John Ball's letter to an unidentified community

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John Ball's first letter to an unidentified community  (1381) 
by John Ball, translated by Wikisource
This is a pastoral exhortation or sermon, possibly written in Spring 1381. This edition was collected in Canon Henry Knighton's (died 1396) Addresses of the Commons.
Original Middle English Modern English

John Balle seynte Marie prist gretes wele alle maner men and byddes hem in the name of the Trinité, Fadur, and Sone and Holy Gost stonde manlyche togedyr in trewthe, and helpez trewthe, and trewthe schal helpe yowe.

Now regneth pride in pris,
And covetys is hold wys,
And leccherye withouten shame
And glotonye withouten blame.
Envye regnith with tresone,
And slouthe is take in grete sesone.
God do bote, for nowe is tyme. Amen.

John Ball, Saint Mary's priest, warmly greets all manner of men and bids them in the name of the Trinity, the Father, and Son and Holy Ghost, to stand manfully together in truth, and help truth, and truth shall help you.

Now reigns pride in price [wealth]
And covetousness is deemed wise
And lechery without shame
And gluttony without blame.
Envy rules with treason,
And sloth is in great season [is popular]
God help us, for now is the time. Amen

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
This work is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.