The Epitaph of Sir Griffith ap Rhys

When I revolve in my remembrance
This life fugitive and the world transitory,
It moveth my heart, it pricketh my conscience
Little to regard this world's vanity,
Seeing nothing remaineth in stability,
But every creature here natural
Suddenly slippeth hence by chance mortal.

Sole as I stood late towards a night
The sun beholding, how it went to rest,
A griffith came flying fair in my sight
From the mountains of Wales by south west,
And direct over me as he came exprest
Before me he let fall suddenly
This heavy and lamentable epitaphy:

Farewell, England! Farewell, Wales!
I take my leave now at this tide.
Farewell Calais and English Pales!
Farewell, King Henry! I may not abide,
Death hath me lanced into the side.
Farewell knighthood, farewell chivalry!
Of the courteous court farewell good company!

Farewell my lady! your heart is sore:
At our departing we thought not of this,
A hard chance for here we meet no more.
Be of good comfort though ye do me miss:
God shall provide for your solace and bliss
Better chance for you though ye be left alone,
Far from your country and friends everyone.

The late loss of your child was a great grievance,
But nothing to this comparable.
Be you of good comfort, thus turneth the balance
From life to death which is inevitable.
O sorrowful chance so lamentable!
Now shall I no more my lady see,
Sole mourning left in a strange country.

I would ye should not for me weep and wail,
My own true lady, but me recommend
To God by prayer which may me avail
My pain to slake and comfort you send.
Though death of me thus have made an end,
In my lusty time no longer I may dwell,
Be you of good comfort and thus fare ye well.

To my old master now will I be gone,
Prince Arthur with him still to abide.
It slacketh my sorrows to think upon
My chance is to lie so nigh to his side.
What should I more wish in this world wide
But in rest perpetual to make merry
With that noble prince in eternal glory?

Yet all my fellows that was with Prince Arthur
In service with me full diligent,
For old love I pray you to procure
To good King Henry the Eighth by one assent
That it will please him of his grace most excellent
To my wife and children good lord to be;
For all service past I ask none other fee.

And remember how sudden this life doth slide,
Ye may all take ensample by me.
Beware death cometh sudden and not espied,
When ye think least he will do his villainy.
O that I had not forecast his slighty subtlety!
Now ye be warned, ye may take better heed,
Of his sudden dart ye shall have less dread.

When I revolve in my remembrance
This life fugitive and the world transitory,
It moveth my heart, it pricketh my conscience
Little to regard this world's vanity,
Seeing nothing remaineth in stability,
But every creature here natural
Suddenly slippeth hence by chance mortal.

Sole as I stood late towards a night
The sun beholding, how it went to rest,
A griffith came flying fair in my sight
From the mountains of Wales by south west,
And direct over me as he came exprest
Before me he let fall suddenly
This heavy and lamentable epitaphy:

Farewell, England! Farewell, Wales!
I take my leave now at this tide.
Farewell Calais and English Pales!
Farewell, King Henry! I may not abide,
Death hath me lanced into the side.
Farewell knighthood, farewell chivalry!
Of the courteous court farewell good company!

Farewell my lady! your heart is sore:
At our departing we thought not of this,
A hard chance for here we meet no more.
Be of good comfort though ye do me miss:
God shall provide for your solace and bliss
Better chance for you though ye be left alone,
Far from your country and friends everyone.

The late loss of your child was a great grievance,
But nothing to this comparable.
Be you of good comfort, thus turneth the balance
From life to death which is inevitable.
O sorrowful chance so lamentable!
Now shall I no more my lady see,
Sole mourning left in a strange country.

I would ye should not for me weep and wail,
My own true lady, but me recommend
To God by prayer which may me avail
My pain to slake and comfort you send.
Though death of me thus have made an end,
In my lusty time no longer I may dwell,
Be you of good comfort and thus fare ye well.

To my old master now will I be gone,
Prince Arthur with him still to abide.
It slacketh my sorrows to think upon
My chance is to lie so nigh to his side.
What should I more wish in this world wide
But in rest perpetual to make merry
With that noble prince in eternal glory?

Yet all my fellows that was with Prince Arthur
In service with me full diligent,
For old love I pray you to procure
To good King Henry the Eighth by one assent
That it will please him of his grace most excellent
To my wife and children good lord to be;
For all service past I ask none other fee.

And remember how sudden this life doth slide,
Ye may all take ensample by me.
Beware death cometh sudden and not espied,
When ye think least he will do his villainy.
O that I had not forecast his slighty subtlety!
Now ye be warned, ye may take better heed,
Of his sudden dart ye shall have less dread.
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