The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne

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The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne  (1581) 
by John Derricke
Title page from The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne.

Plate 1[edit]

Plate 1

(A) The lively shape of Irysh karne, most perfect to behold
Of man, the master, and the boy, these pictures doe unfolde

Wherein is bravely paynted forth a nat'rall Irish grace
Whose like in ev'ry poynt to vewe, hath seldome stept in place.
Marke me the karne that gripes the axe fast with his murd'ring hand,
Then shall you say a righter knave came never in the land;

As for the rest so trimly drest, I speake of them no evill,
In ech respect, they are detect (as honest as the devill.)
As honest as the Pope himselfe, in all their outwarde actions,
And constant like the wavering winde, in their Imaginations,
Which may be prov'de in sundry partes hereafter that ensue,
A perfect signe for to define th' above additions true.

Plate 2[edit]

Plate 2

) Here creepes out of Sainct Filchers denne a packe of prowling mates,
Most hurtfull to the English pale, and noysome to the states.
Which spare no more their country byrth, then those of th' English race,
But yeld to each a lyke good turne, when as they come in place.
They spoile, and burne, and beare away, as fitte occasions serve,
And thinke the greater ill they dow, the greater prayse deserve:

They passe not for the poore mans cry, not yet respect his teares,
But rather joy to see the fire, to flash about his eares.
To see both flame, and smouldring smoke, to duske the christall skyes,
Next to their pray, therein I say, their second glory lyes.
And this bereaving him of house, of catell and of store,
They do return backe to the wood, from whence they came before.

Plate 3[edit]

Plate 3

) Now when into their fenced holdes the knaves are entred in,
To smite and knocke the cattell downe, the hangmen doe beginne.
One plucketh off the Oxes cote, which he even now did weare,
Another lacking pannes, to boyle the flesh his hide prepare.
(C.) These theeves attend upon the fire for serving up the feast,
And Fryer Smelfeast sneaking in, doth preace amongst the best.

Who play'th in Romish toyes the Ape, by counterfetting Paull;
For which they doe award him then, the highest room of all.
Who being set, because the cheere is deemed little worth,
Except the same be intermixt and lac'de with Irish myrth.
Both Barde and Harper is preparde, which by their cunning art,
Doe strike and cheare up all the gestes with comfort at the hart.

[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").]

Plate 4[edit]

Plate 4

And when with myrth and belly cheere, they are sufficed well,
Marke what ensueth, a playne discourse, of Irish sleightes I tell:
(A) The fryer then absolves the theefe, from all his former sinne,
And bids him plague the princes frendes, if heaven he minde to winne.
(B) Which being sayd, he takes his horse, to put in practise then,
The spoyling and destroying of her graces loyal men.

But Loe the souldiers then the plague, unto this Karnish rowt:
To yeld them vengeaunce for their sinnes, in warlick sort rise out.
They presse the rancoure of the theeves, by force of bloudy knife,
And stap the pray they ficht away, depriving them of life:
(D) The fryer then that traytrous knave, with Ough Ough Hone lament:
To see his coosin Devills sonnes, to have so fowle event.

Plate 5[edit]

Plate 5

And though the pray recover'd be, yet are not all thinges ended:
For why: the souldiours doe pursue, the Rogues that have offended.
Who never cease till in the bloud, of these light fing'red theeves.
Their blades are bathd to teach them how, they after prowle for Beeves.
To see a souldiour toze a Karne, O Lord it is a wonder:
And eke what care he takth to part, the head from neck a sonder.

To see another leade a theefe, with such a lordly grace:
And for to marke how lothe the knave, doth follow in that case.
To see how trimme their glibbed heades, are borne by valiant men,
(D) And garded with a rayall forte, of worthy souldiours then.
All these are thinges sufficient, to move a subjects minde:
To prase the souldiours, which reward, the woodkarne in their kinde.

Plate 6[edit]

Plate 6

[The text at the top of the plate reads: Tese trunckles heddes to playnly showe, eache rebeles fatall end, / And what a haynous crime it is, the Queene for to offend.]

Although the theeves are plagued thus, by Princes trusty frendes,
And brought for their innormyties, to sondry wretched endes:
Yet may not that a warning be, to those they leave behinde,
But needes their treasons must appeare, long kept in fettred mynde.
Whereby the matter groweth at length, unto a bloudy fielde,
Even unto the rebells overtheow, except the traytours yelde.

For he that governes Irishe soyle, presenting there her grace,
Whose fame made rebells often flye, the presence of his face:
He he I say, he goeth forth, with Marsis noble trayne,
To justifie his Princes cause, but their demenures vayne:
Thus Queene he will have honoured, in middest of all her foes,
And knowne to be a royall Prince, even in despight of those.

Plate 7[edit]

Plate 7

) Which for to prove in every poynt, (to his eternall fame)
He standeth forth in open field, for tryall of the same,
Round compast with a worthy crewe, most comely to be seene,
Of Captaines bolde, for to behold the honor of that Queene.
And they be garded with the like, of valiaunt Souldiars then:
Whereof the meanest have been founde, full often doughty men.

All which are in readynes, to venture lyfe and bloud:
For safegard of her happy state, whereon our safeties stoode,
Bute ere the enter mongest those broyles, Syr Henry doth prefarre:
(If happ to get) a blessed peace, before most cruell warre,
Which if they will not take in worth, (the folly is their owne)
For then he goeth with fire and sworde, to make her power knowne.

[The man in the centre receiving a letter from Sir Philip Sydney is labelled "Donolle Ohreane the messenger" and is saying "shogh".]

Plate 8[edit]

Plate 8

And marching on in warlicke wise, set out in battayle ray,
He doth pronounce by heavy doome, the enemies pryde to lay,
And all the rable of the foes by bloudy blade to quell,
That rising shall assiste the sorte which trayterously rebell,
Delivering them to open spoyle from most unto the least,
And byd them welcome hartely unto that golden feast.

For what is he of all the Karne, that may withstand her power,
Or yet resist so great a Prince one minute of an houre.
If he or they both tagge and ragge for mayntenaunce of their cause,
Durst venture to approache the fielde, to try it by marshall lawes,
Not one of this rebelling sort, that thinkes himself most sure,
Is able to abide the Knight, or presence his endure.

Plate 9[edit]

Plate 9

For if his valure once be mou'de revenge on them to take,
Which doe our sovraigne Princes lawes, like beastly beastes forsake;
Tys not the cruell stormy rage, nor gathered force of those,
Nor yet the crooked crabbtree lookes of greasye glibbed foes
Can make him to revoke the thing his honor hath pretended,
But that Dame Justice must proceede 'gaynst those that have offended.

For Mars will see the finall end of trayt'rous waged warres,
To plucke the hartes of Rebells downe, that lately pearst the starres.
To yelde them guerdon for desertes by rigour of his blade,
And with the same to gall their hartes, which such uprores have made.
Loe, where it is in open sight, most perfect to be seene,
Which sheweth the fatall end aright of rebells to our Queene.

[One of the corpses is labelled "pyper".]

Plate 10[edit]

Plate 10

[The inset reads: 
O Sidney, worthy of tryple renowne,
 / For plagying traytours that troubled the crowne. 1581]

(A) When thus this trice-renowned knight, hath captive made and thrall,
The furious force of franticke foes, and troupe of rebells all;
When he by marshall feates of armes hath nobly them subdude,
To Princes Dome, whose heavy wrath, their treasons have renewde,
When he their glory and their pride hath trampled in the dust,
And brought to naught, which doe pursue the bloudie rebells lust;

When he by conquest thus hath wonne the honour of the field,
And fame unto our Soveraygnes Courte report thereof doth yeld;
And to conclude, when honor brave, his travells to requight,
Hath clothde him with eternall fame, meete for so great a Knight:
When all these thinges are done and paste, then doth he backe revart
To Dublyn, where he is received with joy on every parte.

[The town outside the castle gate is labelled "Dublyn".]

Plate 11[edit]

Plate 11

This rebell stoute, in traytrous sorte, that rose agaynst his Prince,
And sought by bloudy broyles of warre her scepter to convince,
So long as fortune did support his devilish enterprice,
So long ambition blinded quight his karnish knavish eyes,
And moude him proudly to usurpe the title not his owne,
As one that might enjoy the fruite which other men had sowne.

But when his mistres did revoke her former goode successe,
And left the roge in greevous bandes of sore and deepe distresse,
He then bewaylde his former lyfe, and pagentes playde in vayne,
Repentyng that her highnes lawes he held in such disdayne;
But all to late his folly sought his greeffor to recure,
When that agaynst his will he must her heavy stroke endure;

For though at first he founde successe, the sweet, once past, came sowre,
And overthrew his glorious state in minute of an houre,
So as his raigne endurde not long, but tombled in the myre,
Because he sinde in that he moude our noble Queene to ire.
O lamentable thyng to see ambition clyme so high,
When superstitious pride shall fall in twynckling of an eye!

For such is every rebells state, and evermore hath bene,
And let them never better speede that ryse agaynst our Queene.

Ve mihi misero ("Woe to miserable me") 
Ve atque dolor ("Woe and sorrow").]

Plate 12[edit]

Plate 12

When flickering fame had fild the eared of marshall men of might,
With rare report of Sydneys prayse (that honrable Knight);
And though the bruite in Iryshe soyle did well confirm the same,
As who could say in Inglands claime of Justice there he came;
And to mayntayne the sacred right of such a Virgine Queene,
For seeking of her Subjectes wealth, whose like hath never bene,

The great Oneale, to strike the stroke, in sealing up the same,
And to prepare this noble Knight a way to greater fame,
Amazed with such straunge reportes, and of his owne accord
Came in, protrating him before the presence of this Lord,
With humble sute for Princes grace and mercy to obtayne,
With like request upon the same, his frendship to attayne;

Who promiste then by pledge of life, and vertue of his hand,
For ever to her noble grace, a subject true to stand,
For ever to defend in each respect, her honour and her name,
Agaynst all those that durst deface the glory of the same.
Which things, with other secions moe, redound unto the fame
Of good Syr Henry Sydney, Knight, so called by his name.

Loe where he sittes in honours seate, most comely to be seene,
As worthy for to represent the person of a Queene.


This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.