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Seventeenth Century

Eighteenth Century



The Three Living and the Three Dead
"The Three Living and the Three Dead. Psalter of Robert de Lisle, c. 1310. BL MS Arundel 83 f.127

Long Life

Mon mai longe liues wene,
Ac ofte him lieth the wrench.
Feir weder turneth ofte into reine
And wunderliche hit maketh his blench.
Tharuore mon, thu the bi-thench,
Al schal falewi thi grene,
Weilawei, nis king ne quene,
That ne schal drinche of deathes drench.
Mon, er thu falle of thi bench,
Thine sunne thu aquench.

Man may think that he lives long,
But oft him belies the wrench.
Fair weather turneth oft into rain
And wondrously it makes its blench.
Therefore, man, thou thee bethink,
All shall yellow, your green;
Alas, there's neither king nor queen,
That shall not drink of death's drink.
Man, ere thou fall off thy bench,
Thine sins thou a-quench.

(trick, deception)

(change of course)
(think on yourself)
"Your youth shall wither"

[Exists in 50 four-stress verses in ten-line stanzas
in MS. Cotton Caligula A IX f.246 (before 1250) and
Jesus College Oxford MS. 29 f. 252v (c.1275); also in
49 verses in MS. Laud 471 f. 65r (end of 13th c.)]

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