Stephen Hawes

(1474-1523 / England)

A Ioyfull medytacyon to all Englonde of the coronacyon of our moost naturall souerayne lorde kynge Henry the eyght.


The prologue

The prudent problems/& the noble werkes
Of the gentyll poetes in olde antyquyte
Unto this day hath made famous clerkes
For the poetes wrote nothynge in vanyte
But grounded them on good moralyte
Encensynge out the fayre dulcet fume
Our langage rude to exyle and consume
The ryght eloquent poete and monke of bery
Made many fayre bookes/as it is probable
From ydle derkenes/to lyght our emyspery
Whose vertuous pastyme/was moche cōmendable
Presentynge his bookes/gretely prouffytable
To your worthy predecessour the .v. kynge Henry
Whiche regystred is in the courte of memory
Amyddes the medowe of flora the quene
Of the goddes elycon/is the sprynge or well
And by it groweth/a fayre laurell grene
Of whiche the poetes do ofte wryte and tell
Besyde this olyue/I dyde neuer dwell
To tast the water whiche is aromatyke
For to cause me wryte with lusty rethoryke
Wherfore good souerayne/I beseche your hyghnes
To pardon me whiche do rudely endyte
As in this arte hauynge small intres
But for to lerne is all myn appetyte
In folowynge the monke whiche dyde nobly wryte
Besechynge your hyghnes and grace debonayre
For to accepte this rude and lytell quayre
Explicit prologus.

O God alone in heuen werynge crowne
In whose inspecte is euery regall se
Both to enhaūce & for to cast adowne
Suche is y&supere; power of th&ybar; hygh magiste
Neyther hardynes treasour nor dygnyte
May withstande thy strength whiche is ī euery place
So grete and myghty is thy dyuyne grace
Two tytles in one thou dydest well vnyfye
Whan the rede rose toke the whyte in maryage
Reygnynge togyder ryght hygh and noblye
From whose vnyd tytyls and worthy lygnage
Descended is by ryght excellent courage
Kynge Henry the .viii. for to reygne doutles
Unyuersall his fame honour and larges
Whiche hathe spousyd a fayre floure of vertue
Descended of kynges dame kwtheryn of Spayne
Descended of Kynges dame Kathelyn of Spayne
By grace and prudens the peace to attayne
Wherfore Englonde thou nedes not complayne
Syth thou hast crowned openly in syght
This kynge and quene by good true loue and ryght
What sholde I shewe by perambulacyon
All this grete tryumphe of whiche reporte
Is made aboute nowe in euery nacyon
Unto all this realme to be Ioy and comforte
Wherfore you lordes I humby you exhorte
Spyrytuall and temporall with the comyns vnyfyde
To gyue god the prayse whiche dothe grace prouyde
Englonde be gladde/the dewe of grace is spred
The dewe of Ioy/the dewe holsome and soote
Dystylled is nowe from the rose so red
And of the whyte so spryngynge from the roote
After our trouble to be refute and boote
This ryall tree was planted as I knowe
By god aboue the rancour to downe throwe
Who is the floure that dothe this grace dystyll
But onely Henry the .viii. kynge of his name
With golden droppes all Englonde to fulfyll
To shewe his larges his honour and his fame
His dedes therto exemplefye the same
Wherfore nowe Englonde with hole deuocyon
For this yonge kynge make dayly orayson
Our late souerayne his fader excellent
I knowe ryght well some holde oppynyon
That to auaryce he had entendement
Gadrynge grete rychesse of this his regyon
But they lytell knowe by theyr small reason
For what hye entente he gadered doutles
Unto his grace suche innumerable ryches
For I thinke well and god had sente him lyfe
As they haue meruaylled moche of this gadrynge
So it to them showe haue best affyrmatyfe
To haue had grete wonder of his spendynge
It may fortune he thought to haue mouynge
Of mortall warre our fayth to stablysshe
Agaynst the turkes theyr power to mynysshe
But syth that dethe by his course naturall
Hathe hym arested/and wolde not delay
Lyke wyse as he was so be we mortall
How/where/or whan I cam nothynge say
Therfore to god aboue let vs all pray
For to graunt hym mercy whiche was our kynge
Bryngynge his soule to Ioy euerlastinge
A fayre Englonde mystruste the ryght nought
Regarde ryght well/his sonnes Iustyce
Se how that they whyche inuencyons sought
Delytynge them in the synne of auaryce
To oppresse the comyns by grete preiudyce
Dothe he not punysshe them accordynge to lawe
Suche newe promocyons to dampne and withdrawe
Fy on the saturne with thy mysty fume
Replete with fraude treason and wyckednes
To shewe thy beames thou darest not presume
So cursed thou arte withouten stablenes
Deuoyde of grace fulfylled with doblenes
Thy power to Englonde was neuer amyable
But alwayes euyll vntrue and varyable
Now gentyll Iupyter the lodesterre of lyght
Thy stedfast beames so fayre and so clere
Cast now abrede that we may haue a syght
To gladde vs all whan that they do appere
Sendynge downe trouthe from thy fulgent spere
For to make our hertes mekely to enclyne
To serue our souerayne whiche doth nowe domyne
O myghty Mars o god of the warre
O flambynge honour of euery hardy herte
Sende downe thy power truely from so ferre
Us to encourage that we do not sterte
But by hardynes that we maye subuerte
Our soueraynes enemyes to hym contraryous
By bataylles fyerse ryghtfull and rygorous
And thou fayre bryght/and aureate phebus
Encreace now lyght with loue aud honoure
Amonge the lordes so gay and gloryus
With thy radyant beames so hye of fauoure
Deuoydynge all trechery debate and rancoure
And yllumyne the mynde with lyberalyte
Of our good souerayne with welth and vnyte
And lady Uenus with thy sone Cupyde
Of euery lorde do nowe the herte enspyre
With feruent loue that he do not slyde
And of the comyns set the hertes on fyre
To loue our souerayne with theyr hole desyre
Folowynge his grace with dulcet armonye
To the ryghtfull waye withouten Ieoperdye
Also thou Mercury the god of eloquence
The gentyll sterre of grace and vertue
Thy beames of ryght peace and conscyence
On our kynges counsayll downe sende and renue
The trouthe of Iustyce/that they may extue
For to do wronge by the synne of couetyce
That here before hathe done grete preiudyce
And thou watery dyane of the se the goddes
With thy broder eolus the god of the wynde
Encourage the hertes by in warde hardynes
And enmyes ryse that they be not behynde
Them for to chace and the se to scoure
By grace and fortune in many a stormy stoure
O god aboue/trononysed in heuen
In whose wyll resteth euery thynge alone
The skye/the erthe/with all the planettes seuen
Without whose grace/comforte haue we none
As thou arte thre enclusyd in one
So saue our souerayne/from all maner wo
And this his realme from mortall warre also
Holy chirche reioyse/with all your lybertees
Withouten dōmage/the kynge wyll ye encreace
And be your shelde from all aduersytees
No wronge shall be but he wyll it soone seace
Knyttynge the knotte of fayth loue and peace
Bytwene you and hym without dysturbaunce
So for to endure by longe contynuaunce
Ryght myghty prynce our good souerayne lorde
To god enclynynge be hardy and gladde
Of you and your realme he wyll se concorde
Though other nacyons be therfore full sadde
Agaynst you murmurynge with theyr werkes badde
Yet drede ye nothynge for god with his myght
Wyll be alwaye redy to defende the ryght
Ryght noble/wyse/and excellent pryncesse
Ryght benygne lady/lyberall and vertuous
Dyscended lynyally of the lyne of noblenesse
Fayre quene Katheryne so swete and precyous
To our souerayne espoused with Ioy solacyous
Almyghty god gyue grace to multyplye
From you your floures to reygne ryght ryally
And lady Mary prynces ryght beauteuous
Indued with honour/vertue/and prudence
Ryght meke/goodly/gentyll and gracyous
Syster ryght dere vnto the excellence
Of our good souerayne/surmountynge in sapyence
Ryght fayre yonge lady/the grete lorde aboue
He graunte you grace/hygh fame/fortune/and loue
And all you lordes and ladyes honourable
And you noble knyghtes so hauntynge chyualry
Unto our souerayne be meke and tendable
Whiche wyll rewarde you well and nobly
As to shewe his largesse vnyuersally
Encouragynge your hertes y&supert; courage chyualrous
In tyme of batayll for to be vyctoryous
And all ye offycers of euery degree
Beware extorcyon/for and it be knowen
No doute it is but ye shall punysshed be
Take hede of them/the whiche be ouerthrowen
Remembre well how fortune hathe blowen
The promoters downe/and castynge them full lowe
In folowynge them ye shall fall as I trowe
Englonde be true and loue well eche other
Obey your souerayne/and god omnypotent
Whiche is aboue/of all the worlde the rother
Wyll sende you welth/from whome all good is sente
He gyue vs grace to kepe his comaundement
And saue our souerayne/with his semely quene
With all theyr bloode/without trouble and tene.
Amen

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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