William Langland's The vision of Piers Plowman
William Langland

Passus 11

Thanne Scriptare scorned me and a skile tolde,
     11.001
And lakked me in Latyn and light by me sette,
     11.002
And seide, " Multi multa sciunt et seipsos nesciunt.'
     11.003
Tho wepte I for wo andwrathe of hir speche
     11.004
And in a wynkynge w[o]rth til I [weex] aslepe. Page  118
     11.005
A merveillous metels mette me thanne.
     11.006
For I was ravysshed right there--for Fortune me fette
     11.007
And into the lond of longynge and love she me broughte,
     11.008
And in a mirour that highte Middelerthe she made me to biholde.
     11.009
Sithen she seide to me, -Here myghtow se wondres,
     11.010
And knowe that thow coveitest, and come therto, peraunter.'
     11.011
Thanne hadde Fortune folwynge hire two faire damyseles:
     11.012
Concupiscencia Carnis men called the elder mayde,
     11.013
And Coveitise of Eighes ycalled was that oother.
     11.014
Pride of Parfit Lyvynge pursued hem bothe,
     11.015
And bad me for my contenaunce acounten Clergie lighte.
     11.016
Concupiscencia Carnis colled me aboute the nekke
     11.017
And seide, "Thow art yong and yeep and hast yeres ynowe
     11.018
For to lyve longe and ladies to lovye;
     11.019
And in this mirour thow might se myrthes ful manye
     11.020
That leden thee wole to likynge al thi lif tyme.'
     11.021
The secounde seide the same: " I shal sewe thi wille;
     11.022
Til thow be a lord and have lond, leten thee I nelle
     11.023
That I ne shal folwe thi felawship, if Fortune it like.'
     11.024
" He shal fynde me his frend,' quod Fortune therafter;
     11.025
"The freke that folwede my wille failled nevere blisse.'
     11.026
Thanne was ther oon that highte Elde, that hevy was of chere,
     11.027
" Man,' quod he, "if I mete with thee, by Marie of hevene
     11.028
Thow shalt fynde Fortune thee faille at thi mooste nede,
     11.029
And Concupiscencia Carnis clene thee forsake.
     11.030
Bittrely shaltow banne thanne, bothe dayes and nyghtes,
     11.031
Coveitise of Eighe, that evere thow hir knewe;
     11.032
And Pride of Parfit Lyvynge to muche peril thee brynge.'
     11.033
" Ye? Recche thee nevere!' quod Rechelesnesse, stood forth in raggede clothes
     11.034
" Folwe forth that Fortune wole--thow has wel fer til Elde.
     11.035
A man may stoupe tyme ynogh whan he shal tyne the crowne. Page  119
     11.036
""Homo proponit,'' quod a poete, and Plato he highte,
     11.037
""And Deus disponit'' quod he, "lat God doon his wille.''
     11.038
If Truthe wol witnesse it be wel do, Fortune to folwe,
     11.039
Concupiscencia Carnis ne Coveitise of Eighes
     11.040
Ne shal noght greve thee graithly, ne biglIe thee but thow wolt.'
     11.041
" Ye, farewel Phippe! ' quod Faunteltee, and forth gan me drawe,
     11.042
Til Concupiscencia Carnis acorded til alle my werkes.
     11.043
"Allas, eighe!' quod Elde and Holynesse bothe,
     11.044
"That wit shal torne to wrecchednesse for wil to have his likyng!'
     11.045
Coveitise of Eighes conforted me anoon after
     11.046
And folwed me fourty wynter and a fifte moore,
     11.047
That of Dowel ne Dobet no deyntee me thoughte.
     11.048
I hadde no likyng, leve me, [o]f the leste of hem ought to knowe.
     11.049
Coveitise of Eighes com ofter in mynde
     11.050
Than Dowel or Dobet among my dedes alle.
     11.051
Coveitise of Eighes conforted me ofte,
     11.052
And seide, " Have no conscience how thow come to goode.
     11.053
Go confesse thee to som frere and shewe hym thi synnes.
     11.054
For whiles Fortune is thi frend freres wol thee lovye,
     11.055
And fe[stn]e thee in hir fraternitee and for thee biseke
     11.056
To hir Priour Provincial a pardon for to have,
     11.057
And preien for thee pol by pol if thow be pecuniosus.
     11.058
Pena pecuniaria non sufficit pro spiritualibus delictis.
     11.058
By wissynge of this wenche I dide, hir wordes were so swete,
     11.059
Til I foryat youthe and yarn into elde.
     11.060
And thanne was Fortune my foo, for al hir faire biheste,
     11.061
And poverte pursued me and putte me lowe.
     11.062
And tho fond I the frere afered and flittynge bothe
     11.063
Ayeins oure firste forward, for I seide I nolde Page  120
     11.064
Be buried at hire hous but at my parisshe chirche
     11.065
(For I herde ones how Conscience it tolde
     11.066
That there a man were cristned, by kynde he sholde be buryed).
     11.067
And for I seide thus to freres, a fool thei me helden,
     11.068
And loved me the lasse for my lele speche.
     11.069
Ac yet I cryde on my confessour that [so konnyng heeld hymself].
     11.070
"By my feith, frere!' quod I, " ye faren lik thise woweris
     11.071
That wedde none widwes but for to welden hir goodes.
     11.072
Right so, by the roode, roughte ye nevere '
     11.073
Where my body were buryed, by so ye hadde my silver!
     11.074
Ich have muche merveille of yow, and so hath many another,
     11.075
Whi youre covent coveiteth to confesse and to burye
     11.076
Rather than to baptize barnes that ben catecumelynges.
     11.077
Baptizynge and buryinge bothe beth ful nedefulle;
     11.078
Ac muche moore meritorie me thynketh it is to baptize; -
     11.079
For a baptized man may, as maistres telleth, .
     11.080
Thorugh contricion come to the heighe hevene--
     11.081
Sola contricio delet peccatum--
     11.081
Ac a barn withouten bapteme may noght so be saved--
     11.082
Nisi quis renatus fuerit.
     11.082
Loke, ye lettred men, wheither I lye or do noght.'
     11.083
And Lewte tho lo[ugh] on me, for I loured after.
     11.084
"Wherfore lourestow?' quod Lewtee and loked on me harde.
     11.085
"If I dorste [amonges men,' quod I], "this metels avowe!'
     11.086
" Yis, by Peter and by Poul!' quod he, " and take hem bothe to witnesse:
     11.087
Non oderis fratres secrete in corde tuo set publice argue illos.'
     11.088
"They wole aleggen also,' quod I, " and by the Gospel preven:
     11.089
Nolite iudicure quemquam.
     11.090
"And wherof serveth lawe,' quod Lewtee, if no lif undertoke it--
     11.091
Falsnesse ne faiterie? For somwhat the Apostle seide
     11.092
Non oderis fratrem.
     11.093
And in the Sauter also seith David the prophete
     11.094
95 Existimasti inique quod ero tui similis &c.
     11.094
It is licitum for lewed men to [l]egge the sothe
     11.095
If hem liketh and lest--ech a lawe it graunteth'.
     11.096
Except persons and preestes and prelates of Holy Chirche:
     11.097
It falleth noght for that folk no tales to telle--
     11.098
Though the tale were trewe--and it touched synne.
     11.100
"Thyng that al the world woot, wherfore sholdestow spare
     11.101
To reden it in retorik to arate dedly synne?
     11.102
Ac be neveremoore the firste the defaute to blame;
     11.103
Though thow se yvel, seye it noght first--be sory it nere amended.
     11.104
No thyng that is pryve, publice thow it nevere;-
     11.105
Neither for love laude it noght, ne lakke it For envye:
     11.106
Parum lauda; vitupero parcius.'
     11.106
" He seith sooth,' quod Scripture tho, and skipte an heigh and preched;
     11.107
Ac the matere that she meved, if lewed men it knewe,
     11.108
The lasse, as I leve, lovyen thei wolde
     11.109
The bileve o[f Oure] Lord that lettred men techeth.
     11.110
This was hir teme and hir text--I took ful good hede:
     11.111
"Multi to a mangerie and to the mete were sompned;
     11.112
And whan the peple was plener comen, the porter unpynned the yate
     11.113
And plukked in Pauci pryveliche and leet the remenaunt go rome.'
     11.114
Al for tene of hir text trembled myn herte,
     11.115
And in a weer gan I wexe, and with myself to dispute
     11.116
Wheither I were chose or noght chose; on Holy Chirche I thoughte, Page  122
     11.117
That underfeng me atte font for oon of Goddes chosene.
     11.118
For Crist cleped us alle, come if we wolde--
     11.119
Sarsens and scismatikes, and so he dide the Jewes:
     11.120
0 vos omnes sicientes, venite &c;
     11.120
And bad hem souke for synne sa[l]ve at his breste.
     11.121
And drynke boote for bale, brouke it whoso myghte.
     11.122
"Thanne may alle Cristene come,' quod I, -and cleyme there entree
     11.123
By the blood that he boughte us with and thorugh bapteme after:
     11.124
Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit &c.
     11.124
For though a Cristen man coveited his Cristendom to reneye,
     11.125
Rightfully to reneye no reson it wolde.
     11.126
" For may no cherl chartre make, ne his c[h]atel selle
     11.127
Withouten leve of his lord--no lawe wol it graunte.
     11.128
Ac he may renne in arerage and rome fro home,
     11.129
And as a reneyed caytif recchelesly aboute.
     11.130
Ac Reson shal rekene with hym and rebuken hym at the laste,
     11.131
And Conscience acounte with hym and casten hym in arerage,
     11.132
And putten hym after in prison in purgatorie to brenne,
     11.133
For his arerages rewarden hym there right to the day of dome,
     11.134
But if Contricion wol come and crye by his lyve
     11.135
Mercy for hise mysdedes with mouthe or with herte.'
     11.136
" That is sooth,' seide Scripture; " may no synne lette
     11.137
Mercy al to amende, and mekenesse hir folwe;
     11.138
For thei beth, as oure bokes telleth, above Goddes werkes: -
     11.139
Misericordia eius super omnia opera eius.'
     11.139
"Ye, baw for bokes!' quod oon was broken out ofhelle.
     11.140
" I Troianus, a trewe knyght, take witnesse at a pope
     11.141
How I was ded and dampned to dwellen in pyne ' Page  123
     11.142
For an uncristene creature; clerkes wite the sothe--
     11.143
That al the clergie under Crist ne myghte me cracche fro helle
     11.144
But oonliche love and leautee and my laweful domes.
     11.145
"Gregorie wiste this wel, and wilned to my soule
     11.146
Savacion for soothnesse that he seigh in my werkes.
     11.147
And after that he wepte and wilned me were graunted grace,
     11.148
Withouten any bede biddyng his boone was underfongen,
     11.149
And I saved, as ye may see, withouten syngynge of masses,
     11.150
By love and by lernyng of my lyvynge in truthe,
     11.151
Broughte me fro bitter peyne ther no biddyng myghte
     11.152
" Lo! ye lordes, what leautee dide by an Emperour of Home
     11.153
That was an uncristene creature, as clerkes fyndeth in bokes.
     11.154
Nought thorugh preiere of a pope but for his pure truthe
     11.155
Was that Sarsen saved, as Seint Gregorie bereth witnesse.
     11.156
Wel oughte ye lordes that lawes kepe this lesson to have in mynde,
     11.157
And on Troianus truthe to thenke; and do truthe to the peple.
     11.158
"This matere is merk for many of yow--ac, men of Holy Chirche,
     11.159
The Legend[a] Sanctorum yow lereth more largere than I yow telle.
     11.160
Ac thus leel love and lyvyng in truthe
     11.161
Pulte out of pyne a paynym of Rome.
     11.162
Yblissed be truthe that so brak helle yates
     11.163
And saved the Sarsyn from Sathanas and his power,
     11.164
Ther no clergie ne kouthe, ne konnyng of lawes!
     11.165
Love and leautee is a lell science,
     11.166
For that is the book blissed of blisse and of joye:
     11.167
God wroughte it and wroot it with his owene fynger
     11.168
And took it to Moises upon the mount, alle men to lere.
     11.169
"Lawe withouten love,' quod Troianus, "ley ther a bene--
     11.170
Or any science under sonne, the seven arts and alle! Page  124
     11.171
--But thei ben lerned for Oure Lordes love, lost is al the tyme,
     11.172
For no cause to cacche silver therby, ne to be called a maister,
     11.173
But al for love of Oure Lord and the bet to love the peple.
     11.174
"For Seint Johan seide it, and sothe arn hise wordes:
     11.175
Qui non diligit manet in morte.
     11.175
Whoso loveth noght, leve me, he lyveth in deeth deyinge;
     11.176
And that alle manere men, enemyes and frendes,
     11.177
Love hir eyther oother, and lene hem as hemselve.
     11.178
Whoso leneth noght, he loveth noght, Oure Lord woot the sothe
     11.179
And comaundeth ech creature to conformen hym to lovye -
     11.180
His neighebour as hymselve and hise enemyes after.
     11.181
For hem that haten us is oure merite to lovye,
     11.182
And sovereynly povere peple to plese--hir preieres maye us helpe.
     11.183
For oure joy and oure [ju]ele, Jesu Crist of hevene,
     11.184
In a povere mannes apparaille pursueth us evere,
     11.185
And loketh on us in hir liknesse and that with lovely chere,
     11.186
To knowen us by oure kynde herte and castynge of oure eighen,
     11.187
Wheither we love the lordes here bifore the Lord of blis
     11.188
And exciteth us by the Evangelie that whan we maken festes,
     11.189
We sholde noght clepe oure kyn therto, ne none kynnes riche:
     11.190
Cum facitis conviva, nolite invitare amicos.
     11.190
""Ac calleth the carefulle therto, the croked and the povere;
     11.191
For youre frendes wol feden yow, and founde yow to quyte
     11.192
Youre festynge and youre faire yifte--ech frend quyteth so oother.
     11.193
Ac for the povere I shal paie, and pure wel quyte hir travaille
     11.194
That yyveth hem mete or moneie and loveth hem for my sake.' Page  125
     11.195
"Almighty God myghte ha[ve] maad riche alle men, if he wolde,
     11.196
Ac for the beste ben som riche and some beggeres and povere.
     11.197
For alle arc we Cristes creatures, and of his cofres riche,
     11.198
And bretheren as of oo blood, as wel beggeres as erles.
     11.199
For at Calvarie of Cristes blood Cristendom gan sprynge,
     11.200
And blody bretheren we bicome there, of o body ywonne,
     11.201
As quasi modo geniti gentil men echone--
     11.202
No beggere ne boye amonges us but if it synne made.
     11.203
Quifacit peccatum servus est peccati.
     11.203
ln the olde lawe, as the lettre telleth, "mennes sones'' men called us,
     11.204
Of Adames issue and Eve, ay til God-Man deide;
     11.205
And after his resurexcion Redemptor was his name.
     11.206
And we hise bretheren thorugh hym ybought, bothe riche and povere.
     11.207
Forthi love we as leve children shal, and ech man laughe of oother,
     11.208
And of that ech man may forbere, amende there it neaeth,
     11.209
And every man helpe oother--for hennes shul we alle:
     11.210
Alter alterius onera portate.
     11.210
And be we noght unkynde of oure catel, ne of oure konnyng neither,
     11.211
For woot no man how neigh it is to ben ynome fro bothe.
     11.212
Forthi lakke no lif oother, though he moore Latyn knowe,
     11.213
Ne undernyme noght foule, for is noon withoute defaute.
     11.214
For whatevere clerkes carpe of Cristendom or ellis,
     11.215
Crist to a commune womman seide in commune at a feste
     11.216
That Fides sua sholde saven hire and salven hire of synnes.
     11.217
"Thanne is bileve a lele help, above logyk or lawe.
     11.218
Of logyk ne of lawe in Legendo Sanctorum
     11.219
Is litel alowaunce maad, but if bileve hem helpe;
     11.220
For it is overlonge er logyk any lesson assoille,
     11.221
And lawe is looth to lovye but if he lacche silver.
     11.222
Bothe logyk and lawe, that loveth noght to lye,
     11.223
I conseille alle Cristene, clyve noght theron to soore,
     11.224
For some wordes I fynde writen, were of Feithes techyng,
     11.225
That saved synful men, as Seint Johan bereth witnesse:
     11.226
Eadem mensura qua mensifueritis remecietur vobis.
     11.226
Forthi lerne we the lawe of love as Oure Lord taughte;
     11.227
And as Seint Gregorie seide, for mannes soule heIthe,
     11.228
Melius est scrutari scelera nostra quam naturas rerum.
     11.229
"Why I meve this matere is moost for the povere;
     11.230
For in hir liknesse Oure Lord ofte hath ben yknowe.
     11.231
Witnesse in the Pask wyke whan he yede to Emaus--
     11.232
Cleophas ne knew hym noght, that he Crist were,
     11.233
For his povere apparaille and pilgrymes wedes,
     11.234
Til he blessede and brak the breed that thei eten.
     11.235
So bi hise werkes thei wisten that he was Jesus,
     11.236
Ac by clothyng thei knewe hym noght, ne by carpynge of tonge.
     11.237
And al was ensample, for sooth, to us synfulle here,
     11.238
That we sholde be lowe and loveliche of speche,
     11.239
And apparaille us noght over proudly--for pilgrymes are we alle.
     11.240
And in the apparaille of a povere man and pilgrymes liknesse
     11.241
Many tyme God hath ben met among nedy peple,
     11.242
Ther nevere segge hym seigh in secte of the riche.
     11.243
"Seint Johan and othere seintes were seyen in poore clothyng,
     11.244
And as povere pilgrymes preyed mennes goodes.
     11.245
Jesu Crist on a Jewes doghter lighte: gentil womman though she were,
     11.246
Was a pure povere maide and to a povere man ywedded.
     11.247
"Martha on Marie Maudelayne an huge pleynt she made, Page  127
     11.248
And to Oure Saveour self seide thise wordes:
     11.249
Domine, non est tibi cure quod soror mea reliquit me solam ministrare ?
     11.250
And hastily God answerde, and eitheres wille ful [wel lo]wed,
     11.251
Bothe Marthaes and Maries, as Mathew bereth witnesse;
     11.252
Ac poverte God putte bifore, and preised it the bettre:
     11.253
Maria optimam partem elegit, que non auferetur ab ea.
     11.253
"And alle the wise that evere were, by aught I kan aspye,
     11.254
Preisen poverte for best Iif. if Facience it folwe,
     11.255
And bothe bettre and blesseder by many fold than Richesse.
     11.256
Although it be sour to suffre, ther cometh swete after;
     11.257
As on a walnote--withoute is a bitter barke,
     11.258
And after that bitter bark, be the shelle aweye,
     11.259
is a kernel of confort kynde to restore.
     11.260
So is after poverte or penaunce paciently ytake,
     11.261
Maketh a man to have mynde in God and a gret wille
     11.262
To wepe and to wel bidde, wherof wexeth mercy,
     11.263
Of which Crist is a kernell to conforte the soule.
     11.264
And wel sikerer he slepeth, the segge that is povere,
     11.265
And lasse he dredeth deeth and in derke to ben yrobbed
     11.266
Than he that is right riche--Reson bereth witnesse:
     11.267
Pauper ego ludo dum tu dives meditaris.
     11.267
"Although Salomon seide, as folk seeth in the Bible,
     11.268
Divicias nec paupertates &c,
     11.268
Wiser than Salomon was bereth witnesse and taughte
     11.270
That parfit poverte was no possession to have,
     11.271
And lif moost likynge to God, as Luc bereth witnesse:
     11.272
Si vis perfectusesse, vade et vende &c--Page  128
     11.272
And is to mene to men that on this moolde lyven,
     11.273
Whoso wole he pure parfit moot possession forsake.
     11.274
Or selle it, as seith the Book. and the silver dele
     11.275
To beggeris that goon and begge and bidden good for Goddes love.
     11.276
For failed nevere man mete that myghtful God serveth,
     11.277
As David seith in the Sauter; to swiche that ben in wille
     11.278
To serve God goodliche, ne greveth hym no penaunce--
     11.279
Nichil inpossibile volenti--
     11.279
Ne lakketh nevere liflode, lynnen ne wollen:
     11.280
*Iuquirentes autem Dominum non minuentur omni bono.
     11.280
"If preestes weren wise, thei wolde no silver take
     11.281
For masses ne for matyns, noght hir mete of usureres,
     11.282
Ne neither kirtel ne cote, theigh thei for cold sholde deye,
     11.283
And thei hir devoir dide, as David seith in the Sauter:
     11.284
Iudica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam.
     11.284
"Spera in Deo speketh of preestes that have no spendyng silver
     11.285
That if thei travaille truweliche and truste in God almyghty,
     11.286
Hem sholde lakke no liflode, neyther lynnen ne wollen.
     11.287
And the title that ye take ordres by telleth ye ben avaunced;
     11.288
Thanne nedeth yow noght to [nyme] silver for masses that ye syngen.
     11.289
For he that took yow youre title sholde take yow youre wages,
     11.290
Or the bisshop that blessed yow, if that ye ben worthi.
     11.291
"For made nevere kyng no knyght but he hadde catel to spende
     11.292
As bifel for a knyght, or foond hym for his strengthe.
     11.293
It is a careful knyght, and of a caytif kynges makyng,
     11.294
That hath no lond ne lynage riche ne good loos of hise handes.
     11.295
The same I segge for sothe by a1le swiche preestes
     11.296
That han neither konnynge ne kyn, but a crowne one
     11.297
And a title, a tale of noght, to his liflode at meschief. Page  129
     11.298
He hath moore bileve, as I leve, to lacche thorugh his croune
     11.299
Cure than for konnynge or "knowen for clene of berynge.'
     11.300
I Have wonder for why and wherfore the bisshop
     11.301
Maketh swiche preestes, that lewed men bitrayen !
     11.302
"A chartre is chalangeable bifore a chief justice:
     11.303
If fals Latyn be in that lettre, the lawe it impugneth,
     11.304
Or peynted parentrelynarie, parcelles overskipped.
     11.305
The gome that gloseth so chartres for a goky is holden.
     11.306
"So is it a goky, by God! that in his gospel failleth
     11.307
Or in masse or in matyns maketh any defaute:
     11.308
Qui offendit in uno, in omnibus est reus.
     11.308
And also in the Sauter seith David to overskipperis,
     11.309
PsalliteDeonostro,psallite;quoniamrex terrae Deus Israel, psallite sapienter.
     11.310
"The bisshop shal be blamed bifore God, as I leve,
     11.311
That crouneth swiche Goddes knyghtes that konneth noght sapienter
     11.312
Synge, ne psalmes rede, ne seye a masse of the day.
     11.313
Ac never neither is blamelees, the bisshop ne the chapeleyn;
     11.314
For hir either is endited, and that of "Ignorancia
     11.315
Non excusat episcopos nec ydiotes preestes.'
     11.316
"This lokynge on lewed preestes hath doon me lepe from poverte--
     11.317
The which I preise, ther pacience is, moore parfit than richesse.'
     11.318
Ac muche moore in metynge thus with me gan oon dispute--
     11.319
And slepynge I seigh al this; and sithen cam Kynde
     11.320
And nempned me by my name, and bad me nymen hede,
     11.321
And thorugh the wondres of this world wit for to take.
     11.322
And en a mountaigne that Myddelerthe highte, as me tho thoughte,
     11.323
I was fet forth by ensaumples to knowe, Page  130
     11.324
Thorugh ech a creature, Kynde my creatour to lovye.
     11.325
I seigh the sonne and the see and the sond after,
     11.326
And where that briddes and beestes by hir make thei yeden,
     11.327
Wilde wormes in wodes, and wonderful foweles
     11.328
With fleckede fetheres and of fele colours.
     11.329
Man and his make I myghte se bothe;
     11.330
Pverte and plentee, both pees and werre,
     11.331
Blisse and bale -- bothe I seigh at ones,
     11.332
And how men token Mede and Mercy refused.
     11.333
Reson I seigh soothly sewen all beestes
     11.334
In etynge, in drynkynge and in engendrynge of kynde.
     11.335
And after cours of concepcion noon toke kepe of oother
     11.336
As whan thei hadde ryde in rotey tume; anoonright therafter
     11.337
Males drowen hem to males amornynge by hemselve,
     11.338
And [femelles to femelles ferded and drowe].
     11.339
Ther ne was cow ne cowkynde that conceyved hadde
     11.340
That wolde belwe after bole, ne boor after sowe.
     11.341
Both hors and houndes and alle othere beestes
     11.342
Medled noght with hir makes that [mid] fole were.
     11.343
Briddes I biheld that in buskes made nestes;
     11.344
Hadde nevere wye wit to werche the leese.
     11.345
I hadde wonder at whom and wher the pye
     11.346
Lerned to legge the stikkes in which she leyeth and bredeth.
     11.347
Ther nys wrighte, as I wene, sholde werche hir nest to paye;
     11.348
If any mason made a molde therto, muche wonder it were.
     11.349
And yet me merveilled moore: many othere briddes
     11.350
Hidden and hileden hir egges ful derne
     11.351
In mareys and moores for men sholde hem noght fynde,
     11.352
And hidden hir egges whan thei therfro wente,
     11.353
For fere of othere foweles and for wilde beestes.
     11.354
And some troden hir makes and on trees bredden Page  131
     11.355
And broughten forth hir briddes so al above the grounde.
     11.356
And some briddes at the bile thorugh brethyng conceyved,
     11.357
And some caukede; I took kepe how pecokkes bredden.
     11.358
Muche merveilled me what maister thei hadde,
     11.359
And who taughte hem on trees to tymbre so heighe
     11.360
That neither burn ne beest may hir briddes rechen.
     11.361
And sithen I loked on the see and so forth on the sterres;
     11.362
Manye selkouthes I seigh, ben noght to seye nouthe.
     11.363
I seigh floures in the fryth and hir faire colours,
     11.364
And how among the grene gras growed so manye hewes,
     11.365
And some soure and some swete--selkouth me thoughte.
     11.366
Of hir kynde and hir colour to carpe it were to longe.
     11.367
Ac that moost meved me and my mood chaunged--
     11.368
That Reson rewarded and ruled alle beestes
     11.369
Save man and his make: many tyme and ofte
     11.370
No Reson hem folwede, [neither riche ne povere].
     11.371
And thanne I rebukede Reson, and right til hymselven I seyde.
     11.372
"I have wonder of thee, that witty art holden,
     11.373
Why thow ne sewest man and his make, that no mysfeet hem folwe.'
     11.374
And Reson arated me, and seide, "Recche thee nevere
     11.375
Why I suffre or noght suffre--thiself hast noght to doone.
     11.376
Amende thow it if thow myght, for my tyme is to abide.
     11.377
Suffraunce is a soverayn vertue, and a swift vengeaunce.
     11.378
Who suffreth moore than God?' quod he; "no gome, as I leeve.
     11.379
He myghte amende in a minute while al that mysstandeth,
     11.380
Ac he suffreth for som mannes goode, ad so is oure bettre. Page  132
     11.381
" Holy Writ,' quod that wye, "wisseth men to suffre:
     11.382
Propter Deum subiecti estote omni creature.
     11.382
Frenche men and fre men affaiteth thus hire children:
     11.383
Bele vertue est suffraunce; mal dire est petite vengeance.
     11.383
Bien dire et bien suffrir fait lui suffrant a bien venir.
     11.383
Forthi I rede,' quod Reson, "thow rule thi tonge bettre,
     11.385
And er thow lakke my lif, loke if thow be to preise.
     11.386
For is no creature under Crist can formen hymselven,
     11.387
And if a man myghte make hymself good,
     11.388
Ech a lif wolde be laklees--leeve thow non other.
     11.389
Ne thow shalt fynde but fewe fayne for to here
     11.390
Of here defautes foule bifore hem reherced.
     11.391
"The wise and the witty wroot thus in the Bible:-
     11.392
De re que te non molestat noli certare.
     11.393
For be a man fair or foul. it falleth noght to lakke
     11.394
The shap ne the shaft that God shoop hymselve;
     11.395
For al that he wrought was wel ydo, as Holy Writ witnesseth:
     11.396
Et vidit Deus cuncta que fecerat, et erant valde bona.
     11.396
And bad every creature in his kynde encreesse,
     11.397
Al to murthe with man that moste wo tholie
     11.398
In fondynge of the flessh and of the fend bothe.
     11.399
For man was maad of swich a matere he may noght wel asterte
     11.400
That som tyme hym bitit to folwen his kynde.
     11.401
Caton acordeth therwith--Nemo sine crimine vivit!'
     11.402
Tho caughte I colour anoon and comsed to ben ashamed, Page  133
     11.403
And awaked therwith. Wo was me thanne
     11.404
That I in metels ne myghte moore have yknowen.
     11.405
And thanne seide I to myself, and [sherewe]de that tyme,
     11.406
"Now I woot what Dowel is,' quod l, " by deere God, as me thynketh!'
     11.407
And as I caste up myne eighen, oon loked on me and asked
     11.408
Of me, what thyng it were? " Ywis, sire,' I seyde,
     11.409
"To se muche and suffre moore, certes,' quod 1, "is Dowel.'
     11.410
"Haddestow suffred,' he seide, "slepynge tho thow were.
     11.411
Thow sholdest have knowen that Clergie kan and conceyved moore thorugh Reson-
     11.412
For Reson wolde have reherced thee right as Clergie seide.
     11.413
Ac for thyn entremetynge here artow forsake:
     11.414
Philosophus esses, si tacuisses.
     11.414
"Adam, whiles he spak noght, hadde paradis at wille;
     11.415
Ac whan he mamelede aboute mete and entremeted to knowe
     11.416
The wisedom and the wit of God, he was put fram blisse.
     11.417
And right so ferde Reson bi thee--thow with thi rude spec
     11.418
Lakkedest and losedest thyng that longed noght to doone.
     11.419
Tho hadde he no likyng for to lere the moore.
     11.420
" Pryde now and presumpcion paraventure wol thee appele,
     11.421
That Clergie thi compaignye ne kepeth noght to suwe.
     11.422
For shal nevere chalangynge ne chidynge chaste a man so soone
     11.423
As shal shame, and shenden hym, and shape hym to amende.
     11.424
For lat a dronken daffe in a dyk falle,
     11.425
Lat hym ligge, loke noght on hym til hym liste aryse.
     11.426
For though Reson rebuked hym thanne, reccheth he nevere;
     11.427
Of Clergie ne of his counseil he counteth noght a risshe.
     11.428
[To blame] or for to bete hym thanne, it were but pure synne. Page  134
     11.429
Ac whan nede nymeth hym up, for doute leste he [ne] sterve,
     11.430
And shame shrapeth hise clothes and hise shynes wassheth,
     11.431
Thanne woot the dronken daffe wherfore he is to blame.'
     11.432
"Ye siggen sooth, by my soule,' quod l, "lch have yseyen it ofte.
     11.433
Ther smyt no thyng so smerte, ne smelleth so foule
     11.434
As shame, there he sheweth hym--for ech man shonyeth his felaweshipe.
     11.435
Why ye wisse me thus,' quod l, "was for I rebuked Reson.'
     11.436
"Certes,' quod he, "that is sooth,' and shoop hym for to wal n.
     11.437
And I aroos up right with that and [raughte] hym after,
     11.438
And preyde hym [if his wille were, he wolde] telle me his name.
     11.439