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John Skelton

I say, thou mad March hare.

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He that spareth the rod hateth his son.

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Arectyng my syght

Arectyng my syght towarde the zodyake,
The sygnes xii for to beholde a farre,
When Mars retrogradant reuersyd his bak,
Lord of the yere in his orbicular,
Put vp his sworde, for he cowde make no warre,
And whan Lucina plenarly did shyne,
Scorpione ascendynge degrees twyse nyne.

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To Mistress Margery Wentworth -2

With margerain gentle,
The flower of goodlihead,
Embroidered the mantle
Is of your maidenhead.
Plainly I cannot glose;
Ye be, as I divine,
The pretty primrose,
The goodly columbine.

Benign, courteous, and meek,
With wordes well devised;
In you, who list to seek,
Be virtues well comprised.
With margerain gentle,
The flower of goodlihead,
Embroidered the mantle
Is of your maidenhead.

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WHY were ye Calliope embrawdered with letters of golde ?

CALLIOPE,
As ye may se,
Regent is she
Of poetes al,
Whiche gaue to me
The high degre
Laureat to be
Of fame royall ;
Whose name enrolde
With silke and golde
I dare be bolde
Thus for to were.
Of her I holde
And her householde ;
Though I waxe olde
And somdele sere,
Yet is she fayne,
Voyde of disdayn,
Me to retayn
Her seruiture :

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To Mistress Margery Wentworth

WITH margerain gentle,
   The flower of goodlihead,
Embroidered the mantle
   Is of your maidenhead.
Plainly I cannot glose;
   Ye be, as I divine,
The pretty primrose,
   The goodly columbine.

Benign, courteous, and meek,
   With wordes well devised;
In you, who list to seek,
   Be virtues well comprised.
With margerain gentle,
   The flower of goodlihead,
Embroidered the mantle
   Is of your maidenhead.

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Go, Piteous Heart

GO, pytyous hart, rasyd with dedly wo,
Persyd with payn, bleding with wondes smart,
Bewayle thy fortune, with vaynys wan and blo.
O Fortune vnfrendly, Fortune vnkynde thow art,
To be so cruell and so ouerthwart,
To suffer me so carefull to endure,
That wher I loue best I dare not dyscure !

One there is, and euer one shalbe,
For whose sake my hart is sore dyseasyd ;
For whose loue, welcom dysease to me !
I am content so all partys be pleasyd :
Yet, and God wold, I wold my payne were easyd !
But Fortune enforsyth me so carefully to endure,
That where I loue best I dare not dyscure.

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Cuncta Licet Cecidisse Putas Discrimina Rerum

Cuncta licet cecidisse putas discrimina rerum,
Et prius incerta nunc tibi certa manent,
Consiliis usure meis tamen aspice caute,
Subdola non fallat te dea fraude sua:
Saepe solet placido mortales fallere vultu,
Et cute sub placida tabida saepe dolent;
Ut quando secura putas et cuncta serena,
Anguis sub viridi gramine saepe latet.
Though ye suppose all jeperdys ar paste,
And all is done that ye lokyd for before,
Ware yet, I rede you, of Fortunes dowble cast,
For one fals poynt she is wont to kepe in store,
And vnder the fell oft festered is the sore:
That when ye thynke all daunger for to pas,
Ware of the lesard lyeth lurkyng in the gras.

Qd Skelton, laureat.

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To Mistress Isabell Pennell

By Saint Mary, my lady,
Your mammy and your dady
Brought forth a goodly baby !
My maiden Isabel,
Reflaring rosabell,
The flagrant camamell,
The ruddy rosary,
The sovereign rosemary,
The pretty strawberry,
The columbine, the nepte,
The jeloffer well set,
The proper violet ;
Ennewëd your colowre
Is like the daisy flower
After the April shower ;
Star of the morrow gray,
The blossom on the spray,
The freshest flower of May :
Maidenly demure,
Of womanhood the lure ;

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A prayer to the Father of heaven

O radiant luminary of light interminable,
Celestial Father, potential God of might,
Of heaven and earth O Lord incomparable,
Of all perfections the essential most perfite !
O maker of mankind, that formëd day and night,
Whose power imperial comprehendeth every place :
Mine heart, my mind, my thought, my whole delight
Is after this life to see thy glorious face.

Whose magnificense is incomprehensible,
All arguments of reason which far doth exceed,
Whose deity doubtless is indivisible,
From whom all goodness and virtue doth proceed ;
Of thy support all creätures have need :
Assist me, good Lord, and grant my of thy grace
To live to thy pleasure in word, thought, and deed,
And after this life to see thy glorious face.

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