Page images


Whanne Autumpne blake and sonne-brente doe appere,
With hys goulde honde guylteynge the falleynge lefe, 20
Bryngeynge oppe Wynterr to folfylle the yere,
Beerynge uponne hys backe the riped shefe;

Whan al the hyls wythe woddie sede ys whyte;
Whanne levynne-fyres and lemes do mete from far the


Whann the fayre apple, rudde as even skie,

25 Do bende the tree unto the fructyle grounde; When joicie peres, and berries of blacke die, Doe daunce yn ayre, and call the eyne arounde;

Thann, bee the even foule or even fayre, Meethynckes mie hartys joie ys steynced wyth somme care. 30


Angelles bee wrogte to bee of neidher kynde;
Angelles alleyne fromme chafe desyre bee free:
Dheere ys a somwhatte evere yn the mynde,
Yatte, wythout wommanne, cannot styllèd bee;

Ne seyncte yn celles, botte, havynge blodde and tere,
Do fynde the spryte to joie on syghte of womanne fayre;


Wommen bee made, notte for hemselves, botte manne,
Bone of hys bone, and chyld of hys desire;
Fromme an ynutyle membere fyrste beganne,
Ywroghte with moche of water, lyttele fyre;

Therefore theie seke the fyre of love, to hete
The milkyness of kynde, and make hemselfes complete.


Albeytte wythout wommen menne were pheeres
To salvage kynde, and wulde botte lyve to slea,
Botte wommenne efte the spryghte of peace so cheres, 45
Tochelod yn Angel joie heie Angeles bee:

Go, take thee swythyn to thie bedde a wyfe;
Bee bante or blessed hie yn proovynge marryage lyfe.

By: 1668.



O, synge untoe mie roundelaie !
O, droppe the brynie teare wythe mee!
Daunce ne moe atte hallie daie;
Lycke a reynynge ryver bee:

Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.

[ocr errors][merged small]


Swote hys tyngue as the throstles note,
Quycke ynn daunce as thoughte canne bee,
Defte hys taboure, codgelle stote;
O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree:

Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
Alle underre the wyllowe tree.


Harke! the ravenne flappes hys wynge,
In the briered delle belowe;
Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge,
To the nyghte-mares as heie goe:

Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.



See! the whyte moone sheenes onne hie;
Whyterre ys mie true loves shroude,
Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie,
Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude:

Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys deathe-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.


Heere, uponne mie true loves grave,
Schalle the baren fleurs be layde,
Nee one hallie Seyncte to save
Al the celness of a mayde:

Mie love ys dedde,
Gonne to hys deathe-bedde,
Alle under the .wyllowe tree.



Wythe mie hondes I'lle dente the brieres
Rounde his hallie corse to gre;
Ouphante fairie, lyghte youre fyres,
Heere mie boddie stylle schalle bee:

Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.


Comme, wythe acorne-coppe and thorne
Drayne mie hartys blodde awaie;
Lyfe and all yttes goode I scorne,
Daunce bie nete, or feaste by daie :

Mie love ys dedde,
Gon to hys death-bedde,
Al under the wyllowe tree.


Waterre wytches, crownede wythe reytes,
Bere mee to yer leathalle tyde.
I die! I comme! mie true love waytes.-

Thos the damselle spake and dyed.
By 1668.




In Virgynè the sweltrie sun gan sheene,
And hotte upon the mees did caste his raie;
The apple rodded from its palie greene,
And the mole peare did bende the leafy spraie;
The peede chelandri sunge the livelong daie;

'T was nowe the pride, the manhode, of the yeare,
And eke the grounde was dighte in its most defte aumere.

5 10

The sun was glemeing in the midde of daie,
Deadde still the aire, and eke the welken blue;
When from the sea arist in drear arraie
A hepe of cloudes of sable sullen hue,
The which full fast unto the woodlande drewe,

Hiltring attenes the sunnis fetive face,
And the blacke tempeste swolne and gathered up apace.


Beneathe an holme, faste by a pathwaie side
Which dide unto Seyncte Godwine's covent lede,
A hapless pilgrim moneynge dyd abide,
Pore in his viewe, ungentle in his weede,
Longe bretful of the miseries of neede:

Where from the hailstone coulde the almer flie?
He had no housen theere, ne anie covent nie.


Look in his glommèd face, his spright there scanne:
Howe woe-be-gone, how withered, forwynd, deade!
Haste to thie church-glebe-house, ashrewed manne;
Haste to thie kiste, thie onlie dorture bedde:
Cale as the claie whiche will gre on thie hedde

Is Charitie and Love aminge highe elves;
Knightis and Barons live for pleasure and themselves.


The gathered storme is rype; the bigge drops falle;
The forswat meadowes smethe, and drenche the raine; 30
The comyng ghastness do the cattle pall,
And the full flockes are drivynge ore the plaine;
Dashde from the cloudes, the waters flott againe;

The welkin opes, the yellow levynne flies,
And the hot fierie smothe in the wide lowings dies.


Liste ! now the thunder's rattling clymmynge sound
Cheves slowie on, and then embollen clangs,
Shakes the hie spyre, and, losst, dispended, drowned,
Still on the gallard eare of terroure hanges;
The windes are up, the lofty elmen swanges;

Again the levynne and the thunder poures,
And the full cloudes are braste attenes in stonen showers.

40 45

Spurreynge his palfrie oere the watrie plaine,
The Abbote of Seyncte Godwyne's convente came:
His chapournette was drented with the reine,
And his pencte gyrdle met with mickle shame;
He aynewarde tolde his bederoll at the same.

The storme encreasen, and he drew aside
With the mist almes-craver neere to the holme to bide.


His cope was all of Lyncolne clothe so fyne,
With a gold button fastened neere his chynne;
His autremete was edged with golden twynne,
And his shoone pyke a loverds mighte have binne-
Full well it shewn he thoughten coste no sinne;

The trammels of the palfrye pleasde his sighte,
For the horse-millanare his head with roses dighte.


"An almes, sir prieste!" the droppynge pilgrim saide;
"O let me waite within your covente dore,
Till the sunne sheneth hie above our heade,
And the loude tempeste of the aire is oer.
Helpless and ould am I, alas! and poor;

No house, ne friend, ne moneie in my pouche;
All yatte I calle my owne is this my silver crouche."


"Varlet,” replyd the Abbatte, “cease your dinne ! This is no season almes and prayers to give.

65 Mie porter never lets a faitour in; None touch mie rynge who not in honour live.” And now the sonne with the blacke cloudes did stryve,

And shettynge on the grounde his glairie raie: The Abbatte spurrde his steede, and eftsoones roadde awaie. 70

Once moe the skie was blacke, the thounder rolde:
Faste reyneynge oer the plaine a prieste was seen,
Ne dighte full proude, ne buttoned up in golde ;
His cope and jape were graie, and eke were clene;
A Limitoure he was of order seene.

And from the pathwaie side then turned hee,
Where the pore almer laie binethe the holmen tree.


« PreviousContinue »