School of Music
University of Nebraska--Lincoln
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Data entry: Jonathan Haupt
Checked by: Peter Slemon
Approved by: Peter M. Lefferts

Author: Skelton, John
Title: Of a comly Coystroune
Source: Sir John Hawkins, A General History of the Science and Practice of Music, 2 vols. [1776] (London: Novello, 1853), 1:378-79.

[-378-] Skelton Laureate against a comely Coystrowne, that curiowsly chauntyd and carryshly cowntred and madly in his Musikes mokkyshly made, agaynst the ix Musis of politike Poems and Poettys matriculat.

Of all nacyons under 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,
Which men the vii 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 a dun;
A maunchet for Morell thereon to snap,
His hart is to hy to haue any hap,
But for in his gamut carp that he can,
Lo Jak wold be a Jentylman.

With hey troly loly, lo whip here Jak,
Alumbek sodyldym syllorym ben,
Curyowsly he can both counter and knak,
Of Martin Swart, and all hys mery men,
Lord how Perkyn is proud of his Pohen,
But ask wher he fyndyth among his monachords
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 pardy,
His discant is besy, it is without a mene,
To fat is his fantsy, his wyt is to lene.

He tumbryth on a lewde lewte, Roty bulle Joyse,
Rumbill downe, tumbil downe, hey go now now,
He fumblyth in his fyngering an ugly rude noise,
It seemyth the sobbyng of an old sow:
He wolde be made moch of and he wyst how;
Wele sped in spyndels and tunyng of travellys,
A bungler, a brawler, a pyker of quarellys.

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

[-379-] Jak wold Jet and yet Jill sayd nay,
He counteth in his countenance to check with the best,
A malaperte medler that pryeth for his pray,
In a dysh dare he rush to wrangill and to wrest,
He findeth a proporcyon in his prycke songe,
To drynke at a draught a large and a long.

Nay jape not with him, he is no small fole,
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 sing wel prike-song nor plain,
This Doctor Dellias commensyd in a cart,
A master, a mynstrel, a fydler, a ---.

What though ye can counter Custodi nos,
As wel it becomith you a parysh towne clarke
To sing Supinitati dedit AEgros,
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 unhappy occasion to fynde,
Uppon me to clater or else to say yll.
Now haue I shewyd you part of your proud mind,
Take this in worth the best is behind.
Wryten at Croydon by Crowland in the clay,
On Candelmas euyn the Kalendas of May.

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