On Bishop Boothe

Boothe, be ware, bisshoppe thoughe thou be,
Sithe that Symoun hym selff set the in thy sete,
Petur his pagent pleyed not with the;
Caro and Sanguis did pryvely plete;
Thy goode and thy catelle made the to mete
With the churche of Chester, whiche crieth, alas!
That to suche a mafflarde marryede she was.

Prese not to practise on the privete
Of princes powere, but pluk at the ploughe;
Clayme thou a Carter crafty to be;
Medille the no ferthere, for that is ynoughe.
Thow hast getyne gret goode, thou wost welle how.
By symoni and usure bilde is thy bothe;
Alle the worlde wote welle this sawys be sothe.

The psalmus of the sawter, or Salamonis boke,
Austyne or Ambrose, or othere tretyes ther are,
But litelle on the lessons lust the to loke.
Be not to bolde, but be thou wel ware.
The wit of this worlde wantonly ware,
And likenyde to lewdenes lorne in my lore;
Shame sewith sone, whenne syn gooth byfore.

Sum servyne silver, and sorow they doone seche;
Synne is ther soveraigne, se what I say.
Loke on this lessoun, and lerne of a leche,
Thy soule for to save with miserere mei .
The printe of a palsy wisith the thy way,
And shewith by thy semblant to sey the ther sothe,
That tyme is to course hens, and breke up the bothe.

Cast in thy conciens clerkly to knowe,
Publique and privathe is alle one;
Tullius hit tellith fulle trewly y trowe,
The regentes of Rome mony day gone,
In honours and havour lile hem allone,
And of the wide worlde worthiest they were,
To the commyne thynge in charite they kere.

But whenne they begane godes to encrese,
To prevat persons sorow and shame,
Dishonoure, dispite, rebuke dide in prese,
With alle maner myscheff disserityng ther fame;
Lost alle ther lose of ther nobille name,
Disperpiled theyme in warde, and put theyme to declyne;
Remembre now how Rome felle to a ruyne.

Justice ne was egaly execute,
Fredome was forfarene for lak of liberte,
Right was repraysede and founde for no repute,
They were punysshede and tokyne in gre.
Rigour of lawe hit wolle no better be;
Dethe thoghe hit were, they mygt no better escape,
But the grete and the goldede they made but a jape,

And lepe over lawe at ther owne lust;
Ffavour and favelle, foulle faille they ferys,
Broghte forthe avarice fast by the fiste.


These were the rasours and the sharpe sheres,
These were the same that Rome overthrewe;
Wittenes of writyng alle this is trewe.

These made ther enmyes thenne to summyse,
And put fro ther powere with shenshippe and shame;
Cronicols thise causis craftly canne devise,
And tellene how trechery brought in the blame.
Hit is not in Englonde now the selff same;
Discusse it with diligens, and telle iff hit be,
This pagent is pringnant, sir Pilat, parde.

And ye in youre olde age put in pres,
And pecus the parlious youre parfettes to play,
And pray for the party to make his pees,
That alle the worlde crieth oute on, sotly to say.
The voyse of the pepille is clepede vox Dei ;
It is agayns grace and a gret griff
To maynetayne a mater of suche myscheffe.

Vox oppressorum one the prince playnyth,
And one the priste eke, be warre yow off wreche;
Juggement and justice tho that theym waynyth,
Serche out and se welle, sorow they seche.
The juge that is unjuste is a shrewede leche;
Tent to the tale of Treviliane,
And ffynde by his falsed what worshippe he wan.
Be ware of this warnyng, and wayte welle aboute,
I counselle the corse not, ne blame not the bille.


Yt is myche lesse harme to bylle thanne to kylle.
Be no more blynde, but weynyth youre wille.
To set yow in sewrte holde up youre honde,
God save the kyng, his lawe, and his londe.

Men seyne that youre secte is opynly knowyne and asspiede,
Concludede in conciens wonne of the tweyne,
That ye be ychone with tresoun aliede,
Or els hit is lucre that maketh you to leyne.
Pite for to here the people complayne,
And riken up the ragmanne of the hole rowte,
That servyth silvyre and levyth the law oute.

Se alle the set that for the swayne sewe,
Whether mony or mede make yow to mewe,
Try out the trouthe, myght he be trewe,
That covetise hath causede this gret myscheff.
By rapyne of richese put this in prefe;
Muse one this mater, and be no more blynde;
Be faitheffulle and feynte not fawtus to fynde.

God kepe oure kyng ay, and gide hym by grace,
Save hym fro Southefolkes, and frome his foois alle;
The Pole is so parlyus men for to passe,
That fewe can ascape hit of the banck rialle.
But set under suger he shewithe hem galle;
Witnes of Humfrey, Henry, and Johan,
Whiche late were one lyve, and now be they goon.

And mony other that nedith not to telle,
Sum bene ago, and summe abidene here;
Hit is a shrewde pole, pounde, or a welle,
That drownythe the dowghty, and bryngethe hem abeere.
And alle is for the lordane lovithe no pere.
Practyse his preff of alle that I sey,
God kepe oure kyng, and hym to convey.

Bridelle yow, bysshoppe, and be not to bolde,
And biddeth yowre beawperes se to the same;
Cast awey covetyse now be ye bolde,
This is alle ernest that ye calle game.
The beelesire ye be, the more is youre blame.
Trowthe tellithe the tale, and wille it not hide;
Your laboure for lucre is playnly aspiede.
God, for his mercy alle this reme gyde.
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