To wish and want and not obtain

CVII

To wish and want and not obtain,
To seek and sue ease of my pain,
Since all that ever I do is vain
What may it avail me?

Although I strive both day and hour
Against the stream with all my power,
If fortune list yet for to lour
What may it avail me?

If willingly I suffer woe,
If from the fire me list not go,
If then I burn to plain me so,
What may it avail me?

And if the harm that I suffer
Be run too far out of measure,
To seek for help any further
What may it avail me?

What though each heart that heareth me plain
Pityeth and plaineth for my pain,
If I no less in grief remain
What may it avail me?

Yea, though the want of my relief
Displease the causer of my grief,
Since I remain still in mischief
What may it avail me?

Such cruel chance doth so me threat
Continually inward to fret.
Then of release for to treat
What may it avail me?

Fortune is deaf unto my call.
My torment moveth her not at all.
And though she turn as doth a ball
What may it avail me?

For in despair there is no rede.
To want of ear speech is no speed.
To linger still alive as dead
What may it avail me?
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