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Shakespeare's Sonnets

Poems (satires)

1

Mine own John Poyns, since ye delight to know The cause why that homeward I me draw, And flee the press of courts where so they go, Rather than to live thrall, under the awe Of lordly looks, wrappèd within my cloak, To will and lust learning to set a law; It is not for because I scorn and mock The power of them, to whom fortune hath lent Charge over us, of Right, to strike the stroke; But true it is that I have alwayes meant Less to esteem them than the common sort, Of outward things that judge in their intent Without regard what doth inward resort. I grant some time that of glory the fire Doth touch my heart; me list not to report Blame by honour, and honour to desire. But how may I this honour now attain. That cannot dye the colour black a liar? My Poyns, I cannot frame my tune to feign, To cloak the truth for praise without desert Of them that list all vice for to retain. I cannot honour them that sets their part With Venus and Bacchus all their life long; Nor hold my peace of them although I smart. I cannot crouch nor kneel to do so great a wrong, To worship them, like God on earth alone, That are as wolves these silly lambs among. I cannot with words complain and moan, Nor suffer nought; nor smart without complaint; Nor turn the word that from my mouth is gone. I cannot speake and look like a saint, Use wiles for wit, or make deceit a pleasure And call craft counsel, for profit still to paint. I cannot wrest the law to fill the coffer With innocent blood to feed my self fat, And do most hurt where most help I offer. I am not he that can allow the state Of high Caesar, and damn Cato to die, That with his death did scape out of the gate From Caesar's hands (if Livy do not lie), And would not live when liberty was lost; So did his heart the common weal apply. I am not he such eloquence to boast To make the crow singing as the swan; Nor call the lion of coward beasts the most That cannot take a mouse as the cat can; And he that dieth for hunger of the gold Call him Alexander; and say that Pan Passeth Apollo in music manifold; Praise Sir Thopas for a noble tale, And scorn the story that the knight told; Praise him for counsel that is drunk of ale, Grin when he laugheth that beareth all the sway, Frown when he frowneth and groan when he is pale; On others lust to hang both night and day. None of these points would ever frame in me, My wit is nought, I cannot learn the way. And much the less of things that greater be That asken help of colours of devise To join the mean with each extremity; With the nearest virtue to cloak alway the vice; And as to purpose, likewise it shall fall To press the virtue that it may not rise: As drunkeness, good fellowship to call; The friendly foe with his double face, Say he is gentle, and courteous therewithal; And say that Favel hath a goodly grace In eloquence; and cruelty to name Zeal of Justice, and change in time and place. And he that suffereth offence without blame Call him pitiful; and him true and plain That raileth reckless to every man's shame; Say he is rude that cannot lie and feign; The lecher a lover; and tyranny To be the right of a prince's reign. I cannot I, no no it will not be! This is the cause that I could never yet Hang on their sleeves that weigh, as thou mayst see, A chip of chance more than a pound of wit. This maketh me at home to hunt and to hawk, And in foul weather at my book to sit; In frost and snow then with my bow to stalk; No man doth mark where so I ride or go; In lusty leas at liberty I walk; And of these news I feel nor weal nor woe, Save that a clog doth hang yet at my heel. No force for that; for it is ordered so, That I may leap both hedge and dyke full well. I am not now in France to judge the wine With savoury sauce the delicates to feel. Nor yet in Spain where one must him incline Rather than to be outwardly, to seem; I meddle not with wits that be so fine. Nor Flander's cheer letteth not my sight to dim Of black and white, nor taketh my wit away With beastliness; they beasts do so esteem. Nor am I not where Christ is given in prey For money, poison and treason at Rome,-- A common practice used night and day. But here I am in Kent and Christendom, Among the muses where I read and rhyme, Where if thou list, my Poyns, for to come, Thou shalt be judge how I do spend my time.
Myn owne John Poynz, sins ye delight to know The cause why that homeward I me drawe : And fle the presse of courts wher so they goo : Rather than to live thrall, under the awe Of lordly lokes, wrappid within my cloke : To will and lust lerning to set a lawe ; It is not for bicawse I skorne and moke The power of them, to whome fortune hath lent Charge over us, of Right, to strike the stroke : But true it is that I have alwayes ment Lesse to estime them then the common sort, Of owteward thinges, that judge in their entent. Withowte regarde what doeth inward resort. I grant some tyme that of glory the fyer Doth touch my hert ; me list not to report Blame by honor, and honor to desire, But how may I this honor now attayne. That cannot dy the color blake a lyer ? My Poynz, I cannot frame me tune to fayne, To cloke the trothe for praise withoute desart, Of them that lyst all vice for to retayne. I cannot honour them that settes their part With Venus and Baccus all theire lyff long ; Nor hold my pece of them al tho I smart. I cannot crowche nor knelle to do so grete a wrong, To worship them, lyke Gode on erthe alone, That ar as wollffes thes sely lambes among. I cannot with wordes complayne and mone, Nor suffer nought ; nor smart withoute complaint ; Nor torn the word that from my mouth is gone : I cannot speke and loke lyke a saint ; Use wiles for witt, or make deceyt a pleasure ; And call craft counceill, for proffet styll to paint. I cannot wrest the law to fill the coffer With innocent blode to fede my sellff fat ; And doo most hurt where most help I offer. I am not he that can alow the state Of high Cesar, and dam Cato to dye, That with his deth dyd skape oute of the gate From Cesares handes (if Lyve do not lye), And would not lyve when lyberty was lost ; So did his hert the common wele aplye. I am not he suche eloquence to boste To make the crow singing as the swan ; Nor call the Lyon of cowardes bestes the moste That cannot take a mous as the cat can ; And he that dythe for hunger of the gold Call him Alessaundre ; and say that Pan Passeth Apollo in musicke manyfold ; Praise Sir Thopias for a nobyll tale, And skorne the story that the knyght told ; Praise him for counceill that is droncke of ale, Grynne when he laugheth that bereth all the swaye, Frown when he frowneth and grone when he is pale ; On othres lust to hang boeth nyght and daye ; None of these poyntes would ever frame in me, My wit is nought, I cannot lerne the waye ; And much the lesse of thinges that greater be That asken helpe of colours of devise To Joyne the mene with eche extremitie ; With the neryst vertue to cloke alwaye the vise ; And as to pourpose, likewise it shall fall To presse the vertue that it may not rise As dronkenes, good felloweshipp to call ; The frendly ffoo with his dowble face, Say he is gentill, and courtois therewithall ; And say that favell hath a goodly grace In eloquence ; and crueltie to name Zele of Justice ; and chaunge in tyme and place ; And he that sufferth offence withoute blame Call him pitefull ; and him true and playn That raileth rekles to every mans shame ; Say he is rude that cannot lye and fayn ; The Letcher a Lover ; and tirannye To be the right of a prynces reigne. I cannot I, no no it will not be ! This is the cause that I could never yet Hang on their slevis that way, as thou maist se, A chipp of chaunce more than a pownd of witt. This maketh me at home to hounte and to hawk, And in fowle weder at my booke to sitt ; In frost and snowe then with my bow to stawke ; No man doeth mark where so I ride or goo ; In lusty lees at libertie I walke ; And of these newes I fele nor wele nor woo, Sauf that a clogg doeth hang yet at my hele. No force for that; for it is ordered so, That I may lepe both hedge and dike full well. I ame not now in Fraunce to judge the wine With saffry sauce the delicates to fele. Nor yet in Spaigne where oon must him inclyne Rather then to be outewerdly to seme; I meddilll not with wittes than be so fyne. Nor Fflaunders chiere letteth not my sight to deme Of black and white, nor taketh my wit awaye With bestlynes ; they beestes do so esteeme. Nor ame I not where Christe is geven in pray For mony, poison and traison at Rome,-- A comune practise used nyght and daie. But here I ame in Kent and Christendome, Emong the muses where I rede and ryme, Where if thou list, my Poynz, for to com, Thou shalt be Judge how I do spend my tyme.

NOTES

The poem is a free adaptation of a work by the Italian poet Luigi Allamanni, Satire X from his Opere Tuscana. It criticises the many failings of court life, the duplicity and hypocrisy required to succeed in such a setting. Perhaps it was a faint echo from this poem which inspired Shakespeare's Sonnet 66 Tired with all these for restful death I cry: John Poynz (Poins, Pointz etc.) - little is known of him. He was a courtier and his family came from Gloucestershire. the press of courts = the throng and oppressive activity of the (royal) court. where so they go = wherever they go. Courts of the period often travelled around the countryside, especially in summer. under the awe / of = fearing, in awe of . To will and lust etc. = making my whims and desires the sole rule of conduct. to strike the stroke = to punish. Of outward things that judge etc. - i.e. following the common herd, who judge things by their outward appearance, ignoring the inward qualities. me list not to report etc. = I do not desire to verbally lambast honour, while secretly desiring it. That cannot dye the colour black a liar = who cannot change my nature to become a liar any more than one can dye black to become another colour. frame my tune = adapt my behaviour. To cloak the truth etc. = to hide the truth and give praise where it is not deserved. Of them that list = of all those who wish to keep to their vices and yet still receive praise. sets their part = attach their hearts to. hold my peace of them = refrain from criticising them. To worship them etc. = to revere, as if they were the only God, those who are in authority, or who have influence. silly = innocent, foolish. The lambs are the ordinary people who are the victims of politicking courtiers and the powerful of this world. I cannot with words complain etc. = I cannot pretend that I am suffering (when I am not). Nor turn the word = nor give another meaning to ? Nor cause to come back (return) the word etc. ? Nor break my promise ? The irrevocability of the spoken word was proverbial. Homer frequently used the exclamation 'Oh what a word hath escaped the barrier of thy teeth!' Use wiles for wit = replace natural intelligence with craftiness. call craft counsel = describe craftiness and duplicity as good sense. for profit still to paint = always to praise fulsomely (what is undeserving) in order to advantage myself. allow the state of = consent to the autocracy of. Cato - He opposed Caesar's acquisition of sole power and was defeated in the civil wars which followed the latter's rise. He took his own life at Utica in North Africa. Livy = a Roman historian. the common weal apply = devote itself to the common good; follow the rule of the common good. To make the crow etc. = to pretend that the crow sings as well as the swan. of coward beasts the most = that is the most cowardly of beasts (because, for all his ferocity, he is frightened of mice). He that dieth etc. = Midas, who was given ass's ears for praising Pan's music more highly than Apollo's. He also was granted the wish of having everything he touched turn to gold, with the result that he could no longer eat anything. This, and the following example from Chaucer, of Sir Thobas' and the knight's tale, are all examples of praising inferior objects for flattery's sake. points - possibly Poynz. frame in me = settle in me, become part of my nature. that asken help etc. - the general meaning seems to be that of distortion, so that an average thing is made extreme by praise. colours of devise = heraldic colours ? the nearest virtue = whatever virtue is to hand, whatever virtue is similar in appearance to (a particular vice). to press = oppress, crush. Favel = one who practices duplicity and treachery. cruelty to name = to (mis)name cruelty as zeal for justice, and to excuse it as being necessary owing to changed place and circumstances. he that suffereth etc. = treat as a pitiful fool the person who suffers unjustly. and him true and plain etc. = call the person who rails and harangues everyone a plain honest speaker. Say he is rude etc. = call rude and uncouth the person who cannot lie and cozen. The lecher a lover = pretend that a lecherous deceiver is really a romantic lover. and tyranny etc. = justify tyranny in a ruler as being part of his divine right. Hang on their sleeves = accompany, follow and flatter at the elbow of. that weigh etc. = who value more highly an inherited fortune than natural intelligence. No man doth mark = no one spies on me, or reports after me (as happens in court). hunt; hawk; stalk with bow; - these were all hunting activities of the countryside in that period. In lusty leas = in fresh green meadows. a clog - the reference is obscure. His freedom was perhaps restricted in some way. No force for that = no matter for that. leap both hedge and dyke - i.e. ride where I desire; go hunting. the delicates to feel = to taste the delicacies. where one must etc. = where a person must be eager to put on an outward show of being good (fine) rather than actually being so. wits that be so fine - ironic. Flander's cheer = excessive eating and drinking. See Breughel's paintings. dim - other editors give deem. to dim / of black and white = to grow so dim that I cannot tell the difference between b & w. they beasts do so esteem = they, being bestial in their nature, esteem this beastly dissipation highly. where Christ is given in prey for etc. = where the true doctrines of Christ are betrayed for etc. Rome had the reputation as a place where craft and plotting ruled society and the Church. in Kent and Christendom - Kent was still considered to be a somewhat savage place, almost outside Christendom, so Wyatt is jokingly pretending that it is in fact more civilised than the court.

2

Addressed to John Poyns My mother's maids when they did sow and spin They sang sometime a song of the field mouse: That for because her livelihood was but thin Would needs go seek her townish sister's house. She thought her self endured too much pain; The stormy blasts her cave so sore did souse. That when the furrows swimmed with the rain, She must lie cold and wet in sorry plight, And worse than that, bare meat there did remain To comfort her when she her house had dight; Sometime a barleycorn; sometime a bean; For which she laboured hard both day and night In harvest time, whilst she might go and glean; And where store was stroyed with the flood Then well away! for she undone was clean. Then was she fain to take, in stead of food, Sleep if she might her hunger to beguile. "My sister" quod she "hath a living good, And hence from me she dwelleth not a mile, In cold and storm she lieth warm and dry, In bed of down; the dirt doth not defile Her tender foot; she laboureth not as I; Richely she feedeth, and at the richman's cost, And for her meat she needs not crave nor cry. By sea, by land, of the delicates the most Her cater seeks, and spareth for no peril; She feedeth on boiled bacon, meat, and roast, And hath thereof neither charge not travail. And when she list, the licquor of the grape Doth glad her heart, till that her belly swell." And at this journey she maketh but a jape. So forth she goeth, trusting of all this wealth, With her sister her part so for to shape, That if she might keep herself in health To live a Lady while her life doth last. And to the door now is she come by stealth, And with her foot anon she scrapeth full fast. Th'other for fear durst not well scarce appear, Of every noise so was the wretch aghast. At last she asked softly who was there. And in her language, as well as she could, "Peep," quod the other, "sister I am here." "Peace," quod the townish mouse, "why speakest thou so loud?" And by the hand she took her fair and well, "Welcome," quod she, "my sister, by the Rood." She feasted her, that joy it was to tell The fare they had - they drank the wine so clear, And as to purpose, now and then it fell, She cheered her with "How sister, what cheer!" Amidst this joy befell a sorry chance, That well away the stranger bought full dear The fare she had; for as she look't askance, Under a stool she spied two steaming eyes In a round head with sharp ears. In France Was never mouse so feared, for though unwise Had not yseen such a beast before, Yet had nature taught her after her guise To know her foe, and dread him evermore. The towny mouse fled, she knew whether to go, Th'other had no shift, but wondrous sore Feared of her life, at home she wished her though, And to the door alas, as she did skip, Th' heaven it would lo! and eke her chance was so, At the threshold her silly foot did trip, And ere she might recover it again, The traitor cat had caught her by the hip And made her there against her will remain, That had forgotten her poor surety and rest, For seeming wealth wherein she thought to reign. Alas! my Poynz, how men do seek the best And find the worst, by error as they stray. And no marvel, when sight is so oppressed, And blind the guide; anon, out of the way Goeth guide and all, in seeking quiet life. O wretched minds! there is no gold that may Grant that ye seek; no war, no peace, no strife. No, no, although thy head were hooped with gold, Sergeant with mace, halberd, sword, nor knife, Cannot repulse the care that follow should. Each kind of life hath with him his disease. Live in delight even as thy lust would. And thou shalt find, when lust doth most thee please, It irketh straight, and by it self doth fade. A small thing it is that may thy mind appease. None of ye all there is, that is so mad To seek grapes upon brambles or briers; Nor none I trow that hath his wit so bad To set his hay for coneys over rivers; Nor ye set not a drag net for an hare; And yet the thing that most is your desire Ye do misseek with more travail and care. Make plain thine heart, that it be not knotted With hope or dread, and see thy will be bare From all affects whom vice hath ever spotted. Thy self content with that is thee assigned, And use it well that is to thee allotted. Then seek no more out of thy self to find The thing that thou hast sought so long before, For thou shalt feel it sitting in thy mind, Mad, if ye list to continue your sore. Let present pass and gape on time to come, And deep yourself in travail more and more. Henceforth, my Poynz, this shall be all and some: These wretched fools shall have nought else of me, But to the great God and to his high dome, None other pain pray I for them to be. But when the rage doth lead them from the right, That looking backward, Virtue they may see Even as she is, so goodly fair and bright. And, whilst they clasp their lusts in arms across, Grant them good Lord, as thou mayest of thy might, To fret inward for losing such a loss.
Addressed to John Poyns My mothers maydes when they did sowe and spyn They sang sometyme a song of the feld mowse ; That fobicause her lyvelood was but thyn Would nedes goo seke her townyssh systers howse. She thought her self endured to much pain ; The stormy blastes her cave so sore did sowse. That when the forowse swymmed with the rain, She must lye cold and whete in sorry plight, And wours then that, bare meet ther did remain To comfort her when she her howse had dight ; Sometyme a barlycorn ; sometyme a bene ; For which she laboured hard boeth daye and nyght In harvest tyme, whilest she myght goo and glyne ; And wher stoore was stroyed with the flodd Then well awaye ! for she undone was clene. Then was she fayne to take, in stede of fode, Slepe if she myght her hounger to begile. "My syster" quod she "hath a lyving good, And hens from me she dwelleth not a myle, In cold and storme she lieth warme and dry, In bed of downe ; the dyrt doeth not defile Her tender fote ; she laboureth not as I ; Richely she fedeth, and at the richemans cost, And for her meet she nydes not crave nor cry. By se, by land, of the delicates the moost Her Cater sekes, and spareth for no perell ; She fedeth on boyled, bacon meet, and roost, And hath therof neither charge not travaill. And when she list, the licor of the grape Doeth glad her hert : till that her belly swell. And at this jorney she maketh but a jape : So fourth she goeth, trusting of all this welth, With her syster her part so for to shape, That if she myght kepe herself in helth To lyve a Lady, while her liff doeth last. And to the dore now is she com by stelth, And with her foote anon she scrapeth full fast. Thothr for fere durst not well scarse appere, Of every noyse so was the wretch agast. At last she asked softly who was there. And in her langage, as well as she cowd, "Pepe," quod the othr, "syster I ame here." "Peace," quod the townysshe mowse, "why spekest thou so lowde ?" And by the hand she toke her fayer and well, "Welcom," quod she, "my syster, by the Roode." She fested her, that Joy it was to tell The faer they had : they drancke the wyne so clere : And as to pourpose, now and then it fell, She chered her with : "How syster, what chiere" Amyddes this Joye befell a sorry chaunce, That well awaye ! the straunger bought full dere The fare she had ; for as she loke a scaunce, Under a stole she spied two stemyng Ise In a rownde hed with sherp erys. In Fraunce Was never mowse so ferd, for tho unwyse Had not ysene such a beest before, Yet had nature taught her after her gyse To knowe her ffoo, and dred him evermore. The towney mowse fled, she knew whether to goo ; Thothr had no shift, but wonders sore Fferd of her liff, at home she wyshed her tho, And to the Dore alas, as she did skipp, Thevyn it would lo ! and eke her chaunce was so, At the threshold her sely fote did tripp, And ere she myght recover it again, The traytor Catt had caught her by the hipp ; And made her there against her will remain, That had forgotten her poure suretie, and rest, For semyng welth wherin she thought to rayne. Alas ! my Poynz, how men do seke the best And fynde the wourst, by error as they stray ; And no marvaill ; when sight is so opprest, And blynde the gyde ; anon, owte of the way Goeth gyde and all, in seking quyete liff. O wretched myndes ! there is no gold that may Graunt that ye seke ; no warr, no peace, no stryff. No, no, all tho thy hed were howpt with golde, Sergeaunt with mace, hawbert, sword, nor knyff, Cannot repulse the care that folowe should. Eche kynd of lyff hath with hym his disease. Lyve in delight evyn as thy lust would. And thou shalt fynde, when lust doeth moost the please, It irketh straite, and by it self doeth fade : A small thing it is that may thy mynde apese. Non of ye all there is, that is so madde To seke grapes upon brambles or breers ; Nor none I trow that hath his wit so badd To set his hay for Conys over Ryvers ; Ne ye se not a dragg net for an hare ; And yet the thing that moost is your desire Ye do mysseke with more travaill and care. Make playn thyn hert, that it be not knotted With hope or dred ; and se thy will be bare From all affectes, whome Vice hath ever spotted. Thy self content with that is the assigned, And use it well that is to the allotted. Then seke no more owte of thy self to fynde The thing that thou haist sought so long before ; For thou shalt fele it sitting in thy mynde, Madde if ye list to continue your sore. Let present passe and gape on tyme to com, And diepe yourself in travaill more and more ; Hens fourth, my Poyngz, this shalbe all and some ; These wretched fooles shall have nought els of me ; But to the great God and to his high dome, None other pain pray I for theim to be. But when the rage doeth led theim from the right, That lowking backward, Vertue they may se Evyn as she is, so goodly fayre and bright. And, whilst they claspe their lustes in armes a crosse, Graunt theim goode Lorde, as thou maist of thy myght, To frete inward for losing suche a losse.

NOTES

This satire is an adaptation of the well known fable of the town mouse and the country mouse. The latter thinks that all is fine and rosy in town compared with her own meagre existence in the flooded countryside. She therefore lands herself on her sister in town, where food and wine are in abundance. But alas all is not as well as it seems, for they live in fear, and the appearance of a cat puts an end to all rejoicing. Wyatt adapts the fable to suit his own ends, and it is not known on what original, if any, the poem is based. sometime = at times. her cave so sore did souse = flooded her dwelling so badly. meat = food. dight = decorated, put in order. glean = collect the left-overs from the harvest. store = her stores of food. stroyed = destroyed. well away ! = Alas ! An exclamation of alarm and sorrow. undone was clean = was entirely ruined. her hunger to beguile = to distract herself from hunger. My sister - in the fable the mice are not usually related. quod she = quoth she, says she. hence from me = distant from me. cater = caterer, cook. at this journey etc. = at this proposed journey (to her sister) she laughs, (for it is so easy). her part so to shape = to arrange things for herself in such a way. anon = there and then. full fast = as fast as she can. durst not well scarce appear = scarcely dares show herself. Life in the town is so dangerous that every noise is to be feared. Peep = mouse language. A squeak. Or perhaps the sister's name. by the Rood = by the cross. A mild oath. The rood was the cross on which Christ was crucified. as to purpose = as it fell in the conversation, as it chanced. a sorry chance = a sad event, a misfortune. the stranger = the country mouse, (who was a stranger to town living). bought full dear = paid too high a price for (i.e. her life). askance = sideways. steaming = shining. In France - perhaps Wyatt was using a French translation of the original Aesop's fable. unwise = ill -educated, uncouth. yseen = seen. An old form of the past tense. after her guise = in its (nature's) fashion. whether = whither, where. no shift = no stratagems, no policy. Th' heaven etc. - i.e. both heaven and fortune were against her. caught her by the hip = secured her forcibly. To have someone by the hip is to catch them in a position of disadvantage. surety = security. out of the way = is discarded. care = anxiety, worry. halberd = a long weapon with an axe type head. that follow should = that would follow you wherever you went. Similar thoughts are found in Horace's odes. his disease = a disease, disadvantage, which is its own and always accompanies it. A small thing = the simple virtue of endurance and being satisfied with one's lot. I trow = I assure you, I believe. hay = a net for catching small animals. coneys = rabbits. drag net = a net for catching fish. Make plain thine heart = have simple desires and pleasures. affects = desires. spotted = stained, marked. sitting in thy mind - i.e it is present within you already. Mad - i.e you would be mad (if you continue your sore travail for that which you will never find). Let present pass etc = let the present time pass by, and gawp on future hopes only, burying yourself deeper and deeper in woe, if you wish to continue on your present idiotic course. all and some = the beginning and end of it all. (usually emended to 'all and sum' = the sum total) to the great God etc. - the verb follows in the next line. I pray to the great God that etc. in arms across = tight in their arms. inward = inwardly. for losing = at the loss of. such a loss - i.e. peace of mind.

3

Addressed to Sir Francis Brian A spending hand that alway poureth out Had need to have a bringer in as fast, And, on the stone that still doth turn about There groweth no moss. These proverbs yet do last. Reason hath set them in so sure a place, The length of years their force can never waste. When I remember this, and eke the case Where in thou stands, I thought forthwith to write Brian, to thee, who knows how great a grace In writing is to counsel man the right. To thee therefore, that trots still up and down And never rests, but running day and night From Realm to Realm, from city, street, and town, Why dost thou wear thy body to the bones And mightst at home sleepe in thy bed of down, And drink good ale so nappy for the nonce Feed thyself fat and heap up pound by pound Likest thou not this? 'No' Why? for swine so groins In sty and chaw the turds moulded on the ground And drivel on pearls, the head still in the manger. Then of the harp the Ass to hear the sound. So sacks of dust be filled up in the cloister That serves for less than do these fatted swine Thugo I seem lean and dry without moisture Yet will I serve my prince, my Lord and thine, And let theim live to feed the paunch that list, So I may live to feed both me and mine. By God, well said! but what and if thou wist How to bring in as fast as thou dost spend That would I learn. And it shall not be missed To tell thee how. Now hark what I intend: Thou know'st well, first, who so can seek to please Shall purchase friends where truth shall but offend; Flee therefore, it is both wealth and ease For though that truth of every man hath praise Full near that wind goeth truth in great misease. Use Virtue as it goeth nowadays so In word alone to make thy language sweet And of the dede yet do not as thou say so Elles be thou sure thou shalt be far unmyt To get thy bred, eche thing is now so skant ; Seke still thy proffet upon thy bare fete ; Lend in nowise for fere that thou do want, Onles it be as to a dogge a chese, By which retorn be sure to wyn a kant Of half at lest ; it is not good to lese. Lerne at Kittson that in a long white cote From under the stall withoute landes or feise Hath lept into the shopp ; who knoweth by rote This rule that I have told thee here before. Sumtyme also riche age begynneth to dote : Se thou when there thy gain may be the more, Stay him by the arme where so he walke or goo, Be nere alway and if he koggh to sore, When he hath spit, tred owte and please him so. A diligent knave that pikes his maisters purse May please him so that he withouten mo Executor is, and what is he the wourse ? But if so chaunce you get nought of the man The Wedow may for all thy charge deburse A ryveld skyn a stynking breth what then ? A tothles mowth shall do thy lips no harme, The gold is good and tho she curse or ban Yet where the list thou maist ly good and warme ; Let the old mule byte upon the bridill Whilst ther do ly a swetter in thyn arme. In this also se you be not idill Thy nece, thy cosyn, thy sister or thy doghter If she be faire, if handsom by her myddell Yf thy better hath her love besoght her Avaunce his cause and he shall help thy nede It is but love, turne it to a lawghter. But ware I say so gold the helpe and spede That in this case thou be not so unwise As Pandare was in suche a like dede ; Ffor he the ffooll of conscience was so nyse, That he no gayn would have for all his payne. Be next thy self for frendshipp beres no prise. Laughst thou at me ? Why, do I speke in vayne ? No not at thee, but at thy thrifty gest ? Would'st thou I should, for any losse or gayne, Chaunge that gold that I have tan for best Next godly thinges, to have an honest name ? Should I leve that ? then take me for a beest -- Nay then farewll, and if you care for shame, Content thee then with honest povertie, With fre tong, what the mislikes to blame ; And for thy trouth somtyme adversitie ; And therewithall this thing I shall the gyve : In this worould now litle prosperite, And coyne to kepe as water in a syve.
Addressed to Sir Francis Brian A spending hand that alway powreth owte Had nede to have a bringer in as fast : And, on the stone that still doeth tourne abowte There groweth no mosse : these proverbs yet do last, Reason hath set theim in so sure a place, The lenght of yeres their force can never wast. When I remembr this, and eke the case Where in thou stondes, I thowght forthwith to write Brian, to thee, who knows how great a grace In writing is to cownsell man the right ; To the therefore, that trottes still up and downe And never restes, but runnyng day and nyght From Reaulme to Reaulme, from cite, strete, and towne, Why doest thou were thy body to the bones And myghtst at home slepe in thy bed of downe, And drynck goode ale so noppy for the noyns Fede thyself fat and hepe up pownd by pownd Lykist thou not this ? no : why ? for swyne so groyns In stye and chaw the tordes molded on the grownd And dryvell on perilles the hed still in the maunger Then of the harp the Asse to here the sownd So sackes of dust be filled up in the cloyster That servis for lesse than do thes fatted swyne Tho I seme lene and dry withoute moyster Yet will I serve my prynce, my Lord and thyn, And let theim lyve to fede the panche that list, So I may lyve to fede both me and myn. By God, well sayde ! but what and if thou wist How to bryng in as fast as thou doest spend That would I lerne. And it shall not be myst To tell the how. Now hark what I intend : Thou knowst well, first, who so can seke to plese Shall pourchase frendes where trowght shall but offend ; Ffle therefore, it is boeth welth and ese For tho that trouth of every man hath prayse Full nere that wynd goeth trouth in great misese. Use Vertu as it goeth now a dayes so In word alone to make thy langage swete And of the dede yet do not as thou say so Elles be thou sure thou shalt be far unmyt To get thy bred, eche thing is now so skant ; Seke still thy proffet upon thy bare fete ; Lend in nowise for fere that thou do want, Onles it be as to a dogge a chese, By which retorn be sure to wyn a kant Of half at lest ; it is not good to lese. Lerne at Kittson that in a long white cote From under the stall withoute landes or feise Hath lept into the shopp ; who knoweth by rote This rule that I have told thee here before. Sumtyme also riche age begynneth to dote : Se thou when there thy gain may be the more, Stay him by the arme where so he walke or goo, Be nere alway and if he koggh to sore, When he hath spit, tred owte and please him so. A diligent knave that pikes his maisters purse May please him so that he withouten mo Executor is, and what is he the wourse ? But if so chaunce you get nought of the man The Wedow may for all thy charge deburse A ryveld skyn a stynking breth what then ? A tothles mowth shall do thy lips no harme, The gold is good and tho she curse or ban Yet where the list thou maist ly good and warme ; Let the old mule byte upon the bridill Whilst ther do ly a swetter in thyn arme. In this also se you be not idill Thy nece, thy cosyn, thy sister or thy doghter If she be faire, if handsom by her myddell Yf thy better hath her love besoght her Avaunce his cause and he shall help thy nede It is but love, turne it to a lawghter. But ware I say so gold the helpe and spede That in this case thou be not so unwise As Pandare was in suche a like dede ; Ffor he the ffooll of conscience was so nyse, That he no gayn would have for all his payne. Be next thy self for frendshipp beres no prise. Laughst thou at me ? Why, do I speke in vayne ? No not at thee, but at thy thrifty gest ? Would'st thou I should, for any losse or gayne, Chaunge that gold that I have tan for best Next godly thinges, to have an honest name ? Should I leve that ? then take me for a beest -- Nay then farewll, and if you care for shame, Content thee then with honest povertie, With fre tong, what the mislikes to blame ; And for thy trouth somtyme adversitie ; And therewithall this thing I shall the gyve : In this worould now litle prosperite, And coyne to kepe as water in a syve.

NOTES