Cleanness

Online text copyright 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Gary Shawver, ed., in Using TACTand Electronic Texts: Text-Analysis Computing Tools Vers. 2.1 for MS-DOS and PC DOS, by I. Lancashire, in collaboration with J. Bradley, W. McCarty, M. Stairs, and T. R. Wooldridge (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1996). CD-ROM.
First publication date: 1375-1400
Publication date note: British Library Cotton Nero A.x, art. 3, ca.1375?-1400?
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition:RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/5/17
Composition date note: late 14th century
Form: four-stress alliterative lines

1 Clannesse who so kyndly cowe comende
2 & rekken vp alle e resounz þat ho by ri3t askez,
3 Fayre formez my3t he fynde in for[þ]ering his speche
4 & in þe contrare kark & combraunce huge.
5 For wonder wroth is þe Wy3þat wro3t alle þinges
6 Wyth þe freke þat in fylþe fol3es Hym after,
7 As renkez of relygioun þat reden & syngen
8 & aprochen to hys presens & prestez arn called;
9 Thay teen vnto his temmple & temen to hym seluen,
10 Reken with reuerence þay rychen His auter;
11 Þay hondel þer his aune body & vsen hit boþe.
12 If þay in clannes be clos þay cleche gret mede;
13 Bot if þay conterfete crafte & cortaysye wont,
14 As be honest vtwyth & inwith alle fylþez,
15 Þen ar þay synful hemself & sulped altogeder
16 Boþe God & His gere, & hym to greme cachen.
17 He is so clene in His courte, þe Kyng þat al weldez,
18 & honeste in His housholde & hagherlych serued
19 With angelez enourled in alle þat is clene,
20 Boþ withine & withouten in wedez ful bry3t;
21 Nif he nere scoymus & skyg & non scaþe louied,
22 Hit were a meruayl to much, hit mo3t not falle.
23 Kryst kydde hit Hymself in a carp onez,
24 Þeras He heuened a3t happez & hy3t hem her medez.
25 Me mynez on one amonge oþer, as Maþew recordez,
26 Þat þus clanness vnclosez a ful cler speche:
27 Þe haþel clene of his hert hapenez ful fayre,
28 For he schal loke on oure Lorde with a bone chere';
29 As so saytz, to þat sy3t seche schal he neuer
30 Þat any vnclannesse hatz on, auwhere abowte;
31 For He þat flemus vch fylþe fer fro His hert
32 May not byde þat burre þat hit His body ne3en.
33 Forþy hy3not to heuen in haterez totorne,
34 Ne in þe harlatez hod, & handez vnwaschen.
35 For what vrþly haþel þat hy3honour haldez
36 Wolde lyke if a ladde com lyþerly attyred,
37 When he were sette solempnely in a sete ryche,
38 Abof dukez on dece, with dayntys serued?
39 Þen þe harlot with haste helded to þe table,
40 With rent cokrez at þe kne & his clutte traschez,
41 & his tabarde totorne, & his totez oute,
42 Oþer ani on of alle þyse, he schulde be halden vtter,
43 With mony blame ful bygge, a boffet peraunter,
44 Hurled to þe halle dore & harde þeroute schowued,
45 & be forboden þat bor3e to bowe þider neuer,
46 On payne of enprysonment & puttyng in stokkez;
47 & þus schal he be schent for his schrowde feble,
48 Þa3neuer in talle ne in tuch he trespas more.
49 & if vnwelcum he were to a worþlych prynce,
50 3et hym is þe hy3e Kyng harder in her euen;
51 As Maþew melez in his masse of þat man ryche,
52 Þat made þe mukel mangerye to marie his here dere,
53 & sende his sonde þen to say þat þay samne schulde,
54 & in comly quoyntis to com to his feste:
55 'For my boles & my borez arn bayted & slayne,
56 & my fedde foulez fatted with scla3t,
57 My polyle þat is penne-fed & partrykez boþe,
58 Wyth scheldez of wylde swyn, swanez & cronez,
59 Al is roþeled & rosted ry3t to þe sete;
60 Comez cof to my corte, er hit colde worþe.'
61 When þay knewen his cal þat þider com schulde,
62 Alle excused hem by þe skyly he scape by mo3t.
63 On hade bo3t hym a bor3, he sayde, by hys trawþe:
64 'Now turne I þeder als tyd þe toun to byholde.'
65 Anoþer nayed also & nurned þis cawse:
66 'I haf3erned &3at3okkez of oxen,
67 & for my hy3ez hem bo3t; to bowe haf I mester,
68 To see hem pulle in þe plow aproche me byhouez.'
69 '& I haf wedded a wyf,' so wer hym þe þryd;
70 'Excuse me at þe court, I may not com þere.'
71 Þus þay dro3hem adre3with daunger vchone,
72 Þat non passed to þe plate þa3he prayed were.
73 Thenne þe ludych lorde lyked ful ille,
74 & hade dedayn of þat dede; ful dry3ly he carpez.
75 He saytz: 'Now for her owne sor3e þay forsaken habbez;
76 More to wyte is her wrange þen any wylle gentyl.
77 Þenne gotz forth, my gomez, þe grete streetez,
78 & forsettz on vche a syde þe cete aboute;
79 Þe wayferande frekez, on fote & on hors,
80 Boþe burnez & burdez, þe better & þe wers,
81 Laþez hem alle luflyly to lenge at my fest,
82 & bryngez hem blyþly to bor3e as barounez þay were,
83 So þat my palays plat ful be py3t al aboute;
84 Þise oþer wrechez iwysse worþy no3t wern.'
85 Þen þay cayred & com þat þe cost waked,
86 Bro3ten bachlerez hem wyth þat þay by bonkez metten,
87 Swyerez þat swyftly swyed on blonkez,
88 & als fele vpon fote, of fre & of bonde.
89 When þay com to þe courte keppte weren þay fayre,
90 Sty3tled with þe stewarde, stad in þe halle,
91 Ful manerly with marchal mad for to sitte,
92 As he watz dere of degre dressed his seete.
93 Þenne seggez to þe souerayn sayden þerafter:
94 'Lo! Lorde, with your leue, at your lege heste
95 & at þi banne we haf bro3t, as þou beden habbez,
96 Mony renischsche renkez, &3et is roum more.'
97 Sayde þe lorde to þo ledez, 'Laytez3et ferre,
98 Ferre out in þe felde, & fechez mo gestez;
99 Waytez gorstez & greuez, if ani gomez lyggez;
100 Whatkyn folk so þer fare, fechez hem hider;
101 Be þay fers, be þay feble, forlotez none,
102 Be þay hol, be þay halt, be þay ony3ed,
103 & þa3þay ben boþe blynde & balterande cruppelez,
104 Þat my hous may holly by halkez by fylled.
105 For, certez, þyse ilk renkez þat me renayed habbe,
106 & denounced me no3t now at þis tyme,
107 Schul neuer sitte in my sale my soper to fele,
108 Ne suppe on sope of my seve, þa3þa3þay swelt schulde.'
109 Thenne þe sergauntez, at þat sawe, swengen þeroute,
110 & diden þe dede þat [watz] demed, as he deuised hade,
111 & with peple of alle plytez þe palays þay fyllen;
112 Hit weren not alle on wyuez sunez, wonen with on fader.
113 Wheþer þay wern worþy oþer wers, wel wern þay stowed,
114 Ay þe best byfore & bry3test atyred,
115 Þe derrest at þe hy3e dese, þat dubbed wer fayrest,
116 & syþen on lenþe bilooghe ledez inogh.
117 & ay a[s] segge[s] [serly] semed by her wedez,
118 So with marschal at her mete mensked þay were.
119 Clene men in compaynye forknowen wern lyte,
120 &3et þe symplest in þat sale watz serued to þe fulle,
121 Boþe with menske & with mete & mynstrasy noble,
122 & alle þe laykez þat a lorde a3t in londe schewe.
123 & þay bigonne to be glad þat god drink haden.
124 & vch mon with his mach made hym at ese.
125 Now inmyddez þe mete þe mayster hym biþo3t
126 Þat he wolde se þe semble þat samned was þere,
127 & rehayte rekenly þe riche & þe pou[eren],
128 & cherisch hem alle with his cher, & chaufen her joye.
129 Þen he bowez fro his bour into þe brode halle
130 & to þe best on þe bench, & bede hym be myry,
131 Solased hem with semblaunt & syled fyrre,
132 Tron fro table to table & talkede ay myrþe.
133 Bot as he ferked ouer þe flor, he fande with his y3e,
134 Hit watz not for a halyday honestly arayed,
135 A þral þry3t in þe þrong vnþryuandely cloþed,
136 Ne no festiual frok, bot fyled with werkkez;
137 Þe gome watz vngarnyst with god men to dele.
138 & gremed þerwith þe grete lorde, & greue hym he þo3t.
139 'Say me, frende,' quoþ þe freke with a felle chere,
140 'Hov wan þou into þis won in wedez so fowle?
141 Þe abyt þat þou hatz vpon, no halyday hit menskez;
142 Þou, burne, for no brydale art busked in wedez.
143 How watz þou hardy þis hous for þyn vnhap [to] ne3e
144 In on so ratted a robe & rent at þe sydez?
145 Þow art a gome vngoderly in þat goun febele;
146 Þou praysed me & my place ful pouer & ful [g]nede,
147 Þat watz so prest to aproche my presens hereinne.
148 Hopez þou I be a harlot þi erigaut to prayse?'
149 Þat oper burne watz abayst of his broþe wordez,
150 & hurkelez doun with his hede, þe vrþe he biholdez;
151 He watz so scoumfit of his scylle, lest he skaþe hent,
152 Þat he ne wyst on worde what he warp schulde.
153 Þen þe lorde wonder loude laled & cryed,
154 & talkez to his tormenttourez: 'Takez hym,' he biddez,
155 'Byndez byhynde, at his bak, boþe two his handez,
156 & felle fetterez to his fete festenez bylyue;
157 Stik hym stifly in stokez, & stekez hym þerafter
158 Depe in my doungoun þer doel euer dwellez,
159 Greuing & gretyng & gryspyng harde
160 Of teþe tenfully togeder, to teche hym be quoynt.'
161 Thus comparisunez Kryst þe kyndom of heuen
162 To þis frelych feste þat fele arn to called;
163 For alle arn laþed luflyly, þe luþer & þe better,
164 Þat euer wern ful3ed in font, þat fest to haue.
165 Bot war þe wel, if þou wylt, þy wedez ben clene
166 & honest for þe halyday, lest þou harme lache,
167 For aproch þou to þat Prynce of parage noble,
168 He hates helle no more þen hem þat ar sowle.
169 Wich arn þenne þy wedez þou wrappez þe inne,
170 Þat schal schewe hem so schene schrowde of þe best?
171 Hit arn þy werkez, wyterly, þat þou wro3t hauez,
172 & lyued with þe lykyng þat ly3e in þyn hert;
173 Þat þo be frely & fresch fonde in þy lyue,
174 & fetyse of a fayr forme to fote & to honde,
175 & syþen alle þyn oþer lymez lapped ful clene;
176 Þenne may þou se þy Sauior & His sete ryche.
177 For fele[r] fautez may a freke forfete his blysse,
178 Þat he þe Souerayn ne se, þen for slauþe one;
179 As for bobaunce & bost & bolnande priyde
180 Þroly into þe deuelez þrote man þryngez bylyue.
181 For couetyse & colwarde & croked dedez,
182 For monsworne & menscla3t & to much drynk,
183 For þefte & for þrepyng, vnþonk may mon haue;
184 For roborrye & riboudrye & resounez vntrwe,
185 & dsyheriete & depryue dowrie of wydoez,
186 For marryng of maryagez & mayntnaunce of schrewez,
187 For traysoun & trichcherye & tyrauntyre boþe,
188 & for fals famacions & fayned lawez;
189 Man may mysse þe myrþe þat much is to prayse
190 For such vnþewez as þise, & þole much payne,
191 & in þe Creatores cort com neuermore,
192 Ne neuer see Hym with sy3t for such sour tournez.
193 Bot I haue herkned & herde of mony hy3e clerkez,
194 & als in resounez of ry3t red hit myseluen,
195 Þat þat ilk proper Prynce þat paradys weldez
196 Is displesed at vch a poynt þat plyes to scaþe;
197 Bot neuer3et in no boke breued I herde
198 Þat euer He wrek so wyþerly on werk þat He made,
199 Ne venged for no vilte of vice ne synne,
200 Ne so hastyfly watz hot for hatel of His wylle,
201 Ne neuer so sodenly so3t vnsoundely to weng,
202 As for fylþe of þe flesch þat foles han vsed;
203 For, as I fynde, þer He for3et alle His fre þewez,
204 & wex wod to þe wrache for wrath at His hert.
205 For þe fyrste felonye þe falce fende wro3t
206 Whyl he watz hy3e in þe heuen houen vpon lofte,
207 Of alle þyse aþel aungelez attled þe fayrest:
208 & he vnkyndely, as a karle, kydde a reward.
209 He se3no3t bot hymself how semly he were,
210 Bot his Souerayn he forsoke & sade þyse wordez:
211 `I schal telde vp my trone in þe tramountayne,
212 & by lyke to þat Lorde þat þe lyft made.'
213 With þis worde þat he warp, þe wrake on hym ly3t:
214 Dry3tyn with His dere dom hym drof to þe abyme,
215 In þe mesure of His mode, His metz neuer þe lasse.
216 Bot þer He tynt þe tyþe dool of His tour ryche:
217 Þa3þe feloun were so fers for his fayre wedez
218 & his glorious glem þat glent so bry3t,
219 As sone as Dry3tynez dome drof to hymseluen,
220 Þikke þowsandez þro þrwen þeroute,
221 Fellen fro þe frymament fendez ful blake,
222 Sweued at þe fryst swap as þe snaw þikke,
223 Hurled into helle-hole as þe hyue swarmez.
224 Fylter fenden folk forty dayez lencþe,
225 Er þat styngande storme stynt ne my3t;
226 Bot as smylt mele vnder smal siue smokez forþikke.
227 So fro heuen to helle þat hatel schor laste,
228 On vche syde of þe worlde aywhere ilyche.
229 3is, hit watz a brem brest & a byge wrache,
230 &3et wrathed not þe Wy3; ne þe wrech sa3tled,
231 Ne neuer wolde, for wyl[fulnes], his worþy God knawe,
232 Ne pray Hym for no pite, so proud watz his wylle.
233 Forþy þa3þe rape were rank, þe rawþe watz lytt[el];
234 Þa3he be kest into kare, he kepes no better.
235 Bot þat oper wrake þat wex, on wy3ez hit ly3t
236 Þur3þe faut of a freke þat fayled in trawþe,
237 Adam inobedyent, ordaynt to blysse.
238 Þer pryuely in paradys his place watz devised,
239 To lyue þer in lykyng þe lenþe of a terme,
240 & þenne enherite þat home þat aungelez forgart;
241 Bot þur3þe eggyng of Eue he ete of an apple
242 Þat enpoysened alle peplez þat parted fro hem boþe,
243 For a defence þat watz dy3t of Dry3tyn Seluen,
244 & a payne þeron put & pertly halden.
245 Þe defence watz þe fryt þat þe freke towched,
246 & þe dom is þe deþe þat drepez vus alle;
247 Al in mesure & meþe watz mad þe vengiaunce,
248 & efte amended with a mayden þat make had neuer.
249 Bot in þe þryd watz forþrast al þat þryue schuld:
250 Þer watz malys mercyles & mawgre much scheued,
251 Þat watz for fylþe vpon folde þat þe folk vsed,
252 Þat þen wonyed in þe worlde withouten any maysterz.
253 Hit wern þe fayrest of forme & of face als,
254 Þe most & þe myriest þat maked wern euer,
255 Þe styfest, þe stalworþest þat stod euer on fete,
256 & lengest lyf in hem lent of ledez alle oþer.
257 For hit was þe forme foster þat þe folde bred,
258 Þe aþel aunceterez sunez pat Adam watz called,
259 To wham God hade geuen alle þat gayn were,
260 Alle þe blysse boute blame þat bodi my3t haue;
261 & þose lykkest to þe lede, þat lyued next after;
262 Forþy so semly to see syþen wern none.
263 Þer watz no law to hem layd bot loke to kynde,
264 & kepe to hit, & alle hit cors clanly fulfylle.
265 & þenne founden þay fylþe in fleschlych dedez,
266 & controeued agayn kynde contrare werkez,
267 & vsed hem vnþryftyly vchon on oþer,
268 & als with oþer, wylsfully, upon a wrange wyse:
269 So ferly fowled her flesch þat þe fende loked
270 How þe de3ter of þe douþe wern derelych fayre,
271 & fallen in fela3schyp with hem on folken wyse,
272 & engendered on hem jeauntez with her japez ille.
273 Þose wern men meþelez & ma3ty on vrþe,
274 Þat for her lodlych laykez alosed þay were;
275 He watz famed for fre þat fe3t loued best,
276 & ay þe bigest in bale þe best watz halden.
277 & þenne euelez on erþe ernestly grewen
278 & multyplyed monyfolde inmongez mankynde,
279 For þat þe ma3ty on molde so marre þise oþer
280 Þat þe Wy3e þat al wro3t ful wroþly bygynnez.
281 When He knew vche contre coruppte in hitseluen,
282 & vch freke forloyned fro þe ry3t wayez,
283 Felle temptande tene towched His hert.
284 As wy3e wo hym withinne, werp to Hymseluen:
285 'Me forþynkez ful much þat euer I mon made,
286 Bot I schal delyuer & do away þat doten on þis molde,
287 & fleme out of þe folde al þat flesch werez,
288 Fro þe burne to þe best, fro bryddez to fyschez;
289 Al schal doun & be ded & dryuen out of erþe
290 Þat euer I sette saule inne; & sore hit Me rwez
291 Þat euer I made hem Myself; bot if I may herafter,
292 I schal wayte to be war her wrenchez to kepe.'
293 Þenne in worlde watz a wy3e wonyande on lyue,
294 Ful redy & ful ry3twys, & rewled hym fayre,
295 In þe drede of Dry3tyn his dayez he vsez,
296 & ay glydande wyth his God, his grace watz þe more.
297 Hym watz þe nome Noe, as is innoghe knawen.
298 He had þre þryuen sunez, & þay þre wyuez:
299 Sem soþly þat on, þat oþer hy3t Cam,
300 & þe jolef Japheth watz gendered þe þryd.
301 Now God in nwy to Noe con speke
302 Wylde wrakful wordez, in His wylle greued:
303 'Þe ende of alle kynez flesch þat on vrþe meuez
304 Is fallen forþwyth My face, & forþer hit I þenk.
305 With her vnworþelych werk Me wlatez withinne;
306 Þe gore þerof Me hatz greued & þe glette nwyed.
307 I schal strenkle My distresse, & strye al togeder,
308 Boþe ledez & londe & alle þat lyf habbez.
309 Bot make to þe a mancioun, & þat is My wylle,
310 A cofer closed of tres, clanlych planed.
311 Wyrk wonez þerinne for wylde & for tame,
312 & þenne cleme hit with clay comly within[n]e,
313 & alle þe endentur dryuen daube withouten.
314 & þus of lenþe & of large þat lome þou make:
315 Þre hundred of cupydez þou holde to þe lenþe,
316 Of fyfty fayre ouerþwert forme þe brede;
317 & loke euen þat þyn ark haue of he3þe þrette,
318 & a wyndow wyd vpon[ande] wro3t vpon lo[f]te,
319 In þe compas of a cubit kyndely sware;
320 A wel dutande dor, don on þe syde;
321 Haf hallez þerinne & halkez ful mony,
322 Boþe boske[n]z & bourez & wel bounden penez.
323 For I schal waken vp a water to wasch alle þe worlde,
324 & quelle alle þat is quik with quauende flodez,
325 Alle þat glydez & gotz & gost of lyf habbez;
326 I schal wast with My wrath þat wons vpon vrþe.
327 Bot My forwarde with þe I festen on þis wyse,
328 For þou in reysoun hatz rengned & ry3twys ben euer:
329 Þou schal enter þis ark with þyn aþel barnez
330 & þy wedded wyf; with þe þou take
331 Þe makez of þy myry sunez; þis meyny of a3te
332 I schal saue of monnez saulez, & swelt þose oþer.
333 Of vche best þat berez lyf busk þe a cupple,
334 Of vche clene comly kynde enclose seuen makez,
335 Of vche horwed in ark halde bot a payre,
336 For to saue Me þe sede of alle ser kyndez.
337 & ay þou meng with þe malez þe mete ho-bestez,
338 Vche payre by payre to plese ayþer oþer;
339 With alle þe fode þat may be founde frette þy cofer,
340 For sustnaunce to yowself & also þose oþer.'
341 Ful grayþely gotz þis god man & dos Godez hestes,
342 In dry3dred & daunger þat durst do non oþer.
343 Wen hit watz fettled & forged & to þe fulle grayþed,
344 Þenn con Dry3ttyn hym dele dry3ly þyse wordez.
345 'Now Noe,' quoþ oure Lorde, 'art þou al redy?
346 Hatz þou closed þy kyst with clay alle aboute?'
347 '3e, Lorde, with þy leue,' sayde þe lede þenne,
348 Al is wro3t at Þi worde, as Þou me wyt lantez.'
349 'Enter in, þenn,' quoþ He, & haf þi wyf with þe,
350 Þy þre sunez, withouten þrep, & her þre wyuez;
351 Bestez, as I bedene haue, bosk þerinne als,
352 & when3e arn staued, styfly stekez yow þerinne.
353 Fro seuen dayez ben seyed I sende out bylyue
354 Such a rowtande ryge þat rayne schal swyþe
355 Þat schal wasch alle þe worlde of werkez of fylþe;
356 Schal no flesch vpon folde by fonden onlyue,
357 Outtaken yow a3t in þis ark staued
358 & sed þat I wyl saue of þyse ser bestez.'
359 Now Noe neuer sty[n]tez, þat niy3[t] he bygynnez,
360 Er al wer stawed & stoken as þe steuen wolde.
361 Thenne sone com þe seuenþe day, when samned wern alle,
362 & alle woned in þe whichche, þe wylde & þe tame.
363 Þen bolned þe abyme, & bonkez con ryse,
364 Waltes out vch walle-heued in ful wode stremez;
365 Watz no brymme þat abod vnbrosten bylyue;
366 Þe mukel lauande loghe to þe lyfte rered.
367 Mony clustered clowde clef alle in clowtez;
368 Torent vch a rayn-ryfte & rusched to þe vrþe,
369 Fon neuer in forty dayez. & þen þe flod ryses,
370 Ouerwaltez vche a wod & þe wyde feldez.
371 For when þe water of þe welkyn with þe worlde mette,
372 Alle þat deth mo3t dry3e drowned þerinne.
373 Þer watz moon for to make when meschef was cnowen,
374 Þat no3t dowed bot þe deth in þe depe stremez;
375 Water wylger ay wax, wonez þat stryede,
376 Hurled into vch hous, hent þat þer dowelled.
377 Fryst feng to þe fly3t alle þat fle my3t;
378 Vuche burde with her barne þe byggyng þay leuez
379 & bowed to þe hy3bonk þer brentest hit wern,
380 & heterly to þe hy3e hyllez þay [h]aled on faste.
381 Bot al watz nedlez her note, for neuer cowþe stynt
382 Þe ro3e raynande ryg, þe raykande wawez,
383 Er vch boþom watz brurdful to þe bonkez eggez,
384 & vche a dale so depe þat demmed at þe brynkez.
385 Þe moste mountaynez on mor þenne watz no more dry3e,
386 & þeron flokked þe folke, for ferde of þe wrake.
387 Syþen þe wylde of þe wode on þe water flette;
388 Summe swymmed þeron þat saue hemself trawed,
389 Summe sty3e to a stud & stared to þe heuen,
390 Rwly wyth a loud rurd rored for drede.
391 Harez, herttez also, to þe hy3e runnen;
392 Bukkez, bausenez, & bulez to þe bonkkez hy3ed;
393 & alle cryed for care to þe Kyng of heuen,
394 Recouerer of þe Creator þay cryed vchone,
395 Þat amounted þe masse, þe mase His mercy watz passed,
396 & alle His pyte departed fro peple þat He hated.
397 Bi þat þe flod to her fete flo3ed & waxed,
398 Þen vche a segge se3wel þat synk hym byhoued.
399 Frendez fellen in fere & faþmed togeder,
400 To dry3her delful deystyne & dy3en alle samen;
401 Luf lokez to luf & his leue takez,
402 For to ende alle at onez & for euer twynne.
403 By forty dayez wern faren, on folde no flesch styryed
404 Þat þe flod nade al freten with fe3tande wa3ez;
405 For hit clam vche a clyffe, cubites fyftene
406 Ouer þe hy3est hylle þat hurkled on erþe.
407 Þenne mourkne in þe mudde most ful nede
408 Alle þat spyrakle inspranc, no sprawlyng awayled,
409 Saue þe haþel vnder hach & his here straunge,
410 Noe þat ofte neuened þe name of oure Lorde,
411 Hym a3tsum in þat ark, as aþel God lyked,
412 Þer alle ledez in lome lenged druye.
413 Þe arc houen watz on hy3e with hurlande gotez,
414 Kest to kythez vncouþe þe clowdez ful nere.
415 Hit waltered on þe wylde flod, went as hit lyste,
416 Drof vpon þe depe dam, in daunger hit semed,
417 Withouten mast, oþer myke, oþer myry bawelyne,
418 Kable, oþer capstan to clyppe to her ankrez,
419 Hurrok, oþer hande-helme hasped on roþer,
420 Oþer any sweande sayl to seche after hauen,
421 Bot flote forthe with þe flyt of þe felle wyndez.
422 Whederwarde so þe water wafte, hit rebounde;
423 Ofte hit roled on rounde & rered on ende;
424 Nyf oure Lorde hade ben her lodezmon hem had lumpen harde.
425 Of þe lenþe of Noe lyf to lay a lel date,
426 Þe sex hundreth of his age & none odde3erez,
427 Of secounde monyth þe seuen[ten]þe day ry3tez,
428 Towalten alle þyse welle-hedez & þe water flowed;
429 & þryez fyfty þe flod of folwande dayez;
430 Vche hille watz þer hidde with y[þ]ez ful graye.
431 Al watz wasted þat þer wonyed þe worlde withinne,
432 Þ[at] euer flote, oþer flwe, oþer on fote3ede,
433 That ro3ly watz þe remnaunt þat þe rac dryuez
434 Þat alle gendrez so joyst wern joyned wythinne
435 Bot quen þe Lorde of þe lyfte lyked Hymseluen
436 For to mynne on His mon His meth þat abydez,
437 Þen He wakened a wynde on watterez to blowe;
438 Þenne lasned þe llak þat large watz are.
439 Þen He stac vp þe stangez, stoped þe wellez,
440 Bed blynne of þe rayn: hit batede as faste;
441 Þenne lasned þe lo3lowkande togeder.
442 After harde dayez wern out an hundreth & fyfte,
443 As þat lyftande lome luged aboute.
444 Where þe wynde & þe weder warpen hit wolde,
445 Hit sa3tled on a softe day, synkande to grounde;
446 On a rasse of a rok hit rest at þe laste,
447 On þe mounte of Mararach of Armene hilles.
448 Þat oþerwayez on Ebrv hit hat þe Thanes.
449 Bot þa3þe kyste in þe cragez wern closed to byde,
450 3et fyned not þe flod ne fel to þe boþemez,
451 Bot þe hy3est of þe eggez vnhuled weren a lyttel,
452 Þat þe burne bynne borde byhelde þe bare erþe.
453 Þenne wafte he vpon his wyndowe, & wysed þeroute
454 A message fro þat meyny hem moldez to seche:
455 Þat watz þe rauen so ronk, þat rebel watz euer;
456 He watz colored as þe cole, corbyal vntrwe.
457 & he fongez to þe fly3t & fannez on þe wyndez,
458 Halez hy3e vpon hy3t to herken tyþyngez.
459 He croukez for comfort when carayne he fyndez
460 Kast vp on a clyffe þer costese lay drye;
461 He hade þe smelle of þe smach & smoltes þeder sone,
462 Fallez on þe foule flesch & fyllez his wombe,
463 & sone3ederly for3ete3isterday steuen,
464 How þe cheuetayn hym charged þat þe kyst3emed.
465 Þe rauen raykez hym forth, þat reches ful lyttel
466 How alle fodez þer fare, ellez he fynde mete;
467 Bot þe burne bynne borde þat bod to hys come
468 Banned hym ful bytterly with bestes alle samen.
469 He sechez anoþer sondezmon, & settez on þe dou[u]e,
470 Bryngez þat bry3t vpon borde, blessed, & sayde:
471 'Wende, worþelych wy3t, vus wonez to seche;
472 Dryf ouer þis dymme water; if þou druye fyndez
473 Bryng bodworde to bot blysse to vus alle.
474 Þa3þat fowle be false, fre be þou euer.'
475 Ho wyrle out on þe weder on wyngez ful scharpe,
476 Dre3ly alle alonge day þat dorst neuer ly3t;
477 & when ho fyndez no folde her fote on to pyche,
478 Ho vmbekestez þe coste & þe kyst sechez.
479 Ho hittez on þe euentyde & on þe ark sittez;
480 Noe nymmes hir anon & naytly hir stauez.
481 Noe on anoþer day nymmez efte þe doveue,
482 & byddez hir bowe ouer þe borne efte bonkez to seche;
483 & ho skyrmez vnder skwe & skowtez aboute,
484 Tyl hit watz ny3e at þe na3t, & Noe þen sechez.
485 On ark on an euentyde houez þe dowue;
486 On stamyn ho stod & stylle hym abydez.
487 What! ho bro3t in hir beke a bronch of olyue,
488 Gracyously vmbegrouen al with grene leuez;
489 Þat watz þe syngne of sauyte þat sende hem oure Lorde,
490 & þe sa3tlyng of Hymself with þo sely bestez.
491 Þen watz þer joy on þat gyn where jumpred er dry3ed,
492 & much comfort in þat cofer þat watz clay-daubed.
493 Myryly on a fayr morn, monyth þe fyrst,
494 Þat fallez formast in þe3er, & þe fyrst day,
495 Ledez lo3en in þat lome & loked þeroute,
496 How þat watterez wern woned & þe worlde dryed.
497 Vchon loued oure Lorde, bot lenged ay stylle
498 Tyl þay had tyþyng fro þe Tolke þat tyned hem þerinne.
499 Þen Godez glam to hem glod þat gladed hem alle,
500 Bede hem drawe to þe dor: delyuer hem He wolde.
501 Þen went þay to þe wykket, hit walt vpon sone;
502 Boþe þe burne & his barnez bowed þeroute,
503 Her wyuez walkez hem wyth & þe wylde after,
504 Þroly þrublande in þronge, þrowen ful þykke.
505 Bot Noe of vche honest kynde nem out an odde,
506 & heuened vp an auter & hal3ed hit fayre,
507 & sette a sakerfyse þeron of vch a ser kynde
508 Þat watz comly & clene: God kepez non oþer.
509 When bremly brened þose bestez, & þe breþe rysed,
510 Þe sauour of his sacrafyse so3t to Hym euen
511 Þat al spedez & spyllez; He spekes with þat ilke
512 In comly comfort ful clos & cortays wordez:
513 'Now, Noe, no more nel I neuer wary
514 Alle þe mukel mayny [on] molde for no mannez synnez,
515 For I se wel þat hit is sothe þat alle mannez wyttez
516 To vnþryfte arn alle þrawen with þo3t of her herttez,
517 & ay hatz ben, & wyl be3et; fro her barnage
518 Al is þe mynde of þe man to malyce enclyned.
519 Forþy schal I neuer schende so schortly at ones
520 As dysstrye al for manez synne, dayez of þis erþe.
521 Bot waxez now & wendez forth & worþez to monye,
522 Multyplyez on þis molde, & menske yow bytyde.
523 Sesounez schal yow neuer sese of sede ne of heruest,
524 Ne hete, ne no harde forst, vmbre ne dro3þe,
525 Ne þe swetnesse of somer, ne þe sadde wynter,
526 Ne þe ny3t, ne þe day, ne þe newe3erez,
527 Bot euer renne restlez: rengnez3e þerinne.'
528 Þerwyth He blessez vch a best, & byta3t hem þis erþe.
529 Þen watz a skylly skyualde, quen scaped alle þe wylde,
530 Vche fowle to þe fly3t þat fyþerez my3t serue,
531 Vche fysch to þe flod þat fynne couþe nayte.
532 Vche beste to þe bent þat þat bytes on erbez;
533 Wylde wormez to her won wryþez in þe erþe,
534 Þe fox & þe folmarde to þe fryth wyndez,
535 Herttes to hy3e heþe, harez to gorstez,
536 & lyounez & lebardez to þe lake-ryftes:
537 Hernez & hauekez to þe hy3e rochez,
538 Þe hole-foted fowle to þe flod hy3ez,
539 & vche best at a brayde þer hym best lykez;
540 Þe fowre frekez of þe folde fongez þe empyre.
541 Lo! suche a wrakful wo for wlatsum dedez
542 Parformed þe hy3e Fader on folke þat He made;
543 Þat He chysly hade cherisched He chastysed ful hardee,
544 In devoydynge þe vylanye þat venkquyst His þewez.
545 Forþy war þe now, wy3e þat worschyp desyres
546 In His comlych courte þat Kyng is of blysse,
547 In þe fylþe of þe flesch þat þou be founden neuer,
548 Tyl any water in þe worlde to wasche þe fayly.
549 For is no segge vnder sunne so seme of his craftez,
550 If he be sulped in synne, þat syttez vnclene;
551 On spec of spote may spede to mysse
552 Of þe sy3te of þe Souerayn þat syttez so hy3e;
553 For þat schewe me schale in þo schyre howsez,
554 As þe beryl bornyst byhouez be clene.
555 Þat is sounde on vche a syde & no sem habes,
556 Withouten maskle oþer mote, as margerye-perle.
557 Syþen þe Souerayn in sete so sore forþo3t
558 Þat euer He man vpon molde merked to lyuy,
559 For he in fylþe watz fallen, felly He uenged,
560 Quen fourferde alle þe flesch þat He formed hade.
561 Hym rwed þat He hem vprerde & ra3t hem lyflode;
562 & efte þat He hem vndyd, hard hit Hym þo3t.
563 For quen þe swemande sor3e so3t to His hert,
564 He knyt a couenaunde cortaysly with monkynde þere,
565 In þe mesure of His mode & meþe of His wylle,
566 Þat He schulde neuer for no syt smyte al at onez,
567 As to quelle alle quykez for qued þat my3t falle,
568 Whyl of þe lenþe of þe londe lastez þe terme.
569 Þat ilke skyl for no scaþe ascaped Hym neuer.
570 Wheder wonderly He wrak on wykked men after,
571 Ful felly for þat ilk faute forferde a kyth ryche,
572 In þe anger of His ire, þat ar3ed mony;
573 & al watz for þis ilk euel, þat vnhappen glette,
574 Þe venym & þe vylanye & þe vycios fylþe
575 Þat bysulpez mannez saule in vnsounde hert,
576 Þat he his Saueour ne see with sy3t of his y3en.
577 Alle illez He hates as helle þat alle stynkkez;
578 Bot non nuyez Hym on na3t ne neuer vpon dayez
579 As harlottrye vnhonest, heþyng of seluen:
580 Þat schamez for no schrewedschyp, schent mot he worþe.
581 Bot sauyour, mon, in þyself, þa3þou a sotte lyuie,
582 Þa3þou bere þyself babel, byþenk þe sumtyme
583 Wheþer He þat stykked vche a stare in vche steppe y3e,
584 3if Hymsel[f] be bore blynde hit is a brod wonder;
585 & He þat fetly in face fettled alle eres,
586 If he hatz losed þe lysten hit lyftez meruayle:
587 Trave þou neuer þat tale, vntrwe þou hit fyndez.
588 Þer is no dede so derne þat dittez His y3en;
589 Þer is no wy3e in his werk so war ne so stylle
590 Þat hit ne þrawez to Hym þr[o] er he hit þo3t haue.
591 For He is þe gropande God, þe grounde of alle dedez,
592 Rypande of vche a ring þe reynyez & hert.
593 & þere He fyndez al fayre a freke wythinne,
594 Þat hert honest & hol, þat haþel He honourez,
595 Sendez hym a sad sy3t: to se His auen face,
596 & harde honysez þise oþer, & of His erde flemez.
597 Bot of þe dome of þe douþe for dedez of schame,
598 He is so skoymos of þat skaþe, He scarrez bylyue;
599 He may not dry3e to draw allyt, bot drepez in hast:
600 & þat watz schewed schortly by a scaþe onez.
601 Olde Abraham in erde onez he syttez
602 Euen byfore his hous-dore, vnder an oke grene;
603 Bry3t blykked þe bem of þe brode heuen;
604 In þe hy3e hete þerof Abraham bidez:
605 He watz schunt to þe schadow vnder schyre leuez.
606 Þenne watz he war on þe waye of wlonk Wy3ez þrynne;
607 If þay wer farande & fre & fayre to beholde
608 Hit is eþe to leue by þe last ende.
609 For þe lede þat þer laye þe leuez anvnder,
610 When he hade of Hem sy3t he hy3ez bylyue,
611 & as to God þe goodmon gos Hem agaynez
612 & haylsed Hem in onhede, & sayde: 'Hende Lorde,
613 3if euer Þy mon vpon molde merit disserued,
614 Lenge a lyttel with Þy lede, I lo3ly biseche;
615 Passe neuer fro Þi pouere,3if I hit pray durst,
616 Er Þou haf biden with Þi burne & vnder bo3e restted,
617 & I schal wynne Yow wy3t of water a lyttel,
618 & fast aboute schal I fare Your fette wer waschene.
619 Resttez here on þis rote & I schal rachche after
620 & brynge a morsel of bred to banne Your hertte.'
621 'Fare forthe,' quoþ þe Frekez, '& fech as þou seggez;
622 By bole of þis brode tre We byde þe here.'
623 Þenne orppedly into his hous he hy3ed to Sare,
624 Commaunded hir to be cof & quyk at þis onez:
625 'Þre mettez of mele menge & ma kakez;
626 Vnder askez ful hote happe hem byliue;
627 Quyl I fete sumquat fat, þou þe fyr bete,
628 Prestly at þis ilke poynte sum polment to make.'
629 He cached to his covhous & a calf bryngez,
630 Þat watz tender & not to3e, bed tyrue of þe hyde,
631 & sayde to his seruaunt þat hit seþe faste;
632 & he deruely at his dome dy3t hit bylyue.
633 Þe burne to be bare-heued buskez hym þenne,
634 Clechez to a clene cloþe & kestez on þe grene,
635 Þrwe þryftyly þeron þo þre þerue kakez,
636 & bryngez butter wythal & by þe bred settez;
637 Mete messez of mylke he merkkez bytwene,
638 Syþen potage & polment in plater honest.
639 As sewer in a god assyse he serued Hem fayre,
640 Wyth sadde semblaunt & swete of such as he hade;
641 & God as a glad gest mad god chere
642 Þat watz fayn of his frende, & his fest praysed.
643 Abraham, al hodlez, with armez vp-folden,
644 Mynystred mete byfore þo Men þat my3tes al weldez.
645 Þenne Þay sayden as Þay sete samen alle þrynne,
646 When þe mete watz remued & Þay of mensk speken,
647 'I schal efte hereaway, Abram,' Þay sayden,
648 '3et er þy lyuez ly3t leþe vpon erþe,
649 & þenne schal Sare consayue & a sun bere,
650 Þat schal be Abrahamez ayre & after hym wynne
651 With wele & wyth worschyp þe worþely peple
652 Þat schal halde in heritage þat I haf men3ark[ed].'
653 Þenne þe burde byhynde þe dor for busmar la3ed;
654 & sayde sothly to hirself Sare þe madde:
655 'May þou traw for tykle þat þou tonne mo3tez,
656 & I so hy3e out of age, & also my lorde?'
657 For soþely, as says þe wryt, he wern of sadde elde,
658 Boþe þe wy3e & his wyf, such werk watz hem fayled
659 Fro mony a brod day byfore; ho barayn ay byene,
660 Þat selue Sare, withouten sede into þat same tyme.
661 Þenne sayde oure Syre þer He sete: 'Se! so Sare la3es,
662 Not trawande þe tale þat I þe to schewed.
663 Hopez ho o3t may be harde My hondez to work?
664 &3et I avow verayly þe avaunt þat I made;
665 I schal3eply a3ayn &3elde þat I hy3t,
666 & sothely send to Sare a soun & an hayre.'
667 Þenne swenged forth Sare & swer by hir trawþe
668 Þat for lot þat Þay laused ho la3ed neuer.
669 'Now innoghe: hit is not so,' þenne nurned þe Dry3tyn,
670 'For þou la3ed alo3, bot let we hit one.'
671 With þat Þay ros vp radly, as Þay rayke schulde,
672 & setten toward Sodamas Her sy3t alle at onez;
673 For þat cite þerbysyde watz sette in a vale,
674 No mylez fro Mambre mo þen tweyne,
675 Whereso wonyed þis ilke wy3, þat wendez with oure Lorde
676 For to tent Hym with tale & teche Hym þe gate.
677 Þen glydez forth God; þe godmon Hym fol3ez;
678 Abraham heldez Hem wyth, Hem to conueye
679 In towarde þe cety of Sodamas þat synned had þenne
680 In þe faute of þis fylþe. Þe Fader hem þretes,
681 & sayde þus to þe segg þat sued Hym after:
682 'How my3t I hyde Myn hert fro Habraham þe trwe,
683 Þat I ne dyscouered to his corse My counsayl so dere,
684 Syþen he is chosen to be chef chyldryn fader,
685 Þat so folk schal falle fro to flete alle þe worlde,
686 & vche blod in þat burne blessed schal worþe?
687 Me bos telle to þat tolk þe tene of My wylle,
688 & alle Myn atlyng to Abraham vnhaspe bilyue.
689 The grete soun of Sodamas synkkez in Myn erez,
690 & þe gult of Gomorre garez Me to wrath.
691 I schal ly3t into þat led & loke Myseluen
692 [If] þay haf don as þe dyne dryuez on lofte.
693 Þay han lerned a lyst þat lykez me ille,
694 Þat þay han founden in her flesch of fautez þe werst:
695 Vch male matz his mach a man as hymseluen,
696 & fylter folyly in fere on femmalez wyse.
697 I compast hem a kynde crafte & kende hit hem derne,
698 & amed hit in Myn ordenaunce oddely dere,
699 & dy3t drwry þerinne, doole alþer-swettest,
700 & þe play of paramorez I portrayed Myseluen,
701 & made þerto a maner myriest of oþer:
702 When two true togeder had ty3ed hemseluen,
703 Bytwene a male & his make such merþe schulde conne,
704 Welny3e pure paradys mo3t preue no better;
705 Ellez þay mo3t honestly ayþer oþer welde,
706 At a stylle stollen steuen, vnstered wyth sy3t,
707 Luf-lowe hem bytwene lasched so hote
708 Þat alle þe meschefez on mold mo3t hit not sleke.
709 Now haf þay skyfted My skyl & scorned natwre,
710 & henttez hem in heþyng an vsage vnclene.
711 Hem to smyte for þat smod smartly I þenk,
712 Þat wy3ez schal be by hem war, worlde withouten ende.'
713 Þenne ar3ed Abraham & alle his mod chaunge[d],
714 For hope of þe harde hate þat hy3t hatz oure Lorde.
715 Al sykande he sayde: 'Sir, with Yor leue,
716 Schal synful & saklez suffer al on payne?
717 Weþer euer hit lyke my Lorde to lyfte such domez
718 Þat þe wykked & þe worþy schal on wrake suffer,
719 & weye vpon þe worre half þat wrathed Þe neuer?
720 Þat watz neuer Þy won þat wro3tez vus alle.
721 Now fyfty fyn frendez wer founde in3onde toune,
722 In þe cety of Sodamas & also Gomorre,
723 Þat neuer lakked Þy laue, bot loued ay trauþe,
724 & re3tful wern & resounable & redy Þe to serue,
725 Schal þay falle in þe faute þat oþer frekez wro3t,
726 & joyne to her juggement, her juise to haue?
727 Þat nas neuer Þyn note, vnneuened hit worþe,
728 Þat art so gaynly a God & of goste mylde.'
729 'Nay, for fyfty,' quoþ þe Fader, '& þy fayre speche,
730 & þay be founden in þat folk of her fylþe clene,
731 I schal forgyue alle þe gylt þur3My grace one,
732 & let hem smolt al unsmyten smoþely at onez.'
733 'Aa! blessed be Þow,' quoþ þe burne, 'so boner & þewed,
734 & al haldez in Þy honde, þe heuen & þe erþe;
735 Bot, for I haf þis talke tatz to non ille
736 3if I mele a lyttel more þat mul am & askez.
737 What if fyue faylen of fyfty þe noumbre,
738 & þe remnaunt be reken, how restes Þy wylle?'
739 'And fyue wont of fyfty,' quoþ God, 'I schal for3ete alle
740 & wythhalde My honde for hortyng on lede.'
741 '& quat if faurty be fre & fauty þyse oþer:
742 Schalt Þow schortly al schende & schape non oþer?'
743 'Nay, þa3faurty forfete,3et fryst I a whyle,
744 & voyde away My vengaunce, þa3Me vyl þynk.'
745 Þen Abraham obeched Hym & lo3ly Him þonkkez:
746 'Now sayned be Þou, Sauiour, so symple in Þy wrath!
747 I am bot erþe ful euel & vsle so blake,
748 For to mele wyth such a Mayster as my3tez hatz alle.
749 Bot I haue bygonnen wyth my God, & He hit gayn þynkez;
750 3if I forloyne as a fol Þy fraunchyse may serue.
751 What if þretty þryuande be þrad in3on tounez,
752 What schal I leue of my Lorde, [i]f He hem leþe wolde?'
753 Þenne þe godlych God gef hym onsware:
754 '3et for þretty in þrong I schal My þro steke,
755 & spare spakly of spyt in space of My þewez,
756 & My rankor refrayne four þy reken wordez.'
757 'What for twenty,' quoþ þe tolke, 'vntwynez Þou hem þenne?'
758 'Nay,3if þou3ernez hit3et,3ark I hem grace;
759 If þat twenty be trwe, I tene hem no more,
760 Bot relece alle þat regioun of her ronk werkkez.'
761 'Now, aþel Lorde,' quoþ Abraham, 'onez a speche,
762 & I schal schape no more þo schalkkez to helpe.
763 If ten trysty in toune be tan in Þi werkkez,
764 Wylt Þou mese Þy mode & menddyng abyde?'
765 'I graunt,' quoþ þe grete God, 'Graunt mercy,' þat oþer;
766 & þenne arest þe renk & ra3t no fyrre.
767 & Godde glydez His gate by þose grene wayez,
768 & he conueyen Hym con with cast of his y3e;
769 & als he loked along þereas oure Lorde passed,
770 3et he cryed Hym after with careful steuen:
771 'Meke Mayster, on Þy mon to mynne if Þe lyked,
772 Loth lengez in3on leede þat is my lef broþer;
773 He syttez þer in Sodomis, þy seruaunt so pouere,
774 Among þo mansed men þat han Þe much greued.
775 3if Þou tynez þat toun, tempre Þyn yre,
776 As Þy mersy may malte, Þy meke to spare.'
777 Þen he wendez, wendez his way, wepande for care,
778 Towarde þe mere of Mambre, wepande for sorewe;
779 & þere in longyng al ny3t he lengez in wones,
780 Whyl þe Souerayn to Sodamas sende to spye.
781 His sondes into Sodamas watz sende in þat tyme,
782 In þat ilk euentyde, by aungels tweyne,
783 Meuand meuande mekely togeder as myry men3onge,
784 As Loot in a loge dor lened hym alone,
785 In a porche of þat place py3t to þe3ates,
786 Þat watz ryal & ryche so watz þe renkes seluen.
787 As he stared into þe strete þer stout men played,
788 He sy3e þer swey in asent swete men tweyne;
789 Bolde burnez wer þay boþe with berdles chynnez,
790 Ryol rollande fax to raw sylk lyke,
791 Of ble as þe brere-flour whereso þe bare scheweed.
792 Ful clene watz þe countenaunce of her cler y3en;
793 Wlonk whit watz her wede & wel hit hem semed.
794 Of alle feturez ful fyn & fautlez boþe;
795 Watz non autly in ouþer, for aungels hit wern,
796 & þat þe3ep vnder3ede þat in þe3ate syttez;
797 He ros vp ful radly & ran hem to mete,
798 & lo3e he loutez hem to, Loth, to þe grounde,
799 & syþen soberly: 'Syrez, I yow byseche
800 Þat3e wolde ly3t at my loge & lenge þerinne.
801 Comez to your knaues kote, I craue at þis onez;
802 I schal fette yow a fatte your fette for to wasche;
803 I norne yow bot for on ny3t ne3e me to lenge,
804 & in þe myry mornyng3e may your waye take.'
805 & þay nay þat þay nolde ne3no howsez,
806 Bot stylly þer in þe strete as þay stadde wern
807 Þay wolde lenge þe long na3t & logge þeroute:
808 Hit watz hous inno3e to hem þe heuen vpon lofte.
809 Loth laþed so longe wyth luflych wordez
810 Þat þay hym graunted to go & gru3t no lenger.
811 Þe bolde to his byggyng bryngez hem bylyue,
812 Þat [watz] ryally arayed, for he watz ryche euer.
813 Þe wy3ez wern welcom as þe wyf couþe;
814 His two dere do3terez deuoutly hem haylsed,
815 Þat wer maydenez ful meke, maryed not3et,
816 & þay wer semly & swete, & swyþe wel arayed.
817 Loth þenne ful ly3tly lokez hym aboute,
818 & his men amonestes mete for to dy3t:
819 'Bot þenkkez on hit be þrefte what þynk so3e make,
820 For wyth no sour no no salt seruez hym neuer.'
821 Bot3et I wene þat þe wyf hit wroth to dyspyt,
822 & sayde softely to hirself: 'Þis vn[s]auere hyne
823 Louez no salt in her sauce;3et hit no skyl were
824 Þat oþer burne be boute, þa3boþe be nyse.'
825 Þenne ho sauerez with salt her seuez vchone,
826 Agayne þe bone of þe burne þat hit forboden hade,
827 & als ho scelt hem in scorne þat wel her skyl knewen.
828 Why watz ho, wrech, so wod? Ho wrathed oure Lorde.
829 Þenne seten þay at þe soper, wern serued bylyue,
830 Þe gestes gay & ful glad, of glam debonere,
831 Welawynnely wlonk, tyl þay waschen hade,
832 Þe trestes tylt to þe wo3e & þe table boþe.
833 Fro þe seggez haden souped & seten bot a whyle,
834 Er euer þay bosked to bedde, þe bor3watz al vp,
835 Alle þat weppen my3t welde, þe wakker & þe stronger,
836 To vmbely3e Lothez hous þe ledez to take.
837 In grete flokkez of folk þay fallen to his3atez;
838 As a scowte-wach scarred so þe asscry rysed;
839 With kene clobbez of þat clos þay clatz on þe wowez,
840 & wyth a schrylle scarp schout þay schewe þyse worde[z]:
841 'If þou louyez þy lyf, Loth, in þyse wones,
842 3ete vus out þose3ong men þat3ore-whyle here entred,
843 Þat we may lere hym of lof, as oure lyst biddez,
844 As is þe asyse of Sodomas to seggez þat passen.'
845 Whatt! þay sputen & speken of so spitous fylþe,
846 What! þay3e3ed &3olped of3estande sor3e,
847 Þat3et þe wynd & þe weder & þe worlde stynkes
848 Of þe brych þat vpbraydez þose broþelych wordez.
849 Þe godman glyfte with þat glam & gloped for noyse;
850 So scharpe schame to hym schot, he schrank at þe hert.
851 For he knew þe costoum þat kyþed þose wrechez,
852 He doted neuer for no doel so depe in his mynde.
853 'Allas!' sayd hym þenne Loth, & ly3tly he rysez,
854 & bowez forth fro þe bench into þe brode3ates.
855 What! he wonded no woþe of wekked knauez,
856 Þat he ne passed þe port þe p[er]il to abide.
857 He went forthe at þe wyket & waft hit hym after,
858 Þat a clyket hit cle3t clos hym byhynde.
859 Þenne he meled to þo men mesurable wordez,
860 For harlotez with his hendelayk he hoped to chast:
861 'Oo, my frendez so fre, your fare is to strange;
862 Dotz away your derf dyn & derez neuer my gestes.
863 Avoy! hit is your vylaynye,3e vylen yourseluen;
864 &3e are jolyf gentylmen, your japez ar ille
865 Bot I schal kenne yow by kynde a crafte þat is better:
866 I haf a tresor in my telde of tow my fayre de3ter,
867 Þat ar maydenez vnmard for alle men3ette;
868 In Sodamas, þa3I hit say, non semloker burdes;
869 Hit arn ronk, hit arn rype, & redy to manne;
870 To samen wyth þo semly þe solace is better.
871 I schal biteche yow þo two þat tayt arn & quoynt,
872 & laykez wyth hem as yow lyst, & letez my gestes one.'
873 Þenne þe rebaudez so ronk rerd such a noyse
874 Þat a3ly hurled in his erez her harlotez speche:
875 'Wost þou not wel þat þou wonez here a wy3e strange,
876 An outcomlyng, a carle? We kylle of þyn heued!
877 Who joyned þe be jostyse oure japez to blame,
878 Þat com a boy to þis bor3, þa3þou be burne ryche?'
879 Þus þay þrobled & þrong & þrwe vmbe his erez,
880 & distresed hym wonder strayt with strenkþe in þe prece,
881 Bot þat þe3onge men, so3epe,3ornen þeroute,
882 Wapped vpon þe wyket & wonnen hem tylle,
883 & by þe hondez hym hent & horyed hym withinne,
884 & steken þe3ates ston-harde wyth stalworth barrez.
885 Þay blwe a boffet inblande þat banned peple,
886 Þat þay blustered, as blynde as Bayard watz euer;
887 Þay lest of Lotez logging any lysoun to fynde,
888 Bot nyteled þer alle þe ny3t for no3t at þe last.
889 Þenne vch tolke ty3t hem, þat hade of tayt fayled,
890 & vchon roþeled to þe rest þat he reche mo3t;
891 Bot þay wern wakned al wrank þat þer in won lenged,
892 Of on þe vglokest vnhap þat euer on erd suffred.
893 Ruddon of þe day-rawe ros vpon v3ten,
894 When merk of þe mydny3t mo3t no more last.
895 Ful erly þose aungelez þis haþel þay ruþen,
896 & glopnedly on Godez halue gart hym vpryse;
897 Fast þe freke ferkez vp ful ferd at his hert;
898 Þay comaunded hym cof to cach þat he hade,
899 'Wyth þy wyf & þy wy3ez & þy wlonc de3tters,
900 For we laþe þe, sir Loth, þat þou þy lyf haue.
901 Cayre tid of þis kythe er combred þou worþe,
902 With alle þi here vpon haste, tyl þou a hil fynde;
903 Foundez faste on your fete; bifore your face lokes,
904 Bot bes neuer so bolde to blusch yow bihynde,
905 & loke3e stemme no stepe, bot strechez on faste;
906 Til3e reche to a reset, rest3e neuer.
907 For we schal tyne þis toun & trayþely disstrye,
908 Wyth alle þise wy3ez so wykke wy3tly devoyde,
909 & alle þe londe with þise ledez we losen at onez;
910 Sodomas schal ful sodenly synk into grounde,
911 & þe grounde of Gomorre gorde into helle,
912 & vche a koste of þis kythe clater vpon hepes.'
913 Þen laled Loth: 'Lorde, what is best?
914 If I me fele vpon fote þat I fle mo3t,
915 Hov schulde I huyde me fro H[y]m þat hatz His hate kynned
916 In þe brath of His breth þat brennez alle þinkez?
917 To crepe fro my Creatour & know not wheder,
918 Ne wheþer His fooschip me fol3ez bifore oþer bihynde.'
919 Þe freke sayde: 'No foschip oure Fader hatz þe schewed,
920 Bot hi3ly heuened þi hele fro hem þat arn combred.
921 Nov wale þe a wonnyng þat þe warisch my3t,
922 & He schal saue hit for þy sake þat hatz vus sende hider,
923 For þou art oddely þyn one out of þis fylþe,
924 & als Abraham þyn eme hit at Himself asked.'
925 'Lorde, loued He worþe,' quoþ Loth, 'vpon erþe!
926 Þen is a cite herbisyde þat Segor hit hatte,
927 Here vtter on a rounde hil hit houez hit one.
928 I wolde, if His wylle wore, to þat won scape.'
929 'Þenn fare forth,' quoþ þat fre, '& fyne þou neuer,
930 With þose ilk þat þow wylt þat þrenge þe after,
931 & ay goande on your gate, wythouten agayn-tote,
932 For alle þis londe schal be lorne longe er þe sonne rise.'
933 Þe wy3e wakened his wyf & his wlonk de3teres,
934 & oþer two myri men þo maydenez schulde wedde;
935 & þay token hit as tyt & tented hit lyttel;
936 Þa3fast laþed hem Loth, þay le3en ful stylle.
937 Þe aungelez hasted þise oþer & a3ly hem þratten,
938 & enforsed alle fawre forth at þe3atez:
939 Þo wern Loth & his lef, his luflyche de3ter;
940 Þer so3t no mo to sauement of cities aþel fyue.
941 Þise aungelez hade hem by hande out at þe3atez,
942 Prechande hem þe perile, & beden hem passe fast:
943 'Lest3e be taken in þe teche of tyrauntez here,
944 Loke3e bowe now bi bot; bowez fast hence!'
945 & þay kayre ne con, & kenely flowen.
946 Erly, er any heuen-glem, þay to a hil comen.
947 Þe grete God in His greme bygynnez on lofte
948 To wakan wederez so wylde; þe wyndez He callez,
949 & þay wroþely vpwafte & wrastled togeder,
950 Fro fawre half of þe folde flytande loude.
951 Clowdez clustered bytwene kesten vp torres,
952 Þat þe þik þunder-þrast þirled hem ofte.
953 Þe rayn rueled adoun, ridlande þikke
954 Of felle flaunkes of fyr & flakes of soufre,
955 Al in smolderande smoke smachande ful ille,
956 Swe aboute Sodamas & hit sydez alle,
957 Gorde to Gomorra, þat þe grounde laused,
958 Abdama & Syboym, þise ceteis alle faure
959 Al birolled wyth þe rayn, rostted & brenned,
960 & ferly flayed þat folk þat in þose fees lenged.
961 For when þat þe Helle herde þe houndez of heuen,
962 He watz ferlyly fayn, vnfolded bylyue;
963 Þe grete barrez of þe abyme he barst vp at onez,
964 Þat alle þe regioun torof in riftes ful grete,
965 & clouen alle in lyttel cloutes þe clyffez aywhere,
966 As lauce leuez of þe boke þat lepes in twynne.
967 Þe brethe of þe brynston bi þat hit blende were,
968 Al þo citees & her sydes sunkken to helle.
969 Rydelles wern þo grete rowtes of renkkes withinne,
970 When þay wern war of þe wrake þat no wy3e achaped;
971 Such a3omerly3arm of3ellyng þer rysed,
972 Þerof clatered þe cloudes, þat Kryst my3t haf rawþe.
973 Þe segge herde þat soun to Segor þat3ede,
974 & þe wenches hym wyth þat by þe way fol3ed;
975 Ferly ferde watz her flesch þat flowen ay ilyche,
976 Trynande ay a hy3e trot, þat torne neuer dorsten.
977 Loth & þo luly-whit, his lefly two de3ter,
978 Ay fol3ed here face, bifore her boþe y3en;
979 Bot þe balleful burde, þat neuer bode keped,
980 Blusched byhynden her bak þat bale for to herkken.
981 Hit watz lusty Lothes wyf þat ouer he[r] lyfte schulder
982 Ones ho bluschet to þe bur3e, bot bod ho no lenger
983 Þat ho nas stadde a stiffe ston, a stalworth image,
984 Al so salt as ani se, & so ho3et standez.
985 Þay slypped bi & sy3e hir not þat wern hir samen-feres,
986 Tyl þay in Segor wern sette, & sayned our Lorde;
987 Wyth ly3t louez vplyfte þay loued Hym swyþe,
988 Þat so His seruauntes wolde see & saue of such woþe.
989 Al watz dampped & don & drowned by þenne;
990 Þe ledez of þat lyttel toun wern lopen out for drede
991 Into þat malscrande mere, marred bylyue,
992 Þat no3t saued watz bot Segor, þat sat on a lawe.
993 Þe þre ledez þerin, Loth & his de3ter;
994 For his make watz myst, þat on þe mount lenged
995 In a stonen statue þat salt sauor habbes,
996 For two fautes þat þe fol watz founde in mistrauþe:
997 On, ho serued at þe soper salt bifore Dry3tyn,
998 & syþen, ho blusched hir bihynde, þa3hir forboden were;
999 For on ho standes a ston, & salt for þat oþer,
1000 & alle lyst on hir lik þat arn on launde bestes.
1001 Abraham ful erly watz vp on þe morne,
1002 Þat alle na3t much niye hade no mon in his hert,
1003 Al in longing for Loth leyen in a wache;
1004 Þer he lafte hade oure Lorde he is on lofte wonnen;
1005 He sende toward Sodomas þe sy3t of his y3en,
1006 Þat euer hade ben an erde of erþe þe swettest,
1007 As aparaunt to paradis, þat plantted þe Dry3tyn;
1008 Nov is hit plunged in a pit like of pich fylled.
1009 Suche a roþun of a reche ros fro þe blake,
1010 Askez vpe in þe arye & vsellez þer flowen,
1011 As a fornes ful of flot þat vpon fyr boyles
1012 When bry3t brennande brondez ar bet þeranvnder.
1013 Þis watz a uengaunce violent þat voyded þise places,
1014 Þat foundered hatz so fayr a folk & þe folde sonkken.
1015 Þer þe fyue citees wern set nov is a see called,
1016 Þat ay is drouy & dym, & ded in hit kynde,
1017 Blo, blubrande, & blak, vnblyþe to ne3e;
1018 As a stynkande stanc þat stryed synne,
1019 Þat euer of synne & of smach smart is to fele.
1020 Forþy þe derk Dede See hit is demed euermore,
1021 For hit dedez of deþe duren þere3et;
1022 For hit is brod & boþemlez, & bitter as þe galle,
1023 & no3t may lenge in þat lake þat any lyf berez,
1024 & alle þe costez of kynde hit combrez vchone.
1025 For lay þeron a lump of led, & hit on loft fletez,
1026 & folde þeron a ly3t fyþer, & hit to founs synkkez;
1027 & þer water may walter to wete any erþe
1028 Schal neuer grene þeron growe, gresse ne wod nawþer.
1029 If any schalke to be schent wer schowued þerinne,
1030 Þa3he bode in þat boþem broþely a monyth,
1031 He most ay lyue in þat lo3e in losyng euermore,
1032 & neuer dry3e no dethe to dayes of ende.
1033 & as hit is corsed of kynde & hit coostez als,
1034 Þe clay þat clenges þerby arn corsyes strong,
1035 As alum & alkaran, þat angre arn boþe,
1036 Soufre sour & saundyuer, & oþer such mony;
1037 & þer waltez of þat water in waxlokes grete
1038 Þe spuniande aspaltoun þat spyserez sellen;
1039 & suche is alle þe soyle by þat se halues,
1040 Þat fel fretes þe flesch & festred bones.
1041 & þer ar tres by þat terne of traytoures,
1042 & þay borgounez & beres blomez ful fayre,
1043 & þe fayrest fryt þat may on folde growe,
1044 As orenge & oþer fryt & apple-garnade,
1045 Also red & so ripe & rychely hwed
1046 As any dom my3t deuice of dayntyez oute;
1047 Bot quen hit is brused oþer broken, oþer byten in twynne,
1048 No worldez goud hit wythinne, bot wyndowande askes.
1049 Alle þyse ar teches & tokenes to trow vpon3et,
1050 & wittnesse of þat wykked werk, & þe wrake after
1051 Þat oure Fader forferde for fylþe of þose ledes.
1052 Þenne vch wy3e may wel wyt þat He þe wlonk louies;
1053 & if He louyes clene layk þat is oure Lorde ryche,
1054 & to be couþe in His courte þou coueytes þenne,
1055 To se þat Semly in sete & His swete face,
1056 Clerrer counseyl, counseyl con I non, bot þat þou clene worþe.
1057 For Clopyngnel in þe compas of his clene Rose,
1058 Þer he expounez a speche to hym þat spede wolde
1059 Of a lady to be loued: 'Loke to hir sone
1060 Of wich beryng þat ho be, & wych ho best louyes,
1061 & be ry3t such in vch a bor3e of body & of dedes,
1062 & fol3þe fet of þat fere þat þou fre haldes;
1063 & if þou wyrkkes on þis wyse, þa3ho wyk were,
1064 Hir schal lyke þat layk þat lyknes hir tylle.'
1065 If þou wyl dele drwrye wyth Dry3tyn þenne,
1066 & lelly louy þy Lorde & His leef worþe,
1067 Þenne confourme þe to Kryst, & þe clene make,
1068 Þat euer is polyced als playn as þe perle seluen.
1069 For, loke, fro fyrst þat He ly3t withinne þe lel mayden,
1070 By how comly a kest He watz clos þere,
1071 When venkkyst watz no vergynyte, ne vyolence maked,
1072 Bot much clener watz hir corse, God kynned þerinne.
1073 & efte when He borne watz in Beþelen þe ryche,
1074 In wych puryte þay departed; þa3þay pouer were,
1075 Watz neuer so blysful a bour as watz a bos þenne,
1076 Ne no schroude hous so schene as a schepon þare,
1077 Ne non so glad vnder God as ho þat grone schulde.
1078 For þer watz seknesse al sounde þat sarrest is halden,
1079 & þer watz rose reflayr where rote hatz ben euer,
1080 & þer watz solace & songe wher sor3hatz ay cryed;
1081 For aungelles with instrumentes of organes & pypes,
1082 & rial ryngande rotes & þe reken fyþel,
1083 & alle hende þat honestly mo3t an hert glade,
1084 Aboutte my lady watz lent quen ho delyuer were.
1085 Þenne watz her blyþe Barne burnyst so clene
1086 Þat boþe þe ox & þe asse Hym hered at ones;
1087 Þay knewe Hym by His clannes for Kyng of nature,
1088 For non so clene of such a clos com neuer er þenne.
1089 &3if clanly He þenne com, ful cortays þerafter,
1090 Þat alle þat longed to luþer ful lodly He hated,
1091 By nobleye of His norture He nolde neuer towche
1092 O3t þat watz vngoderly oþer ordure watz inne.
1093 3et comen lodly to þat Lede, as lazares monye,
1094 Summe lepre, summe lome, & lomerande blynde,
1095 Poysened, & parlatyk, & pyned in fyres,
1096 Drye folk & ydropike, & dede at þe laste,
1097 Alle called on þat Cortayse & claymed His grace.
1098 He heled hem wyth hynde speche of þat þay ask after,
1099 For whatso He towched also tyd tourned to hele,
1100 Wel clanner þen any crafte cowþe devyse.
1101 So clene watz His hondelyng vche ordure hit schonied,
1102 & þe gropyng so goud of God & Man boþe,
1103 Þat for fetys of His fyngeres fonded He neuer
1104 Nauþer to cout ne to kerue with knyf ne wyth egge;
1105 Forþy brek He þe bred blades wythouten,
1106 For hit ferde freloker in fete in His fayre honde,
1107 Displayed more pryuyly when He hit part schulde,
1108 Þenne alle þe toles of Tolowse mo3t ty3t hit to kerue.
1109 Þus is He kyryous & clene þat þou His cort askes:
1110 Hov schulde þou com to His kyth bot if þou clene were?
1111 Nov ar we sore & synful & sovly vchone;
1112 How schulde we se, þen may we say, þat Syre vpon throne?
1113 3is, þat Mayster is mercyable, þa3þou be man fenny,
1114 & al tomarred in myre whyle þou on molde lyuyes;
1115 Þou may schyne þur3schryfte, þa3þou haf schome serued,
1116 & pure þe with penaunce tyl þou a perle worþe.
1117 Perle praysed is prys þer perre is schewed,
1118 Þa3hym not derrest be demed to dele for penies.
1119 Quat may þe cause be called bot for hir clene hwes,
1120 Þat wynnes worschyp abof alle whyte stones?
1121 For ho schynes so schyr þat is of schap rounde,
1122 Wythouten faut oþer fylþe3if ho fyn were,
1123 & wax euer in þe worlde in weryng so olde,
1124 3et þe perle payres not whyle ho in pyese lasttes;
1125 & if hit cheue þe chaunce vncheryst ho worþe,
1126 Þat ho blyndes of ble in bour þer ho lygges,
1127 Nobot wasch hir wyth wourchyp in wyn as ho askes,
1128 Ho by kynde schal becom clerer þen are.
1129 So if folk be defowled by vnfre chaunce,
1130 Þat he be sulped in sawle, seche to schryfte,
1131 & he may polyce hym at þe prest, by penaunce taken,
1132 Wel bry3ter þen þe beryl oþer browden perles.
1133 Bot war þe wel, if þou be waschen wyth water of schryfte,
1134 & polysed als playn as parchmen schauen,
1135 Sulp no more þenne in synne þy saule þerafter,
1136 For þenne þou Dry3tyn dyspleses with dedes ful sore,
1137 & entyses Hym to tene more trayþly þen euer,
1138 & wel hatter to hate þen hade þou no waschen.
1139 For when a sawele is sa3tled & sakred to Dry3tyn,
1140 He holly haldes hit His & haue hit He wolde;
1141 Þenne efte lastes hit likkes, He loses hit ille,
1142 As hit were rafte wyth vnry3t & robbed wyth þewes.
1143 War þe þenne for þe wrake: His wrath is achaufed
1144 For þat þat ones watz His schulde efte be vnclene,
1145 Þa3hit be bot a bassyn, a bolle oþer a scole,
1146 A dysche oþer a dobler, þat Dry3tyn onez serued.
1147 To defowle hit euer vpon folde fast He forbedes,
1148 So is He scoymus of scaþe þat scylful is euer.
1149 & þat watz bared in Babyloyn in Baltazar tyme,
1150 Hov harde vnhap þer hym hent & hastyly sone,
1151 For he þe vesselles avyled þat vayled in þe temple
1152 In seruyse of þe Souerayn sumtyme byfore.
1153 3if3e wolde ty3t me a tom telle hit I wolde,
1154 Hov charged more watz his chaunce þat hem cherych nolde
1155 Þen his fader forloyne þat feched hem wyth strenþe,
1156 & robbed þe relygioun of relykes alle.
1157 Danyel in his dialokez devysed sumtyme,
1158 As3et is proued expresse in his profecies,
1159 Hov þe gentryse of Juise & Jherusalem þe ryche
1160 Watz disstryed wyth distres, & drawen to þe erþe.
1161 For þat folke in her fayth watz founden vntrwe,
1162 Þat haden hy3t þe hy3e God to halde of Hym euer;
1163 & He hem hal3ed for His & help at her nede
1164 In mukel meschefes mony, þat meruayl [is] to here.
1165 & þay forloyne her fayth & fol3ed oþer goddes,
1166 & þat wakned His wrath & wrast hit so hy3e
1167 Þat He fylsened þe faythful in þe falce lawe
1168 To forfare þe falce in þe faythe trwe.
1169 Hit watz sen in þat syþe þat Zedethyas rengned
1170 In Juda, þat justised þe Juyne kynges.
1171 He sete on Salamones solie on solemne wyse,
1172 Bot of leaute he watz lat to his Lorde hende:
1173 He vsed abominaciones of idolatrye,
1174 & lette ly3t bi þe lawe þat he watz lege tylle.
1175 Forþi oure Fader vpon folde a foman hym wakned:
1176 Nabigodenozar nuyed hym swyþe.
1177 He pursued into Palastyn with proude men mony,
1178 & þer he wast wyth with werre þe wones of þorpes;
1179 He her3ed vp alle Israel & hent of þe beste,
1180 & þe gentylest of Judee in Jerusalem biseged,
1181 Vmbewalt alle þe walles wyth wy3es ful stronge,
1182 At vche a dor a do3ty duk, & dutte hem wythinne;
1183 For þe bor3watz so bygge baytayled alofte,
1184 & stoffed wythinne with stout men to stalle hem þeroute.
1185 Þenne watz þe sege sette þe cete aboute,
1186 Skete skarmoch skelt, much skaþe lached;
1187 At vch brugge a berfray on basteles wyse
1188 Þat seuen syþe vch a day asayled þe3ates;
1189 Trwe tulkkes in toures teueled wythinne,
1190 In bigge brutage of borde bulde on þe walles;
1191 Þay fe3t & þay fende of, & fylter togeder
1192 Til two3er ouertorned,3et tok þay hit neuer.
1193 At þe laste, vpon longe, þo ledes wythinne,
1194 Faste fayled hem þe fode, enfannined monie;
1195 Þe hote hunger wythinne hert hem wel sarre
1196 Þen any dunt of þat douthe þat dowelled þeroute.
1197 Þenne wern þo rowtes redles in þo ryche wones;
1198 Fro þat mete watz myst, megre þay wexen,
1199 & þay stoken so strayt þat þay ne stray my3t
1200 A fote fro þat forselet to forray no goudes.
1201 Þenne þe kyng of þe kyth a counsayl hym takes
1202 Wyth þe best of his burnes, a blench for to make;
1203 Þay stel out on a stylle ny3t er any steuen rysed,
1204 & harde hurles þur3þe oste er enmies hit wyste.
1205 Bot er þay atwappe ne mo3t þe wach wythoute
1206 Hi3e skelt watz þe askry þe skewes anvnder.
1207 Loude alarom vpon launde lulted watz þenne;
1208 Ryche, ruþed of her rest, ran to here wedes,
1209 Hard hattes þay hent & on hors lepes;
1210 Cler claryoun crak cryed on lofte.
1211 By þat watz alle on a hepe hurlande swyþee,
1212 Fol3ande þat oþer flote, & fonde hem bilyue,
1213 Ouertok hem as tyd, tult hem of sadeles,
1214 Tyl vche prynce hade his per put to þe grounde.
1215 & þer watz þe kyng ka3t wyth Calde prynces,
1216 & alle hise gentyle forjusted on Jerico playnes,
1217 & presented wern as presoneres to þe prynce rychest,
1218 Nabigodenozar, noble in his chayer;
1219 & he þe faynest freke þat he his fo hade,
1220 & speke spitously hem to, & spylt þerafter.
1221 Þe kynges sunnes in his sy3t he slow euervch one,
1222 & holkked out his auen y3en heterly boþe,
1223 & bede þe burne to be bro3t to Babyloyn þe ryche,
1224 & þere in dongoun be don to dre3e þer his wyrdes.
1225 Now se, so þe Soueray[n] set hatz His wrake:
1226 Nas hit not for Nabugo ne his noble nauþer
1227 Þat oþer depryued watz of pryde with paynes stronge,
1228 Bot for his beryng so badde agayn his blyþe Lorde;
1229 For hade þe Fader ben his frende, þat hym bifore keped,
1230 Ne neuer trespast to Him in teche of mysseleue,
1231 To colde wer alle Calde & kythes of Ynde,
1232 3et take Torkye hem wyth, her tene hade ben little.
1233 3et nolde neuer Nabugo þis ilke note leue
1234 Er he hade tuyred þis toun & torne hit to grounde.
1235 He joyned vnto Jerusalem a gentyle duc þenne,
1236 His name watz Nabuzardan, to noye þe Jues;
1237 He watz mayster of his men & my3ty himseluen,
1238 Þe chef of his cheualrye his chekkes to make;
1239 He brek þe bareres as bylyue, & þe bur3after,
1240 & enteres in ful ernestly, in yre of his hert.
1241 What! þe maysterry watz mene: þe men wern away,
1242 Þe best bo3ed wyth þe burne þat þe bor33emed,
1243 & þo þat byden wer [s]o biten with þe bale hunger
1244 Þat on wyf hade ben worþe þe welgest fourre.
1245 Nabizardan no3t forþy nolde not spare,
1246 Bot bede al to þe bronde vnder bare egge;
1247 Þay slowen of swettest semlych burdes,
1248 Baþed barnes in blod & her brayn spylled;
1249 Prestes & prelates þay presed to deþe,
1250 Wyues & wenches her wombes tocoruen,
1251 Þat her boweles outborst aboute þe diches,
1252 & al watz carfully kylde þat þay cach my3t.
1253 And alle swypped, vnswol3ed of þe sworde kene,
1254 Þay wer cagged & ka3t on capeles al bare,
1255 Festned fettres to her fete vnder fole wombes,
1256 & broþely bro3t to Babyloyn þer bale to suffer,
1257 To sytte in seruage & syte, þat sumtyme wer gentyle.
1258 Now ar chaunged to chorles & charged wyth werkkes,
1259 Boþe to cayre at þe kart & þe kuy mylke,
1260 Þat sumtyme sete in her sale syres & burdes.
1261 &3et Nabuzardan nyl neuer stynt
1262 Er he to þe tempple tee wyth his tulkkes alle;
1263 Betes on þe barers, brestes vp þe3ates,
1264 Slouen alle at a slyp þat serued þerinne,
1265 Pulden prestes bi þe polle & plat of her hedes,
1266 Di3ten dekenes to deþe, dungen doun clerkkes,
1267 & alle þe maydenes of þe munster ma3tyly hokyllen
1268 Wyth þe swayf of þe sworde þat swol3ed hem alle.
1269 Þenne ran þay to þe relykes as robbors wylde,
1270 & pyled alle þe apparement þat pented to þe kyrke,
1271 Þe pure pyleres of bras pourtrayd in golde,
1272 & þe chef chaundeler charged with þe ly3t,
1273 Þat ber þe lamp vpon lofte þat lemed euermore
1274 Bifore þ[e]$$$sancta sanctorum$$$$þer selcouth watz ofte.
1275 Þay ca3t away þat condelstik, & þe crowne als
1276 Þat þe auter hade vpon, of aþel golde ryche,
1277 Þe gredirne & þe goblotes garnyst of syluer,
1278 Þe bases of þe bry3t postes & bassynes so schyre,
1279 Dere disches of golde & dubleres fayre,
1280 Þe vyoles & þe vesselment of vertuous stones.
1281 Now hatz Nabuzardan nomen alle þyse noble þynges,
1282 & pyled þat precious place & pakked þose godes;
1283 Þe golde of þe gazafylace to swyþe gret noumbre,
1284 Wyth alle þe vrnmentes of þat hous, he hamppred togeder;
1285 Alle he spoyled spitously in a sped whyle
1286 Þat Salomon so mony a sadde3er so3t to make.
1287 Wyth alle þe coyntyse þat he cowþe clene to wyrke,
1288 Deuised he þe vesselment, þe vestures clene;
1289 Wyth sly3t of his ciences, his Souerayn to loue,
1290 Þe hous & þe anournementes he hy3tled togedere.
1291 Now hatz Nabuzardan numnend hit al samen,
1292 & syþen bet doun þe bur3& brend hit in askes.
1293 Þenne wyth legiounes of ledes ouer londes he rydes,
1294 Her3ez of Israel þe hyrne aboute;
1295 Wyth charged chariotes þe cheftayn he fynde,
1296 Bikennes þe catel to þe kyng, þat he ca3t hade;
1297 Presented him þe prisoneres in pray þat þay token,
1298 Moni a worþly wy3e whil her worlde laste,
1299 Moni semly syre soun, & swyþe rych maydenes,
1300 Þe pruddest of þe prouince, & prophetes childer,
1301 As Ananie & Azarie & als Mizael,
1302 & dere Daniel also, þat watz deuine noble,
1303 With moni a modey moder-chylde mo þen innoghe.
1304 & Nabugo_de_nozar makes much joye,
1305 Nov he þe kyng hatz conquest & þe kyth wunnen,
1306 & dreped alle þe do3tyest & derrest in armes,
1307 & þe lederes of her lawe layd to þe grounde,
1308 & þe pryce of þe profetie prisoners maked.
1309 Bot þe joy of þe juelrye so gentyle & ryche,
1310 When hit watz schewed hym so schene, scharp watz his wonder;
1311 Of such vessel auayed, þat vayled so huge,
1312 Neuer3et nas Nabugo_de_nozar er þenne.
1313 He sesed hem with solemnete, þe Souerayn he praysed
1314 Þat watz aþel ouer alle, Israel Dry3tyn:
1315 Such god, such gomes, such gay vesselles,
1316 Comen neuer out of kyth to Caldee reames.
1317 He trussed hem in his tresorye in a tryed place,
1318 Rekenly, wyth reuerens, as he ry3t hade;
1319 & þer he wro3t as þe wyse, as3e may wyt hereafter,
1320 For hade he let of hem ly3t, hym mo3t haf lumpen worse.
1321 Þat ryche in gret rialte rengned his lyue,
1322 As conquerour of vche a cost he cayser watz hatte,
1323 Emperour of alle þe erþe & also þe saudan,
1324 & als þe god of þe grounde watz grauen his name.
1325 & al þur3dome of Daniel, fro he deuised hade
1326 Þat alle goudes com of God, & gef hit hym bi samples,
1327 Þat he ful clanly bicnv his carp bi þe laste,
1328 & ofte hit mekned his mynde, his maysterful werkkes.
1329 Bot al drawes to dy3e with doel vp[o]n ende:
1330 Bi a haþel neuer so hy3e, he heldes to grounde.
1331 & so Nabugo_de_nozar, as he nedes moste,
1332 For alle his empire so hi3e in erþe is he grauen.
1333 Bot þenn þe bolde Baltazar, þat watz his barn aldest,
1334 He watz stalled in his stud, & stabled þe rengne
1335 In þe bur3of Babiloyne, þe biggest he trawed,
1336 Þat nauþer in heuen ne [on] erþe hade no pere;
1337 For he bigan in alle þe glori þat hym þe gome lafte,
1338 Nabugo_de_nozar, þat watz his noble fader.
1339 So kene a kyng in Caldee com neu[er] er þenne;
1340 Bot honoured he not Hym þat in heuen wonies.
1341 Bot fals fantummes of fendes, formed with handes,
1342 Wyth tool out of harde tre, & telded on lofte,
1343 & of stokkes & stones, he stoute goddes callz,
1344 When þay ar gilde al with golde & gered wyth syluer;
1345 & þere he kneles & callez & clepes after help.
1346 & þay reden him ry3t rewarde he hem hetes,
1347 & if þay gruchen him his grace, to gremen his hert,
1348 He cleches to a gret klubbe & knokkes hem to peces.
1349 Þus in pryde & olipraunce his empyre he haldes,
1350 In lust & in lecherye & loþelych werkkes,
1351 & hade a wyf for to welde, a worþelych quene,
1352 & mony a lemman, neuer þe later, þat ladis wer called.
1353 In þe clernes of his concubines & curious wedez,
1354 In notyng of nwe metes & of nice gettes,
1355 Al watz þe mynde of þat man on misschapen þinges,
1356 Til þe Lorde of þe lyfte liste hit abate.
1357 Thenne þis bolde Baltazar biþenkkes hym ones
1358 To vouche on avayment of his vayne g[l]orie;
1359 Hit is not innoghe to þe nice al no3ty þink vse
1360 Bot if alle þe worlde wyt his wykked dedes.
1361 Baltazar þur3Babiloyn his banne gart crye,
1362 & þur3þe cuntre of Caldee his callyng con spryng,
1363 Þat alle þe grete vpon grounde schulde geder hem samen
1364 & assemble at a set day at þe saudans fest.
1365 Such a mangerie to make þe man watz auised,
1366 Þat vche a kythyn kyng schuld com þider,
1367 Vche duk wyth his duthe, & oþer dere lordes,
1368 Schulde com to his court to kyþe hym for lege,
1369 & to reche hym reuerens, & his reuel herkken,
1370 To loke on his lemanes & ladis hem calle.
1371 To rose hym in his rialty rych men so3tten,
1372 & mony a baroun ful bolde, to Babyloyn þe noble.
1373 Þer bowed toward Babiloyn burnes so mony,
1374 Kynges, cayseres ful kene, to þe court wonnen,
1375 Mony ludisch lordes þat ladies bro3ten,
1376 Þat to neuen þe noumbre to much nye were.
1377 For þe bour3watz so brod & so bigge alce,
1378 Stalled in þe fayrest stud þe sterrez anvnder,
1379 Prudly on a plat playn, plek alþer-fayrest,
1380 Vmbesweyed on vch a syde with seuen grete wateres,
1381 With a wonder wro3t walle wruxeled ful hi3e,
1382 With koynt carneles aboue, coruen ful clene,
1383 Troched toures bitwene, twenty spere lenþe,
1384 & þiker þrowen vmbeþour with ouerþwert palle.
1385 Þe place þat plyed þe pursaunt wythinne
1386 Watz longe & ful large & euer ilych sware,
1387 & vch a syde vpon soyle helde seuen myle,
1388 & þe saudans sete sette in þe myddes.
1389 Þat watz a palayce of pryde passande alle oþer,
1390 Boþe of werk & of wunder, & walle[d] al aboute;
1391 He3e houses withinne, þe halle to hit med,
1392 So brod bilde in a bay þat blonkkes my3t renne.
1393 When þe terme of þe tyde watz towched of þe feste,
1394 Dere dro3en þerto & vpon des metten,
1395 & Baltazar vpon bench was busked to sete,
1396 Stepe stayred stones of his stoute throne.
1397 Þenne watz alle þe halle flor hiled with kny3tes,
1398 & barounes at þe sidebordes bounet aywhere,
1399 For non watz dressed vpon dece bot þe dere seluen,
1400 & his clere concubynes in cloþes ful bry3t.
1401 When alle segges were þet set þen seruyse bygynnes,
1402 Sturnen trumpen strake steuen in halle,
1403 Aywhere by þe wowes wrasten krakkes,
1404 & brode baneres þerbi blusnande of gold,
1405 Burnes berande þe bredes vpon brode skeles
1406 Þat were of sylueren sy3t, & served þerwyth,
1407 Lyfte logges þerouer & on lofte coruen,
1408 Pared out of paper & poynted of golde,
1409 Broþe baboynes abof, besttes anvnder,
1410 Foles in foler flakerande bitwene,
1411 & al in asure & ynde enaumayld ryche;
1412 & al on blonkken bak bere hit on honde.
1413 & ay þe nakeryn noyse, notes of pipes,
1414 Tymbres & tabornes, tulket among,
1415 Symbales & sonetez sware þe noyse,
1416 & bougounz busch batered so þikke.
1417 So watz serued fele syþe þe sale alle aboute,
1418 With solace at þe sere course, bifore þe self lorde,
1419 Þer þe lede & alle his loue lenged at þe table:
1420 So faste þay we3ed to him wyne hit warmed his hert
1421 & breyþed vppe into his brayn & blemyst his mynde,
1422 & al waykned his wyt, & welne3e he foles;
1423 For he waytez on wyde, his wenches he byholdes,
1424 & his bolde baronage aboute bi þe wo3es.
1425 Þenne a dotage ful depe drof to his hert,
1426 & a caytif counsayl he ca3t bi hymseluen;
1427 Maynly his marschal þe mayster vpon calles,
1428 & comaundes hym cofly coferes to lauce,
1429 & fech forþ þe vessel þat his fader bro3t,
1430 Nabugo_de_nozar, noble in his strenþe,
1431 Conquered with his kny3tes & of kyrk rafte
1432 In Jude, in Jerusalem, in gentyle wyse:
1433 'Bryng hem now to my borde, of beuerage hem fylles,
1434 Let þise ladyes of hem lape, I luf hem in hert;
1435 Þat schal I cortaysly kyþe, & þay schin knawe sone,
1436 Þer is no bounte in burne lyk Baltazar þewes.'
1437 Þenne towched to þe tresour þis tale watz sone,
1438 & he with keyes vncloses kystes ful mony;
1439 Mony burþen ful bry3t watz bro3t into halle,
1440 & couered mony a cupborde with cloþes ful quite.
1441 Þe jueles out of Jerusalem with gemmes ful bry3t
1442 Bi þe syde of þe sale were semely arayed;
1443 Þe aþel auter of brasse watz hade into place,
1444 Þe gay coroun of golde gered on lofte.
1445 Þat hade ben blessed bifore wyth bischopes hondes
1446 & wyth besten blod busily anoynted,
1447 In þe solempne sacrefyce þat goud sauor hade
1448 Bifore þe Lorde of þe lyfte in louyng Hymseluen,
1449 Now is sette, for to serue Satanas þe blake,
1450 Bifore þe bolde Baltazar wyth bost & wyth pryde;
1451 Houen vpon þis auter watz aþel vessel
1452 Þat wyth [s]o curious a crafte coruen watz wyly.
1453 Salamon sete him s[eue]n3ere & a syþe more,
1454 With alle þe syence þat hym sende þe souerayn Lorde,
1455 For to compas & kest to haf hem clene wro3t.
1456 For þer wer bassynes ful bry3t of brende golde clere,
1457 Enaumaylde with azer, & eweres of sute,
1458 Couered cowpes foul clene, as casteles arayed,
1459 Enbaned vnder batelment with bantelles quoynt,
1460 & fyled out of fygures of ferlyle schappes.
1461 Þe coperounes of þe canacles þat on þe cuppe reres
1462 Wer fetysely formed out in fylyoles longe;
1463 Pinacles py3t þer apert þat profert bitwene,
1464 & al bolled abof with braunches & leues,
1465 Pyes & papejayes purtrayed withinne,
1466 As þay prudly hade piked of pomgarnades;
1467 For alle þe blomes of þe bo3es wer blyknande perles,
1468 & alle þe fruyt in þo formes of flaumbeande gemmes,
1469 Ande safyres, & sardiners, & semely topace,
1470 Alabaundarynes, & amaraunz, & amaffised stones,
1471 Casydoynes, & crysolytes, & clere rubies,
1472 Penitotes, & pynkardines, ay perles bitwene;
1473 So trayled & tryfled atrauerce wer alle,
1474 Bi vche bekyrande þe bolde, þe brurdes al vmbe;
1475 Þe gobelotes of golde grauen aboute,
1476 & fyoles fretted with flores & fleez of golde;
1477 Vpon þat avter watz al aliche dresset.
1478 Þe candelstik bi a cost watz cayred þider sone,
1479 Vpon þe pyleres apyked, þat praysed hit mony,
1480 Vpon hit basez of brasse þat ber vp þe werkes,
1481 Þe bo3es bry3t þerabof, brayden of golde,
1482 Braunches bredande þeron, & bryddes þer seten
1483 Of mony kyndes, of fele kyn hues,
1484 As þay with wynge vpon wynde hade waged her fyþeres.
1485 Inmong þe leues of þe lampes wer grayþed,
1486 & oþer louflych ly3t þat lemed ful fayre,
1487 As mony morteres of wax merkked withoute
1488 With mony a borlych best al of brende golde.
1489 Hit watz not wonte in þat wone to wast no serges,
1490 Bot in temple of þe trauþe trwly to stonde
1491 Bifore þe$$$sancta sanctorum$$$$, soþefast Dry3tyn
1492 Expouned His speche spiritually to special prophetes.
1493 Leue þou wel þat þe Lorde þat þe lyfte3emes
1494 Displesed much at þat play in þat plyt stronge,
1495 Þat His jueles so gent wyth jaueles wer fouled,
1496 Þat presyous in His presens wer proued sumwhyle.
1497 Soberly in His sacrafyce summe wer anoynted,
1498 Þur3þe somones of Himselfe þat syttes so hy3e;
1499 Now a boster on benche bibbes þerof
1500 Tyl he be dronkken as þe deuel, & dotes þer he syttes.
1501 So þe Worcher of þis worlde wlates þerwyth
1502 Þat in þe poynt of her play He poruayes a mynde;
1503 Bot er harme hem He wolde in haste of His yre,
1504 He wayned hem a warnyng þat wonder hem þo3t.
1505 Nov is alle þis guere geten glotounes to serue,
1506 Stad in a ryche stal, & stared ful bry3t[e];
1507 Baltazar in a brayd: 'Bede vus þerof!
1508 We3e wyn in þis won! Wassayl!' he cryes.
1509 Swyfte swaynes ful swyþe swepen þertylle,
1510 Kyppe kowpes in honde kyngez to serue;
1511 In bry3t bollez ful bayn birlen þise oþer,
1512 & vche mon for his mayster machches alone.
1513 Þer watz rynging, on ry3t, of ryche metalles,
1514 Quen renkkes in þat ryche rok rennen hit to cache;
1515 Clatering of couaclez þat kesten þo burdes
1516 As sonet out of sau[t]eray songe als myry.
1517 Þen þe dotel on dece drank þat he my3t;
1518 & þenne arn dressed dukez & prynces,
1519 Concubines & kny3tes, bi cause of þat merthe;
1520 As vchon hade hym inhelde he haled of þe cuppe.
1521 So long likked þise lordes þise lykores swete,
1522 & gloryed on her falce goddes, & her grace calles,
1523 Þat were of stokkes & stones, stille euermore,
1524 Neuer steuen hem astel, so stoken [is] hor tonge.
1525 Alle þe goude golden goddes þe gaulez3et neuenen,
1526 Belfagor & Belyal, & Belssabub als,
1527 Heyred hem as hy3ly as heuen wer þayres,
1528 Bot Hym þat alle goudes giues, þat God þay for3eten.
1529 For þer a ferly bifel þat fele folk se3en;
1530 Fryst knew hit þe kyng & alle þe cort after:
1531 In þe palays pryncipale, vpon þe playn wowe,
1532 In contrary of þe candelstik, þat clerest hit schyned,
1533 Þer apered a paume, with poyntel in fyngres,
1534 Þat watz grysly & gret, & grymly he wrytes;
1535 Non oþer forme bot a fust faylande þe wryste
1536 Pared on þe parget, purtrayed lettres.
1537 When þat bolde Baltazar blusched to þat neue,
1538 Such a dasande drede dusched to his hert
1539 Þat al falewed his face & fayled þe chere;
1540 Þe stronge strok of þe stonde strayned his joyntes,
1541 His cnes cachches toclose, & cluchches his hommes,
1542 & he with plattyng his paumes displayes his ler[e]s,
1543 & romyes as a rad ryth þat rorez for drede,
1544 Ay biholdand þe honde til hit hade al grauen
1545 & rasped on þe ro3wo3e runisch sauez.
1546 When hit þe scrypture hade scraped wyth a strof penne,
1547 As a coltour in clay cerues þo for3es,
1548 Þenne hit vanist verayly & voyded of sy3t,
1549 Bt þe lettres bileued ful large vpon plaster.
1550 Sone so þe kynge for his care carping my3t wynne,
1551 He bede his burnes bo3to þat were bok-lered,
1552 To wayte þe wryt þat hit wolde, & wyter hym to say,
1553 'For al hit frayes my flesche, þe fyngres so grymme.'
1554 Scoleres skelten þeratte þe skyl for to fynde,
1555 Bot þer watz neuer on so wyse couþe on worde rede,
1556 Ne what ledisch lore ne langage nauþer,
1557 What tyþyng ne tale tokened þo dra3tes.
1558 Þenne þe bolde Baltazar bred ner wode,
1559 & ede þe cete to seche segges þur3out
1560 Þat wer wyse of wychecrafte, & warla3es oþer
1561 Þat con dele wyth demerlayk & deuine lettres.
1562 'Calle hem alle to my cort, þo Calde clerkkes,
1563 Vnfolde hem alle þis ferly þat is bifallen here,
1564 & calle wyth a hi3e cry: "He þat þe kyng wysses,
1565 In expounyng of speche þat spredes in þise lettres,
1566 & make þe mater to malt my mynde wythinne,
1567 Þat I may wyterly wyt what þat wryt menes,
1568 He schal be gered ful gaye in gounes of porpre,
1569 & a coler of cler golde clos vmbe his þrote;
1570 He schal be prymate & prynce of pure clergye,
1571 & of my þreuenest lordez þe þrydde he schal,
1572 & of my reme þe rychest to ryde wyth myseluen,
1573 Outtaken bare two, & þenne he þe þrydde."'
1574 Þis cry watz vpcaste, & þer comen mony
1575 Clerkes out of Caldye þat kennest wer knauen,
1576 As þe sage sathrapas þat sorsory couþe,
1577 Wychez & walkyries wonnen to þat sale,
1578 Deuinores of demorlaykes þat dremes cowþe rede,
1579 Sorsers & exorsismus & fele such clerkes;
1580 & alle þat loked on þat letter as lewed þay were
1581 As þay had loked in þe leþer of my lyft bote.
1582 Þenne cryes þe kyng & kerues his wedes.
1583 What! he corsed his clerkes & calde hem chorles;
1584 To henge þe harlotes he he3ed ful ofte:
1585 So watz þe wy3e wytles he wed wel ner.
1586 Ho herde hym chyde to þe chambre þat watz þe chef quene.
1587 When ho watz wytered bi wy3es what watz þe cause,
1588 Suche a chaungande chaunce in þe chef halle,
1589 Þe lady, to lauce þat los þat þe lorde hade,
1590 Glydes doun by þe grece & gos to þe kyng.
1591 Ho kneles on þe colde erþe & carpes to hymseluen
1592 Wordes of worchyp wyth a wys speche.
1593 'Kene kyng,' quoþ þe quene, 'kayser of vrþe,
1594 Euer laste þy lyf in lenþe of dayes!
1595 Why hatz þou rended þy robe for redles hereinne,
1596 Þa3þose ledes ben lewed lettres to rede,
1597 & hatz a haþel in þy holde, as I haf herde ofte,
1598 Þat hatz þe gostes of God þat gyes alle soþes?
1599 His sawle is ful of syence, sa3es to schawe,
1600 To open vch a hide þyng of aunteres vncowþe.
1601 Þat is he þat ful ofte hatz heuened þy fader
1602 Of mony anger ful hote with his holy speche.
1603 When Nabugo_de_nozar watz nyed in stoundes,
1604 He devysed his dremes to þe dere trawþe;
1605 He keuered hym with his counsayl of caytyf wyrdes;
1606 Alle þat he spured hym, in space he expowned clene,
1607 Þur3þe sped of þe spyryt, þat sprad hym withinne,
1608 Of þe godelest goddez þat gaynes aywhere.
1609 For his depe diuinite & his dere sawes,
1610 Þy bolde fader Baltazar bede by his name,
1611 Þat now is demed Danyel, of derne coninges,
1612 Þat ca3t watz in þe captyuide in cuntre of Jues;
1613 Nabuzardan hym nome, & now is he here,
1614 A prophete of þat prouince & pryce of þe worlde.
1615 Sende into þe cete to seche hym bylyue,
1616 & wynne hym with þe worchyp to wayne þe bote;
1617 & þa3þe mater be merk þat merked is3ender,
1618 He schal declar hit also as hit on clay stande.'
1619 Þat gode counseyl at þe quene watz cached as swyþe;
1620 Þe burne byfore Baltazar watz bro3t in a whyle.
1621 When he com bifore þe kyng & clanly had halsed,
1622 Baltazar vmbebrayde hym, & 'Leue sir,' he sayde,
1623 'Hit is tolde me bi tulkes þat þou trwe were
1624 Profete of þat prouynce þat prayed my fader,
1625 Ande þat þou hatz in þy hert holy connyng,
1626 Of sapyence þi sawle ful, soþes to schawe;
1627 Goddes gost is þe geuen þat gyes alle þynges,
1628 & þou vnhyles vch hidde þat Heuen-Kyng myntes.
1629 & here is a ferly byfallen, & I fayn wolde
1630 Wyt þe wytte of þe wryt þat on þe wowe clyues,
1631 For alle Calde clerkes han cowwardely fayled.
1632 If þou with quayntyse con quere hit, I quyte þe þy mede:
1633 For if þou redes hit by ry3t & hit to resoun brynges,
1634 Fyrst telle me þe tyxte of þe tede lettres,
1635 & syþen þe mater of þe mode mene me þerafter,
1636 & I schal halde þe þe hest þat I þe hy3t haue,
1637 Apyke þe in porpre cloþe, palle alþer-fynest,
1638 & þe by3e of bry3t golde abowte þyn nekke,
1639 & þe þryd þryuenest þat þrynges me after,
1640 Þou schal be baroun vpon benche, bede I þe no lasse.'
1641 Derfly þenne Danyel deles þyse wordes:
1642 'Ryche kyng of þis rengne, rede þe oure Lorde!
1643 Hit is surely soth þe Souerayn of heuen
1644 Fylsened euer þy fader & vpon folde cheryched,
1645 Gart hym grattest to be of gouernores alle,
1646 & alle þe worlde in his wylle welde as hym lykes.
1647 Whoso wolde wel do, wel hym bityde,
1648 & quos deth so he dezyre, he dreped als fast;
1649 Whoso hym lyked to lyft, on lofte watz he sone,
1650 & quoso hym lyked to lay watz lo3ed bylyue.
1651 So watz noted þe note of Nabugo_de_nozar,
1652 Styfly stabled þe rengne bi þe stronge Dry3tyn,
1653 For of þe Hy3est he hade a hope in his hert,
1654 Þat vche pouer past out of þat Prynce euen.
1655 & whyle þat watz cle3t clos in his hert
1656 Þere watz no mon vpon molde of my3t as hymseluen;
1657 Til hit bitide on a tyme towched hym pryde
1658 For his lordeschyp so large & his lyf ryche;
1659 He hade so huge an insy3t to his aune dedes
1660 Þat þe power of þe hy3e Prynce he purely for3etes.
1661 Þenne blynnes he not of blasfemy on to blame þe Dry3tyn;
1662 His my3t mete to Goddes he made with his wordes:
1663 "I am god of þe grounde, to gye as me lykes.
1664 As He þat hy3e is in heuen, His aungeles þat weldes.
1665 If He hatz formed þe folde & folk þervpone,
1666 I haf bigged Babiloyne, bur3alþer-rychest,
1667 Stabled þerinne vche a ston in strenkþe of myn armes;
1668 Mo3t neuer my3t bot myn make such anoþer."
1669 Watz not þis ilke worde wonnen of his mowþe one
1670 Er þenne þe Souerayn sa3e souned in his eres:
1671 "Now Nabugo_de_nozar inno3e hatz spoken,
1672 Now is alle þy pryncipalte past at ones,
1673 & þou, remued fro monnes sunes, on mor most abide
1674 & in wasturne walk & wyth þe wylde dowelle,
1675 As best, byte on þe bent of braken & erbes,
1676 With wroþe wolfes to won & wyth wylde asses."
1677 Inmydde þe poynt of his pryde departed he þere
1678 Fro þe soly of his solempnete; his solace he leues,
1679 & carfully is outkast to contre vnknawen,
1680 Fer into a fyr fryth þere frekes neuer comen.
1681 His hert heldet vnhole; he hoped non oþer
1682 Bot a best þat he be, a bol oþer an oxe.
1683 He fares forth on alle faure, fogge watz his mete,
1684 & ete ay as a horce when erbes were fallen;
1685 Þus he countes hym a kow þat watz a kyng ryche,
1686 Quyle seuen syþez were ouerseyed, someres I trawe.
1687 By þat mony þik thy3e þry3t vmbe his lyre,
1688 Þat alle watz dubbed & dy3t in þe dew of heuen;
1689 Faxe, fyltered & felt, flosed hym vmbe,
1690 Þat schad fro his schulderes to his schyre wykes,
1691 & twenty-folde twynande hit to his tos ra3t,
1692 Þer mony clyuy as clyde hit cly3t togeder.
1693 His berde ibrad alle his brest to þe bare vrþe,
1694 His browes bresed as breres aboute his brode chekes;
1695 Hol3e were his y3en & vnder campe hores,
1696 & al watz gray as þe glede, with ful grymme clawres
1697 Þat were croked & kene as þe kyte paune;
1698 Erne-hwed he watz & al ouerbrawden,
1699 Til he wyst ful wel who wro3t alle my3tes,
1700 & cowþe vche kyndam tokerue & keuer when Hym lyked.
1701 Þenne He wayned hym his wyt, þat hade wo soffered,
1702 Þat he com to knawlach & kenned hymseluen;
1703 Þenne he loued þat Lorde & leued in trawþe
1704 Hit watz non oþer þen He þat hade al in honde.
1705 Þenne sone watz he sende agayn, his sete restored;
1706 His barounes bo3ed hym to, blyþe of his come,
1707 Ha3erly in his aune hwe his heued watz couered,
1708 & so3eply watz3arked &3olden his state.
1709 Bot þou, Baltazar, his barne & his bolde ayre,
1710 Se3þese syngnes with sy3t & set hem at lyttel,
1711 Bot ay hatz hofen þy hert agaynes þe hy3e Dry3t[y]n,
1712 With bobaunce & with blasfamye bost at Hym kest,
1713 & now His vessayles avyled in vanyte vnclene,
1714 Þat in His hows Hym to honour were heuened of fyrst;
1715 Bifore þe barounz hatz hom bro3t, & byrled þerinne
1716 Wale wyne to þy wenches in waryed stoundes;
1717 Bifore þy borde hatz þou bro3t beuerage in þede,
1718 Þat blyþely were fyrst blest with bischopes hondes,
1719 Louande þeron lese goddez þat lyf haden neuer,
1720 Made of stokkes & stonez þat neuer styry mo3t.
1721 & for þat froþande fylþe, þe Fader of heuen
1722 Hatz sende into þis sale þise sy3tes vncowþe,
1723 Þe fyste with þe fyngeres þat flayed þi hert,
1724 Þat rasped renyschly þe wo3e with þe ro3penne.
1725 Þise ar þe wordes here wryten, withoute werk more,
1726 By vch fygure, as I fynde, as oure Fader lykes:
1727 $$$$$Mane, Techal, Phares$$$$: merked in þrynne,
1728 Þat þretes þe of þyn vnþryfte vpon þre wyse.
1729 Now expowne þe þis speche spedly I þenk:
1730 $$$$$Mane$$$$menes als much as "Maynful Gode
1731 Hatz counted þy kyndam bi a clene noumbre,
1732 & fulfylled hit in fayth to þe fyrre ende".
1733 To teche þe of$$$$$Techal$$$$, þat terme þus menes:
1734 "þy wale rengne is walt in we3tes to heng,
1735 & is funde ful fewe of hit fayth-dedes."
1736 &$$$$$Phares$$$$fol3es for þose fawtes, to frayst þe trawþe;
1737 In$$$$$Phares fynde$$$$I forsoþe þise felle sa3es:
1738 "Departed is þy pryncipalte, depryued þou worpes,
1739 Þy rengne rafte is þe fro, & ra3t is þe Perses;
1740 Þe Medes schal be maysteres here, & þou of menske schowued."'
1741 Þe kyng comaunded anon to cleþe þat wyse
1742 In frokkes of fyn cloþ, as forward hit asked;
1743 Þenne sone watz Danyel dubbed in ful dere porpor,
1744 & a coler of cler golde kest vmbe his swyre.
1745 Þen watz demed a decre bi þe duk seluen:
1746 Bolde Baltazar bed þat hym bowe schulde
1747 Þe comynes al of Calde þat to þe kyng longed,
1748 As to þe prynce pryuyest preued þe þrydde,
1749 He3est of alle oþer saf onelych tweyne,
1750 To bo3after Baltazar in bor3e & in felde.
1751 Þys watz cryed & knawen in cort als fast,
1752 & alle þe folk þerof fayn þat fol3ed hym tylle.
1753 Bot howso Danyel watz dy3t, þat day ouer3ede;
1754 Ny3t ne3ed ry3t now with nyes fol mony,
1755 For da3ed neuer anoþer day, þat ilk derk after,
1756 Er dalt were þat ilk dome þat Danyel deuysed.
1757 Þe solace of þe solempnete in þat sale dured
1758 Of þat farand fest, tyl fayled þe sunne;
1759 Þenne blykned þe ble of þe bry3t skwes,
1760 Mourkenes þe mery weder, & þe myst dryues
1761 Þor3þe lyst of þe lyfte, bi þe lo3medoes.
1762 Vche haþel to his home hy3es ful fast,
1763 Seten at her soper & songen þerafter;
1764 Þen foundez vch a fela3schyp fyrre at forþ na3tes.
1765 Baltazar to his bedd with blysse watz caryed;
1766 Reche þe rest as hym lyst: he ros neuer þerafter.
1767 For his foes in þe felde in flokkes ful grete,
1768 Þat longe hade layted þat lede his londes to strye,
1769 Now ar þay sodenly assembled at þe self tyme.
1770 Of hem wyst no wy3e þat in þat won dowelled.
1771 Hit watz þe dere Daryus, þe duk of þise Medes,
1772 Þe prowde prynce of Perce, & Porros of Ynde,
1773 With mony a legioun ful large, with ledes of armes,
1774 Þat now hatz spyed a space to spoyle Caldeez.
1775 Þay þrongen þeder in þe þester on þrawen hepes,
1776 Asscaped ouer þe skyre watteres & scaþed þe walles,
1777 Lyfte laddres ful longe & vpon lofte wonen,
1778 Stelen stylly þe toun er any steuen rysed.
1779 Withinne an oure of þe niy3t an entre þay hade,
1780 3et afrayed þay no freke. Fyrre þay passen,
1781 & to þe palays pryncipal þay aproched ful stylle,
1782 Þenne ran þay in on a res on rowtes ful grete;
1783 Blastes out of bry3t brasse brestes so hy3e,
1784 Ascry scarred on þe scue, þat scomfyted mony.
1785 Segges slepande were slayne er þay slyppe my3t;
1786 Vche hous heyred watz withinne a hondewhyle.
1787 Baltazar in his bed watz beten to deþe,
1788 Þat boþe his blod & his brayn blende on þe cloþes;
1789 The kyng in his cortyn watz ka3t bi þe heles,
1790 Feryed out bi þe fete & fowle dispysed.
1791 Þat watz so do3ty þat day & drank of þe vessayl
1792 Now is a dogge also dere þat in a dych lygges.
1793 For þe mayster of þyse Medes on þe morne ryses,
1794 Dere Daryous þat day dy3t vpon trone,
1795 Þat cete seses ful sounde, & sa3tlyng makes
1796 Wyth alle þe barounz þeraboute, þat bowed hym after.
1797 & þus watz þat londe lost for þe lordes synne,
1798 & þe fylþe of þe freke þat defowled hade
1799 Þe ornementes of Goddez hous þat holy were maked.
1800 He watz corsed for his vnclannes, & cached þerinne,
1801 Done doun of his dyngnete for dedez vnfayre,
1802 & of þyse worldes worchyp wrast out for euer,
1803 &3et of lykynges on lofte letted, I trowe:
1804 To loke on oure lofly Lorde late bitydes.
1805 Þus vpon þrynne wyses I haf yow þro schewed
1806 Þat vnclannes tocleues in corage dere
1807 Of þat wynnelych Lorde þat wonyes in heuen,
1808 Entyses Hym to be tene, telled vp His wrake;
1809 Ande clannes is His comfort, & coyntyse He louyes,
1810 & þose þat seme arn & swete schyn se His face.
1811 Þat we gon gay in oure gere þat grace He vus sende,
1812 Þat we may serue in His sy3t, þer solace neuer blynnez.
1813 Amen.

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