Prev | Next | Contents


A BALLAD SENT TO KING RICHARD.

SOMETIME this world was so steadfast and stable,
That man's word was held obligation;
And now it is so false and deceivable,*                       *deceitful
That word and work, as in conclusion,
Be nothing one; for turned up so down
Is all this world, through meed* and wilfulness,                *bribery
That all is lost for lack of steadfastness.

What makes this world to be so variable,
But lust* that folk have in dissension?                        *pleasure
For now-a-days a man is held unable*                    *fit for nothing
*But if* he can, by some collusion,**             *unless* *fraud, trick
Do his neighbour wrong or oppression.
What causeth this but wilful wretchedness,
That all is lost for lack of steadfastness?

Truth is put down, reason is holden fable;
Virtue hath now no domination;
Pity exil'd, no wight is merciable;
Through covetise is blent* discretion;                          *blinded
The worlde hath made permutation
From right to wrong, from truth to fickleness,
That all is lost for lack of steadfastness.

                            L'Envoy.

O Prince! desire to be honourable;
Cherish thy folk, and hate extortion;
Suffer nothing that may be reprovable*            *a subject of reproach
To thine estate, done in thy region;*                           *kingdom
Show forth the sword of castigation;
Dread God, do law, love thorough worthiness,
And wed thy folk again to steadfastness!






Prev | Next | Contents



Literature Project  |  eBooks  |  Free eBooks  |  Authors  |  Directories  |  Terms of Use

 

We care about eBooks because we care about the environment.
Read an eBook and save a tree. You can help save our planet.

Copyright © 2000- Literature Project. All Rights Reserved.