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 TACT and 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.
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: 2:2002/5/24
Pacience is a poynt, þa3 hit displese ofte.
When heuy herttes ben hurt wyth heþyng oþer elles,
Suffraunce may aswag[en] hem & þe swleme leþe,
For ho quelles vche a qued & quenches malyce;
For quoso suffer cowþe syt, sele wolde fol3e,
& quo for þro may no3t þole, þe þikker he sufferes.
Þen is better to abyde þe bur vmbestoundes
Þen ay þrow forth my þro, þa3 me þynk ylle.
I herde on a halyday, at a hy3e masse,
How Mathew melede þat his Mayster His meyny con teche.
A3t happes He hem hy3t & vcheon a mede,
Sunderlupes, for hit dissert, vpon a ser wyse:
Thay arn happen þat han in hert pouerte,
For hores is þe heuen-ryche to holde for euer;
Þay ar happen also þat haunte mekenesse,
For þay schal welde þis worlde & alle her wylle haue;
Thay ar happen also þat for her harme wepes,
For þay schal comfort encroche in kythes ful mony;
Þay ar happen also þat hungeres after ry3t,
For þay schal frely be refete ful of alle gode;
Thay ar happen also þat han in hert rauþe,
For mercy in alle maneres her mede schal worþe;
Þay ar happen also þat arn of hert clene,
For þay her Sauyour in sete schal se with her y3en;
Thay ar happen also þat halden her pese,
For þay þe gracious Godes sunes schal godly be called;
Þay ar happen also þat con her hert stere,
For hores is þe heuen-ryche, as I er sayde.
These arn þe happes alle a3t þat vus bihy3t weren,
If we þyse ladyes wolde lof in lyknyng of þewes:
Dame Pouert, Dame Pitee, Dame Penaunce þe þrydde,
Dame Mekenesse, Dame Mercy, & miry Clannesse,
& þenne Dame Pes, & Pacyence put in þerafter.
He were happen þat hade one; alle were þe better.
Bot [s]yn I am put to a poynt þat pouerte hatte,
I schal me poruay pacyence & play me with boþe,
For in þe tyxte þere þyse two arn in teme layde,
Hit arn fettled in on forme, þe forme & þe laste,
& by quest of her quoyntyse enquylen on mede.
& als, in myn vpynyoun, hit arn of on kynde:
For þeras pouert hir proferes ho nyl be put vtter,
Bot lenge wheresoeuer hir lyst, lyke oþer greme;
& þereas pouert enpresses, þa3mon pyne þynk,
Much, maugre his mun, he mot nede suffer;
Thus pouerte & pacyence arn nedes playferes.
Syþen I am sette with hem samen, suffer me byhoues;
Þenne is me ly3tloker hit lyke & her lotes prayse,
Þenne wyþer wyth & be wroth & þe wers haue.
if me be dy3t a destyne due to haue,
What dowes me þe dedayn, oþer dispit make?
Oþer3if my lege lorde lyst on lyue me to bidde
Oþer to ryde oþer to renne to Rome in his ernde,
What grayþed me þe grychchyng bot grame more seche?
Much3if he me ne made, maugref my chekes,
& þenne þrat moste I þole & vnþonk to mede,
Þe had bowed to his bode bongre my hyure.
Did not Jonas in Jude suche jape sumwhyle?
To sette hym to sewrte, vnsounde he hym feches.
Wyl3e tary a lyttel tyne & tent me a whyle,
I schal wysse yow þerwyth as holy wryt telles.
Hit bitydde sumtyme in þe termes of Jude,
Jonas joyned watz þerinne Jentyle prophete;
Goddes glam to hym glod þat hym vnglad made,
With a roghlych rurd rowned in his ere:
'Rys radly,' He says, '& rayke forth euen;
Nym þe way to Nynyue wythouten oþer speche,
& in þat cete My sa3es soghe alle aboute,
Þat in þat place, at þe poynt, I put in þi hert.
For iwysse hit arn so wykke þat in þat won dowellez
& her malys is so much, I may not abide,
Bot venge Me on her vilanye & venym bilyue;
Now swe3e Me þider swyftly & say Me þis arende.'
When þat steuen watz stynt þat stown[e]d his mynde,
Al he wrathed in his wyt, & wyþerly he þo3t:
'If I bowe to His bode & bryng hem þis tale,
& I be nummen in Nuniue, my nyes begynes:
He telles me þose traytoures arn typped schrewes;
I com wyth þose tyþynges, þay ta me bylyue,
Pynez me in a prysoun, put me in stokkes,
Wryþe me in a warlok, wrast out myn y3en.
Þis is a meruayl message a man for to preche
Amonge enmyes so mony & mansed fendes,
Bot if my gaynlych God such gref to me wolde,
Fo[r] desert of sum sake þat I slayn were.
At alle peryles,' quoþ þe prophete, 'I aproche hit no nerre.
I wyl me sum oþer waye þat He ne wayte after;
I schal tee into Tarce & tary þere a whyle,
& ly3tly when I am lest He letes me alone.'
Þenne he ryses radly & raykes bilyue,
Jonas toward port Japh, ay janglande for tene
Þat he nolde þole for noþyng non of þose pynes,
Þa3þe Fader þat hym formed were fale of his hele.
'Oure Syre syttes,' he says, 'on sege so hy3e
In His g[lo]wande glorye, & gloumbes ful lyttel
Þa3I be nummen in Nunniue & naked dispoyled,
On rode rwly torent with rybaudes mony.'
Þus he passes to þat port his passage to seche,
Fyndes he a fayr schyp to þe fare redy,
Maches hym with þe maryneres, makes her paye
For to towe hym into Tarce as tyd as þay my3t.
Then he tron on þo tres, & þay her tramme ruchen,
Cachen vp þe crossayl, cables þay fasten,
Wi3t at þe wyndas we3en her ankres,
Spende spak to þe sprete þe spare bawelyne,
Gederen to þe gyde-ropes, þe grete cloþ falles,
Þay layden in on laddeborde, & þe lofe wynnes,
Þe blyþe breþe at her bak þe bosum he fyndes;
He swenges me þys swete schip swefte fro þe hauen.
Watz neuer so joyful a Jue as Jonas watz þenne,
Þat þe daunger of Dry3tyn so derfly ascaped;
He wende wel þat þat Wy3 þat al þe world planted
Hade no ma3t in þat mere no man for to greue.
Lo, þe wytles wrechche! For he wolde no3t suffer,
Now hatz he put hym in plyt of peril wel more.
Hit watz a wenyng vnwar þat welt in his mynde,
Þa3 he were so3t fro Samarye, þat God se3 no fyrre.
ise, He blusched ful brode: þat burde hym by sure;
Þat ofte kyd hym þe carpe þat kyng sayde,
Dyngne Dauid on des þat demed þis speche
In a psalme þat he set þe sauter withinne:
'O folez in folk, felez oþerwhyle
& vnderstondes vmbestounde, þa3 he be stape fole,
Hope3e þat He heres not þat eres alle made?
Hit may not be þat He is blynde þat bigged vche y3e.'
Bot he dredes no dynt þat dotes for elde.
For he watz fer in þe flod foundande to Tarce,
Bot I trow ful tyd ouertan þat he were,
So þat schomely to schort he schote of his ame.
For þe Welder of wyt þat wot alle þynges,
Þat ay wakes & waytes, at wylle hatz He sly3tes.
He calde on þat ilk crafte He carf with His hondes;
Þay wakened wel þe wroþeloker for wroþely He cleped:
'Ewrus & Aquiloun þat on est sittes
Blowes boþe at My bode vpon blo watteres.'
Þenne watz no tom þer bytwene His tale & her dede,
So bayn wer þay boþe two His bone for to wyrk.
Anon out of þe norþ-est þe noys bigynes,
When boþe breþes con blowe vpon blo watteres.
Ro3 rakkes þer ros with rudnyng anvnder;
Þe see sou3ed ful sore, gret selly to here;
Þe wyndes on þe wonne water so wrastel togeder
Þat þe wawes ful wode waltered so hi3e
& efte busched to þe abyme, þat breed fysches
Durst nowhere for ro3 arest at þe bothem.
When þe breth & þe brok & þe bote metten,
Hit watz a joyles gyn þat Jonas watz inne,
For hit reled on roun vpon þe ro3e yþes.
Þe bur ber to hit baft, þat braste alle her gere,
Þen hurled on a hepe þe helme & þe sterne;
Furst tomurte mony rop & þe mast after;
Þe sayl sweyed on þe see, þenne suppe bihoued
Þe coge of þe [co]lde water, & þenne þe cry ryses.
et coruen þay þe cordes & kest al þeroute;
Mony ladde þer forth lep to laue & to kest,
Scopen out þe scaþel water þat fayn scape wolde,
For be monnes lode neuer so luþer, þe lyf is ay swete.
Þer watz busy ouer borde bale to kest,
Her bagges & her feþer-beddes & her bry3t wedes,
Her kysttes & her coferes, her caraldes alle,
& al to ly3ten þat lome,3if leþe wolde schape.
Bot euer watz ilyche loud þe lot of þe wyndes,
& euer wroþer þe water & wodder þe stremes.
Þen þo wery forwro3t wyst no bote,
Bot vchon glewed on his god þat gayned hym beste:
Summe to Vernagu þer vouched avowes solemne,
Summe to Diana deuout & derf Nepturne,
To Mahoun & to Mergot, þe mone & þe sunne,
& vche lede as he loued & layde had his hert.
Þenne bispeke þe spakest, dispayred wel nere:
'I leue here be sum losynger, sum lawles wrech,
Þat hatz greued his god & gotz here amonge vus.
Lo, al synkes in his synne & for his sake marres.
I lovue þat we lay lotes on ledes vchone,
& whoso lympes þe losse, lay hym þeroute;
& quen þe gulty is gon, what may gome trawe
Bot He þat rules þe rak may rwe on þose oþer?'
Þis watz sette in asent, & sembled þay were,
Her3ed out of vche hyrne to hent þat falles.
A lodesmon ly3tly lep vnder hachches,
For to layte mo ledes & hem to lote bryng.
Bot hym fayled no freke þat he fynde my3t,
Saf Jonas þe Jwe, þat jowked in derne.
He watz flowen for ferde of þe flode lotes
Into þe boþem of þe bot, & on a brede lyggede,
Onhelde by þe hurrok, for þe heuen wrache,
Slypped vpon a sloumbe-selepe, & sloberande he routes.
Þe freke hym frunt with his fot & bede hym ferk vp:
Þer Ragnel in his rakentes hym rere of his dremes!
Bi þe haspede he hentes hym þenne,
& bro3t hym vp by þe brest & vpon borde sette,
Arayned hym ful runyschly what raysoun he hade
In such sla3tes of sor3e to slepe so faste.
Sone haf þay her sortes sette & serelych deled,
& ay þe lote vpon laste lymped on Jonas.
Þenne ascryed þay hym sckete & asked ful loude:
'What þe deuel hatz þou don, doted wrech?
What seches þou on see, synful schrewe,
With þy lastes so luþer to lose vus vchone?
Hatz þou, gome, no gouernour ne god on to calle,
Þat þou þus slydes on slepe when þou slayn worþes?
Of what londe art þou lent, what laytes þou here,
Whyder in worlde þat þou wylt, & what is þyn arnde?
Lo, þy dom is þe dy3t, for þy dedes ille.
Do gyf glory to þy godde, er þou glyde hens.'
'I am an Ebru,' quoþ he, 'of Israyl borne;
Þat Wy3e I worchyp, iwysse, þat wro3t alle þynges,
Alle þe worlde with þe welkyn, þe wynde & þe sternes,
& alle þat wonez þer withinne, at a worde one.
Alle þis meschef for me is made at þys tyme,
For I haf greued my God & gulty am founden;
Forþy berez me to þe borde & baþeþes me þeroute,
Er gete3e no happe, I hope forsoþe.'
He ossed hym by vnnynges þat þay vndernomen
Þat he watz flawen fro þe face of frelych Dry3tyn:
Þenne such a ferde on hem fel & flayed hem withinne
Þat þay ruyt hym to rowwe, & letten þe rynk one.
Haþeles hy3ed in haste with ores ful longe,
Syn her sayl watz hem aslypped, on sydez to rowe,
Hef & hale vpon hy3t to helpen hymseluen,
Bot al watz nedles note: þat nolde not bityde.
In bluber of þe blo flod bursten her ores.
Þenne hade þay no3t in her honde þat hem help my3t;
Þenne nas no coumfort to keuer, ne counsel non oþer,
Bot Jonas into his juis jugge bylyue.
Fryst þay prayen to þe Prynce þat prophetes seruen
Þat He gef hem þe grace to greuen Hym neuer,
Þat þay in balelez blod þer blenden her handez,
Þa3 þat haþel wer His þat þay here quelled.
Tyd by top & bi to þay token hym synne;
Into þat lodlych lo3e þay luche hym sone.
He watz no tytter outtulde þat tempest ne sessed:
Þe se sa3tled þerwith as sone as ho mo3t.
Þenne þa3 her takel were torne þat totered on yþes,
Styffe stremes & stre3t hem strayned a whyle,
Þat drof hem dry3lych adoun þe depe to serue,
Tyl a swetter ful swyþe hem swe3ed to bonk.
Þer watz louyng on lofte, when þay þe londe wonnen,
To oure mercyable God, on Moyses wyse,
With sacrafyse vpset, & solempne vowes,
& graunted Hym vn to be God & graythly non oþer.
Þa3 þay be jolef for joye, Jonas3et dredes;
Þa3 he nolde suffer no sore, his seele is on anter;
For whatso worþed of þat wy3e fro he in water dipped,
Hit were a wonder to wene,3if holy wryt nere.
Now is Jonas þe Jwe jugged to drowne;
Of þat schended schyp men schowued hym sone.
A wylde walterande whal, as Wyrde þen schaped,
Þat watz beten fro þe abyme, bi þat bot flotte,
& watz war of þat wy3e þat þe water so3te,
& swyftely swenged hym to swepe, & his swol3 opened;
Þe folk3et haldande his fete, þe fysch hym tyd hentes;
Withouten towche of any tothe he tult in his þrote.
Thenne he swengez & swayues to þe se boþem,
Bi mony rokkez ful ro3e & rydelande strondes,
Wyth þe mon in his mawe malskred in drede,
As lyttel wonder hit watz,3if he wo dre3ed,
For nade þe hy3e Heuen-Kyng, þur3 His honde my3t,
Warded þis wrech man in warlowes guttez,
What lede mo3t lyue bi lawe of any kynde,
Þat any lyf my3t be lent so longe hym withinne?
Bot he watz sokored by þat Syre þat syttes so hi3e,
Þa3 were wanlez of wele in wombe of þat fissche,
& also dryuen þur3 þe depe & in derk walterez.
Lorde, colde watz his cumfort, & his care huge,
For he knew vche a cace & kark þat hym lymped,
How fro þe bot into þe blober watz with a best lachched,
& þrwe in at hit þrote withouten þret more,
As mote in at a munster dor, so mukel wern his chawlez.
He glydes in by þe giles þur3 glaym ande glette,
Relande in by a rop, a rode þat hym þo3t,
Ay hele ouer hed hourlande aboute,
Til he blunt in a blok as brod as a halle;
& þer he festnes þe fete & fathmez aboute,
& stod vp in his stomak þat stank as þe deuel.
Þer in saym & in sor3e þat sauoured as helle,
Þer watz bylded his bour þat wyl no bale suffer.
& þenne he lurkkes & laytes where watz le best,
In vche a nok of his nauel, bot nowhere he fyndez
No rest ne recouerer, bot ramel ande myre,
In wych gut so euer he gotz, bot euer is God swete;
& þer he lenged at þe last, & to þe Lede called:
'Now, Prynce, of þy prophete pite þou haue.
Þa3 I be fol & fykel & falce of my hert,
Dewoyde now þy vengaunce, þur3 vertu of rauthe;
Tha3 I be gulty of gyle, as gaule of prophetes,
Þou art God, & alle gowdez ar grayþely þyn owen.
Haf now mercy of þy man & his mysdedes,
& preue þe ly3tly a Lorde in londe & in water.'
With þat he hitte to a hyrne & helde hym þerinne,
Þer no defoule of no fylþe watz fest hym abute;
Þer he sete also sounde, saf for merk one,
As in þe bulk of þe bote þer he byfore sleped.
So in a bouel of þat best he bidez on lyue,
Þre dayes & þ[r]e ny3t, ay þenkande on Dry3tyn,
His my3t & His merci, His mesure þenne.
Now he knawez Hym in care þat couþe not in sele.
Ande euer walteres þis whal bi wyldren depe,
Þur3 mony a regioun ful ro3e, þur3 ronk of his wylle;
For þat mote in his mawe mad hym, I trowe,
Þa3 hit lyttel were hym wyth, to wamel at his hert;
Ande as sayled þe segge, ay sykerly he herde
Þe bygge borne on his bak & bete on his sydes.
Þen a prayer ful prest þe prophete þer maked;
On þis wyse, as I wene, his wordez were mony:
'Lorde, to þe haf I cleped in carez ful stronge;
Out of þe hole þou me herde of hellen wombe;
I calde, & þou knew myn vncler steuen.
Þou diptez me of þe depe se into þe dymme hert,
Þe grete flem of þy flod folded me vmbe;
Alle þe gotez of þy guferes & groundelez powlez,
& þy stryuande stremez of stryndez so mony,
In on daschande dam dryuez me ouer.
&3et I say as I seet in þe se boþem:
"Careful am I, kest out fro þy cler y3en
& deseuered fro þy sy3t;3et surely I hope
Efte to trede on þy temple & teme to þyseluen."
I am wrapped in water to my wo stoundez;
Þe abyme byndes þe body þat I byde inne;
Þe pure poplande hourle playes on my heued;
To laste mere of vche a mount, Man, am I fallen;
Þe barrez of vche a bonk ful bigly me haldes,
Þat I may lachche no lont, & þou my lyf weldes.
Þou schal releue me, Renk, whil þy ry3t slepez,
Þur3 my3t of þy mercy þat mukel is to tryste.
For when þ'acces of anguych watz hid in my sawle,
Þenne I remembred me ry3t of my rych Lorde,
Prayande Him for pete His prophete to here,
Þat into His holy hous myn orisoun mo3t entre.
I haf meled with þy maystres mony longe day,
Bot now I wot wyterly þat þose vnwyse ledes
Þat affyen hym in vanyte & in vayne þynges
For þink þat mountes to no3t her mercy forsaken;
Bot I dewoutly awowe, þat verray betz halden,
Soberly to do þe sacrafyse when I schal saue worþe,
& offer þe for my hele a ful hol gyfte,
& halde goud þat þou me hetes: haf here my trauthe.'
Thenne oure Fader to þe fysch ferslych biddez
Þat he hym sput spakly vpon spare drye.
Þer whal wendez at His wylle & a warþe fyndez,
& þer he brakez vp þe buyrne as bede hym oure Lorde.
Þenne he swepe to þe sonde in sluchched cloþes:
Hit may wel be þat mester were his mantyle to wasche.
Þe bonk þat he blosched to & bode hym bisyde
Wern of þe regiounes ry3t þat he renayed hade.
Þenne a wynde of Goddez worde efte þe wy3e bruxlez:
'Nylt þou neuer to Nuniue bi no kynnez wayez?'
isse, Lorde,' quoþ þe lede, 'lene me þy grace
For to go at þi gre: me gaynez [n]on oþer.'
'Ris, aproche þen to prech, lo, þe place here.
Lo, My lore is in þe loke, lauce hit þerinne.'
Þenne þe renk radly ros as he my3t,
& to Niniue þat na3t he ne3ed ful euen;
Hit watz a cete ful syde & selly of brede;
On to þrenge þerþur3e watz þre dayes dede.
Þat on journay ful joynt Jonas hym3ede,
Er euer he warpped any worde to wy3e þat he mette,
& þenne he cryed so cler þat kenne my3t alle
Þe trwe tenor of his teme; he tolde on þis wyse:
et schal forty dayez fully fare to an ende,
& þenne schal Niniue be nomen & to no3t worþe;
Truly þis ilk toun schal tylte to grounde;
Vp-so-doun schal3e dumpe depe to þe abyme,
To be swol3ed swyftly wyth þe swart erþe,
& alle þat lyuyes hereinne lose þe swete.'
Þis speche sprang in þat space & spradde alle aboute,
To borges & to bacheleres þat in þat bur3 lenged;
Such a hidor hem hent & a hatel drede,
Þat al chaunged her chere & chylled at þe hert.
Þe segge sesed not3et, bot sayde euer ilyche:
'þe verray vengaunce of God schal voyde þis place!'
Þenne þe peple pitosly pleyned ful stylle,
& for þe drede of Dry3tyn doured in hert;
Heter hayrez þay hent þat asperly bited,
& þose þay bounden to her bak & to her bare sydez,
Dropped dust on her hede, & dymly biso3ten
Þat þat penaunce plesed Him þat playnez on her wronge.
& ay he cryes in þat kyth tyl þe kyng herde,
& he radly vpros & ran fro his chayer,
His ryche robe he torof of his rigge naked,
& of a hep of askes he hitte in þe myddez.
He askez heterly a hayre & hasped hym vmbe,
Sewed a sekke þerabof, & syked ful colde;
Þer he dased in þat duste, with droppande teres,
Wepande ful wonderly alle his wrange dedes.
Þenne sayde he to his serjauntes: 'Samnes yow bilyue;
Do dryue out a decre, demed of myseluen,
Þat alle þe bodyes þat ben withinne þis bor3 quyk,
Boþe burnes & bestes, burdez & childer,
Vch prynce, vche prest, & prelates alle,
Alle faste frely for her falce werkes;
Sesez childer of her sok, soghe hem so neuer,
Ne best bite on no brom, ne no bent nauþer,
Passe to no pasture, ne pike non erbes,
Ne non oxe to no hay, ne no horse to water.
Al schal crye, forclemmed, with alle oure clere strenþe;
Þe rurd schal ryse to Hym þat rawþe schal haue;
What wote oþer wyte may3if þe Wy3e lykes,
Þat is hende in þe hy3t of His gentryse?
I wot His my3t is so much, þa3 He be myssepayed,
Þat in His mylde amesyng He mercy may fynde.
& if we leuen þe layk of oure layth synnes,
& stylle steppen in þe sty3e He sty3tlez Hymseluen,
He wyl wende of His wodschip & His wrath leue,
& forgif vus þis gult,3if we Hym God leuen.'
Þenne al leued on His lawe & laften her synnes,
Parformed alle þe penaunce þat þe prynce radde;
& God þur3 His godnesse forgef as He sayde;
Þa3 He oþer bihy3t, withhelde His vengaunce.
Muche sor3e þenne satteled vpon segge Jonas;
He wex as wroth as þe wynde towarde oure Lorde.
So hatz anger onhit his hert, [h]e callez
A prayer to þe hy3e Prynce, for pyne, on þys wyse:
'I biseche þe, Syre, now þou self jugge;
Watz not þis ilk my worde þat worþen is nouþe,
Þat I kest in my cuntre, when þou þy carp sendez
Þat I schulde tee to þys toun þi talent to preche?
Wel knew I þi cortaysye, þy quoynt soffraunce,
Þy bounte of debonerte & þy bene grace,
Þy longe abydyng wyth lur, þy late vengaunce;
& ay þy mercy is mete, be mysse neuer so huge.
I wyst wel, when I hade worded quatsoeuer I cowþe
To manace alle þise mody men þat in þis mote dowellez,
Wyth a prayer & a pyne þay my3t her pese gete,
& þerfore I wolde haf flowen fer into Tarce.
Now, Lorde, lach out my lyf, hit lastes to longe.
Bed me bilyue my bale-stour & bryng me on ende,
For me were swetter to swelt as swyþe, as me þynk,
Þen lede lenger þi lore þat þus me les makez.'
Þe soun of oure Souerayn þen swey in his ere,
Þat vpbraydes þis burne vpon a breme wyse:
'Herk, renk, is þis ry3t so ronkly to wrath
For any dede þat I haf don oþer demed þe3et?'
Jonas al joyles & janglande vpryses,
& haldez out on est half of þe hy3e place,
& farandely on a felde he fettelez hym to bide,
For to wayte on þat won what schulde worþe after.
Þer he busked hym a bour, þe best þat he my3t,
Of hay & of euer-ferne & erbez a fewe,
For hit watz playn in þat place for plyande greuez,
For to schylde fro þe schene oþer any schade keste.
He bowed vnder his lyttel boþe, his bak to þe sunne,
& þer he swowed & slept sadly al ny3t,
Þe whyle God of His grace ded growe of þat soyle
Þe fayrest bynde hym abof þat euer burne wyste.
When þe dawande day Dry3tyn con sende,
Þenne wakened þe wy3 vnder wodbynde,
Loked alofte on þe lef þat lylled grene;
Such a lefsel of lof neuer lede hade,
For hit watz brod at þe boþem, bo3ted on lofte,
Happed vpon ayþer half, a hous as hit were,
A nos on þe norþ syde & nowhere non ellez,
Bot al schet in a scha3e þat schaded ful cole.
Þe gome gly3t on þe grene graciouse leues,
Þat euer wayued a wynde so wyþe & so cole;
Þe schyre sunne hit vmbeschon, þa3 no schafte my3t
Þe mountaunce of a lyttel mote vpon þat man schyne.
Þenne watz þe gome so glad of his gay logge,
Lys loltrande þerinne lokande to toune;
So blyþe of his wodbynde he balteres þervnde[r],
Þat of no diete þat day þe deuel haf he ro3t.
& euer he la3ed as he loked þe loge alle aboute,
& wysched hit were in his kyth þer he wony schulde,
On he3e vpon Effraym oþer Ermonnes hillez:
'Iwysse, a worþloker won to welde I neuer keped.'
& quen hit ne3ed to na3t nappe hym bihoued;
He slydez on a sloumbe-slep sloghe vnder leues,
Whil God wayned a worme þat wrot vpe þe rote,
& wyddered watz þe wodbynde bi þat þe wy3e wakned;
& syþen He warnez þe west to waken ful softe,
& sayez vnte Zeferus þat he syfle warme,
Þat þer quikken no cloude bifore þe cler sunne,
& ho schal busch vp ful brode & brenne as a candel.
Þen wakened þe wy3e of his wyl dremes,
& blusched to his wodbynde þat broþely watz marred,
Al welwed & wasted þo worþelych leues;
Þe schyre sunne hade hem schent er euer þe schalk wyst.
& þen hef vp þe hete & heterly brenned;
Þe warm wynde of þe weste, wertes he swyþez.
Þe man marred on þe molde þat mo3t hym not hyde
His wodbynde watz away, he weped for sor3e;
With hatel anger & hot, heterly he callez:
'A, þou Maker of man, what maystery þe þynkez
Þus þy freke to forfare forbi alle oþer?
With alle meschef þat þou may, neuer þou me sparez;
I keuered me a cumfort þat now is ca3t fro me,
My wodbynde so wlonk þat wered my heued.
Bot now I se þou art sette my solace to reue;
Why ne dy3ttez þou me to di3e? I dure to longe.'
et oure Lorde to þe lede laused a speche:
'Is þis ry3twys, þou renk, alle þy ronk noyse,
So wroth for a wodbynde to wax so sone?
Why art þou so waymot, wy3e, for so lyttel?'
'Hit is not lyttel,' quoþ þe lede, 'bot lykker to ry3t;
I wolde I were of þis worlde wrapped in moldez.'
'þenne byþenk þe, mon, if þe forþynk sore,
If I wolde help My hondewerk, haf þou no wonder;
Þou art waxen so wroth for þy wodbynde,
& trauayledez neuer to tent hit þe tyme of an howre,
Bot at a wap hit here wax & away at anoþer,
&3et lykez þe so luþer, þi lyf woldez þou tyne.
Þenne wyte not Me for þe werk, þat I hit wolde help,
& rwe on þo redles þat remen for synne;
Fyrst I made hem Myself of materes Myn one,
& syþen I loked hem ful longe & hem on lode hade.
& if I My trauayl schulde tyne of termes so longe,
& type doun3onder toun when hit turned were,
Þe sor of such a swete place burde synk to My hert,
So mony malicious mon as mournez þerinne.
& of þat soumme3et arn summe, such sottez formadde,
As lyttel barnez on barme þat neuer bale wro3t,
& wymmen vnwytte þat wale ne couþe
Þat on hande fro þat oþer, fo[r] alle þis hy3e worlde.
Bitwene þe stele & þe stayre disserne no3t cunen,
What rule renes in roun bitwene þe ry3t hande
& his lyfte, þa3 his lyf schulde lost be þerfor;
& als þer ben doumbe bestez in þe bur3 mony,
Þat may not synne in no syt hemseluen to greue.
Why schulde I wrath wyth hem, syþen wy3ez wyl torne,
& cum & cnawe Me for Kyng & My carpe leue?
Wer I as hastif a[s] þou heere, were harme lumpen;
Couþe I not þole bot as þou, þer þryued ful fewe.
I may not be so mal[i]cious & mylde be halden,
For malyse is no3[t] to mayntyne boute mercy withinne.'
Be no3t so gryndel, godman, bot go forth þy wayes,
Be preue & be pacient in payne & in joye;
For he þat is to rakel to renden his cloþez
Mot efte sitte with more vnsounde to sewe hem togeder.
Forþy when pouerte me enprecez & paynez inno3e
Ful softly with suffraunce sa3ttel me bihouez;
Forþy penaunce & payne topreue hit in sy3t
Þat pacience is a nobel poynt, þa3 hit displese ofte.