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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

No Treasure Avails without Gladness

By William Dunbar (1460?–1520?)

BE merry, man, and tak not sair in mind

The wavering of this wretchit warld of sorrow;

To God be humble, and to thy friend be kind,

And with thy neighbour gladly lend and borrow:

His chance to-nicht, it may be thine to-morrow;

Be blyth in heart for ony aventúre;

For oft with wise men’t has been said aforrow

Without Gladnéss availis no Treasúre.

Mak thee gude cheer of it that God thee sendis,

For warldis wrak but weilfare nocht availis;

Nae gude is thine, save only that thou spendis,

Remenant all thou brukis but with bailis:

Seek to soláce when sadness thee assailis;

In dolour lang thy life may not indure,

Wherefore of comfort set up all thy sailis;

Without Gladnéss availis no Treasúre.

Follow on pitý, flee trouble and debate,

With famous folkis hald thy company;

Be charitáble and humble in thine estate,

For warldly honour lastis but a cry:

For trouble in erd tak no mélancholý;

Be rich in patience, give thou in guids be puir;

Who livis merry he livis michtily;

Without Gladnéss availis no Treasúre.

Thou sees thir wretches set with sorrow and care

To gather guids in all their livis space;

And when their bags are full, their selves are bare,

And of their riches but the keeping has:

While others come to spend it that has grace,

Whilk of thy winning no labour had nor cure.

Tak thou example, and spend with merriness;

Without Gladnéss availis no Treasúre.

Though all the work that e’er had living wicht

Were only thine, no more thy part does fall

But meat, drink, clais, and of the lave a sicht,

Yet to the Judge thou sall give compt of all;

Ane reckoning richt comes of ane ragment small:

But just and joyous, do to none injúre,

Ane Truth sall mak thee strang as ony wall;

Without Gladnéss availis no Treasúre.