Geoffrey Chaucer

(c. 1343 – 25 October 1400 / London, England)

A Ballad Sent To King Richard - Poem by Geoffrey Chaucer

Sometime this world was so steadfast and stable,
That man's word was held obligation;
And now it is so false and deceivable,
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Comments about A Ballad Sent To King Richard by Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (2/21/2016 4:14:00 PM)

    A BALLAD SENT TO KING RICHARD


    SOMETIME this world was so steadfast and stable,
    That man's word was held obligation;
    And now it is so false and deceivable, * *deceitful
    That word and work, as in conclusion,
    Be nothing one; for turned up so down
    Is all this world, through meed* and wilfulness, *bribery
    That all is lost for lack of steadfastness.

    What makes this world to be so variable,
    But lust* that folk have in dissension? *pleasure
    For now-a-days a man is held unable* *fit for nothing
    *But if* he can, by some collusion, ** *unless* *fraud, trick
    Do his neighbour wrong or oppression.
    What causeth this but wilful wretchedness,
    That all is lost for lack of steadfastness?

    Truth is put down, reason is holden fable;
    Virtue hath now no domination;
    Pity exil'd, no wight is merciable;
    Through covetise is blent* discretion; *blinded
    The worlde hath made permutation
    From right to wrong, from truth to fickleness,
    That all is lost for lack of steadfastness.

    L'Envoy.

    O Prince! desire to be honourable;
    Cherish thy folk, and hate extortion;
    Suffer nothing that may be reprovable* *a subject of reproach
    To thine estate, done in thy region; * *kingdom
    Show forth the sword of castigation;
    Dread God, do law, love thorough worthiness,
    And wed thy folk again to steadfastness!
    - - - - -http: //www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Geoffrey_Chaucer/chaucer_poems_MISCELLANEOUS_POEMS.htm (Report) Reply

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  • Ian Fraser (12/2/2009 11:14:00 AM)

    A very famous poem though one sadly almost lost nowadays. Chaucer's language is surprisingly direct, even blunt. Writers have been executed for less. (Report) Reply








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