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Poem by William Shakespeare
The Church at Stratford
Old Inscription on the Wall of the Church at Stratford-upon-AvonAgainst the west wall of the nave (now in the antechapel), on the south side of the arch, was painted the martyrdom of Thomas à Becket, whilst kneeling at the altar of St. Benedict, in Canterbury cathedral; below this was the figure of an angel, probably St. Michael, supporting a long scroll, upon which were seven stanzas in Old English, being an allegory of mortality.
ERTHE oute of erthe ys wondurly wroght Erth hath gotyn uppon erth a dygnyte of noght Erth ypon erth hath sett all hys thowht How erth apon erth may be hey browght Erth upon erth wold be a kyng But how that erth gott to erth he thyngkys nothyng When erth byddys erth hys rentys whom bryng Then schall erth apon erth have a hard ptyng Erth apon erth wynnys castellys and towrys Then seth erth unto erth thys ys all owrys When erth apon erth hath bylde hys bowrys Then schall erth for erth suffur many hard schowrys Erth goth apon erth as man apon mowld Lyke as erth apon erth never goo schold Erth goth apon erth as glesteryng gold And yet schall erth unto erth rather then he wold Why that erth loveth erth wondur me thynke Or why that erth wold for erth other swett or swynke When erth apon erth ys broght wt.yn the brynke Then schall erth apon erth have a fowll stynke Lo erth on erth consedur thow may How erth comyth to erth nakyd all way Why schall erth apon erth goo stowte or gay Seth erth owt of erth schall passe yn poor aray I counsill erth apon erth that ys wondurly wrogt The whyl yt. erth ys apon erth to torne hys thowht And pray to god upon erth yt. all erth wroght That all crystyn soullys to ye. blys may be broght.
Poem Theme: Cities of England
William Shakespeare's other poems:
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