The minor poems of the Vernon ms. ... (with a few from the Digby mss. 2 and 86) ...
Horstmann, Carl, b. 1851., Furnivall, Frederick James, 1825-1910.
5. Ubi sonnt qui ante nos fuerount?
(10 stanzas of 6, aab, ccb.)
Uuere beþ þey biforen vs weren,
Houndes ladden and hauekes beren,
And hadden feld and wode?
Þe riche leuedies in hoere bour,
Þat wereden gold in hoere tressour,
Wiþ hoere briȝtte rode,
Eten and drounken, and maden hem glad;
Hoere lif was al wiþ gamen .I.-lad,
Men keneleden hem biforen; Page 762
Þey beren hem wel swiþe heye;
And in a twincling of an eye
Hoere soules weren forloren.
Were is þat lawing and that song,
Þat trayling and that proude ȝong,
Þo hauekes and þo houndes?
Al þat ioye is went away,
Þat wele is comen to weylaway,
To manie harde stoundes.
Hoere paradis by nomen here,
And nou þey lien in helle .I.-fere;
Þe fuir hit brennes heuere:
Long is ay, and long is ho,
Long is wy, and long is wo;
Þennes ne comeþ þey neuere.
Dreȝy here man, þenne, if þou wilt,
A luitel pine þat me þe bit;
Wiþdrau þine eyses ofte;
Þey þi pine be oun-rede,
And þou þenke on þi mede,
Hit sal þe þinken softe.
If þat fend, þat foule þing,
Þorou wikke roun, þorou fals egging,
Þere ne þere þe haueþ .I.-cast,
Oup, and be god chaunpioun!
Stond, ne fal namore adoun
For a luytel blast! [folio 127]
Þou take þe rode to þi staf,
And þenk on him þat þereoune ȝaf
His lif þat wes so lef:
He hit ȝaf for þe; þou ȝelde hit him;
Aȝein his fo, þat staf þou nim,
And wrek him of þat þef! Page 763
Of riȝtte bileue þou nim þat sheld,
Þe wiles þat þou best in þat feld,
Þin hond to strenkþen fonde,
And kep þy fo wiþ staues ord,
And do þat traytre scien þat word;
Biget þat mvrie*. [[? MS.]] londe.
Þere-inne is day wiþ-houten niȝt,
Wiþ-outen ende, strenkþe and miȝt,
And wreche of euerich fo;
Mid god him-selwen eche lif,
And pes and rest wiþoute strif,
Wele wiþ-outen wo.
Mayden moder, heuene quene,
Þou miȝt and const, and owest to bene
Oure sheld aȝein þe fende:
Help ous sunne for to flen,
Þat we moten þi sone .I.-seen,
In ioye wiþ-outen hende. Amen!