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

Lines 401 through 500

Ac noþeles he spac boldeliche,
vor he is wis þat hardeliche
wiþ is uo berþ grete ilete,
þat he uor areȝþe hit ne forlete: Page  38
vor suich worþ bold ȝif þu [fliȝst],
     405
þat w[u]le flo ȝif þu [n]isvicst;
ȝif he isiþ þat þu nart areȝ,
he wile of [bore] w[u]rchen bareȝ.
& forþi, þeȝ þe niȝtingale [folio 236r.1]
were aferd, ho spac bolde tale.
     410
"[H]ule" ho seide " wi dostu so?
þu singest a-winter wolawo!
þu singest so doþ hen a-snowe,
al þat ho singeþ hit is for wowe.
A-wintere þu singest wroþe & ȝomere,
     415
an eure þu art dumb a-sumere.
Hit is for þine fule niþe
þat þu ne miȝt mid us bo bliþe,
vor þu forbernest wel neȝ for onde
wane ure blisse cumeþ to londe.
     420
þu farest so doþ þe ille,
evrich blisse him is unwille:
grucching & luring him boþ rade,
ȝif he isoþ þat men boþ glade. Page  40
He wolde þat he iseȝe
     425
teres in evrich monnes eȝe:
ne roȝte he þeȝ flockes were
imeind bi toppes & bi here.
Al so þu dost on þire side:
vor wanne snov liþ þicke & wide,
     430
an alle wiȝtes habbeþ sorȝe,
þu singest from eue fort a-morȝe.
Ac ich alle blisse mid me bringe:
ech wiȝt is glad for mine þinge,
& blisseþ hit wanne ich cume,
     435
& hiȝteþ aȝen mine kume.
Þe blostme ginneþ springe & sprede,
boþe ine tro & ek on mede.
Þe lilie mid hire faire wlite
wolcumeþ me, þat þu hit w[i]te,
     440
bit me mid hire faire blo
þat ich shulle to hire flo. Page  42
Þe rose also mid hire rude, [folio 236r.2]
þat cumeþ ut of þe þorne wode,
bit me þat ich shulle singe
     445
vor hire luue one skentinge:
& ich so do þurȝ niȝt & dai,
þe more ich singe þe more I mai,
an skente hi mid mine songe,
ac noþeles noȝt ouerlonge;
     450
wane ich iso þat men boþ glade,
ich nelle þat hi bon to sade:
þan is ido vor wan ich com,
ich fare aȝen & do wisdom.
Wane mon hoȝeþ of his sheue,
     455
an falewi cumeþ on grene leue,
ich fare hom & nime leue:
ne recche ich noȝt of winteres reue.
wan ich iso þat cumeþ þat harde,
ich fare hom to min erde,
     460
an habbe boþe luue & þonc
þat ich her com & hider swonk.
Þan min erende is ido,
sholde ich bileue? nai, [w]arto?
vor he nis noþer ȝep ne wis,
     465
þat longe abid þar him nod nis."
Þos hule luste, & leide an hord
al þis mot, word after word,
an after þoȝte hu he miȝte
ansvere uinde best mid riȝte:
     470
vor he mot hine ful wel biþenche,
þat is aferd of plaites wrenche.
"Þv aishest me," þe hule sede,
"wi ich a-winter singe & grede. Page  44
Hit is gode monne iwone,
     475
an was from þe worlde frome,
þat ech god man his frond icnowe, [folio 236v.1]
an blisse mid hom sume þrowe
in his huse at his borde,
mid faire speche & faire worde.
     480
& hure & hure to Cristesmasse,
þane riche & poure, more & lasse,
singeþ cundut niȝt & dai,
ich hom helpe what ich mai.
& ek ich þenche of oþer þinge
     485
þane to pleien oþer to singe.
Ich habbe herto gode ansuare
anon iredi & al ȝare:
vor sumeres-tide is al to [w]lonc,
an doþ misreken monnes þonk:
     490
vor he ne recþ noȝt of clennesse,
al his þoȝt is of golnesse:
vor none dor no leng nabideþ,
ac eurich upon oþer rideþ:
þe sulue stottes ine þe stode
     495
boþ boþe wilde & mere-wode.
& þu sulf art þar-among,
for of golnesse is al þi song,
an aȝen þet þu w[i]lt teme,
þu art wel modi & wel breme.
     500