The Rowley Poems - EPISTLE TO MASTRE CANYNGE ON ÆLLA.

EPISTLE TO MASTRE CANYNGE ON ÆLLA.

TYS songe bie mynstrelles, thatte yn auntyent tym, Whan Reasonn hylt <1> herselfe in cloudes of nyghte, The preeste delyvered alle the lege <2> yn rhym; Lyche peyncted <3> tyltynge speares to please the fyghte, The whyche yn yttes felle use doe make moke <4> dere <5>, Syke dyd theire auncyante lee deftlie <6> delyghte the eare.

Perchaunce yn Vyrtues gare <7> rhym mote bee thenne, Butt eefte <8> nowe flyeth to the odher syde; In hallie <9> preeste apperes the ribaudes <10> penne, Inne lithie <11> moncke apperes the barronnes pryde: 10 But rhym wythe somme, as nedere <12> widhout teethe, Make pleasaunce to the sense, botte maie do lyttel scathe <13>.

Syr Johne, a knyghte, who hath a barne of lore <14>, Kenns <15> Latyn att fyrst syghte from Frenche or Greke, Pyghtethe <16> hys knowlachynge <17> 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 <18> synges; Can preache so wele, eche hynde <19> hys meneynge knowes 20 Albeytte these gode guyfts awaie he flynges, Beeynge as badde yn vearse as goode yn prose. Hee synges of seynctes who dyed for yer Godde, Everych wynter nyghte afresche he sheddes theyr blodde.

To maydens, huswyfes, and unlored <20> dames, Hee redes hys tales of merryment & woe. Loughe <21> loudlie dynneth <22> from the dolte <23> adrames <24>; He swelles on laudes of fooles, tho' kennes <25> hem soe. Sommetyme at tragedie theie laughe and synge, At merrie yaped <26> fage <27> somme hard-drayned water brynge. 30

Yette Vevyan ys ne foole, beyinde <28> hys lynes. Geofroie makes vearse, as handycraftes theyr ware; Wordes wythoute sense fulle groffyngelye <29> he twynes, Cotteynge hys storie off as wythe a sheere; Waytes monthes on nothynge, & hys storie donne, Ne moe you from ytte kenn, than gyf <30> you neere begonne.

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 <31> of faultes, be less. 40 ÆLLA wythe thys I sende, and hope that you Wylle from ytte caste awaie, whatte lynes maie be untrue.

Playes made from hallie <32> tales I holde unmete Lette somme greate storie of a manne be songe; Whanne, as a manne, we Godde and Jesus treat; In mie pore mynde, we doe the Godhedde wronge. Botte lette ne wordes, whyche droorie <33> mote ne heare, Bee placed yn the same. Adieu untylle anere <34>.

THOMAS ROWLEIE.

 

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