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EBBA 32405

Huntington Library - Britwell
Ballad XSLT Template
The discription of a rare or rather most monstrous fishe taken on the East cost of
Holland the .xvii. of November, Anno 1566.
The workes of God how great and straunge they be
A picture plaine behold heare may you see.

HEare thou hast (gentle frend) the picture shape and fashion of a fishe straunge and marvailous taken (as
is saide) in Holland, having on his finnes hard skales in forme much like the beggers dishes, which in
that Contrie they were wont to weare in skoffe & derision, his eies like an owle & mouthed as a Popin
gaye his taile reede and fower cornered like to a priestes Cap, which fishe hath bene seene and vewed of most
Nobles and Peares of Flaunders, who hath plucked of his skales lyke to disshes and kepes them for a shew
and for the more credit hereof, ye shal understand that the .vii. of December the said fishe was brought to the
Citie of Antwarpt where it was openly shewed and sene as well of Englishe men as other straungers, what
this monster with other uncouth sights sene of late do Prognosticate and signifye unto us, that I leave to
thy conjecture (loving Reader) beseching God the Lord and governour of all creatures not to deale with us
according to our desertes but for Christ his sonnes sake to power his mercye upon us and graunt us Grace
to amende and to doe those thinges whiche are pleasaunt and acceptable in his sight thorowe Jesus Christe
our Lord. Amen.

AS thou this formed fishe doest see
I Chaunged from his state
So many men in eche degree.
From kynd degenerate,
To monsters men are turned now,
Disguised in their raye.
For in theyr fonde inventions new
They kepe no meane ne staye,
Their maners mad and monsterous,
what shoulde I now discry?
Or yet their cates delitious,
why shoulde I them espye?
If one that lived in thys land,
A fortye yeares before:

Could be released from the band,
To be as he was yore.
would he not wonder wonderously,
when he our monsters spied,
In so small tyme so folyshly
From auntiant custume flyed?
These monsters therfore God doth sende,
To put us all in minde.
Such shaples shapes for to amend,
whych now are out of kynd,
Or els the God of kind and shape
wyll shaples us detest,
And with his plage will punishe us.
But more to speake I rest.

Imprinted at London in Pawles Churchyarde by Thomas Purfoote at the signe of the Lucrece.

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