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  • Just Because I Like It

    Posted by David Foster on June 2nd, 2007 (All posts by )

    A poem from the early 16th century, by John Skelton.

    Aye, beshrew you, by my fay,
    These wanton clerks be nice’ alway!
    Avaunt,avaunt, my popinjay!
    What, will you do nothing but play?
    Tilly vally straw, let be I say!
    Cup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
    With Mannerly Margery milk and ale.

    By God, ye be a pretty pode,
    And I love you an whole cartload.
    Straw, James Feder, ye play the fode,
    I am no hackney for your rod:
    Go watch a bull, your back is broad!
    Cup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
    With Mannerly Margery milk and ale.

    Ywis ye deal uncourteously;
    What, would ye frumple me? now fie!
    What, and ye shall not be my Pigsny?
    By Christ, ye shall not, no hardily:
    I will not be japped bodily!
    Gup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
    With Mannerly Margery milk and ale.

    Walk forth your way, ye cost me naught;
    Now have I found that I have sought:
    The best cheap flesh that ever I bought.
    Yet, for his love that hath all wrought,
    Wed me, or else I die for thought.
    Cup, Christian Clout, your breath is stale!
    Go, Mannerly Margery milk and ale!
    Cup, Christian Clout, gup, Jack of the Vale!
    With Mannerly Margery milk and ale.

    This version is somewhat modernized from the original language. Some information on John Skelton here.