John Skelton - DIVERS BALLADS AND DITTIES SOLACIOUS

DIVERS BALLADS AND DITTIES SOLACIOUS

[A tract so entitled, of four leaves, n.d. and without printer's name, but evidently from the press of Pynson, consists of the following five pieces]

Here followeth divers ballads and ditties solacious, devised by Master Skelton, Laureate.

MY DARLING DEAR, MY DAISY FLOWER

WITH lullay, lullay, like a child,
Thou sleepest too long, thou art beguiled.

My darling dear, my daisy flower,
Let me, quod he, lie in your lap.
Lie still, quod she, my paramour,
Lie still hardly, and take a nap.
His head was heavy, such was his hap,
All drowsy dreaming, drowned in sleep,
That of his love he took no keep,
With hey lullay, &c.

With ba, ba, ba! and bas, bas, bas,<1>
She cherished him both cheek and chin,<2>
That he wist never where he was;                                                                10
He had forgotten all deadly sin.<
3>
He wanted wit her love to win:
He trusted her payment and lost all his pray:<4>
She left him sleeping and stole away.
With hey lullay, &c.

The rivers rowth, the waters wan,<5>
She spared not to wet her feet;
She waded over, she found a man
That halsed her heartily and kissed her sweet:
Thus after her cold she caught a heat.
My love, she said, routeth in his bed;                                                          20
Ywis he hath an heavy head.
With hey lullay, &c.

What dreamest thou, drunkard, drowsy pate?
Thy lust and liking<6> is from thee gone;
Thou blinkard blow-bowl<7>, thou wakest too late,
Behold thou liest, luggard, alone!
Well may thou sigh, well may thou groan,
To deal with her so cowardly:
Ywis, pole hatchet,<8> she bleared thine eye.<9>


THE ANCIENT ACQUAINTANCE, MADAM, BETWEEN US TWAIN

THE ancient acquaintance, madam, between us twain,
The familiarity, the former dalliance,
Causeth me that I cannot myself refrain
But that I must write for my pleasant pastance:
Remembering your passing goodly countenance,
Your goodly port, your beauteous visage,
Ye may be counted comfort of all courage.

Of all your features favourable to make true description,
I am insufficient to make such enterprise;
For this dare I say, without contradiction,                                                  10
That Dame Menolope <
10> was never half so wise:
Yet so it is that a rumour beginneth for to rise
How in good horsemen ye set your whole delight,
And have forgotten your old true loving knight.

With bound and rebound, bouncingly take up
His gentle curtal, and set nought by small nags!
Spur up at the hinder girth, with, Gup, morel, gup!
With, Joyst ye,<11> jennet of Spain, for your tail wags!
Ye cast all your courage upon such courtly hags.<12>
Have in sergeant farrier,<13> mine horse behind is bare;                            20
He rideth well the horse,but he rideth better the mare.

Ware, ware the mare winceth with her wanton heel!
She kicketh with her
calkins and caleth with a clench;
She goeth wide behind, and heweth never a deal:
Ware galling in the withers, ware of that wrench!
It is parlous for a horseman to dig in the trench.
This grieveth your husband, that right gentle knight,
And so with your servants he fiercely doth fight.

So fiercely he fighteth, his mind is so fell,
That he driveth them down with dints on their day-watch;                        30
He bruiseth their brainpans and maketh them to swell,
Their brows all
to-broken,<14> such claps they catch;
Whose jealousy malicious maketh them to leap the hatch;<15>
By their cognizance knowing how they serve a wily pie
Ask all your neighbours whether that I lie.

It can be no counsel that is cried at the cross:<16>
For your gentil husband sorrowful am I;
Howbeit, he is not first hath had a loss.
Advertising you, madam, to work more secretly,
Let not all the world make an outcry:                                                          40
Play fair play, madam, and look ye play clean,
Or else with great shame your game will be seen.

Qd. Skelton, Laureat.


KNOWLEDGE, ACQUAINTANCE, RESORT, FAVOUR WITH GRACE

KNOWLEDGE, acquaintance, resort, favour with grace;
Delight, desire, respite with liberty;
Courage with lust, convenient time and space;
Disdains, distress, exiled cruelty;
Words well set with good hability;
Demure demeanour, womanly of port;
Transcending pleasure, surmounting all disport;

Electuary arrected to redress
These fervorous axes, the deadly woe and pain
Of thoughtful hearts plunged in distress;<17>                                            10
Refreshing minds the April shower of rain;
Conduit of comfort, and well most sovereign;
Arbour enverdured, continual fresh and green;
Of lusty summer the passing goodly queen;

The topaz rich and precious in virtue;
Your ruddies with ruddy rubies may compare;
Sapphire of sadness,<
18> enveined with indy<19> blue;
The polished pearl your whiteness doth declare;
Diamond pointed to rase out heartly care;
Gainst surfeitous suspect the emerald commendable;                                 20
Relucent
smaragd,<20> object incomparable;

Encircled mirror and perspective<21> most bright,
Illumined with features far passing my report;
Radiant Hesperus, star of the cloudy night,
Lodestar to light these lovers to their port,
'Gainst dangerous storms their anchor of support,
Their sail of solace most comfortably clad,
Whch to behold maketh heavy hearts glad:

Remorse<22> have I of your most goodlihood,
Of your behaviour courteous and benign,                                                   30
Of your bounty and of your womanhood,
Which maketh my heart oft to leap and spring,
And to remember many a pretty thing.
But absence, alas, with trembling fear and dread
Abasheth me, albeit I have no need.

You I assure, absence is my foe,
My deadly woe, my painful heaviness;
And if ye list to know the cause why so,
Open mine heart, behold my mind express:
I would ye could! then should ye see, mistress,                                         
40
How there
nis thing that I covet so fain
As to embrace you in mine arms twain.

Nothing earthly to me more desirous
Than to behold your beauteous countenance:
But, hateful absence, to me so envious,
Though thou withdraw me from her by long distance,
Yet shall she never out of remembrance;
For I have graved her within the secret wall
Of my true heart, to love her best of all!

Qd. Skelton, Laureat.


THOUGH YE SUPPOSE ALL JEOPARDIES ARE PAST

CUNCTA licet cecidisse putas discrimina rerum,
Et prius incerta nunc tibi certa manent,
Consiliis usure meis tamen aspice caute,
Subdola non fallat to dea fraude sua:
Saepe solet placido mortales fallere vultu,
Et cute sub placida tabida saepe dolent;
Ut quando secura putas et cuncta serena,
Anguis sub viridi gramine saepe latet.
<23>

Though ye suppose all jeopardies are past,
And all is done that ye looked for before,                                                   10
Ware yet, I
rede you, of Fortune's double cast,
For one false point she is wont to keep in store,
And under the fell oft festered is the sore:
That when ye think all danger for to pass
Ware of the lizard<24> lieth lurking in the grass

Qd. Skelton, Laureat.


GO, PITEOUS HEART, RASED WITH DEADLY WOE

Go, piteous heart, rased with deadly woe,
Pierced with pain, bleeding with wounds smart,
Bewail thy fortune, with veins wan and blo.
O Fortune unfriendly, Fortune unkind thou art,
To be so cruel and so overthwart,
To suffer me so careful to endure
That where I love best I dare not discure!

One there is, and ever one shall be,
For whose sake my heart is sore diseased;
For whose love, welcome disease to me!                                                     10
I am content so all parties be pleased:
Yet,
an God would, I would my pain were eased!
But Fortune enforceth me so carefully to endure
That where I love best I dare not discure.

Skelton, Laureate.
At the instance of a noble lady.

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