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This e-text of John Skelton's The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng (1545?) was prepared by Anniina Jokinen of Luminarium.
    Source text:
    Skelton, John. "The Tunnyng of Elynour Rummyng." The Poetical Works of John Skelton. Vol I.
    Rev. Alexander Dyce, Editor. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1866. 109-131.

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TELL you I chyll,
If that ye wyll
A whyle be styll,
Of a comely gyll
That dwelt on a hyll :
But she is not gryll,
For she is somwhat sage
And well worne in age ;
For her vysage
It would aswage
A mannes courage.
    Her lothely lere
Is nothynge clere,
But vgly of chere,
Droupy and drowsy,
Scuruy and lowsy ;
Her face all bowsy,
Comely crynklyd,
Woundersly wrynkled,
Lyke a rost pygges eare,
Brystled wyth here.
    Her lewde lyppes twayne,
They slauer, men sayne,
Lyke a ropy rayne,
A gummy glayre :
She is vgly fayre ;
Her nose somdele hoked,
And camously croked,
Neuer stoppynge,
But euer droppynge ;
Her skynne lose and slacke,
Grained lyke a sacke ;
With a croked backe.
    Her eyen gowndy
Are full unsowndy,
For they are blered ;
And she gray hered ;
Jawed lyke a jetty ;
A man would have pytty
To se how she is gumbed,
Fyngered and thumbed,
Gently ioynted,
Gresed and annoynted
Vp to the knockles ;
The bones [of] her huckels
Lyke as they were with buckles
Togyther made fast :
Her youth is farre past :
Foted lyke a plane,
Legged lyke a crane ;
And yet she wyll iet,
Lyke a iolly fet,
In her furred flocket,
And gray russet rocket,
With symper the cocket.
Her huke of Lyncole grene,
It had ben hers, I wene,
More then fourty yere ;
And so doth it apere,
For the grene bare thredes
Loke like sere wedes,
Wyddered lyke hay,
The woll worne away ;
And yet I dare saye
She thynketh herselfe gaye
Vpon the holy daye,
Whan she doth her aray,
And gyrdeth in her gytes
Stytched and pranked with pletes ;
Her kyrtel Brystow red,
With clothes vpon her hed
That wey a sowe of led,
Wrythen in wonder wyse,
After the Sarasyns gyse,
With a whym wham,
Knyt with a trym tram,
Vpon her brayne pan,
Like an Egyptian,
Capped about :
When she goeth out
Herselfe for to shewe,
She dryueth downe the dewe
Wyth a payre of heles
As brode as two wheles ;
She hobles as a gose
With her blanket hose
Ouer the falowe ;
Her shone smered wyth talowe,
Gresed vpon dyrt
That baudeth her skyrt.

Primus passus           

And this comely dame,
I vnderstande, her name
Is Elynour Rummynge,
At home in her wonnynge ;
And as men say
She dwelt in Sothray,
In a certayne stede
Bysyde Lederhede.
She is a tonnysh gyb ;
The deuyll and she be syb.
    But to make vp my tale,
She breweth noppy ale,
And maketh therof port sale
To trauellars, to tynkers,
To sweters, to swynkers,
And all good ale drynkers,
That wyll nothynge spare,
But drynke tyll they stare
And brynge themselfe bare,
With, Now away the mare,
And let vs sley care,
As wyse as an hare !
    Come who so wyll
To Elynour on the hyll,
Wyth, Fyll the cup, fyll,
And syt there by styll,
Erly and late :
Thyther cometh Kate,
Cysly, and Sare,
With theyr legges bare,
And also theyr fete
Hardely full vnswete ;
Wyth theyr heles dagged,
Theyr kyrtelles all to-iagged,
Theyr smockes all to-ragged,
Wyth tytters and tatters,
Brynge dysshes and platters,
Wyth all theyr myght runnynge
To Elynour Rummynge,
To haue of her tunnynge :
She leneth them on the same,
And thus begynneth the game.
    Some wenches come vnlased,
Some huswyues come vnbrased,
Wyth theyr naked pappes,
That flyppes and flappes ;
It wygges and it wagges,
Lyke tawny saffron bagges ;
A sorte of foule drabbes
All scuruy with scabbes :
Some be flybytten,
Some skewed as a kytten ;
Some wyth a sho clout
Bynde theyr heddes about ;
Some haue no herelace,
Theyr lockes about theyr face,
Theyr tresses vntrust,
All full of vnlust ;
Some loke strawry,
Some cawry mawry ;
Full vntydy tegges,
Lyke rotten egges.
Suche lewde sorte
Eo Elynour resorte
From tyde to tyde :
Abyde, abyde,
And to you shall be tolde
Howe hyr ale is solde
To Mawte and to Molde.

Secundus Passus           

    Some haue no mony
That thyder commy,
For theyr ale to pay,
That is a shreud aray ;
Elynour swered, Nay,
Ye shall not beare away
My ale for nought,
By hym that me bought !
    With, Hey, dogge, hay,
Haue these hogges away !
With, Get me a staffe,
The swyne eate my draffe !
Stryke the hogges with a clubbe,
They haue dronke vp my swyllynge tubbe !
For, be there neuer so much prese,
These swyne go to the hye dese,
The sowe with her pygges ;
The bore his tayle wrygges,
His rumpe also he frygges
Agaynst the hye benche !
With, Fo, ther is a stenche !
Gather vp, thou wenche ;
Seest thou not what is fall ?
Take vp dyrt and all,
And bere out of the hall :
God gyue it yll preuynge
Clenly as yuell cheuynge !
    But let vs turne playne,
There we lefte agayne.
For, as yll a patch as that,
The hennes ron in the mashfat ;
For they go to roust
Streyght ouer the ale ioust,
And donge, whan it commes,
In the ale tunnes.
Than Elynour taketh
The mashe bolle, and shaketh
The hennes donge away,
And skommeth it into a tray
Whereas the yeest is,
With her maungy fystis :
And somtyme she blennes
The donge of her hennes
And the ale together ;
And sayeth, Gossyp, come hyther,
This ale shal be thycker,
And flowre the more quicker ;
For I may tell you,
I lerned it of a Jewe,
Whan I began to brewe,
And I haue founde it trew ;
Drinke now whyle it is new ;
And ye may it broke,
It shall make you loke
Yonger than ye be
Yeres two or thre,
For ye may proue it by me ;
Beholde, she sayde, and se
How bryght I am of ble !
Ich am not cast away,
That can my husband say,
Whan we kys and play
In lust and in lykyng ;
He calleth me his whytyng,
His mullyng and his mytyng,
His nobbes and his conny,
His swetyng and his honny,
With, Bas, my prety bonny,
Thou art worth good and monny.
This make I my falyre fonny,
Til that he dreme and dronny ;
For, after all our sport,
Than wyll he rout and snort ;
Than swetely together we ly,
As two pygges in a sty.
    To cese me semeth best,
And of this tale to rest,
And for to leue this letter,
Because it is no better,
And because it is no swetter ;
We wyll no farther ryme
Of it at this tyme ;
But we wyll turne playne
Where we left agayne.

Tertius passus           

    Instede of coyne and monny,
Some brynge her a conny,
And some a pot with honny,
Some a salt, and some a spone,
Some theyr hose, some theyr shone ;
Some ran a good trot
With a skellet or a pot ;
Some fyll theyr pot full
Of good Lemster woll :
An huswyfe of trust,
Whan she is athrust,
Suche a webbe can spyn,
Her thryft is full thyn.
    Some go streyght thyder,
Be it slaty or slyder ;
They holde the hye waye,
They care not what men say,
Be that as be maye ;
Some, lothe to be espyde,
Start in at the backe syde,
Ouer the hedge and pale,
And all for the good ale.
    Some renne tyll they swete,
Brynge wyth them malte or whete,
And dame Elynour entrete
To byrle them of the best.
    Than cometh an other gest ;
She swered by the rode of rest,
Her lyppes are so drye,
Without drynke she must dye ;
Therefore fyll it by and by,
And haue here a pecke of ry.
    Anone cometh another,
As drye as the other,
And wyth her doth brynge
Mele, salte, or other thynge,
Her harvest gyrdle, her weddynge rynge,
To pay for her scot
As cometh to her lot.
Som bryngeth her husbandes hood,
Because the ale is good ;
Another brought her his cap
To offer to the ale tap,
Wyth flaxe and wyth towe ;
And some brought sowre dowe ;
Wyth, Hey, and wyth, howe,
Syt we downe a rowe,
And drynke tyll we blowe,
And pype tyrly tyrlowe !
    Some layde to pledge
Theyr hatchet and theyr wedge,
Theyr hekell and theyr rele,
Theyr rocke, theyr spynnyng whele ;
And some went so narrowe,
They layde to pledge theyr wharrowe,
Theyr rybskyn and theyr spyndell,
Theyr nedell and theyr thymbell :
Here was scant thryft
Whan they made suche shyft.
    Theyr thrust was so great,
They asked neuer for mete,
But drynke, styll drynke,
And let the cat wynke,
Let vs washe our gommes
From the drye crommes.

Quartus Passus           

    Some for very nede
Layde downe a skeyne of threde,
And some brought from the barne
Both benes and pease ;
Small chaffer doth ease
Sometyme, now and than :
Another there was that ran
With a good brasse pan ;
Her colour was full wan ;
She ran in all the hast
Vnbrased and vnlast ;
Tawny, swart, and sallowe,
Lyke a cake of tallowe ;
I swere by all hallow,
It was a stale to take
The deuyll in a brake.
    And than came haltyng Jone,
And brought a gambone
Of bacon that was resty :
But, Lorde, as she was testy,
Angry as a waspy !
She began to yane and gaspy,
And bad Elynour go bet,
And fyll in good met ;
It was dere that was farre fet.
    Another brought a spycke
Of a bacon flycke ;
her tonge was verye quycke,
But she spake somwhat thycke :
her felow did stammer and stut,
But she was a foule slut,
For her mouth fomyd
And her bely groned :
Jone sayne she had eaten a fyest ;
By Christ, sayde she, thou lyest,
I haue as swete a breth
As thou, wyth shamfull deth !
    Than Elynour sayde, Ye callettes,
I shall breake your palettes,
Wythout ye now cease !
And so was made the peace.
    Than thyder came dronken Ales ;
And she was full of tales,
Of tydynges in Wales,
And of sainct James in Gales,
And of the Portyngales ;
Wyth, Lo, gossyp, I wys,
Thus and thus it is,
There hath ben great war
Betwene Temple Bar
And the Crosse in Chepe,
And there came an hepe
Of mylstones in a route :
She speketh thus in her snout,
Sneuelyng in her nose,
As thoughe she had the pose ;
Lo, here is an olde typpet,
And ye wyll gyue me a syppet
Of your stale ale,
God sende you good sale !
And as she was drynkynge,
She fyll in a wynkynge
Wyth a barlyhood,
She pyst where she stood ;
Than began she to wepe,
And forthwyth fell on slepe.
Elynour toke her vp,
And blessed her wyth a cup
Of newe ale in cornes ;
Ales founde therin no thornes,
But supped it vp at ones,
She founde therin no bones.

Quintus Passus           

    Nowe in cometh another rabell ;
Fyrst one wyth a ladell,
Another wyth a cradell,
And wyth a syde sadell :
And there began a fabell,
A clatterynge and a babell
Of folys fylly
That had a fole wyth wylly,
With, Iast you, and, gup, gylly !
She coulde not lye stylly.
Then came in a genet,
And sware by saynct Benet,
I drank not this sennet
A draught to my pay ;
Elynour, I thé pray,
Of thyne ale let vs assay,
And haue here a pylche of gray
I were skynnes of conny,
That causeth I loke so donny.
    Another than did hyche her,
And brought a pottel pycher,
A tonnel, and a bottell,
But she had lost the stoppell ;
She cut of her sho sole,
And stopped therwyth the hole.
    Amonge all the blommer,
Another brought a skommer,
And vgly thycke lypped,
Lyke an onyon syded,
Lyke tan ledder hyded :
She had her so guyded
Betwene the cup and the wall,
That she was there wythall
Into a palsey fall ;
Wyth that her hed shaked,
And her handes quaked :
Ones hed wold haue aked
To se her naked :
She dranke so of the dregges,
The dropsy was in her legges ;
Her face glystryng lyke glas ;
All foggy fat she was ;
She had also the gout
In all her ioyntes about ;
Her breth was soure and stale,
And smelled all of ale :
Suche a bedfellaw
Wold make one cast his craw ;
But yet for all that
She dranke on the mash fat.
    There came an old rybybe ;
She haltedof a kybe,
And had broken her shyn
At the threshold comyng in,
And fell so wyde open
That one myght se her token,
The deuyll thereon be wroken !
What nede all this be spoken ?
She yelled lyke a calfe :
Ryse vp, on Gods halfe,
Said Elynour Rummyng,
I beshrew thé for thy cummyng !
And as she at her did pluck,
Quake, quake, sayd the duck
In that lampatrams lap ;
Wyth, Fy, wouer thy shap
Wyth sum flyp flap !
God gyue it yll hap,
Sayde Elynour for shame,
Lyke an honest dame.
Vp she stert, halfe lame,
And skantly could go
For payne and for wo.
    In came another dant,
Wyth a gose and a gant :
She had a wide wesant ;
She was nothynge plesant ;
Necked lyke an olyfant ;
It was a bullyfant,
A gredy cormerant.
    Another brought her garlyke hedes ;
Another brought her bedes
Of iet or of cole,
To offer to the ale pole :
Some brought a wymble,
Some brought a thymble,
Some brought a sylke lace,
Some brought a pyncase,
Some her husbandes gowne,
Some a pyllow of downe,
Some of the napery ;
And all this shyfte they make
For the good ale sake.
    A strawe, sayde Bele, stande vtter,
For we haue egges and butter,
And of pygeons a payre.
    Than sterte forth a fysgygge,
And she brought a bore pygge ;
The fleshe thereof was ranke,
And her brethe strongly stanke,
Yet, or she went, she dranke,
And gat her great thanke
Of Elynour for her ware,
That she thyther bare
To pay for her share.
Now truly, to my thynkynge,
This is a solempne drinkynge.

Septimus passus           

    Soft, quod one, hyght Sybbyll,
And let me wyth you bybyll.
She sat downe in the place,
With a sory face
Wheywormed about ;
Garnyshed was her snout
Wyth here and there a puscull,
Lyke a scabbyd muscull.
This ale, sayde she, is noppy ;
Let vs syppe and soppy,
And not spyll a droppy,
For so mote I hoppy,
It coleth well my croppy.
    Dame Elynoure, sayde she,
Haue here is for me,
A cloute of London pynnes ;
And wyth that she begynnes
The pot to her plucke,
And dranke a good lucke ;
She swynged vp a quarte
At ones for her parte ;
Her paunche was so puffed,
And so wyth ale stuffed,
Had she not hyed apace,
She had defoyled the place.
    Than began the sporte
Amonge that dronken sorte :
Dame Eleynour, sayde they,
Lende here a cocke of hey,
To make all thynge cleane ;
Ye wote well what we meane.
    But, syr, among all
That sat in that hall,
There was a pryckemedenty,
Sat lyke a seynty,
And began to paynty,
As thoughe she would faynty ;
She made it as koy
As a lege de moy ;
She was not halfe so wyse
As she was peuysshe nyse.
She sayde neuer a worde,
But rose from the borde,
And called for our dame,
Elynour by name.
We supposed, I wys,
That she rose to pys ;
But the very grounde
Was for to compounde
Wyth Elynour in the spence,
To pay for her expence :
I haue no penny nor grote
To pay, sayde she, God wote,
For washyng of my throte ;
But my bedes of amber
Bere them to your chamber.
Then Elynour dyd them hyde
Wythin her beddes syde.
    But some than sat ryght sad
That nothynge had
There of theyr awne,
Neyther gelt nor pawne ;
Suche were there menny
That had not a penny,
But, whan they should walke,
Were fayne wyth a chalke
To score on the balke,
Or score on the tayle :
God gyue it yll hayle !
For my fyngers ytche ;
I haue wrytten to mytche
Of this mad mummynge
Of Elynour Rummynge.
Thus endeth the gest
Of this worthy fest.
                            Quod Skelton, Laureat.

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