ALTHOUGH I had a check,
To give the mate is hard ;
For I have found a neck,
To keep my men in guard.
And you that hardy are,
To give so great assay
Unto a man of war,
To drive his men away ;

I rede you take good heed,
And mark this foolish verse ;
For I will so provide,
That I will have your ferse.1
And when your ferse is had,
And all your war is done ;
Then shall yourself be glad
To end that you begun.

For if by chance I win
Your person in the field ;
Too late then you come in
Yourself to me to yield.
For I will use my power,
As captain full of might ;
And such I will devour,
As use to shew me spite.

And for because you gave
Me check in such degree ;
This vantage, lo ! I have,
Now check, and guard to thee.
Defend it if thou may ;
Stand stiff in thine estate :
For sure I will assay,
If I can give thee mate.

More verses by Henry Howard