The Rowley Poems - LETTER TO THE DYGNE MASTRE CANYNGE.

LETTER TO THE DYGNE MASTRE CANYNGE.

STRAUNGE dome ytte ys, that, yn these daies of oures, Nete <35> butte a bare recytalle can hav place; Nowe shapelie poesie hast loste yttes powers, And pynant hystorie ys onlie grace; Heie <36> pycke up wolsome weedes, ynstedde of flowers, And famylies, ynstedde of wytte, theie trace; Nowe poesie canne meete wythe ne regrate <37>, Whylste prose, & herehaughtrie <38>, ryse yn estate.

Lette kynges, & rulers, whan heie gayne a throne, Shewe whatt theyre grandsieres, & great grandsieres bore, 10 Emarschalled armes, yatte, ne before theyre owne, Now raung'd wythe whatt yeir fadres han before; Lette trades, & toune folck, lett syke <39> thynges alone, Ne fyghte for sable yn a fielde of aure; Seldomm, or never, are armes vyrtues mede, Shee nillynge <40> to take myckle <41> aie dothe hede.

A man ascaunse upponn a piece maye looke, And thake hys hedde to styrre hys rede <42> aboute; Quod he, gyf I askaunted oere thys booke, Schulde fynde thereyn that trouthe ys left wythoute; 20 Eke, gyf <43> ynto a vew percase <44> I tooke The long beade-rolle of al the wrytynge route, Arsenius, Ingolphus, Torgotte, Bedde, Thorow hem <45> al nete lyche ytte I coulde rede.--

Pardon, yee Graiebarbes <46>, gyff I saie, onwise Yee are, to stycke so close & bysmarelie <47> To hystorie; you doe ytte tooe moche pryze, Whyche amenused <48> thoughtes of poesie; Somme drybblette <49> share you shoulde to yatte <50> alyse <51> Nott makynge everyche thynge bee hystorie; 30 Instedde of mountynge onn a wynged horse, You onn a rouncy <52> dryve yn dolefull course.

Cannynge & I from common course dyssente; Wee ryde the stede, botte yev to hym the reene; Ne wylle betweene crased molterynge bookes be pente, Botte soare on hyghe, & yn the sonne-bemes sheene; And where see kenn somme ishad <53> floures besprente, We take ytte, & from oulde rouste doe ytte clene; Wee wylle ne cheynedd to one pasture bee, Botte sometymes soare 'bove trouthe of hystorie. 40

Saie, Canynge, whatt was vearse yn daies of yore? Fyne thoughtes, and couplettes fetyvelie <54> bewryen <55>, Notte syke as doe annoie thys age so sore, A keppened poyntelle <56> restynge at eche lyne. Vearse maie be goode, botte poesie wantes more, An onlist <57> and a songe adygne[59] Accordynge to the rule I have thys wrought; Gyff ytt please Canynge, I care notte a groate.

The thynge yttself moste bee yttes owne defense; Som metre maie notte please a womannes ear 50 Canynge lookes notte for poesie, botte sense; And dygne, & wordie thoughtes, ys all hys care. Canyng; adieu! I do you greete from hence; Full soone I hope to taste of your good cheere; Goode Byshoppe Carpynter dyd byd mee saie, Hee wysche you healthe & selinesse for aie.

 

T. ROWLEIE.

 

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