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

Lines 201 through 300

"Ich granti wel þat he us deme,
vor þeȝ he were wile breme,
& lof him were niȝtingale,
& oþer wiȝte gente & smale,
ich wot he is nu suþe acoled. [folio 234v.1]
     205
Nis he vor þe noȝt afoled,
þat he, for þine olde luue,
me adun legge & þe buue:
ne schaltu neure so him queme,
þat he for þe fals dom deme.
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He is him ripe & fast-rede,
ne lust him nu to none unrede:
nu him ne lust na more pleie,
he wile gon a riȝte weie."
Þe niȝtingale was al ȝare,
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ho hadde ilorned wel aiware:
"Hule," ho sede, "seie me soþ,
wi dostu þat unwiȝtis doþ?
þu singist aniȝt & noȝt adai,
& al þi song is wailawai. Page  22
     220
Þu miȝt mid þine songe afere
alle þat ihereþ þine ibere:
þu sch[ri]chest & ȝollest to þine fere,
þat hit is grislich to ihere:
hit þinche[þ] boþe wise & snepe
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noȝt þat þu singe, ac þat þu wepe.
Þu fliȝst aniȝt & noȝt adai:
þarof ich w[u]ndri & wel mai.
vor eurich þing þat schuniet riȝt,
hit luueþ þuster & hatiet liȝt:
     230
& eurich þing þat is lof misdede,
hit luueþ þuster to his dede.
A wis word, þeȝ hit bo unclene,
is fele manne a-muþe imene,
for Alured King hit seide & wrot:
     235
"He schunet þat hine [vu]l wot."
Ich wene þat þu dost also,
vor þu fliȝst niȝtes euer mo.
An oþer þing me is a-wene, [folio 234v.2]
þu hauest aniȝt wel briȝte sene;
     240
bi daie þu art stare-blind,
þat þu ne sichst ne bov ne strind. Page  24
Adai þu art blind oþer bisne,
þarbi men segget a uorbisne:
"Riȝt so hit farþ bi þan ungode
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þat noȝt ne suþ to none gode,
& is so ful of vuele wrenche
þat him ne mai no man atprenche,
& can wel þane þu[str]e wai,
& þane briȝte lat awai."
     250
So doþ þat boþ of þine cunde,
of liȝte nabbeþ hi none imunde."
Þos hule luste suþe longe,
& was oftoned suþe stronge:
ho quaþ "Þu [h]attest niȝtingale,
     255
þu miȝtest bet hoten galegale, Page  26
vor þu hauest to monie tale.
Lat þine tunge habbe spale!
Þu wenest þat þes dai bo þin oȝe:
lat me nu habbe mine þroȝe:
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bo nu stille & lat me speke,
ich wille bon of þe awreke.
& lust hu ich con me bitelle,
mid riȝte soþe, witute spelle.
Þu seist þat ich me hude adai,
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þarto ne segge ich nich ne nai:
& lust ich telle þe wareuore,
al wi hit is & wareuore.
Ich habbe bile stif & stronge,
& gode cliuers scharp & longe,
     270
so hit bicumeþ to hauekes cunne;
hit is min hiȝte, hit is mi w[u]nne,
þat ich me draȝe to mine cunde, [folio 235r.1]
ne mai [me] no man þareuore schende :
on me hit is wel isene,
     275
vor riȝte cunde ich am so kene.
Vorþi ich am loþ smale foȝle
þat floþ bi grunde an bi þuuele: Page  28
hi me bichermet & bigredeþ,
& hore flockes to [m]e ledeþ.
     280
Me is lof to habbe reste
& sitte stille in mine neste:
vor nere ich neuer no þe betere,
[ȝ]if ich mid chauling & mid chatere
hom schende & mid fule worde,
     285
so herdes doþ oþer mid schit-worde.
Ne lust me wit þe screwen chide;
forþi ich wende from hom wide.
Hit is a wise monne dome,
& hi hit segget wel ilome,
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þat me ne chide wit þe gidie,
ne wit þan ofne me ne ȝonie.
At sume siþe herde [I] telle
hu Alured sede on his spelle:
"Loke þat þu ne bo þare
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þar chauling boþ & cheste ȝare:
lat sottes chide & uorþ þu go."
& ich am wis & do also.
& ȝet Alured seide an oþer side
a word þat is isprunge wide:
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