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John Lydgate

Vox ultima Crucis

TARYE no lenger; toward thyn heritage
Hast on thy weye, and be of ryght good chere.
Go eche day onward on thy pylgrymage;
Thynke howe short tyme thou hast abyden here.
Thy place is bygged above the sterres clere,
Noon erthly palys wrought in so statly wyse.
Come on, my frend, my brother most entere!
For the I offered my blood in sacryfice.

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That now is hay some-tyme was grase

Who clymbeth hyest gothe ofte base,
Ensample in medowes thow mayst se
That nowe is heye some tyme was grase.

Lenvoye.
Go forth anon, thou short dite,
Bydde folke not trust this worlde at all,
Bydde theme remembre on e cite
Which is a-bove celestiall;
Of precious stones bylt is the wall,
Who clymbeth theder gothe nevar base,
Out of that place may be no fall,
Ther is no heye but all fresh grase.

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The Testament of John Lydgate

...
Beholde, o man! lyft up thyn eye and see
What mortall peyne I suffre for thi trespace.
With pietous voys I crye and sey to the:
Beholde my woundes, behold my blody face,
Beholde the rebukes that do me so manace,
Beholde my enemyes that do me so despice,
And how that I, to reforme the to grace,
Was like a lambe offred in sacryfice.

...
And geyn thi pryde behold my gret mekenesse;
Geyn thyn envie behold my charité;
Geyn thi leccherye behold my chast clennesse;
Geyn thi covetyse behold my poverté.
Atweene too thevys nayl{.e}d to a tree,
Rayled with reed blood, they lyst me so desguyse,
Behold, O man! all this I did for the,
Meke as a lambe offred in sacryfice.

[...] Read more

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The London Lackpenny

To London once my steps I bent,
Where truth in no wise should be faint;
To Westminster-ward I forthwith went,
To a man of Law to make complaint.
I said, 'For Mary's love, that holy saint,
Pity the poor that would proceed!'
But for lack of money, I could not speed.

And, as I thrust the press among,
By froward chance my hood was gone;
Yet for all that I stayed not long
Till to the King's Bench I was come.
Before the Judge I kneeled anon
And prayed him for God's sake take heed.
But for lack of money, I might not speed.

Beneath them sat clerks a great rout,
Which fast did write by one assent;
There stood up one and cried about
'Richard, Robert, and John of Kent!'

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The Floure of Curtesye

In Feverier, whan the frosty moone
Was horned, ful of Phebus firy lyght,
And that she gan to reyse her streames sone,
Saynt Valentyne, upon thy blisful nyght
Of dutie whan glad is every wight,
And foules chese, to voyde her olde sorowe,
Everyche his make, upon the next morowe,

The same tyme, I herde a larke synge
Ful lustely, agayne the morowe gray:
'Awake, ye lovers, out of your slombringe,
This glad morowe, in al the haste ye may!
Some observaunce dothe unto this day,
Your choyse agen of herte to renewe,
In confyrmyng forever to be trewe.

'And ye that be, of chosyng, at your large
This lusty day, by custome of nature,
Take upon you the blisful holy charge
To serve love, whyle your lyfe may dure,

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