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Poem by William Dunbar


Best to Be Blithe


Full oft I mus and hes in thocht
How this fals warld is ay on flocht,
Quhair nothing ferme is nor degest;
And quhen I haif my mynd all socht,
For to be blyth me think it best.

This warld evir dois flicht and vary;
Fortoun sa fast hir quheill dois cary,
Na tyme bot turne can it tak rest,
For quhois fals change suld none be sary;
For to be blyth me thynk it best.

Wald man considdir in mynd rycht weill,
Or Fortoun on him turn hir quheill,
That erdly honour may nocht lest,
His fall les panefull he suld feill;
For to be blyth me think it best.

Quha with this warld dois warsill and stryfe,
And dois his dayis in dolour dryfe,
Thocht he in lordschip be possest,
He levis bot ane wrechit lyfe;
For to be blyth me think it best.

Of wardlis gud and grit riches,
Quhat fruct hes man but mirines?
Thocht he this warld had eist and west,
All wer povertie but glaidnes;
For to be blyth me thynk it best.

Quho suld for tynsall drowp or de
For thyng that is bot vanitie,
Sen to the lyfe that evir dois lest
Heir is bot twynklyng of ane ee?
For to be blyth me think it best.

Had I for warldis unkyndnes
In hairt tane ony havines,
Or fro my plesans bene opprest,
I had bene deid lang syne, dowtles;
For to be blyth me think it best.

How evir this warld do change and vary,
Lat us in hairt nevirmoir be sary,
Bot evir be reddy and addrest
To pas out of this frawdfull fary;
For to be blyth me think it best.



William Dunbar


William Dunbar's other poems:
  1. The Tretis of the Twa Mariit Women and the Wedo
  2. On the Resurrection of Christ [Surrexit Dominus de sepulchro]
  3. The Ballad of Kynd Kittock
  4. To the King [Of benefice, sir, at everie feist]
  5. To the King [In hansill of this guid New Yeir]


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