SKELTON LAUREAT,

Vppon a deedmans hed, that was sent to hym from
   an honorable jentyllwoman for a token, deuysyd
   this gostly medytacyon in Englysh couenable, in
   sentence comendable, lamentable, lacrymable, pro-
   fytable for the soule.

  YOURE vgly tokyn
My mynd hath brokyn
From worldly lust ;
For I haue dyscust
We ar but dust,
And dy we must.
    It is generall
To be mortall :
I haue well espyde
No man may hym hyde
From Deth holow eyed,
With synnews wyderyd,
With bonys shyderyd,
With hys worme etyn maw,
And his gastly jaw
Gaspyng asyde,
Nakyd of hyde,
Neyther flesh nor fell.
    Then, by my counsell,
Loke that ye spell
Well thys gospell :
For wher so we dwell
Deth wyll us qwell
And with us mell.
    For all oure pamperde paunchys,
Ther may no fraunchys,
Nor worldly blys,
Redeme vs from this :
Oure days be datyd
To be chekmatyd
With drawttys of deth,
Stoppyng oure breth ;
Oure eyen synkyng,
Oure bodys stynkyng,
Oure gummys grynnyng,
Oure soulys brynnyng.
To whom, then, shall we sew,
For to haue rescew,
But to swete Jesu,
On vs then for to rew ?
    O goodly chyld
Of Mary mylde,
Then be oure shylde !
That we be not exyld
To the dyne dale
Of boteles bale,
Nor to the lake
Of fendys blake.
    But graunt vs grace
To se thy face,
And to purchace
Thyne heuenly place,
And thy palace,
Full of solace,
Aboue the sky,
That is so hy ;
Eternally
To beholde and se
The Trynyte !
    Amen.
Mirres vous y.



See the same modernized & glossed




Source:
Skelton, John. The Poetical Works of John Skelton. Vol. I.
Rev. Alexander Dyce, Ed.
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1866. 23-25.




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