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Eclogues

Thomas Chatterton 1752 (Bristol) – 1770 (Holborn)

Eclogue the First.

Whanne Englonde, smeethynge from her lethal wounde,
From her galled necke dyd twytte the chayne awaie,
Kennynge her legeful sonnes falle all arounde,
(Myghtie theie fell, 'twas Honoure ledde the fraie,)
Thanne inne a dale, bie eve's dark surcote graie,
Twayne lonelie shepsterres dyd abrodden flie,
(The rostlyng liff doth theyr whytte hartes affraie,)
And whythe the owlette trembled and dyd crie;
Firste Roberte Neatherde hys sore boesom stroke,
Then fellen on the grounde and thus yspoke.

Roberte.
Ah, Raufe! gif thos the howres do comme alonge,
Gif thos wee flie in chase of farther woe,
Oure fote wylle fayle, albeytte wee bee stronge,
Ne wylle oure pace swefte as oure danger goe.
To oure grete wronges we have enheped moe,
The Baronnes warre! oh! woe and well-a-daie!
I haveth lyff, bott have escaped soe
That lyff ytsel mie senses doe affraie.
Oh Raufe, comme lyste, and hear mie dernie tale,
Comme heare the balefull dome of Robynne of the dale.

Raufe.
Saie to mee nete; I kenne thie woe in myne;
O! I've a tale that Sabalus mote telle.
Swote flouretts, mantled meedows, forestes dynge;
Gravots far-kend around the Errmiets cell;
The swote ribible dynning yn the dell;
The joyous dauncynge ynn the hoastrie courte;
Eke the highe songe and everych joie farewell,
Farewell the verie shade of fayre dysporte;
Impestering trobble onn mie dernie tale,
Ne one kynde Seyncte to warde the aye encreasynge dome.

Roberte.
Oh! I could waile mie kynge-coppe-decked mees,
Mie spreedynge flockes of shepe of lillie white,
Mie tendre applynges; and embodyde trees,
Mie Parker's Grange, far spreedynge to the syghte,
Mie cuyen kyne, mie bullockes stringe yn fyghte,
Mie gorne emblaunched with the comfreie plante,
Mie floure Seyncte Marie shottyng wythe the lyghte,
Mie store of all the blessynges Heaven can grant.
I amm duressed unto sorrowes blowe,
I hantend to the peyne, will lette ne salte teare flowe.

Raufe.
Here I wille obaie untylle Dethe doe 'pere,
Here lyche a foule empoysoned leathel tree,
Whyche sleaeth everichone that commeth nere,
Soe wille I, fyxed unto thys place, gre.
I to bement haveth moe cause than thee;
Sleene in the warre mie boolie fadre lies;
Oh! joieous Ihys mortherer would slea,
And bie hys syde for aie enclose myne eies.
Calked from everych joie, heere wylle I blede;
Fell ys the Cullys-yatte of mie hartes castle stede.

Roberte.
Oure woes alyche, alyche our dome shal bee.
Mie sonne, mie sonne alleyn, ystorven ys;
Here wylle I staie, and end mie lyff with thee;
A lyff leche myne a borden ys ywis.
Now from e'en logges fledden is selyness,
Mynsterres alleyn can boaste the hallie Seyncte,
Now doeth Englonde wearea a bloudie dresse
And wyth her champyonnes gore her face depeyncte;
Peace fledde, disorder sheweth her dark rode,
And thorow ayre doth flie, yn garments steyned with bloude.

Eclogue the Second

Nygelle.

Sprytes of the bleste, the pious Nygelle sed,
Pure owte yer pleasaunce onn mie fadres hedde.

I.

Rycharde of Lyons harte to fyghte is gon,
Uponne the brede sea doe the banners gleme,
The amenused nationnes be aston,
To ken syke large a flete, syke fyne, syke breme,
The barkis heafods coupe the lymed streme;
Oundes synkeynge oundes upon the hard ake riese;
The water slughornes ayre, and reche the skies.
Sprytes of the bleste, on gouldyn trones astedde,
Poure owte yer pleasaunce onn mie fadres hedde.

II.

The gule depeyncted oares from the black tyde,
Decorn wyth fonnes rare, doe shemrynge ryse;
Upswalynge doe heie shewe ynne drierie pryde,
Lyche gore-red estells in the eve merk skyes;
The nome-depeyncted shields, the speres aryse,
Alyche talle roshes on the water syde;
Alenge from bark to bark the bryghte sheene flyes;
Sweft-kerv'd delyghtes doe on the water glyde.
Sprytes of the bleste, and everich Seyncte ydedde,
Poure owte youre pleasaunce on mie fadres hedde.

III.

The Sarasen lokes owte: he doethe feere,
That Englondes brondeous sonnes do cotte the waie.
Lyke honted bockes, theye reineth here and there,
Onknowlachynge inne whate place to obaie.
The banner glesters on the beme of daie;
The mitte crosse Jerusalim ys seene;
Dhereof the syghte yer corragedoe affraie,
In balefull dole their faces be ywreene.
Sprytes of the bleste, and everich Seyncte ydedde,
Poure owte your pleasaunce on mie fadres hedde.

IV
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Thomas Chatterton

Thomas Chatterton was an English poet and forger of pseudo-medieval poetry. He committed suicide, dying of arsenic poisoning. His works and death were much discussed posthumously and had an influence on the Romantic movement. more…

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