Pearl
E.V. Gordon

Section IX

'That cortaysé is to fre of dede,
Ȝyf hyt be soth þat þou coneȝ saye.
Þou lyfed not two ȝer in oure þede;
Þou cowþeȝ neuer God nauþer plese ne pray,
Ne neuer nawþer Pater ne Crede;
And quen mad on þe fyrst day!
I may not traw, so God me spede,
Þat God wolde wryþe so wrange away.
Of countes, damysel, par ma fay,
Wer fayr in heuen to halde asstate,
Oþer elleȝ a lady of lasse aray;
Bot a quene! Hit is to dere a date.'
'Þer is no date of hys godnesse',
Þen sayde to me þat worþy wyȝte,
'For al is trawþe þat he con dresse,
And he may do noþynk bot ryȝt.
As Mathew meleȝ in your messe
In sothfol gospel of God almyȝt,
In sample he can ful grayþely gesse,
And lykneȝ hit to heuen lyȝte.
"My regne", he saytȝ, "is lyk on hyȝt
To a lorde þat hade a uyne, I wate.
Of tyme of ȝere þe terme watȝ tyȝt,
To labor vyne watȝ dere þe date.
Page  19 [folio 46r]
'"Þat date of ȝere wel knawe þys hyne.
Þe lorde ful erly vp he ros
To hyre werkmen to hys vyne,
And fyndeȝ þer summe to hys porpos.
Into acorde þay con declyne
For a pené on a day, and forth þay gotȝ,
Wryþen and worchen and don gret pyne,
Keruen and caggen and man hit clos.
Aboute vnder þe lorde to marked totȝ,
And ydel men stande he fyndeȝ þerate.
'Why stande ȝe ydel?' he sayde to þos.
'Ne knawe ȝe of þis day no date?'
'"'Er date of daye hider arn we wonne',
So watȝ al samen her answar soȝt.
'We haf standen her syn ros þe sunne,
And no mon byddeȝ vus do ryȝt noȝt.'
'Gos into my vyne, dotȝ þat ȝe conne',
So sayde þe lorde, and made hit toȝt.
'What resonabele hyre be naȝt be runne
I yow pay in dede and þoȝte.'
Þay wente into þe vyne and wroȝte,
And al day þe lorde þus ȝede his gate,
And nw men to hys vyne he broȝte
Welneȝ wyl day watȝ passed date.
'"At þe date of day of euensonge,
On oure byfore þe sonne go doun,
He seȝ þer ydel men ful stronge
And sade to hem wyth sobre soun,
Page  20
'Wy stonde ȝe ydel þise dayeȝ longe?'
Þay sayden her hyre watȝ nawhere boun.
'Gotȝ to my vyne, ȝemen ȝonge,
And wyrkeȝ and dotȝ þat at ȝe moun.'
Sone þe worlde bycom wel broun;
Þe sunne watȝ doun and hit wex late.
To take her hyre he mad sumoun;
Þe day watȝ al apassed date.