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VI. JOHN SKELTON, 15**-15**


Merry Margaret, As Midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon, Or hawk of the tower:
With solace and gladness, Much mirth and no madness,
All good and no badness;

So joyously, so maidenly, so womanly,
Her demeaning,

In everything, Far, far passing

That I can indite, Or suffice to write,
Of merry Margaret, As Midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon, or hawk of the tower;
As patient and as still,

And as full of good will, As fair Isiphil,
Coliander, Sweet Pomander, Good Cassander;
Steadfast of thought, Well-made, well-wrought
Far may be sought,

Ere you can find, So courteous, so kind,
As merry Margaret, This midsummer flower,
Gentle as falcon, Or hawk of the tower.

VI.** SIR THOMAS WYATT, 1503—1541


Blame not my lute! for he must sound
Of this or that, as liketh me;

For lack of wit the lute is bound

To give such tunes as pleaseth me; Though my songs be somewhat strange, And speak such words as touch my change. Blame not my lute!

My lute, alas! doth not offend,

Though that perforce he must agree
To sound such tunes as I intend,

To sing to them that heareth me;
Thou, though my songs be somewhat plain,
And toucheth some that used to feign,
Blame not my lute!

My lute and strings may not deny,
But as I strike they must obey;
Break rot them then so wrongfully,

But wreak thyself some other way;
And though the songs which I indite,
Do quit thy change with rightful spite,
Blame not my lute!

VI.*** ANDREW BOURD, about 1530.


I am an Englishman, and naked I stand here, Musing in my mind what garment I shall wear; For now I will wear this, and now I will wear that, Now I will wear I cannot tell what:

All new fashions be pleasant to me,

I will have them, whether I thrive or thee:
Now I am a fisher, all men on me look

What should I do but sit cock-o' the hoop?
What do I care if all the world me fail?
I will have a garment reach to my tail.
Then I am a minnow, for I wear the new guise,
The next year after I hope to be wise,

Not only in wearing my gorgeous array,
For I will go to learning a whole sumner's day;
I will learn Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and French,
And I will learn Dutch sitting on my bench.
I do fear no man; each man feareth me;
I overcome my adversaries by land and by sea.
1 had no peer if to myself I were true :
Because I am not so diverse times do I rue:
Yet I lack nothing, I have all things at will,
If I were wise and would hold myself still,
And meddle with no matters but to me pertaining,
But even to be true to God and my king.



This goodly carwell, taiklit traist on raw,
With blanchéd sail, milk-white as ony snaw,
Right souer, tight, and wonder strangely beildit,
Was on the bairdin wallis quite o'erthraw.
Contrairiously the blusterous winds did blaw
In bubbis thick, that nae ship's sail might wield it
Now sank she low, now high to heaven upheildit ;
At every part sae the sea windis draif,

While on ane sand the ship did burst and claif.

It was a piteous thing,-alaik, alaik!
To hear the doleful cry when that she straik;
Maist lamentable the perished folk to see!
Sae famist, drowkit, mait, forewrought, and waik;
Some on ane plank of fir tree, and some of aik;
Some hang upon a takill, some on ane tree;
Some frae their grip soon washen by the sea
Part drownit, part to the rock fleit or swam
On raips or buirds, syne up the hill they clam.



My father was an auld man and ane hoar,
And was of age four score years or more.
And Mald, my mother, was four score and fifteen,
And with my labour I did them baith sustene.
We had ane meir that carryit salt and coal,
And ever ilk year she brought us hame ane foal.
We had three ky, that was baith fat and fair,
Nane tidier into the toun of Ayr.

My father was so waik of bluid and bane

That he deit, wherefore my mother made great mane: That she deit within ane day or two,

And there began my poverty and wo.

Our gude grey meir was baitand on the field,

And our land's laird took her for his heryield.

The vicar took the best cow by the head
Incontinent, when my father was deid.
And when the vicar tell how that my mother
Was deid, fra hand, he took till him the other.

Then Meg my wife, did mourn baith even and morTill at the last she deit for verie sorrow; [row,

And when the vicar heard tell my wife was deid,

The third cow he cleiket by the head,

Their upmost clais, that was of raplock grey,
The vicar gart his clark bear them away.
When all was gone, I micht mak nae debeat,

But with my bairns passed for till beg my meat.
Now have I tauld you the black veritie,

How I am brocht into this misery.



THE sweet season that bud and bloome forth brings,
With green hath clad the hill and eke the vale;
The nightingale with feathers new she sings:
The turtle to her mate hath told her tale.
Summer is come, for every spray now springs;
The hart hath hung his old head on the pale,
The buck in brake his winter coat he flings,
The fishes fleet with new repaired scale:
The adder all her slough away she flings,
The swift swallow pursues the flies small,
The busy bee her honey now she mings.

Winter is worn that was the flower's bale.
And thus I see, among those pleasant things
Each care decays, and yet my sorrow springs.



WHO is it that this dark night
Underneath my window plaineth ?-

It is one who from thy sight
Being, ah! exiled, disdaineth
Every other vulgar light.

Why, alas! and are you he?

Are not yet those fancies changed ?---
Dear, when you find change in me,
Though from me you are estranged,
Let my change to ruin be.

Well, in absence this will die ;

Cease to see, and cease to wonder.--
Absence sure will help, if I

Can learn how myself to sunder

From what in my heart doth lie.

But time will these thoughts remove;

Time doth work what no man knoweth.

Time doth as the subject prove,

With time still affection groweth

In the faithful turtle-dove.

What if

you new beauties see,

Will not they stir new affection ?—
I shall think they pictures be

Image-like of saints' perfection,

Poorly counterfeiting thee.

But your reason's purest light

Bids you leave such thoughts to nourish.

Dear, do reason no such spite,

Never doth thy beauty flourish,
More than in my reason's sight.



Midnight was come, and every vital thing
With sweet sound sleep their weary limbs did rest,
The beasts were still, the little birds that sing
Now sweetly slept beside their mother's breast,
The old and all were shrouded in their nest.

The waters calm, the cruel seas did cease,

The woods, the fields, and all things held their peace.

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