A. C. Cawley
Here be we now at your commaundement.
Cosyn, I praye you shewe vs your entent
In ony wyse, and not spare.
Ye, Eueryman, and to vs declare
If ye be dysposed to go ony-whyder;
For, wete you well, we wyll lyue and dye to-gyder.
In welth and wo we wyll with you holde,
For ouer his kynne a man may be bolde.
Gramercy, my frendes and kynnesmen kynde.
Now shall I shewe you the grefe of my mynde:
I was commaunded by a messenger,
That is a hye kynges chefe offycer.
He bad me go a pylgrymage, to my payne,
And I knowe well I shall neuer come agayne.
Also I must gyue a rekenynge strayte,
For I haue a grete enemy that hath me in wayte,
Whiche entendeth me for to hynder.
What a-counte is that whiche ye must render?
That wolde I knowe.
Of all my workes I must shewe
How I haue lyued and my dayes spent;
Also of yll dedes that I haue vsed
In my tyme, syth lyfe was me lent;
And of all vertues that I haue refused.
Therfore, I praye you, go thyder with me
To helpe to make myn accounte, for saynt charyte.
What, to go thyder? Is that the mater?
Nay, Eueryman, I had leuer fast brede and water
All this fyue yere and more. [signature B.iii]
Alas, that euer I was bore!
For now shall I neuer be mery,
If that you forsake me.
A, syr, what ye be a mery man!
Take good herte to you, and make no mone.
But one thynge I warne you, by Saynt Anne —
As for me, ye shall go alone.
My Cosyn, wyll you not with me go?
No, by our Lady! I haue the crampe in my to.
Trust not to me; for, so God me spede,
I wyll deceyue you in your moost nede.
It auayleth not vs to tyse.
Ye shall haue my mayde with all my herte;
She loueth to go to feestes, there to be nyse,
And to daunce, and a-brode to sterte.
I wyll gyue her leue to helpe you in that iourney,
If that you and she may a-gree.
Now shewe me the very effecte of your mynde:
Wyll you go with me, or abyde be-hynde?
Abyde behynde? / Ye, that wyll I, and I maye!
Therfore farewell tyll another daye.
Howe sholde I be mery or gladde?
For fayre promyses men to me make,
But whan I haue moost nede they me forsake.
I am deceyued; that maketh me sadde.
Cosyn Eueryman, farewell now,
For veryly I wyll not go with you.
Also of myne owne an vnredy rekenynge
I haue to accounte; therfore I make taryenge.
Now God kepe the, for now I go.