I Have a Gentle Cock (Anonymous)

I have a gentle cock
Croweth me day;
He doth me risen early
My matins for to say.

I have a gentle cock
Comen he is of great;
His comb is of red corál
His tail is of jet.

I have a gentle cock
Comen he is of kind;
His comb is of red corál
His tail is of inde.

His legges been of azure
So gentle and so small;
His spurres are of silver white
Into the wortewale.

His eyen are of crystal
Locken all in amber;
And every night he percheth him
In my lady’s chamber.

“The Christmas Globe”

Though I stand in submerged silver, I don’t suffocate.

My fashioned flesh follows the years,

clothed in the same yarn and painted with the same face.

My setting remains where it’s always been, my background.

My knob is turned somewhere I do not quite know,

like the turning of clear air into snow.

I sing a universal tune

for His sovereign pleasure,

for his manly delight over me,

for her joy in twisting me,

for their purpose in ruling the globe.

But whether by chance or destiny,

my worldview was shattered one day

by a clumsy hand of power.

Though I can still breathe a sweet melody

and dance the old way in the old land,

they find me useless now.

For I’m no longer worthy in cracked design.

Yet I do not mind.

Though I’ll be thrown away, still molded in my limits,

I can see with free eyes unwashed with glittering lies.

“The Smiling Mouth” by Charles D.

The smiling mouth and laughing eyen grey,

The breastes round, and long small armes twain,

The handes smooth, and sides straight and plain,

Your feetes lite–what should I further say?

It is my craft when ye are far away

To muse thereon in stinting of my pain.

The smiling mouth and laughing eyen grey,

The breastes round, and long small armes twain.

So would I pray you, if I durst or may,

The sight to see as I have seen,

Forwhy that craft me is most fain

And will be to the hour in which I deye:

The smiling mouth and laughing eyen grey,

The breastes round, and long small armes twain.

from the Man of Law’s Tale (Chaucer)

Oh hateful misfortune, condition of poverty!

With thirst, with cold, with hunger so distressed!

To ask help you feel shame in your heart;

If you none ask, you are with need so wounded

That need lays bare all your hidden want!

Against your will, you must from indigence

Either steal, beg, or borrow your sustenance!

 

You blame Christ and say full bitterly

He wrongly divides riches temporal;

Your neighbor you accuse sinfully,

And say you have too little and he has all.

‘By my faith,’ you say, ‘sometime he shall take account,

When his tail shall burn in live coals,

For he helps not the needy in their need.’

 

Harken to the what is the judgment of the wise:

‘Better is to die than to live in need,

Such that your very neighbor will you despise.’

If you be poor, farewell your respect!

Yet of the wise men take this opinion:

‘All the days of poor men be miserable.’

Beware, therefore, that you come to that condition!

 

 

from The Pardoner’s Tale (Chaucer)

Of avarice and such cursedness

Is all my preaching, to make them generous

To give their pence, and namely unto me.

For my intent is not but to profit,

And not at all for correction of sin:

I care never, when they be buried,

If their souls go a-blackberrying!

For certainly, many a sermon,

Comes often times of evil intention:

Some of amusement of folk and flattery,

To be advanced by hypocrisy,

And some for vainglory, and some for hate.