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My yearly guerdon, mrr annuity, O liberal prince, ensample of honour,
boot. (1) Contemporary with Occ!epe was John LYDGATE (circa 1373–1460), à monk of Bury, born at Lydgate, near Newmarket. His poetical compositions range over a great variety of styles. “His muse,' says Warton, ‘was of universal access; and he was not only the poet of the monastery, but of the world in general. If a disguising was intended by the company of goldsmiths, a mask before his majesty at Eltham, a May-game for the sheriffs and aldermen of London, a mumming before the lord mayor, a procession of pageants from the creation for the festival of Corpus Christi, ar a carol for the coronation, Lyugate was consulted, and gave the poetry. The principal works of this versatile writer are entitled, "The Story of Thebes,' The Falls of Princes,' and 'The Destruction of Troy. He had travelled in France and Italy, and studied the poetry of those countries.
In the words of Warton, there is great softness and facility' in the following passage (spelling modernised) of Lydgate’s ‘Destruction of Troy':
Description of a Sylvan Retreat. Till at the last, among the bowes glade, That I me laid adorn upon the grass, Of adventure, I caught a pleasant shade; Upon a brinke, shortiy for to tell, Full smooth, and plain, and lusty for tó Beside the river of a crystal well;
And the water, as I reherse can, And soft as velvet was the yonge green: Like quicke silver in his streams y-ran, Where from my horse I did alight as fast, of which the gravel and the brighte And on the bow aloft his reine cast.
stone, So faint and mate of weariness I was, As any gold, against the sun y-shone.
We add a few lines in the original orthography of the inet-a passage in the ‘Story of Thebes,' shewing that truth hath ever in the end victory over falsehood : Ageyn trouth falshed hath no myght; Scleight or engyne, fors or felonye, Fy on querilis nat grounded upon right! Arn to feble to holden chanpartye (2), With-oute which may be no victorye, Ageyns trouth, who that list iake hede Therefor ech man ha this in memoyre, For at the end falzhede may not spede That gret pouer, shortly to conclude, Tendure long; ye shul fynde it thus. Plenty of good, nor moch multitude,
A fugitive poem of Lydgate, called “The London Lyckpenny,' is curious for the particulars it gives respecting the city of London in the early part of the fifteenth century. The poet has come to town in search of legal redress for some wrong, and visits, in sucuss on, the King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Court of A!!2421cery, and Westminster Hall.
1 Give remedy.
The London Lyckpenny.
Would do for me ouyht, although I should die:
Master, what will you copen (1) or buy?
When the sun was at high prime;
And proffered me bread, with ale and wine,
Ribs of beef, both fat and full fine;
Of all the land it beareth the prize;
Strawberry ripe, and cherries in the rise !' (3)
One bade me come near and buy some spice :
Where much people I saw for to stand;
Another he taketh me by the hand,
• Here is Paris thread, the finest in the land !
Throughout all Canwick Street:
Then comes me one cried Hot sheep's feet;
One cried mackerel, rushes green, another gan greet;(6)
One cries ribs of beef, and many a pie;
There was harp, pipe, and minstrelsy ;
Where was much stolen gear among;
That I had lost among the throng;
"Sir,' sith he, “ will you our wine assay ?' 1 Kompen (Flem.) is to buy. 2 Took notice; paid attention. 3 On the twig. 4 Offer,
5 A fragmento: Loudon Stone is still preserved in Cannon Street, formerly called Can. wick or Candlowick Street. It is built into the street-wall of the church of St. Switlin.
I answered: “That can not much me grieve;
I drank a pint, and for it did pay ;
ALEXANDER BARCLAY AND STEPHEN IIAWES.
The Ship of Fools' and the 'Pastime of Pleasure' are the only poetical works of any importance in the Reign of Henry VII. ALEXANDER BARCLAY (who was in orders, and survived till 1552) wrote several allegorical pieces and some eclogues—the latter supiposed to be the first compositions of the kind aitempted in the English language. But his greatest work is his ‘Ship of Fools, printed in 1509. It is a translation from the German of Brandt, with additions from various quarters, including satirical portraits and sketches by Barclay of his own countrymen. His ship is freighted with fools of all kinds, but their folly is somewhat dull and tedious. Barclay, however, was an improver of the English language. The Book-collector, or Bibliomaniac.- From Barclay's 'Ship of Fools.'
That in this sh'p the chief place I govern,
For in them is the cunning whereiu I me boast. STEPHEN HAWES was an allegorical poet of much more power. His ' Pastime of Pleasure, or the Historie of Grande Amour and La Bel Pucel,' was written in 1506, dedicated to King Henry-in whose court the poet held the office of groom of the privy-chamber--and printed in 1517 by Wynkyn de Worde. Two more editions were called for during the same century, in 1554 and 1555, and from this time it was known only to black-letter readers until, in 1846, it was reprinted by Mr. Wright for the Percy Society; but even the convenience of easy access and modern type has not made Hawes much better known. His poem is long, and little interest is felt in his personified virtues. The "Pastime of Pleasure,' however, is a work of no ordinary poetical talent. It is full of thought, of ingenious analogy, and occasionally of striking allegory. A few stanzas, stripped of the disused spelling, will shew the state of the language after Lydgate, of whom Hawes was a great admirer.
The Temple of Mars.
JOIIN SKELTON. Barclay, in his 'Ship of Fools,' alludes to Joun SKELTON, who was decked as poet-laureate at Oxford :
If they have smelled the arts trivial,
They count them poets high and heroical. Skelton is certainly more of a trivial than a heroical poet. satirist of great volubility, fearlessness, and scurrility. In attacking Cardinal Wolsey, for example, he alludes to his greasy genealogy The clergy were the special objects of his abuse, as with most of the old satirists. So early as 1483, Skelton appeared as a satirist; he was laureated in Oxford in 1489; and to escape from the vengeance of Wolsey, he took shelter in the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey, where he resided till his death in 1329. Skelton is a sort of rhyming Rabelais--as indelicate and gross, which with both was to some extent necessary as a cover to their satire. The copiousuess of Skel
He was a
ton's language, and his command of rhyme in short rattling verses, prove the advance of the language. The works of Skelton were edited by the Rev. A. Dyce, and printed in 1843. The most poetical of his productions is entitled 'Philip Sparrow,' an elegy on the death of a pet bird. A few lines from his Colin Clout' wili shew the torrent-like flow of his doggerel rhymes :
A Satire on the Clergy. Thus I, Colin Clont,
With gold all be-trapped, As I go about,
In purple and pail be-lapped, And wandering as I walk,
Some hatted and some capped, I hear the people talk:
Richly be-wrapped Men say for silver aud gold
(God wot to their great pains) Mitres are bought and sold.
In rochets of fine reins, There shall no clergy oppose
White as morrow's milk A mitre por a croze,
Their taberts of fine silk, But a full purse
Their stirrups of mixed gold begared, A straw for God's curse!
There may no cost be spared. What are they the worse ?
Their moils gold doth eat, For a simoniac
Their neighbours die for meatIs but a hermoniac,
What care they though Gill sweat, And no more ye may make
Or Jack of the Noke? Of simony, men say,
The poor people they yoke But a child's play ;
With summons and citations Over this the foresaid lay
And excommunications, Report how the pope may
About churches and market: A holy anchorite call
The bishop on his carpet Out of the stony wall,
Full soft doth sitAnd him a bishop make,
This is a fearful fit If he on him dare take
To hear the people jangle To keep so hard a rule
How warily they wrangle! To ride upon a male,
Cardinal TVolsey. Our barons are so bold,
And shakes them by the ear, Into a mouse-hole they would
And brings them in sach fear, Run away and creep,
le baiteth them like a bear. Like as many sheep,
And beneath him they're so stout Dare not look out a door,
That no man of them dare rout, For dread of the mastiff cur,
Duke, earl, baron, nor loni, For dread of the butcher's dog
But to his sentence must accord; Would worry them like a hog..
Whether he be knight or squire, For all their noble blood,
All must follow his desire. He plucks them by the hood, Skelton's serious poetry is greatly inferior to his ludicrous and satirical; but the following effusion of gallantry is not unworthy the pen of a laureate :
To Mrs. Margaret Ilussey. Merry Margaret,
So maidenly, As midsuminer flower,
So womanly, Gentle as falcon,
Her demeaving, Or hawk of the tower;
In everything, With solace and gladness,
Far, far passing Much mirth and no maduess
That I can inditc. All good and no badness;
Or sutice to write, So joyously,
Of Merry Margaret,