Were beth they that biforen us weren,
Houndes ladden and havekes beren,
And hadden feld and wode?
The riche levedies in hoere bour,
That wereden gold in hoere tressour,
With hoere brightte rode;
Eten and drounken, and maden hem glad;
Hoere lif was al with gamen i-lad,
Men kneleden hem biforen;
They beren hem wel swithe heye;
And in a twincling of an eye
Hoere soules weren forloren.
Were is that lawhing and that song,
That trayling and that proude gong,
Tho havekes and tho houndes?
Al that joye is went away,
That wele is comen to weylaway,
To manye harde stoundes.
Hoere paradis they nomen here,
And nou they lyen in helle i-fere;
The fuir hit brennes hevere:
Long is ay, and long is o,
Long is wy, and long is wo;
Thennes ne cometh they nevere.
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