Pearl
E.V. Gordon

Section X

[folio 46v]
'"The date of þe daye þe lorde con knaw,
Called to þe reue: 'Lede, pay þe meyny.
Gyf hem þe hyre þat I hem owe,
And fyrre, þat non me may reprené,
Set hem alle vpon a rawe
And gyf vchon inlyche a peny.
Bygyn at þe laste þat standeȝ lowe,
Tyl to þe fyrst þat þou atteny.'
And þenne þe fyrst bygonne to pleny
And sayden þat þay hade trauayled sore:
'Þese bot on oure hem con streny;
Vus þynk vus oȝe to take more.
'"'More haf we serued, vus þynk so,
Þat suffred han þe dayeȝ hete,
Þenn þyse þat wroȝt not houreȝ two,
And þou dotȝ hem vus to counterfete.'
Þenne sayde þe lorde to on of þo:
'Frende, no waning I wyl þe ȝete;
Take þat is þyn owne, and go.
And I hyred þe for a peny agrete,
Page  21
Quy bygynneȝ þou now to þrete?
Watȝ not a pené þy couenaunt þore?
Fyrre þen couenaunde is noȝt to plete.
Wy schalte þou þenne ask more?
'"'More, weþer louyly is me my gyfte,
To do wyth myn quat-so me lykeȝ?
Oþer elleȝ þyn yȝe to lyþer is lyfte
For I am goude and non byswykeȝ?'
Þus schal I", quod Kryste, "hit skyfte:
Þe laste schal be þe fyrst þat strykeȝ,
And þe fyrst þe laste, be he neuer so swyft;
For mony ben called, þaȝ fewe be mykeȝ."
Þus pore men her part ay pykeȝ,
Þaȝ þay com late and lyttel wore;
And þaȝ her sweng wyth lyttel atslykeȝ,
Þe merci of God is much þe more.
[folio 47r]
'More haf I of joye and blysse hereinne,
Of ladyschyp gret and lyueȝ blom,
Þen alle þe wyȝeȝ in þe worlde myȝt wynne
By þe way of ryȝt to aske dome.
Wheþer welnygh now I con bygynne —
In euentyde into þe vyne I come —
Fyrst of my hyre my Lorde con mynne:
I watȝ payed anon of al and sum.
Ȝet oþer þer werne þat toke more tom,
Þat swange and swat for long ȝore,
Þat ȝet of hyre noþynk þay nom,
Paraunter noȝt schal to-ȝere more.'
Page  22
Then more I meled and sayde apert:
'Me þynk þy tale vnresounable.
Goddeȝ ryȝt is redy and euermore rert,
Oþer Holy Wryt is bot a fable.
In Sauter is sayd a verce ouerte
Þat spekeȝ a poynt determynable:
"Þou quyteȝ vchon as hys desserte,
Þou hyȝe kyng ay pretermynable."
Now he þat stod þe long day stable,
And þou to payment com hym byfore,
Þenne þe lasse in werke to take more able,
And euer þe lenger þe lasse, þe more.'