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17                                          Lament for Chaucer

ALLAS! my worthi maister honorable,
This landes verray tresor and richesse!
Deth by thy deth hath harme irreparable
Unto us done: hir vengeable duresse
Dispoiled hath this londe of the swetnesse
Of rethoryk; for unto Tullius
Was never man so like amonges us.
Also who was hier1 in philosophie
To Aristotle in our tonge but thou?
The steppes of Virgile in poesie
Thou folwedest eeke, men wot wel ynow.
That combre-world2 that thee my maister slow3
Wolde I slayne were!—Deth, was to hastyfe
To renne on thee and reve the thi lyfe ...
She myght han taried hir vengeaunce a while
Til that som man had egal to the be;
Nay, lat be that! sche knew wel that this yle
May never man forth brynge like to the,
And hir office nedes do mot she:
God bade hir so, I truste as for the beste;
O maister, maister, God thy soule reste!

1 hier: heir.

2 combre-world: encumberer of earth.

3 slow: slew.

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