Wouldst thou kenn Nature in her better parte?
Goe, serche the logges and bordels of the hynde ;
Gyfe theye have anie, itte ys roughe-made arte,
Inne hem you see the blakied forme of kynde .
Haveth your mind a lycheynge of a mynde?
Woulde it kenne everich thynge as it mote bee;
Woulde ytte here phrase of the vulgar from the hynde,
Wythoute wiseegger wordes and knowlache free,
Gyf soe, rede thys, whych Iche dysporteynge pende,
Gif nete besyde, yttes rhyme maie ytte commend.

MANNE

Botte whether, fayre mayde do ye goe,
O where do ye bend yer waie?
I wile knowe whether you goe,
I wylle not be asseled naie.

WOMANNE

To Robyn and Nell, all downe in the Delle,
To hele hem at makeynge of haie.

MANNE

Syr Rogerre the Parsone hav hyred mee there,
Comme, Comme, lette us tryppe ytte awaie;
We'lle wurche and wylle synge, and wylle drenche of stronge Beere,
As longe as the merrie sommers daie.

WOMANNE

Howe harde ys mie dome to wurch!
Moke is mie woe:
Dame Agnes whoe lies ynne the Chyrche,
With birlette golde;
Wythe gelten aumeres stronge ontolde,
What was shee moe than me, to be soe?

MANNE

I kenne Syr Roger from afar,
Tryppynge over the Lea,
Ich ask whie the loverds son
Is moe than mee.

SIR ROGERE

The sweltrie sonne dothe hie apace hys wayne .
From everich beme, a seme of lyfe doe falle;
Swythyn scille oppe the haie uponne the playne,
Methynckes the cockse begynneth to gre talle:
Thys ys alyche oure doome , the great, the smalle,
Moste withe and be forwyned by Deathis darte;
See the swote flourette hathe noe swote at alle;
Itte wythe the ranke wede berethe evalle parte,
The cravent , warriour, and the wyse be blent :
Alyche to drie awaie, with those thele did bemente .

MANNE

All-a-Boon Syr Priest, all-a-boon,
Bye yer preesteschype nowe saye unto mee:
Sir Gaufryd the knyghte, who lyveth harde bie,
Whie should hee, than me
Bee moe greate,
Inne honnoure, knyghtehoode and estate?

SIR ROGERE

Attourne thine eyne arounde thys haied mee,
Tentyflie loke arounde the chaper delle ;
An answer to thie barganette here see,
Thys welked flouertte wylle a leson telle
Arist , it blew , itte florished, and dyd welle,
Lokeynge ascaunce upon the naighboure greene,
Yet with the deigned greene, yttes rennome felle,
Eftsonnes ytte shronke upon the daie-brente playne,
Didde not yttes loke, whilest ytte there dyd stonde,
To croppe ytte in the bodde move somme drede honde.

Syke ys the waie of lyffe: the loverds ente ,
Mooveth the robber hym therfor to slea:
Gyf thou has ethe , the shadowe of contente,
Believe the trothe , theres none moe haile yan thee:
Thou wurchest ; welle, canne thatte, a trobble bee?
Slothe moe wulde jade thee, than the roughest daie,
Couldest thou the kivercled of soughlys see,
Thou wuldst eftsoones see trothe, inne whatte I saie;
Botte lette mee heere thie waie offe lyffe; and thenne
Heare thou from mee the lyffs of odher menne.

MANNE.

I ryse wythe the Sonne,
Lyche hym to dryve the wayne
And eere mie wurche is don
I synge a Songe or twayne.

I followe the plough tayle,
Wythe a long jubb of ale.
Botte of the Maydens, oh!
Itte lacketh notte to telle;

Syr Preeste mote notte crie woe,
Culde hys bull do as welle
I daunce the beste heiedeygnes ,
And foile the wysest feygnes.

On everych Seynctes his daie,
Wythe the mynstrelle am I seen,
All a footeynge it awaie,
Wythe maydens on the greene
But oh! I wyshe to be moe greate,
In rennome, tenure and estate.

SIR ROGERRE.

Has thou ne sene a tree uponne a hylle,
Whose unliste braunces rechen far toe syghte;
Whan fuired unwers doe the heaven fylle,
Itte shaketh deere yn dole and moke affryghte:
Whilst the congeon flowrette abessie dyghte ,
Stondeth unhurte, unquaced bie the storme;
Syke is a picte of lyffe: the manne of myghte,
Is tempest-chaft : hys woe greate as hys forme
Thieself a flourette of a small accounte,
Wouldst harder felle the wynde, as hygher thee dydste mount.

More verses by Thomas Chatterton

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