Pearl
E.V. Gordon

Section V

'O perle', quod I, 'in perleȝ pyȝt,
Art þou my perle þat I haf playned,
Regretted by myn one on nyȝte?
Much longeyng haf I for þe layned,
Syþen into gresse þou me aglyȝte.
Pensyf, payred, I am forpayned,
And þou in a lyf of lykyng lyȝte,
In Paradys erde, of stryf vnstrayned.
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What wyrde hatȝ hyder my iuel vayned,
And don me in þys del and gret daunger?
Fro we in twynne wern towen and twayned,
I haf ben a joyleȝ juelere.'
[folio 42v]
That juel þenne in gemmeȝ gente
Vered vp her vyse wyth yȝen graye,
Set on hyr coroun of perle orient,
And soberly after þenne con ho say:
'Sir, ȝe haf your tale mysetente,
To say your perle is al awaye,
Þat is in cofer so comly clente
As in þis gardyn gracios gaye,
Hereinne to lenge for euer and play,
Þer mys nee mornyng com neuer nere.
Her were a forser for þe, in faye,
If þou were a gentyl jueler.
'Bot, jueler gente, if þou schal lose
Þy ioy for a gemme þat þe watȝ lef,
Me þynk þe put in a mad porpose,
And busyeȝ þe aboute a raysoun bref;
For þat þou lesteȝ watȝ bot a rose
Þat flowred and fayled as kynde hyt gef.
Now þurȝ kynde of þe kyste þat hyt con close
To a perle of prys hit is put in pref.
And þou hatȝ called þy wyrde a þef,
Þat oȝt of noȝt hatȝ mad þe cler;
Þou blameȝ þe bote of þy meschef,
Þou art no kynde jueler.'
A juel to me þen watȝ þys geste,
And iueleȝ wern hyr gentyl saweȝ.
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'Iwyse', quod I, 'my blysfol beste,
My grete dystresse þou al todraweȝ.
To be excused I make requeste;
I trawed my perle don out of daweȝ.
Now haf I fonde hyt, I schal ma feste,
And wony wyth hyt in schyr wod-schaweȝ,
And loue my Lorde and al his laweȝ
Þat hatȝ me broȝt þys blys ner.
Now were I at yow byȝonde þise waweȝ,
I were a ioyful jueler.'
[folio 43r]
'Jueler', sayde þat gemme clene,
'Wy borde ȝe men? So madde ȝe be!
Þre wordeȝ hatȝ þou spoken at ene:
Vnavysed, for soþe, wern alle þre.
Þou ne woste in worlde quat on dotȝ mene;
Þy worde byfore þy wytte con fle.
Þou says þou traweȝ me in þis dene,
Bycawse þou may wyth yȝen me se;
Anoþer þou says, in þys countré
Þyself schal won wyth me ryȝt here;
Þe þrydde, to passe þys water fre —
Þat may no ioyfol jueler.