Right worshipful friend I recommend me to you
and pray that you are in good keeping, and at
once I let you weet I would ye should bring for
me wordings of welfare and heal, then bring to
my shire horses fair and harness bold, and bring
for the ladies sweet kirtles of goodly garments
sewn, enow, until more things I know to write.
So I pray and please you to weet that ye have left
me think upon your ride, your presence and fare
were ye now abide, desiring so to hear how your
matters speed, of those we spake in haste when
you were about to leave, as for tidings, and atween
you and me, the lights are kept, the gardens grow
and compassion lives, in days of grace.
This poem is inspired by a collection of English Medieval letters written in the fifteenth Century
by members of the Paston family, to relatives,
friends and professional contacts, and letters sent
from these categories to members of the family.
The family came originally from the village of
Paston, Norfolk, twenty miles north of Norwich,
and the collection covers the period from 1420
to approximately the year 1503.
If William Shakespeare is one of the leading
writers of all times in being able to capture and
visualize the human soul, as well as dramatic
and decisive events in English history,
the "Paston Letters" is about the realities behind
some of his historical plays.
I have read an edition, "The Paston Letters",
published in 1963 by Oxford University Press,
also included in "The World Classics" series
chosen and edited by Professor Norman Davies
of English Language and Literature at Oxford University.
The collection numbers more than a thousand
documents, and from these, Professor Davis
have chosen 142 manuscripts. To a certain
extent, he has modernized the language and
also designed the edition to present as wide a
variety as possible "of the principal concerns
of the Pastons."
In composing my poem I have tried to capture
some of the letters style, character and
flavour; looking forward also to write more