Now warneth us the Wise Men's fare
That hereof we be well aware,
How we should to ourselves take heed,
And seek our native land with speed.
Ye wot not what I say, I wis;
That land is hight the Paradise:
I verily could laud it sore,
For wordès fail me nevermore.
But if of all my members each
Were gifted with the gift of speech,
Yet could not any words avail
To tell out all its wondrous tale.
Never couldst thou believe it right
Save thou shouldst see it with thy sight,
Nor couldst thou well, not even then,
Tell what thou saw'st to other men.
For there is life withouten doom,
And there is light withouten gloom;
There wonneth the angelic race,
And everlasting blessedness.
We have forsaken it, alas!
Well may we rue that came to pass;
Well may we never stay to weep
After the home we did not keep.
We fared forth hastily from thence
Misled by pride and arrogance,
Lured in some fond and secret guise,
By lusts that tempted us with lies.
Ah! then we list not to obey,
And bear the mark thereof alway!
Now here as exiles we must stand
Sore weeping in an alien land:
Unused, alas! from age to age
Lieth our proper heritage,
Untasted what it hath of good, --
So wrought for us our haughty mood.
We now must suffer and be sad
For lack of joy we might have had;
We now must bear, as best we may,
Sore want and many a bitter day.
Now full of sorrow we bemoan
Our lot in this land not our own,
And bear the wounds that sin doth smite,
And many griefs of our sad plight.
Here many a trial night and day
Lurketh in wait beside our way,
And yet we orphans sad and weak
Not yet our home are fain to seek.
Ah, well-a-day, thou stranger land!
Hard art thou truly to our band,
Heavy art thou and hast no ruth,
I tell thee this in very truth.
Sore griefs do here the heart beset
That for its home is pining yet:
Well have I found this true in me,
Nought joyous have I met in thee.
The only gifts thou dost bestow
Are a heart laden with its woe,
A mood that aye is fain to weep,
And sorrows manifold and deep.
But if into our mind it come
That we once more will seek our home,
And if our hearts would swift return,
And with a dolorous longing yearn:
Then like the Wise Men shall we fare
By a new road to bring us there,
Seeking the true way that will lead
Back to the home we sorely need.
That path, I wot, is fair and sweet,
But must be trod with washen feet:
Such is the manner, well I ween,
Of men that would thereon be seen.
Kindness must in thy soul be bred,
And great and willing lowlihead;
And, most of all, within thy heart
True love must live in every part.
Learn thou to find thy joy in guise
Of fair and ready sacrifice;
Yield to the good thy will alway,
And never thine own lusts obey.
Within the love-shrine of thy heart,
Let love of this world have no part;
From things of passing time now flee,
Their very loss shall profit thee.
Remember what I erst did say,
This is that new and other way;
Choose thou to tread it, as I rede,
And surely to thy home 'twill lead.
And when thou dost that life possess,
And knowest all its blessedness,
To God Himself wilt thou be dear,
And nevermore know harm or fear.