The Dead King and the Authority

The King ligging eaten of Wormes.
The King ligging eaten of Wormes

The kynge liggyng dede & eten with wormes

Ȝe folke that loken / vpon this purtrature
Beholdyng here / alle the estates daunce
Seeth what ȝe ben / & what is ȝowre nature
Mete vnto wormes / not elles yn substaunce
And haue this myrroure / euer yn remembraunce
[H]ow I lye here / som-tyme crowned kynge
To al estates / a trewe resemblaunce
That wormes fode / is fyne of owre lyuynge.

See what you are....

som-tyme: formerly

fyne: end

Machabre the Doctoure(1)

Man is nowght elles / platli for to thenke
But as a wynde / whiche is transitorie
Passyng ay forthe / whether he wake or wynke
Towarde this daunce / haue this yn memorie
Remembr[ing]e ay / ther is [no] bette victory
In this life here / than fle synne atte leste
Than shul ȝe reigne / yn Paradyse with glorie
Happi is he / that maketh yn heuene his feste.
platli: plainly

Ȝitte ther be folke / mo than sixe or seuene
Reckeles of life / yn many maner wyse
Like as ther were / helle noon ne heuene
Suche fals errowre / lete eueri man despice
For holi seyntes / & olde Clerkes wise
Writen contrarie / her falsnes to deface
To lyue welle / take this for beste Emprise
Is moche worthe / when men shul hennes pace.
ȝitte: yet


Footnotes: (1)

Machabre...: Evidently Lydgate thinks that "Machabre" was the name of the author (he makes the same statement in the introduction).

Lydgate was probably wrong in thinking so - although old Parisian documents mention a "Jean Macabray" in 1381 and a "Jean Macabray de Tavannes" in 1446.

However, the misunderstanding was not Lydgate's, since the French manuscript Fr. 14989 says: Machabre docteur, another French manuscript, NAF 10032, says: Macabre le docteur, while a third, St. Omer 127, calls him Macrabre.