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IX "That courtesy rewards no deed
 "That courtesy rewards no deed If all be true that thou dost say;
Our life not two years didst thou lead
Nor learned to please God, nor to pray,
No Paternoster knew nor creed1,
And made a queen on the first day!
I may not think, so God me speed!
That God from right would swerve2 away;
As a countess, damsel, by my fay!
To live in heaven were a fair boon3,
Or like a lady of less array,
But a queen! Ah, no! it is too soon."
"With Him there is no soon nor late,"
Replied to me that worthy4 wight;
"True always is His high mandate5;
He doth no evil, day nor night.
Hear Matthew in the mass narrate6,
In the Gospel of the God of might,
His parable7 portrays8 the state
Of the Kingdom of Heaven, clear as light:
'My servants,' saith He, 'I requite9
As a lord who will his vineyard prune10;
The season of the year is right,
And labourers must be hired soon.'"
"Right soon the hirelings all may see
How the master with the dawn arose;
To hire his labourers forth
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