Sunday, December 26, 2010


Hope everybody had at least as good a Christmas as the Arizona Cardinals!

After a promising showing two Sundays ago, newbie quarterback John Skelton...

...had a lousy game last weekend, then managed a win over the Cowboys yesterday. But far cooler than any of this, for me, is the fact that young Skelton shares his name with 16th-Century English poet John Skelton...

...who wrote wonderful, hip-hop-like run-on rhymes like this one, about a skull that somebody had given him as a gift:

Skelton Laureate, upon a dead man's head that was sent to him from an honorable gentlewoman for a token, devised this ghostly [spiritual] meditation in English, covenable [sacred] in sentence, commendable, lamentable, lacrimable, profitable for the soul.

YOUR ugly token
My mind hath broken
From worldly lust,
For I have discuss'd
We are but dust
And die we must.
It is general
To be mortal:
I have well espi'd
No man may him hide
From Death hollow-eyed
With sinews widered*, [withered]
With bones shidered*, [shattered]
With his worm-eaten maw,
And his ghastly jaw
Gaping aside,
Naked of hide,
Neither flesh nor fell.
Thou by my counsel
Look that ye spell
Well this gospel,
For whereso we dwell
Death will us quell
And with us mell*. [intermingle]
For all our pamper'd paunchis* [pauches]
There may no fraunchis* [franchise]
Nor worldly bliss
Redeem us from this:
Our days be dated
To be checkmated
With draughts of Death,
Stopping our breath;
Our eyen sinking,
Our bodies stinking,
Our gums grinning,
Our souls brinning*. [burning]
To whom, then, shall we sue
For to have rescue
But to sweet Jesu
On us then for to rue?
O goodly Child
Of Mary mild,
Then be our shild*, [shield]
That we be not exil'd
To the dyne dale* [dark valley]
Of bottomless bale*, [sorrow]
Nor to the lake
Of fiends black.
But grant us grace
To see Thy face,
And to purchase
Thine heavenly place,
And thy palace
Full of solace
Above the sky
That is so high,
To behold and see
The Trinity.
Mirres vous y

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