The Ballad which Anne Askew made and sang when she was in Newgate

Original Text: 
The lattre examinacyon of Anne Askewe, latelye martyred in Smythfelde, by the wycked Synagoge of Antichrist, with the Elucydacyon of Johan Bale ([Wesel: D. van der Straten,] 1546): 63-65. STC 850. In The Early Modern Englishwoman: A Facsimile Library of Essential Works. Part 1: Printed Writings, 1500-1604, Vol. I: Anne Askew, ed. John N. King, general ed. Betty S. Travitsky and Patrick Cullen (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1996). BR 350 .A75A3 Robarts Library
1Like as the armed knight
2Appointed to the field,
3With this world will I fight
4And Faith shall be my shield.
5Faith is that weapon strong
6Which will not fail at need.
7My foes, therefore, among
9As it is had in strength
11It will prevail at length
12Though all the devils say nay.
13Faith in the fathers old
15Which make me very bold
16To fear no world's distress.
17I now rejoice in heart
18And Hope bid me do so
19For Christ will take my part
20And ease me of my woe.
21Thou saist, lord, who so knock,
22To them wilt thou attend.
23Undo, therefore, the lock
24And thy strong power send.
26Than hairs upon my head.
28But fight thou in my stead.
29On thee my care I cast.
30For all their cruel spight
31I set not by their haste
32For thou art my delight.
34My anchor to let fall
35For every drizzling mist
36My ship substancial.
37Not oft use I to wright
38In prose nor yet in rime,
40That I saw in my time.
42Where Justice should have sit
43But in her stead was one
46As of the raging flood
47Sathan in his excess
49Then thought I, Jesus lord,
50When thou shalt judge us all
52On these men what will fall.
53Yet lord, I thee desire
54For that they do to me


8] Therewith: with it, Faith. Back to Line
10] Christes: pronounced as two syllables. Back to Line
14] rightwisness: righteousness. Back to Line
25] enmyes: enemies. Back to Line
27] deprave: pervert, turn to sin. Back to Line
33] list: will. Back to Line
39] shew: show. Back to Line
41] rial: royal. Back to Line
44] moody: proud and angry. Back to Line
45] Absorpt: swallowed up. Back to Line
48] guiltless blood: an allusion to transubstantiation. Back to Line
51] record: bring to mind. Back to Line
55] hire: wages. Back to Line
56] Having shown Faith and Hope (18), Anne here expresses Charity. Paul writes: "Now there remain faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (1 Corinthians 13.13). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: