From ‘The Ship of Fools’ (STC 3545), printed by Pynson in 1509, Y iiir. This is a translation by Alexander Barclay (1475? -1552) of Sebastian Brandt’s ‘Narrenschiff’, an elaborate classification of fools and their various kinds of folly. Barclay is the author of a number of other verse works, including the first eclogues in English and a ‘Life of St. George’. This passage is from the section of his work entitled ‘A brefe addicion of the syngularyte of some new Folys’.
Holde me excusyd: for why my wyll is gode
Men to induce vnto vertue and goodnes
I wryte no Iest ne tale of Robyn hode
Nor sawe no sparcles ne sede of vyciousnes
Wyse men loue vertue, wylde people wantones
It longeth nat to my scyence nor cunnynge
For Phylyp the Sparowe the Dirige to synge.
From ‘The Great Chronicle of London’ (Guildhall Library MS 3313), a history of London in verse and prose from 1189 to 1512, generally held to be the work of Robert Fabian (d. 1513); as edited by A.H. Thomas and I.D. Thornley (London, 1938), p. 361. The passage was probably