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On the Mynster.*
Wythe daityve' steppe relygyon dyghte yn greie,
Swyfte as a takel thro'we bryghte heav'n tooke her waie,
And ofte and ere anon dyd saie
"Aie! mee! what shall I doe;
"See Brystoe citie, whyche I nowe doe kenne,
Arysynge to mie view,
"Thycke throng'd wythe soldyers and wythe traffyck
"Butte saynctes I seen few."
* This poem is reprinted from Barrett's History of Bristol. It is said by Chatterton to be translated by Rowley, "as nie as Englyshe wyll serve, from the original, written by Abbot John, who was ynductyd 20 yeares, and dyd act as abbatt 9 yeares before hys inductyon for Phillip then abbatt: he dyed yn м.cc.XV. beynge buryed in his albe in the mynster."-SOUTHEY'S Edition of Chatterton.
John, seconde abbotte of Seyncte Augustynns, was a manne well skyllde ynn the languages of yore; hee wrote ynn the Greke tonge a poem onne Roberte Fitz Hardynge, whyche as nie as Englyshe wylle serve I have thus transplacedd:
"Wythe daityve steppe relygyon dyghte yn greie,
As above.-ROWLEY'S History of Painters and Carvellers.
1 Perhaps 'haitive,' or 'haiftiff' hasty, from the French 'haity' hasty.
Fytz-Hardynge rose!-he rose lyke bryghte sonne in
"Faire dame adryne thein eyne,
"Let alle thie greefe bee myne,
"For I wylle rere thee uppe a Mynster hie;
And wylle a monke be shorne;"
Thenne dyd the dame replie,
"I shall ne be forelourne;
Here wyll I take a cherysaunied reste,
"And spend mie daies upon Fytz-Hardynges breste."
Setting aside the opinion of those uncharitable biographers whose imaginations have conducted Chatterton to the gibbet, it may be owned, that his unformed character exhibited strong and conflicting elements of good and evil. Even the momentary project of the infidel boy to become a methodist preacher, betrays an obliquity of design, and a contempt of human credulity, that is not very amiable. But had he been spared, his pride and ambition would have come to flow in proper channels; his understanding would have taught him the practical value of truth, and the dignity of virtue, and he would have despised artifice when he had felt the strength and security of wisdom.-CAMPBELL.
Chatterton was a prodigy of genius, and would have proved the first of English poets, had he reached a maturer age.-WARTON.
To speak of Chatterton, is to touch upon a name from which time neither has taken nor will take any of its interest.-SOUTHEY.
Fadre, Sonne, and Mynstrelles.
To the worlde newe and ytts bestoykenynge' waie
Mie name is Intereste, tis I
• From Barrett's History of Bristol. A glossary to this poem is now added for the first time. The interpretations are given from Kersey. 1 Deceiving. 2 A young lad. 3 Advice, counsel, help. 4 Evidently formed from 'Mascle (F. in Heraldry) a kind of short lozenge, that is voided, or has a hole in the middle representing the mesh of a net."
Butte wyll fynde ytte to theyr cost,
I amme a faytour' flame
Love somme behyghte3 mie name,
Doeth nete a pyne" avele;
And from gode redeynge' flee,
The manne who woulde gette wealthe
Muste never thynke of mee.
I bee the Queede of Pryde, mie spyrynge heade Mote reche the cloudes and stylle be rysynge hie, Too lyttle is the earthe to bee mie bedde,
Too hannow for mie breetheynge place the skie;
9 Narrow. The word is neither in Speght, Kersey, or Bailey.
Daynous' I see the worlde bineth me lie
Tys to the smalle alleyn that I canne multyplie.
I am the Queed of goulers; look arounde
ayrs aboute mee thieves doe represente, Bloudsteyned robbers spryng from oute the grounde, And airie vysyons swarme around mie ente;s
O save mie monies, ytte ys theyre entente
To nymme' the redde Godde of mie fremded3 sprighte, Whatte joie canne goulers have or daie or nyghte!
Vice bee I hyghte, onne golde fulle ofte I ryde,
I bee greete Dethe, alle ken mee bie the name,
2 Less than.
4 To take by stealth, to filch. 5 Frighted.