The Cōuercyon of Swerers

The fruytfull sentence & the noble werkes
To our doctryne wryten in olde antyquyte
By many grete and ryght notable clerkes
Grounded on reason & hyghe auctoryte
Dyde gyue vs example by good moralyte
To folowe the trace of trouthe and ryghtwysnes
Leuynge our synne and mortall wretchednes
By theyr wrytynge dothe vnto vs appere
The famous actes of many a champyon
In the courte of fame renowned fayre and clere
And some endyted theyr entencyon
Cloked in coloure harde in construccyon
Specyally poetes vnder cloudy fygures
Coueryd the trouthe of all theyr scryptures
So hystoryagraphes all the worthy dedes
Of kynges and knyghtes dyde put in wrytynge
To be in mynde for theyr memoryall medes
How sholde we nowe haue ony knowledgynge
Of thynges past/but by theyr endytynge
Wherfore we ought to preyse them doubteles
That spente theyr tyme in suche good besynes
Amonge all other my good mayster Lydgate
The eloquent poete and monke of bery
Dyde bothe contryue/and also translate
Many vertuous bookes to be in memorye
Touchynge the trouthe well and sentencyously
But syth that his dethe was intollerable
I praye god rewarde hym in lyfe perdurable
Amonge all thynges nothynge so prouffytable
As is scyence with the sentencyous scrypture
For worldly rychesse is often transmutable
As dayly dothe appere well in vre
Yet scyens a bydeth and is moost sure
After pouerte to attayne grete rychesse
Scyens is cause of promocyon doubtles
I lytell or nought expert in poetrye
Remembrynge my youth so lyght and frayle
Purpose to compyle here full breuyatly
A lytell treatyse wofull to bewayle
The cruell swerers whiche do god assayle
On euery syde his swete body to tere
With terryble othes as often as they swere
But also for drede plonged in neclygence
My penne doth quake to presume to endyte
But hope at laste to recure this scyence
Exorteth me ryght hardely to wryte
To deuoyde ydlenesse by good appetyte
For ydlenesse the grete moder of synne
Euery vyce is redy to lette ynne
I with the same ryght gretely infecte
Lykely to deye tyll grace by medecyne
Recured my sekenes my payne to abiecte
Commaundynge me by her hye power deuyne
To drawe this treatyse for to enlumyne
The reders therof by penytencyall pyte
And to pardon me of theyr benygnyte

Ryght myghty prynces of euery crysten rygyon
I sende you gretynge moche hertly & grace
Right wel to gouerne vpryght your dominyon
And all your lordes I greete in lyke cace
By this my lettre your hertes to enbrace
Besechynge you to prynte it in your mynde
How for your sake I toke on me mankynde
And as a lambe moost mekely dyde enclyne
To suffre the dethe for your redempcyon
And ye my kynges whiche do nowe domyne
Ouer my comons in terrestryall mancyon
By pryncely preemynence and Iuredyccyon
In your regall courtes do suffre me be rente
And my tender body with blode all be sprente
Without my grace ye maye nothynge preuayle
Though ye be kynges for to mayntene your see
To be a kynge it may nothynge auayle
But yf my grace preserue his dygnyte
Beholde your seruauntes how they do tere me
By cruell othes now pvon euery syde
Aboute the worlde launcynge my woūdes wyde
All the graces whiche I haue you shewed
Reuolue in mynde ryght ofte ententyfly
Beholde my body with blody proppes endewed
Within your realmes nowe torne so pyteously
Towsed and tugged with othes cruelly
Some my heed some myn armes and face
Some my herte do all to rente and race
They newe agayne do hange me on the rode
They tere my sydes and are nothynge dysmayde
My woundes they open and deuoure my blode
I god and man moost wofully arayde
To you complayne it maye not be denayde
ye nowe to tug me/ye tere me at the roote
yet I to you am chefe refuyte and boote
Wherfore ye kynges reygnynge in renowne
Refourme your seruauntes in your courte abused
To good example of euery maner towne
So that theyr othes whiche they longe haue vsed
On payne and punysshement be holly refused
Meke as a Lambe I suffre theyr grete wronge
I maye take vengeaunce thoughe I tary longe
I do forbere I wolde haue you amende
And graunte you mercy and ye wyll it take
O my swete brederne why do ye offende
Agayne to tere me whiche deyed for your sake
Lose my kyndenes and frome synne awake
I dyde redeme you frome the deuylles chayne
And spyte of me ye wyll to hym agayne
Made I not heuen the moost gloryous mansyon
In whiche I wolde be gladde to haue you in
Now come
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"The Cōuercyon of Swerers" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 10 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/35770/the-cōuercyon-of-swerers>.

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