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William Dunbar

(1460 - 1522 / Scotland)

To the City of London


London, thou art of town{.e}s A per se.
Soveraign of cities, semeliest in sight,
Of high renoun, riches, and royaltie;
Of lordis, barons, and many goodly knyght;
Of most delectable lusty ladies bright;
Of famous prelatis in habitis clericall;
Of merchauntis full of substaunce and myght:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Gladdith anon, thou lusty Troy Novaunt,
Citie that some tyme cleped was New Troy,
In all the erth, imperiall as thou stant,
Pryncesse of townes, of pleasure, and of joy,
A richer restith under no Christen roy;
For manly power, with craftis naturall,
Fourmeth none fairer sith the flode of Noy:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Gemme of all joy, jasper of jocunditie,
Most myghty carbuncle of vertue and valour;
Strong Troy in vigour and in strenuytie;
Of royall cities rose and geraflour;
Empresse of town{.e}s, exalt in honour;
In beawtie beryng the crone imperiall;
Swete paradise precelling in pleasure:
London, thow art the floure of Cities all.

Above all ryvers thy Ryver hath renowne,
Whose beryall stremys, pleasaunt and preclare,
Under thy lusty wallys renneth down,
Where many a swanne doth swymme with wyngis fare;
Where many a barge doth saile, and row with are,
Where many a ship doth rest with toppe-royall.
O! towne of townes, patrone and not-compare:
London, thou art the floure of Cities all.

Upon thy lusty Brigge of pylers white
Been merchauntis full royall to behold;
Upon thy stretis goth many a semely knyght
In velvet gownes and cheyn{.e}s of fyne gold.
By Julyus Cesar thy Tour founded of old
May be the hous of Mars victoryall,
Whos artillary with tonge may not be told:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Strong be thy wallis that about the standis;
Wise be the people that within the dwellis;
Fresh is thy ryver with his lusty strandis;
Blith be thy chirches, wele sownyng be thy bellis;
Riche be thy merchauntis in substaunce that excellis;
Fair be thy wives, right lovesom, white and small;
Clere be thy virgyns, lusty under kellis:
London, thow art the flour of Cities all.

Thy famous Maire, by pryncely governaunce,
With swerd of justice the rulith prudently.
No Lord of Parys, Venyce, or Floraunce
In dignytie or honoure goeth to hym nye.
He is exampler, lood{.e}-ster, and guye;
Principall patrone and roose orygynalle,
Above all Maires as maister moost worthy:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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