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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340–1400)

To My Empty Purse

TO you, my purse, and to none other wight,

Complain I, for ye be my lady dear;

I am sorry now that ye be so light,

For certés ye now make me heavy cheer;

Me were as lief be laid upon a bier,

For which unto your mercy thus I cry,

Be heavy again, or ellés must I die.

Now vouchsafen this day, ere it be night,

That I of you the blissful sound may hear,

Or see your colour like the sunné bright,

That of yellowness ne had never peer;

Ye be my life, ye be my heartés steer;

Queen of comfórt and of good company,

Be heavy again, or ellés must I die.

Now, purse, that art to me my livés light,

And saviour, as down in this world here,

Out of this towné help me by your might,

Sithen that you will not be my tresór,

For I am shave as nigh as any frere,

But I prayen unto your courtesy,

Be heavy again, or ellés must I die.