Posts tagged ‘1580’

Friday, 4 August 2017

How Coventry was Made Free by Godina, Countesse of Chester by Thomas Deloney

To the Tune of Prince Arthur died at Ludlow.

Leofricus, that Noble Earle
Of Chester, as I reade,
Did for the City of Coventry,
Many a noble deed.
Great priviledges for the towne.
This Nobleman did get,
And of all things did make it so,
That they tole-free did sit:
Save onley that for horses still,
They did some custome pay,
Which was great charges to the towne,
Full long and many a day.
Wherefore his wife, Godina faire,
Did of the Earl request,
That therefore he would make it free,
As well as all the rest.
So when the Lady long had sued,
Her purpose to obtaine:
Her Noble Lord at length she tooke,
Within a pleasant vaine,
And unto him with smiling cheare,
She did forthwith proceed,
Entreating greatly that he would
Performe that goodly deed.
You move me much, faire Dame (quoth he)
Your suit I faine would shunne:
But what would you performe and do,
To have this matter done?
Why any thing, my Lord (quoth she)
You will with reason crave,
I will performe it with good will,
If I my wish may have.
If thou wilt grant one thing (said he)
Which I shall now require,
So soone as it is finished,
Thou shalt have thy desire.
Command what you thinke good, my Lord,
I will thereto agree:
On this condition that this Towne
For ever may be free.
If thou wilt thy cloaths strip off,
And here wilt lay them downe,
And at noone day on horsebacke ride
Starke naked thorow the Towne,
They shall be free for evermore:
If thou wilt not do so,
More liberty than now they have,
I never will bestow.
The lady at this strange demand,
Was much abasht in mind:
And yet for to fulfil this thing,
She never a whit repinde.
Wherefore to all the Officers
Of all the Towne she sent:
That they perceiving her good will,
Which for the weale was bent,
That on the day that she should ride,
All persons thorow the Towne,
Should keepe their houses and shut their doores,
And clap their windowes downe,
So that no creature, yong or old
Should in the street be scene:
Till she had ridden all about,
Throughout the City cleane.
And when the day of riding came,
No person did her see,
Saving her Lord: after which time,
The towne was ever free.

From: Deloney, Thomas and Mann, Francis Oscar (ed.), The Works of Thomas Deloney, 1912, Clarendon Press: Oxford, pp. 309-311.
(https://archive.org/details/worksofthomasdel04delouoft

Date: c1580

By: Thomas Deloney (c1543-1600)

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Idle or Else but Seldom Busied Best by Thomas Heneage

Idle or else but seldom busied best,
In court, my Lord, we lead the vainest life,
Where hopes with fears, where joys with sorrows rest,
But faith is rare, though fairest words be rife.

Here learn we vice and look on virtue’s books;
Here fine deceit we hold for courtly skill.
Our care is here to wait on words and looks
And greatest work to follow others’ will.

Here scorn a grace, and pride, is present thought.
Malice but might, and foulest shifts no shame,
Lust but delight, and plainest dealing nought
Where flatt’ry likes and truth bears oftest blame.

Yet is the cause not in the place, I find,
But all the fault is in the faulty mind.

From: Dodsworth, Martin (ed.), Walter Ralegh: The Poems, with Other Verse from the Court of Elizabeth I, 2012, Phoenix, London, p. 55.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=kwZPqewHMvsC)

Date: c1580

By: Thomas Heneage (1532-1595)

Monday, 30 May 2016

Verses Written of Twenty Good Precepts, at the Request of Master Robert Cudden, of Gray’s Inn by George Whetstone

Old friendship binds (though fain I would refuse!),
In this discourse, to please your honest mind!
For trust me, friend! the counselling words I use,
Are rather forced of cause, than come of kind!

Your Themes are short! and yet in substance large,
As of the least, some would a volume write!
The first, Serve GOD! a service of such charge
As should not be forslowèd day or night!

For what we do, is present in his eye;
Well-doing, then, He must with grace regard!
And, using course, if He ill-doing spy,
He cannot but the lewd with wrath reward!

Obey thy Prince! or Tyburn cool thy pride!
The head commands the feet to go, or stay;
So we, our Prince, even as our head and guide,
In what she wills, of duty must obey!

Like well thy friend! but try him ere thou love!
For friends, we may, to Æsop’s tongues compare!
The faithful friend, no fortune can remove!
The fair-mouth foe, in need doth feed thy care!

Shun many words! A sentence short and sweet!
For lavish speech is cause of much unrest.
It makes men oft their friends in sorrow meet;
And best applied, fair words seld ‘bide the test!

Avoid anger! or look to live in woe!
The harebrained jade is far more spurred and beat
Than cooler horse, which meaner metal shows.
The like reward the hasty man doth get!

Appease debate! An honest work in truth!
Much physic oft increaseth sickly qualms.
Recounting wrongs so many makes so wroth
As lives, legs, arms, are often dealt for alms!

Be merciful! Have Dives’ scourge in mind!
None lives so just but some way doth offend!
Then, cruel man! what favour shouldst thou find,
When thou thy ears, to pity will not bend?

Slander no man! Mirth is a leech to moan!
Health, physic helps, Fortune restoreth wealth;
But honest fame, by slander spoiled and gone,
Health, Wealth, nor Mirth can satisfy the stealth!

Report the truth! Once there, one trial stands.
Note well, the fall of good Susanna’s foes!
Upon thy life oft lieth life and lands!
A weighty charge, lest thou the truth disclose.

Take heed of drink! Therein much mischief lies!
It doth disclose the secrets of the breast!
What worse account than for none to be wise;
When none is past to be esteemed a beast!

Disdain no man! Misjudgement often blinds!
All is not fire like flame, that seems to blaze!
Once homely weeds oft hide more gallant minds
Than gaudy coats, which set each eye to gaze.

Thy secrets keep! or make thyself a slave!
The babbling fool is made a jesting stock!
When closely men account, and credit have;
Then best that thou thy tongue with silence lock!

Try, ere thou trust thy faith, lest falsehood ‘quite!
The crocodile, with tears doth win her prey!
The Flatterer so, doth seem a Saint in sight;
To cut thy throat, in absence, if he may!

Cherish the poor! A work in Nature due.
Brute beasts relieve the feeble of their kind.
Then, Man! for shame, with succour, see thou rue
Of Man distressed, the sick, the lame, or blind!

Aid honest minds! and praise shall be thy meed!
The subtle wretch, for pence, with fraud will fish!
The honest man had rather starve in need,
Than, by deceit, to feed dishonest wish!

Shun wanton Dames! as Sirens they entice!
Both body and purse, they witch, wound, and waste!
And, in the end (for all this saucy price!),
Their sweet delights, of sour repentance taste!

Succour Soldiers! They watch to keep thy wealth!
In wars they serve, that thou in peace mayst feed!
Then if, through lack, the soldier live by stealth,
I wish a Churl fair hanged in his stead!

Strangers favour! Thy fortune is unknown!
In Youth, or Age, none lives but needs a friend!
And, using grace, if thou be overthrown,
Thou yet mayst hope, thy grief with grace to end!

Provide for age! or look to die with grief!
Some, forced through shame, their aged friends do aid.
But Oh! sour looks so salve this sweet relief,
As, day and night, with sighs they are dismayed!

Think on thy end! The tide for none doth wait!
Even so, pale Death, for no man’s will doth stay!
Then, while thou mayst, thy worldly reck’ning straight!
Lest, when thou wouldst, Death doth good will dismay!

From: Arber, Edward (ed.), The Spenser Anthology. 1548-1591 A.D., 1899, Henry Frowde: London, pp. 138-141.
(https://archive.org/stream/spenseranthol00arbeiala#page/138/mode/2up)

Date: 1580

By: George Whetstone (?1544-1587)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

For a Gentlewoman by Humfrey Gifford

Like as a forte or fencèd towne,
By foes assault that lies in Held,
When Bulwarkes are all beaten downe,
Is by perforce constraynde to yeelde:
So I that could no while withstand,
The battery of your pleasant love,
The flagge of truce tooke in my hande,
And meant your mercy for to prove.
My foolish fancie did enforce
Me first to like your friendly sute,
Whiles your demaunds bred such remorce,
That I could not the same refute.
I bad you take with free consent,
All that which true pretence might crave,
And you remaynde as one content,
The thing obtaynd that you would have.
Such friendly lookes and countenance fayre,
You freely then to me profest,
As if all troth that ever were,
Had harboured beene within your brest.
And I which saw such perfect shewes,
Of fraudlesse fayth in you appeare,
Did yeelde myselfe to Cupids Lawes,
And shewde likewise a merrie cheere.
No loving toyes I did withholde,
And no suspect did make me doubt.
Till your demeanure did unfolde
The wilie traines ye went about.
Who sees a ruinous house to fall,
And will not shift to get him thence;
When limmes be crusht, and broken all,
Its then too late to make defence.
When pleasant baite is swallowed downe,
The hookèd fish is sure to die:
On these Dame Fortune oft doe frowne,
As trust too farre before they trie.
Or had I wist, who makes his moane,
Its ten to one he never thrives.
When theeves are from the Gibbet throwne
No pardon then can save theyr lives.
Such good advice as comes too late,
May wel be calde, Sir fore wits foole;
Elswhere goe play the cosoning mate
I am not now to goe to schoole.
But cleerely doe at length discerne,
The marke to which your bow is bent,
And these examples shall me warne,
What harme they have that late repent.
Your sugred speech was but a baite,
Wherwith to bleare my simple eyes,
And under them did lurke deceipt,
As poison under hony lies.
Wherefore since now your drift is knowne,
Goe set your staule some other where:
I may not so be overthrowne,
Your double dealings make me feare.
When steede by theeves is stolne away,
I will not then the doore locke fast;
Wherefore depart without delay,
Your words are winde, your sute is wast
And this shal be the finall doome,
That I to your request will give,
Your love in me shall have no roome,
Whiles life and breath shal make me live.

From: Gifford, Humfrey and Grosart, Alexander B. (ed.), The Complete Poems and Translations in Prose of Humfrey Gifford, Gentleman (1580), Edited, with Memorial-Introduction and Notes by the Rev. Alexander B. Grosart, St. George’s, Blackburn, Lancashire, 1875: C.E. Simms: Manchester, pp. 102-104.
(https://archive.org/stream/completepoemsan00tologoog#page/n129/mode/2up)

Date: 1580

By: Humfrey Gifford (fl. 1580)

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Excerpt from “Godfrey of Bulloigne; or the Recoverie of Jerusalem” by Torquato Tasso

These naked wantons, tender, faire and white,
Mooved so farre the warriours stubborne harts,
That on their shapes they gazed with delite;
The Nymphes applide their sweete alluring artes,
And one of them above the waters quite,
Lift up her head, her brests, and higher partes,
And all that might weake eies subdew and take,
Her lower beauties vailed the gentle lake.

As when the morning starre escapt and fled,
From greedie waves with dewie beames up flies,
Or as the Queene of love, new borne and bred
Of th’ Oceans fruitfull froth, did first arise:
So vented she, her golden lockes foorth shed
Round pearles and cristall moist therein which lies:
But when her eies upon the knights she cast
She start, and fain’d her of their sight agast.

And her faire lockes, that on a knot were tide
High on her crowne, she gan at large unfold;
Which falling long and thicke, and spreading wide,
The ivorie soft and white, mantled in gold:
Thus her faire skin the dame would cloath and hide,
And that which hid it no lesse faire was hold;
Thus clad in waves and lockes, her eies divine
From them ashamed did she turne and twine.

With all she smiled, and she blusht withall,
Her blush, her smiling; smiles, her blushing graced:
Over her face her amber tresses fall,
Where under love himselfe in ambush placed:
At last she warbled forth a treble small,
And with sweet lookes, her sweet songs enterlaced;
O happie men! that have the grace (quoth shee)
This blisse, this heav’n, this paradise to see.

From: http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/TextRecord.php?action=GET&textsid=32959

Date: 1580 (Italian); 1600 (translated)

By: Torquato Tasso (1544-1595)

Translated by: Edward Fairfax (c1575-1635)

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Come, Giue Me Needle, Stitch Cloth, Silke and Chaire by John Lyly

A Gentlewoman yt married a yonge Gent who after forsooke (hir,) where vppon she tooke hir Needle in which she was excellent and worked vpon hir Sampler thus

Come, giue me needle, stitch cloth, silke and chaire
yt I may sitt and sigh, and sow and singe
For perfect coollors to discribe ye aire
a subtile persinge changinge constant thinge
No false stitch will I make, my hart is true zo
plaine stitche my Sampler is for to complaine
How men haue tongues of hony, harts of rue.
true tongues and harts are one, men makes them twaine.
Giue me black silk yt sable suites my hart
and yet som white though white words do deceiue
No green at all for youth I must part
Purple and blew, fast loue and faith to weaue.
Mayden no more sleepeless ile goe to bedd
Take all away, ye work works in my hedd.

From: Bond, R Warwick (ed), The Complete Works of John Lyly, Volume III, 1902, Clarendon Press: Oxford, p. 473.
(http://archive.org/stream/completeworksofj03lylyuoft#page/472/mode/2up)

Date: c1580

By: John Lyly (c1553-1606)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Love’s Omnipresence by Joshua Sylvester

Were I as base as is the lowly plain,
And you, my Love, as high as heaven above,
Yet should the thoughts of me your humble swain
Ascend to heaven, in honour of my Love.

Were I as high as heaven above the plain,
And you, my Love, as humble and as low
As are the deepest bottoms of the main,
Whereso’er you were, with you my love should go.

Were you the earth, dear Love, and I the skies,
My love should shine on you like to the sun,
And look upon you with ten thousand eyes
Till heaven wax’d blind, and till the world were done.

Whereso’er I am, below, or else above you,
Whereso’er you are, my heart shall truly love you.

From: http://www.acedate.co.uk/love/poems/159.php

Date: 1580

By: Joshua Sylvester (1563-1618)