The lamentable death of King _Iohn_, how he was poysoned in the Abbey at _Swinsted_, by a
Or to the tune of Fortune.
A Trecherous deede forthwith I shall you tell,
Which on King _John_ vpon a sudden fell:
To Lincolneshire proceeding on his way,
At _Swinestead_ Abby, one whole night he lay.
There did the King oppose his welcome good,
But much deceit lyes vnder an Abbots hood.
There did the King himselfe in safetie thinke,
But there the King receiued his latest drinke.
Great cheare they made vnto his royall grace,
While he remaind a guest within that place.
But while they smilde and laughed in his sight,
They wrought great treason, shadowed with
A flat faced Monke comes with a glosing tale,
To giue the King a cup of spiced Ale:
A deadliar draught was neuer offered man,
Yet this false Monke vnto the King began.
Which when the king without mistrust did see,
He tooke the Cup of him most courteously:
But while he held the poisoned Cup in hand,
Our noble king amazed much did stand.
For casting downe by chance his princely eye,
On pretious iewels which he had full nye:
He saw tho colour of each pretious stone,
Most strangely turne and alter one by one.
Their Orient brightnesse to a pale dead hue,
Were changed quite, the cause no person knew
And such a sweat did ouerspread them all,
As stood like dew which on faire flowers fall,
And hereby was their pretious natures tride,
For precious stones foule poyson cannot bide
But though our king beheld their colour pale,
Mistrusted not the poyson in the Ale.
For why the Monke the taste before him tooke,
Nor knew the king how ill he did it brooke.
And therefore he a hartie draught did take,
Which of his life a quicke dispatch did make.
Th'infectious drinke fumd vp into his head:
And through the veines into the heart it spred,
Distempering the pure vnspotted braine,
That doth in man his memorie maintaine.
Then felt the King an extreame grief to grow,
Through all his intrels being infected so:
Thereby he knew through anguish which he felt
The Monks with him most traiterously had delt.
The grones he gaue did mak al men to wonder,
He cast as if his heart would split in sunder,
And still he cald while he thereon did thinke,
For that false Monke which brought the deadly
And then his Lords went searching round about
In euerie place to find this Traytor out:
At length they found him dead as any stone,
Within a corner lying all alone.
For hauing tasted of that poysoned Cup,
Whereof our King the residue drunke vp,
The enuious Monk himself to death did bring
That he thereby might kill our royall king.
But when the king with wonder hard them tel,
The Monks dead body did with poyson swel:
Why then my Lords ful quickly now (quoth he)
A breathlesse King you shall among you see.
Behold (he said) my vaines in peeces cracke,
A grieuous torment feele I in my backe:
And by this poyson deadly and accurst,
I feel my heart strings ready for to burst.
With that his eyes did turne within his head:
A pale dead colour through his face did spread,
And lying gasping with a cold faint breath,
The royall King was ouercome by death.
His mournful Lords which stood about him then
With al their force and troopes of warlike men:
To Worcester the corpes they did conueye,
With Drumbe & trumpet marching al the waye.
And in the faire Cathedrall Church I find,
They buried him according to their mind:
Most pompiously best fitting for a king,
Who wer aplauded greatly for this thing.