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Robert Henryson (Роберт Хенрисон)

The Three Deid Pollis

O sinfull man, in to this mortall se,
Quhilk is the vaill of murnyng and of cair,
With gaistly sicht behold oure heidis thre,
Oure holkit ene, oure peilit pollis bair.
As ye ar now, in to this warld we wair,
Als fresche, als fair, als lusty to behald:
Quhan thow lukis on this suth examplair
Off thy self, man, thow may be richt unbald.
For suth it is that every man mortall
Mon suffer deid and de, that lyfe hes tane;
Na erdly stait aganis deid ma prevaill;
The hour of deth and place is uncertane,
Quhilk is referrit to the hie God allane.
Heirfoir haif mynd of deth, that thow mon dy:
This sair exampill to se quotidiane
Sowld caus all men fra wicket vycis fle.
O wantone yowth, als fresche as lusty May,
Farest of flowris, renewit quhyt and reid,
Behald our heidis, O lusty gallandis gay;
Full laithly thus sall ly thy lusty heid,
Holkit and how, and wallowit as the weid;
Thy crampand hair and eik thy cristall ene
Full cairfully conclud sall dulefull deid;
Thy example heir be us it may be sene.
O ladeis quhyt, in claithis corruscant,
Poleist with perle and mony pretius stane,
With palpis quhyt and hals so elegant
Sirculit with gold and sapheris mony ane;
Your finyearis small, quhyt as quhailis bane,
Arrayit with ringis and mony rubeis reid:
As we ly thus, so sall ye ly ilk ane,
With peilit pollis, and holkit thus your heid.
O wofull pryd, the rute of all distres,
With humill hairt upoun our pollis pens;
Man, for thy mis, ask mercy with meiknes;
Aganis deid na man may mak defens:
The empriour, for all his excellens,
King and quene, and eik all erdly stait,
Peure and riche, salbe but differens
Turnit in as and thus in erd translait.
This questioun, quha can obsolve, lat see,
Quhat phisnamour or perfyt palmester -
Quha was farest or fowlest of us thre,
Or quhilk of us of kin was gentillar,
Or maist expert in science or in lare,
In art, musik, or in astronomye?
Heir sowld be your study and repair,
And think as thus all your heidis mon be.
O febill aige, drawand neir the dait
Of dully deid, and hes thy dayis compleit,
Behald our heidis with murning and regrait,
Fall on thy kneis, ask grace at God, and greit,
With orisionis and haly salmes sweit
Beseikand him on the to haif mercy,
Now of our sawlis, bydand the decreit
Of His Godheid, to rew and glorifé.
Als we exhort that every man mortall,
For His saik that maid of nocht all thing,
For mercy cry and pray in generall
To Jesus Chryst, of hevin and erd the king,
Throwch your prayar that we and ye may ring
With the hie Fader be eternitie,
The Sone alswa, the Haly Gaist conding,
Thre knit in ane be perfyt unitie.

Robert Henryson's other poems:
  1. Against Hasty Credence
  2. The Ressoning betwix Aige and Yowth
  3. The Testament of Cressida
  4. The Fox, the Wolf, and the Cadger
  5. The Sheep and the Dog

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