School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0100
(phone: [402] 472-2507; Internet: plefferts1@unl.edu)

Data entry: Jonathan Haupt
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts

Author: Skelton, John
Title: Of a comly Coystroune
Source: John Skelton, Pithy Pleasaunt and Profitable workes of maister Skelton, Poete Laureate. Nowe collected and newly published (London: Thomas Marshe, 1568; reprint ed., Menston, Yorks.: Scolar Press, 1970) [STC 22608] [no pagination; here assigned 1*-3*].

[-1*-] Skelton Laureate against a comely
Coystrowne that curiowsly chauntyd
And curryshly cowntred, And madly in hys
Musikes mokkyshly made, Agaynst the
ix. Musis of politike Poems and
Poettys matriculat.

Of all nacyons vnder the heuyn.
These frantyke foolys I hate most of all.
For though they stumble in the synnes seuyn.
In peuyshnes yet they snapper and fall.
Whiche men the .viii. deadly sins call.
This peuysh proud this prender gest.
When he is well yet can he not rest.

A swete suger lofe and sowre bayards bun.
Be sumdele lyke in forme and shap
The one for a duke the other for dun.
A maunchet for morell theron to snap.
His hart is to hy to haue any hap.
But for in his game vt carp that he can.
Lo Jak wold be a Jentylman

Wyth hey troly loly lo whip here Jak.
Alumbek sodyldym syllorym ben.
Curyowsly he can both counter and knak
Of Martyn swart and all hys mery men.
Lord how perkyn is proud of his Pohen.
But ask wher he fyndyth among his monacordes.
[-2*-] An holy water clark a ruler of lordes.

He cannot fynd it in rule nor in space.
He solfyth to haute hys Trybyll is to hy.
He braggyth of his byrth that borne was full bace
Hys musyk withoute mesure to sharp is his my.
He trymmyth in his tenor to counter pirdewy.
His discant is besy it is withoute a mene.
To fat is his fantsy his wyt is to lene.

He lumbryth on a lewde lewte roty bulle Joyse.
Rumbill down tumbil downe hey go now now.
He fumblyth in his fyngering an vgly good noise.
It semyth the sobbyng of an old sow.
He wold be made moch of and he wyst how.
Wele sped In spyndels and turning of tavellys.
A bungler, a brawler, a pyker of quarellys.

Comely he clappyth a payre of clauycordys.
He whystelyth so swetely he makyth me to swet.
His descant is dashed full of discordes
A red angry man but easy to intrete.
An vssher of the hall fayn wold I get.
To poynte this proude page a place and a rome
For Jak wold be a Jentilman that late was a grome

Jak wold Jet and yet Jyll sayd nay.
He counteth in his countenaunce to check with the best.
A malaperte medler that pryeth for his pray
[-3*-] In a dysh dare he rush at the rypest,
Dreming in dumpys to wrangill and to wrest.
He findeth a proporcion in his prycke songe.
To drynke at a draught a larg and a long

Nay iape not with hym he is no smal sole
It is a solempne syre and a solayne.
For lordes and ladyes lerne at his scole
He techyth them so wysely to solf and to fayne
That neither they singe wel prike song nor plain
This doctor dellias commensyd in a cart.
A master, a mynstrel, a fydler, a fart.

What though ye can cownter Custodi nos.
As wel it becomith yow a parysh towne Clarke.
To syng Supitati dedit Egros
Yet bere ye not to bold to braule ne to bark
At me, that medeled nothing with youre wark.
Correct first thy selfe, walk and be nought.
Deme what you list thou knowist not my thought.

A prouerbe of old say well or be still.
Ye are to vnhappy occasion to fynde.
Uppon me to clater or els to say yll.
Now haue I shewyd you part of your proud mind
Take this in worth the best is behynde.
Wryten at Croydon by Crowland in the Clay.
On Candelmas euyn the Kalendas of May.


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