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John Skelton

(1460 - 1529 / Norfolk, England)

Of all nacyons vnder the heuyn


[Skelton Laureate agaynste a comely Coystrowne that curyowsly chawntyd And curryshly cowntred, And madly in hys Musykkys mokkyshly made, Agaynste the .ix. Musys of polytyke Poems & Poettys matryculat.]

[Of all nacyons vnder the heuyn]


Of all nacyons vnder the heuyn.
These frantyke foolys I hate most of all.
For though they stumble in the synnys seuyn.
In peuyshnes yet they snapper and fall.
Which men the .viii. dedly syn call.
This peuysh proud thys prendergest.
When he is well yet can he not rest.

A swete suger-lofe & sowre bayardys-bun.
Be sumdele lyke in forme & shap.
The one for a duke the other for dun.
A maunchet for morell thereon to snap.
Hys hart is to hy to haue any hap.
But for in his gamvt carp that he can.
Lo Iak wold be a Ientylman

Wyth hey troly loly lo whip here Iak.
Alumbek sodyldym syllorym ben.
Curyowsly he can both counter & knak
Of Martyn swart & all hys mery men.
Lord how perkyn is proud of hys Pohen.
But ask wher he fyndyth among hys monacordys.
An holy-water clarke a ruler of lordys.

He can not fynd it in rule nor in space.
He solfyth to haute hys Trybyll is to hy.
He braggyth of hys byrth that borne was full bace
Hys musyk withoute mesure to sharp is hys my
He trymmyth in hys tenor to counter pyrdewy.
Hys dyscant is besy it is withoute a mene.
To fat is hys fantsy hys wyt is to lene.

He lumbryth on a lewde lewte roty bully Ioyse.
Rumbyll downe tumbyll downe hey go now now.
He fumblyth in hys fyngeryng an vgly good noyse.
It semyth the sobbyng of an old sow.
He wold be made moch of & he wyst how.
Wele sped In spyndels and turnyng of tauellys.
A bungler a brawler a pyker of quarellys.

Comely he clappyth a payre of clauycordys.
He whystelyth so swetely he makyth me to swete.
His descant is dasshed full of dyscordes
A red angry man but easy to intrete.
An vssher of the hall fayn wold I get.
To poynte this proude page a place and a rome
For Iak wold be a Ientylman that late was a grome

Iak wold Iet and yet Iyll sayd nay.
He counteth in his countenaunce to checke with the best.
A malaperte medler that pryeth for his pray
In a dysh dare he rush at the rypest.
Dremyng in dumpys to wrangyll & to wrest.
He fyndeth a proporcyon in his prycke-songe.
To drynk at a draught a larg & a long

Nay iape not with hym he is no small fole
It is a solempne syre and a solayne.
For lordes and ladyes lerne at his scole
He techyth them so wysely to solf and to fayne.
That neyther they synge wel prycke-songe nor playne
Thys docter deuyas commensyd in a cart.
A master a mynstrell a fydler a farte

What though ye can cownter Custodi nos.
As well it becomyth yow a parysh towne-Clarke.
To syng Sospitati dedit Egros.
Yet bere ye not to bold to braule ne to bark.
At me, that medeled nothyng with youre wark.
Correct fyrst thy-self, walk & be nought.
Deme what thou lyst thou knowyst not my thought.

A prouerbe of old say well or be styll.
Ye are to vnhappy occasyons to fynde.
Uppon me to clater or els to say yll.
Now haue I shewyd you part of your proud mynde
Take thys in worth the best is behynde.
Wryten at Croydon by Crowland in the Clay.
On Candelmas euyn the Kalendas of May.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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