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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



Lucas Cranach, the Elder. The Procuress, 1548.
Lucas Cranach, the Elder. The Procuress, 1548.
Tbilisi Museum of Fine Arts.

Poems from 'Agaynste a Comely Coystrowne' and 'Dyuers Balettys and Dyties Solacyous'
By John Skelton

WOMANHOD, wanton, ye want ;
    Youre medelyng, mastres, is manerles ;
Plente of yll, of goodnes skant,
    Ye rayll at ryot, recheles :
    To prayse youre porte it is nedeles ;
For all your draffe yet and youre dreggys,
As well borne as ye full oft tyme beggys.

Why so koy and full of skorne?
    Myne horse is sold, I wene, you say ;
My new furryd gowne, when it is worne,
    Put vp youre purs, ye shall non pay.
    By crede, I trust to se the day,
As proud a pohen as ye sprede,
Of me and other ye may haue nede.

Though angelyk be youre smylyng,
    Yet is youre tong an adders tayle,
Full lyke a scorpyon styngyng
    All those by whom ye haue auayle :
    Good mastres Anne, there ye do shayle :
What prate ye, praty pyggysny?
I truste to quyte you or I dy.

Youre key is mete for euery lok,
    Youre key is commen and hangyth owte ;
Youre key is redy, we nede not knok,
    Nor stand long wrestyng there aboute ;
    Of youre doregate ye haue no doute :
But one thyng is, that ye be lewde :
Holde youre tong now, all beshrewde !

To mastres Anne, that farly swete,
That wonnes at the Key in Temmys strete.

Skelton, John. The Poetical Works of John Skelton. Vol. I.
Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1866. 25-26.

Back to Works of John Skelton

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Images of London:
London in the time of Henry VII. MS. Roy. 16 F. ii.
London, 1510, the earliest view in print
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