Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins
Incipit Liber Quintus: Part 4
Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4
5928 With that he sterte up fro the mete, 5929 And schof the bord unto the flor, 5930 And cauhte a swerd anon and suor 5931 That thei scholde of his handes dye. 5932 And thei unto the goddes crie 5933 Begunne with so loude a stevene, 5934 That thei were herd unto the hevene; 5935 And in a twinclinge of an yhe 5936 The goddes, that the meschief syhe, 5937 Here formes changen alle thre. 5938 Echon of hem in his degre 5939 Was torned into briddes kinde; 5940 Diverseliche, as men mai finde, 5941 After thastat that thei were inne, 5942 Here formes were set atwinne. 5943 And as it telleth in the tale, 5944 The ferst into a nyhtingale 5945 Was schape, and that was Philomene, 5946 Which in the wynter is noght sene, 5947 For thanne ben the leves falle 5948 And naked ben the buisshes alle. 5949 For after that sche was a brid, 5950 Hir will was evere to ben hid, 5951 And forto duelle in prive place, 5952 That noman scholde sen hir face 5953 For schame, which mai noght be lassed, 5954 Of thing that was tofore passed, 5955 Whan that sche loste hir maidenhiede: 5956 For evere upon hir wommanhiede, 5957 Thogh that the goddes wolde hire change, 5958 Sche thenkth, and is the more strange, 5959 And halt hir clos the wyntres day. 5960 Bot whan the wynter goth away, 5961 And that Nature the goddesse 5962 Wole of hir oughne fre largesse 5963 With herbes and with floures bothe 5964 The feldes and the medwes clothe, 5965 And ek the wodes and the greves 5966 Ben heled al with grene leves, 5967 So that a brid hire hyde mai, 5968 Betwen Averil and March and Maii, 5969 Sche that the wynter hield hir clos, 5970 For pure schame and noght aros, 5971 Whan that sche seth the bowes thikke, 5972 And that ther is no bare sticke, 5973 Bot al is hid with leves grene, 5974 To wode comth this Philomene 5975 And makth hir ferste yeres flyht; 5976 Wher as sche singeth day and nyht, 5977 And in hir song al openly 5978 Sche makth hir pleignte and seith, "O why, 5979 O why ne were I yit a maide?" 5980 For so these olde wise saide, 5981 Which understoden what sche mente, 5982 Hire notes ben of such entente. 5983 And ek thei seide hou in hir song 5984 Sche makth gret joie and merthe among, 5985 And seith, "Ha, nou I am a brid, 5986 Ha, nou mi face mai ben hid: 5987 Thogh I have lost mi Maidenhede, 5988 Schal noman se my chekes rede." 5989 Thus medleth sche with joie wo 5990 And with hir sorwe merthe also, 5991 So that of loves maladie 5992 Sche makth diverse melodie, 5993 And seith love is a wofull blisse, 5994 A wisdom which can noman wisse, 5995 A lusti fievere, a wounde softe: 5996 This note sche reherceth ofte 5997 To hem whiche understonde hir tale. 5998 Nou have I of this nyhtingale, 5999 Which erst was cleped Philomene, 6000 Told al that evere I wolde mene, 6001 Bothe of hir forme and of hir note, 6002 Wherof men mai the storie note. 6003 And of hir Soster Progne I finde, 6004 Hou sche was torned out of kinde 6005 Into a Swalwe swift of winge, 6006 Which ek in wynter lith swounynge, 6007 Ther as sche mai nothing be sene: 6008 Bot whan the world is woxe grene 6009 And comen is the Somertide, 6010 Than fleth sche forth and ginth to chide, 6011 And chitreth out in hir langage 6012 What falshod is in mariage, 6013 And telleth in a maner speche 6014 Of Teres the Spousebreche. 6015 Sche wol noght in the wodes duelle, 6016 For sche wolde openliche telle; 6017 And ek for that sche was a spouse, 6018 Among the folk sche comth to house, 6019 To do thes wyves understonde 6020 The falshod of hire housebonde, 6021 That thei of hem be war also, 6022 For ther ben manye untrewe of tho. 6023 Thus ben the Sostres briddes bothe, 6024 And ben toward the men so lothe, 6025 That thei ne wole of pure schame 6026 Unto no mannes hand be tame; 6027 For evere it duelleth in here mynde 6028 Of that thei founde a man unkinde, 6029 And that was false Teres. 6030 If such on be amonges ous 6031 I not, bot his condicion 6032 Men sein in every region 6033 Withinne toune and ek withoute 6034 Nou regneth comunliche aboute. 6035 And natheles in remembrance 6036 I wol declare what vengance 6037 The goddes hadden him ordeined, 6038 Of that the Sostres hadden pleigned: 6039 For anon after he was changed 6040 And from his oghne kinde stranged, 6041 A lappewincke mad he was, 6042 And thus he hoppeth on the gras, 6043 And on his hed ther stant upriht 6044 A creste in tokne he was a kniht; 6045 And yit unto this dai men seith, 6046 A lappewincke hath lore his feith 6047 And is the brid falseste of alle. 6048 Bewar, mi Sone, er thee so falle; 6049 For if thou be of such covine, 6050 To gete of love be Ravine 6051 Thi lust, it mai thee falle thus, 6052 As it befell of Teres. 6053 Mi fader, goddes forebode! 6054 Me were levere be fortrode 6055 With wilde hors and be todrawe, 6056 Er I ayein love and his lawe 6057 Dede eny thing or loude or stille, 6058 Which were noght mi ladi wille. 6059 Men sein that every love hath drede; 6060 So folweth it that I hire drede, 6061 For I hire love, and who so dredeth, 6062 To plese his love and serve him nedeth. 6063 Thus mai ye knowen be this skile 6064 That no Ravine don I wile 6065 Ayein hir will be such a weie; 6066 Bot while I live, I wol obeie 6067 Abidinge on hire courtesie, 6068 If eny merci wolde hir plie. 6069 Forthi, mi fader, as of this 6070 I wot noght I have don amis: 6071 Bot furthermore I you beseche, 6072 Som other point that ye me teche, 6073 And axeth forth, if ther be auht, 6074 That I mai be the betre tauht. 6075 Whan Covoitise in povere astat 6076 Stant with himself upon debat 6077 Thurgh lacke of his misgovernance, 6078 That he unto his sustienance 6079 Ne can non other weie finde 6080 To gete him good, thanne as the blinde, 6081 Which seth noght what schal after falle, 6082 That ilke vice which men calle 6083 Of Robberie, he takth on honde; 6084 Wherof be water and be londe 6085 Of thing which othre men beswinke 6086 He get him cloth and mete and drinke. 6087 Him reccheth noght what he beginne, 6088 Thurgh thefte so that he mai winne: 6089 Forthi to maken his pourchas 6090 He lith awaitende on the pas, 6091 And what thing that he seth ther passe, 6092 He takth his part, or more or lasse, 6093 If it be worthi to be take. 6094 He can the packes wel ransake, 6095 So prively berth non aboute 6096 His gold, that he ne fint it oute, 6097 Or other juel, what it be; 6098 He takth it as his proprete. 6099 In wodes and in feldes eke 6100 Thus Robberie goth to seke, 6101 Wher as he mai his pourpos finde. 6102 And riht so in the same kinde, 6103 My goode Sone, as thou miht hiere, 6104 To speke of love in the matiere 6105 And make a verrai resemblance, 6106 Riht as a thief makth his chevance 6107 And robbeth mennes good aboute 6108 In wode and field, wher he goth oute, 6109 So be ther of these lovers some, 6110 In wylde stedes wher thei come 6111 And finden there a womman able, 6112 And therto place covenable, 6113 Withoute leve, er that thei fare, 6114 Thei take a part of that chaffare: 6115 Yee, though sche were a Scheperdesse, 6116 Yit wol the lord of wantounesse 6117 Assaie, althogh sche be unmete, 6118 For other mennes good is swete. 6119 Bot therof wot nothing the wif 6120 At hom, which loveth as hir lif 6121 Hir lord, and sitt alday wisshinge 6122 After hir lordes hom comynge: 6123 Bot whan that he comth hom at eve, 6124 Anon he makth his wif beleve, 6125 For sche noght elles scholde knowe: 6126 He telth hire hou his hunte hath blowe, 6127 And hou his houndes have wel runne, 6128 And hou ther schon a merye Sunne, 6129 And hou his haukes flowen wel; 6130 Bot he wol telle her nevere a diel 6131 Hou he to love untrewe was, 6132 Of that he robbede in the pas, 6133 And tok his lust under the schawe 6134 Ayein love and ayein his lawe. 6135 Which thing, mi Sone, I thee forbede, 6136 For it is an ungoodly dede. 6137 For who that takth be Robberie 6138 His love, he mai noght justefie 6139 His cause, and so fulofte sithe 6140 For ones that he hath be blithe 6141 He schal ben after sory thries. 6142 Ensample of suche Robberies 6143 I finde write, as thou schalt hiere, 6144 Acordende unto this matiere. 6145 I rede hou whilom was a Maide, 6146 The faireste, as Ovide saide, 6147 Which was in hire time tho; 6148 And sche was of the chambre also 6149 Of Pallas, which is the goddesse 6150 And wif to Marte, of whom prouesse 6151 Is yove to these worthi knihtes. 6152 For he is of so grete mihtes, 6153 That he governeth the bataille; 6154 Withouten him may noght availe 6155 The stronge hond, bot he it helpe; 6156 Ther mai no knyht of armes yelpe, 6157 Bot he feihte under his banere. 6158 Bot nou to speke of mi matiere, 6159 This faire, freisshe, lusti mai, 6160 Al one as sche wente on a dai 6161 Upon the stronde forto pleie, 6162 Ther cam Neptunus in the weie, 6163 Which hath the See in governance; 6164 And in his herte such plesance 6165 He tok, whan he this Maide sih, 6166 That al his herte aros on hih, 6167 For he so sodeinliche unwar 6168 Behield the beaute that sche bar. 6169 And caste anon withinne his herte 6170 That sche him schal no weie asterte, 6171 Bot if he take in avantage 6172 Fro thilke maide som pilage, 6173 Noght of the broches ne the Ringes, 6174 Bot of some othre smale thinges 6175 He thoghte parte, er that sche wente; 6176 And hire in bothe hise armes hente, 6177 And putte his hond toward the cofre, 6178 Wher forto robbe he made a profre, 6179 That lusti tresor forto stele, 6180 Which passeth othre goodes fele 6181 And cleped is the maidenhede, 6182 Which is the flour of wommanhede. 6183 This Maiden, which Cornix be name 6184 Was hote, dredende alle schame, 6185 Sih that sche mihte noght debate, 6186 And wel sche wiste he wolde algate 6187 Fulfille his lust of Robberie, 6188 Anon began to wepe and crie, 6189 And seide, "O Pallas, noble queene, 6190 Scheu nou thi myht and let be sene, 6191 To kepe and save myn honour: 6192 Help, that I lese noght mi flour, 6193 Which nou under thi keie is loke." 6194 That word was noght so sone spoke, 6195 Whan Pallas schop recoverir 6196 After the will and the desir 6197 Of hire, which a Maiden was, 6198 And sodeinliche upon this cas 6199 Out of hire wommanisshe kinde 6200 Into a briddes like I finde 6201 Sche was transformed forth withal, 6202 So that Neptunus nothing stal 6203 Of such thing as he wolde have stole. 6204 With fetheres blake as eny cole 6205 Out of hise armes in a throwe 6206 Sche flih before his yhe a Crowe; 6207 Which was to hire a more delit, 6208 To kepe hire maidenhede whit 6209 Under the wede of fethers blake, 6210 In Perles whyte than forsake 6211 That no lif mai restore ayein. 6212 Bot thus Neptune his herte in vein 6213 Hath upon Robberie sett; 6214 The bridd is flowe and he was let, 6215 The faire Maide him hath ascaped, 6216 Wherof for evere he was bejaped 6217 And scorned of that he hath lore. 6218 Mi Sone, be thou war therfore 6219 That thou no maidenhode stele, 6220 Wherof men sen deseses fele 6221 Aldai befalle in sondri wise; 6222 So as I schal thee yit devise 6223 An other tale therupon, 6224 Which fell be olde daies gon. 6225 King Lichaon upon his wif 6226 A dowhter hadde, a goodly lif, 6227 A clene Maide of worthi fame, 6228 Calistona whos rihte name 6229 Was cleped, and of many a lord 6230 Sche was besoght, bot hire acord 6231 To love myhte noman winne, 6232 As sche which hath no lust therinne; 6233 Bot swor withinne hir herte and saide 6234 That sche wolde evere ben a Maide. 6235 Wherof to kepe hireself in pes, 6236 With suche as Amadriades 6237 Were cleped, wodemaydes, tho, 6238 And with the Nimphes ek also 6239 Upon the spring of freisshe welles 6240 Sche schop to duelle and nagher elles. 6241 And thus cam this Calistona 6242 Into the wode of Tegea, 6243 Wher sche virginite behihte 6244 Unto Diane, and therto plihte 6245 Her trouthe upon the bowes grene, 6246 To kepe hir maidenhode clene. 6247 Which afterward upon a day 6248 Was priveliche stole away; 6249 For Jupiter thurgh his queintise 6250 From hire it tok in such a wise, 6251 That sodeinliche forth withal 6252 Hire wombe aros and sche toswal, 6253 So that it mihte noght ben hidd. 6254 And therupon it is betidd, 6255 Diane, which it herde telle, 6256 In prive place unto a welle 6257 With Nimphes al a compainie 6258 Was come, and in a ragerie 6259 Sche seide that sche bathe wolde, 6260 And bad that every maide scholde 6261 With hire al naked bathe also. 6262 And tho began the prive wo, 6263 Calistona wax red for schame; 6264 Bot thei that knewe noght the game, 6265 To whom no such thing was befalle, 6266 Anon thei made hem naked alle, 6267 As thei that nothing wolden hyde: 6268 Bot sche withdrouh hire evere asyde, 6269 And natheles into the flod, 6270 Wher that Diane hirselve stod, 6271 Sche thoghte come unaperceived. 6272 Bot therof sche was al deceived; 6273 For whan sche cam a litel nyh, 6274 And that Diane hire wombe syh, 6275 Sche seide, "Awey, thou foule beste, 6276 For thin astat is noght honeste 6277 This chaste water forto touche; 6278 For thou hast take such a touche, 6279 Which nevere mai ben hol ayein." 6280 And thus goth sche which was forlein 6281 With schame, and fro the Nimphes fledde, 6282 Til whanne that nature hire spedde, 6283 That of a Sone, which Archas 6284 Was named, sche delivered was. 6285 And tho Juno, which was the wif 6286 Of Jupiter, wroth and hastif, 6287 In pourpos forto do vengance 6288 Cam forth upon this ilke chance, 6289 And to Calistona sche spak, 6290 And sette upon hir many a lak, 6291 And seide, "Ha, nou thou art atake, 6292 That thou thi werk myht noght forsake. 6293 Ha, thou ungoodlich ypocrite, 6294 Hou thou art gretly forto wyte! 6295 Bot nou thou schalt ful sore abie 6296 That ilke stelthe and micherie, 6297 Which thou hast bothe take and do; 6298 Wherof thi fader Lichao 6299 Schal noght be glad, whan he it wot, 6300 Of that his dowhter was so hot, 6301 That sche hath broke hire chaste avou. 6302 Bot I thee schal chastise nou; 6303 Thi grete beaute schal be torned, 6304 Thurgh which that thou hast be mistorned, 6305 Thi large frount, thin yhen greie, 6306 I schal hem change in other weie, 6307 And al the feture of thi face 6308 In such a wise I schal deface, 6309 That every man thee schal forbere." 6310 With that the liknesse of a bere 6311 Sche tok and was forschape anon. 6312 Withinne a time and therupon 6313 Befell that with a bowe on honde, 6314 To hunte and gamen forto fonde, 6315 Into that wode goth to pleie 6316 Hir Sone Archas, and in his weie 6317 It hapneth that this bere cam. 6318 And whan that sche good hiede nam, 6319 Wher that he stod under the bowh, 6320 Sche kneu him wel and to him drouh; 6321 For thogh sche hadde hire forme lore, 6322 The love was noght lost therfore 6323 Which kinde hath set under his lawe. 6324 Whan sche under the wodesschawe 6325 Hire child behield, sche was so glad, 6326 That sche with bothe hire armes sprad, 6327 As thogh sche were in wommanhiede, 6328 Toward him cam, and tok non hiede 6329 Of that he bar a bowe bent. 6330 And he with that an Arwe hath hent 6331 And gan to teise it in his bowe, 6332 As he that can non other knowe, 6333 Bot that it was a beste wylde. 6334 Bot Jupiter, which wolde schylde 6335 The Moder and the Sone also, 6336 Ordeineth for hem bothe so, 6337 That thei for evere were save. 6338 Bot thus, mi Sone, thou myht have 6339 Ensample, hou that it is to fle 6340 To robbe the virginite 6341 Of a yong innocent aweie: 6342 And overthis be other weie, 6343 In olde bokes as I rede, 6344 Such Robberie is forto drede, 6345 And nameliche of thilke good 6346 Which every womman that is good 6347 Desireth forto kepe and holde, 6348 As whilom was be daies olde. 6349 For if thou se mi tale wel 6350 Of that was tho, thou miht somdiel 6351 Of old ensample taken hiede, 6352 Hou that the flour of maidenhiede 6353 Was thilke time holde in pris. 6354 And so it was, and so it is, 6355 And so it schal for evere stonde: 6356 And for thou schalt it understonde, 6357 Nou herkne a tale next suiende, 6358 Hou maidenhod is to commende. 6359 Of Rome among the gestes olde 6360 I finde hou that Valerie tolde 6361 That what man tho was Emperour 6362 Of Rome, he scholde don honour 6363 To the virgine, and in the weie, 6364 Wher he hire mette, he scholde obeie 6365 In worschipe of virginite, 6366 Which tho was of gret dignite. 6367 Noght onliche of the wommen tho, 6368 Bot of the chaste men also 6369 It was commended overal: 6370 And forto speke in special 6371 Touchende of men, ensample I finde, 6372 Phyryns, which was of mannes kinde 6373 Above alle othre the faireste 6374 Of Rome and ek the comelieste, 6375 That wel was hire which him mihte 6376 Beholde and have of him a sihte. 6377 Thus was he tempted ofte sore; 6378 Bot for he wolde be nomore 6379 Among the wommen so coveited, 6380 The beaute of his face streited 6381 He hath, and threste out bothe hise yhen, 6382 That alle wommen whiche him syhen 6383 Thanne afterward, of him ne roghte: 6384 And thus his maidehiede he boghte. 6385 So mai I prove wel forthi, 6386 Above alle othre under the Sky, 6387 Who that the vertus wolde peise, 6388 Virginite is forto preise, 6389 Which, as thapocalips recordeth, 6390 To Crist in hevene best acordeth. 6391 So mai it schewe wel therfore, 6392 As I have told it hier tofore, 6393 In hevene and ek in Erthe also 6394 It is accept to bothe tuo. 6395 And if I schal more over this 6396 Declare what this vertu is, 6397 I finde write upon this thing 6398 Of Valentinian the king 6399 And Emperour be thilke daies, 6400 A worthi knyht at alle assaies, 6401 Hou he withoute Mariage 6402 Was of an hundred wynter Age, 6403 And hadde ben a worthi kniht 6404 Bothe of his lawe and of his myht. 6405 Bot whan men wolde his dedes peise 6406 And his knyhthode of Armes preise, 6407 Of that he dede with his hondes, 6408 Whan he the kinges and the londes 6409 To his subjeccion put under, 6410 Of al that pris hath he no wonder, 6411 For he it sette of non acompte, 6412 And seide al that may noght amonte 6413 Ayeins o point which he hath nome, 6414 That he his fleissh hath overcome: 6415 He was a virgine, as he seide; 6416 On that bataille his pris he leide. 6417 Lo nou, my Sone, avise thee. 6418 Yee, fader, al this wel mai be, 6419 Bot if alle othre dede so, 6420 The world of men were sone go: 6421 And in the lawe a man mai finde, 6422 Hou god to man be weie of kinde 6423 Hath set the world to multeplie; 6424 And who that wol him justefie, 6425 It is ynouh to do the lawe. 6426 And natheles youre goode sawe 6427 Is good to kepe, who so may, 6428 I wol noght therayein seie nay. 6429 Mi Sone, take it as I seie; 6430 If maidenhod be take aweie 6431 Withoute lawes ordinance, 6432 It mai noght failen of vengance. 6433 And if thou wolt the sothe wite, 6434 Behold a tale which is write, 6435 Hou that the King Agamenon, 6436 Whan he the Cite of Lesbon 6437 Hath wonne, a Maiden ther he fond, 6438 Which was the faireste of the Lond 6439 In thilke time that men wiste. 6440 He tok of hire what him liste 6441 Of thing which was most precious, 6442 Wherof that sche was dangerous. 6443 This faire Maiden cleped is 6444 Criseide, douhter of Crisis, 6445 Which was that time in special 6446 Of thilke temple principal, 6447 Wher Phebus hadde his sacrifice, 6448 So was it wel the more vice. 6449 Agamenon was thanne in weie 6450 To Troieward, and tok aweie 6451 This Maiden, which he with him ladde, 6452 So grete a lust in hire he hadde. 6453 Bot Phebus, which hath gret desdeign 6454 Of that his Maiden was forlein, 6455 Anon as he to Troie cam, 6456 Vengance upon this dede he nam 6457 And sende a comun pestilence. 6458 Thei soghten thanne here evidence 6459 And maden calculacion, 6460 To knowe in what condicion 6461 This deth cam in so sodeinly; 6462 And ate laste redyly 6463 The cause and ek the man thei founde: 6464 And forth withal the same stounde 6465 Agamenon opposed was, 6466 Which hath beknowen al the cas 6467 Of the folie which he wroghte. 6468 And therupon mercy thei soghte 6469 Toward the god in sondri wise 6470 With preiere and with sacrifise, 6471 The Maide and hom ayein thei sende, 6472 And yive hire good ynouh to spende 6473 For evere whil sche scholde live: 6474 And thus the Senne was foryive 6475 And al the pestilence cessed. 6476 Lo, what it is to ben encressed 6477 Of love which is evele wonne. 6478 It were betre noght begonne 6479 Than take a thing withoute leve, 6480 Which thou most after nedes leve, 6481 And yit have malgre forth withal. 6482 Forthi to robben overal 6483 In loves cause if thou beginne, 6484 I not what ese thou schalt winne. 6485 Mi Sone, be wel war of this, 6486 For thus of Robberie it is. 6487 Mi fader, youre ensamplerie 6488 In loves cause of Robberie 6489 I have it riht wel understonde. 6490 Bot overthis, hou so it stonde, 6491 Yit wolde I wite of youre aprise 6492 What thing is more of Covoitise. 6493 With Covoitise yit I finde 6494 A Servant of the same kinde, 6495 Which Stelthe is hote, and Mecherie 6496 With him is evere in compainie. 6497 Of whom if I schal telle soth, 6498 He stalketh as a Pocok doth, 6499 And takth his preie so covert, 6500 That noman wot it in apert. 6501 For whan he wot the lord from home, 6502 Than wol he stalke aboute and rome; 6503 And what thing he fint in his weie, 6504 Whan that he seth the men aweie, 6505 He stelth it and goth forth withal, 6506 That therof noman knowe schal. 6507 And ek fulofte he goth a nyht 6508 Withoute Mone or sterreliht, 6509 And with his craft the dore unpiketh, 6510 And takth therinne what him liketh: 6511 And if the dore be so schet, 6512 That he be of his entre let, 6513 He wole in ate wyndou crepe, 6514 And whil the lord is faste aslepe, 6515 He stelth what thing as him best list, 6516 And goth his weie er it be wist. 6517 Fulofte also be lyhte of day 6518 Yit wole he stele and make assay; 6519 Under the cote his hond he put, 6520 Til he the mannes Purs have cut, 6521 And rifleth that he fint therinne. 6522 And thus he auntreth him to winne, 6523 And berth an horn and noght ne bloweth, 6524 For noman of his conseil knoweth; 6525 What he mai gete of his Michinge, 6526 It is al bile under the winge. 6527 And as an hound that goth to folde 6528 And hath ther taken what he wolde, 6529 His mouth upon the gras he wypeth, 6530 And so with feigned chiere him slypeth, 6531 That what as evere of schep he strangle, 6532 Ther is noman therof schal jangle, 6533 As forto knowen who it dede; 6534 Riht so doth Stelthe in every stede, 6535 Where as him list his preie take. 6536 He can so wel his cause make 6537 And so wel feigne and so wel glose, 6538 That ther ne schal noman suppose, 6539 Bot that he were an innocent, 6540 And thus a mannes yhe he blent: 6541 So that this craft I mai remene 6542 Withouten help of eny mene. 6543 Ther be lovers of that degre, 6544 Which al here lust in privete, 6545 As who seith, geten al be Stelthe, 6546 And ofte atteignen to gret welthe 6547 As for the time that it lasteth. 6548 For love awaiteth evere and casteth 6549 Hou he mai stele and cacche his preie, 6550 Whan he therto mai finde a weie: 6551 For be it nyht or be it day, 6552 He takth his part, whan that he may, 6553 And if he mai nomore do, 6554 Yit wol he stele a cuss or tuo. 6555 Mi Sone, what seist thou therto? 6556 Tell if thou dedest evere so. 6557 Mi fader, hou? Mi Sone, thus,- 6558 If thou hast stolen eny cuss 6559 Or other thing which therto longeth, 6560 For noman suche thieves hongeth: 6561 Tell on forthi and sei the trouthe. 6562 Mi fader, nay, and that is routhe, 6563 For be mi will I am a thief; 6564 Bot sche that is to me most lief, 6565 Yit dorste I nevere in privete 6566 Noght ones take hire be the kne, 6567 To stele of hire or this or that, 6568 And if I dorste, I wot wel what: 6569 And natheles, bot if I lie, 6570 Be Stelthe ne be Robberie 6571 Of love, which fell in mi thoght, 6572 To hire dede I nevere noght. 6573 Bot as men sein, wher herte is failed, 6574 Ther schal no castell ben assailed; 6575 Bot thogh I hadde hertes ten, 6576 And were als strong as alle men, 6577 If I be noght myn oghne man 6578 And dar noght usen that I can, 6579 I mai miselve noght recovere. 6580 Thogh I be nevere man so povere, 6581 I bere an herte and hire it is, 6582 So that me faileth wit in this, 6583 Hou that I scholde of myn acord 6584 The servant lede ayein the lord: 6585 For if mi fot wolde awher go, 6586 Or that min hand wolde elles do, 6587 Whan that myn herte is therayein, 6588 The remenant is al in vein. 6589 And thus me lacketh alle wele, 6590 And yit ne dar I nothing stele 6591 Of thing which longeth unto love: 6592 And ek it is so hyh above, 6593 I mai noght wel therto areche, 6594 Bot if so be at time of speche, 6595 Ful selde if thanne I stele may 6596 A word or tuo and go my way. 6597 Betwen hire hih astat and me 6598 Comparison ther mai non be, 6599 So that I fiele and wel I wot, 6600 Al is to hevy and to hot 6601 To sette on hond withoute leve: 6602 And thus I mot algate leve 6603 To stele that I mai noght take, 6604 And in this wise I mot forsake 6605 To ben a thief ayein mi wille 6606 Of thing which I mai noght fulfille. 6607 For that Serpent which nevere slepte 6608 The flees of gold so wel ne kepte 6609 In Colchos, as the tale is told, 6610 That mi ladi a thousendfold 6611 Nys betre yemed and bewaked, 6612 Wher sche be clothed or be naked. 6613 To kepe hir bodi nyht and day, 6614 Sche hath a wardein redi ay, 6615 Which is so wonderful a wyht, 6616 That him ne mai no mannes myht 6617 With swerd ne with no wepne daunte, 6618 Ne with no sleihte of charme enchaunte, 6619 Wherof he mihte be mad tame, 6620 And Danger is his rihte name; 6621 Which under lock and under keie, 6622 That noman mai it stele aweie, 6623 Hath al the Tresor underfonge 6624 That unto love mai belonge. 6625 The leste lokinge of hire yhe 6626 Mai noght be stole, if he it syhe; 6627 And who so gruccheth for so lyte, 6628 He wolde sone sette a wyte 6629 On him that wolde stele more. 6630 And that me grieveth wonder sore, 6631 For this proverbe is evere newe, 6632 That stronge lokes maken trewe 6633 Of hem that wolden stele and pyke: 6634 For so wel can ther noman slyke 6635 Be him ne be non other mene, 6636 To whom Danger wol yive or lene 6637 Of that tresor he hath to kepe. 6638 So thogh I wolde stalke and crepe, 6639 And wayte on eve and ek on morwe, 6640 Of Danger schal I nothing borwe, 6641 And stele I wot wel may I noght: 6642 And thus I am riht wel bethoght, 6643 Whil Danger stant in his office, 6644 Of Stelthe, which ye clepe a vice, 6645 I schal be gultif neveremo. 6646 Therfore I wolde he were ago 6647 So fer that I nevere of him herde, 6648 Hou so that afterward it ferde: 6649 For thanne I mihte yit per cas 6650 Of love make som pourchas 6651 Be Stelthe or be som other weie, 6652 That nou fro me stant fer aweie. 6653 Bot, fader, as ye tolde above, 6654 Hou Stelthe goth a nyht for love, 6655 I mai noght wel that point forsake, 6656 That ofte times I ne wake 6657 On nyhtes, whan that othre slepe; 6658 Bot hou, I prei you taketh kepe. 6659 Whan I am loged in such wise 6660 That I be nyhte mai arise, 6661 At som wyndowe and loken oute 6662 And se the housinge al aboute, 6663 So that I mai the chambre knowe 6664 In which mi ladi, as I trowe, 6665 Lyth in hir bed and slepeth softe, 6666 Thanne is myn herte a thief fulofte: 6667 For there I stonde to beholde 6668 The longe nyhtes that ben colde, 6669 And thenke on hire that lyth there. 6670 And thanne I wisshe that I were 6671 Als wys as was Nectanabus 6672 Or elles as was Prothes, 6673 That couthen bothe of nigromaunce 6674 In what liknesse, in what semblaunce, 6675 Riht as hem liste, hemself transforme: 6676 For if I were of such a forme, 6677 I seie thanne I wolde fle 6678 Into the chambre forto se 6679 If eny grace wolde falle, 6680 So that I mihte under the palle 6681 Som thing of love pyke and stele. 6682 And thus I thenke thoghtes fele, 6683 And thogh therof nothing be soth, 6684 Yit ese as for a time it doth: 6685 Bot ate laste whanne I finde 6686 That I am falle into my mynde, 6687 And se that I have stonde longe 6688 And have no profit underfonge, 6689 Than stalke I to mi bedd withinne. 6690 And this is al that evere I winne 6691 Of love, whanne I walke on nyht: 6692 Mi will is good, bot of mi myht 6693 Me lacketh bothe and of mi grace; 6694 For what so that mi thoght embrace, 6695 Yit have I noght the betre ferd. 6696 Mi fader, lo, nou have ye herd 6697 What I be Stelthe of love have do, 6698 And hou mi will hath be therto: 6699 If I be worthi to penance 6700 I put it on your ordinance. 6701 Mi Sone, of Stelthe I the behiete, 6702 Thogh it be for a time swete, 6703 At ende it doth bot litel good, 6704 As be ensample hou that it stod 6705 Whilom, I mai thee telle nou. 6706 I preie you, fader, sei me hou. 6707 Mi Sone, of him which goth be daie 6708 Be weie of Stelthe to assaie, 6709 In loves cause and takth his preie, 6710 Ovide seide as I schal seie, 6711 And in his Methamor he tolde 6712 A tale, which is good to holde. 6713 The Poete upon this matiere 6714 Of Stelthe wrot in this manere. 6715 Venus, which hath this lawe in honde 6716 Of thing which mai noght be withstonde, 6717 As sche which the tresor to warde 6718 Of love hath withinne hir warde, 6719 Phebum to love hath so constreigned, 6720 That he withoute reste is peined 6721 With al his herte to coveite 6722 A Maiden, which was warded streyte 6723 Withinne chambre and kept so clos, 6724 That selden was whan sche desclos 6725 Goth with hir moder forto pleie. 6726 Leuchotoe, so as men seie, 6727 This Maiden hihte, and Orchamus 6728 Hir fader was; and befell thus. 6729 This doughter, that was kept so deere, 6730 And hadde be fro yer to yeere 6731 Under hir moder discipline 6732 A clene Maide and a Virgine, 6733 Upon the whos nativite 6734 Of comelihiede and of beaute 6735 Nature hath set al that sche may, 6736 That lich unto the fresshe Maii, 6737 Which othre monthes of the yeer 6738 Surmonteth, so withoute pier 6739 Was of this Maiden the feture. 6740 Wherof Phebus out of mesure 6741 Hire loveth, and on every syde 6742 Awaiteth, if so mai betyde, 6743 That he thurgh eny sleihte myhte 6744 Hire lusti maidenhod unrihte, 6745 The which were al his worldes welthe. 6746 And thus lurkende upon his stelthe 6747 In his await so longe he lai, 6748 Til it befell upon a dai, 6749 That he thurghout hir chambre wall 6750 Cam in al sodeinliche, and stall 6751 That thing which was to him so lief. 6752 Bot wo the while, he was a thief! 6753 For Venus, which was enemie 6754 Of thilke loves micherie, 6755 Discovereth al the pleine cas 6756 To Clymene, which thanne was 6757 Toward Phebus his concubine. 6758 And sche to lette the covine 6759 Of thilke love, dedli wroth 6760 To pleigne upon this Maide goth, 6761 And tolde hire fader hou it stod; 6762 Wherof for sorwe welnyh wod 6763 Unto hire moder thus he saide: 6764 "Lo, what it is to kepe a Maide! 6765 To Phebus dar I nothing speke, 6766 Bot upon hire I schal be wreke, 6767 So that these Maidens after this 6768 Mow take ensample, what it is 6769 To soffre her maidenhed be stole, 6770 Wherof that sche the deth schal thole." 6771 And bad with that do make a pet, 6772 Wherinne he hath his douhter set, 6773 As he that wol no pite have, 6774 So that sche was al quik begrave 6775 And deide anon in his presence. 6776 Bot Phebus, for the reverence 6777 Of that sche hadde be his love, 6778 Hath wroght thurgh his pouer above, 6779 That sche sprong up out of the molde 6780 Into a flour was named golde, 6781 Which stant governed of the Sonne. 6782 And thus whan love is evele wonne, 6783 Fulofte it comth to repentaile. 6784 Mi fader, that is no mervaile, 6785 Whan that the conseil is bewreid. 6786 Bot ofte time love hath pleid 6787 And stole many a prive game, 6788 Which nevere yit cam into blame, 6789 Whan that the thinges weren hidde. 6790 Bot in youre tale, as it betidde, 6791 Venus discoverede al the cas, 6792 And ek also brod dai it was, 6793 Whan Phebus such a Stelthe wroghte, 6794 Wherof the Maide in blame he broghte, 6795 That afterward sche was so lore. 6796 Bot for ye seiden nou tofore 6797 Hou stelthe of love goth be nyhte, 6798 And doth hise thinges out of syhte, 6799 Therof me liste also to hiere 6800 A tale lich to the matiere, 6801 Wherof I myhte ensample take. 6802 Mi goode Sone, and for thi sake, 6803 So as it fell be daies olde, 6804 And so as the Poete it tolde, 6805 Upon the nyhtes micherie 6806 Nou herkne a tale of Poesie. 6807 The myhtieste of alle men 6808 Whan Hercules with Eolen, 6809 Which was the love of his corage, 6810 Togedre upon a Pelrinage 6811 Towardes Rome scholden go, 6812 It fell hem be the weie so, 6813 That thei upon a dai a Cave 6814 Withinne a roche founden have, 6815 Which was real and glorious 6816 And of Entaile curious, 6817 Be name and Thophis it was hote. 6818 The Sonne schon tho wonder hote, 6819 As it was in the Somer tyde; 6820 This Hercules, which be his syde 6821 Hath Eolen his love there, 6822 Whan thei at thilke cave were, 6823 He seide it thoghte him for the beste 6824 That sche hire for the hete reste 6825 Al thilke day and thilke nyht; 6826 And sche, that was a lusti wyht, 6827 It liketh hire al that he seide: 6828 And thus thei duelle there and pleide 6829 The longe dai. And so befell, 6830 This Cave was under the hell 6831 Of Tymolus, which was begrowe 6832 With vines, and at thilke throwe 6833 Faunus with Saba the goddesse, 6834 Be whom the large wildernesse 6835 In thilke time stod governed, 6836 Weere in a place, as I am lerned, 6837 Nyh by, which Bachus wode hihte. 6838 This Faunus tok a gret insihte 6839 Of Eolen, that was so nyh; 6840 For whan that he hire beaute syh, 6841 Out of his wit he was assoted, 6842 And in his herte it hath so noted, 6843 That he forsok the Nimphes alle, 6844 And seide he wolde, hou so it falle, 6845 Assaie an other forto winne; 6846 So that his hertes thoght withinne 6847 He sette and caste hou that he myhte 6848 Of love pyke awey be nyhte 6849 That he be daie in other wise 6850 To stele mihte noght suffise: 6851 And therupon his time he waiteth. 6852 Nou tak good hiede hou love afaiteth 6853 Him which withal is overcome. 6854 Faire Eolen, whan sche was come 6855 With Hercules into the Cave, 6856 Sche seide him that sche wolde have 6857 Hise clothes of and hires bothe, 6858 That ech of hem scholde other clothe. 6859 And al was do riht as sche bad, 6860 He hath hire in hise clothes clad 6861 And caste on hire his gulion, 6862 Which of the Skyn of a Leoun 6863 Was mad, as he upon the weie 6864 It slouh, and overthis to pleie 6865 Sche tok his grete Mace also 6866 And knet it at hir gerdil tho. 6867 So was sche lich the man arraied, 6868 And Hercules thanne hath assaied 6869 To clothen him in hire array: 6870 And thus thei jape forth the dai, 6871 Til that her Souper redy were. 6872 And whan thei hadden souped there, 6873 Thei schopen hem to gon to reste; 6874 And as it thoghte hem for the beste, 6875 Thei bede, as for that ilke nyht, 6876 Tuo sondri beddes to be dyht, 6877 For thei togedre ligge nolde, 6878 Be cause that thei offre wolde 6879 Upon the morwe here sacrifice. 6880 The servantz deden here office 6881 And sondri beddes made anon, 6882 Wherin that thei to reste gon 6883 Ech be himself in sondri place. 6884 Faire Eole hath set the Mace 6885 Beside hire beddes hed above, 6886 And with the clothes of hire love 6887 Sche helede al hire bed aboute; 6888 And he, which hadde of nothing doute, 6889 Hire wympel wond aboute his cheke, 6890 Hire kertell and hire mantel eke 6891 Abrod upon his bed he spredde. 6892 And thus thei slepen bothe abedde; 6893 And what of travail, what of wyn, 6894 The servantz lich to drunke Swyn 6895 Begunne forto route faste. 6896 This Faunus, which his Stelthe caste, 6897 Was thanne come to the Cave, 6898 And fond thei weren alle save 6899 Withoute noise, and in he wente. 6900 The derke nyht his sihte blente, 6901 And yit it happeth him to go 6902 Where Eolen abedde tho 6903 Was leid al one for to slepe; 6904 Bot for he wolde take kepe 6905 Whos bed it was, he made assai, 6906 And of the Leoun, where it lay, 6907 The Cote he fond, and ek he fieleth 6908 The Mace, and thanne his herte kieleth, 6909 That there dorste he noght abyde, 6910 Bot stalketh upon every side 6911 And soghte aboute with his hond, 6912 That other bedd til that he fond, 6913 Wher lai bewympled a visage. 6914 Tho was he glad in his corage, 6915 For he hir kertell fond also 6916 And ek hir mantell bothe tuo 6917 Bespred upon the bed alofte. 6918 He made him naked thanne, and softe 6919 Into the bedd unwar he crepte, 6920 Wher Hercules that time slepte, 6921 And wende wel it were sche; 6922 And thus in stede of Eole 6923 Anon he profreth him to love. 6924 But he, which felte a man above, 6925 This Hercules, him threw to grounde 6926 So sore, that thei have him founde 6927 Liggende there upon the morwe; 6928 And tho was noght a litel sorwe, 6929 That Faunus of himselve made, 6930 Bot elles thei were alle glade 6931 And lowhen him to scorne aboute: 6932 Saba with Nimphis al a route 6933 Cam doun to loke hou that he ferde, 6934 And whan that thei the sothe herde, 6935 He was bejaped overal. 6936 Mi Sone, be thou war withal 6937 To seche suche mecheries, 6938 Bot if thou have the betre aspies, 6939 In aunter if the so betyde 6940 As Faunus dede thilke tyde, 6941 Wherof thou miht be schamed so. 6942 Min holi fader, certes no. 6943 Bot if I hadde riht good leve, 6944 Such mecherie I thenke leve: 6945 Mi feinte herte wol noght serve; 6946 For malgre wolde I noght deserve 6947 In thilke place wher I love. 6948 Bot for ye tolden hier above 6949 Of Covoitise and his pilage, 6950 If ther be more of that lignage, 6951 Which toucheth to mi schrifte, I preie 6952 That ye therof me wolde seie, 6953 So that I mai the vice eschuie. 6954 Mi Sone, if I be order suie 6955 The vices, as thei stonde arowe, 6956 Of Covoitise thou schalt knowe 6957 Ther is yit on, which is the laste; 6958 In whom ther mai no vertu laste, 6959 For he with god himself debateth, 6960 Wherof that al the hevene him hateth. 6961 The hihe god, which alle goode 6962 Pourveied hath for mannes fode 6963 Of clothes and of mete and drinke, 6964 Bad Adam that he scholde swinke 6965 To geten him his sustienance: 6966 And ek he sette an ordinance 6967 Upon the lawe of Moi5ses, 6968 That though a man be haveles, 6969 Yit schal he noght be thefte stele. 6970 Bot nou adaies ther ben fele, 6971 That wol no labour undertake, 6972 Bot what thei mai be Stelthe take 6973 Thei holde it sikerliche wonne. 6974 And thus the lawe is overronne, 6975 Which god hath set, and namely 6976 With hem that so untrewely 6977 The goodes robbe of holi cherche. 6978 The thefte which thei thanne werche 6979 Be name is cleped Sacrilegge, 6980 Ayein the whom I thenke alegge. 6981 Of his condicion to telle, 6982 Which rifleth bothe bok and belle, 6983 So forth with al the remenant 6984 To goddes hous appourtenant, 6985 Wher that he scholde bidde his bede, 6986 He doth his thefte in holi stede, 6987 And takth what thing he fint therinne: 6988 For whan he seth that he mai winne, 6989 He wondeth for no cursednesse, 6990 That he ne brekth the holinesse 6991 And doth to god no reverence; 6992 For he hath lost his conscience, 6993 That though the Prest therfore curse, 6994 He seith he fareth noght the wurse. 6995 And forto speke it otherwise, 6996 What man that lasseth the franchise 6997 And takth of holi cherche his preie, 6998 I not what bedes he schal preie. 6999 Whan he fro god, which hath yive al, 7000 The Pourpartie in special, 7001 Which unto Crist himself is due, 7002 Benymth, he mai noght wel eschue 7003 The peine comende afterward; 7004 For he hath mad his foreward 7005 With Sacrilegge forto duelle, 7006 Which hath his heritage in helle. 7007 And if we rede of tholde lawe, 7008 I finde write, in thilke dawe 7009 Of Princes hou ther weren thre 7010 Coupable sore in this degre. 7011 That on of hem was cleped thus, 7012 The proude king Antiochus; 7013 That other Nabuzardan hihte, 7014 Which of his crualte behyhte 7015 The temple to destruie and waste, 7016 And so he dede in alle haste; 7017 The thridde, which was after schamed, 7018 Was Nabugodonosor named, 7019 And he Jerusalem putte under, 7020 Of Sacrilegge and many a wonder 7021 There in the holi temple he wroghte, 7022 Which Baltazar his heir aboghte, 7023 Whan Mane, Techel, Phares write 7024 Was on the wal, as thou miht wite, 7025 So as the bible it hath declared. 7026 Bot for al that it is noght spared 7027 Yit nou aday, that men ne pile, 7028 And maken argument and skile 7029 To Sacrilegge as it belongeth, 7030 For what man that ther after longeth, 7031 He takth non hiede what he doth. 7032 And riht so, forto telle soth, 7033 In loves cause if I schal trete, 7034 Ther ben of suche smale and grete: 7035 If thei no leisir fynden elles, 7036 Thei wol noght wonden for the belles, 7037 Ne thogh thei sen the Prest at masse; 7038 That wol thei leten overpasse. 7039 If that thei finde here love there, 7040 Thei stonde and tellen in hire Ere, 7041 And axe of god non other grace, 7042 Whyl thei ben in that holi place; 7043 Bot er thei gon som avantage 7044 Ther wol thei have, and som pilage 7045 Of goodli word or of beheste, 7046 Or elles thei take ate leste 7047 Out of hir hand or ring or glove, 7048 So nyh the weder thei wol love, 7049 As who seith sche schal noght foryete, 7050 Nou I this tokne of hire have gete: 7051 Thus halwe thei the hihe feste. 7052 Such thefte mai no cherche areste, 7053 For al is leveful that hem liketh, 7054 To whom that elles it misliketh. 7055 And ek riht in the selve kinde 7056 In grete Cites men mai finde 7057 This lusti folk, that make it gay, 7058 And waite upon the haliday: 7059 In cherches and in Menstres eke 7060 Thei gon the wommen forto seke, 7061 And wher that such on goth aboute, 7062 Tofore the faireste of the route, 7063 Wher as thei sitten alle arewe, 7064 Ther wol he most his bodi schewe, 7065 His croket kembd and theron set 7066 A Nouche with a chapelet, 7067 Or elles on of grene leves, 7068 Which late com out of the greves, 7069 Al for he scholde seme freissh. 7070 And thus he loketh on the fleissh, 7071 Riht as an hauk which hath a sihte 7072 Upon the foul, ther he schal lihte; 7073 And as he were of faierie, 7074 He scheweth him tofore here yhe 7075 In holi place wher thei sitte, 7076 Al forto make here hertes flitte. 7077 His yhe nawher wole abyde, 7078 Bot loke and prie on every syde 7079 On hire and hire, as him best lyketh: 7080 And otherwhile among he syketh; 7081 Thenkth on of hem, "That was for me," 7082 And so ther thenken tuo or thre, 7083 And yit he loveth non of alle, 7084 Bot wher as evere his chance falle. 7085 And natheles to seie a soth, 7086 The cause why that he so doth 7087 Is forto stele an herte or tuo, 7088 Out of the cherche er that he go: 7089 And as I seide it hier above, 7090 Al is that Sacrilege of love; 7091 For wel mai be he stelth away 7092 That he nevere after yelde may. 7093 Tell me forthi, my Sone, anon, 7094 Hast thou do Sacrilege, or non, 7095 As I have said in this manere? 7096 Mi fader, as of this matiere 7097 I wole you tellen redely 7098 What I have do; bot trewely 7099 I mai excuse min entente, 7100 That nevere I yit to cherche wente 7101 In such manere as ye me schryve, 7102 For no womman that is on lyve. 7103 The cause why I have it laft 7104 Mai be for I unto that craft 7105 Am nothing able so to stele, 7106 Thogh ther be wommen noght so fele. 7107 Bot yit wol I noght seie this, 7108 Whan I am ther mi ladi is, 7109 In whom lith holly mi querele, 7110 And sche to cherche or to chapele 7111 Wol go to matins or to messe,- 7112 That time I waite wel and gesse, 7113 To cherche I come and there I stonde, 7114 And thogh I take a bok on honde, 7115 Mi contienance is on the bok, 7116 Bot toward hire is al my lok; 7117 And if so falle that I preie 7118 Unto mi god, and somwhat seie 7119 Of Paternoster or of Crede, 7120 Al is for that I wolde spede, 7121 So that mi bede in holi cherche 7122 Ther mihte som miracle werche 7123 Mi ladi herte forto chaunge, 7124 Which evere hath be to me so strange. 7125 So that al mi devocion 7126 And al mi contemplacion 7127 With al min herte and mi corage 7128 Is only set on hire ymage; 7129 And evere I waite upon the tyde. 7130 If sche loke eny thing asyde, 7131 That I me mai of hire avise, 7132 Anon I am with covoitise 7133 So smite, that me were lief 7134 To ben in holi cherche a thief; 7135 Bot noght to stele a vestement, 7136 For that is nothing mi talent, 7137 Bot I wold stele, if that I mihte, 7138 A glad word or a goodly syhte; 7139 And evere mi service I profre, 7140 And namly whan sche wol gon offre, 7141 For thanne I lede hire, if I may, 7142 For somwhat wolde I stele away. 7143 Whan I beclippe hire on the wast, 7144 Yit ate leste I stele a tast, 7145 And otherwhile "grant mercy" 7146 Sche seith, and so winne I therby 7147 A lusti touch, a good word eke, 7148 Bot al the remenant to seke 7149 Is fro mi pourpos wonder ferr. 7150 So mai I seie, as I seide er, 7151 In holy cherche if that I wowe, 7152 My conscience it wolde allowe, 7153 Be so that up amendement 7154 I mihte gete assignement 7155 Wher forto spede in other place: 7156 Such Sacrilege I holde a grace. 7157 And thus, mi fader, soth to seie, 7158 In cherche riht as in the weie, 7159 If I mihte oght of love take, 7160 Such hansell have I noght forsake. 7161 Bot finali I me confesse, 7162 Ther is in me non holinesse, 7163 Whil I hire se in eny stede; 7164 And yit, for oght that evere I dede, 7165 No Sacrilege of hire I tok, 7166 Bot if it were of word or lok, 7167 Or elles if that I hir fredde, 7168 Whan I toward offringe hir ledde, 7169 Take therof what I take may, 7170 For elles bere I noght away: 7171 For thogh I wolde oght elles have, 7172 Alle othre thinges ben so save 7173 And kept with such a privilege, 7174 That I mai do no Sacrilege. 7175 God wot mi wille natheles, 7176 Thogh I mot nedes kepe pes 7177 And malgre myn so let it passe, 7178 Mi will therto is noght the lasse, 7179 If I mihte other wise aweie. 7180 Forthi, mi fader, I you preie, 7181 Tell what you thenketh therupon, 7182 If I therof have gult or non. 7183 Thi will, mi Sone, is forto blame, 7184 The remenant is bot a game, 7185 That I have herd the telle as yit. 7186 Bot tak this lore into thi wit, 7187 That alle thing hath time and stede, 7188 The cherche serveth for the bede, 7189 The chambre is of an other speche. 7190 Bot if thou wistest of the wreche, 7191 Hou Sacrilege it hath aboght, 7192 Thou woldest betre ben bethoght; 7193 And for thou schalt the more amende, 7194 A tale I wole on the despende. 7195 To alle men, as who seith, knowe 7196 It is, and in the world thurgh blowe, 7197 Hou that of Troie Lamedon 7198 To Hercules and to Jasoun, 7199 Whan toward Colchos out of Grece 7200 Be See sailende upon a piece 7201 Of lond of Troie reste preide,- 7202 Bot he hem wrathfulli congeide: 7203 And for thei founde him so vilein, 7204 Whan thei come into Grece ayein, 7205 With pouer that thei gete myhte 7206 Towardes Troie thei hem dyhte, 7207 And ther thei token such vengance, 7208 Wherof stant yit the remembrance; 7209 For thei destruide king and al, 7210 And leften bot the brente wal. 7211 The Grecs of Troiens many slowe 7212 And prisoners thei toke ynowe, 7213 Among the whiche ther was on, 7214 The kinges doughter Lamedon, 7215 Esiona, that faire thing, 7216 Which unto Thelamon the king 7217 Be Hercules and be thassent 7218 Of al the hole parlement 7219 Was at his wille yove and granted. 7220 And thus hath Grece Troie danted, 7221 And hom thei torne in such manere: 7222 Bot after this nou schalt thou hiere 7223 The cause why this tale I telle, 7224 Upon the chances that befelle. 7225 King Lamedon, which deide thus, 7226 He hadde a Sone, on Priamus, 7227 Which was noght thilke time at hom: 7228 Bot whan he herde of this, he com, 7229 And fond hou the Cite was falle, 7230 Which he began anon to walle 7231 And made ther a cite newe, 7232 That thei whiche othre londes knewe 7233 Tho seiden, that of lym and Ston 7234 In al the world so fair was non. 7235 And on that o side of the toun 7236 The king let maken Ylioun, 7237 That hihe Tour, that stronge place, 7238 Which was adrad of no manace 7239 Of quarel nor of non engin; 7240 And thogh men wolde make a Myn, 7241 No mannes craft it mihte aproche, 7242 For it was sett upon a roche. 7243 The walles of the toun aboute, 7244 Hem stod of al the world no doute, 7245 And after the proporcion 7246 Sex gates weren of the toun 7247 Of such a forme, of such entaile, 7248 That hem to se was gret mervaile: 7249 The diches weren brode and depe, 7250 A fewe men it mihte kepe 7251 From al the world, as semeth tho, 7252 Bot if the goddes weren fo. 7253 Gret presse unto that cite drouh, 7254 So that ther was of poeple ynouh, 7255 Of Burgeis that therinne duellen; 7256 Ther mai no mannes tunge tellen 7257 Hou that cite was riche of good. 7258 Whan al was mad and al wel stod, 7259 King Priamus tho him bethoghte 7260 What thei of Grece whilom wroghte, 7261 And what was of her swerd devoured, 7262 And hou his Soster deshonoured 7263 With Thelamon awey was lad: 7264 And so thenkende he wax unglad, 7265 And sette anon a parlement, 7266 To which the lordes were assent. 7267 In many a wise ther was spoke, 7268 Hou that thei mihten ben awroke, 7269 Bot ate laste natheles 7270 Thei seiden alle, "Acord and pes." 7271 To setten either part in reste 7272 It thoghte hem thanne for the beste 7273 With resonable amendement; 7274 And thus was Anthenor forth sent 7275 To axe Esionam ayein 7276 And witen what thei wolden sein. 7277 So passeth he the See be barge 7278 To Grece forto seie his charge, 7279 The which he seide redely 7280 Unto the lordes by and by: 7281 Bot where he spak in Grece aboute, 7282 He herde noght bot wordes stoute, 7283 And nameliche of Thelamon; 7284 The maiden wolde he noght forgon, 7285 He seide, for no maner thing, 7286 And bad him gon hom to his king, 7287 For there gat he non amende 7288 For oght he couthe do or sende. 7289 This Anthenor ayein goth hom 7290 Unto his king, and whan he com, 7291 He tolde in Grece of that he herde, 7292 And hou that Thelamon ansuerde, 7293 And hou thei were at here above, 7294 That thei wol nouther pes ne love, 7295 Bot every man schal don his beste. 7296 Bot for men sein that nyht hath reste, 7297 The king bethoghte him al that nyht, 7298 And erli, whan the dai was lyht, 7299 He tok conseil of this matiere; 7300 And thei acorde in this manere, 7301 That he withouten eny lette 7302 A certein time scholde sette 7303 Of Parlement to ben avised: 7304 And in the wise it was devised, 7305 Of parlement he sette a day, 7306 And that was in the Monthe of Maii. 7307 This Priamus hadde in his yhte 7308 A wif, and Hecuba sche hyhte, 7309 Be whom that time ek hadde he 7310 Of Sones fyve, and douhtres thre 7311 Besiden hem, and thritty mo, 7312 And weren knyhtes alle tho, 7313 Bot noght upon his wif begete, 7314 Bot elles where he myhte hem gete 7315 Of wommen whiche he hadde knowe; 7316 Such was the world at thilke throwe: 7317 So that he was of children riche, 7318 As therof was noman his liche. 7319 Of Parlement the dai was come, 7320 Ther ben the lordes alle and some; 7321 Tho was pronounced and pourposed, 7322 And al the cause hem was desclosed, 7323 Hou Anthenor in Grece ferde. 7324 Thei seten alle stille and herde, 7325 And tho spak every man aboute: 7326 Ther was alegged many a doute, 7327 And many a proud word spoke also; 7328 Bot for the moste part as tho 7329 Thei wisten noght what was the beste, 7330 Or forto werre or forto reste. 7331 Bot he that was withoute fere, 7332 Hector, among the lordes there 7333 His tale tolde in such a wise, 7334 And seide, "Lordes, ye ben wise, 7335 Ye knowen this als wel as I, 7336 Above all othre most worthi 7337 Stant nou in Grece the manhode 7338 Of worthinesse and of knihthode; 7339 For who so wole it wel agrope, 7340 To hem belongeth al Europe, 7341 Which is the thridde parti evene 7342 Of al the world under the hevene; 7343 And we be bot of folk a fewe. 7344 So were it reson forto schewe 7345 The peril, er we falle thrinne: 7346 Betre is to leve, than beginne 7347 Thing which as mai noght ben achieved; 7348 He is noght wys that fint him grieved, 7349 And doth so that his grief be more; 7350 For who that loketh al tofore 7351 And wol noght se what is behinde, 7352 He mai fulofte hise harmes finde: 7353 Wicke is to stryve and have the worse. 7354 We have encheson forto corse, 7355 This wot I wel, and forto hate 7356 The Greks; bot er that we debate 7357 With hem that ben of such a myht, 7358 It is ful good that every wiht 7359 Be of himself riht wel bethoght. 7360 Bot as for me this seie I noght; 7361 For while that mi lif wol stonde, 7362 If that ye taken werre on honde, 7363 Falle it to beste or to the werste, 7364 I schal miselven be the ferste 7365 To grieven hem, what evere I may. 7366 I wol noght ones seie nay 7367 To thing which that youre conseil demeth, 7368 For unto me wel more it quemeth 7369 The werre certes than the pes; 7370 Bot this I seie natheles, 7371 As me belongeth forto seie. 7372 Nou schape ye the beste weie." 7373 Whan Hector hath seid his avis, 7374 Next after him tho spak Paris, 7375 Which was his brother, and alleide 7376 What him best thoghte, and thus he seide: 7377 "Strong thing it is to soffre wrong, 7378 And suffre schame is more strong, 7379 Bot we have suffred bothe tuo; 7380 And for al that yit have we do 7381 What so we mihte to reforme 7382 The pes, whan we in such a forme 7383 Sente Anthenor, as ye wel knowe. 7384 And thei here grete wordes blowe 7385 Upon her wrongful dedes eke; 7386 And who that wole himself noght meke 7387 To pes, and list no reson take, 7388 Men sein reson him wol forsake: 7389 For in the multitude of men 7390 Is noght the strengthe, for with ten 7391 It hath be sen in trew querele 7392 Ayein an hundred false dele, 7393 And had the betre of goddes grace. 7394 This hath befalle in many place; 7395 And if it like unto you alle, 7396 I wolde assaie, hou so it falle, 7397 Oure enemis if I mai grieve; 7398 For I have cawht a gret believe 7399 Upon a point I wol declare. 7400 This ender day, as I gan fare 7401 To hunte unto the grete hert, 7402 Which was tofore myn houndes stert, 7403 And every man went on his syde 7404 Him to poursuie, and I to ryde 7405 Began the chace, and soth to seie, 7406 Withinne a while out of mi weie 7407 I rod, and nyste where I was. 7408 And slep me cauhte, and on the gras 7409 Beside a welle I lay me doun 7410 To slepe, and in a visioun 7411 To me the god Mercurie cam; 7412 Goddesses thre with him he nam, 7413 Minerve, Venus and Juno, 7414 And in his hond an Appel tho 7415 He hield of gold with lettres write: 7416 And this he dede me to wite, 7417 Hou that thei putt hem upon me, 7418 That to the faireste of hem thre 7419 Of gold that Appel scholde I yive. 7420 With ech of hem tho was I schrive, 7421 And echon faire me behihte; 7422 Bot Venus seide, if that sche mihte 7423 That Appel of mi yifte gete, 7424 Sche wolde it neveremor foryete, 7425 And seide hou that in Grece lond 7426 Sche wolde bringe unto myn hond 7427 Of al this Erthe the faireste; 7428 So that me thoghte it for the beste, 7429 To hire and yaf that Appel tho. 7430 Thus hope I wel, if that I go, 7431 That sche for me wol so ordeine, 7432 That thei matiere forto pleigne 7433 Schul have, er that I come ayein. 7434 Nou have ye herd that I wol sein: 7435 Sey ye what stant in youre avis." 7436 And every man tho seide his, 7437 And sundri causes thei recorde, 7438 Bot ate laste thei acorde 7439 That Paris schal to Grece wende, 7440 And thus the parlement tok ende. 7441 Cassandra, whan sche herde of this, 7442 The which to Paris Soster is, 7443 Anon sche gan to wepe and weile, 7444 And seide, "Allas, what mai ous eile? 7445 Fortune with hire blinde whiel 7446 Ne wol noght lete ous stonde wel: 7447 For this I dar wel undertake, 7448 That if Paris his weie take, 7449 As it is seid that he schal do, 7450 We ben for evere thanne undo." 7451 This, which Cassandre thanne hihte, 7452 In al the world as it berth sihte, 7453 In bokes as men finde write, 7454 Is that Sibille of whom ye wite, 7455 That alle men yit clepen sage. 7456 Whan that sche wiste of this viage, 7457 Hou Paris schal to Grece fare, 7458 No womman mihte worse fare 7459 Ne sorwe more than sche dede; 7460 And riht so in the same stede 7461 Ferde Helenus, which was hir brother, 7462 Of prophecie and such an other: 7463 And al was holde bot a jape, 7464 So that the pourpos which was schape, 7465 Or were hem lief or were hem loth, 7466 Was holde, and into Grece goth 7467 This Paris with his retenance. 7468 And as it fell upon his chance, 7469 Of Grece he londeth in an yle, 7470 And him was told the same whyle 7471 Of folk which he began to freyne, 7472 Tho was in thyle queene Heleyne, 7473 And ek of contres there aboute 7474 Of ladis many a lusti route, 7475 With mochel worthi poeple also. 7476 And why thei comen theder tho, 7477 The cause stod in such a wise,- 7478 For worschipe and for sacrifise 7479 That thei to Venus wolden make, 7480 As thei tofore hadde undertake, 7481 Some of good will, some of beheste, 7482 For thanne was hire hihe feste 7483 Withinne a temple which was there. 7484 Whan Paris wiste what thei were, 7485 Anon he schop his ordinance 7486 To gon and don his obeissance 7487 To Venus on hire holi day, 7488 And dede upon his beste aray. 7489 With gret richesse he him behongeth, 7490 As it to such a lord belongeth, 7491 He was noght armed natheles, 7492 Bot as it were in lond of pes, 7493 And thus he goth forth out of Schipe 7494 And takth with him his felaschipe: 7495 In such manere as I you seie 7496 Unto the temple he hield his weie. 7497 Tydinge, which goth overal 7498 To grete and smale, forth withal 7499 Com to the queenes Ere and tolde 7500 Hou Paris com, and that he wolde 7501 Do sacrifise to Venus: 7502 And whan sche herde telle thus, 7503 Sche thoghte, hou that it evere be, 7504 That sche wole him abyde and se. 7505 Forth comth Paris with glad visage 7506 Into the temple on pelrinage, 7507 Wher unto Venus the goddesse 7508 He yifth and offreth gret richesse, 7509 And preith hir that he preie wolde. 7510 And thanne aside he gan beholde, 7511 And sih wher that this ladi stod; 7512 And he forth in his freisshe mod 7513 Goth ther sche was and made her chiere, 7514 As he wel couthe in his manere, 7515 That of his wordes such plesance 7516 Sche tok, that al hire aqueintance, 7517 Als ferforth as the herte lay, 7518 He stal er that he wente away. 7519 So goth he forth and tok his leve, 7520 And thoghte, anon as it was eve, 7521 He wolde don his Sacrilegge, 7522 That many a man it scholde abegge. 7523 Whan he to Schipe ayein was come, 7524 To him he hath his conseil nome, 7525 And al devised the matiere 7526 In such a wise as thou schalt hiere. 7527 Withinne nyht al prively 7528 His men he warneth by and by, 7529 That thei be redy armed sone 7530 For certein thing which was to done: 7531 And thei anon ben redi alle, 7532 And ech on other gan to calle, 7533 And went hem out upon the stronde 7534 And tok a pourpos ther alonde 7535 Of what thing that thei wolden do, 7536 Toward the temple and forth thei go. 7537 So fell it, of devocion 7538 Heleine in contemplacion 7539 With many an other worthi wiht 7540 Was in the temple and wok al nyht, 7541 To bidde and preie unto thymage 7542 Of Venus, as was thanne usage; 7543 So that Paris riht as him liste 7544 Into the temple, er thei it wiste, 7545 Com with his men al sodeinly, 7546 And alle at ones sette ascry 7547 In hem whiche in the temple were, 7548 For tho was mochel poeple there; 7549 Bot of defense was no bote, 7550 So soffren thei that soffre mote. 7551 Paris unto the queene wente, 7552 And hire in bothe hise armes hente 7553 With him and with his felaschipe, 7554 And forth thei bere hire unto Schipe. 7555 Up goth the Seil and forth thei wente, 7556 And such a wynd fortune hem sente, 7557 Til thei the havene of Troie cauhte; 7558 Where out of Schipe anon thei strauhte 7559 And gon hem forth toward the toun, 7560 The which cam with processioun 7561 Ayein Paris to sen his preie. 7562 And every man began to seie 7563 To Paris and his felaschipe 7564 Al that thei couthen of worschipe; 7565 Was non so litel man in Troie, 7566 That he ne made merthe and joie 7567 Of that Paris hath wonne Heleine. 7568 Bot al that merthe is sorwe and peine 7569 To Helenus and to Cassaundre; 7570 For thei it token schame and sklaundre 7571 And lost of al the comun grace, 7572 That Paris out of holi place 7573 Be Stelthe hath take a mannes wif, 7574 Wherof that he schal lese his lif 7575 And many a worthi man therto, 7576 And al the Cite be fordo, 7577 Which nevere schal be mad ayein. 7578 And so it fell, riht as thei sein, 7579 The Sacrilege which he wroghte 7580 Was cause why the Gregois soughte 7581 Unto the toun and it beleie, 7582 And wolden nevere parte aweie, 7583 Til what be sleihte and what be strengthe 7584 Thei hadde it wonne in brede and lengthe, 7585 And brent and slayn that was withinne. 7586 Now se, mi Sone, which a sinne 7587 Is Sacrilege in holy stede: 7588 Be war therfore and bidd thi bede, 7589 And do nothing in holy cherche, 7590 Bot that thou miht be reson werche. 7591 And ek tak hiede of Achilles, 7592 Whan he unto his love ches 7593 Polixena, that was also 7594 In holi temple of Appollo, 7595 Which was the cause why he dyde 7596 And al his lust was leyd asyde. 7597 And Troilus upon Criseide 7598 Also his ferste love leide 7599 In holi place, and hou it ferde, 7600 As who seith, al the world it herde; 7601 Forsake he was for Diomede, 7602 Such was of love his laste mede. 7603 Forthi, mi Sone, I wolde rede, 7604 Be this ensample as thou myht rede, 7605 Sech elles, wher thou wolt, thi grace, 7606 And war the wel in holi place 7607 What thou to love do or speke, 7608 In aunter if it so be wreke 7609 As thou hast herd me told before. 7610 And tak good hiede also therfore 7611 Upon what forme, of Avarice 7612 Mor than of eny other vice, 7613 I have divided in parties 7614 The branches, whiche of compainies 7615 Thurghout the world in general 7616 Ben nou the leders overal, 7617 Of Covoitise and of Perjure, 7618 Of fals brocage and of Usure, 7619 Of Skarsnesse and Unkindeschipe, 7620 Which nevere drouh to felaschipe, 7621 Of Robberie and privi Stelthe, 7622 Which don is for the worldes welthe, 7623 Of Ravine and of Sacrilegge, 7624 Which makth the conscience agregge; 7625 Althogh it mai richesse atteigne, 7626 It floureth, bot it schal noght greine 7627 Unto the fruit of rihtwisnesse. 7628 Bot who that wolde do largesse 7629 Upon the reule as it is yive, 7630 So myhte a man in trouthe live 7631 Toward his god, and ek also 7632 Toward the world, for bothe tuo 7633 Largesse awaiteth as belongeth, 7634 To neither part that he ne wrongeth; 7635 He kepth himself, he kepth his frendes, 7636 So stant he sauf to bothe hise endes, 7637 That he excedeth no mesure, 7638 So wel he can himself mesure: 7639 Wherof, mi Sone, thou schalt wite, 7640 So as the Philosophre hath write. 7641 Betwen the tuo extremites 7642 Of vice stant the propretes 7643 Of vertu, and to prove it so 7644 Tak Avarice and tak also 7645 The vice of Prodegalite; 7646 Betwen hem Liberalite, 7647 Which is the vertu of Largesse, 7648 Stant and governeth his noblesse. 7649 For tho tuo vices in discord 7650 Stonde evere, as I finde of record; 7651 So that betwen here tuo debat 7652 Largesse reuleth his astat. 7653 For in such wise as Avarice, 7654 As I tofore have told the vice, 7655 Thurgh streit holdinge and thurgh skarsnesse 7656 Stant in contraire to Largesse, 7657 Riht so stant Prodegalite 7658 Revers, bot noght in such degre. 7659 For so as Avarice spareth, 7660 And forto kepe his tresor careth, 7661 That other al his oghne and more 7662 Ayein the wise mannes lore 7663 Yifth and despendeth hiere and there, 7664 So that him reccheth nevere where. 7665 While he mai borwe, he wol despende, 7666 Til ate laste he seith, "I wende"; 7667 Bot that is spoken al to late, 7668 For thanne is poverte ate gate 7669 And takth him evene be the slieve, 7670 For erst wol he no wisdom lieve. 7671 And riht as Avarice is Sinne, 7672 That wolde his tresor kepe and winne, 7673 Riht so is Prodegalite: 7674 Bot of Largesse in his degre, 7675 Which evene stant betwen the tuo, 7676 The hihe god and man also 7677 The vertu ech of hem commendeth. 7678 For he himselven ferst amendeth, 7679 That overal his name spredeth, 7680 And to alle othre, where it nedeth, 7681 He yifth his good in such a wise, 7682 That he makth many a man arise, 7683 Which elles scholde falle lowe. 7684 Largesce mai noght ben unknowe; 7685 For what lond that he regneth inne, 7686 It mai noght faile forto winne 7687 Thurgh his decerte love and grace, 7688 Wher it schal faile in other place. 7689 And thus betwen tomoche and lyte 7690 Largesce, which is noght to wyte, 7691 Halt evere forth the middel weie: 7692 Bot who that torne wole aweie 7693 Fro that to Prodegalite, 7694 Anon he lest the proprete 7695 Of vertu and goth to the vice; 7696 For in such wise as Avarice 7697 Lest for scarsnesse his goode name, 7698 Riht so that other is to blame, 7699 Which thurgh his wast mesure excedeth, 7700 For noman wot what harm that bredeth. 7701 Bot mochel joie ther betydeth, 7702 Wher that largesse an herte guydeth: 7703 For his mesure is so governed, 7704 That he to bothe partz is lerned, 7705 To god and to the world also, 7706 He doth reson to bothe tuo. 7707 The povere folk of his almesse 7708 Relieved ben in the destresse 7709 Of thurst, of hunger and of cold; 7710 The yifte of him was nevere sold, 7711 Bot frely yive, and natheles 7712 The myhti god of his encress 7713 Rewardeth him of double grace; 7714 The hevene he doth him to pourchace 7715 And yifth him ek the worldes good: 7716 And thus the Cote for the hod 7717 Largesse takth, and yit no Sinne 7718 He doth, hou so that evere he winne. 7719 What man hath hors men yive him hors, 7720 And who non hath of him no fors, 7721 For he mai thanne on fote go; 7722 The world hath evere stonde so. 7723 Bot forto loken of the tweie, 7724 A man to go the siker weie, 7725 Betre is to yive than to take: 7726 With yifte a man mai frendes make, 7727 Bot who that takth or gret or smal, 7728 He takth a charge forth withal, 7729 And stant noght fre til it be quit. 7730 So forto deme in mannes wit, 7731 It helpeth more a man to have 7732 His oghne good, than forto crave 7733 Of othre men and make him bounde, 7734 Wher elles he mai stonde unbounde. 7735 Senec conseileth in this wise, 7736 And seith, "Bot, if thi good suffise 7737 Unto the liking of thi wille, 7738 Withdrawh thi lust and hold the stille, 7739 And be to thi good sufficant." 7740 For that thing is appourtenant 7741 To trouthe and causeth to be fre 7742 After the reule of charite, 7743 Which ferst beginneth of himselve. 7744 For if thou richest othre tuelve, 7745 Wherof thou schalt thiself be povere, 7746 I not what thonk thou miht recovere. 7747 Whil that a man hath good to yive, 7748 With grete routes he mai live 7749 And hath his frendes overal, 7750 And everich of him telle schal. 7751 Therwhile he hath his fulle packe, 7752 Thei seie, "A good felawe is Jacke"; 7753 Bot whanne it faileth ate laste, 7754 Anon his pris thei overcaste, 7755 For thanne is ther non other lawe 7756 Bot, "Jacke was a good felawe." 7757 Whan thei him povere and nedy se, 7758 Thei lete him passe and farwel he; 7759 Al that he wende of compainie 7760 Is thanne torned to folie. 7761 Bot nou to speke in other kinde 7762 Of love, a man mai suche finde, 7763 That wher thei come in every route 7764 Thei caste and waste her love aboute, 7765 Til al here time is overgon, 7766 And thanne have thei love non: 7767 For who that loveth overal, 7768 It is no reson that he schal 7769 Of love have eny proprete. 7770 Forthi, mi Sone, avise thee 7771 If thou of love hast be to large, 7772 For such a man is noght to charge: 7773 And if it so be that thou hast 7774 Despended al thi time in wast 7775 And set thi love in sondri place, 7776 Though thou the substance of thi grace 7777 Lese ate laste, it is no wonder; 7778 For he that put himselven under, 7779 As who seith, comun overal, 7780 He lest the love special 7781 Of eny on, if sche be wys; 7782 For love schal noght bere his pris 7783 Be reson, whanne it passeth on. 7784 So have I sen ful many on, 7785 That were of love wel at ese, 7786 Whiche after felle in gret desese 7787 Thurgh wast of love, that thei spente 7788 In sondri places wher thei wente. 7789 Riht so, mi Sone, I axe of thee 7790 If thou with Prodegalite 7791 Hast hier and ther thi love wasted. 7792 Mi fader, nay; bot I have tasted 7793 In many a place as I have go, 7794 And yit love I nevere on of tho, 7795 Bot forto drive forth the dai. 7796 For lieveth wel, myn herte is ay 7797 Withoute mo for everemore 7798 Al upon on, for I nomore 7799 Desire bot hire love al one: 7800 So make I many a prive mone, 7801 For wel I fiele I have despended 7802 Mi longe love and noght amended 7803 Mi sped, for oght I finde yit. 7804 If this be wast to youre wit 7805 Of love, and Prodegalite, 7806 Nou, goode fader, demeth ye: 7807 Bot of o thing I wol me schryve, 7808 That I schal for no love thryve, 7809 Bot if hirself me wol relieve. 7810 Mi Sone, that I mai wel lieve: 7811 And natheles me semeth so, 7812 For oght that thou hast yit misdo 7813 Of time which thou hast despended, 7814 It mai with grace ben amended. 7815 For thing which mai be worth the cost 7816 Per chaunce is nouther wast ne lost; 7817 For what thing stant on aventure, 7818 That can no worldes creature 7819 Telle in certein hou it schal wende, 7820 Til he therof mai sen an ende. 7821 So that I not as yit therfore 7822 If thou, mi Sone, hast wonne or lore: 7823 For ofte time, as it is sene, 7824 Whan Somer hath lost al his grene 7825 And is with Wynter wast and bare, 7826 That him is left nothing to spare, 7827 Al is recovered in a throwe; 7828 The colde wyndes overblowe, 7829 And still be the scharpe schoures, 7830 And soudeinliche ayein his floures 7831 The Somer hapneth and is riche: 7832 And so per cas thi graces liche, 7833 Mi Sone, thogh thou be nou povere 7834 Of love, yit thou miht recovere. 7835 Mi fader, certes grant merci: 7836 Ye have me tawht so redeli, 7837 That evere whil I live schal 7838 The betre I mai be war withal 7839 Of thing which ye have seid er this. 7840 Bot overmore hou that it is, 7841 Toward mi schrifte as it belongeth, 7842 To wite of othre pointz me longeth; 7843 Wherof that ye me wolden teche 7844 With al myn herte I you beseche. Explicit Liber Quintus.