Friar Minor and Child

Friar minor & child.
Friar minor & child

Dethe to the Frere menour

Sire Cordelere / to ȝow my hande is rawght
To this daunce / ȝow to conueie ande lede
Whiche yn ȝowre prechynge / hau ful ofte tawght
How [þat] I am / moste gastful for to drede
Al-be that folke / take ther of none hede
Ȝitte is ther noon / so stronge ne so hardi
But dethe dar reste / and lette for no mede
For dethe eche owre / is present & redy.
Cordelere: Franciscan

lette: delay, mede: reward, bribe
eche owre: every hour

The Frere answereth

What mai this be / that yn this world no man
Here to a-bide / mai haue no seuerte
Strengh richesse / ne what so that he can
Wordly wisdom / al is but vanyte
In grete astate / ne yn pouerte
Is no thynge founde / that mai fro dethe defende
For whiche I sei / to hye & lowe degre
Wise is that synner / that dothe his lif a-mende.

fro: from

Dethe to the Chylde

Litel Enfaunt / that were but late borne
Schape yn this worlde / to haue no plesaunce
Thow moste with other / that gon here to forne
Be lad yn haste / be fatal ordynaunce
Lerne of newe / to go on my daunce
Ther mai non age / a-scape yn sothe ther fro
Late eueri wight / haue this yn remembraunce
Who lengest leueth / moste shal suffre wo.

wight: man, person

The Chylde answereth

A a a / a worde I can not speke(1)
I am so ȝonge / I was bore ȝisterdai
Dethe is so hasti / on me to be wreke
And liste no lenger / to make no delai
I cam but now / and now I go my wai
Of me no more / no tale shal be tolde
The wille of god / no man with-stonde mai
As sone dyeth / a ȝonge man as an olde.


Footnotes: (1)

a, a, a, . . .: Jeremiah 1,6, And I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child..