Pearl
E.V. Gordon

Section XIII

'Iesus con calle to hym hys mylde,
And sayde hys ryche no wyȝ myȝt wynne
Bot he com þyder ryȝt as a chylde,
Oþer elleȝ neuermore com þerinne.
Harmleȝ, trwe, and vndefylde,
Wythouten mote oþer mascle of sulpande synne,
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Quen such þer cnoken on þe bylde,
Tyt schal hem men þe ȝate vnpynne.
Þer is þe blys þat con not blynne
Þat þe jueler soȝte þurȝ perré pres,
And solde alle hys goud, boþe wolen and lynne,
To bye hym a perle watȝ mascelleȝ.
'This makelleȝ perle, þat boȝt is dere,
Þe joueler gef fore alle hys god,
Is lyke þe reme of heuenesse clere:
So sayde þe Fader of folde and flode;
For hit is wemleȝ, clene, and clere,
And endeleȝ rounde, and blyþe of mode,
And commune to alle þat ryȝtwys were.
Lo, euen inmyddeȝ my breste hit stode.
My Lorde þe Lombe, þat schede hys blode,
He pyȝt hit þere in token of pes.
I rede þe forsake þe worlde wode
And porchace þy perle maskelles.'
'O maskeleȝ perle in perleȝ pure,
Þat bereȝ', quod I, 'þe perle of prys,
Quo formed þe þy fayre fygure?
Þat wroȝt þy wede, he watȝ ful wys.
Þy beauté com neuer of nature;
Pymalyon paynted neuer þy vys,
Ne Arystotel nawþer by hys lettrure
Of carped þe kynde þese propertéȝ.
Þy colour passeȝ þe flour-de-lys;
Þyn angel-hauyng so clene corteȝ.
Breue me, bryȝt, quat kyn offys
Bereȝ þe perle so maskelleȝ?'
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[folio 49v]
'My makeleȝ Lambe þat al may bete',
Quod scho, 'my dere destyné,
Me ches to hys make, alþaȝ vnmete
Sumtyme semed þat assemblé.
When I wente fro yor worlde wete,
He calde me to hys bonerté:
"Cum hyder to me, my lemman swete,
For mote ne spot is non in þe."
He gef me myȝt and als bewté;
In hys blod he wesch my wede on dese,
And coronde clene in vergynté,
And pyȝt me in perleȝ maskelleȝ.'
'Why, maskelleȝ byrd þat bryȝt con flambe,
Þat reiatéȝ hatȝ so ryche and ryf,
Quat kyn þyng may be þat Lambe
Þat þe wolde wedde vnto hys vyf?
Ouer alle oþer so hyȝ þou clambe
To lede wyth hym so ladyly lyf.
So mony a comly on-vunder cambe
For Kryst han lyued in much stryf;
And þou con alle þo dere out dryf
And fro þat maryag al oþer depres,
Al only þyself so stout and styf,
A makeleȝ may and maskelleȝ.'