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Poem by William Dunbar


None May Assure in This World


Quhome to sall I complene my wo
And kyth my kairis, on or mo?
I knaw nocht amang riche nor pure
Quha is my freynd, quha is my fo,
For in this warld may none assure.

Lord, how sall I my dayis dispone?
For lang service rewarde is none,
And schort my lyfe may heir indure,
And lossit is my tyme bygone:
Into this warld may none assure.

Oft falsett rydis with ane rowt
Quhen trewth gois on his fute abowt,
And lak of spending dois him spur;
Thus quhat to do I am in dowt:
Into this warld may none assure.

Nane heir bot riche men hes renoun,
And bot pure men ar pluckit doun,
And nane bot just men tholis injure;
Sa wit is blindit and ressoun:
Into this warld may none assure.

Vertew the court hes done dispyis;
Ane rebald to renoun dois ryis,
And cairlis of nobillis hes the cure,
And bumbardis brukis the benifyis:
Into this warld may none assure.

All gentrice and nobilité
Ar passit out of he degré;
On fredome is laid foirfaltour;
In princis is thair no pety:
For in this warld may none assure.

Is non so armit into plait
That can fra truble him debait;
May no man lang in welth indure
For wo that evir lyis at the wait:
Into this warld may none assure.

Flattry weiris ane furrit goun,
And Falsett with the lordis dois roun,
And Trewthe standis barrit at the dure,
And exul is Honour of the toun:
Into this warld may none assure.

Fra everilk mowth fair wirdis proceidis;
In every hairt disceptioun breidis;
Fra everylk e gois lukis demure,
Bot fra the handis gois few gud deidis:
Into this warld may none assure.

Toungis now ar maid of quhyte quhaill bone,
And hairtis ar maid of hard flynt stone,
And ene ar maid of blew asure,
And handis of adamant laith to dispone:
Into this warld may none assure.

Yit hairt with hand and body all
Mon anser Deth quhen he dois call
To compt befoir the Juge future;
Sen all ar deid or than de sall,
Quha suld into this warld assure?

Nothing bot deth this schortly cravis,
Quhair Fortoun evir as fo dissavis
With freyndly smylingis of ane hure,
Quhais fals behechtis as wind hyne wavis:
Into this warld may none assure.

O, quha sall weild the wrang possessioun,
Or the gold gatherit with oppressioun,
Quhen the angell blawis his bugill sture,
Quhilk unrestorit helpis no confessioun?
Into this warld may none assure.

Quhat help is thair in lordschippis sevin,
Quhen na hous is bot Hell and Hevin,
Palice of licht or pitt obscure,
Quhair youlis ar hard with horreble stevin?
Into this warld may none assure.

Ubi ardentes anime,
Semper dicentes sunt, Ve Ve!
Sall cry "allace" that wemen thame bure,
O quante sunt iste tenebre!
Into this warld may none assure.

Than quho sall wirk for warldis wrak
Quhen flude and fyre sall our it frak,
And frely fruster feild and fure
With tempest kene and hiddous crak?
Into this warld may none assure.

Lord, sen in tyme sa sone to ****
De terra surrectourus sum,
Rewarde me with non erdly cure -
Tu regni da imperium:
Into this warld may non assure.



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. Best to Be Blithe


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