Bax, Arnold: This worldes joie

This worldes joie (1922)

Wynter wakeneth al my care,
Nou this leves waxeth bare;
Ofte I sike ant mourne sare
When hit cometh in my thoht
Of this worldes joie,
Hou hit goth al to noht.

Nou hit is, ant nou hit nys,
Al so hit ner nere, ywys.
That moni mon seith, soth hit ys:
Al goth bote Godes wille:
Alle we shule deye, thah us like ylle.

Al that gren me graueth grene
Nou hit faleweth albydene:
Jesu, help that hit be sene
Ant shild us from helle!
For y not whider y shal,
Ne hou longe her duelle.

Winter wakens all my care, Now these leaves grow bare; Often I sigh and sorely mourn When this world’s joy Comes into my thought, How it all comes to nought.

Now it is, and now it is not, As though it had never been, I believe. Many men say that it is true: Everything vanishes except God’s will: We shall all die, though we like it ill.

Everything green grows green for me, Now it fades altogether: Jesus, help it to be seen And shield us from hell! For I know not whither I shall go, Nor how long I shall dwell here.

Words: Anonymous (c. 1300)
Music: Arnold Bax (1883–1953)