As a Mydsomer Rose

Lat no man booste of konnyng nor vertu,
Of tresour, richesse, nor of sapience,
Of wor[ld]ly support — al comyth of Ihesu:
Counsayl, confort, discresioun, prudence,
Prouisioun, forsight, and providence,
Like as the Lord of grace list dispoose:
Som hath wisdam, som hath elloquence,
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roose.

Holsom in smellyng be the soote flourys,
Ful delitable outward to the sight,
The thorn is sharp curyd with fressh colourys.
Al is nat gold that outward shewith bright.
A stokfyssh boon in dirknesse yevith a light,
Twen fair and foul[e], as God list dispoose,
A difference atwix[en] day and night:
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roose.

Floures open vpon euery grene,
Whan the larke, messager of day,
Salueth þ'uprist of the sonne shene
Moost amerously in Apryl and in May;
And Aurora ageyn the morwe gray
Causith the daysye hir crown to vncloose:
Worldly gladnes is medlyd with affray,
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roose.

Atwen the cokkow and the nightyngale
Ther is a maner straunge difference.
On fressh braunchys syngith the woode-wale.
Iayes in mysyk haue smal experyence.
Chateryng pyes whan they come in presence
Moost malapert ther verdite to purpoose:
Al thyng hath favour, breffly in sentence,
Of soffte or sharp like a mydsomyr roose.

The roial lioun lette calle a parlement,
Alle beests abowt hym enviroun,
The wolff of malys, beyng ther present,
Vpon the lamb compleyned, ageyn resoun,
Said he maad his watir vnholsom,
His tend[re] stomak to hyndre and vndespoose:
Raveynours reign, the innocent is bore doun,
Al stant on chaung lyk a mydsomer roose.

Al wor[ld]ly thyng[es] braydeth vpon tyme:
The sonne chaungith, so doth the pale moone,
The aureat noumbre in kalends set for prime.
Fortune is double, doth favour for no boone,
And who that hath with that queen to doone
Contrariously she wyl his chaunce dispoose:
Who sittith hihest moost like to fall soone.
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roose.

The golden chaar of Phebus in the ayr
Chasith mysts blak that þay dar not appeere,
At whos vprist mounteyns be made so fayr
As they were newly gilt with his beemys cleere;
The nyht doth folwe, appallith al his cheere
Whan western wawes his streemys ouer-close.
Rekne al bewte, al fresshness that is heere:
Al stant on chaung lyke a mydsomyr roose.

Constreynt of coold[e] makith flour[e]s dare
With wyntir froosts that they dar nat appeere.
Al clad in russet the soyl of greene is bare.
Tellus and I[oue] be dullyd of ther cheere
By revolucioun and turnyng of the yeere:
As gery March his stoundys doth disclose:
Now reyn, now storm, now Phebus bright and cleere.
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roose.

Wher is now Dauid, moost worthy kyng
Of [al] Iuda, moost famous and notable?
Wher is Salomon most soureyn of konnyng,
Richest of bildyng, of tresour incomparable?
Face of Absolon, moost fair, moost amyable?
Rekne vp echon, of trouthe make no gloose.
Rekne vp Ionathas, of frenship immutable,
Al stant on chaung lyke a mydsomyr roose.

Wher is Iulius, proudest in his empyre
With his tryumphes moost imperyal?
Wher is Pirrus that was lord and sire
Of [al] Ynde in his estat roial?
And wher is Alisaunder that conqueryd al,
Failed leiser his testament to dispoose?
Nabugodonosor or Sardanapal?
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roose.

Wher is Tullius with his sugryd tonge?
Or Crisistomus with his golden mouth?
The aureat ditees that be red and songe
Of Omerus in Grece both north and south?
The tragedyes diuers and vnkouth
Of moral Senek, the mysteryis to vncloose?
By many example this matere is ful kouth:
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roose.

Wher been of Fraunce al the dozepeers
Which [þat] in Gawle had the governaunce?
Vowes of the Pecok with al ther proude cheers?
The worthy nyne with al ther hih bobbaunce?
Troian knyhtis, grettest of alliaunce?
The flees of gold, conqueryd in Colchoos?
Rome and Cartage, moost souereyn of puissaunce?
Al stant on chaung like a mydsomyr roos.

Put in a som al marcial policye,
Compleet in Affryk and boundys of Cartage,
The Theban legioun, example of cheualrye,
At Roda[n]us Ryuer was expert ther corage:
Ten thousand knyhtes born of hih parage
Ther martirdam, rad in metre and proose,
Ther golden crownys maad in heuenly stage,
Fressher than lilies or ony somyr roose.

The remembraunce of euery famous knyht,
Ground considerid, is bilt on rihtwisnesse.
Race out ech quarel that is not bilt on riht,
Withoute trouth what vaileth hih noblesse?
[þ]'aw[ti]ers of martirs foundid on hoolynesse:
Whit was maad red ther tryumphes to discloose:
The whit[e] lillye was ther chaast clennesse,
Ther bloody suffraunce was no somyr roose.

It was the Roose of the bloody feeld,
Roose of Iericho that greuh in Beedlem:
The five Roosys portrayed in the sheeld,
Splayed in the baneer at Ierusalem.
The sonne was clips and dirk in euery rem
Whan Christ Ihesu five wellys lyst vncloose
Toward Paradys, callyd the rede strem,
Of whos five woundys prent in your hert a roos.
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