Treasure Island

Geoffrey Chaucer

(c. 1343 – 25 October 1400 / London, England)

A Ballad Sent to King Richard


Sometime this world was so steadfast and stable,
That man's word was held obligation;
And now it is so false and deceivable,
That word and work, as in conclusion,
Be nothing one; for turned up so down
Is all this world, through meed and wilfulness,
That all is lost for lack of steadfastness.

What makes this world to be so variable,
But lust that folk have in dissension?
For now-a-days a man is held unable
But if he can, by some collusion,
Do his neighbour wrong or oppression.
What causeth this but wilful wretchedness,
That all is lost for lack of steadfastness?

Truth is put down, reason is holden fable;
Virtue hath now no domination;
Pity exil'd, no wight is merciable;
Through covetise is blent discretion;
The worlde hath made permutation
From right to wrong, from truth to fickleness,
That all is lost for lack of steadfastness.

L'Envoy.

O Prince! desire to be honourable;
Cherish thy folk, and hate extortion;
Suffer nothing that may be reprovable
To thine estate, done in thy region;
Show forth the sword of castigation;
Dread God, do law, love thorough worthiness,
And wed thy folk again to steadfastness.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: lost, lust, truth, hate, world, work, ballad, god, wedding

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Ballad Sent to King Richard by Geoffrey Chaucer )

Enter the verification code :

  • Ian Fraser (12/2/2009 11:14:00 AM)

    A very famous poem though one sadly almost lost nowadays. Chaucer's language is surprisingly direct, even blunt. Writers have been executed for less. (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Arise! Arise!, Naveed Khalid
  2. Daybreak, Jon Hadley
  3. Vineyard, Naveed Khalid
  4. Arching Silverlight, Jon Hadley
  5. Laissez Faire, Naveed Khalid
  6. Can you?, Jon Hadley
  7. Hope, Jon Hadley
  8. Absence of people who offer charity is t.., Dr.V.K. Kanniappan
  9. 77, Naveed Khalid
  10. Catapult, Naveed Khalid

Poem of the Day

poet Emily Dickinson

70

"Arcturus" is his other name—
I'd rather call him "Star."
It's very mean of Science
To go and interfere!

I slew a worm the other day—
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Kenneth Allott

 
[Hata Bildir]