Upon the Dolorus Dethe and Muche Lamentable Chaunce of the Mooste Honorable Erle of Northumberlande

Skelton, John

London, British Library, Royal 18 Dii, fols. 165r-166v (=R)
Ringler TM 693. Brown and Robbins 1378

: ,.

Variant source 1: T. Marshe, 1568 (STC 22608) (=M).

Composition Date: 1489 [Scattergood].

ref.ed: 29
folio: 165

Poeta Skelton Laureatus Libellum suum metrice Alloquitur.

AD dominum. Properato meum mea pagina. Percy.
Qui Northumbrorum iura paterna gerit.
Ad nutum celebris tu prona. Repone leonis.
Queque suo patri tristia iusta cano.
5 Ast vbi perlegit dubiam sub mente volutet
Fortunam cun[c]ta que male-fida Rotat cuncta] cunta R
Qui leo sit felix et Nestoris occupet Annos
Ad libitum cuius ipse paratus ero.

Skelton Laureat Vpon the dolorus dethe and muche lamentable chaunce of the mooste honorable Erle of Northumberlande.

I Wayle I Wepe I Sobbe I sigh ful sore
The dedely fate. the dolefulle destenny
Of hym that is gone alas withoute restore.
Of the blode Royall descendinge nobelly.
5 Whos lordshepe doutles was slayne lamentably
Thorow treson ageyn hym compassyd and wrought.
Trew to his prince in word in dede and thought

Of heuenly poems. O .CLyo. calde by name.
In the college of Musis goddes hystoriall.
10 Adres the to me whiche am bothe halt and lame.
In elect vteraunce to make memoryall.
To the for succour to the for helpe I kall.
Myne homely rudnes and drighnes to expelle.
Wt the freshe waters of Elyconys Welle.

15 Of noble Actis Auncyently enrolde.
Of famous princis and lordis of astate.
By thy report ar wonte to be extolde.
Regestringe trewly euery formare Date.
Of thy bounte after the vsuall Rate.
20 Kyndle in me suche plente of thy nobles.
Thes sorowfulle ditis þat I may shew expres.

ref.ed: 30
In sesons past who hathe harde or sene.
Of formar writinge by any presidente.
That vilane hastarddis in þer furious tene.
25 Fulfyld with malice of froward entente.
Confeterd togeder of commoun concente. commoun] cominion M
Falsly to slo þer moste singlar goode lorde. slo] slee M
It may be Regesterde of shame-full Recorde.

So noble a man so valiaunt lorde and kn[y]ght. knyght] knght R
30 Fulfilled with honour as all þe world dothe ken. world] wold M
At his commaundement whiche had boþ day and night.
Knyghtis and squyers: at euery season when.
He calde vpon þem. as menyall houshold men
Were no[t] thes commones vncurteis karlis of kynd not] no R; not M
35 To slo þer owne lorde: god was not in þer mynde.

folio: 165v
And were not þei to blame I say also
That were aboute hym his awne seruauntis of trust
To suffre hym slayn of his mortall fo
Fled away from hym let hym ly in þe dust
40 They bode not till þe rekenyng were discust
What shuld I flatter what shulde I glose or paynt
Fy fy for shame þer hartis wer to faynt

IN Englande and fraunce which gretly was redouted
Of whom both flaunders and Scotland stode in drede
45 To whome grete Astatis obeyde and lowttede.
A maynny of rude villayns made hym for to blede.
Vnkindly þei slew hym þat help þem oft at nede. help] holp M
He was þer bulwarke þer paues and þer wall.
Yet shamfully þei slew hym þat sham mot þem befall

50 I Say ye commoners why wer ye so stark mad?
What frantyk frensy fyll in youre brayne?
Where was your wit and reson ye shuld haue had?
What willfull foly made you to ryse agayn.
Your naturall lord? Alas I kan not fayne.
55 Ye armed you with wille. And left your wit behynd.
Well may ye be cald commons moste vnkynd ye] you M

HE was your chyfteyne your shelde your chef defens.
Redy to assyst you in euery tyme of nede.
ref.ed: 31
Your worship depended of his excellence.
60 Alas ye mad-men to far ye did excede.
Your hap was vnhappy to Ill was your spede.
What mouyd you agayn hym to war or to fight
What aylde you to slo your lord ageyn all right slo] sle M

The grounde of his quarell was for his souereyn lord
65 The welle concernyng of all the hole lande.
Demaundinge soche dutes as nedis most acord
To the right of his prince which shold not be withstand
For whos causis ye slew hym with your awne hande.
But had his nobillmen donn wel þat day
70 Ye had not ben hable to haue saide hym nay.

Bot ther was fals packinge or els I am begylde.
Howbeit þe mater was euident and playne.
For yf þey had occupied ther spere and þer shelde.
This noble man doutles had not be slayne. be] bene M
75 Bot men say þei wer lynked with a double chayn.
And held with þe commonns vnder a cloke.
Whiche kyndelde þe wyld-fyre þat made all þis smoke

The commonns renyyd ther taxes to pay.
Of them demaunded and asked by the kynge.
80 With one vice Importune þei playnly said nay 'vice'='voice'
They buskt þem on a bushment þem-selfe in baile to bringe.
Agayne þe kingis plesure to wrastel or to wringe.
Bluntly as bestis withe boste and with cry.
They saide þey forsede not nor carede not to dy.

85 The nobelnes of the northe þis valyant lorde and knyght.
As man that was Innocent of trechery or trayne.
Presed forthe boldly to witstand the myght.
And lyke marciall hector he faught þem agayne. faught] faufght R
Vigorously vpon þem with myght and with mayne.
90 Trustinge in noble men þat wer with hym there.
Bot all þey fled from hym for falshode or fere.

Barons knightis squyers one and alle.
Togeder withe seruauntis of his famuly
Turnd ther backis And let ther master fall. backis] backe M
95 Of whos [life] they countede not a fly. life] R, M omit
ref.ed: 32
Take vp whos wolde for þer þey let hym ly.
Alas his golde his fee his Annuall Rente.
Vpon suche a sort was Ille bestowde and spent.

He was enuyronde aboute on euery syde.
100 Withe his enmys þat were stark mad and wode.
Yet whils he stode he gaue þem woundes wyde. Yet] Ye M
Alas for routhe what thouthe his mynde wer goode
His corage manly: yet þer he shed his bloode.
All left alone alas he fawte in vayne.
105 For cruell[y] amonge þem ther he was slayne. cruelly] cruell R, M

Alas for pite that percy thus was spylt.
folio: 166
The famous Erle of Northumberlande.
Of knightly prowes the sworde pomel and hilt.
The myghty lyoun doutted by se and sande. sande] lande M
110 O dolorous chaunce of fortuns fraward hande.
What man remembring how shamfully he was slayn
From bitter wepinge hym-self kan restrayne.

O cruell mars þu dedly god of war.
O dolorous teusday dedicate to þi name.
115 When þu shoke þi sword so noble a man to mar
O grounde vngracious vnhappy be thy fame.
Whiche wert endiyd with rede blode of the same.
Mooste noble Erle: O fowle mysuryd grounde.
Wheron he gat his fynall dedely wounde.

120 O Atropos of the fatall Systers .iij.
Goddes mooste cruell vnto þe lyf of man
All merciles in the ys no pite.
O homycide whiche sleest all that þu kan
So forcibly vpon this Erle thow ran.
125 That with thy sworde enharpid of mortall drede
Thow kit asonder his perfight vitall threde. 'kit'='cut'

Mi wordis vnpullysht be nakide and playne.
Of Aureat poems they want ellumynynge.
Bot by them to knoulege ye may Attayne.
130 Of this lordis dethe and of his murdrynge.
Whiche whils he lyuyd had fuyson of euery-thing.
ref.ed: 33
Of knightis of squyers chef lord of toure and tovne.
Tyll fykkill fortune began on hym to frowne.

PAregall to Dukis withe kingis he myght compare.
135 Sourmountinge in honour all erlis he did excede.
To all cuntreis aboute hym reporte me I dare.
Lyke to Eneas benygne in worde and dede.
Valiaunt as hector in euery marciall nede.
Prouydent discrete circumspect and wyse. Prouydent] Prudent M
140 Till the chaunce ran ageyne hym of fortuns double dyse.

What nedethe me for to extoll his fame.
Wt my rude pen enkankerd all with rust.
Whos noble Actis shew worsheply his name.
Transcending f[a]r myne homely mvse: that must. far] for R, M
145 Yet sumwhat wright supprisid with hartly lust. hartly] herty M
Truly reportinge his right noble astate.
Immortally whiche is inmaculate.

His noble blode neuer desteynyd was.
Trew to his prince for to defende his right.
150 Doublenes hatinge fals maters to compas.
Treytory and treson he bannesht ought of sight 'ought'='out'
Wt trowth to medelle was all his hole delight.
As all his kuntrey kan testefy the same.
To slo suche a lord alas it was grete shame. slo] sle M

155 IF the hole quere of the musis nyne.
In me all onely wer sett and comprisyde.
Enbrethed with the blast of Influence dyuyne.
As perfightly as koude be thought or deuysyd.
To me also all thouthe yt wer promysyde.
160 Of laureat phebus holy the eloquence.
All were to litill for his magnyficence.

O yonge lyon bot tender yet of age.
Grow and encrese remembre thyn astate.
God the assyst vnto thyne heritage.
165 And geue the grace to be more fortunate.
Agayne rebellyonns arme þe to make debate.
And as the lyonne whiche is of bestis kinge.
Vnto thy subiectis be kurteis and beningne.

ref.ed: 34
I pray god sende the prosperous lyf and long.
folio: 166v
170 Stabille thy mynde constant to be and fast.
Right to maynten and to resist all wronge.
All flatringe faytors abhor and from the kast.
Of foule detraccion god kepe þe from the blast.
Let double-delinge in the haue no place.
175 And be not light of credence in no case.

Wythe heuy chere with dolorous hart and mynd
Eche man may sorow in his inward thought
þis lordis dethe: whos pere is hard to fynd
All gyf englond and fraunce wer thorow sought.
180 All kingis all princis all dukis well þei ought
Bothe temporall and spirituall for to complayne.
This noble man that cruelly was slayne.

More specially barons and þos knightis bold.
And all oþer Iantelmen with hym enterteynd
185 In fee: as menyall men of his houshold
Whom he as lorde worsheply manteynd
To soroufull weping þei ought to be constreynd
As oft as þei call to ther remembrance.
Of þer good lord þe fate and dedely chaunce

190 O perles prince of heuyn emperyalle. O] M omits
þat with one worde formd all þing of nought
Heuyn hell and erth obey vnto þi kall.
Which to þi resemblance wonderusly has wrought
All mankynd whom þu ful dere hast boght
195 Wt þi blode precious our fenaunce þu dyd pay.
And vs redemede from the fendys pray.

To the pray we as prince Incomperable.
As þu art of mercy and pite the well.
[T]how bringe vnto thy Ioye etermynable. Thow] how R
200 The sowle of þis lorde from all daunger of hell.
In endles blis with the to byde and dwell.
In thy palace aboue the orient.
Where thow art lorde and god omnipotent

O Quene of mercy. O lady full of grace.
205 Maiden moste pure and goddis moder dere
To sorowfull harttis chef comfort and solace.
ref.ed: 35
Of all women O floure withouten pere.
Pray to thy son aboue the starris clere.
He to vouchesaf by thy mediacioun.
210 To pardon þi seruant and brynge to sauacioun.

In Ioy triumphaunt the heuenly Gerarchy. 'gerarchy'='hierarchy'
Wt all the hole sorte of that glorious place.
His soule mot receyue in-to ther company
Thorow bounte of hym þat formed all solace.
215 Well of pite of mercy and of grace.
The father the son the holy goste.
In trinitate one god of myghtis moste.
NOn sapit humanis qui certam ponere rebus.
SPem cupit: est hominum raraque ficta fides.

Tetrasticon Skelton laureati ad magistrum Rukshhaw sacre theologie egregium professorem.

Accipe nunc demum doctor celeberrime Rukshaw
Carmina: de calamo que [ce]cidere meo. cecidere] occidere R
Et qua[m]qua[m] placidis non sunt modulata camenis. quamquam] quaqua R, M
Sunt tamen ex nostro pectore prompta pio.

VAle Feliciter Virorum Laudatissime.