Man of Law, Juror and Minstrel

Man of law and minstrel.
Man of law & minstrel

Dethe to the man of lawe

Sire aduocate / shorte processe for to make
Ȝe mote come plete / a-fore the hye Juge
Many a quarel / ȝe haue vndurtake
And for lucre / to do folke refuge
But my fraunchise / is so large & huge
That counceile noon / a-vaile mai but trouth
He skapeth wyseli / of dethe the grete deluge
To-fore the dome / who is not teynte with slouth.

You must come and plead before the high judge

lucre: profit, gain, refuge: protection
fraunchise: privilege

dome: Judgement

The mon of law answereth

Of right and resoun / be natures lawe
I can [not] put a-ȝen dethe / no defence
Ne be no sleyght / me kepe ne with-drawe
For al my witte / and [my] grete prudence
To make appele / from his dredeful sentence
No thyng yn erthe / mai a man preserue
A-ȝeyne his myght / to make resistence
God quyte al men / liche as thei deserue.

Dethe to the Jouroure

Maister ioroure / whiche that atte assise
And atte shires / questes doste embrace
Depart[ist] londe / like to thy deuyse
And who moste ȝaf / moste stode yn thi grace
The pore man loste / londe and place
For golde thow / [cow]dest / folke disherite
But now lete see / with thi teynte face
To-fore the Juge / howe thow cannest the quyte.

The Joroure answereth

Somme tyme I was cleped / yn my Cuntre
The belle wedyr / and that was not a lite
Not loued but drad / of hye & lowe degre
For whom me liste / be crafte y coude endite
And hange the trewe / & the thief respite
Al the cuntre / be my worde was lad
But y dar sei / shortli for to write
Of my dethe / many a man is glad.
Somme tyme: Formerly

Dethe to the Mynstralle

O thow Minstral / that cannest so note & pipe
Un-to folkes / for to do plesaunce
By the right honde [anoone] I shal the gripe
With these other / to go vp-on my daunce
Ther is no scape / nowther a-voydaunce
On no side / to contrarie my sentence
For yn musik / be crafte & accordaunce
Who maister is / shew his science.

The Mynstral answereth

This newe daunce / is to me so straunge
Wonder dyuerse / and passyngli contrarie
The dredful fotyng / dothe so ofte chaunge
And the mesures / so ofte sithes varie
Whiche now to me / is no thyng necessarie
Ȝif hit were so / that I myght asterte
But many a man / ȝif I shal not tarie
Ofte daunceth / but no thynge of herte.


The juror does not appear in Paris but was added by John Lydgate.