If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Fri May 2 15:26:40 EDT 2003

Robyn said...

> This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
>    -- Every nighte and alle,
>   Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
>    And Christe receive thy saule.
> I have to ask, if you think it means "house-room", what do you think the
> line means in the poem? Seriously, "fire and house-room and candlelight"
> not making a lot of sense to me.

I always assumed it to mean, if you give charity, when/if you need it, you
will get it - warmth and a roof over your head and light.

And if you don't give charity, you're up the creek - "if hosen and shoon
thou ne'er gav'st nane...the whinnie shall prick thee to the bare bane
[bone]"...owwwie!  i.e. If you don't give, you won't get.

In other words, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  Or
"what you give, you get".  Or "whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he
reap".  Or "what goes around, comes around".  Or whatever other version you
like. :-)  The Lyke-Wake Dirge, in my mind, is a set of
instructions/cautionary tale.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be
- O. Cromwell

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