Bernard Garter: ‘The maner and meanes of the Popes beginning,’ from A New Yeares Gifte (1579) FULL TEXT


Bernard Garter, ‘The maner and meanes of the Popes beginning,’ from A New Yeares Gifte (1579)

Catalogue Number: 6

Type: Religious polemic; anti-papal

Publication: A newyeares gifte dedicated to the Popes Holinesse, and all Catholikes addicted to the Sea of Rome: preferred the first day of Ianuarie, in the yeare of our Lorde God, after the course and computation of the Romanistes, one thousand, fiue hundreth, seauentie and nine, by B.G. citizen of London: in recompence of diuers singular and inestimable reliques, of late sent by the said Popes Holinesse into England, the true figures and representations whereof, are heereafter in their places dilated.  Sig. D1r-D2r

Year of publication: 1579

Sonnets numbered? No

Sonnets entitled? No

Introductory sonnets: No

Number of sonnets in sequence: 6

Lines per sonnet: 14

Durable EEBO link

Page [unnumbered]

¶ The maner and meanes of the Popes beginning.

Like as
THe Iuie budde which from the beake of Iay
Falles to the ground, a thing of moment small,
By some kinde meanes at first is clad in clay
Then taketh roote, and after ginnes to scrall,
In groueling wise, vpon the slipprie grounde,
And smoothly so with leaues and tenders softe,
Holdes on the course, till some strong tree bee founde,
Through whose stoute helpe it may climbe vppe alofte:
Thereto it commes, and at the lowest foote
Takes holde of barke, and body doth embrace:
And feeling then increase of sappe and root,
Doth still climbe vppe, and windeth to the face
Of that same tree, and girds it in so faste,
As Iuie lyues, but tree is killde at laste.
Euen so the Pope


By warrant small, or none at all to find
In sacred writte, in humble flattring wise,
At firste did seeke to please the hawtie minde,
Of Christian Kings, by whome he sought t’arise:
And cleauing so, vnto that mightie stay,
Lifte vppe himselfe into his stately throne,
And by degrees hath got the rule and sway
Of al the world, and subiect is to none.
Not so content, doth counterchecke the Lord,
Whose Vicar sole on earth he claymes to be.
To Christian Kings, no rule he will afforde,
For all is his, and none must rule but he:
And so the prop, whereby he got his strength,
He would confound, and ouerthrow at length.
Euen like a Pope.

Page [unnumbered]
How proue you that?

COnstantinus which the Monarchie did holde
Of Christendome, an Emperoure full good,
Gaue to the Pope, who then might be controlde
A sorte of lands, which did exalt his bloude.
But warely yet (preuenting Prelates pride)
Did call his gifte, the patrimon of Church,
Till afterwardes the Papistes do decide
That title, and to giue the troth a lurche,
They by that sparke do kindle first their fire,
Whereby they claime dominion of the Weast,
And then likewise to place the Pope the higher,
They seeke which way to breed the Prince vnrest.
And Iuie like, would wrap in homage bande,
The mightie Prince which gaue him first that lande,
In subtile wise.


For Steuchus writes in flattry of the Pope
Gainst Valla, that th’Emperour did giue
To Rome, the landes of all the Westerne scope:
And he himselfe, euen whiles that Pope did liue,
Did graunt the Pope to be the greater state.
And therevpon is ordred by decree,
Rome to be chiefe, and haue no earthly mate,
And that the Pope must rule, and none but hee,
In matters of Religion forsooth,
Nor other King hee will not there vouchsafe,
Bicause his sacred sword eache wrong must smooth.
And thus both swordes (you see) the Pope will haue,
And Iuie like, paste shame, doth pull adowne
Th’empire great, that gaue to him renowne,
In wonted guise.
Once is no custome.
Page [unnumbered]

Then another, touching the Charitie of the Pope.

ALexander the thirde of that same name,
Succeeded Adrian that was callde the fourth,
Whome Fredrike erst, that Emperour of fame
Lovde well, and gaue him gifts of greatest worth:
But Wealth made Pride, and Pride did cause the beast
To swell in minde, and beare himselfe so high,
As of the reste hee made the Emprour leaste,
And thought himselfe an ace aboue the skie.
Good Fredrike then repenting of his deede,
Thought good t’abase, a beast that so coulde rage,
And thrust him out of Germany with speede,
The Prelates pride, and peoples wrath t’asswage.
The Priest doth storme, and sweares he will requite
Th’Emprours acte, with sword and cruell spight,
If he were Pope.


And Pope hee was, and then immediatly
The smothring heat thrust forth a frantike fire,
His cursed Buls * against this Prince doe fly
With roughest rage, to quenche the Popes desire.
The Pope doth cause th’Italians to rebell,
And for to builde the Citie of great fame
Of Alexandrîa, bycause he would expell
The Prince himselfe, and tooke the Cities name.
Not so content, at Venice afterwarde
Th’Emprour is, where Pope (through passing pride)
Alonely not vilependes the Prince, nor sparde
In worde and deede from modestie to slide,
But caused him full humblie to kneele downe,
And with his foote stroke off the Royall Crowne,
VVhen he was Pope.


The vvorst is saide.

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