Archive for August 19th, 2019

Monday, 19 August 2019

Excerpt from “Satyrus peregrinans” [Westminster Hall] by William Rankins

By this time long-gownd Lumen walkt abroad,
Under his girdle greene-waxt labels hung,
Although his pace was slow, gold was his goad,
And as the Petifogger went, he sung,
His greas’d belt and the waxe together clung:
He sware a mighty oath his writs were spoyld,
And by that meanes his client should be foyld.

I tract his steps, and followed him alloofe,
Weary with those Mecanicke meane deceipts,
At last he entred to a spatious roofe,
Where greatmen sat in high judiciall seates,
And iuglers play at even and odde with feates:
As (now sir it shall goe with you to day,
To morrow tis against you, you must pay.)

This hall they say is builded of such wood,
That cobwebs on the rafters are not spun,
By right the nature of these trees are good,
Yet there be held I mighty spyders run,
And by their sucking little flyes undone:
A thing most strange, that poysoned things must dwell,
Where nature scarce alloweth them a cell.

There stoode Briarius1 with a hundred hands,
And every one was ready to receive,
As many sundry toongs2, as seas have sands:
And when he sayd, the truth I do conceive,
Then meant the hell-hound soonest to deceive.
There saw I twelve good fellowes cald together,
That would for-sweare their father for a feather.

I saw the widdow in a mourning weede,
Wringing her painefull hands to get her right,
Th’oppressed soule tormented with more neede,
And cruelty with scarlet cloth’d in spight,
As who should say, in bloud is my delight.
Then thought I (ôh there is a Judge above)
Will all this wrong with one true sentence move.

Such sweating for base pelfe3, I did behold,
Such perjuries to get the upper hand,
The innocent with falshood bought and sould,
Such circumstance before the truth was scand,
Such scorched conscience markt with Sathans brand,
That straight bereft of my Satyrick wit,
I was possessed with a frantick fit.

So leaving this vast rumor of mans voyce,
I made my run unto a river side,
Where, sinke or swim, I tooke no better choyce,
With desperate leape in, headlong did I glide,
And for I would no more repeate this pride,
I did imagine I was in a dreame,
And so concluded my unorder’d theame.

1.         Briarius (more commonly Briareus, also known as Aegaeon): one of the three gigantic sons of Uranus and Gaia (Heaven and Earth, respectively). All three have a hundred arms and fifty heads.
2.         Toongs: Tongues.
3.         Pelfe: Money, wealth.

From: Rankins, William, Seaven satyres applyed to the weeke including the worlds ridiculous follyes. True fælicity described in the phoenix. Maulgre. Whereunto is annexed the wandring satyre. By W. Rankins, Gent., 2005, Text Creation Partnership: Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oxford, pp. 33-36.
(http://name.umdl.umich.edu/A10418.0001.001)

Date: 1587

By: William Rankins (fl. 1587)

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