Lyke As the Armed Knight

Lyke as the armed knight
Appointed to the feeld,

The Ballade which Anne Askewe made and sange, whan she was in Newgate.

[Ann Askew was burned in Smithfield in July of 1546. Newgate is the prison which she occupied before her martyrdom. This poem appears in a sixteenth-century (undated) print of The Examinations of Anne Askewe, published by John Bale. It will help the reader to read the poem as poetry, to know that a few words with suffixes, which we pronounce as one (or two) syllable should be pronounced as two (or three). ]

Lyke as the armed knight
Appointed to the feeld,
With this world wyll I fight
And fayth shal be my shielde.

Fayth is that weapon strong
Which wyl not fayle at nede,
My foes therfore amonge
Ther with wil I procede.

As it is had in strengthe
And force of Christes way,
It will preuaile at length
Though al the deuyls say nay.

Fayth in the fathers olde
Obtayned rightwisenesse,
Which make me very bolde
To feare no worldes destresse.

I nowe reioyce in hart
And hope byd me do so,
For Chryst wyl take my part
And ease me of my wo.

Thou saiest lord, who so knocke
To them wilt thou attende.
Undo therfore the locke
And thy strong power sende.

More enmyes nowe I haue
Then heares vpon my head.
Let them not me depraue
But fyght thou in my stead.

On thee my care I cast
For all their cruel spyght,
I set not by their haste
For thou art my delyght.

I am not she that lyst
My anker to let fall,
For euery dryslyng myst
My shippe substancyal.

Not oft vse I to wryght
In prose nor yet in ryme,
Yet wyl I shew one syght
That I sawe in my tyme.

I sawe a roiall trone
Where Justyce shuld haue syt
But in her stede was one
Of modye cruel wyt.

Absorpt was rightwisenesse
As of the raging floude.
Sathan in his excesse
Sucte vp the giltelesse bloud.

Then thought I, Jesus Lord
Whan thou shalt judge vs al,
Harde is it to recorde
On these men what wyl fall,

Yet Lord I thee desyre
For that they do to me,
Let them not tast the hire
Of their iniquitie.


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