Wednesday, August 10, 2016

He Works Sorrow to Himself

Ane His Awin Ennemy
by William Dunbar

He that hes gold and grit richess,
And may be into mirryness,
And dois glaidness fra him expell,
And levis in to wretchitnefs,
He wirkis sorrow to him sell.

He that may be but sturt or stryfe,
And leif ane lusty plesand lyfe,
And syne with mariege dois him mell,
And bindis him with ane wicket wyfe,
He wirkis sorrow to him sell.

He that hes for his awin genyie
Ane plesand prop, bot mank or menyie,
And schuttis syne at ane uncow schell,
And is forsairn with the fleis of Spenyie,
He wirkis sorrow to him sell.

And he that with gud lyfe and trewth,
But varians or uder slewth,
Dois evir mair with ane maister dwell,
That nevir of him will haif no rewth,
He wirkis sorrow to him sell.

Now all this tyme lat us be mirry,
And set nocht by this warld a chirry:
Now quhill thair is gude wyne to sell,
He that dois on dry breid wirry,
I gif him to the Devill of Hell.

William Dunbar (c. 1459- c. 1530) was perhaps the greatest Scottish poet of the sixteenth century.

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