Collyn Clout

Skelton, John

STC 22600.5 (=G)
Ringler 22600.5 and TP 2114. The text is edited from Scattergood's ed., since the copytext, the sole extant copy of which is housed in the library at Woburn Abbey, is not available for reproduction. Selections ed. Kinsman, pp. 96-127; ed. Scattergood, pp. 246-78

Here after foloweth a lytell boke called Collyn Clout
London: T. Godfray,1531?.

Composition Date: 1521-1522 [Scattergood].

for to desyte: Scattergood emends to: for despyte
Here-after foloweth a lytell boke called Collyn_Clout compyled by Mayster Skelton Poete Laureate
Quis consurget mihi adversus malignantes aut quis stabit mecum adversus operantes iniquitatem Nemo Domine
What can it avayle
To dryve forth a snayle
Or to make a sayle
Of a herynges tayle
5 To ryme or to rayle
ref.ed: 247
To wryte or to indyte
Other for delyte Other] Eyther K
Or elles to desyte to desyte] for despite M for to desyte H for to despyte Kfor to desyte: Scattergood emends to: for despyte

Or bokes to compyle
10 Of dyvers maner style
Vyce to revyle
And synne to exyle
To teche or to preche
As reason wyll reche
15 Sey this and sey that
His heed is so fat
He wottyth never what
Ne whereof he speketh
He cryeth and he creketh
20 He pryeth and he preketh preketh] peketh K prekythe H
He chydeth and he chatters
He prayeth and he patters prayeth] prates K M pratythe H
He clyttreth and he clatters
He medleth and he smatters
25 He gloseth and he flatters.
Or yf he speke playne
Than he lacketh brayne
He is but a foole
Let hym go to scole
30 A thre-foted stole
That he may downe sytte
For he lacketh wytte
And yf that he hytte
The nayle on the hede
35 It standeth in no stede
The devyll they say is dede
The devyll is dede
It may well so be
Or elles they wolde se
40 Otherwyse and fle
From worldly vanyte worldly] wordly K
And foule covytousnesse
And other wretchednesse
Fyckell falsenesse
45 Varyablenesse
With unstablenesse
ref.ed: 248
And yf ye stande in doute
Who brought this ryme aboute
My name is Collyn_Cloute
50 I purpose to shake oute
All my connynge bagge
Lyke a clerkely hagge
For though my ryme be ragged
Tattered and iagged
55 Rudely rayne-beaten
Rusty and mo[t]he-eaten mothe] moche G moughte K mothe H
Yf ye take well therwith take] talke K M
It hath in it some pyth
For as farre as I can se
60 It is wronge with eche degre
For the temporalte
Accuseth the spirytualte
The spirytualte agayne
Dothe grudge and complayne
65 Upon the temporall men
Thus eche of other blother
The tone against the tother
Alas they make me shoder
For in hoder_moder
70 The churche is put in faute
The prelates ben so haute
They say and loke so hye
As though they wolde flye
Aboute the sterry skye Aboute] Above K M H
75 Laye-men say in-dede
Howe they take no hede
Theyr sely shepe to fede
But plucke away and pull
Theyr fleces of wull
80 Unneth they leve a locke
Of wolle amongest theyr flocke
And as for theyr connynge
A glommynge and a mommynge
And make therof a iape
85 They gaspe and they gape
All to have promocyon
There is theyr hole devocyon
ref.ed: 249
With money yf it wyll happe
To catche the forked cappe
90 For sothe they are to lewde
To say so all beshrewde
What trowe ye they say more
Of the bysshoppes lore
Howe in matters they ben rawe
95 They lumber forth the lawe
To herken Iacke and Gyll
Whan they put up a byll
And iudge it as they wyll
For other mens skyll
100 Expoundynge out theyr clauses
And leve theyr owne causes
In theyr pryncypall cure
They make but lytell sure
And meddels very lyght
105 In the churches ryght
But ire and venyre
And so[l] fa so alamyre sol fa] so fa G solfe H
That the premenyre
Is lyke to be set afyre
110 In theyr iurysdictyons
Through temporall afflictyons
Men say they have prescrypcyons
Agaynst the spirytual contradictyons
Accomptynge them as fictyons
115 And whyles the heedes do this
The remenaunt is amys
Of the clergye all
Bothe great and small
I wote never howe they warke
120 But thus the people carke
And surely thus they sey
Bysshoppes yf they may
Small housholdes woll kepe
But slombre forth and slepe
125 And assay to crepe
Within the noble walles
Of the kynges halles
ref.ed: 250
To fatte theyr bodyes full
Theyr soules lame and dull
130 And have full lytell care
Howe evyll theyr shepe fare
The temporalte say playne
Howe bysshoppes dysdayne
Sermons for to make
135 Or suche laboure to take
And for to say trouth
A great parte is f[or] slouth for] full G for H
But the greatest parte
Is for they have but small arte
140 And ryght slender connynge
Within theyr heedes wonnynge
But this reason they take
Howe they are able to make
With theyr golde and treasure
145 Clerkes out of measure
And yet that is a pleasure
Howebeit some there be
Almoost two or three
Of that dygnyte
150 Full worshypfull clerkes
As appereth by theyr werkes
Lyke Aron and Ure
The wolfe from the dore
To wary and to kepe
155 From theyr goostly shepe
And theyr spyrytuall lambes
Sequestred from rambes
And from the berded gotes
With theyr heery cotes
160 Set nought by golde ne grotes
Theyr names yf I durst tell
But they are lothe to mell
And lothe to hange the bell
Aboute the cattes necke
165 For drede to have a checke
They are fayne to play deuz decke
ref.ed: 251
Howebeit they are good men
Moche herted lyke an hen
Theyr lessons forgoten they have
170 That Saynt Thomas of Canterbury gave That Saynt Thomas of Canterbury gave] That becket them gave K M
Thomas manum mittit ad forcia
Spernit dampna spernit opprobria
Nulla Thomam frangit iniuria
But nowe every spirytuall father
175 Men say they had rather
Spende moche of theyr share
Than to be combred with care
Spende Nay but spare
For let se who that dare
180 Shoo the mockyssh mare
They make her wynche and kycke
But it is not worth a leke
Boldenes is to seke
The churche for to defende
185 Take me as I entende
For lothe I am to offende
In this that I have pende
I tell you as men say
Amende whan ye may
190 For usque ad montem Sare
Men say ye can nat appare
For some say [ye] hunte [in parkes] ye] they G ye H in parkes] partrykes G
And hauke on hobby-larkes
And other wanton warkes
195 Whan the nyght darkes
What have laye-men to do
The gray goos for to sho
Lyke houndes of hell
They crye and they yell
200 Howe that ye sell
The grace of the Holy Goost
Thus they make theyr boost
Through every coost
Howe some of you dothe eate
205 In lenton season flesshe-meate
ref.ed: 252
Fesauntes partryche and cranes
Men call you therfore prophanes
Ye pyke no shrympes nor pranes
Saltfysshe stockfyssh nor herynge
210 It is nat for your werynge
Nor in holy lenton season
Ye wyll neyther beanes ne peason
But ye loke to be let lose
To a pygge or to a goose
215 Your gorge nat endued
Without a capon stued
Or a stewed cocke
Under her surfled smocke
And her wanton wodicocke
220 And howe whan ye gyve orders
In your provyncyall borders
As at Sicientes
Some are insufficientes
Some parum sapientes
225 Some nichil intelligentes
Some valde negligentes
Some nullum sensum habentes
Some bestyall and untaught
But whan they have ones caught
230 Dominus vobiscum by the hede
Then renne they in every stede
God wote with dronken nolles
Yet take they cure of soules cure] cures K M
And wotteth never what thei rede
235 Paternoster nor crede
Construe nat worth a whystell
Neyther gospell nor pystell
Theyr matyns madly sayde
Nothynge devoutly prayde
240 Theyr lernynge is so small
Theyr prymes and houres fall
And lepe out of theyr lyppes
Lyke sawdust or drye chyppes
I speke nat nowe of all
245 But the moost parte in generall
Of suche vacabundus
ref.ed: 253
Speketh totus mundus
Howe some synge letabundus
At every ale-stake
250 With Welcome hake and make
By the breed that God brake
I am sory for your sake
I speke nat of the good wyfe
But of her apostels lyfe her] theyr K ther H
255 Cum ipsis vel illis
Qui manent in villis
Est uxor vel ancilla
Welcom Iacke and Gylla
My prety Petronylla
260 And you wyll be stylla
You shall have your wylla
Of suche paternoster-pekes
All the worlde spekes
In you the faute is supposed
265 For that they are nat apposed
By iuste examynacyon
In connynge and conversacyon
They have none instructyon
To make a trewe constructyon
270 A preest without a letter
Without his vertue be greatter
Doutlesse were moche better were] where K
Uppon hym for to take
A mattocke or a rake
275 Alas for very shame
Some can nat declyne theyr name
Some can nat scarsly rede
And yet he wyll nat drede
For to kepe a cure
280 And in nothynge is sure
This dominus vobiscum
As wyse as Iacke_a_Thrum Iacke] Tom K M
A chaplayne of trust
Layth all in the dust
285 Thus I Collyn_Cloute
As I go aboute
ref.ed: 254
And wandrynge as I walke
I here the people talke
Men say for sylver and golde
290 Myters are bought and solde
Theyr shall no clergye appose
A myter nor a crose
But a full purse
A strawe for Goddes curse
295 What are they the worse
For a symoniake
Is but a hermoniake
And no more ye make
Of symony men say
300 But a chyldes play
Over this the foresayd lay
Reporte howe the pope may
A[n] holy anker call An] a G K M
Out of the stony wall
305 And hym a bysshop make
Yf he on hym dare take
To kepe so harde a rule
To ryde upon a mule
With golde all betrapped
310 In purple and paule belapped
Some hatted and some capped
Rychly bewrapped
God wotte to theyr great paynes
In rotchettes of fyne raynes
315 Whyte as mares-mylke mares] morowes K M marys H
Theyr tabertes of fyne sylke
Theyr styrops of myxt golde begared begared] begarded M be gloryd H
There may no cost be spared
Theyr moyles golde dothe eate
320 Theyr neyghbours dye for meate
What care they thoughe Gyll swete
Or Iacke_of_the_Nocke
The poore people they yoke
With sommons and citacyons
325 And excommunycacyons
ref.ed: 255
Aboute churches and market
The bysshop on his carpet
At home full softe doth sytte
This is a [farly] fytte farly] fearfull G K M ffarly H
330 To here the people iangle
Howe warely they wrangle
Alas why do ye nat handle
And them all [to]_mangle to_mangle] mangle G K M
Full falsely on you they lye
335 And shamfully you ascrye
And say as untrewly
As the butterfly
A man myght say in mocke
Ware the wether-cocke
340 Of the steple of Poules
And thus they hurte theyr soules
In sclaundrynge you for truthe
Alas it is great ruthe
Some say ye sytte in trones
345 Lyke princeps aquilonis princeps] prynces K M prinopes H
And shryne your rotten bonys
With perles and precyous stonys
But howe the commons gronys
And the people monys
350 For prestes and for lonys
Lent and never payde
But from daye to daye delayde
The communewelth decayde
Men say ye are tonge-tayde
355 And therof speke nothynge
But dyssymulynge and glosynge
Wherfore men be supposynge
That ye gyve shrewed counsell
Agaynst the communewell
360 By pollynge and pyllage
In cytes and vyllage
By taxynge and tollage
Ye make monkes to have the colerage make] haue K M make H; colerage] culerage K colerage H
For coverynge of an olde cottage
365 That commytted is a collage
In the charter of dottage
ref.ed: 256
Tenure par service de sottage
And nat par service de socage
After olde seygnours
370 And the lernynge of Lytelton Tenours
Ye have so overthwarted
That good lawes are subverted
And good reason perverted
Relygyous men are fayne
375 For to tourne agayne
In secula seculorum
And to forsake theyr corum
And vacabundare per forum
And take a fyne meritorum
380 Contra regulam morum
Aut blacke monacorum
Aut canonicorum
Aut Bernardinorum
Aut Crucifixorum
385 And to synge from place to place
Lyke apostataas
And the selfe-same game
Begon and now with shame
Amongest the sely nonnes
390 My lady nowe she ronnes
Dame Sybly our abbesse
Dame Dorothe and Lady Besse
Dame Sare our pryoresse
Out of theyr cloyster and quere
395 With an hevy chere
Must cast up theyr blacke vayles
And set up theyr [fucke]-sayles fucke sayles] flucke sayles G fulke saylys H
To catche wynde with theyr ventayles
What Collyn there thou shayles
400 Yet thus with yll hayles
The lay-fee people rayles
And all the faute they lay the faute] K M omit
In you prelates and say In] On M In H
Ye do them wronge and no ryght them] M omits
405 To put them thus to flyght
No matyns at mydnyght
ref.ed: 257
Boke and chalys gone quyte
Plucke away the leedes
Over theyr heedes
410 And sell away theyr belles
And all that they have elles
Thus the people telles
Rayles lyke rebelles
Rede[s] shrewdly and spelles redes] rede G K M
415 And with foundacyons melles
And talke[s] lyke tytyvylles talkes] talke G K M
Howe ye breke the dedes wylles
Turne monasteries into water-mylles
Of an abbey ye make a graunge ye] they K to H
420 Your workes they say are straunge
So that theyr founders soules
Have lost theyr bedde-roules bedde] beade K bede H
The money for theyr masses
Spent among wanton lasses
425 Theyr dyriges are forgotten Theyr dyriges] The Diriges K the dyrige H
Theyr founders lye there rotten
But where theyr soules dwell
Therwith I wyll nat mell
What coude the Turke do more
430 With all his false lore
Turke Sarazyn or Iewe
I reporte me to you
O mercyfull Iesu
You supporte and rescue rescue] rescite M
435 My style for to dyrecte
It may take some effecte
For I abhorre to wryte
Howe the lay-fee despyte
You prelates that of ryght
440 Shulde be lanternes of lyght
Ye lyve they say in delyte
Drowned in deliciis
In gloria et deviciis
In o admirabili honore
445 In gloria et splendore
Fulgurantes haste
Viventes parum caste
ref.ed: 258
Yet swete-meate hath soure sauce
For after gloria laus
450 Chryst by cruelte
Was nayled upon a tre
He payed a bitter pencyon
For mans redempcyon
He dranke eysell and gall
455 To redeme us with all
But swete ypocras ye drynke
With Let the catte wynke
Iche wotte what yche do thynke yche do] eche other K M
Howebeit per assimile
460 Some men thynke that ye
Shall have penalte
For your iniquite
Nota what I say Nota what I say] Note well what to say L, Note whayte I say H
And bere it well away
465 Yf it please nat theologys nat theologys] the not onely L not theologi H
It is good for astrologys
For Tholome tolde me
The sonne somtyme to be
In Ariete
470 Ascendent a degre a degre] ad dextram L a dextre H
Whan Scorpyon descendynge
Was so then pretendynge
A fatall fall for one A fatal] All K M Affatuall L
That shall sytte in a trone shall sytte] syttys nowe L shuld sytte H
475 And rule all thynges alone
Your teth whett [o]n this bone whett on] whetten G whette on H
Amongest you everychone
And let Collyn_Clout have none have none] alone L alon H
Maner of cause to mone
480 Lay salve to your owne sore
For elles as I sayd before
After gloria laus
May come a soure sauce
Sory therfore am I
485 But trouth can never lye
With language thus poluted
Holy churche is bruted
And shamfully confuted
ref.ed: 259
My penne nowe wyll I sharpe
490 And wrest up my harpe
With sharp twynkyng trebelles
Agayne all suche rebelles
That laboure to confounde
And brynge the churche to the grounde
495 As ye may dayly se
Howe the lay-fee
Of one affynyte
Consent and agre
Agaynst the churche to be
500 And the dygnyte
Of the bysshoppes [s]ee see] fee G K M
And eyther ye be to badde
Or elles they are madde
Of this to reporte
505 But under your supporte
Tyll my dyenge day
I shall bothe wryte and say
And ye shall do the same
Howe they are to blame
510 You thus to dyffame
For it maketh me sad
Howe the people are glad
The churche to deprave
And some there are that rave
515 Presumyng on theyr owne wytte owne] M omits
Whan there is never a whytte
To maynteyne argumentes
Agaynst the sacramentes
Some make epylogacyon
520 Of hygh predestynacyon
And of resyde[v]acyon resydevacyon] resdenacyon G K M
They make enterpretacyon
Of auquarde facyon
And of the prescyence
525 Of divyne assence assence] essence M
And what ipostacis
Of Chrystes manhode is
Suche logyke men woll choppe
And in theyr fury hoppe
ref.ed: 260
530 Whan the good ale-soppe
Dothe daunce in theyr foretoppe
Bothe women and men
Suche ye may well knowe and ken
That agaynst preesthode agaynst] agayn M
535 Theyr malyce sprede abrode
Raylynge haynously
And dysdaynously
Of preestly dygnytes
By theyr malygnytes By] But K M
540 And some have a smacke
Of Luthers sacke
And a brennynge sparke
Of Luthers warke
And are somewhat suspecte
545 In Luthers secte
And some of them barke
Clatter and carpe
Of that heresy arte
Called Wytclyftista Wytclyftista] Wicleuista M
550 The devylyshe dagmatista
And some be Hussians
And some be Arryans
And some be Pollegyans
And make moche varyans
555 Bytwene the clergye
And the temporaltye
How the churche hath to mykell
And they have to lytell
And brynge in materyalytes in materyalytes] him in maierialites M
560 And qualyfyed qualytes
Of pluralytes
Of tryalytes
And of tot-quottes
They commune lyke sottes sottes] scottes M sottes H
565 As cometh to theyr lottes
Of prebendaries and deanes
Howe some of them glenes
And gathereth up in store gathereth] gathered M
For to catche more and more
ref.ed: 261
570 Of parsons and vycaryes
They make many outcryes
They can nat kepe theyr wyves
From them for theyr lyves
And thus the loselles stryves
575 And lewdely sayes by Chryst
Agaynst the sely preest
Alas and wellaway
What eyles them thus to say
They mought be better advysed
580 Then to be so dysgysed
But they have enterprysed
And shamfully surmysed
How prelacye is solde and bought
And come up of nought
585 And where the prelates be
Come of lowe degre
And set in maieste
And spirytuall dygnyte
Farewell benygnyte
590 Farewell symplycyte
Farewell humylyte
Farewell good charyte
Ye are so puffed with pryde
That no man may abyde
595 Your hygh and lordely lokes
Ye caste up then your bokes
And vertue is forgotten
For then ye wyll be wroken
Of every lyght quarell
600 And call a lorde a iavell
A knyght a knave ye make ye] to K M ye H
Ye boost ye face ye crake
And upon you take
To rule kynge and kayser
605 And yf ye may have layser ye] you K M ye H
Ye wyll brynge all to nought
And that is all your thought
For the lordes temporall
Theyr rule is very small
610 Almoost nothynge at all
ref.ed: 262
Men say howe ye appalle
The noble bloode royall
In ernest and in game
Ye are the lesse to blame
615 For lordes of noble bloode
Yf they well understode understode] understand M
Howe connynge myght them avaunce
They wolde pype you another daunce
But noble-men borne
620 To lerne they have scorne
But hunte and blowe an horne
Lepe over lakes and dykes
Set nothynge by polytykes
Therfore ye kepe them base
625 And mocke them to theyr face
This is a pyteous case
To you that over the whele
Lordes must crouche and knele crouche] couch M cruche H
And breke theyr hose at the kne
630 As dayly men may se
And to remembraunce call
Fortune so tourneth the ball
And ruleth so over all
That honoure hath a great fall
635 Shall I tell you more Ye shall
I am lothe to tell all
But the communalte ye call
Ydolles of Babylon
De terra Zabulon
640 De terra Neptalym
For you love to go trym
Brought up of poore estate
With pryde inordynate
Sodaynly upstarte
645 From the donge-carte
The mattocke and the shovll
To reygne and to rule
And have no grace to thynke
Howe [ye] were wonte to drynke ye] thy G they K M H
650 Of a lether bottell
With a knavysshe stoppell
ref.ed: 263
Whan mammockes was your meate
With moulde brede to eate
Ye coude none other gette coude] wolde K M cowde H
655 To chewe and to g[n]awe gnawe] grawe G gnawe H
To fyll therwith your mawe
Lodged in the strawe
Couchynge your drousy heddes
Somtyme in lousy beddes
660 All this is out of mynde All] Alas K M All MS H
Ye growe nowe out of kynde
Many one ye have untwynde ye have untwynde] have but wynde G K M
And make the commons blynde
But qui se existimat stare
665 Let hym well beware
Leste that his fote slyppe
And have suche a tryppe
And fall in suche decay fall] false K fall H
That all the worlde myght say
670 Come downe on the devyll way devyll] deuils M devyll H
Yet over all that
Of bysshoppes they chat
That though ye rounde your heere
An ynche above your eere
675 And have aures patentes
And parum intendentes
And your [tonsors be croppyd] tonsors be croppyd] coursers betrapped G K M
Your eeres they be stopped
For Mayster Adulator
680 And Doctour Assentator
And Blandior Blandiris
With Mentior Mentiris
They folowe your desyris
And so they blere your eye
685 That ye can nat espye
Howe the male dothe wrye wrye] wryte K M wrye H
Alas for Goddes wyll
Why syt ye prelates styll
And suffre all this yll
690 Ye bysshoppes of estates
Shulde open the brode gates
ref.ed: 264
For your spirytuall charge
And [com forthe] at large com forthe] conforte G K M
Lyke lanternes of lyght
695 In the peoples syght
In pulpyttes autentyke autentyke] attentyke K antentike M
For the wele-publyke
Of preesthode in this case
And all wayes to chase
700 Suche maner of sysmatykes
And halfe-heretykes
That wolde intoxica[te] intoxicate] intoxicall G intrixicate H
That wolde conquinate
That wolde contemminate contemminate] contaminate M H
705 And that wolde vyolate
And that wolde derogate
And that wolde abrogate
The churche hygh estates
After this maner rates
710 The whiche shulde be
Bothe franke and free
And have theyr lyberte
A[s] of antyquyte As] And G K M
It was ratyfyed
715 And also gratyfyed
By holy synodalles
And bulles papalles
As it is res certa
Conteyned in Magna Carta
720 But mayster Damyan
Or some other man
That clerkely is and can
Well scrypture expounde
And hys textes grounde hys] K M omit
725 His benefyce worth ten pounde
Or scante worth twenty marke
And yet a noble clerke
He must do this werke
As I know aparte
730 Some maysters of arte
Some doctours of lawe
Some lerned in other sawe
ref.ed: 265
As in divynyte
That hath no dygnyte
735 But the poore degre
Of the universyte
Or elles frere Frederyk
Or elles frere Dominyk
Or frere Hugulinus
740 Or frere Augustinus
Or frere Carmellus
That goostly can heale us
Or elles yf we may
Gette a frere gray
745 Or elles of the order
Upon Grenewytche border
Called Observaunce
And a frere of Fraunce
Or elles the poore Scot
750 It must come to his lot
To shote forthe his shot
Or of Babvell_besyde_Bery
To postell upon a kyry
That wolde it shulde be noted
755 How scrypture shulde be coted
And so clerkely promoted
And yet the frere doted
[But men say] your auctoryte But men say] Men say but G K M
And your noble se se] fee M see H
760 And your dygnyte
Shulde be imprynted better
Then all the freres letter
But yf ye wolde take payne
To preche a worde or twayne
765 Though it were never so playne
With clauses two or thre
So as they myght be
Compendyously conveyed
These words shuld be more weyed These words] Those words M This H
770 And better perceyved
And thankefullyer receyved
And better shulde remayne
Amonge the people playne
ref.ed: 266
That wolde your wordes retayne
775 And reherse them agayne
Than a thousande thousande other
That blaber barke and blother
And make a Welchmans hose
Of the texte and the glose
780 For protestacyon made
That I wyll nat wade
Farther in this broke
Nor farther for to loke
In devysynge of this boke
785 But answere that I may
For myselfe alway
Eyther analogice
Or elles cathagorice
So that in divynyte
790 Doctours that lerned be
Nor bachelers of that faculte
That hath taken degre
In the unyversyte
Shall nat be obiected by me by] for K M at by H
795 But doctour Bullatus
Parum litteratus
Dominus doctoratus
At the Brode gatus
Doctour Daupatus
800 And bacheler Bacheleratus
Dronken as a mouse
At the ale-house
Taketh his pyllyon and his cappe
At the good ale-tappe
805 For lacke of good wyne
As wyse as Robyn_Swyne
Under a notaries sygne a] an K a H
Was made a divyne
As wyse as Waltoms calfe
810 Must preche a Goddes halfe
In the pulpyt solempnely
More mete in a pyllory
For by saynt Hyllary
ref.ed: 267
He can nothynge smatter
815 Of logyke nor scole-matter
Neyther sylogysare
Nor of [enthymemare] enthymemare] emptymeniare G K M entimemare H
Nor knoweth not his el[enke]s elenkes] eloquens G K M
Nor his predicamentes
820 And yet he wyll melle
To amende the gospell
And wyll preche and tell
What they do in hell
And he dare nat well neven
825 What they do in heven
Nor how farre Temple Barre is
From the seven sterrys
Nowe wyll I go
And tell of other mo
830 Semper protestando
De non impugnando
The foure ordres of freres
Though some of them by lyres lyres] lyers K M lyars H
As limyters at large
835 Wyll charge and dyscharge
As many a frere God wote
Preches for his grote
Flatterynge for a newe cote
And for to have his fees
840 Some to gather chese
Lothe they are to lese
Eyther corne or malte
Somtyme meale and salte
Somtyme a bacon-flycke
845 That is thre fyngers thycke
Of larde and of grece
Theyr covent to encrease
I put you out of dout
This can nat be brought about
850 But they theyr tonges fyle
And make a pleasaunt style
To Margery and to Maude
Howe they have no f[r]aude fraude] faude G fawte H
ref.ed: 268
And somtyme they provoke
855 Bothe Gyll and Iacke_at_Noke
Theyr dewtyes to withdrawe
That they ought by the lawe
Theyr curates to content
In open tyde and in lent open tyde] open tyme K M Ester tyde H
860 God wotte they take great payne
To flatter and to fayne
But it is an olde sayd sawe it] K omits
That nede hath no lawe
Some walke about in melottes
865 In gray russet and heery cotes
Some wyl neyther golde ne grotes
Some plucke a partryche in remotes
And by the barres of her tayle of] if M of H
Wyll knowe a raven from a rayle
870 A quayle the rayle the olde raven
Sed libera nos a malo Amen
And by Dudum theyr Clementyne
Agaynst curates they repyne they] K M omit, they H
And say properly thei are sacerdotes
875 To shryve assoyle and to reles
Dame Margeres soule out of hell
But whan the frere fell in the well
He coude nat synge hymselfe therout
But by the helpe of Christen_Clout
880 Another Clementyne also
Howe frere Fabian with other mo
Exivit de paradiso
When thei agayn thyder shal come
De hoc petimus consilium
885 And through all the worlde thei go
With Diryge and Placebo
But now my mynde ye understande
For they must take in hande
To preche and withstande
890 All maner of abiections
For bysshoppes have protections
They say to do corrections
But they have no affections affections] afflictions K affeccions H
To take sadde dyrections sadde] the sayd K M
ref.ed: 269
895 In suche maner of cases
Men say they bere no faces
To occupye suche places
To s[ow]e the sede of graces sowe] save G sowe H
Theyr hertes are so faynted
900 And they be so attaynted
With covytous ambycyon ambycyon] and ambycyon K M ambyssyon H
And other superstycyon
That they be deefe and dum
And play scylence and glum
905 Can say nothynge but mum
They occupy them so
With syngynge Placebo
They wyll no farder go
They had lever to please
910 And take theyr worldly ease
Than to take on hande
Worshyp[fully] to withstande worshypfully] worshyp G K M
Suche temporall warre and bate
As now is made of late
915 Agaynst holy churche estate
Or to maynteyne good quarelles
The lay-men call them barelles
Full of glotony
And of ypocrysy
920 That counterfeytes and payntes
As they were very sayntes
In matters that them lyke
They shewe them polytyke
Pretendynge gravyte
925 And seygnyoryte
With all solempnyte
For theyr indempnyte
For they wyll have no losse
Of a peny nor of a crosse
930 Of theyr predyall landes
That cometh to theyr handes
And as farre as they dare set
All is fysshe that cometh to the net to the net] to net M to nett H
Buyldynge royally
935 Theyr mancyons curyously
ref.ed: 270
With turrettes and with toures
With halles and with boures
Stretchynge to the sterres
With glasse wyndowes and barres
940 Hangynge about the walles
Clothes of golde and paules
Arayse of ryche aray
Fresshe as flours in May
With Dame Dyana naked
945 Howe lusty Venus quaked
And howe Cupyde shaked
His dart and bent his bowe
For to shote a crowe
At her tyrly_tyrlowe
950 And howe Parys of Troy
Daunced a lege_moy lege moy] lege de moy K M
Made lusty sporte and ioy
With Dame Helyn the quene
With suche storyes bydene
955 Theyr chambres well sene
With tryumphes of Cesar
And of his Pompeyus warre
Of renowne and of fame
By them to gette a name
960 Howe all the worlde stares
Howe they ryde in goodly chares
Conveyde by olyfauntes
With lauryat garlantes
And by unycornes
965 With theyr semely hornes
Upon these beestes rydynge
Naked boyes strydynge
With wanton wenches wynkyng
Nowe trewely to my thynkyng
970 That is a speculacyon
And a mete meditacyon
For prelates of estate
Theyr courage to abate
From worldly wantones
975 Theyr chambre thus to dresse
ref.ed: 271
With suche perfytenesse
And all suche holynesse
Howebeit they let downe fall
Theyr churches cathedrall
980 Squyre knyght and lorde
Thus the churche remorde
With all temporall people
They renne agaynst the steple
Thus talkynge and tellynge
985 Howe some of you are mellynge
Yet softe and fayre for swellynge
Beware of a quenes yellynge
It is a besy thynge
For one man to rule a kynge kynge] gyng K kyng H
990 Alone and make rekenynge
To governe over all
And rule a realme royall
By one mannes wytte
Fortune may chaunce to flytte
995 And whan he weneth to sytte
Yet may he mysse the quysshon
For I rede a preposycyon rede a] reda M rede by H
Cum regibus amicare
Et omnibus dominare
1000 Et supra te gravare
Wherfore he hath good ure
That can hymselfe assure
How fortune wyll endure
Than lette reason you supporte
1005 For the communalte reporte reporte] K M omit, dothe reporte H
That they have great wonder
That ye kepe them so under ye] we K ye H
Yet they mervayle so moche lesse
For ye play so at the chesse
1010 As they suppose and gesse
That some of you but late
Hath played so checkmate
With lordes of great estate
After suche a rate
1015 That they shall mell nor make
ref.ed: 272
Nor upon them take
For kynge nor kayser sake
But at the pleasure of one
That ruleth the rest alone
1020 Helas I say helas
Howe may this come to pas
That a man shall here a masse
And nat so hardy on his hede nat] M omits, not H
To loke on God in fourme of brede
1025 But that the parysshe-clerke
Therupon must herke
And graunte hym at his askynge
For to se the sacrynge
And howe may this accorde
1030 No man to our sovereygne lorde
So hardy to make suete
Nor to execute
His commaundement
Without the assent
1035 Of your presydent
Nor to expresse to his parson
Without Without] Without your consentacyon K Without your assentacion M Without george gascone H
Graunte hym his lycence
To prease to his presence
1040 Nor to speke to hym secretly
Openly nor prevyly
Without his presydent be by
Or elles his substytute
Whome he wyll depute
1045 Neyther erle ne duke
Perm[ytt]ed By saynt Luke Permytted] Permed G Now H
And by swete saynt Marke
This is a wonderous warke
That the people talke this
1050 Somwhat there is amysse
The devyll can nat stop their mouthes
But they wyl talke of suche uncouthes
All that ever they ken
Agaynst all spirytuall men
1055 Whether it be wronge or ryght
Or elles for despyght
ref.ed: 273
Or howeever it hap
Theyr tonges thus do clap
And through suche detractyon
1060 They put you to your actyon
And whether they say trewly
As they may byde therby
Or elles that they do lye
Ye knowe better than I
1065 But nowe debetis scire
And groundly audire
In your convenire
Of this premenyre
Or elles in the myre
1070 They say they wyll you cast
Therfore stande sure and fast
Stande sure and take good fotyng
And let be all your motynge
Your gasynge and your totynge
1075 And your parcyall promotynge
Of those that stande in your grace
But olde servauntes ye chase
And put them out of theyr place
Make ye no murmuracyon
1080 Though I wryte after this facyon
Though I Collyn_Clout
Amongest the hole rout
Of you that clerkes be
Take upon me Take upon me] Take now upon K I take now uppon H
1085 Thus copyously to wryte
I do it nat for no despyte
Wherfore take no dysdayne
At my style rude and playne
For I rebuke no man
1090 That vertuous is Why than
Wreke ye your anger on me
For those that vertuous be
Ha[ve] no cause to say have] hath G have H
That I speke out of the way
1095 Of no good bysshop speke I
Nor good preest I escrye I escrye] of the clargy M askrye H
Good frere nor good chanon
ref.ed: 274
Good nonne nor good canon
Good monke nor good clerke
1100 Nor of no good werke
But my recountynge is
Of them that do amys
In spekynge and rebellynge
In hyndrynge and dysavaylynge
1105 Holy churche our mother
One agayne another
To use suche despytynge despytynge] despysyng K M dysputyng H
Is all my hole wrytynge
To hynder no man
1110 As nere as I can
For no man have I named
Wherfore shulde I be blamed be] M omits
Ye ought to be ashamed
Agaynst me to be gr[am]ed gramed] greved G K M H
1115 And can nat tell no cause why can nat] can M H
But that I wryte trewly
Then yf any there be
Of hygh or lowe degre
Of the spirytualte
1120 Or of the temporalte
That doth thynke or wene
That his conscyence be nat clene
And feleth hymselfe sycke
Or touched on the quycke
1125 Suche grace God them sende
Themselfe to amende
For I wyll nat pretende
Any man to offende
Wherfore as thynketh me
1130 Great ydeottes they be
And lytell grace they have
This treatyse to deprave
Nor wyll here no prechynge
Nor no vertuous techynge
1135 Nor wyll have no resytynge
Of any vertuous wrytynge
ref.ed: 275
Wyll knowe none intellygence
To refourme theyr neglygence
But lyve styll out of facyon
1140 To theyr owne dampnacyon
To do shame they have no shame
But they wolde no man shuld them blame
They have an evyll name
But yet they wyll occupye the same
1145 With them the worde of God
Is counted for no rod
They counte it for a raylynge
That nothynge is avaylynge
The prechers with evyll haylynge
1150 Shall they taunt us prelates taunt] daunt K M teche MS H
That be theyr prymates
Nat so hardy on theyr pates
Harke howe the losell prates
With a wyde wesaunt
1155 Avaunt Syr Gye of Gaunt
Avaunt lewde preest avaunt
Avaunt syr doctour De[u]yas Deuyas] dyvers M Devias H
Prate of thy matens and thy mas
And let our matters pas matters] matter K maters M medlyng H
1160 How darest thou daucocke mell
Howe darest thou losell
Allygate the gospell
Agaynst us of the counsell
Avaunt to the devyll of hell
1165 Take him wardeyn of the Flete
Set hym fast by the fete
I say lieutenaunt of the Toure
Make this lurdeyne for to loure
Lodge hym in Lytell Ease
1170 Fede hym with beanes and pease
The Kynges Benche or Marshalsy
Have hym thyder by and by
The vyllayne precheth openly
And declareth our vyllany
1175 And of our fee-symplenes fee] fre K M H omits
He sayes that we are recheles
ref.ed: 276
And full of wylfulnes
Shameles and mercyles
Incorrigible and insaciate
1180 And after this rate
Agaynst us dothe prate
At Poules_Crosse or elswhere
Openly at Westmynstere
And Saynt_Mary_Spytell
1185 They set nat by us a shyttell shytell] whystell K M shetyll H
And at the Austen Fryars
They counte us for lyars
And at Saynt_Thomas_of_Akers
They carpe of us lyke crakers
1190 Howe we wyll rule all at wyll
Without good reason or skyll
And say howe that we be
Full of parcyallyte
And howe at a pronge
1195 We tourne ryght into wronge
Delay causes so longe
That ryght no man can fonge
They say many matters be borne
By the ryght of a rambes-horne
1200 Is nat this a shamfull scorne
To be tered thus and torne
Howe may we thus endure
Wherfore we make you sure
Ye prechers shall be yawde
1205 Some shall be sawde
As noble [Isaias] Isaias] Ezechyes G K M I say was H
The holy prophet was was] Ozeas H
And some of you shall dye
Lyke holy Ieremy
1210 Some hanged some slayne
Some beaten to the brayne
And we wyll rule and rayne
And our matters mayntayne
Who dare say there agayne
1215 Or who dare dysdayne
At our pleasure and wyll our] your K M owur H
For be it good be it yll
ref.ed: 277
As it is it shall be styll
For all maister Doctour of Cyvyll
1220 Or of Divynyte or Doctour Dryvyll Divynyte] Divine M deuynite H Dryvyll] oryll H
Let him cough rough or snevyll
Renne god renne devyll
Renne who may renne best
And let take all the rest
1225 We set nat a nutte-shell
The way to heven or to hell
Lo this is the gyse noweadayes
It is to drede men sayes
Lest they be Seduces Seduces] Saducies M Adusayes H
1230 As they be sad sayne sad] sayd K M
Whiche determyne playne
We shulde nat ryse agayne
At dredfull Domesday
And so it semeth they play
1235 Whiche hate to be corrected
Whan they be infected
Nor wyll suffre this boke
By hoke ne by croke
Prynted for to be
1240 For that no man shulde se
Nor rede in any scrolles
Of theyr dronken nolles
Nor of theyr noddy-polles
Nor of theyr sely soules
1245 Nor of some wytles pates
Of dyvers great estates
As well as other men
Nowe to withdrawe my pen
And now a whyle to rest
1250 Me semeth it for the best
The forecastell of my shyppe
Shall glyde and smothely slyppe
Out of the wawes wodde
Of the stormy flodde
1255 Shote anker and lye at rode
And sayle nat farre abrode
Tyll the coost be clere
ref.ed: 278
That the lodesterre appere
My shyp nowe wyll I stere stere] pere K M stere H
1260 Towarde the porte-salue
Of our Savyoure Iesu
Suche grace that he us sende
To rectyfye and amende
Thynges that are amys
1265 Whan that his pleasure is
In opere imperfecto In opere semper perfecto Et in opere plusquam perfecto
Colinus_Cloutus Quanquam mea carmina multis
Sordescunt stulte sed pneumata sunt rara cultis
Pneumatis altisoni divino flamine flatis
Unde mea refert tanto minus invida quamvis
5 Lingua nocere parat quia quanquam rustica canto
Undique cantabor tamen et celebrabor ubique
Inclita dum maneat gens Anglica Laurus honoris
Quondam regnorum regina et gloria regum
Heu modo marcescit tabescit languida torpet
10 Ah pudet Ah miseret Vetor hic ego pandere plura
Pro gemitu et lacrimis prestet peto premia pena