Giles Goodland

The Brimston Worm
Fytte the 1st

                                                                                              The author introduces the poem
Hwo becasts bookcraftie        bodewyrds
yn hwat delirancie? I, dighter,        daedallize,
bedlamlie brimfill        a bokeful
ynkhornie wyth imazen        ynkle eloquens,
& gaudie wyth graven        grandamschip
farfetchand        fustian
on liplaboryous        lynes
to yngyne yow yn        ynfanglements
trist & tirful,        bycause tonicht
schall we mackle mawmisch        mounsters.

                                                                                              of Rothead and Rawbone.
I, babelyng blurpaper,        bruterer,
candelwayster, wever of watir,        paraph
of Rothead & ricketisch        Rawbone
hwo samenlie slurged        yn spelunks
& brimstonie smods,        snakird thurgh
quavemires quavirlie        quibiblyng
moonifien & malgracyous        muttiratiouns.
Herken now hythirward        & here thys.

                                                                                              Of the birth of Rothead.
Bellyall her bermothir        burged,
ofkend sche an ophic        oxpryng.
Sche spermd a sootirkyn,        a scareflie.
Thys thwarterous        Rothead was, thurse
& ornen lich an orbel        orchant.
Lythirlie thys lyndwyrm        lankd ynto
an etenisch evilwyller,        an eatflesch,
a fienden firedrake        hwich fould the eyr.

                                                                                              Rothead's childhood.
Als a childlyng, chameleous        & chymericall,
freckend als the fell        of a frosk,
despytouslie yt dehuskt        dewsnayls
& scweeged stroups        of swannets.
Yt be came a bellyful        bloodsupper,
a noyful nightcrawler,        a gnatsnapper.
Bellyall bandond        hir burthen & flewgh.

                                                                                              It grows into a fiend.
But broodlie        yt biggend ynto
a sluglie sarcophage,        a snaklyng,
a flaysome fanger        & fiendscath
hwich bendlie dyd beghost        beastlyngs.
Yn theyr swother yt smotherlie        swenced folk,
manslew mennen        of middlerd,
dyd pulver & pasch theim        to planetkyns
& unboweld undermen        unseenlie.

                                                                                              Rothead's depradations.
Nightern coom thys nythful        necrophage.
Pirplexful & pyneful        pirsowns
woundird hwy the wastum        was wyrmate
& none cnew,        nor nurnd
hwat welkd theim        ynto hwatkyns
broodlie wyth babylonicall        blakartschip.

                                                                                              Of Ofmach, his strength.
Farborn & frim was Ofmach,        a fearnothyng
& heih headlyng        of healeths,
a warelich waplyng        & wyrldthane
& bremest bern        yn brethiryndom
hwich evir sturdelie steed        bestrid.
A treeleggen tangler        yn tirpells,
hys thyghs weor thike        als a thurse.

                                                                                             and appearance.
Thys dreng was a derf        drightman,
hys legs lapt in stell        with luflych greves.
Abowt hys knees knagged weor cnots of guold;
the least lacket or loup was lemed
that glyterd & glent als glem of sun.

                                                                                              Of Ofmach's sweetheart Nonia.
Hys mullyn was a mildhearten        magden,
a swallowfoot sweetkyn        wyth sumerfolds.
Hir nome was Nonia        of no compeer,
for bel & brith        als a budlyng was sche,
a lovelich ladie        in linnen yclothed.

                                                                                              Her beauty.
Glisiand als goldwire        growd hir hayr,
hir fyngers unfeld        fetis nayls.
Hir likand leggs        weor lieflich.
Ful milchie hir midred,         & malmisch.
Hwit was her        hlihhen
& wynlustie hyr        wundenlocks.

                                                                                              How they met.
Hwen bryth blosmes        bred abrod
yn primtime thys pearleyen        poplollie
to hys castel came.        He crazed
& flatlong ynto        hir frow arums he feol.
He hwettend for wedhood        & wilnd
to beld & byde        yn blyss
& wynlich wifehead        wyth hir, sche
hys quene & cwemeful        compagnioun,
for the cherubycall chuckabie        was chyldgreat.
Yn hir milken matrice        a mawmet was,
for thei wifthynged wythouten         wed.

                                                                                              Their wooing foreshadowed.
But thys brithtime was        nat to be.
Their wowyng was        wythschadowd
by Rothead yts strang & stearc        stynch.
Hys lofsong had not leaft        hys lyps hwen
maladized was the maplefacen        maydchild,
sepulchrized snayklie        by a sarcophage.

                                                                                              She is slain by Rothead
Grislich was thys guiler        als yt glod
fleschward thurgh the fenlich        fleam.
Snick & snee        goed the snakke.
Als sche bathed byside        a bonk,
he swarled hir swalterand        yn the strime.
Sche schrighted a schudderful        schirl & Rothead
chaumed hir chalkhwyte        channelbone,
bequasht hir to boneflowr,        befong hir,
& forswallowed hir ynto hys        wide womb.

                                                                                              who leaves only a lock of her hair.
Ofmach hys derwyrth dillydown        was dissoulen.
The sarpent smord hir        till he saden,
beslorkt hir bilehwit        bloud & onely
an eavesyng of hayr leaft the etenisch        eatflesch.

                                                                                              Ofmach seeks her in vain.
Hwen Ofmach heared,        howful
he daunseld thys wandreme        lovedrurie
& engeald etermynabel        eyebryne.
He besought her bethurgh        all byeways
& calloo, calloo,        carrolld he, but all
to noght for lackaday sche long        losen was.

                                                                                              For a year he roams & grieves.
In somer as the soft        sun sated
he singen a soful        song
hwich went O welawa,        welawa o
hwere is sche to wash        with my wopeshrings?
Thus the yere yirnd        in yisterdays als
mong hylls & holtwoods        he searcht
mong men hwich on this         mold libben.

                                                                                              He swears vengeance.
Veterate he vowd        veniance.
Hys eadnes cum to eathlich        easles,
hys scrithel selth        sepulted,
asunder & aburst weor        hys aspyrements.