Derricke's The Image of Irelande (1581)
with modern English spelling.
or Derricke's The Image of Irelande with Olde English spelling



A  




The lively shape of Irish kern, most perfect to behold
Of man, the master, and the boy, these pictures do unfold
Wherein is bravely painted forth a natural Irish grace
Whose like in every point to view, has seldom stepped in place.
Mark me the kern that grips the axe fast with his murdering hand,
Then shall you say a righter knave came never in the land;
As for the rest so trimly dressed, I speak of them no evil,
In each respect, they are detect (as honest as the devil.)
As honest as the Pope himself, in all their outward actions,
And constant like the wavering wind, in their imaginations,
Which may be proved in sundry parts hereafter that ensue,
A perfect sign for to define the above additions true.


A  



B  

Here creeps out of Saint Filcher's den a pack of prowling mates,
Most hurtful to the English paleThe strip on the east coast of Ireland occupied by the English, and noisome to the states.
Which spare no more their country birth, than those of the English race,
But yield to each a like good turn, when as they come in place.
They spoil, and burn, and bear away, as fit occasions serve,
And think the greater ill they do, the greater praise deserve:




C  

They pass not for the poor man's cry, nor yet respect his tears,
But rather joy to see the fire, to flash about his ears.
To see both flame, and smouldering smoke, to dusk the crystal skies,
Next to their prey, therein I say, their second glory lies.
And thus bereaving him of house, of cattle and of store,
They do return back to the wood, from where they came before.


A  



C  
B  
Now when into their fenced holds the knaves are entered in,
To smite and knock the cattle down, the hangmen do begin.
One plucks off the Ox's coat, which he even now did wear,
Another lacking pans, to boil the flesh his hide prepare.
These thieves attend upon the fire for serving up the feast,
And Friar Smellfeast sneaking in, does press amongst the best.




D  

Who plays in Romish toys the Ape, by counterfeiting PaulSaint Paul's letters in the christian bible;
For which they do award him then, the highest room of all.
Who being set, because the cheer is deemed little worth,
Except the same be intermixed and laced with Irish mirth.
Both Bard and Harper is prepared, which by their cunning art,
Do strike and cheer up all the guests with comfort at the heart.
Over to the right, the two guests mooning are saying:
Aspice spectator sic me docuere parentes
("This is how my parents taught me to behave as a spectator")
and
Me quoque maiores omnes virtute carentes
("All older people lacking in goodness taught me the same")

In A Guide to Early Irish Law (1988), Fergus Kelly suggests that the men are braigeteóirí (professional farters).




A  

B  

And when with mirth and belly cheer, they are sufficed well,
Mark what ensues, a plain discourse, of Irish sleights I tell:
The friar then absolves the thief, from all his former sin,
And bids him plague the prince's friends, if heaven he mind to win.
Which being said, he takes his horse, to put in practice then,
The spoiling and destroying of her grace's loyal men.
C  



D  

But Lo the soldiers then the plague, unto this Kernish rout:
To yield them vengeance for their sins, in warlike sort rise out.
They press the rancour of the thieves, by force of bloody knife,
And stab the prey they filched away, depriving them of life:
The friar then that traitorous knave, with Ough Ough hone lament:
To see his cousin Devil's sons, to have so foul event.


B  



A  

And though the prey recovered be, yet are not all things ended:
For why: the soldiers do pursue, the Rogues that have offended.
Who never cease till in the blood, of these light fingered thieves.
Their blades are bathed to teach them how, they after prowl for Beeves.
To see a soldier tozeTo pull violently a Kern, O Lord it is a wonder:
And eke? what care he takes to part, the head from neck a sunder.


C  
D  


To see another lead a thief, with such a lordly grace:
And for to mark how loathe the knave, does follow in that case.
To see how trim their glibbedThese wood-karne went with glibbed heads, or wearing long bushy hair hanging over their eyes, disguising them, and serving as a fit mask for a villain. heads, are borne by valiant men,
And guarded with a royal fort, of worthy soldiers then.
All these are things sufficient, to move a subject's mind:
To praise the soldiers, which reward, the wood-kern in their kind.


These trunkless heads do plainly show, each rebel's fatal end,
And what a heinous crime it is, the Queen for to offend.

Although the thieves are plagued thus, by Prince's trusty friends,
And brought for their enormities, to sundry wretched ends:
Yet may not that a warning be, to those they leave behind,
But needs their treasons must appear, long kept in festered mind.
Whereby the matter grows at length, unto a bloody field,
Even unto the rebel's overthrow, except the traitors yield.
For he that governs Irish soil, presenting there her grace,
Whose fame made rebels often flee, the presence of his face:
He he I say, he goes forth, with Marsi's noble train,
To justify his Prince's cause, but their demeanour's bane:
Thus Queen he will have honoured, in midst of all her foes,
And known to be a royal Prince, even in despite of those.


B  


A  


Which for to prove in every point, (to his eternal fame)
   He stands forth in open field, for trial of the same,
   Round compassed with a worthy crew, most comely to be seen,
   Of Captains bold, for to behold the honour of that Queen.
   And they be guarded with the like, of valiant Soldiers then:
   Whereof the meanest have been found, full often doughty men.
C  





All which are in readiness, to venture life and blood:
For safeguard of her happy state, whereon our safeties stood,
But ere you enter amongst those broils, Sir Henry does prefer:
(If happens to get) a blessed peace, before most cruel war,
Which if they will not take in worth, (the folly is their own)
For then he goes with fire and sword, to make her power known.
The man in the centre receiving a letter from Sir Philip Sydney is labelled "Donolle Obreane the messenger", and is saying "shogh".


And marching on in warlike wise, set out in battle array,
He does pronounce by heavy doomjudgement, the enemy's pride to lay,
And all the rabble of the foes by bloody blade to quell,
That rising shall assist the sort which traitorously rebel,
Delivering them to open spoil from most unto the least,
And bid them welcome heartily unto that golden feast.
For what is he of all the Kern, that may withstand her power,
Or yet resist so great a Prince one minute of an hour.
If he or they both tagge and rage for maintenance of their cause,
Did venture to approach the field, to try it by marshal laws,
Not one of this rebelling sort, that thinks himself most sure,
Is able to abide the Knight, or presence his endure.


For if his valour once be moved revenge on them to take,
Which do our sovereign Prince's laws, like beastly beasts forsake:
Tis not the cruel stormy rage, nor gathered force of those,
Nor yet the crooked crabbtree looks of greasy glibbedThese wood-karne went with glibbed heads, or wearing long bushy hair hanging over their eyes, disguising them, and serving as a fit mask for a villain. foes
Can make him to revoke the thing his honour has pretended,
But that Dame Justice must proceed against those that have offended.
For Mars will see the final end of traitorous waged wars,
To pluck the hearts of Rebels down, that lately pierced the stars.
To yield them guerdonA reward or recompense for deserts by rigour of his blade,
And with the same to gall their hearts, which such uproars have made.
Lo, where it is in open sight, most perfect to be seen,
Which shows the fatal end aright of rebels to our Queen.
One of the corpses is labelled piper.

The town outside the castle gate is labelled Dublin.

A  





When thus this thrice-renowned knight, has captive made and thrall,
The furious force of frantic foes, and troop of rebels all;
When he by marshal feats of arms has nobly them subdued,
To Prince's DoomJudgement, whose heavy wrath, their treasons have renewed,
When he their glory and their pride has trampled in the dust,
And brought to naught, which do pursue the bloody rebel's lust;
When he by conquest thus has won the honour of the field,
And fame unto our Sovereign's Court report thereof does yield;
And to conclude, when honour brave, his travels to requite,
Has clothed him with eternal fame, meet for so great a Knight:
When all these things are done and past, then does he back revert
To Dublin, where he is received, with joy on every part.
O Sydney, worthy of triple renown,
For plaguing traitors that troubled the crown. 1581.


This rebel stout, in traitorous sort, that rose against his Prince,
And sought by bloody broils of war her sceptre to convince,
So long as fortune did support his devilish enterprise,
So long ambition blinded quit his Kernish knavish eyes,
And made him proudly to usurp the title not his own,
As one that might enjoy the fruit which other men had sown.
But when his mistress did revoke her former good success,
And left the rouge in grievous bands of sore and deep distress,
He then bewailed his former life, and pageants played in vain,
Repenting that her highness' laws he held in such disdain;
But all too late his folly sought his grief for to recur,
When that against his will he must her heavy stroke endure;
For though at first he found success, (the sweet, once past, came sour)
And overthrew his glorious state in minute of an hour;
So as his reign endured not long, but tumbled in the mire,
Because he sinned in that he made our noble Queen to ire:
O lamentable thing to see, ambition climb so high,
When superstitious pride shall fall, in twinkling of an eye:
For such is every rebel's state, and evermore has been,
And let them never better speed, that rise against our Queen.

Speech:
Ve mihi misero ("Woe to miserable me")
and
Ve atque dolor ("Woe and sorrow")


When flickering fame had filled the ears of marshal men of might,
With rare report of Sydney's praise (that honourable Knight)
And though the brute in Irish soil did well confirm the same,
As who could say in England's claim of Justice there he came,
And to maintain the sacred right of such a Virgin Queen,
For seeking of her Subjects' wealth, whose like has never been,
The great O'Neal, to strike the stroke, in sealing up the same,
And to prepare this noble Knight a way to greater fame,
Amazed with such strange reports, and of his own accord,
Came in, prostrating him before the presence of this Lord,
With humble suit for Prince's grace and mercy to obtain,
With like request upon the same, his friendship to attain.
Who promised then by pledge of life, and virtue of his hand,
For ever to her noble grace, a subject true to stand,
And to defend in each respect, her honour and her name,
Against all those that did deface the glory of the same.
Which things, with other scions moe, redound unto the fame
Of good Sir Henry Sydney, Knight, so called by his name.
Lo where he sits in honour's seat, most comely to be seen,
As worthy for to represent the person of a Queen.

¶FINIS.




The contents page for Derricke's The Image of Irelande (1581)