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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 5 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;
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 15 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 17 me bleid,
And buir 18 me backwart from my sted;
But heir I vow to God soverane,
That I sall never just 19 agane.
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.
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 Agreement or understanding. 22 Which.
21. John Skelton, d. 1529. (Manual, p. 62.)
ATTACK UPON WOLSEY.
But this mad Amalek
Like to a Mamelek,1
He regardeth lords
No more than potshords;
He is in such elation
Of his exaltation,
And the supportation
Of our sovereign lord,
That, God to record,'
He ruleth all at will,
Without reason or skill; 3
Howbeit the primordial
Of his wretched original,
And his base progeny,*
And his greasy genealogy,
He came of the sank royal
That was cast out of a butcher's
He would dry up the streams
Of nine kings' reams,
All rivers and wells,
All water that swells;
For with us he so mells7
That within England dwells,
I wold he were somewhere
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 grace,
And grant him a place
Endless to dwell
With the devil of hell!
For, an he were there,
We need never fear
Of the feindes blake;
For I undertake
He wold so brag and crake,
That he wold than make
The devils to quake,
To shudder and to shake,
Like a fire-drake,8
And with a coal rake
Bruise them on a brake,9
And bind them to a stake,
Regard to propriety. 4 Progenitorship? 5 Sangue 7 Meddles. 8 Fiery dragon. 9 Engine of torture.
That he wold brake the brains
Of Lucifer in his chains,
And rule them each onc
In Lucifer's trone.11
And set hell on fire
At his own desire.
He is such a grim sire,
And such a potestolate,10
And such a potestate,
10" Equivalent, I suppose, to legate."-Dyce.
22. Sir Thomas Wyatt. 1503-1541. (Manual, p. 84.)
TO HIS BELOVED.
Forget not yet the tried intent
Of such a truth as I have meant ;
My great travail so gladly spent,
Forget not yet!
Forget not yet when first began
The weary life, ye know since whan,
The suit, the service, none tell can;
Forget not yet!
Forget not yet the great assays,
The cruel wrong, the scornful ways,
The painful patience in delays,
Forget not yet!
Forget not!-Oh! forget not this,
How long ago hath been, and is
The mind that never meant amiss,
Forget not yet!
Forget not then thine own approv'd,
The which so long hath thee so lov'd,
Whose steadfast faith yet never mov'd,
Forget not this!
Earl of Surrey. 1517-1547. (Manual, p. 64.)
23. A PRISONER IN WINDSOR CASTLE, HE REFLECTS ON PAST
So cruel prison how could betide, alas!
As proud Windsor? Where I in lust and joy,
With a king's son, my childish years did pass,
In greater feast than Priam's sons of Troy;
Where each sweet place returns a taste full sour.
The large green courts, where we were wont to hove,
With eyes upcast unto the maiden's tower,
And easy sighs, such as folk draw in love.
The stately seats, the ladies bright of hue,
The dances short, long tales of great delight;
With words and looks that tigers could but rue,
When each of us did plead the other's right.
The palm play,1 where dèsported 2 for the game,
With dazed eyes oft we, by gleams of love,
Have miss'd the ball, and got sight of our dame,
To bait her eyes, which kept the leads above.
The gravell'd ground, with sleeves tied on the helm,
On foaming horse with swords and friendly hearts;
With cheer as though one should another whelm,
Where we have fought, and chased oft with darts.
With silver drops the meads yet spread for ruth;
In active games of nimbleness and strength,
Where we did strain, trained with swarms of youth,
Our tender limbs that yet shot up in length.
The secret groves, which oft we made resound
Of pleasant plaint, and of our ladies praise;
Recording soft what grace each one had found,
What hope of speed, what dread of long delays.
The wild forest, the clothed holts with green;
With reins avail'd, and swift ybreathed horse,
With cry of hounds, and merry blasts between,
Where we did chase the fearful hart of force.
The void walls eke that harbour'd us each night:
Wherewith, alas! revive within my breast
The sweet accord, such sleeps as yet delight;
The pleasant dreams, the quiet bed of rest ;
The secret thoughts, imparted with such trust;
The wanton talk, the divers change of play;
The friendship sworn, each promise kept so just,
Wherewith we past the winter nights away.
And with this thought the blood forsakes the face;
The tears berain my cheeks of deadly hue:
The which, as soon as sobbing sighs, alas!
Upsupped have, thus I my plaint renew:
O place of bliss! renewer of my woes!
Give me account, where is my noble fere?
Whom in thy walls thou didst each night enclose;
To other lief: 5 but unto me most dear.
1 Tennis-court. 2 Stript. 3 Shortened. 4 Companion.
Echo, alas! that doth my sorrow rue,
Returns thereto a hollow sound of plaint.
Thus I alone, where all my freedom grew,
In prison pine, with bondage and restraint:
And with remembrance of the greater grief,
To banish the less, I find my chief relief.
24. DESCRIPTION OF SPRING.
The soote1 season, that bud and bloom forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill, and eke the vale,
The nightingale with feathers new she sings;
The turtle to her make 2 hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs.
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale;
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings;
The fishes fleet with new repaired scale;
The adder all her slough away she flings;
The swift swallow pursueth the flies small;
The busy bee her honey now she mings;3
Winter is worn that was the flower's bale.*
And thus I see among these pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.
25. Thomas, Lord Vaux. (Manual, p. 68.)
UPON HIS WHITE HAIRS.
These hairs of age are messengers
Which bid me fast repent and pray ;
They be of death the harbingers,
That doth prepare and dress the way:
Wherefore I joy that you may see
Upon my head such hairs to be.
They be the lines that lead the length
How far my race was for to run;
They say my youth is fled with strength,
And how old age is well begun;
The which I feel, and you may see
Such lines upon my head to be.
They be the strings of sober sound,
Whose music is harmonical;
Their tunes declare a time from ground
I came, and how thereto I shall: