John Gower's Confessio amantis

Lines 801 through 900

Of strange londes help beside.
     P.801
And thus for thei hemself divide
     P.802
And stonden out of reule unevene,
     P.803
Of Alemaine Princes sevene
     P.804
Thei chose in this condicioun,
     P.805
That upon here eleccioun
     P.806
Thempire of Rome scholde stonde.
     P.807
And thus thei lefte it out of honde
     P.808
For lacke of grace, and it forsoke,
     P.809
That Alemans upon hem toke:
     P.810
And to confermen here astat,
     P.811
Of that thei founden in debat
     P.812
Thei token the possessioun
     P.813
After the composicioun
     P.814
Among hemself, and therupon
     P.815
Thei made an Emperour anon,
     P.816
Whos name as the Cronique telleth
     P.817
Was Othes; and so forth it duelleth,
     P.818
Fro thilke day yit unto this
     P.819
Thempire of Rome hath ben and is
     P.820
To thalemans. And in this wise,
     P.821
As ye tofore have herd divise
     P.822
How Daniel the swevene expondeth
     P.823
Of that ymage, on whom he foundeth
     P.824
The world which after scholde falle,
     P.825
Come is the laste tokne of alle;
     P.826
Upon the feet of Erthe and Stiel
     P.827
So stant this world now everydiel
     P.828
Departed; which began riht tho,
     P.829
Whan Rome was divided so:
     P.830
And that is forto rewe sore,
     P.831
For alway siththe more and more
     P.832
The world empeireth every day.
     P.833
Wherof the sothe schewe may,
     P.834
At Rome ferst if we beginne: Page  1.28
     P.835
The wall and al the Cit withinne
     P.836
Stant in ruine and in decas,
     P.837
The feld is wher the Paleis was,
     P.838
The toun is wast; and overthat,
     P.839
If we beholde thilke astat
     P.840
Which whilom was of the Romeins,
     P.841
Of knyhthode and of Citezeins,
     P.842
To peise now with that beforn,
     P.843
The chaf is take for the corn,
     P.844
As forto speke of Romes myht:
     P.845
Unethes stant ther oght upryht
     P.846
Of worschipe or of worldes good,
     P.847
As it before tyme stod.
     P.848
And why the worschipe is aweie,
     P.849
If that a man the sothe seie,
     P.850
The cause hath ben divisioun,
     P.851
Which moder of confusioun
     P.852
Is wher sche cometh overal,
     P.853
Noght only of the temporal
     P.854
Bot of the spirital also.
     P.855
The dede proeveth it is so,
     P.856
And hath do many day er this,
     P.857
Thurgh venym which that medled is
     P.858
In holy cherche of erthly thing:
     P.859
For Crist himself makth knowleching
     P.860
That noman may togedre serve
     P.861
God and the world, bot if he swerve
     P.862
Froward that on and stonde unstable;
     P.863
And Cristes word may noght be fable.
     P.864
The thing so open is at y�e,
     P.865
It nedeth noght to specefie
     P.866
Or speke oght more in this matiere;
     P.867
Bot in this wise a man mai lere
     P.868
Hou that the world is gon aboute, Page  1.29
     P.869
The which welnyh is wered oute,
     P.870
After the forme of that figure
     P.871
Which Daniel in his scripture
     P.872
Expondeth, as tofore is told.
     P.873
Of Bras, of Selver and of Gold
     P.874
The world is passed and agon,
     P.875
And now upon his olde ton
     P.876
It stant of brutel Erthe and Stiel,
     P.877
The whiche acorden nevere a diel;
     P.878
So mot it nedes swerve aside
     P.879
As thing the which men sen divide.
     P.880
Thapostel writ unto ous alle
     P.881
And seith that upon ous is falle
     P.882
Thende of the world; so may we knowe,
     P.883
This ymage is nyh overthrowe,
     P.884
Be which this world was signified,
     P.885
That whilom was so magnefied,
     P.886
And now is old and fieble and vil,
     P.887
Full of meschief and of peril,
     P.888
And stant divided ek also
     P.889
Lich to the feet that were so,
     P.890
As I tolde of the Statue above.
     P.891
And this men sen, thurgh lacke of love
     P.892
Where as the lond divided is,
     P.893
It mot algate fare amis:
     P.894
And now to loke on every side,
     P.895
A man may se the world divide,
     P.896
The werres ben so general
     P.897
Among the cristene overal,
     P.898
That every man now secheth wreche,
     P.899
And yet these clerkes alday preche
     P.900