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An overset of liefbound 13th-yearhundred bookcraft yclept Worldes blis ne last no throwe from Middle English into Anglish.

Worldly Bliss lasteth not a throwe;

It wanes and wends away anon.

The longer that I know this

the less I find worth thereon;

for all it is mingled with care,

with sorrow and with evil fare,

and at last poor and bare it 'lets man

when it begins to be gone

All of the bliss thus here and there

belouketh at ending weeps and moans.


All shall go that man has here,

and it shall wane to nought;

the man that sows no good,

when others reap, he will be caught.

Think man, forthy

while thou hast might,

that thou thy guilts here aright,

and work well by day and night,

ere then thou be of liss latched.

Thou knowest not when Christ our dright

asketh what he hath betaken.


All the bliss of this life

thou shalt, man, end in weeping —

of house and home and child and wife.

Silly man, take care thereof!

For thou shalt all leave here

the eykt which thou wert lord of;

when thou liest, man, upon a bier

and sleepest a swith, dreary sleep

thou shalt not have with thee any farer,

but your workings on a heap.


Man, why settest thou thy love and heart

on worldly bliss that lasteth not?

Why tholest thou that thou art so oft-smart

for love that is so unsteadfast?

Thou lickest honey of thorns iwis,

that sets thy love on worldly bliss

for full of bitterness, it is.

sorely thou might be aghast, 

who forspends here wealth amiss,

wherethrough been into hell taken.


Think, man, whereof Christ wrought thee

and do 'way pride and filthy mind.

Think how dearly he bought thee

on the rod with his sweet blood;

himself he gave for thee in worth,

to buy the bliss if thou be wise.

Bethink thee, man, and up arise,

of sloth, and go to work well

while there is time to work,

for else thou art witless and wood.


All day thou might understand,

and see thy glass before thee,

what is to do and to wond,

and what to hold and to flee;

for all day thou see'st with thine eyes

how this world wanes and how men die.

Wit well, that thou shalt suffer one death

and also another.

It helps nought at all to lie,

may no man be against death.


No good will be unforgild

nor any evil unbought;

when thou liest, man, under the mould,

thou shalt have as thou hast wrought.

Bethink thee well forthy, I rede,

and cleanse thyself of thy misdeeds,

that he may help at thy need,

he that so dearly has bought us,

and to heaven's bliss he will lead

that ever lasts and faileth not.

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