Anonymous Olde English


Here Foloweth Colyn Blowbols Testament - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

Whan that Bachus, the myghti lorde,
And Juno eke, both by one accorde,
Hath sette a-broche of myghti wyne a tone,
And after wardys in to the brayn ran
Of Colyn Blobolle, whan he had dronke a tante
Bothe of Teynt and of wyne Alycaunt,
Till he was drounke as any swyne;
And after this, with a mery chere,
He rensyd had many an ale picher,
That he began to loken and to stare,
Like a wode bole or a wilde mare;
So toty was the brayn of his hede,
That he desirid for to go to bede,
And whan he was ones therin laide,
With hym self mervailously he fraide;
He gan to walow and turn up and downe,
And for to tell in conclucioun,
Sore he spwed, and alle vppe he kest
That he had recevyd in his brest,
So that it was grete pité for to here
His lametacionne and his hevy chere.
An hors wold wepe to se the sorow he maide,
His evy countenaunces and his colour fade.
I trow he was infecte certeyn
With the faitour, or the fever lordeyn,
Or with a sekenesse called a knave ateynt;
And anon his herte he gan to faynt,
And after ward their toke hym many a throw
Of good ale bolys that he had i-blowe;
He lokyd furyous as a wyld catt,
And pale of hew like a drowned ratte;
And in his bake their toke hym one so felle,
That after ward folowed a very stynkyng smell,
That for to cast was more vnholsam
Than aurum potab[i]le or aurum pimentum.
And whan his angwyssh some what gan apese,
He recovered of his dronken dessese;
He set hym vppe and sawe their biside
A sad man, in whom is no pride,
Right a discrete confessour, as I trow,
His name was called sir John Doclow;
He had commensed in many a worthier place
Then ever was Padow, or Boleyne de Grace;
Of so grete reverens werre the universities,
That men toke entrie knelyng on their knees;
In suche places his fader for hym had ben,
Whate shuld I tell you? ye wotte where I mene.
And yet in phisike he cowth no skylle at alle,
Whiche men callen baas naturalle;
Good drynke he lovyd better than he did wepit,
Men called hym maister John-with-the-shorte-tipet.
Hereby menne may welle understonde and see,
That in scolys he had take degré,
And was welle laboured in the rough byble,
Ffor he loved in no wise to be idele;
An able man to be aboute a pope,
Because he coude a conscience so welle grope,
And make an man to bryng out his mynde
Every thing that he had left behynde.
He gaf me many a good certacion,
With right and holsom predicacion,
That he had laboured in Venus secrete celle,
And me exponyd many a good gossepelle,
And many a right swete epistell eke,
In hem perfite and not for to seke;
And he had them i-lerneid and i-rade,
And alle were good, I trow their were none bade.
And right like an hevynly instrument
Unto me ever his tounge wente,
It was joie for to here and see
The fructuons talkyng that he had to me;
He behavyd hym so lich a gostly leche,
Both in countenaunce and in his speche,
And bad I shuld, by cause I was seke,
Unto Lucina and to Ciraa eke
My soule byqueth, or I hens deperte,
As I wold have his prayers after ward.
He promysyd me also, that he wold syng
Foure devoite masses at my biryng,
On of Bachus, anothir of Lucina,
The third of Juno, the fourth of Ciria,
And at Venus temple with grette devocion,
I have to you so grette dilection;
And for my soule ryng many a mery pele,
In Venus temple and eke in hir chapelle,
And also in many an othir holy stede,
Where Spade may not helpe women at ther nede;
And bad me eke be of right good chere
Alle the wyle I shold abyde here,
And for any thing that he coude feele,
That was in me, I sholde do right wele.
And yet he said: Be myne avisment,
Withoute tarying ye make your Testament,
And by good avice alle thing welle besett,
Loke ye do soo: for ye shalle fare the bette;
Whylis ye have your right memorie,
Calle unto you your owne secretory,
Maister Grombold, that cane handelle a pen,
For on booke he skrapith like an hen,
That no man may his letters know nor se,
Allethough he looke trughe spectacles thre.
Lete such a man writte your Testament,
For he shalle best folow your entent.


In Bachus Nomine, Amen!

I Colyn Blowbolle, all thinges to fulfille,
Wol that this be my last welle:
First, I bequeth my goost that is bareyn,
Whan it is depertid from the careyne,
Unto the godesse called Lucina,
And to hir sustir called Ciria;
For Lucina hath the governale
Of the salt flodes, wher many a ship doith saile,
And ofentymes ther they gone to wrake;
That causeth the stormes and the wawes blake;
And Ciria eke, as Fulgenes tellys,
Abideth moste in flodis and spring wellys.
And for be cause I have sette my plesaunce
In plenté of drynke, I shalle haue in penaunce
To dwelle in wayters as for a purgatory,
Whan I deperte from this world transetory,
Unto the tyme, that Dyane of hir grace
List ordeyn me an other dwellyng place;
But every sin must have his purgacion
Here or in an nothir habitacion.
And for the swete wynes that arn so myghti,
In whom I have sette alle my glorie,
Therefor of right it must nedis be thus,
My soule to dwelle in waters troublous,
That ben salt and bitter for taste,
And them to take as for my repaste;
Ffor of right, and as old bookes doon trete,
Sharpe sawce was ordeigned for swete mete.
And I bequeth also my wrecchid cors,
Whiche of the soule gafe litelle fors,
In the temple of Bachus to have his sepulture,
That alwey hath done his best cure,
To serve hym best with alle his hole entent,
Erly and late and ay right diligent;
The cause why I shalle to you devyne,
Ffor Bachus is called the god of wyne;
And for that licour is so presious,
That oft hath made [me] dronke as any mous,
Therfor I wille that ther it beryd be
My wrecchid body afore this god, pardé,
Mighti Bachus, that is myn owen lorde,
Without variaunce to serve hym, or discorde.
And after that another throw hym toke,
And therwith alle his body alle to-shooke,
Lyke as a fever that bernned hym so hote,
And was to hym grete payne, I wote;
And other whiles such a f-- he lete,
That men wend verely he had shete;
Ther ys no storme ne tempest ay doth lest;
But also sone as his anwhushe was past,
He procedid to performe his wille:
And byqueth, as it was right and skille,
Unto the abbasse of this monestary,
I mene of Bachus, that myghti lorde in glorie;
Alas Sloth, that devoute woman,
Whiche hath the propreté of a swan,
Evyr to be in plenté of licour,
And in the morenyng by viij. was his houre
To be as dronke as any swyne,
With wyne, or ale, or some licour devyne,
And to her sustres of that condicioun,
Wheir ever they dwelle, in citie or in towne,
Alle the londys and possessions
That I have lying within the bowns
Of Southwerke and of the stwes syde,
As wynde-melles and water-milles eke,
With alle their purtenaunces lying on every syde,
That be there redy and ar not for to seke,
Sufficient i-nough, yf they were alle told,
Ffor to serve many a grete houshold,
By a charter to have and to hold,
Under my seale of lede made the mold,
And written in the skyne of swyne,
What that it is made in parchemyne,
Be cause it shuld perpetually endure,
And unto them be both stable and sure,
Sauf only a certeyn quyte-rent,
Which that I have gevyn with good entent
To pay for me, unto my confessour,
That called is a man of grette honoure,
At the stewes side and their fast by,
To have an hous and dwelle therin yerely;
And to be paid of penaunce ten or twelve,
As good livers as he is hym selfe,
To fete it their, whan he hath need therto:
It is my wille right evyn that it be so;
And of this rent, yf that he doith faile,
I gyve hym powre to skore on the tale,
And take an[d] stresse, yf that nede be,
Upon the grounde, one, two, or thre,
And with hym home his stressis fo[r] to cary,
And in his chamber to make them for to tary,
Tille he be paid fully of the quyte-rent,
And wel i-plesid after hys owyn entent.
And at his forsaid charter maykyng,
And also at the possession takyng,
Alle good drynkers that any where may be hade,
With braynles people and other that ben made,
Shuld be at doing of this dede.
The blissing of Bachus I graunte hym to mede,
To be wittness of this cha[r]ter sealyng.
Be cause I wold they shold for no thing
Be interupt of their possessouns,
That I have gyve them lying in the bounss
Of Southewerke and of the stweys syde,
But evermore with them to abyde;
To make them haue the mor devocion
Ffor me to say many an orison,
On nightes specially whan other men do wy[n]ke,
By cause I sette my plesaunce in good drynke.
And I byqueth unto my secrytory,
Regestered a brother in the order of foly,
Ffor his labour and his diligence,
Six marke of pruce to have for his dispence,
To this entent, that he bistow it shalle
Upon good drynk, and on no mete at alle;
My custom ever hath ben to doo soo,
It is my will that he shuld the same [doo].
And I bequeth, yef that I dey shalle,
Ffor to hold my fest funeralle,
An hundredth marke of pruce money fyne,
Ffor to bistow upon bred and wyne,
With other drynkys that dilicious be,
Whiche in ordre herafter ye shall se.
And for to be at this fest funeralle,
I will have called in generalle
Alle the that ben very good drynkers,
And eke also alle feoble swyvers,
And they also that can lyft a bole,
Tille that the drynke hath take them by the polle;
And they also that ben dronkyn wyce,
And othir that arn dronken fooles nyce;
And many droken people shalbe there,
And none of these may fayle at this dyner.
And for to s[o]moun alle them to this fest,
The baily of Ro[y]ston therto is the beste;
Sauf I wille have after myn owyn entent,
An hous for them, that is convenient,
And it shalbe Didalus is hous.
And every man shalbe as drownke as any mous,
Or any of them from this fest passe.
And for to telle how this hows maide was,
Ther werre thereto sevynty and sevin
Of dores in nombre, as poets doo nevin,
And he that was ones entered in,
Coulde fynde no wey out for to wyn,
Till that he com yn to a gardeyn,
And their he shuld fynd in certeyn
A clew of yern, and therto he must wynd,
And thereof take a thred by the ende,
And make a knot about hys fynger with alle,
And with the thred wynd hym oute he shalle,
But othre wise myght no man oute wyne,
After that he was ones entered in.
And for be cause so many dores be
Unto the hous, and so fer entré,
Me thingith therfore, as by my jugement,
This is a hous for them most convenient.
But whan all folk ones be entrid in,
I will these people the high borde begyn,
Tho specially that arn droken wise,
People most able, after myne avise,
To sett their among alle other thing
To make them wise in ther owyn talkyng,
And wenith thir wittes be be yonde the mone,
And medle of thynges, that they have nought to done,
And deme them self as wise, withoute lees,
As ever was Aristotle, Plato, or Socrates;
And their thinges begyne to lye,
Ffor than they ben as dronke-lyight as a flye,
And wille telle of thinges that have be done,
Where as never shyneth sone ne mone.
I wille therfor, for myn honesty,
At the hy dees these people sette be.
And to begin also the secounde table,
I wille ther be honest men and able,
Such as wilbe as drongen as an ape,
And they wille skoff now, and jape,
And be also as fulle of nyce toyes,
As ben yong childern or elis wantown boyes;
And they whiche also both gape and gren,
Like the --- of a squirtyng hen.
And in suche caas often tymes they be,
That one may make them play with strawes thre,
And be as nyce in a mannys hous,
As is a catt playing with a mous,
Therfor I wille [not] this people sett there,
A place ther is for them elleswhere.
The thirde table shal be gyne as tyte,
They that be manly in dronkenesse for to fyte,
Whan one ther hede is sett a barly-hate,
Than arn they as manly as a ganat,
And than they wille kylle every fle and lous,
And in ther way bydith nodir ratte ne mous;
They will kylle in that grete hete
Huge Golyas, with their wordis grete,
And also the grete Gogmagog,
Cresced worme and the water ffrog.
Than they begyn to swere and to stare,
And be as braynles as a Marshe hare,
When they have one their habergon of malt,
They wene to make many a man to halt,
Ffor they be than so angry and so wraw,
And yet they wille stombile at a straw.
And every table shalle fulfilled be
[Wyth] men of worship and men of honesté;
After that they shalbe servyd wele,
Bute of drynke and mete never a dele.
And wille theire be supervysours,
With officers, as conyng surveyours,
Bakers, bruers, and buttelers of the best,
Tene them of brede and drynke, ne they rest,
Tille every man have plenté and sufficiaunce,
Of mete and drynk right large abundaunce;
Som to serve, and some for to sew
Them brede and drynke, as they sit a-rew;
And what with gestes and with servauntes eke,
I trow their shalbe an honeste felowship.
Sauf ffirst shalle they of ale have new bake bonns,
With stronge ale bruen in fattes and in tonnes,
Pyng, Drangolle, and the Braget fyne,
Methe, Mathebru, and Mathelynge,
Rede wyn, the claret, and the white,
With Teynt and Alycaunt, in whom I delite;
Wyn ryvers and wyn sake also,
Wyne of Langdoke and of Orliaunce therto,
Sengle bere, and othire that is dwobile,
Which causith the brayn of man to trouble;
Spruce beer, and the beer of Hambur,
Whiche makyth oft tymes men to stambur;
Malmasyes, Tires, and Rumneys,
With Caperikis, Campletes, and Osneys,
Vernage, Cute, and Raspays also,
Whippett and Pyngmedo, that ben lawyers therto;
And I wille have also wyne de Ryne,
With new maid Clarye, that is good and fyne,
Muscadelle, Terantyne, and Bastard,
With Ypocras and Pyment comyng after warde.
And as for mete I will that goo quyte,
Ffor I had never therin grete dylite,
So that I myyt have drynke at my wille,
Good ale or wyne my bely for to fille.
Also I will eke that John Aly,
And his brother Laurens Sty,
Be surveyours cheyff at this dynere,
And serve oute drynkes, that ben both brith and cleyre,
And se that every man have sufficiaunce,
Of alle drynkys plenté and abundaunce.
Also I wille that other men ther be
To serve the people everiche in degree:
That is to say, Robert Otwey,
Nicholas Inglond and Robert Horsley,
And Colyn Blobolle and Robert Curé;
And to gadre in the cuppys grett and smale,
Theire shalbe muster William Copyndale,
And othir such they ben to few,
Theym for to serve, and their dishes to sew.
And to se alle thinges truly doone
After my deth, dwely and right sone,
I ordeyn to be my executour
Of my last will, with a supervisour,
Aleyn Maltson, to se truly
My wille performyd wele and duly,
As I have ordeynd here after myn entent,
By good avicement in my Testament.
And I wille, that supervisour bee
Over hym a man of honesté,
Sybour Groutehed, a man fulle discrette,
Whiche wilbe dronke with myghti wynes swete,
Thaugh he non drynk but semell ones therto.
I hold hym mekly therfor to have adoo
In suche a mater of so grete a charge.
And for their labour I reward them large,
Ffor myn executour shalle have xxti marke,
And to my supervisour, for his besy warke,
And his labour, and his diligence,
He shalle have yerely viij marke for his dispence.
Thus I Colyn Blowbolle, with good avisement,
Make an end now of my Testament,
And willyng every man in his degree,
Ffor me to pray vnto the deyté
Of mighti Bachus, and of myghti Juno,
When I hens weynd, that I may com them too;
Whiche have ever be right diligent
To serve them best, with alle myn hole entent,
And so shalle I doo unto my lyves ende.
So pray for me, that I may to them wynde,
Whan Antropus shalle twyn a-two the thirde;
And or that tyme no man shalbe d[r]ede,
Of the mevyng of my mortalle body,
That I may then entre into their glorie.
And me remember with your devocion,
Hertely with alle your mencion,
With som good prayres whan ye upon me thynke,
Whiche hath ben ever a lover of goode drynke.


Thow litelle quayer, how darst thow shew thy face,
Or com yn presence of men of honesté?
Sith thow ard rude, and folowist not the trace
Of faire langage, nor haiste no bewté;
Wherefore of wysedom thus I councelle the,
To draw the bake fer out of their sight,
Lest thow be had in reproef and dispite.


Here endyth Colyn Blobollys Testament.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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