תמונות בעמוד

refined, either to relish or to produce, burlesque poetry. Harrifon, the author of the DESCRIPTION OF BRITAINE, pre

• But I must not forget Chaucer's ŞIR THOPAS : and that among the Cotton manuscripts, there is an anonymous poem, perhaps coeval with Chaucer, in the style of allegorical burlesque, which describes the power of money, with great humour, and in no common vein of fatire. The hero of the piece is six PENNY, MSS. Cott. Cal. 7. A. 2. INCIPIT NARRACIO D'EDNO DENARIO.

In erth it es a littill thing,
And regnes als • a riche king,
Whare he es lent in land ;
Sir Pent es his name calde,
He makes both yong and alde b
Bow untill « his hand :
Papes, kinges, and empoures,
Bisschoppes, abbottes, and priowres,
Person, preft, and knyght,
Dukes, erles, and ilk barowne,
To ferue him er • thai ful boune,
Both biday and nyght.
SIR PENI chaunges man's mode,

gers them off do doun thaire hoder
And to rise him agayne 8.
Men honors him with grete reuerence,
Makes ful mekell obedience
Vnto that litill fwaine.
In kinges court es it no bote",
Ogaines sir Pent for to mote',
So mekill es he of myght,
He es so witty and fo ftrang,
That be it neuer fo mekill wrang,
He will mak it right.

With Peny may men wemen till *
Be thại neger fo ftrange of will,
So oft may it be fene,
Lang with him will thai noght chide,
For he may ger tham trayl fyde
In gude skarlet and grene.
He may by both heuyn and hell,
And ilka thing that es to sell.
In erth has he fwilk grace,
He may leser and he


bind. The pouer er ay put bihind, Whare he comes in place. When he bigines him to mello, He makes meke that are was fell. And waik P that bald has bene. All ye nedes ful fone er sped 4, Bath withowten borgh and wed', Whare Peni gafe bitwenef. The domes men he mase' so blind That he may noght the right find Ne the futh " to se. For to gif dome W tham es ful lath, 'Tharwith to mak sır Peni wrath. Ful dere with tham es he, Thare 7 ftrif was Peni makes pese a, Of all angers he may relese, In land whare he will lende, Of fase * may he mak frendes sad, Of counfail thar tham neuer be rad, That may haue him to frende. That Sir B es set on high defe, And serued with mapi riche mese At the high burde The more he es to men plente, The more zernid' alway es he :

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

fixed to Hollinshed's Chronicle, has left a sensible criticism on

" One hath made a boke of the SPIDER AND

this poem.

And halden dere in horde.
He makes mani be forsworne,
And sum life and faul forlorne ,
Him to get and wyn.
Other god will thai none haue,
Bot that litil round knaue,
Thaire bales " for to blini.
On him halelyk thaire hertes sett,
Him for to luf' will thai noght leto,
Nowther for gude ne ill.
All that he will in erth haue done,
Ilka man grantes it ful sone,
Right at his awin will.

both lene and gyf;
He may ger both fla and lifo,
Both by frith and fell P.
Pent es a gude felaw,
Men welcums him in dede and saw 9,
Cum he neuer so oft,
He es noght welkumd als a geft,
Bot euermore ferued with the best,
And made at " fit ful soft.
Who so es fted in


With sir Peni may thai spede.
How so euer they betyde'.
He that sir Pent es with all,
Sal haue his will in sitede and stall.
When other er set byside",
Sir Peny gers, in riche wede,
Ful mani go and ride on stede ",'
In this werldes wide.
In ilka * gamin and ilka play,
The maystri es gifen ay
To Peny, for his pride.

Sir Peny over all gettes the grey,
Both in burgh and in cete?,
In caftell and in towre.
Withowten owther spere or schelde,
Es he the best in frith or felde,
And Italwortheft in ftowre b.
In ilka place, the suth es sene“,
Sir Peni es ouer albidene,
Maister most in mode.
And all es als he will cumand :
Ogains his stevyn dar no man ftand,
Nowther by land ne fode.
Sir Peny mai ful mekill availe e
To tham that has nede of cownsail,
Als sene es in assizef :
He lenkethes & life and saues fro ded b.
Bot luf it noght ouer wele I rede',
For fin of couaitysek.
If thou haue happ tresore to win,
Delite the noght to mekill tharin'.
Ne nything thareof be,
But spend it als wele als thou can,
So that thou luf both god and man
In perfite charite.
God grante vs grace with hert and will,
The gudes that he has gifen ys till",
Wele and wisely to spend.
And so oure liues here for to lede,
That we may haue his blis to mede ,
Euer withowten end. Amen.

An old Scotch poem called siR PENNY has been formed from this, printed in AnTIENT Scottish Poems, P. 153. Edinb. 1770. (See supr. vol. i. 9.]

& Despise. Quit.

h Eyes.

į Blind. k Wholly. I Love, m Never ceafe, A Lend. o Kill and save, P Sea and land. 9 Doing and speaking. : To fit. • Under any difficulty. i Whatever happens, u Deídised. w Causes many to ride, &c. * Every,

y Degree. Pre-eminence.
2 Town and city.
a Either.
b Stouteft in battle.
6 Truth is seen.
d Voice, Sound,
e Be of much power.

* As appears in the place of judicature. Or, in paffing sentence,

$ Lengthens. h Death,

Love money not too much, I advife. k Covetousness. | Too much therein. m Nyding. Be not too careless of it. • To us.

Our reward.



« Flie, wherin he dealeth fo profoundly, and beyond all mea“ sure of fkill, that neither he himfelf that made it, neither

any one that readeth it, can reach unto the meaning thereof." It is a proof of the unpopularity of this poem, that it never was reprinted. Our author's EPIGRAMS, and the poem of ProVERBS, were in high vogue, and had numerous editions within the

year 1598. The most lively part of the Spider and FLIE is perhaps the mock-fight between the spiders and flies, an awkward imitation of Homer's BATRACHOMUOMACHY. The

preparations for this bloody and eventful engagement, on the part

of the spiders, in their cobweb-castle, are thus described.

Behold! the battilments in every loope :
How th'ordinance lieth, flies far and nere to fach :
Behold how everie peace, that lieth there in groopeo,
Hath a spider gonner, with redy-fired match.
Behold on the wals, spiders making ware wach:
The wach-spider in the towre a larum to strike,
At aproch of any nomber Thewing warlike.

Se th' en prenabill' fort, in every border,
How everie spider with his wepon

doth stand,
So thorowlie harnests, in so good order :
The capital • spider, with wepon in hand,
For that sort of sowdiers so manfully mand,
With copwebs like casting nets all flies to quell:

My hart shaketh at the light: behold it is hell's The beginning of all this confusion is owing to a fly entering the poet's window, not through a broken pane, as might be presumed, but through the lattice, where it is suddenly entangled in a cobweb The cobweb, however, will be allowed to be suf

* DESCRIPT. BRIT. P. 226. Hollinth. CHRON. tom. i.

• In rows. 1

Impregnable. Vol. III.

Clad in armour.
* Perhaps, Capitayne.
i Cap. 57. Signat. B b.

* Cap. i.



ficiently descriptive of the poet's apartment. But I mention this circumstance as a probable proof, that windows of lattice, and not of glass, were now the common fashion'.

John Heywood died at Mechlin in Brabant about the year 1565. He was inflexibly attached to the catholic cause, and on the death of queen Mary quitted the kingdom. Antony Wood remarks "", with his usual acrimony, that it was a matter of wonder with many, that, considering the great and usual want of principle in the profession, a poet should become a voluntary exile for the sake of religion.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][merged small]

KNOW not if fir Thomas More may properly be considered

as an English poet. He has, however, left a few obsolete poems, which although without any striking merit, yet, as productions of the restorer of literature in England, seem to claim fome notice here. One of these is, A MERY Jest bow a SERGEANT would learne to play the FreeRe. Written by Maister Thomas More in bys youth ·. The story is too dull and too long to be told here. But I will cite two or three of the prefatory stanzas.

He that hath lafte the Hosier's crafte,

And fallth to makyng shone“;
The smyth that shall to paynting fall,

His thrift is well nigh done.
A black draper with whyte paper,

To goe to writing fcole,
An old butler becum a cutler,

I wene hal prove a fole.
And an old trot, that can, god wot,

Nothyng but kysse the cup,
With her phisicke will kepe one ficke,

Till the hath soused hym up.
A man of law that never sawe

The wayes to bye and fell,
Wenyng to ryse by marchandyse,


praye god spede hym well!

* WORKES, Lond. 1557. in folio. Sign. C, i.

o Left.
c Shoes,

N 2

A marchaunt

« הקודםהמשך »