The Jousts of May [and] The Jousts of June

Brandon, Charles [and others]

STC 3543
Ringler 3543 and TP 1800, TP 433; Rpt. Charles Hartshorne, _Ancient Metrical Tales_ (1829), 246-55; Hazlitt, _Remains_ 2, 113-30. UMI microfilm reel 96

Here begynneth the iustes of Maye parfurnysshed and done by Charles brandon. Thomas knyuet. [etc.]
London: [W. de Worde],1507?.

Composition Date: 1507?.

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¶Here begynneth the Iustes of the moneth of Maye parfurnysshed and done by Charles_brandon. Thomas_knyuet. Gyles_Capell / and wyllyam_Huffy. The .xxii. yere of the reygne of our souerayne lorde kynge Henry the seuenth.

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THe moneth of May with amerous beloued
Plasauntly past wherin there hath ben proued
Feates of armes and no persones reproued
That had courage

5 ¶In armoure bryght to shewe theyr personage
On stedes stronge sturdy and corsage Line would make better sense as: On stedes stronge (and) sturdy of corsage
But rather praysed for theyr vassellage
As reason was

¶In which season thus fortuned the cace
10 A lady fayre moost beautyuous of face
With seruauntes foure brought was in-to a place
Staged about

¶Wheron stode lordes and ladyes a grete route
And many a knyght and squyer also stoute
15 That the place was as full as it be mought mought =might; see OED s.v. may v.1
On euery syde

¶That to beholde the Iustes dyde abyde
Tyll that the pryse by the Iudges was tryed
And by the herodes that trouthe well espyed herodes =heralds
20 Therfore puruayde

¶Thus these foure seruauntes of this lady foresayd
Entred the felde / there for to be assayde
Gorgyously apparayled and arayde
And for pleasaunce

25 ¶And in a maner for a cognysaunce
Of Mayes month they bare a souenaunce
Of a verte cocle was the resemblaunce
Tatched ryght fast

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¶About theyr neckes as longe as May dyde laste
30 But about theyr neckes it was not caste
For chalenge / but they weere it tyll May was past
Redy to Iust

¶Theyr armure clere relucent without ruste
Theyr horses barded trottynge on the duste barded: see OED s.v. bard n2, v1, barded ppl. a.
35 Procured gentyll hertes vnto luste
And to solace

¶Specyally suche as Uenus dyde enbrace
Or as of Cupyde folowed the trace
Or suche as of Mars desyred the grace
40 For to attayne

¶And as touchynge this lady souerayne
Had suche beaute / it wolde an herte constrayne
To serue her / though he knewe to lese his payne
She was so shene

45 ¶She and her seruauntes clad were all in grene
Her fetures fresshe none can dyscryue I wene
For beaute she myght well haue ben a quene
She yonge of aege

¶Was set moste goodly hye vpon a stage
50 Under a hauthorne made by the ourage ourage: 'work'; see OED s.v. overage n.1
Of flora that is of heuenly parage
In her hande was

¶Of halfe an houre with sande rennynge a glas
So contryued it kepte truely the space
55 Of the halfe houre and dyde it neuer passe
But for to tell

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¶How this lady that so ferre dyde excell
Was named yf I aduyse me well
Lady of May she hyght / after Aprell
60 Began her reygne.

¶Whose tyme durynge her seruauntes toke grete payne.
Before her to shewe pleasure souerayne.
So that in felde who that came them agayne
In armoure bryght.

65 ¶On horsbacke mounted for to proue theyr myght
Two seruauntes of this lady of delyte
Sholde be mounted / armed / and redy dyght
At a tyltes ende

¶That to parfurnysshe theyr chalenge dyde entende parfurnysshe: =perfurnish 'perform, finish'
70 Fyrst one of them halfe houre sholde dyspende
With hym that came fyrste in felde to defende
With coronall.

¶With grete speres that were not shapen small
And whan a spere was broken forthewithall
75 The trompettes blewe with sounes musycall
Halfe houre done

¶Another chalenger was redy sone
With another defendaunt to rone
And so the defendauntes one after one
80 Eche day by twayne

¶Chalengers answered were to theyr grete payne
And artycled it was in wordes playne
That yf a chalenger ony hurte dyde sustayne
Another myght

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85 ¶Of his felowes came to felde redy dyght
To maynteyne his felowes chalenge and ryght
Theyr artycles also dyde it recyte
Thus who came there

¶Horsed and in armoure burnysshed clere
90 As a defendaunt he sholde chose his spere
And rynne halfe houre with a chalengere
Whiche season doone

¶A trumpet blewe to gyue warnynge ryght soone
Thus the Iustes helde frome twayne after none
95 Tyll syxe was strycke of clockes mo than one
Whiche houres past

¶The defendauntes the tylte a_bout compast
And with trumpettes out of the felde they past
The chalengers in the felde abode laste
100 Euery eche day

¶And one of them the lady dyde conuaye
That named was the yonge lady of May
Frome her hye stage with floures made so gaye
And there redy

105 ¶Was his felawe hym to accompany
Thus the chalengers melodyously
About the tylte rode also ryght warrelywarrely: 'in war-like manner'. See OED s.v. warly adj, adv.
In theyr armure

¶Complete saue of theyr heed-peces pure
110 And in this wyse they made departure
Accompanyed with many a creature
Yonge and lusty

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¶On horses gambawdynge wonderously
That it semed as to a mannes eye
115 That they wolde haue hanged styll in the skye
Other there were.

¶That were Ioly and gorgyas in theyr gere
And whan they lyst coude well handle a spere
That came eche day to serue other men there
120 On eche party.

¶And dyde in eche thynge indeferently
It came be ye sure of ryght grete curtesy
Of the chalengers I shall you certefy
How they were prest.

125 ¶Twyse in the weke in the felde redy drest
Durynge the May and chosen for dayes best
Were sondaye and thursday and merelyest
To shewe pleasure

¶With speres grete them to auenture
130 And who in presence of this lady pure
Brake moost speres a golde rynge sholde recure
Of this lady.

¶And agayne on the party contrary
Yf the defendaunt on his party
135 Of speres alowed breke not so many
As chalengere.

¶Or he went thens humbly he sholde apere
Before this lady moost comly of chere
And to present vnto her a rynge there
140 This ordre set.

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¶Was with artycles moo wherof to treate
Sholde be to longe but who best had the feate
Was gladdest man / but he the pryce dyde gete
That speres brake

145 ¶Most in the felde yet other had no lake
Of speres brekynge for to here the crake
Wolde cause ony lusty herte pleasure to take
What with the brute

¶Of trumpettes and many an-other flute
150 Of taboryns and of many a douce lute
The mynstrelles were proprely clade in sute
All this deuyse

¶Was worthy prayse after my poore aduyse
Syth it was to no mannes preiudyse
155 To passe the tyme this merciall excercyse
Was commendable.

¶Specyally for folkes honourable
And for other gentylmen therto able.
And for defence of realmes profytable
160 Is the vsage.

¶Therfore good is to haue parfyght knowlage
For all men that haue youth or metely age
How with the spere theyr enemyes to outrage
At euery nede.

165 ¶And how he sholde also gouerne his stede
And for to vse in-stede of other wede
To were armure complete from fote to hede
Is ryght metely.

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¶It encourageth also a body
170 Enforcynge hym to be the more hardy
And syth it is so necessary
¶I them commende
That to defende
Them-selfe pretende
175 Ualyauntly
¶And dyscommende
Them that dyspende
Theyr lyfe to ende
In vayne foly
180 ¶Some reprehende
Suche as entende
To condescende
To chyualry
God them amende
185 And grace them sende
Not to offende
More tyll they deye

Th'ende of the Iustes of Maye.

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¶Here begynneth the Iustes and tourney of the moneth of Iune parfurnysshed and done by Richarde_Graye erle of Kent / by Charles_brandon with theyr two aydes agaynst all comers. The .xxii. yere of the reygne of our souerayne lorde kynge Henry the seuenth.

FOr-as-moche as yonge folke can not deuyse.
To passe tyme in more noble excersyse
Than in the auncyent knyghtes practyse
Of dayes olde.

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5 ¶That were in tyme of Arthur kynge mooste bolde
That this realme than named Brytayne dyde holde
Of whose rounde table and noble housholde
Were knyghtes good

¶And dyuers of them borne of ryall blode
10 And other that were of ryght manly mode
That auentred bothe through forest and flode
To gete honoure

¶Remembraunce wherof sholde in euery houre
Be vnto vs dayly a parfyte myrroure
15 So that we sholde enforce vs to our powre
To wynne suche lose

¶As these knyghtes that were vyctoryose
And though that it be now more sumptuose
Than / than syth Mayes seruauntes gracyose
20 Hath put in vre

¶Of aunterose the olde auenture
Called somtyme cheualrous pleasure
Wherby they haue wonne of eche creature
Laude in this Maye

25 ¶Durynge the moneth of Iune euery sonday
Two chalengers in blewe dyde them assaye
Of horse and man fyrst day was theyr araye
Sarcenet blue

¶And theyr armoure paynted of the same hue
30 At the felde ende was pyght for to say true
A pauyllyon on the grasse fresshe and nue
Wherin these twayne

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¶Chalengers for to arme them dyde remayne
Whan they were armed at ease without payne
35 They yssued to begyn with all theyr mayne
Theyr chalenge there

¶Ageynst all defendauntes that wolde appere
After the entre as is the manere
About the felde they were brought euery-where
40 That was all playne

¶Without a tylte abydynge tyme certayne
By the kynge assygned our prynce souerayne
With sporres sharpe two courses to sustayne
In blanke armure

45 ¶Ageynst eche comer that lyst to aduenture
The courses done with swerdes sharpe and sure
Saue onely of theyr poyntes rebature
They dyde tourney

¶Full strokes syx eche other to assaye
50 And eche man dyde his best I dare well say
Eueryche of theym thought to bere the pryce away
Theyr strokes done

¶The defendaunt presented hym-selfe soone
Before a pryncesse that of this regyon
55 Hath to fader kynge and Emperoure alone
Whose vyctory

¶Hye magesty with tryumphaunt regally
And noble fame of prudent polycy
Knowen is in euery realme vulgarely
60 To his honoure

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¶And to oures of whome he is gouernoure
Frome this royall reed rose and stately floure
And frome the whyte of all vertue myrroure
This yonge lady

65 ¶This confortable blossome named Mary
Spronge is to all Englondes glory
With bothe roses ennued moost swetely
By dame nature

¶That euery-thynge lyuynge hath in her cure
70 But whan she made this propre portrayture
She dyde that myght be done to creature.
And not onely

¶For excellent byrthe but surmountynge beauty
In the worlde of her aege moost womanly
75 Lyke to be to pryncesses exemplary
For her vertue

¶Unto whiche pryncesse the defendauntes dyde sewe.
Besechynge her grace to haue syx strokes newe
To whose request this pryncesse fresshe of hewe
80 Ryght soone dyde graunte

¶Whiche had / they retourned on horses puyssaunt
And gaue syx strokes the chalengers to daunt
But who dyde best I make none auaunt
But thus it was

85 ¶Pyeces of harneys flewe in-to the place
Theyr swerdes brake they smote thycke and a_pace
They spared not cors / armyt / nor yet vambrace
They lyst not sporte

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¶For there were none of all the lusty sorte
90 That scaped fre and he the trouthe reporte
To all beholders it dyde grete conforte
And fyrst of all

¶To se the speres fle in tronchons small
And to here the trompettes so musycall
95 It was an armony moost specyall
The tournay done

¶Dyuers defendauntes touched theyr chalenge sone
In the kynges presence thoughe I name none
That for the same had made prouysyon
100 Thus this day paste

THe nexte sonday the chalengers in hast
Entre the felde and by the kynge they past
And obeysauntly doune theyr heedes they cast
And theyr araye

105 ¶Was blue bawdekyn of horse and man that daye
The trompettes and other dyde them conuey
About the felde and frome them went away
In for to brynge

¶The defendauntes that made shorte taryenge
110 On horses barded ryght ryche to my semynge
Whiche made after theyr in-comynge
Theyr obeyssaunce

¶Unto the kynge bothe of Englonde and of Fraunce
And tweyne to them with speres dyde auaunce
115 And who that fyrst sholde proue his valyaunce
He chose his spere

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¶The other to a chalenger one dyde bere
Shortly with them togyder they ranne there
As though neyther of them other dyde fere
120 And so they ran.

¶Tyll they had had two courses euery man.
And than the tornay sharpely they began
And as they dyde the fyrste day they dyde than

125 ¶The artycles dyde also specyfy
The chalengers sholde haue in company
Aydes twayne that sholde be there redy
And so they had.

¶That to armes were desyrous and glad
130 And it appered by theyr strokes sad
Theyr armes ought not to be called bad
Who toke good hede.

¶This day a chalenger was hurte in-dede
For whiche an ayde came that daye in his stede
135 To byd hym hast hym doubte not it was no nede
To the turnay.

¶It were to longe to tell all done that day
Therfore I wyll it for this tyme delay
And parte I wyll shewe of the last sonday
140 That Iustes were.

¶The chalengers and theyr aydes in fere
Were all present and gorgyas in theyr gere
Blewe clothe of golde that were costly and dere
Bothe horse and man.

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145 ¶And to be shorte yf they the fyrst day wan
Eche man honour in lyke wyse they dyd than
They were commended of suche as tell can
Therof the guyse.

¶Though foles vnconnynge lyst some despyse
150 And one of them sholde suche a thynge enterpryse
I deme he wolde be a symple prentyse
To chyualry.

¶Yet suche that lewde be / be moost besy
To reporte of gentylmen vylany
155 And yet wyse men there beynge seeth not why
Lay that aparte.

¶And of theyr chalenge I wyll you aduerte
In asure beynge a whyte ennamelde herte
Bytwene .R. and .H. playn and ouerte
160 Whiche were applyed.

¶To Roy Henry, and eke is sygnefyed
In stedfast asure a colour constant tryed
That the whyte herte without spot sholde abyde
Euer in one

165 ¶This was therof the hole entencyon
Though ony after his opynyon
To the chalengers reprehensyon
Lyst other say.

¶Thus in blewe clad they wente the fyrst sonday
170 In sygne as the colour of theyr aray
Betokened so wolde they be alway
Stedfast and true.

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¶And thoughe eche sonday they were chaunged newe
In theyr apparayle yet the coloure blewe
175 Of theyr chalenge was the lyurey and hue
In whiche coloure

¶Theyr hertes whyte and pure in euery houre
Shall truely reste for ony storme or shoure
And to serue euer truely to theyr powre
180 Our kynge royall

¶That is our souerayne and prynce naturall
Whose noble actes and faytes mercyall
Shall be had in remembraunce immortall
The worlde through-out

185 ¶And for to speke now of this lusty route
With spere and swerde they were sturdy and stoute
As I am enfourmed without doute
Further also

¶Artycles made there were many one mo
190 But as it lyked the kynge / all was do
And reason was also it sholde be so
For his sake For] For for 1507

¶This thynge of pleasure was there vndertake
For in his presence this pastyme to make
195 Was to cause solace in hym to awake
This theyr entente

¶Was verely after my Iugement
And fyrst of all of Rycharde erle of Kent
And in lyke wyse of all the remanent
200 And in party

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¶For to say true I exsteme verely
Euery man of them was the more redy
Perceyuynge that our yonge prynce Henry
Sholde it beholde

205 ¶Which was to them more conforte manyfolde
Than of the worlde all the treasure and golde
His presence gaue theym courage to be bolde
And to endure

¶Syth our prynce moost comly of stature
210 Is desyrous to the moost knyghtly vre
Of armes to whiche marcyall auenture
Is his courage

¶Notwithstondynge his yonge and tender aege
He is moost comly of his parsonage
215 And as desyrous to this ourage
As prynce may be

¶And thoughe a prynce / and kynges so[n]e be he
It pleaseth hym of his benygnyte
To suffre gentylmen of lowe degre
220 In his presence

¶To speke of armes and of other defence
Without doynge vnto his grace offence
But and I sholde do all my delygence
Yet in no wyse

225 ¶Can I determyne who that wanne the pryce
For eche man dyde the best he coude deuyse
And therfore I can none of them dyspyse
They dyde so well

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¶The Iuges that marked it best can tell
230 And the herodes that wrote euerydell
Who wan the gree to me it is councell
But in this wyse

¶This weerly vsage and martes entrepryse weerly: =warly
These monthes twayne yonge folke dyde excercyse
235 Not onely therof to haue the practyse
But the chyef thynge

¶Was to shewe pleasure to our souerayne the kynge
Henry of that name the seuenth in rekenynge
After the conquest / for whose preseruynge
240 Lete vs styll pray

¶That he may lyue prosperously alway
And after this lyfe that he also may
Ioye amonge aungelles for euer and ay
And his yssue

245 ¶After hym longe to reygne and contynue
And that theyr subgectes to them may be true
And that they may perceuer in vertue
And come to blysse

250 Where-euer is
Hath be and shall
Ioye eternall
Amen say we
For charyte

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255 ¶Some are so accustomed euyll to reporte
That with grete payne / skantly they can say well
For and one were stronge / as Sampson le forte
As manly as Hector / that dyde excell
As wyse as sage Salamon in councell
260 Or had wonne conquestes as dyde Alexandre
Yet false tonges wolde be redy to sklaundre

¶Lyke-wyse yf they / that dyde Iust and tourney
Had done as well / as Launcelot_du_lake
Some of enuy dysdeynously wolde say
265 The entrepryse was fondly vndertake
But it was done but onely for the sake
Of kynge Henry our naturall souerayne lorde
And of the prynce / who lyste it to remorde