Archive for June 9th, 2019

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Hendecasyllabon [On Chidiock Tichborne] by Thomas Kyd

T. K. In Cygneam Cantionem Chidiochi Tychborne*

Thy prime of youth is frozen with thy faults,
thy feast of joy is finisht with thy fall:
Thy crop of corne is tares availing naughts,
thy good God knowes thy hope, thy hap and all.
Short were thy daies, and shadowed was thy sun,
T’ obscure thy light unluckelie begun.

Time trieth trueth, and trueth hath treason tript;
thy faith bare fruit as thou hadst faithles beene:
Thy ill spent youth thine after yeares hath nipt;
and God that saw thee hath preservde our Queene.
Her thred still holds, thine perisht though unspun,
And she shall live when traitors lives are done.

Thou soughtst thy death, and found it in desert,
thou look’dst for life, yet lewdlie forc’d it fade:
Thou trodst the earth, and now on earth thou art,
As men may wish thou never hadst beene made.
Thy glorie and thy glasse are timeles runne;
And this, O Tychborne, hath thy treason done.

*Written in answer to Chidiock Tichborne’s Elegy for Himself. Tichborne was one of the conspirators of the Babington Plot (an attempt to kill Elizabeth I of England and replace her on the throne with Mary, Queen of Scots). He was executed for treason in 1586.

From: Kyd, Thomas and Boas, Thomas S. (ed.), The Works of Thomas Kyd, Edited from the Original Texts with Introduction, Notes, and Facsimiles, 1901, Clarendon Press: Oxford, pp. 340-341.

Date: 1586

By: Thomas Kyd (1558-1594)