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FROM THE DEATH OF CHAUCER TO THE AGE OF ELIZABETH A. D. 1400-1558.
18. JAMES I. 1394-1437. (Manu: 1, p. 60.)
From the King's Quair (Quire or Book).
ON HIS BELoved.
The longè dayès and the nightès eke,
I would bewail my fortune in this wise,
For which, again1 distress comfort to seek
My custom was, on mornès, for to rise
Early as day: O happy exercise!
By thee come I to joy out of torment;
But now to purpose of my first intent.
Bewailing in my chamber, thus alone,
Despaired of all joy and remedy,
For-tired of my thought, and woe begone;
And to the window gan I walk in hye,"
To see the world and folk that went forby;
As for the time (though I of mirthis food
Might have no more) to look it did me good.
Now was there made fast by the touris wall
A garden fair; and in the corners set
An herbere green; with wandis long and small
Railed about and so with treeìs set
Was all the place, and hawthorn hedges knet,
That life was none (a) walking there forby
That might within scarce any wight espy.
Of her array the form gif' I shall write,
Toward her golden hair, and rich attire,
8 Herbary, or garden of simples.
In fret wise coucher with pearlis white,
And greatè balas lemyng as the fire;
With many an emerant and faire sapphire,
And on her head a chaplet fresh of hue,
Of plumys parted red and white and blue.
About her neck, white as the fyr amaille,'
A goodly chain of small orfevyrie,
Whereby there hang a ruby without fail
Like to a heart yshapen verily,
That as a spark of lowe so wantonly
Seemed burnyng upon her white throat;
Now gif there was good parly God it wote.
And for to walk that freshè mayè's morrow,
An hook she had upon her tissue white,
That goodlier had not been seen toforrow,10
As I suppose, and girt she was a lyte "
Thus halfling 12 loose for haste; to such delight
It was to see her youth in goodlihead,
That for rudeness to speak thereof I dread.
In her was youth, beauty with humble port,
Bounty, richess, and womanly feature:
(God better wote than my pen can report)
Wisdom largèss, estate and cunning sure,
In a word in deed, in shape and countenance,
That nature might no more her childe avance.
• Rubies. • Burning. 8 Goldsmith's work.
7 Mr. Ellis conjectures that this is an error, for fair email, i. e. enamel
11 A little.
19. WILLIAM DUNBAR, about 1465-1520. (Manual, p. 60.,
From the Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins.
IRE, PRIDE, AND ENVY.
And first of all in dance was Pryd,
With hair wyl'd bak, bonet on side,1
Like to mak vaistie wainis; ?
And round about him, as a quheill,"
Hang all in rumpilis to the heill,*
His kethat for the nanis.5
Mony proud trompour with him trippit,
Throw skaldan fyre ay as they skippit,"
They' girnd with hyddous granis.*
1 With hair combed back (and) bonnet to one side. 2 Likely to make wasteful wants. 4 Hung all in rumples to the heel. 5 His cassock for the nonce. 6 Many a proud impostos with him tripped. 7 Through scalding fire as they skipped. 8 They grinned with bideoris groans.
Then Ire cam in with sturt and strife,
His hand was ay upon his knyfe,
He brandeist lyk a beir;
Bostaris, braggaris, and burganeris,"
After him passit into pairis,"
All bodin in feir of weir. 12
lie that had delight fan never be rid.
In jakkis stryppis and bonnettis of steil,"
Thair leggis were chenyiet to the heill,"
Frawart was thair affeir. 15
Sum upon uder with brands beft,16
Some jaggit uthers to the heft 17
With knyves that scherp coud scheir."
Next in the dance followit Invy, 19
Fild full of feid and fellony," 20
Hid malice and dispyte,
11 After him passa
Then Ire came with trouble and strife. 10 Boasters, braggarts, and bullies,
in pairs. 12 All arrayed in feature of war. 13 In coats of armor and bonnets of steel. 14 Their legs were chained to the heel. (Probably it means covered with iron net-work.) 15 Froward was their aspect. 16 Some struck upon others with brands. 17 Some stuck others to the hilt. 18 With knives that sharply could mangle. 19 Followed Envy. 20 Filled full of quarrel and felony. 21 For privy hatred that traitor trembled. 22 Him followed many a dissembling renegado. 23 With feigned words fair or white. 24 And flatterers to men's faces. 25 And backbiters of sundry races. 26 To 27 With spreaders of false lies. 28 Alas that courts of noble kings. 29 Of them
20. SIR DAVID LYNDSAY. 1490-1557. (Manual, p. 69.)
MELDRUM'S DUEL WITH THE ENGLISH CHAMPION TALBART.
Then clariouns and trumpets blew,
And weiriours' many hither drew;
On eviry side come2 mony man
To behald wha the battel wan.
The field was in the meadow green,
Quhare everie man micht weil be seen:
The heraldis put tham sa in order,
That na man past within the border,
Nor preissit to com within the green,
Bot heraldis and the campiouns keen;
The order and the circumstance
Wer lang to put in remembrance.
Quhen thir twa nobill men of weir
Wer weill accounterit in their geir,
And in thair handis strong burdounis,
Than trumpettis blew and clariounis,
And heraldis cryit hie on hicht,
Now let thame go- God shaw the richt.
Than trumpettis blew triumphantly,
And thay twa campiouns eagerlie,
They spurrit their hors with spier on breist,
Pertly to prief" their pith they preist."
That round rink-room" was at utterance,
Bot Talbart's hors with ane mischance
He outterit, and to run was laith; 10
Quharof Talbart was wonder wraith."
The Squyer furth his rink 12 he ran,
Commendit weill with every man,
And him discharget of his speir
Honestlie, like ane man of weir.
The trenchour 13 of the Squyreis speir
Stak still into Sir Talbart's geir;
Than everie man into that steid 14
Did all beleve that he was dede.
The Squyer lap richt haistillie
From his coursour deliverlie,
And to Sir Talbart made support,
And humillie 16 did him comfort.
When Talbart saw into his schield
Ane otter in ane silver field,
This race, said he, I sair may rew,
For I see weill my dreame was true;
Methocht yon otter gart me bleid,
And buir me backwart from my sted;
But heir I vow to God soverane,
That I sall never just 19
And sweitlie to the Squiyre said,
Thou knawis 20 the cunning 21 that we made,
Quhilk 22 of us twa suld tyne
23 the field,
He suld baith hors and armour yield
Till him 24 that wan, quhairfore I will
My hors and harness geve thé till.
18 Bore. 19 Joust.
23 Lose. 24 To him.
7 Tried. 8 Course-room.
13 Head of the spear.
20 Thou knowest.
14 In that situation 21 Agreement or
Then said the Squyer, courteouslie,
Brother, I thank you hartfullie;
Of you, forsooth, nothing I crave,
For I have gotten that I would have.
21. JOHN SKELTON, d. 1529. (Manual, p. 65.)
ATTACK UPON WOLSEY.
But this mad Amalek
Like to a Mamelek,1
* Sanguo royal, blood royal.
For else by and by
He will drink us so dry,
And suck us so nigh,
That men shall scantly
Have penny or halfpenny.
God save his noble grave,
And grant him a place
Endless to dwell
With the devil of hell!