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Than callit scho all flouris that grew on feild,
“And sen thow art a king, thow be discreit; Herb without vertew thow hald nocht of sic 13
WILLIAM DUNBAR (1460 ?-1513 +)
FROM THE THRISSILL AND THE ROIS Quhen Merch wes with variand' windis past, And Appryll had, with hir silver schouris, Tane leif at’ Nature with ane orient blast, And lusty May, that muddir is of flouris, Had maid the birdis to begyn thair houris, Amang the tendir odouris reid and quhyt," Quhois o armony to heir it wes delyt; In bed at morrow,' sleiping as I lay, Methocht & Aurora, with hir cristall ene, In at the window lukit, by the day, And halsit" me, with visage paill and grene; On quhois hand a lark sang fro the splene," “Awalk, luvaris,' out of your slomering, Se how the lusty morrow dois up-spring !" Me thocht, fresche May befoir my bed up-stude, In weid depaynt " of mony diverss hew, Sobir, benyng,15 and full of mansuetude, 18 In brycht" atteir of flouris forgit 18 new, Hevinly of color, quhyt,“ reid, broun, and blew, Balmit 1' in dew, and gilt with Phebus bemys, Quhill 20 all the houss illumynit of his lemys.21 “Slugird,” scho said, “awalk annonefor schame, And in my honour sum thing thow go wryt; The lark hes done the mirry day proclame, To raiss up luvaris with confort and delyt; Yit nocht incressis thy curage to indyt,23 Quhois hairt sum-tyme hes glaid and blisfull bene, Sangis to mak undir the levis grene."
Quhairto," quod I, “sall I upryss at morrow, For in this May few birdis herd I sing? 30 Thai haif 25 moir causs to weip and plane thair
sorrow, Thy air it is nocht holsum nor benyng. 15 Lord Eolus dois in thy sessone 28 ring; 29 So busteous the blastis of his horne Amang thy bewis, 31 to walk 53 I haif forborne."
“Nor hald non udir flour in sic denty 16
160 To the be glory and honour at all houris.”
1 varying ? taken leave of 3 hours, services of praise • white bwhose hear ? morning 8methought eyes 10 looked, dawn 11 greeted 12 from the spleen, fervently 18 awake, lovers
14 in garment colored 15 benign 18 mildness 17 bright 18 forged, made 19 balmed 20 while 21 beams 22 awake at once 23 compose 24 songs 26 have 2 more 27 does
season reign 30 noisy 31 boughs 32 wake
promise ? season
• enameled azure • distinguishing qualities guarded by 10 shining 11 defend the rest 12 such 18 make herself fellow 14 weed 16 such esteem 16 if 17 pleasance 18 illustrious 19 royal 20 young 21 without 2 blemish 23 springing 24 above the rest 25 costly * clear 27 in close 28 while 29 herbs
Thane all the birdis song with voce on hicht,'
The merle scho sang, “Haill, Roiss of most delyt ! Haill, of all flouris quene and soverane!” 170 The lark scho sang, “Haill, Roiss, both reid and
quhyt, Most plesand flour, of michty cullouris twane !" The nychtingaill sang, “Haill, Naturis suffragane, In bewty, nurtour,' and every nobilness, In riche array, renown, and gentilness !”
The common voce upraissé of birdis small,
And right anone La Bell Pucell me sent
And after that the gay and glorious
What’ shoulde I tary by longe continuance
O lusty youth and yong tender hart,
Tyll that Dame Nature Naturyng* had made
STEPHEN HAWES (d. 1523)
THE PASTIME OF PLEASURE
OF THE GREAT MARIAGE BETWENE GRAUNDE
AMOUR AND LABELL PUCELL
FROM CAPIT. XXXIX
Then Perceveraunce in all goodly haste Unto the stewarde called Liberalitie Gave warnyng for to make ready fast Agaynst this tyme of great solemnitie That on the morowe halowed shoulde be. She warned the cooke called Temperaunce And after that the ewres,o Observaunce,
With Pleasaunce, the panter," and dame
O erth! on erth it is a wonders case That thou art blynde and wyll not the know; Though upon erth thou hast thy dwelling place, Yet erth at last must nedes the ? overthrow. Thou thinkest thou do be no erth, I trow; For if thou diddest, thou woldest than apply To forsake pleasure and to lerne to dye. 7
O erth, of erth why art thou so proud ? Now what thou art, call to remembraunce;
1 aloud ' flourish 3 sphere nurture uprose o wise 7 beloved
10 eweress, servant in charge of ewers, napkins, etc. 11 servant in charge of pantry
1 broidered why start away · Natura naturans, Nature as a creative being. 6 strength o wondrous 7 thee, thyself 8then
The vyle carkes: set upon a fyre? Doth often haunte the synne of lechery, Fulfyllyng the foule carnall desyre: Thus erth with erth is corrupt mervaylously, And erth on erth wyll nothing purify, Till erth to erth be nere: subverted For erth with erth is so pervcrted.
Open thine eares unto my song aloude.
And erth, with erth why art thou so wroth?
And erth, for erth why hast thou envy?
Toward heven to folow on the way
And whan erth to erth is nexte to reverte
Unto all poetes I do me excuse, If that I offende for lacke of science. This little boke yet do ye not refuse, Though it be devoyde of famous eloquence. Adde or detray * by your hye sapience, And pardon me of my hye enterprise, Whiche of late this fable did fayne and devise.
1 thee? availeth 3 equal, just not at allo prolonging covetousness cease 8 doubtless
fools 10 fond of pleasure 11 carefully
THE END OF THE MIDDLE AGES
And prytely he wold pant JOHN SKELTON (1460 7-1529)
Whan he saw an ant;
Lord, how he wolde pry
After the butterfly!
Lorde, how he wolde hop
After the gressop !!
And whan I sayd, “Phyp! Phyp!"
Than he wold lepe and skyp,
And take me by the lyp.
140 Wolde God I had Zenophontes,
Alas, it wyll me slo,
That Phillyp is gone me fro!
But my sparowe dyd pas :
All the sparows of the wode
That were syns Noes flode;
Was never none so good;
Kynge Phylyp of Macedony
270 So urgently I am brought
Had no such Phylyp as I,
No, no, syr, hardely."
That vengeaunce I aske and crye,
By way of exclamacyon,
On all the hole nacyon
Of cattes wylde and tame;
God send them sorowe and shame!
The cat specyally
That slew so cruelly
My lytell pretty sparowe
280 It wold syt on a stole,
That I brought up at Carowe.
O cat of carlyshe kynde,
The fynde was in thy mynde
Whan thou my byrde untwynde !
I wold thou haddest ben blynde !
The leopardes savage,
The lyons in theyr rage,
Myght? catche the in theyr pawes,
And gnawe the in theyr jawes !
The serpentes of Lybany
290 It wolde lye and rest;
Myght stynge the venymously!
The dragones with their tonges
Might poyson thy lyver and longes !
The mantycors 8 of the mountaynes A fly or a gnat,
Myght fede them on thy braynes !
grasshopper? slay 8 surpass certainly chur1 Lord ? I have lifted up mine eyes to the moun- lish nature fiend ? I would they might 8a tains. : fool to act shy? to keep his distance ? fabulous monster, with a human head and the body • ready
of a beast of prey.
FROM WHY COME YE NOT TO
But all he bringeth to nought,
By God, that me dere bought!
He bereth the kyng on hand,
That he must pyll’ his lande, 450
To make his cofers ryche;
But he laythe all in the dyche,
And useth suche abusyoun,
That in the conclusyoun
All commeth to confusyon.
Perceyve the cause why!
To tell the trouth playnly,
He is so ambicyous,
So shamles, and so vicyous,
And so supersticyous,
460 And Yorkes Place,
And so moche oblivyous
From whens that he came,
That he falleth into a caeciam,
Whiche, truly to expresse,
Is a forgetfulnesse,
Or wylfull blyndnesse,
Wherwith the Sodomites
Lost theyr inward syghtes,
The Gommoryans also
Were brought to deedly wo,
470 Stop at law tancrete,
As Scrypture recordis.
A caecitate cordis,'
In the Latyne synge we,
Libera nos, Domine / s
But this madde Amalecke,
Lyke to a Mamelek,
He regardeth lordes
No more than potshordes;
He is in suche elacyon
Of his exaltacyon,
480 Saunz aulter * remedy,
And the supportacyon
Of our soverayne lorde,
That, God to recorde,?
He ruleth all at wyll,
Without reason or skyll:
How be it the primordyall
Of his wretched originall,
And his base progeny,
And his gresy genealogy,
He came of the sank royall ® 490
That was cast out of a bochers stall.
FROM COLYN CLOUTE
My name is Colyn Cloute.
I purpose to shake oute
All my connyng bagge,
Lyke a clerkely hagge;
1 insists to the king. plunder 'blind vertigo inquire a transcribed 3 abstract - without other " from blindness of heart. 5 free us, O Lord! immediately 6 coërced ? nut-shells $ in good part potsherds ? I call God to witness. 8 blood royal