The Rowley Poems
Thomas Chatterton

Part 4 out of 7

Bewrynne oure case, and to oure waie be gonne?
The last you do approve; so lette ytte bee;
Damoyselle, comme awaie; you safe scalle bee wythe mee. 1115


Al blessynges maie the seynctes unto yee gyve!
Al pleasaunce maie youre longe-straughte livynges bee!
AElla, whanne knowynge thatte bie you I lyve,
Wylle thyncke too smalle a guyfte the londe & sea.
O Celmonde! I maie deftlie rede bie thee, 1120
Whatte ille betydethe the enfouled kynde;
Maie ne thie cross-stone[120] of thie cryme bewree!
Maie alle menne ken thie valoure, fewe thie mynde!
Soldyer! for syke thou arte ynn noble fraie,
I wylle thie goinges 'tende, & doe thou lede the waie. 1125


The mornynge 'gyns alonge the Easte to sheene;
Darklinge the lyghte doe onne the waters plaie;
The feynte rodde leme slowe creepeth oere the greene,
Toe chase the merkyness of nyghte awaie;
Swifte flies the howers thatte wylle brynge oute the daie; 1130
The softe dewe falleth onne the greeynge grasse;
The shepster mayden, dyghtynge her arraie,
Scante[121] sees her vysage yn the wavie glasse;
Bie the fulle daylieghte wee scalle AElla see.
Or Brystowes wallyd towne; damoyselle, followe mee. 1135




'Tys nowe fulle morne; I thoughten, bie laste nyghte
To have been heere; mie stede han notte mie love;
Thys ys mie pallace; lette mie hyndes alyghte,
Whylste I goe oppe, & wake mie slepeynge dove.
Staie here, mie hyndlettes; I shal goe above. 1140
Nowe. Birtha, wyll thie loke enhele mie spryte,
Thie smyles unto mie woundes a baulme wylle prove;
Mie ledanne boddie wylle bee sette aryghte.
Egwina, haste, & ope the portalle doore,
Yatte I on Birtha's breste maie thynke of warre ne more. 1145



Oh AElla!


Ah! that semmlykeene to mee
Speeketh a legendary tale of woe.


Birtha is--


Whatt? where? how? saie, whatte of shee?




Gone! ye goddes!


Alas! ytte ys toe true.
Yee seynctes, hee dies awaie wythe myckle woe! 1150
AElla! what? AElla! oh! hee lyves agen.


Cal mee notte AElla; I am hymme ne moe.
Where ys shee gon awaie? ah! speake! how? when?


I will.


Caparyson a score of stedes; flie, flie.
Where ys shee? swythynne speeke, or instante thou shalte die. 1155


Stylle thie loud rage, & here thou whatte I knowe.


Oh! speek.


Lyche prymrose, droopynge wythe the heavie rayne,
Laste nyghte I lefte her, droopynge wythe her wiere,
Her love the gare, thatte gave her harte syke peyne--


Her love! to whomme?


To thee, her spouse alleyne[122]. 1160
As ys mie hentylle everyche morne to goe,
I wente, and oped her chamber doore ynn twayne,
Botte found her notte, as I was wont to doe;
Thanne alle arounde the pallace I dyd seere[123],
Botte culde (to mie hartes woe) ne fynde her anie wheere. 1165


Thou lyest, foul hagge! thou lyest; thou art her ayde
To chere her louste;--botte noe; ytte cannotte bee.


Gyff trouthe appear notte inne whatte I have sayde,
Drawe forthe thie anlace swythyn, thanne mee flea.


Botte yette ytte muste, ytte muste bee foe; I see, 1170
Shee wythe somme loustie paramoure ys gone;
Itte moste bee foe--oh! how ytte wracketh mee!
Mie race of love, mie race of lyfe ys ronne;
Nowe rage, & brondeous storm, & tempeste comme;
Nete lyvynge upon erthe can now enswote mie domme. 1175



Loverde! I am aboute the trouthe to saie.
Laste nyghte, fulle late I dydde retourne to reste.
As to mie chamber I dydde bende mie waie,
To Birtha onne hys name & place addreste;
Downe to hym camme shee; butte thereof the reste 1180
I ken ne matter; so, mie hommage made--


O! speake ne moe; mie harte flames yn yttes heste;
I once was AElla; nowe bee notte yttes shade.
Hanne alle the fuirie of mysfortunes wylle
Fallen onne mie benned[124] headde I hanne been AElla stylle. 1185

Thys alleyn was unburled[125] of alle mie spryte;
Mie honnoure, honnoure, frownd on the dolce[126] wynde,
Thatte steeked on ytte; nowe wyth rage Im pyghte;
A brondeous unweere ys mie engyned mynde.
Mie hommeur yette somme drybblet joie maie fynde, 1190
To the Danes woundes I wylle another yeve;
Whanne thos mie rennome[127] & mie peace ys rynde,
Itte were a recrandize to thyncke toe lyve;
Mie huscarles, untoe everie asker telle,
Gyffe noblie AElla lyved, as noblie AElla felle. 1195
[_Stabbeth hys breste_.


AElla ys sleene; the flower of Englonde's marrde!


Be stylle: swythe lette the chyrches rynge mie knelle.
Call hyther brave Coernyke; he, as warde
Of thys mie Brystowe castle, wyll doe welle.
[_Knelle ryngeth_.



Thee I ordeyne the warde; so alle maie telle. 1200
I have botte lyttel tym to dragge thys lyfe;
Mie lethal tale, alyche a lethalle belle,
Dynne yn the eares of her I wyschd mie wyfe!
Botte, ah! shee maie be fayre.


Yatte shee moste bee.


Ah! saie notte foe; yatte worde woulde AElla dobblie flee. 1205



Ah! Birtha here!


Whatte dynne ys thys? whatte menes yis leathalle knelle?
Where ys mie AElla? speeke; where? howe ys hee?
Oh AElla! art thou yanne alyve and welle!


I lyve yndeed; botte doe notte lyve for thee.


Whatte menes mie AElla?


Here mie meneynge see. 1210
Thie foulness urged mie honde to gyve thys wounde,
Ytte mee unsprytes[128].


Ytte hathe unspryted mee.


Ah heavens! mie Birtha fallethe to the grounde!
Botte yette I am a manne, and so wylle bee.


AElla! I amme a Dane; botte yette a friende to thee. 1215

Thys damoyselle I founde wythynne a woode,
Strevynge fulle harde anenste a burled swayne;
I sente hym myrynge ynne mie compheeres blodde,
Celmonde hys name, chief of thie warrynge trayne.
Yis damoiselle foughte to be here agayne; 1220
The whyche, albeytte foemen, wee dydd wylle;
So here wee broughte her wythe you to remayne.


Yee nobylle Danes! wythe goulde I wyll you fylle.


Birtha, mie lyfe! mie love! oh! she ys fayre.
Whatte faultes coulde Birtha have, whatte faultes could AElla feare?


Amm I yenne thyne? I cannotte blame thie feere.
Botte doe reste mee uponne mie AElla's breaste;
I wylle to thee bewryen the woefulle gare.
Celmonde dyd comme to mee at tyme of reste,
Wordeynge for mee to flie, att your requeste, 1230
To Watchette towne, where you deceasynge laie;
I wyth hym fledde; thro' a murke wode we preste,
Where hee foule love unto mie eares dyd saie;
The Danes--


Oh! I die contente.-- [_dieth_.


Oh! ys mie AElla dedde?
O! I will make hys grave mie vyrgyn spousal bedde. 1235
[Birtha _feyncteth_.


Whatt? AElla deadde! & Birtha dyynge toe!
Soe falles the fayrest flourettes of the playne.
Who canne unplyte the wurchys heaven can doe,
Or who untweste the role of shappe yn twayne?
AElla, thie rennome was thie onlie gayne; 1240
For yatte, thie pleasaunce, & thie joie was loste.
Thie countrymen shall rere thee, on the playne,
A pyle of carnes, as anie grave can boaste;
Further, a just amede to thee to bee,
Inne heaven thou synge of Godde, on erthe we'lle synge of thee. 1245


[Footnote 1: robes, mantels.]

[Footnote 2: a pen.]

[Footnote 3: express.]

[Footnote 4: countenance.]

[Footnote 5: covered.]

[Footnote 6: such.]

[Footnote 7: another.]

[Footnote 8: at once.]

[Footnote 9: mighty.]

[Footnote 10: hardy, valourous.]

[Footnote 11: violence.]

[Footnote 12: binding, enforcing.]

[Footnote 13: fate.]

[Footnote 14: lessen, decrease.]

[Footnote 15: faith.]

[Footnote 16: blinded.]

[Footnote 17: lights, rays.]

[Footnote 18: fellows, equals.]

[Footnote 19: disdainful.]

[Footnote 20: presents, offerings.]

[Footnote 21: scarfs.]

[Footnote 22: robes of scarlet.]

[Footnote 23: bounded.]

[Footnote 24: large.]

[Footnote 25: elephants.]

[Footnote 26: destroy.]

[Footnote 27: stretched.]

[Footnote 28: services.]

[Footnote 29: memory, understanding.]

[Footnote 30: Shepherd.]

[Footnote 31: deceiver.]

[Footnote 32: meadows.]

[Footnote 33: The black bird.]

[Footnote 34: Gold-finch.]

[Footnote 35: loudly.]

[Footnote 36: lectures.]

[Footnote 37: Apparel.]

[Footnote 38: At once.]

[Footnote 39: a divine.]

[Footnote 40: A cottage.]

[Footnote 41: Lord.]

[Footnote 42: stretch.]

[Footnote 43: tender.]

[Footnote 44: Naked.]

[Footnote 45: Hot.]

[Footnote 46: health.]

[Footnote 47: Quickly.]

[Footnote 48: Laughable.]

[Footnote 49: Drouned.]

[Footnote 50: Stilled, quenched.]

[Footnote 51: Swelling.]

[Footnote 52: Body, substance.]

[Footnote 53: Still, dead.]

[Footnote 54: arrows, darts.]

[Footnote 55: Terrible.]

[Footnote 56: Offended.]

[Footnote 57: upbraiding.]

[Footnote 58: cease.]

[Footnote 59: swollen.]

[Footnote 60: Torture.]

[Footnote 61: asswage.]

[Footnote 62: difficult.]

[Footnote 63: Jewels.]

[Footnote 64: stay.]

[Footnote 65: Wrapped closely, covered.]

[Footnote 66: fastened.]

[Footnote 67: astonish'd.]

[Footnote 68: Naked.]

[Footnote 69: Scatterest.]

[Footnote 70: Strange.]

[Footnote 71: Quickly.]

[Footnote 72: offerings.]

[Footnote 73: mantels.]

[Footnote 74: Enlighten.]

[Footnote 75: Least.]

[Editor's note: l. 467 _see Introduction p._ xli]

[Footnote 76: Against.]

[Footnote 77: Work.]

[Editor's note: l. 489 sphere: _see note on p_. xli]

[Footnote 78: Terror.]

[Footnote 79: cowards.]

[Footnote 80: Wave.]

[Footnote 81: Contentions.]

[Footnote 82: frighted.]

[Footnote 83: Lose.]

[Footnote 84: Child.]

[Footnote 85: Fate-scourged.]

[Footnote 86: flamed, fired.]

[Footnote 87: lighted.]

[Footnote 88: dead.]

[Footnote 89: blasting.]

[Footnote 90: swallows, sucks in.]

[Footnote 91: unaccustomed.]

[Footnote 92: Declaring.]

[Footnote 93: Shall.]

[Footnote 94: Coward.]

[Footnote 95: Retreat.]

[Footnote 96: Burnish.]

[Footnote 97: Frighted.]

[Footnote 98: Eternal.]

[Footnote 99: Grief.]

[Footnote 100: Running.]

[Footnote 101: hair.]

[Footnote 102: complexion.]

[Footnote 103: Water-flags.]

[Footnote 104: Frozen, cold.]

[Footnote 105: horse coursers, couriers.]

[Footnote 106: Risen.]

[Footnote 107: church-yard.]

[Footnote 108: Promised.]

[Footnote 109: Life.]

[Footnote 110: Scarcely, sparingly.]

[Footnote 111: Torch.]

[Footnote 112: Betrayed.]

[Footnote 113: Letchery.]

[Footnote 114: heaven.]

[Footnote 115: hide.]

[Footnote 116: Furious.]

[Footnote 117: slain.]

[Footnote 118: Adultery.]

[Footnote 119: Slay.]

[Footnote 120: Monument.]

[Footnote 121: Scarce.]

[Footnote 122: Only, alone.]

[Footnote 123: Search.]

[Footnote 124: Cursed, tormented.]

[Footnote 125: unarmed.]

[Footnote 126: soft, gentle.]

[Footnote 127: renown.]

[Footnote 128: Un-souls.]





HAROLDE, bie _T. Rowleie_, the Aucthoure.
GODDWYN, bie _Johan de Iscamme_.
ELWARDE, bie Syrr _Thybbot Gorges_.
ALSTAN, bie Syrr _Alan de Vere_.
KYNGE EDWARDE, bie Mastre _Willyam Canynge_.

Odhers bie _Knyghtes Mynnstrells_.


Made bie Maistre WILLIAM CANYNGE.

Whylomme[1]bie pensmenne[2] moke[3] ungentle[4] name
Have upon Goddwynne Erie of Kente bin layde:
Dherebie benymmynge[5] hymme of faie[6] and fame;
Unliart[7] divinistres[8] haveth faide,
Thatte he was knowen toe noe hallie[9] wurche[10]; 5
Botte thys was all hys faulte, he gyfted ne[11] the churche.

The aucthoure[12] of the piece whiche we enacte,
Albeytte[13] a clergyon[14], trouthe wyll wrytte.
Inne drawynge of hys menne no wytte ys lackte;
Entyn[15] a kynge mote[16] bee full pleased to nyghte. 10
Attende, and marcke the partes nowe to be done;
Wee better for toe doe do champyon[17] anie onne.






Mie loverde[18]!


O! I weepe to thyncke,
What foemen[19] riseth to ifrete[20] the londe.
Theie batten[21] onne her fleshe, her hartes bloude dryncke,
And all ys graunted from the roieal honde.


Lette notte thie agreme[22] blyn[23], ne aledge[24] stonde; 5
Bee I toe wepe, I wepe in teres of gore:
Am I betrassed[25], syke[26] shulde mie burlie[27] bronde
Depeyncte[28] the wronges on hym from whom I bore.


I ken thie spryte[29] ful welle; gentle thou art,
Stringe[30], ugsomme[31], rou[32], as smethynge[33] armyes seeme; 10
Yett efte[34], I feare, thie chefes[35] toe grete a parte,
And that thie rede[36] bee efte borne downe bie breme[37].
What tydynges from the kynge?


His Normans know.
I make noe compheeres of the shemrynge[38] trayne.


Ah Harolde! tis a syghte of myckle woe, 15
To kenne these Normannes everich rennome gayne.
What tydynge withe the foulke[39]?


Stylle mormorynge atte yer shap[40], stylle toe the kynge
Theie rolle theire trobbles, lyche a sorgie sea.
Hane Englonde thenne a tongue, butte notte a stynge? 20
Dothe alle compleyne, yette none wylle ryghted bee?


Awayte the tyme, whanne Godde wylle sende us ayde.


No, we muste streve to ayde oureselves wyth powre.
Whan Godde wylle sende us ayde! tis fetelie[41] prayde.
Moste we those calke[42] awaie the lyve-longe howre? 25
Thos croche[43] oure armes, and ne toe lyve dareygne[44].
Unburled[45] undelievre[46], unespryte[47]?
Far fro mie harte be fled thyk[48] thoughte of peyne,
Ile free mie countrie, or Ille die yn fyghte.


Botte lette us wayte untylle somme season fytte. 30
Mie Kentyshmen, thie Summertons shall ryse;
Adented[49] prowess[50] to the gite[51] of witte,
Agayne the argent[52] horse shall daunce yn skies.
Oh Harolde, heere forstraughteynge[53] wanhope[54] lies.
Englonde, oh Englonde, tys for thee I blethe[55]. 35
Whylste Edwarde to thie sonnes wylle nete alyse[56],
Shulde anie of thie sonnes fele aughte of ethe[57]?
Upponne the trone[58] I sette thee, helde thie crowne;
Botte oh! twere hommage nowe to pyghte[59] thee downe.
Thou arte all preeste, & notheynge of the kynge. 40
Thou arte all Norman, nothynge of mie blodde.
Know, ytte beseies[60] thee notte a masse to synge;
Servynge thie leegefolcke[61] thou arte servynge Godde.


Thenne Ille doe heaven a servyce. To the skyes
The dailie contekes[62] of the londe ascende. 45
The wyddowe, fahdrelesse, & bondemennes cries
Acheke[63] the mokie[64] aire & heaven astende[65]
On us the rulers doe the folcke depende;
Hancelled[66] from erthe these Normanne[67] hyndes shalle bee;
Lyche a battently[68] low[69], mie swerde shalle brende[70]; 50
Lyche fallynge softe rayne droppes, I wyll hem[71] slea[72];
Wee wayte too longe; our purpose wylle defayte[73];
Aboune[74] the hyghe empryze[75], & rouze the champyones strayte.


Thie suster--


Aye, I knowe, she is his queene.
Albeytte[76], dyd shee speeke her foemen[77] fayre, 55
I wulde dequace[78] her comlie semlykeene[79],
And foulde mie bloddie anlace[80] yn her hayre.


Thye fhuir[81] blyn[82].


No, bydde the leathal[83] mere[84]
Upriste[85] withe hiltrene[86] wyndes & cause unkend[87],
Beheste[88] it to be lete[89]; so twylle appeare, 60
Eere Harolde hyde hys name, his contries frende.
The gule-steynct[90] brygandyne[91], the adventayle[92],
The feerie anlace[92] brede[93] shal make mie gare[94] prevayle.


Harolde, what wuldest doe?


Bethyncke thee whatt.
Here liethe Englonde, all her drites [95] unfree, 65
Here liethe Normans coupynge[96] her bie lotte,
Caltysnyng[97] everich native plante to gre[98],
Whatte woulde I doe? I brondeous[99] wulde hem slee[100];
Tare owte theyre sable harte bie ryghtefulle breme[101];
Theyre deathe a meanes untoe mie lyfe shulde bee, 70
Mie spryte shulde revelle yn theyr harte-blodde streme.
Eftsoones I wylle bewryne[102] mie ragefulle ire,
And Goddis anlace[103] wielde yn furie dyre.


Whatte wouldest thou wythe the kynge?


Take offe hys crowne;
The ruler of somme mynster[104] hym ordeyne; 75
Sette uppe fom dygner[105] than I han pyghte[106] downe;
And peace in Englonde shulde be brayd[107] agayne.


No, lette the super-hallie[108] seyncte kynge reygne,
Ande somme moe reded[109] rule the untentyff[110] reaulme;
Kynge Edwarde, yn hys cortesie, wylle deygne 80
To yielde the spoiles, and alleyne were the heaulme:
Botte from mee harte bee everych thoughte of gayne,
Not anie of mie kin I wysche him to ordeyne.


Tell me the meenes, and I wylle boute ytte strayte;
Bete[111] mee to slea[112] mieself, ytte shalle be done. 85


To thee I wylle swythynne[113] the menes unplayte[114],
Bie whyche thou, Harolde, shalte be proved mie sonne.
I have longe seen whatte peynes were undergon,
Whatte agrames[115] braunce[116] out from the general tree;
The tyme ys commynge, whan the mollock[117] gron[118] 90
Drented[119] of alle yts swolynge[120] owndes[121] shalle bee;
Mie remedie is goode; our menne shall ryse:
Eftsoons the Normans and owre agrame[122] flies.


I will to the West, and gemote[123] alle mie knyghtes,
Wythe bylles that pancte for blodde, and sheeldes as brede[124] 95
As the ybroched[125] moon, when blaunch[126] shedyghtes[127]
The wodeland grounde or water-mantled mede;
Wythe hondes whose myghte canne make the doughtiest[128] blede,
Who efte have knelte upon forslagen[129] foes,
Whoe wythe yer fote orrests[130] a castle-stede[131], 100
Who dare on kynges for to bewrecke[123] yiere woes;
Nowe wylle the menne of Englonde haile the daie,
Whan Goddwyn leades them to the ryghtfulle fraie.


Botte firste we'll call the loverdes of the West,
The erles of Mercia, Conventrie and all; 105
The moe wee gayne, the gare[133] wylle prosper beste,
Wythe syke a nomber wee can never fall.


True, so wee sal doe best to lyncke the chayne,
And alle attenes[134] the spreddynge kyngedomme bynde.
No crouched[135] champyone wythe an harte moe feygne 100
Dyd yssue owte the hallie[136] swerde to fynde,
Than I nowe strev to ryd mie londe of peyne.
Goddwyn, what thanckes owre laboures wylle enhepe!
I'lle ryse mie friendes unto the bloddie pleyne;
I'lle wake the honnoure thatte ys now aslepe. 115
When wylle the chiefes mete atte thie feastive halle,
That I wythe voice alowde maie there upon 'em calle?


Next eve, mie sonne.


Nowe, Englonde, ys the tyme,
Whan thee or thie felle foemens cause moste die.
Thie geason[137] wronges bee reyne[138] ynto theyre pryme; 120
Nowe wylle thie sonnes unto thie succoure flie.
Alyche a storm egederinge[139] yn the skie,
Tys fulle ande brasteth[140] on the chaper[141] grounde;
Sycke shalle mie fhuirye on the Normans flie,
And alle theyre mittee[142] menne be sleene[143] arounde. 125
Nowe, nowe, wylle Harolde or oppressionne falle,
Ne moe the Englyshmenne yn vayne for hele[144] shal calle.



Botte, loverde[145], whie so manie Normannes here?
Mee thynckethe wee bee notte yn Englyshe londe.
These browded[146] straungers alwaie doe appere, 130
Theie parte yor trone[147], and sete at your ryghte honde.


Go to, goe to, you doe ne understonde:
Theie yeave mee lyffe and dyd mie bowkie[148] kepe;
Theie dyd mee feeste, and did embowre[149] me gronde;
To trete hem ylle wulde lette mie kyndnesse slepe. 135


Mancas[150] you have yn store, and to them parte;
Youre leege-folcke[151] make moke[152] dole[153], you have theyr worthe asterte[154].


I heste[155] no rede of you. I ken mie friendes.
Hallie[156] dheie are, fulle ready mee to hele[157].
Theyre volundes[158] are ystorven[159] to self endes; 140
No denwere[160] yn mie breste I of them fele:
I muste to prayers; goe yn, and you do wele;
I muste ne lose the dutie of the daie;
Go inne, go ynne, ande viewe the azure rele[161],
Fulle welle I wote you have noe mynde toe praie. 145


I leeve youe to doe hommage heaven-were[162];
To serve yor leege-folcke toe is doeynge hommage there.



Mie friende, Syr Hughe, whatte tydynges brynges thee here?


There is no mancas yn mie loverdes ente[163];
The hus dyspense[164] unpaied doe appere; 150
The laste receivure[165] ys eftesoones[166] dispente[167].


Thenne guylde the Weste.


Mie loverde, I dyd speke
Untoe the mitte[168] Erle Harolde of the thynge;
He raysed hys honde, and smoke me onne the cheke,
Saieynge, go beare thatte message to the kynge. 155


Arace[169] hym of hys powere; bie Goddis worde,
Ne moe thatte Harolde shall ywield the erlies swerde.


Atte seeson fytte, mie loverde, lette itt bee;
Botte nowe the folcke doe soe enalse[170] hys name,
Inne strevvynge to slea hymme, ourselves wee slea; 160
Syke ys the doughtyness[171] of hys grete fame.


Hughe, I beethyncke, thie rede[172] ys notte to blame.
Botte thou maiest fynde fulle store of marckes yn Kente.


Mie noble loverde, Godwynn ys the same
He sweeres he wylle notte swelle the Normans ent. 165


Ah traytoure! botte mie rage I wylle commaunde.
Thou arte a Normanne, Hughe, a straunger to the launde.

Thou kenneste howe these Englysche erle doe bere
Such stedness[173] in the yll and evylle thynge,
Botte atte the goode theie hover yn denwere[174], 170
Onknowlachynge[175] gif thereunto to clynge.


Onwordie syke a marvelle[176] of a kynge!
O Edwarde, thou deservest purer leege[177];
To thee heie[178] shulden al theire mancas brynge;
Thie nodde should save menne, and thie glomb[179] forslege[180]. 175
I amme no curriedowe[181], I lacke no wite [182],
I speke whatte bee the trouthe, and whatte all see is ryghte.


Thou arte a hallie[183] manne, I doe thee pryze.
Comme, comme, and here and hele[184] mee ynn mie praires.
Fulle twentie mancas I wylle thee alise [185], 180
And twayne of hamlettes[186] to thee and thie heyres.
So shalle all Normannes from mie londe be fed,
Theie alleyn[187] have syke love as to acquyre yer bredde.


Whan Freedom, dreste yn blodde-steyned veste,
To everie knyghte her warre-songe sunge, 185
Uponne her hedde wylde wedes were spredde;
A gorie anlace bye her honge.
She daunced onne the heathe;
She hearde the voice of deathe;
Pale-eyned affryghte, hys harte of sylver hue, 190
In vayne assayled[188] her bosomme to acale[189];
She hearde onflemed[190] the shriekynge voice of woe,
And sadnesse ynne the owlette shake the dale.
She shooke the burled[191] speere,
On hie she jeste[192] her sheelde, 195
Her foemen[193] all appere,
And flizze[194] alonge the feelde.
Power, wythe his heasod[195] straught[196] ynto the skyes,
Hys speere a sonne-beame, and his sheelde a starre,
Alyche[197] twaie[198] brendeynge[199] gronfyres[200] rolls hys eyes, 200
Chastes[201] with hys yronne feete and soundes to war.
She syttes upon a rocke,
She bendes before his speere,
She ryses from the shocke,
Wieldynge her owne yn ayre. 205
Harde as the thonder dothe she drive ytte on,
Wytte scillye[202] wympled[203] gies[204] ytte to hys crowne,
Hys longe sharpe speere, hys spreddynge sheelde ys gon,
He falles, and fallynge rolleth thousandes down.
War, goare-faced war, bie envie burld[205], arist[206], 210
Hys feerie heaulme[207] noddynge to the ayre,
Tenne bloddie arrowes ynne hys streynynge fyste--

* * * * *

[Footnote 1: Of old, formerly.]

[Footnote 2: writers, historians.]

[Footnote 3: much.]

[Footnote 4: inglorious.]

[Footnote 5: bereaving.]

[Footnote 6: faith.]

[Footnote 7: unforgiving.]

[Footnote 8: divines, clergymen, monks.]

[Footnote 9: holy.]

[Footnote 10: work.]

[Footnote 11: not.]

[Footnote 12: author.]

[Footnote 13: though, notwithstanding.]

[Footnote 14: clerk, or clergyman.]

[Footnote 15: entyn, even.]

[Footnote 16: might.]

[Footnote 17: challenge.]

[Footnote 18: Lord.]

[Footnote 19: foes, enemies.]

[Footnote 20: devour, destroy.]

[Footnote 21: fatten.]

[Footnote 22: Grievance; a sense of it.]

[Footnote 23: cease, be still.]

[Footnote 24: idly.]

[Footnote 25: deceived, imposed on.]

[Footnote 26: so.]

[Footnote 27: fury, anger, rage.]

[Footnote 28: paint, display.]

[Footnote 29: soul.]

[Footnote 30: strong.]

[Footnote 31: terrible.]

[Footnote 32: horrid, grim.]

[Footnote 33: smoking, bleeding.]

[Footnote 34: oft.]

[Footnote 35: heat, rashness.]

[Footnote 36: counsel, wisdom.]

[Footnote 37: strength, also strong.]

[Footnote 38: taudry, glimmering.]

[Footnote 39: People.]

[Footnote 40: fate, destiny.]

[Footnote 41: nobly.]

[Footnote 42: Cast.]

[Footnote 43: cross, from crouche, a cross.]

[Footnote 44: attempt, or endeavour.]

[Footnote 45: unarmed.]

[Footnote 46: unactive.]

[Footnote 47: unspirited.]

[Footnote 48: such.]

[Footnote 49: fastened, annexed.]

[Footnote 50: might, power.]

[Footnote 51: mantle, or robe.]

[Footnote 52: white, alluding to the arms of Kent, a horse saliant,

[Footnote 53: distracting.]

[Footnote 54: despair.]

[Footnote 55: bleed.]

[Footnote 56: allow.]

[Footnote 57: ease.]

[Footnote 58: throne.]

[Footnote 59: pluck.]

[Footnote 60: Becomes.]

[Footnote 61: subjects.]

[Footnote 62: contentions, complaints.]

[Footnote 63: choke.]

[Footnote 64: dark, cloudy.]

[Footnote 65: astonish.]

[Footnote 66: cut off, destroyed.]

[Footnote 67: slaves.]

[Footnote 68: loud roaring.]

[Footnote 69: flame of fire.]

[Footnote 70: burn, consume.]

[Footnote 71: them.]

[Footnote 72: slay.]

[Footnote 73: decay.]

[Footnote 74: make ready.]

[Footnote 75: enterprize.]

[Footnote 76: Notwithstanding.]

[Footnote 77: foes.]

[Footnote 78: mangle, destroy.]

[Footnote 79: beauty, countenance.]

[Footnote 80: an ancient sword.]

[Footnote 81: fury.]

[Footnote 82: cease.]

[Footnote 83: deadly.]

[Footnote 84: lake.]

[Footnote 85: swollen.]

[Footnote 86: hidden.]

[Footnote 87: unknown.]

[Footnote 88: command.]

[Footnote 89: still.]

[Footnote 90: Red-stained.]

[Footnotes 91, 92: parts of armour.]

[Footnote 93: broad.]

[Footnote 94: cause.]

[Footnote 95: rights, liberties.]

[Footnote 96: cutting, mangling.]

[Footnote 97: forbidding.]

[Footnote 98: grow.]

[Footnote 99: furious.]

[Footnote 100: slay.]

[Footnote 101: strength.]

[Footnote 102: declare.]

[Footnote 103: sword.]

[Footnote 104: Monastery.]

[Footnote 105: more worthy.]

[Footnote 106: pulled, plucked.]

[Footnote 107: displayed.]

[Footnote 108: over-righteous.]

[Footnote 109: counselled, more wise.]

[Footnote 110: uncareful, neglected.]

[Footnote 111: Bid, command.]

[Footnote 112: slay.]

[Footnote 113: presently.]

[Footnote 114: explain.]

[Footnote 115: grievances.]

[Footnote 116: branch.]

[Footnote 117: wet, moist.]

[Footnote 118: fen, moor.]

[Footnote 119: drained.]

[Footnote 120: swelling.]

[Footnote 121: waves.]

[Footnote 122: grievance.]

[Footnote 123: assemble.]

[Footnote 124: broad.]

[Footnote 125: Horned.]

[Footnote 126: white.]

[Footnote 127: decks.]

[Footnote 128: mightiest, most valiant.]

[Footnote 129: slain.]

[Footnote 130: oversets.]

[Footnote 131: a castle.]

[Footnote 132: revenge.]

[Footnote 133: cause.]

[Footnote 134: at once.]

[Footnote 135: One who takes up the cross in order to fight against
the Saracens.]

[Footnote 136: holy.]

[Footnote 137: rare, extraordinary, strange.]

[Footnote 138: run, shot up.]

[Footnote 139: assembling, gathering.]

[Footnote 140: bursteth.]

[Footnote 141: dry, barren.]

[Footnote 142: Mighty.]

[Footnote 143: slain.]

[Footnote 144: help.]

[Footnote 145: Lord.]

[Footnote 146: embroidered; 'tis conjectured, embroidery was not used
in England till Hen. II.]

[Footnote 147: throne.]

[Footnote 148: person, body.]

[Footnote 149: lodge.]

[Footnote 150: Marks.]

[Footnote 151: subjects.]

[Footnote 152: much.]

[Footnote 153: lamentation.]

[Footnote 154: neglected, or passed by.]

[Footnote 155: require, ask.]

[Footnote 156: holy.]

[Footnote 157: help.]

[Footnote 158: will.]

[Footnote 159: dead.]

[Footnote 160: doubt.]

[Footnote 161: waves.]

[Footnote 162: heaven-ward, or God-ward.]

[Footnote 163: Purse, used here probably as a treasury.]

[Footnote 164: expence.]

[Footnote 165: receipt.]

[Footnote 166: soon.]

[Footnote 167: expended.]

[Footnote 168: a contradiction of mighty.]

[Footnote 169: Divest.]

[Footnote 170: embrace.]

[Footnote 171: mightiness.]

[Footnote 172: counsel.]

[Footnote 173: Firmness, stedfastness.]

[Footnote 174: doubt, suspense.]

[Footnote 175: not knowing.]

[Footnote 176: wonder.]

[Footnote 177: homage, obeysance.]

[Footnote 178: they.]

[Footnote 179: frown.]

[Footnote 180: kill.]

[Footnote 181: curriedowe, flatterer.]

[Footnote 182: reward.]

[Footnote 183: holy.]

[Footnote 184: help.]

[Footnote 185: allow.]

[Footnote 186: manors.]

[Footnote 187: alone.]

[Footnote 188: Endeavoured.]

[Footnote 189: freeze.]

[Footnote 190: undismayed.]

[Footnote 191: armed, pointed.]

[Footnote 192: hoisted on high, raised.]

[Footnote 193: foes, enemies.]

[Footnote 194: fly.]

[Footnote 195: head.]

[Footnote 196: stretched.]

[Footnote 197: Like.]

[Footnote 198: two.]

[Footnote 199: flaming.]

[Footnote 200: meteors.]

[Footnote 201: beats, stamps.]

[Footnote 202: closely.]

[Footnote 203: mantled, covered.]

[Footnote 204: guides.]

[Footnote 205: armed.]

[Footnote 206: arose.]

[Footnote 207: helmet.]



BOOKE 1st[1].

Whanne Scythyannes, salvage as the wolves theie chacde,
Peyncted in horrowe[2] formes bie nature dyghte,
Heckled[3] yn beastskyns, slepte uponne the waste,
And wyth the morneynge rouzed the wolfe to fyghte,
Swefte as descendeynge lemes[4] of roddie lyghte 5
Plonged to the hulstred[5] bedde of laveynge seas,
Gerd[6] the blacke mountayn okes yn drybblets[7] twighte[8],
And ranne yn thoughte alonge the azure mees,
Whose eyne dyd feerie sheene, like blue-hayred defs[9],
That dreerie hange upon Dover's emblaunched[10] clefs. 10

Soft boundeynge over swelleynge azure reles[11]
The salvage natyves sawe a shyppe appere;
An uncouthe[12] denwere[13] to theire bosomme steles;
Theyre myghte ys knopped[14] ynne the froste of fere.
The headed javlyn lisseth[15] here and there; 15
Theie stonde, theie ronne, theie loke wyth eger eyne;
The shyppes sayle, boleynge[16] wythe the kyndelie ayre,
Ronneth to harbour from the beateynge bryne;
Theie dryve awaie aghaste, whanne to the stronde
A burled[17] Trojan lepes, wythe Morglaien sweerde yn honde. 20

Hymme followede eftsoones hys compheeres[18], whose swerdes
Glestred lyke gledeynge[19] starres ynne frostie nete,
Hayleynge theyre capytayne in chirckynge[20] wordes
Kynge of the lande, whereon theie set theyre fete.
The greete kynge Brutus thanne theie dyd hym greete, 25
Prepared for battle, mareschalled the syghte;
Theie urg'd the warre, the natyves fledde, as flete
As fleaynge cloudes that swymme before the syghte;
Tyll tyred with battles, for to ceese the fraie,
Theie uncted[21] Brutus kynge, and gave the Trojanns swaie. 30

Twayne of twelve years han lemed[22] up the myndes,
Leggende[23] the salvage unthewes[24] of theire breste,
Improved in mysterk[25] warre, and lymmed[26] theyre kyndes,
Whenne Brute from Brutons sonke to aeterne reste.
Eftsoons the gentle Locryne was possest 35
Of swaie, and vested yn the paramente[27];
Halceld[28] the bykrous[29] Huns, who dyd infeste
Hys wakeynge kyngdom wyth a foule intente;
As hys broade swerde oer Homberres heade was honge,
He tourned toe ryver wyde, and roarynge rolled alonge. 40

He wedded Gendolyne of roieal sede,
Upon whose countenance rodde healthe was spreade;
Bloushing, alyche[30] the scarlette of herr wede,
She sonke to pleasaunce on the marryage bedde.
Eftsoons her peaceful joie of mynde was fledde; 45
Elstrid ametten with the kynge Locryne;
Unnombered beauties were upon her shedde,
Moche fyne, moche fayrer thanne was Gendolyne;
The mornynge tynge, the rose, the lillie floure,
In ever ronneynge race on her dyd peyncte theyre powere. 50

The gentle suyte of Locryne gayned her love;
Theie lyved soft momentes to a swotie[31] age;
Eft[32] wandringe yn the coppyce, delle, and grove,
Where ne one eyne mote theyre disporte engage;
There dydde theie tell the merrie lovynge sage[33], 55
Croppe the prymrosen floure to decke theyre headde;
The feerie Gendolyne yn woman rage
Gemoted[34] warriours to bewrecke[35] her bedde;
Theie rose; ynne battle was greete Locryne sleene;
The faire Elstrida fledde from the enchased[36] queene. 60

A tye of love, a dawter fayre she hanne,
Whose boddeynge morneyng shewed a fayre daie,
Her fadre Locrynne, once an hailie manne.
Wyth the fayre dawterre dydde she haste awaie,
To where the Western mittee[37] pyles of claie 65
Arise ynto the cloudes, and doe them beere;
There dyd Elstrida and Sabryna staie;
The fyrste tryckde out a whyle yn warryours gratch[38] and gear;
Vyncente was she ycleped, butte fulle soone fate
Sente deathe, to telle the dame, she was notte yn regrate[39]. 70

The queene Gendolyne sente a gyaunte knyghte,
Whose doughtie heade swepte the emmertleynge[40] skies,
To slea her wheresoever she shulde be pyghte[41],
Eke everychone who shulde her ele[42] emprize[43].
Swefte as the roareynge wyndes the gyaunte flies, 75
Stayde the loude wyndes, and shaded reaulmes yn nyghte,
Stepte over cytties, on meint[44] acres lies,
Meeteynge the herehaughtes of morneynge lighte;
Tyll mooveynge to the Weste, myschaunce hys gye[45],
He thorowe warriours gratch fayre Elstrid did espie. 80

He tore a ragged mountayne from the grounde,
Harried[46] uppe noddynge forrests to the skie,
Thanne wythe a fuirie, mote the erthe astounde[47],
To meddle ayre he lette the mountayne flie.
The flying wolfynnes sente a yelleynge crie; 85
Onne Vyncente and Sabryna felle the mount;
To lyve aeternalle dyd theie eftsoones die;
Thorowe the sandie grave boiled up the pourple founte,
On a broade grassie playne was layde the hylle,
Staieynge the rounynge course of meint a limmed[48] rylle. 90

The goddes, who kenned the actyons of the wyghte,
To leggen[49] the sadde happe of twayne so fayre,
Houton[50] dyd make the mountaine bie theire mighte.
Forth from Sabryna ran a ryverre cleere,
Roarynge and rolleynge on yn course bysmare[51]; 95
From female Vyncente shotte a ridge of stones,
Eche syde the ryver rysynge heavenwere;
Sabrynas floode was helde ynne Elstryds bones.
So are theie cleped; gentle and the hynde
Can telle, that Severnes streeme bie Vyncentes rocke's ywrynde[52]. 100

The bawsyn[53] gyaunt, hee who dyd them slee,
To telle Gendolyne quycklie was ysped[54];
Whanne, as he strod alonge the shakeynge lee,
The roddie levynne[55] glesterrd on hys headde:
Into hys hearte the azure vapoures spreade; 105
He wrythde arounde yn drearie dernie[56] payne;
Whanne from his lyfe-bloode the rodde lemes[57] were fed,
He felle an hepe of ashes on the playne:
Stylle does hys ashes shoote ynto the lyghte,
A wondrous mountayne hie, and Snowdon ys ytte hyghte. 110


[Footnote 1: I will endeavour to get the remainder of these poems.]

[Footnote 2: unseemly, disagreeable.]

[Footnote 3: wrapped.]

[Footnote 4: rays.]

[Footnote 5: hidden, secret.]

[Footnote 6: broke, rent.]

[Footnote 7: small pieces.]

[Footnote 8: pulled, rent.]

[Footnote 9: vapours, meteors.]

[Footnote 10: emblaunched.]

[Editor's note: _Title: See Introduction_ p. xli]

[Footnote 11: Ridges, rising waves.]

[Footnotes 12, 13: unknown tremour.]

[Footnote 14: fastened, chained, congealed.]

[Footnote 15: boundeth.]

[Footnote 16: swelling.]

[Footnote 17: armed.]

[Footnote 18: companions.]

[Footnote 19: livid.]

[Footnote 20: a confused noise.]

[Footnote 21: Anointed.]

[Footnote 22: enlightened.]

[Footnote 23: alloyed.]

[Footnote 24: savage barbarity.]

[Footnote 25: mystic.]

[Footnote 26: polished.]

[Footnote 27: a princely robe.]

[Footnote 28: defeated.]

[Footnote 29: warring.]

[Footnote 30: Like.]

[Footnote 31: sweet.]

[Footnote 32: oft.]

[Footnote 33: a tale.]

[Footnote 34: assembled.]

[Footnote 35: revenge.]

[Footnote 36: heated, enraged.]

[Footnote 37: Mighty.]

[Footnote 38: apparel.]

[Footnote 39: esteem, favour.]

[Footnote 40: glittering.]

[Footnote 41: settled.]

[Footnote 42: help.]

[Footnote 43: adventure.]

[Footnote 44: Many.]

[Footnote 45: guide.]

[Footnote 46: tost.]

[Footnote 47: astonish.]

[Footnote 48: glassy, reflecting.]

[Footnote 49: lessen, alloy.]

[Footnote 50: hollow.]

[Footnote 51: Bewildered, curious.]

[Footnote 52: hid, covered.]

[Footnote 53: huge, bulky.]

[Footnote 54: dispatched.]

[Footnote 55: red lightning.]

[Footnote 56: cruel.]

[Footnote 57: flames, rays.]



As wroten bie the gode Prieste THOMAS ROWLEY[1],

In Virgyne the sweltrie sun gan sheene,
And hotte upon the mees[2] did caste his raie;
The apple rodded[3] from its palie greene,
And the mole[4] peare did bende the leafy spraie;
The peede chelandri[5] sunge the livelong daie; 5
'Twas nowe the pride, the manhode of the yeare,
And eke the grounde was dighte[6] in its mose defte[7] aumere[8].

The sun was glemeing in the midde of daie,
Deadde still the aire, and eke the welken[9] blue,
When from the sea arist[10] in drear arraie 10
A hepe of cloudes of sable sullen hue,
The which full fast unto the woodlande drewe,
Hiltring[11] attenes[12] the sunnis fetive[13] face,
And the blacke tempeste swolne and gatherd up apace.

Beneathe an holme, faste by a pathwaie side, 15
Which dide unto Seyncte Godwine's covent[14] lede,
A hapless pilgrim moneynge did abide,
Pore in his viewe, ungentle[15] in his weede,
Longe bretful[16] of the miseries of neede,
Where from the hail-stone coulde the almer[17] flie? 20
He had no housen theere, ne anie covent nie.

Look in his glommed[18] face, his sprighte there scanne;
Howe woe-be-gone, how withered, forwynd[19], deade!
Haste to thie church-glebe-house[20], asshrewed[21] manne!
Haste to thie kiste[22], thie onlie dortoure[23] bedde. 25
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 gatherd storme is rype; the bigge drops falle;
The forswat[24] meadowes smethe[25], and drenche[26] the raine; 30
The comyng ghastness do the cattle pall[27],
And the full flockes are drivynge ore the plaine;
Dashde from the cloudes the waters flott[28] againe;
The welkin opes; the yellow levynne[29] flies;
And the hot fierie smothe[30] in the wide lowings[31] dies. 35

Liste! now the thunder's rattling clymmynge[32] sound
Cheves[33] slowlie on, and then embollen[34] clangs,
Shakes the hie spyre, and losst, dispended, drown'd,
Still on the gallard[35] eare of terroure hanges;
The windes are up; the lofty elmen swanges; 40
Again the levynne and the thunder poures,
And the full cloudes are braste[36] attenes in stonen showers.

Spurreynge his palfrie oere the watrie plaine.
The Abbote of Seyncte Godwynes convente came;
His chapournette[37] was drented with the reine, 45
And his pencte[38] gyrdle met with mickle shame;
He aynewarde tolde his bederoll[39] at the same;
The storme encreasen, and he drew aside,
With the mist[40] almes craver neere to the holme to bide.

His cope[41] was all of Lyncolne clothe so fyne, 50
With a gold button fasten'd neere his chynne;
His autremete[42] was edged with golden twynne,
And his shoone pyke a loverds[43] mighte have binne;
Full well it shewn he thoughten coste no sinne;
The trammels of the palfrye pleasde his sighte; 55
For the horse-millanare[44] 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; 60
Helpless and ould am I alas! and poor;
No house, ne friend, ne moneie in my pouche;
All yatte I call 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[45] 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[46] were graie, and eke were clene;
A Limitoure he was of order seene; 75
And from the pathwaie side then turned hee,
Where the pore almer laie binethe the holmen tree.

An almes, sir priest! the droppynge pilgrim sayde,
For sweete Seyncte Marie and your order sake.
The Limitoure then loosen'd his pouche threade, 80
And did thereoute a groate of silver take;
The mister pilgrim dyd for halline[47] shake.
Here take this silver, it maie eathe[48] thie care;
We are Goddes stewards all, nete[49] of oure owne we bare.

But ah! unhailie[50] pilgrim, lerne of me, 85
Scathe anie give a rentrolle to their Lorde.
Here take my semecope[51], thou arte bare I see;
Tis thyne; the Seynctes will give me mie rewarde.
He left the pilgrim, and his waie aborde.
Virgynne and hallie Seyncte, who sitte yn gloure[52], 90
Or give the mittee[53] will, or give the gode man power.

[Footnote 1: Thomas Rowley, the author, was born at Norton Mal-reward
in Somersetshire, educated at the Convent of St. Kenna at Keynesham,
and died at Westbury in Gloucestershire.]

[Footnote 2: meads.]

[Footnote 3: reddened, ripened.]

[Footnote 4: soft.]

[Footnote 5: pied goldfinch.]

[Footnote 6: drest, arrayed.]

[Footnote 7: neat, ornamental.]

[Footnote 8: a loose robe or mantle.]

[Footnote 9: the sky, the atmosphere.]

[Footnote 10: Arose.]

[Footnote 11: hiding, shrouding.]

[Footnote 12: at once.]

[Footnote 13: beauteous.]

[Footnote 14: It would have been _charitable_, if the author had not
pointed at personal characters in this Ballad of Charity. The Abbot
of St. Godwin's at the time of the writing of this was Ralph de
Bellomont, a great stickler for the Lancastrian family. Rowley was a

[Footnote 15: beggarly.]

[Footnote 16: filled with.]

[Footnote 17: beggar.]

[Footnote 18: clouded, dejected. A person of some note in the literary
world is of opinion, that _glum_ and _glom_ are modern cant words;
and from this circumstance doubts the authenticity of Rowley's
Manuscripts. Glum-mong in the Saxon signifies twilight, a dark or
dubious light; and the modern word _gloomy_ is derived from the Saxon

[Footnote 19: dry, sapless.]

[Footnote 20: The grave.]

[Footnote 21: accursed, unfortunate.]

[Footnote 22: coffin.]

[Footnote 23: a sleeping room.]

[Footnote 24: sun-burnt.]

[Footnote 25: smoke.]

[Footnote 26: drink.]

[Footnote 27: _pall_, a contraction from _appall_, to fright.]

[Footnote 28: fly.]

[Footnote 29: lightning.]

[Footnote 30: steam, or vapours.]

[Footnote 31: flames.]

[Footnote 32: noisy.]

[Footnote 33: moves.]

[Footnote 34: swelled, strengthened.]

[Footnote 35: Frighted.]

[Footnote 36: burst.]

[Footnote 37: a small round hat, not unlike the shapournette in
heraldry, formerly worn by Ecclesiastics and Lawyers.]

[Footnote 38: painted.]

[Footnote 39: He told his beads backwards; a figurative expression to
signify cursing.]

[Footnote 40: poor, needy.]

[Footnote 41: a cloke.]

[Footnote 42: a loose white robe, worn by Priests.]

[Footnote 43: A lord.]

[Footnote 44: I believe this trade is still in being, though but
seldom employed.]

[Footnote 45: a beggar, or vagabond.]

[Footnote 46: A short surplice, worn by Friars of an inferior class,
and secular priests.]

[Footnote 47: joy.]

[Footnote 48: ease.]

[Footnote 49: nought.]

[Footnote 50: unhappy.]

[Footnote 51: a short under-cloke.]

[Footnote 52: Glory.]

[Footnote 53: mighty, rich.]


[No 1.]

O Chryste, it is a grief for me to telle,
How manie a nobil erle and valrous knyghte
In fyghtynge for Kynge Harrold noblie fell,
Al sleyne in Hastyngs feeld in bloudie fyghte.
O sea-oerteeming Dovor! han thy floude, 5
Han anie fructuous entendement,
Thou wouldst have rose and sank wyth tydes of bloude.
Before Duke Wyllyam's knyghts han hither went;
Whose cowart arrows manie erles sleyne,
And brued the feeld wyth bloude as season rayne. 10

And of his knyghtes did eke full manie die,
All passyng hie, of mickle myghte echone,
Whose poygnant arrowes, typp'd with destynie,
Caus'd manie wydowes to make myckle mone.
Lordynges, avaunt, that chycken-harted are, 15
From out of hearynge quicklie now departe;
Full well I wote, to synge of bloudie warre
Will greeve your tenderlie and mayden harte.
Go, do the weaklie womman inn mann's geare,
And scond your mansion if grymm war come there. 20

Soone as the erlie maten belle was tolde,
And sonne was come to byd us all good daie,
Bothe armies on the feeld, both brave and bolde,
Prepar'd for fyghte in champyon arraie.
As when two bulles, destynde for Hocktide fyghte, 25
Are yoked bie the necke within a sparre,
Theie rend the erthe, and travellyrs affryghte,
Lackynge to gage the sportive bloudie warre;
Soe lacked Harroldes menne to come to blowes,
The Normans lacked for to wielde their bowes. 30

Kynge Harrolde turnynge to hys leegemen spake;
My merrie men, be not caste downe in mynde;
Your onlie lode for aye to mar or make,
Before yon sunne has donde his welke, you'll fynde.
Your lovyng wife, who erst dyd rid the londe 35
Of Lurdanes, and the treasure that you han,
Wyll falle into the Normanne robber's honde,
Unlesse with honde and harte you plaie the manne.
Cheer up youre hartes, chase sorrowe farre awaie,
Godde and Seyncte Cuthbert be the worde to daie. 40

And thenne Duke Wyllyam to his knyghtes did saie;
My merrie menne, be bravelie everiche;
Gif I do gayn the honore of the daie,
Ech one of you I will make myckle riche.
Beer you in mynde, we for a kyngdomm fyghte; 45
Lordshippes and honores echone shall possesse;
Be this the worde to daie, God and my Ryghte;
Ne doubte but God will oure true cause blesse.
The clarions then sounded sharpe and shrille;
Deathdoeynge blades were out intent to kille. 50

And brave Kyng Harrolde had nowe donde hys saie;
He threwe wythe myghte amayne hys shorte horse-spear.
The noise it made the duke to turn awaie,
And hytt his knyghte, de Beque, upon the ear.
His cristede beaver dyd him smalle abounde; 55
The cruel spear went thorough all his hede;
The purpel bloude came goushynge to the grounde,
And at Duke Wyllyam's feet he tumbled deade:
So fell the myghtie tower of Standrip, whenne
It felte the furie of the Danish menne. 60

O Afflem, son of Cuthbert, holie Sayncte,
Come ayde thy freend, and shewe Duke Wyllyams payne;
Take up thy pencyl, all hys features paincte;
Thy coloryng excells a synger strayne.
Duke Wyllyam sawe hys freende sleyne piteouslie, 65
Hys lovynge freende whome he muche honored,
For he han lovd hym from puerilitie,
And theie together bothe han bin ybred:
O! in Duke Wyllyam's harte it raysde a flame,
To whiche the rage of emptie wolves is tame. 70

He tooke a brasen crosse-bowe in his honde,
And drewe it harde with all hys myghte amein,
Ne doubtyng but the bravest in the londe
Han by his soundynge arrowe-lede bene sleyne.
Alured's stede, the fynest stede alive, 75
Bye comelie forme knowlached from the rest;
But nowe his destind howre did aryve,
The arrowe hyt upon his milkwhite breste:
So have I seen a ladie-smock soe white,
Blown in the mornynge, and mowd downe at night. 80

With thilk a force it dyd his bodie gore,
That in his tender guttes it entered,
In veritee a fulle clothe yarde or more,
And downe with flaiten noyse he sunken dede.
Brave Alured, benethe his faithfull horse, 85
Was smeerd all over withe the gorie duste,


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