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You let me know that all the worlde are knaves, That lordes and cits are robbers in disguise; I and my men, the Cockneies of the waves, Will profitte by youre lessons and bee wise; Make you give back the harvest of youre lies; From deep fraught barques I'le take the mysers Make all the wealthe of 1 every my prize, [soul, And cheating Londons pryde to dygner Bristowe rolle.
SONGE OF SEYNCTE BALDYWYNNE. [From Dean Milles's edition. According to Chatterton, this and the following poem were sung when the bridge at Bristol was completed in 1247.]
WHANN Norrurs and hys menne of myghte,
Uponne thys brydge darde all to fyghte,
Forslagenn manie warriours laie,
And Dacyanns well nie wonne the daie.
Whanne doughty Baldwinus arose,
And scatterd deathe amonge hys foes,
Fromme out the brydge the purlinge bloode
Embolled hie the runnynge floude.
Dethe dydd uponne hys anlace hange,
And all hys arms were gutte de sangue 2.
His doughtinesse wrought thilk dismaye,
The foreign warriors ranne awaie,
Erle Baldwynus regardedd well,
How manie menn forslaggen fell;
To Heaven lyft oppe hys holic eye,
And thanked Godd for victorye;
Thenne threw bys anlace ynn the tyde,
Lyvdd ynn a cell, and hermytte died.
SONGE OF SEYNCTE WARBURGHE.
[From Dean Milles's edition.]
WHANNE kynge Kynghill 3 ynn hys honde
Helde the sceptre of thys londe,
Sheenynge starre of Chrystes lyghte,
The merkie mysts of pagann nyghte
Gan to scatter farr and wyde:
Thanne Seynete Warburghe hee arose,
Doffed hys honnores and fyne clothes;
Preechynge hys Lorde Jesus name,
Toe the lande of West Sexx came,
Whare blacke Severn rolls hys tyde. -
Stronge ynn faithfullness, he trodde
Overr the waterrs lyke a godde,
Till he gaynde the distaunt hecke,
Yan whose bankes hys staffe dydd steck,
Witnesse to the myrracle;
Thenne he preechedd nyghte and daie,
And set mance ynn ryghte waie.
Thys goode staffe great wonders wroughte
Moe than gueste bie mortalle thoughte,
Orr thann mortall tonge can tell.
Thenn the foulke a brydge dydd make
Overr the streme untoe the hecke,
The word one, or man, must be here supplied, in order to complete the sense and the verse. Gutte de sangue, drops of blood; an heraldic allusion, suitable to the genius of that age. 3 King Kynghill, king Coenwolf.
All of wode eke longe and wyde,
Pryde and glorie of thee tyde;
Whych ynn tyme dydd falle awaie:
Then erle Leof he bespedde
Thys grete ry verr fromme hys bedde,
Round hys castle for to runne,
'T was in trothe ann ancyante onne,
But warre and tyme wyll all decaie. Now agayne, wythe bremie force, Severn ynn hys aynciant course Rolls hys rappyd streeme alonge, With a sable swifte and stronge,
Moreying 4 manie ann okie wood: Wee the menne of Brystowe towne Have yreerd thys brydge of stone, Wyshyng echone that ytt maie laste Till the date of daies be past,
Standynge where the other stoode.
[From the Supplement to Chatterton's Miscel
lanies. It is there entitled Imitation of our
Old Poets. On oure Ladyes Chirch. 1769.]
IN auntient dayes, when Kenewalchyn king
Of all the borders of the sea did reigne,
Whos cutting celes 5, as the bardyes synge,
Cut strakyng furrowes in the foamie mayne,
Sancte Warbur cast aside his earles estate,
As great as good, and eke as good as great.
Tho blest with what us men accounts as store,
Saw something further, and saw something more.
Where smokyng Wasker scours the claiey bank,
And gilded fishes wanton in the sunne,
Emyttynge to the fcelds a dewie dank,
As in the twyning path-waye he doth runne;
Here stood a house, that in the ryver smile
Since valorous Ursa first wonne Bryttayn isle;
The stones in one as firm as rock unite,
And it defyde the greatest warriours myghte.
Around about the lofty elemens hie
Proud as their planter reerde their greenie crest,
Bent out their heads, whene'er the windes came
In amorous dalliaunce the flete cloudes-kest. [bie.
Attendynge squires dreste in trickynge brighte,
To each tenth squier an attendynge knyghte,
The hallie hung with pendaunts to the flore,
A coat of nobil armes upon the doore;
Horses and dogges to hunt the fallowe deere,
Of pastures many, wide extent of wode,
Faulkonnes in mewes, and, little birds to teir,
The sparrow bawke, and manie hawkies gode.
Just in the prime of life, whan others court
Some swottie nymph, to gain their tender band,
Greet with the kynge and trerdie greet with the
And as aforesed mickle much of land,
4 Moreying, rooting up, so explained in the glossary to Robert Gloucester.-Mored, i. e. digged, grubbed. The roots of trees are still called mores in Devonshire.
5 Celes, most probably from the aucient word ceolis; which, in the Saxon, is ships. From whence ceole, we find in Brompton, are used for large ships.
[From Barrett's History of Bristol.]
FADRE, SONNE, and MYNSTRELLES.
To the worlde newe and ytts bestoykenynge waie Thys coistrelle sonne of myne ys all mie care, Yee mynstrelles warne hymme how wyth rede he straie
[snare, Where guylded vyce dothe spredde bys mascill'd To gettyng wealth I woulde hee shoulde bee bredde, [hys hedde. And couronnes of rudde goulde ne glorie rounde
Mie name is Intereste, tis I
Dothe yntoe alle bosoms flie,
Eche one hylten secret's myne,
None so wordie, goode, and dygne,
Butte wyll fynde ytte to theyr cost,
Intereste wyll rule the roaste.
I to everichone gyve lawes,
Selfe ys fyrst yn everich cause.
Iamme a faytour flame
Of lemmies melancholi,
Love somme behyghte mie name,
Some doe anemp me Follie;
Inne sprytes of meltynge molde
I sette mie burneynge sele;
To mee a goulers goulde
Doeth nete a pyne avele;
I pre upon the helthe,
And from gode redeynge flee,
The manne who woulde gette wealthe Muste never thynke of mee.
I bee the queede of Pryde, mie spyrynge heade
Mote reche the cloudes and styile be rysynge hie,
Too lyttle is the Earthe to bee mie bedde,
Too hannow for mie breetheyuge place the skie;
Daynous I see the worlde bineth me lie
Botte to mic betterres, I soe lyttle gree,
Aneuthe a shadow of a shade I bee,
Tys to the smalle alleyn that I canne multyplie.
I am the queed of goulers; look arounde
The ayrs aboute mee thieves doe represente,
Bloudsteyned robbers spryng from oute the
And airie vysyons swarme around mie ente;
O save mie monies, ytte ys theyre entente
To nymme the redde godde of mie fremded
Whatte joie canne goulers have or daie or nyghte!
Vice bee I hyghte onne golde fulle ofte I ryde, Fulle fayre unto the syghte for aie I seeme; Mie ugsomness wythe goldenne veyles I hyde, Laieynge mie lovers ynne a sylkenne dreme; Botte whan mie untrue pleasaunce have byn tryde,
Thanne doe I showe alle horrownesse and row, And those I have ynne nette woulde feyne mie grype eschew,
THE matten belle han sounded long,
The cocks han sang their morning songe,
When lo! the tuneful clarions sound,
(Wherein all other noise was drown'd)
Did echo to the rooms around,
And greet the ears of champyons stronge;
Arise, arise from downie bedde,
For Sunne doth gin to shew his hedde!
Then each did don in seemlie gear,
What armour eche beseem'd to wear,
And on each sheelde devices shone,
Of wounded hearts and battles won,
All curious and nice echon;
With manie a tassild spear;
And mounted echeone on a steed
Unwote made ladies hearts to blede.
Heraulds eche side the clarions wound,
The horses started at the sound;
The knyghtes echeone did poynt the launce,
And to the combattes did advance;
From Hyberne, Scotland, eke from Fraunce;
Thyre prancyng horses tare the ground;
All strove to reche the place of fyghte,
The first to exercise their myghte→
O'Rocke upon his courser fleet,
Swift as lightning were his feet,
First gain'd the lists and gatte him fame;
From west Hybernee isle he came,
His myghte depictur'd in his name1.
All dreded such an one to meet;
Bold as a mountain wolf he stood,
Upon his swerde sat grim dethe and bloude,
But when he threwe downe his asenglave,
Next came in syr Botelier bold and brave,
The dethe of manie a Saraceen;
Theie thought him a devil from Hells black den,
1 Probably alluding to the word rock.
Ne thinking that anie of mortalle menne
Could send so manie to the grave.
For his life to John Rumsee he render'd his thanks,
Descended from Godred the king of the Manks.
Within his sure rest he settled his speare,
And ran at O'Rocke in full career;
Their launces with the furious stroke
Into a thousand shivers broke,
Even as the thunder tears the oak,
And scatters splinters here and there;
So great the shock, their senses did depart,
The bloude all ran to strengthen up the harte.
Syr Botelier Rumsie first came from his traunce,
And from the marshall toke the launce;
O'Rocke eke chose another speere,
And ran at syr Botelier full career;
His prancynge stede the ground did tare;
In haste he made a false advance;
Syr Botelier seeing, with myghte amain
Felide him down upon the playne.
Syr Pigotte Novlin at the clarions sound,
On a milk-white stede with gold trappings around,
He couchde in his rest his silver-poynt speere,
And ferslie ranne up in full carcer;
But for his appearance he payed full deare,
In the first course laid on the ground;
Besmeer'd in the dust with his silver and gold,
No longer a glorious sight to behold.
Syr Botelier then having conquer'd his twayne,
Rode conqueror off the tourneying playne,
Receivying a garland from Alice's hand,
The fayrest ladye in the lande.
Syr Pigotte this viewed, and furious did stand,
Tormented in mind and bodily peyne,
Syr Botelier crown'd, most galantlie stode,
As some tall oak within the thick wode.
Awhile the shrill clarions sounded the word;
Next rode in syr John, of Adderleigh lord,
Who over his back his thick shield did bryng,
In checkee of redde and silver sheeninge,
With steede and gold trappings beseeming a king,
A guilded fine adder twyned round hie swerde,
De Bretville advanced, a man of great myghte
And couched his launce in his rest for the fyghte.
Ferse as the falling waters of the lough,
That tumble headlonge from the mountains browe,
Ev'n so they met in drierie sound,
De Bretville fell upon the ground,
The bloude from inward bruised wound,
Did out his stained helmet flowe;
As some tall bark upon the foamie main,
So laie De Bretville on the plain.
Syr John of the Dale or Compton hight,
Advanced next in lists of fyght,
He know the tricks of tourneyinge full well,
In running race ne manne culd him excell,
Or how to wielde a sworde better tel,
And eke he was a manne of might:
On a black stede with silver trappynges dyght
He darde the dangers of the tourneyd fighte.
Within their rests their speeres they set,
So furiously ech other met,
That Compton's well intended spcere
Syr John his shield in pieces tare,
And wound his hand in furious geir;
Syr Johns stele assenglave was wette:
Syr John then toe the marshal turn'd,
His breast with meekle furie burn'd.
The tenders of the feelde came in,
And bade the champyons not begyn;
Eche tourney but one hour should last,
And then one hour was gone and past.
THE ROMAUNTE OF THE CNYGHTE. BY JOHN DE BERGHAM,
[From a MS. in Chatterton's hand-writing, in the possession of Mr. Cottle.]
THE Sunne ento Vyrgyne was gotten,
The floureys al arounde onspryngede,
The woddie grasse blaunched the fenne
The quenis Ermyne arised fro bedde;
Syr knyghte dyd ymounte oponn a stede
Ne rouncie ne drybblette of make
Thanne asterte for dur'sie dede
Wythe Morglaie hys fooemenne to make blede
Eke swythyn as wynde. trees. theyre hartys to
Al doune in a delle a merke dernie delle
Wheere coppys eke thighe trees there bee,
There dyd hee perchaunce I see
A damoselle askedde for ayde on her kne
An cnyghte uncourteous dydde bie her stonde
Hee hollyd herr faeste bie her honde,
Discorteous cnyghte, I doe praie nowe thou telle
Whirst doeste thou bee so to thee damselle.
The knyghte hym assoled eftsoones,
Itte beethe ne mattere of thyne.
Begon for I wayte notte thye boones.
The knyghte sed I proove on thie gaberdyne,
Alyche boars enchafed to fyghte heie flies.
The discoorteous knyghte bee strynge botte
stryuger the righte,
The dynne bee herde a'myle for fuire in the
Tyl thee false knyghte yfallethe and dyes.
Damoysel, quod the knyghte, now comme thou
Y wotte welle quod shee I nede thee ne fere,
The knyghte yfallen badd wolde Ischulde bee,
Butte loe he ys dedde maie itte spede Heaven-
THE ROMANCE OF THE KNIGHT. MODERNISED BY THOMAS CHATTERTON.
[From a MS. of Chatterton's in the possession of Mr. Cottle.]
THE pleasing sweets of spring and summer past,
The falling leaf flies in the sultry blast,
The fields resign their spangling orbs of gold,
The wrinkled grass its silver joys unfold
Mantling the spreading moor in heavenly white,
Meeting from every hill the ravish'd sight.
The yellow flag uprcars its spotted head,
Hanging regardant o'er its wat'ry bed:
The worthy knight ascends his foaming steed,
Of size uncommon, and no common breed.
His sword of giant make hangs from his belt,
Whose piercing edge his daring foes had felt.
To seek for glory and renown, he goes
To scatter death among his trembling foes;
Unnerv'd by fear they trembled at his stroke;
So cutting blasts shake the tall mountain oak.
Down in a dark and solitary vale
Where the curst screech-owl sings her fatal tale,
Where copse and brambles interwoven lie,
Where trees intwining arch the azure sky,
Thither the fate-mark'd champion bent his way,
By purling streams to lose the heat of day:
A sudden cry assaults his list'ning ear,
His soul's too noble to admit of fear.-
The cry re-echoes: with his bounding steed
He gropes the way from whence the cries proceed.
The arching trees above obscur'd the light,
Here 'twas all evening, there eternal night.
And now the rustling leaves and strengthened cry
Bespeaks the cause of the confusion nigh;
Thro' the thick brake the astonish'd champion
A weeping damsel bending on her knees;
A ruffian knyght would force her to the ground,
But still some small resisting strength she found.
(Women and cats, if you compulsion use
The pleasure which they die for, will refuse,)
The champion thus: "Desist, discourteous knight,
Why dost thou shamefully misuse thy might."
With eye contemptuous thus the knight replies,
"Begone! whoever dares my fury dies."
Down to the ground the champion's gauntlet flew,
"I dare thy fury, and I'll prove it too."
Like two fierce mountain-boars enraged they fly,
The prancing steeds make echo rend the sky,
Like a fierce tempest is the bloody fight, [knight.
Dead from his lofty steed falls the proud ruffian
The victor, sadly pleas'd, accosts the dame,
"I will convey you hence to whence you came."
With look of gratitude the fair replied,
"Content: I in your virtue may confide.
But," said the fair, as mournful she survey'd
The breathless corse upon the meadow laid,
May all thy sins from Heaven forgiveness find! May not thy body's crimes affect thy mind!"
SONGE TO ELLA,
LORDE OF THE CASTEL OF BRISTOWE
YNNE DAIES OF YORE.
OH thou, orr what remaynes of thee,
Ælla, the darlynge of futurity,
Lett thys mie songe bolde as thie courage be,
As everlastynge to posteritye.
Whanne Dacya's sonnes, whose hayres of bloude
Lyche kynge-cuppes brastynge wythe the morn-
Arraung'd ynne dreare arraie, [ing due,
Upponne the lethale daie,
Spredde farre and wyde onne Watchets shore;
Than dyddst thou furiouse stande,
And bie thie valyante hande
Beesprengedd all the mees wythe gore.
Drawne bie thyne anlace felle,
Downe to the depthe of Helle
Thousandes of Dacyanns went;
Brystowannes, menne of myghte,
Ydar'd the bloudie fyghte,
And actedd deeds full quent.
Oh thou whereer (thie bones att reste)
Thye spryte to haunte delyghteth best,
Whetherr upponne the bloude-embrewedd pleyne,
Orr whare thou kennst fromm farre
The dysmall crye of warre,
Orr seest somme mountayne made of corse of
Orr seest the hatchedd stede,
Ypraunceynge o'er the mede,
And neighe to be amenged the poynctedd speeres;
Orr ynne blacke armoure staulke arounde
Embattel'd Brystowe, once thie grounde,
And glowe ardurous onn the castle steeres;
Orr fierye round the mynsterr glare;
Lette Brystowe stylle be made thie care;
Guarde ytt fromme foemenne and consumynge
Lyche Avones streme ensyrke ytt rounde,
Ne lette a flame enharme the grounde,
Tylle ynne one flame all the whole worlde expyre.
TO JOHNE LADGATE. (SENT WITH THE FOLLOWING SONGE TO ÆLLA.) [This and the two following poems are printed from a copy in Mr. Catcott's hand-writing.]
WELL thanne, goode Johne, sythe ytt must
needes be soe,
Thatt thou and I a bowtynge matche muste have,
Lette ytt ne breakynge of oulde friendshyppe bee,
Thys ys the onelie all-a-boone I crave,
Rememberr Stowe, the Bryghtstowe Carmalyte,
Who whanne John Clarkynge, one of myckle lore,
Dydd throwe hys gauntlette-penne, wyth hym to
Hee showd smalle wytte, and showd hys weak-
Thys ys mie formance, whyche I nowe have
The best performance of mie lyttel wytte.
THE UNDERWRITTEN LINES
WERE COMPOSED BY JOHN LADGATE, A PRIEST
And sent to Rowlie, as an answer to the preceding
Songe of Alla.
HAVYNGE Wythe mouche attentyon redde
Whatt you dydd too mee sende,
Admyre the varses mouche I dyd,
And thus an answer lende.
Amongs the Greeces Homer was
A poett mouche renownde,
Amongs the Latyns Vyrgilius
Was beste of posts founde.
The Brytish Merlyn oftenne hanne
The gyfte of inspyration,
And Afled to the Sexonne menne
Dydd synge wythe elocation.
Ynne Norman tymes, Turgotus and
Goode Chaucer dydd excelle,
3. for bee, r. goe.
7. for fyghte, r. wryte. Songe to Ella.
The title in the vellum MS. was simply Songe foe Ella, with a small mark of reference to a note below, containing the following words-Lord of the castelle of Brystowe ynne daies of yore. It may be proper also to take notice, that the whole song was there written like prose, without any breaks, or divisions into verses.
ver. 6. for brastynge, r. burstynge.
11. for valyante, r. burlie.
23. for dysmall, r. honore.
No title in the vellum MS.
ver. 3. for varses, r. pene.
antep. for Lendes r. Sendes.
ult. for lyne, r. thynge.
Mr. Barrett had also a copy of these poems by Chatterton, which differed from that, which Chatterton afterwards produced as the original, in the following particulars, among others:
In the title of the Verses to Ladgate.
ver. 3. Orig. goe.
7. Orig. wryte.
Songe to Ella.
ver. 5. Orig. Daryane. Orig. whose lockes.
11. Orig. burlie.
Chat. Ladgate. Chat, doe. Chat, fyghte.
A TRAGYCAL ENTERLUDE, OR DISCOORSEYNGE
WROTENN BY THOMAS ROWLEIE; PLAIEDD BEFORE MASTRE CANYNGE, ATTE HYS HOWSE NEMPTE THE RODDE LODGE: ALSOE BEFORE THE DUKE OF NORFOLCK, JOHAN HOWARD. [This poem, with the Epistle, Letter, and Entroductionne, is printed from a folio MS. furnished by Mr. Catcott, in the beginning of which he has written, "Chatterton's transcript, 1769."
The whole transcript is of Chatterton's handwriting.]
EPISTLE TO MASTRE CANYNGE ON ÆLLA. 'TYS songe bie mynstrelles, thatte yn auntyent
Whan Reasonn hylt herselfe in cloudes of nyghte, The preest delyvered alle the lege yn rhym; Lyche peyncted tyltynge speares to please the
Syr John, a knyghte, who hath a barne of lore, Kenns Latyn att fyrst syghte from Frenche or Greke,
Pyghtethe hys knowlachynge ten yeres or more, To rynge upon the Latynne worde to speke. Whoever spekethe Englysch ys despysed, The Englysch hym to please moste fyrste be latynized.
Vevyan, a moncke, a good requiem synges; Can preache so wele, eche hynde bys meneynge knowes;
Albeytte these gode guyfts awaie he flynges, Beeynge as badde yn vearse as good yn prose. Hee synges of seynctes who dyed for yer Godde, Everych wynter nyghte afresche he sheddes theyr blodde.
To maydens, huswyfes, and unlored dames, Hee redes hys tales of merryment and woe. Loughe loudlie dynneth from the dolte adrames'; He swelles on laudes of fooles, tho' kennes hem soe. Sommetyme at tragedie theie laughe and synge, At merrie yaped fage somme hard-drayned water brynge.
Yette Vevyan ys ne foole, behynde hys lynes. Geofroie makes vearse, as handycraftes theyr [twynes,
Wordes wythoute sense full groffyngelye he Cotteynge hys storie off as wythe a sheere; Waytes monthes on nothynge, and hys storie [begonne.
Ne moe you from ytte kenn, than gyf you neere
Enowe of odhers; of mieselfe to write, Requyrynge whatt I doe notte nowe possess, To you I leave the taske; I kenne your myghte Wyll make mie faultes, mie meynte of faultes, be less.
Ella wythe thys I sende, and hope that you Wylle from ytte cast awaie, whatte lynes maie be
Playes made from hallie tales I holde unmeete; Lette somme greate storie of a manne be songe;
Unauthorized. There is however the adjective adraming, churlish. * Perhaps waysies.