Clerk and Hermit

Clerk & hermit.
Clerk & hermit

Dethe to the Clerke

O ȝe [Sir] Clerke suppose ȝe to be fre
Fro my daunce / or ȝowre selfe defende
That wende haue risen / vn-to hye degre
Of benefices / or somme grete prebende
Who clymbeth hyest / somme-tyme shal dessende
Lete no man grucche / a-ȝens his fortune
But take yn gre / what [euer god] hym sende
Whiche punyssheth / al whan tyme is oportune.

The Clerke answereth

Shal I that am / so ȝonge a Clerke now deye
Fro my seruyse / and haue no bette guerdoun
Is there no geyne / ne noon better weye
No sure fraunchise / ne proteccioun
Dethe maketh al weie / a short conclusioun
To late ware / whan men ben on the brynke
The worlde shal faile / and al possessioun
For moche faileth / of thynge that foles thynke.
ȝonge: young
fro: from





Dethe to the Ermyte

Ȝe that haue lyued / longe yn wildernesse
And there contynued / longe yn abstynence
Atte laste ȝitte / ȝe mote ȝow dresse
Of my daunce / to haue experience
For ther-aȝeyne / is no resistence
Take now leue / of thyn Ermytage
Where-fore eche man / aduerte this sentence
That this life here / is no sure Eritage.






The Ermyte answereth

LIfe yn deserte / callid solitarie
Mai a-ȝeyne dethe / haue respite noon ne space
Atte vnsette owre / his comyng dothe not tarie
And for my parte / welcome be goddes grace
Thankyng hym / with humble chere & face
Of al his ȝiftes / and grete habundaunce
Fynalli affermyng / yn this place
No man is riche / that lacketh suffisaunce.




chere:face / mien

Dethe a-ȝen to the Ermyte

That is welle seyde / & thus shulde euery wight
Thanke his god / and al his wittes dresse
To loue and drede hym / with al his herte & myght
Setth dethe to a-scape / mai be no sekernesse
As men deserue / god quytte of rightwisnesse
To riche and pore / vp-on eueri side
A better lessoun / ther can no Clerke expresse
Than til to morowe / is no man sure to a-bide.
wight: man, person



Variants

Up to the Dance of Death in London