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A Rueful Lamentation

O ye that put your trust and confidence,
In worldly joy and frail prosperity,
That so live here as ye should never hence,
Remember death and look here upon me.
Ensaumple I think there may no better be.
Yourself wotte well that in this realm was I,
Your queen but late, and lo now here I lie.

Was I not born of old worthy lineage?
Was not my mother queen my father king?
Was I not a king’s fere in marriage?
Had I not plenty of every pleasant thing?
Merciful god this is a strange reckoning:
Riches, honor, wealth, and ancestry
Hath me forsaken and lo now here I lie.

If worship might have kept me, I had not gone.
If wit might have me saved, I needed not fear.
If money might have holpe, I lacked none.
But O good God what vaileth all this gere.
When death is come thy mighty messenger,
Obey we must there is no remedy,
Me hath he summoned, and lo now here I lie.

Yet was I late promised otherwise,
This year to live in wealth and delice.
Lo where to cometh thy blandishing promise,
O false astrology devynatrice,
Of goddes secrets making thyself so wise?
How true for this year thy prophecy?
The year yet lasteth, and lo now here I lie.

O brittle wealth, ay full of bitterness,
Thy single pleasure doubled is with pain.
Account my sorrow first and my distress,
In sundry wise, and reckon there again,
The joy that I have had, and I dare sayne.
For all my honor, endured yet have I,
More woe than wealth, and lo now here I lie.

Where are our castles, now where are our Towers?
Goodly Richmond son art thou gone from me,
At Westminster that costly work of yours,
Mine own dear lord now shall I never see.
Almighty god vouchsafe to grant that ye,
For you and your children well may edify.
My palace builded is, for lo now here I lie.

Adieu mine own dear spouse my worthy lord,
The faithful love, that did us both combine,
In marriage and peaceable concord,
Into your hands here I clean resign
To be bestowed upon your children and mine.
Erst were you father, and now must ye supply,
The mothers part also, for lo now here I lie.

Farewell my daughter lady Margaret.
God wotte full oft it grieved hath my mind,
That ye should go where we should seldom meet.
Now am I gone, and have left you behind.
O mortal folk that we be very blind,
That we least fear, full oft it is most nye,
From you depart I first, and lo now here I lie.

Farewell Madam my lords worthy mother,
Comfort your son, and be ye of good cheer,
Take all a worth, for it will be no nother.
Farewell my daughter Katherine late the fere,
To prince Arthur mine own child so dear,
It booteth not for me to weep and cry,
Pray for my soul, for now lo here I lie.

Adieu lord Henry my loving son adieu.
Our lord increase your honor and estate,
Adieu my daughter Mary bright of hue.
God make you virtuous wise and fortunate.
Adieu sweet heart my little daughter Kate,
Thou shalt sweet babe such is thy destiny,
Thy mother never know, for lo now here I lie.

Lady Cicily Anne and Katherine,
Farewell my well-beloved sisters three.
O lady Briget other sister mine,
Lo here the end of worldly vanity.
Now well are ye that earthly folly flee,
And heavenly things love and magnify,
Farewell and pray for me, for lo now here I lie.

Adieu my lords, adieu my ladies all,
Adieu my faithful servants every chone,
Adieu my commons whom I never shall,
See in this world wherefore to the alone,
Immortal god verily three and one,
I me commend thy infinite mercy,
Show to thy servant, for lo now here I lie.

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A Rueful Lamentation - THOMAS MORE