John Skelton: The Critical Heritage

By Anthony S. G.Edwards | Go to book overview

Iii 4v (STC 7222), ‘To the Reader of his Pastorals’,

Master EDMUND SPENSER had done enough for the immortalitie of his Name, had he only giuen vs his ‘Shepheards Kalender’, a Master-piece if any. The ‘Colin Clout’ of SKOGGAN, vnder King HENRY the Seuenth, is prettie; but BARKLEY’s ‘Ship of Fooles’ hath twentie wiser in it.


17.

PIMLYCO, OR RUNNE RED-CAP’ IN PRAISE OF ‘ELYNOR RUMMING’

1609

From ‘Pimlyco, or Runne Red-Cap’ (1609) (STC 19936), B 2-2v. This curious work is part Skeltonic imitation, part direct quotation from ‘Elynor Rumming’ and part a burlesque dream vision.


…By chance I found a Booke in Ryme,
Writ in an age when few wryt well,
(Pans Pipe (where none is) does excell.)
O learned Gower! It was not thine,
Nor Chaucer, (thou are more Diuine.)
To Lydgates graue I should do wrong,
To call him vp by such a Song.
No, It was One, that (boue his Fate,)
Would be Styl’d Poet Laureate;
Much like to Some in these our daies,
That (as bold Prologues do to Playes,)
With Garlonds haue their Fore-heads bound,
Yet onely empty Sculles are crownde:
Or like to these (seeing others bye)
Will sit so, tho their Seate they buy,
And fill it vp with loathed Scorne,
Fit burdens being by them not borne,
But seeing their Trappings rich and gay,
The Sumpter-Horses trudge away,
Sweating themselves to death to beare them,
When poore Iades (drawing the Plough) outweare them.

-66-

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