Thomas Chatterton was an English poet whose precocious talents ended in suicide at age 17. He was an influence on Romantic artists of the period such as Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth and Coleridge.
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Famous Thomas Chatterton Poems
Revolving in their destin’d sphere,
The hours begin another year
As rapidly to fly;
Ah! think, Maria, (e’er in grey
Those auburn tresses fade away
So youth and beauty die.
Tho’ now the captivating throng
Adore with flattery and song,
And all before you bow;
Whilst unattentive to the strain,
You hear the humble muse complain,
Or wreathe your frowning brow.
Tho’ poor Pitholeon’s feeble line,
In opposition to the nine,
Still violates your name;
Tho’ tales of passion meanly told,
As dull as Cumberland, as cold,
Strive to confess a flame.
Yet, when that bloom and dancing fire,
In silver’d rev’rence shall expire,
Aged, wrinkled, and defaced;
To keep one lover’s flame alive,
Requires the genius of a Clive,
With Walpole’s mental taste.
Tho’ rapture wantons in your air,
Tho’ beyond simile you’re fair,
Free, affable, serene;
Yet still one attribute divine
Should in your composition shine–
Sincerity, I mean.
Tho’ num’rous swains before you fall,
‘Tis empty admiration all,
‘Tis all that you require;
How momentary are their chains!
Like you, how unsincere the strains
Of those who but admire!
Accept, for once, advice from me,
And let the eye of censure see
Maria can be true;
No more for fools or empty beaux,
Heav’n’s representatives disclose,
Or butterflies pursue.
Fly to your worthiest lover’s arms,
To him resign your swelling charms,
And meet his gen’rous breast;
Or if Pitholeon suits your taste,
His muse with tattr’d fragments graced,
Shall read your cares to rest.
Says Tom to Jack, ’tis very odd,
These representatives of God,
In color, way of life and evil,
Should be so very like the devil.
Jack, understand, was one of those,
Who mould religion in the rose,
A red hot methodist; his face
Was full of puritanic grace,
His loose lank hair, his slow gradation,
Declared a late regeneration;
Among the daughters long renown’d,
For standing upon holy ground;
Never in carnal battle beat,
Tho’ sometimes forced to a retreat.
But C_____t, hero as he is,
Knight of incomparable phiz,
When pliant Doxy seems to yield,
Courageously forsakes the field.
Jack, or to write more gravely, John,
Thro’ hills of Wesley’s works had gone;
Could sing one hundred hymns by rote;
Hymns which would sanctify the throat;
But some indeed composed so oddly,
You’d swear ’twas bawdy songs made godly.
Narva And Mored
Recite the loves of Narva and Mored
The priest of Chalma’s triple idol said.
High from the ground the youthful warriors sprung,
Loud on the concave shell the lances rung:
In all the mystic mazes of the dance,
The youths of Banny’s burning sands advance,
Whilst the soft virgin panting looks behind,
And rides upon the pinions of the wind;
Ascends the mountain’s brow, and measures round
The steepy cliffs of Chalma’s sacred ground,
Chalma, the god whose noisy thunders fly
Thro’ the dark covering of the midnight sky,
Whose arm directs the close-embattled host,
And sinks the labouring vessels on the coast;
Chalma, whose excellence is known from far;
From Lupa’s rocky hill to Calabar.
The guardian god of Afric and the isles,
Where nature in her strongest vigour smiles;
Where the blue blossom of the forky thorn,
Bends with the nectar of the op’ning morn:
Where ginger’s aromatic, matted root,
Creep through the mead, and up the mountains shoot.
Three times the virgin, swimming on the breeze,
Danc’d in the shadow of the mystic trees:
When, like a dark cloud spreading to the view,
The first-born sons of war and blood pursue;
Swift as the elk they pour along the plain;
Swift as the flying clouds distilling rain.
Swift as the boundings of the youthful row,
They course around, and lengthen as they go.
Like the long chain of rocks, whose summits rise,
Far in the sacred regions of the skies;
Upon whose top the black’ning tempest lours,
Whilst down its side the gushing torrent pours,
Like the long cliffy mountains which extend
From Lorbar’s cave, to where the nations end,
Which sink in darkness, thick’ning and obscure,
Impenetrable, mystic, and impure;
The flying terrors of the war advance,
And round the sacred oak, repeat the dance.
Furious they twist around the gloomy trees,
Like leaves in autumn, twirling with the breeze.
So when the splendor of the dying day
Darts the red lustre of the watery way;
Sudden beneath Toddida’s whistling brink,
The circling billows in wild eddies sink,
Whirl furious round, and the loud bursting wave
Sinks down to Chalma’s sacerdotal cave,
Explores the palaces on Zira’s coast,
Where howls the war-song of the chieftain’s ghost;
Where the artificer in realms below,
Gilds the rich lance, or beautifies the bow;
From the young palm tree spins the useful twine,
Or makes the teeth of elephants divine.
Where the pale children of the feeble sun,
In search of gold, thro’ every climate run:
From burning heat to freezing torments go,
And live in all vicissitudes of woe.
Like the loud eddies of Toddida’s sea,
The warriors circle the mysterious tree:
‘Till spent with exercise they spread around
Upon the op’ning blossoms of the ground.
The priestess rising, sings the sacred tale,
And the loud chorus echoes thro’ the dale.
Far from the burning sands of Calabar;
Far from the lustre of the morning star;
Far from the pleasure of the holy morn;
Far from the blessedness of Chalma’s horn:
Now rests the souls of Narva and Mored,
Laid in the dust, and number’d with the dead.
Dear are their memories to us, and long,
Long shall their attributes be known in song.
Their lives were transient as the meadow flow’r.
Ripen’d in ages, wither’d in an hour.
Chalma, reward them in his gloomy cave,
And open all the prisons of the grave.
Bred to the service of the godhead’s throne,
And living but to serve his God alone,
Narva was beauteous as the opening day
When on the spangling waves the sunbeams play,
When the mackaw, ascending to the sky,
Views the bright splendour with a steady eye.
Tall, as the house of Chalma’s dark retreat;
Compact and firm, as Rhadal Ynca’s fleet,
Completely beauteous as a summer’s sun,
Was Narva, by his excellence undone.
Where the soft Togla creeps along the meads,
Thro’ scented Calamus and fragrant reeds;
Where the sweet Zinsa spreads its matted bed
Liv’d the still sweeter flower, the young Mored;
Black was her face, as Togla’s hidden cell;
Soft as the moss where hissing adders dwell.
As to the sacred court she brought a fawn,
The sportive tenant of the spicy lawn,
She saw and loved! and Narva too forgot
His sacred vestment and his mystic lot.
Long had the mutual sigh, the mutual tear,
Burst from the breast and scorn’d confinement there.
Existence was a torment! O my breast!
Can I find accents to unfold the rest!
Lock’d in each others arms, from Hyga’s cave,
They plung’d relentless to a wat’ry grave;
And falling murmured to the powers above,
“Gods! take our lives, unless we live to love.”
Heccar And Gaira
Where the rough Caigra rolls the surgy wave,
Urging his thunders thro’ the echoing cave;
Where the sharp rocks, in distant horror seen,
Drive the white currents thro’ the spreading green;
Where the loud tiger, pawing in his rage,
Bids the black archers of the wilds engage;
Stretch’d on the sand, two panting warriors lay,
In all the burning torments of the day;
Their bloody jav’lins reeked one living steam,
Their bows were broken at the roaring stream;
Heccar the Chief of Jarra’s fruitful hill,
Where the dark vapours nightly dews distil,
Saw Gaira the companion of his soul,
Extended where loud Caigra’s billows roll;
Gaira, the king of warring archers found,
Where daily lightnings plough the sandy ground,
Where brooding tempests bowl along the sky,
Where rising deserts whirl’d in circles fly.
Gaira, ’tis useless to attempt the chace,
Swifter than hunted wolves they urge the race;
Their lessening forms elude the straining eye,
Upon the plumage of macaws they fly.
Let us return, and strip the reeking slain
Leaving the bodies on the burning plain.
Heccar, my vengeance still exclaims for blood,
‘Twould drink a wider stream than Caigra’s flood.
This jav’lin, oft in nobler quarrels try’d,
Put the loud thunder of their arms aside.
Fast as the streaming rain, I pour’d the dart,
Hurling a whirlwind thro’ the trembling heart;
But now my ling’ring feet revenge denies,
O could I throw my jav’lin from my eyes!
When Gaira the united armies broke,
Death wing’d the arrow; death impell’d the stroke.
See, pil’d in mountains, on the sanguine sand
The blasted of the lightnings of thy hand.
Search the brown desert, and the glossy green;
There are the trophies of thy valour seen.
The scatter’d bones mantled in silver white,
Once animated, dared the force in fight.
The children of the wave, whose pallid face,
Views the faint sun display a languid face,
From the red fury of thy justice fled,
Swifter than torrents from their rocky bed.
Fear with a sickened silver ting’d their hue;
The guilty fear, when vengeance is their due.
Rouse not Remembrance from her shadowy cell,
Nor of those bloody sons of mischief tell.
Cawna, O Cawna! deck’d in sable charms,
What distant region holds thee from my arms?
Cawna, the pride of Afric’s sultry vales,
Soft as the cooling murmur of the gales,
Majestic as the many colour’d snake,
Trailing his glories thro’ the blossom’d brake;
Black as the glossy rocks, where Eascal roars,
Foaming thro’ sandy wastes to Jaghir’s shores;
Swift as the arrow, hasting to the breast,
Was Cawna, the companion of my rest.
The sun sat low’ring in the western sky,
The swelling tempest spread around the eye;
Upon my Cawna’s bosom I reclin’d,
Catching the breathing whispers of the wind
Swift from the wood a prowling tiger came;
Dreadful his voice, his eyes a glowing flame;
I bent the bow, the never-erring dart
Pierced his rough armour, but escaped his heart;
He fled, tho’ wounded, to a distant waste,
I urg’d the furious flight with fatal haste;
He fell, he died– spent in the fiery toil,
I strip’d his carcase of the furry spoil,
And as the varied spangles met my eye,
On this, I cried, shall my loved Cawna lie.
The dusky midnight hung the skies in grey;
Impell’d by love, I wing’d the airy way;
In the deep valley and mossy plain,
I sought my Cawna, but I sought in vain,
The pallid shadows of the azure waves
Had made my Cawna, and my children slaves.
Reflection maddens, to recall the hour,
The gods had given me to the demon’s power.
The dusk slow vanished from the hated lawn,
I gain’d a mountain glaring with the dawn.
There the full sails, expanded to the wind,
Struck horror and distraction in my mind,
There Cawna mingled with a worthless train,
In common slavery drags the hated chain.
Now judge, my Heccar, have I cause for rage?
Should aught the thunder of my arm assuage?
In ever-reeking blood this jav’lin dyed
With vengeance shall be never satisfied;
I’ll strew the beaches with the mighty dead
And tinge the lily of their features red.
When the loud shriekings of the hostile cry
Roughly salute my ear, enraged I’ll fly;
Send the sharp arrow quivering thro’ the heart
Chill the hot vitals with the venom’d dart;
Nor heed the shining steel or noisy smoke,
Gaira and Vengeance shall inspire the stroke.
Picture Of Autumn
When autumn, bleak and sun-burnt, do appear,
With his gold hand gilting the falling leaf,
Bringing up winter to fulfil the year,
Bearing upon his back the riped sheaf;
When all the hills with woody seed are white,
When levying fires, and lemes, do meet from far the sight:
When the fair apple, rudde as even sky,
Do bend the tree unto the fructile ground.
When juicy pears, and berries of black dye,
Do dance in air and call the eyne around;
Then, be the even foul, or even fair,
Methinks my hearte’s joy is stained with some care.
MAIE Selynesse on erthes boundes bee hadde?
Maie yt adyghte yn human shape bee founde?
Wote yee, ytt was wyth Edin’s bower bestadde,
Or quite eraced from the scaunce-layd grounde,
Whan from the secret fontes the waterres dyd abounde?
Does yt agrosed shun the bodyed waulke,
Lyve to ytself and to yttes ecchoe taulke?
All hayle, Contente, thou mayde of turtle-eyne,
As thie behoulders thynke thou arte iwreene,
To ope the dore to Selynesse ys thyne,
And Chrystis glorie doth upponne thee sheene.
Doer of the foule thynge ne hath thee seene;
In caves, ynn wodes, ynn woe, and dole distresse,
Whoere hath thee hath gotten Selynesse.
The Romance Of The Knight
The pleasing sweets of spring and summer past,
The falling leaf flies in the sultry blast,
The fields resign their spangling orbs of gold,
The wrinkled grass its silver joys unfold,
Mantling the spreading moor in heavenly white,
Meeting from every hill the ravished sight.
The yellow flag uprears its spotted head,
Hanging regardant o’er its watery bed;
The worthy knight ascends his foaming steed,
Of size uncommon, and no common breed.
His sword of giant make hangs from his belt,
Whose piercing edge his daring foes had felt.
To seek for glory and renown he goes
To scatter death among his trembling foes;
Unnerved by fear, they trembled at his stroke;
So cutting blasts shake the tall mountain oak.
Down in a dark and solitary vale,
Where the curst screech-owl sings her fatal tale,
Where copse and brambles interwoven lie,
Where trees intwining arch the azure sky,
Thither the fate-marked champion bent his way,
By purling streams to lose the heat of day;
A sudden cry assaults his listening ear,
His soul’s too noble to admit of fear.-
The cry re-echoes; with his bounding steed
He gropes the way from whence the cries proceed.
The arching trees above obscured the light,
Here ’twas all evening, there eternal night.
And now the rustling leaves and strengthened cry
Bespeaks the cause of the confusion nigh;
Through the thick brake th’astonished champion sees
A weeping damsel bending on her knees:
A ruffian knight would force her to the ground,
But still some small resisting strength she found.
(Women and cats, if you compulsion use,
The pleasure which they die for will refuse.)
The champion thus: ‘Desist, discourteous knight,
Why dost thou shamefully misuse thy might?’
With eye contemptuous thus the knight replies,
‘Begone! whoever dares my fury dies!’
Down to the ground the champion’s gauntlet flew,
‘I dare thy fury, and I’ll prove it too.’
Like two fierce mountain-boars enraged they fly,
The prancing steeds make Echo rend the sky,
Like a fierce tempest is the bloody fight,
Dead from his lofty steed falls the proud ruffian knight.
The victor, sadly pleased, accosts the dame,
‘I will convey you hence to whence you came.’
With look of gratitude the fair replied-
‘Content; I in your virtue may confide.
But,’ said the fair, as mournful she surveyed
The breathless corse upon the meadow laid,
‘May all thy sins from heaven forgiveness find!
May not thy body’s crimes affect thy mind!’
The Gouler’s Requiem
Mie boolie entes, adiewe: ne more the syghte
Of guilden merke shalle mete mie joieous eyne;
Ne moe the sylver noble sheenynge bryghte,
Shalle fylle mie hande wythe weighte to speke ytte fyne;
Ne moe, ne moe, alas, I calle you myne;
Whyder must you, ah! whydder moste I goe?
I kenne not either! Oh mie emmers dygne,
To parte wythe you wyll wurche me myckle woe.
I must begon, butte where I dare nott telle,
O storthe unto mie mynde! I goe to helle.
Soone as the morne dyd dyghte the roddie sunne,
A shade of theves eache streacke of lyghte dyd seeme;
Whan yn the Heaven full half hys course was ronne,
Eche styrrynge nayghbour dyd mie harte afleme;
Thie Losse, or quyck or slepe, was aie mie dreme;
For thee, O goulde, I did the lawe ycrase,
For thee I gotten or bie wiles or breme;
Ynn thee I all mie joie and goode dyd place;
Botte nowe to mee thie pleasaunce ys ne moe,
I kenne notte botte for thee I to the quede muste goe.
The Tournament. An Interlude
THE Tournament begynnes; the hammerrs sounde;
The courserrs lysse about the mensuredd fielde;
The shemrynge armoure throws the sheene arounde;
Quayntyssed fons depictedd onn eche sheelde.
The feerie heaulmets, wythe the wreathes amielde ,
Supportes the rampynge lyoncell orr bear;
Wythe straunge depyctures , Nature maie nott yeelde,
Unseemelie to all orderr doe appere,
Makes knowen thatt the phantasies unryghte.
of her joies,
Muste swythen goe to yeve the speeres around;
Wythe advantayle & borne I meynte emploie,
Who withoute mee woulde fall untoe the grounde.
Soe the tall oake the ivie twysteth rounde;
Soe the neshe flowerr grees ynne the woodeland shade.
The woride bie diffraunce ys ynne orderr founde;
Wydhoute unlikenesse nothynge could bee made.
As ynn the bowke nete alleyn cann bee donne,
Syke ynn the weal of kynde all thynges are partes of onne.
Herawde , bie heavenne these tylterrs staie too long.
Mie phantasie ys dyinge forr the fyghte.
The mynstrelles have begonne the thyrde warr songe,
Yett notte a speere of hemm hath grete mie syghte.
I feere there be ne manne wordhie mie myghte.
I lacke a Guid , a Wyllyamm to entylte.
To reine anente a fele embodiedd knyghte,
Ytt getts ne rennome gyff hys blodde bee spylte.
Bie heavenne & Marie ytt ys tyme they’re here;
I lyche nott unthylle thus to wielde the speare.
Methynckes I heare yer slugghornes dynn fromm farre.
Ah! swythenn mie shielde & tyltynge launce bee bounde .
Eftsoones beheste mie Squyerr to the warre.
Thie valourous actes woulde meinte of menne astounde;
Harde bee yer shappe encontrynge thee ynn fyghte;
Anenst all menne thou berest to the grounde,
Lyche the hard hayle dothe the tall roshes pyghte .
As whanne the mornynge sonne ydronks the dew,
Syche dothe thie valourous actes drocke eche knyghte’s hue.
THE LYSTES. THE KYNGE. SYRR SYMONNE DE BOURTONNE, SYRR HUGO FERRARIS, SYRR RANULPH NEVILLE, SYRR LODOVICK DE CLYNTON, SYRR JOHAN DE BERGHAMME, AND ODHERR KNYGHTES, HERAWDES, MYNSTRELLES, AND SERVYTOURS .
The barganette ; yee mynstrelles tune the strynge,
Somme actyonn dyre of auntyante kynges now synge.
Wyllyamm, the Normannes floure botte Englondes thorne,
The manne whole myghte delievretie
oppe hys long strunge bowe and sheelide aborne
Behesteynge all hys hommageres to fyghte.
Goe, rouze the lyonn fromm hys hylted denne,
Lett thie floes drenche the blodde of anie thynge bott menne.
Ynn the treed forreste doe the knyghtes appere;
Wyllyamm wythe myghte hys bowe enyronn’d plies
Loude dynns the arrowe yn the wolfynn’s eare;
Hee ryseth, battent roares, he panctes, hee dyes.
Forslagenn att thie feete lett wolvynns bee,
Lett thie floes drenche theyre blodde, bott do ne bredrenn slea.
Throwe the merke shade of twistynde trees hee rydes;
The flemed owlett flapps herr eve-speckte wynge;
The lordynge toade ynn all hys passes bides;
The berten neders att hymm darte the stynge;
Styll, slylle, hee passes onn, hys stede astrodde,
Nee hedes the daungerous waie gyff leadynge untoe bloodde.
The lyoncel, fromme sweltrie countries braughte,
Coucheynge binethe the sheltre of the brierr,
Att commyng dynn doth rayse hymselfe distraughte ,
He loketh wythe an eie of flames of fyre.
Goe, sticke the lyonn to hys hyltren denne,
Lette thie floes drenche the blood of anie thynge botte menn.
Wythe passent steppe the lyonn mov’th alonge;
Wyllyamm hys ironne-woven bowe hee bendes,
Wythe myghte alyche the roghlynge thonderr stronge;
The lyonn ynn a roare hys spryte foorthe sendes.
Goe, slea the lyonn yan hys blodde-steyn’d denne,
Botte bee thie takelle drie fromm blodde of odherr menne.
Swefte fromm the thyckett starks the stagge awaie;
The couraciers as swefte doe afterr flie.
Hee lepethe hie, hee stondes, hee kepes att baie,
Botte metes the arrowe, and eftsoones doth die.
Forslagen atte thie fote lette wylde beastes bee,
Lett thie floes drenche yer blodde, yett do ne bredrenn slee.
Wythe murtherr tyredd, hee sleynges hys bowe alyne
The stagge ys ouch’d wythe crownes of lillie flowerrs
Arounde theire heaulmes theie greene verte doe entwyne;
Joying and rev’lous ynn the grene wode bowerrs.
Forslagenn wyth thie floe lette wylde beastes bee,
Feeste thee upponne theire fleshe, doe ne thie bredrenn slee.
Nowe to the Tourneie ; who wylle fyrtse affraie ?
Nevylle, a baronne, bee yatte honnoure thyne.
I clayme the passage.
I contake thie waie.
Thenn there’s mie gauntlette onn mie gaberdyne.
A leegefull challenge, knyghtes & champyonns dygne ,
A leegefull challenge, lette the slugghorne sounde.
Nevylle ys goeynge, manne and horse, toe grounde.
Loverdes, how doughtilie the tylterrs joyne!
Yee champyonnes, heere Symonne de Bourtonne fyghtes,
Onne he hathe quacedd assayle hymm, yee knyghtes.
I wylle anente hymm goe; mie squierr, mie shielde;
Orr onne orr odherr wyll doe myckle scethe
Before I doe departe the lissedd fielde,
Mieselfe orr Bourtonne hereupponn wyll blethe .
Comme onne, & sitte thie tylte-launce ethe ,
Whanne Bourtonn fyghtes, hee metes a doughtie foe.
Hee falleth; nowe bie heavenne thie woundes doe smethe ;
I feere mee, I have wroughte thee myckle woe .
Bourtonne hys seconde beereth to the feelde.
Comme onn, yee knyghtes, and wynn the honnour’d sheeld.
I take the challenge; squyre, mie launce and stede.
I, Bourtonne, take the gauntlette; forr mee staie.
Botte, gyff thou fyghteste mee, thou shalt have mede
Somme odherr I wylle champyonn toe affraie ;
Perchaunce fromme hemm I maie possess the daie,
Thenn I schalle bee a foemanne forr thie spere.
Herehawde, toe the bankes of Knyghtys saie,
De Berghamme wayteth forr a foemann heere.
Botte longe thou schalte ne tend ; I doe thee fie ,
Lyche forreying levynn , schalle mie tylte-launce flie.
Nowe, nowe, Syrr Knyghte, attoure thie beeveredd eyne,
I have borne downe, and efte doe gauntlette thee.
Swythenne begynne, and wrynn thie shappe orr myne;
Gyff thou dyscomfytte, ytt wylle dobblie bee.
Symonne de Bourtonne haveth borne downe three,
And bie the thyrd hathe honnoure of a fourthe.
Lett hymm bee sett asyde, tylle hee doth see
A tyltynge forr a knyghte of gentle wourthe.
Heere commethe straunge knyghtes; gyff corteous heie
Ytt welle beseies to yeve hemm ryghte of fraie .
Straungerrs wee be; and homblie doe wee clayme
The rennome ynn thys Tourneie forr to tylte;
Dherbie to proove fromm cravents owre goode name,
Bewrynnynge thatt wee gentile blodde have spylte.
Yee knyghtes of cortesie, these straungerrs, saie,
Bee you fulle wyllynge forr to yeve hemm fraie?
Nowe bie Seyncte Marie, gyff onn all the fielde
Ycrasedd speres and helmetts bee besprente ,
Gyff everyche knyghte dydd houlde a piercedd sheeld,
Gyff all the feelde wythe champyonne blodde bee stente ,
Yett toe encounterr hymm I bee contente.
Annodherr launce, Marshalle, anodherr launce.
Albeytte hee wythe lowes of fyre ybrente ,
Yett Bourtonne woulde agenste hys val advance.
Fyve haveth fallenn downe anethe hys speere,
Botte hee schalle bee the next thatt falleth heere.
Bie thee, Seyncte Marie, and thy Sonne I sweare,
Thatt ynn whatte place yonn doughtie knyghte shall fall
Anethe the stronge push of mie straught out speere,
There schalle aryse a hallie chyrches wall;
The whyche, ynn honnoure, I wylle Marye calle,
Wythe pillars large, and spyre full hyghe and rounde.
And thys I faifullie wylle stonde to all,
Gyff yonderr straungerr falleth to the grounde
Straungerr, bee boune ; I champyonn you to warre.
Sounde, sounde the slughornes, to bee hearde fromm farre.
The Mornynge Tyltes now cease.
Bourtonne ys kynge.
Dysplaie the Englyshe bannorre onn the tente;
Rounde hymm, yee mynstrelles, songs of achments synge;
Yee Herawdes, getherr upp the speeres besprente ;
To Kynge of Tourney-tylte bee all knees bente,
Dames faire and gentle, forr youre loves hee foughte;
Forr you the longe tylte-launce, the swerde hee shente ;
Hee joustedd, alleine havynge you ynn thoughte.
Comm; mynstrelles, sound the strynge, goe onn eche syde,
Whylest hee untoe the Kynge ynn state doe ryde.
Whann Battayle, smethynge wythe new quickenn’d gore,
Bendynge wythe spoiles, and bloddie droppynge hedde,
Dydd the merke woode of ethe and rest explore,
Seekeynge to lie onn Pleasures downie bedde,
Pleasure, dauncyng fromm her wode,
Wreathedd wythe floures of aiglintine,
Fromm hys vysage washedd the bloud;
Hylte hys swerde and gaberdyne.
Wythe syke an eyne thee swotelie hymm dydd view,
Dydd soe ycorvenn everrie shape to joie,
Hys spryte dydd chaunge untoe anodherr hue,
Hys armes, ne spoyles, mote anie thoughts emploie.
All delyghtsomme and contente,
Fyre enshotynge fromm hys eyne,
Ynn hys arms hee dydd herr hente ,
Lyche the merk-plante doe entwyne.
So; gyff thou lovest Pleasure and herr trayne,
Onknowlachynge ynn whatt place herr to fynde,
Thys rule yspende , and ynn thie mynde retayne;
Seeke Honnoure fyrste, and Pleasaunce lies behynde.
Onn Oure Ladies Chyrche
AS onn a hylle one eve sittynge,
At oure Ladie’s Chyrche mouche wonderynge,
The counynge handieworke so fyne,
Han well nighe dazeled mine eyne;
Quod I; some counynge fairie hande
Yreer’d this chapelle in this lande;
Full well I wote so fine a syghte
Was ne yreer’d of mortall wighte.
Quod Trouthe; thou lackest knowlachynge;
Thou forsoth ne wotteth of the thynge.
A Rev’rend Fadre, William Canynge hight,
Yreered uppe this chapelle brighte;
And eke another in the Towne,
Where glassie bubblynge Trymme doth roun.
Quod I; ne doubte for all he’s given
His sowle will certes goe to heaven.
Yea, quod Trouthe; than goe thou home,
And see thou doe as hee hath donne.
Quod I; I doubt; that can ne bee;
I have ne gotten markes three.
Quod Trouthe; as thou hast got, give almes-dedes soe;
Canynges and Gaunts culde doe ne moe.
On The Same (Oure Ladies Chyrche)
STAY, curyous traveller, and pass not bye,
Until this fetive pile astounde thine eye.
Whole rocks on rocks with yron joynd surveie,
And okes with okes entremed disponed lie.
This mightie pile, that keeps the wyndes at baie,
Fyre-levyn and the mokie storme defie,
That shootes aloofe into the reaulmes of daie,
Shall be the record of the Buylders fame for aie.
Thou seest this maystrie of a human hand,
The pride of Brystowe and the Westerne lande,
Yet is the Buylders vertues much moe greete,
Greeter than can bie Rowlies pen be scande.
Thou seest the saynctes and kynges in stonen state,
That seemd with breath and human soule dispande,
As payrde to us enseem these men of slate,
Such is greete Canynge’s mynde when payrd to God elate.
Well maiest thou be astound, but view it well;
Go not from hence before thou see thy fill,
And learn the Builder’s vertues and his name;
Of this tall spyre in every countye telle,
And with thy tale the lazing rych men shame;
Showe howe the glorious Canynge did excelle;
How hee good man a friend for kynges became,
And gloryous paved at once the way to heaven and fame.
The Churchwarden And The Apparition: A Fable
The night was cold, the wind was high,
And stars bespangled all the sky;
Churchwarden Joe had laid him down,
And slept secure on bed of down;
But still the pleasing hope of gain,
That never left his active brain,
Exposed the churchyard to his view,
That seat of treasure wholly new.
“Pull down that cross,” he quickly cried,
The mason instantly complied:
When lo! behold, the golden prize
Appears—joy sparkles in his eyes.
The door now creaks, the window shakes,
With sudden fear he starts and wakes;
Quaking and pale, in eager haste
His haggard eyes around he cast;
A ghastly phantom, lean and wan,
That instant rose, and thus began:
“Weak wretch—to think to blind my eyes!
Hypocrisy’s a thin disguise;
Your humble mien and fawning tongue
Have oft deceived the old and young.
On this side now, and now on that,
The very emblem of the bat:
Whatever part you take, we know
‘Tis only interest makes it so,
And though with sacred zeal you burn,
Religion’s only for your turn;
I’m Conscience called!” Joe greatly feared;
The lightning flashed—it disappeared.
The Accounte Of W. Canynges Feast
THOROWE the halle the belle han sounde;
Byelecoyle doe the Grave beseeme;
The ealdermenne doe sytte arounde,
Ande snoffelle oppe the cheorte steeme.
Lyche asses wylde ynne desarte waste
Swotelye the morneynge ayre doe taste.
Syke keene theie ate; the minitrels plaie,
The dynne of angelles doe theie keepe;
Heie stylle the guestes ha ne to saie,
Butte nodde yer thankes ande falle aslape.
Thus echone daie bee I to deene,
Gyf Rowley, Iscamm, or Tyb. Gorges be ne seene.
Onn John A Dalbenie
Johne makes a jarre ’boute
Lancaster and Yorke.
Bee stille gode manne,
and learne to mynde thie worke.