Friday, January 30, 2015

Dred God, Do Law, Love Trouthe and Worthinesse

Lak of Steadfastnesse
by Geoffrey Chaucer

Somtyme the world was so stedfast and stable
That mannes word was obligacioun,
And now it is so fals and deceivable
That word and deed, as in conclusioun,
Ben nothing lyk, for turned up-so-doun
Is al this world for mede and wilfulnesse,
That al is lost for lak of stedfastnesse.

What maketh this world to be so variable
But lust that folk have in dissensioun?
For among us now a man is holde unable,
But if he can by som collusioun
Don his neighbour wrong or oppressioun.
What causeth this but wilful wrecchednesse,
Taht al is lost for lak of stedfastnesse.

Trouthe is put doun, resoun is holden fable,
Vertu hath now no dominscioun;
Pitee exyled, no man is merciable.
Through covetyse is blent discrecioun.
The word hath mad a permutacioun
Fro right to wrong, fro trouthe to fikelnesse,
Taht al is lost for lak of stedfastnesse.

Lenvoy to King Richard

O prince, desyre to be honourable,
Cherish thy folk and hate extorcioun.
Suffre nothing that may be reprevable
To thyn estat don in they regioun.
Shew forthy they swerd of castigacioun,
Dred God, do law, love trouthe and worthinesse,
and wed they folk agein to stedfastnesse.


  1. Itinérante6:41 AM

    I was thinking about Chacuer today! =D
    And what a ballad!!
    I was thinking about this time between Christmas and Lent and how I should work to be firm in purpose and focus even without a "season"...

  2. branemrys4:37 PM


    Chaucer's a good poet for thinking about steadfastness and variability.


Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.