|Middle English||Modern English|
|Worldesblis ne last no throwe,
hit wit ant wend a wey a non;
The lengur that hich hit i knowe
The lasse hic finde pris ther on,
for al hit is imeynd wyd kare,
mid sorewe ant wid uuel fare,
ant at the laste pouere ant bare
hit let mon, wen hit ginnet a gon.
al the blisse this here ant there
bi louketh at hende wop ant mon.
Al shal gon that her mon howet,
al hit shal wenden to nout;
the mon that her no god ne sowet,
wen other repen he worth bikert.
thenc, mon, for thi wil thu hauest mykte,
that thu thine gultus here arikte,
ant wrche god bi day an nikte,
ar then thu be of lisse ilakt.
thu nost wanne crist ure drikte
the asket that he hauet bitakt.
Al the blisse of thisse liue
thu shalt, mon, henden in wep —
of huse ant home ant child ant wyue.
seli mon tak there of kep!
for thu shalt al bileuen here
the eykte were of louerd thu were;
wen thu list, mon, up on bere
ant slepest a swythe druye slep
ne shaltu haben wit the no fere
butte thine werkus on an hep.
Mon, wi seestu loue ant herte
on worldes blisse that nout ne last?
wy tholestu that te so ofte smerte
for loue that is so unstedefast?
thu likest huni of thorn iwis,
that seest thi loue on worldesblis
for ful of bitternis hit is.
sore thu mikt ben of gast,
that despendes here heikte amis,
wer-thurh ben in to helle itakt.
Thenc, mon, war of crist the wroukte
ant do wey prude ant fulthe mod.
thenc wou dere he the bokte
on rode mit his swete blod;
him self he gaf for the in pris,
to buge the blis yf thu be wis.
bi thenc the, mon, ant up aris
of slovthe, an gin to worche god
wil time to worchen is,
for elles thu art witles ant wod.
Alday thu mikt undurstonde
ant ti mirour bi for the sen,
wat isto don an to wonden,
ant wat to holden ant to flen;
for alday thu sigst wid thin egven
wou this world went ant wou men deiegt.
that wite wel, that thu shalt dreigen
det, al so an other det.
ne helput nout ther non to ligen,
ne may no mon bu det ageyn.
Ne wort ne god ther unforgulde,
ne non uuel ne worth unboukt;
wanne thu list, mon, undur molde
thu shalt hauen astu hauest wrokt.
bi thenc the wel for thi, hic rede,
ant clanse the of thine misdede,
that he the helpe at thine nede,
that so dure hus haued iboukt,
ant to heuene blisse lede
that euere lest ant failet nout.
|Worldly bliss lasts not a moment;
it wanes and goes away anon.
The longer that I know it,
the less I find value thereon;
for it is all mingled with care,
with sorrows and with evil fare,
and at the last poor and bare
it leaves man, when it begins to be gone.
All the bliss that is here and there
in the end encompasses weeps and moans.
All shall go that here man has,
it shall all wane to nought;
the man that here sows no good,
when others reap, he will be beguiled.
Think, man, therefore, while you have might,
that your guilts here you may aright,
and work good by day and night,
ere then you be of life deprived.
You know not when Christ our Dright
will ask of you what he has entrusted.
All the bliss of this life
you shall, man, end in weeping —
of house and home and child and wife.
Simple man, take care thereof!
For you shall all relinquish here
the possessions whereof you were lord;
when you lie, man, upon the bier
and sleep a very dreary sleep
you will not have with you any companion
but your works on a heap.
Man, why do you set love and heart
on worldly bliss that doesn’t last?
Why do you endure that you often smart
for love that is so unsteadfast?
You lick honey from a thorn indeed,
who set your love on worldly bliss
for full of bitterness it is.
Sorely you might be terrified,
who spend here wealth amiss,
whereby to be into hell cast.
Think, man, whereof Christ wrought you
and do away with pride and filthy mind.
Think how dearly he bought you
on the cross with his sweet blood;
himself he gave for you in price,
to buy the bliss if you be wise.
Bethink you, man, and up arise
from sloth, again to work good
while there is time to work,
for else you are witless and mad.
All day you might understand
and the mirror before you see,
what is to do and to undertake,
and what to hold and to flee;
for all day you see with your eyes
how this world wanes and how men die.
Know this well, that you shall suffer
death, also another death.
It doesn’t help at all there to lie,
no man can avail against death.
No good will be there unrequited,
nor any evil will be unrepaid;
when you lie, man, under the mould
you shall have as you have wrought.
Bethink you well therefore, I urge,
and cleanse yourself of your misdeed,
that he may help you at your need,
he that so dearly has bought us,
and to heaven’s bliss lead
that ever lasts and fails not.