Letter to Gloucester

Riht myghty prynce, and it be your wille,

Condescende leiser for to take

To seen the content of this litil bille,

Which whan I wrot myn hand I felte quake.

Tokne of mornyng, [I] weryd clothys blake

Cause my purs was fal in gret rerage,

Lynyng outward, his guttys wer out-shake:

Oonly for lak of plate and of coignage.

I souhte leechys for a restoratiff,

In whom I fond no consolacioun,

Appotecaryes for a confortatiff:

Drag nor dia was noon in Bury toun.

Botme of his stomak tournyd vp-so-doun

A laxatif did hym so gret outrage,

Made hym slendre by a consumpcioun:

Oonly for lak of plate and of coignage.

Ship was ther noon nor seilis reed of hewe,

The wynd froward to make hem ther to londe.

The flood was passyd and sodeynly of newe

A lowh ground-ebb was faste by the stronde

├żat no maryneer durste take on hand

To cast an ankir for streihtnes of passage.

The custom skars (as folk may vndirstonde):

Oonly for lak of plate and of coignage.

Ther was no token sent doun from the Tour,

As any gossomer the countirpeys was liht.

A fretyng etyk causyd his langour

By a cotidian whi[c]h heeld hym day and nyht;

Sol and Luna wer clypsyd of ther liht,

Ther was no cros nor preent of no visage,

His lynyng dirk, ther wer no platys briht:

Oonly for lak and scarste of coignage.

Hard to lik hony out of a marbil stoon

For ther is nouthir licour nor moisture.

An ernest-grote whan it is dronke and goon,

Bargeyn of marchaunts, stant in aventure.

My purs and I be callyd to the lure

Of Indigence, our stuff leyd in morgage.

But ye, my lord, may al our soor recure:

With a receyt of plate and of coignage.

Nat sugre-plate maad by th'appotecarye,

Plate of briht metal yevith a mery soun:

In Boklerys-bury is noon such letuary.

Gold is a cordial, gladdest confeccioun.

Ageyn etiques of oold consumpcioun:

Aurum Potabile for folk ferre ronne in age,

In quynt-essence best restauracioun

With siluer plate enprentyd with coignage.

[L'envoy]

O seely bill why art thu nat ashamyd

So malapert to shewe out thy constreynt?

But pouert hath so nih thy tonne attamyd

That nichil habet is cause of thy compleynt.

A drye tisyk makith oold men ful feynt,

Reediest wey to renew ther corage

Is a fressh dragge, of no spycis meynt,

But of briht plate enpreentyd with coignage.

Thu mayst afferme, as for thyn excus,

Thy bareyn s[a]ile is sool and solitarye:

Of cros nor pyle ther is no reclus,

Preent nor impressioun in al thy seyntuarye.

To conclude breefly and nat [to] tarye:

Ther is no noyse herd in thyn hermitage.

God sende soon a gladder letuarye

With a cleer soun of plate and of coignage.

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