From Bokenham's prologue to his "Katherine"



. . . alle þo þat redyn or here
Shal þis tretyhs, as lowly as I kan,
I beseche no wyse to lokyn here
That I shuld tellle hou she fyrst began
To be crystyne, & howe oon clepyd Adryan
Hyr conuertyd & crystnyd in hyr youthe,
For þat mater to me is ful vnkouthe.

But who-so lyst knowleche for to haue, And in þat mater enuereyd to be, My fadrys book, maystyr Ioon Capgraue, Wych þat but newly compylyd he, Mote he seke, & he þere shal se In balaadys rymyd ful craftyly Alle þat for ignorance here nowe leue I.
But for-as-mych as þat book is rare And straunge to gete, at myn estymacyoun, Compendyously of al I wyl declare No more but oonly þe passyoun, Of kateryne Howard to gostly consolacyoun, And to conforte eek of Denstoun kateryne, If grace my wyt wyl illumyne.

Legendys of Hooly Wummen, ed. Mary S. Serjeantson, EETS.OS 206 (1938; reprint, London: Oxford University Press, 1971), lines 6347–6367.