Thomas Tusser: On Thriftiness
The thrifty that teacheth the thriving to thrive
Teach timely to traverse, the thing that thou 'trive.,
Transferring thy toiling, to timeliness taught,
This teacheth thee temp'rance, to temper thy thought,
Take Trusty (to trust to) that thinkest to thee,
That trustily thriftiness trowleth to thee,
That temper thy travell, to tarry the tide;
This teacheth thy thriftiness, twenty times tryed,
Take thankfull thy talent, thank thankfully those
That thriftily teach thee thy time to transpose.
Troth twice to thee teached, teach twenty times ten,
This trade thou that takest, take thrift to thee then.
Tusser wrote this in 1557 and what is most striking, to me anyway, is that this poem could not be anything but a written poem. Its conceit simply disappears when being read aloud. I should add that 1557 is rather early for English-languaged poetry to display this shift from oral to written tradition so blantantly, so vividly - and this is another reason why I rather like one.