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Thomas Hoccleve

Lament for Chaucer

ALLAS! my worthi maister honorable,
This landes verray tresor and richesse!
Deth by thy deth hath harme irreparable
Unto us doon: hir vengeable duresse
Despoiled hath this land of the swetnesse
Of rethorik; for unto Tullius
Was never man so lyk amonges us.

Also who was hier in philosophie
To Aristotle in our tonge but thou?
The steppes of Virgile in poesie
Thou folwedist eeke, men wot wel ynow.
Thou combre-worlde that the my maister slow--
Wolde I slayn were!--Deth, was to hastyf
To renne on thee and reve the thi lyf...

She myghte han taried hir vengeance a while
Til that sum man had egal to the be;
Nay, lat be that! sche knew wel that this y1e
May never man forth brynge lyk to the,

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The Letter of Cupid

Cupido, unto whos commandement
The gentil kinrede of goddes on hy
And peple infernal been obedient,
And the mortel folk seruen bisyly,
Of goddesse Sitheree sone oonly,
To alle tho that to our deitee
Been sogettes greetinges senden we.

In general, we wole that yee knowe
That ladies of honour and reverence
And other gentil wommen han ysowe
Swich seed of complainte in our audience
Of men that doon hem outrage and offense
That it our eres greeveth for to heere,
So pitous is th' effect of hir mateere;
And passing alle londes on this yle
That clept is Albioun they moost complaine;
They sayn that ther is croppe and roote of guile,
So can tho men dissimulen and faine
With standing dropes in hir eyen twaine,

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The Regiment of Princes

Musynge upon the restlees bysynesse
Which that this troubly world hath ay on honde,
That othir thyng than fruyt of bittirnesse
Ne yildith naght, as I can undirstonde,
At Chestres In, right faste by the Stronde,
As I lay in my bed upon a nyght,
Thoght me byrefte of sleep the force and might. 1

And many a day and nyght that wikkid hyne
Hadde beforn vexed my poore goost
So grevously that of angwissh and pyne
No rycher man was nowhere in no coost.
This dar I seyn, may no wight make his boost
That he with thoght was bet than I aqweynted,
For to the deeth he wel ny hath me feynted.

Bysyly in my mynde I gan revolve
The welthe unseur of every creature,
How lightly that Fortune it can dissolve
Whan that hir list that it no lenger dure;

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