Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
VII. The Tyrant
In Praise of Chaucer
By Thomas Hoccleve (c. 1368–c. 1426)
 
ALLAS! my worthy maister honorable,
This londes verray tresour and richesse,
Dethe by thy dethe hath harme irreperable
Unto us done, hir vengeable duresse
Dispoiled hath this londe of swetnesse        5
Of rethoryk fro us, to Tullius
Was never man so like amonge us.
 
Also who was hyer in philosofye
To Aristotle in our tunge but thow?
The steppes of Virgile in poysye        10
Thou folwedest eke, men wote wele ynow.
That combreworld that my maister slow,
Wolde I slayne were! dethe was to hastyfe,
To renne on the and reve the thy lyfe.
 
Dethe hath but small consideracion        15
Unto the vertuous, I have espied,
Nomore, as sheweth the probacion,
Than to a vicious maister losell tried,
Amonge an hepe every man is maistried;
With hir as wele the poore as the riche,        20
Lered and lewde, all stonden eliche.
 
She myght han taryed hir vengeaunce a while
Til that som man hade egall to the be.
Nay, lete be that! she knewe wele that this yle
May never man bryng forthe like to the,        25
And hir office nedes do mote she;
God bade hir do so, I truste for the beste,
O maister, maister, God thy soule reste!
 
 
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