Anonymous Olde English


The Libelle Of Englyshe Polycye - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

Here beginneth the Prologe of the processe of the Libelle of Englyshe polycye, exhortynge alle Englande to kepe the see enviroun and namelye the narowe see, shewynge whate profete commeth thereof and also whate worshype and salvacione to Englande and to alle Englyshe menne.

The trewe processe of Englysh polycye
Of utterwarde to kepe thys regne in rest
Of oure England, that no man may denye
Ner say of soth but it is one the best,
Is thys, as who seith, south, north, est and west
Cheryshe marchandyse, kepe thamyralte,
That we bee maysteres of the narowe see.


For Sigesmonde the grete Emperoure,
Whyche yet regneth, whan he was in this londe
Wyth kynge Herry the vte, prince of honoure,
Here moche glorye, as hym thought, he founde,
A myghty londe, whyche hadde take on honde
To werre in Fraunce and make mortalite,
And ever well kept rounde aboute the see.


And to the kynge thus he seyde, 'My brothere',
Whan he perceyved too townes, Calys and Dovere,
'Of alle youre townes to chese of one and other
To kepe the see and sone for to come overe,
To werre oughtwardes and youre regne to recovere,
Kepe these too townes sure to youre mageste
As youre tweyne eyne to kepe the narowe see'.


For if this see be kepte in tyme of werre,
Who cane here passe withought daunger and woo?
Who may eschape, who may myschef dyfferre?
What marchaundy may forby be agoo?
For nedes hem muste take truse every foo,
Flaundres and Spayne and othere, trust to me,
Or ellis hyndered alle for thys narowe see.


Therfore I caste me by a lytell wrytinge
To shewe att eye thys conclusione,
For concyens and for myne acquytynge
Ayenst God, and ageyne abusyon
And cowardyse and to oure enmyes confusione;
For iiij. thynges oure noble sheueth to me,
Kyng, shype and swerde and pouer of the see.


Where bene oure shippes, where bene oure swerdes become?
Owre enmyes bid for the shippe sette a shepe.
Allas, oure reule halteth, hit is benome.
Who dare weel say that lordeshype shulde take kepe,
(I wolle asaye, thoughe myne herte gynne to wepe,
To do thys werke) yf we wole ever the,
For verry shame to kepe aboute the see?


Shall any prynce, what so be hys name,
Wheche hathe nobles moche lyche to oures,
Be lorde of see and Flemmynges to oure blame
Stoppe us, take us and so make fade the floures
Of Englysshe state and disteyne oure honnoures?
For cowardyse, allas, hit shulde so be;
Therfore I gynne to wryte now of the see.


Of the commodytees of Spayne and of Flaundres. The fyrste chapitle.
Knowe welle all men that profites in certayne
Commodytes called commynge oute of Spayne
And marchandy, who so wyll wete what that is,
Bene fygues, raysyns, wyne, bastarde and dates,
And lycorys, Syvyle oyle and also grayne,
Whyte Castell sope and wax is not in vayne,
Iren, wolle, wadmole, gotefel, kydefel also,
(For poyntmakers full nedefull be the ij.)
Saffron, quiksilver; wheche Spaynes marchandy
Is into Flaundres shypped full craftylye
Unto Bruges as to here staple fayre.
The havene of Sluse they have for here repayre,
Wheche is cleped the Swyne, thro shyppes gydynge,
Where many wessell and fayre arne abydynge.
But these merchandes wyth there shyppes greet,
And suche chaffare as they bye and gette
By the weyes, most nede take one honde
By the costes to passe of oure Englonde
Betwyxt Dover and Calys, thys is no doute.
Who can weell ellis suche matere bringe aboute?
And whenne these seyde marchauntz discharged be
Of marchaundy in Flaundres neere the see,
Than they be charged agayn wyth marchaundy
That to Flaundres longeth full rychelye,
Fyne clothe of Ipre, that named is better than oures,
Cloothe of Curtryke, fyne cloothe of all colours,
Moche fustyane and also lynen cloothe.
But ye Flemmyngis, yf ye be not wrothe,
The grete substaunce of youre cloothe at the fulle
Ye wot ye make hit of oure Englissh wolle.
Thanne may hit not synke in mannes brayne
But that hit most, this marchaundy of Spayne,
Bothe oute and inne by oure coostes passe?
He that seyth nay in wytte is lyche an asse.
Thus if thys see werre kepte, I dare well sayne,
Wee shulde have pease with tho growndes tweyne;
For Spayne and Flaundres is as yche othere brothere,
And nethere may well lyve wythowghten othere.
They may not lyven to mayntene there degrees
Wythoughten oure Englysshe commodytees,
Wolle and tynne, for the wolle of Englonde
Susteyneth the comons Flemmynges I understonde.
Thane, yf Englonde wolde hys wolle restreyne
Frome Flaundres, thys foloweth in certayne,
Flaundres of nede muste wyth us have pease
Or ellis he is distroyde wythowghten lees.
Also, yef Flaundres thus distroyed bee,
Some marchaundy of Spayne wolle nevere ithe.
For distroyed hit is, and as in cheffe
The wolle of Spayne hit cometh not to preffe
But if it be tosed and menged well
Amonges Englysshe wolle the gretter delle;
For Spayneshe wolle in Flaundres draped is
And evere hath be that mene have mynde of this.
And yet woll is one the cheffe marchaundy
That longeth to Spayne, who so woll aspye;
Hit is of lytell valeue, trust unto me,
Wyth Englysshe woll but if it menged be.
Thus, if the see be kepte, then herkene hedere,
Yf these ij. londes comene not togedere,
So that the flete of Flaundres passe nought,
That in the narowe see it be not brought
Into the Rochell to feche the fumose wyne,
Nere into Britounse bay for salt so fyne,
What is than Spayne, what is Flaundres also?
As who seyth, nought; there thryfte is alle ago.
For the lytell londe of Flaundres is
But a staple to other londes iwys,
And all that groweth in Flaundres, greyn and sede,
May not a moneth fynde hem mete of brede.
What hath thenne Flaundres, be Flemmynges leffe or lothe,
But a lytell madere and Flemmyshe cloothe?
By draperinge of oure wolle in substaunce
Lyvene here comons, this is here governaunce,
Wythoughten whyche they may not leve at ease;
Thus moste hem sterve or wyth us most have peasse.


Of the commoditees of Portingalle. The ij. capitle.
The marchaundy also of Portyngale
To dyverse londes torneth into sale.
Portyngalers wyth us have trought on hande,
Whose marchaundy cometh muche into Englande.
They bene oure frendes wyth there commoditez,
And wee Englysshe passen into there countrees.
Here londe hathe oyle, wyne, osey, wex and greyne,
Fygues, reysyns, hony and cordeweyne,
Dates and salt hydes and suche marchaundy.
And if they wolde to Flaundres passe forth bye,
They schulde not be suffrede ones ner twyes
For supportynge of oure cruell enmyes,
That is to saye Flemmynges wyth here gyle,
For chaungeable they are in lytel whyle.
Than I conclude by resons many moo,
Yf wee sufferede nethere frende nere foo,
What for enmyes and so supportynge,
To passe forby us in tyme of werrynge,
(Sethe oure frendys woll not bene in causse
Of oure hyndrenge, yf reason lede thys clausse)
Than nede frome Flaundres pease of us be sought,
And othere londes shulde seche pease, doute nought;
For Flaundres is staple, as men tell me,
To alle nacyons of Crystiante.


The commodytes of Pety Brytayne, wyth here revers on the see. The iij. capitle.
Forthermore to wryten I hame fayne
Somwhate spekynge of the Lytell Bretayne.
Commodite therof there is and was
Salt and wynes, crestclothe and canvasse;
And the londe of Flaunderes sekerly
Is the staple of there marchaundy,
Wheche marchaundy may not passe awey
But by the coste of Englonde, this is no nay.
And of thys Bretayn, who so trewth levys,
Are the gretteste rovers and the gretteste thevys
That have bene in the see many a yere;
And that oure marchauntes have bowght alle to dere.
For they have take notable gode of oures
On thys seyde see, these false coloured pelours,
Called of Seynt Malouse and elles where,
Wheche to there duke none obeysaunce woll bere.
Wyth suche colours we have bene hindred sore,
And fayned pease is called no werre herefore.
Thus they have bene in dyverse costes manye
Of oure England, mo than reherse can I,
In Northfolke coostes and othere places aboute,
And robbed and brente and slayne by many a routte;
And they have also raunsouned toune by toune,
That into the regnes of bost have ronne here soune,
Whyche hathe bene ruthe unto thys realme and shame.
They that the see shulde kepe are moche to blame;
For Brytayne is of easy reputasyone,
And Seynt Malouse turneth hem to reprobacione.


A storie of kynge Edwarde the iiide hys ordynaunce for Bretayne.
Here brynge I in a storye to me lente,
That a goode squyere in tyme of parlemente
Toke unto me well wrytene in a scrowe,
That I have comonde bothe wyth hygh and lowe;
Of whyche all mene accordene into one
That hit was done not monye yeris agone,
But whene that noble kyng Edwarde the thride
Regned in grace ryght thus hit betyde.
For he hadde a manere gelozye
To hys marchauntes and lowede hem hartelye.
He felt the weyes to reule well the see,
Whereby marchauntes myght have prosperite.
Therfore Harflewe and Houndflewe dyd he makene,
And grete werres that tyme were undertakene
Betwyx the kynge and the duke of Bretayne.
At laste to falle to pease bothe were they feyne,
Upon the whyche, made by convencione,
Oure marchaundys they made hem redy boune
Towarde Brytayne to lede here marchaundye,
Wenynge hem frendes, and wente forthe boldelye.
But sone anone oure marchaundes were itake,
And wee spede nevere the better for treuse sake;
They loste here goode, here navy and spendynge.
But when there compleynte come unto the kynge,
Then wex he wrothe and to the duke he sente
And compleyned that such harme was hente
By convencione and pease made so refused.
Whiche duke sent ageyne and hym excused,
Rehersynge that the Mount of Seynte Michell
And Seynt Malouse wolde nevere a dele
Be subject unto his governaunce
Ner be undere hys obë¹³aunce,
And so they did withowten hym that dede.
But whan the kynge anone had takene hede,
He in his herte set a jugemente,
Wythoute callynge of ony parlemente
Or grete tary to take longe avyse;
To fortefye anone he dyd devyse
Of Englysshe townes iij., that is to seye
Derthmouth, Plymmouth, the thyrde it is Foweye,
And gaffe hem helpe and notable puissaunce,
Wyth insistence set them in governaunce
Upon the Pety Bretayn for to werre.
Than gode seemenne wolde no more deferre,
But bete theme home and made they myght not route,
Tooke prysoners and lernyd hem for to loutte.
And efte the duke in semblable wyse
Wrote to the kynge as he fyrste dyd devyse,
Hym excusynge; bot oure meny wode
Wyth grete poure passed overe the floode
And werred forth into the dukes londe
And had neygh destrued free and bonde.
But whan the duke knewe that tho townes thre
Shulde have loste all hys natale cuntree,
He undertoke by sewrte trewe not false
For Mount Seynt Mychelle and Seinte Malouse als
And othere partees of the Lytell Bretaynne,
Whych to obeye, as seyde was, were nott fayne.
The duke hymselfe for all dyd undertake,
Wyth all hys herte a full pease dyd he make,
So that in all the lyffe tyme of the kynge
Marchaundes hadde pease wythowtene werrynge.


He made a statute for Lumbardes in thys londe,
That they shulde in no wysse take on honde
Here to enhabite, to charge and to dyscharge,
But xl. dayes, no more tyme had they large.
Thys goode kynge be wytt of suche appreffe
Kepte hys marchauntes and the see fro myscheffe.


Of the commodites of Scotelonde and drapynge of here woll in Flaundres. The iiij. chapitle.
Moreover of Scotlonde the commoditees
Ar felles, hydes and of wolle the fleesse;
And alle these muste passe bye us aweye
Into Flaundres by Englonde, sothe to saye.
And all here woll was draped for to sell
In the townes of Poperynge and of Bell,
Whyche my lorde of Glowcestre wyth ire
For here falshede dyd sett upon a fyre.
And yett they of Bell and Poperynge
Cowde never draper her woll for any thynge
But if they hadde Englysshe woll wythall,
Oure godely woll that is so generall,
Nedeful to hem in Spayne and Scotlande als
And othere costis; this sentence is not fals.
Ye worthi marchauntes, I do it upon yow;
I have this lerned, ye wott well where and howe.
Ye wotte the staple of that marchaundye
Of this Scotlonde is Flaundres sekerlye.
And the Scottes bene chargede, knowene at the eye,
Out of Flaundres wyth lytyll mercerye
And grete plentee of haburdasshers ware;
And halfe here shippes wyth carte whelys bare
And wyth barowes ar laden as in substaunce.
Thus moste rude ware be in here chevesaunce;
So they may not forbere thys Flemyssh londe.
Therefor if we wolde manly take on honde
To kepe thys see fro Flaundres and fro Spayne
And fro Scotelonde lych as fro Pety Bretayne,
Wee schulde ryght sone have pease for all here bostes,
For they muste nede passe by oure Englysshe costes.


Of the commoditees of Pruse and Hyghe Duchemenne and Esterlynges. The v. chapitle.
Now goo wee forthe to the commoditees
That cometh fro Pruse in too manere degrees;
For too manere peple have suche use,
This is to sayen Highe Duchmene of Pruse
And Esterlynges, whiche myghte not be forborne
Oute of Flaundres but it were verrely lorne.
For they bringe in the substaunce of the beere
That they drynken fele to goode chepe not dere.
Ye have herde that twoo Flemmynges togedere
Wol undertake, or they goo ony whethere
Or they rise onys, to drinke a barell fulle
Of gode berkyne; so sore they hale and pulle,
Undre the borde they pissen as they sitte.
This cometh of covenaunt of a worthy witte.
Wythoute Calise in ther buttere they cakked,
Whan they flede home and when they leysere lakked
To holde here sege; they wente lyke as a doo,
Wel was that Flemmynge that myght trusse and goo.
For fere they turned bake and hyede faste,
Milorde of Gloucestre made hem so agaste
Wyth his commynge and sought hem in here londe
And brente and slowe as he hadde take on honde,
So that oure enmyse durste not byde nor stere;
They flede to mewe, they durste no more appere.
[Thene his meyné ³eidene that he was dede.
Tille we were goo, ther was no bettir reede;
For cowardy knyghthode was aslepe,
As dede there duke in mewe they dide hym kepe,]
Rebukede sore for evere so shamefully
Unto here uttere everelastinge vylany.


After bere and bacone odre gode commodites ensuene.
Now bere and bacone bene fro Pruse ibroughte
Into Flaundres, as loved and fere isoughte,
Osmonde, coppre, bowstaffes, stile and wex,
Peltreware and grey, pych, terre, borde and flex,
And Coleyne threde, fustiane and canvase,
Carde, bokeram; of olde tyme thus it wase.
But the Flemmynges amonge these thinges dere
In comen lowen beste bacon and bere.
[Thus are they hoggishe and drynkyn wele ataunte.
Farewel, Flemmynges, hay haro, hay avaunt.]
Also Pruse mene maken here aventure
Of plate of sylvere, of wegges gode and sure
In grete plente, whiche they bringe and bye
Oute of the londes of B顬me and Hungrye;
Whiche is encrese ful grete unto thys londe.
And thei bene laden agayn, I understonde,
Wyth wollen clothe all manere of coloures
By dyers crafted ful dyverse that bene ours.
And they aventure ful gretly unto the baye
For salte, that is nedefull wythoute naye.
Thus, if they wolde not oure frendys bee,
Wee myght lyghtlye stope hem in the see.
They shulde not passe oure stremes wythoutene leve;
It wolde not be but if we shulde hem greve.


Of the commoditees of the Januays and here grette karekkys. The vi. chapitle.
The Janueys comyne in sondre wyses
Into this londe wyth dyverse marchaundyses
In grete karrekkis arrayde wythouten lake
Wyth clothes of golde; silke and pepir blake
They bringe wyth hem and of woad grete plente,
Woll-oyle, wood-aschen by vessell in the see,
Coton, roche-alum and gode golde of Jene.
And they be charged wyth woll ageyne, I wene,
And wollene clothe of owres of colours all.
And they aventure, as ofte it dothe byfall,
Into Flaundres wyth suche thynge as they bye;
That is here cheffe staple sykerlye.
And if they wold be oure full ennemyse,
They shulde not passe oure stremez with marchaundyse.


The commodites and nycetees of Venicyans and Florentynes with there galees. The vij. capitle.
The grete galees of Venees and Florence
Be wel ladene wyth thynges of complacence,
All spicerye and other grocers ware,
Wyth swete wynes, all manere of chaffare,
Apes and japes and marmusettes taylede,
Nifles, trifles, that litell have availed,
And thynges wyth whiche they fetely blere oure eye,
Wyth thynges not endurynge that we bye.
For moche of thys chaffare that is wastable
Mighte be forborne for dere and dyssevable;
And that I wene as for infirmitees
In oure Englonde are suche comoditees
Wythowten helpe of any other londe,
Whych ben by wytte and prattike bothe ifounde,
That all ill humors myght be voyded sure,
Whych that we gadre wyth oure Englysh cure,
That wee shulde have no nede to skamonye,
Turbit, euforbe, correcte, diagredie,
Rubarbe, sen鬠and yet they bene to nedefulle.
But I knowe wele thynges also spedefull
That growene here as these thynges forseyde.
Lett of this matere no mane be dysmayde,
But that a man may voyde infirmytee
Wythoute drugges fet fro beyonde the see.
And yf there shulde excepte be ony thynge,
It were but sugre, truste to my seyinge;
And he that trustith not to my sentence
Lett hym better serche experience.
In this mater I woll not ferthere prese;
Who so not beleveth let hym leve and cease.


Thus these galeise for this lykynge ware
And etynge ware bere hens oure beste chaffare,
Clothe, woll and tynne, whiche, as I seyde beforne,
Oute of this londe werste myght be forborne;
For eche other londe of necessite
Have grete nede to by some of the thre.
And wee resseyve of hem into this coste
Ware and chaffare that lyghtlye wol be loste.
And wolde Ihesu that oure lordis wolde
Considre this wel, both the yonge and olde,
Namelye the olde that have experience,
That myghte the yonge exorten to prudence.
What harme, what hurte and what hinderaunce
Is done to us unto oure grete grevaunce
Of suche londes and of suche nacions,
As experte men knowe by probacions!
By wretynge ar discured oure counsayles
And false coloured alwey the countertayles
Of oure enmyes, that dothe us hinderinge
Unto oure goodes, oure realme and to the kynge,
As wysse men have shewed well at eye,
And alle this is colowred by marchaundye.


Ane emsampelle of deseytte.
Also they bere the golde oute of thys londe
And souke the thryfte awey oute of oure honde;
As the waffore soukethe honye fro the bee,
So myn? oure commodite.
Now woll ye here how they in Cotteswolde
Were wonte to borowe, or they schulde be solde,
Here wolles gode (as als fro yere to yere
Of clothe and tynne they did in lych manere),
And in her galeys schyppe this marchaundye;
Then sone at Venice of them men wol it bye.
They utterne ther the chaffare be the payse,
And lyghtlye also ther they make her reys.
And whan tho gode bene at Venice solde,
Than to carrye her chaunge they ben full bolde
Into Flaundres; whan they this money have,
They wyll it profre, ther sotelte to save,
To Englysshe marchaundis to yeve it oute by eschaunge.
To be paide agayne they make it nothing straunge
Here in Englonde, semynge for the better,
At the receyvyng and sighte of a letter,
By iiij. penyes losse in the noble rounde,
That is xij. penyes in the golden pounde.
And yf we woll have of paymente
A full monythe, than moste hym nedes assente
To viij. penyes losse, that is shellynges tweyne
In the Englysshe pounde; as efte sones agayne
For ij. monythes xij. penyes muste he paye.
In the Englysshe pounde what is that to seye
But iij. shyllinges? So that in pounde felle
For hurte and harme harde is wyth hem to delle.
And whene Englysshe marchaundys have contente
This eschaunge in Englonde of assente,
Than these seyde Venecians have in wone
And Florentynes to bere here golde sone
Overe the see into Flaundres ageyne;
And thus they lyve in Flaundres, sothe to sayne,
And in London wyth suche chevesaunce
That men call usure to oure losse and hinderaunce.


Anothere exemple of disceytte.
Now lestene welle how they made us a baleys,
Whan they borowed at the toune of Caleys,
As they were wonte, ther woll that was hem lente;
For yere and yere they schulde make paymente,
And sometyme als for too yere and too yere.
This was fayre lone; but yett woll ye here
How they to Bruges wolde her wolles carye
And for hem take paymente wythowten tarye
And sell it faste for redy money in honde
(For fifty pounde of losse thei wolde not wonde
In a thowsande pounde) and lyve therebye
Tyll the day of paymente easylye,
Some gayne ageyne in exchaunge makynge,
Full lyke usurie as men make undertakynge.
Than whan thys payment of a thowsande pounde
Was well contente, they shulde have chaffare sounde
Yff they wolde fro the staple at the full
Reseyve ageyne ther thousande pounde in woll.
[And thus they wolde, if ye will so beleve,
Wypen our nose with our owne sleve.
Thow this proverbe be homly and undew,
Yet be liklynesse it is for soth full trew.]
In Cotteswolde also they ryde aboute
And al Englonde and bien wythouten doute
What them liste wythe fredome and fraunchise,
More then we Englisshe may getyn in any wyse.
But wolde God that wythoute lenger delayse
These galeise were unfraught in xl. daies
And in tho xl. dayes were charged ageyne,
And that they myght be put to certeyne
To go to oste, as wee there wyth hem doo.
It were expediente that they did right soo,
As wee do there; for, if the kynge wolde itt,
A! what worschip wold fall to Englysshe witte!
What profite also to oure marchaundye,
Whiche wolde of nede be cherisshed hartelye!
For I wolde wete why nowe owre navey fayleth,
Whan many a foo us at oure dorre assayleth,
Now in these dayes that, if there come a nede,
What navey shulde wee have it is to drede.
In Denmarke were full noble conquerours
In tyme passed, full worthy werriours,
Whiche when they had here marchaundes destroyde,
To poverte they fell, thus were they noyede,
And so they stonde at myscheffe at this daye.
This lerned I late well wryten, this is no naye.
Therefore beware, I can no better wylle,
Yf grace it woll, of other mennys perylle.
For yef marchaundes were cherysshede to here spede,
We were not lykelye to fayle in ony nede;
Yff they bee riche, thane in prosperite
Schalbe oure londe, lordes and comonte.
And in worship nowe think I on the sonne
Of marchaundy Richarde of Whitingdone,
That loodes sterre and chefe chosen floure.
Whate hathe by hym oure England of honoure,
And whate profite hathe bene of his richesse,
And yet lasteth dayly in worthinesse,
That penne and papere may not me suffice
Him to describe, so high he was of prise,
Above marchaundis to sett him one the beste!
I can no more, but God have hym in reste.


Nowe the principalle matere.
What reason is it that wee schulde go to oste
In there cuntrees and in this Englisshe coste
They schulde not so, but have more liberte
Than wee oure selfe? Now, all so mot I the,
I wolde men shulde to geftes take no hede,
That lettith oure thinge publique for to spede.
For this wee see well every day at eye,
Geftes and festes stopene oure pollicye.
Now se that fooles bene eyther they or wee;
But evere wee have the warse in this contre.
Therefore lett hem unto ooste go wyth us here,
Or be wee free wyth hem in like manere
In there cuntres; and if it woll not bee,
Compelle them unto ooste and ye shall see
Moche avauntage and muche profite arise,
Moche more than I write can in any wyse.


Of oure charge and discharge at here martes.
Conseyve well here that Englyssh men at martes
Be discharged, for all her craftes and artes,
In the Braban of all here marchaundy
In xiiij. dayes and ageyne hastely
In the same dayes xiiij. are charged efte.
And yf they byde lengere, alle is berefte;
Anone they schulde forfet here godes all
Or marchaundy, it schulde no bettere fall.
And wee to martis of Braban charged bene
Wyth Englyssh clothe, full gode and feyre to seyne.
Wee bene ageyne charged wyth mercerye,
Haburdasshere ware and wyth grocerye.
To whyche martis, that Englissh men call feyres,
Iche nacion ofte maketh here repayeres.
Englysshe and Frensh, Lumbardes, Januayes,
Cathᬯnes, theder they take here wayes;
Scottes, Spaynardes, Iresshmen there abydes,
Whiche grete plente bringen of salte hydes.
And I here saye that wee in Braban bye
Flaundres and Seland more of marchaundy
In comon use then done all other nacions;
This have I herde of marchaundes relacions.
And yff the Englysshe be not in the martis,
They bene febell and as noughte bene here partes;
For they bye more and more fro purse put oute
For marchaundy than all the othere route.
Kepte than the see, shyppes schulde not bringe ne feche,
And than the carreys wolde not theder streche;
And so tho martes wolde full evel thee,
Yf wee manly kepte aboute the see.


Of the commoditees of Brabane and Selande and Henaulde and marchaundyses caryed by londe to the martes. The viij. chapitle.
The marchaundy of Brabane and Selande
Be madre and woade, that dyers take one hande
To dyen wythe, garleke and onyons,
And saltfysche als for husbond and comons.
But they of Holonde at Caleyse byene oure felles
And oure wolles that Englysshe men hem selles,
And the chefare that Englysshe men do byene
In the martis, that no man may denyene,
It is not made in Brabane that cuntre.
It commeth frome oute of Henaulde, not be the see
But all by londe by carris and frome Fraunce,
Burgoyne, Coleyn, Camerete in substaunce.
Therfore at martis yf there be a restereynte,
Men seyne pleynly, that liste no fables peynte,
Yf Englysshe men be wythdrawene awey,
Is grete rebuke and losse to here affraye,
As thoughe wee sent into the londe of Fraunce
Tenne thousande peple, men of gode puissaunce,
To werre unto her hynderynge multiphary;
So bene oure Englysshe marchauntes necessary.
Yf it be thus assay and ye schall weten
Of men experte by whome I have this wryten.
For seyde is that this carted marchaundye
Drawethe in valew as moche verralye
As all the gode that commethe in shippes thedyre,
Whyche Englisshe men bye moste and bryng it hedire;
For here martis bene feble, shame to saye,
But if Englisshe men thedir dresse here waye.


Conclusione of this deppendinge of kepinge of the see.
Than I conclude, yff nevere so moche by londe
Werre by carres ibrought unto there honde,
Yff well the see were kepte in governaunce,
They shulde by see have no delyveraunce.
Wee shulde hem stoppe and wee shulde hem destroy,
As prysoners wee shulde hem brynge to noy.
And so wee shulde of oure cruell enmysse
Maken oure frendes for fere of marchaundysse,
Yff they were not suffred for to passe
Into Flaundres; but wee be frayle as glasse
And also bretyll, not tough, nevere abydynge.
But when grace shyneth sone are wee slydynge;
Wee woll it not reseyve in any wysse,
That maken luste, envye and covetysse.
Expoune me this and ye shall sothe it fynde;
Bere it aweye and kepe it in youre mynde.


The nayle of thys conclusione.
Than shulde worshyp unto oure noble be,
In feet and forme to lorde and mageste.
Liche as the seale, the grettest of thys londe,
On the one syde hathe, as I understonde,
A prince rydynge wyth hys swerde idrawe,
In the other syde sittynge, sothe is this sawe,
Betokenynge goode reule and ponesshynge
In verry dede of Englande by the kynge
(And hit is so, God blessyd mote he bee);
So one lychewysse I wolde were on the see.
By the noble that swerde schulde have powere
And the shippes one the see aboute us here.
What nedeth a garlande whyche is made of ivye
Shewe a taverne wynelesse? Nowe, also thryve I,
Yf men were wyse, the Frenshemen and Flemmynge
Shulde bere no state in the see by werrynge.


Of Hankyne Lyons.
Thane Hankyn Lyons shulde not be so bolde
To stoppe us and oure shippes for to holde
Unto oure shame; he hadde be betene thens.
Allas, allas, why dede wee this offence
Fully to shende the olde Englisshe fames
And the profittes of Englonde and there names?
Why is this powdre called of covetise
Wyth fals colours caste thus beforne oure eyes?
That, if goode men called werryours
Wolde take in hand for the comon socours
To purge the see unto oure grete avayle
And wynne hem gode, and to have up the sayle
And one oure enmyes there lives to juparte,
So that they myght there pryses well departe,
As reason wolde, justice and equite,
To make this lande have lordeshyp of the sea,
Than shall Lumbardes and other feyned frendes
Make her chalenges by coloure false of fendes
And sey ther chafare in the shippes is
And chalenge all. Loke yf this be amisse.
For thus may all that men have bought to sore
Ben sone excused and saved by false coloure.
Beware ye men that bere the grete on honde,
That they destroy the polycye of this londe
By gifte and goode and the fyne golden clothes
And silke and othere. Sey ye not this sothe is?
Bot if ye hadde verry experience
That they take mede wyth pryve violence,
Carpettis and thynges of price and of pleysaunce,
Whereby stopped shulde be gode governaunce,
And if it were as ye seye unto me,
Than wolde I seye, allas, cupidite,
That they that have here lyves put in drede
Schalbe sone oute of wynnynge al for mede,
And lese here costes and brought to poverte,
That they shall nevere have luste to go to see.


Sterynge to an ordinaunce ayens coloure of maynteners and excusers.
For thys colour, that muste be seyde alofte
And be declared of the grete fulle ofte,
That oure seemen woll by many wyse
Spoylle oure frendys in stede of oure enmyse-
For thys coloure and Lumbardes mayntenaunce
The kynge it nedeth to make an ordinaunce
Wyth hys counsell, that may not fayle, I trowe,
That frendes shuld frome enmyes well be knowe,
Oure enmyes taken and oure frendes spared;
The remedy of hem muste be declared.
Thus may the see be kept now in no sele,
For, if ought be taken, wotte ye weel,
Wee have the strokes and enmyes have the wynnynge;
But maynteners ar parteners of the synnynge.
Wee lyve in luste and byde in covetyse;
This is oure reule to mayntene marchaundyse,
And polycye that we have on the see,
And, but God helpe, it woll none other bee.


Of the commoditees of Irelonde and policye and kepynge therof and conquerynge of wylde Iryshe, wyth an incident of Walys. The ix. chapitle.
I caste to speke of Irelonde but a lytelle.
Commoditees of it I woll entitell
Hydes and fish, samon, hake and herynge;
Irish wollen and lynyn cloth, faldynge,
And marterns gode bene in here marchaundye;
Hertys hydes and other hydes of venerye,
Skynnes of oter, squerel and Irysh hare,
Of shepe, lambe and fox is here chaffare,
Felles of kydde and conyes grete plente.
So that yf Irelond halpe us to kepe the see,
Because the kynge clepid is rex Anglie
And is dominus also Hibernie,
Of old possessyd by progenitours,
The Yrichemen have cause lyke to oures
Oure londe and herres togedre to defende,
So that none enmye shulde hurte ne offende
Yrelonde ne us, but as one comonte
Shulde helpe to kepe well aboute the see.
For they have havenes grete and godely bayes,
Sure, wyde and depe and of ryght gode assayes
Att Waterforde and coostes monye one;
And, as men seyn, in England be there none
Better havenes for shyppes in to ryde,
Ne none more sure for enmyes to abyde.


Why speke I thus so muche of Yrelonde?
For also muche as I can understonde,
It is fertyle for thynge that there do growe
And multiplyen, loke who so lust to knowe,
So large, so gode and so comodyouse
That to declare is straunge and merveylouse.
For of sylvere and golde there is the oore
Amonge the wylde Yrishe, though they be pore,
For they ar rude and can thereone no skylle;
So that, if we had there pese and gode wylle
To myne and fyne and metall for to pure,
In wylde Yrishe myght we fynde the cure.
As in Londone seyth a juellere,
Whych brought from thens gold oore to us here,
Wherof was fyned metalle gode and clene,
That at the touche no bettere coude be sene.
Nowe here beware and hertly take entente,
As ye woll answere at the laste jugemente,
That, but for sloughe and for recheleshede,
Ye remembere and wyth all youre myghte take hede
To kepen Yrelond that it be not loste,
For it is a boterasse and a poste
Undre England, and Wales is another.
God forbede but eche were othere brothere,
Of one ligeaunce dewe unto the kynge.
But I have pite in gode feythe of thys thynge,
That I shall saye wythe gode avysemente
I ham aferde that Yrelonde wol be shente;
It muste awey, it woll be loste frome us,
But if thow helpe, thow Ihesu graciouse,
And yeve us grase all sloughte to leve bysyde.
For myche thynge in my harte is ihyde,
Whyche in another tretyse I caste to wrytte,
Made all onelye for that soyle and site
Of fertile Yerelonde, whiche myghte not be forborne
But if Englond were nyghe as gode as lorne.
God forebede that a wylde Yrishe wyrlynge
Shulde be chosene for to be there kynge
Aftere here conqueste of oure laste puisshaunce
And hyndere us by other londes allyaunce.
Wyse mene seyne, whyche folyne not ne dotyne,
That wylde Yrishe so muche of grounde have gotyne
There upon us, as lykelynesse may be,
Lyke as England to shires two or thre
Of thys oure londe is made comparable;
So wylde Yrishe have wonne on us unable
It to defenden and of none powere,
That oure grounde there is a lytell cornere
To all Yrelonde in treue comparisone.
It nedeth no more this matere to expone.
Which if it be loste, as Criste Ihesu forbede,
Farewell Wales; than Englond cometh to drede
For alliaunce of Scotlonde and of Spayne
And other moo, as the Pety Bretayne,
And so to have enmyes environ aboute.
I beseche God that some prayers devoute
Mutt lett the seyde apparaunce probable.
Thys is disposed wythought feyned fable,
But alle onely for parelle that I see
Thus ymynent as lykely for to be.
And well I wott that frome hens to Rome,
And, as men sey, in alle Cristendome,
There ys no grounde ne land to Yreland lyche,
So large, so gode, so plenteouse, so riche,
That to this worde Dominus dothe longe.
Than me semyth that ryght were and not wronge
To gete that lond, and it were piteouse
To us to lese thys hygh name Dominus;
And all this worde Dominus of name
Shulde have the grounde obeisaunte, wylde and tame,
That name and peple togedere myght accorde,
And all the grounde be subjecte to the lorde.
And that it is possible to be subjecte
Unto the kynge well shall it be detecte
In the lytell boke that I of spake;
I trowe reson all this woll undertake.
And I knowe well with Irland howe it stant.
Allas, fortune begynneth so to scant,
Or ellis grace, that dede is governaunce;
For so mynusshyth partyes of oure puissaunce
In that land that we lesen every yere
More grounde and more, as well as ye may here.
I herde a man speke unto me full late,
Whyche was a lorde and of ful grete astate,
That exspenses of one yere don in Fraunce,
Werred on men well wylled of puissaunce
Thys seyde grounde of Yrelonde to conquere,
(And yit because Englonde myght not forbere
These seyde exspenses gedred in one yere,
But in iij. yere or iiij. gadred up here)
Myght wynne Yrelonde to a fynall conquest
In one soole yere, to sett us all in reste.
And how sone wolde thys be payde ageyne,
What were it worthe yerely, yf wee not feyne,
I wylle declaren, who so luste to looke,
I trowe ful pleynly in my lytell boke.
But covetyse and singularite
Of owne profite, envye, carnalite
Hathe done us harme and doo us every daye,
And mustres made that shame it is to saye,
Oure money spente all to lytell avayle;
And oure enmyes so gretely done prevayle,
That what harme may falle and overthwerte
I may unneth wrytte more for sore of herte.


An exhortacione to the kepynge of Walys.
Beware of Walys, Criste Ihesu mutt us kepe,
That it make not oure childes childe to wepe,
Ne us also, if so it go his waye
By unwarenesse; sethen that many a day
Men have be ferde of here rebellione
By grete tokenes and ostentacione.
Seche the menys wyth a discrete avyse,
And helpe that they rudely not aryse
For to rebellen; that Criste it forbede
Loke well aboute, for God wote we have nede,
Unfayllyngly, unfeynynge and unfeynte,
That conscience for slought you not atteynte.
Kepe well that grounde for harme that may ben used,
Or afore God mutt ye bene accused.


Of the comodius stokfysshe of Yselonde and kepynge of the see, namely the narowe see, wyth an incident of the kepynge of Calyse. The tenne chapitule.
Of Yseland to wryte is lytill nede
Save of stokfische; yit for sothe in dede
Out of Bristow and costis many one
Men have practised by nedle and by stone
Thiderwardes wythine a lytel whylle,
Wythine xij. yeres, and wythoute parille,
Gone and comen, as men were wonte of olde
Of Scarborowgh, unto the costes colde.
And now so fele shippes thys yere there were
That moche losse for unfraught they bare.
Yselond myght not make hem to be fraught
Unto the hawys; this moche harme they caught.


Thene here I ende of the comoditees
For whiche grete nede is well to kepe the sees.
Este and weste and sowthe and northe they be,
And chefely kepe sharply the narowe see
Betwene Dover and Caleise, and as thus
That foes passe not wythought godewyll of us,
And they abyde oure daunger in the lenghte,
What for oure costis and Caleise in oure strenghte.


An exortacion of the sure kepynge of Calise.
And for the love of God and of his blisse
Cherishe ye Caleise better than it is.
See well therto and here the grete compleynte
That trewe men tellen, that woll no lies peynte,
And as ye knowe that writynge commyth from thens.
Do not to England for sloughte so grete offens
But that redressed it be for ony thynge,
Leste a songe of sorow that wee synge.
For lytell wenythe the fole, who so myght chese,
What harme it were gode Caleise for to lese,
What woo it were for all this Englysshe grounde.
Whiche well conceyved the emperoure Sigesmounde,
That of all joyes made it one the moste
That Caleise was soget unto Englyssh coste.
Hym thought it was a jewel moste of alle,
And so the same in latyn did it calle.
And if ye woll more of Caleise here and knowe,
I caste to writte wythine a litell scrowe,
Lyke as I have done byforene by and bye
In othir parties of oure pollicie.
Loke well how harde it was at the firste to gete,
And by my counsell lyghtly be it not lete.
For, if wee leese it wyth shame of face,
Wylfully it is, it is for lake of grace.
Howe was Hareflewe cryed upon at Rone
That it were likely for slought to be gone!
How was it warened and cryed on in Englonde!
I make recorde wyth this penne in myne honde,
It was warened pleynly in Normandye
And in England, and I thereone dyd crye.
The worlde was deef, and it betid ryght soo.
Farewell Hareflewe, leudely it was agoo.
Now ware Caleise, for I can sey no bettere;
My soule discharge I by this presente lettere.


Aftere the chapitles of commoditees of dyuerse landes shewyth the conclusione of kepynge of the see environ by a storye of kynge Edgare and ij. incidentes of kynge Edwarde the iijde and kynge Herry the vth. The xi. chapitle.
Now see well thane that in this rounde see
To oure noble be paryformytee.
Within the shypp is shewyd there the sayle
And oure kynge of royall apparaylle,
Wyth swerde drawen, bryght, sharp and extente,
For to chastisen enmyes vyolente;
So shulde he be lorde of the see aboute,
To kepe enmyes fro wythine and wythoute,
And to be holde thorowgh Cristianyte
Master and lorde environ of the see,
For all lyvinge men suche a prince to drede,
Of suche a regne to be aferde indede.
Thus prove I well that it was thus of olde,
Whiche by a cronicle anone shalbe tolde,
Ryght curiouse (but I woll interprete
Hit into Englishe as I did it gete)
Of kynge Edgare, oo the moste merveyllouse
Prince lyvynge, wytty and moste chevalrouse,
So gode that none of his predecessours
Was to hym lyche in prudens and honours.
He was fort?and more gracious
Then other before and more glorious;
He was benethe no man in holinesse;
He passed alle in vertuuse swetenesse.
Of Englysshe kynges was none so commend᢬e
To Englysshe men, ne lasse memori᢬e
Than Cirus was to Perse by puissaunce;
And as grete Charlis was to them of Fraunce,
And as to Romains was grete Romulus,
So was to England this worthy Edgarus.
I may not write more of his worthynesse
For lake of tyme ne of his holynesse,
But to my mater I hym examplifie
Of condicions tweyne of his policie.
Wythine his land was one, this is no doute,
And anothere in the see wythoute,
That in the tyme of wynter and of vere,
Whan boistous wyndes put seemen into fere,
Wythine his lande aboute by all provinces
He passyd thorowghe, perceyvynge his princes,
Lordes and othir of the commontee,
Who was oppressoure, and who to poverte
Was drawe and broughte, and who was clene in lyffe,
And who was falle by myscheffe and by stryffe
Wyth overeledynge and extorcione;
And gode and bad of eche condicione
He aspied and his mynisters als,
Who did trought and whiche of hem was fals,
And how the ryght and lawes of his londe
Were execute, and who durste take on honde
To disobeye his statutes and decrees,
And yf they were well kepte in all cuntrees.
Of these he made subtile investigacione
By hys owyne espye and other mens relacione.
Amonge othyr was his grete besines
Well to bene ware that grete men of rycchesse
And men of myght in citee ner in toune
Shuld to the pore doo none oppressione.
Thus was he wonte as in this wynter tyde
One suche enserchise busily to abyde.
This was his laboure for the publique thinge;
This occupied a passynge holy kynge.


Now to the purpose, in the somer fayre
Of lusty season, whan clered was the eyre,
He had redy shippes made by him before,
Grete and huge, not fewe but manye a score,
Full thre thousande and sex hundred also,
Statelye inowgh on any see to goo.
The cronicle seyth these shippes were full boisteous;
Suche thinges longen to kynges victorious.
In somere tide wolde he have in wone
And in custome to be full redy sone
Wyth multitude of men of gode array
And instrumentis of werre of beste assay.
Who coude hem well in ony wyse descrive?
Hit were not lyght for ony man on lyve.
Thus he and his wolde entre shippes grete,
Habilementis havynge and the fete
Of see werres, that joyfull was to see
Suche a naveie and lord of mageste
There present in persone hem amonge,
To saile and rowe environ all alonge
So regaliche aboute the Englisshe yle,
To all straungeours a terroure and perille.
Whose soune wente oute in all the world aboute
Unto grete ferre of all that be wythoute,
And exercise to knyghtes and his meyn鼢r> To hym longynge of his natall contr鬼br> (For corage muste of nede have exercise)
Thus occupied for esshewynge of vise.
This knewe the kynge, that policie espied;
Wynter and somer he was thus occupied.
And thus conclude I by auctorite
Of cronicle that environ the see
Shulde bene oures subjecte unto the kynge,
And he be lorde therof for ony thynge,
For grete worship and for profite also,
And to defende his londe fro every foo.


That worthy kynge I leve, Edgar by name,
And all the cronique of his worthy fame;
Save onely this, I may not passe awey
A word of myghty strenght til that I seye,
That grauntyd hym God suche worship here
For his meritis he was wythouten pere,
That sumtyme at his grete festivite
Kynges and yerles of many a contre
And of provinces fele were there presente,
And mony lordes come thidere by assente
To his worship. But in a certayne daye
He bade shippes be redy of arraye,
For to visite seynte Jonys chyrche he lyste,
Rowynge unto the gode holy Baptiste.
He assyned to yerles, lordes, knyghtes
Many shippes ryght godely to syghtes;
And for hymselfe and for viij. kynges mo
Subdite to hym he made kepe one of tho,
A gode shipp, and entred into it
Wyth tho viij. kynges, and doune did they sit.
And eche of them an ore toke in honde
At the ore holes, as I understonde,
And he hymselfe satte in the shipp behynde
As sterisman; it hym becam of kynde.
Suche another rowynge, I dare well saye,
Was not sene of princes many a day.
Lo than how he on waters had the price,
In land, in see, that I may not suffice
To tell aright the magnanimite
That this kynge Edgar had upon the see.


An incident of the lorde of the see kynge Edwarde the thredde.
Of kynge Edwarde I passe and his prowesse;
On londe, on see ye knowe his worthynesse.
The siege of Caleise ye wote well all the mater,
Rounde aboute by londe and by the water
How it lasted not yeres many agoo,
After the bataille of Crecy was idoo
How it was closed environ aboute.
Olde men sawe it whiche lyven, this is no doute.
Olde knyghtis sey that the duke of Burgoyne,
Late rebuked for all his golden coyne,
Of shipp and see made no besegynge there.
For wante of shippes, that durste not come for fere,
It was no thynge beseged by the see;
Thus calle they it no seage for honeste.
Gonnes assayled, but assaute was there none,
No sege but fuge; well was he that myght gone.
This manere carpynge have knyghtes ferre in age,
Experte of olde in this manere langage.
But kynge Edwarde made a sege royall
And wanne the toune, and in especiall
The see was kepte and thereof he was lorde;
Thus made he nobles coigned of recorde.
In whose tyme was no navey in the see
That myght wythstonde the power of hys mageste.
The bataylle of Sluce ye may rede every day;
How it was done I leve and go my way.
Hit was so late done that ye it knowe,
In comparison wythine a lytel throwe.
For whiche to God yeve we honoure and glorye,
For lorde of see the kynge was wyth victó²¹¥.


Anothere incident of kepynge of the see in the tyme of the merveillouse werroure and victorius prince kynge Herry the vth and of his grete shippes.
And yf I shulde conclude al by the kynge
Henry the fifte, what was hys purposynge
Whan at Hampton he made the grete dromons,
Which passed other grete shippes of all the comons,
The Trinite, the Grace Dieu, the Holy Goste
And other moo, whiche as now be loste?
What hope ye was the kynges grette entente
Of tho shippes and what in mynde he mente?
It was not ellis but that he caste to be
Lorde rounde aboute environ of the see.
And whan Harflew had his sege aboute,
There came carikkys orrible, grete and stoute,
In the narowe see wyllynge to abyde,
To stoppe us there wyth multitude of pride.
My lorde of Bedeforde came one and had the cure;
Destroyde they were by that discomfiture,
(This was after the kynge Hareflew had wonne,
Whane oure enmyes to besege had begonne)
That all was slayne or take by treue relacione
To his worship and of his Englisshe nacione.
Ther was presente the kynges chamburleyne
At bothe batayles, whiche knowethe this in certayne;
He can it tell other wyse than I.
Aske hym and witt; I passe forthe hastelye.
What had this kynge of high magnificens,
Of grete corage, of wysdome and prudence,
Provision, forewitte, audacite,
Of fortitude, justice, agilite,
Discrecion, subtile avisifenesse,
Atemperaunce, noblesse and worthynesse,
Science, proesce, devocion, equyte,
Of moste estately magnanimite,
Liche to Edgare and the seyd Edwarde,
A braunche of bothe, lyche hem as in regarde!
Where was on lyve man more victoriouse,
And in so shorte tyme prince so mervelouse?
By lande and see so well he hym acquite,
To speke of hym I stony in my witte.


Thus here I leve the kynge wyth his noblesse,
Henry the fifte, wyth whome all my processe
Of this trewe boke of the pure pollicie
Of see kepinge entendynge victorie
I leve endely, for aboute in the see
No better was prince of strenuite.
And if he had to this tyme lyved here,
He had bene prince named wythouten pere;
His grete shippes shulde have bene put in preffe
Unto the ende that he mente of in cheffe.
For doute it nat but that he wolde have be
Lorde and master aboute the rounde see,
And kepte it sure, to stoppe oure enmyes hens,
And wonne us gode and wysely brought it thens,
That no passage shulde be wythought daungere
And his licence on see to meve and stere.


Of unité ³hewynge of oure kepynge of the see, wyth ane endely processe of pease by auctorite. The xij. chapitule.
Now than, for love of Cryste and of his joye,
Brynge yit Englande out of troble and noye;
Take herte and witte and set a governaunce,
Set many wittes wythouten variaunce
To one acorde and unanimite
Put to gode wylle for to kepe the see,
Furste for worshyp and for profite also,
And to rebuke of eche evyl-wylled foo.
Thus shall richesse and worship to us longe,
Than to the noble shall wee do no wronge,
To bere that coigne in figure and in dede,
To oure corage and to oure enmyes drede;
For whiche they muste dresse hem to pease in haste,
Or ellis there thrifte to standen and to waste,
As this processe hathe proved by and bye,
All by reason and experte policie,
And by stories whiche preved well this parte,
And elles I woll my lyffe put in jeparte.
But many landes wolde seche her peace for nede;
The see well kepte, it must be do for drede.
Thus muste Flaundres for nede have unite
And pease wyth us, it woll none other bee,
Wythine shorte while, and ambassiatours
Wolde bene here sone to trete for ther socours.
This unité ©s to Goddes plesaunce,
And pease after the werres variaunce;
The ende of bataile is pease sikerlye,
And power causeth pease finall verily.


Kepe than the see abought in speciall,
Whiche of England is the rounde wall,
As thoughe England were lykened to a cite
And the wall environ were the see.
Kepe than the see, that is the wall of Englond,
And than is Englond kepte by Goddes sonde;
That, as for ony thinge that is wythoute,
Englande were than at ease wythouten doute,
And thus shuld everi lande, one with another,
Entrecomon as brother wyth his brother,
And live togedre werreles in unite
Wythoute rancoure in verry charite,
In reste and pese to Cristis grete plesaunce,
Wythouten striffe, debate and variaunce.
Whiche pease men shulde enserche with besinesse
And knytt it sadely, holdyng in holynesse.
The apostil seyth, if that ye liste to see,
'Be ye busy for to kepe unite
Of the spirite in the bonde of pease,'
Whiche is nedefull to all wythouten lees.
The profete bideth us pease for to enquere;
To purseue it, this is holy desire.
Oure lord Ihesu seith 'Blessid mot they be
That maken pease', that is tranquillite;
For 'peasemakers', as Mathew writeth aryght,
'Shall be called the sonnes of God Allmight'.
God yeve us grace the weyes for to kepe
Of his preceptis and slugly not to slepe
In shame of synne, that oure verry foo
Mow be to us convers and torned too.
For in Proverbis a texte is to purpose
And pleyne inowgh wythouten ony glose,
'Whan mennes weyes please unto oure Lorde,
It shall converte and brynge to accorde
Mannes enmyes unto the pease verray',
In unité ´o live to Goddis pay.
Whiche unit鬠pease, reste and charite
He that was here cladde in humanite,
That came from hevyne and stiede with our nature
(Or he ascendid he yafe to oure cure
And lefte us pease ageyne striffe and debate),
Mote gefe us-pease so well iradicate
Here in this worlde that after att his feste
Wee mowe have pease in the londe of beheste,
Jerusalem, which of pease is the sight,
Wyth the bryghtnes of his eternall lighte,
There glorified in reste wyth his tuicione,
The Deite to see wyth full fruicione.
He secunde persone in divinenesse is;
He us assume and brynge us to his blisse.


Amen.

Here endithe the trewe processe of the libelle of Englysshe policie, exhortynge all Englande to kepe the see environ and namely the narowe see, shewynge whate worshipe, profite and salvacione commeth thereof to the reigne of Englonde, etc.
Go furthe, libelle, and mekely shewe thy face,
Apperynge ever wyth humble contynaunce,
And pray my lordes thee to take in grace
In opposaile and, cherishynge thee, avaunce
To hardynesse, if that not variaunce
Thow haste fro troughte by full experience,
Auctours and reasone; yif ought faile in substaunce,
Remitte to heme that yafe thee this science.


Sythen that it is sothe in verray feythe
That the wyse lorde baron of Hungerforde
Hathe thee oversene, and verrily he seithe
That thow arte trewe, and thus he dothe recorde,
Nexte the Gospell: God wotte it was his worde,
Whanne he thee redde all over in a nyghte.
Go forthe, trewe booke, and Criste defende thi ryghte.


Explicit libellus de policia conservativa maris.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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