amendes he wolle us make, 

And we to hym crye or calle, 
'What gref or woo that do the thralle, 

3yt alwey thonke God of alle. 

They thou be in pryson cast, 

Or any destresse men do the bede. 
For Crystes love 5yt be stedfast, 

And ever have mynde on thy crede ; 
Thenk he faylethe us never at nede. 

The dereworth duke that deme us shalle, 
Whan thou art sory, thereof take hede, 

And alwey thonke God of alle. 

They thy frendes fro the fayle, 

And deth by rene hend here lyf, 
Why sholdest thou thanne wepe or wayle, 

Hit ys now3t agayn God to stryve ; 
Hymself maked bothe man and wyf, 

To his blysse he brynge us alle. 
How ever thou thole ore thryfe, 

Alwey thonk God of alle. 

What dyvers sonde that God the sende, 

Here or in any other place, 
Take hit with good entente, 

The sonnere God wolle send his grace; 
Thow3 thy body be browjt fulle bas, 

Lat not thy hert a-down falle. 

But thenk that God ys ther he was, 

And alwey thonk God of alle. 


228 lydgate's minor poems. 

They thy ney5bour have worlde at wylle, 

And thou farest not so welle as he, 
Be not so madde to tliynke hym ylle, 

For his whelthe envous to be ; 
The kyng of heven hymsylf can se, 

Hoo takes his sonde gret ore smalle. 
Thus eche mon in his degre, 

I rede thonke God of alle. 

For Cristes love be not so wylde, 

But rewle the by resoun within and withowte. 
And take in good herte and mynde 

The sonde that God sent al abowte ; 
Than dare I say withowtyn dowte, 

That ill heven ys made thy stalle, 
Ryche and pore that lowe wylle lowte, 

Alway thonk God of alle I 


[From MS. Cotton. Calig. A. ij. fol. 67.] 

By a wylde wodes syde 

As [ walked myself alone, 
A blysse of bryddes me bad abyde, 

For cause there song mo then one ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 229 

Among thes bryddes everych one, 

Full gret hede y gan take, 
How he gon syng with rewfully mone, 

" Mon, y rede the, amendes make." 

"Make amende trewely;" 

Than song that bryd with federes gray, 
In myne hert fulle woo was y, 

Whan " make amendes" he gan to say ; 
I stode and studyede alle that day, 

Thes word made me alle ny3th to wake, 
Than fond I by good schyle, in fay, 

Why he sede " amendes make." 

The furst schyle that y gan fynde. 

As hit seraed in my wytte, 
Oo thynk ther ys that cometh of kynde, 

That every man shalle have a pytte, 
When top or to of the ys knytte, 

The world I well fro the ys shake, 
Avyse the welle ere thou be dutt, 

And fond ere thou go amendes to make. 

The secounde schyle ys that thou shalle dye, 

Bote 3yt what tyme thou woste nevei", 
For 3yt thou wistest sykurly. 

Thou woldest fle thy deth for fere, 
Thy laste bowr shalle be a bere, 

3yf that thy frendes movve the take, 
Owt take thy pytte as I sayde ere. 

And therfore fond amendes make. 

230 lydgate's minor poems. 

The thrydde schyle shalle do the wo, 

3yf thou thenke theron, y-wys, 
For whan thy lyf shalle the fro, 

Thou ny woste whether to ball or blys ; 
I fynde no clerke can telle me thys, 

Therfore my wo bygynnythe to wake, 
Whan thou thenkest to do amys, 

I rede the " amendes make." 

They thou be kyng and crowne bere. 

And all the world stond at thy wylle, 
Thou shalle be pore as thou were ere. 

This mayst thou knowe be propur schyle ; 
Owt take a shete the with to hell. 

To kever in the fro shames sake ; 
Repente ye, mon, thou hast do ylle, 

And fonde to amendes make. 

When thou art fryke and in thy flowres, 

Thou werest purpure, perreye, ore palle, 
In churche at matyns ny at owrus, 

Thou kepest not come withinne the walle ; 
For ther thy savour ys fulle smalle. 

This wyldernesse the gan awake. 
Bote in on day thou shallt lese alle, 

Therfore fonde amendes to make. 

A sample we mow se al day, 
That God sent amonges us alle, 

To day thaw5 thou be stowt add gay, 
A-morow thou lyyst by the walle ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 231 

Mercy then to crye ore calle, 

Hit ys to late, thy leve ys take : 
Therefore thou mon, are that thou ialle, 

I rede the amendes make. 

3yf thou have don a dedly synne, 

Where thorow thy sowle may be shent, 
Alle the 3ere thou wylt lye therinne, 

And jorne ther ontylle hit be lent ; 
Then a frere wollt thou hent, 

And fore shame thy parysh prest forsake, 
Of suche dedes verrement, 

I rede the amendes make. 

I rede the mon bere the evene, 

Whether thou be lord, serjaunt, ore mayre, 
For ofte men meten at un set steven, 

Coveyte thou no pore mon to payre; 
This worlde ys but a chyrye feyre, 

Whan je be heyest ^e mowe aslake, 
To day thou art lord, to morow thyne eyre. 

And therfore fond amendes make. 

They thou be rychere mon then he, 

Whylle thou lyvest here on erthe, 
God made hym as welle as the, 

And bou3t alle y-lyche dere; 
They he be not thy worldes pere, 

Do hym no wrong fore synnes sake, 
To nou5t shalle turne thy prowde chere, 

And therfor fond amendes make. 

232 lydgate's minor poems. 

God that was of Mary bore. 

And deth suifred on rode tre, 
Lette us never byfore lore, 

Jliesu, 3yr thy wylle be ; 
Comely queue, that art so fre. 

Pray thy sone fore oure sake, 
In heven a syjth of 50U to se, 

And here to amendes make. Amen. 


The biographical importance of the following poetn was first 
noticed by Mr. Collier, in his " Catalogue of the Library at 
Bridgewater House." It was printed by Pynson, in a tract now 
extremely rare, of twelve leaves, and of which the only copies 
known are at Cambridge, Bridgewater House, and the British 
Museum. Our text is from MS. Harl, 2255, fol. 47-66, Other 
copies are in MS. Harl. 218 ; MS. Coll. Jes. Cantab. Q. T. 8, &c. 


O HOW holsom and glad is the memorye 

Of Crist Jhesu ! surmountyng al swetnesse, 
Name of conquest, of tryumphe, and victorye, 

Th' assaut of Sathan to venquysshen and oppresse ! 
To which name Seyn Poule berith witnesse, 

Of hevene, and erthe, and infernal pooste, 
AUe creaturys of rihte and dewe humblesse, 

And of hool herte, bowe shal there kne I 

lydgate's minor poems. 233 

No song so swete unto the audience 

As is Jhesus, now so ful of plesaunce, 
Ageyn al enmyes sheeld, pavys, and difFence, 

To hevy hertys cheef comfort in substaunce I 
Of goostly gladnesse moost sovereyn suffisaunce, 

Cheef directorye to hevene-ward the cite, 
Gladdest resoort of spiritual remembraunce, 

To whom al creaturys bowe shal ther kne ! 

To alls folkys that stonden in repentaunce, 

With hert contryt maad ther confessioun. 
Of wyl and thouhte accomplysshed ther penaunce, 

And to ther poweer doon satisfactioun ; 
That cleyme be mene of Cristis passioun, 

Markyd with Tau. T. for moor suerte, 
To them Jhesu shall graunt ful pardoun, 

To axe hym mercy whan they knele on ther kne. 

In this name moost sovereyn of vertu, 

Stant hool our hoope and al our assuraunce, 
For wher that evir namyd is Jhesu, 

Geyn gostly trouble men fynden allegeaunce ; 
Who trustith in Jhesu may feele no grevaunce, 

Which from al thraldam brouht us to liberte, 
Out of al servage he made an acquytaunce, 

To alle that knele to Jhesu on ther kne. 

In amerous hertys brennyng of kyndenesse, 

This name of Jhesu moost profoundly doth myne, 

Martir Ignacius can bern heerof witnesse, 
Amid whoos herte, by grace which is divyne, 

234 lydgate's minor poems. 

With aureat lettrys, as gold that did sliyne, 
His herte was grave, men may his legends se. 

To teche al Cristene ther heedys to enclyne 
To blissed Jhesu, and bowe adoun ther kne. 

This is the name that chaceth away the clips 

Of foreyn dirkenesse, as clerkys determyne, 
By John remembryd, in th' Apocalips, 

How liche a lamb his heed he did enclyne ; 
Whos blood doun ran rihte as any lyne. 

To wasshe the orduris of our iniquite, 
Medlyd with watir cleer and cristallyne, 

Which from his herte doun railed by his kne. 

By blood Jhesus made our redempcioun. 

With watir of baptym fro felthe wessh us cleene. 
And from his herte too licours there ran doun, 

On Calvary the trouthe was wel seene. 
Whan Longius with a spere keene 

Percyd his herte upon the roode [tre] ; 
O man unkynde !, thynk what this doth meene. 

And on to Jhesu bowe adoun thy kne. 

Ther is no speche nor language can reraembre, 

Lettir, sillable, nor wore that may expresse, 
Thouh in too tungys were turnyd every raembre, 

Of man to telle th' excellent noblesse 
Of blessid Jhesu, which, of his gret meeknesse, 

List suffre deth to make his servaunt fre ; 
Now merciful Jhesu, for thyn hihe goodnesse. 

Have mercy on alle that bowe to the ther kne ! 

lydgate's minor poems. 235 

The prince was slayn, the servaunt went at large, 

And to delyver his soget fro prisoun, 
The lord took on hym for to here tlie charge, 

To quyte mankynde by obligacioun; 
Seelyd with fyve woundys he payed our raunsoum, 

Man to restoore to paradys, his cite. 
Is man nat bounde — I axe this questioun — 

To blissed Jhesu for to bowe his kne ? 

Six hundryd tyme with sixty toold by noumbre. 

In Poulys pistlys Jhesu men may reede, 
Multitude of feendys to en comb re, 

To paye our raunsoum his blood he did sheede; 
Nat a smal part, but al he did out bleede. 

For Adamys appyl plukkyd from the tre, 
Jhesu deyed for shame, man tak heede, 

Gyf thank to Jhesu and bowe to hym thy kne ! 

AUe thes thynges considred that I tolde, 

Man, wher evir thu holdist thy passage. 
Toward Jhesu alwey that thu beholde, 

With eye fyx looke on his visage ; 
Crownyd with thorn for our gret outrage. 

Have this in mynde and lerne o thing of me, 
That day noon enmy shal doon us noon damage, 

Whan we to Jhesu devoutly bowe our kne. 

Witheynne my closet and in my litil couche, 
O blissid Jhesu ! and by my beddys syde. 

That noon enmy nor no feend shal me touche, 
The name of Jhesu with me shal evir abyde I 

236 lydgate's minor poems. 

My loode-stcrre, and my sovereyn guyde, 
In this world heer bothe on lond and se, 

O Jhesu I Jhesu ! for al tho folk provj'de, 
Which to thy name devoutly bowe tlier kne I 

With Maria callyd Mawdeleyne, 

Erly eche morwe whil that my lifFe may dure, 
Fro slouthe and slombre raysilf I shal restreyne, 

To seke Jhesu at his sepulture ; 
Whom for to fynde yif that I may recure, 

To have pocessioun of hym at liberie, 
Ther were in erthe no richere creature, 

To whoom al creaturys bowe shal ther kne. 

In merciful Jhesu, to putte a verray pi-eef 

Of his mercy, that no man disespeyre. 
Upon the cros gafe graunt unto the theef, 

To paradys with hym for to repayre ; 
Took out of helle soulys many a peyre, 

Mawgre Cei'berus and al his cruelte, 
O gracious Jhesu I benygne and debonayre, 

Have mercy on alle that bowe to the ther kne ! 

The name of Jhesu ! swettest of namys alle I 

Geyn goostly venyms, holsomest tryacle, 
For whosoevir unto this name calle. 

Of cankryd surfetys fynt reles by myracle, 
To eyen blynde lihte, lanterne, and spectacle. 

And bryhtest myrour of al felicite, 
Support and sheeld, diffence and cheef obstacle, 

To alle that kneele to Jhesu on ther kne. 

lydgate's minor poems. 237 

This roial name, moost sovereyn of renoun, 

This name Jhesus, victorious in batail, 
Of hevenly ti^umphis the laureat guerdoun, 

The spiritual palme of goostly apparail, 
Celestial prowesse, which may raoost avail, 

To sitte with angelis in ther eternal se, 
Th'emperial conquest nat gett with plate or raayl, 

But with meeke kneelyng to Jhesu on our kne. 

Patriarkes and prophetis oon by oon, 

Thre lerarchyes and al the ordris nyne, 
Twelve apostlys and martirs everychoon, 

Hooly confessours and every pur virgyne, 
To blissed Jhesu moost meekly shal enclyne, 

Foulys, beestys, and fisshes of the se, 
Kynde hath tauhte hem hy natural disciplyne. 

Meekly to Jhesu to bowe adoun ther kne. 

Ther is no love parfitly i-groundid, 

But it of Jhesu took his original. 
For upon Jhesu al parfitnesse is foundid, 

Our tour, our castel geyn poweers infernal ; 
Our poortcolys, our bolewerk, and our wal, 

Our sheeld, our pavys, geyn al adversite. 
Our herytage, our guerdoun eternal. 

To whoom alle creaturys bowe shal ther kne. 

Condigne laude nor comendacioun, 

Youe to this name ther can no tonge telle. 

Of goostly foode, richest refeccioun, 

Hedspryng of grace, of lyfFe conduyt and welle; 

238 lydgate's minor poems. 

Jhesu namyd, ther dar no dragon dwelle, 

Blissidest bawme of our felicitc, 
Alle cancryd soorj-s and poysouns to repelle, 

From them to Jhesu that knele on ther kne. 

This name Jhesus, by interpretacioun, 

Is for to seyne our blyssid Saviour, 
Our strong Sampson that stranglyd the lioun. 

Our lord, our maker, and our crcatour ; 
And by his passioun fro deth our redemptour, 

Our Orpheus that fro captyvyte 
Feit Erudice to his celestial tour, 

To whom alle creaturys bowe shal ther kne. 

At wellys five licour I shal drawe. 

To wasshe the rust of my synnys blyve, 
Wheer al mysteryes of the oold and newe lawe 

Took orygynal morally to desci'v ve ; 
I meene the wellys of Cristis woundys five, 

Wherby we cleyrae of merciful pite, 
Thoruhe helpe of Jhesu, at gracious poort t'aryve, 

Ther to have mercy kneelyng on our kne. 

J. in Jhesu set for jocunditas^ 

Gynnyng and ground of al goostly gladnesse ; 
E. next in ordre is eternitas, 

Tokne and signe of eternal brihtenesse ; 
S. set for saniias, socour ageyn syknesse, 

U. for ubertas, of spiritual plente ; 
S. for suavitas, from whom comyth al swetnesse 

To them that kneele to Jhesu on ther kne. 

lydgate's minor poems. 239 

J. in Jhesu is joye that nevir shal eende ; 

E. signifieth evirlastyng suffisaunce ; 
S. our Savacioun, whan we shal hens weende; 

V. his five voundys that made us aquytaunce ; 
Fro Sathanys myhte thoruhe his nieeke suiFraunce, 

S. for the sacrament which ech day we may se, 
In fourme of breed to save us fro rayschaunce. 

Whan we devoutly receyve it on our kne. 

J. fro Jacob ; H. from Abraham 

The lyne descendyng by generacioun ; 
C. stant for Crist, that from hevene cam, 

Born of a mayde for our redempcioun, 
The sharpe titel tokne of his passioun. 

Whan he was nayled upon the roode tre, 
O blissed Jliesu! do remissioun 

To alle that axe mercy on ther kne ! 

Do mercy Jhesu I or that we hens pace, 

Out of this pereillous dreedful pilgrymage, 
Beset with brygauntys leyd wayt in every place, 

With mortal sawt to lettyn oure passage ; 
Among othre I that am falle in age, 

Gretly feblisshed of oold infirmyte, 
Crye unto Jhesu for my synful outrages, 

Rihte of hool herte thus kneelyng on my kne ! 

Lat nat be lost that thu hast bouhte so deere, 

With gold nor silver, but with thy precious blood, 

Our flessh is freel, but short abydyng heere, 
The oold serpent malicious and wood ; 

240 t.ydgate's minor poems. 

The world unstable, now ebbe, now is flood, 
Eche thyng concludyng on mutabilitc, 

Geyn whos daungeers I hold this consayl good, 
To prey for mercy to Jhesu on our kne. 

And undir suppoort, Jhesu, of thy favour. 

Or I passe hens, this hoolly myn entent. 
To make Jhesu to be cheef surveyour, 

Of my laste wyl set in my Testament ; 
Which of mysilfe am insufficient. 

To rekne or counte but mercy and pite, 
Be preferryd or thu do jugement, 

To alle that calle to Jhesu on ther kne. 

Age is crope in, callith me to my grave, 

To make reknyng how I my tyme have spent, 
Bareyn of vertu, alias ! who shal me save 

Fro feendys daunger, t'acounte for my talent ? 
But Jhesu be my staff" and my potent, 

Ovir streyt audit is lik t'encoumbre me, 
Or doom be yove but mercy be present. 

To alle that kneele to Jhesu on ther kne. 

Now in the name of my lord Jhesus, 

Of rihte hool herte in al my best entent, 
My lyffe remembryng froward and vicious, 

Ay contrary to the comaundement 
Of Crist Jhesu, now with avisement. 

The lord besechyng to have mercy and pite. 
My youthe, myn age, how that I have myspent, 

With this woord seyd kneelyng on my kne. 

lydgate's minor poems. 241 

Jhesu ! mercy, with support of thy grace, 

For thy meek passioun remembre on my compleynt, 
Daryng my lyf with many gret trespace, 

By many wrong path wher I have mys-went ; 

1 now purpoose, by thy grace influent, 

To write a tretys of surfetys doon to the, 
And callyn it my last Testament, 

With Jhesu mercy I kneelyng on my kne ! 


The yeeris passyd of my tendir youthe, 

Off my fresshe age seryd the grennesse, 

Lust appallyd, th'experience is cowthe, 

The unweeldy joyntes starkyd with rudnesse, 

The cloudy sihte mystyd with dirknesse, 

Withoute redres, recure, or amendys, 

Lo me of deth han brouhte in the kalendys. 

Of myspent tyme a fool may weel compleyne, 
Thyng impossible ageyn for to recure, 
Dayes lost in ydil no man may restreyne, 
Them to refourme by noon aventure; 
Eche mortal man is callid to the lure 
Of dethe, alias I uncerteyn the passage, 
Whoos cheef maryneer is callyd crokyd age. 

Oon of his bedellys, namyd febilnesse, 
Cam with his potent instede of a maas, 
Somowned me, and aftir cam syknesse, 
Malencolyk, erthely, ad pale of faas ; 
With ther waraunt thes tweyne gan manaas, 
How deth of me his dew dette souhte. 
And to a bed of langour they me brouhte. 


Wher unto me anoon ther did appeere, 
Whyl that I lay compleynyng in a traunce, 
Clad in a mantyl a woman sad of cheere, 
Blak was liir habite, sobre was liir contenaunce, 
Straunge of hir poort, froward of daliaunce, 
Castyng hir look to me-ward in certeyn, 
Lych as of me she had disdeyn. 

This sayd woman was callyd reraembraunce 
Of myspent tyme in youthys lustynesse, 
Which to recorde did me gret grevaunce ; 
Than cam hir sustir namyd pensiffnesse 
For olde surfetys, and gan unto me dresse, 
A wooful bille which brouhte unto my raynde, 
My grate outrages of long tyme left behynde. 

Lyggyng allone I gan to ymagyne, 

How with foure tymes departyd is the yeer. 

First how in Ver the soyl t'enlumyne, 

Buddys gynne opne ageyn the sonne clear. 

The bawma up-reysed, moost sovereyn and enteer, 

Oute of the roote doth naturally ascende, 

With newe lyveree the bareyn soyle t'araende. 

The honysoucle, the froisshe prymerollys, 

Ther levys splaye at Phebus up-rysyng, 

The amerous fowlys with motetys and carollys, 

Salwe that sasoun every morwenyng, 

Whan Aurora, hir licour distillyng, 

Sent on herbys the pearly dropys sheene, 

Of silvir dewys t'enlumyne with the greena. 

lydgate's minor poems. 243 

This tyme Ver is namyd of grennesse, 
Tyme of joye, of gladnesse, and dispoort, 
Tyme of growyng, cheef moodir of fresshenesse, 
Tyme of rejoisshyng, ordeyned for courafoort ; 
Tyme whan tyme makithe his resoort, 
In gerysshe Marche toward the ariete. 
Our Emysperye to gladen with his hete. 

Whiche sesoun prykethe fresshe corages, 
Rejoisshethe beestys walkyng in ther pasture, 
Causith briddys to syngen in ther cages, 
Whan blood renewyth in every creature, 
Som observaunce doyng to nature, 
Which is of Ver callyd cheef pryncesse, 
And undyr God ther woi'ldly emperesse. 

And for this lusty sesoun agreable, 
Of gladnesse hath so gret avauntage, 
By convenyent resouns ful notable, 
Therto ful weel resemblith childisshe age, 
Quyk, greene, fresshe, and delyvere of corage ; 
For rihte as Ver ay moreth in grennesse, 
So doth childhood in amerows lustynesse 

This quykyng sesoun, nutrityfF, and good, 

Of his nature hath tweyne qualitees. 

Of hoot and moyst whiche longe also to blood, 

In ther ascensioun upward by degrees. 

Of kyndly rihte, the which propirtees, 

By natural heete and temperat moisture, 

Reknyd in childhod fourtene yeer doth endure. 

R 2 

244 lydgate's minor poems. 

Thus in sixe thynges by ordre men may seen, 
Notable accoord and just convenience, 
Blood, eyr, an Ver, soutlie and merydien, 
And age of childhood by natural assistence. 
Which whil they stonde in ther fresse premynence, 
Heete and moysture directyth ther passages. 
With greene fervence t'affore yong corages. 

First Zephirus with his blastys soote, 
Enspireth Ver with newe buddys greene, 
The bawme ascendith out of every roote, 
Causyng with flourys ageyn the sonne sheene, 
May among moneths sitte lyk a queene, 
Hir sustir April wattryng hir gardynes, 
With holsom shoures shad in the tendyr vynes. 

This tyme of Ver, Flora doth hir cure, 
With pleyn motles passyng fresshe and gaye, 
Purpil colours wrouhte by dame nature, 
Mounteyns, valys, and meedewys for t'araye, 
Hir warderobe open list nat to delaye, 
Large mesour to shewe out and to sheede, 
Tresours of fayrye which she doth poosseede. 

This sesoun Ver moost plesaunt to childhood, 
With hire chapirlettys greene, whit, and reede, 
In which tyme the newe yonge blood. 
Hoot and moyst, ascendith up in deede, 
Rejoisshyng hertys as it abrood doth spreede, 
Weenyng this sesoun among there merthis alle, 
Shuld nevir discresen nor appalle. 

lydgate's minor poems. 245 

The variaunt sesoun of this stormy age 
Abraydeth evere on newfangilnesse, 
Now frownyng cheer, now fressh of visage, 
Now glad, now lihte, now trouble and hevynesse, 
Wylde as an hen now moornyng for sadnesse, 
Stormysshe as Marche, with chaungis ful sodeyne, 
Afftir cleer shynyng to tourne and make it reyne. 

Off this sesoun lust halt reyne and brydil, 

Seelde or nevir abydyng in o poynt, 

Now passyng besy, now dissolut, now ydil. 

Now a good felawe, now al out of joynt. 

Now smothe, now stark, now lyk an hard purpoynt, 

Now as the peys of a dyal goth, 

Now gerysshe glad and anoon aftir wrothe. 

Lych as in Ver men gretly them delite 

To beholde the bewte sovereyne 

Of thes blosmys, som blew, rede, and white, 

To whos fresshnesse no colour may atteyne. 

But than unwarly comyth a wynd sodeyne, 

For no favour list nat for to spare 

Fresshnesse of braunchys, for to make hem bare. 

This sesoun Ver stant evir in nouncerteyne. 

For som oon hour, thouhe Phebus fresshely shyne. 

In Marchys wedrys it sodeynly wil reyne. 

Which of the day al dirknesse doth declyne ; 

And semblably a lyknesse to difFyne, 

Men seen childre, of berthe yong and greene, 

Buryed witheyne the yeerys of fifteene. 

246 lydgate's minor poems. 

Whan Ver is fresshest of blosmys and of flourys. 
An unwar storm his fresshnesse may apayre. 
Who may vvithstonde the sterne sharp shourys 
Of dethys power, wher hym list repayre ? 
Thouhe the feturis fresshe, angelik and fayre, 
Shevve out in childhood, as any cristal cleer, 
Dethe can difFace hem witheyne fyfteene yeere. 

Ver is sesoun doth but a while abyde, 
Skarsly thre monethys he holdith heer sojour, 
The age of childhood rekne on the tothir syde. 
In his encrees up-growyng as a flour; 
But whan that deth manacithe with his shour, 
In such caas he can no moor difFence, 
Than crokyd age in his moost impotence. 

Ver and ech sesoun mot by processe fade, 
In Ver of age may be no sekirnesse, 
Eche hath his hourys, hevy and eek glade, 
Ther sesouns meynt with joye and hevynesse, 
Now fayr, now foul, now helthe, now siknesse, 
To shewe a maner lyknesse and ymage, 
Our dwellyng heere is but a pilgrymage. 

And for my part I can remembre weel, 
Whan I gladdest in that fresshe sesoun, 
Lyk brotyl glas, nat stable, nor lyk steel. 
Fere out of arrest, wylde of condicioun, 
Savagyne voyd of al resoun, 
Lyk a phane ay tornyng to and froo, 
Or lyk an horloge whan the peys is goo. 

lydgate's minor poems. 247 

Yove to unthrift and dissolucioun, 
Stood unbrydlyd of al good governaunce, 
Which remerabryd by meek eonfessioun, 
Now with my potent to fynden allegeaunce, 
Of oold surfetys eontryt, with repentaunce, 
To the Jhesu I make my passage, 
Rehersyng trespacys doon in my tendir age. 

But to directe by grace my mateere, 
Meekly kneelyng Jhesu in thy presence, 
I me purpoose to gynne with prayeere, 
Undir thy merciful fructuous influence. 
So thu, Jhesu, of thy benyvolence, 
To my requestys by merciful attendaunce, 
Graunt or I deye shrift, hosyl, repentaunce ! 

My wrecchyd lyfe t'amenden and correcte, 

I me purpoose with suppoort of thy grace, 

Thy deth, thy passioun, thy cros •!■, shal me directe, 

Which suff'redist deeth, Jhesu, for our trespace; 

Iw e cche unworthy to looke upon thy face, 

Thy feet embracyng fro whiche I shal nat twynne, 

Mercy requeeryng, thus I wyl begynne. 


" O myhty lord, of poweer myhtiest, 

Withoute whom al force is febilnesse, 
Bountevous Jhesu, of good goodliest, 

Mercy thy bedel or thu thy doomys dresse, 

248 i^ydgate's minor poems. 

Delayest rigour to punysshe my wikkydnesse, 
Lengest abydyng, lothest to do vengaunce, 

blyssed Jhesu ! of thyn liihe goodnesse, 
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce 1 

"Thouhe tliu be uiyhety, thu art eek merciable 
To alle folkys that meekly hem repente, 

1 a vvrecche contagious and coupable, 

To alle outrages reedy for t' assente. 
But of hool herte and wyl in myn entente, 

Of oolde and newe, al vicious governaunee, 
Of youthe, of age, and of mystyme spente, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Off my confessioun receyve the sacrefise. 

By my tonge up offryd unto the. 
That I may seyn in al my best guyse 

Meekly with David, " have mercy upon me ;" 
Sauf al my soorys that they nat cankryd be 

With noon old rust of disesperaunce. 
Which of hool herte crye upon my kne, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" O Jhesu 1 Jhesu ! heere myn orisoun, 

Brydle myn outrage undir thy disciplyne, 
Fetre sensualite, enlumyne my resoun, 

To folwe the tracys of spiritual doctryne ; 
Lat thy grace leede me rihte as lyne. 

With humble herte to live to thy plesaunce, 
And blissed Jhesu, or I this liffe shal fyne, 

Graunt of thy mercy shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 249 

" Suffre me to have savour nor swetnesse. 

But in thy name that callid is Jhesu, 
Al foreyn thyng to me mak bittirnesse, 

Sauf oonly Jhesu, moost sovereyn of vertu I 
To my professioun accordyng and moost dew, 

Evere to be preentyd in ray remembraunce, 
At myn eende to graunte me this issu, 

To-for my deth shi'ift, hosil, repentaunce. 

" No lord bnt Jhesu, moost merciable and benygne. 

Which of mercy took our humanyte, 
And, of love to shewe a sovereyn signe, 

Suffredist passioun upon the roode tre; 
Oonly to fraunchise our mortalite. 

Which stood in daunger of Sathanys encoumbraunce ; 
Or I passe hens, Jhesu, graunt unto me, 

To-for my deth, shrift, hosil, repentaunce. 

" I am excited and meevyd of nature. 

This name of Jhesu sovereynly to preyse, 
Name comendid moost hihely in Scripture, 

"Whiche name hath poweer dede men to reise 
To lifF eternal, whos vertu doth so peyse, 

Ageyn my synues weyed in ballaunce. 
That grace and mercy shal so counterpeyse, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Lat me nat reste nor have no quyete, 
Occupye my soule with spiritual travayl. 

To synge and seyn " O mercy, Jhesu swete !" 
My proteccioun geyn frendys in batayl, 

250 lydgate's minor poems. 

Sette asyde al othir apparayl, 

And in Jhesu put hool myn affiaunce, 

Tresour of tresoures, that me moost avayl, 
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Myn feith, myn hoope, to the, Jhesu, doth calle. 

Which glorious name shal nevir out of mynde ; 
I shal the seeke, what hap that evyr befalle, 

By grace and mercy in trust I shal the fynde ! 
And but I did, trewly I were unkynde, 

Which for my sake war percyd with a launce. 
Unto the herte, Jhesu, lefF nat behynde, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, I'epentaunce. 

" Ther is no God but thu, Jhesu, allone I 

Sovereynest and eek most merciful, 
Fayrest of faire, erly, late, and soone, 

Stable and moost strong, pitous and rihteful, 
Refourmyng synners that been in vertu dul, 

Dawntyng the proude, meeknesse to euhaunce, 
Thy toune of mercy is evir i-liche ful, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Suffre of mercy I may to the speke, 

O blissed Jhesu ! and goodly do adverte, 
Who shal yeve me leiser out to breke. 

That thu Jhesu mayst entren in myn herte, 
Ther t'abyde moor neere than my sherte, 

With aureat lettris grave ther in substaunce. 
Provide for me and lat it nat asterte, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 251 

" Sey to my soule, Jhesu, thu art myn helthe, 

Heeryng this voys aftir I shal purswe, 
Skore that place from al goostly felthe, 

And vice alle fro thens do remwe, 
Tliyn Hooly Goost close in that litil mwe. 

Part nat lihtely, mak such chevisaunce, 
T' encrese in vertu and vices to eschewe, 

Andj or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Shew glad thy face, and thy lihte doun sheede, 

The merciful lihte of thyn eyen tweyne, 
On me thy servaunt which hath so mooche neede. 

For his synnes to weepen and compleyne; 
And blissid Jhesu ! of mercy nat disdeyne, 

Thy gracious shourys lat reyne in habundaunce, 
Upon myn herte t' adewen every veyne, 

And, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Save me thy servaunt, O lord I in thy mercy. 

For lak of whiche lat me nat be confoundid, 
For in the, Jhesu, myn hoope stant fynally, 

And al my trust in the, Jhesu, is groundid ; 
For my synnes thynk, Jhesu, thu were woundid 

Nakid on the roode, by mortal gret penaunce. 
By which the poweer of Sathan was confoundid, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Thu art, Jhesu, my socoure and refuge, 

Geyn every tempest and turbulacioun. 
That worldly wawes with there mortal deluge, 

Ne drowne me nat in ther dreedful dongoun ; 

252 lydgate's minor poems. 

Wher karibdys hath domynacioun, 
And Circes syngeth songis of disturbaunce, 

To passe that daunger be my protcccioun, 
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Who shal give me lych to mj-n entent ? 

That thu, Jhesu, maist make thyn herbergage, 
By recey vyng of th' ooly sacrament, 

Into rayn herte, which is to inyn oold age 
Repast eternal geyn al foreyn damage, 

Dewly receyved with devout observaunce. 
Celestial guerdoun, eende of my pilgrymage, 

Is shrift, hosyl, and hertly repentaunce. 

" I feele myn herte brotel and ruynous, 

Nat purefied, Jhcsu, therin to reste ; 
But as a carpenteer comyth to a broken hous, 

Or an artificeer reparith a riven cheste. 
So thu, Jhesu, of craffty men the beste, 

Repare my thouhte broke with niysgovernaunce, 
Visite my soule, myn herte of steel thu breste, 

Graunt, or I deye, shryft, hosyl, repentaunce. 

t* With wepyng eyen and a contryt cheere, 

Accepte me, Jhesu, and my compleynt conceyve. 
As moost unwurthy t' apeere at thyn awteer, 

Whiche in mysilfe no vertu apparceyve ; 
But yif thy mercy by grace me receyve. 

By synful lyvyng brouhte unto uttraunce, 
Preye with good hoope which may me nat deceyve, 

Graunt, or 1 deye, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

lydgate's minor poems. 253 

" Cryeng to the that deydest on the rood. 

Which with thy blood wer steyned and maad reed, 
And on sheerthursday gafe us to oure food 

Thy blissid boody, Jhesu, in foorme of breed ; 
To me moost synful graunt or I be deed, 

To cleyne by mercy for myn enheritaunce, 
That with sharp thorn wer crownyd on thyn heed, 

Or I passe hens, shryfFt, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" And oon requeste in especial, 

Graunt me Jhesu whyl I am heer alyve, 
Evir have enprentyd in my memorial, 

The remembraunce of thy woundys five, 
Naylles with the spere that did thyn herte ryve. 

Thy crown of thorn, which was no smal penaunce, 
Language and tonge me dewly for to shryve, 

The hooly unctioun, shrift, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" AUe the toknys of thy passioun, 

I pi'ay the, Jhesu, grave hem in my memorye 
Dewly raarke myd centre of my resoun, 

On Calvary thy tryumphal victorye, 
Man to restoore to thyn eternal glorye, 

By mediacioun of thy meeke suffraunce. 
Out of this exil unswre and transitorye, 

And whan I passe, shrifft, hosyl, repentaunce. 

" Of thy mercy requeryng the to myne, 

Of my mynde the myd poynt moost profounde. 

This woord, Jhesu, my fy ve wittys t' enlumyne. 
In lengthe and breede, lyk a large wounde, 

254 lydgate's minor poems. 

Al ydel thouhtis t'avoyde hem and confounde, 

Thy cros, thy scorgis, thy garnenient cast at chauncc, 

The rope, the pilere to which thu wer bounde, 
Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosil, repentaunce. 

" Of this prayeer meekly I make an eende, 

Undir thy merciful supportacioun, 
O gracious Jhesu ! graunt whereevir I weende, 

To have memory upon thy passioun, 
Testimonial of my redempcioun. 

In my Testament set for allegaunce, 
This clause last of my peticioun, 

Graunt, or I deye, shrift, hosil, repentaunce." 

Duryng the tyrae of this sesoun Ver, 

I meene the sesoun of my yeerys greene, 

Gynnyng fro childhood stretchithe up so fere, 

To the yeerys accountyd ful fifteene, 

B' experience, as it was weel scene. 

The gerisshe sesoun straunge of condiciouns, 

Dispoosyd to many unbridlyd passiouns. 

Voyd of resoun, yove to wilfulnesse, 
Froward to vertu, of thrift gafe litil heede. 
Loth to lerne, lovid no besynesse, 
Sauf pley or merthe, straunge to spelle or reede, 
Folwyng al appetites longyng to childheede, 
Lihtly tournyng, wylde and seelde sad, 
Weepyng for nouhte and anoon afiltir glad. 

lydgate's minor poems. 255 

For litil wroth to stryve with my felawe. 
As my passiouns did my bridil leede. 
Of the yeerde somtyme I stood in awe, 
To be scooryd that was al my dreede, — 
Loth toward scole, lost my tyme indeede, 
Lik a yong colt that ran withowte brydil, 
Made ray freendys ther good to spende in ydil. 

I hadde in custom to come to scole late, 
Nat for to lerne but for a contenaunce. 
With my felawys reedy to debate. 
To jangle and jape was set al my plesaunce, 
Wherof rebukyd this was my chevisaunce. 
To forge a lesyng and therupon to muse, 
Whan I trespasyd mysilven to excuse. 

To my bettre did no reverence. 

Of my sovereyns gafe no fors at al, 

Wex obstynat by inobedience, 

Ran into gardyns, applys ther I stal ; 

To gadre frutys sparyd hegg nor wal, 

To plukke grapys in othir mennys vynes. 

Was moor reedy than for to seyn matynes. 

My lust was al to scorne folke and jape, 

Shrewde tornys evir among to use. 

To skofFe and mowe lyk a wantoun ape, 

Whan I did evil othre I did accuse; 

My wittys five in wast I did abuse, 

Rediere chirstoonys for to telle, 

Than gon to chirche or heere the sacry belle. 

256 lydgate's minor poems. 

Loth to ryse, lother to bedde at eve, 
With unwassh handys reedy to dyncer, 
My pater noster, my crede, or my beleeve, 
Cast at the cok, loo ! this was my maneere ; 
Wavid with eche wynd, as doth a reed speere, 
Snybbyd of my frendys such techechys for t'amende, 
Made defFe ere lyst nat to them attende. 

A child resemblyng which was nat lyk to thryve, 

Froward to God, reklees in his servise, 

Loth to correccioun, slouhe mysylfe to shryve, 

Al good thewys reedy to despise ; 

Cheef bellewedir of feyned trwaundise ; 

This is to meene mysilf I cowde feyne, 

Syk lyk a trwaunt, felte no maneere peyne. 

My poort, my pas, my foot alwey unstable, 
My look, myn eyen, unswre and vagabounde. 
In al my werkys sodeynly chaungable, 
To al good thewys contrary I was founde ; 
Now ovir sad, now moornyng, now jocounde, 
Wilful rekles, mad stertyng as an hare. 
To folwe my lust for no man wold I spare. 

Entryng this tyme into religioun. 
Unto the plouhe I putte forth myn hoond, 
A yeer complect made my professioun, 
Considryng litil charg of thilke boond ; 
Of perfectioun ful good exaumple I foond, 
The techyng good in me was al the lak, 
With Lootys wyff I lookyd ofte bak. 

lydgate's minor poems. 257 

Tauhte of my maistris by vertuous disciplyne, 
My look restreyne and keepe clos my sihte, 
Of" blyssed Benyt to folwe the doctryne, 
And ber me lowly to every maneere wihte; 
By the advertence of myn inward sihte, 
Cast to God-ward of hool affectioun, 
To folwe th'emprises of my professioun. 

His hooly rewlc was unto me rad, 

And expownyd in ful notable wise, 

By vertuous men religious and sad, 

Ful weel expert, discreet, prudent, and wise, 

And observauncys of many goo^tly emprise ; 

I herd al weel, but touchyng to the deede 

Of that they tauhte, I took but litil heede. 

Of religioun I weryd a blak habite, 
Oonly outward as by apparence, 
To folwe that charge savouryd but ful lite, 
Sauf by a maneer countirfet pretence, 
But in effect ther was noon existence, 
Lyk the ymage of Pygmalioon, 
Shewyd liffly and was nat but of stoon. 

Upon the laddere with stavys thryes thre, 
The nyne degrees of vertuous meeknesse, 
Callyd in the rewle grees of humylite, 
Wheron t'ascende, my feet me lyst nat dresse. 
But by a maneer feyned fals humblesse, 
So covertly whan folkys wer present, 
Oon to shewe outward, anothir in my entent. 


258 lydgate's minor poems. 

First wher as I forsook inyn owne wil, 
Shett with a lok of obedj'ence, 
T'obeye my sovereyns, as it was rihte and skil. 
To folwe the scoole of parfihte pacience, 
To my eynes doon worship and reverence, 
Folwyng the revers, took al anothir weye. 
What I was bodyn, I cowde wel disobeye. 

With tonge at large and brotil conscience, 
Ful of woordys, disordynat of language, 
Rekles to keepe my Hppys in silence. 
Mouth, eye, and eerys, tooke ther avauntage. 
To have ther cours unbrydlid by outrage, 
Out of the reynes of attemperaunce, 
To sensualite gaff al the governaunce. 

Watche out of tyme, ryot and dronkenesse, 
Unfructuous talkyng, imtemperat diete, 
To veyn fablys I did myn eerys dresse, 
Fals detractioun among was to me swete ; 
To talke of vertu me thouht it was not mete 
To my corage nor my complectioun. 
Nor nouht that sownyd toward perfeetioun. 

Oon with the firste to take my dispoort, 

Last that aroos to come to the queer, 

In contemplacioun I fond but smal coumfoort, 

Hooly historyes did to me no cheer ; 

I savouryd mor in good wyn that was cleer. 

And every hour my passage for to dresse. 

As I seide erst, to ryot or excesse. 

lydgate's minor poems. 259 

Rowde grucche and fond no cause why, 
Causelees ofte compleyned on my fare, 
Geyn ray coiTecciouns answeryd frowardly, 
Withoute reverence lyst no man to spare; 
Of al vertu and pacience I was bare, 
Of reklees youthe lyst noon heed to take, 
What Crist Jhesu suiFryd for my sake. 

Which now remembryng in my latter age, 

Tyme of my childhood, as I reherse shal, 

Witheyne fifteene holdyng my passage, 

Mid of a cloistre depict upon a wal ; 

I sauhe a crucifix, whos woundys were nat smal. 

With this woord vide writen ther besyde, 

" Behold my meeknesse, O child, and lefe thy pride." 

The which woord whan I did undirstonde. 

In my last age takyng the sentence, 

Theron remembryng my penne I took in honde, 

Gan to write with humble reverence, 

On this w oord vide of humble dilligence. 

In remembraunce of Cristis passioun, 

This litil dite, this compilacioun. 


Behoold, O man, left up thyn eye and see, 
What mortal peyne I suifryd for thy trespace. 

With pitous voys I crye and sey to the, 

Behoold my woundys I behoold my bloody face I 

Behold the rebukys that do me so menace. 
Behold myn enmyes that do me so despise, 

And how that I, to refourme the to grace, 

Was lik a lamb offryd in sacrifise I 


260 i-ydgate's minor poems. 

Behold the paynemys of whom I was take I 

Behold the cordys with which that I was boundc ! 
Behold the armwrys which made myn herte quake! 

Behold the gardyn in which that I was founde I 
Behold how Judas took thrytty penyes rounde ! 

Behoold his tresour ! behold his covetise I 
Behold how I., with many a mortal vvounde, 

Was lyk a lamb ofFryd in sacrifise I 

See my disciple which that hath me sold, 

And see his feyned fals salutacioun, 
And see the mony which that he hath told, 

And see his kissyng of fals decepcioun ; 
Behold also the corapassyd fals tresour, 

Take as a theef with lanternys in there guyse, 
And aftirward for mannys redempcioun, 

Was like a lamb ofFryd in sacrifise. 

Behold to Caiphas how I was presentyd. 

Behold how Pilat list geve me no respyt. 
Behold how bisshopis wer to ray deth assentyd. 

And se how Herowd had me in despit, 
And lik a fool how I was clad in whit, 

Drawen as a feloun in moost cruel wyse, 
And last of alle I, aftir ther delit. 

Was lik a lamb ofFryd in sacrifise. 

Behold the mynystrys which had me in keepyng, 
Behold the piler and the roopis stronge, 

Wher I was bounde my sides doun bleedyng, 
Moost felly beete with ther scoorgis longe ; 

lydgate's minor poems. 261 

Behold the batail that I did undirfonge, 
The bront abydyng of there mortal eraprise, 

Thoruhe ther accusyng and ther sclaundrys wronge, 
Was lik a lamb ofFryd in sacrifise. 

Behold and see the hatful wrecchidnesse 

Put ageyn me, to my confusioun, 
Myn eyf n hyd and blyndid with derknesse, 

Bete and eek bobbid by fals illusioun, 
Salwed in scorn by ther fals knelyng doun, 

Behold al this, and se the mortal guyse, 
How I oonly, for mannys savacioun, 

Was lik a lamb offrid in sacrifise. 

See the witnessis by whom I was deceyved ! 

Behold the jugis that gafe my jugement! 
Behold the cros that was for me devised ! 

Behold ray boody with betyng al to rent . 
Behold the peeple which, of fals entent, 

Caiiselees did ageyns me rise. 
Which lik a lamb of malys innocent, 

Was for mankynde offrid in sacrifise. 

Behold the women that folwyd me aferre. 

That sore wepte whan I thus was assailed, 
Behold the Jewys which, by there cruel werre, 

Han my body unto a cros i-nayled ; 
Behold my tormentys moost sharply apparailed, 

Attween too thevys put to my . . . 
Beholde how moche my deth hath eek avayled, 

That was for man offrid in sacrifise. 

262 i^ydgate's minor i' 

Behold the spere moost sharply grounde and whet, 

Myn herte wotindid upon the rihte syde, 
Behold the reed speer, galle, and eysel fett, 

Behold the scornyngis which tliat I did abyde, 
And my five woundys that were maad so wyde, 

Which no man lyst of routh to advertise. 
And thus I was of raeeknesse ageyn pryde, 

To mannys ofFence ofFrid in sacrifise ! 

See my disciplis how they ha me forsake, 

And fro me fled almoost everychon, 
See how thei sleepte and list nat with me wake, 

Of mortal dreed they leift me al allon, 
Except my moodir and my cosyn Seyn John, 

My deth com.pleynyng in moost doolful wise. 
See fro my cros they wolde nevir gon, 

Fro mannys off'ence whan I did sacrifise. 

See how that I was jugid to the deth, 

See Baraban goon at his liberte. 
See with a speere how Longius me sleth, 

Behold too licoures distyllyng doun fro me, 
See blood and watir, by merciful plente, 

Rayle by my sides which auhte I nouhe suffise, 
To man whan I upon the roode tre. 

Was lik a lamb ofFrid in sacrifise. 

Behold the knyhtis which, by ther froward chaunce, 
Sat for ray clothys at the dees to pleye ! 

Behold my moodir swownyng for grevaunce, 
Upon the cros whan she sauhe me deye ! 

lydgate's minor poems. 263 

Behold the sepulcre in which my boonys leye, 
Kept with strong watche tyl I did arrise ! 

Of helle gatys see how I brak the keye, 
And gaf for man my blood in sacrifise ! 

Ageyn thy pryde, behold my gret meeknesse I 

Geyn thyn envye, behold my charite ! 
Geyn thy lecherye, behold my chaast clennesse ! 

Geyn thy covetise, behold my poverte ! 
Attween too theevys nayled to a tre, 

Railed with reed blood, they list me so disguyse, 
Behold, O man ! al this I did for the, 

Meek as a lamb offrid in sacrifise I 

Behold my love, and gife me thyn ageyn, 

Behold I deyed thy raunsoun for to paye. 
See how myn herte is open, brood, and pleyn, 

Thy goostly enmyes oonly to afFraye, 
An hardere batayl no man myhte assaye, 

Of alle tryumphes the grettest hihe emprise, 
Wherfor, O man 1 no lenger the dismaye, 

I gaife my blood for the in sacrifise ! 

Turne hoom ageyn, thy synne do forsake. 

Behold and see yif ouhte be lefft behynde. 
How I to mercy am redy the to take, 

Gyff me thyn herte and be no mor unkynde ; 
Thy love and myn togidre do hem bynde, 

And let hem nevir parte in no wyse, 
Whan thu wer lost thy soule ageyn to fynde, 

My blood I offryd for the in sacrifise. 

264 lydgate's minor poems. 

Euprente this thynges in thyn inward thouhte, 

And grave iiem deepc in thy reraembraunce, 
Thynk on hem weel and forgete hem nouhte, 

Al this I sufFryd to do the allegaunce ; 
And with my seyntis to yeve the suffisaunce, 

In the hevenly court for the I do devise, 
A place eternal of al plesaunce, 

For which my blood I gaff in sacrifise. 

And mor my mercy to putten at a preeflF, 

To every synnere that noon ne shal it rays, 
Kemembre how I gafe mercy to the theeff. 

Which had so long trespacyd and doon amys, 
Went he nat freely with me to paradys ; 

Ha this in mynde, how it is my guyse, 
Alle repentaunt to bryng hem to my blj's. 

For whom my blood I gaf in sacrifise. 

Tarye no lenger toward thyn heritage, 

Hast on thy weye and be of rihte good cheere. 
Go ech day onward on thy pilgrymage, 

Thynk how short tyme thu shalt abyde heer ! 
Thy place is biggyd above the sterrys cleer. 

Noon erthely paleys wrouhte in so statly wyse, 
Com on my freend, my brothir moost enteer, 

For the I offryd my blood in sacrifise. 


p. 2, ]. 11.— "Lambeth Palace." The numher of the 
manuscript to which I allude is vii, which contains a very 
curious account, iu Latin, of the pageants upon this occasion. 

P. 2, 1. 27. — " Crouned Kyng of Fraunce." So in our 
author's poem on the Kings, we have : 

" In his regne, the viij. ^ere, 
He was crownyd att Westmynstlr ; 
In the X. yere, by and by, 
He was crownyd in Parys trewly." 
MS. Harl. 78, fol. 72. 

P. 5, 1. 11. — "A sturdy champion." "Whan the King 
was conimyn to the bridge, there was devysed a myghty 
gyaunt standynge with a swerde drawyn." — Fahiaii's Chro- 
nicle, edited by Ellis, p. 603. 

P. 11, 1. 10.—" Precyane." That is, Priscian. 
P. 11, 1. 16. — "Boece." Boetiuswas the standing author- 
ity for music throughout the middle ages. " Multum vero 
auxit Boethii auctoritatem his seculis, quod de arte musica 
scripserit." — Bruckeri Hist. Phil. torn. iii. p. 566. 

P. 11, 1. 20. — "Withe touche of strengis." So in the 
epigram of the Emperor Julian, Anthol. Gr. iii. Ill : 

'Otc' c'nraXdv (TKipTuivriQ d7ro6\ij3ov(nv aou>i]i>. 

P. 1 1, 1. 23. — " Chees Pyktegoras." Pythagoras, as the 
inventor of the multiplication table, is often referred to as the 
head of arithmetical science. 

266 NOTES. 

p. 11, 1. 27. " Albumusard." Aboumasar, an Arabian 
astronomer of the tenth century. 

P. 15, 1. 26. — " The tone was Enok, the toder whas Elye." 
These two holy men were supposed to be the guardians of 
Paradise ; in the poem on " Cocaygne," edited by Wright in 
the " Altdeutsche BliittciV i- 396, is the following curious 
satirical notice of this general belief: 

" Tliogb parailis be miri and brigt, 
Cokaypn is of fairir sif»t. 
Wliat is tber in paradis 
Bot grasse and flare and grene ris ? 
Thog ther be joi and gret dute, 
Tlier nis mete bote frute ; 
Tber nis halle, bare no bencb ; 
Bot watLr manis thurst to quench. 
Beth ther no men bot two, 
Hely and Enok also : 
Ebnglich may hi go, 
"WTiar tber wonith men no mon." 

P. 22, 1. 14. — " Let no man host." This song is an illus- 
tration of the old proverb, 

" As seas do eb and flo. 
So riches cum and go." 

MS. Sloan. 1, fol. 312. 

P. 23, 1.21. — "Theroyall lyon." It is scarcely necessary 
to observe that Lydgate refers here to the well-known zEsopian 

P. 30, 1. 12.—" Two and thretty." Compare the following 
lines from MS. Rawl. Oxon. Poet. 32, fol. ult. 

" xxxij. tethe that bethe full kene, 
CO. bonys and nyntene, 
ccc. vajniys syxty and fyve, 
Every man bathe that is alyve." 

P. 46, 1. 17. — " Here gynneth," &c. Another copy of 
this ballad is in MS. Ashm. 59. 

NOTES. 267 

p. 52. — Jack Hare. The original of this is an Anglo- 
Norman poem of the 13th centuiy, in MS. Digb. Oxon. 86, 
fol. 94, entitled " De Maimound mal esquier." 

P. 58. — Satirical Ballad. Another copy of this hallad 
is in MS. Fairfax, Oxon. 16, Bern. 3896. 

P. 60. — A Call to Devotion. Another copy of this 
poem is in MS. Ashm. 59. 

P. 66. — Rules FOR PRESERVING Health. Other copies 
are in MS. Harl. 2252; MS. Bodl. 638; MS. Rawl. Poet. 
35; MS. Cotton. Calig. A. ij.; MS. Rawl. A. 653; MS. 
Harl. 941 ; and MS. Addit. 10,099,— which last copy has the 
signature of one Thomas Burtoiie attached to it. Care must 
be taken not to confuse this poem with the " Doctiyne of 
Pestilence," by the same author. Lydgate seems to have 
used the very opposite principles to those inculcated by Dr. 
John Nevylle, physician to Henry the Eighth, and whose 
rule of conduct is preserved in MS. Sloan. 1, fol. 3 12 : 

" If fortune chaimce to froune one the, 
And spoyle the of thy store ; 
Tlien cleve to him which fisicke hathe, 
A salve for every sore." 

P. 85, 1. 19. — " Made two pillars." See the account of 
this legend in ray " History of Freemasonry." 

P. 87, 1. 14. — " That Cadmus into Grece sent." Compare 
Vergilius de inventoribus rerum, lib. i. cap. 6. Most of the 
inventions recited in this poem of Lydgate's are dubious ; 
and, as it has been remarked long since, the attribution of 
almost every invention is doubtful. — Pitcarnii Opera, ii. 86. 

P. 87, 1. 17. — " Palamydes." Palamedes is generally stated 
to have added the four letters 0, 5, %, and 0, during the 
Trojan wars; and not three, as stated by Lydgate. Cf. Pol. 
Vergilium, lib. i. cap. 6. 

P. 88, 1. 1, 8.—" Calcecatres," " Murmycides." " Myr- 

268 NOTES. 

inecidcs, cujus ([uadrigam cum agitatoi'e cooperuit alis musca ; 
et Callicrates, cujus formicarum pedes atque alia membra 
pervidcre uon est." — Plinii Hist. Nat. xxxvd. 5. ^lian says 
of them : TsOptTnra fiev tTroirfffav viro fiviag KoKvirrofitva. — 
Var. Hist. i. 17. Cf. Varro de Linf/tta Latina, lib. vi. 

P. 88, 1. 15.—" Perdix." Son of the sister of Daedalus, 
the celebrated mechanist. He is said to have invented the 
saw. His uncle, jealous of his rising fame, threw him down 
from the top of a tower, when he was changed into the bird 
which bears his name. 

P. 88, 1. 17.—" Phebus." Cf. Ovid. Met. i. 521 : 

" Inventum medicina meum est ; opiferque per orbem 
Dicor ; et herbarum subjecta pntentia nobis. 
Hei milii, quod nullis amor est medicabilis herbis !" 

P. 88, 1. 23. — " Dionysius." Bacchus " triumphum in- 
venit." — Pliii. Hist. Nat. vii. 56. 

P. 88, 1. 27.—" Etbolus." Cf. Plin. ib. 

P. 89, 1. 1 . — " Aristaeus." Ovid attributes the first use of 
honey to Bacchus ; but, according to others, Aristaeus was the 
first who taught the use of bees, honey, and milk, to mankind. 
Cf. Virgilii Georg. lih.iv. 

P. 89, 1. 3. — " Peryodes." " Iguem e cilice Pyrodes Cilicis 
filius." — Plin. H. N. vii. 56. In the metrical translation of 
Bocchus and Sydrake, MS. Harl. 4294, we read : 

" Smjthes crafte was the first that cam, 
Aftre tbe making of Adam ; 
And tlierfor it is lorde of alle, 
For notliing that schal to man faUe." 

P. 89, 1. 8.—" Fydo." Phidon of Argos, who died b.c. 
854, according to Strabo, ^lirpa i^eijpe kui aTaOi^iovc. Cf. 
Plin. Hist. Nat. vii. 56. 

P. 102, 1. 9.—" Maister of storyes." This is Peter Co- 
mestor; see MS. Harl. 1704. 

NOTES. 269 

p. 103. — London Lackpenny. I have ventured to make 
a slight alteration in the title of this ballad. Grose, indeed, 
classes London lickpeiiny among his " local proverbs," at 
the end of his Provincial glossary- ; which, I suppose, is taken 
in the sense of London licking up all the pence. I think, 
however, the burden of the ballad is quite a sufficient reason 
for my title. 

P. 105, 1. 17. — " Hot pescodes." So the well-known 
nurseiy rhyme : 

" Piping hot ! smolring hot I 
WTiat have I got ? 
You have not : 
Hot grey pease, hot! hot! hot!" 

" There is more music in this song," says a writer of the 
last century, " on a cold frosty night, than ever the syrens 
were possessed of who captivated Ulysses, and the eflfects 
stick closer to the ribs." About fifty years ago, there used to 
be a cry in the metropolis of " hot grey pease and a suck of 
bacon !" The " suck of bacon" was extracted by the " little 
unwashed" from a piece of that article securely fastened by 
a string, to obtain a " relish" for the pease ! I have this 
from an unquestionable authority. 

P. 105, 1. 18.—" Cheryes in the ryse." That is, on the 

P. 106, 1. 2. — " Canwyke street." See Stowe's Survey of 
London, ii. 182, where this very poem is mentioned. 

P. 106, 1. 12. — " By cock." This is merely a vulgar cor- 
ruption for a profane oath. 

P. 107. — Tale of the Lady Prioress. This has been 
printed by Jamieson, but very incorrectly. 

P. 122, 1. 8.—" Boys in his booke." This refers to tlie 
work of Boetius De Consolatione Philosophic. 

P. 125, 1.24.— "The fyft Heniy." This sovereign had 

270 NOTES. 

been a good patron to Lydgate, and the grateful poet seizes 
every o])poi*tiinity to adulate his deceased and regretted 

P. 129. — Bycohne and Cuiciievache. In the Geii- 
tlemmi's Magazine for July 181)4, Mr. Wright coinmunicated 
a curious notice of a copy of this poem in the library of Tri- 
nity College, Cambridge, whicli has the following rubric : 
" Loo, sirs, the devise of a peynted or desteyned clothe for an 
halle, a parlour, or a chaumbre, devysed by Jolian Lidegate, 
at the request of a worthy citesyn of London." Mr. Wright 
adds : " Any one who may be desirous of seeing the design of 
such a 'peynted or disteyned clothe,' will find a fair spe- 
cimen in a large woodcut, covering a folio broadside, printed, 
if I remember rightly, in the reign of Elizabeth, and preserved 
among the volumes of proclamations in the library of the 
Society of Antiquaries. It is entitled, Fill-f/iit, and Pinch- 
belly : one being fat with eating good men, the other Icane for 
want of good women." One w ould naturally look to the East 
for the origin of such a misogynic fable ; but I have never 
met with any allusions to it in Oriental writings. 

P. 164. — The Order of Fools. Other copies are in 
MS. Bodl. Oxon. 648, Bern. 2291 ; and MS. Laud. 683, 
Bern. 798. The latter commences as follows : " Here begyn- 
nethe a tale of thre skore flblys and thre, wiche ar lyk never 
ffor to the." 

P. 171. — The Ram's Horn. Other copies of this are in 
MS. Ashm. 61; MS. Harl. 1706; MS. Bodl. 686, Bern. 
2527; MS. Lansd. 409 ; and an imperfect one in MS. Harl. 

P. 173. — The Concords of Company. Another copy of 
this poem is in MS. Harl. 2251. 

P. 179. — The Chorle and the Bird. Copies of this 
poem in MS. are not numerous; one may be found in MS. 
Cotton. Calig. A. ij. 

NOTES. 271 

P. 189, 1. 9.—" Panters." That is, traps. See Wright's 
Political Songs, p. 400. 

P. (99. — A Satirical Description of his Lady. Let 
the reader peruse the following lines from MS. Addit. 10,336, 
fol. 4 : 

" To saie you are not fayre, I sli;ill belye you ; 

And yf I praise your beautie, then I flouts you. 
Yf I desire your love, you say I doe but trie you ; 
Speake faire or foule, I am sure to goe ■without you." 

P. 205 — Prayer to St. Leonard. — Another copy of 
this in MS. Laud. 683, Bern. 798. 

The following stanza is ascribed to Lydgate in one manu- 
script, and is very often found in MSS. Copies are in MS. 
Sloan. 1825; MS. Oxon. Hatton. 73 (94); MS. Douce, 45, 
fol. 116; MS. Oxon. Fairfax, 16. 

" Disceite disceyvythe, and shalle be discej^ed, 
For by disceyte who ys disceyvable? 
Though liis disceyte be not oute perceyved, 
To a discey vour disceyte ys retomable ; 
Fraude quit -with fraude is guerdon convenable ; 
For who with fraude, fraudelent ys found ? 
To a defraudere fraude wolle aye rebound !" 








F.R.S. F.S.A. F.R.A.S. 




Queen of the sea. 
All hail to thee I 
Here shall my home foi" ever be. 






€i)t laercp J'octeti)* 

J. A. CAHUSAC, Esq. F.S A. 










E. F. RIMBAULT, Esq Secretary 



In offering the accompanying little volume to the 
members of the Percy Society, the Editor is 
anxious to avail himself of the introductory 
leaves to apologise for the incompleteness of its 
chronological arrangement — an error which may 
perhaps be considered by no means a light one 
by the exact antiquary. The fact is that a few 
curious ballads were discovered after the first 
sheets were worked off, which properly ought to 
have been included in them ; and the necessity 
of inserting these out of their proper places 
induced the Editor, in preference to forming an 
appendix, to follow no order whatever in the 
subsequent part, and thus to preclude the possi- 
bility of a casual reference to the book being 
interrupted by any specified order of the dates 
of the several ballads. 

Of the collection itself it is not necessary to 
speak, further than to remark that instead of a 
selection of the best ballads on naval subjects, 
which would have been comprised in a very brief 

compass, the Editor has found it expedient to 
insert every one that he could discover which 
could possibly be included in his collection, and 
the reader will perceive that this plan has not 
been the means of forming a volume by any 
means commensurate in size with the national 
interest of the subject. 

If, however, a thought worthy of the British 
tars of old should ever by these means be gene- 
rated on the wide ocean in the breast of a mo- 
dern disciple of Neptune, the Editor apprehends 
that the purpose of those who suggested the idea 
of such a publication, and carried it into execu- 
tion, will be fully answered. At all events, the 
triumphs of our marine powder cannot be too fre- 
quently recalled to our memories, and a novelty 
in time may produce a corresponding change in 
the directions of the thoughts so indued. 

The Editor has found it necessary to omit a 
few ballads of the sea, which might have been 
introduced, owing to their occasional grossness. 
He is aware that this fault is not generally 
considered sufficiently valid to exclude documents 
of any value, but daily experience convinces 
him of the necessity of making some attempt 
to restore that Platonic respect which is due 
to literature, and the immediate progenitors 
of its influences. Those principles of utili- 

tarianism which are so universally adopted at 
the present day, when applied to subjects of 
historical interest and curiosity, will readily seize 
hold of any apparent defect in the system, and 
will be used as an argument against the value 
of any collateral researches. 

The Editor's thanks are preeminently due to 
Mr. E. F. Rirabault, the zealous Secretary of the 
Percy Society, who has supplied him with several 
of the ballads here printed, and other important 
communications. The Editor having been absent 
from London while this little volume was passing 
through the press, Mr. Rimbault has also kindly 
executed the task of correcting the proof-sheets, 
and collating the ballads with the original copies. 



1 . The Earliest Sea Song . - -1 

2. Tlie Life and Death of Sir Andrew Barton - - 4 

3. In Prais of Seafaringe Men - - - - 1-i 

4. Another of Seafardingers - - - - 1 6 

5. The Spanish Armada - - . - - 17 

6. Sir Francis Drakfi : or, Eighty-eight - - - iS 

7. Another version of the same - - - - 20 

8. Ode, sitting and drinking in a Chair made out of Sir Francis 

Drake's Ship - - - - - 21 

9. Sir Francis Drake and Queen Elizabeth - - 24 

10. The Fame of Sir Francis Drake - - - 25 

11. The Triumph of Sir Francis Drake - - - 25 

12. On the Signall Victory obtained in a Sea-Fight, by his Ma- 

jesty of Great Brittain's Fleet, over the Dutch - - 27 

13. The Valiant Sailors - - - - - 34 

14. A Song of the Seamen and Land-Soldiers - - 36 

15. The Mariner's Chorus - - - - 37 

16. Admiral Benbow - - - - - 38 

17. The Royal Triumph - - - - 39 

18. The Fair Maid's Choice - - - .42 

19. A Commendation of Martin Frobisher - - - 45 

20. The Seaman's Mctory - - . - 47 

21. The Seaman's Compass - - -49 

22. A famous Sea-Fight between Captain 'Ward and the Rainbow 55 

23. The Song of Dansekar the Dutchman - - - 58 

24. A Song on the Duke's glorious Success over the Dutch - 63 

25. The Englishmen's Victory over the Spaniards - 64 

26. Neptune to England - - - - 68 

27. The Duke of Ormond - - - - 69 


'JH. A SoiiK nil tlic Victiiry over the Turks - - - 71 

29. The Young Seaman's MistbrtiiiK; - • - 73 

30. The (iallant Seaman's Return from the Indies - 76 

31. The Dangers of the Seas - - - 7 'J 

32. The Mariner's Misfortune - - - - 81 

33. A pleasant new Song hetwixt a Savior and his Love - 8.3 
31. A Ballad hy the late Lord Dorset, wlien at Sea - - 90 

35. The Jolly Sailor's Resolution - - - - 93 

36. With full douhle Cups - - - - 96 

37. The Royal Triumph of Britain's Monarch - - 99 

38. England's Triumph at Sea - - - - 100 

39. Admiral Russel's Scowering the French Fleet - . 102 

40. The Savior's Song - - - - - 104 

41. Admiral Keppel Triumphant - - - . 105 

42. The Sailor's Complaint - - - - 107 

43. The Seaman's Happy Return - - - - 109 

44. Admiral Hosier's Ghost - - - - 1 1 4 

45. Admiral Vernon's Answer .... 118 

46. Captain Death - - - - - 120 

47. The Death of Admiral Benbow - . - 122 

48. The Winning of Cales - - - - 124 

49. Tlie Shadwell Tar's Farewell - - - - 129 
60. Neptune's Resignation - - - - 131 

51. Hawke's Triumph over the mighty Brest Fleet - - 134 

52. The Sailor's Resolution - - - - 135 

53. The British Sailor's Loyal Toast . - - 136 

54. A new Song, addressed to the Crew of the Prince Edward - 138 

55. Sailor's Song during the A^'ar .... 139 

56. The Sailor's Departure from England - - 141 

57. The Song of Liberty - - - - 142 



The following curious ballad, which is by far the earliest yet 
discovered on this subject, was first pointed out by Mr. Wright, 
in a manuscript of the time of Henry VI. in the library of Trinity 
College, Cambridge, R. iii. 19. The key to the subject of it may 
be found in a singular letter printed in Sir Henry Ellis's Original 
Letters, Second Series, vol. i. p. 110, from which it appears that 
ships were every year fitted out from diflferent ports, with cargoes 
of pilgrims, to the shrine of St. James of Compostella ; for, strange 
as it may seem, pilgrims at this time were really, as Sir Henry 
Ellis observes, articles of exportation. 

Men may leve all gamys, 
That saylen to Seynt Jamys ; 
For many a man hit gramys ; 

When they begyn to sayle. 

For when they have take the see, 
At Sandwyche, or at Wynchylsee, 
At Brystow, or where that liit bee, 

Theyr herts begyn to fayle. 

A none the mastyr commaundeth fast 
To hys shyp-men in all the hast. 
To dresse hem sone about the mast, 
Theyr takelyng to make. 


With " howe ! hissa I" then they cry, 

** What, howte ! mate, tliow stondyst to ny, 

Thy felow may nat hale the by ;" 

Thus they begyn to crake. 

A boy or tweyne anone up-styen. 
And overthwarte the sayle-yerde lyen ; — 
*' Y how ! taylia !" the remenaunte cryen, 
And pull with all theyr myght. 

" Bestowe the boote, bote-swayne, anon, 
That our pylgryms may pley thereon ; 
For som ar lyke to cowgh and grone, 
Or hit be full mydnyght." 

" Hale the bowelyne I now, vere the shete !— 
Cooke, make redy anoone our mete, 
Our pylgryms have no lust to ete, 

I pray God yeve him rest." 

" Go to the helm ! what, howe I no nere? 
Steward, felow ! a pot of bere !" 
" Ye shall have, sir, with good chere, 
Anone all of the best." 

" Y howe I trussa ! hale in the brayles I 
Thow halyst nat, be God, thow fayles, 
O se howe well owre good shyp sayles !" 
And thus they say among. 


" Hale in the wartake !" " Hit shall be done." 
*' Steward ! cover the boorde anone, 
And set bred and salt thereone, 

And tarry nat to long." 

Then Cometh oone and seyth, "be raery; 
Ye shall have a storme or a pery." 
" Holde thow thy pese ! thow canst no whery, 
Thow medlyst wondyr sore." 

Thys menevvhyle the pylgryms ly, 
And have theyr bowlys fast theyni by. 
And cry afthyr bote malvesy, 

" Thow helpe for to restore." 

And som wold have a saltyd tost, 
For they myght ete neyther sode ne rost ; 
A man myght sone pay for theyr cost, 
As for oo day or twayne. 

Som layde theyr bookys on theyr kne. 
And rad so long they myght nat se , — 
" Alias! myne hede woU cleve on thre !" 
Thus seyth another certayne. 

Then commeth owre owner lyke a lorde, 
And speketh many a royall worde. 
And dresseth hym to the hygh borde. 
To see all thyng be well. 

B 2 


Anone he calleth a carpentere, 
And biddyth hyin bryng with hym hys gere, 
To make the cabans here and there, 
With many a febyl cell. 

A sak of strawe were there ryght good, 
For som must lyg theym in theyr hood ; 
I had as lefe be in the wood, 

Without mete or drynk. 

For when that we shall go to bedde. 
The purape was nygh our bedde hede, 
A man were as good to be dede, 

As smell thereof the stynk. 




The present text of the following ballad, which has beeu printed 
by Percy and others, is taken from an original black-letter copy 
preserved in the British Museum. It will be seen that the several 
versions vary considerably from each other. 

Tunc — " Come, follow my love," &c. 

When Flora with her fragrant flowers 
bedeckt the earth so trim and gay, 

And Neptune with his dainty showers 
came to present the month of May, 


King Henry would a hunting ride, 
over the river Thames passed he. 

Unto a mountain-top also 

did walk, some pleasure for to see : 

Where fortj' merchants he espy'd, 

with fifthy sail came towards him, 
Who then no sooner were arriv'd, 

but on their knees did thus complain : 
" A n't please your grace, we cannot sail 

to France no voyage to be sure, 
But Sir Andrew Barton makes us quail, 

and robs us of our marchant ware." 

Vext was the King, and turning him. 

Said to the Lords of high degree, 
" Have I ne'er a Lord within my realm, 

dare fetch that traytor unto me ?" 
To him reply 'd, Charles Lord Howard, 

" I will, my liege, with heart and hand ; 
If it will please you grant me leave," he said, 

" I will perform what you command." 

To him then spoke King Henry, 

" I fear, my Lord, you are too young. " 
" No whit at all, my Liege," quoth he ; 

" I hope to prove in valour strong : 
The Scotch knight I vow to seek, 

in what place soever he be, . 
And bring ashore with all his might, 

or into Scotland he shall carry me." 


"A hundred men," the King then said, 

" out of my realm shall chosen be, 
Besides sailors and ship-boys, 

to guide a great ship on the sea : 
Bow-men and gunners of good skill 

shall for this service chosen be, 
And they at thy command and will, 

in all affairs shall wait on thee." 

Lord Howard call'd a gunner then, 

who was the best in all the realm. 
His age was threescore years and ten, 

and Peter Simon was his name : 
My Lord call'd then a bow-man rare, 

whose active hands had gain'd fame, 
A gentleman born in Yorkshire, 

and William Horsely was his name. 

" Horsely," quoth he, " I must to sea 

to seek a traytor, with good speed ; 
Of a hundred bow-men brave," quoth he, 

" 1 have chosen thee to be the head." 
" If you, my Lord, have chosen me 

of a hundred men to be the head. 
Upon the main mast I'll hanged be, 

if twelve score I miss one shilling's breadth. 

Lord Howard then of courage bold, 
went to the sea with pleasant cheer, 

Not curb'd with winter's piercing cold, 
tho' it was the stormy time of year ; 


Not long had he been on sea, 
more in days than number three, 

But one Henry Hunt there he espy'd, 
a merchant of New-castle was he ; 

To him Lord Howard cali'd out amain, 

and strictly charged him to stand, 
Demanding then from whence he came, 

or where he did intend to land : 
The merchant then made answer soon, 

with heavy heart and careful mind, 
" My Lord, my ship it doth belong 

unto New-castle upon Tine." 

" Canst thou shew me," the Lord did say, 

" as thou didst sail by day and night, 
A Scottish rover on the sea, 

his name is Andrew Barton, knight?" 
Then the merchant sigh'd and said, 

with grieved mind, and well away, 
" But over well I know that wight, 

I was his prisoner yesterday : 

" As I, my Lord, did sail from France, 

a Burdeave voyage to take so far, 
I met with Sir Andrew Barton thence, 

who rob'd me of my merchant ware : 
And mickle debts God knows I owe, 

and every man doth crave his own ; 
And I am bound to London now, 

of our gracious King to beg a boon." 


" Show me him," said Lord Howard then, 

" let me once the villain see, 
And ev'ry penny he hath from thee ta'en, 

I'll double the same with shillings three." 
" Now God forbid," the merchant said, 

" I fear your aim that you will miss : 
God bless you from his tyranny, 

for little you think what man he is. 

" He is brass within and steel without, 

his ship most huge and mighty strong, 
With eighteen pieces of ordnance 

he carrieth on each side along : 
With beams for his top-castle, 

as also being huge and high. 
That neither English nor Portugal 

can Sir Andrew Barton pass by." 

" Hard news thou shew'st," then said the Lord, 

" to welcome stranger to the sea : 
But as I said, I'll bring him aboard, 

or into Scotland he shall carry me." 
The merchant said, " If you will do so, 

take councel then, I pray, withal, 
Let no man to his top -castle go, 

nor strive to let his beams down fall." 

" Lend me seven pieces of ordnance then 
of each side of my ship," said he, 

" And to morrow, my Lord, 
again I will your honour see : 


A glass I set as may be seen, 

whether you sail by day or night ; 

And to morrow be sure before seven, 

you shall see Sir Andrew Barton, knight." 

The merchant set my Lord a glass 

so well apparent in his sight, 
That on the morrow, as his promise was, 

he saw Sir Andrew Barton, knight ; 
The Lord then swore a mighty oath, 

" Now by the heavens that be of might. 
By faith, believe me, and by troth, 

1 think he is a worthy knight." 

Sir Andrew Barton seeing him 

thus scornfully to pass by, 
As tho' he cared not a pin 

for him and his company ; 
Then called he his men amain, 

" Fetch back yon pedlar now," quoth he, 
*' And ere this way he comes again, 

I'll teach him well his courtesie." 

" Fetch me my lyon out of hand," 

saith the Lord, " with rose and streamer high ; 
Set up withal a willow-wand, 

that merchant like I may pass by." 
Thus bravely did Lord Howard pass, 

and on anchor rise so high ; 
No top-sail at last he cast, 

but as a foe did him defie. 


A piece of ordnance soon was shot, 

by this proud pirate fiercely then, 
Into Lord Howard's middle deck, 

which cruel shot killed fourteen men. 
He called then Peter Simon, he : 

" Look how thy word do stand instead, 
For thou shalt be hanged on main-raast, 

if thou miss twelve score one penny breath. 

Then Peter Simon gave a shot, 

which did Sir Andrew mickle scare, 
In at his deck it came so hot, 

kill'd fifteen of his men of war; 
" Alas," then said the Pirate stout, 

"I am in danger now I see; 
This is some lord I greatly fear, 

that is set on to conquer me." 

Then Henry Hunt, M'ith riguor hot, 

came bravely on the other side. 
Who likewise shot in at his deck, 

and killed fifty of his men beside : 
Then, " Out, alas," Sir Andrew cry'd, 

" What may a man now think or say, 
Yon merchant-thief that pierceth me, 

he was my prisoner yesterday." 

Then did he on Gordion call, 

unto the top-castle for to go, 
And bid his beams he should let fall, 

for he greatly fear'd an overthrow. 


The Lord call'd Horsley, now in haste, 
" Look that thy word stand instead, 

For thou shalt be hanged on main-mast, 

If thou miss twelve score a shilling's breath." 

Then up mast-tree swerved he, 

this stout and mighty Gordion ; 
But Horsley he most happily 

shot him under his collar-bone : 
Then call'd he on his nephew then, 

said, " Sister's sons 1 have no mo. 
Three hundred pound I will give thee, 

if thou wilt to top- castle go." 

Then stoutly he began to climb, 

from off the mast scorn'd to depart : 
But Horsley soon prevented him, 

and deadly pierc'd him to the heart. 
His men being slain, then up amain 

did this proud pirate climb with speed, 
For armour of proof he had put on, 

and did not dint of arrows dread : 

" Come hither, Horsley," said the Lord, 

" see thou thy arrows aim aright; 
Great means to thee I will afford, 

and if thou speedst, I'll make thee knight:" 
Sir Andrew did climb up the tree, 

Avith risht good will and all his main ; 


Then upon the breast hit Horsley he, 
till the arrow did return again : 


Then Horsley 'spied a private place, 

with a perfect eye in a secret part, 
His arrow swiftly flew apace, 

and smote Sir Andrew to the heart : 
" Fight on, fight on, my merry men all, 

a little I am hurt, yet not slain; 
I'll but lie down and bleed awhile, 

and come and fight you again : 

" And do not," said he, " fear English rogues, 

and of your foes stand not in awe. 
But stand fast by St. Andrew's crosse, 

until you hear my whistle blow." 
They never heard his whistle blow, 

which made them all full sore afraid. 
Then Horsley said, " My Lord aboard, 

for now Sir Andrew Barton's dead ;" 

Thus boarded they this gallant ship, 

with right good will and all their main, 
Eighteen score Scots alive in it, 

besides as many more was slain. 
The Lord went where Sir Andrew lay, 

and quickly thence cut off his head ; 
" I should forsake England many a day, 

if thou wert alive as thou art dead." 

Thus from the wars Lord Howard came, 
w ith mickle joy and triumphing ; 

The pirate's head he brought along 
for to present unto our King : 


Who briefly unto him did say, 

before he knew well what was done, 

" Where is the knight and pirate gay, 
that I nayself may give the doom?" 

" You may thank God," then said the Lord, 

" and four men in the ship," quoth he, 
" That we are safely come ashore, 

sith you never had such an enemy : 
That is, Henry Hunt, and Peter Simon, 

William Horsely and Peter's son ; 
Therefore reward tliem for their pains, 

for they did service at their turn." 

To the merchant therefore the King he said, 

" In lieu of what he hath from thee tane, 
I give thee a noble a-day ; 

Sir Andrew's whistle and his chain : 
To Peter Simon a crown a day ; 

and half-a-crown a-day to Peter's son. 
And that was for a shot so gay, 

which bravely brought Sir Andrew down : 

Horsely, I will make thee a knight, 

and in Yorkshire thou shalt dwell: 
Lord Howard shall Earl Bury hight, 

for this act he deserveth well : 
Ninety pound to our English men, 

who in this fight did stoutly stand ; 
And twelve pence a-day to the Scots till they 

come to my brother king's high land. 

Printed by and for "VV. O. and sold by the Booksellers. 



The two following ballads are taken from MS. Sloane, 2497, fol. 47, 
a manuscript in the British Museum of the time of Queen Eliza- 
beth. The note at the end of this ballad enables us to determine 
its date, for it can scarcely refer to any other " farewell" than that 
of Sir Richard Greenville, who fitted out a squadron for foreign 
discovery in the spring of the year 1585. As usual in the manu- 
script documents of the time of Queen Elizabeth, the orthography 
of the gallant officer's name is strangely metamorphosed; and, 
were I induced to follow the example of many writers of the pre- 
sent day, I might reasonably take to myself the credit of having 
discovered the proper mode of writing it, and be the first to com- 
mence an innovation, which, on account of its novelty alone, 
would be certain of meeting with a numerous body of supporters. 

Whoe siekes the waie to win renowne, 
Or flies with whinges of hie desarte, 
Whoe seikes to wear the lawrea crouen, 
Or hath the mind that would espire, 
Lett him his native soylle eschew, 
Lett him go rainge and seeke a newe. 

Eche hawtie harte is well contente. 
With everie chance that shal betyde ; 
No hap can hinder his entente ; 
He steadfast standes, though fortune slide. 
The sunn, quoth he, doth shine as well 
Abrod, as earst where I did dwell. 


In chaynge of streames each fish can live, 
Eche foule content with everie ayre, 
Eche hautie hart remainethe still, 
And not be dround in depe dispaire : 
Wherfor I judg all landes alicke, 
To hautie hartes whom fortune sicke. 

Too pas the seaes som thinkes a toille, 
Sura thinkes it strange abrod to rome, 
Sum thinkes it a grefe to leave their soylle, 
Their parents, cynfolke, and their vi'horae. 
Thinke soe who list, I like it nott ; 
I must abrod to trie my lott. 

Whoe list at whome at carte to drudge, 
And carke and care for worldlie trishe, 
With buckled sheoes let him goe trudge, 
Instead of launce a whip to slishe ; 
A mynd that base his kind will show, 
Of caronn sweete to feed a crowe. 

If Jasonn of that mynd had bine. 
The Gresions when thay cam to Troye, 
Had never so the Trogian's foylde, 
Nor never put them to such anoye : 
Wherfore who lust to live at whome. 
To purchas fame I will go rome. 

Finis, Sur Richard GrinfiUdes farewell. 



[MS. Sloane, 2497, fol. 47.] 

What pen can well reporte tlie plighte 
Of those that travell on the seaes ? 
To pas the werie winters nighte 
With storraie cloudes wisshinge for daie, 
With waves that toss them to and fro, — 
Thair pore estate is hard to show. 

W^hen bolstering windes begins to blowe 
On cruell costes, from haven wee, 
The foggie mysts soe dimes the shore, 
The rocks and sajides we raaie not see, 
Nor have no rome on seas to trie, 
But praie to God and yeld to die. 

When shauldes and sandie bankes apears, 
What pillot can direct his course ? 
When fominge tides draueth us so nere, 
Alas ! what forteun can be worse ? 
Then ankers haald must be our stale, 
Or ellce we falle into decaye. 

We wander still from lofFe to lie, 
And findes no steadfast wind to blow ; 
W^e still reraaine in jeopardie, 
Each perelos poynt is hard to showe ; 
In time we hope to find redresse. 
That lonfre have lived in heviues. 


O pinchinge, werie, lothsome lyfe, 
That travell still in far exsylle, 
The dangers great on sease be ryfe, 
Whose recompence doth yeld but toylle ! 
O Fortune, graunte me mie desire, — 
A hapie end I doe require. 

When freats and states have had their fill. 
And gentill calm the cost will clere, 
Then hautie liartes shall have their will, 
That longe hast wept with morning cheere ; 
And leave the seaes with thair anoy. 
At home at ease to live in joy. 


The following, which appears, says Mr. Chappell, to have been 
written at the time of the threatened invasion of the Spanish 
Armada, is taken from a manuscript in the possession of Mr. 
Pearsall, bearing the date of 158S. The music of the song is 
given by Mr. Chappell. 

From mercilesse invaders. 
From wicked men's device, 

O God 1 arise and helpe us, 
To quele owre enemies. 

Sinke deepe their potent navies, 
Their strength and corage breake, 

O God I arise and arm us, 
For Jesus Christ, his sake. 


Though cruel Spain and Parma 
With heathene legions come, 

O God 1 arise and arm us, 
We'll dye for owre home ! 

We will not change owre Credo 
For Pope, nor boke, nor bell ; 

And yf the Devil come himself. 
We'll hounde him back to hell. 


[From MS. Harl. 791, fol. 59.] 

In eyghtye-eyght, ere I was borne, 

As I can well remember. 
In August was a fleete prepar'd. 

The moneth before September. 

Spayne, with Biscayne, Portugall, 

Toledo and Granado, 
All these did meete, and made a fleete, 

And call'd it the Armado. 

Where they had gott provision, 

As mustard, pease, and bacon, 
Some say two shipps were full of whipps, 

But I thinke they were mistaken. 


There was a litle man of Spaine, 

That shott well in a gunn-a, 
Don Pedro hight, as good a knight 

As the Knight of the Sun-a. 

King Phillip made him Admirall, 

And charged him not to stay-a, 
But to destroy both man and boy, 

And then to runn away-a. 

The King of Spayne did freet amayne, 

And to doe yet more harme-a, 
He sent along, to make him strong, 

The famous prince of Parma. 

When they had sayl'd along the seas. 

And anchor'd uppon Dover, 
Our Englishmen did bourd them then, 

And cast the Spaniards over. 

Our Queene was then att Tilbury, 

What could you more desire-a ? 
For whose sweete sake. Sir Francis Drake 

Did sett them all on fyre-a. 

But let them looke about themselfes, 

For if they come againe-a, 
They shall be serv'd with that same sauce, 

As they weere, I know when- a. 




The following is another version of the foregoing ballad, and is 
taken from " Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy," vol. 
ii. p. 37. The tune is also given by D'Urfey, Another copy is 
given in the "Westminster Drollery," 12mo. Lond. 167 J. 

To the tune of Eighty-eight. 

Some years of late, in Eighty eight, 

As I do well remember-a, 
It was, some say, on the ninth of May, 

And some say in September-a. 

The Spanish train launch'd forth a-main. 

With many a fine bravado. 
Whereas they thought, but it prov'd nought, 

The Invincible Armado. 

There was a little man tliat dwelt in Spain, 

That shot well in a gun -a, 
Don Pedro hight, as black a wight, 

As the Knight of the Sun-a. 

King Philip made him Admiral, 

And bad him not to stay-a, 
But to destroy both man and boy. 

And so to come away- a. 

The Queen was then at Tilbury, 
What could we more desire-a? 

Sir Francis Drake, for her sweet sake, 
Did set 'em all on fire-a. 


Away they ran by sea and land, 
So that one man slew three seore-a, 

And had not they all run away, 
O my soul, we had killed more-a. 

Then let them neither brag nor boast. 

For if they come again-a, 
Let them take heed they do not speed, 

As they did they know when-a. 



From a rare collection of " Choyce Poems,'' printed at London 
in the seventeenth century, a copy of which is preserved in the 
British Museum. 

Chear up, my mates ! the wind doth fairly blow, 

Clap on more sails, and never spare, 

Farewel all land I for now we are 
In the wide sea of drink, and merrily we go. 

Bless me I 'tis hot, another bowl of wine. 

And we shall cut the burning line ! 
Hey, boys ! she sends it away, and by my head I know 

We round the world are sailing now. 

What dull men are those who tarry at home, 

When abroad they might wantonly roam ? 

22 f:arly naval ^ballads. 

And gain such experience ; and spie too 
Such countries and wonders as I do ? 
But prithee, good pilot, take heed what you do. 
And fail not to touch at Peru, 
WiMi gold there the vessel to store, 
And never, and never be poor, 
And never be poor any more. 

What do I mean ? What thoughts do me misguide ? 

As well upon a stafFe may witches ride 

Their fancied journeys in the air, 

As I sail round the world in a chair ; 
'Tis true, but yet this chair which here you see, 
For all its quiet now and gravity, 

Has wand'red and has travell'd more 

Then ever beast, or fish, or bird, or ever tree before ; 
In every air, in every sea tas been, 
'Tis compasst all the earth, and all the heaven tas seen, 

Let not the pope's itself with this compare. 

This is the only universal chair. 

The pious wandrers fleet, sav'd from the flame 

(Which still the reliques did of Troy pursue. 
And took them for its due) 

A squadron of immortal nymphs became, 

Still with their arras they row'd about the seas. 
And still made new and greater voyages : 

Nor has the first poetique ship of Greece, 

Though now a star, she so triumphant show. 
And guides her sailing successors below, 

(Bright as her antient fraighi, the shining fleece) 


Yet to this daj^ a quiet harbour found, 
The tide of heaven still carries her around ; 
Only Drake's sacred vessel (which before 
Had done, and had seen more 
Then those have done or seen. 
Even since they goddesses, and this a star has been,) 
As a reward for all her labours past. 
Is made the seat of rest at last. 
Let the case now quite altered be ; 

And as thou went'st abroad the world to see, 
Let the world now come to see thee. 

The world will do't for curiosity. 

Does no lesse than devotion pilgrims make, 
And I myself, who now love quiet too, 
As much almost as any chair can do. 
Would yet a journey take 

An old wheel of that charriot to see ; 

Which Phseton so rashly brake, [Drake ? 

Yet what could that say more then these remains of 
Great relique ' thou too in this port-of-ease 
Hast still one way of making voyages. 
The breath of fame, like an auspicious gale 
(The great trade wind which nere does fail) 

Still with full triramc, and spreading sail. 

Shall drive thee round the world, and thou shalt run 

As long around it as the sun. 

The straights of time too narrow are for thee, 

Launch forth into an undiscovered sea, 

And steer the endless course of vast eternity. 

Take for thy sail this verse, and for thy pilot me. 



The following is taken from " Wit and Drollery," 12ino. Lond. 
1656. Another copy is preserved in MS. No. 36, in the Ashmolean 
iMuseum at Oxford, fol. 296. 

Sir Francis, Sir Francis, Sir Francis his son, 

Sir Robert, and eke Sir William did come. 

And eke the good Earle of Southampton, 

Marcht on his way most gallantly ; 

And then the Queen began to speak : 

You are welcome home Sir Francis Drake; 

Then came my L.Chamberlain,and with his white stafFe, 

And all the people began for to laugh. 

THE queen's speech. 

Gallants all of British blood. 
Why do not ye saile on th' ocean flood ? 
I protest ye are not all worth a philberd, 
Compared with Sir Humphry Gilberd. 

THE queen's REASON. 

For he walkt forth in a rainy day, 

To the New-found-land he took his way, 

With many a gallant fresh and green ; 

He never come home again. God bless the Queen. 



Fkom a little duodecimo volume, printed at London in the year 
1641, under the title of "Witt's Recreations, augmented with 
ingenious conceites for the Wittie, and merrie medicines for the 

Sir Drake, whom well the world's end knew, 
Which thou did compasse round, 

And whom both poles of heaven once saw, 
Which north and south do bound. 

The starres above would make thee knowne, 

If men here silent were ; 
The sun himselfe cannot forget 

His fellow-traveller. 


It is probably a chimerical idea, but I cannot help thinking that 
there is some similarity between this song and one of the airy 
rhymes of the White Lady of Avenel. It is taken from the well- 
known opera of" Sir Francis Drake." 

Steersman. Aloof ! and aloof ! and steady I steer ! 
'Tis a boat to our wish, 
And she slides like a fish 
When chearily stem'd, and when you row clear. 
She now has her trimme ! 
Away let her swim, 
Mackrels are swift in the shine of the moon ; 

And herrings in gales when they wind us, 
But, timeing our oars, so smoothly we run 
That we leave them in shoals behind us. 


Chonis. Then cry, one and all ! 
Amain I for Whitehall. 
The Diegos wee'l board to ruinmidge their Iiould, 
And drawing our steel they must draw out their gold. 

Steersman. Our master and's mate, with bacon and pease, 

In cabins keep aboard ; 

Each as warm as a lord : 
No queen, lying-in, lies more at her ease. 

Whilst we lie in wait 

For reals of eight, 
And for some gold quoits, which fortune must send : 

But, alas, how their ears will tingle, 
When finding, though still like Hectors we spend, 

Yet still all our pockets shall jingle. 
Chorus. Then cry, one and all ! 

Amain, &c. 

Steersman. Oh, how the purser shortly will wonder, 
When he sums in his book 
All the wealth we have took, 
And finds that wee'l give him none of the plunder; 
He means to abate 
The tyth for the state ; 
Then for our owners some part he'l discount : 

But his fingers are pitcht together ; 
Where so much will stick, that little will mount, 
When he reckons the shares of either. 
Chorus. Then cry, one and all ! 
Amain, &c. 


Steersman. At sight of our gold the boatswain will bristle, 
But not finding his part, 
He will break his proud heart, 
And hang himself strait i'th'chain of his whistle. 
Abaft and afore ! 
Make way to the shore ! 
Softly as fishes which slip through the stream. 

That we may catch their sentries napping. 
Poor little Diegos, they now little dream 
Of us the brave warriors of \\ apping. 
Chorus. Then cry, one and all ! 
Amain, &c. 




[From MS. Barney, 390, fol. 60.] 

Let the vast tritons summon once againe 
The numerous subjects of the curled maine; 
And lett their Neptune lay down his command, 
To take new laws from this great victor's hand : 
Now must great Charles bee monarch of the sea, 
Whose kingdom once the Rodian laws did sway. 
'Tis he whose hands stretch out ore sea and land, 
Threatens revenge to those that dare withstand. 
Whilst that Olympus, like his head on high, 
Far above clouds^ and storms secure doth ly. 


Was't not our Drake whose voyage first of all 
Did girdle round the world's terrestrial ball? 
Whilst scorning nature should his sight confine, 
Or to his triumphs place or laws enjoyne, 
Thro* rocks and seas unknown a way did pirce, 
Seeking new empires round the universe ; 
Lett forraign powers divide the world from hence, 
They have the center, we the circumference. 

Why then dares Holland 'gainst our navies fight, 
Both arm'd with force and priviledg'd with right ? 
Must not those rebell states his laws obay, 
Whose pow'r is made as boundless as the sea ? 
But let them come, to plead our king's defence 
We need no other than that warlick prince, 
Rupert, the lyon rampant of this nation. 
Slighting his own to seek its preservation ; 
And now his birth in time of wars, we find, 
Did but foretell his valour to mankind. 
While he grew up to be the world's wonder. 
Born, Bacchus-like, in midst of clouds and thunder ; 
'Tis he thro' thousand terrors dare to sayle, 
And 'gainst whole shours of bullets, thicke as haile. 
Secure, like Alexander, us'd to flee, 
Scorning suggestions of mortallity. 

And yet, as if his hand could not suffice 
Alone to manage this great enterprize, 
A new St. George England att last doth find, 
At once the love and terror of mankind. 
That universall Stator, whose command 
Can calme the tempest both of sea and land ; 


'Tis he who all the arts of states hath known, 
And better then our politicians shown 
What 'tis to nioddle empires, and can soon 
The discords of tumultuous kingdoms tune : 
'Tis hee who still'd three nations, and knew why 
Their different voices made up harmony. 
Thus did our English colours quitt the shore, 
Under their joynt command, as heretofore 
The Roman ensigns, by two consuls led, 
Display 'd like egles with a double head : 
But what ill-boding, will not Dutch seamen fear 
When Castor and Pollux att once for us appear. 
And yet no sooner had we sent our fleet, 
But Hollanders with fresh recruits they meet. 
Who to encourage all their men to fight, 
Preface their actions with some seeming right ; 
And now decoy whole nations, who flock thither 
To club and twist their interests together. 
But the hasty French, not dareing to withstand 
That valour, which they oft have felt by land, 
Soon chang'd their nature, and began to doubt 
What their share be in this general rout ; 
And after serious councell thought it best 
To threaten but att home secure to rest. 

Thus while we scourg one nation, still we bring 
Terror to all the world, who knows our king 
Might if he pleas'd engross the trade at sea. 
And make all kingdoms to hira tribute pay : 
Yet he but strives to makes those waters free, 
As nature ment that element should bee : 


Not comett-Iike, sparkling but threating rays, 
But with a gentler influence rules the seas : 
Thus generous princes, who 'gainst rebells fight. 
Defend their title but do not use their might. 

Then let them with our dreadfuU navies joyne, 
Arm'd with dispaire, and doubl'd strength with wine, 
Their cannons roare about the trembling raaine, 
Till Jove in thunder eccoed back againe ; 
And numerous sparks in clouds of smoke doe stray, 
Clouding at once and bringing back the day : 
Th' amazed waves lippe up the noyse to heare. 
And then sinke downe and bed themselve for fear. 

Thus they but beat the airs, but when we fire 
Thunder and lightning issue from each lyre ; 
And fire-winged bullets, while from us they fly, 
Send back the loud reports of victory : 
Some ships we sink, others being sett on fire, 
To us prove bone-fires, to them a fun'rall pyre, 
And, as if sinking now would not suffice, 
Unless that some were burnt for sacrifice ; 
Those elements (which nere yet friends were known) 
Must now conspire to bring two deaths in one. 
Those that escap'd distracted all with fear. 
Fly from that vengence which they saw so near. 
'Twas then brave Rupert, whom those rebells drove 
With thunder not unlik to that of Jove, 
But that this difference was onely known, — 
Jove has his Vulcan, he can make his own, 
And, like those Parthian kings, would nere refuse 
To make those weapons which himself might use. 


For, as Italian pictures, often known 

To represent two various shapes in one. 

So his capacious head att once hath been 

The kingdom's councel and its magazine. 

Then let De Ruyter with his fleet go boast, 

Prisoners at home, and banisht to their coasts ; 

Let him and Trump, to quit themselves from shame, 

Trj' on each other how to lay the blame ; 

And which are to be praised is all the doubt, 

Those that first ran or those that longest fought, 

While all the people from their shore each day 

May see our fleet beseige their land by sea. 

Their marchant men att home no harbour find. 

But onely are secure from seas and wind ; 

We sent our fire-ships in amongst them thither. 

And saw them flaming half a league together. 

Beacons in vain communicate their fears, 

While that whole towns are fired about their eares ; 

While flames, sad ushers of our destroying hand, 

And, turning all to ashes, make their land. 

Anticipate that universall doome 

Of fire, which must nature herself consume ; 

Of fire, I say, which nere shall cease from spoyle 

Till all the world be its own fun'rall pyle. 

Well then may high and mighty states beware, 
Amphibious sort of men, whose houses are 
But floating arks ; of which scarce one in ten 
But fraught with more religions then with men. 
Ther's no religion all the world around, 
But in their Amsterdam it may be found ; 


While each from other in their churches vary, 

And every sin there finds a sanctuary. 

But yet, of all religions, they can't lett 

Their people all turn Turks, lest Mahomet 

The juicy grape might banish from their land, 

And all their courage spoyle by one command : 

Thus should they loose their wine and valour too, 

And of themselves might make that maxirae true 

Which Bellarraine of Christians falsly spake, 

That their religion did them cowards make. 

But artificial! strenth can't now suffice, 

W'have conquer'd them and made their wine our prize 

Victorious ore their courage, some are slaine, 

And those escap'd dare not appear again. 

Well did our learned Platonists prefix 

Wondrous events to the year of sixty-six, 

And now the world's climaterick fear, — 

But sure I am 'tis no Platonick year. 

For nere was itt, nor nere again must bee 

A parellell to this grand victory. 

And now th' amazed world at last must find 

England to be the empire of mankind ; 

For when that nature did us first divide. 

From all the vaster parts of earth beside. 

What did she then intend us for to bee, 

But as the greater world's epitome. 

And that no forraigu power beyond the sea 

Should ere the British prowess oversway? 

Tis mighty Charles can dread and terror spake. 

And with his nod at once three kingdoms shake ; 


The world's and faith's defender, and if wee 
Admitt a god to rule the seas, 'tis hee. 

Let him send forth blasts of his breath each way, 
More powerfuU than the blustering winds, the sea 
Shall belch and vomitt out its precious foame, 
And send it for a present to his home, 
While storms and tempests rays'd about the maine 
Shake down the clouds, and make them fall in raine, 
Clere watery mountains, rowling ore and ore, 
Hastening for to embrace trembling shore. 
Shall undermine those hills whose heads are high 
Involv'd in clouds and swimming in the sky. 
Thus can he make the ocean overflown. 
Deluge whole kingdoms to enlarge his own ; 
Or let him smile, and dart a glorious ray 
To guild those places which nere knew the day, 
Their cristall rocks of ice shall disappear, 
Hastening to melt, and run away for fear ; 
The frozen ocean lock'd att lenth shall bee, 
And know no bounds when he has made it free. 

Then let us all awhile astonish'd stand 
To see such wonders wrought by sea and land. 
Yet but a mortall pow'r who onely can 
Doe less than Gods, and yet far more then man : 
Then henceforth let these two in one agree, 
And hee nor god nor man but both shall bee. 

Finis. Fran. AIu.nuv, Jun. Follow of New Coledge. 




This is taken from a broadside in the British Museum. It appears 
to be a modern version of an old ballad by Martin Parker, entitled 
" Saylers for my Money ;" a copy of which is in the Pepysian 
Collection. In Ritson's " English Songs," vol. ii. p. 130, there is 
a much longer version of the present ballad. — E. F. R. 

You gentlemen of England 

Who live at home at ease, 
How little do you think 

On the dangers of the seas ; 
While pleasure does surround you, 

Our cares you cannot know, 
Or the pain on the main. 

When the stormy winds do blow. 
Or the pain &c. 

The sailor must have courage, 

No danger he must shun ; 
In every kind of weather 

His course he still must run : 
Now mounted on the top-mast, 

How dreadful 'tis below. 
Then we ride as the tide, 

When the stormy winds do blow. 

Proud France again insulting 
Does British valour dare, 

Our flag we must support now 
And thunder in the war: 


To humble them come on lads, 

And lay their lillies low, 
Clear the way, for the fray, 

Tho' the stormy winds do blow. 

Old Neptune shakes his trident, 

The billows mount on high ; 
Their shells the tritons sounding, 

The flashing lightenings fly : 
The wat'ry grave now opens 

All dreadful from below, 
When the waves move the seas, 

And the stormy winds do blow. 

But when the danger's over. 

And safe we come on shore ; 
The horrors of the tempest. 

We think of then no more ; 
The flowing bowl invites us, 

And joyfully we go, 
All the day drink away, 

Tho' the stormy winds do blow. 




From " Wit and Drollery," 12mo. Lond. 165G. 

We seamen are the bonuy boyes, 
That feare no storraes nor rocks-a ; 

Whose musick is the canon's noise, 
Whose sporting is with knocks-a. 

Mars has no children of his owne, 

But we that fight on land-a ; 
Land-soldiers kingdoraes up have blowne. 

Yet they unshaken stand-a. 

'Tis brave to see a tall ship saile, 

With all her trim gear on-a ; 
As though the devill were in her taile. 

She for the winde will run-a. 

Our maine battalia when it moves. 
There's no such glorious thing-a; 

Where leaders, like so many Joves, 
Abroad tlieir thunder fling-a. 

Come let us reckon what ships are our's, 

The Gorgon and the Dragon ; 
The Lyon that in fight is bold, 

The Bull with bloody tiag on. 


Come let us reckon what workes are our's, 

Forts, bulwarks, barricadoes, 
Mounts, gabions, parrapits, countermurs, 

Casemates and pallisadoes. 

The bear, the dog, the fox, the kite, 

That stood fast on the Rover ; 
They chasd the Turk in a day and night, 

From Scandaroon to Dover. 

Field-pieces, muskets, groves of pikes. 

Carbines and canoneers-a ; 
Squadrons, half moons, with rankes and files, 

And fronts, and vans, and reers-a. 

A health to brave land-soldiers all, 

Let cans a piece goe round-a ; 
Pell-mell let's to the battaile fall, 

And lofty musick sound-a. 


The following is taken from an opera, printed at London in 1659, 
and entitled " The History of Sir Francis Drake.'' 

Winds may whistle and waves dance to 'em. 
Whilst merchants cry out such sport will undo 'em. 

And the master aloud bids, " Lee the helm, lee 1" 
But we shall now fear nor the rocks nor the sand. 
Whilst calmly we follow our plunder at land, 

When others in storms seek prizes at sea. 



This favourite old sea song is in a collection of penny song book?, 
fornieily belonging to Ilitson, and, with music, in Dale's Collection. 
See Chappell's National Airs, p. 97. The ballad is not strictly 
accurate in its details. 

O, we sail'd to Virginia, and thence to Fayal, 
Where we water'd our shipping, and then we weigh'd all ; 
Full in view of the seas, boys, seven sails we did espy ; 
O, we manned our capstan, and weigh'd speedily. 

The first we came up with was a brigantine sloop, 
And we ask'd if the others were big as they look'd ; 
But turning to windward as near as we could lie. 
We found there were ten men of war cruizing by. 

Oh ! we drew up our squadron in very nice line. 
And boldly we fought them for full four hours' time ; 
But the day being spent, boys, and the night coming on, 
We let them alone till the very next morn. 

The very next morning the engagement prov'd hot, 
And brave Admiral Benbow receiv'd a chain shot ; 
And when he was wounded, to his merry men he did say, 
" Take me up in your arms, boys, and carry me away." 

Oh ! the guns they did rattle, and the bullets did fly. 
But Admiral Benbow for help would not cry ; 
Take jue down to the cockpit, there is ease for my smarts, 
If mv merrv men see me it will sure break their hearts. 


The very next morning, by break of the day, 

They hoisted their top sails, and so bore away ; 

We bore to Port Royal, where the people flocked much, 

To see Admiral Benbow carried to Kingston Church. 

Come all you brave fellows, wherever you've been. 
Let us drink to the health of our king and our queen, 
And another good health to the girls that we know. 
And a third in remembrance of brave Admiral Benbow. 






Tune is, Let the soldiers rejoyce. 

This is taken from a printed copy preserved in the Bagford Col- 
lection of Ballads, in the British Museum. It may be well to 
mention here, in case the reader may wish to examine the original, 
that I refer to three volumes of ballads under llie press-mark G43 m, 
which, as I am informed by Mr. Rimbault, were collected by 
Bagford, the celebrated typographer and collector of title-pages. 

Valiant Protestant boys. 
Here's millions of joys, 
And triumph now brought from the ocean ; 
For the French mighty fleet. 
Now is shatter'd and beat, 
And destruction, destruction, boys, will be their portion. 


Here's the Jacobite crew, 
Now believe me, 'tis true, 
Invited the French to this nation ; 
Who was crossing the seas, 
With the Teague Rapparees, 
True cut-throats, true cut-throats, upon my salvation. 

But alas they did find 
A true Protestant wind, 
W hicli five weeks or longer it lasted ; 
Till the most royal fleet 
And the Dutch both compleat, 
They with thunder, with thunder, this project soon 

On the nineteenth of May, 
The French fleet made way. 
To make of our courage a tryal ; 
They supposd we'd ne'r fight, 
But they won't in the right. 
For we show'd them, we show'd them, we were true and 

Our Admiral's bold, 
Witli their brave hearts of gold, 
They fell on like brave sons of thunder; 
And their chain -shot let fly. 
As the fleet they drew nigh. 
Where they tore them, and rent them, and tore them 


Our squadron true-blevv. 
Fought their way through and through. 
At length in Lob's Pound, boys, we got 'um ; 
Where we gave the proud French 
Such a fiery drench, 
That we sent them, we sent them, straight down to the 

Such a slaughter we made, 
While the loud cannons play'd, 
Which laid the poor Monsieurs a bleeding; 
Nay, their chief admirall. 
We did bitterly maul, 
And have taught him, have taught him, I hope, better 

Our brave Admiral, 
Being stout Dellaval, 
Whose actions all men may admire ; 
For the French Rising Sun, 
Was not able to run. 
Which with seven, with seven more ships he did fire. 

Valiant Rook sail'd straightway 
Where a French squadron lay. 
Close amongst the rocks then for shelter; 
But we fell on Gillore, 
And we fir'd twelve moi-e. 
Thus we fir'd and burn'd the French fleet helter-skelter. 


Being sunk, took, and burn'd 
There's not many return'd, 
Was this not a wofuU disaster ? 
How they fard on our coast, 
Let 'em sail home and boast, 
To old Lewis, to old Lewis, their fistula master. 

When he hears how they speed, 
It will strike him near dead, 
Losing what he long has been getting ; 
But we'll have him to know. 
That we'll still keep him low, 
He shall never, shall never, boys, conquer Great Britain. 

Printed for P. Brooksby, J. Deacon, J. Blare, and J. Buck. 


Being a pleasant song made of a sailor. 
Who excells a miller, weaver, and a taylor. 
Likewise brave gallants that goes fine and rare, 
None of them with a seaman can compare. 

By T. L. 
To the tune of Shrewsbury for me. 

[From Bagford's Collection.] 

As I through Sandwich town passed along, 
I heard a brave damsel singing of this song, 
In the praise of a sailor she sung gallantly, 
Of all sorts of tradesmen a seaman for me. 


I gave good attention unto her new ditty, 
My thoughts it was wondrous gallant and pretty, 
With a voice sweet and pleasant most sweetly sung she. 
Of all sorts of tradesmen a seaman for me. 


Come all you fair maidens in country and town, 
Lend your attention to what is penn'd down ; 
And let your opinions with mine both agree, 
Of all sorts of tradesmen a sailor for me. 

The gallant brave seaman God bless him, I say, 
He is a great pains-taker both night and day, 
When he's on the ocean so hard worketh he. 
Then of all, &c. 

Of all sorts of gallants so gaudy and fine. 
That with gold and silver so bravely doth shine. 
The seaman doth out-pass them in each degree. 
Then of all, &c. 

For a seaman will venture his life and his blood. 
For the sake of his king and his countri's good. 
He is valiant and gallant in every degree, 
Then of all, &c. 

He ventures for traffique upon the salt seas. 
To pleasure our gentry wiiich lives at ease, 
Through many dangerous places pass he, 
Then of all, &c. 


Amongst all your tradesmen and merchants so brave. 
I can't set my fancy none of them to have. 
But a seaman I will have my husband to be, 
Then of all sorts of tradesmen a seaman for me. 

With a thievish miller I never will deal, 
Because out of a bushel a peck he will steal, 
1 will have no society with such knaves as he. 
But of all sorts of tradesmen a seaman for me. 

Likewise a pimping taylor, and a lowsie weaver. 
To steal cloth and yarn they do their endeavour, 
Such fellows are not for my company, 
But of all, &c. 

Also the carpenter and the shoomaker, 
The blacksmith, the brewer, and likewise the baker, 
Some of them use knavery, and some honesty, 
But of all, &c. 

For I love a seaman as I love my life, 
And I am resolv'd to be a seaman's wife, 
No man else in England my husband shall be. 
Then of all, &c. 

And 1*11 tell why I love a seaman so dear, 
I have to my sweet-heait a seaman most rare. 
He is a stout proper lad as you shall see. 
Then of all, &c. 


If that I were worth a whole ship-load of gold, 
My love should possess it, and with It make bold, 
I would make him master ol every peuny. 
Then of all, &c. 

Through fire and water I would go I swear, 
For the sake of my true love whom i love so dear, 
If I might have an earl I'de forsake him for he; 
Then of all, &c. 

Here's a health to my dear,eome pledge me who please, 
To all gallant seamen that sail on the seas. 
Pray God bless and keep them from all dangers free, 
So of all sorts of tradesmen a seaman for me. 

Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clarke. 


From a contemporary manuscript, in the Ashmolean Library, at 
Oxford, No. 208. From a note in the same handwriting as the 
manuscript, the poem appears to have been written by John Kirk- 

YouE muses guid my quivering quille, 

Caliope drawe neare, 
Sicilian nymphes accord my suet. 

And to mv hestes give ear. 


Your sacred liyd a vvyll I crave, 
My shiveringe sence to staye, 

Such hevvt exploits 1 take in hand, 
That men to me maye saye; 

Thy ragged rims and rurall verse 

Cannot ascend soe hye. 
To touch the tape of Martin's prayes, 

Which fleth the hiest skie. 

Wher whii'linge sphers doe hit resound, 

And dewshe stares contain, 
What thundringe troraps of goulden fame, 

In azure aper so plaine. 

Whose hewtie acts not heavens allon 

Contented ar to have. 
But earth and skyes, the surging seas, 

And silvan's eccoughes brave. 

Do all resound, with tuned stringe 

Of silver harraonye, 
Howe Frobisher in every cost. 

With flickering fame dothe flye. 

A mertial knight adventures. 
Whose valure great was suche ; 

That hazard hard and light estem'd, 
His countrie to enriche. 




The following ballad is taken from the Bagford Collection, where 
it is directed to be sung " To the Tune of the Spinning-wheel." 

Here's joyful! newes came late from sea, 

'Tis of a gallant victory, 

Which o'er the French we did obtain, 

Upon the throbbing ocean main. 

As soon as e'er they found our rage, 

The rogues was glad to disengage. 

The French fleet sailing from Tlioulon, 
As we by letters understand, 
To join with those that lay at Brest, 
As St me of them have since confest ; 
But our brave fleet with them did meet. 
And made the Frenchmen soon retreat. 

Five ships, with others, did advance, 
Being the very pride of France ; 
The Lewis, Dauphin, and the Sun, 
With others which were forc'd to run, 
As by this ditty you shall hear. 
Brave English boys the coast did clear. 


The French at first did brag and boast, 
But we so wisely rul'd the roast, 
Under our Admiral Killegrcw, 
That vve engag'd and beat them too : 
Declaring that we did not fear 
The haughty rage of proud Mounsieur. 

Our admiral bore up amain, 
Resolving that he would maintain 
A sharp and bloody fight with those 
Who dare King William's crown oppose ; 
Then broad-sides streight began to roar, 
Which laid the French in reeking gore. 

Right valiant seamen, fierce and bold, 

Courageous noble hearts of gold, 

All with a resolution bent, 

Whole showers of shot to them tiipy sent, 

By which the French in hundreds fell, 

Our guns did ring their passing-bell. 

We pour'd our shot on ev'ry side, 
'Tis bravely done, the captains cry'd, 
Though sharp and bloody be the fray, 
The French are beat, we have the day : 
True English boys, 'twas bravely done. 
See how the Frenchmen run, they run. 

Now while we did maintain the fight, 

Two French ships there we sunk down right, 


And likewise have we taken three. 
This crown'd our work with victory ; 
The noble valiant Killegrew, 
After the rest do's still pursue. 

The Frenchmen they did retreat. 
They were a shatter'd torn fleet; 
But if he shall them overtake, 
A prize of all the rest he'll make ; 
Courageous boys are sail'd with him, 
Who freely ventures life and limb. 

Under the admiral's command, 
For to defend the native land: 
May Heaven prosper still and bless 
Our valiant soldiers good success, 
Then we hereafter may advance, 
To shake the very crown of France. 

Printed for P. Brooks, by J. Deacon, J. Blare, and J. Back. 



A dainty new ditty composed and pen'd, 
The deeds of brave seamen to praise and commend ; 
'Twas made by a maid that to Gravesend did pass. 
Now mark, and you quickly shall hear how it was. 

To the Tune of The tyrant hath stolen. 
[From Bagford's Collection.] 

As lately I travelled 

towards Gravseud, e 


I heard a fair damsel 

a seaman commend, 
And as in a tilt boat 

we passed along, 
In praise of brave sea- men 

she sung this now song : 
Come tradesmen or merchant, 

whoever he be, 
There's non(! but a seaman 

shall marry with nie. 

A sea-man in promise 

is faithful and just, 
Honest in carriage, 

and true to his trust: 
Kinde in behaviour 

and constant in love, 
Is firm in affection 

as the turtle dove, 
Valiant in action 

in every degree, 
There's none, &c. 

The sea-men adventures 

their lives at the seas, 
Whilst land-men on shore 

takes pleasure and ease : 
The sea-men at all limes 

their business must ply, 
In winter and summer, 

in wet and in dry, 


From toyl and pains-taking 

they seldom are free, 
There's none but a seaman 

shall marry with me. 

Moreover I'de have you 

for to understand 
That sea-men bring treasure 

and profit to land, 
Above and beneath ground, 

for wealth they have sought, 
And when they have found it 

to England 'tis brought, 
With hazard of lives 

by experience we see, 
There's none but a sea-man 

shall marry with me. 

Seamen from beyond seas 

bring silver and gold, 
With pearls and rich jewels 

most rare to behold. 
With silks and rich velvets 

their credits to save, 
Or else you gay ladies 

could not go so brave. 
This makes my heart merry, 

as merry may be. 
There's none but a sea-man 

shall marry with me. 



The sea -men bring spices 

and sugar so fine, 
Which serve the brave gallants 

to drink with tlieir wine, 
With leramons and oranges 

all of the best, 
To relish their pallats 

when they make a feast; 
Sweet figs, prunes, and raysins, 

by them brought home be. 
There's none, &c. 

To comfort poor people 

the seamen do strive. 
And brings in maintenance 

to keep them alive, 
As raw silk and cotton wool 

to card and to spin. 
And so by their labours 

their livings comes in ; 
Most men are beholding 

to sea-men we see. 
With none but a sea-man 

I married will be. 

The mercer's beholding 
we know well enough, 

For holland, lawn, cambrick, 
and other gay stuff. 

That's brought from beyond-seas 
by sea-men so bold. 


The rarest that ever 

men's eyes did behold, 
God prosper the sea-men 

where ever they be, 
There's none, &c. 

The merchants themselves 

are beholding also 
To honest sea-men 

that on purpose do go 
To bring them home profit 

from other strange lands, 
Or else their fine daughters 

must work with their hands, 
The nobles and gentry 

in every degree, 
Are also beholding, &c. 

Thus for rich or poor men 

the seamen does good. 
And sometimes comes off with 

loss of much blood ; 
If they were not a guard 

and a defence for our land, 
Our enemies soon will get 

the upper hand, 
And then in a woful case 

straight should we be. 
There's none but a seaman 

shall raarrv with me. 


To draw to conclusion, 

and so make an end, 
I hope that great Neptune 

my love will befriend, 
And . ind him home safely 

with health and with life, 
Then shall I with joyfulness 

soon be his wife ; 
You maids, wifes, and widdowcs 

that sea-men's loves be, 
With hearts and with voices 

joyn |,rayers with me. 

God blcsse all brave seamen 

from quicksands and rocks, 
From losse of their blood, 

and from enemies knocks, 
From lightning and thunder 

and tempests so strong, 
From shipwrack and drownin, 

and all other wrong ; 
And they that to these words 

will not say Amen, 
Tis pitty that they should ever 

speak word agen. 


Printed for F. Coses, T. Vere, J. Wright, and J. Clark. 



To the Tune of Captain Ward, &c. 
[From the Biitish Museum Collection of Old Ballads.] 

Strike up, you lusty gallauts, 

with musick and sound of drum. 
For we have descryed a rover 

upon the sea is come, 
His name is Captain Ward, 

right well it doth appear, 
There has not been such a rover 

found out this thousand year. 

For he hath sent unto the King, 

the sixth of January, 
Desiring that he might come in 

with all his company : 
And if your King will let me come, 

till I my tale have told, 
I will bestow for my ransoms 

full thirty tun of gold. 

O nay, O nay, then said our King, 

O nay, this may not be, 
To yield to such a rover, 

myself will not agree; 
He hath deceiv'd the Frenchman, 

likewise the King of Spain , 
And how can he be true to me, 

that hath been false to twain ? 


With that our King provided 

a ship of worthy fame, 
Rainbow is she called, 

if you would know her name ; 
Now the gallant Rainbow 

she roves upon the sea, 
Five hundred gallant seamen 

to bear her company. 

The Dutchman and the Spaniard, 

she made them for to flye, 
Also the bonny Frenchman, 

as she met him on the sea. 
When as this gallant Rainbow 

did come where Ward did lye, 
Where is the captain of this ship ? 

this gallant Rainbow did cry. 

O that am I, says Captain Ward, 

there's no man bids me lye ; 
And if thou art the King's fair ship, 

thou art welcome unto me. 
I'll tell thee what, says Rainbow, 

our King is in great grief, 
That thou shouldst lye upon the sea, 

and play the arrant thief, 

And will not let our merchant's ships 
pass as they did before ; 

Such tidings to our King is come, 
which grieves his heart full sore. 


With that this gallant Rainbow 

she shot out of her pride. 
Full fifty gallant brass pieces, 

charged on every side. 

And yet these gallant shooters 

prevailed not a pin ; 
Though they were brass on the outside, 

brave Ward was steel within : 
Shoot on, shoot on, says Captain Ward, 

your sport well pleaseth me, 
And he that first gives over 

shall yield unto the sea. 

I never wrong'd an English ship, 

but Turk and King of Spain, \ 

And the jovial Dutchman, 

as I met on the main. 
If I had known your King 

but one two years before, 
I would have sav'd brave Essex life, 

whose death did grieve me sore. 

Go tell the King of England, 

go tell him thus from me. 
If he reign King of all the land, 

I will reign King at sea. 
With that the gallant Rainbow shot, 

and shot, and shot in vain. 
And left the rover's company, 

and return'd home again. 


Our royal King of England, 

your ship's roturri'd again, 
For Ward's ship is so strong 

it never will be tane. 
O everlasting, says our King, 

I have lo'it jewels three, 
Which would have gone unto tlie seas, 

and brought ])roud Ward to me ! 

The first was Lord Clifford, 

Earl of Cumberland ; 
The second was Lord Mountjoy, 

as you shall understand ; 
The third was brave Essex, 

from field would never flee, 
Which would a gone unto the seas, 

and brought proud Ward to me. 

Licensed and entered. 

London : Printed by and for W. Onley, and are to be Sold by tlie 



From an old black-letter copy, preserved in Anthony ^ Wood's 
Collection, at Oxford, No. 401. Another copy is in the Pepysian, 
at Cambridge ; and another, in vol. 402, of Wood's Collection, 
which is " printed for F. Coles, J. Wright, T. Vere, and W.Gilbert- 
son." It was sung to the tunc of" The king's going to Bulloign." 

SixG we seamen now and than 
Of Dansekar the Dutchman, 

Whose gallant mind hath won him great renown ; 


To live on land he counts it base, 
But seeks to purchase greater grace 
By roving on the ocean up and down. 

His heart is so aspiring, 
That now his chief desiring 

Is for to win himself a wortliy name ; 
The land hath far too little ground, 
The sea is of a larger bound, 

And of a greater dignity and fame. 

Now many a worthy gallant, 
Of courage now most valiant, 

With him hath put their fortunes to the sc a ; 
All the world about have heard 
Of Dansekar and English Ward, 

And of their proud adventures every day. 

There is not any kingdom, 
In Turkey or in Christendom, 

But by these pyrates have received loss; 
Merchantmen of every land. 
Do daily in great danger stand, 

And fear do much the ocean main to cross. 

They make children fatherless, 
Woful vi'idovvs in distresse, 

In shedding blood they took too much delii^ht; 
Fathers they bereave of sons, 
Regarding neither cries nor moans. 

So much they joy to see a bloody fight. 


They count it gallant bearing, 
To hear the cannons roaring, 

And musket-shot to rattle in the sky ; 
Their glories would be at the highest. 
To fight against the foes of Crist, 

And such as do our Cristian faith deny. 

But their cursed villanies, 
And their bloody pyracies, 

Are chiefly bent against our Christian friends : 
Some Christians so delight in evils. 
That they become the sons of divels, 

And for the same have many shameful ends. 

England suffers danger, 
As well as any stranger, 

Nations are alike unto this company ; 
Many English merchantmen, 
And of London now and then, 

Have tasted of their vile extremity. 

London's Elizabeth, 

Of late these rovers taken have, 

A ship well laden with rich merchandize ; 
The nimble Pearl and Charity, 
All ships of gallant bravery, 

Are by these pyrates made a lawful prize. 

The Trojan of London, 
With other ships many a one. 

Hath stooped sail, and yielded out of hand. 


These pyrates that they have shed their bloods, 
And the Turks have bought their goods, 

Being all too weak their power to withstand. 

Of Hull the Bonaventer, 
Which was a great frequenter, 

And passer of the straits to Barbary ; 
Both ship and men late taken were. 
By pyrates Ward and Dansekar, 

And brought by them into captivity. 

English Ward and Dansekar, 
Begin greatly now to jar, 

About dividing their goods ; 
Both ships and soldiers gather head, 
Dansekar from Ward is fled. 

So full of pride and malice are their bloods. 

Ward doth only promise 
To keep about rich Tunis, 

And be comander of those Turkish seas ; 
But valiant Dutch-land Dansekar, 
Doth hover neer unto Argier, 

And there his threat'ning colours now displays. 

These pyrates thus divided. 
By God is soon provided, 

In secret sort to work each other's woe ; 
Such wicked courses cannot stand, 
The divel thus puts in his hand, 

And God will give them soon an overthrow. 

Finis. Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. Gilbertson: 



Fkom a broadside in the possession of Mr. Rimbault. It was 
evidently written soon after a most obstinate engagement, which 
took place in Southwold Bay, on tlie 20th May, 1672, between the 
combined fleets of England and France on the one side, and that 
of the Dutch on the other.— E. F. R. 

One day, as I was sitting still, 

Upon the side of Dunwicli-hill, 
And looking on the ocean, 

By chance I saw De Ruyter's fleet 

With royal James's squadron mee* ; 

In sooth it was a noble treat 
To sec that brave commotion. 

I cannot stay to name the names 

Of all the ships that fought with James, 
Their number or their tonnage ; 

But this I say, the noble host 

Right gallantly did take its post, 

And covered all the hollow coast 
From Walderswyck to Dunwich. 

The French, who should have join'd the Duke, 
Full far astern did lag and look. 
Although their hulls were lighter; 


But nobly faced the Duke of York, 
Tho' some may wink and some may talk, 
Right stoutly did his vessel stalk, 
To buffet with De Ruytcr. 

Well might you hear their guns, I guess, 

From Sizevvell-gap to Easton Ness, 
The show was rare and sightly : 

They batter'd without let or stay 

Until the evening of that day, — 

'Twas then the Dutchmen run away, 
The Duke had beat them tightly. 

Of all the battles gain'd at sea, 
This was the rarest victory 

Since Philip's grand armado. 
I will not name the rebel Blake, 
He fought for horson Cromwell's sake. 
And yet was forced three days to take, 

To quell the Dutch bravado. 

So now we've seen them take to flight. 
This way, and that, where'er they might, 

To windard or to leeward ; 

Here's to King Charles, and here's to James, 
And here's to all the captains' names, 
And here's to all the Suffolk dames, 

And here's to the house of Stuart. 




AVhereever English seamen goes 
They are a terror to their foes. 

To the tune of Five sail of frigats bound for Malago, &c. 

[From the British Museum Collection of Old Ballads.] 

CoxME all you brave sailors 

that sails on the main, 
I'll tell you of a fight 

that was lately in Spain, 
And of five sail of frigats 

bound to Malago, 
For to fight the proud Spaniards, 

our orders was so.' 

There was the Henry and Ruby, 

and the Antelope also. 
The Grey-hound, and the Bryan, 

for fire-ships must go ; 
But so bravely we weighed, 

and played our parts, 
That we made the proud Spaniards 

to quake in their hearts. 


Then we carae to an anclior 

so nigh to the mould, 
Methinks you proud English 

do grow very bold : 
But we came to an anchor 

so near to the town, 
That some of their churches 

we soon battered down. 

They hung out tlieir flag of truce, 

for to know our intent. 
And they sent out their long-boat, 

to know what we meant : 
But our captain he answered 

them bravely, it is so, 
For to burn all your shipping 

before we do go. 

For to burn all your shipping 

you must us excuse, 
'Tis not five sail of frigats 

shall make us to muse. 
But we burnt all their shipping, 

and their gallies also. 
And we left in the city 

full many a widow. 

Come, then says our captain, 

let's fire at the church ; 
And down came their belfrcy, 

which grieved tiiem much ; f 


And down came the steeple, 
which standeth so high, 

Which made the proud Spaniards 
to the nunnery flye. 

So great a confusion 

we made in the town, 
That their lofty buildings 

came tumbling down : 
Their wives and their children 

for help they did cry. 
But none could relieve them, 

though danger was nigh. 

The flames and the smoak, 

so increased their woe. 
That they knew not whither 

to run nor to go ; 
Some to shun the fire, 

leapt into the flood. 
And there they did perish 

in water and mud. 

Our guns we kept firing, 

still shooting amain, 
Whilst many a proud Spaniard 

was on the place slain : 
The rest being amazed, 

for succour did cry, 
But all was in vain, 

they had no where to flye. 


At length being forced, 

they thought it most fit 
Unto the brave Englishmen 

for to submit : 
And so a conclusion 

at last we did make, 
Upon such conditions 

as was fit to take. 

The Spanish armado 

did England no harm, 
'Twas but a bravado 

To give us alarm ; 
But with our five frigats 

we did them bumbast, 
And made them of Englishmen's 

valour to taste. 

When this noble victor}' 

we did obtain. 
Then home we returned 

to England again ; 
Where we were received 

with welcomes of joy, 
Because with five frigats 

we did them destroy. 

London : Printed by and for W. O., and are to be sold by J. Dea[n j. 




[From MS. Sloanc, irtli, fol. 40.] 

Of thee, great state, the god of waves 
In equall wrongs, assistance craves, 

defend thyselfe and mee : 
For if ore seas there be no sway, 
Mj"^ godhead cleane is tane away, 

the scepter pluckt from thee. 
Such as ore seas all sovereigntie oppose, 
Though seeming friends, to both are truly foes. 

If little Venice brings alone 
Such waves to her subjection, 

as in the gulfe doe stirre ; 
What then should great Britannia please. 
But rule as ladie ore all seas, 

and thou as queen of her. 
For sea-dominion may as well bee gain'd 
By new acquests, as by descent maintained. 

Goe on, great state, and make it knowne, 
Thou never wilt forsake thine owne, 

nor from thy purpose start : 
But that thou wilt thy power dilate, 
Since narrow seas are found too straight 

for thy capacious heart. 
So shall thy rule, and mine, have large extent : 
Yet not so large, as just and permanent. 



The following song is taken from " Wit and Mirth, or Pills to 
Pnrge Melancholy," vol. iii. p. 95. The tune, " set by Mr. 
Church," is also given by D'Urfey. It was sung by sailors, as 
well as soldiers. 

Ye brave bo3's and tai's, 

That design for the wars, 
Remember the action at Vigo ; 

And where Ormond commands, 

Let us all joyn our hands. 
And where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

Let conquest and fame. 

The honour proclaim, 
Great Ormond has gotten at Vigo: 

Let the trumpets now sound, 

And the echoes around. 
Where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

Let the glories be sung. 

Which the Ormonds have won, 
Long before this great action at Vigo ; 

They're so loyal and just, 

And so true to their trust. 
That where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

Old records of fame, 
Of the Ormond's great name. 
Their actions like these were of Vigo ; 


And since this prince exceeds 
In his forefather's deed. 
Then where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

'Tis the praise of our crown, 

That such men of renown, 
Shou'd lead on the van, as at Vigo : 

Where such lives and estates. 

Are expos'd for our sakes. 
Then where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

'Twas the whole nation's voice, 

And we all did rejoyce, 
When we heard he commanded for Vigo : 

To Anna so true, 

All her foes to pursue. 
Then where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

'Tis the voice of the town, 

And our zeal for the crown. 
To serve Ormond to France, Spain, or Vigo 

So noble and brave, 

Both to conquer and save. 
Then where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

To the soldiers so kind. 

And so humbly inclin'd. 
To wave his applause gain'd at Vigo : 

Yet so kind and so true. 

He gave all men their due, 
Then where he goes, may you go, and I go. 


We justly do own, 

All the honour that's won, 
In Flanders as well as at Vigo : 

But our subject and theme, 

Is of Ormond's great name, 
And where he goes, may you go, and I go. 

Then take off the bowl. 

To that generous soul, 
That commanded so bravely at Vigo : 

And may Anna approve, 

Of our duty and love, 
And where he goes, may you go, and I go. 


From D'Uifey's " Wit and Mirtli," vol. i. p. 44. The music is 
also given. 

Hark the thund'ring cannons roar. 
Echoing from the German shore. 
And the joyful news comes o'er ; 

The Turks are all confounded ! 
Lorrain comes, they run, they run. 
Charge your horse thro' the grand half moon, 
We'll quarter give none. 

Since Starembourg is wounded. 


Close your ranks, and each brave soul 

Take a lusty Howing bowl, 

A grand carouse to the royal Pole, 

The empire's brave defender ; 
No raan leave his post by stealth, 
But drink a helmet-full to th' health 

Of the second Alexander. 

Mahomet was a sober dog, 

A small-beer, drowsy, senseless rogue, 

The juice of grape, so nmch in vogue. 

To forbid to those adore him ; 
Had he but allowed the vine. 
Given 'em leave to carouse in wine. 
The Turk had safely past the Rhine, 

And conquer'd all before him. 

With dull tea they fought in vain, 

Hopeless vict'ry to obtain ; 

Where sprightly wine fills ev'ry vein, 

Success must needs attend him. 
Our brains (like our cannons) warm, 
With often-firing feels no harm, 
While the sober sot flies the alarm. 

No lawrel can befriend him. 

Christians thus with conquest crown'd, 
Conquest with the glass goes round, 
Weak coffee can't keep its ground 
Against the force of claret : 


Whilst we give them thus the foil, 
And the pagan troops recoyl, 
The valiant Poles divide the spoil, 
And in brisk nectar share it. 

Infidels are now o'ercorae, 

But the most Christian Turks at home, 

Watching the fate of Christendom; 

But all his hopes are siiallow, 
Since the Poles have led the dance ; 
Let English Caesar now advance, 
And if he sends a fleet to France, 

He's a whig that will not follow. 


From the Pepys Collection, and reprinted by Evans (Old Ballads, 
edit. 1810, vol. i. p. 213). 

To the tune of the Spinning-wheel. 

You loyal lovers far and near. 

That live and reign in Cupid's court, 

I'd have you freely lend an ear, 
While I my sorrows do report : 

She that I lov'd has left nie o'er ; 

I'll never trnst a woman more. 


In her I plac'd my chief delight, 

And was her captive night and day ; 

For why ? her charming beauty bright 
Had clearly stole my heart away : 

But slie will not my joys restore ; 

I'll never trust a woman more. 

On board of ship I chanc'd to go, 
To serve our good and gracious king 

Now when she found it must be so. 
She did her hands in sorrow wring. 

Yet wedded when I left the shore ; 

I'll never trust a woman more. 

My dearest love, she often cry'd, 
Forbear to sail the ocean sea ; 

If fortune shall us now divide, 
Alas ! what will become of me ? 

This she repeated ten times o'er ! — 

I'll never trust a woman more. 

A thousand solemn vows I made. 
And she return'd the like again, 

That no one should our hearts invade, 
But both in loyal love remain ; 

Yet she another had in store ! 

I'll never trust a woman more. 

I was obliged to leave the land, 
And ready to go hoist up sail. 
At which tears in her eves did stand.. 


And bitterly she did bewail ; 
Yet she another had in store ! 
I'll never trust a woman more. 

I gave her then a ring of gold. 

To keep in token of true love, 
And said, my dearest dear, behold ! 

I evermore will loyal prove. 
She married when I left the shore I 
I'll never trust a woman more. 

Five months I ploughed the ocean main. 
With courage void of dread and fear : 

At length with joy return'd again 
To the embraces of my dear. 

But she another had in store ! 
I'll never trust a woman more. 

Constancy doth torture me, 

And make my sorrows most severe ; 

Like a keen dart, it pierc'd my heart, 
For why ? I did the tydings hear 

As soon as e'er I came on shore ! 

I'll never trust a woman more. 

Now must I wander in despair, 

I find it is the fates' decree ; 
My grief is more than I can bear, 

I can love none alive but she : 
Farewell, farewell, my native shore ! 
I'll never trust a woman more. 








Observe this song, which is both neat and pretty, 
'Tis on a seaman in his praise of Betty. 

To the tune of Five sail of frigots, or Shrewsbury. 

[From the Bagford Collection of Old Ballads.] 

I AM a stout seaman and newly come on shore, 
I have been a long voyage where I near was before ; 
But now I am returned, I'me resolved to see 
My own dearest honey, whose name is Betty. 

I have been absent from her full many a day, 
But yet I was constant in every way ; 
Though many a beautiful dame I did see, 
Yet none pleased me so well as Betty. 

Now I am intended, whatever betide, 

For to go and see her and make her my bride ; 

If that she and I can together agree, 

I never will love none but pretty Betty. 


Well met, pretty Betty, ray joy and my dear, 
I now am returned thy heart for to chear ; 


Though long I have been absent, yet I thought on thee, 

my heart it was always with pretty Betty. 

Then come, my own dearest, to tavern let's go, 
Whereas we'l be merry for any hour or two ; 
Lovingly together we both will agree. 
And Tie drink a good health to ray pretty Betty. 

And when we have done, to the church we will hy, 
Whereas wee'l be joyned in matrymony ; 
And alwayes I'le be a kind husband to thee, 
If that thou wilt be my wife, pretty Betty. 

1 will kiss thee and hug thee all night in my arms, 
rie be careful of thee and keep thee from harms, 
I will love thee dearly in every degree, 

For my heart it is fixed on pretty Betty. 

For thee I will rove and sail far and near, 

The dangerous rough sea shall not put me in fear ; 

If I do get treasure I'le bring it to thee, 

And I'le venter my life for my pretty Betty. 

And more than all this, I'le tell thee my dear, 
I will bring thee home rich jewels for to wear. 
And many new fashions I will provide thee. 
So that none shall compare with pretty Betty. 

Then come, my own dearest, and grant me thy Iov( 
Both loyal and constant to thee I will prove ; 
If that thou wilt put trust and belief in me, 
I vow near to love none but pretty Betty. 



To the same tune. 

Betty's reply, wherein she shows her love, 
Promising him alwayes constant to prove. 

WELCOME, my clearest, welcome to shore, 
Thy absence so long hath troubled me sore ; 
But since thou art returned, this I'le assure thee. 
It is thou art the man that my husband shall be. 

Although that some maids now-a-dayes prove untrue, 
Yet rie never change my old love for a new ; 
My promise Tie keep while life remains in me, 
For thou art the man that my husband shall be. 

1 have been courted by many a proper youth. 
If thou wilt believe me, I'le tell thee the truth ; 
But all my affections I have set on thee, 

For thou art the man that my husband shall be. 

Then, dearest, be not discontented in mind, 
For to thee I'le always prove loving and kind ; 
No lord nor knight I'le have, if they would have me. 
For 'tis thou art the man that my husband shall be. 

If that I might gain a whole ship-load of money, 
I would not forsake my true love and honey ; 
No wealth nor yet riches shall force to tempt me, 
To forsake him who ever my true love shall be. 


This lusty brave seaman and his dearest dear 
Was married full speedily, as I did hear ; 
Now they both together do live happily, 
And he vows to love his pretty Betty. 

He is overjoy'd now he has gain'd his mate, 
They do love and live without strife and debate ; 
He is kind unto her in every degree, 
So I wish him well to enjoy pretty Betty. 

Al you young men and maidens, pray learn by my song, 
To be true to your sweet-hearts and do them no wrong ; 
Prove constant and just, and not false hearted be. 
And so I will now conclude my ditty. 

By L. L. 



From an old manuscript, now in the possession of Mr. C. H. 
Wright, of Manchester, who has very kindly favoured me with a 
transcript of it. I have had no opportunity of examining the 
manuscript, and am therefore unable to give the date of it. 

I RUE to see the raging of the seas. 

When nothing may King Eolus' wrath appease. 

Boreas' blastes asunder rendes our sayles : 

Our tacklings breake, our ankers likewise fayles. 


The surging seas, they battred have my shippe, 

And eke mine oares avayle me not a chippe. 

The ropes are slackte, the mast standes nothing strong 

Thus am I tost the surging seas along. 

The waves beate in, my barke to overflowe ; 

The rugged seas my ship will overthrowe. 

Yea, driven I am, sometimes against a rocke, 

Sometimes againe a whale his backe I locke. 

When Neptune thus, and Eol falles to stryfe, 

Then stand I most in daunger of my lyfe. 

And when the winde beginneth moste to rage, 

Then out I caste (my barke for to asswage) 

Each thing of waight, and then if sea at will 

I chaunce to have, I lesse regaixl mine ill. 

If shipwrack once I suffer in my lyfe, 

Farewell my goodes, farewell my gentle wife : 

Adewe my friends, adewe my children all, 

For nought prevayles, though on your helpe I call. 

First goe I to the bottome of the seas, 

And thrice I rise, but nothing for mine ease. 

For why ? at length, when last of all I fall, 

My winde doth fayle, wherewith I burst my gall. 

My body then, so full as it may be 

With water store, then may each men me see 

All borne aloft amid the fomyng froth. 

And dryven to lande, if Neptune waxeth wrothe. 

But yet, if so I cunnyng have to swimme. 

When first I fall into the water brimme, 

With streaking armes, and eke with playing feete. 

My parte I play, the water flouddes to grete. 


And then, perchaunce, some shippe comes sayling by, 
Whiche saves my life, if me they doe espie. 
Perchaunce, likewise, I drowne before they come, 
Perchaunce the crampe my feet it maketh numme: 
If so it dothe, then sure I am to die. 
In this distresse the sea will ayde denie. 
Wherefore I vvishe, who well may live by land, 
And him forbid the sea to take in hande. 



[From the Bagford Collection of Old Ballads.] 
Tune of Tlie Souldier's Departure. 

A seaman lov'd a maiden pretty, 
and estecm'd her as his life; 


She was beauteous, fair, and witty, 
whom he vow'tl should be Iiis wife : 

He was minded, and designed 
for to leave the Brittish shore, 

And sail again unto the main, 
as he had often done before. 

So he kindly can^e unto her, 

and his mind did thus express : 
Dearest, of my love be sure, 

in thee is all my happiness, 
And yet must I immediately 

be forc'd to leave thee on the shore, 
When I again come from the main, 

I swear I'le never leave thee more. 

These his words her mind did trouble, 

and did pierce her tender heart ; 
Then her sorrows they grew double, 

and increas'd her deadly smart : 
She replyed, if she dyed, 

to the main Avith him she'd go. 
Quoth he, my dear, I greatly fear 

hardship thou canst not undergo. 

I am loath for to forsake thee, 
yet I constant will remain. 

And my faithful wife will make thee 
when I home return again : 


He did protest he did not jest, 

but yet she constantly did cry, 
I do not fear, my only dear, 

for with thee I will live and dye. 

I'm resolv'd, in spight of danger, 

that I will thy mesmate be ; 
Through the world Tie be a ranger, 

for my love's dear company : 
By joynt consent, to sea they went, 

to satisfy her hearts desire ; 
This was not known to any one, 

for she was drest in man's attire. 

To the ocean then they sailed ; 

little did the captain know 
That a female with him sailed 

and sometimes in the long-boat row. 
She did behave her self so brave 

that none could this her trick discern, 
Industriously this damsel she 

did navigation strive to learn. 

Do but mark how fickle fortune 

did their comforts all destroy ; 
She doth often prove uncertain 

and eclipse true lover's joy : 
For blust'ring wind, too oft we find 

do work poor seamen's overthrov/, 
And so were they all cast away, 

great pitty 'twas it should be so. 



In this distress these faithful lovers 

both were like for to be lost; 
Surgins seas did wash them over, 

they on mighty waves were tost: 
In this distress, most pittiless 

care for his love he did not lack, 
With weary limbs long time he swims 

While his true love was on his back. 

But he at last was almost tyred, • 

past hopes of finding some relief; 
Tho' fortune smiles they oft desired, 

for to ease them of their grief : 
An Algerine, at that same time, 

did happen to come sayling by, 
So straitway he most earnestly 

aloud to them for help did cry. 

They took them up into their ship ; 

that they were Turks they quickly found,- 
At first their hearts for joy did leap, 

at last they were with sorrow drown'd : 
For Algier then they sailed agen, 

not knowing who they had for prize. 
For none bewray'd it was a maid 

whose echo's then did pierce the skies. 

Before the governor they came, 
and then the truth she did reveal ; 

She freely did confess the same 

which long before she did conceal : 


So presently her constancy 

most mightily he did commend, 
And back again, he ore the main 

did both these faithful lovers send. 

Printed for J. Blare, at the " Looking-Glass," on London Bridge. 


FuoM the Bagford Collection of Old Ballads. It is directed to be 
sung to the favourite old tune called " Dulcina ;" the original 
ballad of which is given by Percy. " The Merry Pranks of Robin 
Goodfellow,'' to the same tune, has been reprinted by Percy, Rit- 
son, and others. — E. F. R. 

What doth ayl my love so sadly, 
in such heavy dumps to stand ? 
Doth she grieve or take unkindly 
that I am so near at hand ? 
Or doth she vow, 
she will not know. 
Nor speak to me when I do come ? 
If that be so, 
away He go. 
First kiss and bid me welcome home. 

Had I ever thee forsaken, 
putting thee out of my mind, 


'rii(>n tilou miglit'st have justly spoken 
that I to thee was unkind : 

or should I take 

some other mate, 
Then might thou have a cause to mourn : 

but let me dye, 

before that I 
Do so ; then bid me welcome home. 

Sooner shall the grass leave growing, 
from the hare the hound shall run ; 
Husbandmen shall leave their sowing, 
floods shall run the land upon ; 

the fish shall flye, 

the sea run dry, 
The birds shall sing no more, but mourn. 

ere I of thee 

unmindful be : 
Then kiss and bid me welcome home. 

Smile on me, be not offended, 
pardon grant for ray amiss ; 
Let thy favour so befriend me, 
as to seal it with a kiss : 

To me, I swear, 

thou art so dear, 
That for thy sake He fancy none ; 

then do not frown, 

but sit thee down, 
Sweet, kiss and bid me welcome home. 


If thou hast proved chast Diana, 

since from thee I did depart, 
I have as constant been unto thee, 
for on thee fixed was my heart : 
no, not for she 
Jupiter see, 
Diana in her tower alone 
should me intice, 
no. He be nice, 
Then kiss and bid me welcome home. 

No, nor Venus, Cupid's mother, 
nor the fairest wife of Jove, 
Should Lucretia, or some other, 
seek by gifts to win my love ; 

should Hellen fair 

to me compare. 
And unto me for love make moan, 

yet none of these 

my mind shall please. 
Then kiss and bid me welcome home. 

From thy sight tho' I were banisht, 

yet I always was to thee 

Far more kinder than Ulisses 

to his chaste Penellope : 

for why, away 

he once did stay 

Ten vears, and left her all alone ; 


but I from thee 
have not been three, 
Sweet, kiss and bid me welcome home. 

Come, sweetheart, and sit down by me, 

let thj' lap my pillow be, 
While sweet sleep my mind beguileth, 
and all my dreams shall be of thee. 
I pray thee stay, 
steal not away, 
Let lullaby be all thy song ; 
with kisses sweet 
lull me asleep. 
Sweet, kiss and bid me welcome home. 

I have been sad to see how from me, 

thou from me so long did stay, 
Yet now I more rejoice to see thee 
happily arriv'd this way : 
thou from our shore 
shalt go no more, 
To wander thus abroad alone ; 
but thou shalt stay 
with me away. 
And here's my hand, thou'rt welcome home. 

1 have prov'd Diana to thee 

since from me thou went'st away ; 

I have suitors well-nigh twenty, 
and much ado I had to stay : 


but I deny'd, 

when they reply'd, 
And sent them all away with scorn ; 

for I had sworn 

to live forlorn, 
Until that 1 see thee come home. 

Seeing thou art home returned, 

thou shalt not go from home in haste, 
But lovingly come sit down by me, 
let my arms embrace thy wast : 

farewell annoy, 

welcome my joy, 
Now lullaby shall be the song ; 

for now my hi^art 

seems loath to part, 
Then kiss and bid me welcome home. 

Since, sweetheart, thou dost befriend me, 

thus to take me to thy love. 
Never more will I offend thee, 
but will ever constant prove : 

thou hast my heart 

not to depart. 
But ever constant to remain ; 

and thou art mine, 

and r am thine. 
Then let us kiss and welcome home. 

Printed for J. Wright, J. Clarke, W.Thackeray, and T. Passinger. 



From D'Urfey's " Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy," 
vol. V. p. 168. It is said to have been written at sea by the Earl 
of Dorset, in the first Dutch war, 16C4. Pepys, in his Diary, 
Jan. 2, 1665, after stating that he went to dine with Lord Bronc- 
kcr, in Covent Garden, says : — " I occasioned much mirth with a 
ballet I brought with me, made from the seamen at sea to their 
ladies in town." The original tune may be seen in D'Urfey's work. 
— E. F. R. 

To you fair ladys now on land, 

We men at sea indite ; 
But first wou'd have you understand 

How hard it is to write. 
The muses, now, and Neptune, too, 
We must implore to write to you ; 

With a fa la, la, la, la. 
The muses, now, and Neptune, too, 
We must implore to write to you ; 

With a fa la, la, la, la. 

But, tho' the muses shou'd be kind, 

And fill our empty brain ; 
Yet, if rough Neptune cause the wind 

To rouse the azure main. 
Our paper, pens, and ink, and we 
Rowl up and down our ships at sea, 
With a fa la. 


Then, if we write not by each post, 

Think not that we're unkind ; 
Nor yet conclude that we're lost, 

By Dutch, by French, or wind: 
Our grief shall find a speedier way, 
The tide shall bring thera twice a- day, 
With a fa la. 

The King, with wonder and surprise, 

Will think the seas grown bold ; 
For that the tide does higher rise 

Then e'er it did of old : 
But let him know, that 'tis our tears 
Sends floods of grief to White-hall stairs. 
With a fa la. 

Shou'd Count Thoulouse but come to know 

Our sad and dismal story ; 
The French wou'd scorn so weak a foe. 

Where they can get no glory: 
For what resistance can they find 
From men as left their hearts behind, 
Wnth a fa la. 

To pass the tedious time away, 

W^e throw the merry main ; 
Or else at serious ombra play ; 

But why should we in vain 
Each other's ruin thus pursue ? 
We were undone when we left you. 
With a fa la. 


When any mournful tune you hear, 

That dyes in ev'ry note ; 
As if it sigh'd for each man's care, 

For being so remote : 
Think then how often love we've made 
To you, while all those tunes were play'd, 
With a fa la. 

Let wind and weather do its worst, 

Be you to us but kind ; 
Let French men vapour, Dutch men curse, 

No sorrow we shall find : 
'Tis then no matter how things goe, 
Nor who's our friend, nor who our foe, 
With a fa la. 

Thus having told you all our loves, 

And likewise all our fears ; 
In hopes this declaration moves, 

Some pity, to our tears : 
Let's hear of no inconstancy, 
We have too much of that at sea, 
With a fa la. 



From tlie sixth volume of D'Urfey's " Wit and Mirth, or Pills to 
Purge Melancholy," p. 40. The tune is also given. 

As J am a sailor, 'tis very well known. 
And I've never as yet had a wife of my own ; 
But now I've resolved for to marry if I can, 
To show myself a joll}', jolly brisk young man, 

man, man, 
To show myself a jolly, jolly brisk young man. 

Abroad I have been, and since home I am come, 
JVIy wages I have took, 'tis a delicate sum; 
And now mistress hostess begins to flatter me. 
But I have not forgot her former cruelty, 

ty. ty, 
But I have not forgot her former cruelty. 

Near Limehouse she liv'd, where I formerly us'd, 
ril show you in brief how I once was abus'd. 
After in her house I had quite consum'd my store, 
But kick me if I ever, ever feast her more, 

more, more, 
But kick me if I ever, ever feast her more. 

I came to her once with abundance of gold, 

And as she that beautiful sight did behold. 

She said with a kiss thon art welcome, John, to me. 

For I have shed a thousand, thousand tears for thee, 

thee, thee. 
For I have shed a thousand, thousand tears for thee. 


Her flattering words I was apt to believe, 

And tlien at my hands she did freely receive 

A ring which she said she would keep for Johnny's sake. 

She wept for joy as if her very heart would break, 

break, break, 
She wept for joy as if her very heart would break. 

We feasted on dainties and drank of the best. 
Though I with my friends I am happily blest, 
For punch, beer, and brandy, they night and day did call. 
And 1 was honest Johnny, Johnny pay for all, 

all, all, 
And I was honest Johnny, Johnny pay for all. 

They ply'd me so warm that in troth I may say. 
That I scarce in a month knew the night from the day, 
My hostess I kiss'd tho' her husband he was by. 
For while ray gold and silver lasted, who but I, 


For while my gold and silver lasted, who but I. 

They said 1 should marry their dear daughter Kate, 
And in token of love I presented her strait. 
With a chain of gold, and a rich and costly head. 
Thus Johnny, Johnny, Johnny by the nose was lead, 

lead, lead, 
Thus Johnny, Johnny, Johnny by the nose was lead. 

This life I did lead for a month and a day. 
And then all my glory begun to decay, 


My mony was gone, I quite eonsum'd my store. 
My hostess told me in a word, she would not score, 

score, score, 
My hostess told me in a word she would not score. 

She frown'd like a fury, and Kate she was coy, 
A kiss or a smile I no more must enjoy ; 
Nay, if that I called but for a mug of beer, 
My hostess she was very deaf, and could not hear, 

hear, hear, 
My hostess she was very deaf, and could not hear. 

But that which concerned me more then the rest. 
My money was gone, and she'd needs have me prest 
Aboard of the fleet ; then I in a passion flew, 
And ever since I do abhor the canting crew, 

crew, crew, 
And ever since I do abhor the canting crew. 

Now, having replenish'd ray stock once again. 
My hostess and daughter I vow to refrain 
Their company quite, and betake myself to a wife ; 
With whom I hope to live a sober life, 

life, life. 
With whom I hope to live a sober life. 

Then in came a damsel, as fresh as a rose. 
He gave her a kiss, and begun for to close 
In courting, and said, canst thou love an honest tar, 


Who for these six or seven years has travell'd so far, 

far, far, 
Who for these six or seven years has travell'd so far. 

His offer was noble, his guineas was good, 
And therefore the innocent maid never stood 
To make a denyal, but granted his request ; 
And now she's with a jolly sailor, sailor blest, 

blest, blest. 
And now she's with a jolly sailor, sailor blest. 


From D'Urfey's " Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy," 
edit. 1719, vol. iii. p. 304. The tune is " by Mr. Barincloth." 

All hands up aloft, 

Swab the coach fore and aft, 
For the punch clubbers straight will be sitting ; 

For fear the ship rowl 

Sling off a full bowl. 
For our honour let all things be fitting : 

In an ocean of punch 

We to-night will all sail, 

I'th' bowl we're in sea-room 

Enough, we ne'er fear : 

Here's to thee, messmate. 


Thanks, honest Tom, 
'Tis a health to the king, 
Whilst the larboard-man drinks. 
Let the starboard-raan sing. 

With full double cups 

We'll liquor our chops, 

And then we'll turn out 

With a Who up, who, who ; 

But let's drink e'er we go, 

But let's drink e'er we go. 

The wind's veering aft, 

Then loose ev'i-y sail, 
She'll bear all her topsails a-trip; 

Heave the logg from the poop, 

It blows a fresh gale, 
And a just account on the board keep ; 

She runs the eight knots, 
And eight cups, to my thinking, 

That's a cup for each knot. 
Must be fiU'd for our drinking. 

Here's to thee, skipper. 

Thanks, honest John, 

'Tis a health to the king, 

Whilst the one is a drinking, 

Tiie other shall fill. 

With full double cups. 
We'll liquor our chops, &c. 

The quartier must cun. 

Whilst the foremast-man steers, h 


Here's a health to each port where e'er bound 

Who delays, 'tis a bumper, 

Shall be drub'd at the geers, 
The depth of each cup therefore sound : 

To our noble commander. 

To his honour and wealth ; 

May he drown and be damn'd 

That refuses the health. 

Here's to thee, honest Harry. 

Thanks, honest Will, 

Old true penny still ; 

Whilst the one is a drinking, 

The other shall fill. 

With full double cups, 
We'll liquor our cliop.s, &c. 

What news on the deck, ho ? 

It blows a meer storm ; 
She lies a try under her mizon, — 

Why, what tho' she does ? 

Will it do any harm ? 
If a bumper more does us all reason : 

The bowl must be fill'd, boys, 

In spight of the weather ; 

Yea, yea, huzza let's howl all together. 

Here's to thee, Peter. 

Thanks, honest Joe, 

About let it go ; 

In the bowl still a calm is. 

Where e'er the winds blow. 
With full double cups, 
We'll liquor our chops, &c. 



From " Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy,'' 
vol. vi. p. 98. The tune is also given by D'Urfey. 

New pyramids raise, 

Bring the poplar and bayes, 
To crown our triumphant commander ; 

The French, too, shall run. 

As the Irish have done. 
Like the Persians, the Persians ; 
Like the Persians, the Persians ; 

Like the Persians before Alexander. 

Had the Rubicon been 
Such a stream as the Boyn, 
Not Caesar, not Caesar himself had gon on ; 
King William exceeds great Caesar in deeds, 
More than he did great Pompey before. 

Though born in a state. 

Fore-told was his fate. 
That he should be a monarch ador'd ; 

One globe was too small 

To contain such a soul, — 
New worlds must submit to his sword. 

So great and benign 
Is our sov'reign Queen, 
Made to share his empire and bed ; 
May she still fill his arms 
With her lovely soft charms. 

And a race of King Williams succeed. 

H 2 



From MS. Harl. 7526, fol. 65. At the end of the ballad is the 
following note: — "To Mr. Harley, atone of the Commissioners 
of Accounts, in Buckingham Street, York Buildings." Another 
copy is in MS. addit. 2715, fol. 79. It was written on the fleet, in 
1G91.— E. F. R. 

A MIGHTY great fleet, the like was nere seen 
Since the reign of K. W. and Mary his queen, 
Design'd the destruction of France to have been, 
which nobody can deny. 

This fleet was compos'd of English and Dutch, 
For ships, guns, and men, there never were such, 
Nor so little done when expected so much, 

which nobody can deny. 

Eighty-six ships of war, which we capitall call, 
Besides frigats and tenders, and yachts that are small, 
Sayl'd out and did little or nothing at all, 

which nobody can deny. 

Thirty-nine thousand and five hundred brave men, 
Had they chanc'd to have met the French fleet, O then, 
As they beat 'em last year, they'd have beat 'em agen, 
which nobody can deny. 

Six thousand great guns, and seventy-eight more. 
As great and as good as ever did roar, 
It had been the same thing had they left 'em ashore, 
which nobody can deny. 


Torrington now must command 'em no more, 
For we try'd what mettal he was made on before, 
And 'tis better for him on land for to whore, 

which nobody can deny. 

For a bullet, perhaps, from a rude cannon's breach, 
Which makes no distinction betwixt poor and rich, 
Instead of his dog might have tane otF his bitch, 
which nobody can deny. 

But Russell, the cherry-cheekt Russell, is chose 
His fine self and his fleet at sea to expose ; 
But he will take care how he meets with his foes, 
which nobody can deny. 

We had sea-collonells o'th' nature of otter, 
Which either might serve by land or by water, 
Tho' of what they have done we hear no great matter, 
which nobody can deny, 

[n the midst of May last they sail'd on the mayn. 
And in September are come back again, 
With the loss of some ships, but in battle none slain, 
which nobody can deny. 



From a small collection of songs, entitled " The Midshipman's 
Garland," bound up in one of Bagford's volumes, in the British 
Museum. The first four verses have been reprinted in Evans's 
" Old IJallads," vol. iii. p. 21o, edit. 1810; and in Ilitson's " Eng- 
lish Songs,'' vol. ii. p. 197, edit. Park. The great naval victory, 
intended to be celebrated by the following old song, was determined 
after a running action of several days, off Cape La Hogue, on the 
coast of Normandy, the 22nd of May 1092.— E. F. R. 

Thursday in the morn, the ides of May, 

recorded for ever the famous ninety-two, 
Brave Russel did discern by dawn of day, 

the lofty sails of France advancing, now: 
All hands aloft, aloft, let English valour shine, 
Let fly a culvering, the signal of the line ; 

let ev'ry hand supply his gun : 
Follow rae, and you'll see 

that the battle will be soon begun. 

Turvil o'er the main triumphant rowl'd, 

to meet the gallant Russel in combat on the deep 
He led a noble train of heroes bold, 

to sink the English admiral at his feet. 
Now every valiant mind to victory does aspire, 
The bloody fight's began, the sea it fell on fire ; 

and mighty fate stood looking on; 
Whilst a flood, all of blood, 

fiU'd the port-holes of the Royal Sun. 


Sulphur, snioak, and fire, disturb'd the air, 

with thunder and wonder to fright the Gallick shore ; 
Their regulated bands stood trembling near, 

to see their lofty streamers, now no more. 
At six a-cloek the red, the smiling victor led, 
To give a second blow, their total overthrow; 

now death and horror equal reign, 
How they cry, run or dye, 

Brittish colours ride the vanquisht main. 

See, they run amaz'd thro' rocks on sand, 

one danger they grasp at, to shun a greater fate ; 
In vain they crie for aid to weepmg lands, 

the nimphs and sea-gods mourn their lost estate ; 
For evermore adieu, thou dazling Royal Sun, 
From thy untimely end thy master's fate begun : 

Enough, thou mighty god of Avar ! 
Now we sing, bless the Queen, 

let us drink to ev'ry English tar. 

Come, jolly seamen all, with Russel go, 

to sail on the main proud mounsieur for to greet, 
And give our enemy a second blow, 

and fight Turvil, if that he dare to meet. 
Come, brother tar, what cheer? Let each supply, 
And thump 'em off this year, or make mounsier to fly, 

while we do range the ocean round. 
Day or night we will fight, 

when our enemy is to be found. 


Let it ne'er be said that English boys 

slioiild e'er stay behind when their Admiral goes ; 
But let each honest lad crie with one voice, 

brave Russel, lead us on to fight the foes : 
We'd give them gun for gun, some sink, and others burn. 
Broad-sides we'll give 'em too,till monsieur cry's morblew! 

des Enleteer will kill us all ! 
Whilst they scower, we will pour, 

thick as hail, amongst them cannon-ball. 

Licensed according to Order. 


From 'Wit and Mirth," vol. iv. p. 170. It is called "The 
Sayler's Song in the Subscription !Musick, sett bj' Mr. Weldon, 
sung by Mr. Dogget." The concerts in York-buildings were 
sometimes called " The Subscription Musick," and it was probably 
for them that Mr. Weldon composed the following song. — E. F. R. 

Just coming from sea, our spouses and we, 

We punch it, we punch it, w-e punch it; 
We punch it, we punch it a board with couragio, 

"We sing, laugh, and cling, and in hammocks we swing : 
And hay, hay, hay, hay, hay, my brave boys, bonviagio, 

We sing, laugh, and cling, and in hammocks we swing; 
We sing, laugh, and cling, and in hammocks we swing, 

And hay, hay, hay, hay, hay, my brave boys, bonviagio. 



From Dr. Buriiey's Collection of English Songs, in the British 
Museum, vol. ix. p. 110. It is there stated that " the words and 
music" are by "J. Timms of Dartford." Mr. Timms' name, 
ill spite of his loyalty, has not obtained a place in our poetical 
or musical biography. — E. F. R. 

Ye brave British tars, come attend to my muse, 

Be jovial and hearty, in wine let's carouse; 

Ye brave &c. 

For Keppell from the accusation is clear, 

That was brought against him by Sir Hugh Palliser. 

For Keppel &c. 

One morning, last July, at break of the day. 
The French was descry'd in battle array ; 
Brave Keppel, impatient to fight proud Monsieur, 
Directed his course and unto them drew near. 

The French fleet to windward first gave a broad side, 
Augustus undaunted their great guns defy'd ; 
His fleet being mann'd with compleat British tars, 
Appal'd the Monsieur with the thunder of Mars. 

Aghast the pale French in dismay bore away. 
Our ships being cripl'd oblig'd us to stay. 
Main sails, gallant royals, stay sails to repair, 
That we might again reattack the Monsieur. 

This done, our commander tiie signal did make 
For the ships to the Lee to come in his wake ; 
Regardless of order Sir Hugh Palliser, 
Refus'd to obey and kept back in the rear. 


This gave the French time to retreat into Brest, 
But observe the sequel which is a meer jest, 
As guilt is always companion of fear, 
So mind tiie dark plan of Sir Hugh Pailiser. 

Assisted by Beelzebub, Prince of old Stykes, 
His infernal sire (the weapon he strikes,) 
Himself to exculpate the shaft he lets fly. 
Intending a sacrifice Ke[)pel should die. 

The plan was laid down, then the charge it was made, 

Augustus accused of being afraid, 

To fight the Monsieurs, and of running away, 

And leaving the French fleet triumphant at sea. 

But justice and Montague there did preside. 
They found out the falsehood, his errors descry 'd ; 
The jury withdrew, for they all saw the cheat, 
Acquitted Augustus because he was great. 

This true Son of Neptune couragious and bold. 
Will fight for his King, and bv him be control'd : 
To minions in pov/er he'll not be a slave. 
The French he'll chastize with a heart free and brave. 

So now brother sailors let us reunite. 
To serve under Keppel, the French for to fight; 
His name, like the gold from the furnace, shall shine 
In Old England's annals, to Time's latest time. 

Then fill up your glasses, and let them not stand, 
A health to the hero that doth us command; 
May each British heart and voice say without fear, 
A fig for the French and Sir Hugh Pailiser. 



An old sea song, called " Come and listen to my ditty, or the 
Sailor's Complaint," is to be found in the British Musical Miscel- 
lany, published by Walsh. It was to this air that Stevens wrote 
the song " Cease, rude Boreas," by which title it is now better 
known. Other songs have also been adapted to the same tune. 
See Chappell's National Airs, p. 35. 

Come and listen to my ditty, 

All ye jolly hearts of gold ; 
Lend a brother tar your pity. 

Who was once so stout and bold. 
But the arrows of Cupid, 

Alas ! have made me rue ; 
Sure true love was ne'er so treated, 

As I am by scornful Sue. 

When I landed first at Dover, 

She appear'd a goddess bright; 
From foreign parts I was just come over, 

And was struck with so fair a sight. 
On the shore pretty Sukey walk'd. 

Near to where our frigate lay, 
And, although so near the landing, 

I, alas ! was cast away. 

When first I hail'd my pretty creature, 
The delight of land and sea. 

No man ever saw a sweeter, 
I'd have kept her company ; 


I'd have fain made her my true love, 
For better or for worse ; 

But, alas ! I cou'd not compass her, 
For to steer the marriage course. 

Once, no greater joy and pleasure 

Could have come into my mind, 
Than to see the bold Defiance 

Sailing right before the wind; 
O'er the white waves as she danced, 

And her colours daily flew, 
But that was not half so charming 

As the trim of lovely Sue. 

On a rocky coast I've driven. 

Where the stormy winds do rise. 
Where the rolling mountain billows 

Lift a vessel to the skies: 
But from land, or from the ocean, 

Little dread I ever knew. 
When compared to the dangers 

In the frowns of scornful Sue. 

Long I wonder'd why my jewel 

Had the heart to use me so; 
Till I found, by often sounding. 

She'd another love in tow : 
So farewell, hard-hearted Sukey, 

I'll my fortune seek at sea. 
And try a more friendly latitude, 

Since in your's I cannot be. 



Fkom a volume of black-letter ballads, in Wood's Collection, at 
Oxford, vol. E. 25. It is there entitled " The Valiant Seaman's 
Happy Return to his Love, after a long Seven Years' Absence," 
and directed to be sung to the tune of " I am so deep in love ;" or, 
" Through the cool shady woods." 

When Sol did cast no light, 

being darken'd over, 
And the dark time of night 

did the skies cover, 
Running a river by, 

there were ships sailing, 
A maid most fair I spy'd, 

crying and wailing. 

Unto this maid I stept, 

asking what griev'd her, 
She answer'd me and wept, 

fates had deceiv'd her : 
My love is prest, quoth she, 

to cross the ocean, 
Proud waves to make the ship 

ever in motion. 

We lov'd seven yeai's and more, 

both being sure, 
But I am left on shore, 

grief to endure. 


He promise! back to turn, 
if life was spar'd him, 

With grief I dayly mourn 
death hath debar'd him. 

Straight a brisk lad she spy'd, 

made her admire, 
A present she receiv'd 

pleas'd her desire. 
Is my love safe, quoth she, 

will he come near me ? 
The young man answer made, 

Virgin, pray hear me. 

Under one banner bright, 

for England's glory, 
Your love and I did fight — 

mark well my story : 
By an unhappy shot 

we two were parted ; 
His death's wound then he got, 

though valiant-hearted. 

All this I witness can, 

for I stood by him. 
For courage, I must say, 

none did outvye him : 
He still would foremost be, 

striving for honour; 
But Fortune is a whore, — 

vengeance upon her I 


But ere he was quite dead, 

or his heart broken, 
To me these -words he said, 

pray give this token 
To my love, for there is 

then she no fairer ; 
Tell her she must be kind 

and love the bearer. 

Intomb'd he now doth lye 

in stately manner, 
'Cause he fought valiantly 

for love and honour. 
That right he had in you, 

to me he gave it: 
Now since it is my due, 

pray let me have it. 

She, raging, flung away 

like one distracted. 
Not knowing what to say, 

nor what she acted. 
So last she curst her fate, 

and shew'd her anger, 
Saying, friend, you come too late, 

I'le have no stranger. 

To your own house return, 

I am best pleased 
Here for my love to mourn, 

since he's deceased. 


In sable weeds I'le go, 
let who will jcar ine ; 

Since death has served me so, 
none shall come near me. 

The chast Penelope 

mourn'd for Ulisses, 
I have more grief than she, 

rob'd of ray blisses. 
I'le ne'r love man again, 

therefore pray hear me ; 
I'le slight you with disdain 

if you come near me. 

I know he lov'd me well, 

for when we parted, 
None did in grief excell, — 

both were true-hearted. 
Those promises we made 

ne'r shall be broken ; 
Those words that then he said 

Ne'r shall be spoken. 

He hearing what she said, 

made his love stronger, 
Off his disguise he laid, 

and staid no longer. 
When her dear love she knew, 

in wanton fashion 
Into his arras she flew, — 

such is love's passion ! 


He ask'd her how she lik'd 

his counterfeiting, 
Whether she was well pleas'd 

with such like greeting ? 
You are well vers'd, quoth she, 

in several speeches, 
Could you coyn money so 

you might get riches. 

O happy gale of wind 

that waft thee over, 
May heaven preserve that ship 

that brought my lover. 
Come kiss me now, my sweet, 

true love's no slander ; 
Thou shalt my hero be, 

I thy Leander. 

Dido of Carthage queen 

lov'd stout i^ilneas, 
But my true love is found 

more true then he was. 
Venus ne'r fonder was 

of younger Adonis, 
Then I will be of thee, 

since thy love her own is. 

Then hand in hand they walk, 

with mirth and pleasure, 
They laugh, they kiss, they talk — 

love knows no measure. i 


Now both do sit and sing — 

but she sings clearest ; 
Like nightingale in Spring, 

Welcome my dearest ! 

Finis. Printed for P. B. and E. O., and arc to be sold at their 
shops, in West Smithfield, and on Snow Hill. 


The following well-known song was written by Glover, the author 
of " Leonidas," in the year 1739. The case of Hosier was briefly 
this : — In April 1726 he was sent wdth a strong fleet to the Spanish 
West Indies, to block up the galleons in the ports of that country ; 
but being restricted by his orders from obeying the dictates of his 
courage, he lay inactive on that station, until he became the jest 
of the Spaniards. He afterwards removed to Carthagena, and 
continued cruizing in those seas, till far the greater part of his 
crews perished by the diseases of that unhealthy climate. This 
brave man, seeing his officers and men thus daily swept away, his 
ships exposed to inevitable destruction, and himself made the sport 
of the enemy, is said to have died of a broken heart. — E. F. R. 

Tune, — " Come and listen to my ditty." 

As near Porto -Bello lying 

On the gently-swelling flood, 
At midnight, with streamers flying, 

Our triumphant navy rode ; 
There while Vernon sate all-glorious 

From the Spaniards' late defeat : 
And his crews, with shouts victorious, 

Drank success to England's fleet ; 


On a sudden, shrilly sounding, 

Hideous yells and shrieks were heard; 
T'hen, each heart with fear confounding, 

A sad troop of ghosts appear'd ; 
All in dreary hammocks shrouded. 

Which for winding-sheets they wore. 
And, with looks by sorrow clouded, 

Frowning on that hostile shore. 

On them gleam'd the moon's wan lustre. 

When the shade of Hosier brave 
His pale bands was seen to muster, 

Rising from their wat'ry grave : 
O'er the glimmering wave he hied him. 

Where the Burford rear'd her sail. 
With three thousand ghosts beside him, 

And in groans did Vernon hail. 

Heed, oh ! heed our fatal story ; 

I am Hosier's injur'd ghost ; 
You who now have purchas'd glory 

At this place where I was lost, 
Tho' in Porto-Bello's ruin 

You now triumph, free from fears. 
When you think of my undoing, 

You will mix your joj's with tears. 

See these mournful spectres, sweeping 

Ghastly o'er this hated wave, 
Whose wan cheeks are stain 'd with weeping, 

These were English captains brave : 

I 2 


Mark those numbers, pale and horrid, 
Who were once my sailors bold ; 

Lo ! each hangs his drooping forehead, 
While his dismal tale is told. 

I, by twenty sail attended, 

Did this Spanish town affright, 
Nothing then its wealth defended, 

But my orders, not to fight. 
Oh ! that in this rolling ocean 

I had cast them with disdain. 
And obey'd my heart's warm motion 

To have quell'd the pride of Spain. 

For resistance I could fear none. 

But with twenty ships had done 
What thou, brave and happy Vernon, 

Hast atchiev'd with six alone. 
Then the Bastimentos never 

Had our foul dishonour seen, 
Nor the sea the sad receiver 

Of this gallant train had been. 

Thus, like thee, proud Spain dismaying, 

And her galleons leading home. 
Though, condemn'd for disobeying, 

I had met a traitor's doom ; 
To have fall'n, my country crying 

He has play'd an English part, 
Had been better far than dying 

Of a griev'd and broken heart. 


Unrepining at thy glory. 

Thy successful arms we hail ; 
But remember our sad story, 

And let Hosier's wrongs prevail. 
Sent in this foul clime to languish. 

Think what thousands fell in vain, 
Wasted with disease and anguish, 

Not in glorious battle slain. 

Hence with all my train attending 

From their oozy tombs below, 
Through the hoary foam ascending, 

Here I feed my constant woe : 
Here the Bastimentos viewing. 

We recall our shameful doom, 
And, our plaintive cries renewing, 

Wander through the midnight gloom. 

O'er these waves, for ever mourning, 

Shall we roam, depriv'd of rest. 
If, to Britain's shores returning. 

You neglect my just request : 
After this proud foe subduing, 

When your patriot friends you see. 
Think on vengeance for ray ruin, 

And for England — sham'd in me. 



The following ballad is taken from a small broadside, printed at 
Salisbury. It is stated in the "Suffolk Gailand," 8vo. Ipswich, 
1828, that its author was one John Price, a land-waiter in the port 
of Poole. The taking of Porto IJello from the Spaniards, in 1739, 
appears to have afforded ample scope for the ballad writing gene- 
ration. In the following year was issued from their press a col- 
lection, entitled " Vernon's Glory : containing fifteen new Songs, 
occasioned by the takingof Porto Bello and Fort Chagre." — E.F.R. 

Tune, — "Cease, rude Boreas." 

Hosier! with indignant sorrow 

I have heard thy mournful talo ; 
And, if htaven permit, to-morrow 

Hence our warlike fleet shall sail. 
O'er these hostile waves wide ronming, 

We will urge our bold design ; 
With the blood of thousands foaming, 

For our country's wrongs, and thine. 

On that day, when each brave fellow 

Who now triumphs here with me, 
Storm'd and plunder'd Porto Bello, 

All my thoughts were full of thee. 
Thy disastrous fate alarm'd me; 

Fierce thy image glar'd on high I 
And with gen'rous ardour warm'd me 

To revenge thy fall, or die ! 


From their lofty ships descending. 

Thro' the flood in firm array, 
To the destin'd city bending 

My lov'd sailors vvork'd their way : 
Straight the foe, with horror trembling, 

Quit in haste their batter'd walls; 
And in accents undissembling. 

As he flies, for mercy calls I 

Carthagena, tow'ring wonder ! 

At the daring deed dismay 'd, 
Shall, ere long, by Britain's thunder, 

Smoaking in the dust be laid. 
You, and these pale spectres, sweeping 

Restless o'er this wat'ry round. 
Whose wan cheeks are stain'd with weeping, 

Pleas 'd shall listen to the sound. 

Still rememb'ring thy sad story, 

To thy injur'd Ghost I swear. 
By my future hopes of glory, 

War shall be my constant care ; 
And I ne'er will cease pursuing 

Spain's proud sons, from sea to sea, 
With just vengeance for thy ruin. 

And for England, sham'd in thee I 



The following ballad records a most remarkable instance of des- 
perate courage, which was exerted on December 23rd, 1757, by 
the officers and crew of an English privateer, called the Terrible, 
equipped with twenty-six guns, and manned with two hundred 
men, under the command of Captain William Death. It is sup- 
posed to have been written by one of the surviving crew. — E. F. R. 

TnK muse and the hero together are fir'd, 
TIk" same noble views have their bosoms inspir'd ; 
As freedom thej' love, and for glory contend. 
The muse o'er the hero still mourns as a friend : 
And here let the muse her poor tribute bequeath 
To one British hero, — 'tis brave Captain Death ! 

His ship was the Terrible, — dreadful to see ! 

His crew were as brave and as gallant as he ; 

Two hundred, or more, was their good complement, 

And sure braver fellows to sea never Mcnt : 

Each man was determined to spend his last breath 

In fighting for Britain, and brave Captain Death. 

A prize thej-^ had taken dirainish'd their force, 

And soon the good prize-ship was lost in her course : 

The French privateer and the Terrible met ; — 

The battle begun, — all with horror beset : 

No heart was dismay'd, — each as bold as Macbeth; — 

They fought for Old England, and brave Captain Death. 


Fire, thunder, balls, bullets, were seen, heard and felt; 
A sight that the heart of Bellona would melt ! 
The shrouds were all torn, and the decks fiU'd with blood, 
And scores of dead bodies were thrown in the flood : — 
The flood, from the days of old Noah and Seth, 
Ne'er saw such a man as our brave Captain Death. 

At last the dread bullet came wing'd with his fate, 
Our brave captain dropp'd — and soon after his mate ; — 
Each officer fell, and a carnage was seen, 
That soon dyed the waves to a crimson, from gi'een : 
And Neptune rose up, and he took ofi^ his wreath. 
And gave it a Triton to crown Captain Death. 

Thus fell the strong Terrible, bravely and bold ; 

But sixteen survivors the tale can unfold ; 

The French were the victors — though much to their 

cost, — 
For many brave French were with Englishmen lost. 
And thus says Old Time, From good queen Elizabeth, 
I ne'er saw the fellow of brave Captain Death. 




From a broadside, printed at Salisbury, by Fowler, a noted ballad 
printer of the last century. See p. 38 of the present collection for 
another ballad upon the same subject. Admiral Benhow rose into 
distinction soon after the Revolution, and was rewarded by King 
William with a flag. Some curious particulars respecting him, 
maybe found in a pamphlet, printed in 1702 (the year of his 
deatli), entitled " The Present Condition of the English Navy." 
During the life-time of the admiral, his sister presented his pic- 
ture to the corporation of Shrewsbury, who caused it to be hung 
up in their town-hall, where it still remains, as a testimony of 
the regard his countrymen had for this worthy officer and true 
patriot.— E. F. R. 

Come all you sailors bold, 
Lend an ear, lend an ear, 

Come all you sailors bold, lend an ear 
'Tis of our admiral's fame, 
Brave Benbow called by name. 
How he fought on the main 

You shall hear, you shall hear. 

Brave Benbow he set sail 
For to fight, for to fight. 

Brave Benbow he set sail for to fight : 
Brave Benbow he set sail, 
With a fine and pleasant gale, 
But his captains they turn'd tail 

In a fight, in a fight. 


Says Kirby unto Wade ^ 

I will run, I will run, 
Says Kirby unto Wade I will run : 

I value not disgrace. 

Nor the losing of my place, 

My enemies I'll not face 
With a gun, with a gun. 

'Twas the Ruby and Noah's Ark 

Fought the French, fought the French, 
'Twas the Ruby and Noah's Ark fought the French : 

And there was ten in all, 

Poor souls they fought them all, 

They valued them not at all, 
Nor their noise, nor their noise. 

It was our admiral's lot. 

With a chain-shot, with a chain-shot. 
It was our admiral's lot, with a chain-shot: 

Our admiral lost his legs. 

And to his men he begs, 

Fight on, my brave boys, he says, 
'Tis my lot, 'tis my lot. 

While the surgeon dress'd his wounds, 

Thus he said, thus he said, 
While the surgeon dress'd his wounds, thus he said : 

Let my cradle now in haste, 

On the quarter-deck be placed, 

That my enemies I may face 
Till I'm dead, till I'm dead. 


And there bold Benbow lay 

Crying out, crying out, 
And there bold Benbow lay crying out ; 

Let us tack once more, 

We'll drive them to their own shore, 

I value not half a score, 
Nor their noise, nor their noise. 


The following ballad is taken from " The Garland of Goodwill," 
by Thomas Delone. It has been printed by Percy, from the cele- 
brated folio MS. but with many variations from the present copy. 
The city of Cadiz (corruptly Cales) was taken on June 21, 1596, 
under the command of Lord Howard, admiral, and the Earl of 
Essex, general. The ballad was, no doubt, sung " to the tune of 
the NewTantara," although not so stated in the old copy. — E.F.R. 

Long had the proud Spaniard 

advanced to conquer us, 
Threatening our country 

with fire and sword ; 
Often preparing 

their navy most sumptuous. 
With all the provision 

that Spain could aflFord. 
Dub a-dub, dub, 

tiius strike the drums ; 
Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra, 

English men comes ! 


To the seas presently 

went our Lord Admiral, 
With knights couragious 

and captains full good : 
The Earl of Essex, 

a prosperous general, 
With him prepared 

to pass the salt flood. 
Dub a-dub, dub, 

thus strike the drums : 
Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra, 

English men comes! 

At Plymouth speedily, 

took they ships valiantly ; 
Braver ships never 

were seen under sail ; 
With their fair colours spread, 

and streamers o'er their head, 
Now bragging Spaniards 

take heed of your tail. 
Dub a-dub, &c. 

Unto Cales cunningly, 

came we most happily, 
Where the king's navy 

did securely ride ; 
Bring upon their backs, 

piercing their buts of sack, 
Ere that the Spaniard 

our coming descry 'd. 


Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra, 

English men comes ; 
Bounce a-bounce, bounce a-bouiice, 

off went the guns. 

Great was the crying, 

running and riding, 
Wliicli at that season 

was made at that place ; 
Then beacons were fired, 

as need was required: 
To hide their great treasure 

they had little space, 
As they cryed, 

English men comes ! 

There you might see the ships, 

how they were fired first, 
And how the men drowned 

themselves in the sea ; 
That you might hear them cry, 

wail, and weep piteously, 
When as they saw no shift 

to escape thence away. 
Dub a-dub, &c. 

The great Saint Philip, 
the pride of the Spaniards, 

Was burnt to the bot'.om 
and sunk into the sea ; 


But the Saint Andrew, 

and eke the Saint Matthew, 
We took in fight manfully, 

and brought them away. 
Dub a-dub, &e. 

The Earl of Essex, 

most valiant and hardy, 
With horse-men and feet- men 

raarch'd towards the to\\;n. 
The enemies which saw them, 

full greatly affrighted, 
Did fly for their safeguard, 

and durst not come down. 
Dub a-dub, &c. 

Now, quoth the noble earl, 

courage my soldiers all. 
Fight and be valiant, 

the spoil you shall have; 
And well rewarded all, 

from the great to the small, 
But look to the women 

and children you save. 
Dub a-dub, &c. 

The Spaniards at that sight, 

saw 'twas in vain to fight. 
Hung up their flags of truce, 

yielding up the town. 


We marched in presently, 
decking the walls on high 

With our English colours, 
which purchased renown. 

Dub a-dub, &c. 

Ent'ring the houses then 

of tiie richest men, 
For gold and treasurp 

we searched each day : 
In some places we did fitnl 

pye baking in the oven, 
Meat at the fire roasting, 

and men ran away. 
Dub a-dub, &c. 

Full of rich merchandize 

every shop we did see, 
Damask and sattins 

and velvet full fair ; 
Which soldiers measure out 

by the length of their swords 
Of all commodities, 

and each one hath a share. 
Dub a-dub, &c. 

Thus Cales was taken, 
and our brave general 

March'd to the market-place, 
there he did stand. 


There many prisoners 

of good account were took ; 
Man J' crav'd mercy, 

and mercy they found. 
Dub a-dub, &c. 

When as our general 

saw they delay 'd time, 
And would not ransom 

the town as they said, 
With their fair wainscots, 

their presses and bedsteads, 
Their joint-stools and tables, 

a fire we made. 
And when the town burnt in a flame, 
With tan-ta-ra, tan-ta-ra-rara, 

from thence we came. 



The following ballad is taken from a broadside, printed with the 
music. It is stated to have been written by Mr. Lockman, and 
*' sung by Mr. Atkins, at Sadler's Wells." 

When we, dearest Nell ! shall be parted, 
O think not that ill can betide ; 

'Tis death thus to see thee sad-hearted, 
Tho' I fear not a French broadside. 



We're going to plough the rough ocean, 

In search of a treacherous foe ; 
Resolv'd, when his fleet is in motion, 

To give it a terrible blow. 
With cannon, by fate well directed, 

We'll curb the proud navy of France ; 
Defeat the invasion projected, 

And teach the Mounseers a new dance. 

Near Mile-End, when robbers surrounded, 

This stick, cut from tough British oak. 
Their clubs and their pistols confounded, 

And fell'd two thieves at a stroke. 
This brave oaken trowel so trusty, 

Which could such mean villains withstand, 
W^ill surely deal blows stout and lusty. 

On those who would ravage our land. 
With cannon, &c. 

How blithe lives the bold British sailor I 

Good flip and good punch his delight ; 
He dreads not on board a stern gaoler. 

But sings on from morning till night. 
Whilst Frenchmen in gallies are sighing, 

Condemn'd to the oar and the chain. 
Their officers heed not their crying, 

But lash them the more they complain. 
With cannon, &c. 

But hark ! Stepney bells are a-ringing. 
The sale wafts the sweet music nigher : 


Methinks I to battle am springing, 
Mid thunder and whirlwinds of fire ! 

Ring louder, ye bells ! O I ring louder. 
And victory must be our own ; 

Whilst Frenchmen, exhausting their powder, 
Their signal defeat shall bemoan. 

With cannon, &c. 

One kiss, dearest Nell ! and I leave you ; 

Take care of our Dickey and Nan : 
By Neptune, I'll never deceive you, 

But toast you in every cann. 
When I in my hammock am rolling, 

I'll di'eam of my Nelly, my dove ; 
Abroad, never once go a-strolling, 

But come back quite brimful of love. 
With cannon, &c. 


Written on the naval victory obtained by Sir Edward Hawke, 
Nov. 20, 1759, over the French, oiF Belleisle. From a broadside, 
printed by Fowler, of Salisbury. It will, perhaps, be unneces- 
sary to remind the reader that Admiral Hawke's splendid victorv 
was gained during the raging of a tremendous storm. — E. F. R. 

The wat'ry God, great Neptune, lay. 
In dalliance soft, and amorous play, 
On Araphitrite's breast ; 



When Uproar rear'd its horrid head, 
The Tritons shrunk, tlic Neriads fled, 
And all their fear confess'd. 

Loud thunder shook the vast domain, 
The liquid world was wrapt in flame, 

The god amazed spoke! 
" Ye winds, go forth, and make it known, 
Who dares to shake my coral throne, 

And fill ray realms with smoke!" 

The Winds, obsequious at his word, 
Sprung strongly up, t' obey their lord, 

And saw two fleets a-weigh ; 
The one, victorious Hawke, was thine ; 
The other, Conflans' wretched line, 

In terror and dismay. 

Appal'd, they view Britannia's sons, 
Deal death and slaughter from their guns, 

And strike the deadly blow ! 
Which caus'd ill-fated Gallic slaves 
To find a tomb in briny waves, 

And sink to shades below. 

With speed they fly, and tell their chief, 
That France was ruin'd past relief, 

And Hawke triumphant rode : 
" Hawke I (cry'd the fair) pray who is he 
That dare usurp this pow'r at sea, 

And thus insult a god?" 


The Wincis reply, " In distant lands, 

There reigns a King, who Hawke coiiimands ; 

He scorns all foreign force ; 
And, when his floating castles roll 
From sea to sea, from pole to pole, 

Great Hawke directs their course : 

"Or, when his winged bullets fly. 
To punish fraud and perfidy, 

Or scourge a guilty land, 
Then gallant Hawke, serenely groat, 
Tho' death and horror round him wait, 

Performs his dread command'" 

Neptune with wonder heard the story 
Of George's sway, and Britain's glory, 

Which time shall ne'er subdue; 
Boscawen's deeds, and Saunders' fame, 
Join'd with brave Wolfe's immortal name, 

Then cry'd, " Can this be true ? 

" A King I he sure must be a god ! 
Who has such heroes at his nod, 

To govern earth and sea ! 
I yield my trident and my crown, 
A tribute due to such renown ! 

Great George shall rule for me !" 




NOVEMBER 20, 1759. 


From a broadside, printed by Fowler, of Salisbury. For the loan 
of Fowler's broadsides, reprinted in the present collection, I am 
indebted to the kindness of Mr. F. W. Fairholt.— E. F. R. 

Vat mean you, Shon Englis, to make dis great poder, 
Wit your beef and puthen, your dis, dat, and toder ? 
Pray vat do you mean to hit de French in the teef, 
With your beef and your puthen, your puthen and 

Derry down, &c. 

Vat tho' we've no beef, nor yet puthen to eat ; 
We have de fine frogs, dat be very cood meat ; 
We make de frigasee wit bon soup and sallat, 
Vich very well suits wit de grand Frenchman's pallat. 

You say dat your beef make you no fear de gon ; 
But remember, Shon Englis, we make you to run 
After us at Blenheim, and Malplaquet battle, 
Where de guns dey did roar, and drums dey did rattle. 

But now we must tell you, wit much complaisance. 
We intended to pay you von visit from France ; 
And if Monsieur Hawke would have let us come over. 
In our flat-bottom'd boats we'd have landed at Dover. 


But de De'il pick de Hawke, he wou'd not fly away, 
But in de Brest harbour oblig'd us to stay ; 
Came squinting and peeping, and play'd his mad frolic, 
Vhich gave our poor sailors von fit of de cholic. 

But now we must tell you vat came by and by; 
Our Admiral take out his glass for to 'spy : 
He shouted, Truss up, boys, dere's nothing to fear ; 
Shon Englis be gone, and de coast it be clear. 

Den we sail'd out amain, and thought to do something, 
But de dogs came again, wid balls big as pumkins; 
Did pounce us, and pelt us, and make such a clatter, 
Dat two or three of our ships fell down in the vater. 

Den Monsieur Conflans vas in very great passion, 
And thought he'd do something to honour his nation ; 
He boldly commanded, " Without more delay, 
You dogs lift your heels, and let's all run away." 


[From " Calliope, or the Musical Miscellany," 8vo. Ediiib. 1788,] 

How little do the landmen know 

Of what we sailors feel ; 
When Avaves do mount and winds do blow ; 

But we have hearts of steel. 


No danger can affright us, 

No enemy shall flout ; 
We'll make the Moiisieurs right us, 

So toss the cann about. 

Stick stout to orders, messmates, 

We'll plunder, burn, and sink : 
Then, France, have at your first-rates, 

For Britons never shrink. 
We'll rummage all we fancy ; 

W^e'Il bring them in by scores ; 
And Moll, and Kate, and Nancy, 

Shall roll in Louis d'ors. 

Whilst here at Deal we're lying, 

With our no'ole commodore, 
We'll spend our wages freely, boys, 

And then to sea for more. 
In peace we'll drink and sing, boys. 

In war we'll never fly. 
Here's a health to George our king, boys, 

And the royal family. 


From a curious collection of one hundred songs, with the music, 
entitled " Orpheus Britannicus ;" the whole engraved upon copper, 
with curious head-pieces, by Benjamin Cole. For the transcript 
of this and the following song, I ani indebted to Mr. Joseph 
Warren —E. F. R. 

Can time be spent better than over good wine. 
By a gang of brave lads on a loyal design ? 


We've been serving great George all the day, and 

at night, 
To indulge with a bumper or two is but right. 
Here 's his Majesty's health, and confusion to those 
Who harbour a thought to disturb his repose. 

What are French Gasconades to such fellows as these, 
Whose courage is such they can do as they please, 
Who will speak to Monsieur in such thundering notes. 
That you'll never hear more of their tiat-bottoii! boats ; 
Who start at no danger, who fear no rebuke ! 
So here's to Prince George, and his Highness, the 

Tho' Brittons do each kind of artifice slight, 
Altho' we can't lie, they shall find we can figlit : 
In a very small time, my lads, let us not fear. 
But to give good account of the sneaking Perrier. 
The French are but magpies, their province is talk. 
So we'll take off our glasses to Holbourn and Hawke. 

Bold Frankland and Boscowan, Brett, Vernon, and 

Are terrible names to papistical souls ; 
Let him but appear, and away fly the craft. 
For Frenchmen won't stay to be rak'd fore and aft. 
Here's success to our arras, botli by land and by sea. 
And may England for ever be happy and free. 




[From the same Collection.] 

Now, my boys, the ship floats, 

Let us rattle our throats 
To the praise of our wortliy commander ; 

With hearts, lads, and hands, 

Let us toss off our canns, 
To the success of Prince Edward, 
And to the Prince Edward's success. 

While our ship remains $tout, 

Let us stand the last bout, 
To honour our British commander ; 

Tho' our fleets they may fail. 

Yet we'll boldly assail. 
In the defence of Prince Edward, &c. 

Thus arm'd for the deep, 

Should the French dare to peep 
From their ports, with pride to attack us ; 

Those dastards of France 

Shall be taught a new dance, 
From the revenge of Prince Edward , Sac. 

When our ancestors fought, 
This great lesson was taught, 
" Have your country's glory at heart, boys !" 


May a true martial fire 
Ev'rj' bosom inspire, 
That is engaged in Prince Edward, &c. 

Remember, brave boys, 

That the soul of our joy 
Depend on our courage and duty ; 

May no cowardly name 

With malignity stain 
The noble command of Prince Edward.. &c. 

Should the fates kind decree 

Us success on the sea, 
Under Morecock our valiant commander ; 

In praises we'll sing. 

To heaven's high King, 
Who has preserv'd the Prince Edward, 
Who has the Prince Edward preserv'd. 


"From " Calliope, or the Musical Miscellany," 8vo. Edinb. 1788.] 

Come ou, my brave tars, 

Lets away to the wars. 
To honour and glory advance; 

For now we've beat Spain, 

Let us try this campaign. 
To humble the pride of old Franco, 
My brave boys, &c. 


See William, brave prince, 

A true blue ev'ry inch, 
AVho will honour the illustrious name : 

Ma}^ he conqueror be 

O'er our empire, the sea. 
And transmit British laurels to fame, 
My brave boys, &c. 

There heroes combined, 

When the Dons they could find, 
Vied who should be foremost in battle; : 

By no lee-shore affrighted, 

Altho' they're benighted. 
They made British thunder to rattle, 
Brave boys, &c. 

See Dalrymple, Prevost, 

Gallant Harrington too, 
And Farmer, who gloriously fell; 

With brave Pearson, all knew, 

That the hearts of true blue. 
Once rous'd, not the world could excel, 
My brave boys, &c. 

With such heroes as those, 
Tho' we've numberless foes, 

British valour resplendent shall shine ; 
And we still hope to show 
That their pride will be low 

In eighty, as fam'd fifty-nine, 
My brave boys, &c. 


Then brave boys enter here, 

And partake of our cheer. 
You shall feast and be merry and sing : 

With the grog at our nose, 

Drink success to true blues, 
Huzza ! and say God save the king, 
My brave boys, &c. 


[From "Calliope, or the Musical Miscellany," 8vo. Edinb. 1788.] 

Come, come, my jolly lads, 

The wind's abaft. 
Brisk gales our sails shall crowd ; 
Come bustle, bustle, bustle, boys, 

Haul the boat, 
The boatswain pipes aloud. 

The ship's unmoor'd, 

All hands on board. 
The rising gale 
Fills every sail. 

The ship's well mann'd and stored : 
Then fling the flowing bowl ! 

Fond hopes arise. 

The girl we prize 
Shall bless each jovial soul : 

The cann, boys, bring. 

We'll drink and sing, 
While foaming billows roll. 


Tho' to the Spanish coast 

We're bound to steer, 
We'll still our rights maintain ; 
Then bear a hand, be steady, boys; 

Soon we'll see 
Old England once again. 

From shore to shore, 

While cannons roar, 
Our tars shall show 
The haughty foe 

Britannia rules the main. 
Then fling the, &c. 


[From Burney's Collection of Old Songs, in the British Museum, 
vol. ix. The music is given in the original.] 

Ye hardy sons of honor's land, 

Where Freedom Magna Charta plann'd. 

Ye sov'reigns of the sea; 
On ev'ry shore where salt tides roll, 
From east to west, from pole to pole, 
Fair Conciuest celebrates your name, 
Witness'd aloud by wond'ring Fame, 

When will you be free ? 


Mistake me not, my hearts of oak, 
I scorn with Liberty to joke, 

Ye sov'reigns of the sea ; 
No right I blame, I praise no wrong, 
But sing an independant song ; 
Since ministers must be withstood, 
And patriots are but flesh and blood, 

I dare with both be free. 

While strange told tales from scribbler's pen. 
Disturb the heads of honest men, 

Ye sov'reigns of the sea ; 
The trash of temporising slaves, 
Who earn their daily bread as knaves, 
Heedless which side may rise or fall, 
The ready money that's their all. 

Such fellows can't be free. 

We meet for mirth, we meet to s-ing, 
And jolly join, God save the King, 

Ye sov'reigns of the sea ; 
As honest instinct points the way, 
Our king, our country, we obey; 
Yet pay to neither side our court, 
But liberty in both support. 

As men who should be free. 

Assist, uphold your church and state. 
See great men good, and good men great ; 
Ye sov'reigns of the sea ; 


Shun party, that unwelcome guest, 
No tenant for a Briton's breast, 
Forget, forgive, in faction's spite, 
Awe all abroad, at home unite. 

Then, then, my friends, you're free. 

Ye sov'reigns of wide ocean's waves. 
To heroes long enshrin'd in graves, 

A requiem let us sing ; 
I Alfred, Henry, Edward name ; — 
Then William, our deliverer, came : — 
May future ages Brunswick own 
Perpetual heir to England's throne. 

So here's God save the King I 








dFrom ti)t original ictJition of 1609. 






Cfte ^eitp ^onety* 

J. A. CAHUSAC, Esq. F.S.A. 










E. F. RIMBAULT, Esq. Secretary 



The extraordinary rarity of the black-letter tract 
from which the following reprint has been made, 
was not the principal recommendation of it to 
that distinction. It is a lively, fanciful, minute, 
and amusing picture of manners ; and it includes 
some curious topographical details, chiefly regard- 
ing London and its suburbs. The author sup- 
poses himself and some other disbanded soldiers 
to go in search of Money, personified under the 
figure of " the wandering knight." This quest 
leads them through various parts of the me- 
tropolis and among different classes of society, 
which are described with humour, spirit, and 
fidelity. This circumstance renders the produc- 
tion peculiarly valuable, independently of the fact 
that no copy, excepting that which wo have em- 
ployed, and another formerly in the possession of 
Isaac Reed, appears to exist either in public or 
private libraries. 

Of the author, William Rowley, very little is 

known. He was an actor as well as a dramatic 
poet of .some celebrity, and a list of the plays in 
which he was concerned, either solely or in con- 
junction with others, may be seen in the Bio- 
graphia Draniatica. The Search for Money is 
his only extant production not intended for thea- 
trical representation, if we except an epitaph 
upon Hugh Attwell, a fellow-comedian, who died 
in 1621, which may be found in Collier's History 
of English Dramatic Poetry and the Stage, i. 423. 
We first hear of William Rowley early in the 
reign of James I, as an actor under Philip Hen- 
slowe and Edward Alleyn ; and he was probably 
still living at or near the breaking out of the Civil 
Wars. Whether he were any and what relation 
to Samuel Rowley, a contemporary dramatist, is 
uncertain, but at one time they belonged to the 
same company of performers — that of the Prince 
of Wales. 

The succeeding pamphlet, it will be observed, 
is dedicated to Thomas Hobbs, who is not, of 
course, to be confounded with " the philosopher 
of Malmesbury." An actor of the name of 
Thomas Hobbs was a member of the theatrical 
association to which William Rowley was at- 
tached, and no doubt it is he who is addressed as 
his "entire and dear-esteemed friend." In 1629, 
Thomas Hobbs had become one of the King's 

Players, and he continued so in 1636. After this 
date we have no tiding-s regarding him. 

The epistle " to all those that lack money," 
which follows the dedication, contains several 
remarkable allusions — one of them to Kemp's 
(the actor) Morris-dance from London to Nor- 
wich : the Rev. A. Dyce quoted it, from the 
copy of the tract we have used on the present 
occasion, for his reprint of Kemp's Nine Days' 
Wonder^ under the auspices of the Camden So- 
ciety. He very carefully and curiously illustrated 
the relic in his introduction and notes, but he 
omitted one important reference, which is to be 
found in " Ajtcs, or Phantasticke Sprites for 
three Voices, made and newly published by Tho- 
mas Weelkes, Gentleman of his Majestie's Chap- 
pell, Batchelar of Musicke," &c. 4to. 1608. It 
shews that Kemp afterwards made a similar ex- 
pedition into France, and runs as follows : — 

" Since Robin Hood, maid Marian, 
And little John are gone a, 
The hobby-horse was quite forgot, 

When Kempe did dance alone a. 
He did labour after the tabor 
I'or to dance : then into France 
He took i^ains 

To skip it. 
In hopes of gains 
He will trip it 
On the toe," &c. 


" Of Kemp's enterprise to dance a Morris into 
France we hear only upon this authority. The 
last part of the above quotation would prove that 
Kemp was still living when it was written. 

Of " the travel to Rome with the return in 
certain days," of " the fellow's going Imckward 
to Berwick," and of " another hopping from 
York to London," nothing is now known ; but 
" the transforming of the top of Paul's into a 
stable," alludes to the exploit of Banks, men- 
tioned by many v^Titers, when he led his horse, 
Marocco, to the top of St. Paul's church. Banks 
and his horse were of sufficient celebrity to be 
introduced by Sir Walter Raleigh into his His- 
tory/ of the World (book i. ch. 2, § 6), where he 
prognosticates the fate that afterwards befel them. 
Banks travelled to Rome in order to exhibit the 
almost preternatural abilities of his beast, and 
there, according to the evidence of the author of 
Don Zara del Fogo, p. 11 4-, both were burned for 
witchcraft. This work was printed in 1656, but 
it is believed to have been written many years 
earlier. It has hitherto been supposed that 
Banks and Marocco were burned at Lisbon. 


Search for Money. 

The lamentable complaint for the 

lofle of the wandring Knight, 
Mounsieur f Argent. 

Come along with me, I know 

thou louest Money. 

Dedicated to all those that 
lack Money. 

Frange nucis tegmen, fi cupis effe nucem. 
By William Uovvley. 

Imprinted at London for loseph Hunt, and are 

to be solde at Newgate Market, neerc 
Christ Church gate. 





It is but a toy (deare friend) that I present you 
with, but if you accept it not, I shall lay the 
proverbe to your charge, (qui parmmi contemnit^ 
indignus est magno) hee that refuseth a little 
kindnesse is unworthy of a greater ; but I ques- 
tion it not, nor would I have you over affect it 
for the title sake, for that it is a Searcher of 
Money : perhaps you would have beene willingly 
one of this inquisition, but you shall not neede ; 
onely over-view this, and take my opinion where 
he is, and that is where, I trust, you shall never 
goe to seeke him. I would define to you these 
two prepositions, o/and in: that you are in the 
world (though you must out of it) 'tis certeine ; 
but be not of the world, (though you beare earth 

about yee,) for then you ara a wordling, and 

have affinitie with Money ^ whose best part is but 

earth, whose (too much worshipt) greatnesse, in 

my judgment, is but as a bare-legd passage through 

many acres of briers, for a handfull of rushes on 

the other side, (being found, not worth half the 

toile) ; but use his companie as I do, and that\s as 

I weare my gloves, some-time on, some-time of, 

and many times leese them quite : take this to 

refuse it. The next search I make (God willing) 

shall bee for wisdome, and then, if you will 

go along with me, weele pace together : 

till then, farewell. 


William Rowley. 


Gentlemen, for so muck you may he that icant 
money, and more they cannot bee that have if, (bee 
that your comfort,) yee are indeed the onlie Mcece- 
nasses and patrons of poesie, for to your iceake 
purses there are alivaies joyned willing hearts, and 
(if not deedes) at the least, good wordes, (similis 
simili guadet) I joye (most respected benefactors) 
in your felloirshippe. From me yee are like to 
receive nothing but good words : tcill yee now nnder- 
taJce an equall travell with me (I know not yet 
wh ither) and let tlie destinies (if they will) reward 
oiir paines ? / hioio the walkes in Paules are stale 
to yee ; yee coidd tell extemporally , I am sure, how 
many paces fwere betweene the quire and the West 
dore, or (like a Suffolke man) answere at the second 
question dead sure : there hath beene many of yee 
seene measuring the longitude and latitude of More- 
fields any time this two yeares and upwards, (all 
but in the hard season of the great frost) and then 
yee slid away the time upon the Thames. Yee have 
been either eare-or-eye-witnesses, or both, to many 
madde voiages made of late yeares, both by sea and 


land — as the travell to Rome with the return in cer- 
tain daies, the wild morrise to Norrige, the feUowes 
going hach-rrard to Barwick.^ another hopping from 
YorTce to London^ and the transforming of the top of 
Paules into a stable. To these, and many more, ad 
one more : what oddes with him now that will bring 
yee to the place tchere your lost and long vnsht 
friend Mounsier Money is within two houres ? me 
thinkes yee smile now ; hut you would laugh if it 
were so indeede. You thinke it not possible now, 
you having searcht so diligentlie and are yet icithont 
him ; but pluck up a good hart : hire hut this 
hackney, and (vita pro vita) hee will bring yee to 
the place for the prise of a peck of oates. "'TIS no 
great charge : along with him, but pace him not too 
fast for feare of stumbling. If ye? dislike this 
voiage, returne to my stable againe ; if I horse yee 
not for better profit, turne from a Gentile to a Jew 
and spit at me. There has heene time and labor 
(a little of both) to bring him to this 
small groweth. 

Vale : frustra nihil. 

Your joy nt friend in 


William Rowley. 


Come, my maisters, all you that will bee of this privie 
search to finde this wandring knight, (Monsieur Money) 
lay by your armes, and take your legges and follow me. 
Nay, stay, stay ; come not so fast: I call not all those 
that would find him, (there would be left then scarce so 
many behinde as there was undrown'd at the deluge) 
but some of those as are fittest and most at leisure to 
search, as some score of idle souldiers : these are men 
that are experienc'fc to walke the round, for walke yee 
must resolve ere yee finde him : he shifts his lodging so 
oft, or else he lyes so obscure, he wil hardly be spoke 
with. Wei, I doubt not but yee will be painfull in the 
quest, onely your censures which way first to begin as 
the likelyest to finde the nearest way (being the very 
nominative case first to finde the construction), and 
then have with yee. Lets first question his descent. Is 
it from earth (of our owne kindred) ? I would he were 
not so neere to us in kindred, then sure he would be 
neerer in kindnesse, and then we must conclude (com- 
ming from earth) that thither he must returne, and 
therefore is now on earth. There may a doubt arise 
from hence, too ; for being here canonized, nay deified 


and made a God, (for thciein wo must needs confesse 
our impure idolatry) it may be he has tane his glorious 
Hight to heaven already. That cannot bee neither: 
sure, Peter has bard the gates against him, for he that 
would not sell heaven to Monie on earth, 'tis most likely 
he will not sell heaven, now once possest of it. Think 
ye then he hangs (like a dejected spirit) in the ayre ? 
no, hee is too massie ; or if he were, we have Danaes 
inough to bring him showring dovvne. In the fire 
thinke yee? neither; I know them that have run through 
fire and water too, and yet have not found him : the sea 
is lunatique too, and mad folkes keepe no money ; he 
would sinke if he were there. Is he damned by the 
curses of the poore, and so gone to hell ? if hee bee, 
weele rake hell but weele finde him : no, the Divell 
builds (they say) to enlarge his kingdome. and builders 
commonly are '.vithout money. Well then, ne must 
return to our first proposition, that hee bides in his 
first element, that's eai'th : conclude there to search for 
him then ; set up the staffo which way to begin, and 
convenimus omnes. 'Tis falne to the cittie : a hopefull 
way at first. Enter the gates before there be any oppo- 
sition. Have with yee. 

Let us be carefull in our inquisition : omit no (halfe 
suspected) place ; therefore let us enquire at the tailors 
shop (for that stood next the gate) if the beloved 
Mounsieur Money had not there taken up his lodging? 
the braverie of the time makes a suspect, therefore 
enquire of him. The motion was no sooner made to 
two or three crosse-legd jorneyman, but they swore by 


the bread they then eate (and they seemed to relish 
their oathes with a good stomacke too) that there hee 
was not. There he should have beene indeed, and 
many bills of authoritie they had sent foorth to fetch 
him, but come hee would not, nor could they tell where 
he lay. Well, on we goe. The next enquirie we made 
at a painted lattice, having (as we supposd) some hope 
there to finde him ; but alas, nihil ad propositum, as wee 
found the sequell. We boldly (and officers like) enterd 
the house, where we spyed a more lamentable spectacle 
then Araintas mourning for his Phillis : an olde woman 
(being the sicke minded hostess) dejected and throwne 
into such a perplexitie, as you would have thought her 
owne traiterous sighes would have blowne her up ; her 
hand (like a despairing lover) boulstering her cheeke, 
yet with a faint intergatorie, she askt us what wee 
lackt? we tolde her Money. Shee, something gather- 
ing her womanish spirits about her, told us hastily that 
she had paid her brewer a month agoe, and that we did 
her wrong to demand it. But upon our further and 
well considerd replye, shee was satisfied that we came 
about no such matter, onely to know if such a traveller 
lay in her house ? Then with a sorrowfull shaking of 
her head, her griefe was redoubled: Oh no, oh no, oh 
no, thrise, as if shee would have conjured him thither 
presently, and began to plant her face for a most pas- 
sionate reply. You see this roome here ; I have others 
well and thriftily furnished with houshold-stufFe, but in 
this is containd my whole substance, which, ere we goe 
any further, you shall heare describ'd. 


The battlements, which had been white and innocent, 
were now sullied with uncapable caracters of (as I may 
so terme it) candle-graphie: all the sides, both walles and 
posts, showed like a firinaruent without a sunne, all full 
of pale and sickly prodegies, which shee, with a heart as 
colde as iEneas recounting the tale of Troy, in this man- 
ner unfolded to us: — These longer sort (quoth she) which 
stood like white streamers, are the least harmfuU por- 
traiting, (as it were) but even penny-worths of mishaps: 
these other derai-lunes or halfe moones, and with that 
she vented another volley of sighes, which are thrise 
double the mischiefe of the rest; but these round ones 
(quoth shee) like full moones, (and indeed, not alto- 
gether uneffectual) for then 'twas full sea, and the 
water, stretcht a little beyond her bounds. From forth 
the hollow caves of her eyes issued fountaines, which 
walking downe the furrowed pathes of her face, and ven- 
terouslie meaning (as it were) to passe the gulfe of her 
mouth in quietnesse, bound her tongue for a certaine 
space to peace, which afterward being releast, shee 
went forwarde to tell us a strange metamorphosis, and 
one indeede that Ovid had quite forgotten ; — how that 
all her ale was transform'd into those fatall meteors 
which was indeede ehalke : 'twas strange, but not so 
strange as true. Money, sayes shee, was either fledde 
or a sleepe, for he was not stirring. Shee added, with- 
all, the report of her better fortunes ; how shee had a 
swifter and more profitable mutation of her ale in 
former time, how that first her ale was ale, and then it 
was langtoe, and then it was ale againe. Wee were 


presently (at the hearing of this) importunate, to have 
the morral of this misterie, what this langtoe was ? 
Faith saith shee, the English phrase is a little too broad, 
and comparisons are odious, else I would tell you by the 
way of comparison ; but (a little corrupting the word) 
shee would tell us by a simile ; for even as the salt- 
sea-water being taken out of the sea and purg'd in the 
clouds and ayre, yet at length returnes to sea againe, 
and becomes perfect sea-water againe ; so ale, though 
kept awhile in the clouds of the body, yet may againe 
perfectly and providently returne to the fatte, and so 
re-returne to the body, as yee may observe in the 
course of things, how grasse turnes to hay, and the 
seedes of haye make grasse againe. At this wee were 
all rewmatique, and spit at the apprehension of it, 
concluded and tolde her plainly, that we could not 
pittie her, for we did imagine she had poison'd her 
guests, and they in due revenge had chokt her. Sed 
quid hoc ad nos P what's this to our purpose ? this is 
the generall folly of the time, when we are once got 
into an ale-house, we never finde the way out againe : 
but on, on ! 

What if we enquir'd at the shoo- makers over the 
way? wee did, but in vaine : the maister himselfe was 
not within, and all the rest lay sicke of Mercuries boone, 
(cruell Mercuric, to deale so with good fellowes,) yet 
they were labouring their hides, and singing like carelesse 
travellers coram latrone. As wee were but asking the 
question, steps mee from over the way (overlistningus)a 
news-search^:r, viz., a barbar : he, hoping to attaine some 


discourse for his next patient, left his banner of basons 
swinging in the ayre, and closely eave-drops our confe- 
rence. The saucie treble-tongu'd knave would insert 
some-what of his knowledge: (treble-tongu'd I call him, 
and thus I prove 't: hee has a reasonable mother-tongue, 
his barber-surgions tongue, and a tongue betweene two 
of his fingers, and from thence proceeds his wit, and 
tis a snapping wit too.) Well sir, he (before he was 
askt the question) told us that the wandring knight 
sure was notfarre off; for on Saterday-night he was 
faine to watch till morning to trim some of his fol- 
lowers, and its morning they went away from him 
betimes. Hee swore hee never clos'd his eyes till hee 
came to church, and then he slept all sermon-time; 
but certainly hee is not farre afore, and at yonder 
taverne (showing us the bush) I doe imagine he has 
tane a chamber. 

We went somewhat hopefull now, having so faire a 
likelihood. Thither wee came, whereat the entrie wee 
heare a confused noise, (like a blacke sanctus, or a house 
haunted with spirits), such hollowing, shouting, dauncing, 
and clinking of pots, thatsure now wee suppos'd wee had 
found, lor all this revelling could not be without Moun- 
sieur Mony had beene on of the crew. We had the salute 
(of Welcome gentlemen) presently: Wilt please ye see a 
chamber? it was our pleasure (as we answered the apron- 
man) to see, or be very neare the roome where all that 
noise was. We were admitted, and usherd presently into 
a neighbor chamber, where, by the joynt observance 
both of our eyes and eares, wee might be aquainted who 


they were, whom when we had well overviewed : wee 
might truely perceive there was no such man there as 
Mounsieur Mony ; and that you may the better beleeve 
us, weele describe the assembly. There was (to begin 
with the worthiest) two or three of our own faculty 
and familiar aquaintance, swaggering souldiers : a 
paire (amongst many) of thred-bare poets, men that 
want mony more then wit : four or five flag-falne plaiers, 
poore harmlesse merrie knaves, that were now neither 
lords nor ladies, but honestly wore their owne clothes 
(if they were paid for) : amongst these were two or 
three gun-makers, and they lookt like an almanack 
dated in eighty- eight ; and toward the lower end of the 
table, which indeed we could well distinguish by 
neither bread nor salt, for there was neither, except 
two or three small biskets, which (I dare say) nere a 
souldier there durst venter to breake ; but by the con- 
dition of the men we gest it so, (vTho Mere indeed a 
noise of musitions) those that I have scene at the 
tables side (for manners sake) scraping manibiis pedi- 
busqiie, yet now admitted a place at table. And good 
reason too at this time, (as you shall understand) the 
reckoning was cald for, and within a while brought in. 
A mist then (with two pipes of tobacco) was cast 
before our eyes, but we perceived how it went : sixe 
shillinges dropt from the consort at lower end, which, 
God wot, they had that morning scrapt out at an em- 
bassadors window. Little els was visible, onelie some 
of them whispered the drawer in the eare (but hung 
neere a Jewell in it) : he shooke his head and went 


away, three paries discontent yet faintlie j)ronounst, 
Yee are welconae, gentlemen. Upon this the companie 

Wee thought wee had staied too long, for wee might 
sweare he that we sought for was not there. We sent 
one backe to the barbar to tell him he was an asse to 
gesse so like a foole, and on we travaile. We had not 
measured three cinque-paces, but we met with one 
that came a far greater pace towards us, and had now 
reacht us — a gallant (as we tearme them) who (as we 
afterwards understood) had narrowlie escaped the 
hands of a shoulderclapper. We spur'd our question to 
him, who pantingly, yet out of breath, swore, as God 
judge him, he had not seene him this fort-night, but 
seeke him and finde him hee must, or it would goe 
worse with him. We requested his company : he 
told us that way wee went he durst not returne, nor 
did he tliinke hee lay that way, for the last time he 
parted and shooke hands with him was in the suburbes, 
and if thither we would walke with him, he would 
bring us to the house where he left him. We, loath 
to leese any hope, agreed, and went with him. He 
brought us to a house where at the very entrance I did 
distrust we were yet mistaken : there was but three 
roomes, one crowning still the toppe of the other, and 
little bigger then so many of Diogenes his tubs, where 
two could scarcely be at once, but one must be on the 
top of the other. Otlier countries (for they are com- 
mon in all countries) call these mansions bordelloes, 
or brothells ; but in our familliar phrase it is commonly 


called a house of iniquity, or some-time a subaudi 
donms. Our conductor was but setting his foote over 
the threshold, but he was repulst by head and shoulders 
by an old Laplander and her mate, with a face like a 
leane tripe unwasht; but behinde her stood trembling 
two or three of Venus her nimphes, very prompt and 
serviceable, Avhich the beldams stood garding like 
the fire-spitting bulles that garded the Colchos fleece, 
bellowing, roring and railing against our leader, that 
hee had carried her best retainer, nay, her verie main- 
tainer from her house, (Mounsieur Money) and unlesse 
hee went and brought him along with him, hee should 
have no entrance there ; and so doing, hee should be 
as welcome as ever he was. Hee swore, as before hee 
had done, that there he left him, and saw him not 
since : she vied and revied othes to the contrary that 
it was not so. 

This matter could not be decided, till one of our 
company (having before been familliar with one of the 
nimphes) had privately enquired if hee were there 
or no ? She had swore to him that hee had not beene 
there since the tearme, and then that gentleman had 
left him there. Marry, it was more then her old 
patronesse knew of: shee kept him obscurely a while, 
but not long, and from thence hee went to the doctors, 
where shee thought hee yet was. Wee, considering 
the circumstance, thought it not unlikely, and went to 
pursue him this way. This was a good sent, and we 
were loath to loose it. Well, towards the mountebank 
doctor wee go, and at length there we arrive, where 


we finde him turning over his stale bookes, and poring 
in his prospective, some-times graveld in the gravell, 
some-time sweating and chafing to find whether 'twere 
a burning feaver or no. Him at his convenient leisure 
we greeted, who very reverent and courteously re- 
saluted us, thinking by our meagre lookes we had beene 
some patients; but, alas, our disease was such as he 
had no phisique to cure. We propounded our former 
inquisition to know if such a gentleman lay not in his 
house ? he presently tied his reverence to an oth that 
there he was not: hee had deserv'd (hee sayd) to have 
his companie, but could not obtaine it, and for his un- 
kindnesse he wisht the pox or some other villanous 
disease would catch him, and then hee should bee sure 
of his company for a month or so (if not longer) till he 
were recovered againe. Well, (after the ceremony of 
departing) wee had our answere, and away wee went. 
Wee had no sooner descended the staires, but at the 
doore, wee examined a paire of porters, (men of great 
carriage) yet having no such burdens lying on their 
necks they both answered {una voce) that they were 
now come out of the city, and had bin there to seeke him, 
but could not finde him ; nor did they thinke that hee 
was there, but rather that hee was ridde into the 
countrie this hard yeare to buy wheate, and meant to 
tnrne farmer. 

This replie did on the suddaine astonish us which 
M'ay to turne, but beeing now in the cittie, we con- 
eluded {sit fas ant nefas) to end our enquirie there, 
ere wee past it ; and at the instant (as wee were againe 


entring) we spied a streete on the left hand (the verie 
hand that hell standes on,) all adorned like a most 
famous infamous wardrope, for there were executed 
and hung (some by the necke, some by the heeles) 
many innocent garments, whose first owners themselves 
were hung (most of them) on the other side of the 
citty ; and now the garments (for their maisters crime) 
suffered the second place of paine, and were there 
tortur'd to bee purged in the ayre of some infections 
that yet either run or crept upon them. 

We did immagine that our lost Mounsier had been 
there at the receit thereof, but sure he would not lodge 
nor abide amongst such a tribe of Jewish brokers ; yet 
having opportunity to aske, for then met us one that had 
newly ransomed a long executed sute, and had of 
purpose chose it to see if it could conduct him the 
same way the former owner was gone, (for indeed he 
meant to weare it to the proofe,) of him we askt who 
might bee the patron and furnisher of this large 
wardrope ? he answered us that the furnisher of that 
place was as mad a hangman as any was about the 
towne ; nay, there was none like him. His name was 
Don Carnifexius Crackonecko Dericko, a rare fellow, 
(for there was none such) and it was doubtful! whether 
he were a magician or no, for he used to ride in the 
ayre of Pacolets v, oodeu horse. Marrie, he was a clowne 
in one thing, he never ridde with bridle, but a base 
halter alwaies, and that was but to shew hee could 
raine his mare without a bit : and a mare it was by 
approbation, for shee cast many colts, and that was 

If) A SKAkril |.-()|< MONEY' 

vvitli his unmercifull backing of her so iieere her 
teeming time. Nay, (saies hee) hee is a very Alex- 
ander, for none but himselfe dares mount his Buce- 
phalus, but is in daunger of death ere hee comes to the 
ground ; nay, his owne servant (by credible report) 
that had well broke and often managed her, for offering 
to gett uppe the wrong way was throwne and broke 
his neck. 

This merry description made us leese a little time, 
yet now wee were sated with this, (having other 
businesse in hand) therefore we (sorae-what unman- 
nerly) tooke his tale out of his mouth, and desired him 
(for hasts sake) to tell us if such a lost gentleman as 
wee sought might not bee found in that lane, [nodum 
in scirpo querimus). Hee durst sweare, and did 
sweare without any further premeditation, that there 
hee could not possibly bee, for all that pendant trea- 
sury' that wee saw, were but baites [to] allure him 
thither, yet all and more not sufficient to bring him. 
Therefore returne if yee be wise, you fall into the 
ditch els, and enter the cittie againe, for if there hee 
be not, he is a verie extravagant, and has no abiding. 

This counsell wee once againe accepted, and againe 
we enter the gates, where we found much serviceable 
industry to intise the gentleman to this house and that 
house, and indeede to everie house, but (that wee 
could perceive) he entered into no house. The scri- 
veners had drawne and hanged out very faire bonds 
and indentures to lap him in, but we were very 
doubtfull he would not be bound prentise (at these 


yeares) to them or any one : the milliners threw out 
perfumes to catch him by the nose, and so (like a 
beare) to lead him to the stake, sweete gloves to fit his 
hand of what size soever, but they could not come to 
take him by the handes : the drapers wondered that 
having kept so many men before times, (and beeiug so 
well able to keepe them too) that hee bought no new 
liveries ; therefore they could not imagine, but that hee 
had beene at dice and lost his revenewes, so broke and 
was faine to live retired with himselfe and his page a 
while, which was in our opinions a likely conjecture, 
being himselfe so great a personage. Well, this ob- 
scure place must we finde or els we returne (sine 
frnctibus laborum) and openlie hee cannot bee, unlesse 
hee stop his eares and will not, but hee must needs 
heare proclamations for himselfe, as costermongers cry 
out for him, oifering him good holsome windebreaking 
pippins, russetings, apple-Johns, and divers sorts, al 
which tempt him not; but could they bring along Eve 
with the interdicted apple of damnation, it would 
sooner be received at his adored hands. In like manner 
cry out your fish-wives, oister-wives,. oringes, lemmans, 
but none can penetrate his obdurate eares : so generall 
is the cry, and indeed lamentation, to finde out this 
concealed Mounsieur, as if Troy were now in her 
present destruction ; yet must not wee (vvith the 
Greekes) lay a straw there and go no further, but 
[usque ( d inferos) till we finde him. 

Upon the necke of this meditation wee fell upon a 
yet more hopefull accident. Wee approached a post- 



garded dore beset round with many petitionary attend- 
ants, that waited the turning of the key that yet stood 
the wrong way, and was indeed the mansion or rather 
kennell of a most dogged usurer, (so much wee gest) 
and so it fell out, for those attendants, (with whom wee 
joyned our obedient service) in the interrim while the 
lockes were set at libertie, told us wee had happened 
right if wee sought such a gentleman, for sure there 
hee was by great presumptions, or els hee had no beeing. 
Marrie, whether hee would be spoake withall or no, that 
they could not tell, for (quoth one) the raaister of the 
house is a man that loves that Mounsieur (you enquire 
for) more then any man I know. Nay, to say the 
truth, better then his child, his owne life ; nay, (I 
should not lie to say) better then his soule, (if he have 
any) and great reason therfore he should be where 
he is so well beloved. Marrie, there is great doubt 
of his concealing, for hee cannot abide him out of 
his sight, unlesse perhaps some of his great friends 
(and great they must bee, howsoever friends) chance to 
request his company for a time to take viewe and pos- 
session of a purchase, or to the erecting of some new 
edifice, and then are they on the other part bound in 
worse bondes and manacles then the Turkes galli- 
slaves to bring him in at such a day, or they fall into 
the devouring mercilesse jawes of prison, where no 
man but Mounsieur INIoney can redeeme them, and 
hee then will not come at them. 

This description of him scarce finisht, but wee were 
even readie to have eye-proofe of what wee had heard. 


We might now heare the tonguelesse staires tell us (by 
force of an oppressive footing), that there was some- 
bodie descending, which was better verified by a rew- 
matique disposition of the descender, for (with small 
interims) now and then we might hear on hawking 
and vomiting the best part of his corruption, that was his 
fleame ; for there was no part of him lesse harming 
(yet that noisom eynough). Anon his gouty footman- 
ship had reacht the dore, where after the quest of, who 
was there, and our most humble answere, the locks 
and bolts were set at liberty, and so much of the 
dore was opened as we see the compasse of a baker's 
purgatory or pillory, for even so showed his head forth 
the dores ; but as ill a head in forme (and worse in 
condition) then ever held a spout of lead in his mouth 
at the corner of a church : an old moth-eaten cap 
buttoned under his chinne, his visage (or vizard) like 
the artificiail Jewe of Maltae's nose, the wormes, fearing 
his bodie would have gone along with his soule, came 
to take, and indeed had taken possession, where they 
peept out still at certaine loope holes to see who came 
neere their habitation ; upon which nose, two casements 
were built, through which his eyes had a little ken of 
us. The fore part of his doublet was greasie sattin, 
stil to put him in minde of his patron Satan, the back 
part eight penny canvas, a thing (worse than compari- 
son) that loves not halfe himselfe : his heart made of 
the palmes of foure felt makers hands ; his soule not so 
bigge as an attome, and that's lung-growne to his 
conscience, which conscience is the true forme of a 



hedge-hog that gards herself round with sharpe prickles, 
that who so touches is in danger to bleed for it: his 
Industrie is to maintaine his scalpe in a warme cap, his 
stinking feete in socks, his nose in sacke, his guts in 
capons, and his braines in mischiefe. 

To this lumpe of iniquity, this living carrion, this 
house-kept fox that's only preserved to stinke (and the 
headach, which hee was not good for) wee (to show our 
humillitie) bent ith' hamraes, and gave him the worshipp- 
fuU salute : he receiv'd it, and grumblingly proceeded to 
know what wee would with him ? wee, with a little smooth 
preface, as being afraide at first to fright him with our em- 
bassage, tolde him wee were men that had undertaken a 
voyage, which, if wee return'd with the performance, 
would trebble a wealthy estate for us all ; and on the 
contrary, if wee fail'd in the enterprise, we were undone, 
to give the banckrout's phrase (and the most common 
forme of a tapsters head) broke, or like the olde gunne- 
powder-house blowne up. All this appear'd to him (as 
it was indeed) circumstance; therefore hee desired to 
goe a nearer way to it, and show the very subject of 
the matter. Faith, wee told him that we sought a wan- 
dring conceald traveller, and that wee had receiv'd cer- 
taine notice that he had taken up his lodging at his 
house. This was pitch throwne upon burning toe, and 
oyle upon that to quench it withall : that face tliat was 
wilde-fire before, was now hell-fire, raging and boyling 
as if the poore harmlesse wormes should then have suf- 
fered torment : some flew out with feare, others were 
murthred even in their cabbins, that the blood ranne 


about his guiltie nose with the very sudtlaine screwing 
of his face ; yet after coller had procured a foaming 
vent, he randed out these sentences — Money ? ven- 
geance and hell so soone as Money I he will not bide 
with raee ; he answers not my love with his company : 
he has promis'd me increase, but hee returnes not him- 
selfe. I have partchraent indeed, which is rotten 
sheepe-skinnes, I have inke which is gall to me, I have 
paper which is rags and trash, I have waxe, but no 
honnie, no money, no money, no honney I I let him 
forth a galley-slave to banckrouts, and now hee's sold 
to the Turke or the Divell. I would I were with 
him, wher-ever : I could hang my selfe to learne witte. 
Had not he wit, thinke yee, that govern'd forty madde 
folkes ? and he hangd himselfe. Why should not I ? 
and you come, to keepe my torment in action, to en- 
quire for him. I have bills, and bonds, and scroules, 
and waxe, but no honnie, no honnie, no monie, no 
money ! With that in a great rage hee clapt to the 
doores, charg'd the locks to keepe the doores, and went 
up the staires (I hope) to hang himselfe. 

This was cold comfort still : wee were now no neerer 
then when we first set forward ; all that we knew 
by what was past was that wee knew many places 
where he was not : many places wee seeke, but that 
place was (as report sayes) the enchanted Hand : when 
wee suppose wee are neare, it is still further off, that 
now wee feared it would be Terra Incognita. 
Tand moles erant Roraanam condere gentem. 

Yet at length it was built, and why should we doubt 


then but at lengtli to accomplish our undertaken taske ? if 
the Libian club-man had receiv'd (by his envious step- 
mother) this, as his first labour (and tiie age in joj-nt 
correspondencie Avith this,) he had never liv'd to num- 
ber sucii a jurie of his wonders. Well then, let fame 
pricke us on, that if we pursue and bring to good passe 
this labour, it shall live upon our tonibes (so that wee 
bury no treasure with us, and therefore be digg'd up 
againe) while the brasse and stones can agree together. 
We had now shifted our ground, and were come to 
the Rialto, where wee hears round about us the confu- 
sion of another Babell, ( for languages, I meane, not for 
presumption) : at this place often arrives the newes 
from many lands, amongst the which might be (as wee 
hop'd) some tidings of our lost traveller. Faith, wee 
by helpe of action and interpretation had quickly made 
our inquisition knowne amongst them all ; but straight, 
like honest men all agreeing in one tale, they returnd 
this reply, that they had received no newes from any 
countrey of such a traveller; more-over, added that all 
their meeting and discourse was but to seeks and bring 
home the man we mist, to further which they had sent 
ships out to sea, that if thsy scap't the pirates, rocks, 
flats, and other sea dangers, would no doubt in time 
happily arrive in our coast. They confirm'd by another 
reason, which indeed sounded more credibly then the 
former : marry, it was tolde in private, and therefore I 
am loth to be found a blab of my tongue. They laide 
some, I, a great deale of blame on their wives, but (for 
quietnesse sake) I would not have them know so much: 


they told us, that they themselves had often brought 
many of JMounsieur Moneys followers home to their 
houses with great hope (in the end) to attaine the com- 
panie of his compleate selfe, but their wives (came he 
never so privately) would finde him out, and then (dis- 
daining any such inmates to lodge in their houses) sent 
him out of doores ; and whether they went to conjurers 
to performe it or no, they knew not, but straight he was 
transforra'd into chaines, jewels, bracelets, tyres, ruffes 
of the fashion, which still were no longer liv'd then a 
wonder, nine days : then it was stale, and they must 
have a new, and (for firms approbation of what wee say) 
looke but on our wives, and you will say we have 
tolde the truth, and w^e (to please them, and seeme gra- 
tious in their eyes) must follow the fashion too. I know 
not by what clause in lawe it is remoov'd, but the bur- 
then that lay upon their bumms is now pla'st on our 
shoulders : wee have verdingales to beare up our bands, 
as they had to support their loose britches. 

This we deliver to yee in private, and you may use 
herein a friendly concealment: we promist what wee 
have not now perform'd; so did we as long as wee 
could, and that's as much as any man or woman can 
doe. This was our answer, and wee were bound to 
beleeve it. Well, then wee change our walke, and 
from the Change we goe, where we had no sooner 
regreeted the streetes, but we might behold a comely 
troope of white headed senators, (such as sometime 
adorn'd Romes Capitoll, when she swayed the world 
in a single monarchy,) such as were habited to custome 
and comlinesse, not to fancie and immitation, by whose 

24 A si;akcii j'ok mcjne^'. 

grave advise this cittio did support her name, which 
else would quickly have turn'd into a wildernesse, like 
flowers growing in the unbarbed field for want of due 
polisliing tiirne wilde anl loose their sweetnesse. These 
gardners, or guardians, of this tlieir little viceroyship, 
were now approached us, wlioin (with a halfe amaz'd 
hiimilitie) we .saluted, and reniembring the proverbe 
(spare to speake, and spare to speed) went forward to 
tliis milde inquisition. 

Reverend, honorable, and worthy gentlemen, we are 
poore petitioners to your patience, both for audience 
and answer of one singular demand : {verbnm mollc 
frangit iram,) though they might have punisht our 
presumption, yet they give us leave to proceed, to 
whom relating our aforesaid tasque, some part of the 
paines we had alreadie taken, we as briefe (as we 
could) let them understand our cause, and remain'd 
still attendant on their answer, which we staide not 
long for, but one voice answerd for all in this manner. 

Truly, gentlemen, yee have undertaken a great 
tasque, if yee have tyed your selves to the performance 
of it, for here 'mongst us yee have certainly mist him, 
(a hard case, and a mad world indeed, when all cora- 
plaine for money) : and surely yee prosecute your 
course farre contrary to the purpose ; for thinke yee 
to catch fishe with an unbaited hooke, or take a 
whale with a pursenet, then may yee retuourne with 
a bare hooke, and an emptie purse. No, yee must 
baite your angle if ye will come home loden. I 
must needs confesse we have had, and have yet 
sorne acquaintance with that gentleman yee seeke 


for, but he will not bide with us. I tell ye he is 
a wilie fellow, not woone with good words, for then 
would schollers have more nap on their gownes ; nor 
M'ith valor, for then you would happily bee more happy 
in his acquaintance ; nor with feature, for then so 
many proper men should not want him; nor with 
knockes, for then would fencers be more fluent, but 
some aequivallent goodnesse, which is an equall balance 
to him-selfe, or he wil not stir else. It seemes you 
know not his company, that are no better acquainted 
with his qualities : I tell yee, besides, that he is an 
obstinat wilful! fellow, for since this idolatrous adora- 
tion given to him here by men, he has kept the scepter 
in his owne hand, and commands every man ; which 
rebellious man now seeing (or rather indeed obedient 
too him) inclines to all his bests, yields no subscription 
nor will he be commanded by any other power. He is 
besides a carelesse and ruinous defacer of all vertuous 
and necessary antiquities: so him-selfe lie sleeping in 
yron bard chests, what cares he what runs to desola- 
tion ? if men undertake (as indeed we of late have 
done) but some good and necessary peece of worke, as 
the re-edifying of a decaied gate, built new places for 
the profitable sweetnesse of the city, hee flies away (as 
ye have perhaps sometimes noted) with more dexterity, 
then a needy debptor hath fled the hands of any of 
those our otticers. Therefore, truly, lette this confine 
your answer, that amongst us he is not to be found, 
only there are a few followers of his the better to direct 
and guid yee in your determined travaile. With that 

2() A SEAIUir V()\i MONEY. 

we gratefully accepted some few of his attendants, and 
they rid on. 

We still prosecuted our now halfe hopelesse jour- 
ney. From thence with few paces we had reacht 
a faire and sumptuous streete, a place that if a 
man had only liv'd to please his sight, he would con- 
tinually have made that his horrizon ; or if every con- 
jurer had such a prospective glasse of his owne, they 
would never deale so much with the Divell as they doe. 
Here lay plate, both gold and silver, jewels rich and 
orient lay in heapes ; here only wanted that god (by 
man created) Money. Here we made a dilligent in- 
quirie, but straight were we turn'd with non est inven- 
tus : all those (as they truly answered us) alluring 
temptations were but to intreat the company of the 
adored gentleman thether, which if we could procure 
with full and perfect progresse wee might command al 
we sawe, wee should be able to furnish with plate 
Marke Antonies feast thrise trebled : marry, otherwise 

Si nihil attuleris ibis, Homere, foras. 

This, though it a little dismayed our present busines, 
yet it spurd us on with a more fervent desire to seeke, 
knowing what infinits followed having once attained his 
respected worthiness witli us. We were now come to 
the place where the records of all ages were kept since 
the creation. There we turned over many leaves, but 
few to our purpose : never was such a search made. 
Many taught by quintessences and alcumisticall extracts 
to make a new substance of this essence, but they were 
most made beggars that undertooke it. 


This walke we had soon walkt through ; now wee 
were entred the Temple : to finde him there we had not 
such an unhallowed thought, for there the pillars were 
hung with poore mens petitions, some walking there, 
that if they praied as well as fasted, did very well and 
sincerely ; nay, the very Temple it selfe (in bare humi- 
lity) stood without his cap, and so had stood many 
years : many good folkes had spoke for him because 
he could not speake for himselfe, and somewhat had 
been gathered in his behalfe, but not halfe enough to 
supply his necessity. Here could be little hope to find 
him that so much wanted him : we soone turnd our 
backes on this place, and had as soone espied many 
haberdashers that had felts of many fashions, but none 
that would fit this foresaid bare-headed tall man : marry, 
for Mounsieur Mony, if he came himselfe, (for so they 
answered us at the enquiry after him) he should have 
choise of any felts of what fashion or blocke it might 
be his pleasure to weare. 

Little comfort we felt by all this, but yet we must not 
sound retreat : forward we go still, many hopeful! places 
we passe, yet after our delivered message we were never 
the neare. Many honorable gates we left unentred 
and the houses unsearcht, because we wanted some of 
the Mounsieurs kindred to open the admittance ; yet 
we might heare of their complaint of defect, and 
therefore could conclude of his non residence there. 
At length we passe by that gracious and soveraingly 
inhabited pallace, where by the dues of reason this 
adored idoU should be a servile messenger ; and no doubt 


he is, for there might we behold the princely messen- 
gers from many several! countries guerdond and pre- 
sented with heapes of treasure. But this runnagate 
(whom folly and ignorance adore as they do stockes and 
stones) could here have no place of authority nor abiding, 
but as a mercinary bond-slave. Whether go we now ? 
Faith, now have with you to Westminster : and what 
to do there ? shall we take a chamber and rest our 
selves a while ? no, nor buttry neither. Weele to the 
hall first, thats certaine : well, away then, and take this 
for a note by the way too, if ye here the tongues walke 
apase the Mounsieur is there ; if not, al's a sleepe. 

We have now with moderate paces attaind the 
entrance. Lets not be unmannerly ; knocke first, or call 
him by his name ; perhaps he will answer if he be there. 
Ho ! Mounsieur Mony ! me thinkes I here him answer 
like a sententious tapster, I cannot be here and there 
too. Here was a busie house the while; such can- 
vasing of cases, that our case could not yet be heard : 
here were two brothers at buffets with angells in their 
fists about the thatch that blew off his house into the 
others garden, and so spoild a hartichoke : here two 
neighbours together by the purses ; the good man 
Nabuloes goose had laid an eg in good man Corridons 
barne, and he pleaded possession and the trespasse of 
the goose that had committed burglary to come in the 
wrong way : this had bin long in sute, and yet was no 
date to the end, onely it was thought the goose should 
die fort and be shar'd betweene them : then one knave 
was in sute for calling another by his owne name. So 


busie they were about these and many other such cases, 
that we could get ne're an atturny to dcale for us, so 
that at length we concluded to be our own heralds, and 
proclaime our busines our selves. So choosing the 
strongest voyce amongst us, began our outcry — K any 
man (women there were none), child, towne or country 
of what degree, quality, discretion, either wise or igno- 
rant, or howsoever, in this place could tell tidings of a 
wandring knight, cloth'd in armors of proofe of two 
especiall coates, either in totall Argent or totall Aurum, 
his horse trapt sometimes in leather, sometimes in velvet, 
and somtime embrodery, let him bring certaine'notice 
where he lives, either at liberty or in prison, and he shal 
have for his paines a thousand duckegs. And this 
causd a general silence over all the house: ther's never 
an one, either atturney or clyent, that could tell what 
to say till wee came to a more familiar examination. 

And first we began with the clyents : they swore (as 
I thinke without perjury they might) that hee was gone 
from them. They came riding up with him at the be- 
ginning of the Tearme, and that he did take the paines 
to accompany us to the Hall, and here hee was ; but he 
is now gon, and be slipt away from us, we know not 
how. It may be he is yet amongst the crowd. If he 
think you inquire for him to his indammagement, 
perhaps hee will shroud himselfe from this discovery 
(and yee cannot blame him neither to seek his safety). 
If you could warily observe, I think you should find 
him hid here-abouts. This safficeth for the poore 
clients answer: we now addres our selves to others 


where our message was stopt up in thc^ mid-way, with 
non est nobis argentum. Wee have sent out executions 
for his body, but he is not yet come in : some fragments 
(wee must confesse) we have of his; marrie, for the 
substantial!, angelicall, and most dearely beloved Moun- 
sieur him-selfe, they had no aequainlance with him, nor 
hee residence with tliem. This (contra voluntatcw) 
must serve for an answer; necessity (being but a petti- 
fogger) has no law, law hadde no eares. We had ne 
bels, what shall we now doe ? Desistere victos ? No, 
not yet; wee'U yet try further, 

In adversis rebus melius sperare supersis. 

Whither now? ther's yet a part of over-sea citty to 
search? Shall wee a boord, and thither ere we see the 
country? many different opinions were held amongst 
our selves about this. Some said there was a beastly 
buffeting about him already; fight dog, fight beare, the 
uncharitable whipping of the blind, the old ape riding 
post, lackied by the muzled dog, and the buls home- 
mad to have his company ; but it could not bee. Some 
said there were others that offered to suffer the Ger- 
main strappado for his sake, and to daunce in the aire 
upon a hempen cloud, nay, wonders (both masculine and 
feminine) yet his presence will not be obtain'd. Some 
others said it might be possible he was there, for there 
were many hard handed men that laboured sore for 
him, and they perhaps might attaine his worthinesse. 
That was presently confuted by another, with this 
objection, that there were too many caps used for felt 


makers to thrive ; that was Monmouth caps, Wantige 
caps, round caps, Mother-red-caps, and fudling caps, 
and none could (but bad church-wardens) beare the 
bell away. All this (by the helpe of some more com- 
forted spirits) could not dissmay us, but to sea-ward 
wee goe, praying for a faire wind weather, and happy 
successe ; but here was the fright before we came to 
the water. Wee were no sooner come within the ken of 
flood, but we were onset with such a company of Carons, 
howling, hallowing, and calling for passengers, as if al 
the hags in hel had bin imprisoned and begging at the 
grate; fiends and furies that (God be thanked) could 
vex the soule but not torment it ; yet indeed their most 
power was over the body, for here an audatious mouth- 
ing - randing - impudent - scuUery-wastecoat - and - bodied 
rascal would have hail'd a penny from us for his sculler- 
ship : an other paire of water-pandars would pul a 
double fee for his (wh) oares, and we should ride like 
gentlemen, (or rather almost empty hoshheads) a tilt 
for it. But such hayling, howling and pulling there 
was that wee durst not venter the flood, the wharfe 
being so dangerous; and further questioning the con- 
dition of the sea-monsters, 'twas told us they did but 
howlingly sing for Mounsieur Monie that we sought 
for: for us, the treacherous leviathans had not car'd 
to have overwhelm'd us, had they once boorded us. 
Well it was, that it was so : now, hey for the country 
we had past. 

We have passed the citty as good counsell passes the 
eares of a negligent auditor, in at the one side and out 

:i2 A sKAuni rou monkv. 

at the other, and done no good within: he}' for the 
country another while: 

Quod non in Gallia forsitan in India. 

Many dales we travaild, and many miles we mea- 
sured ere we relish any place (having the citty still in 
our eyes of apprehension) where we might enquire for 
our departed friend and not be laught at for our 
labours. We were many times in a wood, and indeed 
seldome out, yet it may be this sir dealt like a lapwing 
with us, and cryed furthest of the nest: though the 
citty might promise faire show, yet in the country 
might remaine his being. We, therefore, without fur- 
ther question stept to a farmers house, where we 
intended to use the authority of our inquisition. His 
dog fii'st saluted us with a full mouth, which likewise 
served for alarum bell to tell them within that one or 
more was entred the gates ; upon which summons, the 
goodman of the house came to the doore — a jolly 
chufFe, a good formall russetcoate, and a reasonable 
stature for a juryman. We were about to encounter 
him at first sight with our busines, but were prevented 
by his former salutes, for in a plaine couatry greeting 
he invited us to drinke and eate with him such cates as 
the house afforded. Good stomaches are soon invited : 
we had scarce the maydes manners to say nay and take 
it, but to take before we say nay. In we were brought, 
where we had cates to please five several nations : we 
had the Duchmans delight, butter and bacon : we might 
have made tosts to our butter, and varied it to another 


place as proper. We had roots for the Frenchman, a 
pippin pye for your Irishman, and a peece of cheese 
for the Cambro-Brittane : al these differences each one 
made a shift to draw to one head ; once we had small 
beere which pleased no nation. 

This matter being reasonable well canvassed we fell 
to another discorse. The good man was, or would be if 
he might (as was his owne phrase) so bold as to en- 
quire whence we came and whither we would ? we 
answered him we could resolve him whence we came ; 
but whether we would we knew not, for that we had 
undertaken a thing worse then the conquest of the 
Indies, at which he shewed us his gums, and was very 
pleasantly importunate to know what it was. Ifaith, as 
we had made no bones of his meate, we did not of our 
ruessage, told him such an one wee had long sought 
and him wee must seeke till we find (usque ad necem) : 
with all we requested to know if he had not alighted at 
his house, for it was a generall report in tiie citty that 
this hard yeare he had taken his leave of tiiem and 
came into the country to buy corne. He premeditated 
no reply, but told us briefely there he was not, nor 
could it stand with reason why he should. No, no, 
sayes he, hee never visits us in the country unlesse it 
bee in some contagious pestilent time, when he is so in- 
fected that we dare not receive him, and then he comes 
downe. Marry, he lies without doers for his labor : 
nay, he that will not see us in prosperity let him keepe 
away in misery. Alacke, alacke I he now scorncs our 
flock-beds : if we but meete with him at the market, we 



can scarce intreat his company home ; our great land- 
lords bospake him with lofty rents, with fines, and 
pretoes and I know not what. Deare yeares, quoth 
ye ? tis not we that thrive by deare yeares : they are 
deare to us ; our graine is in the usurers graner ere it be 
growne : if we can keepe but the plowgh at the oxe 
taile, and spare one to fat against Christmas, our care 
is taken. Marry, for the gentleman you seeke for, he 
is so seldome in sight with us, that he is almost out of 

A Scilla in Charibdin: this geere went to worke, 
(as rope makers do) backeward : what reply could we 
make but a faint farwel ? what could now our medita- 
tion be, but amazement? shall we yet proceed where 
theirs no hope of conquest ? lets take the hardy 
soldiers moteto, Dion spiro spero : wee yet breath, 
though almost out of breath; therefore lets forward. 
On wee goe, but still no midwife could be found to 
deliver us of our travaile ; many dales labour we cut 
of, but still (like Hidraes heads) more came in the 
places, as weldly and invencible as the other. ^Vee 
past by a tanners doore, and hee coufest liee had broke 
the statute by antedating his hides, and taking the 
leane lether from the fat before the time, and all for 
the love of Mounsieur Mony, yet he could not winne 
his company. Many tradesmen swore they had (like 
knights of the post) foreswore them-selves, all for his 
sake, and yet went without him. The tapster had 
froth'd halfe way, but whether the Divell had let it out 
a nights or no, he knew not, but he could not thrive by 


it. Indeed, generally honest men, millers, and all 
estates did complaine and lament the absence of this 
their deare friend ; in the observance of al which, time 
and travell had now brought us in kenne of a verj' 
pleasantly scituated towne, faire and sumptuously 
builded, partly (though not equally) devided with a 
sweet currant streame, which both brought sweetnesse 
M-ith it selfe and bore away the annoyance of the 
towne, with no more prejudice to it selfe then as a drop 
of poyson throwne in the ocean, whose undiscovered 
greatnes kills the opperation, where meeting one that 
could resolve us, we questioned the name and quality 
of it ; who wondered we knew it not, being one of the 
two sisters (being no more in the land but two) from 
whom as from two evertlowing fountaines, wisdome 
and doctrine continually did abound. We had little to 
examine further of either wisdome or learning, but 
Mony we enquire for, and of him we desired to know, 
if that we thought he might not be ther resident? 
Faith, no ; by many presumptions there hee could not 
bee : hee guest him (though he were a great traveller) 
yet he was but a small student, for otherwise he would 
not keepe company so much with fooles; nor any 
ascending degree there he could not take, for that he 
had attaind more worship and adoration already, then 
they could allow any title for ; and for the inhabitants 
which were all painefuU labourers after the (juest of 
wisdome and understanding, and harboured not so 
much as a thought to bring him into their couipanie, 
their commons was too short for him, their habits 



too civill, and their arguments too quarrelsome. Alas I 
Sir Money has no fellowship with them : they are 
rather (be it no disparagement for them, to have them- 
selves so terra'd) liberalites beads-men, and the sonnes 
of wisdome. These faire foundations were raisde in 
former ages, when this close sojourning knight you 
seeke for ridde a horse-backe in open view, without 
a coach, or a vizard before his face : 'twas Money that 
builded all these (gentlemen.) Marrie, hee was forst 
to it by the great great grand-fathers to these that now 
keepe him back. Then was England's whole yeare 
but a Saint Georges day : then had a noble man a 
hundred or two continually about him ; but this ques- 
tion, gentlemen, will drive mee too far in contempla- 
tion : therefore He take leave of troubling yee any 
further. I wish yee were in a better way, for sure yee 
are now out of the way quite. 

Wee now stuck fast, and knew no way out, and 
thought better to scramble out the way we came, then 
throw ourselves into some irrevocable place. Wee, 
thus resolv'd, turn'd back, and in a rage bad the Divell 
goe with him, for wee would seeke no further. The 
Divell was no sooner in our mouthes, but he helpt us 
to another project in our mindes : we now (sauns 
feare) would goe the neerest way, and know where he 
was quickly, and concluded certainly that his residence 
was not on earth. What then ? shall wee give over 
the quest ? no ; to hell first. Agreed, agreed ! every 
man choose his sworne brother (every Theseus his 
Pirithous) and lets along. But who knowes the way ? 


and whither there be such a locall kingdome or no ? 
Oh yes, there's one could tell that had read Policro- 
nicon how many mile it was to it downe-wards ; that 
was three thousand, two hundreth, five and fortie mile 
and almost a halfe. This seem'd a tedious descent, 
without a good paire of staires, and wee durst not un- 
dertake it: it was better considered to cut of a great 
deale of the journey, and to go headlong, and bee there 
quickly, and that way was assoone found, viz. we 
should returne back to the suburbian bordello, (before 
mentioned) and there to hire hackneis would hurry us 
to hell and damnation suddenly. What shall wee not 
do for so great a friend as Mounsieur Money ? come, 
take horse and away ! 

The conclusion was put to most voices, which upon 
better consideration was given on the contrary ; for, 
sales one (that it seemed was well read in the quallities 
of them) it were a farre easier (though very painefuU 
and not so speedie) journey by land, for this way yee 
ride through mercilesse fire and water : 'tis hell all the 
way to hell, and if yee will give the hearing. He give 
yee a part of their caracter : yet I am loath to foule the 
sweet ayre I draw and extinguish with so polluted a 
rehearsall. They are faire outsides of sinne, but like 
deceitful bogges our-hid with snow, which melted off. 
(Vah, vnh! per Sligia vehor) I am now in hell in appre- 
hension ; yet if the satirist would take this out of my 
tongue to give trophee too, hee must confesse it were 
pitty that beauty and brasse- browed impudence so 
unhappely met. There are lisping tongues to entise, 

38 A SEAKCH \'(>\i MONEY. 

songs to provoke, teares extemporall hienna-like to 
beguile, othes to summon an earth-quake and moove 
the marble geometrie of Heaven, and suddainely to 
bring downo the pendant prodegies tliat over-hang the 
zenith of iniquity ; and to those othes their quantity in 
lies, (othes and lies being indeede inseparable compa- 
nions). These raw-rosted-fi re-proved golden apples of 
damnation are the very common beaten pathes to hell, 
(I must confesse) (nam meretrix est janua mortis) but 
the way is so foule and daungerous, yee were better 
goe further about. 

In the neck of controversie which way to take, 
whither the Divill had a further hand or no, (I know 
not) and meant to take some more pitty on us a little 
to ease our journey, but wee had begotten the happiest 
and healthfulest way could be devised to speake with 
his diabolical blackness?. We would go to a conjurer, 
or as some say a wise man ; but I thinke to conclude 
him a conjurer and no wiseman were the best modera- 
tion, for I holde them meere antipathies. This was 
allowd a perfect and briefe way, (for we were now 
almost tyred). The Divell had sure over-heard us, 
(what skill he has in musique I know not, but he has a 
good eare) for presently was sent to us a man (as after 
wee proov'd) for the purpose : a leane meagre fellow, 
lookt as if he had beene lately frighted with his owne 
patron ; a poore black serge sute (scarce worth the 
naming) that, if it had beene artificially flamed and 
burnisht yee would have thought it had beene one of 
Lucifers cast sutes. Why should a man serve the 


Devil and get nothing by it? but sure it is, God can 
keepe them poore that the Devil makes rich. 

But whats hid from the Devill himselfe, when one of 
his poore rascalls can come and prevent us and tell us 
what we sought? we wondred at it, but desir'd him, 
since he so well knew our intents, to further our purpose 
with his best art. Hee (for a little fee) quickly con- 
discended, and promist (if wee would) to bring the Devill 
face to face, to answer our demand in whatsoever, 
whether he himselfe were the jaylor to this lost tra- 
veller or if he knew any of his confederates on earth 
that did detaine him ? To the one wee agreed, that 
either himselfe should talke with him, or wee would if 
he were not too terrible : eyther was sufficient, and that 
following night wee should summon him to a parle. 
The interim Avhile then, hee bestowd in preparing his 
incantations, exorcismes, caracters, and what dues and 
properties belongd else to his Cimerian art. 

But to the purpose : the night was come, we were 
come to the place, where wee were set a loofe off with a 
valiant charge to feare nothing. Our hardie leader 
himselfe, that fearde not the Devill, fell roundlie to liis 
businesse with his circle round about him, where with 
some ceremonies, and a triple invocation of great Beel- 
cephon, the ground (not so hardy as the conjurer) began 
to tremble, that we all shooke for feare. Anone (as 
if a whole legion of them had beene then taking 
tobacco, and even of such a sophisticcatcd sent) issued 
forth such a cloud of srnoake that wee could scarce 
discerne our artist : after that, a noise so confused as if 


liell had beciie a fire and tlie bells of Barathrum had 
beene rung back- wards. After this storme it began 
anon to be a little more calme, and then we might per- 
ceive a fellow (for sure he had more fellowes) appear 
to us in the shape of a miller in apparell, but as swartly 
as a chimney-sweeper. To him our valiant orator pro- 
pounded the question, whether such a wandring knight 
as Mounsieur Money was not traveled into hell or no? 
he answered, no. 

The Divill (like a brave maunder) was rid a begging 
himselfe, and wanted Money; (whither the Divill had 
bin a souldier or no, I know not) but our hardie 
spoakesman was so bold as to give him the lie, and bad 
him tell him the truth or he would force him ; for he 
knew that he was in hell, because he was not to be 
found on earth. He answered then a little nearer the 
matter, and told him, that his maister had put him to 
sojorne in certaine usurers and extortioners houses, 
(very friends of his maisters) and that the day of his 
returne was not yet come, but ere long hee would be 
there againe. This seemed somewhat likely, but our 
arts-man, better knowing his qualities then we did, was 
not yet sufficed; but the second time gave him the lie, 
and layd another conjuro te or two upon his shoulders, 
to tell him the truth, or he would binde him to his good 
behaviour for a thousand yeares. Then out came all : 
he then confest that he was in hell, for the most part : 
many spirits had him under lock and key, and he was 
like never to bee set at libertie againe, and the reason 
was the Divill had so many children fathered on him 


that he never begat, and so many of his owne, that hee 
had no other dowry to bestow on them. The earth was 
daylie more and more taken from him. as India, Vir- 
ginia, and many continents, that hee thought hee should 
have no lands for them to inherit if doomesday came 
not quickly : therefore Mony by any meanes he would 
not part with. Many usurers, and others of his loving 
friends, cried out against him for it, but he was resolved 
never to give him liberty. This sufficed for an answers : 
the Divill went home againe, and the conjurer came to 
us, where he received his reward of us according to our 
abillities. We bad the Divil keepe his saint, for we would 
seeke him no more. 

The next voyage we vowed to make for wisdome, 

and then we should have more wit (then to seeke for 

Money) whom if we mist on earth, we knew where to 

seeke her without a conjurer. It grewe now 

breake of day, and wee broake 

uppe our search. Dixi. 

Take it as it is. 

Tarn male iiill cusum quod nullum prosit ad usum. 



Page 5. — " I would he were not so neere to us in kindred, 
then, sure, he would be neerer in kindnesse." This was pro- 
verbial : see the note on the line in Hamlet, act i. so. 2. 

" A little more than kin, and less than kind," 

which it may serve to explain ; and some explanation seems 
required, considering the needless confusion introduced by 
the conflicting remarks of the commentators on the passage. 

P. 7. — " The next inquirie we made at a painted lattice," 
i. e. at a public-house, of which a painted lattice, as it was 
then called, was a general sign : it is not yet discontinued, 
though under a different appellation. 

P. 8. — " And, indeed, not altogether uneffectual." Here, 

uneffectual is used in the same plain sense as in Hamlet, act i. 

sc. 5. 

" And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire." 

On which Steevens observes : — " Uneffectual fire, I believe, 
rather means fire that is no longer seen when the light of the 
morning approaches." This remark shows either that he did 
not understand the line, or that he tried to understand more 
than could be made of it : the word pale refers to the lessening 
of the brightness of the glow-worm as the day breaks ; and the 
word uneffectual, to the absence of heat in the lire the insect 

44 NOTKS. 

P. 10. — " Left his banner of basons swinging in the ayre." 
Formerly, barbers not only hung out poles, (as they still do in 
a few places in London, and frequently in the country) but 
they ornamented these poles by hanging their basins upon 

P. 1 0. — " And its morning they went away from him be- 
times." This is an obvious misprint in the original copy for 
" And i' </t' morning," &c. 

P. 10. — "At the entrie weeheare a confused noise, (like a 
blacke sanctus, or a house haunted with spirits) such hollow- 
ing," &c. In a note upon Chapman's " Widow's Tears," 
(Dodsley's Old Plays, vi. 177, edit. 1825) Reed informs us 
that " the black sanctus was a hymn to Saint Satan, written 
in ridicule of monkish luxury." It is thus mentioned in Tarl- 
ton's " News out of Purgatoiy," which was twice printed, once 
without date " for Edward White," and again in 1630 : both 
editions correspond precisely, and the following is quoted from 
the last ; it is in " the Tale of Pope Boniface," p. C : — " And 
upon this there was a generall mourning through all Rome : 
the cardinals wept, the abbots howled, the monks rored, the 
fryers cried, the nuns puled, the curtizans lamented, the bels 
rang, and the tapers were lighted, that such a blacke sanctus 
was not scene a long time afore in Rome." 

P. 11. — "Four or five flag-falne plaiers, poore harmlesse 
merrie knaves, that were neither lords nor ladies, but honestly 
wore their owne clothes." It was very natural for Rowley to 
speak well both of poets and players, he being distinguished, 
like various others of about that date, in both capacities. He 
calls them " flag-fallen players," in reference to their having 
then no employment, for it was usual to have a flag flying on 
the tops of the public theatres, when any performance was 
going on in them. W. Parkes, in his Curtain-drawer of the 
World, 4to. 1612, has this passage, p. 47 : — " Each playhouse 

NOTES. 45 

advanceth his flag in the air, whither, quickly, at the waving 
thereof, are summoned whole troops of men, women, and 

P. 11. — "Amongst these were two or three gun-makers, 
and they lookt like an almanack dated in eighty-eight," i. e. 
1588, the year of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Perhaps 
the almanacks of that year were ornamented with representa- 
tions of guns and other weapons. 

P. 12. — " For the last time he parted and shooke hands with 
him was in the suburbes ;" alluding, probably, to the stews 
in Southwark, and in the other suburbs of London, to which 
such curious reference is made in Cock Lorell's Bole, printed 
by Wynkyn de Worde. A pardoner there says, — 

" SjT, this pardon is new founde 
By syde London brydge in a holy grounde, 
Late called the stewesbanke. 
Ye know well all, that there was 
Some relygyous women in that place 
To whom men offered many a franke, 
And by cause they were so kynde and lyberall, 
A mar\'eylous aventure there is befall ; 
If ye list to here how. 

There came suche a wynde fro Wyncliester 
That blewe these women over the ryrer, 
In wherye, as I wyll you tell. 
Some at saynt Kateryns stroke a grounde, 
And many in Holborne were foimde ; 
Some at saynt Gyles, I trowe. 
Also in Ave Maria aly, and at Westmenster, 
And some in Shoredyche drewe theder 
With grete lamentatyon. 
And by cause they have lost that fayre place. 
They wyll bylde at Colman hedge in space 
A nother noble mansyon, 
Fayrer and ever the halfe sti-ete was, 
For every howse new pavd is with gras." 

46 NOTES. 

Hence we find that Colmau -street, before this date, (about 
1506) had a hedge opposite the row of houses. On the au- 
thority of Fabian, Stowe informs us (Survey of London, edit. 
1 599, p. 332) that " the stewe-houses in Southwark were, for 
a season, inhibited" in 21 Henry VII, on the interposition of 
the Bishop of Winchester, who had a palace near the foot of 
London Bridge ; and this is " the wind from Winchester" 
alluded to in Cock LorelVs Bote. Stowe adds that " the stews 
in Southwark were put down by the king's commandment," 
in 37 Henry VIII, but many authorities might be quoted to 
show that the suppression was not effectual nor permanent. 

P. 15. — "His name was Don Carnefixius Crackonecko 
Dericko." Derrick was the name of the Jack Ketch or public 
haugman, at the time this tract was priuted. What follows 
the above quotation is a revival of a very old joke, by which 
those who were hanged were supposed to ride a three-legged 
mare. Of the execution of Derrick's servant, for some crime 
committed by him, no other mention appears to be made. 

P. 16. — " Therefore returne if yee be wise, you fall into the 
ditch els." Probably Tower-ditch, which was then open, and 
ran not far from Rosemary Lane, where the Searchers for 
Money are now to be supposed. 

P. 19. — "His visage (or vazard) like the artificial! Jew of 
Maltaes nose." This is an early allusion to Marlowe's cele- 
brated play The Rich Jew of Malta, which was not printed 
until 1633. There is, however, a still earlier mention of it in 
Thomas Dekker's News from Hell, 4to. 1606, where he calls 
one of the persons introduced, " my rich Jew of Malta." The 
play was written before 1593. As to the nose, it was usual in 
the time of Shakespeare, to furnish Jews and usurers on the 
stage with artificiid noses, and so Shylock was probably origi- 
nally represented by Richard Burbage. 

P. 22. — " We had now shifted our ground, and were come 

NOTES. 47 

to the Rialto ;" that is, the Royal Exchange, or Change, as 
Rowley afterwards (p. 23) calls it : — " Well, then we change 
our walke, and from the Change we goe," &:c. 

P. 22. — " They laide some, I, a great deale of blame on 
their wives," &c. It was most common at this date to write 
and print aye with a capital I, and such is the case in this 
passage, which does not mean that the author laid " a great 
deal of blame," &c. 

P. 25. — " If men undertake (as indeed we of late have 
done) but some good and necessary peece of worke, as the 
re-edifying of a decaied gate, built new places for the pro- 
fitable sweetnesse of the city," &c. The Lord Mayor 
and Aldermen had done much for the improvement of the 
city, and the " decayed gate" which had been " re-edified," 
was probably Newgate ; of which Stowe, in his Survey of 
London, edit. 1599, p. 33, thus speaks: — "All which so re- 
mayned until the yeare 1586, the 28 of Queen Elizabeth, 
when the same gate, being sore decayed, was clean taken down, 
the prisoners in the meane time remayniug in the large south- 
east quadrant to the same gate adjoyning, and the same yeare 
the whole gate was newly and beautifully builded, with images 
of Lud and others as afore on the east side, and the picture 
of her Majestic, Queene Elizabeth, on the west side." By 
" picture," Stowe means statue, the two words being often in 
his time and afterwards confounded. 

P. 26. — " From thence with fewe paces wee had reacht a 
faire and sumptuous streete," &c. Lombard Street, or per- 
haps Goldsmith's Row, Comhill. 

P. 27. — " Now wee were entred the Temple." The pillars 
of the Temple " hung \vith poore men's petitions," is a curious 
feature of the time. What Rowley says about the Temple 
" standing without his cap, and so had stood many years," 

48 NOTES. 

and about an insufficient collection for the repair of the 
huiklings, is not very intellif^hle in our day. 

P. .30. — " We had ne bels, what shall we now doe ?" There 
is probably some misprint here, the correction of which must 
be left to the reader's ingenuity. 

P. 30. — " Fight dog, fight beare, the uncharitable whipping 
of the blind, the old ape riding post," &c. This passage 
alludes to the ordinary entertainments at Paris Garden, on 
the Southwark side of the water, where, from a very early date, 
it was the custom to bait bears, horses with monkies upon their 
backs, bulls, &c. (Vide Collier's Hist, of Dram. Poetry and 
the Stage, iii. 278.) In Lyson's Environs, i. 92, may be seen 
a copy of an advertisement from Henslowe and Alleyn, issued 
about the year 1608, and ending thus : " and for their better 
content shall have pleasant sport with the horse and ape, and 
whipping of the blind bear," which is just what is alluded to 
in our tract. In 1608, was published, by Thomas Weelkes, 
" Batchelar of Musicke," a work called " Ayres or Phantas- 
ticke Sprites for three Voices," &c. which, among others, con- 
tains the following lines, set to music : — 

" The Ape, the Monkey, and Baboon did meet, 
And breaking of their fast in Friday Street ; 
Two of them sware togetlier solemnly 
In their three natures was a sympathy. 
Nay, quoth Baboon, I do deny that strain, 
I have more knavery in me than you twain. 

" "Why, quoth the Ape, I have a horse at will 
In Paris Garden, for to ride on still, 
And there show tricks. Tush ! quoth tlie Monkey, I 
For better tricks in great mens houses lie. 
Tush ! quoth Baboon : when men do know I come, 
For sport from town and country they will run." 

P. 31. — "Well it was, that it was so: now, hey for the 
country we had past." It may be suspected that the words 

NOTES. 49 

" wee had past," after " countrj-," are surplusage; and that 
the printer by mistake inserted them, as the next paragraph 
begins " we have passed," &c. The sense is quite complete at 
" now, hey for the country." 

P. 32. — " Yet it may be this, sir, dealt like a lapwing with 
us, and cryed furthest from the nest." This unfortunate 
simile has been used by perhaps hundreds of writers, par- 
ticularly by those of the latter end of the reign of Elizabeth, 
and James I. , It it to be found in Shakespeare, and more 
instances than enough are collected in a note to Dodsley's Old 
Plays, II. 111. Edit. 1825. 

P. 32. — "And a reasonable stature for a juryman." It 
stands in the original edition thus : — " and a reasonable 
stature for a ury Jman" the letter j having been put in the 
wrong place. Why a juryman should be of any particular 
" stature," it is not easy to explain. 

P. 32. — " We had scarce the maydes manners to say nay 
and take it." This proverb occurs twice in Shakespeare, in the 
Two Gentlemen of Verona, act i. so. 2 ; and in Richard the 
Third, act in. sc. 7. 
" Play the maid's part ; still answer nay, and take it." 
It would be easy to multiply instances from other writers. 
P. 34. — Like knights of the post." These were persons who 
were hired to swear and forswear themselves, and are fre- 
quently mentioned in old writers, and one of them thus 
describes himself in Nash's " Pierce Penilesse his Supplication 
to the Divell," p. 4, first edit. 1592 — there were three in the 
same year : " A knight of the post, quoth he, for so I am 
tearmed : a fellow that will sweare you any thing for twelve 
pence ; but indeede I am a spirite in nature and essence that 
take uppon mee this humaine shape, onely to set men together 
by the eares, and send soules by millions to hell." I quote 
from this tract the more readily, because Rowley's " Search for 


.50 NOTES. 

Money" is in many respects an imitation of the manner and 
style of Nash. Take the subsequent parai^raph (p. 3) as a spe- 
cimen. " Without more circumstance thether [to Westmin- 
ster Hall] came I, and thrusting my sclfe (as the manner is) 
amongst the confusion of languages, I askt (as before) whether 
he were there extant or no? but from one to another non 
novi (Icfmnnem was all the answere I could get. At length 
(as fortune servde) I lighted upon an olde straddling usurer, 
clad in a damaske cassocke, edgde with fox-furre ; a paire of 
Irunke slops sagging downe like a shoemakers wallet, and a 
short thrid-bare gown on his backe fac't with moatheaten 
budge: upon his head he wore a filthy course biggin, and next it 
a garnish of nightcaps, with a sage butten cap of the forme of 
a cow sheard, overspred verie orderly. A fat chufTe it was 
(I remember) with a grey beard cut short to the stumps, as 
though it were grymde, and a huge worme-eaten nose, like a 
cluster of grapes, hanging downwards. Of him I demaunded 
if hee could tell me anie tidings of the partie I sought for?" 
Compare this with Rowley's description of the usurer, p. 19. 

P. 38. — " A poore black serge sute — that if it had beene 
artificially flamed and buniisht, yee would have thought it had 
beene one of Lucifers cast sutes " One of the modes of dress- 
ing the devil in some of the old plays was in a black suit, 
painted with flames, and made to shine. At other times, and 
at an earlier date, he wore a hairy dress like a wild beast. 



iHatr ^ranfeg anti i^lerrp 3es;t^ 


Mfpnntfti from tije drtiition of 1628. 






€\)t ^aeiTp ^otitt^* 

J. A. CAHUSAC, Esq. F.S.A. 










E. F. RIMBAULT, Esq Secretary 



The following republication is made from the 
oldest known edition of the tract : the original is 
in the library of Lord Francis Egerton, M.P., 
who, with the liberality which ought to belong to 
every possessor of such productions, has permitted 
it to be reprinted for the use of the members of 
the Percy Society. No other copy of the im- 
pression of 1628 is known, but one of a consi- 
derably later date, 1639, is in the hands of a 
collector : he purchased it at Mr. Heber's sale for 
a sum very little short of £iO ; and hence the 
uninitiated in book-rarities may be able to form 
some opinion, as to the scarcity and pecuniary 
value of the earlier edition. 

It is one of those extremely popular produc- 
tions, of which many editions must have appeared 
at the end of the sixteenth and beginning of the 
seventeenth centuries ; but the very circumstance 
of their popularity, and the numerous hands 
through which they passed, necessarily led to the 
destruction of them. The consequence is, that 
books of no class are of such uncommon occur- 
rence as those which were addressed to a multi- 


plicity of readers. The more frequent the copies 
originally in circulation, the fewer generally are 
those which have come down to us. 

There is little or no doubt that " Ilobin Good- 
fellow, his mad Prankcs and merry Jests," was 
first printed before 1588. Tarlton, the celebrated 
comic actor, died late in that year, and just after 
his decease (as is abundantly established by in- 
ternal evidence, though the work has no date) 
came out in a tract called " Tarlton''s Newes 
out of Purgatorie, &c. Published by an old 
Companion of his, Kobin Goodfellow ;" and on 
sign. A 8 we find it asserted that Kobin Good- 
fellow was " famozed in every old wives chronicle 
for his mad merrye prankes," as if at that time 
the incidents detailed in the succeeding pages 
were well known, and had been frequently related. 
Four years earlier Robin Goodfellow had been 
mentioned by Anthony Munday in his comedy of 
"The Two Italian Gentlemen," printed in 1.584, 
and there his other familiar name of Hob-goblin 
is also assigned to him. (Vide Hist, of Engl. 
Dram. Poetry and the Stage, iii. 241.) Again, 
we find him introduced into a very rare anon}Tnous 
collection of epigrams and satires, published in 
1598, under the title of " Skialtheia, or a Sha- 
dowe of Truth," where the property of intermi- 
nable change, bestowed upon him by his fairy- 

father, Oberon, or Obreon, (as related on p. 9 and 
10 of our reprint) is attributed to him : 

" No ; let's esteeme Opinion as she is, 
Foole's bawble, innovation's raistris, 
The Proteus, Rohin good-fellow of change,^'' ^c. 

Sat. VI. sign. D, 8b. 

In the Foreign Quarterly Review, No. 35, Mr. 
Wright published a very amusing essay on fairy 
mythology, in which he traced Robin Good-fellow 
from the thirteenth century, if not earlier ; but 
our object has been merely to establish the anti- 
(}uity of the production, consisting of two parts, 
which we here present to the members of the Percy 

Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream," in 
which Robin Good-fellow figures under the name 
of Puck (although his other designations are all 
given) was first printed in 1600, and probably 
it was not acted much before that year : at what- 
ever date it was brought out, it is evident that 
Shakespeare was acquainted with the tract en- 
titled " Robin Good-fellow his mad Prankes and 
merry Jests." As might be supposed, it will be 
found to contain some amusing and interesting 
illustrations of Shakespeare's drama. 

There are two entries in Henslowe's Diary, not 
noticed by Malone, which are curious in relation 
to this subject. They establish that Henry 

b 2 

Chettlc was writing, and perhaps wrote, a play 
upon the story of Robin Goodfellow, in Septem- 
ber 1()02, two years after " ^lidHummer Night's 
Dream" had been published. They run thus : 

" Lent unto harey Chettell the 7 of Septmbr 1602, 
at the apopitment, to lend in earenest of a tragedie 
called Robin hoodfellowe, some of 

"Lent unto harey chettell the 9 of Septembr 1602i 
in pt of payment of a playe called Robingoodfellowe, i 
some of ) 

In the first entry, which is confusedly worded, 
"tragedie" has been struck out, and no other 
word substituted for it ; but in the second entry 
" playe" was interlined, " tragedie" having been 
erased. It seems pretty evident that Henslowe 
had in his mind some confused notion of a con- 
nexion between Robin Hood and Robin Good- 
fellow, but it must have been purely accidental on 
his part : whether there were really any such 
connexion may form a curious point for speculation. 

An account of " Robin Good-fellow, his mad 
Prankes and merry Jests" is inserted in the 
Catalogue of some of the rare English works 
preserved at Bridgewater House, which was 
prepared, and privately printed, by direction of 
Lord Francis Egerton, in 1887. 

With the ballad in Percy's " Reliques" (iii. 
254, Edit. 1812) entitled " The merry Prankes 
of Robin Goodfellow," no doubt most of our 

readers are well acquainted ; but another pro- 
duction of a similar description will, we appre- 
hend, be new to them. It is a unique black-letter 
history in verse, printed early in the seventeenth 
century as a chap-book. It was originally illus- 
trated by a wood-cut upon the title-page, (repeated 
in the body of the ballad) not of the most decent 
description, and this circumstance led to the tear- 
ing away of nearly the whole of it : with the 
wood-cut, partof the letter-press has unfortunately 
disappeared. The vacancies thus occasioned were 
supplied by conjecture, and twenty-five copies of 
it were struck off by the Editor, some years ago, 
merely for distribution among his friends. As it 
is not only connected in subject, but evidently 
founded upon " Robin Good-fellow, his mad 
Prankes and merry Jests," we do not hesitate to 
subjoin it at length. The small portions added, 
for the purpose of completing the deficient text, 
are inserted between brackets. 



Shewing his birth, aiul whose soiine he was. 

Here doe begin the merry iests 
of Robin Good-fellow ; 

I'dc wish you ior to reade this hookc, 
if you his Pranks would know. 

But first I will declare his birth, 
and what his Motlier was, 

And then how Robin menily 
did bring his knacks to passe. 

In time of old, when Fayries as'd 

to wander in the night. 
And through key-holes swiftly glide. 

Now marke my story right. 
Among these pretty fairy Elves 

Was Oberon, their King, 
Who us'd to keepe them company 

still at their revelling. 

And suncby houses they did use, 

but one, above the rest, 
^V^lerein a comely Lasse did dwell 

that pleas'd King Oberon best. 
This lovely Damsel], neat and faire, 

so courteous, meek, and mild, 
As sayes my booke, by Oberon 

she was begot with child. 

She knew not who the Father was ; 

but thus to all y\ ould say — 
In night time he to her still came, 

and went away ere day. 
The midwife having better skill 

than had this new made mother, 
Quoth she, surely some Faiiy 'twas, 

for it can be no other. 

And so the old wife rightly judg'd. 

For it was so indeed. 
This Fairy shew'd himself most kind, 

and holpt his love at need : 

For store of linnen he provides, 

and brings her for her baby, 
With dainty cates and choised fare, 

he serv'd her hke a Lady. 

The Christening time then being [come, 

most nieiTy they [did pass ; 
The Gossips di-a[ined a cheerful cup 

as then provided was. 
And Robin was [the infont call'd, 

so named the [Gossips by : 
\Vliat pranks [he played both day and night 

I'le tell you cer[tainly. 


Shewing how Robin Good-fellow carried himselfe, and how lie run 
away from his Mother. 

[While yet he was a little la]d 

[and of a tender age,] 
He us'd much waggish tricks to men, 

as they at him would rage. 
Unto his Mother they complain'd, 

which grieved her to heare. 
And for these Pranks she threatned him 

he should have whipping cheare. 

If that he did not leave his tricks, 

his jeering mocks and mowes : 
Quoth she, thou vile untutor'd youth, 

these Prankes no breeding shewes : 
I cannot to the market goe, 

but ere I backe returne, 
Thou scof St my neighbours in such sort, 

which makes my heart to mourne. 

But I will make you to repent 

these things ere I have done : 
I will no favour have on thee, 

although thou beest my sonne. 
Robin was griev'd to heare these words, 

which she to him did say, 
But to prevent his punishment, 

from her he run away. 

And travelling long upon the way, 

his hunger being great, 
Unto a Taylor's house he came, 

and did entreat some meat : 
The Taylor tooke compassion then 

upon this pretty youth. 
And tooke him for his Prentice straight, 

as I have heard in tmth. 


How Rol>iu Good-fellow lel't his Master, and also how Oberou told him 
he should be turned into what shape he could wish or desire. 

Now Robin Good-fellow, being plac't 

with a Taylor, as you heare. 
He grew a w orkman in short space, 

so well he ply'd his geare. 
He had a gowne which must be made, 

even with all haste and speed ; 
The Maid must have t against next day 

to be her wedding weed. 

The Taylor he did labom- hard 

till twelve a clock at night ; 
Between e him and his servant then 

tliey finished aright 


The gowne, but putting ou the sleeves : 

quoth he unto his man, 
lie goe to bed : whip on the sleeves 

as fast as ere you can. 

So Kobin straightway takes the gowne 

and hangs it on a pin, 
Then takes the sleeves and whips the gowne 

till day he nere did lin. 
His Master rising in the morne, 

and seeing what he did, 
Begun to chide ; quoth Robin then, 

I doe as I was bid. 

His Master then the gowne did take 

and to his worke did faU : 
By that time he had done the same 

the Maid for it did call. 
Quoth he to Robin, goe thy wayes 

and fetch the remnants hither, 
That yesterday we left, said he, 

weel breake our fasts together. 

Then Robin hies him up the staires 

and brings the remnants downe, 
WTiich he did know his Master sav'd 

out of the woman's go\\aie. 
The Taylor he was vext at this ; 

he meant remnants of meat, 
That this good woman, ere she went, 

might there her breakfast eate. 

Quoth she, this is a breakfast good 

I tell you, friend, indeed ; 
And to requite your love I will 

send for some drinke with speed : 

And Robin he must ^(oc for it 

with all the speed he may : 
Ho Uikes the pot and money too, 

and rimnes from thence away. 

Wlien he had wandred all the day, 

a good way from the Towne, 
Unto a forest then he came : 

to sleepe he laid him dowTie. 
Then Oberon came, with all his Elves, 

and danc'd about his sonne. 
With nmsick pleasing to the eare ; 

and, when that it was done. 

King Oberon layes a scroule by him, 

that he might understand 
Whose sonne he was, and how heed grant 

whate'er he did demand : 
To any fomie that he did please 

himselfe he would translate ; 
And how one day hee'd send for him 

to see his faiiy State. 

Then Robin longs to know the truth 

of this mysterious skill, 
And turnes himselfe into what shape 

he thinks upon or will. 
Sometimes a neighing horse was he, 

sometimes a gruntling hog, 
Sometimes a bud, sometimes a crow, 

sometimes a snarling dog. 



How Robin Good-fellow was merry at the IJridehoiise. 

Now Robin having got this art, 

he oft would make good sport, 
And hearing of a wedding day, 

he makes him ready for't. 
Most like a joviall Fidler then 

he drest himselfe most gay, 
And goes unto the wedding houseT 

there on his crowd to play. 

He welcome was imto this feast, 

and meriy they were all ; 
He play'd and smig sweet songs all day, 

at night to spoit-s did fall. 
He first did put the candles out, 

and being in the dark. 
Some would he strike and some would pinch, 

and then sing like a lark. 

The candles being light againe, 

and things well and quiet, 
A goodly posset was brought in 

to mend their fonner diet. 
Then Robin for to have the same 

did turue him to a Beare : 
Straight at that sight the people all 

did run away for feare. 

Then Robin did the posset eate, 

and having serv'd them so. 
Away goes Robin with all haste, 

then laughing hoe, hoe, hoe ! 


Declaring how Robin Good-fellow serv'd an old lecherous nmn. 

TiiEUE was an old mai) had a Neece, 

a very 1)cauteous maid ; 
To wicked lust her Uiikle sought 

This faire one to perswade. 

But she a young man lov'd too deare 

to give consent thereto ; 
'Twas Kobin's chance upon a time 

to heare their grievous woe ; 
Content your selfe, then Robin sales, 

and I will ease your griefe, 
I have found out an excellent way 

that will yeeld you reliefe. 

He sends them to be manned straight, 

and he, in her disguise, 
Hies home with all the speed he may 

to blind her Uncle's eyes : 
And there he plyes his work amaine, 

doing more in one houre. 
Such was his skill and workmanship, 

than she could doe in foure. 

The old man wondi'ed for to see 

the worke goe on so fast. 
And there withall more worke doth he 

unto good Robin cast. 
Then Robin said to his old man, 

good Uncle, if you please 
To grant me but one ten pomid 

lie yeeld your love-suit ease. 

Ten pounds, quoth he, I will give thee, 
sweet Neece, with all my heart, 


So thou wilt grant to me thy love, 

to ease my troubled heart. 
Then let me a writing have, quoth he, 

from yom- owne hand with speed, 
That I may marry my sweet-heart 

when I have done this deed. 

The old man he did give consent 

that he these things should have. 
Thinking that it had bin his Neece 

that did this bargain crave ; 
And unto Robin then quoth he, 

my gentle N[eece, behold, 
Goe thou into [thy chamber soone, 

and lie goe [bring the gold. 

Wlien he into [the chamber came, 

thinking in[deed to play. 
Straight Robin [upon him doth fall, 

and carries h[im away 
Into the cliamb[er where the tw(j 

faire Lovers [did abide, 
And gives to thfem their Unkle old, 

I, and the g[old beside. 

The old man [\ainly Robin sought, 

so man[y shapes he tries ; 
Someti[mes he was a hare or hound, 

som[etimes like bird he flies. 
The [more he strove the less he sped, 

th[e Lovers all did see ; 
And [thus did Robin favour them 

full [kind and menilie. 

[Thus Robin lived a meiTy life 

as any could enjoy, 
'Mongst country fanus he did resort 

and oft would folks aimoy :] 

But if the maids doe cull ti» him, 

he still away will poe 
In knavish sort, and to himselfe 

he'd laugh out hoe, hoc, hoe ! 

He oft would ])eg and crave an almes, 

but take nought that they'd give: 
In severall shapes he'd gull the world, 

thus madly did he live. 
Sometimes a cripple he would seeme, 

sometimes a soiUdier br.ive : 
Sometimes a fox, sometimes a hare ; 

brave pastimes woidd he have. 

Sometimes an owle he'd seeme to be, 

sometimes a skipping frog ; 
Sometimes a kirne, in Irish shape, 

to leape ore mire or bog : 
Sometime he'd counterfeit a voyce, 

and travellers call asti'ay. 
Sometimes a walking fire he'd be, 

and lead them from their way. 

Some call him Robin Gond-fellow, 

Hob goblin, or mad Crisp, 
And some againe doe tearme him oft 

by name of Will the Wispe ; 
But call him by what name you list, 

I have studied on my pillow, 
I think the best name he deserves 

is Robin the Good Fellow. 

At last upon a summer's night 
King Obevon found him out. 

And with his Elves in dancing wise 
strairfit circled him about. 

The Fairies danc't, and little Tom Tliunil) 

on liis hag-pipe did play, 
And thus they danc't their fairy round 

till almost 1)reak of day. 

Then Phebus he most gloriously 

begins to grace the aire, 
Wlien Oberon with his fairy traine 

begins to make repaire, 
With speed unto the Fairy land, 

they swiftly tooke their way. 
And I out of my dreame awak't, 

and so 'twas perfect day. 

Thus having told my dreame at full 

I'le bid you all farewell. 
If you applaud mad Robin's prankos, 

may be ere long lie tell 
Some other stories to your eares, 

which shall contentment give : 
To gaine yom- favours I will seeke 

The longest day I live. 

It will be seen that tlie father of Robin Good- 
fellow in the foregoing history is called Oberon, 
whereas in the succeeding tract he is named Obreon. 
R.Greene, in his "James the Fourth," 1598, 
gives the " King of Fayeries" the appellation of 
Oboram ; but he had Ijeen Auberon in an Enter- 
tainment before Elizabeth in 1591, which comes 


very noar to Shakespeare's Oberon, the name 
whicli tho ballad-writer, not long after him, 

It is only necessary to subjoin, that the tract 
belonging to Lord Francis Egerton has two coarse 
(in every sense of the word) wood-cuts, one upon the 
title-page of " the first part,"' and the other upon 
the title-page of " the second part." The first 
represents Robin Good-fellow like a sat}T, with 
horns on his head, a broom on his shoulder, and 
a torch in his hand, dancing in a ring of pigmies, 
while Tom Thumb performs on his pipe in the 
right-hand corner, and a black cat sits on its 
haunches in the left-hand corner. The second 
wood-cut was merely inserted to fill up the title- 
page : it represents a wild huntsman, with his 
horn and spear, and is to be found at the top of 
several ballads printed early and late in the 
seventeenth century. 










Not omitting that antient forme of beginning tales, 
Once upon a time it was my chance to travaile into 
that noble county of Kent. The weather beeing wet, and 
my two-leg'd horse being almost tyred (for indeede my 
owne leggs were aU the supporters that my body had) 
I went dropping into an alehouse: there found I, first 
a kinde wellcome, next good lyquor, then kinde stran- 
gers (which made good company), then an honest 
hoast, whose love to good liquor was written in red 
characters both in his nose, cheekes and forehead: an 
hoastesse I found there too, a woman of very good 
carriage; and though she had not so much colour (for 
what she had done) as her rich husband had, yet all 
beholders might perceive by the roundness of her belly, 
that she was able to draw a pot diy at a draught, and 
ne're unlace for the matter. 

Well, to the fire I went, where I dryed my outside 
and wet my inside. The ale being good, and I in good 
company, I lapt in so much of this nappy liquor, that 
it begot in mee a boldnesse to talke, and desire of them to 
know what was the reason that the people of tliat country 
were called Long-tayles. The hoast sayd, all tlie reason 



that ever he could heare was, because the people of that 
country formerly did use to goe in side skirted coates. 
There is(sayd an old man that sat by) another reason that 
I have heard: that is this. In the time of the Saxons 
conquest of England there were divers of our country- 
men slaine by treachery, which made those that sur- 
vived more carefuU in dealing with their enemies, as 
you shall heare. 

After many overthrowes that our countrymen had 
received by the Saxons, they dispersed themselves into 
divers companies into the woods, and so did much 
damage by their suddaine assaults to the Saxons, that 
Hengist, their king, hearing the damage that they 
did (and not knowing how to subdue them by force), 
used this policy. Hee sent to a company of them, 
and gave them his word for their liberty and safe re- 
turne, if they would come unarmed and sjjeake with 
him. This they seemed to grant unto, but for their 
more secuinty (knowing how little hee esteemed oathes 
or promises) they went every one of them armed with 
a shorte sword, hanging just behind under their gar- 
ments, so that the Saxons thought not of any weapons 
they had: but it proved otherwise; for when Hengist 
his men (that were placed to cut them off) fell all 
upon them, they found such unlooked a resistance, tliat 
most of the Saxons were slaine, and they that escaped, 
wond'ring how they could doe that hurt, having no 
weapons (as they saw), reported that they strucke 
downe men like lyons with their tayles; and so they 
ever after were called Kentish Long-tavles. 


I told him this was strange, if true, and that their 
countries honor bound them more to belecve in this, 
then it did me. 

Truly, sir, sayd my hoastesse, I thinke we are called 
Long-tayles, by reason our tales are long, that we use 
to passe the time withall, and make our selves merry. 
Now, good hoastesse, sayd I, let me entreat from you 
one of those tales. You shall (sayd shee), and that 
shall not be a common one neither, for it is a long tale, 
a merry tale, and a sweete tale; and thus it beginnes. 


Once upon a time, a great while agoe, when men did 
eate more and drinke lesse, — then men were more honest, 
that knew no knavery then some now are, that confesse 
the knowledge and deny the practise — about that time 
(when so ere it was) there was wont to walke many 
harmlesse spirits called fayries, dancing in brave order 
in fayry rings on greene hiUs with sweete musicke 
(sometime invisible) in divers shapes: many mad 
prankes would they play, as pinching of sluts black and 
blue, and misplacing things in iU-ordered houses; but 
lovingly would they use wenches that cleanly were, giving 
them silver and other pretty toyes, which they would 
leave for them, sometimes in their shooes, other times 
in their pockets, sometimes in bright basons and other 
cleane vessels. 


Amongst these fayries was there a hee fayrie : 
whether he was their king or no I know not, but surely 
he had great government and commaund in that country, 
as you sliall heai*e. This same hee fayry did love a 
projier young wench, for every night would hee with 
other fayries come to the house, and there dance in her 
chamber; and oftentimes shee was forced to dance with 
him, and at his departure would hee leave her silver 
and jewels, to expresse his love unto her. At last 
this mayde was with childe, and being asked who was 
the father of it, she answered a man that nightly came 
to visit her, but earely in the morning he would go his 
way, whither she knew not, he went so suddainly. 

Many old women, that then had more wit than those 
that ai'e now living and have lesse, sayd that a fayry 
had gotten her with childe; and they bid her be of 
good comfort, for the childe must needes be fortunate 
that had so noble a father as a fayry was, and should 
worke many strange wonders. To be short, her time 
grew on, and she was delivered of a man childe, who 
(it shoidd seeme) so rejoyced his father's heart, that 
every night his mother was supplied with necessary 
things that are befitting a woman in child-birth, so 
that in no meane manner neither; for there had shee 
rich imbroidered cushions, stooles, carpits, coverlets, 
delicate linnen: then for meate shee had capons, 
chickins, mutton, lambe, phesant, suite, woodcocke, 
]iartridge, quaile. The gossips liked this fare so well, 
that she never wanted company: wine had shee of all 
sorts, as muskadine, sacke, malmsie, clari-et, white 


and bastard: this pleased her neighbours well, so that 
few that came to see her, but they had home with them 
a medicine for the fleaes. Sweet meates too had they 
in such aboundance, that some of their teeth are 
rotten to this day; and for musicke shee wanted not, 
or any other thing she desired. 

AU praysed this honest fayry for his care, and the 
childe for his beauty, and the mother for a happy 
woman. In briefe, clu'istened hee Avas, at the which 
all this good cheare was doubled, which made most of 
the women so wise, that they forgot to make them- 
selves unready, and so lay in their cloathes; and none 
of them next day could remember the child's name, 
but the clarke, and hee may thanke his booke for it, 
or else it had been utterly lost. So much for the birth 
of little Robin. 


When Robin was growne to sixe yeares of age, hee 
was so knavish that aU the neighbours did complaine of 
him; for no sooner was his mother's backe turned, but 
hee was in one knavish action or other, so that his 
mother was constrayned (to avoyde the complaints) to 
take him with her to market, or wheresoever shee went 
or rid. But this helped little or nothing, for if hee rid 
before her, then would he make mouthes and iU-fa- 
voured faces at those hee met: if he rid behind her, 
then would hee clap his hand on his tayle; so that his 


mother was weary of the many complaints that came 
against liim, yet knew she not how to beat him justly 
for it, because she never saw him doe that which was 
worthy blowes. The complaints were daily so renewed 
that his mother promised him a whipping. Robin did 
not like that cheere, and therefore, to avoyde it, hee 
raune away, and left his mother a heavy woman for liim. 


After that Robin Good-fellow had gone a great way 
from his mother's house hee began to bee a hungry, 
and going to a taylor's house, hee asked sometliing for 
God's sake. The taylor gave him meate, and under- 
standing that he was masterlesse, hee tooke him for 
his man, and Robin so plyed his worke that he got his 
master's love. 

On a time his master had a gowne to make for a 
woman, and it was to bee done that night: they both 
sate up late so that they had done all but setting 
on the sleeves by twelve a clocke. This master then 
being sleepy sayd, Robin whip thou on the sleeves, and 
then come thou to bed : I will goe to bed before. I 
will, sayd Robin. So, soone as his master was gone, 
Robin hung up the gowne, and taking both sleeves in his 
handes, hee whipt and lashed them on the gowne. So 
stood he till the morning that his master came downe: his 
master seeing him stand in that fashion, asked him what 
he did? Why, quoth hee, as you bidmee, wliipon the 
sleeves. Thou rogue, sayd his master, I did meane that 


thou shouldest have set them on quickly and slightly. 
I would you had sayd so, sayd Robin, for then had I 
not lost all this sleepe. To bee shorte, his master was 
faine to do the worke, but ere hee had made an end 
of it, the woman came for it, and with a loud voyce 
chafed for her gowne. The taylor, thinking to please 
her, bid Robin fetch the remnants that they left yes- 
terday (meaning thereby meate that was left); but 
Robin, to crosse his master the more, brought downe 
the remnants of the cloath that was left of the gowne. 
At the sight of this, his master looked pale, but the 
woman was glad, saying, I like this breakefast so well, 
that I will give you a pint of wine to it. She sent 
Robin for the wine, but he never returned againe to 
his master. 


After Robin had travailed a good dayes journy from 
his masters house hee sate downe, and beeing weary 
hee fell a sleepe. No sooner had slumber tooken full 
possession of him, and closed his long opened eye-lids, 
but hee thought he saw many goodly proper personages 
in anticke measures tripping about him, and withall 
hee heard such musicke, as he thought that Orpheus, 
that famous Greeke fidler (had hee beene alive), com- 
pared to one of these had beene as infamous as a 
Welch-hai'per that playes for cheese and onions. As 
delights commonly last not long, so did those end 


sooner then hec would willingly they should have 
done; and for very griefe he awaked, and found by 
him lying a scroule, wherein was written these lines 
following in golden letters. 

Robin, my only sonne and heire, 

How to live take thou no care : 

By nature thou hast cunning shifts, 

Which De increase mth other gifts. 

Wish what thou wilt, thou shalt it have ; 

And for to vex both foole and knave. 

Thou hast the power to change thy shape, 

To horse, to hog, to dog, to ape. 

Transformed thus, by any meanes 

Seen none thou harm'st but knaves and queancs ; 

But love thou those that honest be. 

And helpe them in necessity. 

Doe thus, and aU the world shall know 

The prankes of Robin Good-fellow ; 

For by that name thou cald shalt be 

To ages last posterity. 

If thou observe my just command. 

One day thou shalt see Fayry Land. 

This more I give : who tels thy prankes 

From those that heare them shall have thankes. 

Robin having read this was very joyfull, yet longed 
he to know whether he had this power or not, and to 
try it hee wished for some meate : presently it was 
before him. Then wished hee for beere and wine: 
he straightway had it. This liked him well, and 
because he was weary, he wished himselfe a horse: 
no sooner was his wish ended, but he was transformed, 
and seemed a horse of twenty pound price, and leaped 
and cui'veted as nimble as if he had beene in stable 


at racke and manger a full moneth. Then wished he 
himselfe a dog, and was so : then a tree, and was so : 
so from one thing to another, till hee was certaine and 
well assured that hee could change himselfe to any 
thino^ whatsoever. 


Robin Good-fellow going over a field met with a 
clownish feUoAv, to whom he spake in this manner: 
Friend (quoth he) what is a clocke? A thing (an- 
swered the clowne) that shewes the time of the day. 
Why then (sayd Robin Good-fellow) bee thou a clocke, 
and tell me what time of the day it is. I owe thee not 
so much service (answered hee againe), but because 
thou shalt tliinke thy selfe beholding to mee, know 
that it is the same time of the day, as it was yesterday 
at this time. 

These crosse answers vext Robin Good-fellow, so 
that in himselfe hee vowed to be revenged of him, 
which he did in this manner. 

Robin Good-fellow turned himselfe into a bird, and 
followed this fellow, who was going into a field a little 
from that place to catch a horse that was at grasse. 
The horse being wilde ran over dike and hedge, and 
the fellow after, but to little purpose, for the horse 
was too swift for him. Robin was glad of this occasion, 
for now or never was the time to put his revenge in 


Presently Robin shaped himselfe like to the horse 
that the fellow followed, and so stood before the fellow: 
presently the fellow tooke hold of him and got on his 
backe, but long had he not rid, but with a stumble 
he hui'ld this churlish clowne to the ground, that 
he almost broke his necke; yet tooke he not this for 
a sufficient revenge for the crosse answers he had 
received, but stood still and let the fellow mount him 
once more. 

In the way the fellow was to ride was a great plash 
of water of a good depth: thorow tliis must he of 
necessity ride. No sooner was hee in the middest of 
it, but Robin Good-fellow left him with nothing but a 
pack-saddle betwixt his leggs, and in the shape of a 
fish swomme to the shore, and ran away laughing, ho, 
ho, hoh ! leaving the poore fellow almost drowned. 


Robin going by a woode heard two lovers make great 
lamentation, because they were hindred from injoying 
each other by a cruell old leacher, who would not 
suffer this loving couple to mjury. Robin, pittying 
them, went to them and sayd: I have heai'd your 
complaints, and do pitty you : be ruled by me, and I 
will see that you shall have both yoiu' hearts content, 
and that suddainly if you please. After some amaze- 
ment the maiden sayd, Alas! sir, how can that be? 
my uncle, because I will not grant to his lust, is so 


streight over me, and so oppresseth me with worke 
night and day, that I have not so much time as to 
drinke or speake with this young man, whom I love 
above ail men living. If your worke bee all that 
hindi-eth you (sayd Robin), I will see that done: aske 
mee not how, nor make any doubt of the performance; 
I will doe it. Go you with your love: for 24 houres 
I win free you. In that time many or doe what you 
will. If you refuse my proffered kindnesse never 
looke to enjoy your wished for happinesse. I love 
true lovers, honest men, good fellowes, good huswives, 
good meate, good drinke, and all things that good is, 
but nothing that is ill; for my name is Robin Good- 
fellow, and that you shall see that I have power to 
performe what I have undertooke, see what I can do. 
Presently he turned himselfe into a horse, and away 
he ran: at the sight of which they wex'e both amazed, 
but better considering with themselves, they both 
determined to make good use of their time, and pre- 
sently they went to an old fryer, who presently 
married them. They payd him, and went their way. 
Where they supped and lay, I know not, but surely 
they liked their lodging well the next day. 

Robin, when that he came neare the old man's 
house, turned himselfe into the shape of the young 
maide, and entred the house, where, after much chid- 
ing, he fell to the worke that the mayde had to do, 
which hee did in halfe the time that another could do 
it in. The old man, seeing the speede he made, 
thought that she had some meeting that night (for 


he tooke Robin Good-fellow for his neece): therfore he 
gave him order for other worke, that was too much 
for any one to do in one night: Robin did that in a 
trise, and playd many mad prankes beside ere the day 

In the morning hee went to the two lovers to their 
bed-side, and bid God give them joy, and told them 
all things went well, and that ere night he would 
bring them 10 pounds of her uncles to beginne the 
world with. They both thanked him, which was all 
the requital that he looked for, and beeing therewith 
well contented hee went his way laughing. 

Home went he to the old man, who then was by, 
and marveiled how the worke was done so soone. 
Robin, seeing that, sayd : Sir, I pray marvaile not, 
for a greater wonder then that this night hath hap- 
pened to me. Good neece, what is that ? (sayd the 
old man) This, Sir; but I shame to speake it, yet I 
will : weary with worke, I slept, and did dreame that 
I consented to that which you have so often desired of 
me (you know what it is I meane), and me thought 
you gave me as a reward 10 pounds, with your consent 
to marry that young man that I have loved so long. 
Diddest thou dreame so ? thy dreame I will make 
good, for under my hand wrighting I give my free 
consent to marry him, or whom thou doest please to 
marry (and withall writ) and for the 10 pounds, goe 
but into the out barne, and I will bring it thee pre- 
sently. How sayst thou (sayd the old leacher), wilt 
thou ? Robin with silence did seeme to errant, and 


went toward the barne. The old man made haste, 
told out his money, and followed. 

Being come thither, he hui-led the money on the 
ground, saying, This is the most pleasing bargaine 
that ever I made; and going to embrace Robin, Robin 
tooke him up in his armes and carried him foorth; 
first drew him thorow a pond to coole his hot blood, 
then did he carry him where the young married couple 
were, and said, Here is youi* uncle's consent under his 
hand; then, here is the 10 pounds he gave you and 
there is your uncle : let him deny it if hee can. 

The old man, for feare of worse usage, said all was 
true. Then am I as good as my word, said Robin, 
and so went away laughing. Tlie old man knew him- 
selfe dvdy punished, and turned his hatred into love, 
and thought afterward as well of them, as if shee had 
beene his owne. The second part shall shew many 
incredible things done by Robin Good-fellow (or 
otheiTvise called Hob-goblin) and his companions, by 
turning himselfe into divers sundry shapes. 



E O B I N 











Robin Good-fellow oftentimes would in the night 
visite farmers houses, and helpe the inajdes to breake 
hempe, to bowlt, to dresse flaxe, and to spin and do 
other workes, for hee was excellent in every thing. 
One night hee comes to a farmers house, where there 
was a goode handsome mayde: this mayde having 
much woi'ke to do, Robin one night did helpe her, and 
in sixe houres did bowlt more than she could have 
done in twelve houres. The mayde wondred the next 
day how her worke came, and to know the doei', shee 
watched the next night that did follow. About twelve 
of the clocke in came Robin, and fell to breaking of 
hempe, and for to delight himselfe he sung this mad 

And can the physirian make sicke men well ? 
And can the magician a fortune devine ? 
Without lilly, germander and sops in wine ? 

With sweet-brj-er 

And bon-firc, 

And straw-berr}' wyer, 

And coilumbine. 



Within and out, in and out, round as a ball, 
With hither and thither, as straight as a line. 
With lilly, germander and sops in wine. 

With sweet-bryer. 

And bon-fire, 

And stravv-ben'y wyer. 

And collunibine. 

When Saturne did live, there lived no poore. 
The king and the beggar with rootes did dine. 
With lilly, germander, and sops in wine. 

With sweet-bryer, 

And bon-fire. 

And straw-berry wyer, 

And collunibine. 

The mayde, seeing him bare in clothes, pittied him, 
and against the next night provided him a wast-coate. 
Robin comming the next night to worke, as he did 
before, espied the wast-coate, whereat he started and 
said: — 

Because thou lay'st me himpen, hampen, 
I will neither bolt nor stampen : 
'Tis not 3'our garments new or old 
That Robin loves : I feele no cold. 
Had you left me milke or creame. 
You shoidd ha\e had a pleasing dreame : 
Because you left no drop or crum, 
Robin never more will come. 

So went hee away laughing ho, ho, hoh! The mayde 
was much grieved and discontented at his anger : for 
ever after she was faine to do her worke herselfe with- 
out the helpe of Robin Good-feUow. 



A COMPANY of young men having beene making merry 
with their sweet hearts, were at their comming home to 
come over a heath. Eobin Good-fellow, knowing of it, 
met them, and to make some pastime, hee led them u[» 
and downe the heath a whole night, so that they could 
not get out of it; for hee went before them in the shape 
of a walking fire, which they aU saw and followed till 
the day did appeare: then Robin left them, and at his 
departure spake these words: — 

Get you home, you merry lads : 
Tell your mammies and your dads. 
And all those that newes desire, 
How you saw a walking fire. 
Wenches, that doe smile and lispe 
Use to call me Willy Wispe. 
If that jou but weary be. 
It is sport alone for me. 
Away : unto your houses goe 
And I'le goe laughing ho, ho, Iwh ! 

The feUowes were glad that he was gone, for they 
were all in a great feare that hee would have done 
them some mischiefe. 


Robin alwayes did lielpe those that suffered wrong, 
•and never would hurt any but those tluit did wrong to 


others. It was his chance one day to goe thorow a 
field where he heard one call for helpe : hee, going 
neere where he heard the cry, saw a lusty gallant that 
would have forced a young maiden to his lust; but the 
mayden in no wise would yeelde, which made her ciy 
for helpe. Robin Good-fellow, seeing of this, turned 
himselfe into the shape of a hare, and so ranne betweene 
the lustfull gallants legges. This gallant, thinking to 
have taken him, hee presently turned liimselfe into a 
horse, and so perforce cai-ried away this gaUant on his 
backe. The gentleman cryed out for helpe, for he 
thought that the devill had bin come to fetch him for 
his wickednesse ; but his crying was in vaine, for 
Robin did carry him into a thicke hedge, and there left 
him so prickt and scratched, that hee more desired a 
playster for his paine, then a wench for his pleasure. 
Thus the j)oore mayde was freed from this ruffin, and 
Robin Good-fellow, to see this gallant so tame, went 
away laughing, ho, ho, hoh ! 


In this country of ours there was a rich man dwelled, 
Avlio to get Avealth together was so sparing that hee 
could not find in his heart to give his belly foode 
enough. In the winter bee never would make so 
much fire as would roast a blacke-pudding, for hee 
found it more profitable to sit by other means. His 
apparell was of the fashion that none did weare ; for it 


was such as did hang at a brokers stall, till it was as 
weather-beaten as an old signe. This man for his 
covetousnesse was so hated of all his neighbours, that 
there was not one that gave him a good word. Robin 
Good-fellow grieved to see a man of such wealth doe 
so little good, and therefore practised to better him in 
this manner. 

One night the usurer being in bed, Robin in the 
shape of a night- raven came to the window, and there 
did beate with his wings, and croaked in such manner 
that this old usurer thought hee should have presently 
dyed for feare. This was but a preparation to what 
he did intend; for presently after hee appeared before 
him at his bed's feete, in the shape of a ghost, with a 
torch in his hand. At the sight of this the old usurer 
would have risen out of his bed, and have leaped out 
of the window, but he was stayed by Robin Good- 
fellow, who spake to him thus. 

If thou dost stirre out of thy bed, 
I doo vow to strike thee dead. 
I doe come to doe thee good ; 
Recall thy mts and starkled blood. 
The mony which thou up dost store 
In soule and body makes thee poore. 
Doe good with mony while you may ; 
Thou hast not long on earth to stay. 
Doe good, I say, or day and night 
I hourely thus will thee afright. 
Thinke on my words, and so farewell, 
For being bad I live in hell. 

Having said thus he vanished away and left this 
usurer in great terror of mind; and for feare of being 


frighted againe with this ghost, hee turned very libe- 
ral!, and lived amongst his neighbours as an honest man 
should doe. 




One day Robin Good-fellow walking thorow the streete 
found at a doore sitting a pretty woman : this woman 
was wife to the weaver, and was a winding of quils for 
her husband. Robin liked her so well, that for her 
sake he became servant to her husband, and did daily 
works at the loome; but all the kindnesse that hee 
shewed was but lost, for his mistres would shew him 
no favour, which made liim many times to exclame 
against the whole sex in satyricall songs; and one day 
being at worke he sung this, to the time of Rejoyce 

Why should my love now waxe 

Unconstant, wavering, fickle, unstayd ? 
With nought can she me taxe : 

I ne're recanted what I once said. 
I now doe see, as nature fades, 

And all her workes decay. 
So women all, wives, widdowes, maydes, 

From bad to worse doe stray. 

As hearbs, trees, rootes, and plants 
In strength and growth are daily lesse, 

So all things have their wants: 

The heavenly signes moove and digresse ; 


And honesty in womens hearts 

Hath not her former being: 
Their thoughts are ill, like other parts. 

Nought else in them's agreeing. 

I sooner thought thunder 

Had power o're the laurell wTeath, 
Then shee, women's wonder, 

Such perjurd thoughts should live to breathe. 
They all hyena-like wiU weepe. 

When that they would deceive: 
Deceit in them doth lurke and sleepe, 

Which makes me thus to grieve. 

Young mans delight, farewell ; 

Wine, women, game, pleasure, adieu: 
Content with me shall dwell ; 

I'le nothing trust but what is true. 
Though she were false, for her I'le pray ; 

Her false-hood made me blest : 
I will renew from this good day 

My hfe by sinne opprest. 

Moved with this song and other complaints of his, 
shee at last did fancy him, so that the weaver did not 
like that Robin should bee so saucy with his wife, and 
therefore gave him warning to be gone, for hee would 
keepe him no longer. This grieved this loving couple 
to parte one from the other, which made them to make 
use of the time that they had. The weaver one day 
comming in, found them a kissing : at this hee said 
[nothing] but vowed in himselfe to bee revenged of 
his man that night following. Night being come, the 
weaver went to Robin's bed, and tooke him out of it 
(as hee then thought) and ran apace to the river side to 


liuilc Robin in ; but the weaver was deceived, for 
Robin, instead of himselfe, had laid in his bed a sack full 
of yarne: it was that tliat the weaver earned to drowne. 
The weaver standing by the river side said: — Now will 
I coole your hot blood, Master Robert, and if you can- 
not swimnie the better; you shall sincke and drowne. 
With that lie hurled the sack in, tliinking that it had 
bin Robin Good-fellow. Robin, standing behind him, 
said : — 

For this your kindnesse, master, I you thanke: 
Go swimme yourselfe ; I'le stay upon the banke. 

. With that Robin pushed him in, and went laughing 
away, ho, ho, hoh I 




On a time there was a great wedding, to which there 
went many young lusty lads and pretty lasses. Robin 
Good-fellow longing not to be out of action, shaped 
himselfe like unto a fidler, and with his crowd under 
his arme went amongst them, and was a very welcome 
man. There played hee whilst they danced, and tooke 
as much delight in seeing them, as they did in heainng 
him. At dinner he was desired to sing a song, which 
hee did, to the tunc of TVaffoa Tourneys End. 



It was a country lad 

That fashions strange would see, 
And he came to a valting schoole, 

Where tumblers use to be: 
He lik't his sport so weU, 

That from it he'd not part : 
His doxey to him stiU did cry, 

Come, busse thine owne sweet heart. 

They lik't his gold so well, 

That they were both content, 
That he that night with his sweet hi'art 

Should passe in merry-ment. 
To bed they then did goe ; 

Full well he knew his part, 
Where he with words, and eke with deedes, 

Did busse his owne sweet heart. 

Long were they not in bed, 

But one knockt at the doore. 
And said, Up, rise, and let me in : 

This vext both knave and Avhore. 
He being sore perplext 

From bed did lightly start ; 
No longer then could he indure 

To busse his owne sweet heart. 

With tender steps he trod. 

To see if he could spye 
The man that did him so molest ; 

Which he Avith heavy eye 
Had soone beheld, and said, 

Alas ! my owne sweet heart, 
I now doe doubt, if e're we busse, 

It must be in a cart. 

At last the bawd arose. 

And opened tlie doore, 
And saw Discretion cloth'd in rug, 

Whose office hales a whore. 


He mounted up the stayrcs, 

Beiiif^ cunniup in his arte; 
With little .search at last he found 

My youth and his sweete heart. 

He ha\ang wit at will. 

Unto them both did say, 
I vnW not heare them speake one word ; 

Watchmen, with them away ! 
And cause they lov'd so well, 

'Tis pitty they should part. 
Away with them to new Bride-well ; 

There busse your own sweet heart. 

His wdll it was fulfild. 

And there they had the law ; 
And whilst that they did nimbly spin. 

The hempe he needs must taw. 
He grownd, he thump't, he grew 

So cimning in his arte, 
He learnt the trade of beating hempe 

By bussing his sweet heart. 

But yet, he still woidd say, 

If I eoidd get release 
To see strange fashions I'le give o're. 

And henceforth live in peace. 
The towne where I was bred, 

And thinke by my desert 
To come no more into this place 

For bussing my sweet heart. 

They all liked his song very well, and said that the 
young man had but ill lucke. Thus continued hee 
playing and singing songs till candle-light: then hee 
beganne to play his merry trickes in this manner. 
First, hee put out tlie candles, and then beeing darke, 
hee strucke the men good boxes on the eares: they. 


thinking it had beene tliose that did .sit next them, fell 
a fighting one with the other; so that there was not 
one of them but had either a broken head or a bloody 
nose. At this Robin laughed heai'tily. The women did 
not scape him, for the handsomest he kissed; the other 
he pinched, and made them scratch one the other, as if 
they had beene cats. Candles being lighted againe, 
they aU were friends, and fell againe to dancing, and 
after to supper. 

Supper beeing ended, a great posset was brought 
forth: at this Robin Good-feUowes teeth did water, for 
it looked so lovely that hee could not keepe from it. 
To attaine to his wish, he did tm-ne himselfe into a 
beai'e : both men and women (seeing a beare amongst 
them) ranne away, and left the whole posset to Robin 
Good-feUow. He quickly made an end of it, and 
went away without his money ; for the sport hee 
had was better to him then any money whatsoever. 
The feare that the guests were in did cause such a 
smell, that the Bride-groome did call for perfumes ; and 
in stead of a posset, he was faine to make use of cold 


There was a tapster, that with his pots smjilnesse, 
and with frothing of his drinke, had got a good surame 
of money together. Tliis nicking of the pots he wouUl 
never leave, yet divers times he had boon under 


the hand of autliority, but wluit money soever hee had 
[to pay] for his abuses, hee woukl be sure (as they all 
doe) to get it out of the poore mans pot againe. Robin 
Goodfellow, hating such knavery, put a trieke upon 
him in this manner. 

Robin shaped hiraselfe like to the tapsters brewer, 
and came and demaunded twenty pounds which was 
due to him from tlie tapster. The tapster, thinking it 
had beene his brewer, payd him the money, which 
money Robin gave to the j)Oore of that parish before 
the tapster's face. The tapster praysed his chai'ity 
very much, and sayd that God would blesse him the 
better for such good deedes : so, after they had ch-ank 
one with the other, they parted. 

Some foure dayes after the brewer himselfe came 
for his money : the tapster told him that it was payd, 
and that he had a quittance from him to shew. Ilereat 
the brewer did wonder, and desired to see the quit- 
tance. The tapster fetched liim a writing, which Robin 
Good-fellow had given him in stead of a quittance, 
wherein was written as foUoweth, which the brewer 
read to him. 

I, Robin Good-fellow, true man and honest man, doe acknow- 
ledge to have received of Nicke and Froth, the cheating 
tapster, the summe of twenty pound, which money I have 
bestowed (to the tapsters content) amongst the poore of the 
parish, out of whose pockets this aforesayd tapster had 
picked the aforesaid summe, not after the manner of foisting, 
but after his excellent skill of bombasting, or a pint for a 

If now thou wilt goe hang thy selfe. 
Then take thy apron-strings. 


It doth me good when such tbule birds 
Upon the gallowes sings. 

Per me RoBiN Good-fellow. 

At this the tapster swore Walsinghani; but for all 
his swearing, the brewer made him pay him his twenty 


King Obreon, seeing Robin Good-fellow doe so many 
honest and merry trickes, called him one night out of 
his bed with these words, saying : 

• Robin, my sonne, come quickly, rise: 

First stretch, then yawne, and rub your eyes ; 
For thou must goe with me to night, 
To see, and taste of my delight. 
Qmckly come, my wanton sonne ; 
Twere time our sports were now begimne. 

Robin, hearing this, rose and went to him. There 
were with King Obreon a many fayries, all attyred in 
greene silke: aU these, with King Obreon, did welcome 
Robin Good-fellow into their company. Obreon tooke 
Robin by the hand and led him a dance : their musi- 
cian was little Tom Thumb ; for liee had an excellent 
bag-pipe made of a wrens quill, and the skin of a Green- 
land louse: this pipe was so shrill, and so sweete, that a 
Scottish pipe compared to it, it would no more come 
neere it, then a Jewes-trump doth to an Irish harpe. 


After they had danced, King Obreon spake to his 
Sonne, Robin Good-fellow, in this manner: 

When ere you heare my piper blow, 
From thy bed see that thou goe ; 
For nightly you must with us dance, 
When we in circles round doe prance. 
I love thee, sonne, and by the hand 
I carry thee to Fairy Land, 
Where thou shalt see what no man knowes: 
Such love thee King Obreon owes. 

So marched they in good manner (with their piper 
before) to the Fairy Land : there did King Obreon 
shew Robin Good-fellow many secrets, which hee never 
did open to the world. 


Robin Good-fellow would many times walke in the 
night with a broome on his shoidder, and cry chimney 
sweepe, but Avhen any one did call him, then would he 
runne away laughing /^o, ho, hoh I Somtime hee would 
counterfeit a begger, begging veiy pitifully, but when 
they came to give him an almes, he would runne away, 
laughing as his manner was. Sometimes would hee 
knocke at mens doores, and when the servants came, 
he would blow out the candle, if they were men ; but 
if tbey were women, hee would not onely put out their 
light, but kisse them full sweetly, and then go away 
as his fashion was, ho, ho, hoh! Oftentimes would 
he sing at a doore like a singing man, and when they 


did come to give him his reward, lie would tiirne his 
backe and laugh. In these humors of his hee had 
many pretty songs, which I will sing as perfect as I 
can. For his chimney-sweepers humors he liad these 
songs: the first is to the tune of, I have beene a fiddler 
these fifteene yeeres. 

Blacke I am from head to foote, 
And all doth come by chimney snote: 
Then, maydens, come and cherrish him 
That makes your chimnies neat and trim. 

Homes have I store, but all at my backe ; 
My head no ornament doth lacke : 
I give my homes to other men, 
And ne're require them againe. 

Then come away, you wanton wives, 
That love j'our pleasures as your lives : 
To each good woman He give two, 
Or more, if she thinke them too few. 

Then would he change his note and sing this follow- 
ing, to the tune of Illicit care I how /aire she be ? 

Be she blacker then the stocke, 

If that thou wilt make her faire, 
Put her in a cambricke smocke, 

Buy her painte and flaxen haire. 

One your carrier brings to towne 

"Will put downe your city bred ; 
Put her on a brokers gowne. 

That vAM sell her raayden-head. 

Comes your Spaniard, proud in minde, 
Heele have the first cut, or else none : 

The meeke ItaUan comes behind, 

And your French-man pickes the bone. 


34 ROBIN f;()On-KEI,LOW. 

Still slu- trades with Uutoh and Scot, 
Irish, and the Gcrniaino tall. 

Till she get the thing you wot ; 
Then her ends an hospital!. 

A song to the tuno of The Spanish Pavin. 

When Vertue was a country maide, 
And had no skill to set up trade, 
She came up with a carriers jade. 

And lay at racke and manger. 
She whift her pipe, she drunke her can. 
The pot W'as nere out of her span ; 
She married a tobacco man, 

A stranger, a stranger. 

They set up shop in Hunney Lane, 
And thither flyes did swarme amaine, 
Some from France, some from Spaine, 

Traind in by scixrvy panders. 
At last this hunney pot grew cb^y, 
Then both were forced for to fly 

To Flanders, to Flanders. 

Anotlier to the tune of The Coranto. 

I peeped in at the Wool sacke, 

O, what a goodly sight did I 

Behold at mid-night chyme ! 

The wenches were drinkuig of muld sacke ; 

Each youth on his knee, that then did want 

A yeere and a halfe of his time. 
They leaped and skipped. 
They kissed and the}' clipped. 
And yet it was counted no crime. 

The grocers chiefe servant brought sugar, 
And out of his leather pocket he piUd, 
And kuld some pound and a halfe ; 


For which he was suffenl to smacke her 

That was his sweet-heart, and woultl not depart, 

But tiirn'd and lickt the calfe. 

He rung her, and ))(> flung her. 
He kist her, and he swung her. 
And yet she did nothing hut laugh. 

Thus would he sing about cities and townes, and 
when any one called hina, he Avould change hi?* shape, 
and go laughing ho, ho, hoh ! For his humors of 
begging he used this song, to the tune of The Jovial 

Good people of this mansion, 

Unto the poore be pleased 
To doe some good, and give some food. 

That hunger may be eased. 
My limbes with fire are burned. 

My goods and lands defaced : 
Of wife and child I am beguild, 

So much am I debased. 
Oh, give the poore some bread, cheese, or butter. 

Bacon, hemjie, or flaxe ; 
Some pudding bring, or other thing; 

My need doth make me aske. 

I am no common begger, 

Nor am I skild in canting: 
You nere shall see a wench with me. 

Such trickes in me are wanting. 
I curse not if you give not. 

But still I pray and blesse you. 
Still wishing joy, and that annoy 

May never more possessc j-ou. 
Oh, give the poore some broad, cheese or butlor. 

Bacon, hempc or flaxe ; 
Some pudding bring, or other thing. 

My neede doth make me aske. 



When any came to releeve him, then would he 
change himselfe into some othei* shape, and runne 
laughing, ho, ho, hoh ! Then would hee shape him- 
selfe like to a singing man; and at mens windowes and 
doores sing civil and vertuous songs, one of wliich I 
will sing to the tune of Broome. 

If thou wilt lead a blest and happy life, 

I will describe the perfect way : 
First must thou shim all cause of mortall strife, 
Against thy lusts continually to pray. 
Attend unto Gods word: 
Great comfort 'twill afford ; 
'Twill keepe thee from discord. 
Then trust in God, the Lord, 
for ever, 
for ever ; 
And see in this thou persever. 

So soone as day appeareth in the east 

Give thanks to him, and mercy crave ; 
So in this life thou shalt be surely blest, 
And mercy shalt thou find in grave. 
The conscience that is cleere 
No horror doth it feare ; 
'Tis voyd of mortall care, 
And never doth despaire : 
but ever, 
but ever 
Doth in the word of God persever. 

Thus living, when thou drawest to thj' end 

Thy joyes they shall much more encrease, 
For then thy soule, thy true and lo\ing fi-iend, 
By death shall find a wisht release 
From all that caused sinne, 
In which it lived in ; 


For then it doth beginne 
Those blessed joyes to win, 

for ever, 

for ever. 
For there is nothing can them sever. 

Those blessed joyes wliieh then thou shalt possesse, 

No mortall tongue can them declare: 
All earthly joyes, compar'd with this, are lesse 
Then smallest mote to the world so faire. 
Then is not that man blest 
That must injoy this rest? 
Full happy is that guest 
Invited to this feast, 
that ever, 
that ever 
Indureth, and is ended never. 

When they opened the window or doore, then 
would he runne away huighing ho, ho, hoh ! Some- 
times wouki he goe Hke a Belman in the night, and 
witli many pretty verses delight the eares of those 
that waked at his bell ringing : his verses were these. 

Maydes in your smockes, 

Looke well to your lockes. 

And your tinder boxe. 

Your wheeles and your rockes, 

Your hens and your cockes, 

Your cowes and your oxe. 

And beware of the foxe. 

When the Bell-man knockes, 

Put out your fire and candle light, 

So they shall not you atfright : 

May you dreame of your delights. 

In your sleeps see pleasing sights. 

Good rest to all, both old and young: 

The Bell-man now hath done his song. 


Then would he goe laughing lio, ho, hoh ! as his use 
was. Thus would he continually practise himselfe in 
honest mirtli, never doing hurt to any that were cleanly 
and honest minded. 




Robin Good-fellow being walking one night heard 
the excellent musickeof Tom Thumbs brave bag-pipe: 
he, remembering the sound (according to the command 
of King Obreon) went toward them. Tliey, for joy 
that he was come, did circle him in, and in a ring did 
dance round about him. Robin Good-fellow, seeing 
their love to him, danced iu the midst of them, and 
sung them this song to the tune of To him Bun. 


Rouud about, little ones, quick and nimble, 

In and out whcele about, run, hop, or amble. 

Joyne your hands lovingly : well done, musitiou I 

Mirth keepeth man in health like a phisition. 

Elves, urchins, goblins all, and little fairyes 

That doe fillch, blacke, and piuch mayds of the dairyes; 

Make a ring on the grasse with your quicke measures, 

Tom shall play, and lie sing for all your pleasures. 

Pinch and Patch, Gull and Grim, 

Goe you together. 
For jou can change your shapes 

Like to the weather. 


Sib and Tib, Licke and Lull, 

You all have trickes, too ; 
Little Tom Thumb that pipes 

Shall goe betwixt you. 
Tom, tickle up thy pipes 

Till they be weary : 
I will laugh, ho, ho, hoh ! 

And make me merry. 
Make a ring on this grasse 

With your quicke measures: 
Tom shall play, I will sing 

For all your pleasures. 

The moone shines faire and bright. 

And the owle hollows. 
Mortals now take their rests 

Upon their pillows : 
The bats abroad Kkewise, 

And the night raven, 
Which doth use for to call 

Men to Deaths haven. 
Now the mice peepe abroad. 

And the cats take them, 
Now doe young wenches sleepe. 

Till their di-eames wake them. 
Make a ring on the grasse 

With your qiucke measures : 
Tom shall play, I ^ill sing 

For all your pleasures. 

Tlius danced they a good space : at last they left and 
sat downe upon the grasse ; and to requite Robin 
Good-fellowes kindnesse, they pi'omised to tell to liim 
all the exploits that they were accustomed to doe : 
Robin thanked them and listned to them, and one 
begun to tell his trickes in this manner. 



After that wee have danced in this manner as you 
have beheld, I, that am called Pinch, do goe about from 
house to house : sometimes I find the dores of the 
house open ; that negligent servant that left tliem so, I 
doe so nip him or liei", tliat Avitli my j)inches their 
bodyes are as many colors as a mackrels backe. Then 
take I them, and lay I them in the doore, naked or 
unnaked I care not whether : there they lye, many 
times tiU broad day, ere they waken ; and many times, 
against their wills, they shew some parts about them, 
that they would not have openly scene. 

Sometimes I find a slut sleeping in the chimney 
corner, when she should be washing of her dishes, or 
doing something else which she hath left undone : her 
I pinch about the amies, for not laying lier armes to 
her labor. Some I find in their bed snorting and sleep- 
ing, and their houses lying as cleane as a nasty doggs 
kennell ; in one corner bones, in another eg -shells, 
behind the doore a heap of dust, the dishes under feet, 
and the cat in the cubbord : aU these sluttish trickes I 
doe reward with blue legges, and blue armes. I find 
some slovens too, as well as sluts : they pay for their 
beastlinesse too, as well as the women-kind; for if they 
uncase a sloven and not unty their points, I so pay 
their armes that they cannot sometimes untye them, if 
they would. Those that leave foule shooes, or goe into 
their beds with their stockings on, I use them as I did 


tlie former, and never leave them till they have left 
their beastlinesse. 

But to the good I doe no harrac, 

But cover them, and keepe theui vvurme : 

Shits and slovens I doe pinch, 

And make them in their beds to winch. 

This is my practice, and my trade; 

Many have I cleanely made. 


About mid-night do I walke, and for the triekes I play 
they call me Pach. When I find a slut asleepe, I 
smuch her face if it be cleane ; but if it be durty, I 
wash it in the next pisse-pot that I can finde: the balls 
I use to wash such sluts withal is a sows pan-cake, or 
a pilgrimes salve. Those that I find with their heads 
nitty and scabby, for want of combing, 1 am their 
barbers, and cut their liayre as close as an apes tayle ; 
or else clap so much pitch on it, that they nuist cut it 
off themselves to their great shame. Slovens also that 
neglect their masters businesse, they doe not escajie. 
Some I find that spoyle their masters horses for want 
of currying: those I doe daube with grease and soote, 
that they are faine to curry themselves ere they can 
get cleane. Others that for laysinesse will give the poore 
beasts no meate, I oftentimes so pvmisli them with blowes, 
that they cannot feed themselves the}' arc so sore. 


Thus many trickes I, Pach, can doe, 
But to the good I ne'ere was foe : 
The bad I hato and will doe ever, 
Till thfy from ill themselves doe sever. 
To helpc the good lie run and goe. 
The bad no good from me shall know. 


When mortals keep their beds I walke abroad, and 
for my prankes am called by the name of Giill. I with 
a fayned voyce doe often deceive many men, to their 
great amazement. jMany times I get on men and 
women, and so lye on their stomackes, that I cause 
their great paine, for which they call me by the name 
of Hagge, or Night-mare. Tis I that doe steale children, 
and in the place of them leave changelings. Sometime 
I also steale milke and creame, and then with my 
brothers Patch, Pinch, and Grim, and sisters Sib, Tib, 
Licke, and Lull, I feast Avith my stolne goods: our 
little piper hath his shai'e in all our spoyles, but hee 
nor our women fayries doe ever put themselves in 
danger to doe any great exploit. 

What Gull can doe, I have you showne ; 

I am inferior unto none. 

Command me, Robin, thou shalt know. 

That I for thee will ride or goe : 

I can doe gi-eater things than these 

Upon the land, and on the seas. 



I WALKE Avitli the owle, and malce many to cry as loud 
as she doth hollow. Sometimes I doe affright many 
simple people, for which some have termed me the 
Blacke Dog of New -gate. At the meetings of young 
men and maydes I many times am, and when they are 
in the midst of all their good cheare, I come in, in 
some feareful shape, and aifright them, and then carry 
away their good cheare, and eate it with my fellow 
fayries. Tis I that do, like a skritch-owle, cry at sicke 
mens -wandowes, which makes the hearers so fearefuU, 
that they say, that the sicke person cannot Hve. Many 
other wayes have I to fright the simple, but the un- 
derstanding man I cannot moove to feare, because he 
knowes I have no power to do hurt. 

My nightly businesse I have told. 
To play these trickes I use of old: 
When candles burne both blue and dim, 
Old I'olkes will say. Here's fairy Grim. 
More trickes then these I use to doe: 
Hereat cry'd Eobin, Ho, ho, Iwh ! 


To walke nightly, as do the men fayries, we use not ; 
but now and then we goe together, and at good hus- 
wives fires we warme and di-esse our favry children. 


If wee find cleane water ami eleaiie towels, wee leave 
them money, either in their hasons or in their shooes ; 
but if wee find no cleane water in their houses, we 
wash our children in their pottage, milke, or beere, or 
what-ere we finde : for the sluts that leave not such 
things fitting, wee wash their faces and hands with a 
gilded childs clout, or els carry them to some river, 
and ducke them over head and eares. We often use to 
dwell in some great hill, and from thence we doe lend 
money to any poore man, or woman that hath need ; 
but if they bring it not againe at the day appointed, 
we doe not only punish them with pinching, but also 
in their goods, so that they never thrive till they have 
payd us. 

Tib and I the chiefest are, 
And for all things doe take care. 
Licke is cooke and dresseth meate, 
And fetcheth all things that Ave eat: 
Lull is nnrse and tends the cradle, 
And the babes doth dresse and swadle. 
This little fellow, cald Tom Thumb, 
That is no bigger then a plmub, 
He is the porter to our gate, 
For he doth let all in thereat, 
And makes us merry with his play, 
And merrily we spend the day. 

Shee having spoken, Tom Thumb stood up on tip-toe 
and shewed himselfe, saying, 

My actions all in volimies two are wrote. 
The least of which will never be forgot. 


He had no sooner ended his two lines, but a shep- 
heavd (that was watching in the field aU night) blew 
up a bag-pipe: this so frighted Tom, that he could not 
tell what to doe for the present time. The fayries 
seeing Tom Thumbe in such a feare, punisht the shep- 
heard with his jiipes losse, so that the shepherds pipe 
presently brake in his liand, to his great amazement. 
Hereat did Robin Good-fellow laugh, ho, ho, hoh ! 
Morning beeiug come, they aU hasted to Fayry Land, 
where I thinke they yet remaine. 

My hostesse asked me how I liked this tale ? I said, 

it Avas long enough, and good enough to passe time 

that might be worser spent. I, seeing her dry, called for 

two pots : she emptied one of them at a draught, and 

never breathed for the matter: I emptied the 

other at leasure ; and being late I went 

to bed, and did di'eame of this 

which I had heard. 




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