The owl and the nightingale (MS Cotton), The electronic text was created from an edited version of the Cotton manuscript

Lines 1201 through 1300

ich wot ȝef treon schule blowe:
ich wat ȝef cornes schule growe :
ich wot ȝef huses schule berne:
ich wot ȝef men schule eorne oþer erne:
ich wot ȝef sea schal schipes drenche:
     1205
ich wot ȝef snuw[e] schal uuele clenche.
An ȝet ich con muchel more:
ich con inoh in bokes lore,
an eke ich can of þe Goddspelle
more þan ich nule þe telle:
     1210
for ich at chirche come ilome,
an muche leorni of wisdome :
ich wat al of þe tacninge,
an of oþer feole þinge.
Ȝef eni mon schal rem abide,
     1215
al ich hit wot ear hit itide. Page  104
Ofte, for mine muchele iwitte,
wel sori-mod & w[ro]þ ich sitte :
wan ich iseo þat sum wrechede
is manne neh, innoh ich grede:
     1220
ich bidde þat men beon iwar[r]e,
an habbe gode reades ȝar[r]e.
For Alfred seide a wis word,
euch mon hit schulde legge on hord:
"Ȝef þu isihst [er] he beo icume,
     1225
his str[e]ncþe is him wel neh binume."
An grete duntes beoþ þe lasse, [folio 242r.1]
ȝef me ikepþ mid iwarnesse,
an [flo] schal toward misȝenge,
ȝef þu isihst hu fleo of strenge;
     1230
for þu miȝt blenche wel & fleo,
ȝif þu isihst heo to þe teo.
Þat eni man beo falle in [e]dwite,
wi schal he me his sor atwite?
Þah ich iseo his harm biuore,
     1235
ne comeþ hit noȝt of me þaru[o]re.
Þah þu iseo þat sum blind mon,
þat nanne rihtne wei ne con,
to þare diche his dweole fulie[þ],
an falleþ, and þarone sulie[þ], Page  106
     1240
wenest þu, þah ich al iseo,
þat hit for me þe raþere beo?
Al swo hit fareþ bi mine witte:
hwanne ich on mine bowe sitte,
ich wot & iseo swiþe brihte
     1245
an summe men kume[&] harm þarrihte.
Schal he, þat þerof noþing not,
hit wite me for ich hit wot?
Schal he his mishap wite me,
for ich am wisure þane he?
     1250
Hwanne ich iseo þat sum wrechede
is manne neh, inoh ich grede,
an bidde inoh þat hi heom schilde,
for toward heom is [harm unmilde].
Ah þah ich grede lude an stille,
     1255
al hit itid þur[h] Godes wille.
Hwi wulleþ men of me hi mene,
þah ich mid soþe heo awene?
Þah ich hi warni al þat ȝer,
nis heom þerfore harem no þe ner: [folio 242r.2]
     1260
ah ich heom singe for ich wolde
þat hi wel understonde schulde
þat sum unselþe heom is ihende,
hwan ich min huing to heom sende.
Naueþ no man none sikerhede
     1265
þat he ne mai wene & adrede
þat sum unhwate ne[h] him beo,
þah he ne conne hit iseo.
Forþi seide Alfred swiþe wel,
and his worde was Goddspel, Page  108
     1270
þat "euereuch man, þe bet him beo,
eauer þe bet he hine beseo:"
"ne truste no mon to his weole
to swiþe, þah he habbe ueole."
"Nis [nout] so hot þat hit nacoleþ,
     1275
ne noȝt so hwit þat hit ne soleþ,
ne noȝt so leof þat hit ne aloþeþ,
ne noȝt so glad þat hit ne awroþeþ:
ac eauereeu[c]h þing þat eche nis,
agon schal, & al þis worldes blis."
     1280
Nu þu miȝt wite readliche,
þat eauere þu spekest gideliche:
for al þat þu me seist for schame,
euer þe seolue hit turneþ to grome.
Go so hit go, at eche fenge
     1285
þu fallest mid þine ahene swenge;
al þat þu seist for me to schende,
hit is mi wurschipe at þan ende.
Bute þu wille bet aginne,
ne shaltu bute schame iwinne."
     1290
Þe niȝtingale sat & siȝte,
& hohful was, & ful wel miȝte,
for þe hule swo ispeke hadde, [folio 242v.1]
an hire speche swo iladde.
Heo was ho[h]ful, & erede
     1295
hwat heo þarafter hire sede: Page  110
ah neoþeles heo hire understod.
" Wat!" heo seide, "hule, artu wod?
þu ȝeolpest of seolliche wisdome,
þu nustest wanene he þe come,
     1300