Verse > Anthologies > J. C. Squire, ed. > A Book of Women’s Verse
J. C. Squire, ed.  A Book of Women’s Verse.  1921.
The Balade whych Anne Askewe made and sange when she was in Newgate
By Anne Askewe (c. 1520–1546 [martyred])
LYKE as the armed knyght
  Appoynted to the fielde,
With thys world wyll I fyght,
  And fayth shall be my shielde.
Faythe is that weapon stronge        5
  Whych wyll not fayle at nede;
My foes therfor amonge
  Therwith wyll I procede.
As it is had in strengthe
  And force of Christes waye,        10
It wyll prevayle at lengthe,
  Though all the devyls saye naye.
Faythe in the fathers olde
  Obtayned ryghtwysnesse,
Whych make me verye bolde        15
  To feare no worldes dystresse.
I now rejoyce in hart,
  And hope byd me do so,
For Christ wyll take my part,
  And ease me of my wo.        20
Thu sayst, Lorde, whoso knocke,
  To them wylt thou attende;
Undo therfor the locke,
  And thy stronge power sende.
More enmyes now I have        25
  Than heeres upon my heed;
Lete them not me deprave,
  But fyght thu in my steed.
On the my care I cast,
  For all their cruell spyght,        30
I sett not by their hast,
  For thu art my delyght.
I am not she that lyst
  My anker to lete fall,
For everye dryslynge myst,        35
  My shyppe substancyall.
Not oft use I to wryght
  In prose nor yet in ryme,
Yet wyll I shewe one syght
  That I sawe in my tyme.        40
I saw a ryall trone
  Where Justyce shuld have sytt,
But in her stede was one
  Of modye cruell wytt.
Absorpt was ryghtwysnesse        45
  As of the ragynge floude;
Sathan in hys excesse
  Sucte up the gyltelesse bloude.
Then thought I, Jesus, Lorde,
  Whan thee shalt judge us all,        50
Harde is it to recorde
  On these men what wyll fall.
Yet, Lorde, I the desyre,
  For that they do to me:
Lete them not taste the hyre        55
  Of their inyquyte.

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