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The Canon of John Lydgate Project


The Lives of Ss. Edmund and Fremund: Text

MS Harley 2278 fol. 7r
[The initial letter of each stanza is lightly decorated.]

Withoute grace / ech vertu is bareyn
Withoute grace / force is but febilnesse
Withoute grace / al wisdam is but veyn
Withoute grace / may be no rihtwisnesse
ffredam / bounte / manhod / nor gentilesse
Prowesse in armis nor sheltrou[n]s in bataile
Withoute grace / what may al this auaile

She set in ordre / alle vertues be reson
Preserueth tunges / from al froward language
And she restreynith / thoruh hir hih renon
The cours of fortune / for al hir fel outrage
And grace kan best directen the passage
Of folk in labour / which that disespeire
To reste eternall / to make hem to repeire

Grace / of the stronge / double kan the strengthe
And she the feeble / kan supporte in his riht
And make a dwerf / of a cubit lengthe
Venquysshe a geant / for al his grete myht
Which callid is / in euery mannys syht
Gouerneresse / of vertues alle
Therfore to grace / for helpe I wil now calle
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The Canon of John Lydgate Project

Editorial matter © 1995 Stephen R. Reimer
English; University of Alberta; Edmonton, Canada
All rights reserved.
Last revised: 21 Nov. 1995

email: Stephen.Reimer@UAlberta.Ca
URL: http://www.ualberta.ca/~sreimer/lydgate.htm/