Anonymous Olde English


The Turnament Of Tottenham - Poem by Anonymous Olde English

The Turnament of Tottenham; or, the Wooeing, Winning, and Wedding of Tibbe, the Reev's Davghter There.


Of all thes kene conquerours to carpe it were kynde;
Of fele feyztyng folk ferly we fynde;
The Turnament of Totenham have we in mynde;
It were harme sych hardynes were holden byhynde,
In story as we rede
Of Hawkyn, of Herry,
Of Tomkyn, of Terry,
Of them that were dughty
And stalworth in dede.

It befel in Totenham on a dere day,
Ther was mad a shurtyng be the hyway;
Theder com al the men of the contray,
Of Hyssylton, of Hy-gate, and of Hakenay,
And all the swete swynkers:
Ther hopped Hawkyn,
Ther daunsed Dawkyn,
Ther trumped Tomkyn,
And all were trewe drynkers.

Tyl the day was gon and evyn-song past,
That thay shuld reckyn ther scot and ther counts cast;
Perkyn, the potter, into the press past,
And sayd, 'Randol, the refe, a dozter thou hast,
Tyb the dere.
Therefor faine wyt wold I,
Whych of all thys bachelery
Were best worthye
To wed hur to hys fere.'

Upstyrt thos gadelyngys wyth ther lang staves,
And sayd, 'Randol, the refe, lo, thys lad raves;
Boldely amang us thy dozter he craves;
We er rycher men than he, and mor gode haves,
Of cattell and corn.'
Then sayd Perkyn, 'To Tybbe I have hyzt,
That I schal be alway redy in my ryzt,
If that it schuld be thys day sevenyzt,
Or elles zet to morn.'

Then sayd Randolfe, the refe, 'Ever be he waryd
That about thys carpyng lenger wold be taryd:
I wold not my dozter, that scho were miscaryd,
But at hur most worschip I wold scho were maryd.
Therfor a Turnament schal begynne
Thys day sevenyzt,-
Wyth a flayl for to fyzt:
And 'he' that is of most myght
Schal brouke hur wyth wynne.

'Whoso berys hym best in the turnament,
Hym schal be granted the gre be the comon assent,
For to wynne my dozter wyth 'dughtynesse' of dent,
And 'Coppell' my brode-henne, 'that' was brozt out of Kent,
And my dunyd kowe.
For no spens wyl I spare,
For no cattell wyl I care;
He schal have my gray mare,
And my spottyd sowe.'

Ther was many 'a' bold lad ther bodyes to bede:
Than thay toke thayr leve and homward they zede,
And all the weke afterward graythed ther wede,
Tyll it come to the day, that thay suld do ther dede.
They armed tham in matts
Thay set on ther nollys,
For to hepe ther pollys,
Gode blake bollys,
For bateryng of bats.

Thay sowed tham in schepeskynnes, for thay schuld not brest,
Ilk-on toke a blak hat, insted of a crest,
'A basket or a panyer before on ther brest,'
And a flayle in ther hande; for to fyght prest,
Furth gon thay fare.
Ther was kyd mekyl fors,
Who schuld best fend hys cors;
He that had no gode hors,
He gat hym a mare.

Sych another gadryng have I not sene oft,
When all the gret company com rydand to the croft;
Tyb on a gray mare was set up on loft
On a sek ful of fedyrs, for scho sculd syt soft,
And led 'till the gap.'
For cryeng of the men
Forther wold not Tyb then,
Tyl scho had hur brode hen
Set in hur Lap.

A gay gyrdyl Tyb had on, borowed for the nonys,
And a garland on hur hed, ful of rounde bonys,
And a broche on hur brest, ful of 'sapphyre' stonys,
Wyth the holy-rode tokenyng, was wrotyn for the nonys;
For no 'spendings' thay had spared.
When joly Gyb saw hur thare,
He gyrd so hys gray mare,
'That scho lete a fowkin' fare
At the rereward.

'I wow to God,' quoth Herry, 'I schal not lefe behynde;
May I mete wyth Bernard on Bayard the blynde.
Ich man kepe hym out of my wynde,
For whatsoever that he be, before me I fynde,
I wot I schall hym greve.'
'Wele sayd,' quoth Hawkyn,
'And I wow,' quoth Dawkyn,
'May I mete wyth Tomkyn,
Hys flayle I schal hym reve.'

'I make a vow,' quoth Hud, 'Tyb, son schal thou se,
Whych of all thys bachelery 'granted' is the gre.
I schal scomfet thaym all, for the love of the;
In what place so I come thay schal have dout of me,
Myn armes ar so clere:
I bere a reddyl, and a rake,
Poudred wyth a brenand drake,
And three cantells of a cake
In ycha cornere.'

'I vow to God,' quoth Hawkyn, 'yf 'I' have the gowt,
Al that I fynde in the felde 'thrustand' here aboute,
Have I twyes or thryes redyn thurgh the route,
In ycha stede ther thay me se, of me thay schal have doute.
When I begyn to play,
I make avowe that I ne schall,
But yf Tybbe wyl me call,
Or I be thryes don fall,
Ryzt onys com away.'

Then sayd Terry, and swore be hys crede:
'Saw thou never yong boy forther hys body bede,
For when thay fyzt fastest and most ar in drede,
I schall take Tyb by the hand and hur away lede.
I am armed at the full;
In myn armys I bere wele
A doz trogh and a pele,
A sadyll wythout a panell,
Wyth a fles of woll.'

'I make a vow,' quoth Dudman, and swor be the stra,
'Whyls me ys left my 'mare,' thou gets hurr not swa;
For scho ys wele schapen and lizt as the rae,
Ther is no capul in thys myle befor hr schal ga.
Sche wul ne nozt begyle;
Sche wyl me bere, I dar say,
On a lang somerys day,
Fro Hyssylton to Hackenay,
Nozt other half myle.'

'I make a vow,' quoth Perkyn, 'thow speks of cold rost,
I schal wyrch 'wyselyer' without any bost.
Five of the best capulys that ar in thys ost,
I wot I schal thaym wynne, and bryng thaym to my cost,
And here I grant tham Tybbe.
Wele boyes here ys he,
That wyl fyzt and not fle,
For I am in my jolyte,
Wyth so forth, Gybbe.'

When thay had ther vowes made, furth can thay hie,
Wyth flayles and hornes and trumpes mad of tre.
Ther were all the bachelerys of that contre:
Thay were dyzt in aray, as thaymselfes wold be.
Thayr baners were ful bryzt,
Of an old rotten fell;
The cheveron of a plow-mell,
And the schadow of a bell,
'Quartred' wyth the mone lyst.

I wot yt 'was' no chylder game whan thay togedyr met,
When icha freke in the feld on hys feloy bet,
And layd on styfly, for nothyng wold thay let,
And foght ferly fast, tyll ther horses swet.
And few wordys spoken.
Ther were flayles al so slatred,
Ther were scheldys al to flatred,
Bollys and dysches al to schatred,
And many hedys brokyn.

Ther was clynkyng of cart-sadelys, and clatteryng of cannes;
Of fele frekys in the feld brokyn were their fannes;
Of sum were the hedys brokyn, of sum the brayn-pannes,
And yll were thay besene or thay went thanns,
Wyth swyppyng of swepyls.
Thay were so wery for-foght,
Thay myzt not fyzt mare oloft,
But creped about in the 'croft,'
As thay were croked crepyls.

Perkyn was so wery, that he began to loute:
'Help, Hud, I am ded in thys ylk rowte;
An hors, for forty pens, a gode and a stoute,
That I may lyztly come of my noye oute.
For no cost wyl I spare.'
Hy styrt up as a snayle,
And hent a capul be the tayle,
And 'reft' Dawkin hys flayle,
And wan there a mare.

Perkyn wan five, and Hud wan twa.
Glad and blythe thay ware that thay had don sa;
Thay wold have tham to Tyb, and present hur with tha;
The Capulls were so wery that thay myzt not ga,
But styl gon thay stond.
'Alas!' quoth Hudde, 'my joye I lese:
Mee had lever then a ston of chese
That dere Tyb had al these,
And wyst it were my sond.'

Perkyn turnyd hym about in that ych thrang;
Among those wery boyes he wrest and he wrang,
He threw tham doun to the erth, and thrast tham amang,
When he saw Tyrry away wyth Tyb fang,
And after hym ran.
Off his horse he hym drogh,
And gag hym of hys flayl inogh.
'We te he!' quoth Tyb, and lugh:
'Ye er a dughty man.'

'Thus' thay tugged and rugged, tyl yt was nere nyzt,
All the wyves of Totenham came to see that syzt
Wyth wyspes and kexis and ryschys there lyxt,
To fetch hom ther husbandes that were tham trouth plyzt.
And some brozt gret harwos,
Ther husbandes hom to fetch,
Som on dores, and sum on hech,
Sum on hyrdyllys, and som on crech,
And sum on whelebarrows.

Thay gaderyd Perkyn about 'on' everych syde,
And grant hym ther 'the gre,' the more was hys pryde.
Tyb and he wyth gret 'mirth' homeward con thay ryde,
And were al nyzt togedyr tyl the morn tyde.
And thay 'to church went.'
So wele hys nedys he has sped,
That dere Tyb he 'hath' wed;
The prayse-folk, that hur led,
Were of the Turnament.

To that ylk fest com many for the mones;
Some come hyphalte, and some trippand 'thither' on the stonys;
Sum a staf in hys hand, and sum two at onys;
Of sum where the hedes broken, of some the schulder bonys.
With sorrow come thay thedyr.
Wo was Hawkyn, wo was Herry,
Wo was Tomkyn, wo was Terry,
And so was all the bachelary,
When thay met togedyr.

At that fest thay wer servyd with a ryche aray:
Every fyve and fyve had a cokenay.
And so thay sat in jolyte al the lung day;
And at the last thay went to bed with ful gret deray.
Mekyl myrth was them among:
In every corner of the hous
Was melody delycyous,
For to here precyus,
Of six menys song.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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