William Dunbar

Of Covetyce

FREDOME, honour, and nobilnes,
Meid, manheid, mirth, and gentilnes
Ar now in cowrt reput as vyce,
And all for caus of cuvetice.

All weilfair, welth, and wantones
Ar chengit into wretchitnes,
And play is sett at littill price;
And all for caus of covetyce.

Halking, hunting, and swift hors rynning
Ar chengit all in wrangus wynnyng;
Thair is no play bot cartis and dyce;
And all for caus of covetyce.

Honorable houshaldis ar all laid doun;
Ane laird hes with him bot a loun,
That leidis him eftir his devyce;
And all for caus of covetyce.

In burghis, to landwart and to sie,
Quhair was plesour and grit plentie,
Vennesoun, wyld fowill, wyne, and spyce,
Ar now decayid thruch covetyce.

Husbandis that grangis had full grete,
Cattell and corne to sell and ete,
Hes now no beist bot cattis and myce;
And all thruch caus of covettyce.

Honest yemen in every toun
War wont to weir baith reid and broun,
Ar now arrayit in raggis with lyce;
And all thruch caus of covetyce.

And lardis in silk harlis to the heill,
For quhilk thair tennentis sald somer meill,
And leivis on rutis undir the ryce;
And all thruch caus of covetyce.

Quha that dois deidis of petie,
And leivis in pece and cheretie,
Is haldin a fule, and that full nyce;
And all thruch caus of covetyce.

And quha can teive uthir menis rowmis,
And upoun peur men gadderis sowmis,
Is now ane active man and wyice;
And all thruch caus of covetyce.

Man, pleis thy makar and be mirry,
And sett not by this warld a chirry;
Wirk for the place of paradyce,
For thairin ringis na covettyce.


attempted translation

Of Avarice

Freedom, honour and nobleness
Merit, manhood, mirth and gentleness
Are now in court reputed as vice,
And all for cause of avarice.

All welfare wealth and wantonness
Are changed into wretchedness,
And play is set at little price;
And all for cause of avarice.

Hawking, hunting and swift horse running
Are changed all in wrongful whining;
There is no play but cards and dice;
And all for cause of avarice

Honourable householders are all laid down;
A lord has with him but a loon,
That leads him after his own wish;
And all for cause of avarice

In town, on the land and to the sea,
Where there was pleasure and great plenty,
Venison, wild fowl, wine and spice,
Are now decayed through avarice.

Husbands that [?granges had full great]
Cattle and corn to sell and eat,
Has now no beast but cats and mice;
And all because of avarice.

Honest yeomen in every town
Were want to wear both red and brown
Are now arrayed in rags and lice;
And all through cause of avarice.

And Ladies in silk [from head to heel]
For which their tenants sold [summer meal],
And lives on [roots under the brushwood]
And all through cause of avarice.

Who that does deeds of piety
And lives in peace and charity,
Is held a fool, and that full nice;
And all through cause of avarice.

And who can steal other men’s farms
And from poor men gather sums
Is now an active man and wise;
And all through cause of avarice.

Man please thy maker and be merry,
And set not by this world a cherry;
Work for the place of paradise
For therein reigns no avarice.

St Anslem

The Ontological Argument – Proslogion Ch II

…since the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God? (Psalms xiv. 1). But, at any rate, this very fool, when he hears of this being of which I speak – a being than which nothing greater can be conceived – understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his understanding; although he does not understand it to exist.

For, it is one thing for an object to be in the understanding, and another to understand that the object exists. When a painter first conceives of what he will afterwards perform, he has it in his understanding, but he does not yet understand it to be, because he has not yet performed it. But after he has made the painting, he both has it in his understanding, and he understands that it exists, because he has made it.

Hence, even the fool is convinced that something exists in the understanding, at least, than which nothing greater can be conceived. For, when he hears of this, he understands it. And whatever is understood, exists in the understanding. And assuredly that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, cannot exist in the understanding alone. For, suppose it exists in the understanding alone: then it can be conceived to exist in reality; which is greater.

Therefore, if that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, exists in the understanding alone, the very being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, is one, than which a greater can be conceived. But obviously this is impossible. Hence, there is no doubt that there exists a being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, and it exists both in the understanding and in reality.

C S Lewis

From “Till We Have Faces”

[Psyche]
“I have always — at least, ever since I can remember — had a kind of longing for death.”

[Orual]
“Ah, Psyche,” I said, “have I made you so little happy as that?”

[Psyche]
“No, no no,” she said. “You don’t understand. Not that kind of longing. It was when I was happiest that I longed most. It was on happy days when we were up there on the hills, the three of us, with the wind and the sunshine … where you couldn’t see Glome ore the palace. Do you remember? The colour and the smell, and loking at the Grey Mountain in the distance? And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing. Somewhere else there must be more of it. Everything seemed to be saying, Psyche come! But I couldn’t (not yet) come and I didn’t know where I was to come to. It almost hurt me. I felt like a bird in a cage when the other birds of its kind are flying home.

[Psyche]
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.

Andrew Marvel

To His Coy Mistress

Had we but World enough, and Time,
This coyness Lady were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long Loves Day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges side
Should’st Rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood:
And you should if you please refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than Empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should grow to praise
Thine Eyes, and on thy Forehead Gaze.
Two hundred to adore each Breast:
But thirty thousand to the rest.
An Age at least to every part,
And the last Age should show your Heart.
For Lady you deserve this State;
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I alwaies hear
Times winged Charriot hurrying near:
And yonder all before us lye
Desarts of vast Eternity.
Thy Beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble Vault, shall sound
My echoing Song: then Worms shall try
That long preserv’d Virginity:
And you quaint Honour turns to dust;
And into ashes all my Lust.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hew
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing Soul transpires
At every pore with instant Fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our Time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapt pow’r.
Let us roll all our Strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one Ball:
And tear our Pleasures with rough strife,
Through the Iron gates of Life.
Thus, though we cannot make our Sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

A.A. Milne

When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.