From ye HOUSBOUNDE, away from the house on business, to hys GUDEWIFE, containing sundry matters of various sortes (c. 1550)
Gudewife! Fine greetings from thy housbounde deare,
Thogh I been far, I wyshe thatte I were neare.
I heare that in thy clymes the dayes growe colde -
High tyme yt ys to press cheese in a moulde.
I praye our cattes are healthy, & oure birdes;
Please to make sure they do notte nicke the curdes.
Hast thou a wynter cough, mayhap, or sneeze?
I praye thee not to do yt on the cheese.
I heare telle thatte thy hand is wounded sore -
GREAT GRIEFE! Who'll turne the cheeses over more?
But art thou tired, gudewife? Rest welle yn bedde -
Lest whenne thou turnst the pattes, they weigh like unto leade.
And praye do not thyself hurt spynnyng flaxe,
For yn a daye, or two, deare, we must waxe.
Gude Lord, I praye for holye cheese thys yeare -
& thou as well, Gudewife. Gudenight, my deare!