Submit Your Poems
Get Your Premium Membership

Best Famous Thomas Chatterton Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Thomas Chatterton poems. This is a select list of the best famous Thomas Chatterton poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Thomas Chatterton poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Thomas Chatterton poems.

Search for the best famous Thomas Chatterton poems, articles about Thomas Chatterton poems, poetry blogs, or anything else Thomas Chatterton poem related using the PoetrySoup search engine at the top of the page.

See also: Best Member Poems

Go Back

by Thomas Chatterton |

Song from Aella

 O SING unto my roundelay, 
O drop the briny tear with me; 
Dance no more at holyday, 
Like a running river be: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

Black his cryne as the winter night, 
White his rode as the summer snow, 
Red his face as the morning light, 
Cold he lies in the grave below: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

Sweet his tongue as the throstle's note, 
Quick in dance as thought can be, 
Deft his tabor, cudgel stout; 
O he lies by the willow-tree! 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

Hark! the raven flaps his wing 
In the brier'd dell below; 
Hark! the death-owl loud doth sing 
To the nightmares, as they go: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

See! the white moon shines on high; 
Whiter is my true-love's shroud: 
Whiter than the morning sky, 
Whiter than the evening cloud: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

Here upon my true-love's grave 
Shall the barren flowers be laid; 
Not one holy saint to save 
All the coldness of a maid: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

With my hands I'll dent the briers 
Round his holy corse to gre: 
Ouph and fairy, light your fires, 
Here my body still shall be: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree. 

Come, with acorn-cup and thorn, 
Drain my heartes blood away; 
Life and all its good I scorn, 
Dance by night, or feast by day: 
 My love is dead, 
 Gone to his death-bed 
All under the willow-tree.


by Thomas Chatterton |

Narva and Mored

 Recite the loves of Narva and Mored 
The priest of Chalma's triple idol said. 
High from the ground the youthful warriors sprung, 
Loud on the concave shell the lances rung: 
In all the mystic mazes of the dance, 
The youths of Banny's burning sands advance, 
Whilst the soft virgin panting looks behind, 
And rides upon the pinions of the wind; 
Ascends the mountain's brow, and measures round 
The steepy cliffs of Chalma's sacred ground, 
Chalma, the god whose noisy thunders fly 
Thro' the dark covering of the midnight sky, 
Whose arm directs the close-embattled host, 
And sinks the labouring vessels on the coast; 
Chalma, whose excellence is known from far; 
From Lupa's rocky hill to Calabar. 
The guardian god of Afric and the isles, 
Where nature in her strongest vigour smiles; 
Where the blue blossom of the forky thorn, 
Bends with the nectar of the op'ning morn: 
Where ginger's aromatic, matted root, 
Creep through the mead, and up the mountains shoot. 
Three times the virgin, swimming on the breeze, 
Danc'd in the shadow of the mystic trees: 
When, like a dark cloud spreading to the view, 
The first-born sons of war and blood pursue; 
Swift as the elk they pour along the plain; 
Swift as the flying clouds distilling rain. 
Swift as the boundings of the youthful row, 
They course around, and lengthen as they go. 
Like the long chain of rocks, whose summits rise, 
Far in the sacred regions of the skies; 
Upon whose top the black'ning tempest lours, 
Whilst down its side the gushing torrent pours, 
Like the long cliffy mountains which extend 
From Lorbar's cave, to where the nations end, 
Which sink in darkness, thick'ning and obscure, 
Impenetrable, mystic, and impure; 
The flying terrors of the war advance, 
And round the sacred oak, repeat the dance. 
Furious they twist around the gloomy trees, 
Like leaves in autumn, twirling with the breeze. 
So when the splendor of the dying day 
Darts the red lustre of the watery way; 
Sudden beneath Toddida's whistling brink, 
The circling billows in wild eddies sink, 
Whirl furious round, and the loud bursting wave 
Sinks down to Chalma's sacerdotal cave, 
Explores the palaces on Zira's coast, 
Where howls the war-song of the chieftain's ghost; 
Where the artificer in realms below, 
Gilds the rich lance, or beautifies the bow; 
From the young palm tree spins the useful twine, 
Or makes the teeth of elephants divine. 
Where the pale children of the feeble sun, 
In search of gold, thro' every climate run: 
From burning heat to freezing torments go, 
And live in all vicissitudes of woe. 
Like the loud eddies of Toddida's sea, 
The warriors circle the mysterious tree: 
'Till spent with exercise they spread around 
Upon the op'ning blossoms of the ground. 
The priestess rising, sings the sacred tale, 
And the loud chorus echoes thro' the dale. 

Priestess 

Far from the burning sands of Calabar; 
Far from the lustre of the morning star; 
Far from the pleasure of the holy morn; 
Far from the blessedness of Chalma's horn: 
Now rests the souls of Narva and Mored, 
Laid in the dust, and number'd with the dead. 
Dear are their memories to us, and long, 
Long shall their attributes be known in song. 
Their lives were transient as the meadow flow'r. 
Ripen'd in ages, wither'd in an hour. 
Chalma, reward them in his gloomy cave, 
And open all the prisons of the grave. 
Bred to the service of the godhead's throne, 
And living but to serve his God alone, 
Narva was beauteous as the opening day 
When on the spangling waves the sunbeams play, 
When the mackaw, ascending to the sky, 
Views the bright splendour with a steady eye. 
Tall, as the house of Chalma's dark retreat; 
Compact and firm, as Rhadal Ynca's fleet, 
Completely beauteous as a summer's sun, 
Was Narva, by his excellence undone. 
Where the soft Togla creeps along the meads, 
Thro' scented Calamus and fragrant reeds; 
Where the sweet Zinsa spreads its matted bed 
Liv'd the still sweeter flower, the young Mored; 
Black was her face, as Togla's hidden cell; 
Soft as the moss where hissing adders dwell. 
As to the sacred court she brought a fawn, 
The sportive tenant of the spicy lawn, 
She saw and loved! and Narva too forgot 
His sacred vestment and his mystic lot. 
Long had the mutual sigh, the mutual tear, 
Burst from the breast and scorn'd confinement there. 
Existence was a torment! O my breast! 
Can I find accents to unfold the rest! 
Lock'd in each others arms, from Hyga's cave, 
They plung'd relentless to a wat'ry grave; 
And falling murmured to the powers above, 
"Gods! take our lives, unless we live to love."


by Thomas Chatterton |

Heccar and Gaira

 Where the rough Caigra rolls the surgy wave, 
Urging his thunders thro' the echoing cave; 
Where the sharp rocks, in distant horror seen, 
Drive the white currents thro' the spreading green; 
Where the loud tiger, pawing in his rage, 
Bids the black archers of the wilds engage; 
Stretch'd on the sand, two panting warriors lay, 
In all the burning torments of the day; 
Their bloody jav'lins reeked one living steam, 
Their bows were broken at the roaring stream; 
Heccar the Chief of Jarra's fruitful hill, 
Where the dark vapours nightly dews distil, 
Saw Gaira the companion of his soul, 
Extended where loud Caigra's billows roll; 
Gaira, the king of warring archers found, 
Where daily lightnings plough the sandy ground, 
Where brooding tempests bowl along the sky, 
Where rising deserts whirl'd in circles fly. 

Heccar. 
Gaira, 'tis useless to attempt the chace, 
Swifter than hunted wolves they urge the race; 
Their lessening forms elude the straining eye, 
Upon the plumage of macaws they fly. 
Let us return, and strip the reeking slain 
Leaving the bodies on the burning plain. 

Gaira. 
Heccar, my vengeance still exclaims for blood, 
'Twould drink a wider stream than Caigra's flood. 
This jav'lin, oft in nobler quarrels try'd, 
Put the loud thunder of their arms aside. 
Fast as the streaming rain, I pour'd the dart, 
Hurling a whirlwind thro' the trembling heart; 
But now my ling'ring feet revenge denies, 
O could I throw my jav'lin from my eyes! 

Heccar. 
When Gaira the united armies broke, 
Death wing'd the arrow; death impell'd the stroke. 
See, pil'd in mountains, on the sanguine sand 
The blasted of the lightnings of thy hand. 
Search the brown desert, and the glossy green; 
There are the trophies of thy valour seen. 
The scatter'd bones mantled in silver white, 
Once animated, dared the force in fight. 
The children of the wave, whose pallid face, 
Views the faint sun display a languid face, 
From the red fury of thy justice fled, 
Swifter than torrents from their rocky bed. 
Fear with a sickened silver ting'd their hue; 
The guilty fear, when vengeance is their due. 

Gaira. 
Rouse not Remembrance from her shadowy cell, 
Nor of those bloody sons of mischief tell. 
Cawna, O Cawna! deck'd in sable charms, 
What distant region holds thee from my arms? 
Cawna, the pride of Afric's sultry vales, 
Soft as the cooling murmur of the gales, 
Majestic as the many colour'd snake, 
Trailing his glories thro' the blossom'd brake; 
Black as the glossy rocks, where Eascal roars, 
Foaming thro' sandy wastes to Jaghir's shores; 
Swift as the arrow, hasting to the breast, 
Was Cawna, the companion of my rest. 

The sun sat low'ring in the western sky, 
The swelling tempest spread around the eye; 
Upon my Cawna's bosom I reclin'd, 
Catching the breathing whispers of the wind 
Swift from the wood a prowling tiger came; 
Dreadful his voice, his eyes a glowing flame; 
I bent the bow, the never-erring dart 
Pierced his rough armour, but escaped his heart; 
He fled, tho' wounded, to a distant waste, 
I urg'd the furious flight with fatal haste; 
He fell, he died-- spent in the fiery toil, 
I strip'd his carcase of the furry spoil, 
And as the varied spangles met my eye, 
On this, I cried, shall my loved Cawna lie. 
The dusky midnight hung the skies in grey; 
Impell'd by love, I wing'd the airy way; 
In the deep valley and mossy plain, 
I sought my Cawna, but I sought in vain, 
The pallid shadows of the azure waves 
Had made my Cawna, and my children slaves. 
Reflection maddens, to recall the hour, 
The gods had given me to the demon's power. 
The dusk slow vanished from the hated lawn, 
I gain'd a mountain glaring with the dawn. 
There the full sails, expanded to the wind, 
Struck horror and distraction in my mind, 
There Cawna mingled with a worthless train, 
In common slavery drags the hated chain. 
Now judge, my Heccar, have I cause for rage? 
Should aught the thunder of my arm assuage? 
In ever-reeking blood this jav'lin dyed 
With vengeance shall be never satisfied; 
I'll strew the beaches with the mighty dead 
And tinge the lily of their features red. 

Heccar. 
When the loud shriekings of the hostile cry 
Roughly salute my ear, enraged I'll fly; 
Send the sharp arrow quivering thro' the heart 
Chill the hot vitals with the venom'd dart; 
Nor heed the shining steel or noisy smoke, 
Gaira and Vengeance shall inspire the stroke.


by Thomas Chatterton |

February

 Begin, my muse, the imitative lay, 
Aonian doxies sound the thrumming string; 
Attempt no number of the plaintive Gay, 
Let me like midnight cats, or Collins sing. 
If in the trammels of the doleful line 
The bounding hail, or drilling rain descend; 
Come, brooding Melancholy, pow'r divine, 
And ev'ry unform'd mass of words amend. 

Now the rough goat withdraws his curling horns, 
And the cold wat'rer twirls his circling mop: 
Swift sudden anguish darts thro' alt'ring corns, 
And the spruce mercer trembles in his shop. 

Now infant authors, madd'ning for renown, 
Extend the plume, and him about the stage, 
Procure a benefit, amuse the town, 
And proudly glitter in a title page. 

Now, wrapt in ninefold fur, his squeamish grace 
Defies the fury of the howling storm; 
And whilst the tempest whistles round his face, 
Exults to find his mantled carcase warm. 

Now rumbling coaches furious drive along, 
Full of the majesty of city dames, 
Whose jewels sparkling in the gaudy throng, 
Raise strange emotions and invidious flames. 

Now Merit, happy in the calm of place, 
To mortals as a highlander appears, 
And conscious of the excellence of lace, 
With spreading frogs and gleaming spangles glares. 

Whilst Envy, on a tripod seated nigh, 
In form a shoe-boy, daubs the valu'd fruit, 
And darting lightnings from his vengeful eye, 
Raves about Wilkes, and politics, and Bute. 

Now Barry, taller than a grenadier, 
Dwindles into a stripling of eighteen; 
Or sabled in Othello breaks the ear, 
Exerts his voice, and totters to the scene. 

Now Foote, a looking-glass for all mankind, 
Applies his wax to personal defects; 
But leaves untouch'd the image of the mind, 
His art no mental quality reflects. 

Now Drury's potent kind extorts applause, 
And pit, box, gallery, echo, "how divine!" 
Whilst vers'd in all the drama's mystic laws, 
His graceful action saves the wooden line. 

Now-- but what further can the muses sing? 
Now dropping particles of water fall; 
Now vapours riding on the north wind's wing, 
With transitory darkness shadow all. 

Alas! how joyless the descriptive theme, 
When sorrow on the writer's quiet preys 
And like a mouse in Cheshire cheese supreme, 
Devours the substance of the less'ning bays. 

Come, February, lend thy darkest sky. 
There teach the winter'd muse with clouds to soar; 
Come, February, lift the number high; 
Let the sharp strain like wind thro' alleys roar. 

Ye channels, wand'ring thro' the spacious street, 
In hollow murmurs roll the dirt along, 
With inundations wet the sabled feet, 
Whilst gouts responsive, join th'elegiac song. 

Ye damsels fair, whose silver voices shrill, 
Sound thro' meand'ring folds of Echo's horn; 
Let the sweet cry of liberty be still, 
No more let smoking cakes awake the morn. 

O, Winter! Put away the snowy pride; 
O, Spring! Neglect the cowslip and the bell; 
O, Summer! Throw thy pears and plums aside; 
O, Autumn! Bid the grape with poison swell. 

The pension'd muse of Johnson is no more! 
Drown'd in a butt of wine his genius lies; 
Earth! Ocean! Heav'n! The wond'rous loss deplore, 
The dregs of nature with her glory dies. 

What iron Stoic can suppress the tear; 
What sour reviewer read with vacant eye! 
What bard but decks his literary bier! 
Alas! I cannot sing-- I howl-- I cry--


by Thomas Chatterton |

Sly Dick

 Sharp was the frost, the wind was high 
And sparkling stars bedeckt the sky 
Sly Dick in arts of cunning skill'd, 
Whose rapine all his pockets fill'd, 
Had laid him down to take his rest 
And soothe with sleep his anxious breast. 
'Twas thus a dark infernal sprite 
A native of the blackest night, 
Portending mischief to devise 
Upon Sly Dick he cast his eyes; 
Then straight descends the infernal sprite, 
And in his chamber does alight; 
In visions he before him stands, 
And his attention he commands. 
Thus spake the sprite-- hearken my friend, 
And to my counsels now attend. 
Within the garret's spacious dome 
There lies a well stor'd wealthy room, 
Well stor'd with cloth and stockings too, 
Which I suppose will do for you, 
First from the cloth take thou a purse, 
For thee it will not be the worse, 
A noble purse rewards thy pains, 
A purse to hold thy filching gains; 
Then for the stockings let them reeve 
And not a scrap behind thee leave, 
Five bundles for a penny sell 
And pence to thee will come pell mell; 
See it be done with speed and care 
Thus spake the sprite and sunk in air. 
When in the morn with thoughts erect 
Sly Dick did on his dreams reflect, 
Why faith, thinks he, 'tis something too, 
It might-- perhaps-- it might be true, 
I'll go and see-- away he hies, 
And to the garret quick he flies, 
Enters the room, cuts up the clothes 
And after that reeves up the hose; 
Then of the cloth he purses made, 
Purses to hold his filching trade.


by Thomas Chatterton |

Eclogues

 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. 

The bollengers and cottes, so swyfte yn fyghte, 
Upon the sydes of everich bark appere; 
Foorthe to his office lepethe everych knyghte, 
Eftsoones hys squyer, with hys shielde and spere. 
The jynynge shieldes doe shemre and moke glare; 
The dosheynge oare doe make gemoted dynne; 
The reynyng foemen, thynckeynge gif to dare, 
Boun the merk swerde, theie seche to fraie, theie blyn. 
Sprytes of the bleste, and everyche Seyncte ydedde, 
Poure owte yer pleasaunce onn mie fadres hedde. 

V. 

Now comm the warrynge Sarasyns to fyghte; 
Kynge Rycharde, lyche a lyoncel of warre, 
Inne sheenynge goulde, lyke feerie gronfers, dyghte, 
Shaketh alofe hys honde, and seene afarre. 
Syke haveth I espyde a greter starre 
Amenge the drybblett ons to sheene fulle bryghte; 
Syke sunnys wayne wyth amayl'd beames doe barr 
The blaunchie mone or estells to gev lyghte. 
Sprytes of the bleste, and everich Seyncte ydedde, 
Poure owte your pleasaunce on mie fadres hedde. 

VI. 

Distraughte affraie, wythe lockes of blodde-red die. 
Terroure, emburled yn the thonders rage, 
Deathe, lynked to dismaie, dothe ugsomme flie, 
Enchafynge echone champyonne war to wage. 
Speeres bevyle speres; swerdes upon swerdes engage; 
Armoure on armoure dynn, shielde upon shielde; 
Ne dethe of thosandes can the warre assuage, 
Botte falleynge nombers sable all the feelde. 
Sprytes of the bleste, and everych Seyncte ydedde, 
Poure owte youre pleasaunce on mie fadres hedde. 

VII. 

The foemen fal arounde; the cross reles hye; 
Steyned ynne goere, the harte of warre ys seen; 
Kynge Rycharde, thorough everyche trope dothe flie, 
And beereth meynte of Turkes onto the greene; 
Bie hymm the floure of Asies menn ys sleene; 
The waylynge mone doth fade before hys sonne; 
Bie hym hys knyghtes bee formed to actions deene, 
Doeynge syke marvels, strongers be aston. 
Sprytes of the bleste, and everych Seyncte ydedde, 
Poure owte your pleasaunce onn mie fadres hedde. 

VIII. 

The fyghte ys wonne; 
Kynge Rycharde master is; 
The Englonde bannerr kisseth the hie ayre; 
Full of pure joie the armie is iwys, 
And everych one haveth it onne his bayre; 
Agayne to Englonde comme, and worschepped there, 
Twyghte into lovynge armes, and feasted eft; 
In everych eyne aredynge nete of wyere, 
Of all remembrance of past peyne berefte. 
Sprytes of the bleste, and everych Seyncte ydedde, 
Syke pleasures power upon mie fadres hedde. 

Syke Nigel sed, whan from the bluie sea 
The upswol sayle dyd daunce before hys eyne; 
Swefte as the wishe, hee toe the beeche dyd flee, 
And found his fadre steppeynge from the bryne. 
Letter thyssen menne, who haveth sprite of loove, 
Bethyncke unto hemselves how mote the meetynge proove. 

ECLOGUE THE THIRD. 

Manne, womanne, Sir Rogerre. 
Wouldst thou kenn nature in her better parte? 
Goe, serche the logges and bordels of the hynde; 
Gyff theie have anie, itte ys roughe-made arte, 
Inne hem you see the blakied forme of kynde. 
Haveth your mynde a lycheynge of a mynde? 
Woulde it kenne everich thynge, as it mote bee? 
Woulde ytte here phrase of vulgar from the hynde, 
Withoute wiseegger wordes and knowlage free? 
Gyfsoe, rede thys, whyche Iche dysportynge pende; 
Gif nete besyde, yttes rhyme maie ytte commende. 

Manne. 
Botte whether, fayre mayde, do ye goe? 
O where do ye bende yer waie? 
I wille knowe whether you goe, 
I wylle not bee asseled naie. 

Womanne. 
To Robin and Nell, all downe in the delle, 
To hele hem at mekeynge of haie. 

Manne. 
Syr Roggerre, the parsone, have hyred mee there, 
Comme, comme, lett us tryppe ytte awaie, 
We'lle wurke and we'lle synge, and weylle drenche of stronge beer 
As longe as the merrie sommers daie. 

Womanne. 
How hard ys mie dome to wurch! 
Moke is mie woe. 
Dame Agnes, whoe lies ynne the Chyrche 
With birlette golde, 
Wythe gelten aumeres stronge ontolde, 
What was shee moe than me, to be soe? 

Manne. 
I kenne Syr Roger from afar 
Tryppynge over the lea; 
Ich ask whie the loverds son 
Is moe than mee. 

Syr Rogerre. 
The sweltrie sonne dothe hie apace hys wayne, 
From everich beme a seme of lyfe doe falle; 
Swythyn scille oppe the haie uponne the playne; 
Methynckes the cockes begynneth to gre talle. 
Thys ys alyche oure doome; the great the smalle, 
Moste withe and bee forwyned by deathis darte. 
See! the swote flourette hathe noe swote at alle; 
Itte wythe the ranke wede bereth evalle parte. 
The cravent, warrioure, and the wyse be blente, 
Alyche to drie awaie wythe those theie dyd bemente. 

Manne. 
All-a-boon, Syr Priest, all-a-boon. 
Bye yer preestshype nowe saye unto mee; 
Syr Gaufryd the knyghte, who lyvethe harde bie, 
Whie shoulde hee than mee 
Bee more greate, 
Inne honnoure, knyghtehoode and estate? 

Syr Rogerre. 
Attourne thy eyne arounde thys haied mee, 
Tentyflie loke around the chaper delle; 
An answere to thie barganette here see, 
Thys welked flourette wylle a leson telle; 
Arist it blew, itte florished, and dyd well, 
Lokeynge ascaunce upon the naighboure greene; 
Yet with the deigned greene yttes rennome felle, 
Eftsoones ytte shronke upon the daie-brente playne, 
Didde not yttes loke, whilest ytte there dyd stonde, 
To croppe ytte in the bodde move somme dred honde. 

Syke ys the waie of lyffe; 
the loverds ente 
Mooveth the robber hym therfor to slea; 
Gyf thou has ethe, the shadowe of contente, 
Believe the throthe, theres none moe haile yan thee. 
Thou wurchest; wlle, cann thatte a trobble bee? 
Slothe moe wulde jade thee than the roughest daie. 
Couldest thou the kivercled of soughlys see, 
Thou wouldst eftsoones see trothe ynne whatte I saie; 
Botte lette me heere thie waie of lyffe, and thenne 
Heare thou from me the lyffes of odher menne. 

Manne. 
I ryse wythe the sonne, 
Lyche hym to dryve the wayne, 
And eere mie wurche is don 
I synge a songe or twayne. 
I followe the plough-tayle, 
Wythe a longe jubb of ale. 
Botte of the maydens, oh! 
Itte lacketh notte to telle; 
Syre Preeste mote notte crie woe 
Culde hys bull do as welle. 
I daunce the beste heiedeygnes, 
And foile the wysest feygnes. 
On everych Seynctes hie daie 
Wythe the mynstrelle am I seene, 
All a footeynge it awaie, 
Wythe maydens on the greene. 
But oh! I wysheto be moe greate, 
In rennome, tenure, and estate. 

Syr Rogerre. 
Has thou ne seene a tree uponne a hylle, 
Whose unliste braunces rechen far toe syghte; 
Whan fuired unwers doe the heaven fylle, 
Itte shaketh deere yn dole and moke affryghte. 
Whylest the congeon flowrette abessie dyghte, 
Stondethe unhurte, unquaced bie the storme; 
Syke is a picte of lyffe: the manne of myghte 
Is tempest-chaft, hys woe greate as hys forme; 
Thieselfe a flowrette of a small accounte, 
Wouldst harderfelle the wynde, as hygher thee dydste mounte.


by Thomas Chatterton |

Colin Instructed

 Young Colin was as stout a boy 
As ever gave a maiden joy; 
But long in vain he told his tale 
To black-eyed Biddy of the Dale. 
Ah why, the whining shepherd cried, 
Am I alone your smiles denied? 
I only tell in vain my tale 
To black-eyed Biddy of the Dale. 

True Colin, said the laughing dame, 
You only whimper out your flame, 
Others do more than sigh their tale 
To black-eyed Biddy of the Dale. 

He took the hint &c.


by Thomas Chatterton |

An Excelente Balade of Charitie: As Wroten bie the Gode Pri

 In Virgynë the sweltrie sun gan sheene, 
And hotte upon the mees did caste his raie; 
The apple rodded from its palie greene, 
And the mole peare did bende the leafy spraie; 
The peede chelandri sunge the livelong daie; 
'Twas nowe the pride, the manhode of the yeare, 
And eke the grounde was dighte in its moste defte aumere. 

The sun was glemeing in the midde of daie, 
Deadde still the aire, and eke the welken blue, 
When from the sea arist in drear arraie 
A hepe of cloudes of sable sullen hue, 
The which full fast unto the woodlande drewe, 
Hiltring attenes the sunnis fetive face, 
And the blacke tempeste swolne and gatherd up apace. 

Beneathe an holme, faste by a pathwaie side, 
Which dide unto Seyncte Godwine's covent lede, 
A hapless pilgrim moneynge did abide. 
Pore in his newe, ungentle in his weede, 
Longe bretful of the miseries of neede, 
Where from the hail-stone coulde the almer flie? 
He had no housen theere, ne anie covent nie. 

Look in his glommed face, his sprighte there scanne; 
Howe woe-be-gone, how withered, forwynd, deade! 
Haste to thie church-glebe-house, asshrewed manne! 
Haste to thie kiste, thie onlie dortoure bedde. 
Cale, as the claie whiche will gre on thie hedde, 
Is Charitie and Love aminge highe elves; 
Knightis and Barons live for pleasure and themselves. 

The gatherd storme is rype; the bigge drops falle; 
The forswat meadowes smethe, and drenche the raine; 
The comyng ghastness do the cattle pall, 
And the full flockes are drivynge ore the plaine; 
Dashde from the cloudes the waters flott againe; 
The welkin opes; the yellow levynne flies; 
And the hot fierie smothe in the wide lowings dies. 

Liste! now the thunder's rattling clymmynge sound 
Cheves slowlie on, and then embollen clangs, 
Shakes the hie spyre, and losst, dispended, drown'd, 
Still on the gallard eare of terroure hanges; 
The windes are up; the lofty elmen swanges; 
Again the levynne and the thunder poures, 
And the full cloudes are braste attenes in stonen showers. 

Spurreynge his palfrie oere the watrie plaine, 
The Abbote of Seyncte Godwynes convente came; 
His chapournette was drented with the reine, 
And his pencte gyrdle met with mickle shame; 
He aynewarde tolde his bederoll at the same; 
The storme encreasen, and he drew aside, 
With the mist almes craver neere to the holme to bide. 

His cope was all of Lyncolne clothe so fyne, 
With a gold button fasten'd neere his chynne; 
His autremete was edged with golden twynne, 
And his shoone pyke a loverds mighte have binne; 
Full well it shewn he thoughten coste no sinne: 
The trammels of the palfrye pleasde his sighte, 
For the horse-millanare his head with roses dighte. 

"An almes, sir prieste!" the droppynge pilgrim saide, 
"O! let me waite within your covente dore, 
Till the sunne sheneth hie above our heade, 
And the loude tempeste of the aire is oer; 
Helpless and ould am I alas! and poor; 
No house, ne friend, ne moneie in my pouche; 
All yatte I call my owne is this my silver crouche." 

"Varlet," replyd the Abbatte, "cease your dinne; 
This is no season almes and prayers to give; 
Mie porter never lets a faitour in; 
None touch mie rynge who not in honour live." 
And now the sonne with the blacke cloudes did stryve, 
And shettynge on the grounde his glairie raie, 
The Abbatte spurrde his steede, and eftsoones roadde awaie. 

Once moe the skie was blacke, the thunder rolde; 
Faste reyneynge oer the plaine a prieste was seen; 
Ne dighte full proude, ne buttoned up in golde; 
His cope and jape were graie, and eke were clene; 
A Limitoure he was of order seene; 
And from the pathwaie side then turned hee, 
Where the pore almer laie binethe the holmen tree. 

"An almes, sir priest!" the droppynge pilgrim sayde, 
"For sweete Seyncte Marie and your order sake." 
The Limitoure then loosen'd his pouche threade, 
And did thereoute a groate of silver take; 
The mister pilgrim dyd for halline shake. 
"Here take this silver, it maie eathe thie care; 
We are Goddes stewards all, nete of oure owne we bare. 

"But ah! unhailie pilgrim, lerne of me, 
Scathe anie give a rentrolle to their Lorde. 
Here take my semecope, thou arte bare I see; 
Tis thyne; the Seynctes will give me mie rewarde." 
He left the pilgrim, and his waie aborde. 
Virgynne and hallie Seyncte, who sitte yn gloure, 
Or give the mittee will, or give the gode man power.


by Thomas Chatterton |

A New Song

 Ah blame me not, Catcott, if from the right way 
My notions and actions run far. 
How can my ideas do other but stray, 
Deprived of their ruling North-Star? 

A blame me not, Broderip, if mounted aloft, 
I chatter and spoil the dull air; 
How can I imagine thy foppery soft, 
When discord's the voice of my fair? 

If Turner remitted my bluster and rhymes, 
If Hardind was girlish and cold, 
If never an ogle was got from Miss Grimes, 
If Flavia was blasted and old; 

I chose without liking, and left without pain, 
Nor welcomed the frown with a sigh; 
I scorned, like a monkey, to dangle my chain, 
And paint them new charms with a lie. 

Once Cotton was handsome; I flam'd and I burn'd, 
I died to obtain the bright queen; 
But when I beheld my epistle return'd, 
By Jesu it alter'd the scene. 

She's damnable ugly, my Vanity cried, 
You lie, says my Conscience, you lie; 
Resolving to follow the dictates of Pride, 
I'd view her a hag to my eye. 

But should she regain her bright lustre again, 
And shine in her natural charms, 
'Tis but to accept of the works of my pen, 
And permit me to use my own arms.


by Thomas Chatterton |

A Hymn for Christmas Day

 Almighty Framer of the Skies! 
O let our pure devotion rise, 
Like Incense in thy Sight! 
Wrapt in impenetrable Shade 
The Texture of our Souls were made 
Till thy Command gave light. 
The Sun of Glory gleam'd the Ray, 
Refin'd the Darkness into Day, 
And bid the Vapours fly; 
Impell'd by his eternal Love 
He left his Palaces above 
To cheer our gloomy Sky. 

How shall we celebrate the day, 
When God appeared in mortal clay, 
The mark of worldly scorn; 
When the Archangel's heavenly Lays, 
Attempted the Redeemer's Praise 
And hail'd Salvation's Morn! 


A Humble Form the Godhead wore, 
The Pains of Poverty he bore, 
To gaudy Pomp unknown; 
Tho' in a human walk he trod 
Still was the Man Almighty God 
In Glory all his own. 

Despis'd, oppress'd, the Godhead bears 
The Torments of this Vale of tears; 
Nor bade his Vengeance rise; 
He saw the Creatures he had made, 
Revile his Power, his Peace invade; 
He saw with Mercy's Eyes. 

How shall we celebrate his Name, 
Who groan'd beneath a Life of shame 
In all Afflictions tried! 
The Soul is raptured to concieve 
A Truth, which Being must believe, 
The God Eternal died. 

My Soul exert thy Powers, adore, 
Upon Devotion's plumage sar 
To celebrate the Day; 
The God from whom Creation sprung 
Shall animate my grateful Tongue; 
From him I'll catch the Lay!