RomA 1 Many men sayn that in sweveninges
RomA 2 Ther nys but fables and lesynges;
RomA 3 But men may some sweven[es] sen
RomA 4 Whiche hardely that false ne ben,
RomA 5 But afterward ben apparaunt.
RomA 6 This may I drawe to warraunt
RomA 7 An authour that hight Macrobes,
RomA 8 That halt nat dremes false ne lees,
RomA 9 But undoth us the avysioun
RomA 10 That whilom mette kyng Cipioun.
RomA 11 And whoso saith or weneth it be
RomA 12 A jape, or elles nycete,
RomA 13 To wene that dremes after falle,
RomA 14 Let whoso lyste a fol me calle.
RomA 15 For this trowe I, and say for me,
RomA 16 That dremes signifiaunce be
RomA 17 Of good and harm to many wightes
RomA 18 That dremen in her slep a-nyghtes
RomA 19 Ful many thynges covertly
RomA 20 That fallen after al openly.
RomA 21 Within my twenty yer of age,
RomA 22 Whan that Love taketh his cariage
RomA 23 Of yonge folk, I wente soone
RomA 24 To bedde, as I was wont to done,
RomA 25 And faste I slepte; and in slepyng
RomA 26 Me mette such a swevenyng
RomA 27 That lyked me wonders wel.
RomA 28 But in that sweven is never a del
RomA 29 That it nys afterward befalle,
RomA 30 Ryght as this drem wol tel us alle.
RomA 31 Now this drem wol I ryme aright
RomA 32 To make your hertes gaye and lyght,
RomA 33 For Love it prayeth, and also
RomA 34 Commaundeth me that it be so.
RomA 35 And if there any aske me,
RomA 36 Whether that it be he or she,
RomA 37 How this book, which is here,
RomA 38 Shal hatte, that I rede you here:
RomA 39 It is the Romance of the Rose,
RomA 40 In which al the art of love I close.
RomA 41 The mater fayre is of to make;
RomA 42 God graunt me in gree that she it take
RomA 43 For whom that it begonnen is.
RomA 44 And that is she that hath, ywis,
RomA 45 So mochel pris, and therto she
RomA 46 So worthy is biloved to be,
RomA 47 That she wel ought, of pris and ryght,
RomA 48 Be cleped Rose of every wight.
RomA 49 That it was May me thoughte tho
RomA 50 It is fyve yer or more ago
RomA 51 That it was May, thus dremed me,
RomA 52 In tyme of love and jolite,
RomA 53 That al thing gynneth waxen gay,
RomA 54 For ther is neither busk nor hay
RomA 55 In May that it nyl shrouded ben
RomA 56 And it with newe leves wren.
RomA 57 These wodes eek recoveren grene,
RomA 58 That drie in wynter ben to sene,
RomA 59 And the erthe wexith proud withalle,
RomA 60 For swote dewes that on it falle,
RomA 61 And the pore estat forget
RomA 62 In which that wynter had it set.
RomA 63 And than bycometh the ground so proud
RomA 64 That it wole have a newe shroud,
RomA 65 And makith so queynt his robe and faire
RomA 66 That it hath hewes an hundred payre
RomA 67 Of gras and flouris, ynde and pers,
RomA 68 And many hewes ful dyvers
RomA 69 That is the robe I mene, iwys,
RomA 70 Through which the ground to preisen is.
RomA 71 The briddes that haven left her song,
RomA 72 While thei suffride cold so strong,
RomA 73 In wedres gryl and derk to sighte,
RomA 74 Ben in May for the sonne brighte
RomA 75 So glade that they shewe in syngyng
RomA 76 That in her hertis is sich lykyng
RomA 77 That they mote syngen and be light.
RomA 78 Than doth the nyghtyngale hir myght
RomA 79 To make noyse and syngen blythe,
RomA 80 Than is blisful many sithe
RomA 81 The chelaundre and papyngay,
RomA 82 Than yonge folk entenden ay
RomA 83 Forto ben gay and amorous
RomA 84 The tyme is than so saverous.
RomA 85 Hard is the hert that loveth nought
RomA 86 In May whan al this mirth is wrought,
RomA 87 Whan he may on these braunches here
RomA 88 The smale briddes syngen clere
RomA 89 Her blisful swete song pitous.
RomA 90 And in this sesoun delytous,
RomA 91 Whan love affraieth alle thing,
RomA 92 Me thought a-nyght in my sleping,
RomA 93 Right in my bed, ful redily,
RomA 94 That it was by the morowe erly,
RomA 95 And up I roos and gan me clothe.
RomA 96 Anoon I wissh myn hondis bothe.
RomA 97 A sylvre nedle forth I drough
RomA 98 Out of an aguler queynt ynough,
RomA 99 And gan this nedle threde anon,
RomA 100 For out of toun me list to gon
RomA 101 The song of briddes forto here
RomA 102 That in thise buskes syngen clere.
RomA 103 And in [the] swete seson that leef is,
RomA 104 With a thred bastyng my slevis,
RomA 105 Alone I wente in my plaiyng,
RomA 106 The smale foules song harknyng.
RomA 107 They peyned hem, ful many peyre,
RomA 108 To synge on bowes blosmed feyre.
RomA 109 Joly and gay, ful of gladnesse,
RomA 110 Toward a ryver gan I me dresse
RomA 111 That I herd renne faste by,
RomA 112 For fairer plaiyng non saugh I
RomA 113 Than playen me by that ryver.
RomA 114 For from an hill that stood ther ner
RomA 115 Cam doun the strem ful stif and bold.
RomA 116 Cleer was the water, and as cold
RomA 117 As any welle is, soth to seyne,
RomA 118 And somdel lasse it was than Seyne,
RomA 119 But it was strayghter wel away.
RomA 120 And never saugh I, er that day,
RomA 121 The watir that so wel lyked me,
RomA 122 And wondir glad was I to se
RomA 123 That lusty place and that ryver.
RomA 124 And with that watir, that ran so cler,
RomA 125 My face I wyssh. Tho saugh I well
RomA 126 The botme paved everydell
RomA 127 With gravel, ful of stones shene.
RomA 128 The medewe softe, swote, and grene,
RomA 129 Beet right on the watir syde.
RomA 130 Ful cler was than the morowtyde,
RomA 131 And ful attempre, out of drede.
RomA 132 Tho gan I walke thorough the mede,
RomA 133 Dounward ay in my pleiyng,
RomA 134 The ryver syde costeiyng.
RomA 135 And whan I had a while goon,
RomA 136 I saugh a gardyn right anoon,
RomA 137 Ful long and brood, and everydell
RomA 138 Enclosed was, and walled well
RomA 139 With highe walles enbatailled,
RomA 140 Portraied without and wel entailled
RomA 141 With many riche portraitures.
RomA 142 And bothe the ymages and the peyntures
RomA 143 Gan I biholde bysyly,
RomA 144 And I wole telle you redyly
RomA 145 Of thilk ymages the semblaunce,
RomA 146 As fer as I have in remembraunce.
RomA 147 Amydde saugh I Hate stonde,
RomA 148 That for hir wrathe, yre, and onde,
RomA 149 Semede to ben a mynoresse,
RomA 150 An angry wight, a chideresse;
RomA 151 And ful of gyle and fel corage,
RomA 152 By semblaunt, was that ilk ymage.
RomA 153 And she was nothyng wel arraied,
RomA 154 But lyk a wod womman afraied.
RomA 155 Frounced foule was hir visage,
RomA 156 And grennyng for dispitous rage,
RomA 157 Hir nose snorted up for tene.
RomA 158 Ful hidous was she for to sene,
RomA 159 Ful foul and rusty was she, this.
RomA 160 Hir heed writhen was, ywis,
RomA 161 Ful grymly with a greet towayle.
RomA 162 An ymage of another entayle
RomA 163 A lyft half was hir faste by.
RomA 164 Hir name above hir heed saugh I,
RomA 165 And she was called Felonye.
RomA 166 Another ymage that Vilanye
RomA 167 Clepid was saugh I and fond
RomA 168 Upon the wal on hir right hond.
RomA 169 Vilany was lyk somdell
RomA 170 That other ymage, and, trustith wel,
RomA 171 She semede a wikked creature.
RomA 172 By countenaunce in portrayture
RomA 173 She semed be ful dispitous,
RomA 174 And eek ful proud and outragious.
RomA 175 Wel coude he peynte, I undirtake,
RomA 176 That sich ymage coude make.
RomA 177 Ful foul and cherlyssh semed she,
RomA 178 And eek vylayneus for to be,
RomA 179 And litel coude of norture
RomA 180 To worshipe any creature.
RomA 181 And next was peynted Coveitise,
RomA 182 That eggith folk in many gise
RomA 183 To take and yeve right nought ageyn,
RomA 184 And gret tresouris up to leyn.
RomA 185 And that is she that for usure
RomA 186 Leneth to many a creature
RomA 187 The lasse for the more wynnyng,
RomA 188 So coveitous is her brennyng.
RomA 189 And that is she that penyes fele
RomA 190 Techith for to robbe and stele
RomA 191 These theves and these smale harlotes;
RomA 192 And that is routh, for by her throtes
RomA 193 Ful many oon hangith at the laste.
RomA 194 She makith folk compasse and caste
RomA 195 To taken other folkis thyng
RomA 196 Thorough robberie or myscounting.
RomA 197 And that is she that makith trechoures,
RomA 198 And she makith false pleadoures
RomA 199 That with hir termes and hir domes
RomA 200 Doon maydens, children, and eek gromes
RomA 201 Her heritage to forgo.
RomA 202 Ful croked were hir hondis two,
RomA 203 For Coveitise is evere wod
RomA 204 To gripen other folkis god.
RomA 205 Coveityse, for hir wynnyng,
RomA 206 Ful leef hath other mennes thing.
RomA 207 Another ymage set saugh I
RomA 208 Next Coveitise faste by,
RomA 209 And she was clepid Avarice.
RomA 210 Ful foul in peyntyng was that vice;
RomA 211 Ful fade and caytif was she eek,
RomA 212 And also grene as ony leek.
RomA 213 So yvel hewed was hir colour,
RomA 214 Hir semed to have lyved in langour.
RomA 215 She was lyk thyng for hungre deed,
RomA 216 That ladde hir lyf oonly by breed
RomA 217 Kneden with eisel strong and egre,
RomA 218 And therto she was lene and megre.
RomA 219 And she was clad ful porely
RomA 220 Al in an old torn courtepy,
RomA 221 As she were al with doggis torn;
RomA 222 And bothe bihynde and eke biforn
RomA 223 Clouted was she beggarly.
RomA 224 A mantyl heng hir faste by,
RomA 225 Upon a perche, weik and small;
RomA 226 A burnet cote heng therwithall
RomA 227 Furred with no menyver,
RomA 228 But with a furre rough of her,
RomA 229 Of lambe-skynnes hevy and blake.
RomA 230 It was ful old, I undirtake,
RomA 231 For Avarice to clothe hir well
RomA 232 Ne hastith hir never a dell.
RomA 233 For certeynly it were hir loth
RomA 234 To weren ofte that ilke cloth,
RomA 235 And if it were forwered, she
RomA 236 Wolde have ful gret necessite
RomA 237 Of clothyng er she bought hir newe,
RomA 238 Al were it bad of woll and hewe.
RomA 239 This Avarice hild in hir hand
RomA 240 A purs that heng by a band,
RomA 241 And that she hidde and bond so stronge,
RomA 242 Men must abyde wondir longe
RomA 243 Out of that purs er ther come ought.
RomA 244 For that ne cometh not in hir thought;
RomA 245 It was not, certein, hir entente
RomA 246 That fro that purs a peny wente.
RomA 247 And by that ymage, nygh ynough,
RomA 248 Was peynted Envye, that never lough
RomA 249 Nor never wel in hir herte ferde
RomA 250 But if she outher saugh or herde
RomA 251 Som gret myschaunce or gret disese.
RomA 252 Nothyng may so moch hir plese
RomA 253 As myschef and mysaventure,
RomA 254 Or whan she seeth discomfiture
RomA 255 Upon ony worthy man falle,
RomA 256 Than likith hir wel withalle.
RomA 257 She is ful glad in hir corage,
RomA 258 If she se any gret lynage
RomA 259 Be brought to nought in shamful wise.
RomA 260 And if a man in honour rise,
RomA 261 Or by his wit or by his prowesse,
RomA 262 Of that hath she gret hevynesse.
RomA 263 For, trustith wel, she goth nygh wod
RomA 264 Whan any chaunce happith god.
RomA 265 Envie is of such crueltee
RomA 266 That feith ne trouthe holdith she
RomA 267 To freend ne felawe, bad or good.
RomA 268 Ne she hath kyn noon of hir blood,
RomA 269 That she nys ful her enemy;
RomA 270 She nolde, I dar seyn hardely,
RomA 271 Hir owne fadir ferde well.
RomA 272 And sore abieth she everydell
RomA 273 Hir malice and hir maltalent,
RomA 274 For she is in so gret turment,
RomA 275 And hath such [wo] whan folk doth good
RomA 276 That nygh she meltith for pure wood.
RomA 277 Hir herte kervyth and so brekith
RomA 278 That God the puple wel awrekith.
RomA 279 Envie, iwis, shal nevere lette
RomA 280 Som blame upon the folk to sette.
RomA 281 I trowe that if Envie, iwis,
RomA 282 Knewe the beste man that is
RomA 283 On this side or biyonde the see,
RomA 284 Yit somwhat lakken hym wolde she;
RomA 285 And if he were so hende and wis
RomA 286 That she ne myght al abate his pris,
RomA 287 Yit wolde she blame his worthynesse
RomA 288 Or by hir wordis make it lesse.
RomA 289 I saugh Envie in that peyntyng
RomA 290 Hadde a wondirful lokyng,
RomA 291 For she ne lokide but awry
RomA 292 Or overthwart, all baggyngly.
RomA 293 And she hadde a [foul] usage:
RomA 294 She myght loke in no visage
RomA 295 Of man or womman forth-right pleyn,
RomA 296 But shette hir [oon] eie for disdeyn.
RomA 297 So for envie brenned she
RomA 298 Whan she myght any man se
RomA 299 That fair or worthi were, or wis,
RomA 300 Or elles stod in folkis prys.
RomA 301 Sorowe was peynted next Envie
RomA 302 Upon that wall of masonrye.
RomA 303 But wel was seyn in hir colour
RomA 304 That she hadde lyved in langour;
RomA 305 Hir semede to have the jaunyce.
RomA 306 Nought half so pale was Avarice,
RomA 307 Nor nothyng lyk of lenesse;
RomA 308 For sorowe, thought, and gret distresse,
RomA 309 That she hadde suffred day and nyght,
RomA 310 Made hir ful yelow and nothyng bright,
RomA 311 Ful fade, pale, and megre also.
RomA 312 Was never wight yit half so wo
RomA 313 As that hir semede for to be,
RomA 314 Nor so fulfilled of ire as she.
RomA 315 I trowe that no wight myght hir please
RomA 316 Nor do that thyng that myght hir ease;
RomA 317 Nor she ne wolde hir sorowe slake,
RomA 318 Nor comfort noon unto hir take,
RomA 319 So depe was hir wo bigonnen,
RomA 320 And eek hir hert in angre ronnen.
RomA 321 A sorowful thyng wel semed she,
RomA 322 Nor she hadde nothyng slowe be
RomA 323 For to forcracchen al hir face,
RomA 324 And for to rent in many place
RomA 325 Hir clothis, and for to tere hir swire,
RomA 326 As she that was fulfilled of ire.
RomA 327 And al totorn lay eek hir her
RomA 328 Aboute hir shuldris here and ther,
RomA 329 As she that hadde it al torent
RomA 330 For angre and for maltalent.
RomA 331 And eek I telle you certeynly
RomA 332 How that she wep ful tendirly.
RomA 333 In world nys wight so hard of herte
RomA 334 That hadde sen her sorowes smerte,
RomA 335 That nolde have had of her pyte,
RomA 336 So wo-begon a thyng was she.
RomA 337 She al todassht herself for woo
RomA 338 And smot togyder her hondes two.
RomA 339 To sorowe was she ful ententyf,
RomA 340 That woful recheles caytyf.
RomA 341 Her roughte lytel of playing
RomA 342 Or of clypping or kissyng;
RomA 343 For whoso sorouful is in herte,
RomA 344 Him luste not to play ne sterte,
RomA 345 Ne for to dauncen, ne to synge,
RomA 346 Ne may his herte in temper bringe
RomA 347 To make joye on even or morowe,
RomA 348 For joy is contrarie unto sorowe.
RomA 349 Elde was paynted after this,
RomA 350 That shorter was a foot, iwys,
RomA 351 Than she was wont in her yonghede.
RomA 352 Unneth herself she mighte fede.
RomA 353 So feble and eke so old was she
RomA 354 That faded was al her beaute.
RomA 355 Ful salowe was waxen her colour;
RomA 356 Her heed, for hor, was whyt as flour.
RomA 357 Iwys, great qualm ne were it non,
RomA 358 Ne synne, although her lyf were gon.
RomA 359 Al woxen was her body unwelde,
RomA 360 And drie and dwyned al for elde.
RomA 361 A foul, forwelked thyng was she,
RomA 362 That whylom round and softe had be.
RomA 363 Her eeres shoken faste withalle,
RomA 364 As from her heed they wolde falle;
RomA 365 Her face frounced and forpyned,
RomA 366 And bothe her hondes lorne, fordwyned.
RomA 367 So old she was that she ne wente
RomA 368 A foot, but it were by potente.
RomA 369 The tyme that passeth nyght and day,
RomA 370 And resteles travayleth ay,
RomA 371 And steleth from us so prively
RomA 372 That to us semeth sykerly
RomA 373 That it in oon poynt dwelleth ever
RomA 374 And certes, it ne resteth never,
RomA 375 But goth so faste, and passeth ay,
RomA 376 That ther nys man that thynke may
RomA 377 What tyme that now present is
RomA 378 (Asketh at these clerkes this),
RomA 379 For [er] men thynke it, redily
RomA 380 Thre tymes ben passed by
RomA 381 The tyme, that may not sojourne,
RomA 382 But goth and may never retourne,
RomA 383 As watir that doun renneth ay,
RomA 384 But never drope retourne may;
RomA 385 Ther may nothing as tyme endure,
RomA 386 Metall nor erthely creature,
RomA 387 For alle thing it fret and shall;
RomA 388 The tyme eke that chaungith all,
RomA 389 And all doth waxe and fostred be,
RomA 390 And alle thing distroieth he;
RomA 391 The tyme that eldith our auncessours,
RomA 392 And eldith kynges and emperours,
RomA 393 And that us alle shal overcomen,
RomA 394 Er that deth us shal have nomen;
RomA 395 The tyme that hath al in welde
RomA 396 To elden folk had maad hir elde
RomA 397 So ynly that, to my witing,
RomA 398 She myghte helpe hirsilf nothing,
RomA 399 But turned ageyn unto childhede.
RomA 400 She had nothing hirsilf to lede,
RomA 401 Ne wit ne pithe in hir hold,
RomA 402 More than a child of two yeer old.
RomA 403 But natheles, I trowe that she
RomA 404 Was fair sumtyme, and fresh to se,
RomA 405 Whan she was in hir rightful age,
RomA 406 But she was past al that passage,
RomA 407 And was a doted thing bicomen.
RomA 408 A furred cope on had she nomen;
RomA 409 Wel had she clad hirsilf and warm,
RomA 410 For cold myght elles don hir harm.
RomA 411 These olde folk have alwey cold;
RomA 412 Her kynde is sich, whan they ben old.
RomA 413 Another thing was don there write
RomA 414 That semede lyk an ipocrite,
RomA 415 And it was clepid Poope-Holy.
RomA 416 That ilk is she that pryvely
RomA 417 Ne spareth never a wikked dede,
RomA 418 Whan men of hir taken noon hede,
RomA 419 And maketh hir outward precious,
RomA 420 With pale visage and pitous,
RomA 421 And semeth a simple creature;
RomA 422 But ther nys no mysaventure
RomA 423 That she ne thenkith in hir corage.
RomA 424 Ful lyk to hir was that ymage,
RomA 425 That makid was lyk hir semblaunce.
RomA 426 She was ful symple of countenaunce,
RomA 427 And she was clothed and eke shod
RomA 428 As she were, for the love of God,
RomA 429 Yolden to relygioun,
RomA 430 Sich semede hir devocioun.
RomA 431 A sauter held she fast in honde,
RomA 432 And bisily she gan to fonde
RomA 433 To make many a feynt praiere
RomA 434 To God and to his seyntis dere.
RomA 435 Ne she was gay, ne fresh, ne jolyf,
RomA 436 But semede to be ful ententyf
RomA 437 To gode werkis and to faire,
RomA 438 And therto she had on an haire.
RomA 439 Ne, certis, she was fatt nothing,
RomA 440 But semed wery for fasting;
RomA 441 Of colour pale and deed was she.
RomA 442 From hir the gate ay werned be
RomA 443 Of paradys, that blisful place;
RomA 444 For sich folk maketh lene her face,
RomA 445 As Crist seith in his evangile,
RomA 446 To gete hem prys in toun a while;
RomA 447 And for a litel glorie veine
RomA 448 They lesen God and his reigne.
RomA 449 And alderlast of everychon
RomA 450 Was peynted Povert al aloon,
RomA 451 That not a peny hadde in wolde,
RomA 452 All though she hir clothis solde,
RomA 453 And though she shulde anhonged be,
RomA 454 For nakid as a worm was she.
RomA 455 And if the wedir stormy were,
RomA 456 For cold she shulde have deyed there.
RomA 457 She nadde on but a streit old sak,
RomA 458 And many a clout on it ther stak:
RomA 459 This was hir cote and hir mantell.
RomA 460 No more was there, never a dell,
RomA 461 To clothe hir with, I undirtake;
RomA 462 Gret leyser hadde she to quake.
RomA 463 And she was putt, that I of talke,
RomA 464 Fer fro these other, up in an halke.
RomA 465 There lurked and there coured she,
RomA 466 For pover thing, whereso it be,
RomA 467 Is shamefast and dispised ay.
RomA 468 Acursed may wel be that day
RomA 469 That povere man conceyved is.
RomA 470 For, God wot, al to selde, iwys,
RomA 471 Is ony povere man wel fed,
RomA 472 Or wel araied or [wel] cled,
RomA 473 Or wel biloved, in sich wise
RomA 474 In honour that he may arise.
RomA 475 Alle these thingis, well avised,
RomA 476 As I have you er this devysed,
RomA 477 With gold and asure over all
RomA 478 Depeynted were upon the wall.
RomA 479 Square was the wall, and high sumdell;
RomA 480 Enclosed and barred well,
RomA 481 In stede of hegge, was that gardyn;
RomA 482 Com nevere shepherde theryn.
RomA 483 Into that gardyn, wel wrought,
RomA 484 Whoso that me coude have brought,
RomA 485 By laddre or elles by degre,
RomA 486 It wolde wel have liked me.
RomA 487 For sich solas, sich joie and play,
RomA 488 I trowe that nevere man ne say,
RomA 489 As was in that place delytous.
RomA 490 The gardeyn was not daungerous
RomA 491 To herberwe briddes many oon.
RomA 492 So riche a yer[d] was never noon
RomA 493 Of briddes song and braunches grene;
RomA 494 Therynne were briddes mo, I wene,
RomA 495 Than ben in all the rewme of Fraunce.
RomA 496 Ful blisful was the accordaunce
RomA 497 Of swete and pitous song thei made,
RomA 498 For all this world it owghte glade.
RomA 499 And I mysilf so mery ferde,
RomA 500 Whan I her blisful songes herde,
RomA 501 That for an hundred pound nolde I
RomA 502 (If that the passage openly
RomA 503 Hadde be unto me free)
RomA 504 That I nolde entren for to se
RomA 505 Th' assemble God kepe it fro care!
RomA 506 Of briddis whiche therynne ware,
RomA 507 That songen thorugh her mery throtes
RomA 508 Daunces of love and mery notes.
RomA 509 Whan I thus herde foules synge,
RomA 510 I fel fast in a weymentynge
RomA 511 By which art or by what engyn
RomA 512 I myght come into that gardyn;
RomA 513 But way I couth. fynde noon
RomA 514 Into that gardyn for to goon.
RomA 515 Ne nought wist I if that ther were
RomA 516 Eyther hole or place [o-]where
RomA 517 By which I myght have entre.
RomA 518 Ne ther was noon to teche me,
RomA 519 For I was al aloone, iwys,
RomA 520 Ful wo and angwishus of this,
RomA 521 Til atte last bithought I me
RomA 522 That by no weye ne myght it be
RomA 523 That ther nas laddre or wey to passe,
RomA 524 Or hole, into so faire a place.
RomA 525 Tho gan I go a full gret pas
RomA 526 Envyronyng evene in compas
RomA 527 The closing of the square wall,
RomA 528 Tyl that I fond a wiket small
RomA 529 So shett that I ne myght in gon,
RomA 530 And other entre was ther noon.
RomA 531 Uppon this dore I gan to smyte,
RomA 532 That was fetys and so lite,
RomA 533 For other wey coude I not seke.
RomA 534 Ful long I shof, and knokkide eke,
RomA 535 And stood ful long and of[t] herknyng,
RomA 536 If that I herde ony wight comyng,
RomA 537 Til that [the] dore of thilk entre
RomA 538 A mayden curteys openyde me.
RomA 539 Hir heer was as yelowe of hewe
RomA 540 As ony basyn scoured newe,
RomA 541 Hir flesh tendre as is a chike,
RomA 542 With bente browis smothe and slyke.
RomA 543 And by mesure large were
RomA 544 The openyng of hir yen clere,
RomA 545 Hir nose of good proporcioun,
RomA 546 Hir yen grey as is a faucoun,
RomA 547 With swete breth and wel savoured,
RomA 548 Hir face whit and wel coloured,
RomA 549 With litel mouth and round to see.
RomA 550 A clove chynne eke hadde she.
RomA 551 Hir nekke was of good fasoun
RomA 552 In lengthe and gretnesse, by resoun,
RomA 553 Withoute bleyne, scabbe, or royne;
RomA 554 Fro Jerusalem unto Burgoyne
RomA 555 Ther nys a fairer nekke, iwys,
RomA 556 To fele how smothe and softe it is.
RomA 557 Hir throte, also whit of hewe
RomA 558 As snowe on braunche snowed newe.
RomA 559 Of body ful wel wrought was she;
RomA 560 Men neded not in no cuntre
RomA 561 A fairer body for to seke.
RomA 562 And of fyn orfrays hadde she eke
RomA 563 A chapelet so semly oon
RomA 564 Ne werede never mayde upon
RomA 565 And faire above that chapelet
RomA 566 A rose gerland had she sett.
RomA 567 She hadde [in honde] a gay mirrour,
RomA 568 And with a riche gold tressour
RomA 569 Hir heed was tressed queyntely,
RomA 570 Hir sleves sewid fetisly,
RomA 571 And for to kepe hir hondis faire
RomA 572 Of gloves white she had a paire.
RomA 573 And she hadde on a cote of grene
RomA 574 Of cloth of Gaunt. Withouten wene,
RomA 575 Wel semyde by hir apparayle
RomA 576 She was not wont to gret travayle,
RomA 577 For whan she kempt was fetisly,
RomA 578 And wel arayed and richely,
RomA 579 Thanne had she don al hir journe,
RomA 580 For merye and wel bigoon was she.
RomA 581 She ladde a lusty lyf in May:
RomA 582 She hadde no thought, by nyght ne day,
RomA 583 Of nothyng, but if it were oonly
RomA 584 To graythe hir wel and uncouthly.
RomA 585 Whan that this dore hadde opened me
RomA 586 This may[de] semely for to see,
RomA 587 I thanked hir as I best myghte,
RomA 588 And axide hir how that she highte,
RomA 589 And what she was I axide eke.
RomA 590 And she to me was nought unmeke,
RomA 591 Ne of hir answer daungerous,
RomA 592 But faire answerde, and seide thus:
RomA 593 " Lo, sir, my name is Ydelnesse;
RomA 594 So clepe men me, more and lesse.
RomA 595 Ful myghty and ful riche am I,
RomA 596 And that of oon thyng namely,
RomA 597 For I entende to nothyng
RomA 598 But to my joye and my pleying,
RomA 599 And for to kembe and tresse me.
RomA 600 Aqueynted am I and pryve
RomA 601 With Myrthe, lord of this gardyn,
RomA 602 That fro the land of Alexandryn
RomA 603 Made the trees hidre be fet
RomA 604 That in this gardyn ben set.
RomA 605 And whan the trees were woxen on highte,
RomA 606 This wall, that stant heere in thi sighte,
RomA 607 Dide Myrthe enclosen al aboute;
RomA 608 And these ymages, al withoute,
RomA 609 He dide hem bothe entaile and peynte,
RomA 610 That neithir ben jolyf ne queynte,
RomA 611 But they ben ful of sorowe and woo,
RomA 612 As thou hast seen a while agoo.
RomA 613 And ofte tyme, hym to solace,
RomA 614 Sir Myrthe cometh into this place,
RomA 615 And eke with hym cometh his meynee
RomA 616 That lyven in lust and jolite.
RomA 617 And now is Myrthe therynne to here
RomA 618 The briddis how they syngen clere,
RomA 619 The mavys and the nyghtyngale,
RomA 620 And other joly briddis smale.
RomA 621 And thus he walketh to solace
RomA 622 Hym and his folk, for swetter place
RomA 623 To pleyen ynne he may not fynde,
RomA 624 Although he sought oon in-tyl Ynde.
RomA 625 The alther-fairest folk to see
RomA 626 That in this world may founde be
RomA 627 Hath Mirthe with hym in his route,
RomA 628 That folowen hym always aboute. "
RomA 629 Whan Ydelnesse had told al this,
RomA 630 And I hadde herkned wel, ywys,
RomA 631 Thanne seide I to dame Ydelnesse,
RomA 632 " Now, also wisly God me blesse,
RomA 633 Sith Myrthe, that is so faire and fre,
RomA 634 Is in this yerde with his meyne,
RomA 635 Fro thilk assemble, if I may,
RomA 636 Shal no man werne me to-day,
RomA 637 That I this nyght ne mote it see.
RomA 638 For wel wene I there with hym be
RomA 639 A fair and joly companye
RomA 640 Fulfilled of alle curtesie. "
RomA 641 And forth, withoute wordis mo,
RomA 642 In at the wiket went I tho,
RomA 643 That Ydelnesse hadde opened me,
RomA 644 Into that gardyn fair to see.
RomA 645 And whan I was inne, iwys,
RomA 646 Myn herte was ful glad of this,
RomA 647 For wel wende I ful sikerly
RomA 648 Have ben in paradys erthly.
RomA 649 So fair it was that, trusteth wel,
RomA 650 It semede a place espirituel,
RomA 651 For certys, as at my devys,
RomA 652 Ther is no place in paradys
RomA 653 So good inne for to dwelle or be
RomA 654 As in that gardyn, thoughte me.
RomA 655 For there was many a bridd syngyng,
RomA 656 Thoroughout the yerd al thringyng;
RomA 657 In many places were nyghtyngales,
RomA 658 Alpes, fynches, and wodewales,
RomA 659 That in her swete song deliten
RomA 660 In thilke places as they habiten.
RomA 661 There myghte men see many flokkes
RomA 662 Of turtles and laverokkes.
RomA 663 Chalaundres fele sawe I there,
RomA 664 That wery, nygh forsongen were;
RomA 665 And thrustles, terins, and mavys,
RomA 666 That songen for to wynne hem prys,
RomA 667 And eke to sormounte in her song
RomA 668 That other briddes hem among.
RomA 669 By note made fair servyse
RomA 670 These briddes, that I you devise;
RomA 671 They songe her song as faire and wel
RomA 672 As angels don espirituel.
RomA 673 And trusteth wel, whan I hem herde,
RomA 674 Ful lustily and wel I ferde,
RomA 675 For never yitt sich melodye
RomA 676 Was herd of man that myghte dye.
RomA 677 Sich swete song was hem among
RomA 678 That me thought it no briddis song,
RomA 679 But it was wondir lyk to be
RomA 680 Song of mermaydens of the see,
RomA 681 That, for her syngyng is so clere,
RomA 682 Though we mermaydens clepe hem here
RomA 683 In English, as is oure usaunce,
RomA 684 Men clepe hem sereyns in Fraunce.
RomA 685 Ententif weren for to synge
RomA 686 These briddis, that nought unkunnynge
RomA 687 Were of her craft, and apprentys,
RomA 688 But of song sotil and wys.
RomA 689 And certis, whan I herde her song,
RomA 690 And saw the grene place among,
RomA 691 In herte I wex so wondir gay
RomA 692 That I was never erst, er that day,
RomA 693 So jolyf nor so wel bigoo,
RomA 694 Ne merye in herte, as I was thoo.
RomA 695 And than wist I and saw ful well
RomA 696 That Ydelnesse me served well,
RomA 697 That me putte in sich jolite.
RomA 698 Hir freend wel ought I for to be,
RomA 699 Sith she the dore of that gardyn
RomA 700 Hadde opened and me leten in.
RomA 701 From hennes forth hou that I wroughte,
RomA 702 I shal you tellen, as me thoughte.
RomA 703 First, whereof Myrthe served there,
RomA 704 And eke what folk there with hym were,
RomA 705 Withoute fable I wol discryve.
RomA 706 And of that gardyn eke as blyve
RomA 707 I wole you tellen aftir this
RomA 708 The faire fasoun all, ywys,
RomA 709 That wel wrought was for the nones.
RomA 710 I may not telle you all at ones,
RomA 711 But, as I may and can, I shall
RomA 712 By ordre tellen you it all.
RomA 713 Ful fair servise and eke ful swete
RomA 714 These briddis maden as they sete.
RomA 715 Layes of love, ful wel sownyng,
RomA 716 They songen in her jargonyng;
RomA 717 Summe high and summe eke lowe songe
RomA 718 Upon the braunches grene spronge.
RomA 719 The swetnesse of her melodye
RomA 720 Made al myn herte in reverye.
RomA 721 And whan that I hadde herd, I trowe,
RomA 722 These briddis syngyng on a rowe,
RomA 723 Than myght I not withholde me
RomA 724 That I ne wente inne for to see
RomA 725 Sir Myrthe, for my desiryng
RomA 726 Was hym to seen, over alle thyng,
RomA 727 His countenaunce and his manere
RomA 728 That sighte was to me ful dere.
RomA 729 Tho wente I forth on my right hond
RomA 730 Doun by a lytel path I fond
RomA 731 Of mentes full, and fenell grene,
RomA 732 And faste by, without wene,
RomA 733 Sir Myrthe I fond, and right anoon
RomA 734 Unto Sir Myrthe gan I goon,
RomA 735 There as he was hym to solace.
RomA 736 And with hym in that lusty place
RomA 737 So fair folk and so fresh had he
RomA 738 That whan I saw, I wondred me
RomA 739 Fro whennes siche folk myght come,
RomA 740 So faire they weren, alle and some;
RomA 741 For they were lyk, as to my sighte,
RomA 742 To angels that ben fethered brighte.
RomA 743 This folk, of which I telle you soo,
RomA 744 Upon a karole wenten thoo.
RomA 745 A lady karolede hem that hyghte
RomA 746 Gladnesse, [the] blissful and the lighte;
RomA 747 Wel coude she synge and lustyly,
RomA 748 Noon half so wel and semely,
RomA 749 And make in song sich refreynynge:
RomA 750 It sat hir wondir wel to synge.
RomA 751 Hir vois ful clere was and ful swete.
RomA 752 She was nought rude ne unmete
RomA 753 But couth. ynow of sich doyng
RomA 754 As longeth unto karolyng,
RomA 755 For she was wont in every place
RomA 756 To syngen first, folk to solace.
RomA 757 For syngyng moost she gaf hir to;
RomA 758 No craft had she so leef to do.
RomA 759 Tho myghtist thou karoles sen,
RomA 760 And folk daunce and mery ben,
RomA 761 And made many a fair tournyng
RomA 762 Upon the grene gras springyng.
RomA 763 There myghtist thou see these flowtours,
RomA 764 Mynstrales, and eke jogelours,
RomA 765 That wel to synge dide her peyne.
RomA 766 Somme songe songes of Loreyne,
RomA 767 For in Loreyn her notes bee
RomA 768 Full swetter than in this contre.
RomA 769 There was many a tymbestere,
RomA 770 And saillouris, that I dar wel swere
RomA 771 Couth. her craft ful parfitly.
RomA 772 The tymbres up ful sotilly
RomA 773 They caste and hente full ofte
RomA 774 Upon a fynger fair and softe,
RomA 775 That they failide never mo.
RomA 776 Ful fetys damyseles two,
RomA 777 Ryght yonge and full of semelyhede,
RomA 778 In kirtles and noon other wede,
RomA 779 And faire tressed every tresse,
RomA 780 Hadde Myrthe doon, for his noblesse,
RomA 781 Amydde the karole for to daunce;
RomA 782 But herof lieth no remembraunce,
RomA 783 Hou that they daunced queyntely.
RomA 784 That oon wolde come all pryvyly
RomA 785 Agayn that other, and whan they were
RomA 786 Togidre almost, they threwe yfere
RomA 787 Her mouthis so that thorough her play
RomA 788 It semed as they kiste alway
RomA 789 To dauncen well koude they the gise.
RomA 790 What shulde I more to you devyse?
RomA 791 Ne bede I never thennes go,
RomA 792 Whiles that I saw hem daunce so.
RomA 793 Upon the karoll wonder faste
RomA 794 I gan biholde, til atte laste
RomA 795 A lady gan me for to espie,
RomA 796 And she was cleped Curtesie,
RomA 797 The worshipfull, the debonaire
RomA 798 I pray to God evere falle hir faire!
RomA 799 Ful curteisly she called me:
RomA 800 " What do ye there, beau ser? " quod she,
RomA 801 " Come and, if it lyke you
RomA 802 To dauncen, dauncith with us now. "
RomA 803 And I, withoute tariyng,
RomA 804 Wente into the karolyng.
RomA 805 I was abasshed never a dell,
RomA 806 But it to me liked right well
RomA 807 That Curtesie me cleped so
RomA 808 And bad me on the daunce go.
RomA 809 For if I hadde durst, certeyn
RomA 810 I wolde have karoled right fayn,
RomA 811 As man that was to daunce right blithe.
RomA 812 Thanne gan I loken ofte sithe
RomA 813 The shap, the bodies, and the cheres,
RomA 814 The countenaunce and the maneres
RomA 815 Of all the folk that daunced there,
RomA 816 And I shal telle what they were.
RomA 817 Ful fair was Myrthe, ful long and high;
RomA 818 A fairer man I nevere sigh.
RomA 819 As round as appil was his face,
RomA 820 Ful rody and whit in every place.
RomA 821 Fetys he was and wel beseye,
RomA 822 With metely mouth and yen greye;
RomA 823 His nose by mesure wrought ful right;
RomA 824 Crisp was his heer, and eek ful bright;
RomA 825 His shuldris of a large brede,
RomA 826 And smalish in the girdilstede.
RomA 827 He semed lyk a portreiture,
RomA 828 So noble he was of his stature,
RomA 829 So fair, so joly, and so fetys,
RomA 830 With lymes wrought at poynt devys,
RomA 831 Delyver, smert, and of gret myght;
RomA 832 Ne sawe thou nevere man so lyght.
RomA 833 Of berd unnethe hadde he nothyng,
RomA 834 For it was in the firste spryng.
RomA 835 Ful yong he was, and mery of thought,
RomA 836 And in samet, with briddis wrought,
RomA 837 And with gold beten ful fetysly,
RomA 838 His body was clad ful richely.
RomA 839 Wrought was his robe in straunge gise,
RomA 840 And al toslytered for queyntise
RomA 841 In many a place, lowe and hie.
RomA 842 And shod he was with gret maistrie,
RomA 843 With shoon decoped, and with laas.
RomA 844 By druery and by solas
RomA 845 His leef a rosyn chapelet
RomA 846 Hadde mad, and on his heed it set.
RomA 847 And wite ye who was his leef?
RomA 848 Dame Gladnesse there was hym so leef,
RomA 849 That syngith so wel with glad courage,
RomA 850 That from she was twelve yeer of age
RomA 851 She of hir love graunt hym made.
RomA 852 Sir Mirthe hir by the fynger hadde
RomA 853 Daunsyng, and she hym also;
RomA 854 Gret love was atwixe hem two.
RomA 855 Bothe were they faire and bright of hewe.
RomA 856 She semed lyk a rose newe
RomA 857 Of colour, and hir flesh so tendre
RomA 858 That with a brere smale and slendre
RomA 859 Men myght it cleve, I dar wel seyn.
RomA 860 Hir forheed, frounceles al pleyn;
RomA 861 Bente were hir browis two,
RomA 862 Hir yen greye and glad also,
RomA 863 That laugheden ay in hir semblaunt
RomA 864 First or the mouth, by covenaunt.
RomA 865 I not what of hir nose descryve,
RomA 866 So fair hath no womman alyve.
RomA 867 Hir heer was yelowe and clere shynyng;
RomA 868 I wot no lady so likyng.
RomA 869 Of orfrays fresh was hir gerland;
RomA 870 I, which seyen have a thousand,
RomA 871 Saugh never, ywys, no gerlond yitt
RomA 872 So wel wrought of silk as it.
RomA 873 And in an overgilt samit
RomA 874 Clad she was, by gret delit,
RomA 875 Of which hir leef a robe werde
RomA 876 The myrier she in hir herte ferde.
RomA 877 And next hir wente, on hir other side,
RomA 878 The God of Love that can devyde
RomA 879 Love, and as hym likith it be.
RomA 880 But he can cherles daunten, he,
RomA 881 And maken folkis pride fallen;
RomA 882 And he can wel these lordis thrallen,
RomA 883 And ladyes putt at lowe degre,
RomA 884 Whan he may hem to p[r]oude see.
RomA 885 This God of Love of his fasoun
RomA 886 Was lyk no knave ne quystroun;
RomA 887 His beaute gretly was to pryse.
RomA 888 But of his robe to devise
RomA 889 I drede encombred for to be;
RomA 890 For nought clad in silk was he,
RomA 891 But all in floures and in flourettes,
RomA 893 And with losenges and scochouns,
RomA 894 With briddes, lybardes, and lyouns,
RomA 895 And other beestis wrought ful well.
RomA 896 His garnement was everydell
RomA 897 Portreied and wrought with floures,
RomA 898 By dyvers medlyng of coloures.
RomA 899 Floures there were of many gise
RomA 900 Sett by compas in assise.
RomA 901 Ther lakkide no flour, to my dom,
RomA 902 Ne nought so mych as flour of brom,
RomA 903 Ne violete, ne eke pervynke,
RomA 904 Ne flour noon that man can on thynke;
RomA 905 And many a rose-leef ful long
RomA 906 Was entermedled theramong.
RomA 907 And also on his heed was set
RomA 908 Of roses reed a chapelett,
RomA 909 But nyghtyngales, a ful gret route,
RomA 910 That flyen over his heed aboute,
RomA 911 The leeves felden as they flyen.
RomA 912 And he was all with briddes wryen,
RomA 913 With popynjay, with nyghtyngale,
RomA 914 With chalaundre, and with wodewale,
RomA 915 With fynch, with lark, and with archaungell.
RomA 916 He semede as he were an aungell
RomA 917 That doun were comen fro hevene cler.
RomA 918 Love hadde with hym a bacheler
RomA 919 That he made alweyes with hym be;
RomA 920 Swete-Lokyng cleped was he.
RomA 921 This bacheler stod biholdyng
RomA 922 The daunce, and in his hond holdyng
RomA 923 Turke bowes two had he.
RomA 924 That oon of hem was of a tree
RomA 925 That bereth a fruyt of savour wykke;
RomA 926 Ful crokid was that foule stikke,
RomA 927 And knotty here and there also,
RomA 928 And blak as bery or ony slo.
RomA 929 That other bowe was of a plante
RomA 930 Withoute wem, I dar warante,
RomA 931 Ful evene and by proporcioun
RomA 932 Treitys and long, of ful good fasoun.
RomA 933 And it was peynted wel and thwyten,
RomA 934 And overal diapred and writen
RomA 935 With ladyes and with bacheleris,
RomA 936 Ful lyghtsom and glad of cheris.
RomA 937 These bowes two held Swete-Lokyng,
RomA 938 That semede lyk no gadelyng.
RomA 939 And ten brode arowis hild he there,
RomA 940 Of which fyve in his right hond were.
RomA 941 But they were shaven wel and dight,
RomA 942 Nokked and fethered right,
RomA 943 And all they were with gold bygoon,
RomA 944 And stronge poynted everychoon,
RomA 945 And sharpe for to kerven well.
RomA 946 But iren was ther noon ne steell,
RomA 947 For al was gold, men myght it see,
RomA 948 Out-take the fetheres and the tree.
RomA 949 The swiftest of these arowis fyve
RomA 950 Out of a bowe for to dryve,
RomA 951 And best fethered for to flee,
RomA 952 And fairest eke, was clepid Beaute.
RomA 953 That other arowe, that hurteth lesse,
RomA 954 Was clepid, as I trowe, Symplesse.
RomA 955 The thridde cleped was Fraunchise,
RomA 956 That fethred was in noble wise
RomA 957 With valour and with curtesye.
RomA 958 The fourthe was cleped Compaignye,
RomA 959 That hevy for to sheten ys.
RomA 960 But whoso shetith right, ywys,
RomA 961 May therwith doon gret harm and wo.
RomA 962 The fifte of these and laste also,
RomA 963 Faire-Semblaunt men that arowe calle,
RomA 964 The leeste grevous of hem alle,
RomA 965 Yit can it make a ful gret wounde.
RomA 966 But he may hope his soris sounde,
RomA 967 That hurt is with that arowe, ywys.
RomA 968 His wo the bet bistowed is,
RomA 969 For he may sonner have gladnesse
RomA 970 His langour oughte be the lesse.
RomA 971 Five arowis were of other gise,
RomA 972 That ben ful foule to devyse,
RomA 973 For shaft and ende, soth for to telle,
RomA 974 Were also blak as fend in helle.
RomA 975 The first of hem is called Pride.
RomA 976 That other arowe next hym biside,
RomA 977 It was cleped Vylanye;
RomA 978 That arowe was al with felonye
RomA 979 Envenymed, and with spitous blame.
RomA 980 The thridde of hem was cleped Shame.
RomA 981 The fourthe Wanhope cleped is.
RomA 982 The fifte, the Newe-Thought, ywys.
RomA 983 These arowis that I speke of heere
RomA 984 Were alle fyve on oon maneere,
RomA 985 And alle were they resemblable.
RomA 986 To hem was wel sittyng and able
RomA 987 The foule croked bowe hidous,
RomA 988 That knotty was and al roynous.
RomA 989 That bowe semede wel to shete
RomA 990 These arowis fyve that ben unmete
RomA 991 And contrarye to that other fyve.
RomA 992 But though I telle not as blyve
RomA 993 Of her power ne of her myght,
RomA 994 Herafter shal I tellen right
RomA 995 The soothe and eke signyfiaunce,
RomA 996 As fer as I have remembraunce.
RomA 997 All shal be seid, I undirtake,
RomA 998 Er of this book an ende I make.
RomA 999 Now come I to my tale ageyn.
RomA 1000 But aldirfirst I wol you seyn
RomA 1001 The fasoun and the countenaunces
RomA 1002 Of all the folk that on the daunce is.
RomA 1003 The God of Love, jolyf and lyght,
RomA 1004 Ladde on his hond a lady bright,
RomA 1005 Of high prys and of gret degre.
RomA 1006 This lady called was Beaute,
RomA 1007 As an arowe, of which I tolde.
RomA 1008 Ful wel thewed was she holde,
RomA 1009 Ne she was derk ne broun, but bright,
RomA 1010 And clere as the mone lyght
RomA 1011 Ageyn whom all the sterres semen
RomA 1012 But smale candels, as we demen.
RomA 1013 Hir flesh was tendre as dew of flour,
RomA 1014 Hir chere was symple as byrde in bour,
RomA 1015 As whyt as lylye or rose in rys,
RomA 1016 Hir face, gentyl and tretys.
RomA 1017 Fetys she was, and smal to se;
RomA 1018 No wyndred browis hadde she,
RomA 1019 Ne popped hir, for it neded nought
RomA 1020 To wyndre hir or to peynte hir ought.
RomA 1021 Hir tresses yelowe and longe straughten,
RomA 1022 Unto hir helys doun they raughten.
RomA 1023 Hir nose, hir mouth, and eye, and cheke
RomA 1024 Wel wrought, and all the remenaunt eke.
RomA 1025 A ful gret savour and a swote
RomA 1026 Me toucheth in myn herte rote,
RomA 1027 As helpe me God, whan I remembre
RomA 1028 Of the fasoun of every membre.
RomA 1029 In world is noon so fair a wight,
RomA 1030 For yong she was, and hewed bright,
RomA 1031 Sore plesaunt, and fetys withall,
RomA 1032 Gente, and in hir myddill small.
RomA 1033 Biside Beaute yede Richesse,
RomA 1034 An high lady of gret noblesse,
RomA 1035 And gret of prys in every place.
RomA 1036 But whoso durste to hir trespace,
RomA 1037 Or til hir folk, in word or dede,
RomA 1038 He were full hardy, out of drede,
RomA 1039 For bothe she helpe and hyndre may.
RomA 1040 And that is nought of yisterday
RomA 1041 That riche folk have full gret myght
RomA 1042 To helpe and eke to greve a wyght.
RomA 1043 The beste and the grettest of valour
RomA 1044 Diden Rychesse ful gret honour,
RomA 1045 And besy weren hir to serve,
RomA 1046 For that they wolde hir love deserve:
RomA 1047 They cleped hir lady, gret and small.
RomA 1048 This wide world hir dredith all;
RomA 1049 This world is all in hir daunger.
RomA 1050 Hir court hath many a losenger,
RomA 1051 And many a traytour envyous,
RomA 1052 That ben ful besy and curyous
RomA 1053 For to dispreisen and to blame
RomA 1054 That best deserven love and name.
RomA 1055 Bifore the folk, hem to bigilen,
RomA 1056 These losengeris hem preyse and smylen,
RomA 1057 And thus the world with word anoynten;
RomA 1058 And aftirward they prikke and poynten
RomA 1059 The folk right to the bare boon,
RomA 1060 Bihynde her bak whan they ben goon,
RomA 1061 And foule abate the folkis prys.
RomA 1062 Ful many a worthy man and wys,
RomA 1063 An hundred, have [they] do to dye.
RomA 1064 These losengers thorough flaterye
RomA 1065 Have made folk ful straunge be,
RomA 1066 There hem oughte be pryve.
RomA 1067 Wel yvel mote they thryve and thee,
RomA 1068 And yvel aryved mote they be,
RomA 1069 These losengers, ful of envye!
RomA 1070 No good man loveth her companye.
RomA 1071 Richesse a robe of purpur on hadde
RomA 1072 Ne trowe not that I lye or madde,
RomA 1073 For in this world is noon it lyche,
RomA 1074 Ne by a thousand deell so riche,
RomA 1075 Ne noon so fair; for it ful well
RomA 1076 With orfrays leyd was everydeell,
RomA 1077 And portraied in the ribanynges
RomA 1078 Of dukes storyes, and of kynges,
RomA 1079 And with a bend of gold tasseled,
RomA 1080 And knoppis fyne of gold ameled.
RomA 1081 Aboute hir nekke of gentyl entayle
RomA 1082 Was shet the riche chevesaile,
RomA 1083 In which ther was full gret plente
RomA 1084 Of stones clere and bright to see.
RomA 1085 Rychesse a girdell hadde upon,
RomA 1086 The bokel of it was of a stoon
RomA 1087 Of vertu gret and mochel of myght,
RomA 1088 For whoso bar the stoon so bright,
RomA 1089 Of venym durst hym nothing doute,
RomA 1090 While he the stoon hadde hym aboute.
RomA 1091 That stoon was gretly for to love,
RomA 1092 And tyl a riche mannes byhove
RomA 1093 Worth all the gold in Rome and Frise.
RomA 1094 The mourdaunt wrought in noble wise
RomA 1095 Was of a stoon full precious,
RomA 1096 That was so fyn and vertuous
RomA 1097 That hol a man it koude make
RomA 1098 Of palasie and toth-ake.
RomA 1099 And yit the stoon hadde such a grace
RomA 1100 That he was siker in every place,
RomA 1101 All thilke day, not blynd to ben,
RomA 1102 That fastyng myghte that stoon seen.
RomA 1103 The barres were of gold ful fyn
RomA 1104 Upon a tyssu of satyn,
RomA 1105 Full hevy, gret, and nothyng lyght;
RomA 1106 In everich was a besaunt-wight.
RomA 1107 Upon the tresses of Richesse
RomA 1108 Was sette a cercle, for noblesse,
RomA 1109 Of brend gold that full lyghte shoon;
RomA 1110 So fair, trowe I, was never noon.
RomA 1111 But he were kunnyng, for the nonys,
RomA 1112 That koude devyse all the stonys
RomA 1113 That in that cercle shewen clere.
RomA 1114 It is a wondir thing to here,
RomA 1115 For no man koude preyse or gesse
RomA 1116 Of hem the valewe or richesse.
RomA 1117 Rubyes there were, saphires, jagounces,
RomA 1118 And emeraudes, more than two ounces,
RomA 1119 But all byfore, ful sotilly,
RomA 1120 A fyn charboncle set saugh I.
RomA 1121 The stoon so clere was and so bright
RomA 1122 That, also soone as it was nyght,
RomA 1123 Men myghte seen to go, for nede,
RomA 1124 A myle or two in lengthe and brede.
RomA 1125 Sich lyght sprang out of the ston
RomA 1126 That Richesse wondir brighte shon,
RomA 1127 Bothe hir heed and all hir face,
RomA 1128 And eke aboute hir al the place.
RomA 1129 Dame Richesse on hir hond gan lede
RomA 1130 A yong man ful of semelyhede,
RomA 1131 That she best loved of ony thing.
RomA 1132 His lust was mych in housholding.
RomA 1133 In clothyng was he ful fetys,
RomA 1134 And loved well to have hors of prys.
RomA 1135 He wende to have reproved be
RomA 1136 Of theft or moordre if that he
RomA 1137 Hadde in his stable ony hakeney.
RomA 1138 And therfore he desired ay
RomA 1139 To be aqueynted with Richesse,
RomA 1140 For all his purpos, as I gesse,
RomA 1141 Was forto make gret dispense,
RomA 1142 Withoute wernyng or diffense.
RomA 1143 And Richesse myght it wel sustene,
RomA 1144 And hir dispence well mayntene,
RomA 1145 And hym alwey sich plente sende
RomA 1146 Of gold and silver for to spende
RomA 1147 Withoute lakking or daunger,
RomA 1148 As it were poured in a garner.
RomA 1149 And after on the daunce wente
RomA 1150 Largesse, that settith al hir entente
RomA 1151 For to be honourable and free.
RomA 1152 Of Alexandres kyn was she.
RomA 1153 Hir most joye was, ywys,
RomA 1154 Whan that she yaf and seide, " Have this. "
RomA 1155 Not Avarice, the foule caytyf,
RomA 1156 Was half to gripe so ententyf,
RomA 1157 As Largesse is to yeve and spende;
RomA 1158 And God ynough alwey hir sende,
RomA 1159 So that the more she yaf awey
RomA 1160 The more, ywys, she hadde alwey.
RomA 1161 Gret loos hath Largesse and gret pris,
RomA 1162 For bothe [wys] folk and unwys
RomA 1163 Were hooly to hir baundon brought,
RomA 1164 So wel with yiftes hath she wrought.
RomA 1165 And if she hadde an enemy,
RomA 1166 I trowe that she coude tristily
RomA 1167 Make hym full soone hir freend to be,
RomA 1168 So large of yift and free was she.
RomA 1169 Therfore she stod in love and grace
RomA 1170 Of riche and pover in every place.
RomA 1171 A full gret fool is he, ywys,
RomA 1172 That bothe riche and nygard is.
RomA 1173 A lord may have no maner vice
RomA 1174 That greveth more than avarice,
RomA 1175 For nygart never with strengthe of hond
RomA 1176 May wynne gret lordship or lond,
RomA 1177 For freendis all to fewe hath he
RomA 1178 To doon his will perfourmed be.
RomA 1179 And whoso wole have freendis heere,
RomA 1180 He may not holde his tresour deere.
RomA 1181 For by ensample I telle this:
RomA 1182 Right as an adamaunt, iwys,
RomA 1183 Can drawen to hym sotylly
RomA 1184 The iren that is leid therby,
RomA 1185 So drawith folkes hertis, ywis,
RomA 1186 Silver and gold that yeven is.
RomA 1187 Largesse hadde on a robe fresh
RomA 1188 Of riche purpur Sarsynesh.
RomA 1189 Wel fourmed was hir face and cleer,
RomA 1190 And opened hadde she hir coler,
RomA 1191 For she right there hadde in present
RomA 1192 Unto a lady maad present
RomA 1193 Of a gold broche, ful wel wrought.
RomA 1194 And certys, it myssat hir nought,
RomA 1195 For thorough hir smokke, wrought with silk,
RomA 1196 The flesh was seen as whit as mylk.
RomA 1197 Largesse, that worthy was and wys,
RomA 1198 Hild by the hond a knyght of prys,
RomA 1199 Was sib to Artour of Britaigne,
RomA 1200 And that was he that bar the ensaigne
RomA 1201 Of worship and the gounfanoun.
RomA 1202 And yit he is of sich renoun
RomA 1203 That men of hym seye faire thynges
RomA 1204 Byfore barouns, erles, and kynges.
RomA 1205 This knyght was comen all newely
RomA 1206 Fro tourneiynge faste by;
RomA 1207 There hadde he don gret chyvalrie
RomA 1208 Thorough his vertu and his maistrie;
RomA 1209 And for the love of his lemman
RomA 1210 He caste doun many a doughty man.
RomA 1211 And next hym daunced dame Fraunchise,
RomA 1212 Arayed in full noble gyse.
RomA 1213 She was not broun ne dun of hewe,
RomA 1214 But whit as snow fallen newe.
RomA 1215 Hir nose was wrought at poynt devys,
RomA 1216 For it was gentyl and tretys,
RomA 1217 With eyen gladde, and browes bente.
RomA 1218 Hir heer doun to hir helis wente,
RomA 1219 And she was symple as dowve on tree.
RomA 1220 Ful debonaire of herte was she.
RomA 1221 She durst never seyn ne do
RomA 1222 But that that hir longed to;
RomA 1223 And if a man were in distresse,
RomA 1224 And for hir love in hevynesse,
RomA 1225 Hir herte wolde have full gret pite,
RomA 1226 She was so amiable and free.
RomA 1227 For were a man for hir bistad,
RomA 1228 She wolde ben right sore adrad
RomA 1229 That she dide over-gret outrage,
RomA 1230 But she hym holpe his harm to aswage;
RomA 1231 Hir thought it elles a vylanye.
RomA 1232 And she hadde on a sukkenye,
RomA 1233 That not of hempene heerdis was
RomA 1234 So fair was noon in all Arras.
RomA 1235 Lord, it was ridled fetysly!
RomA 1236 Ther nas [nat] a poynt, trewely,
RomA 1237 That it nas in his right assise.
RomA 1238 Full wel clothed was Fraunchise,
RomA 1239 For ther is no cloth sittith bet
RomA 1240 On damysell than doth roket.
RomA 1241 A womman wel more fetys is
RomA 1242 In roket than in cote, ywis.
RomA 1243 The whyte roket, rydled faire,
RomA 1244 Bitokeneth that full debonaire
RomA 1245 And swete was she that it ber.
RomA 1246 Bi hir daunced a bacheler.
RomA 1247 I can not telle you what he highte,
RomA 1248 But faire he was and of good highte,
RomA 1249 All hadde he be, I sey no more,
RomA 1250 The lordis sone of Wyndesore.
RomA 1251 And next that daunced Curtesye,
RomA 1252 That preised was of lowe and hye,
RomA 1253 For neither proud ne fool was she.
RomA 1254 She for to daunce called me
RomA 1255 (I pray God yeve hir right good grace!),
RomA 1256 Whanne I com first into the place.
RomA 1257 She was not nyce ne outrageous,
RomA 1258 But wys and war and vertuous,
RomA 1259 Of fair speche and of fair answere.
RomA 1260 Was never wight mysseid of here;
RomA 1261 She bar rancour to no wight.
RomA 1262 Clere broun she was, and therto bright
RomA 1263 Of face, of body avenaunt
RomA 1264 I wot no lady so plesaunt.
RomA 1265 She [were] worthy for to bene
RomA 1266 An emperesse or crowned quene.
RomA 1267 And by hir wente a knyght dauncyng,
RomA 1268 That worthy was and wel spekyng,
RomA 1269 And ful wel koude he don honour.
RomA 1270 The knyght was fair and styf in stour,
RomA 1271 And in armure a semely man,
RomA 1272 And wel biloved of his lemman.
RomA 1273 Faire Idilnesse thanne saugh I,
RomA 1274 That alwey was me faste by.
RomA 1275 Of hir have I, withoute fayle,
RomA 1276 Told yow the shap and apparayle;
RomA 1277 For (as I seide) loo, that was she
RomA 1278 That dide to me so gret bounte
RomA 1279 That she the gate of the gardyn
RomA 1280 Undide and let me passen in.
RomA 1281 And after daunced, as I gesse,
RomA 1282 [Youthe], fulfilled of lustynesse,
RomA 1283 That nas not yit twelve yeer of age,
RomA 1284 With herte wylde and thought volage.
RomA 1285 Nyce she was, but she ne mente
RomA 1286 Noon harm ne slight in hir entente,
RomA 1287 But oonly lust and jolyte;
RomA 1288 For yonge folk, wel witen ye,
RomA 1289 Have lytel thought but on her play.
RomA 1290 Hir lemman was biside alway
RomA 1291 In sich a gise that he hir kyste
RomA 1292 At alle tymes that hym lyste,
RomA 1293 That all the daunce myght it see.
RomA 1294 They make no force of pryvete,
RomA 1295 For who spake of hem yvel or well,
RomA 1296 They were ashamed never a dell,
RomA 1297 But men myght seen hem kisse there
RomA 1298 As it two yonge dowves were.
RomA 1299 For yong was thilke bacheler;
RomA 1300 Of beaute wot I noon his per.
RomA 1301 And he was right of sich an age
RomA 1302 As Youthe his leef, and sich corage.
RomA 1303 The lusty folk thus daunced there,
RomA 1304 And also other that with hem were,
RomA 1305 That weren alle of her meyne;
RomA 1306 Ful hende folk and wys and free,
RomA 1307 And folk of faire port, truely,
RomA 1308 There weren alle comunly.
RomA 1309 Whanne I hadde seen the countenaunces
RomA 1310 Of hem that ladden thus these daunces,
RomA 1311 Thanne hadde I will to gon and see
RomA 1312 The gardyn that so lyked me,
RomA 1313 And loken on these faire loreres,
RomA 1314 On pyntrees, cedres, and oliveris.
RomA 1315 The daunces thanne eended were,
RomA 1316 For many of them that daunced there
RomA 1317 Were with her loves went awey
RomA 1318 Undir the trees to have her pley.
RomA 1319 A, Lord, they lyved lustyly!
RomA 1320 A gret fool were he, sikirly,
RomA 1321 That nolde, his thankes, such lyf lede!
RomA 1322 For this dar I seyn, oute of drede,
RomA 1323 That whoso myghte so wel fare,
RomA 1324 For better lyf durst hym not care;
RomA 1325 For ther nys so good paradys
RomA 1326 As to have a love at his devys.
RomA 1327 Oute of that place wente I thoo,
RomA 1328 And in that gardyn gan I goo,
RomA 1329 Pleyyng along full meryly.
RomA 1330 The God of Love full hastely
RomA 1331 Unto hym Swete-Lokyng clepte;
RomA 1332 No lenger wolde he that he kepte
RomA 1333 His bowe of gold, that shoon so bright.
RomA 1334 He bad hym bende [it] anoon ryght,
RomA 1335 And he full soone [it] sette an-ende,
RomA 1336 And at a braid he gan it bende,
RomA 1337 And tok hym of his arowes fyve,
RomA 1338 Full sharp and redy for to dryve.
RomA 1339 Now God, that sittith in mageste,
RomA 1340 Fro deedly woundes he kepe me,
RomA 1341 If so be that he hadde me shette!
RomA 1342 For if I with his arowe mette,
RomA 1343 It hadde me greved sore, iwys.
RomA 1344 But I, that nothyng wist of this,
RomA 1345 Wente up and doun full many a wey,
RomA 1346 And he me folwed fast alwey,
RomA 1347 But nowhere wold I reste me,
RomA 1348 Till I hadde in all the gardyn be.
RomA 1349 The gardyn was, by mesuryng,
RomA 1350 Right evene and square in compassing:
RomA 1351 It as long was as it was large.
RomA 1352 Of fruyt hadde every tree his charge,
RomA 1353 But it were any hidous tree,
RomA 1354 Of which ther were two or three.
RomA 1355 There were, and that wot I full well,
RomA 1356 Of pome-garnettys a full gret dell;
RomA 1357 That is a fruyt full well to lyke,
RomA 1358 Namely to folk whanne they ben sike.
RomA 1359 And trees there were, gret foisoun,
RomA 1360 That baren notes in her sesoun,
RomA 1361 Such as men notemygges calle,
RomA 1362 That swote of savour ben withalle.
RomA 1363 And alemandres gret plente,
RomA 1364 Fyges, and many a date-tree
RomA 1365 There wexen, if men hadde nede,
RomA 1366 Thorough the gardyn in length and brede.
RomA 1367 Ther was eke wexyng many a spice,
RomA 1368 As clowe-gelofre and lycorice,
RomA 1369 Gyngevre and greyn de parys,
RomA 1370 Canell and setewale of prys,
RomA 1371 And many a spice delitable
RomA 1372 To eten whan men rise fro table.
RomA 1373 And many homly trees ther were
RomA 1374 That peches, coynes, and apples beere,
RomA 1375 Medlers, plowmes, perys, chesteynes,
RomA 1376 Cherys, of which many oon fayn is,
RomA 1377 Notes, aleys, and bolas,
RomA 1378 That for to seen it was solas.
RomA 1379 With many high lorer and pyn
RomA 1380 Was renged clene all that gardyn,
RomA 1381 With cipres and with olyveres,
RomA 1382 Of which that nygh no plente heere is.
RomA 1383 There were elmes grete and stronge,
RomA 1384 Maples, assh, ok, asp, planes longe,
RomA 1385 Fyn ew, popler, and lyndes faire,
RomA 1386 And othere trees full many a payre.
RomA 1387 What shulde I tel you more of it?
RomA 1388 There were so many trees yit,
RomA 1389 That I shulde al encombred be
RomA 1390 Er I had rekened every tree.
RomA 1391 These trees were set, that I devyse,
RomA 1392 Oon from another, in assyse,
RomA 1393 Fyve fadome or sixe, I trowe so;
RomA 1394 But they were hye and great also,
RomA 1395 And for to kepe out wel the sonne,
RomA 1396 The croppes were so thicke ronne,
RomA 1397 And every braunche in other knet
RomA 1398 And ful of grene leves set,
RomA 1399 That sonne myght there non discende,
RomA 1400 Lest [it] the tender grasses shende.
RomA 1401 There myght men does and roes se,
RomA 1402 And of squyrels ful great plente
RomA 1403 From bowe to bowe alway lepynge.
RomA 1404 Conies there were also playinge,
RomA 1405 That comyn out of her clapers,
RomA 1406 Of sondrie colours and maners,
RomA 1407 And maden many a tourneying
RomA 1408 Upon the fresshe grass spryngyng.
RomA 1409 In places saw I welles there,
RomA 1410 In whiche there no frogges were,
RomA 1411 And fayr in shadowe was every welle.
RomA 1412 But I ne can the nombre telle
RomA 1413 Of stremys smal that by devys
RomA 1414 Myrthe had don come through condys,
RomA 1415 Of whiche the water in rennyng
RomA 1416 Gan make a noyse ful lykyng.
RomA 1417 About the brinkes of these welles,
RomA 1418 And by the stremes overal elles,
RomA 1419 Sprang up the grass, as thicke set
RomA 1420 And softe as any veluet,
RomA 1421 On which men myght his lemman leye
RomA 1422 As on a fetherbed to pleye,
RomA 1423 For the erthe was ful softe and swete.
RomA 1424 Through moisture of the welle wete
RomA 1425 Sprong up the sote grene gras
RomA 1426 As fayre, as thicke, as myster was.
RomA 1427 But moche amended it the place
RomA 1428 That th' erthe was of such a grace
RomA 1429 That it of floures hath plente,
RomA 1430 That bothe in somer and wynter be.
RomA 1431 There sprang the vyolet al newe,
RomA 1432 And fressh pervynke, riche of hewe,
RomA 1433 And floures yelowe, white, and rede
RomA 1434 Such plente grew there never in mede.
RomA 1435 Ful gay was al the ground, and queynt,
RomA 1436 And poudred, as men had it peynt,
RomA 1437 With many a fressh and sondri flour,
RomA 1438 That casten up ful good savour.
RomA 1439 I wol nat longe holde you in fable
RomA 1440 Of al this garden dilectable.
RomA 1441 I mot my tonge stynten nede,
RomA 1442 For I ne may, withouten drede,
RomA 1443 Naught tellen you the beaute al,
RomA 1444 Ne half the bounte therewithal.
RomA 1445 I went on right hond and on left
RomA 1446 About the place; it was nat left,
RomA 1447 Tyl I had [in] al the garden ben,
RomA 1448 In the estres that men myghte sen.
RomA 1449 And thus while I wente in my play,
RomA 1450 The God of Love me folowed ay,
RomA 1451 Right as an hunter can abyde
RomA 1452 The beest, tyl he seeth his tyde
RomA 1453 To sheten at good mes to the der,
RomA 1454 Whan that hym nedeth go no ner.
RomA 1455 And so befyl, I rested me
RomA 1456 Besydes a wel, under a tree,
RomA 1457 Which tree in Fraunce men cal a pyn.
RomA 1458 But sithe the tyme of Kyng Pepyn,
RomA 1459 Ne grew there tree in mannes syghte
RomA 1460 So fayr, ne so wel woxe in highte
RomA 1461 In al that yard so high was non.
RomA 1462 And springyng in a marble ston
RomA 1463 Had Nature set, the sothe to telle,
RomA 1464 Under that pyn-tree a welle.
RomA 1465 And on the border, al withoute,
RomA 1466 Was written in the ston aboute,
RomA 1467 Letters smal that sayden thus,
RomA 1468 " Here starf the fayre Narcisus. "
RomA 1469 Narcisus was a bacheler
RomA 1470 That Love had caught in his danger,
RomA 1471 And in his net gan hym so strayne,
RomA 1472 And dyd him so to wepe and playne,
RomA 1473 That nede him must his lyf forgo.
RomA 1474 For a fayr lady that hight Echo
RomA 1475 Him loved over any creature,
RomA 1476 And gan for hym such payne endure
RomA 1477 That on a tyme she him tolde
RomA 1478 That if he her loven nolde,
RomA 1479 That her behoved nedes dye;
RomA 1480 There laye non other remedye.
RomA 1481 But natheles for his beaute
RomA 1482 So feirs and daungerous was he
RomA 1483 That he nolde graunten hir askyng,
RomA 1484 For wepyng ne for fair praiyng.
RomA 1485 And whanne she herde hym werne [her] soo,
RomA 1486 She hadde in herte so gret woo,
RomA 1487 And took it in so gret dispit,
RomA 1488 That she, withoute more respit,
RomA 1489 Was deed anoon. But er she deide,
RomA 1490 Full pitously to God she preide
RomA 1491 That proude-hertid Narcisus,
RomA 1492 That was in love so daungerous,
RomA 1493 Myght on a day ben hampred so
RomA 1494 For love, and ben so hoot for woo,
RomA 1495 That never he myght to joye atteyne,
RomA 1496 And that he shulde feele in every veyne
RomA 1497 What sorowe trewe lovers maken,
RomA 1498 That ben so vilaynsly forsaken.
RomA 1499 This prayer was but resonable;
RomA 1500 Therfore God held it ferme and stable.
RomA 1501 For Narcisus, shortly to telle,
RomA 1502 By aventure com to that welle
RomA 1503 To reste hym in that shadowing
RomA 1504 A day whanne he com fro huntyng.
RomA 1505 This Narcisus hadde suffred paynes
RomA 1506 For rennyng alday in the playnes,
RomA 1507 And was for thurst in gret distresse
RomA 1508 Of heet and of his werynesse
RomA 1509 That hadde his breth almost bynomen.
RomA 1510 Whanne he was to that welle comen,
RomA 1511 That shadowid was with braunches grene,
RomA 1512 He thoughte of thilke water shene
RomA 1513 To drynke, and fresshe hym wel withalle.
RomA 1514 And doun on knees he gan to falle,
RomA 1515 And forth his heed and necke he straughte
RomA 1516 To drynken of that welle a draughte.
RomA 1517 And in the water anoon was seene
RomA 1518 His nose, his mouth, his yen sheene,
RomA 1519 And he therof was all abasshed.
RomA 1520 His owne shadowe had hym bytrasshed,
RomA 1521 For well wende he the forme see
RomA 1522 Of a child of gret beaute.
RomA 1523 Well kouth. Love hym wreke thoo
RomA 1524 Of daunger and of pride also,
RomA 1525 That Narcisus somtyme hym beer.
RomA 1526 He quytte hym well his guerdoun ther,
RomA 1527 For he musede so in the welle
RomA 1528 That, shortly all the sothe to telle,
RomA 1529 He lovede his owne shadowe soo
RomA 1530 That atte laste he starf for woo.
RomA 1531 For whanne he saugh that he his wille
RomA 1532 Myght in no maner wey fulfille,
RomA 1533 And that he was so faste caught
RomA 1534 That he hym kouth. comfort nought,
RomA 1535 He loste his wit right in that place,
RomA 1536 And diede withynne a lytel space.
RomA 1537 And thus his warisoun he took
RomA 1538 For the lady that he forsook.
RomA 1539 Ladyes, I preye ensample takith,
RomA 1540 Ye that ageyns youre love mistakith,
RomA 1541 For if her deth be yow to wite,
RomA 1542 God kan ful well youre while quyte.
RomA 1543 Whanne that this lettre of which I telle
RomA 1544 Hadde taught me that it was the welle
RomA 1545 Of Narcisus in his beaute,
RomA 1546 I gan anoon withdrawe me,
RomA 1547 Whanne it fel in my remembraunce
RomA 1548 That hym bitidde such myschaunce.
RomA 1549 But at the laste thanne thought I
RomA 1550 That scatheles, full sykerly,
RomA 1551 I myght unto the welle goo.
RomA 1552 Wherof shulde I abasshen soo?
RomA 1554 And doun I loutede for to see
RomA 1555 The clere water in the stoon,
RomA 1556 And eke the gravell, which that shoon
RomA 1557 Down in the botme as silver fyn,
RomA 1558 For of the well this is the fyn:
RomA 1559 In world is noon so cler of hewe.
RomA 1560 The water is evere fresh and newe,
RomA 1561 That welmeth up with wawis brighte
RomA 1562 The mountance of two fynger highte.
RomA 1563 Abouten it is gras spryngyng,
RomA 1564 For moiste so thikke and wel likyng
RomA 1565 That it ne may in wynter dye
RomA 1566 No more than may the see be drye.
RomA 1567 Down at the botme set saw I
RomA 1568 Two cristall stonys craftely
RomA 1569 In thilke freshe and faire welle.
RomA 1570 But o thing sothly dar I telle,
RomA 1571 That ye wole holde a gret mervayle
RomA 1572 Whanne it is told, withouten fayle.
RomA 1573 For whanne the sonne, cler in sighte,
RomA 1574 Cast in that well his bemys brighte,
RomA 1575 And that the heete descendid is,
RomA 1576 Thanne taketh the cristall stoon, ywis,
RomA 1577 Agayn the sonne an hundrid hewis,
RomA 1578 Blew, yelow, and red, that fresh and newe is.
RomA 1579 Yitt hath the merveilous cristall
RomA 1580 Such strengthe that the place overall,
RomA 1581 Bothe flour and tree and leves grene
RomA 1582 And all the yerd in it is seene.
RomA 1583 And for to don you to undirstonde,
RomA 1584 To make ensample wole I fonde.
RomA 1585 Ryght as a myrrour openly
RomA 1586 Shewith all thing that stondith therby,
RomA 1587 As well the colour as the figure,
RomA 1588 Withouten ony coverture,
RomA 1589 Right so the cristall stoon shynyng
RomA 1590 Withouten ony disseyvyng
RomA 1591 The estrees of the yerd accusith
RomA 1592 To hym that in the water musith.
RomA 1593 For evere, in which half that he be,
RomA 1594 He may well half the gardyn se,
RomA 1595 And if he turne, he may right well
RomA 1596 Sen the remenaunt everydell.
RomA 1597 For ther is noon so litil thyng
RomA 1598 So hid, ne closid with shittyng,
RomA 1599 That it ne is sene, as though it were
RomA 1600 Peyntid in the cristall there.
RomA 1601 This is the mirrour perilous
RomA 1602 In which the proude Narcisus
RomA 1603 Saw all his face fair and bright,
RomA 1604 That made hym sithe to ligge upright.
RomA 1605 For whoso loketh in that mirrour,
RomA 1606 Ther may nothyng ben his socour
RomA 1607 That he ne shall there sen somthyng
RomA 1608 That shal hym lede into lovyng.
RomA 1609 Full many worthy man hath it
RomA 1610 Blent, for folk of grettist wit
RomA 1611 Ben soone caught heere and awayted;
RomA 1612 Withouten respit ben they baited.
RomA 1613 Heere comth to folk of newe rage;
RomA 1614 Heere chaungith many wight corage;
RomA 1615 Heere lith no red ne wit therto;
RomA 1616 For Venus sone, daun Cupido,
RomA 1617 Hath sowen there of love the seed,
RomA 1618 That help ne lith there noon, ne red,
RomA 1619 So cerclith it the welle aboute.
RomA 1620 His gynnes hath he sette withoute,
RomA 1621 Ryght for to cacche in his panters
RomA 1622 These damoysels and bachelers.
RomA 1623 Love will noon other bridde[s] cacche,
RomA 1624 Though he sette either net or lacche.
RomA 1625 And for the seed that heere was sowen,
RomA 1626 This welle is clepid, as well is knowen,
RomA 1627 The Welle of Love, of verray right,
RomA 1628 Of which ther hath ful many a wight
RomA 1629 Spoken in bookis dyversely.
RomA 1630 But they shull never so verily
RomA 1631 Descripcioun of the welle heere,
RomA 1632 Ne eke the sothe of this matere,
RomA 1633 As ye shull, whanne I have undo
RomA 1634 The craft that hir bilongith too.
RomA 1635 Allway me liked for to dwelle
RomA 1636 To sen the cristall in the welle
RomA 1637 That shewide me full openly
RomA 1638 A thousand thinges faste by.
RomA 1639 But I may say, in sory houre
RomA 1640 Stode I to loken or to poure,
RomA 1641 For sithen [have] I sore siked.
RomA 1642 That mirrour hath me now entriked,
RomA 1643 But hadde I first knowen in my wit
RomA 1644 The vertu and [the] strengthe of it,
RomA 1645 I nolde not have mused there.
RomA 1646 Me hadde bet ben elliswhere,
RomA 1647 For in the snare I fell anoon
RomA 1648 That hath bitrasshed many oon.
RomA 1649 In thilke mirrour saw I tho,
RomA 1650 Among a thousand thinges mo,
RomA 1651 A roser chargid full of rosis,
RomA 1652 That with an hegge aboute enclos is.
RomA 1653 Tho had I sich lust and envie,
RomA 1654 That for Parys ne for Pavie
RomA 1655 Nolde I have left to goon and see
RomA 1656 There grettist hep of roses be.
RomA 1657 Whanne I was with this rage hent,
RomA 1658 That caught hath many a man and shent,
RomA 1659 Toward the roser gan I go;
RomA 1660 And whanne I was not fer therfro,
RomA 1661 The savour of the roses swote
RomA 1662 Me smot right to the herte-rote,
RomA 1663 As I hadde all enbawmed be.
RomA 1664 And if I ne hadde endouted me
RomA 1665 To have ben hatid or assailed,
RomA 1666 My thankis, wolde I not have failed
RomA 1667 To pulle a rose of all that route
RomA 1668 To beren in myn hond aboute
RomA 1669 And smellen to it where I wente;
RomA 1670 But ever I dredde me to repente,
RomA 1671 And lest it grevede or forthoughte
RomA 1672 The lord that thilke gardyn wroughte.
RomA 1673 Of roses ther were gret wone,
RomA 1674 So faire waxe never in rone.
RomA 1675 Of knoppes clos some sawe I there;
RomA 1676 And some wel beter woxen were;
RomA 1677 And some ther ben of other moysoun
RomA 1678 That drowe nygh to her sesoun
RomA 1679 And spedde hem faste for to sprede.
RomA 1680 I love well sich roses rede,
RomA 1681 For brode roses and open also
RomA 1682 Ben passed in a day or two,
RomA 1683 But knoppes wille [al] freshe be
RomA 1684 Two dayes, atte leest, or thre.
RomA 1685 The knoppes gretly liked me,
RomA 1686 For fairer may ther no man se.
RomA 1687 Whoso myght have oon of alle,
RomA 1688 It ought hym ben full lief withalle.
RomA 1689 Might I [a] gerlond of hem geten,
RomA 1690 For no richesse I wolde it leten.
RomA 1691 Among the knoppes I ches oon
RomA 1692 So fair that of the remenaunt noon
RomA 1693 Ne preise I half so well as it,
RomA 1694 Whanne I avise it in my wit.
RomA 1695 For it so well was enlumyned
RomA 1696 With colour reed, [and] as well fyned
RomA 1697 As nature couth. it make faire.
RomA 1698 And it hath leves wel foure paire,
RomA 1699 That Kynde hath sett, thorough his knowyng,
RomA 1700 Aboute the rede roses spryngyng.
RomA 1701 The stalke was as rishe right,
RomA 1702 And theron stod the knoppe upright
RomA 1703 That it ne bowide upon no side.
RomA 1704 The swote smelle sprong so wide
RomA 1705 That it dide all the place aboute
RomB 1706 Whanne I hadde smelled the savour swote,
RomB 1707 No will hadde I fro thens yit goo,
RomB 1708 Bot somdell neer it wente I thoo,
RomB 1709 To take it, but myn hond, for drede,
RomB 1710 Ne dorste I to the Rose bede
RomB 1711 For thesteles sharpe, of many maneres,
RomB 1712 Netles, thornes, and hokede breres,
RomB 1713 For mych they distourbled me,
RomB 1714 For sore I dradde to harmed be.
RomB 1715 The God of Love, with bowe bent,
RomB 1716 That all day set hadde his talent
RomB 1717 To pursuen and to spien me,
RomB 1718 Was stondyng by a fige-tree.
RomB 1719 And whanne he saw hou that I
RomB 1720 Hadde chosen so ententifly
RomB 1721 The botoun, more unto my pay
RomB 1722 Than ony other that I say,
RomB 1723 He tok an arowe full sharply whet,
RomB 1724 And in his bowe whanne it was set,
RomB 1725 He streight up to his ere drough
RomB 1726 The stronge bowe that was so tough,
RomB 1727 And shet att me so wondir smerte
RomB 1728 That thorough myn ye unto myn herte
RomB 1729 The takel smot, and depe it wente.
RomB 1730 And therwithall such cold me hente
RomB 1731 That under clothes warme and softe
RomB 1732 Sithen that day I have chevered ofte.
RomB 1733 Whanne I was hurt thus, in [a] stounde
RomB 1734 I felle doun plat unto the grounde.
RomB 1735 Myn herte failed and feynted ay,
RomB 1736 And longe tyme a-swoone I lay.
RomB 1737 But whanne I come out of swonyng,
RomB 1738 And hadde witt and my felyng,
RomB 1739 I was all maat, and wende full well
RomB 1740 Of blood have loren a full gret dell.
RomB 1741 But certes, the arowe that in me stod
RomB 1742 Of me ne drew no drope of blod,
RomB 1743 For-why I found my wounde all dreie.
RomB 1744 Thanne tok I with myn hondis tweie
RomB 1745 The arowe, and ful fast out it plighte,
RomB 1746 And in the pullyng sore I sighte.
RomB 1747 So at the last the shaft of tree
RomB 1748 I drough out with the fethers thre.
RomB 1749 But yet the hokede heed, ywis,
RomB 1750 The which [that] Beaute callid is,
RomB 1751 Gan so depe in myn herte passe,
RomB 1752 That I it myghte nought arace;
RomB 1753 But in myn herte still it stod,
RomB 1754 Al bledde I not a drope of blod.
RomB 1755 I was bothe anguyssous and trouble
RomB 1756 For the perill that I saw double:
RomB 1757 I nyste what to seye or do,
RomB 1758 Ne gete a leche my woundis to;
RomB 1759 For neithir thurgh gras ne rote
RomB 1760 Ne hadde I help of hope ne bote.
RomB 1761 But to the botoun evermo
RomB 1762 Myn herte drew, for all my wo;
RomB 1763 My thought was in noon other thing,
RomB 1764 For hadde it ben in my kepyng,
RomB 1765 It wolde have brought my lyf agayn.
RomB 1766 For certis evenly, I dar wel seyn,
RomB 1767 The sight oonly and the savour
RomB 1768 Alegged mych of my langour.
RomB 1769 Thanne gan I for to drawe me
RomB 1770 Toward the botoun faire to se;
RomB 1771 And Love hadde gete hym, in a throwe,
RomB 1772 Another arowe into his bowe,
RomB 1773 And for to shete gan hym dresse.
RomB 1774 The arowis name was Symplesse,
RomB 1775 And whanne that Love gan nygh me nere,
RomB 1776 He drow it up, withouten were,
RomB 1777 And shet at me with all his myght,
RomB 1778 So that this arowe anoon-right
RomB 1779 Thourghout [myn] eigh, as it was founde,
RomB 1780 Into myn herte hath maad a wounde.
RomB 1781 Thanne I anoon dide al my craft
RomB 1782 For to drawen out the shaft,
RomB 1783 And therwithall I sighed eft.
RomB 1784 But in myn herte the heed was left,
RomB 1785 Which ay encreside my desir
RomB 1786 Unto the botoun drawe ner;
RomB 1787 And evermo that me was woo,
RomB 1788 The more desir hadde I to goo
RomB 1789 Unto the roser, where that grew
RomB 1790 The freysshe botoun so bright of hew.
RomB 1791 Betir me were to have laten be,
RomB 1792 But it bihovede nedes me
RomB 1793 To don right as myn herte bad,
RomB 1794 For evere the body must be lad
RomB 1795 Aftir the herte, in wele and woo;
RomB 1796 Of force togidre they must goo.
RomB 1797 But never this archer wolde feyne
RomB 1798 To shete at me with all his peyne,
RomB 1799 And for to make me to hym mete.
RomB 1800 The thridde arowe he gan to shete,
RomB 1801 Whanne best his tyme he myght espie,
RomB 1802 The which was named Curtesie.
RomB 1803 Into myn herte it dide avale;
RomB 1804 A-swoone I fell bothe deed and pale.
RomB 1805 Long tyme I lay and stired nought,
RomB 1806 Till I abraide out of my thought,
RomB 1807 And faste thanne I avysede me
RomB 1808 To drawe out the shaft of tree.
RomB 1809 But evere the heed was left bihynde,
RomB 1810 For ought I couth. pulle or wynde,
RomB 1811 So sore it stikid whanne I was hit,
RomB 1812 That by no craft I myght it flit.
RomB 1813 But anguyssous and full of thought,
RomB 1814 I felte sich woo my wounde ay wrought,
RomB 1815 That somonede me alway to goo
RomB 1816 Toward the Rose that plesede me soo,
RomB 1817 But I ne durste in no maner,
RomB 1818 Bicause the archer was so ner.
RomB 1819 " For evermore gladly, " as I rede,
RomB 1820 " Brent child of fir hath myche drede. "
RomB 1821 And, certis yit, for al my peyne,
RomB 1822 Though that I sigh yit arwis reyne,
RomB 1823 And grounde quarels sharpe of steell,
RomB 1824 Ne for no payne that I myght feell,
RomB 1825 Yit myght I not mysilf witholde
RomB 1826 The faire roser to biholde,
RomB 1827 For Love me yaf sich hardement
RomB 1828 For to fulfille his comaundement.
RomB 1829 Upon my fete I ros up than,
RomB 1830 Feble as a forwoundid man,
RomB 1831 And forth to gon [my] myght I sette,
RomB 1832 And for the archer nolde I lette.
RomB 1833 Toward the roser fast I drow,
RomB 1834 But thornes sharpe mo than ynow
RomB 1835 Ther were, and also thisteles thikke,
RomB 1836 And breres, brymme for to prikke,
RomB 1837 That I ne myghte gete grace
RomB 1838 The rowe thornes for to passe,
RomB 1839 To sen the roses fresshe of hewe.
RomB 1840 I must abide, though it me rewe,
RomB 1841 The hegge aboute so thikke was,
RomB 1842 That closide the roses in compas.
RomB 1843 But o thing lyked me right well:
RomB 1844 I was so nygh, I myghte fel
RomB 1845 Of the botoun the swote odour,
RomB 1846 And also se the fresshe colour,
RomB 1847 And that right gretly liked me,
RomB 1848 That I so neer myghte it se.
RomB 1849 Sich joie anoon therof hadde I
RomB 1850 That I forgat my malady.
RomB 1851 To sen I hadde sich delit,
RomB 1852 Of sorwe and angre I was al quyt,
RomB 1853 And of my woundes that I hadde thore;
RomB 1854 For nothing liken me myght more
RomB 1855 Than dwellen by the roser ay,
RomB 1856 And thennes never to passe away.
RomB 1857 But whanne a while I hadde be thar,
RomB 1858 The God of Love, which al toshar
RomB 1859 Myn herte with his arwis kene,
RomB 1860 Castith hym to yeve me woundis grene.
RomB 1861 He shet at me full hastily
RomB 1862 An arwe named Company,
RomB 1863 The whiche takell is full able
RomB 1864 To make these ladies merciable.
RomB 1865 Thanne I anoon gan chaungen hewe
RomB 1866 For grevaunce of my wounde newe,
RomB 1867 That I agayn fell in swonyng
RomB 1868 And sighede sore in compleynyng.
RomB 1869 Soore I compleyned that my sore
RomB 1870 On me gan greven more and more.
RomB 1871 I hadde noon hope of allegeaunce;
RomB 1872 So nygh I drow to desperaunce,
RomB 1873 I roughte of deth ne of lyf,
RomB 1874 Wheder that Love wolde me dryf.
RomB 1875 Yf me a martir wolde he make,
RomB 1876 I myght his power nought forsake.
RomB 1877 And while for anger thus I wok,
RomB 1878 The God of Love an arowe tok --
RomB 1879 Ful sharp it was and pugnaunt --
RomB 1880 And it was callid Faire-Semblaunt,
RomB 1881 The which in no wise wole consente
RomB 1882 That ony lover hym repente
RomB 1883 To serve his love with herte and alle,
RomB 1884 For ony perill that may bifalle.
RomB 1885 But though this arwe was kene grounde
RomB 1886 As ony rasour that is founde,
RomB 1887 To kutte and kerve, at the poynt
RomB 1888 The God of Love it hadde anoynt
RomB 1889 With a precious oynement,
RomB 1890 Somdell to yeve aleggement
RomB 1891 Upon the woundes that he had
RomB 1893 To helpe her sores, and to cure,
RomB 1894 And that they may the bet endure.
RomB 1895 But yit this arwe, withoute more,
RomB 1896 Made in myn herte a large sore,
RomB 1897 That in full gret peyne I abod.
RomB 1898 But ay the oynement wente abrod;
RomB 1899 Thourghout my woundes large and wide
RomB 1900 It spredde aboute in every side,
RomB 1901 Thorough whos vertu and whos myght
RomB 1902 Myn herte joyfull was and light.
RomB 1903 I hadde ben deed and al toshent,
RomB 1904 But for the precious oynement.
RomB 1905 The shaft I drow out of the arwe,
RomB 1906 Rokyng for wo right wondir narwe;
RomB 1907 But the heed, which made me smerte,
RomB 1908 Lefte bihynde in myn herte
RomB 1909 With other foure, I dar wel say,
RomB 1910 That never wole be take away.
RomB 1911 But the oynement halp me wel,
RomB 1912 And yit sich sorwe dide I fel
RomB 1913 That al day I chaunged hewe
RomB 1914 Of my woundes fresshe and newe,
RomB 1915 As men myght se in my visage.
RomB 1916 The arwis were so full of rage,
RomB 1917 So variaunt of diversitee,
RomB 1918 That men in everich myghte se
RomB 1919 Bothe gret anoy and eke swetnesse,
RomB 1920 And joie meynt with bittirnesse.
RomB 1921 Now were they esy, now were they wod;
RomB 1922 In hem I felte bothe harm and good;
RomB 1923 Now sore without alleggement,
RomB 1924 Now softenyng with oynement;
RomB 1925 It softnede heere and prikkith there:
RomB 1926 Thus ese and anger togidre were.
RomB 1927 The God of Love delyverly
RomB 1928 Com lepande to me hastily,
RomB 1929 And seide to me in gret rape,
RomB 1930 " Yeld thee, for thou may not escape!
RomB 1931 May no defence availe thee heer;
RomB 1932 Therfore I rede make no daunger.
RomB 1933 If thou wolt yelde thee hastily,
RomB 1934 Thou shalt rather have mercy.
RomB 1935 He is a fool in sikernesse,
RomB 1936 That with daunger or stoutnesse
RomB 1937 Rebellith there that he shulde plese;
RomB 1938 In sich folye is litel ese.
RomB 1939 Be meke where thou must nedis bow;
RomB 1940 To stryve ageyn is nought thi prow.
RomB 1941 Com at oones, and have ydoo,
RomB 1942 For I wol that it be soo.
RomB 1943 Thanne yeld thee heere debonairly. "
RomB 1944 And I answerid ful hombly,
RomB 1945 " Gladly, sir, at youre biddyng,
RomB 1946 I wole me yelde in alle thyng.
RomB 1947 To youre servyse I wol me take,
RomB 1948 For God defende that I shulde make
RomB 1949 Ageyn youre biddyng resistence.
RomB 1950 I wole not don so gret offence,
RomB 1951 For if I dide, it were no skile.
RomB 1952 Ye may do with me what ye wile,
RomB 1953 Save or spille, and also sloo.
RomB 1954 Fro you in no wise may I goo.
RomB 1955 My lyf, my deth is in youre hond;
RomB 1956 I may not laste out of youre bond.
RomB 1957 Pleyn at youre lyst I yelde me,
RomB 1958 Hopyng in herte that sumtyme ye
RomB 1959 Comfort and ese shull me sende;
RomB 1960 Or ellis, shortly, this is the eende,
RomB 1961 Withouten helthe I mot ay dure,
RomB 1962 But if ye take me to youre cure.
RomB 1963 Comfort or helthe how shuld I have,
RomB 1964 Sith ye me hurt, but ye me save?
RomB 1965 The helthe of love mot be founde
RomB 1966 Where as they token first her wounde.
RomB 1967 And if ye lyst of me to make
RomB 1968 Youre prisoner, I wol it take
RomB 1969 Of herte and will, fully at gree.
RomB 1970 Hoolly and pleyn Y yelde me,
RomB 1971 Withoute feynyng or feyntise,
RomB 1972 To be governed by youre emprise.
RomB 1973 Of you I here so myche pris,
RomB 1974 I wole ben hool at youre devis
RomB 1975 For to fulfille youre lykyng
RomB 1976 And repente for nothyng,
RomB 1977 Hopyng to have yit in som tide
RomB 1978 Mercy of that I abide. "
RomB 1979 And with that covenaunt yelde I me
RomB 1980 Anoon, down knelyng upon my kne,
RomB 1981 Proferyng for to kisse his feet;
RomB 1982 But for nothyng he wolde [me] let,
RomB 1983 And seide, " I love thee bothe and preise,
RomB 1984 Sen that thyn aunswar doth me ease,
RomB 1985 For thou answerid so curteisly.
RomB 1986 For now I wot wel uttirly
RomB 1987 That thou art gentyll by thi speche.
RomB 1988 For though a man fer wolde seche,
RomB 1989 He shulde not fynden, in certeyn,
RomB 1990 No sich answer of no vileyn;
RomB 1991 For sich a word ne myghte nought
RomB 1992 Isse out of a vilayns thought.
RomB 1993 Thou shalt not lesen of thi speche,
RomB 1994 For [to] thy helpyng wole I eche,
RomB 1995 And eke encresen that I may.
RomB 1996 But first I wole that thou obay
RomB 1997 Fully, for thyn avauntage,
RomB 1998 Anoon to do me heere homage.
RomB 1999 And sithe kisse thou shalt my mouth,
RomB 2000 Which to no vilayn was never couth
RomB 2001 For to aproche it, ne for to touche;
RomB 2002 For sauff of cherlis I ne vouche
RomB 2003 That they shull never neigh it nere.
RomB 2004 For curteis and of faire manere,
RomB 2005 Well taught and ful of gentilnesse
RomB 2006 He muste ben that shal me kysse,
RomB 2007 And also of full high fraunchise,
RomB 2008 That shal atteyne to that emprise.
RomB 2009 And first of o thing warne I thee,
RomB 2010 That peyne and gret adversite
RomB 2011 He mot endure, and eke travaile,
RomB 2012 That shal me serve, withouten faile.
RomB 2013 But ther-ageyns thee to comforte,
RomB 2014 And with thi servise to desporte,
RomB 2015 Thou mayst full glad and joyfull be
RomB 2016 So good a maister to have as me,
RomB 2017 And lord of so high renoun.
RomB 2018 I bere of love the gonfanoun,
RomB 2019 Of curtesie the banere.
RomB 2020 For I am of the silf manere,
RomB 2021 Gentil, curteys, meke, and fre,
RomB 2022 That whoever ententyf be
RomB 2023 Me to honoure, doute, and serve,
RomB 2024 And also that he hym observe
RomB 2025 Fro trespas and fro vilanye,
RomB 2026 And hym governe in curtesie
RomB 2027 With will and with entencioun.
RomB 2028 For whanne he first in my prisoun
RomB 2029 Is caught, thanne must he uttirly
RomB 2030 Fro thennes forth full bisily
RomB 2031 Caste hym gentyll for to bee,
RomB 2032 If he desire help of me. "
RomB 2033 Anoon withouten more delay,
RomB 2034 Withouten daunger or affray,
RomB 2035 I bicom his man anoon,
RomB 2036 And gaf hym thankes many a oon,
RomB 2037 And knelide doun with hondis joynt
RomB 2038 And made it in my port full queynt.
RomB 2039 The joye wente to myn herte rote,
RomB 2040 Whanne I hadde kissed his mouth so swote;
RomB 2041 I hadde sich myrthe and sich likyng,
RomB 2042 It cured me of langwisshing.
RomB 2043 He askide of me thanne hostages:
RomB 2044 " I have, " he seide, " taken fele homages
RomB 2045 Of oon and other, where I have ben
RomB 2046 Disceyved ofte, withouten wen.
RomB 2047 These felouns, full of falsite,
RomB 2048 Have many sithes biguyled me
RomB 2049 And thorough falshed her lust achieved,
RomB 2050 Wherof I repente and am agreved.
RomB 2051 And I hem gete in my daunger,
RomB 2052 Her falshede shull they bie full der.
RomB 2053 But for I love thee, I seie thee pleyn,
RomB 2054 I wol of thee be more certeyn;
RomB 2055 For thee so sore I wole now bynde
RomB 2056 That thou away ne shalt not wynde
RomB 2057 For to denyen the covenaunt,
RomB 2058 Or don that is not avenaunt.
RomB 2059 That thou were fals it were gret reuthe,
RomB 2060 Sith thou semest so full of treuthe. "
RomB 2061 " Sire, if thee lyst to undirstande,
RomB 2062 I merveile the askyng this demande.
RomB 2063 For why or wherfore shulde ye
RomB 2064 Ostages or borwis aske of me,
RomB 2065 Or ony other sikirnesse,
RomB 2066 Sith ye wot, in sothfastnesse,
RomB 2067 That ye have me susprised so,
RomB 2068 And hol myn herte taken me fro,
RomB 2069 That it wole do for me nothing,
RomB 2070 But if it be at youre biddyng?
RomB 2071 Myn herte is youres, and myn right nought,
RomB 2072 As it bihoveth, in dede and thought,
RomB 2073 Redy in all to worche youre will,
RomB 2074 Whether so turne to good or ill,
RomB 2075 So sore it lustith you to plese,
RomB 2076 No man therof may you disseise.
RomB 2077 Ye have theron sette sich justice,
RomB 2078 That it is werreid in many wise;
RomB 2079 And if ye doute it nolde obeye,
RomB 2080 Ye may therof do make a keye,
RomB 2081 And holde it with you for ostage. "
RomB 2082 " Now, certis, this is noon outrage, "
RomB 2083 Quod Love, " and fully I acord.
RomB 2084 For of the body he is full lord
RomB 2085 That hath the herte in his tresor;
RomB 2086 Outrage it were to asken more. "
RomB 2087 Thanne of his awmener he drough
RomB 2088 A litell keye, fetys ynowgh,
RomB 2089 Which was of gold polisshed clere,
RomB 2090 And seide to me, " With this keye heere
RomB 2091 Thyn herte to me now wole I shette.
RomB 2092 For all my jowelles, loke and knette,
RomB 2093 I bynde undir this litel keye,
RomB 2094 That no wight may carie aweye.
RomB 2095 This keye is full of gret poeste. "
RomB 2096 With which anoon he touchide me
RomB 2097 Undir the side full softely,
RomB 2098 That he myn herte sodeynly
RomB 2099 Without anoy hadde spered,
RomB 2100 That yit right nought it hath me dered.
RomB 2101 Whanne he hadde don his will al oute,
RomB 2102 And I hadde putte hym out of doute,
RomB 2103 " Sire, " I seide, " I have right gret wille
RomB 2104 Youre lust and plesaunce to fulfille.
RomB 2105 Loke ye my servise take at gree,
RomB 2106 By thilke feith ye owe to me.
RomB 2107 I seye nought for recreaundise,
RomB 2108 For I nought doute of youre servise,
RomB 2109 But the servaunt traveileth in vayne,
RomB 2110 That for to serven doth his payne
RomB 2111 Unto that lord, which in no wise
RomB 2112 Kan hym no thank for his servyse. "
RomB 2113 Love seide, " Dismaie thee nought.
RomB 2114 Syn thou for sokour hast me sought,
RomB 2115 In thank thi servise wol I take,
RomB 2116 And high of degre I wol thee make,
RomB 2117 If wikkidnesse ne hyndre thee.
RomB 2118 But, as I hope, it shal nought be;
RomB 2119 To worshipe no wight by aventure
RomB 2120 May come, but if he peyne endure.
RomB 2121 Abid and suffre thy distresse;
RomB 2122 That hurtith now, it shal be lesse.
RomB 2123 I wot mysilf what may thee save,
RomB 2124 What medicyne thou woldist have.
RomB 2125 And if thi trouthe to me thou kepe,
RomB 2126 I shal unto thy helpyng eke,
RomB 2127 To cure thy woundes and make hem clene,
RomB 2128 Where so they be olde or grene --
RomB 2129 Thou shalt be holpen, at wordis fewe.
RomB 2130 For certeynly thou shalt well shewe
RomB 2131 Wher that thou servest with good wille
RomB 2132 For to complysshen and fulfille
RomB 2133 My comaundementis, day and nyght,
RomB 2134 Whiche I to lovers yeve of right. "
RomB 2135 " A sire, for Goddis love, " seide I,
RomB 2136 " Er ye passe hens, ententyfly
RomB 2137 Youre comaundementis to me ye say,
RomB 2138 And I shall kepe hem, if I may;
RomB 2139 For hem to kepen is all my thought.
RomB 2140 And if so be I wot hem nought,
RomB 2141 Thanne may I [erre] unwityngly.
RomB 2142 Wherfore I pray you enterely,
RomB 2143 With all myn herte, me to lere,
RomB 2144 That I trespasse in no manere. "
RomB 2145 The God of Love thanne chargide me
RomB 2146 Anoon, as ye shall here and see,
RomB 2147 Word by word, by right emprise,
RomB 2148 So as the Romance shall devise.
RomB 2149 The maister lesith his tyme to lere,
RomB 2150 Whanne that the disciple wol not here;
RomB 2151 It is but veyn on hym to swynke
RomB 2152 That on his lernyng wol not thinke.
RomB 2153 Whoso luste love, lat hym entende,
RomB 2154 For now the Romance bigynneth to amende.
RomB 2155 Now is good to here, in fay,
RomB 2156 If ony be that can it say,
RomB 2157 And poynte it as the resoun is
RomB 2158 Set; for other-gate, ywys,
RomB 2159 It shall nought well in alle thyng
RomB 2160 Be brought to good undirstondyng.
RomB 2161 For a reder that poyntith ille
RomB 2162 A good sentence may ofte spille.
RomB 2163 The book is good at the eendyng,
RomB 2164 Maad of newe and lusty thyng;
RomB 2165 For whoso wol the eendyng here,
RomB 2166 The craft of love he shall mowe lere,
RomB 2167 If that ye wol so long abide,
RomB 2168 Tyl I this Romance may unhide,
RomB 2169 And undo the signifiance
RomB 2170 Of this drem into Romance.
RomB 2171 The sothfastnesse that now is hid,
RomB 2172 Without coverture shall be kid
RomB 2173 Whanne I undon have this dremyng,
RomB 2174 Wherynne no word is of lesyng.
RomB 2175 " Vilanye, at the bigynnyng,
RomB 2176 I wole, " sayde Love, " over alle thyng,
RomB 2177 Thou leve if thou wolt [not] be
RomB 2178 Fals, and trespasse ageynes me.
RomB 2179 I curse and blame generaly
RomB 2180 All hem that loven vilany,
RomB 2181 For vilanye makith vilayn,
RomB 2182 And by his dedis a cherl is seyn.
RomB 2183 Thise vilayns arn withouten pitee,
RomB 2184 Frendshipe, love, and all bounte.
RomB 2185 I nyl resseyve unto my servise
RomB 2186 Hem that ben vilayns of emprise.
RomB 2187 But undirstonde in thyn entent
RomB 2188 That this is not myn entendement,
RomB 2189 To clepe no wight in noo ages
RomB 2190 Oonly gentill for his lynages.
RomB 2191 But whoso is vertuous,
RomB 2192 And in his port nought outrageous,
RomB 2193 Whanne sich oon thou seest thee biforn,
RomB 2194 Though he be not gentill born,
RomB 2195 Thou maist well seyn, this is in soth,
RomB 2196 That he is gentil by cause he doth
RomB 2197 As longeth to a gentilman;
RomB 2198 Of hem noon other deme I can.
RomB 2199 For certeynly, withouten drede,
RomB 2200 A cherl is demed by his dede
RomB 2201 Of hie or lowe, as we may see,
RomB 2202 Or of what kynrede that he bee.
RomB 2203 Ne say nought, for noon yvel wille,
RomB 2204 Thyng that is to holden stille;
RomB 2205 It is no worshipe to myssey.
RomB 2206 Thou maist ensample take of Key,
RomB 2207 That was somtyme, for mysseiyng,
RomB 2208 Hated bothe of olde and ying.
RomB 2209 As fer as Gaweyn, the worthy,
RomB 2210 Was preised for his curtesy,
RomB 2211 Kay was hated, for he was fell,
RomB 2212 Of word dispitous and cruell.
RomB 2213 Wherfore be wise and aqueyntable,
RomB 2214 Goodly of word, and resonable
RomB 2215 Bothe to lesse and eke to mare.
RomB 2216 And whanne thou comest there men are,
RomB 2217 Loke that thou have in custome ay
RomB 2218 First to salue hem, if thou may;
RomB 2219 And if it fall that of hem som
RomB 2220 Salue thee first, be not domm,
RomB 2221 But quyte hem curteisly anoon,
RomB 2222 Without abidyng, er they goon.
RomB 2223 " For nothyng eke thy tunge applye
RomB 2224 To speke wordis of rebaudrye.
RomB 2225 To vilayn speche in no degre
RomB 2226 Lat never thi lippe unbounden be.
RomB 2227 For I nought holde hym, in good feith,
RomB 2228 Curteys, that foule wordis seith.
RomB 2229 And alle wymmen serve and preise,
RomB 2230 And to thy power her honour reise;
RomB 2231 And if that ony myssaiere
RomB 2232 Dispise wymmen, that thou maist here,
RomB 2233 Blame hym, and bidde hym holde hym stille.
RomB 2234 And [set] thy myght and all thy wille
RomB 2235 Wymmen and ladies for to please,
RomB 2236 And to do thyng that may hem ese,
RomB 2237 That they ever speke good of thee,
RomB 2238 For so thou maist best preised be.
RomB 2239 " Loke fro pride thou kepe thee wel;
RomB 2240 For thou maist bothe perceyve and fel
RomB 2241 That pride is bothe foly and synne,
RomB 2242 And he that pride hath hym withynne
RomB 2243 Ne may his herte in no wise
RomB 2244 Meken ne souplen to servyse.
RomB 2245 For pride is founde in every part
RomB 2246 Contrarie unto loves art.
RomB 2247 And he that loveth, trewely,
RomB 2248 Shulde hym contene jolily
RomB 2249 Without pride in sondry wise,
RomB 2250 And hym disgysen in queyntise.
RomB 2251 For queynt array, without drede,
RomB 2252 Is nothyng proud, who takith hede;
RomB 2253 For fresh array, as men may see,
RomB 2254 Withouten pride may ofte be.
RomB 2255 " Mayntene thysilf aftir thi rent
RomB 2256 Of robe and eke of garnement,
RomB 2257 For many sithe fair clothyng
RomB 2258 A man amendith in myche thyng.
RomB 2259 And loke alwey that they be shape --
RomB 2260 What garnement that thou shalt make --
RomB 2261 Of hym that kan best do,
RomB 2262 With all that perteyneth therto.
RomB 2263 Poyntis and sleves be well sittand,
RomB 2264 Right and streght on the hand.
RomB 2265 Of shon and bootes, newe and faire,
RomB 2266 Loke at the leest thou have a paire,
RomB 2267 And that they sitte so fetisly
RomB 2268 That these rude may uttirly
RomB 2269 Merveyle, sith that they sitte so pleyn,
RomB 2270 How they come on or off ageyn.
RomB 2271 Were streite gloves with awmenere
RomB 2272 Of silk; and alwey with good chere
RomB 2273 Thou yeve, if thou have richesse;
RomB 2274 And if thou have nought, spende the lesse.
RomB 2275 Alwey be mery, if thou may,
RomB 2276 But waste not thi good alway.
RomB 2277 Have hat of floures as fresh as May,
RomB 2278 Chapelett of roses of Whitsonday,
RomB 2279 For sich array ne costeth but lite.
RomB 2280 Thyn hondis wassh, thy teeth make white,
RomB 2281 And let no filthe upon thee bee.
RomB 2282 Thy nailes blak if thou maist see,
RomB 2283 Voide it awey delyverly,
RomB 2284 And kembe thyn heed right jolily.
RomB 2285 Fard not thi visage in no wise,
RomB 2286 For that of love is not th' emprise;
RomB 2287 For love doth haten, as I fynde,
RomB 2288 A beaute that cometh not of kynde.
RomB 2289 Alwey in herte I rede thee
RomB 2290 Glad and mery for to be,
RomB 2291 And be as joyfull as thou can;
RomB 2292 Love hath no joye of sorowful man.
RomB 2293 That yvell is full of curtesie
RomB 2294 That laughith in his maladie;
RomB 2295 For ever of love the siknesse
RomB 2296 Is meynd with swete and bitternesse.
RomB 2297 The sore of love is merveilous;
RomB 2298 For now the lover [is. joyous,
RomB 2299 Now can he pleyne, now can he grone,
RomB 2300 Now can he syngen, now maken mone;
RomB 2301 To-day he pleyneth for hevynesse,
RomB 2302 To-morowe he pleyeth for jolynesse.
RomB 2303 The lyf of love is full contrarie,
RomB 2304 Which stoundemele can ofte varie.
RomB 2305 But if thou canst mirthis make,
RomB 2306 That men in gre wole gladly take,
RomB 2307 Do it goodly, I comaunde thee.
RomB 2308 For men shulde, wheresoevere they be,
RomB 2309 Do thing that hem sittyng is,
RomB 2310 For therof cometh good loos and pris.
RomB 2311 Whereof that thou be vertuous,
RomB 2312 Ne be not straunge ne daungerous;
RomB 2313 For if that thou good ridere be,
RomB 2314 Prike gladly, that men may se.
RomB 2315 In armes also if thou konne,
RomB 2316 Pursue til thou a name hast wonne.
RomB 2317 And if thi voice be faire and cler,
RomB 2318 Thou shalt maken [no] gret daunger
RomB 2319 Whanne to synge they goodly preye --
RomB 2320 It is thi worship for t' obeye.
RomB 2321 Also to you it longith ay
RomB 2322 To harpe and gitterne, daunce and play,
RomB 2323 For if he can wel foote and daunce,
RomB 2324 It may hym greetly do avaunce.
RomB 2325 Among eke, for thy lady sake,
RomB 2326 Songes and complayntes that thou make,
RomB 2327 For that wole meven in hir herte,
RomB 2328 Whanne they reden of thy smerte.
RomB 2329 Loke that no man for scarce thee holde,
RomB 2330 For that may greve thee many folde.
RomB 2331 Resoun wole that a lover be
RomB 2332 In his yiftes more large and fre
RomB 2333 Than cherles that ben not of lovyng.
RomB 2334 For who therof can ony thyng,
RomB 2335 He shal be leef ay for to yeve,
RomB 2336 In Loves lore whoso wolde leve;
RomB 2337 For he that thorough a sodeyn sight,
RomB 2338 Or for a kyssyng, anoonright
RomB 2339 Yaff hool his herte in will and thought,
RomB 2340 And to hymsilf kepith right nought,
RomB 2341 Aftir [swich] [gift] it is good resoun
RomB 2342 He yeve his good in abandoun.
RomB 2343 " Now wol I shortly heere reherce
RomB 2344 Of that I have seid in verce
RomB 2345 Al the sentence by and by,
RomB 2346 In wordis fewe compendiously,
RomB 2347 That thou the better mayst on hem thynke,
RomB 2348 Whether so it be thou wake or wynke.
RomB 2349 For the wordis litel greve
RomB 2350 A man to kepe, whanne it is breve.
RomB 2351 Whoso with Love wole goon or ride,
RomB 2352 He mot be curteis, and voide of pride,
RomB 2353 Mery, and full of jolite,
RomB 2354 And of largesse alosed be.
RomB 2355 " First I joyne thee, heere in penaunce,
RomB 2356 That evere, withoute repentaunce,
RomB 2357 Thou sette thy thought in thy lovyng
RomB 2358 To laste withoute repentyng,
RomB 2359 And thenke upon thi myrthis swete,
RomB 2360 That shall folowe aftir, whan ye mete.
RomB 2361 " And for thou trewe to love shalt be,
RomB 2362 I wole, and comaunde thee,
RomB 2363 That in oo place thou sette, all hool,
RomB 2364 Thyn herte withoute halfen dool
RomB 2365 Of trecherie and sikernesse;
RomB 2366 For I lovede nevere doublenesse.
RomB 2367 To many his herte that wole depart,
RomB 2368 Everich shal have but litel part;
RomB 2369 But of hym drede I me right nought,
RomB 2370 That in oo place settith his thought.
RomB 2371 Therfore in oo place it sette,
RomB 2372 And lat it nevere thannys flette.
RomB 2373 For if thou yevest it in lenyng,
RomB 2374 I holde it but a wrecchid thyng;
RomB 2375 Therfore yeve it hool and quyt,
RomB 2376 And thou shalt have the more merit.
RomB 2377 If it be lent, than aftir soon
RomB 2378 The bounte and the thank is doon;
RomB 2379 But, in love, fre yeven thing
RomB 2380 Requyrith a gret guerdonyng.
RomB 2381 Yeve it in yift al quyt fully,
RomB 2382 And make thi yift debonairly,
RomB 2383 For men that yift holde more dere
RomB 2384 That yeven [is. with gladsom chere.
RomB 2385 That yift nought to preisen is
RomB 2386 That man yeveth maugre his.
RomB 2387 Whanne thou hast yeven thyn herte, as I
RomB 2388 Have seid thee heere openly,
RomB 2389 Thanne aventures shull thee falle,
RomB 2390 Which harde and hevy ben withalle.
RomB 2391 For ofte whan thou bithenkist thee
RomB 2392 Of thy lovyng, whereso thou be,
RomB 2393 Fro folk thou must departe in hie,
RomB 2394 That noon perceyve thi maladie.
RomB 2395 But hyde thyne harm thou must alone,
RomB 2396 And go forth sool, and make thy mone.
RomB 2397 Thou shalt no whyle be in o stat,
RomB 2398 But whylom cold and whilom hat,
RomB 2399 Now reed as rose, now yelowe and fade.
RomB 2400 Such sorowe, I trowe, thou never hade;
RomB 2401 Cotidien ne quarteyne,
RomB 2402 It is nat so ful of peyne.
RomB 2403 For often tymes it shal falle
RomB 2404 In love, among thy paynes alle,
RomB 2405 That thou thyself al holly
RomB 2406 Foryeten shalt so utterly
RomB 2407 That many tymes thou shalt be
RomB 2408 Styl as an ymage of tree,
RomB 2409 Domm as a ston, without steryng
RomB 2410 Of fot or hond, without spekyng.
RomB 2411 Than, soone after al thy payn,
RomB 2412 To memorye shalt thou come agayn,
RomB 2413 As man abasshed wonder sore,
RomB 2414 And after syghen more and more.
RomB 2415 For wyt thou wel, withouten wen,
RomB 2416 In such astat ful ofte have ben
RomB 2417 That have the yvel of love assayd
RomB 2418 Wherthrough thou art so dismayd.
RomB 2419 " After, a thought shal take the so,
RomB 2420 That thy love is to fer the fro.
RomB 2421 Thou shalt saye, `God! what may this be,
RomB 2422 That I ne may my lady se?
RomB 2423 Myn herte alone is to her go,
RomB 2424 And I abyde al sol in wo,
RomB 2425 Departed fro myn owne thought,
RomB 2426 And with myne eyen se right nought.
RomB 2427 Alas, myne eyen sende I ne may
RomB 2428 My careful herte to convay!
RomB 2429 Myn hertes gyde but they be,
RomB 2430 I prayse nothyng, whatever they se.
RomB 2431 Shul they abyde thanne? Nay;
RomB 2432 But gon and visyten without delay
RomB 2433 That myn herte desyreth so.
RomB 2434 For certainly, but if they go,
RomB 2435 A fool myself I may wel holde,
RomB 2436 Whan I ne se what myn herte wolde.
RomB 2437 Wherfore I wol gon her to sen,
RomB 2438 Or eased shal I never ben,
RomB 2439 But I have som tokenyng.'
RomB 2440 Than gost thou forth without dwellyng;
RomB 2441 But ofte thou faylest of thy desyr,
RomB 2442 Er thou mayst come her any ner,
RomB 2443 And wastest in vayn thi passage.
RomB 2444 Thanne fallest thou in a newe rage;
RomB 2445 For want of sight thou gynnest morne,
RomB 2446 And homward pensyf thou dost retorne.
RomB 2447 In greet myscheef thanne shalt thou bee,
RomB 2448 For thanne agayn shall come to thee
RomB 2449 Sighes and pleyntes with newe woo,
RomB 2450 That no ycchyng prikketh soo.
RomB 2451 Who wot it nought, he may go lere
RomB 2452 Of hem that bien love so dere.
RomB 2453 " Nothyng thyn herte appesen may
RomB 2454 That ofte thou wolt goon and assay
RomB 2455 If thou maist seen, by aventure,
RomB 2456 Thi lyves joy, thin hertis cure;
RomB 2457 So that, bi grace, if thou myght
RomB 2458 Atteyne of hire to have a sight,
RomB 2459 Thanne shalt thou don noon other dede,
RomB 2460 But with that sight thyne eyen fede.
RomB 2461 That faire fresh whanne thou maist see,
RomB 2462 Thyne herte shall so ravysshed be
RomB 2463 That nevere thou woldest, thi thankis, lete,
RomB 2464 Ne remove for to see that swete.
RomB 2465 The more thou seest in sothfastnesse,
RomB 2466 The more thou coveytest of that swetnesse;
RomB 2467 The more thin herte brenneth in fir,
RomB 2468 The more thin herte is in desir.
RomB 2469 For who considreth everydeell,
RomB 2470 It may be likned wondir well,
RomB 2471 The peyne of love, unto a fer;
RomB 2472 For evermore thou neighest ner,
RomB 2473 Thou, or whooso that it bee,
RomB 2474 For verray sothe I tell it thee,
RomB 2475 The hatter evere shall thou brenne,
RomB 2476 As experience shall thee kenne:
RomB 2477 Whereso [thou] comest in ony coost,
RomB 2478 Who is next fyr, he brenneth moost.
RomB 2479 And yitt forsothe, for all thin hete,
RomB 2480 Though thou for love swelte and swete,
RomB 2481 Ne for nothyng thou felen may,
RomB 2482 Thou shalt not willen to passen away.
RomB 2483 And though thou go, yitt must thee nede
RomB 2484 Thenke all day on hir fairhede
RomB 2485 Whom thou biheelde with so good will,
RomB 2486 And holde thisilf biguyled ill
RomB 2487 That thou ne haddest noon hardement
RomB 2488 To shewe hir ought of thyn entent.
RomB 2489 Thyn herte full sore thou wolt dispise,
RomB 2490 And eke repreve of cowardise,
RomB 2491 That thou, so dul in every thing,
RomB 2492 Were domm for drede, withoute spekyng.
RomB 2493 Thou shalt eke thenke thou didest folye
RomB 2494 That thou were hir so faste bye,
RomB 2495 And durst not auntre thee to saye
RomB 2496 Somthyng er thou cam awaye;
RomB 2497 For thou haddist no more wonne,
RomB 2498 To speke of hir whanne thou bigonne.
RomB 2499 But yitt she wolde, for thy sake,
RomB 2500 In armes goodly thee have take --
RomB 2501 It shulde have be more worth to thee
RomB 2502 Than of tresour gret plente.
RomB 2503 Thus shalt thou morne and eke compleyn,
RomB 2504 And gete enchesoun to goon ageyn
RomB 2505 Unto thi walk, or to thi place
RomB 2506 Where thou biheelde hir fleshly face.
RomB 2507 And never, for fals suspeccioun,
RomB 2508 Thou woldest fynde occasioun
RomB 2509 For to gon unto hire hous.
RomB 2510 So art thou thanne desirous
RomB 2511 A sight of hir for to have,
RomB 2512 If thou thin honour myghtist save,
RomB 2513 Or ony erande myghtist make
RomB 2514 Thider for thi loves sake,
RomB 2515 Full fayn thou woldist, but for drede
RomB 2516 Thou gost not, lest that men take hede.
RomB 2517 Wherfore I rede, in thi goyng,
RomB 2518 And also in thyn ageyn-comyng,
RomB 2519 Thou be well war that men ne wit.
RomB 2520 Feyne thee other cause than it
RomB 2521 To go that weye, or faste by;
RomB 2522 To hele wel is no foly.
RomB 2523 And if so be it happe thee
RomB 2524 That thou thi love there maist see,
RomB 2525 In siker wise thou hir salewe,
RomB 2526 Wherewith thi colour wole transmewe,
RomB 2527 And eke thy blod shal al toquake,
RomB 2528 Thyn hewe eke chaungen for hir sake.
RomB 2529 But word and wit, with chere full pale,
RomB 2530 Shull wante for to tell thy tale.
RomB 2531 And if thou maist so fer forth wynne
RomB 2532 That thou resoun durst bigynne,
RomB 2533 And woldist seyn thre thingis or mo,
RomB 2534 Thou shalt full scarsly seyn the two.
RomB 2535 Though thou bithenke thee never so well,
RomB 2536 Thou shalt foryete yit somdell,
RomB 2537 But if thou dele with trecherie.
RomB 2538 For fals lovers mowe all folye
RomB 2539 Seyn, what hem lust, withouten drede,
RomB 2540 They be so double in her falshede;
RomB 2541 For they in herte cunne thenke a thyng,
RomB 2542 And seyn another in her spekyng.
RomB 2543 And whanne thi speche is eendid all,
RomB 2544 Ryght thus to thee it shall byfall:
RomB 2545 If ony word thanne come to mynde
RomB 2546 That thou to seye hast left bihynde,
RomB 2547 Thanne thou shalt brenne in gret martir,
RomB 2548 For thou shalt brenne as ony fir.
RomB 2549 This is the stryf and eke the affray,
RomB 2550 And the batell that lastith ay.
RomB 2551 This bargeyn eende may never take,
RomB 2552 But if that she thi pees will make.
RomB 2553 And whanne the nyght is comen, anoon
RomB 2554 A thousand angres shall come uppon.
RomB 2555 To bedde as fast thou wolt thee dight,
RomB 2556 Where thou shalt have but smal delit.
RomB 2557 For whanne thou wenest for to slepe,
RomB 2558 So full of peyne shalt thou crepe,
RomB 2559 Sterte in thi bed aboute full wide,
RomB 2560 And turne full ofte on every side,
RomB 2561 Now dounward groff and now upright,
RomB 2562 And walowe in woo the longe nyght.
RomB 2563 Thine armys shalt thou sprede a-bred,
RomB 2564 As man in werre were forwerreyd.
RomB 2565 Thanne shall thee come a remembraunce
RomB 2566 Of hir shap and hir semblaunce,
RomB 2567 Whereto non other may be pere.
RomB 2568 And wite thou wel, withoute were,
RomB 2569 That thee shal se[me] somtyme that nyght
RomB 2570 That thou hast hir that is so bright
RomB 2571 Naked bitwene thyne armes there,
RomB 2572 All sothfastnesse as though it were.
RomB 2573 Thou shalt make castels thanne in Spayne
RomB 2574 And dreme of joye, all but in vayne,
RomB 2575 And thee deliten of right nought,
RomB 2576 While thou so slombrest in that thought
RomB 2577 That is so swete and delitable,
RomB 2578 The which, in soth, nys but fable,
RomB 2579 For it ne shall no while laste.
RomB 2580 Thanne shalt thou sighe and wepe faste,
RomB 2581 And say, `Dere God, what thing is this?
RomB 2582 My drem is turned all amys,
RomB 2583 Which was full swete and apparent;
RomB 2584 But now I wake, it is al shent!
RomB 2585 Now yede this mery thought away!
RomB 2586 Twenty tymes upon a day
RomB 2587 I wolde this thought wolde come ageyn,
RomB 2588 For it aleggith well my peyn.
RomB 2589 It makith me full of joyfull thought;
RomB 2590 It sleth me, that it lastith noght.
RomB 2591 A, Lord! Why nyl ye me socoure
RomB 2592 The joye, I trowe, that I langoure?
RomB 2593 The deth I wolde me shulde sloo
RomB 2594 While I lye in hir armes twoo.
RomB 2595 Myn harm is hard, withouten wene;
RomB 2596 My gret unese full ofte I meene.
RomB 2597 " `But wolde Love do so I myght
RomB 2598 Have fully joye of hir so bright,
RomB 2599 My peyne were quyt me rychely.
RomB 2600 Allas, to gret a thing aske I!
RomB 2601 Hit is but foly and wrong wenyng
RomB 2602 To aske so outrageous a thyng;
RomB 2603 And whoso askith folily,
RomB 2604 He mot be warned hastily.
RomB 2605 And I ne wot what I may say,
RomB 2606 I am so fer out of the way;
RomB 2607 For I wolde have full gret likyng
RomB 2608 And full gret joye of lasse thing.
RomB 2609 For wolde she, of hir gentylnesse,
RomB 2610 Without and more, me oonys kysse,
RomB 2611 It were to me a gret guerdoun,
RomB 2612 Relees of all my passioun.
RomB 2613 But it is hard to come therto;
RomB 2614 All is but folye that I do,
RomB 2615 So high I have myn herte set,
RomB 2616 Where I may no comfort get.
RomB 2617 I wote not wher I seye well or nought,
RomB 2618 But this I wot wel in my thought,
RomB 2619 That it were better of hir alloone,
RomB 2620 For to stynte my woo and moone,
RomB 2621 A lok on hir I caste goodly,
RomB 2622 Than for to have al utterly
RomB 2623 Of an other all hool the pley.
RomB 2624 A, Lord! Wher I shall byde the day
RomB 2625 That evere she shall my lady be?
RomB 2626 He is full cured that may hir see.
RomB 2627 A, God! Whanne shal the dawnyng spring?
RomB 2628 To liggen thus is an angry thyng;
RomB 2629 I have no joye thus heere to ly,
RomB 2630 Whanne that my love is not me by.
RomB 2631 A man to lyen hath gret disese,
RomB 2632 Which may not slepe ne reste in ese.
RomB 2633 I wolde it dawed, and were now day,
RomB 2634 And that the nyght were went away;
RomB 2635 For were it day, I wolde uprise.
RomB 2636 A, slowe sonne, shewe thin enprise!
RomB 2637 Sped thee to sprede thy beemys bright,
RomB 2638 And chace the derknesse of the nyght,
RomB 2639 To putte away the stoundes stronge,
RomB 2640 Whiche in me lasten all to longe.'
RomB 2641 " The nyght shalt thou contene soo
RomB 2642 Withoute rest, in peyne and woo.
RomB 2643 If evere thou knewe of love distresse,
RomB 2644 Thou shalt mowe lerne in that siknesse,
RomB 2645 And thus enduryng shalt thou ly,
RomB 2646 And ryse on morwe up erly
RomB 2647 Out of thy bedde, and harneyse thee,
RomB 2648 Er evere dawnyng thou maist see.
RomB 2649 All pryvyly thanne shalt thou goon,
RomB 2650 What weder it be, thisilf alloon,
RomB 2651 For reyn or hayl, for snow, for slet,
RomB 2652 Thider she dwellith that is so swet,
RomB 2653 The which may fall a-slepe be,
RomB 2654 And thenkith but lytel upon thee.
RomB 2655 Thanne shalt thou goon, ful foule afeered,
RomB 2656 Loke if the gate be unspered,
RomB 2657 And waite without in woo and peyn,
RomB 2658 Full yvel a-coold, in wynd and reyn.
RomB 2659 Thanne shal thou go the dore bifore,
RomB 2660 If thou maist fynde ony score,
RomB 2661 Or hool, or reeft, whatevere it were;
RomB 2662 Thanne shalt thou stoupe and lay to ere,
RomB 2663 If they withynne a-slepe be --
RomB 2664 I mene all save the lady free,
RomB 2665 Whom wakyng if thou maist aspie,
RomB 2666 Go putte thisilf in jupartie
RomB 2667 To aske grace, and thee bimene,
RomB 2668 That she may wite, without wene,
RomB 2669 That thou [a-]nyght no rest hast had,
RomB 2670 So sore for hir thou were bystad.
RomB 2671 Wommen wel ought pite to take
RomB 2672 Of hem that sorwen for her sake.
RomB 2673 And loke, for love of that relyk,
RomB 2674 That thou thenke noon other lyk,
RomB 2675 For whom thou hast so gret annoy,
RomB 2676 Shall kysse thee, er thou go away,
RomB 2677 And holde that in full gret deynte.
RomB 2678 And for that no man shal thee see
RomB 2679 Bifore the hous ne in the way,
RomB 2680 Loke thou be goon ageyn er day.
RomB 2681 Such comyng and such goyng,
RomB 2682 Such hevynesse and such wakyng,
RomB 2683 Makith lovers, withouten ony wene,
RomB 2684 Under her clothes pale and lene.
RomB 2685 For Love leveth colour ne cleernesse;
RomB 2686 Who loveth trewe hath no fatnesse.
RomB 2687 Thou shalt wel by thysilf see
RomB 2688 That thou must nedis assayed be.
RomB 2689 For men that shape hem other wey
RomB 2690 Falsly her ladyes for to bitray,
RomB 2691 It is no wonder though they be fatt;
RomB 2692 With false othes her loves they gatt.
RomB 2693 For oft I see suche losengours
RomB 2694 Fatter than abbatis or priours.
RomB 2695 " Yit with o thing I thee charge,
RomB 2696 That is to seye, that thou be large
RomB 2697 Unto the mayde that hir doth serve,
RomB 2698 So best hir thank thou shalt deserve.
RomB 2699 Yeve hir yiftes, and get hir grace,
RomB 2700 For so thou may thank purchace,
RomB 2701 That she thee worthy holde and free,
RomB 2702 Thi lady, and all that may thee see.
RomB 2703 Also hir servauntes worshipe ay,
RomB 2704 And please as mych as thou may;
RomB 2705 Gret good thorough hem may come to thee
RomB 2706 Bicause with hir they ben pryve.
RomB 2707 They shal hir telle hou they thee fand
RomB 2708 Curteis, and wys, and well doand,
RomB 2709 And she shall preise well the mare.
RomB 2710 Loke oute of londe thou be not fare,
RomB 2711 And if such cause thou have that thee
RomB 2712 Bihoveth to gon out of contree,
RomB 2713 Leve hool thin herte in hostage,
RomB 2714 Till thou ageyn make thi passage.
RomB 2715 Thenk long to see the swete thyng
RomB 2716 That hath thin herte in hir kepyng.
RomB 2717 " Now have I told thee in what wise
RomB 2718 A lovere shall do me servise.
RomB 2719 Do it thanne, if thou wolt have
RomB 2720 The meede that thou aftir crave. "
RomB 2721 Whanne Love all this hadde boden me,
RomB 2722 I seide hym: " Sire, how may it be
RomB 2723 That lovers may in such manere
RomB 2724 Endure the peyne ye have seid heere?
RomB 2725 I merveyle me wonder faste
RomB 2726 How ony man may lyve or laste
RomB 2727 In such peyne and such brennyng,
RomB 2728 In sorwe and thought and such sighing,
RomB 2729 Ay unrelesed woo to make,
RomB 2730 Whether so it be they slepe or wake,
RomB 2731 In such annoy contynuely --
RomB 2732 As helpe me God, this merveile I
RomB 2733 How man, but he were maad of stele,
RomB 2734 Myght lyve a month, such peynes to fele. "
RomB 2735 The God of Love thanne seide me:
RomB 2736 " Freend, by the feith I owe to thee,
RomB 2737 May no man have good, but he it by.
RomB 2738 A man loveth more tendirly
RomB 2739 The thyng that he hath bought most dere.
RomB 2740 For wite thou well, withouten were,
RomB 2741 In thank that thyng is taken more,
RomB 2742 For which a man hath suffred sore.
RomB 2743 Certis, no wo ne may atteyne
RomB 2744 Unto the sore of loves peyne;
RomB 2745 Noon yvel therto ne may amounte,
RomB 2746 No more than a man [may] counte
RomB 2747 The dropes that of the water be.
RomB 2748 For drye as well the greete see
RomB 2749 Thou myghtist as the harmes telle
RomB 2750 Of hem that with love dwelle
RomB 2751 In servyse, for peyne hem sleeth.
RomB 2752 And yet ech man wolde fle the deeth,
RomB 2753 And trowe thei shulde nevere escape,
RomB 2754 Nere that hope couth. hem make
RomB 2755 Glad, as man in prisoun sett,
RomB 2756 And may not geten for to et
RomB 2757 But barly breed and watir pure,
RomB 2758 And lyeth in vermyn and in ordure;
RomB 2759 With all this yitt can he lyve,
RomB 2760 Good hope such comfort hath hym yive,
RomB 2761 Which maketh wene that he shall be
RomB 2762 Delyvered, and come to liberte.
RomB 2763 In fortune is [his] fulle trust,
RomB 2764 Though he lye in strawe or dust;
RomB 2765 In hoope is all his susteynyng.
RomB 2766 And so for lovers, in her wenyng,
RomB 2767 Whiche Love hath shit in his prisoun,
RomB 2768 Good hope is her salvacioun.
RomB 2769 Good hope, how sore that they smerte,
RomB 2770 Yeveth hem bothe will and herte
RomB 2771 To profre her body to martire;
RomB 2772 For hope so sore doth hem desire
RomB 2773 To suffre ech harm that men devise,
RomB 2774 For joye that aftirward shall aryse.
RomB 2775 " Hope in desir caccheth victorie;
RomB 2776 In hope of love is all the glorie;
RomB 2777 For hope is all that love may yive;
RomB 2778 Nere hope, ther shulde no lover lyve.
RomB 2779 Blessid be hope, which with desir
RomB 2780 Avaunceth lovers in such maner!
RomB 2781 Good hope is curteis for to please,
RomB 2782 To kepe lovers from all disese.
RomB 2783 Hope kepith his bond, and wole abide,
RomB 2784 For ony perill that may betyde;
RomB 2785 For hope to lovers, as most cheef,
RomB 2786 Doth hem endure all myscheef;
RomB 2787 Hope is her helpe whanne myster is.
RomB 2788 " And I shall yeve thee eke, iwys,
RomB 2789 Three other thingis that gret solas
RomB 2790 Doth to hem that be in my las.
RomB 2791 The firste good that may be founde
RomB 2792 To hem that in my las be bounde
RomB 2793 Is Swete-Thought, for to recorde
RomB 2794 Thing wherwith thou canst accorde
RomB 2795 Best in thyn herte, where she be --
RomB 2796 Thenkyng in absence is good to thee.
RomB 2797 Whanne ony lover doth compleyne,
RomB 2798 And lyveth in distresse and in peyne,
RomB 2799 Thanne Swete-Thought shal come as blyve
RomB 2800 Awey his angre for to dryve:
RomB 2801 It makith lovers to have remembraunce
RomB 2802 Of comfort and of high plesaunce
RomB 2803 That Hope hath hight hym for to wynne.
RomB 2804 For Thought anoon thanne shall bygynne,
RomB 2805 As fer, God wot, as he can fynde,
RomB 2806 To make a mirrour of his mynde;
RomB 2807 For to biholde he wole not lette.
RomB 2808 Hir persone he shall afore hym sette,
RomB 2809 Hir laughing eyen, persaunt and clere,
RomB 2810 Hir shape, hir forme, hir goodly chere,
RomB 2811 Hir mouth, that is so gracious,
RomB 2812 So swete and eke so saverous;
RomB 2813 Of all hir fetures he shall take heede,
RomB 2814 His eyen with all hir lymes fede.
RomB 2815 " Thus Swete-Thenkyng shall aswage
RomB 2816 The peyne of lovers and her rage.
RomB 2817 Thi joye shall double, withoute gesse,
RomB 2818 Whanne thou thenkist on hir semlynesse,
RomB 2819 Or of hir laughing, or of hir chere,
RomB 2820 That to thee made thi lady dere.
RomB 2821 This comfort wole I that thou take;
RomB 2822 And if the next thou wolt forsake,
RomB 2823 Which is not lesse saverous,
RomB 2824 Thou shuldist ben to daungerous.
RomB 2825 " The secounde shal be Swete-Speche,
RomB 2826 That hath to many oon be leche,
RomB 2827 To bringe hem out of woo and wer,
RomB 2828 And holpe many a bachiler,
RomB 2829 And many a lady sent socour,
RomB 2830 That have loved paramour,
RomB 2831 Thorough spekyng, whanne they myghte heere
RomB 2832 Of her lovers to hem so dere.
RomB 2833 To hem it voidith all her smerte,
RomB 2834 The which is closed in her herte.
RomB 2835 In herte it makith hem glad and light,
RomB 2836 Speche, whanne they [ne] mowe have sight.
RomB 2837 And therfore now it cometh to mynde,
RomB 2838 In olde dawes, as I fynde,
RomB 2839 That clerkis writen that hir knewe,
RomB 2840 Ther was a lady fresh of hewe,
RomB 2841 Which of hir love made a song
RomB 2842 On hym for to remembre among,
RomB 2843 In which she seyde, `Whanne that I here
RomB 2844 Speken of hym that is so dere,
RomB 2845 To me it voidith all smert,
RomB 2846 Iwys, he sittith so ner myn hert.
RomB 2847 To speke of hym, at eve or morwe,
RomB 2848 It cureth me of all my sorwe.
RomB 2849 To me is noon so high plesaunce
RomB 2850 As of his persone dalyaunce.'
RomB 2851 She wist full well that Swete-Spekyng
RomB 2852 Comfortith in full myche thyng.
RomB 2853 Hir love she hadde full well assayed;
RomB 2854 Of him she was full well apaied;
RomB 2855 To speke of hym hir joye was sett.
RomB 2856 Therfore I rede thee that thou gett
RomB 2857 A felowe that can well concele,
RomB 2858 And kepe thi counsell, and well hele,
RomB 2859 To whom go shewe hoolly thine herte,
RomB 2860 Bothe wele and woo, joye and smerte.
RomB 2861 To gete comfort to hym thou goo,
RomB 2862 And pryvyly, bitwene yow twoo,
RomB 2863 Yee shall speke of that goodly thyng
RomB 2864 That hath thyn herte in hir kepyng,
RomB 2865 Of hir beaute and hir semblaunce
RomB 2866 And of hir goodly countenaunce.
RomB 2867 Of all thi stat thou shalt hym sey,
RomB 2868 And aske hym counseill how thou may
RomB 2869 Do ony thyng that may hir plese;
RomB 2870 For it to thee shall do gret ese
RomB 2871 That he may wite thou trust hym soo,
RomB 2872 Bothe of thi wele and of thi woo.
RomB 2873 And if his herte to love be sett,
RomB 2874 His companye is myche the bett,
RomB 2875 For resoun wole he shewe to thee
RomB 2876 All uttirly his pryvyte;
RomB 2877 And what she is he loveth so,
RomB 2878 To thee pleynly he shal undo,
RomB 2879 Withoute drede of ony shame,
RomB 2880 Bothe tell hir renoun and hir name.
RomB 2881 Thanne shall he forther, fer and ner,
RomB 2882 And namely to thi lady der,
RomB 2883 In syker wise; yee, every other
RomB 2884 Shall helpen as his owne brother,
RomB 2885 In trouthe withoute doublenesse,
RomB 2886 And kepen cloos in sikernesse.
RomB 2887 For it is noble thing, in fay,
RomB 2888 To have a man thou darst say
RomB 2889 Thy pryve counsell every deell;
RomB 2890 For that wole comforte thee right well,
RomB 2891 And thou shalt holde thee well apayed,
RomB 2892 Whanne such a freend thou hast assayed.
RomB 2893 " The thridde good of gret comfort,
RomB 2894 That yeveth to lovers most disport,
RomB 2895 Comyth of sight and of biholdyng,
RomB 2896 That clepid is Swete-Lokyng,
RomB 2897 The whiche may noon ese do
RomB 2898 Whanne thou art fer thy lady fro;
RomB 2899 Wherfore thou prese alwey to be
RomB 2900 In place where thou maist hir see.
RomB 2901 For it is thyng most amerous,
RomB 2902 Most delytable and saverous,
RomB 2903 For to aswage a mannes sorowe,
RomB 2904 To sen his lady by the morwe.
RomB 2905 For it is a full noble thing,
RomB 2906 Whanne thyne eyen have metyng
RomB 2907 With that relike precious,
RomB 2908 Wherof they be so desirous.
RomB 2909 But al day after, soth it is,
RomB 2910 They have no drede to faren amys;
RomB 2911 They dreden neither wynd ne reyn,
RomB 2912 Ne noon other maner peyn.
RomB 2913 For whanne thyne eyen were thus in blis,
RomB 2914 Yit of hir curtesie, ywys,
RomB 2915 Alloone they can not have her joye,
RomB 2916 But to the herte they [it] convoye;
RomB 2917 Part of her blisse to hym they sende,
RomB 2918 Of all this harm to make an ende.
RomB 2919 The eye is a good messanger,
RomB 2920 Which can to the herte in such maner
RomB 2921 Tidyngis sende that [he] hath sen,
RomB 2922 To voide hym of his peynes clen.
RomB 2923 Wherof the herte rejoiseth soo,
RomB 2924 That a gret party of his woo
RomB 2925 Is voided and put awey to flight.
RomB 2926 Right as the derknesse of the nyght
RomB 2927 Is chased with clernesse of the mone,
RomB 2928 Right so is al his woo full soone
RomB 2929 Devoided clene, whanne that the sight
RomB 2930 Biholden may that freshe wight
RomB 2931 That the herte desireth soo,
RomB 2932 That al his derknesse is agoo.
RomB 2933 For thanne the herte is all at ese,
RomB 2934 Whanne the eyen sen that may hem plese.
RomB 2935 " Now have I declared thee all oute
RomB 2936 Of that thou were in drede and doute;
RomB 2937 For I have told thee feithfully
RomB 2938 What thee may curen utterly,
RomB 2939 And alle lovers that wole be
RomB 2940 Feithfull and full of stabilite.
RomB 2941 Good-Hope alwey kep bi thi side,
RomB 2942 And Swete-Thought make eke abide,
RomB 2943 Swete-Lokyng and Swete-Speche --
RomB 2944 Of all thyne harmes thei shall be leche,
RomB 2945 Of every thou shalt have gret plesaunce.
RomB 2946 If thou canst bide in sufferaunce,
RomB 2947 And serve wel withoute feyntise,
RomB 2948 Thou shalt be quyt of thyn emprise
RomB 2949 With more guerdoun, if that thou lyve;
RomB 2950 But at this tyme this I thee yive. "
RomB 2951 The God of Love whanne al the day
RomB 2952 Had taught me, as ye have herd say,
RomB 2953 And enfourmed compendiously,
RomB 2954 He vanyshide awey all sodeynly,
RomB 2955 And I alloone lefte, all sool,
RomB 2956 So full of compleynt and of dool,
RomB 2957 For I saw no man there me by.
RomB 2958 My woundes me greved wondirly;
RomB 2959 Me for to curen nothyng I knew,
RomB 2960 Save the botoun bright of hew,
RomB 2961 Wheron was sett hoolly my thought.
RomB 2962 Of other comfort knew I nought,
RomB 2963 But it were thorugh the God of Love;
RomB 2964 I knew not elles to my bihove
RomB 2965 That myght me ease or comfort gete,
RomB 2966 But if he wolde hym entermete.
RomB 2967 The roser was, withoute doute,
RomB 2968 Closed with an hegge withoute,
RomB 2969 As ye toforn have herd me seyn;
RomB 2970 And fast I bisiede, and wolde fayn
RomB 2971 Have passed the hay, if I myghte
RomB 2972 Have geten ynne by ony slighte
RomB 2973 Unto the botoun so faire to see.
RomB 2974 But evere I dradde blamed to be,
RomB 2975 If men wolde have suspeccioun
RomB 2976 That I wolde of entencioun
RomB 2977 Have stole the roses that there were;
RomB 2978 Therfore to entre I was in fere.
RomB 2979 But at the last, as I bithought
RomB 2980 Whether I shulde passe or nought,
RomB 2981 I saw come with a glad cher
RomB 2982 To me, a lusty bacheler,
RomB 2983 Of good stature and of good highte,
RomB 2984 And Bialacoil forsothe he highte.
RomB 2985 Sone he was to Curtesy,
RomB 2986 And he me grauntide full gladly
RomB 2987 The passage of the outter hay,
RomB 2988 And seide: " Sir, how that yee may
RomB 2989 Passe, if youre wille be
RomB 2990 The freshe roser for to see,
RomB 2991 And yee the swete savour fele.
RomB 2992 Youre warrant may [I] [be] right wele;
RomB 2993 So thou thee kepe fro folye,
RomB 2994 Shall no man do thee vylanye.
RomB 2995 If I may helpe you in ought,
RomB 2996 I shall not feyne, dredeth nought,
RomB 2997 For I am bounde to youre servise,
RomB 2998 Fully devoide of feyntise. "
RomB 2999 Thanne unto Bialacoil saide I,
RomB 3000 " I thanke you, sir, full hertely,
RomB 3001 And youre biheeste take at gre,
RomB 3002 That ye so goodly profer me.
RomB 3003 To you it cometh of gret fraunchise
RomB 3004 That ye me profer youre servise. "
RomB 3005 Thanne aftir, full delyverly,
RomB 3006 Thorough the breres anoon wente I,
RomB 3007 Wherof encombred was the hay.
RomB 3008 I was wel plesed, the soth to say,
RomB 3009 To se the botoun faire and swote
RomB 3010 So freshe spronge out of the rote.
RomB 3011 And Bialacoil me served well,
RomB 3012 Whanne I so nygh me myghte fel
RomB 3013 Of the botoun the swete odour,
RomB 3014 And so lusty hewed of colour.
RomB 3015 But thanne a cherl (foule hym bityde!)
RomB 3016 Biside the roses gan hym hyde,
RomB 3017 To kepe the roses of that roser,
RomB 3018 Of whom the name was Daunger.
RomB 3019 This cherl was hid there in the greves,
RomB 3020 Kovered with gras and with leves,
RomB 3021 To spie and take whom that he fond
RomB 3022 Unto that roser putte an hond.
RomB 3023 He was not sool, for ther was moo,
RomB 3024 For with hym were other twoo
RomB 3025 Of wikkid maners and yvel fame.
RomB 3026 That oon was clepid, by his name,
RomB 3027 Wykked-Tonge -- God yeve hym sorwe! --
RomB 3028 For neither at eve ne at morwe,
RomB 3029 He can of no man good speke;
RomB 3030 On many a just man doth he wreke.
RomB 3031 Ther was a womman eke that hight
RomB 3032 Shame, that, who can reken right,
RomB 3033 Trespas was hir fadir name,
RomB 3034 Hir moder Resoun; and thus was Shame
RomB 3035 Brought of these ilke twoo.
RomB 3036 And yitt hadde Trespas never adoo
RomB 3037 With Resoun, ne never ley hir by,
RomB 3038 He was so hidous and so ugly,
RomB 3039 I mene this that Trespas highte;
RomB 3040 But Resoun conceyveth of a sighte
RomB 3041 Shame, of that I spak aforn.
RomB 3042 And whanne that Shame was thus born,
RomB 3043 It was ordeyned that Chastite
RomB 3044 Shulde of the roser lady be,
RomB 3045 Which, of the botouns more and las,
RomB 3046 With sondry folk assailed was,
RomB 3047 That she ne wiste what to doo.
RomB 3048 For Venus hir assailith soo,
RomB 3049 That nyght and day from hir she stal
RomB 3050 Botouns and roses overal.
RomB 3051 To Resoun thanne praieth Chastite,
RomB 3052 Whom Venus hath flemed over the see,
RomB 3053 That she hir doughter wolde hir lene,
RomB 3054 To kepe the roser fresh and grene.
RomB 3055 Anoon Resoun to Chastite
RomB 3056 Is fully assented that it be,
RomB 3057 And grauntide hir, at hir request,
RomB 3058 That Shame, by cause she [is. honest,
RomB 3059 Shall keper of the roser be.
RomB 3060 And thus to kepe it ther were three,
RomB 3061 That noon shulde hardy be ne bold,
RomB 3062 Were he yong or were he old,
RomB 3063 Ageyn hir will awey to bere
RomB 3064 Botouns ne roses that there were.
RomB 3065 I hadde wel sped, hadde I not ben
RomB 3066 Awayted with these three and sen.
RomB 3067 For Bialacoil, that was so fair,
RomB 3068 So gracious and debonair,
RomB 3069 Quytt hym to me full curteisly,
RomB 3070 And, me to plese, bad that I
RomB 3071 Shulde drawe me to the botoun ner;
RomB 3072 Prese in, to touche the roser
RomB 3073 Which bar the roses, he yaf me leve;
RomB 3074 This graunt ne myght but lytel greve.
RomB 3075 And for he saw it liked me,
RomB 3076 Ryght nygh the botoun pullede he
RomB 3077 A leef all grene, and yaff me that,
RomB 3078 The whiche ful nygh the botoun sat.
RomB 3079 I made [me] of that leef full queynt,
RomB 3080 And whanne I felte I was aqueynt
RomB 3081 With Bialacoil, and so pryve,
RomB 3082 I wende all at my will hadde be.
RomB 3083 Thanne wax I hardy for to tel
RomB 3084 To Bialacoil hou me bifel
RomB 3085 Of Love, that tok and wounded me,
RomB 3086 And seide, " Sir, so mote I thee,
RomB 3087 I may no joye have in no wise,
RomB 3088 Uppon no side, but it rise.
RomB 3089 For sithe (if I shall not feyne)
RomB 3090 In herte I have had so gret peyne,
RomB 3091 So gret annoy and such affray,
RomB 3092 That I ne wot what I shall say;
RomB 3093 I drede youre wrath to disserve.
RomB 3094 Lever me were that knyves kerve
RomB 3095 My body shulde in pecys smale,
RomB 3096 Than in any wise it shulde falle
RomB 3097 That ye wratthed shulde ben with me. "
RomB 3098 " Sey boldely thi will, " quod he,
RomB 3099 " I nyl be wroth, if that I may,
RomB 3100 For nought that thou shalt to me say. "
RomB 3101 Thanne seide I, " Ser, not you displease
RomB 3102 To knowen of my gret unese,
RomB 3103 In which oonly Love hath me brought;
RomB 3104 For peynes gret, disese, and thought
RomB 3105 Fro day to day he doth me drye;
RomB 3106 Supposeth not, sir, that I lye.
RomB 3107 In me fyve woundes dide he make,
RomB 3108 The soore of whiche shall nevere slake,
RomB 3109 But ye the botoun graunte me,
RomB 3110 Which is moost passaunt of beaute,
RomB 3111 My lyf, my deth, and my martire,
RomB 3112 And tresour that I moost desire. "
RomB 3113 Thanne Bialacoil, affrayed all,
RomB 3114 Seyde, " Sir, it may not fall;
RomB 3115 That ye desire, it may not arise.
RomB 3116 What? Wolde ye shende me in this wise?
RomB 3117 A mochel fool thanne I were,
RomB 3118 If I suffride you awey to bere
RomB 3119 The fresh botoun so faire of sight.
RomB 3120 For it were neither skile ne right,
RomB 3121 Of the roser ye broke the rynde,
RomB 3122 Or take the Rose aforn his kynde.
RomB 3123 Ye are not curteys to aske it.
RomB 3124 Late it still on the roser sitt
RomB 3125 And growe til it amended be,
RomB 3126 And parfytly come to beaute.
RomB 3127 I nolde not that it pulled were
RomB 3128 Fro the roser that it bere,
RomB 3129 To me it is so leef and deer. "
RomB 3130 With that sterte oute anoon Daunger,
RomB 3131 Out of the place were he was hid.
RomB 3132 His malice in his chere was kid;
RomB 3133 Full gret he was and blak of hewe,
RomB 3134 Sturdy and hidous, whoso hym knewe;
RomB 3135 Like sharp urchouns his her was growe;
RomB 3137 His nose frounced, full kirked stood.
RomB 3138 He com criand as he were wood,
RomB 3139 And seide, " Bialacoil, telle me why
RomB 3140 Thou bryngest hider so booldely
RomB 3141 Hym that so nygh [is. the roser?
RomB 3142 Thou worchist in a wrong maner.
RomB 3143 He thenkith to dishonoure thee;
RomB 3144 Thou art wel worthy to have maugree
RomB 3145 To late hym of the roser wit.
RomB 3146 Who serveth a feloun is yvel quit.
RomB 3147 Thou woldist have doon gret bounte,
RomB 3148 And he with shame wolde quyte thee.
RomB 3149 Fle hennes, felowe! I rede thee goo!
RomB 3150 It wanteth litel I wole thee sloo.
RomB 3151 For Bialacoil ne knew thee nought,
RomB 3152 Whanne thee to serve he sette his thought;
RomB 3153 For thou wolt shame hym, if thou myght,
RomB 3154 Bothe ageyns resoun and right.
RomB 3155 I wole no more in thee affye,
RomB 3156 That comest so slyghly for t' espye;
RomB 3157 For it preveth wonder well,
RomB 3158 Thy slight and tresoun, every deell. "
RomB 3159 I durst no more there make abod
RomB 3160 For the cherl, he was so wod,
RomB 3161 So gan he threte and manace,
RomB 3162 And thurgh the haye he dide me chace.
RomB 3163 For feer of hym I tremblyde and quok,
RomB 3164 So cherlishly his heed it shok,
RomB 3165 And seide, if eft he myght me take,
RomB 3166 I shulde not from his hondis scape.
RomB 3167 Thanne Bialacoil is fled and mat,
RomB 3168 And I, all sool, disconsolat,
RomB 3169 Was left aloone in peyne and thought;
RomB 3170 For shame to deth I was nygh brought.
RomB 3171 Thanne thought I on myn high foly,
RomB 3172 How that my body utterly
RomB 3173 Was yeve to peyne and to martire;
RomB 3174 And therto hadde I so gret ire,
RomB 3175 That I ne durst the hayes passe.
RomB 3176 There was noon hope; there was no grace.
RomB 3177 I trowe nevere man wiste of peyne,
RomB 3178 But he were laced in loves cheyne;
RomB 3179 Ne no man [wot], and sooth it is,
RomB 3180 But if he love, what anger is.
RomB 3181 Love holdith his heest to me right wel,
RomB 3182 Whanne peyne he seide I shulde fel;
RomB 3183 Noon herte may thenke, ne tunge seyn,
RomB 3184 A quarter of my woo and peyn.
RomB 3185 I myght not with the anger laste;
RomB 3186 Myn herte in poynt was for to braste,
RomB 3187 Whanne I thought on the Rose, that soo
RomB 3188 Was thurgh Daunger cast me froo.
RomB 3189 A long while stod I in that stat,
RomB 3190 Til that me saugh so mad and mat
RomB 3191 The lady of the highe ward,
RomB 3192 Which from hir tour lokide thiderward.
RomB 3193 Resoun men clepe that lady,
RomB 3194 Which from hir tour delyverly
RomB 3195 Com doun to me, withouten mor.
RomB 3196 But she was neither yong ne hoor,
RomB 3197 Ne high ne lowe, ne fat ne lene,
RomB 3198 But best as it were in a mene.
RomB 3199 Hir eyen twoo were cleer and light
RomB 3200 As ony candell that brenneth bright;
RomB 3201 And on hir heed she hadde a crowne.
RomB 3202 Hir semede wel an high persoune,
RomB 3203 For round enviroun, hir crownet
RomB 3204 Was full of riche stonys frett.
RomB 3205 Hir goodly semblaunt, by devys,
RomB 3206 I trowe were maad in paradys,
RomB 3207 For Nature hadde nevere such a grace,
RomB 3208 To forge a werk of such compace.
RomB 3209 For certeyn, but if the letter ly,
RomB 3210 God hymsilf, that is so high,
RomB 3211 Made hir aftir his ymage,
RomB 3212 And yaff hir sith sich avauntage
RomB 3213 That she hath myght and seignorie
RomB 3214 To kepe men from all folye.
RomB 3215 Whoso wole trowe hir lore,
RomB 3216 Ne may offenden nevermore.
RomB 3217 And while I stod thus derk and pale,
RomB 3218 Resoun bigan to me hir tale.
RomB 3219 She seide, " Al hayl, my swete freend!
RomB 3220 Foly and childhood wol thee sheend,
RomB 3221 Which the have putt in gret affray.
RomB 3222 Thou hast bought deere the tyme of May,
RomB 3223 That made thyn herte mery to be.
RomB 3224 In yvell tyme thou wentist to see
RomB 3225 The gardyn, whereof Ydilnesse
RomB 3226 Bar the keye and was maistresse,
RomB 3227 Whanne thou yedest in the daunce
RomB 3228 With hir, and haddest aqueyntaunce.
RomB 3229 Hir aqueyntaunce is perilous,
RomB 3230 First softe, and aftir noious;
RomB 3231 She hath [thee] trasshed, withoute wen.
RomB 3232 The God of Love hadde the not sen,
RomB 3233 Ne hadde Ydilnesse thee conveyed
RomB 3234 In the verger where Myrthe hym pleyed.
RomB 3235 If foly have supprised thee,
RomB 3236 Do so that it recovered be,
RomB 3237 And be wel ware to take nomore
RomB 3238 Counsel, that greveth aftir sore.
RomB 3239 He is wis that wol hymsilf chastise.
RomB 3240 And though a yong man in ony wise
RomB 3241 Trespace among, and do foly,
RomB 3242 Late hym not tarye, but hastily
RomB 3243 Late hym amende what so be mys.
RomB 3244 And eke I counseile thee, iwys,
RomB 3245 The God of Love hoolly foryet,
RomB 3246 That hath thee in sich peyne set,
RomB 3247 And thee in herte tourmented soo.
RomB 3248 I can [nat] sen how thou maist goo
RomB 3249 Other weyes to garisoun;
RomB 3250 For Daunger, that is so feloun,
RomB 3251 Felly purposith thee to werreye,
RomB 3252 Which is ful cruel, the soth to seye.
RomB 3253 " And yitt of Daunger cometh no blame,
RomB 3254 In reward of my doughter Shame,
RomB 3255 Which hath the roses in hir ward,
RomB 3256 As she that may be no musard.
RomB 3257 And Wikked-Tunge is with these two,
RomB 3258 That suffrith no man thider goo;
RomB 3259 For er a thing be do, he shall,
RomB 3260 Where that he cometh, overall,
RomB 3261 In fourty places, if it be sought,
RomB 3262 Seye thyng that nevere was don ne wrought;
RomB 3263 So moche tresoun is in his male
RomB 3264 Of falsnesse, for to seyne a tale.
RomB 3265 Thou delest with angry folk, ywis;
RomB 3266 Wherfore to thee bettir is
RomB 3267 From these folk awey to fare,
RomB 3268 For they wole make thee lyve in care.
RomB 3269 This is the yvell that love they call,
RomB 3270 Wherynne ther is but foly al,
RomB 3271 For love is foly everydell.
RomB 3272 Who loveth in no wise may do well,
RomB 3273 Ne sette his thought on no good werk.
RomB 3274 His scole he lesith, if he be a clerk.
RomB 3275 Of other craft eke if he be,
RomB 3276 He shal not thryve therynne, for he
RomB 3277 In love shal have more passioun
RomB 3278 Than monk, hermyte, or chanoun.
RomB 3279 The peyne is hard, out [of] mesure;
RomB 3280 The joye may eke no while endure;
RomB 3281 And in the possessioun
RomB 3282 Is myche tribulacioun.
RomB 3283 The joye it is so short lastyng,
RomB 3284 And but in hap is the getyng;
RomB 3285 For I see there many in travaille,
RomB 3286 That atte laste foule fayle.
RomB 3287 I was nothyng thi counseler,
RomB 3288 Whanne thou were maad the omager
RomB 3289 Of God of Love to hastily;
RomB 3290 Ther was no wisdom, but foly.
RomB 3291 Thyn herte was joly but not sage,
RomB 3292 Whanne thou were brought in sich a rage
RomB 3293 To yelde thee so redily,
RomB 3294 And to leve of is gret maistry.
RomB 3295 " I rede thee Love awey to dryve,
RomB 3296 That makith thee recche not of thi lyve.
RomB 3297 The foly more fro day to day
RomB 3298 Shal growe, but thou it putte away.
RomB 3299 Tak with thy teeth the bridel faste,
RomB 3300 To daunte thyn herte, and eke thee caste,
RomB 3301 If that thou maist, to gete thee defence
RomB 3302 For to redresse thi first offence.
RomB 3303 Whoso his herte alwey wol leve,
RomB 3304 Shal fynde among that shal hym greve. "
RomB 3305 Whanne I hir herd thus me chastise,
RomB 3306 I answerd in ful angry wise.
RomB 3307 I prayed hir ceessen of hir speche,
RomB 3308 Outher to chastise me or teche,
RomB 3309 To bidde me my thought refreyne,
RomB 3310 Which Love hath caught in his demeyne:
RomB 3311 " What? Wene ye Love wol consent,
RomB 3312 That me assailith with bowe bent,
RomB 3313 To drawe myn herte out of his hond,
RomB 3314 Which is so qwikly in his bond?
RomB 3315 That ye counseyle may nevere be,
RomB 3316 For whanne he first arestide me,
RomB 3317 He took myn herte so hool hym till,
RomB 3318 That it is nothyng at my wil.
RomB 3319 He taught it so hym for to obeye,
RomB 3320 That he it sparrede with a keye.
RomB 3321 I pray yow, late me be all stille.
RomB 3322 For ye may well, if that ye wille,
RomB 3323 Youre wordis waste in idilnesse;
RomB 3324 For utterly, withouten gesse,
RomB 3325 All that ye seyn is but in veyne.
RomB 3326 Me were lever dye in the peyne,
RomB 3327 Than Love to me-ward shulde arette
RomB 3328 Falsheed, or tresoun on me sette.
RomB 3329 I wole me gete prys or blame,
RomB 3330 And love trewe, to save my name.
RomB 3331 Who that me chastisith, I hym hate. "
RomB 3332 With that word Resoun wente hir gate,
RomB 3333 Whanne she saugh for no sermonynge
RomB 3334 She myght me fro my foly brynge.
RomB 3335 Thanne dismaied, I lefte all sool,
RomB 3336 Forwery, forwandred as a fool,
RomB 3337 For I ne knew no chevisaunce.
RomB 3338 Thanne fell into my remembraunce
RomB 3339 How Love bad me to purveye
RomB 3340 A felowe to whom I myghte seye
RomB 3341 My counsell and my pryvete,
RomB 3342 For that shulde moche availe me.
RomB 3343 With that bithought I me that I
RomB 3344 Hadde a felowe faste by,
RomB 3345 Trewe and siker, curteys and hend,
RomB 3346 And he was called by name a Freend --
RomB 3347 A trewer felowe was nowher noon.
RomB 3348 In haste to hym I wente anoon,
RomB 3349 And to hym all my woo I tolde;
RomB 3350 Fro hym right nought I wold witholde.
RomB 3351 I tolde hym all, withoute wer,
RomB 3352 And made my compleynt on Daunger,
RomB 3353 How for to see he was hidous,
RomB 3354 And to me-ward contrarious,
RomB 3355 The whiche thurgh his cruelte
RomB 3356 Was in poynt to [have] meygned me.
RomB 3357 With Bialacoil whanne he me sey
RomB 3358 Withynne the gardeyn walke and pley,
RomB 3359 Fro me he made hym for to go.
RomB 3360 And I, bilefte aloone in woo,
RomB 3361 I durst no lenger with hym speke,
RomB 3362 For Daunger seide he wolde be wreke,
RomB 3363 Whanne that he saw how I wente
RomB 3364 The freshe botoun for to hente,
RomB 3365 If I were hardy to come neer
RomB 3366 Bitwene the hay and the roser.
RomB 3367 This freend, whanne he wiste of my thought,
RomB 3368 He discomforted me right nought,
RomB 3369 But seide, " Felowe, be not so mad,
RomB 3370 Ne so abaysshed nor bystad.
RomB 3371 Mysilf I knowe full well Daunger,
RomB 3372 And how he is feers of his cheer,
RomB 3373 At prime temps, love to manace;
RomB 3374 Ful ofte I have ben in his caas.
RomB 3375 A feloun first though that he be,
RomB 3376 Aftir thou shalt hym souple se.
RomB 3377 Of longe passed I knew hym well;
RomB 3378 Ungoodly first though men hym feel,
RomB 3379 He wol meke aftir in his beryng
RomB 3380 Been, for service and obeysshyng.
RomB 3381 I shal thee telle what thou shalt doo.
RomB 3382 Mekely I rede thou go hym to,
RomB 3383 Of herte pray hym specialy
RomB 3384 Of thy trespas to have mercy,
RomB 3385 And hote hym wel, here to plese,
RomB 3386 That thou shalt nevermore hym displese.
RomB 3387 Who can best serve of flatery,
RomB 3388 Shall please Daunger most uttirly. "
RomB 3389 Mi freend hath seid to me so wel
RomB 3390 That he me esid hath somdell,
RomB 3391 And eke allegged of my torment;
RomB 3392 For thurgh hym had I hardement
RomB 3393 Agayn to Daunger for to go,
RomB 3394 To preve if I myght meke hym soo.
RomB 3395 To Daunger came I all ashamed,
RomB 3396 The which aforn me hadde blamed,
RomB 3397 Desiryng for to pese my woo,
RomB 3398 But over hegge durst I not goo,
RomB 3399 For he forbed me the passage.
RomB 3400 I fond hym cruel in his rage,
RomB 3401 And in his hond a gret burdoun.
RomB 3402 To hym I knelide lowe adoun,
RomB 3403 Ful meke of port and symple of chere,
RomB 3404 And seide, " Sir, I am comen heere
RomB 3405 Oonly to aske of you mercy.
RomB 3406 That greveth me full gretly
RomB 3407 That evere my lyf I wratthed you;
RomB 3408 But for to amenden I am come now,
RomB 3409 With all my myght, bothe loude and stille,
RomB 3410 To doon right at youre owne wille.
RomB 3411 For Love made me for to doo
RomB 3412 That I have trespassed hidirto,
RomB 3413 Fro whom I ne may withdrawe myn hert.
RomB 3414 Yit shall [I] never, for joy ne smert,
RomB 3415 What so bifalle, good or ill,
RomB 3416 Offende more ageyn youre will.
RomB 3417 Lever I have endure disese,
RomB 3418 Than do that you shulde displese.
RomB 3419 " I you require and pray that ye
RomB 3420 Of me have mercy and pitee,
RomB 3421 To stynte your ire that greveth soo,
RomB 3422 That I wol swere for ever mo
RomB 3423 To be redressid at youre likyng,
RomB 3424 If I trespasse in ony thyng.
RomB 3425 Save that I pray thee graunte me
RomB 3426 A thyng that may not warned be,
RomB 3427 That I may love, all oonly;
RomB 3428 Noon other thyng of you aske I.
RomB 3429 I shall doon elles well, iwys,
RomB 3430 If of youre grace ye graunte me this.
RomB 3431 And ye may not letten me,
RomB 3432 For wel wot ye that love is free,
RomB 3433 And I shall loven, sithen that I will,
RomB 3434 Who ever like it well or ill;
RomB 3435 And yit ne wold I, for all Fraunce,
RomB 3436 Do thyng to do you displesaunce. "
RomB 3437 Thanne Daunger fil in his entent
RomB 3438 For to foryeve his maltalent;
RomB 3439 But all his wratthe yit at laste
RomB 3440 He hath relesed, I preyde so faste.
RomB 3441 Shortly he seide, " Thy request
RomB 3442 Is not to mochel dishonest,
RomB 3443 Ne I wole not werne it thee,
RomB 3444 For yit nothyng engreveth me.
RomB 3445 For though thou love thus evermor,
RomB 3446 To me is neither softe ne soor.
RomB 3447 Love where that the list -- what recchith me,
RomB 3448 So [thou] fer fro my roses be?
RomB 3449 Trust not on me, for noon assay,
RomB 3450 If ony tyme thou passe the hay. "
RomB 3451 Thus hath he graunted my praiere.
RomB 3452 Thanne wente I forth, withouten were,
RomB 3453 Unto my freend, and tolde hym all,
RomB 3454 Which was right joyful of my tall.
RomB 3455 He seide, " Now goth wel thyn affaire.
RomB 3456 He shall to thee be debonaire;
RomB 3457 Though he aforn was dispitous,
RomB 3458 He shall heere aftir be gracious.
RomB 3459 If he were touchid on som good veyne,
RomB 3460 He shuld yit rewen on thi peyne.
RomB 3461 Suffre, I rede, and no boost make,
RomB 3462 Till thou at good mes maist hym take.
RomB 3463 By sufferaunce and wordis softe
RomB 3464 A man may overcome ofte
RomB 3465 Hym that aforn he hadde in drede,
RomB 3466 In bookis sothly as I rede. "
RomB 3467 Thus hath my freend with gret comfort
RomB 3468 Avaunced [me] with high disport,
RomB 3469 Which wolde me good as mych as I.
RomB 3470 And thanne anoon full sodeynly
RomB 3471 I tok my leve, and streight I went
RomB 3472 Unto the hay, for gret talent
RomB 3473 I hadde to sen the fresh botoun
RomB 3474 Wherynne lay my salvacioun;
RomB 3475 And Daunger tok kep if that I
RomB 3476 Kepe hym covenaunt trewely.
RomB 3477 So sore I dradde his manasyng,
RomB 3478 I durst not breke his biddyng;
RomB 3479 For, lest that I were of hym shent,
RomB 3480 I brak not his comaundement,
RomB 3481 For to purchase his good wil.
RomB 3482 It was [nat] for to come ther-til;
RomB 3483 His mercy was to fer bihynde.
RomB 3484 I wepte for I ne myght it fynde.
RomB 3485 I compleyned and sighed sore,
RomB 3486 And langwisshed evermore,
RomB 3487 For I durst not over goo
RomB 3488 Unto the Rose I loved soo.
RomB 3489 Thurgh my demenyng outerly
RomB 3490 Than he had knowledge certanly
RomB 3491 That Love me ladde in sich a wise
RomB 3492 That in me ther was no feyntise,
RomB 3493 Falsheed, ne no trecherie.
RomB 3494 And yit he, full of vylanye,
RomB 3495 Of disdeyn, and cruelte,
RomB 3496 On me ne wolde have pite,
RomB 3497 His cruel will for to refreyne,
RomB 3498 Though I wepe alwey, and me compleyne.
RomB 3499 And while I was in this torment,
RomB 3500 Were come of grace, by God sent,
RomB 3501 Fraunchise, and with hir Pite.
RomB 3502 Fulfild the bothen of bounte,
RomB 3503 They go to Daunger anoon-right
RomB 3504 To forther me with all her myght,
RomB 3505 And helpe in worde and in dede,
RomB 3506 For well they saugh that it was nede.
RomB 3507 First, of hir grace, dame Fraunchise
RomB 3508 Hath taken [word] of this emprise.
RomB 3509 She seide, " Daunger, gret wrong ye do,
RomB 3510 To worche this man so myche woo,
RomB 3511 Or pynen hym so angerly;
RomB 3512 It is to you gret villany.
RomB 3513 I can not see why, ne how,
RomB 3514 That he hath trespassed ageyn you,
RomB 3515 Save that he loveth, wherfore ye shulde
RomB 3516 The more in cherete of hym holde.
RomB 3517 The force of love makith hym do this;
RomB 3518 Who wolde hym blame he dide amys?
RomB 3519 He leseth more than ye may do;
RomB 3520 His peyne is hard, ye may see, lo!
RomB 3521 And Love in no wise wolde consente
RomB 3522 That he have power to repente,
RomB 3523 For though that quyk ye wolde hym sloo,
RomB 3524 Fro love his herte may not goo.
RomB 3525 Now, swete sir, is it youre ese
RomB 3526 Hym for to angre or disese?
RomB 3527 Allas! what may it you avaunce
RomB 3528 To don to hym so gret grevaunce?
RomB 3529 What worship is it agayn hym take,
RomB 3530 Or on youre man a werre make,
RomB 3531 Sith he so lowly, every wise,
RomB 3532 Is redy, as ye lust devise?
RomB 3533 If Love hath caught hym in his las,
RomB 3534 You for t' obeye in every caas,
RomB 3535 And ben youre suget at youre will,
RomB 3536 Shuld ye therfore willen hym ill?
RomB 3537 Ye shulde hym spare more, all out,
RomB 3538 Than hym that is bothe proud and stout.
RomB 3539 Curtesie wol that ye socoure
RomB 3540 Hem that ben meke undir youre cure.
RomB 3541 His herte is hard that wole not meke,
RomB 3542 Whanne men of mekenesse hym biseke. "
RomB 3543 " That is certeyn, " seide Pite;
RomB 3544 " We se ofte that humilite
RomB 3545 Bothe ire and also felonye
RomB 3546 Venquyssheth, and also malencolye.
RomB 3547 To stonde forth in such duresse,
RomB 3548 This cruelte and wikkidnesse.
RomB 3549 Wherfore I pray you, sir Daunger,
RomB 3550 For to mayntene no lenger heer
RomB 3551 Such cruel werre agayn youre man,
RomB 3552 As hoolly youres as ever he can;
RomB 3553 Nor that ye worchen no more woo
RomB 3554 Upon this caytif, that langwisshith soo,
RomB 3555 Which wole no more to you trespasse,
RomB 3556 But putte hym hoolly in youre grace.
RomB 3557 His offense ne was but lite;
RomB 3558 The God of Love it was to wite,
RomB 3559 That he youre thrall so gretly is,
RomB 3560 And if ye harme hym, ye don amys.
RomB 3561 For he hath had full hard penaunce,
RomB 3562 Sith that ye refte hym th' aqueyntaunce
RomB 3563 Of Bialacoil, his moste joye,
RomB 3564 Which alle his peynes myght acoye.
RomB 3565 He was biforn anoyed sore,
RomB 3566 But thanne ye doubled hym well more;
RomB 3567 For he of blis hath ben full bare,
RomB 3568 Sith Bialacoil was fro hym fare.
RomB 3569 Love hath to hym do gret distresse,
RomB 3570 He hath no nede of more duresse.
RomB 3571 Voideth from hym youre ire, I rede;
RomB 3572 Ye may not wynnen in this dede.
RomB 3573 Makith Bialacoil repeire ageyn,
RomB 3574 And haveth pite upon his peyn;
RomB 3575 For Fraunchise wole, and I, Pite,
RomB 3576 That mercyful to hym ye be;
RomB 3577 And sith that she and I accorde,
RomB 3578 Have upon hym misericorde.
RomB 3579 For I you pray and eke moneste
RomB 3580 Nought to refusen oure requeste,
RomB 3581 For he is hard and fell of thought,
RomB 3582 That for us twoo wole do right nought. "
RomB 3583 Daunger ne myght no more endure;
RomB 3584 He mekede hym unto mesure.
RomB 3585 " I wole in no wise, " seith Daunger,
RomB 3586 " Denye that ye have asked heer;
RomB 3587 It were to gret uncurtesie.
RomB 3588 I wole he have the companye
RomB 3589 Of Bialacoil, as ye devise;
RomB 3590 I wole hym lette in no wise. "
RomB 3591 To Bialacoil thanne wente in hy
RomB 3592 Fraunchise, and seide full curteisly,
RomB 3593 " Ye have to longe be deignous
RomB 3594 Unto this lover, and daungerous,
RomB 3595 Fro him to withdrawe your presence,
RomB 3596 Which hath do to him gret offence,
RomB 3597 That ye not wolde upon him se,
RomB 3598 Wherfore a sorouful man is he.
RomB 3599 Shape ye to paye him, and to please,
RomB 3600 Of my love if ye wol have ease.
RomB 3601 Fulfyl his wyl, sith that ye knowe
RomB 3602 Daunger is daunted and brought lowe
RomB 3603 Through help of me and of Pyte.
RomB 3604 You dar no more afered be. "
RomB 3605 " I shal do right as ye wyl, "
RomB 3606 Saith Bialacoil, " for it is skyl,
RomB 3607 Sithe Daunger wol that it so be. "
RomB 3608 Than Fraunchise hath him sent to me.
RomB 3609 Byalacoil at the begynnyng
RomB 3610 Salued me in his commyng.
RomB 3611 No straungenesse was in him sen,
RomB 3612 No more than he ne had wrathed ben.
RomB 3613 As fayr semblaunt than shewed he me,
RomB 3614 And goodly, as aforn dyd he;
RomB 3615 And by the hond, withouten doute,
RomB 3616 Within the haye, right al aboute
RomB 3617 He ladde me, with right good cher,
RomB 3618 Al envyron the verger,
RomB 3619 That Daunger hadde me chased fro.
RomB 3620 Now have I leave overal to go;
RomB 3621 Now am I raysed, at my devys,
RomB 3622 Fro helle unto paradys.
RomB 3623 Thus Bialacoil, of gentylnesse,
RomB 3624 With al his payne and besynesse,
RomB 3625 Hath shewed me, only of grace,
RomB 3626 The estres of the swote place.
RomB 3627 I saw the Rose, whan I was nygh,
RomB 3628 Was greatter woxen and more high,
RomB 3629 Fressh, roddy, and fayr of hewe,
RomB 3630 Of colour ever yliche newe.
RomB 3631 And whan I hadde it longe sen,
RomB 3632 I saw that through the leves gren
RomB 3633 The Rose spredde to spaunysshing;
RomB 3634 To sene it was a goodly thyng.
RomB 3635 But it ne was so spred on bred
RomB 3636 That men within myght knowe the sed;
RomB 3637 For it covert was and close,
RomB 3638 Bothe with the leves and with the rose.
RomB 3639 The stalke was even and grene upright,
RomB 3640 It was theron a goodly syght;
RomB 3641 And wel the better, withoute wene,
RomB 3642 For the seed was nat sene.
RomB 3643 Ful fayre it spradde (God it blesse!),
RomB 3644 For such another, as I gesse,
RomB 3645 Aforn ne was, ne more vermayle.
RomB 3646 I was abawed for marveyle,
RomB 3647 For ever the fayrer that it was,
RomB 3648 The more I am bounden in Loves laas.
RomB 3649 Longe I abod there, soth to saye,
RomB 3650 Tyl Bialacoil I gan to praye,
RomB 3651 Whan that I saw him in no wyse
RomB 3652 To me warnen his servyse,
RomB 3653 That he me wolde graunt a thyng,
RomB 3654 Which to remembre is wel syttyng;
RomB 3655 This is to sayn, that of his grace
RomB 3656 He wolde me yeve leysar and space,
RomB 3657 To me that was so desyrous,
RomB 3658 To have a kyssynge precious
RomB 3659 Of the goodly fresshe Rose,
RomB 3660 That so swetely smelleth in my nose.
RomB 3661 " For if it you displeased nought,
RomB 3662 I wolde gladly, as I have sought,
RomB 3663 Have a cos therof freely,
RomB 3664 Of your yefte; for certainly,
RomB 3665 I wol non have but by your leve,
RomB 3666 So loth me were you for to greve. "
RomB 3667 He sayde, " Frend, so God me spede,
RomB 3668 Of Chastite I have such drede;
RomB 3669 Thou shuldest nat warned be for me,
RomB 3670 But I dar nat for Chastyte.
RomB 3671 Agayn her dar I nat mysdo,
RomB 3672 For alway byddeth she me so
RomB 3673 To yeve no lover leave to kys,
RomB 3674 For who therto may wynnen, ywis,
RomB 3675 He of the surplus of the pray
RomB 3676 May lyve in hoope to get som day.
RomB 3677 For whoso kyssynge may attayne
RomB 3678 Of loves payne hath (soth to sayne)
RomB 3679 The beste and most avenaunt,
RomB 3680 And ernest of the remenaunt. "
RomB 3681 Of his answere I sighed sore;
RomB 3682 I durst assaye him tho no more,
RomB 3683 I hadde such drede to greve him ay.
RomB 3684 A man shulde nat to moche assay
RomB 3685 To chafe hys frend out of measure,
RomB 3686 Nor putte his lyf in aventure;
RomB 3687 For no man at the firste strok
RomB 3688 Ne may nat felle down an ok,
RomB 3689 Nor of the reysyns have the wyn,
RomB 3690 Tyl grapes be rype, and wel afyn
RomB 3691 Be sore empressid, I you ensure,
RomB 3692 And drawen out of the pressure.
RomB 3693 But I, forpeyned wonder stronge,
RomB 3694 Thought that I abood right longe
RomB 3695 Aftir the kis, in peyne and woo,
RomB 3696 Sith I to kis desired soo;
RomB 3697 Till that, rewyng on my distresse,
RomB 3698 Ther to me Venus the goddesse,
RomB 3699 Which ay werreyeth Chastite,
RomB 3700 Cam of hir grace to socoure me,
RomB 3701 Whos myght is knowe fer and wide,
RomB 3702 For she is modir of Cupide,
RomB 3703 The God of Love, blynde as stoon,
RomB 3704 That helpith lovers many oon.
RomB 3705 This lady brought in hir right hond
RomB 3706 Of brennyng fyr a blasyng brond,
RomB 3707 Wherof the flawme and hoote fir
RomB 3708 Hath many a lady in desir
RomB 3709 Of love brought, and sore het,
RomB 3710 And in hir servise her hertes set.
RomB 3711 This lady was of good entaile,
RomB 3712 Right wondirfull of apparayle.
RomB 3713 Bi hir atyr so bright and shen
RomB 3714 Men myght perceyve well and sen
RomB 3715 She was not of religioun.
RomB 3716 Nor I nell make mencioun
RomB 3717 Nor of robe, nor of tresour,
RomB 3718 Of broche, neithir of hir riche attour,
RomB 3719 Ne of hir girdill aboute hir side,
RomB 3720 For that I nyll not longe abide.
RomB 3721 But knowith wel that certeynly
RomB 3722 She was araied richely.
RomB 3723 Devoyd of pryde certeyn she was.
RomB 3724 To Bialacoil she wente apas,
RomB 3725 And to hym shortly, in a clause,
RomB 3726 She seide, " Sir, what is the cause
RomB 3727 Ye ben of port so daungerous
RomB 3728 Unto this lover and deynous,
RomB 3729 To graunte hym nothyng but a kis?
RomB 3730 To werne it hym ye don amys,
RomB 3731 Sith well ye wote how that he
RomB 3732 Is Loves servaunt, as ye may see,
RomB 3733 And hath beaute, wherthrough [he] is
RomB 3734 Worthy of love to have the blis.
RomB 3735 How he is semely, biholde and see,
RomB 3736 How he is fair, how he is free,
RomB 3737 How he is swoote and debonair,
RomB 3738 Of age yong, lusty, and fair.
RomB 3739 Ther is no lady so hawteyn,
RomB 3740 Duchesse, ne countesse, ne chasteleyn,
RomB 3741 That I nolde holde hir ungoodly
RomB 3742 For to refuse hym outterly.
RomB 3743 His breth is also good and swete,
RomB 3744 And eke his lippis rody, and mete
RomB 3745 Oonly to pleyen and to kisse.
RomB 3746 Graunte hym a kis, of gentilnysse!
RomB 3747 His teth arn also white and clene;
RomB 3748 Me thinkith wrong, withouten wene,
RomB 3749 If ye now werne hym, trustith me,
RomB 3750 To graunte that a kis have he.
RomB 3751 The lasse to helpe hym that ye haste,
RomB 3752 The more tyme shul ye waste. "
RomB 3753 Whanne the flawme of the verry brond,
RomB 3754 That Venus brought in hir right hond,
RomB 3755 Hadde Bialacoil with hete smete,
RomB 3756 Anoon he bad, withouten lette,
RomB 3757 Graunte to me the Rose kisse.
RomB 3758 Thanne of my peyne I gan to lysse,
RomB 3759 And to the Rose anoon wente I,
RomB 3760 And kisside it full feithfully.
RomB 3761 Thar no man aske if I was blithe,
RomB 3762 Whanne the savour soft and lythe
RomB 3763 Strok to myn herte withoute more,
RomB 3764 And me alegged of my sore,
RomB 3765 So was I full of joye and blisse.
RomB 3766 It is fair sich a flour to kisse,
RomB 3767 It was so swoote and saverous.
RomB 3768 I myght not be so angwisshous
RomB 3769 That I [ne] mote glad and joly be,
RomB 3770 Whanne that I remembre me.
RomB 3771 Yit ever among, sothly to seyne,
RomB 3772 I suffre noy and moche peyne.
RomB 3773 The see may never be so stille
RomB 3774 That with a litel wynde it nille
RomB 3775 Overwhelme and turne also,
RomB 3776 As it were wood in wawis goo.
RomB 3777 Aftir the calm the trouble sone
RomB 3778 Mot folowe and chaunge as the moone.
RomB 3779 Right so farith Love, that selde in oon
RomB 3780 Holdith his anker, for right anoon
RomB 3781 Whanne they in ese wene best to lyve,
RomB 3782 They ben with tempest all fordryve.
RomB 3783 Who serveth Love can telle of woo;
RomB 3784 The stoundemele joie mot overgoo.
RomB 3785 Now he hurteth, and now he cureth.
RomB 3786 For selde in oo poynt Love endureth.
RomB 3787 Now is it right me to procede,
RomB 3788 How Shame gan medle and take hede
RomB 3789 Thurgh whom fele angres I have had,
RomB 3790 And how the stronge wall was maad,
RomB 3791 And the castell of brede and lengthe,
RomB 3792 That God of Love wan with his strengthe.
RomB 3793 All this in romance will I sette,
RomB 3794 And for nothyng ne will I lette,
RomB 3795 So that it lykyng to hir be,
RomB 3796 That is the flour of beaute,
RomB 3797 For she may best my labour quyte,
RomB 3798 That I for hir love shal endite.
RomB 3799 Wikkid-Tunge, that the covyne
RomB 3800 Of every lover can devyne
RomB 3801 Worst, and addith more somdell
RomB 3802 (For Wikkid-Tunge seith never well),
RomB 3803 To me-ward bar he right gret hate,
RomB 3804 Espiyng me erly and late,
RomB 3805 Till he hath sen the grete chere
RomB 3806 Of Bialacoil and me ifeere.
RomB 3807 He myghte not his tunge withstond
RomB 3808 Worse to reporte than he fond,
RomB 3809 He was so full of cursed rage.
RomB 3810 It sat hym well of his lynage,
RomB 3811 For hym an Irish womman bar.
RomB 3812 His tunge was fyled sharp and squar,
RomB 3813 Poignaunt, and right kervyng,
RomB 3814 And wonder bitter in spekyng.
RomB 3815 For whanne that he me gan espie,
RomB 3816 He swoor, affermyng sikirlye,
RomB 3817 Bitwene Bialacoil and me
RomB 3818 Was yvel aquayntaunce and pryve.
RomB 3819 He spak therof so folily
RomB 3820 That he awakide Jelousy,
RomB 3821 Which, all afrayed in his risyng,
RomB 3822 Whanne that he herde janglyng,
RomB 3823 He ran anoon, as he were wood,
RomB 3824 To Bialacoil, there that he stod,
RomB 3825 Which hadde lever in this caas
RomB 3826 Have ben at Reynes or Amyas;
RomB 3827 For foot-hoot, in his felonye,
RomB 3828 To hym thus seide Jelousie:
RomB 3829 " Why hast thou ben so necligent
RomB 3830 To kepen, whanne I was absent,
RomB 3831 This verger heere left in thi ward?
RomB 3832 To me thou haddist no reward,
RomB 3833 To truste (to thy confusioun!)
RomB 3834 Hym thus, to whom suspeccioun
RomB 3835 I have right gret, for it is nede;
RomB 3836 It is well shewed by the dede.
RomB 3837 Gret faute in thee now have I founde.
RomB 3838 By God, anoon thou shalt be bounde,
RomB 3839 And faste loken in a tour,
RomB 3840 Withoute refuyt or socour.
RomB 3841 For Shame to longe hath be thee froo;
RomB 3842 Over-soone she was agoo.
RomB 3843 Whanne thou hast lost bothe drede and feere,
RomB 3844 It semede wel she was not heere.
RomB 3845 She was bisy in no wyse
RomB 3846 To kepe thee and chastise,
RomB 3847 And for to helpen Chastite
RomB 3848 To kepe the roser, as thenkith me.
RomB 3849 For thanne this boy-knave so booldely
RomB 3850 Ne shulde not have be hardy,
RomB 3851 [Ne] in this verger hadde such game,
RomB 3852 Which now me turneth to gret shame. "
RomB 3853 Bialacoil nyste what to sey;
RomB 3854 Full fayn he wolde have fled awey,
RomB 3855 For feere han hid, nere that he
RomB 3856 All sodeynly tok hym with me.
RomB 3857 And whanne I saugh he hadde soo,
RomB 3858 This Jelousie, take us twoo,
RomB 3859 I was astoned, and knew no red,
RomB 3860 But fledde awey for verrey dred.
RomB 3861 Thanne Shame cam forth full symply
RomB 3862 (She wende have trespaced full gretly),
RomB 3863 Humble of hir port, and made it symple,
RomB 3864 Weryng a vayle in stide of wymple,
RomB 3865 As nonnys don in her abbey.
RomB 3866 By cause hir herte was in affray,
RomB 3867 She gan to speke withynne a throwe
RomB 3868 To Jelousie right wonder lowe.
RomB 3869 First of his grace she bysought,
RomB 3870 And seide, " Sire, ne leveth nought
RomB 3871 Wikkid-Tunge, that false espie,
RomB 3872 Which is so glad to feyne and lye.
RomB 3873 He hath you maad, thurgh flateryng,
RomB 3874 On Bialacoil a fals lesyng.
RomB 3875 His falsnesse is not now a-new;
RomB 3876 It is to long that he hym knew.
RomB 3877 This is not the firste day,
RomB 3878 For Wikkid-Tunge hath custome ay
RomB 3879 Yonge folkis to bewreye,
RomB 3880 And false lesynges on hem leye.
RomB 3881 " Yit nevertheles I see among,
RomB 3882 That the loigne it is so long,
RomB 3883 Of Bialacoil, hertis to lure,
RomB 3884 In Loves servyse for to endure,
RomB 3885 Drawyng suche folk hym to,
RomB 3886 That he hath nothyng with to doo.
RomB 3887 But in sothnesse I trowe nought
RomB 3888 That Bialacoil hadde ever in thought
RomB 3889 To do trespas or vylonye,
RomB 3890 But for his modir Curtesie
RomB 3891 Hath taught hym ever to be
RomB 3892 Good of aqueyntaunce and pryve.
RomB 3893 For he loveth noon hevynesse,
RomB 3894 But mirthe and pley and all gladnesse;
RomB 3895 He hateth alle trecherous,
RomB 3896 Soleyn folk, and envyous;
RomB 3897 For ye witen how that he
RomB 3898 Wol ever glad and joyfull be
RomB 3899 Honestly with folk to pley.
RomB 3900 I have be negligent, in good fey,
RomB 3901 To chastise hym; therfore now I
RomB 3902 Of herte crye you heere mercy,
RomB 3903 That I have been so recheles
RomB 3904 To tamen hym, withouten lees.
RomB 3905 Of my foly I me repente.
RomB 3906 Now wole I hool sette myn entente
RomB 3907 To kepe, bothe lowde and stille,
RomB 3908 Bialacoil to do youre wille. "
RomB 3909 " Shame, Shame, " seyde Jelousy,
RomB 3910 " To be bytrasshed gret drede have I.
RomB 3911 Leccherie hath clombe so hye
RomB 3912 That almoost blered is myn ye;
RomB 3913 No wonder is, if that drede have I.
RomB 3914 Overall regnyth Lecchery,
RomB 3915 Whos myght growith nyght and day
RomB 3916 Bothe in cloistre and in abbey.
RomB 3917 Chastite is werreyed overall;
RomB 3918 Therfore I wole with siker wall
RomB 3919 Close bothe roses and roser.
RomB 3920 I have to longe in this maner
RomB 3921 Left hem unclosid wilfully;
RomB 3922 Wherfore I am right inwardly
RomB 3923 Sorowfull, and repente me.
RomB 3924 But now they shall no lenger be
RomB 3925 Unclosid; and yit I drede sore,
RomB 3926 I shall repente ferthermore,
RomB 3927 For the game goth all amys.
RomB 3928 Counsell I must newe, ywys.
RomB 3929 I have to longe tristed thee,
RomB 3930 But now it shal no lenger be,
RomB 3931 For he may best, in every cost,
RomB 3932 Disceyve, that men tristen most.
RomB 3933 I see wel that I am nygh shent,
RomB 3934 But if I sette my full entent
RomB 3935 Remedye to purveye.
RomB 3936 Therfore close I shall the weye
RomB 3937 Fro hem that wole the Rose espie,
RomB 3938 And come to wayte me vilonye,
RomB 3939 For, in good feith and in trouthe,
RomB 3940 I wole not lette for no slouthe
RomB 3941 To lyve the more in sikirnesse,
RomB 3942 To make anoon a forteresse,
RomB 3943 T' enclose the roses of good savour.
RomB 3944 In myddis shall I make a tour
RomB 3945 To putte Bialacoil in prisoun,
RomB 3946 For evere I drede me of tresoun.
RomB 3947 I trowe I shal hym kepe soo
RomB 3948 That he shal have no myght to goo
RomB 3949 Aboute to make companye
RomB 3950 To hem that thenke of vylanye;
RomB 3951 Ne to no such as hath ben heere
RomB 3952 Aforn, and founde in hym good chere,
RomB 3953 Which han assailed hym to shende,
RomB 3954 And with her trowandyse to blende.
RomB 3955 A fool is eythe to bigyle;
RomB 3956 But may I lyve a litel while,
RomB 3957 He shal forthenke his fair semblaunt. "
RomB 3958 And with that word came Drede avaunt,
RomB 3959 Which was abasshed and in gret fere,
RomB 3960 Whanne he wiste Jelousie was there.
RomB 3961 He was for drede in sich affray
RomB 3962 That not a word durste he say,
RomB 3963 But quakyng stod full still aloon,
RomB 3964 Til Jelousie his weye was gon,
RomB 3965 Save Shame, that him not forsok.
RomB 3966 Bothe Drede and she ful sore quok,
RomB 3967 That atte laste Drede abreyde,
RomB 3968 And to his cosyn Shame seide:
RomB 3969 " Shame, " he seide, " in sothfastnesse,
RomB 3970 To me it is gret hevynesse
RomB 3971 That the noyse so fer is go,
RomB 3972 And the sclaundre of us twoo.
RomB 3973 But sithe that it is byfalle,
RomB 3974 We may it not ageyn calle
RomB 3975 Whanne onys sprongen is a fame.
RomB 3976 For many a yeer withouten blame
RomB 3977 We han ben, and many a day;
RomB 3978 For many an Aprill and many a May
RomB 3979 We han passed, not shamed,
RomB 3980 Till Jelousie hath us blamed,
RomB 3981 Of mystrust and suspecioun,
RomB 3982 Causeles, withoute enchesoun.
RomB 3983 Go we to Daunger hastily,
RomB 3984 And late us shewe hym openly
RomB 3985 That [he] hath not aright wrought,
RomB 3986 Whanne that [he] sette nought his thought
RomB 3987 To kepe better the purprise;
RomB 3988 In his doyng he is not wise.
RomB 3989 He hath to us do gret wrong,
RomB 3990 That hath suffred now so long
RomB 3991 Bialacoil to have his wille,
RomB 3992 All his lustes to fulfille.
RomB 3993 He must amende it utterly,
RomB 3994 Or ellys shall he vilaynesly
RomB 3995 Exiled be out of this lond;
RomB 3996 For he the werre may not withstond
RomB 3997 Of Jelousie, nor the greef,
RomB 3998 Sith Bialacoil is at myscheef. "
RomB 3999 To Daunger, Shame and Drede anoon
RomB 4000 The righte weye ben goon.
RomB 4001 The cherl thei founden hem aforn,
RomB 4002 Liggyng undir an hawethorn;
RomB 4003 Undir his heed no pilowe was,
RomB 4004 But in the stede a trusse of gras.
RomB 4005 He slombred, and a nappe he tok,
RomB 4006 Tyll Shame pitously hym shok,
RomB 4007 And grete manace on hym gan make.
RomB 4008 " Why slepist thou, whanne thou shulde wake? "
RomB 4009 Quod Shame; " Thou doist us vylanye!
RomB 4010 Who tristith thee, he doth folye,
RomB 4011 To kepe roses or botouns,
RomB 4012 Whanne thei ben faire in her sesouns.
RomB 4013 Thou art woxe to familiere,
RomB 4014 Where thou shulde be straunge of chere,
RomB 4015 Stout of thi port, redy to greve.
RomB 4016 Thou doist gret folye for to leve
RomB 4017 Bialacoil hereinne to calle
RomB 4018 The yonder man to shenden us alle.
RomB 4019 Though that thou slepe, we may here
RomB 4020 Of Jelousie gret noyse heere.
RomB 4021 Art thou now late? Ris up in hy,
RomB 4022 And stop sone and delyverly
RomB 4023 All the gappis of the haye.
RomB 4024 Do no favour, I thee praye.
RomB 4025 It fallith nothyng to thy name
RomB 4026 To make faire semblaunt, where thou maist blame.
RomB 4027 Yf Bialacoil be sweete and free,
RomB 4028 Dogged and fell thou shuldist be,
RomB 4029 Froward and outrageous, ywis;
RomB 4030 A cherl chaungeth that curteis is.
RomB 4031 This have I herd ofte in seiyng,
RomB 4032 That man [ne] may, for no dauntyng,
RomB 4033 Make a sperhauk of a bosard.
RomB 4034 Alle men wole holde thee for musard,
RomB 4035 That debonair have founden thee;
RomB 4036 It sittith thee nought curteis to be.
RomB 4037 To do men plesaunce or servise,
RomB 4038 In thee it is recreaundise.
RomB 4039 Let thi werkis fer and ner
RomB 4040 Be like thi name, which is Daunger. "
RomB 4041 Thanne, all abawid in shewing,
RomB 4042 Anoon spak Drede, right thus seiyng,
RomB 4043 And seide, " Daunger, I drede me
RomB 4044 That thou ne wolt bisy be
RomB 4045 To kepe that thou hast to kepe:
RomB 4046 Whanne thou shuldist wake, thou art aslepe.
RomB 4047 Thou shalt be greved, certeynly,
RomB 4048 If the aspie Jelousy,
RomB 4049 Or if he fynde thee in blame.
RomB 4050 He hath to-day assailed Shame,
RomB 4051 And chased awey with gret manace
RomB 4052 Bialacoil out of this place,
RomB 4053 And swereth shortly that he shall
RomB 4054 Enclose hym in a sturdy wall;
RomB 4055 And all is for thi wikkednesse,
RomB 4056 For that thee faileth straungenesse.
RomB 4057 Thyn herte, I trowe, be failed all;
RomB 4058 Thou shalt repente in speciall,
RomB 4059 If Jelousie the soothe knewe;
RomB 4060 Thou shalt forthenke and sore rewe. "
RomB 4061 With that the cherl his clubbe gan shake,
RomB 4062 Frounyng his eyen gan to make,
RomB 4063 And hidous chere; as man in rage
RomB 4064 For ire he brente in his visage,
RomB 4065 Whanne that [he] herd hym blamed soo.
RomB 4066 He seide, " Out of my wit I goo!
RomB 4067 To be discomfyt I have gret wrong.
RomB 4068 Certis, I have now lyved to long,
RomB 4069 Sith I may not this closer kepe.
RomB 4070 All quyk I wolde be dolven deepe,
RomB 4071 If ony man shal more repeire
RomB 4072 Into this gardyn, for foule or faire.
RomB 4073 Myn herte for ire goth a-fere,
RomB 4074 That I let ony entre heere.
RomB 4075 I have do folie, now I see,
RomB 4076 But now it shall amended bee.
RomB 4077 Who settith foot heere ony more,
RomB 4078 Truly he shall repente it sore;
RomB 4079 For no man moo into this place
RomB 4080 Of me to entre shal have grace.
RomB 4081 Lever I hadde with swerdis tweyne
RomB 4082 Thurghoute myn herte in every veyne
RomB 4083 Perced to be with many a wounde,
RomB 4084 Thanne slouthe shulde in me be founde.
RomB 4085 From hennes forth, by nyght or day,
RomB 4086 I shall defende it, if I may,
RomB 4087 Withouten ony excepcioun
RomB 4088 Of ech maner condicioun.
RomB 4089 And if I it eny man graunt,
RomB 4090 Holdeth me for recreaunt. "
RomB 4091 Thanne Daunger on his feet gan stond,
RomB 4092 And hente a burdoun in his hond.
RomB 4093 Wroth in his ire, ne lefte he nought,
RomB 4094 But thurgh the verger he hath sought.
RomB 4095 If he myght fynde hole or trace,
RomB 4096 Wherethurgh that me mot forth-by pace,
RomB 4097 Or ony gappe, he dide it close,
RomB 4098 That no man myghte touche a rose
RomB 4099 Of the roser all aboute.
RomB 4100 He shitteth every man withoute.
RomB 4101 Thus day by day Daunger is wers,
RomB 4102 More wondirfull and more dyvers,
RomB 4103 And feller eke than evere he was.
RomB 4104 For hym full ofte I synge " Allas! "
RomB 4105 For I ne may nought, thurgh his ire,
RomB 4106 Recovere that I moost desire.
RomB 4107 Myn herte, allas, wole brest a-twoo,
RomB 4108 For Bialacoil I wratthed soo.
RomB 4109 For certeynly, in every membre
RomB 4110 I quake, whanne I me remembre
RomB 4111 Of the botoun, which I wolde
RomB 4112 Full ofte a day sen and biholde.
RomB 4113 And whanne I thenke upon the kiss,
RomB 4114 And how myche joye and bliss
RomB 4115 I hadde thurgh the savour swete,
RomB 4116 For want of it I grone and grete.
RomB 4117 Me thenkith I fele yit in my nose
RomB 4118 The swete savour of the Rose.
RomB 4119 And now I woot that I mot goo
RomB 4120 So fer the freshe floures froo,
RomB 4121 To me full welcome were the deth.
RomB 4122 Absens therof, allas, me sleeth.
RomB 4123 For whilom with this Rose -- allas! --
RomB 4124 I touched nose, mouth, and face;
RomB 4125 But now the deth I must abide.
RomB 4126 But Love consente another tyde
RomB 4127 That onys I touche may and kisse,
RomB 4128 I trowe my peyne shall never lisse;
RomB 4129 Theron is all my coveitise,
RomB 4130 Which brent myn herte in many wise.
RomB 4131 Now shal repaire agayn sighinge,
RomB 4132 Long wacche on nyghtis, and no slepinge,
RomB 4133 Thought in wisshing, torment and woo,
RomB 4134 With many a turnyng to and froo,
RomB 4135 That half my peyne I can not telle.
RomB 4136 For I am fallen into helle
RomB 4137 From paradys, and wel the more
RomB 4138 My turment greveth. more and more
RomB 4139 Anoieth now the bittirnesse,
RomB 4140 That I toforn have felt swetnesse.
RomB 4141 And Wikkid-Tunge, thurgh his falshede,
RomB 4142 Causeth all my woo and drede.
RomB 4143 On me he leieth a pitous charge,
RomB 4144 Bicause his tunge was to large.
RomB 4145 Now it is tyme, shortly, that I
RomB 4146 Telle you som thyng of Jelousy,
RomB 4147 That was in gret suspecioun.
RomB 4148 Aboute hym lefte he no masoun,
RomB 4149 That stoon coude leye, ne querrour;
RomB 4150 He hirede hem to make a tour.
RomB 4151 And first, the roses for to kep,
RomB 4152 Aboute hem made he a diche deep,
RomB 4153 Right wondir large, and also brood;
RomB 4154 Upon the whiche also stod
RomB 4155 Of squared stoon a sturdy wall,
RomB 4156 Which on a cragge was founded all;
RomB 4157 And right gret thikkenesse eke it bar.
RomB 4158 Aboute, it was founded squar,
RomB 4159 An hundred fademe on every sid;
RomB 4160 It was all liche longe and wid.
RomB 4161 Lest ony tyme it were assayled,
RomB 4162 Ful wel aboute it was batayled,
RomB 4163 And rounde enviroun eke were set
RomB 4164 Ful many a riche and fair touret.
RomB 4165 At every corner of this wall
RomB 4166 Was set a tour full pryncipall;
RomB 4167 And everich hadde, withoute fable,
RomB 4168 A porte-colys defensable
RomB 4169 To kepe of enemyes, and to greve,
RomB 4170 That there her force wolde preve.
RomB 4171 And eke amydde this purprise
RomB 4172 Was maad a tour of gret maistrise;
RomB 4173 A fairer saugh no man with sight,
RomB 4174 Large and wid, and of gret myght.
RomB 4175 They dredde noon assaut
RomB 4176 Of gyn, gunne, nor skaffaut.
RomB 4177 The temperure of the morter
RomB 4178 Was maad of lycour wonder der,
RomB 4179 Of quykke lym, persant and egre,
RomB 4180 The which was tempred with vynegre.
RomB 4181 The stoon was hard, of ademant,
RomB 4182 Wherof they made the foundement.
RomB 4183 The tour was round, maad in compas;
RomB 4184 In all this world no riccher was,
RomB 4185 Ne better ordeigned therwithall.
RomB 4186 Aboute the tour was maad a wall,
RomB 4187 So that bitwixt that and the tour
RomB 4188 Rosers were sette of swete savour,
RomB 4189 With many roses that thei bere;
RomB 4190 And eke withynne the castell were
RomB 4191 Spryngoldes, gunnes, bows, and archers;
RomB 4192 And eke above, atte corners,
RomB 4193 Men seyn over the wall stonde
RomB 4194 Grete engynes, who were nygh honde.
RomB 4195 And in the kernels, heere and there,
RomB 4196 Of arblasters gret plente were;
RomB 4197 Noon armure myght her strok withstonde;
RomB 4198 It were foly to prece to honde.
RomB 4199 Withoute the diche were lystes maad,
RomB 4200 With wall batayled large and brad,
RomB 4201 For men and hors shulde not atteyne
RomB 4202 To neigh the dyche over the pleyne.
RomB 4203 Thus Jelousie hath enviroun
RomB 4204 Set aboute his garnysoun
RomB 4205 With walles rounde and diche dep,
RomB 4206 Oonly the roser for to kep.
RomB 4207 And Daunger, erly and late,
RomB 4208 The keyes [kepte] of the utter gate,
RomB 4209 The which openeth toward the eest.
RomB 4210 And he hadde with hym atte leest
RomB 4211 Thritty servauntes, echon by name.
RomB 4212 That other gate kepte Shame,
RomB 4213 Which openede, as it was couth,
RomB 4214 Toward the partie of the south.
RomB 4215 Sergeauntes assigned were hir to
RomB 4216 Ful many, hir wille for to doo.
RomB 4217 Thanne Drede hadde in hir baillie
RomB 4218 The kepyng of the conestablerye
RomB 4219 Toward the north, I undirstond,
RomB 4220 That openyde upon the lyft hond;
RomB 4221 The which for nothyng may be sure,
RomB 4222 But if she do bisy cure,
RomB 4223 Erly on morowe and also late,
RomB 4224 Strongly to shette and barre the gate.
RomB 4225 Of every thing that she may see
RomB 4226 Drede is aferd, wherso she be;
RomB 4227 For with a puff of litell wynd
RomB 4228 Drede is astonyed in hir mynd.
RomB 4229 Therfore, for stelyng of the Rose,
RomB 4230 I rede hir nought the yate unclose.
RomB 4231 A foulis flight wol make hir flee,
RomB 4232 And eke a shadowe, if she it see.
RomB 4233 Thanne Wikked-Tunge, ful of envye,
RomB 4234 With soudiours of Normandye,
RomB 4235 As he that causeth all the bate,
RomB 4236 Was keper of the fourthe gate,
RomB 4237 And also to the tother three
RomB 4238 He wente full ofte for to see.
RomB 4239 Whanne his lot was to wake anyght,
RomB 4240 His instrumentis wolde he dight,
RomB 4241 For to blowe and make sown
RomB 4242 Ofter thanne he hath enchesoun,
RomB 4243 And walken oft upon the wall,
RomB 4244 Corners and wikettis overall
RomB 4245 Full narwe serchen and espie;
RomB 4246 Though he nought fond, yit wolde he lye.
RomB 4247 Discordaunt ever fro armonye,
RomB 4248 And distoned from melodie,
RomB 4249 Controve he wolde, and foule fayle,
RomB 4250 With hornepipes of Cornewaile.
RomB 4251 In floytes made he discordaunce,
RomB 4252 And in his musyk -- with myschaunce! --
RomB 4253 He wolde seyn, with notes newe,
RomB 4254 That he fond no womman trewe,
RomB 4255 Ne that he saugh never in his lyf
RomB 4256 Unto hir husbonde a trewe wyf,
RomB 4257 Ne noon so ful of honeste
RomB 4258 That she nyl laughe and mery be
RomB 4259 Whanne that she hereth, or may espie,
RomB 4260 A man speken of leccherie.
RomB 4261 Everich of hem hath som vice:
RomB 4262 Oon is dishonest, another is nyce;
RomB 4263 If oon be full of vylanye,
RomB 4264 Another hath a likerous ye;
RomB 4265 If oon be full of wantonesse,
RomB 4266 Another is a chideresse.
RomB 4267 Thus Wikked-Tunge -- God yeve him shame! --
RomB 4268 Can putt hem everychon in blame,
RomB 4269 Withoute desert and causeles;
RomB 4270 He lieth, though they ben giltles.
RomB 4271 I have pite to sen the sorwe
RomB 4272 That waketh bothe eve and morwe,
RomB 4273 To innocentis doith such grevaunce.
RomB 4274 I pray God yeve him evel chaunce,
RomB 4275 That he ever so bisy is
RomB 4276 Of ony womman to seyn amys!
RomB 4277 Eke Jelousie God confound,
RomB 4278 That hath maad a tour so round,
RomB 4279 And made aboute a garisoun,
RomB 4280 To sette Bealacoil in prisoun,
RomB 4281 The which is shet there in the tour
RomB 4282 Ful longe to holde there sojour,
RomB 4283 There for to lyve in penaunce.
RomB 4284 And for to do hym more grevaunce,
RomB 4285 Ther hath ordeyned Jelousie
RomB 4286 An olde vekke, for to espye
RomB 4287 The maner of his governaunce;
RomB 4288 The whiche devel in hir enfaunce
RomB 4289 Hadde lerned of loves art,
RomB 4290 And of his pleyes tok hir part;
RomB 4291 She was expert in his servise.
RomB 4292 She knew ech wrench and every gise
RomB 4293 Of love, and every wile;
RomB 4294 It was [the] harder hir to gile.
RomB 4295 Of Bealacoil she tok ay hede,
RomB 4296 That evere he lyveth in woo and drede.
RomB 4297 He kepte hym koy and eke pryve,
RomB 4298 Lest in hym she hadde see
RomB 4299 Ony foly countenaunce,
RomB 4300 For she knew all the olde daunce.
RomB 4301 And aftir this, whanne Jelousie
RomB 4302 Hadde Bealacoil in his baillie,
RomB 4303 And shette hym up that was so fre,
RomB 4304 For seur of hym he wolde be,
RomB 4305 He trusteth sore in his castell;
RomB 4306 The stronge werk hym liketh well.
RomB 4307 He dradde not that no glotouns
RomB 4308 Shulde stele his roses or botouns.
RomB 4309 The roses weren assured all,
RomB 4310 Defenced with the stronge wall.
RomB 4311 Now Jelousie full well may be
RomB 4312 Of drede devoid in liberte,
RomB 4313 Whether that he slepe or wake,
RomB 4314 For his roses may noon be take.
RomB 4315 But I -- allas! -- now morne shall;
RomB 4316 Bicause I was withoute the wall,
RomB 4317 Full moche dool and moone I made.
RomB 4318 Who hadde wist what woo I hadde,
RomB 4319 I trowe he wolde have had pite.
RomB 4320 Love to deere hadde soold to me
RomB 4321 The good that of his love hadde I.
RomB 4322 I wende a bought it all queyntly;
RomB 4323 But now, thurgh doublyng of my peyn,
RomB 4324 I see he wolde it selle ageyn,
RomB 4325 And me a newe bargeyn leere,
RomB 4326 The which all-oute the more is deere,
RomB 4327 For the solas that I have lorn,
RomB 4328 Thanne I hadde it never aforn.
RomB 4329 Certayn, I am ful lik in deed
RomB 4330 To hym that cast in erthe his seed,
RomB 4331 And hath joie of the newe spryng,
RomB 4332 Whanne it greneth in the gynnyng,
RomB 4333 And is also fair and fresh of flour,
RomB 4334 Lusty to seen, swoote of odour;
RomB 4335 But er he it in sheves shere,
RomB 4336 May falle a weder that shal it dere,
RomB 4337 And make it to fade and falle,
RomB 4338 The stalke, the greyn, and floures alle,
RomB 4339 That to the tylyer is fordon
RomB 4340 The hope that he hadde to soon.
RomB 4341 I drede, certeyn, that so fare I;
RomB 4342 For hope and travaile sikerly
RomB 4343 Ben me byraft all with a storm;
RomB 4344 The flour nyl seeden of my corn.
RomB 4345 For Love hath so avaunced me,
RomB 4346 Whanne I bigan my pryvite
RomB 4347 To Bialacoil all for to tel,
RomB 4348 Whom I ne fond froward ne fel,
RomB 4349 But tok a-gree all hool my play.
RomB 4350 But Love is of so hard assay,
RomB 4351 That al at oonys he reved me,
RomB 4352 Whanne I wende best aboven to have be.
RomB 4353 It is of Love, as of Fortune,
RomB 4354 That chaungeth ofte, and nyl contune,
RomB 4355 Which whilom wol on folk smyle,
RomB 4356 And glowmbe on hem another while.
RomB 4357 Now freend, now foo, [thow] shalt hir feel,
RomB 4358 For [in] a twynklyng turneth hir wheel.
RomB 4359 She can writhe hir heed awey;
RomB 4360 This is the concours of hir pley.
RomB 4361 She can areise that doth morne,
RomB 4362 And whirle adown, and overturne
RomB 4363 Who sittith hyest, but as hir lust.
RomB 4364 A fool is he that wole hir trust;
RomB 4365 For it is I that am come down
RomB 4366 Thurgh change and revolucioun!
RomB 4367 Sith Bealacoil mot fro me twynne,
RomB 4368 Shet in the prisoun yond withynne,
RomB 4369 His absence at myn herte I fele;
RomB 4370 For all my joye and all myn hele
RomB 4371 Was in hym and in the Rose,
RomB 4372 That but yon wal, which hym doth close,
RomB 4373 Opene that I may hym see,
RomB 4374 Love nyl not that I cured be
RomB 4375 Of the peynes that I endure,
RomB 4376 Nor of my cruel aventure.
RomB 4377 A, Bialacoil, myn owne deer!
RomB 4378 Though thou be now a prisoner,
RomB 4379 Kep atte leste thyn herte to me
RomB 4380 And suffre not that it daunted be;
RomB 4381 Ne lat not Jelousie, in his rage,
RomB 4382 Putten thin herte in no servage.
RomB 4383 Although he chastice thee withoute
RomB 4384 And make thy body unto hym loute,
RomB 4385 Have herte as hard as dyamaunt,
RomB 4386 Stedefast and nought pliaunt.
RomB 4387 In prisoun though thi body be,
RomB 4388 At large kep thyn herte free;
RomB 4389 A trewe herte wole not plie
RomB 4390 For no manace that it may drye.
RomB 4391 If Jelousie doth thee payn,
RomB 4392 Quyte hym his while thus agayn,
RomB 4393 To venge thee, atte leest in thought,
RomB 4394 If other way thou maist nought;
RomB 4395 And in this wise sotilly
RomB 4396 Worche, and wynne the maistry.
RomB 4397 But yit I am in gret affray
RomB 4398 Lest thou do not as I say.
RomB 4399 I drede thou canst me gret maugre,
RomB 4400 That thou enprisoned art for me;
RomB 4401 But that [is. not for my trespas,
RomB 4402 For thurgh me never discovred was
RomB 4403 Yit thyng that oughte be secree.
RomB 4404 Wel more anoy is in me,
RomB 4405 Than is in thee, of this myschaunce;
RomB 4406 For I endure more hard penaunce,
RomB 4407 Than ony can seyn or thynke,
RomB 4408 That for the sorwe almost I synke.
RomB 4409 Whanne I remembre me of my woo,
RomB 4410 Full nygh out of my witt I goo.
RomB 4411 Inward myn herte I feele blede,
RomB 4412 For comfortles the deth I drede.
RomB 4413 Owe I not wel to have distresse,
RomB 4414 Whanne false, thurgh hir wikkednesse,
RomB 4415 And traitours, that arn envyous,
RomB 4416 To noyen me be so corajous?
RomB 4417 A, Bialacoil, full wel I see
RomB 4418 That they hem shape to disceyve thee,
RomB 4419 To make thee buxom to her lawe,
RomB 4420 And with her corde thee to drawe
RomB 4421 Where so hem lust, right at her will.
RomB 4422 I drede they have thee brought thertill.
RomB 4423 Withoute comfort, thought me sleeth.
RomB 4424 This game wole brynge me to my deeth.
RomB 4425 For if youre goode wille I leese,
RomB 4426 I mot be deed, I may not chese.
RomB 4427 And if that thou foryete me,
RomB 4428 Myn herte shal nevere in likyng be,
RomB 4429 Nor elleswhere fynde solas,
RomB 4430 If I be putt out of youre gras --
RomB 4431 As it shal never been, I hope --
RomB 4432 Thanne shulde I falle in wanhope.
RomB 4433 Allas, in wanhope? Nay, pardee!
RomB 4434 For I wole never dispeired be.
RomB 4435 If hope me faile, thanne am I
RomB 4436 Ungracious and unworthy.
RomB 4437 In hope I wole comforted be,
RomB 4438 For Love, whanne he bitaught hir me,
RomB 4439 Seide that Hope, whereso I goo,
RomB 4440 Shulde ay be relees to my woo.
RomB 4441 But what and she my baalis beete,
RomB 4442 And be to me curteis and sweete?
RomB 4443 She is in nothyng full certeyn.
RomB 4444 Lovers she putt in full gret peyn,
RomB 4445 And makith hem with woo to deele.
RomB 4446 Hir faire biheeste disceyveth feele,
RomB 4447 For she wole byhote, sikirly,
RomB 4448 And failen aftir outrely.
RomB 4449 A, that is a full noyous thyng!
RomB 4450 For many a lover, in lovyng,
RomB 4451 Hangeth upon hir, and trusteth faste,
RomB 4452 Whiche leese her travel at the laste.
RomB 4453 Of thyng to comen she woot right nought;
RomB 4454 Therfore, if it be wysely sought,
RomB 4455 Hir counseill foly is to take.
RomB 4456 For many tymes, whanne she wole make
RomB 4457 A full good silogisme, I dreede
RomB 4458 That aftirward ther shal in deede
RomB 4459 Folwe an evell conclusioun.
RomB 4460 This put me in confusioun.
RomB 4461 For many tymes I have it seen,
RomB 4462 That many have bigyled been
RomB 4463 For trust that they have set in Hope,
RomB 4464 Which fell hem aftirward a-slope.
RomB 4465 But nevertheles, yit gladly she wolde
RomB 4466 That he, that wole hym with hir holde,
RomB 4467 Hadde alle tymes his purpos cler,
RomB 4468 Withoute deceyte or ony wer --
RomB 4469 That she desireth sikirly.
RomB 4470 Whanne I hir blamed, I dide foly.
RomB 4471 But what avayleth hir good wille,
RomB 4472 Whanne she ne may staunche my stounde ille?
RomB 4473 That helpith litel that she may doo,
RomB 4474 Out-take biheest unto my woo.
RomB 4475 And heeste certeyn, in no wise,
RomB 4476 Withoute yift, is not to prise.
RomB 4477 Whanne heest and deede a-sundry varie,
RomB 4478 They doon a gret contrarie.
RomB 4479 Thus am I possed up and doun
RomB 4480 With dool, thought, and confusioun;
RomB 4481 Of my disese ther is no noumbre.
RomB 4482 Daunger and Shame me encumbre,
RomB 4483 Drede also, and Jelousie,
RomB 4484 And Wikked-Tunge, full of envie,
RomB 4485 Of whiche the sharpe and cruel ire
RomB 4486 Full ofte me putte in gret martire.
RomB 4487 They han my joye fully let,
RomB 4488 Sith Bialacoil they have bishet
RomB 4489 Fro me in prisoun wikkidly,
RomB 4490 Whom I love so entierly
RomB 4491 That it wole my bane bee
RomB 4492 But I the sonner may hym see.
RomB 4493 And yit moreover, wurst of alle,
RomB 4494 Ther is set to kepe -- foule hir bifalle! --
RomB 4495 A rympled vekke, fer ronne in age,
RomB 4496 Frownyng and yelowe in hir visage,
RomB 4497 Which in awayt lyth day and nyght,
RomB 4498 That noon of him may have a sight.
RomB 4499 Now mote my sorwe enforced be.
RomB 4500 Full soth it is that Love yaf me
RomB 4501 Three wonder yiftes of his grace,
RomB 4502 Whiche I have lorn now in this place,
RomB 4503 Sith they ne may, withoute drede,
RomB 4504 Helpen but lytel, who taketh heede.
RomB 4505 For here availeth no Swete-Thought,
RomB 4506 And Sweete-Speche helpith right nought.
RomB 4507 The thridde was called Swete-Lokyng,
RomB 4508 That now is lorn, without lesyng.
RomB 4509 Yiftes were faire, but not forthy
RomB 4510 They helpe me but symply,
RomB 4511 But Bialacoil loosed be,
RomB 4512 To gon at large and to be free.
RomB 4513 For hym my lyf lyth all in doute,
RomB 4514 But if he come the rather oute.
RomB 4515 Allas, I trowe it wole not ben!
RomB 4516 For how shuld I evermore hym sen?
RomB 4517 He may not out, and that is wrong,
RomB 4518 By cause the tour is so strong.
RomB 4519 How shulde he out? By whos prowesse,
RomB 4520 Out of so strong a forteresse?
RomB 4521 By me, certeyn, it nyl be doo;
RomB 4522 God woot, I have no wit therto!
RomB 4523 But, wel I woot, I was in rage,
RomB 4524 Whonne I to Love dide homage.
RomB 4525 Who was in cause, in sothfastnesse,
RomB 4526 But hirsilf, Dame Idelnesse,
RomB 4527 Which me conveied, thurgh my praier,
RomB 4528 To entre into that faire verger.
RomB 4529 She was to blame me to leve,
RomB 4530 The which now doth me soore greve.
RomB 4531 A foolis word is nought to trowe,
RomB 4532 Ne worth an appel for to lowe;
RomB 4533 Men shulde hym snybbe bittirly,
RomB 4534 At pryme temps of his foly.
RomB 4535 I was a fool, and she me leeved,
RomB 4536 Thurgh whom I am right nought releeved.
RomB 4537 She accomplisshid all my will,
RomB 4538 That now me greveth wondir ill.
RomB 4539 Resoun me seide what shulde falle.
RomB 4540 A fool mysilf I may well calle,
RomB 4541 That love asyde I had [nat] leyd,
RomB 4542 And trowed that Dame Resoun seid.
RomB 4543 Resoun hadde bothe skile and ryght,
RomB 4544 Whanne she me blamed, with all hir myght,
RomB 4545 To medle of love that hath me shent;
RomB 4546 But certeyn, now I wole repent.
RomB 4547 And shulde I repente? Nay, parde!
RomB 4548 A fals traitour thanne shulde I be.
RomB 4549 The develes engynnes wolde me take,
RomB 4550 If I my lord wolde forsake,
RomB 4551 Or Bialacoil falsly bitraye.
RomB 4552 Shulde I at myscheef hate hym? Nay,
RomB 4553 Sith he now, for his curtesie,
RomB 4554 Is in prisoun of Jelousie.
RomB 4555 Curtesie certeyn dide he me,
RomB 4556 So mych that may not yolden be,
RomB 4557 Whanne he the hay passen me let,
RomB 4558 To kisse the Rose, faire and swet.
RomB 4559 Shulde I therfore cunne hym mawgre?
RomB 4560 Nay, certeynly, it shal not be;
RomB 4561 For Love shal nevere, yif God wille,
RomB 4562 Here of me, thurgh word or wille,
RomB 4563 Offence or complaynt, more or lesse,
RomB 4564 Neither of Hope nor Idilnesse.
RomB 4565 For certis, it were wrong that I
RomB 4566 Hated hem for her curtesy.
RomB 4567 Ther is not ellys but suffre and thynke,
RomB 4568 And waken whanne I shulde wynke;
RomB 4569 Abide in hope, til Love, thurgh chaunce,
RomB 4570 Sende me socour or allegeaunce,
RomB 4571 Expectant ay till I may mete
RomB 4572 To geten mercy of that swete.
RomB 4573 Whilom I thenke how Love to me
RomB 4574 Seide he wolde take att gree
RomB 4575 My servise, if unpacience
RomB 4576 [Ne] caused me to don offence.
RomB 4577 He seide, " In thank I shal it take,
RomB 4578 And high maister eke thee make,
RomB 4579 If wikkednesse ne reve it thee;
RomB 4580 But sone, I trowe, that shall not be. "
RomB 4581 These were his wordis, by and by;
RomB 4582 It semede he lovede me trewely.
RomB 4583 Now is ther not but serve hym wel,
RomB 4584 If that I thenke his thank to fel.
RomB 4585 My good, myn harm lyth hool in me.
RomB 4586 In Love may no defaute be,
RomB 4587 For trewe Love ne failide never man.
RomB 4588 Sothly the faute mot nedys than --
RomB 4589 As God forbede! -- be founde in me;
RomB 4590 And how it cometh, I can not see.
RomB 4591 Now late it goon as it may goo;
RomB 4592 Whether Love wole socoure me or sloo,
RomB 4593 He may do hool on me his will.
RomB 4594 I am so sore bounde hym till,
RomB 4595 From his servise I may not fleen;
RomB 4596 For lyf and deth, withouten wen,
RomB 4597 Is in his hand -- I may not chese --
RomB 4598 He may me doo bothe wynne and leese.
RomB 4599 And sith so sore he doth me greve,
RomB 4600 Yit, if my lust he wolde acheve,
RomB 4601 To Bialacoil goodly to be,
RomB 4602 I yeve no force what felle on me.
RomB 4603 For though I dye, as I mot nede,
RomB 4604 I praye Love, of his goodlyhede,
RomB 4605 To Bialacoil do gentylnesse,
RomB 4606 For whom I lyve in such distresse
RomB 4607 That I mot deyen for penaunce.
RomB 4608 But first, withoute repentaunce,
RomB 4609 I wole me confesse in good entent,
RomB 4610 And make in haste my testament,
RomB 4611 As lovers doon that feelen smert:
RomB 4612 To Bialacoil leve I myn hert
RomB 4613 All hool, withoute departyng,
RomB 4614 Doublenesse of repentyng.
RomB 4615 Thus, as I made my passage
RomB 4616 In compleynt and in cruel rage,
RomB 4617 And I not where to fynde a leche
RomB 4618 That couth. unto myn helpyng eche,
RomB 4619 Sodeynly agayn comen doun
RomB 4620 Out of hir tour I saugh Resoun,
RomB 4621 Discret and wis and full plesaunt,
RomB 4622 And of hir port full avenaunt.
RomB 4623 The righte weye she took to me,
RomB 4624 Which stod in gret perplexite,
RomB 4625 That was posshed in every side,
RomB 4626 That I nyst where I myght abide,
RomB 4627 Till she, demurely sad of cher,
RomB 4628 Seide to me, as she com ner,
RomB 4629 " Myn owne freend, art thou yit greved?
RomB 4630 How is this quarell yit acheved
RomB 4631 Of Loves side? Anoon me telle.
RomB 4632 Hast thou not yit of love thi fille?
RomB 4633 Art thou not wery of thy servise,
RomB 4634 That the hath [greved] in sich wise?
RomB 4635 What joye hast thou in thy lovyng?
RomB 4636 Is it swete or bitter thing?
RomB 4637 Canst thou yit chese, lat me see,
RomB 4638 What best thi socour myghte be?
RomB 4639 " Thou servest a full noble lord,
RomB 4640 That maketh thee thrall for thi reward,
RomB 4641 Which ay renewith thy turment,
RomB 4642 With foly so he hath thee blent.
RomB 4643 Thou fell in myscheef thilke day
RomB 4644 Whanne thou didist, the sothe to say,
RomB 4645 Obeysaunce and eke homage.
RomB 4646 Thou wroughtest nothyng as the sage,
RomB 4647 Whanne thou bicam his liege man.
RomB 4648 Thou didist a gret foly than,
RomB 4649 Thou wistest not what fell therto,
RomB 4650 With what lord thou haddist to do.
RomB 4651 If thou haddist hym wel knowe,
RomB 4652 Thou haddist nought be brought so lowe;
RomB 4653 For if thou wistest what it wer,
RomB 4654 Thou noldist serve hym half a yeer,
RomB 4655 Not a weke, nor half a day,
RomB 4656 Ne yit an hour, withoute delay,
RomB 4657 Ne never han loved paramours,
RomB 4658 His lordshipp is so full of shours.
RomB 4659 Knowest hym ought? " L'amaunt " Ye, dame, parde! "
RomB 4660 Raisoun " Nay, nay. " L'amaunt " Yis, I. " Raisoun " Wherof? Late se. "
RomB 4661 L'amaunt " Of that he seide I shulde be
RomB 4662 Glad to have sich lord as he,
RomB 4663 And maister of sich seignorie. "
RomB 4664 Raisoun " Knowist hym no more? " L'amaunt " Nay, certis, I,
RomB 4665 Save that he yaf me rewles there,
RomB 4666 And wente his wey, I nyste where,
RomB 4667 And I abood, bounde in balaunce. "
RomB 4668 Raisoun " Lo, there a noble conisaunce!
RomB 4669 But I wille that thou knowe hym now,
RomB 4670 Gynnyng and eende, sith that thou
RomB 4671 Art so anguisshous and mate,
RomB 4672 Disfigured out of astate;
RomB 4673 Ther may no wrecche have more of woo,
RomB 4674 Ne caytyf noon enduren soo.
RomB 4675 It were to every man sittyng
RomB 4676 Of his lord have knowleching;
RomB 4677 For if thou knewe hym, out of doute,
RomB 4678 Lightly thou shulde escapen oute
RomB 4679 Of the prisoun that marreth thee. "
RomB 4680 L'amant " Ye, dame, sith my lord is he,
RomB 4681 And I his man, maad with myn hond,
RomB 4682 I wolde right fayn undirstond
RomB 4683 To knowe of what kynde he be,
RomB 4684 If ony wolde enforme me. "
RomB 4685 Raisoun " I wolde, " seide Resoun, " thee ler,
RomB 4686 Sith thou to lerne hast sich desir,
RomB 4687 And shewe thee, withouten fable,
RomB 4688 A thyng that is not demonstrable.
RomB 4689 Thou shalt [wite] withouten science,
RomB 4690 And knowe withouten experience,
RomB 4691 The thyng that may not knowen be,
RomB 4692 Ne wist, ne shewid, in no degre.
RomB 4693 Thou maist the sothe of it not witen,
RomB 4694 Though in thee it were writen.
RomB 4695 Thou shalt not knowe therof more,
RomB 4696 While thou art reuled by his lore;
RomB 4697 But unto hym that love wole flee,
RomB 4698 The knotte may unclosed bee,
RomB 4699 Which hath to thee, as it is founde,
RomB 4700 So long be knet and not unbounde.
RomB 4701 Now set wel thyn entencioun,
RomB 4702 To here of love discripcioun.
RomB 4703 " Love, it is an hatefull pees,
RomB 4704 A free acquitaunce, withoute relees,
RomB 4705 A trouthe, fret full of falsheede,
RomB 4706 A sikernesse all set in drede.
RomB 4707 In herte is a dispeiryng hope,
RomB 4708 And full of hope, it is wanhope;
RomB 4709 Wis woodnesse, and wod resoun;
RomB 4710 A swete perell in to droun;
RomB 4711 An hevy birthen, lyght to bere;
RomB 4712 A wikked wawe, awey to were.
RomB 4713 It is Karibdous perilous,
RomB 4714 Disagreable and gracious.
RomB 4715 It is discordaunce that can accorde,
RomB 4716 And accordaunce to discorde.
RomB 4717 It is kunnyng withoute science,
RomB 4718 Wisdom withoute sapience,
RomB 4719 Wit withoute discrecioun,
RomB 4720 Havoir withoute possessioun.
RomB 4721 It is sike hele and hool seknesse,
RomB 4722 A thurst drowned in dronknesse,
RomB 4723 And helthe full of maladie,
RomB 4724 And charite full of envie,
RomB 4725 And hunger full of habundaunce,
RomB 4726 And a gredy suffisaunce;
RomB 4727 Delit right full of hevynesse,
RomB 4728 And drerihed full of gladnesse;
RomB 4729 Bitter swetnesse and swete errour,
RomB 4730 Right evell savoured good savour;
RomB 4731 Sin that pardoun hath withynne,
RomB 4732 And pardoun spotted withoute [with] synne.
RomB 4733 A peyne also it is, joious,
RomB 4734 And felonye right pitous;
RomB 4735 Also pley that selde is stable,
RomB 4736 And stedefast [stat], right mevable;
RomB 4737 A strengthe, weyked to stonde upright,
RomB 4738 And feblenesse full of myght;
RomB 4739 Wit unavised, sage folie,
RomB 4740 And joie full of turmentrie;
RomB 4741 A laughter it is, weping ay;
RomB 4742 Reste that traveyleth nyght and day;
RomB 4743 Also a swete helle it is,
RomB 4744 And a soroufull paradys;
RomB 4745 A pleasant gayl and esy prisoun,
RomB 4746 And, full of froste, somer sesoun;
RomB 4747 Pryme temps full of frostes whit,
RomB 4748 And May devoide of al delit,
RomB 4749 With seer braunches, blossoms ungrene,
RomB 4750 And newe fruyt, fillid with wynter tene.
RomB 4751 It is a slowe, may not forbere
RomB 4752 Ragges, ribaned with gold, to were;
RomB 4753 For also wel wol love be set
RomB 4754 Under ragges, as riche rochet;
RomB 4755 And eke as wel be amourettes
RomB 4756 In mournyng blak, as bright burnettes.
RomB 4757 For noon is of so mochel pris,
RomB 4758 Ne no man founden so wys,
RomB 4759 Ne noon so high is of parage,
RomB 4760 Ne no man founde of wit so sage,
RomB 4761 No man so hardy ne so wight,
RomB 4762 Ne no man of so mochel myght,
RomB 4763 Noon so fulfilled of bounte,
RomB 4764 That he with love [ne] may daunted be.
RomB 4765 All the world holdith this wey;
RomB 4766 Love makith all to goon myswey,
RomB 4767 But it be they of yvel lyf,
RomB 4768 Whom Genius cursith, man and wyf,
RomB 4769 That wrongly werke ageyn nature.
RomB 4770 Noon such I love, ne have no cure
RomB 4771 Of sich as Loves servauntes ben,
RomB 4772 And wole not by my counsel flen.
RomB 4773 For I ne preise that lovyng
RomB 4774 Wherthurgh men, at the laste eendyng,
RomB 4775 Shall calle hem wrecchis full of woo,
RomB 4776 Love greveth hem and shendith soo.
RomB 4777 But if thou wolt wel Love eschewe,
RomB 4778 For to escape out of his mewe,
RomB 4779 And make al hool thi sorwe to slake,
RomB 4780 No bettir counsel maist thou take
RomB 4781 Than thynke to fleen wel, iwis.
RomB 4782 May nought helpe elles, for wite thou this:
RomB 4783 If thou fle it, it shal flee thee;
RomB 4784 Folowe it, and folowen shal it thee. "
RomB 4785 L'amant Whanne I hadde herde all Resoun seyn,
RomB 4786 Which hadde spilt hir speche in veyn,
RomB 4787 " Dame, " seide I, " I dar wel sey,
RomB 4788 Of this avaunt me wel I may
RomB 4789 That from youre scole so devyaunt
RomB 4790 I am, that never the more avaunt
RomB 4791 Right nought am I thurgh youre doctrine.
RomB 4792 I dulle under youre discipline.
RomB 4793 I wot no more than [I] wist er,
RomB 4794 To me so contrarie and so fer
RomB 4795 Is every thing that ye me ler,
RomB 4796 And yit I can it all par cuer.
RomB 4797 Myn herte foryetith therof right nought,
RomB 4798 It is so writen in my thought;
RomB 4799 And depe greven it is so tendir
RomB 4800 That all by herte I can it rendre,
RomB 4801 And rede it over comunely;
RomB 4802 But to mysilf lewedist am I.
RomB 4803 But sith ye love discreven so,
RomB 4804 And lak and preise it, bothe twoo,
RomB 4805 Defyneth it into this letter,
RomB 4806 That I may thenke on it the better;
RomB 4807 For I herde never diffyne it er,
RomB 4808 And wilfully I wolde it ler. "
RomB 4809 Raisoun " If love be serched wel and sought,
RomB 4810 It is a syknesse of the thought
RomB 4811 Annexed and knet bitwixe tweyne,
RomB 4812 Which male and female, with oo cheyne,
RomB 4813 So frely byndith that they nyll twynne,
RomB 4814 Whether so therof they leese or wynne.
RomB 4815 The roote springith thurgh hoot brennyng
RomB 4816 Into disordinat desiryng
RomB 4817 For to kissen and enbrace,
RomB 4818 And at her lust them to solace.
RomB 4819 Of other thyng love recchith nought,
RomB 4820 But setteth her herte and all her thought
RomB 4821 More for delectacioun
RomB 4822 Than ony procreacioun
RomB 4823 Of other fruyt by engendring,
RomB 4824 Which love to God is not plesyng;
RomB 4825 For of her body fruyt to get
RomB 4826 They yeve no force, they are so set
RomB 4827 Upon delit to pley in-feere.
RomB 4828 And somme have also this manere,
RomB 4829 To feynen hem for love sek;
RomB 4830 Sich love I preise not at a lek.
RomB 4831 For paramours they do but feyne;
RomB 4832 To love truly they disdeyne.
RomB 4833 They falsen ladies traitoursly,
RomB 4834 And swern hem othes utterly,
RomB 4835 With many a lesyng and many a fable,
RomB 4836 And all they fynden deceyvable.
RomB 4837 And whanne they han her lust geten,
RomB 4838 The hoote ernes they al foryeten.
RomB 4839 Wymmen, the harm they bien full sore;
RomB 4840 But men this thenken evermore,
RomB 4841 That lasse harm is, so mote I the,
RomB 4842 Deceyve them than deceyved be;
RomB 4843 And namely, where they ne may
RomB 4844 Fynde non other mene wey.
RomB 4845 For I wot wel, in sothfastnesse,
RomB 4846 [What man] doth now his bisynesse
RomB 4847 With ony womman for to dele,
RomB 4848 For ony lust that he may fele,
RomB 4849 But if it be for engendrure,
RomB 4850 He doth trespas, I you ensure.
RomB 4851 For he shulde setten all his wil
RomB 4852 To geten a likly thyng hym til,
RomB 4853 And to sustene, if he myght,
RomB 4854 And kepe forth, by Kyndes right,
RomB 4855 His owne lyknesse and semblable;
RomB 4857 And faile shulde successioun,
RomB 4858 Ne were ther generacioun
RomB 4859 Oure sectis strene for to save.
RomB 4860 Whanne fader or moder arn in grave,
RomB 4861 Her children shulde, whanne they ben deede,
RomB 4862 Full diligent ben, in her steede,
RomB 4863 To use that werk on such a wise
RomB 4864 That oon may thurgh another rise.
RomB 4865 Therfore sette Kynde therynne delit,
RomB 4866 For men therynne shulde hem delit,
RomB 4867 And of that deede be not erk,
RomB 4868 But ofte sithes haunt that werk.
RomB 4869 For noon wolde drawe therof a draught,
RomB 4870 Ne were delit, which hath hym kaught.
RomB 4871 Thus hath sotilled dame Nature;
RomB 4872 For noon goth right, I thee ensure,
RomB 4873 Ne hath entent hool ne parfit;
RomB 4874 For her desir is for delyt,
RomB 4875 The which fortened crece and eke
RomB 4876 The pley of love for-ofte seke,
RomB 4877 And thrall hemsilf, they be so nyce,
RomB 4878 Unto the prince of every vice.
RomB 4879 For of ech synne it is the rote,
RomB 4880 Unlefull lust, though it be sote,
RomB 4881 And of all yvell the racyne,
RomB 4882 As Tulius can determyne,
RomB 4883 Which in his tyme was full sage,
RomB 4884 In a bok he made `Of Age,'
RomB 4885 Where that more he preyseth eelde,
RomB 4886 Though he be croked and unweelde,
RomB 4887 And more of commendacioun
RomB 4888 Than youthe in his discripcioun.
RomB 4889 For youthe set bothe man and wyf
RomB 4890 In all perell of soule and lyf;
RomB 4891 And perell is, but men have grace,
RomB 4892 The tyme of youthe for to pace
RomB 4893 Withoute ony deth or distresse,
RomB 4894 It is so full of wyldenesse,
RomB 4895 So ofte it doth shame or damage
RomB 4896 To hym or to his lynage.
RomB 4897 It ledith man now up, now doun,
RomB 4898 In mochel dissolucioun,
RomB 4899 And makith hym love yvell company,
RomB 4900 And lede his lyf disrewlily,
RomB 4901 And halt hym payed with noon estat.
RomB 4902 Withynne hymsilf is such debat,
RomB 4903 He chaungith purpos and entent,
RomB 4904 And yalt [him] into som covent,
RomB 4905 To lyven aftir her emprise,
RomB 4906 And lesith fredom and fraunchise,
RomB 4907 That Nature in hym hadde set,
RomB 4908 The which ageyn he may not get,
RomB 4909 If he there make his mansioun,
RomB 4910 For to abide professioun.
RomB 4911 Though for a tyme his herte absente,
RomB 4912 It may not fayle, he shal repente,
RomB 4913 And eke abide thilke day
RomB 4914 To leve his abit, and gon his way,
RomB 4915 And lesith his worshipp and his name,
RomB 4916 And dar not come ageyn for shame;
RomB 4917 But al his lyf he doth so mourne,
RomB 4918 By cause he dar not hom retourne.
RomB 4919 Fredom of kynde so lost hath he
RomB 4920 That never may recured be,
RomB 4921 But if that God hym graunte grace
RomB 4922 That he may, er he hennes pace,
RomB 4923 Conteyne undir obedience
RomB 4924 Thurgh the vertu of pacience.
RomB 4925 For Youthe sett man in all folye,
RomB 4926 In unthrift and in ribaudie,
RomB 4927 In leccherie and in outrage,
RomB 4928 So ofte it chaungith of corage.
RomB 4929 Youthe gynneth ofte sich bargeyn,
RomB 4930 That may not eende withouten peyn.
RomB 4931 In gret perell is sett youthede,
RomB 4932 Delit so doth his bridil leede.
RomB 4933 Delit thus hangith, dred thee nought,
RomB 4934 Bothe mannys body and his thought,
RomB 4935 Oonly thurgh Youthe, his chaumberere,
RomB 4936 That to don yvell is customere,
RomB 4937 And of nought elles taketh hede
RomB 4938 But oonly folkes for to lede
RomB 4939 Into disport and wyldenesse,
RomB 4940 So is [she] froward from sadnesse.
RomB 4941 " But Eelde drawith hem therfro;
RomB 4942 Who wot it nought, he may wel goo
RomB 4943 Demande of hem that now arn olde,
RomB 4944 That whilom Youthe hadde in holde,
RomB 4945 Which yit remembre of tendir age,
RomB 4946 Hou it hem brought in many a rage,
RomB 4947 And many a foly therynne wrought.
RomB 4948 But now that Eelde hath hem thourgh-sought,
RomB 4949 They repente hem of her folye,
RomB 4950 That Youthe hem putte in jupardye,
RomB 4951 In perell, and in myche woo,
RomB 4952 And made hem ofte amys to do,
RomB 4953 And suen yvell companye,
RomB 4954 Riot and avouterie.
RomB 4955 " But Eelde can ageyn restreyne
RomB 4956 From sich foly, and refreyne,
RomB 4957 And sette men by her ordinaunce
RomB 4958 In good reule and in governaunce.
RomB 4959 But yvell she spendith hir servise,
RomB 4960 For no man wole hir love neither prise;
RomB 4961 She is hated, this wot I wel.
RomB 4962 Hir acqueyntaunce wolde no man fel,
RomB 4963 Ne han of Elde companye;
RomB 4964 Men hate to be of hir alye.
RomB 4965 For no man wolde bicomen old,
RomB 4966 Ne dye whanne he is yong and bold.
RomB 4967 And Eelde merveilith right gretly,
RomB 4968 Whanne thei remembre hem inwardly
RomB 4969 Of many a perelous emprise,
RomB 4970 Which that they wrought in sondry wise,
RomB 4971 Houevere they myght, withoute blame,
RomB 4972 Escape awey withoute shame,
RomB 4973 In youthe, withoute damage
RomB 4974 Or repreef of her lynage,
RomB 4975 Loss of membre, shedyng of blod,
RomB 4976 Perell of deth, or los of good.
RomB 4977 Wost thou nought where Youthe abit,
RomB 4978 That men so preisen in her wit?
RomB 4979 With Delit she halt sojour,
RomB 4980 For bothe they dwellen in oo tour.
RomB 4981 As longe as Youthe is in sesoun,
RomB 4982 They dwellen in oon mansioun.
RomB 4983 Delit of Youthe wole have servise
RomB 4984 To do what so he wole devise;
RomB 4985 And Youthe is redy evermore
RomB 4986 For to obey, for smert of sore,
RomB 4987 Unto Delit, and hym to yive
RomB 4988 Hir servise, while that she may lyve.
RomB 4989 " Where Elde abit I wol thee telle
RomB 4990 Shortly, and no while dwelle,
RomB 4991 For thidir byhoveth thee to goo.
RomB 4992 If Deth in youthe thee not sloo,
RomB 4993 Of this journey thou maist not faile.
RomB 4994 With hir Labour and Travaile
RomB 4995 Logged ben, with Sorwe and Woo,
RomB 4996 That never out of hir court goo.
RomB 4997 Peyne and Distresse, Syknesse and Ire,
RomB 4998 And Malencoly, that angry sire,
RomB 4999 Ben of hir paleys senatours;
RomB 5000 Gronyng and Grucchyng, hir herbejours.
RomB 5001 The day and nyght, hir to turmente,
RomB 5002 With cruell Deth they hir presente,
RomB 5003 And tellen hir, erliche and late,
RomB 5004 That Deth stondeth armed at hir gate.
RomB 5005 Thanne brynge they to her remembraunce
RomB 5006 The foly dedis of hir infaunce,
RomB 5007 Whiche causen hir to mourne in woo
RomB 5008 That Youthe hath hir bigiled so,
RomB 5009 Which sodeynly awey is hasted.
RomB 5010 She wepeth the tyme that she hath wasted,
RomB 5011 Compleynyng of the preterit,
RomB 5012 And the present that not abit,
RomB 5013 And of hir olde vanite,
RomB 5014 That, but aforn hir she may see
RomB 5015 In the future som socour,
RomB 5016 To leggen hir of hir dolour,
RomB 5017 To graunte hir tyme of repentaunce,
RomB 5018 For her synnes to do penaunce,
RomB 5019 And at the laste so hir governe
RomB 5020 To wynne the joy that is eterne,
RomB 5021 Fro which go bakward Youthe hir made,
RomB 5022 In vanite to droune and wade.
RomB 5023 For present tyme abidith nought;
RomB 5024 It is more swift than any thought.
RomB 5025 So litel while it doth endure
RomB 5026 That ther nys compte ne mesure.
RomB 5027 But hou that evere the game go,
RomB 5028 Who list to have joie and mirth also
RomB 5029 Of love, be it he or she,
RomB 5030 High or lowe, who it be,
RomB 5031 In fruyt they shulde hem delyte;
RomB 5032 Her part they may not elles quyte,
RomB 5033 To save hemsilf in honeste.
RomB 5034 And yit full many on I se
RomB 5035 Of wymmen, sothly for to seyn,
RomB 5036 That desire and wolde fayn
RomB 5037 The pley of love, they be so wilde,
RomB 5038 And not coveite to go with childe.
RomB 5039 And if with child they be, perchaunce,
RomB 5040 They wole it holde a gret myschaunce;
RomB 5041 But whatsomever woo they fele,
RomB 5042 They wole not pleyne but concele;
RomB 5043 But if it be ony fool or nyce,
RomB 5044 In whom that Shame hath no justice.
RomB 5045 For to delyt echon they drawe,
RomB 5046 That haunte this werk, bothe high and lawe,
RomB 5047 Save sich that arn worth right nought,
RomB 5048 That for money wole be bought.
RomB 5049 Such love I preise in no wise,
RomB 5050 Whanne it is goven for coveitise.
RomB 5051 I preise no womman, though she be wood,
RomB 5052 That yeveth hirsilf for ony good.
RomB 5053 For litel shulde a man telle
RomB 5054 Of hir, that wole hir body selle,
RomB 5055 Be she mayde, be she wyf,
RomB 5056 That quyk wole selle hir, bi hir lif.
RomB 5057 Hou faire chere that evere she make,
RomB 5058 He is a wrecche, I undirtake,
RomB 5059 That loveth such on, for swete or sour,
RomB 5060 Though she hym calle hir paramour,
RomB 5061 And laugheth on hym, and makith hym feeste.
RomB 5062 For certeynly no such beeste
RomB 5063 To be loved is not worthy,
RomB 5064 Or bere the name of druery.
RomB 5065 Noon shulde hir please, but he were wood,
RomB 5066 That wole dispoile hym of his good.
RomB 5067 Yit nevertheles, I wol not sey
RomB 5068 That she, for solas and for pley,
RomB 5069 [Ne] may a jewel or other thyng
RomB 5070 Take of her loves fre yevyng;
RomB 5071 But that she aske it in no wise,
RomB 5072 For drede of shame of coveitise.
RomB 5073 And she of hirs may hym, certeyn,
RomB 5074 Withoute sclaundre yeven ageyn,
RomB 5075 And joyne her hertes togidre so
RomB 5076 In love, and take and yeve also.
RomB 5077 Trowe not that I wolde hem twynne,
RomB 5078 Whanne in her love ther is no synne;
RomB 5079 I wol that they togedre go,
RomB 5080 And don al that they han ado,
RomB 5081 As curteis shulde and debonaire,
RomB 5082 And in her love beren hem faire,
RomB 5083 Withoute vice, bothe he and she,
RomB 5084 So that alwey, in honeste,
RomB 5085 Fro foly love they kepe hem cler,
RomB 5086 That brenneth hertis with his fer;
RomB 5087 And that her love, in ony wise,
RomB 5088 Be devoide of coveitise.
RomB 5089 Good love shulde engendrid be
RomB 5090 Of trewe herte, just, and secre,
RomB 5091 And not of such as sette her thought
RomB 5092 To have her lust and ellis nought --
RomB 5093 So are they caught in Loves las,
RomB 5094 Truly, for bodily solas.
RomB 5095 Fleshly delit is so present
RomB 5096 With thee, that sette all thyn entent
RomB 5097 Withoute more (what shulde I glose?)
RomB 5098 For to gete and have the Rose,
RomB 5099 Which makith [thee] so mat and wood
RomB 5100 That thou desirest noon other good.
RomB 5101 But thou art not an inche the nerre,
RomB 5102 But evere abidist in sorwe and werre,
RomB 5103 As in thi face it is sene.
RomB 5104 It makith thee bothe pale and lene;
RomB 5105 Thy myght, thi vertu goth away.
RomB 5106 A sory gest, in goode fay,
RomB 5107 Thou herberest than in thyn inn,
RomB 5108 The God of Love whanne thou let inn!
RomB 5109 Wherfore I rede, thou shette hym oute,
RomB 5110 Or he shall greve thee, out of doute;
RomB 5111 For to thi profit it wol turne,
RomB 5112 If he nomore with thee sojourne.
RomB 5113 In gret myscheef and sorwe sonken
RomB 5114 Ben hertis that of love arn dronken,
RomB 5115 As thou peraventure knowen shall,
RomB 5116 Whanne thou hast lost thy tyme all,
RomB 5117 And spent thy youthe in ydilnesse,
RomB 5118 In waste and wofull lustynesse.
RomB 5119 If thou maist lyve the tyme to se
RomB 5120 Of love for to delyvered be,
RomB 5121 Thy tyme thou shalt biwepe sore,
RomB 5122 The whiche never thou maist restore;
RomB 5123 For tyme lost, as men may see,
RomB 5124 For nothyng may recured be.
RomB 5125 And if thou scape yit, atte laste,
RomB 5126 Fro Love, that hath thee so faste
RomB 5127 Knytt and bounden in his las,
RomB 5128 Certeyn I holde it but a gras.
RomB 5129 For many oon, as it is seyn,
RomB 5130 Have lost and spent also in veyn,
RomB 5131 In his servise, withoute socour,
RomB 5132 Body and soule, good and tresour,
RomB 5133 Wit and strengthe, and eke richesse,
RomB 5134 Of which they hadde never redresse. "
RomB 5135 L'amant Thus taught and preched hath
RomB 5136 Resoun, but Love spilte hir sermoun,
RomB 5137 That was so ymped in my thought,
RomB 5138 That hir doctrine I sette at nought.
RomB 5139 And yitt ne seide she never a del
RomB 5140 That I ne undirstod it wel,
RomB 5141 Word by word, the mater all;
RomB 5142 But unto Love I was so thrall,
RomB 5143 Which callith overall his pray,
RomB 5144 He chasith so my thought alway,
RomB 5145 And holdith myn herte undir his sel
RomB 5146 As trust and trew as ony stel;
RomB 5147 So that no devocioun
RomB 5148 Ne hadde I in the sermoun
RomB 5149 Of dame Resoun, ne of hir red.
RomB 5150 It tok no sojour in myn hed,
RomB 5151 For all yede out at oon ere
RomB 5152 That in that other she dide lere.
RomB 5153 Fully on me she lost hir lore;
RomB 5154 Hir speche me greved wondir sore.
RomB 5155 Than unto hir for ire I seide,
RomB 5156 For anger, as I dide abraide:
RomB 5157 " Dame, and is it youre wille algate
RomB 5158 That I not love, but that I hate
RomB 5159 Alle men, as ye me teche?
RomB 5160 For if I do aftir youre speche,
RomB 5161 Sith that ye seyn love is not good,
RomB 5162 Thanne must I nedis ay with mood,
RomB 5163 If I it leve, in hatrede ay
RomB 5164 Lyven, and voide love away
RomB 5165 From me, [and] [ben] a synfull wrecche
RomB 5166 Hated of all [that] [love] that tecche.
RomB 5167 I may not go noon other gate,
RomB 5168 For other must I love or hate.
RomB 5169 And if I hate men of-newe
RomB 5170 More than love, it wol me rewe,
RomB 5171 As by youre preching semeth me,
RomB 5172 For Love nothing ne preisith thee.
RomB 5173 Ye yeve good counsel, sikirly,
RomB 5174 That prechith me alday that I
RomB 5175 Shulde not Loves lore alowe.
RomB 5176 He were a fool, wolde you not trowe!
RomB 5177 In speche also ye han me taught
RomB 5178 Another love, that knowen is naught,
RomB 5179 Which I have herd you not repreve,
RomB 5180 To love ech other. By youre leve,
RomB 5181 If ye wolde diffyne it me,
RomB 5182 I wolde gladly here, to se,
RomB 5183 At the leest, if I may lere
RomB 5184 Of sondry loves the manere. "
RomB 5185 Raisoun " Certis, freend, a fool art thou,
RomB 5186 Whan that thou nothyng wolt allow
RomB 5187 That I for thi profit say.
RomB 5188 Yit wole I sey thee more in fay,
RomB 5189 For I am redy, at the leste,
RomB 5190 To accomplisshe thi requeste.
RomB 5191 But I not where it wole avayle;
RomB 5192 In veyn, perauntre, I shal travayle.
RomB 5193 Love ther is in sondry wise,
RomB 5194 As I shal thee heere devise.
RomB 5195 For som love leful is and good --
RomB 5196 I mene not that which makith thee wood,
RomB 5197 And bringith thee in many a fit,
RomB 5198 And ravysshith fro thee al thi wit,
RomB 5199 It is so merveilous and queynt;
RomB 5200 With such love be no more aqueynt.
RomB 5201 " Love of freendshipp also ther is,
RomB 5202 Which makith no man don amys,
RomB 5203 Of wille knytt bitwixe two,
RomB 5204 That wole not breke for wele ne woo;
RomB 5205 Which long is likly to contune,
RomB 5206 Whanne wille and goodis ben in comune;
RomB 5207 Grounded by Goddis ordinaunce,
RomB 5208 Hool, withoute discordaunce;
RomB 5209 With hem holdyng comunte
RomB 5210 Of all her good in charite,
RomB 5211 That ther be noon excepcioun
RomB 5212 Thurgh chaungyng of entencioun;
RomB 5213 That ech helpe other at her neede,
RomB 5214 And wisely hele bothe word and dede;
RomB 5215 Trewe of menyng, devoide of slouthe,
RomB 5216 For witt is nought withoute trouthe;
RomB 5217 So that the ton dar all his thought
RomB 5218 Seyn to his freend, and spare nought,
RomB 5219 As to hymsilf, without dredyng
RomB 5220 To be discovered by wreying.
RomB 5221 For glad is that conjunccioun,
RomB 5222 Whanne ther is noon susspecioun
RomB 5223 [Of] [blame] [in] [hem], whom they wolde prove
RomB 5224 That trewe and parfit weren in love.
RomB 5225 For no man may be amyable,
RomB 5226 But if he be so ferme and stable
RomB 5227 That fortune chaunge hym not, ne blynde,
RomB 5228 But that his freend allwey hym fynde,
RomB 5229 Bothe pore and riche, in oo state.
RomB 5230 For if his freend, thurgh ony gate,
RomB 5231 Wole compleyne of his poverte,
RomB 5232 He shulde not bide so long til he
RomB 5233 Of his helpyng hym requere;
RomB 5234 For good dede, don thurgh praiere,
RomB 5235 Is sold and bought to deere, iwys,
RomB 5236 To hert that of gret valour is.
RomB 5237 For hert fulfilled of gentilnesse
RomB 5238 Can yvel demene his distresse;
RomB 5239 And man that worthy is of name
RomB 5240 To asken often hath gret shame.
RomB 5241 A good man brenneth in his thought
RomB 5242 For shame, whanne he axeth ought.
RomB 5243 He hath gret thought and dredeth ay
RomB 5244 For his disese, whanne he shal pray
RomB 5245 His freend, lest that he warned be,
RomB 5246 Til that he preve his stabilte.
RomB 5247 But whanne that he hath founden oon
RomB 5248 That trusty is and trewe as ston,
RomB 5249 And assaied hym at all,
RomB 5250 And founde hym stedefast as a wall,
RomB 5251 And of his freendshipp be certeyn,
RomB 5252 He shal hym shewe bothe joye and peyn,
RomB 5253 And all that [he] dar thynke or sey,
RomB 5254 Withoute shame, as he wel may.
RomB 5255 For how shulde he ashamed be
RomB 5256 Of sich on as I tolde thee?
RomB 5257 For whanne he woot his secre thought,
RomB 5258 The thridde shal knowe therof right nought;
RomB 5259 For tweyne of noumbre is bet than thre
RomB 5260 In every counsell and secre.
RomB 5261 Repreve he dredeth never a deel,
RomB 5262 Who that bisett his wordis wel;
RomB 5263 For every wise man, out of drede,
RomB 5264 Can kepe his tunge til he se nede;
RomB 5265 And fooles can not holde her tunge;
RomB 5266 A fooles belle is soone runge.
RomB 5267 Yit shal a trewe freend do more
RomB 5268 To helpe his felowe of his sore,
RomB 5269 And socoure hym, whanne he hath neede,
RomB 5270 In all that he may don in deede,
RomB 5271 And gladder [be] that he hym plesith,
RomB 5272 Than his felowe that he esith.
RomB 5273 And if he do not his requeste,
RomB 5274 He shal as mochel hym moleste
RomB 5275 As his felow, for that he
RomB 5276 May not fulfille his volunte
RomB 5277 Fully, as he hath requered.
RomB 5278 If bothe the hertis Love hath fered,
RomB 5279 Joy and woo they shull depart,
RomB 5280 And take evenly ech his part.
RomB 5281 Half his anoy he shal have ay,
RomB 5282 And comfort [him] what that he may;
RomB 5283 And of his blisse parte shal he,
RomB 5284 If love wel departed be.
RomB 5285 " And whilom of this amyte
RomB 5286 Spak Tulius in a ditee:
RomB 5287 `Man shulde maken his request
RomB 5288 Unto his freend, that is honest;
RomB 5289 And he goodly shulde it fulfille,
RomB 5290 But it the more were out of skile,
RomB 5291 And otherwise not graunte therto,
RomB 5292 Except oonly in causes twoo:
RomB 5293 If men his freend to deth wolde drive,
RomB 5294 Lat hym be bisy to save his lyve;
RomB 5295 Also if men wolen hym assayle,
RomB 5296 Of his wurshipp to make hym faile,
RomB 5297 And hyndren hym of his renoun,
RomB 5298 Lat hym, with full entencioun,
RomB 5299 His dever don in ech degre
RomB 5300 That his freend ne shamed be.
RomB 5301 In thise two caas with his myght,
RomB 5302 Taking no kep to skile nor right,
RomB 5303 As fer as love may hym excuse,
RomB 5304 This oughte no man to refuse.'
RomB 5305 This love that I have told to thee
RomB 5306 Is nothing contrarie to me;
RomB 5307 This wole I that thou folowe wel,
RomB 5308 And leve the tother everydel.
RomB 5309 This love to vertu all entendith,
RomB 5310 The tothir fooles blent and shendith.
RomB 5311 " Another love also there is
RomB 5312 That is contrarie unto this,
RomB 5313 Which desir is so constreyned
RomB 5314 That [it] is but wille feyned.
RomB 5315 Awey fro trouthe it doth so varie
RomB 5316 That to good love it is contrarie;
RomB 5317 For it maymeth, in many wise,
RomB 5318 Sike hertis with coveitise.
RomB 5319 All in wynnyng and in profit
RomB 5320 Sich love settith his delit.
RomB 5321 This love so hangeth in balaunce
RomB 5322 That, if it lese his hope, perchaunce,
RomB 5323 Of lucre, that he is sett upon,
RomB 5324 It wole faile and quenche anoon;
RomB 5325 For no man may be amerous,
RomB 5326 Ne in his lyvyng vertuous,
RomB 5327 But he love more, in mood,
RomB 5328 Men for hemsilf than for her good.
RomB 5329 For love that profit doth abide
RomB 5330 Is fals, and bit not in no tyde.
RomB 5331 [This] love cometh of dame Fortune,
RomB 5332 That litel while wol contune;
RomB 5333 For it shal chaungen wonder soone,
RomB 5334 And take eclips, right as the moone,
RomB 5335 Whanne she is from us lett
RomB 5336 Thurgh erthe, that bitwixe is sett
RomB 5337 The sonne and hir, as it may fall,
RomB 5338 Be it in partie, or in all.
RomB 5339 The shadowe maketh her bemys merke,
RomB 5340 And hir hornes to shewe derke,
RomB 5341 That part where she hath lost hir lyght
RomB 5342 Of Phebus fully, and the sight;
RomB 5343 Til, whanne the shadowe is overpast,
RomB 5344 She is enlumyned ageyn as fast,
RomB 5345 Thurgh the brightnesse of the sonne bemes,
RomB 5346 That yeveth to hir ageyn hir lemes.
RomB 5347 That love is right of sich nature;
RomB 5348 Now is faire, and now obscure,
RomB 5349 Now bright, now clipsi of manere,
RomB 5350 And whilom dym, and whilom clere.
RomB 5351 As soone as Poverte gynneth take,
RomB 5352 With mantel and wedis blake
RomB 5353 Hidith of love the light awey,
RomB 5354 That into nyght it turneth day,
RomB 5355 It may not see Richesse shyne
RomB 5356 Till the blak shadowes fyne.
RomB 5357 For, whanne Richesse shyneth bright,
RomB 5358 Love recovereth ageyn his light;
RomB 5359 And whanne it failith he wol flit,
RomB 5360 And as she groweth, so groweth it.
RomB 5361 Of this love -- here what I sey! --
RomB 5362 The riche men are loved ay,
RomB 5363 And namely tho that sparand ben,
RomB 5364 That wole not wasshe her hertes clen
RomB 5365 Of the filthe nor of the vice
RomB 5366 Of gredy brennyng avarice.
RomB 5367 The riche man full fonned is, ywys,
RomB 5368 That weneth that he loved is.
RomB 5369 If that his herte it undirstod,
RomB 5370 It is not he, it is his good;
RomB 5371 He may wel witen in his thought,
RomB 5372 His good is loved, and he right nought.
RomB 5373 For if he be a nygard ek,
RomB 5374 Men wole not sette by hym a lek,
RomB 5375 But haten hym; this is the soth.
RomB 5376 Lo, what profit his catell doth.
RomB 5377 Of every man that may hym see
RomB 5378 It geteth hym nought but enmyte.
RomB 5379 But he amende hym of that vice,
RomB 5380 And knowe hymsilf, he is not wys.
RomB 5381 Certys, he shulde ay freendly be,
RomB 5382 To gete hym love also ben free,
RomB 5383 Or ellis he is not wise ne sage
RomB 5384 Nomore than is a goot ramage.
RomB 5385 That he not loveth, his dede proveth,
RomB 5386 Whan he his richesse so wel loveth
RomB 5387 That he wole hide it ay and spare,
RomB 5388 His pore freendis sen forfare,
RomB 5389 To kepen ay his purpos,
RomB 5390 Til for drede his yen clos,
RomB 5391 And til a wikked deth hym take.
RomB 5392 Hym hadde lever asondre shake,
RomB 5393 And late alle his lymes asondre ryve,
RomB 5394 Than leve his richesse in his lyve.
RomB 5395 He thenkith parte it with no man;
RomB 5396 Certayn, no love is in hym than.
RomB 5397 How shulde love withynne hym be,
RomB 5398 Whanne in his herte is no pite?
RomB 5399 That he trespasseth, wel I wat,
RomB 5400 For ech man knowith his estat;
RomB 5401 For wel hym ought to be reproved
RomB 5402 That loveth nought, ne is not loved.
RomB 5403 " But sith we arn to Fortune comen,
RomB 5404 And han oure sermoun of hir nomen,
RomB 5405 A wondir will Y telle thee now,
RomB 5406 Thou herdist never sich oon, I trow.
RomB 5407 I not where thou me leven shall,
RomB 5408 Though sothfastnesse it be all,
RomB 5409 As it is writen, and is soth,
RomB 5410 That unto men more profit doth
RomB 5411 The froward Fortune and contraire
RomB 5412 Than the swote and debonaire.
RomB 5413 And if thee thynke it is doutable,
RomB 5414 It is thurgh argument provable;
RomB 5415 For the debonaire and softe
RomB 5416 Falsith and bigilith ofte;
RomB 5417 For lyche a moder she can cherish,
RomB 5418 And mylken as doth a norys,
RomB 5419 And of hir goode to hem deles,
RomB 5420 And yeveth hem part of her joweles,
RomB 5421 With gret richeses and dignite;
RomB 5422 And hem she hoteth stabilite
RomB 5423 In a stat that is not stable,
RomB 5424 But chaungynge ay and variable;
RomB 5425 And fedith hem with glorie veyn,
RomB 5426 And worldly blisse noncerteyn.
RomB 5427 Whanne she hem settith on hir whel,
RomB 5428 Thanne wene they to be right wel,
RomB 5429 And in so stable stat withalle,
RomB 5430 That never they wene for to falle.
RomB 5431 And whanne they sette so highe be,
RomB 5432 They wene to have in certeynte
RomB 5433 Of hertly freendis so gret noumbre,
RomB 5434 That nothyng myght her stat encombre.
RomB 5435 They trust hem so on every side,
RomB 5436 Wenyng with hem they wolde abide
RomB 5437 In every perell and myschaunce,
RomB 5438 Withoute chaunge or variaunce,
RomB 5439 Bothe of catell and of good;
RomB 5440 And also for to spende her blood,
RomB 5441 And all her membris for to spille,
RomB 5442 Oonly to fulfille her wille.
RomB 5443 They maken it hool in many wise,
RomB 5444 And hoten hem her full servise,
RomB 5445 How sore that it do hem smerte,
RomB 5446 Into her naked sherte!
RomB 5447 Herte and all so hool they yive,
RomB 5448 For the tyme that they may lyve,
RomB 5449 So that with her flaterie
RomB 5450 They maken foolis glorifie
RomB 5451 Of her wordis spekyng,
RomB 5452 And han therof a rejoysyng,
RomB 5453 And trowe hem as the Evangile;
RomB 5454 And it is all falsheede and gile,
RomB 5455 As they shal aftirward se,
RomB 5456 Whanne they arn falle in poverte
RomB 5457 And ben of good and catell bare;
RomB 5458 Thanne shulde they sen who freendis ware.
RomB 5459 For of an hundred, certeynly,
RomB 5460 Nor of a thousand full scarsly,
RomB 5461 Ne shal they fynde unnethis oon,
RomB 5462 Whanne poverte is comen upon.
RomB 5463 For this Fortune that I of telle,
RomB 5464 With men whanne hir lust to dwelle,
RomB 5465 Makith hem to leese her conisaunce,
RomB 5466 And norishith hem in ignoraunce.
RomB 5467 " But froward Fortune and pervers,
RomB 5468 Whanne high estatis she doth revers,
RomB 5469 And maketh hem to tumble doun
RomB 5470 Of hir whel, with sodeyn tourn,
RomB 5471 And from her richesse doth hem fle,
RomB 5472 And plongeth hem in poverte,
RomB 5473 As a stepmoder envyous,
RomB 5474 And leieth a plastre dolorous
RomB 5475 Unto her hertis, wounded egre,
RomB 5476 Which is not tempred with vynegre,
RomB 5477 But with poverte and indigence,
RomB 5478 For to shewe, by experience,
RomB 5479 That she is Fortune verely,
RomB 5480 In whom no man shulde affy,
RomB 5481 Nor in hir yeftis have fiaunce,
RomB 5482 She is so full of variaunce --
RomB 5483 Thus kan she maken high and lowe,
RomB 5484 Whanne they from richesse arn throwe,
RomB 5485 Fully to knowen, without were,
RomB 5486 Freend of affect and freend of chere,
RomB 5487 And which in love weren trewe and stable,
RomB 5488 And whiche also weren variable,
RomB 5489 After Fortune, her goddesse,
RomB 5490 In poverte outher in richesse.
RomB 5491 For all she yeveth here, out of drede,
RomB 5492 Unhap bereveth it in dede;
RomB 5493 For Infortune lat not oon
RomB 5494 Of freendis, whanne Fortune is gon;
RomB 5495 I mene tho freendis that wole fle
RomB 5496 Anoon as entreth poverte.
RomB 5497 And yit they wole not leve hem so,
RomB 5498 But in ech place where they go
RomB 5499 They calle hem `wrecche,' scorne, and blame,
RomB 5500 And of her myshappe hem diffame;
RomB 5501 And namely siche as in richesse
RomB 5502 Pretendith moost of stablenesse,
RomB 5503 Whanne that they sawe hym sett on lofte,
RomB 5504 And weren of hym socoured ofte,
RomB 5505 And most yholpe in all her neede.
RomB 5506 But now they take no maner heede,
RomB 5507 But seyn in voice of flaterie,
RomB 5508 That now apperith her folye,
RomB 5509 Overall where so they fare,
RomB 5510 And synge, `Go, farewel, feldefare.'
RomB 5511 All suche freendis I beshrewe,
RomB 5512 For of trewe ther be to fewe.
RomB 5513 But sothfast freendis, what so bitide,
RomB 5514 In every fortune wolen abide;
RomB 5515 Thei han her hertis in such noblesse
RomB 5516 That they nyl love for no richesse,
RomB 5517 Nor for that Fortune may hem sende
RomB 5518 Thei wolen hem socoure and defende,
RomB 5519 And chaunge for softe ne for sore;
RomB 5520 For who is freend, loveth evermore.
RomB 5521 Though men drawe swerd his freend to slo,
RomB 5522 He may not hewe her love a-two.
RomB 5523 But, in cas that I shall sey,
RomB 5524 For pride and ire lese it he may,
RomB 5525 And for reprove by nycete,
RomB 5526 And discovering of privite,
RomB 5527 With tonge woundyng, as feloun,
RomB 5528 Thurgh venemous detraccioun.
RomB 5529 Frend in this cas wole gon his way,
RomB 5530 For nothyng greve hym more ne may;
RomB 5531 And for nought ellis wole he fle,
RomB 5532 If that he love in stabilite.
RomB 5533 And certeyn, he is wel bigon,
RomB 5534 Among a thousand that fyndith oon.
RomB 5535 For ther may be no richesse
RomB 5536 Ageyns frendshipp, of worthynesse;
RomB 5537 For it ne may so high atteigne
RomB 5538 As may the valour, soth to seyne,
RomB 5539 Of hym that loveth trew and well.
RomB 5540 Frendshipp is more than is catell.
RomB 5541 For freend in court ay better is
RomB 5542 Than peny in purs, certis;
RomB 5543 And Fortune myshappyng
RomB 5544 Whanne upon men she is fallyng,
RomB 5545 Thurgh mysturnyng of hir chaunce,
RomB 5546 And casteth hem out of balaunce,
RomB 5547 She makith, thurgh hir adversite,
RomB 5548 Men full clerly for to se
RomB 5549 Hym that is freend in existence
RomB 5550 From hym that is by apparence.
RomB 5551 For Ynfortune makith anoon
RomB 5552 To knowe thy freendis fro thy foon,
RomB 5553 By experience, right as it is,
RomB 5554 The which is more to preise, ywis,
RomB 5555 Than is myche richesse and tresour.
RomB 5556 For more doth profit and valour
RomB 5557 Poverte and such adversite
RomB 5558 Bifore, than doth prosperite;
RomB 5559 For the toon yeveth conysaunce,
RomB 5560 And the tother ignoraunce.
RomB 5561 " And thus in poverte is in dede
RomB 5562 Trouthe declared fro falsheede;
RomB 5563 For feynte frendis it wole declare,
RomB 5564 And trewe also, what wey they fare.
RomB 5565 For whanne he was in his richesse,
RomB 5566 These freendis, ful of doublenesse,
RomB 5567 Offrid hym in many wise
RomB 5568 Hert, and body, and servise.
RomB 5569 What wolde he thanne ha yove to ha bought
RomB 5570 To knowen openly her thought,
RomB 5571 That he now hath so clerly seen?
RomB 5572 The lasse bigiled he shulde have ben,
RomB 5573 And he hadde thanne perceyved it;
RomB 5574 But richesse nold not late hym wit.
RomB 5575 Wel more avauntage doth hym than,
RomB 5576 Sith that it makith hym a wise man,
RomB 5577 The gret myscheef that he receyveth,
RomB 5578 Than doth richesse that hym deceyveth.
RomB 5579 Richesse riche ne makith nought
RomB 5580 Hym that on tresour set his thought;
RomB 5581 For richesse stont in suffisaunce
RomB 5582 And nothyng in habundaunce;
RomB 5583 For suffisaunce all oonly
RomB 5584 Makith men to lyve richely.
RomB 5585 For he that at mycches tweyne
RomB 5586 Ne valued [is. in his demeigne,
RomB 5587 Lyveth more at ese, and more is riche,
RomB 5588 Than doth he that is chiche,
RomB 5589 And in his berne hath, soth to seyn,
RomB 5590 An hundred mowis of whete greyn,
RomB 5591 Though he be chapman or marchaunt,
RomB 5592 And have of gold many besaunt.
RomB 5593 For in the getyng he hath such woo,
RomB 5594 And in the kepyng drede also,
RomB 5595 And set evermore his bisynesse
RomB 5596 For to encrese, and not to lesse,
RomB 5597 For to aument and multiply.
RomB 5598 And though on hepis it lye hym by,
RomB 5599 Yit never shal make his richesse
RomB 5600 Asseth unto his gredynesse.
RomB 5601 But the povre that recchith nought,
RomB 5602 Save of his lyflode, in his thought,
RomB 5603 Which that he getith with his travaile,
RomB 5604 He dredith nought that it shall faile,
RomB 5605 Though he have lytel worldis good,
RomB 5606 Mete, and drynke, and esy food,
RomB 5607 Upon his travel and lyvyng,
RomB 5608 And also suffisaunt clothyng.
RomB 5609 Or if in syknesse that he falle,
RomB 5610 And loth. mete and drynke withalle,
RomB 5611 Though he have noght his mete to by,
RomB 5612 He shal bithynke hym hastily,
RomB 5613 To putte hym oute of all daunger,
RomB 5614 That he of mete hath no myster;
RomB 5615 Or that he may with lytel ek
RomB 5616 Be founden, while that he is sek;
RomB 5617 Or that men shull hym beren in hast,
RomB 5618 To lyve til his syknesse be past,
RomB 5619 To som maysondew biside;
RomB 5620 He cast nought what shal hym bitide.
RomB 5621 He thenkith nought that evere he shall
RomB 5622 Into ony syknesse fall.
RomB 5623 " And though it falle, as it may be,
RomB 5624 That all betyme spare shall he
RomB 5625 As mochel as shal to hym suffice,
RomB 5626 While he is sik in ony wise,
RomB 5627 He doth [it] for that he wole be
RomB 5628 Content with his poverte
RomB 5629 Withoute nede of ony man.
RomB 5630 So myche in litel have he can,
RomB 5631 He is apaied with his fortune;
RomB 5632 And for he nyl be importune
RomB 5633 Unto no wight, ne onerous,
RomB 5634 Nor of her goodes coveitous,
RomB 5635 Therfore he spareth, it may wel ben,
RomB 5636 His pore estat for to susten.
RomB 5637 " Or if hym lust not for to spare,
RomB 5638 But suffrith forth, as noght ne ware,
RomB 5639 Atte last it hapneth, as it may,
RomB 5640 Right unto his laste day,
RomB 5641 And taketh the world as it wolde be;
RomB 5642 For evere in herte thenkith he,
RomB 5643 The sonner that deth hym slo,
RomB 5644 To paradys the sonner go
RomB 5645 He shal, there for to lyve in blisse,
RomB 5646 Where that he shal noo good misse.
RomB 5647 Thider he hopith God shal hym sende
RomB 5648 Aftir his wrecchid lyves ende.
RomB 5649 Pictigoras hymsilf reherses
RomB 5650 In a book that `The Golden Verses'
RomB 5651 Is clepid, for the nobilite
RomB 5652 Of the honourable ditee: --
RomB 5653 `Thanne, whanne thou gost thy body fro,
RomB 5654 Fre in the eir thou shalt up go,
RomB 5655 And leven al humanite,
RomB 5656 And purely lyve in deite.'
RomB 5657 He is a fool, withouten were,
RomB 5658 That trowith have his countre heere.
RomB 5659 `In erthe is not oure countre,'
RomB 5660 That may these clerkis seyn and see
RomB 5661 In Boece of Consolacioun,
RomB 5662 Where it is maked mencioun
RomB 5663 Of oure contre pleyn at the ye,
RomB 5664 By teching of Philosophie,
RomB 5665 Where lewid men myght lere wit,
RomB 5666 Whoso that wolde translaten it.
RomB 5667 If he be sich that can wel lyve
RomB 5668 Aftir his rente may hym yive,
RomB 5669 And not desireth more to have
RomB 5670 Than may fro poverte hym save,
RomB 5671 A wise man seide, as we may seen,
RomB 5672 Is no man wrecched, but he it wen,
RomB 5673 Be he kyng, knyght, or ribaud.
RomB 5674 And many a ribaud is mery and baud,
RomB 5675 That swynkith, and berith, bothe day and nyght,
RomB 5676 Many a burthen of gret myght,
RomB 5677 The whiche doth hym lasse offense
RomB 5678 For he suffrith in pacience.
RomB 5679 They laugh and daunce, trippe and synge,
RomB 5680 And ley not up for her lyvynge,
RomB 5681 But in the taverne all dispendith
RomB 5682 The wynnyng that God hem sendith.
RomB 5683 Thanne goth he, fardeles for to ber
RomB 5684 With as good chere as he dide er.
RomB 5685 To swynke and traveile he not feynith,
RomB 5686 For for to robben he disdeynith.
RomB 5687 But right anoon aftir his swynk
RomB 5688 He goth to taverne for to drynk.
RomB 5689 All these ar riche in abundaunce
RomB 5690 That can thus have suffisaunce
RomB 5691 Wel more than can an usurere,
RomB 5692 As God wel knowith, withoute were.
RomB 5693 For an usurer, so God me se,
RomB 5694 Shal nevere for richesse riche be,
RomB 5695 But evermore pore and indigent,
RomB 5696 Scarce and gredy in his entent.
RomB 5697 " For soth it is, whom it displese,
RomB 5698 Ther may no marchaunt lyve at ese;
RomB 5699 His herte in sich a were is sett
RomB 5700 That it quyk brenneth [more] to get,
RomB 5701 Ne never shal ynogh have geten,
RomB 5702 Though he have gold in gerners yeten,
RomB 5703 For to be nedy he dredith sore.
RomB 5704 Wherfore to geten more and more
RomB 5705 He set his herte and his desir;
RomB 5706 So hote he brennyth in the fir
RomB 5707 Of coveitise, that makith hym wood
RomB 5708 To purchace other mennes good.
RomB 5709 He undirfongith a gret peyne,
RomB 5710 That undirtakith to drynke up Seyne;
RomB 5711 For the more he drynkith, ay
RomB 5712 The more he leveth, the soth to say.
RomB 5713 Thus is thurst of fals getyng,
RomB 5714 That last ever in coveityng,
RomB 5715 And the angwisshe and distresse
RomB 5716 With the fir of gredynesse.
RomB 5717 She fightith with hym ay, and stryveth,
RomB 5718 That his herte asondre ryveth.
RomB 5719 Such gredynesse hym assaylith
RomB 5720 That whanne he most hath, most he failith.
RomB 5721 Phisiciens and advocates
RomB 5722 Gon right by the same yates;
RomB 5723 They selle her science for wynnyng,
RomB 5724 And haunte her craft for gret getyng.
RomB 5725 Her wynnyng is of such swetnesse
RomB 5726 That if a man falle in siknesse,
RomB 5727 They are full glad for her encres;
RomB 5728 For by her wille, withoute lees,
RomB 5729 Everich man shulde be sek,
RomB 5730 And though they die, they sette not a lek.
RomB 5731 After, whanne they the gold have take,
RomB 5732 Full litel care for hem they make.
RomB 5733 They wolde that fourty were seke at onys,
RomB 5734 Ye, two hundred, in flesh and bonys,
RomB 5735 And yit two thousand, as I gesse,
RomB 5736 For to encrecen her richesse.
RomB 5737 They wole not worchen, in no wise,
RomB 5738 But for lucre and coveitise.
RomB 5739 For fysic gynneth first by fy,
RomB 5740 The physicien also sothely;
RomB 5741 And sithen it goth fro fy to sy:
RomB 5742 To truste on hem is foly;
RomB 5743 For they nyl, in no maner gre,
RomB 5744 Do right nought for charite.
RomB 5745 " Eke in the same secte ar sett
RomB 5746 All tho that prechen for to get
RomB 5747 Worshipes, honour, and richesse.
RomB 5748 Her hertis arn in gret distresse
RomB 5749 That folk lyve not holily.
RomB 5750 But aboven all, specialy,
RomB 5751 Sich as prechen [for] veynglorie,
RomB 5752 And toward God have no memorie,
RomB 5753 But forth as ypocrites trace,
RomB 5754 And to her soules deth purchace,
RomB 5755 And outward shewen holynesse,
RomB 5756 Though they be full of cursidnesse.
RomB 5757 Not liche to the apostles twelve,
RomB 5758 They deceyve other and hemselve.
RomB 5759 Bigiled is the giler than,
RomB 5760 For prechyng of a cursed man,
RomB 5761 Though [it] to other may profite,
RomB 5762 Hymsilf it availeth not a myte;
RomB 5763 For ofte good predicacioun
RomB 5764 Cometh of evel entencioun.
RomB 5765 To hym not vailith his preching,
RomB 5766 All helpe he other with his teching;
RomB 5767 For where they good ensaumple take,
RomB 5768 There is he with veynglorie shake.
RomB 5769 " But late us leven these prechoures,
RomB 5770 And speke of hem that in her toures
RomB 5771 Hepe up hir gold, and faste shette,
RomB 5772 And sore theron her herte sette.
RomB 5773 They neither love God ne drede;
RomB 5774 They kepe more than it is nede,
RomB 5775 And in her bagges sore it bynde,
RomB 5776 Out of the sonne and of the wynde.
RomB 5777 They putte up more than nede ware,
RomB 5778 Whanne they seen pore folk forfare,
RomB 5779 For hunger die, and for cold quake.
RomB 5780 God can wel vengeaunce therof take!
RomB 5781 Three gret myscheves hem assailith,
RomB 5782 And thus in gadring ay travaylith.
RomB 5783 With myche peyne they wynne richesse;
RomB 5784 And drede hem holdith in distresse
RomB 5785 To kepe that they gadre faste;
RomB 5786 With sorwe they leve it at the laste.
RomB 5787 With sorwe they bothe dye and lyve,
RomB 5788 That unto richesse her hertis yive;
RomB 5789 And in defaute of love it is,
RomB 5790 As it shewith ful wel, iwys.
RomB 5791 For if thise gredy, the sothe to seyn,
RomB 5792 Loveden and were loved ageyn,
RomB 5793 And good love regned overall,
RomB 5794 Such wikkidnesse ne shulde fall;
RomB 5795 But he shulde yeve that most good had
RomB 5796 To hem that weren in nede bistad,
RomB 5797 And lyve withoute false usure,
RomB 5798 For charite full clene and pure.
RomB 5799 If they hem yeve to goodnesse,
RomB 5800 Defendyng hem from ydelnesse,
RomB 5801 In all this world thanne pore noon
RomB 5802 We shulde fynde, I trowe, not oon.
RomB 5803 But chaunged is this world unstable,
RomB 5804 For love is overall vendable.
RomB 5805 We se that no man loveth now,
RomB 5806 But for wynnyng and for prow;
RomB 5807 And love is thralled in servage,
RomB 5808 Whanne it is sold for avauntage.
RomB 5809 Yit wommen wole her bodyes selle;
RomB 5810 Suche soules goth to the devel of helle! "
RomC 5811 Whanne Love hadde told hem his entente,
RomC 5812 The baronage to councel wente.
RomC 5813 In many sentences they fille,
RomC 5814 And dyversely they seide hir wille;
RomC 5815 But aftir discord they accorded,
RomC 5816 And her accord to Love recorded.
RomC 5817 " Sir, " seiden they, " we ben at on,
RomC 5818 Bi evene accord of everichon,
RomC 5819 Out-take Richesse al oonly,
RomC 5820 That sworen hath ful hauteynly,
RomC 5821 That she the castel nyl not assaile,
RomC 5822 Ne smyte a strok in this bataile,
RomC 5823 With darte, ne mace, spere, ne knyf,
RomC 5824 For man that spekith or berith the lyf,
RomC 5825 And blameth youre emprise, iwys,
RomC 5826 And from oure hoost departed is,
RomC 5827 Atte leste wey, as in this plyt,
RomC 5828 So hath she this man in dispit.
RomC 5829 For she seith he ne loved hir never,
RomC 5830 And therfore she wole hate hym evere.
RomC 5831 For he wole gadre no tresor,
RomC 5832 He hath hir wrath for evermor.
RomC 5833 He agylte hir never in other caas,
RomC 5834 Lo, heere all hoolly his trespas!
RomC 5835 She seith wel that this other day
RomC 5836 He axide hir leve to gon the way
RomC 5837 That is clepid To-Moche-Yevyng,
RomC 5838 And spak full faire in his praiyng;
RomC 5839 But whanne he praiede hir, pore was he,
RomC 5840 Therfore she warned hym the entre.
RomC 5841 Ne yit is he not thryven so
RomC 5842 That he hath geten a peny or two
RomC 5843 That quytly is his owne in hold.
RomC 5844 Thus hath Richesse us alle told,
RomC 5845 And whanne Richesse us this recorded,
RomC 5846 Withouten hir we ben accorded.
RomC 5847 " And we fynde in oure accordaunce
RomC 5848 That Fals-Semblant and Abstinaunce,
RomC 5849 With all the folk of her bataille,
RomC 5850 Shull at the hyndre gate assayle,
RomC 5851 That Wikkid-Tunge hath in kepyng,
RomC 5852 With his Normans full of janglyng.
RomC 5853 And with hem Curtesie and Largesse,
RomC 5854 That shull shewe her hardynesse
RomC 5855 To the olde wyf that kepte so harde
RomC 5856 Fair-Welcomyng withynne her warde.
RomC 5857 Thanne shal Delit and Wel-Heelynge
RomC 5858 Fonde Shame adown to brynge;
RomC 5859 With all her oost, erly and late,
RomC 5860 They shull assailen that ilke gate.
RomC 5861 Agaynes Drede shall Hardynesse
RomC 5862 Assayle, and also Sikernesse,
RomC 5863 With all the folk of her ledyng,
RomC 5864 That never wist what was fleyng.
RomC 5865 " Fraunchise shall fight, and eke Pite,
RomC 5866 With Daunger, full of cruelte.
RomC 5867 Thus is youre hoost ordeyned wel.
RomC 5868 Doun shall the castell every del,
RomC 5869 If everich do his entent,
RomC 5870 So that Venus be present,
RomC 5871 Youre modir, full of vasselage,
RomC 5872 That can ynough of such usage.
RomC 5873 Withouten hir may no wight spede
RomC 5874 This werk, neithir for word ne deede;
RomC 5875 Therfore is good ye for hir sende,
RomC 5876 For thurgh hir may this werk amende. "
RomC 5877 " Lordynges, my modir, the goddesse,
RomC 5878 That is my lady and my maistresse,
RomC 5879 Nis not [at] all at my willyng,
RomC 5880 Ne doth not all my desiryng.
RomC 5881 Yit can she som tyme don labour,
RomC 5882 Whanne that hir lust, in my socour,
RomC 5883 Al my nedes for to acheve,
RomC 5884 But now I thenke hir not to greve.
RomC 5885 My modir is she, and of childhede
RomC 5886 I bothe worshipe hir and eke drede;
RomC 5887 For who that dredith sire ne dame,
RomC 5888 Shal it abye in body or name.
RomC 5889 And, natheles, yit kunne we
RomC 5890 Sende aftir hir, if nede be;
RomC 5891 And were she nygh, she comen wolde;
RomC 5892 I trowe that nothyng myght hir holde.
RomC 5893 " Mi modir is of gret prowesse;
RomC 5894 She hath tan many a forteresse,
RomC 5895 That cost hath many a pound, er this,
RomC 5896 There I nas not present, ywis.
RomC 5897 And yit men seide it was my dede;
RomC 5898 But I com never in that stede,
RomC 5899 Ne me ne likith, so mote I the,
RomC 5900 That such toures ben take withoute me.
RomC 5901 For-why me thenkith that, in no wise,
RomC 5902 It may ben clepid but marchandise.
RomC 5903 " Go bye a courser, blak or whit,
RomC 5904 And pay therfore; than art thou quyt.
RomC 5905 The marchaunt owith thee right nought,
RomC 5906 Ne thou hym, whanne thou it bought.
RomC 5907 I wole not sellyng clepe yevyng,
RomC 5908 For sellyng axeth no guerdonyng:
RomC 5909 Here lith no thank ne no merit;
RomC 5910 That oon goth from that other al quyt.
RomC 5911 But this sellyng is not semblable;
RomC 5912 For whanne his hors is in the stable,
RomC 5913 He may it selle ageyn, parde,
RomC 5914 And wynnen on it, such hap may be;
RomC 5915 All may the man not leese, iwys,
RomC 5916 For at the leest the skyn is his.
RomC 5917 Or ellis, if it so bitide
RomC 5918 That he wole kepe his hors to ride,
RomC 5919 Yit is he lord ay of his hors.
RomC 5920 But thilke chaffare is wel wors,
RomC 5921 There Venus entremetith ought.
RomC 5922 For whoso such chaffare hath bought,
RomC 5923 He shal not worchen so wisely
RomC 5924 That he ne shal leese al outerly
RomC 5925 Bothe his money and his chaffare;
RomC 5926 But the seller of the ware
RomC 5927 The prys and profit have shall.
RomC 5928 Certeyn, the bier shal leese all.
RomC 5929 For he ne can so dere it bye
RomC 5930 To have lordship and full maistrie,
RomC 5931 Ne have power to make lettyng,
RomC 5932 Neithir for yift ne for prechyng,
RomC 5933 That of his chaffare, maugre his,
RomC 5934 Another shal have as moche, iwis,
RomC 5935 If he wol yeve as myche as he,
RomC 5936 Of what contrey so that he be --
RomC 5937 Or for right nought, so happe may,
RomC 5938 If he can flater hir to hir pay.
RomC 5939 Ben thanne siche marchauntz wise?
RomC 5940 No, but fooles in every wise,
RomC 5941 Whanne they bye sich thyng wilfully,
RomC 5942 There as they leese her good fully.
RomC 5943 But natheles, this dar I saye,
RomC 5944 My modir is not wont to paye,
RomC 5945 For she is neither so fool ne nyce
RomC 5946 To entremete hir of sich vice.
RomC 5947 But truste wel, he shal pay all,
RomC 5948 That repent of his bargeyn shall,
RomC 5949 Whanne poverte putte hym in distresse,
RomC 5950 All were he scoler to Richesse,
RomC 5951 That is for me in gret yernyng,
RomC 5952 Whanne she assentith to my willyng.
RomC 5953 " But [by] my modir, seint Venus,
RomC 5954 And by hir fader Saturnus,
RomC 5955 That hir engendride by his lyf --
RomC 5956 But not upon his weddid wyf --
RomC 5957 Yit wole I more unto you swer,
RomC 5958 To make this thyng the seurere --
RomC 5959 Now by that feith and that leaute
RomC 5960 That I owe to all my britheren fre,
RomC 5961 Of which ther nys wight undir heven
RomC 5962 That kan her fadris names neven,
RomC 5963 So dyverse and so many ther be
RomC 5964 That with my modir have be prive!
RomC 5965 Yit wolde I swere, for sikirnesse,
RomC 5966 The pol of helle to my witnesse --
RomC 5967 Now drynke I not this yeer clarre,
RomC 5968 If that I lye or forsworn be!
RomC 5969 (For of the goddes the usage is
RomC 5970 That whoso hym forswereth amys
RomC 5971 Shal that yeer drynke no clarre.)
RomC 5972 Now have I sworn ynough, pardee,
RomC 5973 If I forswere me, thanne am I lorn,
RomC 5974 But I wole never be forsworn.
RomC 5975 Syth Richesse hath me failed heere,
RomC 5976 She shal abye that trespas ful dere,
RomC 5977 Atte leeste wey, but [she] hir arme
RomC 5978 With swerd, or sparth, or gysarme.
RomC 5979 For certis, sith she loveth not me,
RomC 5980 Fro thilke tyme that she may se
RomC 5981 The castell and the tour toshake,
RomC 5982 In sory tyme she shal awake.
RomC 5983 If I may grype a riche man,
RomC 5984 I shal so pulle hym, if I can,
RomC 5985 That he shal in a fewe stoundes
RomC 5986 Lese all his markis and his poundis.
RomC 5987 I shal hym make his pens outslynge,
RomC 5988 But they in his gerner sprynge.
RomC 5989 Oure maydens shal eke pluk hym so
RomC 5990 That hym shal neden fetheres mo,
RomC 5991 And make hym selle his lond to spende,
RomC 5992 But he the bet kunne hym defende.
RomC 5993 " Pore men han maad her lord of me;
RomC 5994 Although they not so myghty be
RomC 5995 That they may fede me in delit,
RomC 5996 I wol not have hem in despit.
RomC 5997 No good man hateth hem, as I gesse,
RomC 5998 For chynche and feloun is Richesse,
RomC 5999 That so can chase hem and dispise,
RomC 6000 And hem defoule in sondry wise.
RomC 6001 They loven full bet, so God me spede,
RomC 6002 Than doth the riche, chynchy gnede,
RomC 6003 And ben, in good feith, more stable
RomC 6004 And trewer and more serviable;
RomC 6005 And therfore it suffisith me
RomC 6006 Her goode herte and her leaute.
RomC 6007 They han on me set all her thought,
RomC 6008 And therfore I forgete hem nought.
RomC 6009 I wol hem bringe in gret noblesse,
RomC 6010 If that I were god of richesse,
RomC 6011 As I am god of love sothly,
RomC 6012 Sich routhe upon her pleynt have I.
RomC 6013 Therfore I must his socour be,
RomC 6014 That peyneth hym to serven me,
RomC 6015 For if he deide for love of this,
RomC 6016 Thanne semeth in me no love ther is. "
RomC 6017 " Sir, " seide they, " soth is every deel
RomC 6018 That ye reherce, and we wote wel
RomC 6019 Thilk oth to holde is resonable;
RomC 6020 For it is good and covenable
RomC 6021 That ye on riche men han sworn.
RomC 6022 For, sir, this wote we wel biforn:
RomC 6023 If riche men don you homage,
RomC 6024 That is as fooles don outrage;
RomC 6025 But ye shull not forsworn be,
RomC 6026 Ne lette therfore to drynke clarre,
RomC 6027 Or pyment makid fresh and newe.
RomC 6028 Ladies shull hem such pepir brewe,
RomC 6029 If that they fall into her laas,
RomC 6030 That they for woo mowe seyn `allas!'
RomC 6031 Ladyes shullen evere so curteis be
RomC 6032 That they shal quyte youre oth all free.
RomC 6033 Ne sekith never othir vicaire,
RomC 6034 For they shal speke with hem so faire
RomC 6035 That ye shal holde you paied full wel,
RomC 6036 Though ye you medle never a del.
RomC 6037 Late ladies worche with her thyngis,
RomC 6038 They shal hem telle so fele tidynges,
RomC 6039 And moeve hem eke so many requestis
RomC 6040 Bi flateri, that not honest is,
RomC 6041 And therto yeve hem such thankynges,
RomC 6042 What with kissyng and with talkynges,
RomC 6043 That, certis, if they trowed be,
RomC 6044 Shal never leve hem lond ne fee
RomC 6045 That it nyl as the moeble fare,
RomC 6046 Of which they first delyverid are.
RomC 6047 Now may ye telle us all youre wille,
RomC 6048 And we youre heestes shal fulfille.
RomC 6049 " But Fals-Semblant dar not, for drede
RomC 6050 Of you, sir, medle hym of this dede,
RomC 6051 For he seith that ye ben his foo;
RomC 6052 He not if ye wole worche hym woo.
RomC 6053 Wherfore we pray you alle, beau sire,
RomC 6054 That ye forgyve hym now your ire,
RomC 6055 And that he may dwelle, as your man,
RomC 6056 With Abstinence, his dere lemman;
RomC 6057 This oure accord and oure wille now. "
RomC 6058 " Parfay, " seide Love, " I graunte it yow.
RomC 6059 I wole wel holde hym for my man;
RomC 6060 Now late hym come " -- and he forth ran.
RomC 6061 " Fals-Semblant, " quod Love, " in this wise
RomC 6062 I take thee heere to my servise,
RomC 6063 That thou oure freendis helpe alway,
RomC 6064 And hyndre hem neithir nyght ne day,
RomC 6065 But do thy myght hem to releve,
RomC 6066 And eke oure enemyes that thou greve.
RomC 6067 Thyn be this myght, I graunte it thee,
RomC 6068 My kyng of harlotes shalt thou be;
RomC 6069 We wole that thou have such honour.
RomC 6070 Certeyn, thou art a fals traitour,
RomC 6071 And eke a theef; sith thou were born,
RomC 6072 A thousand tyme thou art forsworn.
RomC 6073 But natheles, in oure heryng,
RomC 6074 To putte oure folk out of doutyng,
RomC 6075 I bidde thee teche hem, wostow how,
RomC 6076 Bi som general signe now,
RomC 6077 In what place thou shalt founden be,
RomC 6078 If that men had myster of thee;
RomC 6079 And how men shal thee best espye,
RomC 6080 For thee to knowe is gret maistrie.
RomC 6081 Telle in what place is thyn hauntyng. "
RomC 6082 " Sir, I have fele dyvers wonyng,
RomC 6083 That I kepe not rehersed be,
RomC 6084 So that ye wolde respiten me.
RomC 6085 For if that I telle you the sothe,
RomC 6086 I may have harm and shame bothe.
RomC 6087 If that my felowes wisten it,
RomC 6088 My talis shulden me be quytt;
RomC 6089 For certeyn, they wolde hate me,
RomC 6090 If ever I knewe her cruelte.
RomC 6091 For they wolde overall holde hem stille
RomC 6092 Of trouthe that is ageyne her wille;
RomC 6093 Suche tales kepen they not here.
RomC 6094 I myght eftsoone bye it full deere,
RomC 6095 If I seide of hem ony thing
RomC 6096 That ought displesith to her heryng.
RomC 6097 For what word that hem prikke or biteth,
RomC 6098 In that word noon of hem deliteth,
RomC 6099 Al were it gospel, the evangile,
RomC 6100 That wolde reprove hem of her gile,
RomC 6101 For they are cruel and hauteyn.
RomC 6102 And this thyng wot I well, certeyn,
RomC 6103 If I speke ought to peire her loos,
RomC 6104 Your court shal not so well be cloos
RomC 6105 That they ne shall wite it atte last.
RomC 6106 Of good men am I nought agast,
RomC 6107 For they wole taken on hem nothyng,
RomC 6108 Whanne that they knowe al my menyng;
RomC 6109 But he that wole it on hym take,
RomC 6110 He wole hymsilf suspecious make,
RomC 6111 That he his lyf let covertly
RomC 6112 In Gile and in Ipocrisy
RomC 6113 That me engendred and yaf fostryng. "
RomC 6114 " They made a full good engendryng, "
RomC 6115 Quod Love, " for whoso sothly telle,
RomC 6116 They engendred the devel of helle!
RomC 6117 But nedely, howsoevere it be, "
RomC 6118 Quod Love, " I wole and charge thee
RomC 6119 To telle anoon thy wonyng places,
RomC 6120 Heryng ech wight that in this place is.
RomC 6121 And what lyf that thou lyvest also.
RomC 6122 Hide it no lenger now; wherto?
RomC 6123 Thou most discovere all thi wurchyng,
RomC 6124 How thou servest, and of what thyng,
RomC 6125 Though that thou shuldist for thi soth-sawe
RomC 6126 Ben al tobeten and todrawe --
RomC 6127 And yit art thou not wont, pardee.
RomC 6128 But natheles, though thou beten be,
RomC 6129 Thou shalt not be the first that so
RomC 6130 Hath for sothsawe suffred woo. "
RomC 6131 " Sir, sith that it may liken you,
RomC 6132 Though that I shulde be slayn right now,
RomC 6133 I shal don youre comaundement,
RomC 6134 For therto have I gret talent. "
RomC 6135 Withouten wordis mo, right than,
RomC 6136 Fals-Semblant his sermon bigan,
RomC 6137 And seide hem thus in audience:
RomC 6138 " Barouns, take heede of my sentence!
RomC 6139 That wight that list to have knowing
RomC 6140 Of Fals-Semblant, full of flatering,
RomC 6141 He must in worldly folk hym seke,
RomC 6142 And, certes, in the cloistres eke.
RomC 6143 I wone nowhere but in hem tweye,
RomC 6144 But not lyk even, soth to seye.
RomC 6145 Shortly, I wole herberwe me
RomC 6146 There I hope best to hulstred be,
RomC 6147 And certeynly, sikerest hidyng
RomC 6148 Is undirnethe humblest clothing.
RomC 6149 Religiouse folk ben full covert;
RomC 6150 Seculer folk ben more appert.
RomC 6151 But natheles, I wole not blame
RomC 6152 Religious folk, ne hem diffame,
RomC 6153 In what habit that ever they go.
RomC 6154 Religioun umble and trewe also,
RomC 6155 Wole I not blame ne dispise;
RomC 6156 But I nyl love it, in no wise.
RomC 6157 I mene of fals religious,
RomC 6158 That stoute ben and malicious,
RomC 6159 That wolen in an abit goo,
RomC 6160 And setten not her herte therto.
RomC 6161 " Religious folk ben al pitous;
RomC 6162 Thou shalt not seen oon dispitous.
RomC 6163 They loven no pride ne no strif,
RomC 6164 But humbly they wole lede her lyf.
RomC 6165 With swich folk wole I never be,
RomC 6166 And if I dwelle, I feyne me.
RomC 6167 I may wel in her abit go;
RomC 6168 But me were lever my nekke a-two,
RomC 6169 Than lete a purpos that I take,
RomC 6170 What covenaunt that ever I make.
RomC 6171 I dwelle with hem that proude be,
RomC 6172 And full of wiles and subtilte,
RomC 6173 That worship of this world coveiten,
RomC 6174 And grete nedes kunnen espleiten,
RomC 6175 And gon and gadren gret pitaunces,
RomC 6176 And purchace hem the acqueyntaunces
RomC 6177 Of men that myghty lyf may leden;
RomC 6178 And feyne hem pore, and hemsilf feden
RomC 6179 With gode morcels delicious,
RomC 6180 And drinken good wyn precious,
RomC 6181 And preche us povert and distresse,
RomC 6182 And fisshen hemsilf gret richesse
RomC 6183 With wily nettis that they caste.
RomC 6184 It wole come foule out at the laste.
RomC 6185 They ben fro clene religioun went;
RomC 6186 They make the world an argument
RomC 6187 That [hath. a foul conclusioun.
RomC 6188 `I have a robe of religioun,
RomC 6189 Thanne am I all religious.'
RomC 6190 This argument is all roignous;
RomC 6191 It is not worth a croked brere.
RomC 6192 Abit ne makith neithir monk ne frere,
RomC 6193 But clene lyf and devocioun
RomC 6194 Makith gode men of religioun.
RomC 6195 Natheles, ther kan noon answere,
RomC 6196 How high that evere his heed he shere,
RomC 6197 With resoun whetted never so kene,
RomC 6198 That Gile in braunches kut thrittene;
RomC 6199 Ther can no wight distincte it so,
RomC 6200 That he dar sey a word therto.
RomC 6201 " But what herberwe that ever I take,
RomC 6202 Or what semblant that evere I make,
RomC 6203 I mene but gile, and folowe that;
RomC 6204 For right no mo than Gibbe oure cat,
RomC 6206 Ne entende I but to bigilyng.
RomC 6207 Ne no wight may by my clothing
RomC 6208 Wite with what folk is my dwellyng,
RomC 6209 Ne by my wordis yit, parde,
RomC 6210 So softe and so plesaunt they be.
RomC 6211 Bihold the dedis that I do;
RomC 6212 But thou be blynd, thou oughtest so;
RomC 6213 For, varie her wordis fro her deede,
RomC 6214 They thenke on gile, withoute dreede,
RomC 6215 What maner clothing that they were,
RomC 6216 Or what estat that evere they bere,
RomC 6217 Lered or lewde, lord or lady,
RomC 6218 Knyght, squyer, burgeis, or bayly. "
RomC 6219 Right thus while Fals-Semblant sermoneth,
RomC 6220 Eftsones Love hym aresoneth,
RomC 6221 And brak his tale in his spekyng,
RomC 6222 As though he had hym told lesyng,
RomC 6223 And seide, " What, devel, is that I here?
RomC 6224 What folk hast thou us nempned heere?
RomC 6225 May men fynde religioun
RomC 6226 In worldly habitacioun? "
RomC 6227 " Ye, sir; it folowith not that they
RomC 6228 Shulde lede a wikked lyf, parfey,
RomC 6229 Ne not therfore her soules leese
RomC 6230 That hem to worldly clothes chese;
RomC 6231 For, certis, it were gret pitee.
RomC 6232 Men may in seculer clothes see
RomC 6233 Florishen hooly religioun.
RomC 6234 Full many a seynt in feeld and toun,
RomC 6235 With many a virgine glorious,
RomC 6236 Devout, and full religious,
RomC 6237 Han deied, that comun cloth ay beeren,
RomC 6238 Yit seyntes nevere the lesse they weren.
RomC 6239 I cowde reken you many a ten;
RomC 6240 Ye, wel nygh [al] these hooly wymmen
RomC 6241 That men in chirchis herie and seke,
RomC 6242 Bothe maydens and these wyves eke
RomC 6243 That baren full many a fair child heere,
RomC 6244 Wered alwey clothis seculere,
RomC 6245 And in the same dieden they
RomC 6246 That seyntes weren, and ben alwey.
RomC 6247 The eleven thousand maydens deere
RomC 6248 That beren in heven hir ciergis clere,
RomC 6249 Of whiche men rede in chirche and synge,
RomC 6250 Were take in seculer clothinge
RomC 6251 Whanne they resseyved martirdom,
RomC 6252 And wonnen hevene unto her hom.
RomC 6253 Good herte makith the goode thought;
RomC 6254 The clothing yeveth ne reveth nought.
RomC 6255 The goode thought and the worching,
RomC 6256 That makith the religioun flowryng,
RomC 6257 Ther lyth the good religioun,
RomC 6258 Aftir the right entencioun.
RomC 6259 " Whoso took a wethers skyn,
RomC 6260 And wrapped a gredy wolf theryn,
RomC 6261 For he shulde go with lambis whyte,
RomC 6262 Wenest thou not he wolde hem bite?
RomC 6263 Yis, neverthelasse, as he were wood,
RomC 6264 He wolde hem wery and drinke the blood,
RomC 6265 And wel the rather hem disceyve;
RomC 6266 For, sith they cowde not perceyve
RomC 6267 His treget and his cruelte,
RomC 6268 They wolde hym folowe, al wolde he fle.
RomC 6269 " If ther be wolves of sich hewe
RomC 6270 Amonges these apostlis newe,
RomC 6271 Thou hooly chirche, thou maist be wailed!
RomC 6272 Sith that thy citee is assayled
RomC 6273 Thourgh knyghtis of thyn owne table,
RomC 6274 God wot thi lordship is doutable!
RomC 6275 If thei enforce [hem] it to wynne
RomC 6276 That shulde defende it fro withynne,
RomC 6277 Who myght defense ayens hem make?
RomC 6278 Withoute strok it mot be take
RomC 6279 Of trepeget or mangonel,
RomC 6280 Without displaiyng of pensel.
RomC 6281 And if God nyl don it socour,
RomC 6282 But lat [hem] renne in this colour,
RomC 6283 Thou most thyn heestis laten be.
RomC 6284 Thanne is ther nought but yelde thee,
RomC 6285 Or yeve hem tribut, doutelees,
RomC 6286 And holde it of hem to have pees,
RomC 6287 But gretter harm bitide thee,
RomC 6288 That they al maister of it be.
RomC 6289 Wel konne they scorne thee withal;
RomC 6290 By day stuffen they the wall,
RomC 6291 And al the nyght they mynen there.
RomC 6292 Nay, thou planten most elleswhere
RomC 6293 Thyn ympes, if thou wolt fruyt have;
RomC 6294 Abid not there thisilf to save.
RomC 6295 " But now pees! Heere I turne ageyn.
RomC 6296 I wole nomore of this thing seyn,
RomC 6297 If I may passen me herby;
RomC 6298 I myghte maken you wery.
RomC 6299 But I wole heten you alway
RomC 6300 To helpe youre freendis what I may,
RomC 6301 So they wollen my company;
RomC 6302 For they be shent al outerly,
RomC 6303 But if so falle that I be
RomC 6304 Ofte with hem, and they with me.
RomC 6305 And eke my lemman mote they serve,
RomC 6306 Or they shull not my love deserve.
RomC 6307 Forsothe, I am a fals traitour;
RomC 6308 God jugged me for a theef trichour.
RomC 6309 Forsworn I am, but wel nygh non
RomC 6310 Wot of my gile, til it be don.
RomC 6311 " Thourgh me hath many oon deth resseyved,
RomC 6312 That my treget nevere aperceyved;
RomC 6313 And yit resseyveth, and shal resseyve,
RomC 6314 That my falsnesse shal nevere aperceyve.
RomC 6315 But whoso doth, if he wis be,
RomC 6316 Hym is right good be war of me,
RomC 6317 But so sligh is the deceyvyng
RomC 6319 For Protheus, that cowde hym chaunge
RomC 6320 In every shap, homly and straunge,
RomC 6321 Cowde nevere sich gile ne tresoun
RomC 6322 As I; for I com never in toun
RomC 6323 There as I myghte knowen be,
RomC 6324 Though men me bothe myght here and see.
RomC 6325 Full wel I can my clothis chaunge,
RomC 6326 Take oon, and make another straunge.
RomC 6327 Now am I knyght, now chasteleyn,
RomC 6328 Now prelat, and now chapeleyn,
RomC 6329 Now prest, now clerk, and now forster;
RomC 6330 Now am I maister, now scoler,
RomC 6331 Now monk, now chanoun, now baily;
RomC 6332 Whatever myster man am I.
RomC 6333 Now am I prince, now am I page,
RomC 6334 And kan by herte every langage.
RomC 6335 Som tyme am I hor and old;
RomC 6336 Now am I yong, stout, and bold;
RomC 6337 Now am I Robert, now Robyn,
RomC 6338 Now Frere Menour, now Jacobyn;
RomC 6339 And with me folwith my loteby,
RomC 6340 To don me solas and company,
RomC 6341 That hight Dame Abstinence-Streyned,
RomC 6342 In many a queynte array feyned.
RomC 6343 Ryght as it cometh to hir lykyng,
RomC 6344 I fulfille al hir desiryng.
RomC 6345 Somtyme a wommans cloth take I;
RomC 6346 Now am I a mayde, now lady.
RomC 6347 Somtyme I am religious;
RomC 6348 Now lyk an anker in an hous.
RomC 6349 Somtyme am I prioresse,
RomC 6350 And now a nonne, and now abbesse;
RomC 6351 And go thurgh alle regiouns,
RomC 6352 Sekyng alle religiouns.
RomC 6353 But to what ordre that I am sworn,
RomC 6354 I take the strawe, and lete the corn.
RomC 6355 To gyle folk I enhabit;
RomC 6356 I axe nomore but her abit.
RomC 6357 What wole ye more in every wise?
RomC 6358 Right as me lyst, I me disgise.
RomC 6359 Wel can I wre me undir wede;
RomC 6360 Unlyk is my word to my dede.
RomC 6361 [I] make into my trappis falle,
RomC 6362 Thurgh my pryveleges, alle
RomC 6363 That ben in Cristendom alyve.
RomC 6364 I may assoile and I may shryve,
RomC 6365 That no prelat may lette me,
RomC 6366 All folk, where evere thei founde be.
RomC 6367 I not no prelat may don so,
RomC 6368 But it the pope be, and no mo,
RomC 6369 That made thilk establisshing.
RomC 6370 Now is not this a propre thing?
RomC 6371 But, were my sleightis aperceyved
RomC 6373 As I was wont, and wostow why?
RomC 6374 For I dide hem a tregetry.
RomC 6375 But therof yeve I lytel tale;
RomC 6376 I have the silver and the male.
RomC 6377 So have I prechid, and eke shriven,
RomC 6378 So have I take, so have me yiven,
RomC 6379 Thurgh her foly, husbonde and wyf,
RomC 6380 That I lede right a joly lyf,
RomC 6381 Thurgh symplesse of the prelacye --
RomC 6382 They knowe not al my tregettrie.
RomC 6383 " But forasmoche as man and wyf
RomC 6384 Shulde shewe her paroch-prest her lyf,
RomC 6385 Onys a yeer, as seith the book,
RomC 6386 Er ony wight his housel took,
RomC 6387 Thanne have I pryvylegis large,
RomC 6388 That may of myche thing discharge.
RomC 6389 For he may seie right thus, parde:
RomC 6390 `Sir preest, in shrift I telle it thee,
RomC 6391 That he to whom that I am shryven
RomC 6392 Hath me assoiled, and me yiven
RomC 6393 Penaunce, sothly, for my synne,
RomC 6394 Which that I fond me gilty ynne;
RomC 6395 Ne I ne have nevere entencioun
RomC 6396 To make double confessioun,
RomC 6397 Ne reherce eft my shrift to thee.
RomC 6398 O shrift is right ynough to me.
RomC 6399 This oughte thee suffice wel;
RomC 6400 Ne be not rebel never a del.
RomC 6401 For certis, though thou haddist it sworn,
RomC 6402 I wot no prest ne prelat born,
RomC 6403 That may to shrift eft me constreyne;
RomC 6404 And if they don, I wole me pleyne,
RomC 6405 For I wot where to pleyne wel.
RomC 6406 Thou shalt not streyne me a del,
RomC 6407 Ne enforce me, ne not me trouble,
RomC 6408 To make my confessioun double.
RomC 6409 Ne I have non affeccioun
RomC 6410 To have double absolucioun.
RomC 6411 The firste is right ynough to me;
RomC 6412 This latter assoilyng quyte I thee.
RomC 6413 I am unbounde -- what maist thou fynde
RomC 6414 More of my synnes me to unbynde?
RomC 6415 For he, that myght hath in his hond,
RomC 6416 Of all my synnes me unbond.
RomC 6417 And if thou wolt me thus constreyne
RomC 6418 That me mot nedis on thee pleyne,
RomC 6419 There shall no jugge imperial,
RomC 6420 Ne bisshop, ne official,
RomC 6421 Don jugement on me; for I
RomC 6422 Shal gon and pleyne me openly
RomC 6423 Unto my shrifte-fadir newe
RomC 6424 (That hight not Frere Wolf untrewe!),
RomC 6425 And he shal cheveys hym for me,
RomC 6426 For I trowe he can hampre thee.
RomC 6427 But, Lord, he wolde be wrooth withalle,
RomC 6428 If men hym wolde Frere Wolf calle!
RomC 6429 For he wolde have no pacience,
RomC 6430 But don al cruel vengeaunce.
RomC 6431 He wolde his myght don at the leeste,
RomC 6432 Nothing spare for Goddis heeste.
RomC 6433 And, God so wys be my socour,
RomC 6434 But thou yeve me my Savyour
RomC 6435 At Ester, whanne it likith me,
RomC 6436 Withoute presyng more on thee,
RomC 6437 I wole forth, and to hym gon,
RomC 6438 And he shal housel me anoon.
RomC 6439 For I am out of thi grucching;
RomC 6440 I kepe not dele with thee nothing.'
RomC 6441 " Thus may he shryve hym, that forsaketh
RomC 6442 His paroch-prest, and to me taketh.
RomC 6443 And if the prest wole hym refuse,
RomC 6444 I am full redy hym to accuse,
RomC 6445 And hym punysshe and hampre so
RomC 6446 That he his chirche shal forgo.
RomC 6447 " But whoso hath in his felyng
RomC 6448 The consequence of such shryvyng,
RomC 6449 Shal sen that prest may never have myght
RomC 6450 To knowe the conscience aright
RomC 6451 Of hym that is undir his cure.
RomC 6452 And this ageyns holy scripture,
RomC 6453 That biddith every heerde honest
RomC 6454 Have verry knowing of his beest.
RomC 6455 But pore folk that gone by strete,
RomC 6456 That have no gold, ne sommes grete,
RomC 6457 Hem wolde I lete to her prelates,
RomC 6458 Or lete her prestis knowe her states,
RomC 6459 For to me right nought yeve they.
RomC 6460 And why? It is for they ne may.
RomC 6461 They ben so bare, I take no kep,
RomC 6462 But I wole have the fatte sheep;
RomC 6463 Lat parish prestis have the lene.
RomC 6464 I yeve not of her harm a bene!
RomC 6465 And if that prelates grucchen it,
RomC 6466 That oughten wroth be in her wit
RomC 6467 To leese her fatte beestes so,
RomC 6468 I shal yeve hem a strok or two,
RomC 6469 That they shal leesen with force,
RomC 6470 Ye, bothe her mytre and her croce.
RomC 6471 Thus jape I hem, and have do longe,
RomC 6472 My pryveleges ben so stronge. "
RomC 6473 Fals-Semblant wolde have stynted heere,
RomC 6474 But Love ne made hym no such cheere
RomC 6475 That he was wery of his sawe;
RomC 6476 But for to make hym glad and fawe,
RomC 6477 He seide, " Telle on more specialy
RomC 6478 Hou that thou servest untrewly.
RomC 6479 Telle forth, and shame thee never a del;
RomC 6480 For, as thyn abit shewith wel,
RomC 6481 Thou semest an hooly heremyte. "
RomC 6482 " Soth is, but I am an ypocrite. "
RomC 6483 " Thou gost and prechest poverte. "
RomC 6484 " Ye, sir, but richesse hath pouste. "
RomC 6485 " Thou prechest abstinence also. "
RomC 6486 " Sir, I wole fillen, so mote I go,
RomC 6487 My paunche of good mete and wyn,
RomC 6488 As shulde a maister of dyvyn;
RomC 6489 For how that I me pover feyne,
RomC 6490 Yit alle pore folk I disdeyne.
RomC 6491 " I love bettir th' acqueyntaunce,
RomC 6492 Ten tyme, of the kyng of Fraunce
RomC 6493 Than of a pore man of mylde mod,
RomC 6494 Though that his soule be also god.
RomC 6495 For whanne I see beggers quakyng,
RomC 6496 Naked on myxnes al stynkyng,
RomC 6497 For hungre crie, and eke for care,
RomC 6498 I entremete not of her fare.
RomC 6499 They ben so pore and ful of pyne,
RomC 6500 They myght not oonys yeve me dyne,
RomC 6501 For they have nothing but her lyf.
RomC 6502 What shulde he yeve that likketh his knyf?
RomC 6503 It is but foly to entremete,
RomC 6504 To seke in houndes nest fat mete.
RomC 6505 Lete bere hem to the spitel anoon,
RomC 6506 But, for me, comfort gete they noon.
RomC 6507 But a riche sik usurer
RomC 6508 Wolde I visite and drawe ner;
RomC 6509 Hym wole I comforte and rehete,
RomC 6510 For I hope of his gold to gete.
RomC 6511 And if that wikkid deth hym have,
RomC 6512 I wole go with hym to his grave.
RomC 6513 And if ther ony reprove me,
RomC 6514 Why that I lete the pore be,
RomC 6515 Wostow how I mot ascape?
RomC 6516 I sey, and swere hym ful rape,
RomC 6517 That riche men han more tecches
RomC 6518 Of synne than han pore wrecches,
RomC 6519 And han of counsel more mister,
RomC 6520 And therfore I wole drawe hem ner.
RomC 6521 But as gret hurt, it may so be,
RomC 6522 Hath a soule in right gret poverte
RomC 6523 As soule in gret richesse, forsothe,
RomC 6524 Al be it that they hurten bothe.
RomC 6525 For richesse and mendicitees
RomC 6526 Ben clepid two extremytees;
RomC 6527 The mene is cleped suffisaunce;
RomC 6528 Ther lyth of vertu the aboundaunce.
RomC 6529 For Salamon, full wel I wot,
RomC 6530 In his Parablis us wrot,
RomC 6531 As it is knowe to many a wight,
RomC 6532 In his thrittene chapitre right,
RomC 6533 `God thou me kepe, for thi pouste,
RomC 6534 Fro richesse and mendicite;
RomC 6535 For if a riche man hym dresse
RomC 6536 To thenke to myche on richesse,
RomC 6537 His herte on that so fer is set
RomC 6538 That he his creatour foryet;
RomC 6539 And hym that begging wole ay greve,
RomC 6540 How shulde I bi his word hym leve?
RomC 6541 Unnethe that he nys a mycher
RomC 6542 Forsworn, or ellis God is lyer.'
RomC 6543 Thus seith Salamones sawes.
RomC 6544 Ne we fynde writen in no lawis,
RomC 6545 And namely in oure Cristen lay,
RomC 6546 (Whoso seith `ye,' I dar sey `nay')
RomC 6547 That Crist, ne his apostlis dere,
RomC 6548 While that they walkide in erthe heere,
RomC 6549 Were never seen her bred beggyng,
RomC 6550 For they nolden beggen for nothing.
RomC 6551 And right thus was men wont to teche,
RomC 6552 And in this wise wolde it preche
RomC 6553 The maistres of divinite
RomC 6554 Somtyme in Parys the citee.
RomC 6555 " And if men wolde ther-geyn appose
RomC 6556 The nakid text, and lete the glose,
RomC 6557 It myghte soone assoiled be;
RomC 6558 For men may wel the sothe see,
RomC 6559 That, parde, they myght aske a thing
RomC 6560 Pleynly forth, without begging.
RomC 6561 For they weren Goddis herdis deere,
RomC 6562 And cure of soules hadden heere,
RomC 6563 They nolde nothing begge her fode;
RomC 6564 For aftir Crist was don on rode,
RomC 6565 With ther propre hondis they wrought,
RomC 6566 And with travel, and ellis nought,
RomC 6567 They wonnen all her sustenaunce,
RomC 6568 And lyveden forth in her penaunce,
RomC 6569 And the remenaunt yave awey
RomC 6570 To other pore folkis alwey.
RomC 6571 They neither bilden tour ne halle,
RomC 6572 But ley in houses smale withalle.
RomC 6573 A myghty man, that can and may,
RomC 6574 Shulde with his hond and body alway
RomC 6575 Wynne hym his fode in laboring,
RomC 6576 If he ne have rent or sich a thing,
RomC 6577 Although he be religious,
RomC 6578 And God to serven curious.
RomC 6579 Thus mot he don, or do trespas,
RomC 6580 But if it be in certeyn cas,
RomC 6581 That I can reherce, if myster be,
RomC 6582 Right wel, whanne the tyme I se.
RomC 6583 " Sek the book of Seynt Austyn,
RomC 6584 Be it in papir or perchemyn,
RomC 6585 There as he writ of these worchynges,
RomC 6586 Thou shalt seen that noon excusynges
RomC 6587 A parfit man ne shulde seke
RomC 6588 Bi wordis ne bi dedis eke,
RomC 6589 Although he be religious,
RomC 6590 And God to serven curious,
RomC 6591 That he ne shal, so mote I go,
RomC 6592 With propre hondis and body also,
RomC 6593 Gete his fode in laboryng,
RomC 6594 If he ne have proprete of thing.
RomC 6595 Yit shulde he selle all his substaunce,
RomC 6596 And with his swynk have sustenaunce,
RomC 6597 If he be parfit in bounte.
RomC 6598 Thus han tho bookes told me.
RomC 6599 For he that wole gon ydilly,
RomC 6600 And usith it ay besily
RomC 6601 To haunten other mennes table,
RomC 6602 He is a trechour, ful of fable;
RomC 6603 Ne he ne may, by god resoun,
RomC 6604 Excuse hym by his orisoun.
RomC 6605 For men bihoveth, in som gise,
RomC 6606 Somtyme leven Goddis servise
RomC 6607 To gon and purchasen her nede.
RomC 6608 Men mote eten, that is no drede,
RomC 6609 And slepe, and eke do other thing;
RomC 6610 So longe may they leve praiyng.
RomC 6611 So may they eke her praier blynne,
RomC 6612 While that they werke, her mete to wynne.
RomC 6613 Seynt Austyn wole therto accorde,
RomC 6614 In thilke book that I recorde.
RomC 6615 Justinian eke, that made lawes,
RomC 6616 Hath thus forboden, by olde dawes:
RomC 6617 `No man, up peyne to be ded,
RomC 6618 Mighty of body, to begge his bred,
RomC 6619 If he may swynke it for to gete;
RomC 6620 Men shulde hym rather mayme or bete,
RomC 6621 Or don of hym apert justice,
RomC 6622 Than suffren hym in such malice.'
RomC 6623 They don not wel, so mote I go,
RomC 6624 That taken such almesse so,
RomC 6625 But if they have som pryvelege,
RomC 6626 That of the peyne hem wole allege.
RomC 6627 But how that is, can I not see,
RomC 6628 But if the prince disseyved be;
RomC 6629 Ne I ne wene not, sikerly,
RomC 6630 That they may have it rightfully.
RomC 6631 But I wole not determine
RomC 6632 Of prynces power, ne defyne,
RomC 6633 Ne by my word comprende, iwys,
RomC 6634 If it so fer may strecche in this.
RomC 6635 I wole not entremete a del;
RomC 6636 But I trowe that the book seith wel,
RomC 6637 Who that takith almessis that be
RomC 6638 Dewe to folk that men may se
RomC 6639 Lame, feble, wery, and bare,
RomC 6640 Pore, or in such maner care --
RomC 6641 That konne wynne hem never mo,
RomC 6642 For they have no power therto --
RomC 6643 He etith his owne dampnyng,
RomC 6644 But if he lye, that made al thing.
RomC 6645 And if ye such a truaunt fynde,
RomC 6646 Chastise hym wel, if ye be kynde.
RomC 6647 But they wolde hate you, percas,
RomC 6648 And, if ye fillen in her laas,
RomC 6649 They wolde eftsoonys do you scathe,
RomC 6650 If that they myghte, late or rathe;
RomC 6651 For they be not full pacient
RomC 6652 That han the world thus foule blent.
RomC 6653 And witeth wel that [ther] God bad
RomC 6654 The good-man selle al that he had,
RomC 6655 And folowe hym, and to pore it yive,
RomC 6656 He wolde not therfore that he lyve
RomC 6657 To serven hym in mendience,
RomC 6658 For it was nevere his sentence;
RomC 6659 But he bad wirken whanne that neede is,
RomC 6660 And folwe hym in goode dedis.
RomC 6661 Seynt Poul, that loved al hooly chirche,
RomC 6662 He bad th' appostles for to wirche,
RomC 6663 And wynnen her lyflode in that wise,
RomC 6664 And hem defended truandise,
RomC 6665 And seide, `Wirketh with youre honden.'
RomC 6666 Thus shulde the thing be undirstonden:
RomC 6667 He nolde, iwys, have bidde hem begging,
RomC 6668 Ne sellen gospel, ne prechyng,
RomC 6669 Lest they berafte, with her askyng,
RomC 6670 Folk of her catel or of her thing.
RomC 6671 For in this world is many a man
RomC 6672 That yeveth his good, for he ne can
RomC 6673 Werne it for shame; or ellis he
RomC 6674 Wolde of the asker delyvered be,
RomC 6675 And, for he hym encombrith so,
RomC 6676 He yeveth hym good to late hym go.
RomC 6677 But it can hym nothyng profite;
RomC 6678 They lese the yift and the meryte.
RomC 6679 The goode folk, that Poul to preched,
RomC 6680 Profred hym ofte, whan he hem teched,
RomC 6681 Som of her good in charite.
RomC 6682 But therof right nothing tok he;
RomC 6683 But of his hondwerk wolde he gete
RomC 6684 Clothes to wryen hym, and his mete. "
RomC 6685 " Telle me thanne how a man may lyven,
RomC 6686 That al his good to pore hath yiven,
RomC 6687 And wole but oonly bidde his bedis
RomC 6689 May he do so? " " Ye, sir. " " And how? "
RomC 6690 " Sir, I wole gladly telle yow:
RomC 6691 Seynt Austyn seith a man may be
RomC 6692 In houses that han proprete,
RomC 6693 As Templers and Hospitelers,
RomC 6694 And as these Chanouns Regulers,
RomC 6695 Or White Monkes, or these Blake --
RomC 6696 I wole no mo ensamplis make --
RomC 6697 And take therof his sustenyng,
RomC 6698 For therynne lyth no begging;
RomC 6699 But other weyes not, ywys,
RomC 6700 Yif Austyn gabbith not of this.
RomC 6701 And yit full many a monk laboureth,
RomC 6702 That God in hooly chirche honoureth.
RomC 6703 For whanne her swynkyng is agon,
RomC 6704 They rede and synge in chirche anon.
RomC 6705 " And for ther hath ben gret discord,
RomC 6706 As many a wight may bere record,
RomC 6707 Upon the estat of mendience,
RomC 6708 I wole shortly, in youre presence,
RomC 6709 Telle how a man may begge at nede,
RomC 6710 That hath not wherwith hym to fede,
RomC 6711 Maugre his felones jangelyngis,
RomC 6712 For sothfastnesse wole none hidyngis.
RomC 6713 And yit, percas, I may abeye
RomC 6714 That I to yow sothly thus seye.
RomC 6715 " Lo, heere the caas especial:
RomC 6716 If a man be so bestial
RomC 6717 That he of no craft hath science,
RomC 6718 And nought desireth ignorence,
RomC 6719 Thanne may he go a-begging yerne,
RomC 6720 Til he som maner craft kan lerne,
RomC 6721 Thurgh which withoute truaundyng,
RomC 6722 He may in trouthe have his lyvyng.
RomC 6723 Or if he may don no labour,
RomC 6724 For elde, or syknesse, or langour,
RomC 6725 Or for his tendre age also,
RomC 6726 Thanne may he yit a-begging go.
RomC 6727 Or if he have, peraventure,
RomC 6728 Thurgh usage of his noriture,
RomC 6729 Lyved over deliciously,
RomC 6730 Thanne oughten good folk comunly
RomC 6731 Han of his myscheef som pitee,
RomC 6732 And suffren hym also that he
RomC 6733 May gon aboute and begge his breed,
RomC 6734 That he be not for hungur deed.
RomC 6735 Or if he have of craft kunnyng,
RomC 6736 And strengthe also, and desiryng
RomC 6737 To wirken, as he hadde what,
RomC 6738 But he fynde neithir this ne that,
RomC 6739 Thanne may he begge til that he
RomC 6740 Have geten his necessite.
RomC 6741 Or if his wynnyng be so lite
RomC 6742 That his labour wole not acquyte
RomC 6743 Sufficiantly al his lyvyng,
RomC 6744 Yit may he go his breed begging;
RomC 6745 Fro dore to dore he may go trace,
RomC 6746 Til he the remenaunt may purchace.
RomC 6747 Or if a man wolde undirtake
RomC 6748 Ony emprise for to make
RomC 6749 In the rescous of oure lay,
RomC 6750 And it defenden as he may,
RomC 6751 Be it with armes or lettrure,
RomC 6752 Or other covenable cure,
RomC 6753 If it be so he pore be,
RomC 6754 Thanne may he begge til that he
RomC 6755 May fynde in trouthe for to swynke,
RomC 6756 And gete hym clothes, mete, and drynke,
RomC 6757 Swynke he with his hondis corporell,
RomC 6758 And not with hondis espirituell.
RomC 6759 " In al thise caas, and in semblables,
RomC 6760 If that ther ben mo resonables,
RomC 6761 He may begge, as I telle you heere,
RomC 6762 And ellis nought, in no manere,
RomC 6763 As William Seynt Amour wolde preche,
RomC 6764 And ofte wolde dispute and teche
RomC 6765 Of this mater all openly
RomC 6766 At Parys full solempnely.
RomC 6767 And, also God my soule blesse,
RomC 6768 As he had, in this stedfastnesse,
RomC 6769 The accord of the universite
RomC 6770 And of the puple, as semeth me.
RomC 6771 " No good man oughte it to refuse,
RomC 6772 Ne ought hym therof to excuse,
RomC 6773 Be wroth or blithe whoso be.
RomC 6774 For I wole speke, and telle it thee,
RomC 6775 Al shulde I dye, and be putt doun,
RomC 6776 As was Seynt Poul, in derk prisoun;
RomC 6777 Or be exiled in this caas
RomC 6778 With wrong, as maister William was,
RomC 6779 That my moder, Ypocrysie,
RomC 6780 Banysshed for hir gret envye.
RomC 6781 " Mi modir flemed hym Seynt Amour;
RomC 6782 The noble dide such labour
RomC 6783 To susteyne evere the loyalte,
RomC 6784 That he to moche agilte me.
RomC 6785 He made a book, and lete it write,
RomC 6787 And wolde ich reneyed begging,
RomC 6788 And lyved by my traveylyng,
RomC 6789 If I ne had rent ne other good.
RomC 6790 What? Wened he that I were wood?
RomC 6791 For labour myght me never plese.
RomC 6792 I have more wille to ben at ese,
RomC 6793 And have wel lever, soth to seye,
RomC 6794 Bifore the puple patre and preye,
RomC 6795 And wrie me in my foxerie
RomC 6796 Under a cope of papelardie. "
RomC 6797 Quod Love, " What devel is this that I heere?
RomC 6798 What wordis tellest thou me heere? "
RomC 6799 " What, sir? " " Falsnesse, that apert is.
RomC 6800 Thanne dredist thou not God? " " No, certis;
RomC 6801 For selde in gret thing shal he spede
RomC 6802 In this world, that God wole drede.
RomC 6803 For folk that hem to vertu yiven,
RomC 6804 And truly on her owne lyven,
RomC 6805 And hem in goodnesse ay contene,
RomC 6806 On hem is lytel thrift sene.
RomC 6807 Such folk drinken gret mysese;
RomC 6808 That lyf may me never plese.
RomC 6809 But se what gold han usurers,
RomC 6810 And silver eke in garners,
RomC 6811 Taylagiers, and these monyours,
RomC 6812 Bailifs, bedels, provost, countours;
RomC 6813 These lyven wel nygh by ravyne.
RomC 6814 The smale puple hem mote enclyne,
RomC 6815 And they as wolves wole hem eten.
RomC 6816 Upon the pore folk they geten
RomC 6817 Full moche of that they spende or kepe.
RomC 6818 Nis non of hem that he nyl strepe
RomC 6819 And wrien hemsilf wel atte fulle;
RomC 6820 Withoute scaldyng they hem pulle.
RomC 6821 The stronge the feble overgoth.
RomC 6822 But I, that were my symple cloth,
RomC 6823 Robbe bothe robbed and robbours
RomC 6824 And gile giled and gilours.
RomC 6825 By my treget I gadre and threste
RomC 6826 The gret tresour into my cheste,
RomC 6827 That lyth with me so faste bounde.
RomC 6828 Myn highe paleys do I founde,
RomC 6829 And my delites I fulfille
RomC 6830 With wyn at feestes at my wille,
RomC 6831 And tables full of entremees.
RomC 6832 I wole no lyf but ese and pees,
RomC 6833 And wynne gold to spende also.
RomC 6834 For whanne the grete bagge is go,
RomC 6835 It cometh right with my japes.
RomC 6836 Make I not wel tumble myn apes?
RomC 6837 To wynnen is alwey myn entente;
RomC 6838 My purchace is bettir than my rente.
RomC 6839 For though I shulde beten be,
RomC 6840 Overal I entremete me.
RomC 6841 Without me may no wight dure;
RomC 6842 I walke soules for to cure.
RomC 6843 Of al the world cure have I;
RomC 6844 In brede and lengthe boldely
RomC 6845 I wole bothe preche and eke counceilen.
RomC 6846 With hondis wille I not traveilen,
RomC 6847 For of the Pope I have the bulle --
RomC 6848 I ne holde not my wittes dulle.
RomC 6849 I wole not stynten, in my lyve,
RomC 6850 These emperoures for to shryve,
RomC 6851 Or kyngis, dukis, lordis grete;
RomC 6852 But pore folk al quyte I lete.
RomC 6853 I love no such shryvyng, parde,
RomC 6854 But it for other cause be.
RomC 6855 I rekke not of pore men --
RomC 6856 Her astat is not worth an hen.
RomC 6857 Where fyndest thou a swynker of labour
RomC 6858 Have me unto his confessour?
RomC 6859 But emperesses and duchesses,
RomC 6860 Thise queenes, and eke countesses,
RomC 6861 Thise abbessis, and eke bygyns,
RomC 6862 These grete ladyes palasyns,
RomC 6863 These joly knyghtis and baillyves,
RomC 6864 Thise nonnes, and thise burgeis wyves,
RomC 6865 That riche ben and eke plesyng,
RomC 6866 And thise maidens welfaryng,
RomC 6867 Wherso they clad or naked be,
RomC 6868 Uncounceiled goth ther noon fro me.
RomC 6869 And, for her soules savete,
RomC 6870 At lord and lady, and her meyne,
RomC 6871 I axe, whanne thei hem to me shryve,
RomC 6872 The proprete of al her lyve,
RomC 6873 And make hem trowe, bothe meest and leest,
RomC 6874 Hir paroch-prest nys but a beest
RomC 6875 Ayens me and my companye,
RomC 6876 That shrewis ben as gret as I;
RomC 6877 Fro whiche I wole not hide in hold
RomC 6878 No pryvete that me is told,
RomC 6879 That I by word or signe, ywis,
RomC 6880 [Ne] wole make hem knowe what it is,
RomC 6881 And they wolen also tellen me;
RomC 6882 They hele fro me no pryvyte.
RomC 6883 And for to make yow hem perceyven,
RomC 6884 That usen folk thus to disceyven,
RomC 6885 I wole you seyn, withouten drede,
RomC 6886 What men may in the gospel rede
RomC 6887 Of Seynt Mathew, the gospelere,
RomC 6888 That seith, as I shal you sey heere:
RomC 6889 " `Uppon the chaire of Moyses' --
RomC 6890 Thus is it glosed, douteles,
RomC 6891 That is the Olde Testament,
RomC 6892 For therby is the chaire ment --
RomC 6893 `Sitte Scribes and Pharisen;'
RomC 6894 That is to seyn, the cursid men
RomC 6895 Whiche that we ypocritis calle.
RomC 6896 `Doth that they preche, I rede you alle,
RomC 6897 But doth not as they don a del;
RomC 6898 That ben not wery to seye wel,
RomC 6899 But to do wel no will have they.
RomC 6900 And they wolde bynde on folk alwey,
RomC 6901 That ben to be begiled able,
RomC 6902 Burdons that ben importable;
RomC 6903 On folkes shuldris thinges they couchen,
RomC 6904 That they nyl with her fyngris touchen.' "
RomC 6905 " And why wole they not touche it? " " Why?
RomC 6906 For hem ne lyst not, sikirly;
RomC 6907 For sadde burdons that men taken
RomC 6908 Make folkes shuldris aken.
RomC 6909 And if they do ought that good be,
RomC 6910 That is for folk it shulde se.
RomC 6911 Her bordurs larger maken they,
RomC 6912 And make her hemmes wide alwey,
RomC 6913 And loven setes at the table,
RomC 6914 The firste and most honourable;
RomC 6915 And for to han the first chaieris
RomC 6916 In synagogis, to hem full deere is.
RomC 6917 And willen that folk hem loute and grete,
RomC 6918 Whanne that they passen thurgh the strete,
RomC 6919 And wolen be cleped `maister' also.
RomC 6920 But they ne shulde not willen so;
RomC 6921 The gospel is ther-ageyns, I gesse,
RomC 6922 That shewith wel her wikkidnesse.
RomC 6923 " Another custome use we:
RomC 6924 Of hem that wole ayens us be,
RomC 6925 We hate hem deedly everichon,
RomC 6926 And we wole werrey hem, as oon.
RomC 6927 Hym that oon hatith, hate we alle,
RomC 6928 And congecte hou to don hym falle.
RomC 6929 And if we seen hym wynne honour,
RomC 6930 Richesse, or preis, thurgh his valour,
RomC 6931 Provende, rent, or dignyte,
RomC 6932 Ful fast, iwys, compassen we
RomC 6933 Bi what ladder he is clomben so;
RomC 6934 And for to maken hym doun to go,
RomC 6935 With traisoun we wole hym defame,
RomC 6936 And don hym leese his goode name.
RomC 6937 Thus from his ladder we hym take,
RomC 6938 And thus his freendis foes we make;
RomC 6939 But word ne wite shal he noon,
RomC 6940 Till alle his freendis ben his foon.
RomC 6941 For if we dide it openly,
RomC 6942 We myght have blame redily;
RomC 6943 For hadde he wist of oure malice,
RomC 6944 He hadde hym kept, but he were nyce.
RomC 6945 " Another is this, that if so falle
RomC 6946 That ther be oon amonge us alle
RomC 6947 That doth a good turn, out of drede,
RomC 6948 We seyn it is oure alder deede.
RomC 6949 Ye, sikerly, though he it feyned,
RomC 6950 Or that hym list, or that hym deyned
RomC 6951 A man thurgh hym avaunced be;
RomC 6952 Therof all parseners be we,
RomC 6953 And tellen folk, whereso we go,
RomC 6954 That man thurgh us is sprongen so.
RomC 6955 And for to have of men preysyng,
RomC 6956 We purchace, thurgh oure flateryng,
RomC 6957 Of riche men of gret pouste
RomC 6958 Lettres to witnesse oure bounte,
RomC 6959 So that man weneth, that may us see,
RomC 6960 That alle vertu in us be.
RomC 6961 And alwey pore we us feyne;
RomC 6962 But how so that we begge or pleyne,
RomC 6963 We ben the folk, without lesyng,
RomC 6964 That all thing have without havyng.
RomC 6965 Thus be we dred of the puple, iwis.
RomC 6966 And gladly my purpos is this:
RomC 6967 I dele with no wight, but he
RomC 6968 Have gold and tresour gret plente.
RomC 6969 Her acqueyntaunce wel love I;
RomC 6970 This is moche my desir, shortly.
RomC 6971 I entremete me of brokages,
RomC 6972 I make pees and mariages,
RomC 6973 I am gladly executour,
RomC 6974 And many tymes procuratour;
RomC 6975 I am somtyme messager,
RomC 6976 That fallith not to my myster;
RomC 6977 And many tymes I make enquestes --
RomC 6978 For me that office not honest is.
RomC 6979 To dele with other mennes thing,
RomC 6980 That is to me a gret lykyng.
RomC 6981 And if that ye have ought to do
RomC 6982 In place that I repeire to,
RomC 6983 I shal it speden, thurgh my witt,
RomC 6984 As soone as ye have told me it.
RomC 6985 So that ye serve me to pay,
RomC 6986 My servyse shal be youre alway.
RomC 6987 But whoso wole chastise me,
RomC 6988 Anoon my love lost hath he;
RomC 6989 For I love no man, in no gise,
RomC 6990 That wole me repreve or chastise.
RomC 6991 But I wolde al folk undirtake,
RomC 6992 And of no wight no teching take;
RomC 6993 For I, that other folk chastie,
RomC 6994 Wole not be taught fro my folie.
RomC 6995 " I love noon hermitage more.
RomC 6996 All desertes and holtes hore,
RomC 6997 And grete wodes everichon,
RomC 6998 I lete hem to the Baptist John.
RomC 6999 I queth hym quyt and hym relesse
RomC 7000 Of Egipt all the wildirnesse.
RomC 7001 To fer were alle my mansiounes
RomC 7002 Fro citees and goode tounes.
RomC 7003 My paleis and myn hous make I
RomC 7004 There men may renne ynne openly,
RomC 7005 And sey that I the world forsake,
RomC 7006 But al amydde I bilde and make
RomC 7007 My hous, and swimme and pley therynne,
RomC 7008 Bet than a fish doth with his fynne.
RomC 7009 " Of Antecristes men am I,
RomC 7010 Of whiche that Crist seith openly,
RomC 7011 They have abit of hoolynesse,
RomC 7012 And lyven in such wikkednesse.
RomC 7013 Outward, lambren semen we,
RomC 7014 Fulle of goodnesse and of pitee,
RomC 7015 And inward we, withouten fable,
RomC 7016 Ben gredy wolves ravysable.
RomC 7017 We enviroune bothe lond and se;
RomC 7018 With all the world werreyen we;
RomC 7019 We wole ordeyne of alle thing,
RomC 7020 Of folkis good, and her lyvyng.
RomC 7021 " If ther be castel or citee,
RomC 7022 Wherynne that ony bouger be,
RomC 7023 Although that they of Milayn were
RomC 7024 (For therof ben they blamed there);
RomC 7025 Or if a wight out of mesure
RomC 7026 Wolde lene his gold, and take usure,
RomC 7027 For that he is so coveitous;
RomC 7028 Or if he be to leccherous,
RomC 7029 Or theef [or] haunte symonye,
RomC 7030 Or provost full of trecherie,
RomC 7031 Or prelat lyvyng jolily,
RomC 7032 Or prest that halt his quene hym by,
RomC 7033 Or olde horis hostilers,
RomC 7034 Or other bawdes or bordillers,
RomC 7035 Or elles blamed of ony vice
RomC 7036 Of which men shulden don justice:
RomC 7037 Bi all the seyntes that me pray,
RomC 7038 But they defende them with lamprey,
RomC 7039 With luce, with elys, with samons,
RomC 7040 With tendre gees and with capons,
RomC 7041 With tartes, or with cheses fat,
RomC 7042 With deynte flawnes brode and flat,
RomC 7043 With caleweis, or with pullaylle,
RomC 7044 With conynges, or with fyn vitaille,
RomC 7045 That we, undir our clothes wide,
RomC 7046 Maken thourgh oure golet glide;
RomC 7047 Or but he wole do come in haste
RomC 7048 Roo-venysoun, bake in paste;
RomC 7049 Whether so that he loure or groyne,
RomC 7050 He shal have of a corde a loigne,
RomC 7051 With whiche men shal hym bynde and lede,
RomC 7052 To brenne hym for his synful deede,
RomC 7053 That men shull here hym crie and rore
RomC 7054 A myle-wey aboute, and more;
RomC 7055 Or ellis he shal in prisoun dye,
RomC 7056 But if he wole oure frendship bye,
RomC 7057 Or smerten that that he hath do,
RomC 7058 More than his gilt amounteth to.
RomC 7059 But, and he couth. thurgh his sleight,
RomC 7060 Do maken up a tour of height,
RomC 7061 Nought rought I whethir of ston, or tree,
RomC 7062 Or erthe, or turves though it be,
RomC 7063 Though it were of no vounde ston,
RomC 7064 Wrought with squyre and scantilon,
RomC 7065 So that the tour were stuffed well
RomC 7066 With alle richesse temporell,
RomC 7067 And thanne that he wolde updresse
RomC 7068 Engyns, bothe more and lesse,
RomC 7069 To cast at us by every side,
RomC 7070 To bere his goode name wide,
RomC 7071 Such sleghtes [as] I shal yow nevene,
RomC 7072 Barelles of wyn, by sixe or sevene,
RomC 7073 Or gold in sakkis gret plente,
RomC 7074 He shulde soone delyvered be.
RomC 7075 And if [he have] noon sich pitaunces,
RomC 7076 Late hym study in equipolences,
RomC 7077 And late lyes and fallaces,
RomC 7078 If that he wolde deserve oure graces;
RomC 7079 Or we shal bere hym such witnesse
RomC 7080 Of synne and of his wrecchidnesse,
RomC 7081 And don his loos so wide renne,
RomC 7082 That al quyk we shulden hym brenne;
RomC 7083 Or ellis yeve hym such penaunce,
RomC 7084 That is wel wors than the pitaunce.
RomC 7085 " For thou shalt never, for nothing,
RomC 7086 Kon knowen aright by her clothing
RomC 7087 The traitours fulle of trecherie,
RomC 7088 But thou her werkis can aspie.
RomC 7089 And ne hadde the goode kepyng be
RomC 7090 Whilom of the universite,
RomC 7091 That kepith the key of Cristendom,
RomC 7093 Suche ben the stynkyng prophetis;
RomC 7094 Nys non of hem that good prophete is,
RomC 7095 For they thurgh wikked entencioun,
RomC 7096 The yeer of the Incarnacioun,
RomC 7097 A thousand and two hundred yeer,
RomC 7098 Fyve and fifty, ferther ne neer,
RomC 7099 Broughten a book, with sory grace,
RomC 7100 To yeven ensample in comune place,
RomC 7101 That seide thus, though it were fable:
RomC 7102 `This is the gospel perdurable,
RomC 7103 That fro the Holy Goost is sent.'
RomC 7104 Wel were it worth to ben brent!
RomC 7105 Entitled was in such manere
RomC 7106 This book, of which I telle heere.
RomC 7107 Ther nas no wight in all Parys,
RomC 7108 Biforne Oure Lady, at parvys,
RomC 7110 To copy if hym talent tok.
RomC 7111 There myght he se, by gret tresoun,
RomC 7112 Full many fals comparisoun:
RomC 7113 `As moche as, thurgh his grete myght,
RomC 7114 Be it of hete or of lyght,
RomC 7115 The sonne sourmounteth the mone,
RomC 7116 That troublere is, and chaungith soone,
RomC 7117 And the note-kernell the shelle
RomC 7118 (I scorne not that I yow telle),
RomC 7119 Right so, withouten ony gile,
RomC 7120 Sourmounteth this noble evangile
RomC 7121 The word of ony evangelist.'
RomC 7122 And to her title they token Crist.
RomC 7123 And many a such comparisoun,
RomC 7124 Of which I make no mencioun,
RomC 7125 Mighte men in that book fynde,
RomC 7126 Whoso coude of hem have mynde.
RomC 7127 " The universite, that tho was aslep,
RomC 7128 Gan for to braide and taken kep;
RomC 7129 And at the noys the heed upcaste,
RomC 7130 Ne never sithen slept it faste,
RomC 7131 But up it stert, and armes tok
RomC 7132 Ayens this fals horrible bok,
RomC 7133 Al redy bateil [for] to make,
RomC 7134 And to the juge the book to take.
RomC 7135 But they that broughten the bok there
RomC 7136 Hent it anoon awey, for fere.
RomC 7137 They nolde shewe more a del,
RomC 7138 But thenne it kept, and kepen will,
RomC 7139 Til such a tyme that they may see
RomC 7140 That they so stronge woxen be
RomC 7141 That no wyght may hem wel withstonde,
RomC 7142 For by that book [they] durst not stonde.
RomC 7143 Awey they gonne it for to bere,
RomC 7144 For they ne durst not answere
RomC 7145 By exposicioun ne glose
RomC 7146 To that that clerkis wole appose
RomC 7147 Ayens the cursednesse, iwys,
RomC 7148 That in that book writen is.
RomC 7149 Now wot I not, ne I can not see
RomC 7150 What maner eende that there shal be
RomC 7151 Of al this [bok] that they hyde;
RomC 7152 But yit algate they shal abide
RomC 7153 Til that they may it bet defende.
RomC 7154 This, trowe I best, wol be her ende.
RomC 7155 " Thus, Antecrist abiden we,
RomC 7156 For we ben alle of his meyne;
RomC 7157 And what man that wole not be so,
RomC 7158 Right soone he shal his lyf forgo.
RomC 7159 We wole a puple upon hym areyse,
RomC 7160 And thurgh oure gile don hym seise,
RomC 7161 And hym on sharpe speris ryve,
RomC 7162 Or other weyes brynge hym fro lyve,
RomC 7163 But if that he wole folowe, iwis,
RomC 7164 That in oure book writen is.
RomC 7165 " Thus mych wole oure book signifie,
RomC 7166 That while Petre hath maistrie,
RomC 7167 May never John shewe well his myght.
RomC 7168 Now have I you declared right
RomC 7169 The menyng of the bark and rynde,
RomC 7170 That makith the entenciouns blynde;
RomC 7171 But now at erst I wole bigynne
RomC 7172 To expowne you the pith withynne:
RomC 7173 And the seculers comprehende,
RomC 7174 That Cristes lawe wole defende,
RomC 7175 And shulde it kepen and mayntenen
RomC 7176 Ayenes hem that all sustenen,
RomC 7177 And falsly to the puple techen.
RomC 7178 And John bitokeneth hem that prechen
RomC 7179 That ther nys lawe covenable
RomC 7180 But thilke gospel perdurable,
RomC 7181 That fro the Holy Gost was sent
RomC 7182 To turne folk that ben myswent.
RomC 7183 " The strengthe of John they undirstonde
RomC 7184 The grace, in which they seie they stonde,
RomC 7185 That doth the synfull folk converte,
RomC 7186 And hem to Jesus Crist reverte.
RomC 7187 Full many another orribilite
RomC 7188 May men in that book se,
RomC 7189 That ben comaunded, douteles,
RomC 7190 Ayens the lawe of Rome expres;
RomC 7191 And all with Antecrist they holden,
RomC 7192 As men may in the book biholden.
RomC 7193 And thanne comaunden they to sleen
RomC 7194 Alle tho that with Petre been;
RomC 7195 But they shal nevere have that myght,
RomC 7196 And, God toforn, for strif to fight,
RomC 7197 That they ne shal ynowe fynde
RomC 7198 That Petres lawe shal have in mynde,
RomC 7199 And evere holde, and so mayntene,
RomC 7200 That at the last it shal be sene
RomC 7201 That they shal alle come therto,
RomC 7202 For ought that they can speke or do.
RomC 7203 And thilke lawe shal not stonde,
RomC 7204 That they by John have undirstonde,
RomC 7205 But, maugre hem, it shal adown,
RomC 7206 And ben brought to confusioun.
RomC 7207 But I wole stynt of this matere,
RomC 7208 For it is wonder longe to here.
RomC 7209 But hadde that ilke book endured,
RomC 7210 Of better estat I were ensured,
RomC 7211 And freendis have I yit, pardee,
RomC 7212 That han me sett in gret degre.
RomC 7213 " Of all this world is emperour
RomC 7214 Gyle my fadir, the trechour,
RomC 7215 And emperisse my moder is,
RomC 7216 Maugre the Holy Gost, iwis.
RomC 7217 Oure myghty lynage and oure rowte
RomC 7218 Regneth in every regne aboute;
RomC 7219 And well is worthy we maistres be,
RomC 7220 For all this world governe we,
RomC 7221 And can the folk so wel disceyve
RomC 7222 That noon oure gile can perceyve.
RomC 7223 And though they don, they dar not seye;
RomC 7224 The sothe dar no wight bywreye.
RomC 7225 But he in Cristis wrath hym ledith,
RomC 7226 That more than Crist my britheren dredith.
RomC 7227 He nys no full good champioun,
RomC 7228 That dredith such simulacioun,
RomC 7229 Nor that for peyne wole refusen
RomC 7230 Us to correcte and accusen.
RomC 7231 He wole not entremete by right,
RomC 7232 Ne have God in his eye-sight,
RomC 7233 And therfore God shal hym punyshe.
RomC 7234 But me ne rekketh of no vice,
RomC 7235 Sithen men us loven comunably,
RomC 7236 And holden us for so worthy
RomC 7237 That we may folk repreve echoon,
RomC 7238 And we nyl have repref of noon.
RomC 7239 Whom shulden folk worshipen so
RomC 7240 But us, that stynten never mo
RomC 7241 To patren while that folk may us see,
RomC 7242 Though it not so bihynde be?
RomC 7243 " And where is more wod folye
RomC 7244 Than to enhaunce chyvalrie,
RomC 7245 And love noble men and gay,
RomC 7246 That joly clothis weren alway?
RomC 7247 If they be sich folk as they semen,
RomC 7248 So clene, as men her clothis demen,
RomC 7249 And that her wordis folowe her dede,
RomC 7250 It is gret pite, out of drede,
RomC 7251 For they wole be noon ypocritis!
RomC 7252 Of hem, me thynketh, gret spite is.
RomC 7253 I can not love hem on no side.
RomC 7254 But beggers with these hodes wide,
RomC 7255 With sleighe and pale faces lene,
RomC 7256 And greye clothis not full clene,
RomC 7257 But fretted full of tatarwagges,
RomC 7258 And highe shoos, knopped with dagges,
RomC 7259 That frouncen lyke a quaile pipe,
RomC 7260 Or botis rivelyng as a gype;
RomC 7261 To such folk as I you dyvyse
RomC 7262 Shulde princes, and these lordis wise,
RomC 7263 Take all her londis and her thingis,
RomC 7264 Bothe werre and pees, in governyngis;
RomC 7265 To such folk shulde a prince hym yive,
RomC 7266 That wolde his lyf in honour lyve.
RomC 7267 " And if they be not as they seme,
RomC 7268 That serven thus the world to queme,
RomC 7269 There wolde I dwelle, to disceyve
RomC 7270 The folk, for they shal not perceyve.
RomC 7271 But I ne speke in no such wise,
RomC 7272 That men shulde humble abit dispise,
RomC 7273 So that no pride ther-undir be.
RomC 7274 No man shulde hate, as thynkith me,
RomC 7275 The pore man in sich clothyng.
RomC 7276 But God ne preisith hym nothing,
RomC 7277 That seith he hath the world forsake,
RomC 7278 And hath to worldly glorie hym take,
RomC 7279 And wole of siche delices use.
RomC 7280 Who may that begger wel excuse,
RomC 7281 That papelard, that hym yeldith so,
RomC 7282 And wole to worldly ese go,
RomC 7283 And seith that he the world hath left,
RomC 7284 And gredily it grypeth eft?
RomC 7285 He is the hound, shame is to seyn,
RomC 7286 That to his castyng goth ageyn.
RomC 7287 " But unto you dar I not lye.
RomC 7288 But myght I felen or aspie
RomC 7289 That ye perceyved it no thyng,
RomC 7290 Ye shulde have a stark lesyng
RomC 7291 Right in youre honde thus, to bigynne;
RomC 7292 I nolde it lette for no synne. "
RomC 7293 The god lough at the wondir tho,
RomC 7294 And every wight gan laugh also,
RomC 7295 And seide, " Lo, heere a man aright
RomC 7296 For to be trusty to every wight! "
RomC 7297 " Fals-Semblant, " quod Love, " sey to me,
RomC 7298 Sith I thus have avaunced thee,
RomC 7299 That in my court is thi dwellyng,
RomC 7300 And of ribawdis shalt be my kyng,
RomC 7301 Wolt thou wel holden my forwardis? "
RomC 7302 " Ye, sir, from hennes forwardis;
RomC 7303 Hadde never youre fadir heere-biforn
RomC 7304 Servaunt so trewe, sith he was born. "
RomC 7305 " That is ayenes all nature. "
RomC 7306 " Sir, putte you in that aventure.
RomC 7307 For though ye borowes take of me,
RomC 7308 The sikerer shal ye never be
RomC 7309 For ostages, ne sikirnesse,
RomC 7310 Or chartres, for to bere witnesse.
RomC 7311 I take youresilf to recorde heere,
RomC 7312 That men ne may in no manere
RomC 7313 Teren the wolf out of his hide,
RomC 7314 Til he be flayn, bak and side,
RomC 7315 Though men hym bete and al defile.
RomC 7316 What! Wene ye that I nil bigile
RomC 7317 For I am clothed mekely?
RomC 7318 Ther-undir is all my trechery;
RomC 7319 Myn herte chaungith never the mo
RomC 7320 For noon abit in which I go.
RomC 7321 Though I have chere of symplenesse,
RomC 7322 I am not wery of shrewidnesse.
RomC 7323 My lemman, Streyned-Abstinaunce,
RomC 7324 Hath myster of my purveaunce;
RomC 7325 She hadde ful longe ago be deed,
RomC 7326 Nere my councel and my red.
RomC 7327 Lete hir allone, and you and me. "
RomC 7328 And Love answerde, " I truste thee
RomC 7329 Withoute borowe, for I wole noon. "
RomC 7330 And Fals-Semblant, the theef, anoon,
RomC 7331 Ryght in that ilke same place,
RomC 7332 That hadde of tresoun al his face
RomC 7333 Ryght blak withynne and whit withoute,
RomC 7334 Thankyth hym, gan on his knees loute.
RomC 7335 Thanne was ther nought but, " Every man
RomC 7336 Now to assaut, that sailen can, "
RomC 7337 Quod Love, " and that full hardyly! "
RomC 7338 Thanne armed they hem communly
RomC 7339 Of sich armour as to hem fel.
RomC 7340 Whanne they were armed, fers and fel,
RomC 7341 They wente hem forth, alle in a route,
RomC 7342 And set the castel al aboute.
RomC 7343 They will nought away, for no drede,
RomC 7344 Till it so be that they ben dede,
RomC 7345 Or til they have the castel take.
RomC 7346 And foure batels they gan make,
RomC 7347 And parted hem in foure anoon,
RomC 7348 And toke her way, and forth they gon,
RomC 7349 The foure gates for to assaile,
RomC 7350 Of whiche the kepers wole not faile;
RomC 7351 For they ben neithir sike ne dede,
RomC 7352 But hardy folk, and stronge in dede.
RomC 7353 Now wole I seyn the countynaunce
RomC 7354 Of Fals-Semblant and Abstynaunce,
RomC 7355 That ben to Wikkid-Tonge went.
RomC 7356 But first they heelde her parlement,
RomC 7357 Whether it to done were
RomC 7358 To maken hem be knowen there,
RomC 7359 Or elles walken forth disgised.
RomC 7360 But at the laste they devysed
RomC 7361 That they wolde gon in tapinage,
RomC 7362 As it were in a pilgrimage,
RomC 7363 Lyke good and hooly folk unfeyned.
RomC 7364 And Dame Abstinence-Streyned
RomC 7365 Tok on a robe of kamelyne,
RomC 7366 And gan hir graithe as a Bygyne.
RomC 7367 A large coverechief of thred
RomC 7368 She wrapped all aboute hir heed,
RomC 7369 But she forgat not hir sawter;
RomC 7370 A peire of bedis eke she ber
RomC 7371 Upon a las, all of whit thred,
RomC 7372 On which that she hir bedes bed.
RomC 7373 But she ne bought hem never a del,
RomC 7374 For they were geven her, I wot wel,
RomC 7375 God wot, of a full hooly frere,
RomC 7376 That seide he was hir fadir dere,
RomC 7377 To whom she hadde ofter went
RomC 7378 Than ony frere of his covent.
RomC 7379 And he visited hir also,
RomC 7380 And many a sermoun seide hir to;
RomC 7381 He nolde lette, for man on lyve,
RomC 7382 That he ne wolde hir ofte shryve.
RomC 7383 And with so great devocion
RomC 7384 They made her confession,
RomC 7385 That they had ofte, for the nones,
RomC 7386 Two heedes in oon hood at ones.
RomC 7387 Of fayre shap I devyse her the,
RomC 7388 But pale of face somtyme was she;
RomC 7389 That false traytouresse untrewe
RomC 7390 Was lyk that salowe hors of hewe,
RomC 7391 That in the Apocalips is shewed,
RomC 7392 That signifyeth tho folk beshrewed
RomC 7393 That ben al ful of trecherye,
RomC 7394 And pale through hypocrisye;
RomC 7395 For on that hors no colour is,
RomC 7396 But only deed and pale, ywis.
RomC 7397 Of such a colour enlangoured
RomC 7398 Was Abstynence, iwys, coloured;
RomC 7399 Of her estat she her repented,
RomC 7400 As her visage represented.
RomC 7401 She had a burdown al of Thefte,
RomC 7402 That Gyle had yeve her of his yefte;
RomC 7403 And a skryppe of Faynt Distresse,
RomC 7404 That ful was of elengenesse;
RomC 7405 And forth she walked sobrely.
RomC 7406 And Fals-Semblant saynt, je vous die,
RomC 7407 Had, as it were for such mister,
RomC 7408 Don on the cope of a frer,
RomC 7409 With chere symple and ful pytous.
RomC 7410 Hys lokyng was not disdeynous,
RomC 7411 Ne proud, but meke and ful pesyble.
RomC 7412 About his necke he bar a byble,
RomC 7413 And squierly forth gan he gon,
RomC 7414 And, for to rest his lymmes upon,
RomC 7415 He had of Treason a potente;
RomC 7416 As he were feble, his way he wente.
RomC 7417 But in his sleve he gan to thringe
RomC 7418 A rasour sharp and wel bytynge,
RomC 7419 That was forged in a forge,
RomC 7420 Which that men clepen Coupe-Gorge.
RomC 7421 So longe forth her way they nomen,
RomC 7422 Tyl they to Wicked-Tonge comen,
RomC 7423 That at his gate was syttyng,
RomC 7424 And saw folk in the way passyng.
RomC 7425 The pilgrymes saw he faste by,
RomC 7426 That beren hem ful mekely,
RomC 7427 And humbly they with him mette.
RomC 7428 Dame Abstynence first him grette,
RomC 7429 And sythe him Fals-Semblant salued,
RomC 7430 And he hem; but he not remued,
RomC 7431 For he ne dredde hem not a del.
RomC 7432 For whan he saw her faces wel,
RomC 7433 Alway in herte him thoughte so,
RomC 7434 He shulde knowe hem bothe two,
RomC 7435 For wel he knew Dame Abstynaunce,
RomC 7436 But he ne knew not Constreynaunce.
RomC 7437 He knew nat that she was constrayned,
RomC 7438 Ne of her theves lyve fayned,
RomC 7439 But wende she com of wyl al free,
RomC 7440 But she com in another degree,
RomC 7441 And if of good wyl she began,
RomC 7442 That wyl was fayled her than.
RomC 7443 And Fals-Semblant had he sayn als,
RomC 7444 But he knew nat that he was fals.
RomC 7445 Yet fals was he, but his falsnesse
RomC 7446 Ne coude he nat espye nor gesse;
RomC 7447 For Semblant was so slye wrought,
RomC 7448 That Falsnesse he ne espyed nought.
RomC 7449 But haddest thou knowen hym beforn,
RomC 7450 Thou woldest on a bok have sworn,
RomC 7451 Whan thou him saugh in thylke aray,
RomC 7452 That he, that whilom was so gay,
RomC 7453 And of the daunce joly Robyn,
RomC 7454 Was tho become a Jacobyn.
RomC 7455 But sothly, what so men hym calle,
RomC 7456 Freres Preachours ben good men alle;
RomC 7457 Her order wickedly they beren,
RomC 7458 Suche mynstrelles if they weren.
RomC 7459 So ben Augustyns and Cordyleres,
RomC 7460 And Carmes, and eke Sacked Freeres,
RomC 7461 And alle freres, shodde and bare
RomC 7462 (Though some of hem ben great and square),
RomC 7463 Ful hooly men, as I hem deme;
RomC 7464 Everych of hem wolde good man seme.
RomC 7465 But shalt thou never of apparence
RomC 7466 Sen conclude good consequence
RomC 7467 In non argument, ywis,
RomC 7468 If existens al fayled is.
RomC 7469 For men may fynde alway sophyme
RomC 7470 The consequence to envenyme,
RomC 7471 Whoso that hath the subtelte
RomC 7472 The double sentence for to se.
RomC 7473 Whan the pylgrymes commen were
RomC 7474 To Wicked-Tonge, that dwelled there,
RomC 7475 Her harneys nygh hem was algate;
RomC 7476 By Wicked-Tonge adown they sate,
RomC 7477 That bad hem ner him for to come,
RomC 7478 And of tidynges telle him some,
RomC 7479 And sayd hem, " What cas maketh you
RomC 7480 To come into this place now? "
RomC 7481 " Sir, " sayde Strayned-Abstynaunce,
RomC 7482 " We, for to drye our penaunce,
RomC 7483 With hertes pytous and devoute
RomC 7484 Are commen, as pylgrimes gon aboute.
RomC 7485 Wel nygh on fote alwey we go;
RomC 7486 Ful dusty ben our heeles two;
RomC 7487 And thus bothe we ben sent
RomC 7488 Throughout this world, that is miswent,
RomC 7489 To yeve ensample, and preche also.
RomC 7490 To fysshen synful men we go,
RomC 7491 For other fysshynge ne fysshe we.
RomC 7492 And, sir, for that charyte,
RomC 7493 As we be wonte, herborowe we crave,
RomC 7494 Your lyf to amende, Christ it save!
RomC 7495 And, so it shulde you nat displese,
RomC 7496 We wolden, if it were youre ese,
RomC 7497 A short sermon unto you sayn. "
RomC 7498 And Wicked-Tonge answered agayn:
RomC 7499 " The hous, " quod he, " such as ye see,
RomC 7500 Shal nat be warned you for me.
RomC 7501 Say what you lyst, and I wol here. "
RomC 7502 " Graunt mercy, swete sire dere! "
RomC 7503 Quod alderfirst Dame Abstynence,
RomC 7504 And thus began she her sentence:
RomC 7505 " Sir, the firste vertu, certayn,
RomC 7506 The greatest and moste soverayn
RomC 7507 That may be founde in any man,
RomC 7508 For havynge, or for wyt he can,
RomC 7509 That is his tonge to refrayne;
RomC 7510 Therto ought every wight him payne.
RomC 7511 For it is better stylle be
RomC 7512 Than for to speken harm, parde!
RomC 7513 And he that herkeneth it gladly,
RomC 7514 He is no good man, sykerly.
RomC 7515 " And, sir, aboven al other synne,
RomC 7516 In that art thou most gylty inne.
RomC 7517 Thou spake a jape not longe ago,
RomC 7518 (And, sir, that was ryght yvel do)
RomC 7519 Of a young man that here repayred,
RomC 7520 And never yet this place apayred.
RomC 7521 Thou saydest he awayted nothyng
RomC 7522 But to disceyve Fayr-Welcomyng;
RomC 7523 Ye sayde nothyng soth of that.
RomC 7524 But, sir, ye lye, I tel you plat.
RomC 7525 He ne cometh no more, ne goth, parde!
RomC 7526 I trowe ye shal him never se.
RomC 7527 Fayr-Welcomyng in prison is,
RomC 7528 That ofte hath played with you, er this,
RomC 7529 The fayrest games that he coude,
RomC 7530 Withoute fylthe, stylle or loude.
RomC 7531 Now dar he nat himself solace.
RomC 7532 Ye han also the man do chace,
RomC 7533 That he dar neyther come ne go.
RomC 7534 What meveth you to hate him so,
RomC 7535 But properly your wicked thought,
RomC 7536 That many a fals leasyng hath thought
RomC 7537 That meveth your foole eloquence,
RomC 7538 That jangleth ever in audyence,
RomC 7539 And on the folk areyseth blame,
RomC 7540 And doth hem dishonour and shame,
RomC 7541 For thyng that may have no prevyng,
RomC 7542 But lyklynesse, and contryvyng?
RomC 7543 " For I dar sayn that Reson demeth
RomC 7544 It is nat al soth thyng that semeth,
RomC 7545 And it is synne to controve
RomC 7546 Thyng that is to reprove.
RomC 7547 This wote ye wel, and sir, therfore
RomC 7548 Ye arn to blame the more.
RomC 7549 And nathelesse, he recketh lyte;
RomC 7550 He yeveth nat now therof a myte.
RomC 7551 For if he thoughte harm, parfay,
RomC 7552 He wolde come and gon al day;
RomC 7553 He coude himselve nat abstene.
RomC 7554 Now cometh he nat, and that is sene,
RomC 7555 For he ne taketh of it no cure,
RomC 7556 But if it be through aventure,
RomC 7557 And lasse than other folk, algate.
RomC 7558 And thou her watchest at the gate,
RomC 7559 With spere in thyn arest alway;
RomC 7560 There muse, musard, al the day.
RomC 7561 Thou wakest night and day for thought;
RomC 7562 Iwis, thy traveyle is for nought;
RomC 7563 And Jelousye, withouten fayle,
RomC 7564 Shal never quyte the thy traveyle.
RomC 7565 And skathe is that Fayr-Welcomyng,
RomC 7566 Withouten any trespassyng,
RomC 7567 Shal wrongfully in prison be,
RomC 7568 There wepeth and languyssheth he.
RomC 7569 And though thou never yet, ywis,
RomC 7570 Agyltest man no more but this,
RomC 7571 (Take nat a-gref) it were worthy
RomC 7572 To putte the out of this bayly,
RomC 7573 And afterward in prison lye,
RomC 7574 And fettre the tyl that thou dye;
RomC 7575 For thou shalt for this synne dwelle
RomC 7576 Right in the devels ers of helle,
RomC 7577 But if that thou repente thee. "
RomC 7578 " Ma fay, thou liest falsly! " quod he.
RomC 7579 " What? Welcome with myschaunce now!
RomC 7580 Have I therfore herbered yow,
RomC 7581 To seye me shame, and eke reprove?
RomC 7582 With sory hap, to youre bihove,
RomC 7583 Am I to day youre herberger!
RomC 7584 Go herber yow elleswhere than heer,
RomC 7585 That han a lyer called me!
RomC 7586 Two tregetours art thou and he,
RomC 7587 That in myn hous do me this shame,
RomC 7588 And for my soth-sawe ye me blame.
RomC 7589 Is this the sermoun that ye make?
RomC 7590 To all the develles I me take,
RomC 7591 Or elles, God, thou me confounde,
RomC 7592 But, er men diden this castel founde,
RomC 7593 It passith not ten daies or twelve,
RomC 7594 But it was told right to myselve,
RomC 7595 And as they seide, right so tolde I,
RomC 7596 He kyst the Rose pryvyly!
RomC 7597 Thus seide I now, and have seid yore;
RomC 7598 I not wher he dide ony more.
RomC 7599 Why shulde men sey me such a thyng,
RomC 7600 If it hadde ben gabbyng?
RomC 7601 Ryght so seide I, and wol seye yit;
RomC 7602 I trowe, I lied not of it.
RomC 7603 And with my bemes I wole blowe
RomC 7604 To alle neighboris a-rowe,
RomC 7605 How he hath bothe comen and gon. "
RomC 7606 Tho spak Fals-Semblant right anon:
RomC 7607 " All is not gospel, out of doute,
RomC 7608 That men seyn in the town aboute.
RomC 7609 Ley no deef ere to my spekyng;
RomC 7610 I swere yow, sir, it is gabbyng!
RomC 7611 I trowe ye wote wel, certeynly,
RomC 7612 That no man loveth hym tenderly
RomC 7613 That seith hym harm, if he wot it,
RomC 7614 All he be never so pore of wit.
RomC 7615 And soth is also, sikerly
RomC 7616 (This knowe ye, sir, as wel as I),
RomC 7617 That lovers gladly wole visiten
RomC 7618 The places there her loves habiten.
RomC 7619 This man yow loveth and eke honoureth.
RomC 7620 This man to serve you laboureth,
RomC 7621 And clepith you his freend so deere:
RomC 7622 And this man makith you good chere,
RomC 7623 And everywhere that [he] you meteth,
RomC 7624 He yow saloweth, and he you greteth.
RomC 7625 He preseth not so ofte that ye
RomC 7626 Ought of his come encombred be;
RomC 7627 Ther presen other folk on yow
RomC 7628 Full ofter than he doth now.
RomC 7629 And if his herte hym streyned so
RomC 7630 Unto the Rose for to go,
RomC 7631 Ye shulde hym sen so ofte nede,
RomC 7632 That ye shulde take hym with the dede.
RomC 7633 He cowde his comyng not forbere,
RomC 7634 Though me hym thrilled with a spere;
RomC 7635 It nere not thanne as it is now.
RomC 7636 But trusteth wel, I swere it yow,
RomC 7637 That it is clene out of his thought.
RomC 7638 Sir, certis, he ne thenkith it nought;
RomC 7639 No more ne doth Fair-Welcomyng,
RomC 7640 That sore abieth al this thing.
RomC 7641 And if they were of oon assent,
RomC 7642 Full soone were the Rose hent;
RomC 7643 The maugre youres wolde be.
RomC 7644 And sir, of o thing herkeneth me,
RomC 7645 Sith ye this man that loveth yow
RomC 7646 Han seid such harm and shame now,
RomC 7647 Witeth wel, if he gessed it,
RomC 7648 Ye may wel demen in youre wit
RomC 7649 He nolde nothyng love you so,
RomC 7650 Ne callen you his freend also,
RomC 7651 But nyght and day he wolde wake
RomC 7652 The castell to destroie and take,
RomC 7653 If it were soth as ye devise;
RomC 7654 Or som man in som maner wise
RomC 7655 Might it warne hym everydel,
RomC 7656 Or by hymsilf perceyven wel.
RomC 7657 For sith he myght not come and gon,
RomC 7658 As he was whilom wont to don,
RomC 7659 He myght it sone wite and see;
RomC 7660 But now all other wise doth he.
RomC 7661 Thanne have [ye], sir, al outerly,
RomC 7662 Deserved helle, and jolyly
RomC 7663 The deth of helle, douteles,
RomC 7664 That thrallen folk so gilteles. "
RomC 7665 Fals-Semblant proveth so this thing
RomC 7666 That he can noon answeryng,
RomC 7667 And seth alwey such apparaunce
RomC 7668 That nygh he fel in repentaunce,
RomC 7669 And seide hym, " Sir, it may wel be.
RomC 7670 Semblant, a good man semen ye,
RomC 7671 And, Abstinence, full wise ye seme.
RomC 7672 Of o talent you bothe I deme.
RomC 7673 What counceil wole ye to me yiven? "
RomC 7674 " Ryght heere anoon thou shalt be shryven,
RomC 7675 And sey thy synne withoute more;
RomC 7676 Of this shalt thou repente sore.
RomC 7677 For I am prest and have pouste
RomC 7678 To shryve folk of most dignyte
RomC 7679 That ben, as wide as world may dure.
RomC 7680 Of all this world I have the cure,
RomC 7681 And that hadde never yit persoun,
RomC 7682 Ne vicarie of no maner toun.
RomC 7683 And, God wot, I have of thee
RomC 7684 A thousand tyme more pitee
RomC 7685 Than hath thi preest parochial,
RomC 7686 Though he thy freend be special.
RomC 7687 I have avauntage, in o wise,
RomC 7688 That youre prelatis ben not so wise
RomC 7689 Ne half so lettred as am I.
RomC 7690 I am licenced boldely
RomC 7691 To reden in divinite,
RomC 7692 And longe have red. . . .