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

1 Pacience is a poynt, þa3 hit displese ofte.
2 When heuy herttes ben hurt wyth heþyng oþer elles,
3 Suffraunce may aswag[en] hem & þe swleme leþe,
4 For ho quelles vche a qued & quenches malyce;
5 For quoso suffer cowþe syt, sele wolde fol3e,
6 & quo for þro may no3t þole, þe þikker he sufferes.
7 Þen is better to abyde þe bur vmbestoundes
8 Þen ay þrow forth my þro, þa3 me þynk ylle.
9 I herde on a halyday, at a hy3e masse,
10 How Mathew melede þat his Mayster His meyny con teche.
11 A3t happes He hem hy3t & vcheon a mede,
12 Sunderlupes, for hit dissert, vpon a ser wyse:
13 Thay arn happen þat han in hert pouerte,
14 For hores is þe heuen-ryche to holde for euer;
15 Þay ar happen also þat haunte mekenesse,
16 For þay schal welde þis worlde & alle her wylle haue;
17 Thay ar happen also þat for her harme wepes,
18 For þay schal comfort encroche in kythes ful mony;
19 Þay ar happen also þat hungeres after ry3t,
20 For þay schal frely be refete ful of alle gode;
21 Thay ar happen also þat han in hert rauþe,
22 For mercy in alle maneres her mede schal worþe;
23 Þay ar happen also þat arn of hert clene,
24 For þay her Sauyour in sete schal se with her y3en;
25 Thay ar happen also þat halden her pese,
26 For þay þe gracious Godes sunes schal godly be called;
27 Þay ar happen also þat con her hert stere,
28 For hores is þe heuen-ryche, as I er sayde.
29 These arn þe happes alle a3t þat vus bihy3t weren,
30 If we þyse ladyes wolde lof in lyknyng of þewes:
31 Dame Pouert, Dame Pitee, Dame Penaunce þe þrydde,
32 Dame Mekenesse, Dame Mercy, & miry Clannesse,
33 & þenne Dame Pes, & Pacyence put in þerafter.
34 He were happen þat hade one; alle were þe better.
35 Bot [s]yn I am put to a poynt þat pouerte hatte,
36 I schal me poruay pacyence & play me with boþe,
37 For in þe tyxte þere þyse two arn in teme layde,
38 Hit arn fettled in on forme, þe forme & þe laste,
39 & by quest of her quoyntyse enquylen on mede.
40 & als, in myn vpynyoun, hit arn of on kynde:
41 For þeras pouert hir proferes ho nyl be put vtter,
42 Bot lenge wheresoeuer hir lyst, lyke oþer greme;
43 & þereas pouert enpresses, þa3mon pyne þynk,
44 Much, maugre his mun, he mot nede suffer;
45 Thus pouerte & pacyence arn nedes playferes.
46 Syþen I am sette with hem samen, suffer me byhoues;
47 Þenne is me ly3tloker hit lyke & her lotes prayse,
48 Þenne wyþer wyth & be wroth & þe wers haue.
49 3 if me be dy3t a destyne due to haue,
50 What dowes me þe dedayn, oþer dispit make?
51 Oþer3if my lege lorde lyst on lyue me to bidde
52 Oþer to ryde oþer to renne to Rome in his ernde,
53 What grayþed me þe grychchyng bot grame more seche?
54 Much3if he me ne made, maugref my chekes,
55 & þenne þrat moste I þole & vnþonk to mede,
56 Þe had bowed to his bode bongre my hyure.
57 Did not Jonas in Jude suche jape sumwhyle?
58 To sette hym to sewrte, vnsounde he hym feches.
59 Wyl3e tary a lyttel tyne & tent me a whyle,
60 I schal wysse yow þerwyth as holy wryt telles.
61 Hit bitydde sumtyme in þe termes of Jude,
62 Jonas joyned watz þerinne Jentyle prophete;
63 Goddes glam to hym glod þat hym vnglad made,
64 With a roghlych rurd rowned in his ere:
65 'Rys radly,' He says, '& rayke forth euen;
66 Nym þe way to Nynyue wythouten oþer speche,
67 & in þat cete My sa3es soghe alle aboute,
68 Þat in þat place, at þe poynt, I put in þi hert.
69 For iwysse hit arn so wykke þat in þat won dowellez
70 & her malys is so much, I may not abide,
71 Bot venge Me on her vilanye & venym bilyue;
72 Now swe3e Me þider swyftly & say Me þis arende.'
73 When þat steuen watz stynt þat stown[e]d his mynde,
74 Al he wrathed in his wyt, & wyþerly he þo3t:
75 'If I bowe to His bode & bryng hem þis tale,
76 & I be nummen in Nuniue, my nyes begynes:
77 He telles me þose traytoures arn typped schrewes;
78 I com wyth þose tyþynges, þay ta me bylyue,
79 Pynez me in a prysoun, put me in stokkes,
80 Wryþe me in a warlok, wrast out myn y3en.
81 Þis is a meruayl message a man for to preche
82 Amonge enmyes so mony & mansed fendes,
83 Bot if my gaynlych God such gref to me wolde,
84 Fo[r] desert of sum sake þat I slayn were.
85 At alle peryles,' quoþ þe prophete, 'I aproche hit no nerre.
86 I wyl me sum oþer waye þat He ne wayte after;
87 I schal tee into Tarce & tary þere a whyle,
88 & ly3tly when I am lest He letes me alone.'
89 Þenne he ryses radly & raykes bilyue,
90 Jonas toward port Japh, ay janglande for tene
91 Þat he nolde þole for noþyng non of þose pynes,
92 Þa3þe Fader þat hym formed were fale of his hele.
93 'Oure Syre syttes,' he says, 'on sege so hy3e
94 In His g[lo]wande glorye, & gloumbes ful lyttel
95 Þa3I be nummen in Nunniue & naked dispoyled,
96 On rode rwly torent with rybaudes mony.'
97 Þus he passes to þat port his passage to seche,
98 Fyndes he a fayr schyp to þe fare redy,
99 Maches hym with þe maryneres, makes her paye
100 For to towe hym into Tarce as tyd as þay my3t.
101 Then he tron on þo tres, & þay her tramme ruchen,
102 Cachen vp þe crossayl, cables þay fasten,
103 Wi3t at þe wyndas we3en her ankres,
104 Spende spak to þe sprete þe spare bawelyne,
105 Gederen to þe gyde-ropes, þe grete cloþ falles,
106 Þay layden in on laddeborde, & þe lofe wynnes,
107 Þe blyþe breþe at her bak þe bosum he fyndes;
108 He swenges me þys swete schip swefte fro þe hauen.
109 Watz neuer so joyful a Jue as Jonas watz þenne,
110 Þat þe daunger of Dry3tyn so derfly ascaped;
111 He wende wel þat þat Wy3 þat al þe world planted
112 Hade no ma3t in þat mere no man for to greue.
113 Lo, þe wytles wrechche! For he wolde no3t suffer,
114 Now hatz he put hym in plyt of peril wel more.
115 Hit watz a wenyng vnwar þat welt in his mynde,
116 Þa3 he were so3t fro Samarye, þat God se3 no fyrre.
117 3 ise, He blusched ful brode: þat burde hym by sure;
118 Þat ofte kyd hym þe carpe þat kyng sayde,
119 Dyngne Dauid on des þat demed þis speche
120 In a psalme þat he set þe sauter withinne:
121 'O folez in folk, felez oþerwhyle
122 & vnderstondes vmbestounde, þa3 he be stape fole,
123 Hope3e þat He heres not þat eres alle made?
124 Hit may not be þat He is blynde þat bigged vche y3e.'
125 Bot he dredes no dynt þat dotes for elde.
126 For he watz fer in þe flod foundande to Tarce,
127 Bot I trow ful tyd ouertan þat he were,
128 So þat schomely to schort he schote of his ame.
129 For þe Welder of wyt þat wot alle þynges,
130 Þat ay wakes & waytes, at wylle hatz He sly3tes.
131 He calde on þat ilk crafte He carf with His hondes;
132 Þay wakened wel þe wroþeloker for wroþely He cleped:
133 'Ewrus & Aquiloun þat on est sittes
134 Blowes boþe at My bode vpon blo watteres.'
135 Þenne watz no tom þer bytwene His tale & her dede,
136 So bayn wer þay boþe two His bone for to wyrk.
137 Anon out of þe norþ-est þe noys bigynes,
138 When boþe breþes con blowe vpon blo watteres.
139 Ro3 rakkes þer ros with rudnyng anvnder;
140 Þe see sou3ed ful sore, gret selly to here;
141 Þe wyndes on þe wonne water so wrastel togeder
142 Þat þe wawes ful wode waltered so hi3e
143 & efte busched to þe abyme, þat breed fysches
144 Durst nowhere for ro3 arest at þe bothem.
145 When þe breth & þe brok & þe bote metten,
146 Hit watz a joyles gyn þat Jonas watz inne,
147 For hit reled on roun vpon þe ro3e yþes.
148 Þe bur ber to hit baft, þat braste alle her gere,
149 Þen hurled on a hepe þe helme & þe sterne;
150 Furst tomurte mony rop & þe mast after;
151 Þe sayl sweyed on þe see, þenne suppe bihoued
152 Þe coge of þe [co]lde water, & þenne þe cry ryses.
153 3 et coruen þay þe cordes & kest al þeroute;
154 Mony ladde þer forth lep to laue & to kest,
155 Scopen out þe scaþel water þat fayn scape wolde,
156 For be monnes lode neuer so luþer, þe lyf is ay swete.
157 Þer watz busy ouer borde bale to kest,
158 Her bagges & her feþer-beddes & her bry3t wedes,
159 Her kysttes & her coferes, her caraldes alle,
160 & al to ly3ten þat lome,3if leþe wolde schape.
161 Bot euer watz ilyche loud þe lot of þe wyndes,
162 & euer wroþer þe water & wodder þe stremes.
163 Þen þo wery forwro3t wyst no bote,
164 Bot vchon glewed on his god þat gayned hym beste:
165 Summe to Vernagu þer vouched avowes solemne,
166 Summe to Diana deuout & derf Nepturne,
167 To Mahoun & to Mergot, þe mone & þe sunne,
168 & vche lede as he loued & layde had his hert.
169 Þenne bispeke þe spakest, dispayred wel nere:
170 'I leue here be sum losynger, sum lawles wrech,
171 Þat hatz greued his god & gotz here amonge vus.
172 Lo, al synkes in his synne & for his sake marres.
173 I lovue þat we lay lotes on ledes vchone,
174 & whoso lympes þe losse, lay hym þeroute;
175 & quen þe gulty is gon, what may gome trawe
176 Bot He þat rules þe rak may rwe on þose oþer?'
177 Þis watz sette in asent, & sembled þay were,
178 Her3ed out of vche hyrne to hent þat falles.
179 A lodesmon ly3tly lep vnder hachches,
180 For to layte mo ledes & hem to lote bryng.
181 Bot hym fayled no freke þat he fynde my3t,
182 Saf Jonas þe Jwe, þat jowked in derne.
183 He watz flowen for ferde of þe flode lotes
184 Into þe boþem of þe bot, & on a brede lyggede,
185 Onhelde by þe hurrok, for þe heuen wrache,
186 Slypped vpon a sloumbe-selepe, & sloberande he routes.
187 Þe freke hym frunt with his fot & bede hym ferk vp:
188 Þer Ragnel in his rakentes hym rere of his dremes!
189 Bi þe haspede he hentes hym þenne,
190 & bro3t hym vp by þe brest & vpon borde sette,
191 Arayned hym ful runyschly what raysoun he hade
192 In such sla3tes of sor3e to slepe so faste.
193 Sone haf þay her sortes sette & serelych deled,
194 & ay þe lote vpon laste lymped on Jonas.
195 Þenne ascryed þay hym sckete & asked ful loude:
196 'What þe deuel hatz þou don, doted wrech?
197 What seches þou on see, synful schrewe,
198 With þy lastes so luþer to lose vus vchone?
199 Hatz þou, gome, no gouernour ne god on to calle,
200 Þat þou þus slydes on slepe when þou slayn worþes?
201 Of what londe art þou lent, what laytes þou here,
202 Whyder in worlde þat þou wylt, & what is þyn arnde?
203 Lo, þy dom is þe dy3t, for þy dedes ille.
204 Do gyf glory to þy godde, er þou glyde hens.'
205 'I am an Ebru,' quoþ he, 'of Israyl borne;
206 Þat Wy3e I worchyp, iwysse, þat wro3t alle þynges,
207 Alle þe worlde with þe welkyn, þe wynde & þe sternes,
208 & alle þat wonez þer withinne, at a worde one.
209 Alle þis meschef for me is made at þys tyme,
210 For I haf greued my God & gulty am founden;
211 Forþy berez me to þe borde & baþeþes me þeroute,
212 Er gete3e no happe, I hope forsoþe.'
213 He ossed hym by vnnynges þat þay vndernomen
214 Þat he watz flawen fro þe face of frelych Dry3tyn:
215 Þenne such a ferde on hem fel & flayed hem withinne
216 Þat þay ruyt hym to rowwe, & letten þe rynk one.
217 Haþeles hy3ed in haste with ores ful longe,
218 Syn her sayl watz hem aslypped, on sydez to rowe,
219 Hef & hale vpon hy3t to helpen hymseluen,
220 Bot al watz nedles note: þat nolde not bityde.
221 In bluber of þe blo flod bursten her ores.
222 Þenne hade þay no3t in her honde þat hem help my3t;
223 Þenne nas no coumfort to keuer, ne counsel non oþer,
224 Bot Jonas into his juis jugge bylyue.
225 Fryst þay prayen to þe Prynce þat prophetes seruen
226 Þat He gef hem þe grace to greuen Hym neuer,
227 Þat þay in balelez blod þer blenden her handez,
228 Þa3 þat haþel wer His þat þay here quelled.
229 Tyd by top & bi to þay token hym synne;
230 Into þat lodlych lo3e þay luche hym sone.
231 He watz no tytter outtulde þat tempest ne sessed:
232 Þe se sa3tled þerwith as sone as ho mo3t.
233 Þenne þa3 her takel were torne þat totered on yþes,
234 Styffe stremes & stre3t hem strayned a whyle,
235 Þat drof hem dry3lych adoun þe depe to serue,
236 Tyl a swetter ful swyþe hem swe3ed to bonk.
237 Þer watz louyng on lofte, when þay þe londe wonnen,
238 To oure mercyable God, on Moyses wyse,
239 With sacrafyse vpset, & solempne vowes,
240 & graunted Hym vn to be God & graythly non oþer.
241 Þa3 þay be jolef for joye, Jonas3et dredes;
242 Þa3 he nolde suffer no sore, his seele is on anter;
243 For whatso worþed of þat wy3e fro he in water dipped,
244 Hit were a wonder to wene,3if holy wryt nere.
245 Now is Jonas þe Jwe jugged to drowne;
246 Of þat schended schyp men schowued hym sone.
247 A wylde walterande whal, as Wyrde þen schaped,
248 Þat watz beten fro þe abyme, bi þat bot flotte,
249 & watz war of þat wy3e þat þe water so3te,
250 & swyftely swenged hym to swepe, & his swol3 opened;
251 Þe folk3et haldande his fete, þe fysch hym tyd hentes;
252 Withouten towche of any tothe he tult in his þrote.
253 Thenne he swengez & swayues to þe se boþem,
254 Bi mony rokkez ful ro3e & rydelande strondes,
255 Wyth þe mon in his mawe malskred in drede,
256 As lyttel wonder hit watz,3if he wo dre3ed,
257 For nade þe hy3e Heuen-Kyng, þur3 His honde my3t,
258 Warded þis wrech man in warlowes guttez,
259 What lede mo3t lyue bi lawe of any kynde,
260 Þat any lyf my3t be lent so longe hym withinne?
261 Bot he watz sokored by þat Syre þat syttes so hi3e,
262 Þa3 were wanlez of wele in wombe of þat fissche,
263 & also dryuen þur3 þe depe & in derk walterez.
264 Lorde, colde watz his cumfort, & his care huge,
265 For he knew vche a cace & kark þat hym lymped,
266 How fro þe bot into þe blober watz with a best lachched,
267 & þrwe in at hit þrote withouten þret more,
268 As mote in at a munster dor, so mukel wern his chawlez.
269 He glydes in by þe giles þur3 glaym ande glette,
270 Relande in by a rop, a rode þat hym þo3t,
271 Ay hele ouer hed hourlande aboute,
272 Til he blunt in a blok as brod as a halle;
273 & þer he festnes þe fete & fathmez aboute,
274 & stod vp in his stomak þat stank as þe deuel.
275 Þer in saym & in sor3e þat sauoured as helle,
276 Þer watz bylded his bour þat wyl no bale suffer.
277 & þenne he lurkkes & laytes where watz le best,
278 In vche a nok of his nauel, bot nowhere he fyndez
279 No rest ne recouerer, bot ramel ande myre,
280 In wych gut so euer he gotz, bot euer is God swete;
281 & þer he lenged at þe last, & to þe Lede called:
282 'Now, Prynce, of þy prophete pite þou haue.
283 Þa3 I be fol & fykel & falce of my hert,
284 Dewoyde now þy vengaunce, þur3 vertu of rauthe;
285 Tha3 I be gulty of gyle, as gaule of prophetes,
286 Þou art God, & alle gowdez ar grayþely þyn owen.
287 Haf now mercy of þy man & his mysdedes,
288 & preue þe ly3tly a Lorde in londe & in water.'
289 With þat he hitte to a hyrne & helde hym þerinne,
290 Þer no defoule of no fylþe watz fest hym abute;
291 Þer he sete also sounde, saf for merk one,
292 As in þe bulk of þe bote þer he byfore sleped.
293 So in a bouel of þat best he bidez on lyue,
294 Þre dayes & þ[r]e ny3t, ay þenkande on Dry3tyn,
295 His my3t & His merci, His mesure þenne.
296 Now he knawez Hym in care þat couþe not in sele.
297 Ande euer walteres þis whal bi wyldren depe,
298 Þur3 mony a regioun ful ro3e, þur3 ronk of his wylle;
299 For þat mote in his mawe mad hym, I trowe,
300 Þa3 hit lyttel were hym wyth, to wamel at his hert;
301 Ande as sayled þe segge, ay sykerly he herde
302 Þe bygge borne on his bak & bete on his sydes.
303 Þen a prayer ful prest þe prophete þer maked;
304 On þis wyse, as I wene, his wordez were mony:
305 'Lorde, to þe haf I cleped in carez ful stronge;
306 Out of þe hole þou me herde of hellen wombe;
307 I calde, & þou knew myn vncler steuen.
308 Þou diptez me of þe depe se into þe dymme hert,
309 Þe grete flem of þy flod folded me vmbe;
310 Alle þe gotez of þy guferes & groundelez powlez,
311 & þy stryuande stremez of stryndez so mony,
312 In on daschande dam dryuez me ouer.
313 &3et I say as I seet in þe se boþem:
314 "Careful am I, kest out fro þy cler y3en
315 & deseuered fro þy sy3t;3et surely I hope
316 Efte to trede on þy temple & teme to þyseluen."
317 I am wrapped in water to my wo stoundez;
318 Þe abyme byndes þe body þat I byde inne;
319 Þe pure poplande hourle playes on my heued;
320 To laste mere of vche a mount, Man, am I fallen;
321 Þe barrez of vche a bonk ful bigly me haldes,
322 Þat I may lachche no lont, & þou my lyf weldes.
323 Þou schal releue me, Renk, whil þy ry3t slepez,
324 Þur3 my3t of þy mercy þat mukel is to tryste.
325 For when þ'acces of anguych watz hid in my sawle,
326 Þenne I remembred me ry3t of my rych Lorde,
327 Prayande Him for pete His prophete to here,
328 Þat into His holy hous myn orisoun mo3t entre.
329 I haf meled with þy maystres mony longe day,
330 Bot now I wot wyterly þat þose vnwyse ledes
331 Þat affyen hym in vanyte & in vayne þynges
332 For þink þat mountes to no3t her mercy forsaken;
333 Bot I dewoutly awowe, þat verray betz halden,
334 Soberly to do þe sacrafyse when I schal saue worþe,
335 & offer þe for my hele a ful hol gyfte,
336 & halde goud þat þou me hetes: haf here my trauthe.'
337 Thenne oure Fader to þe fysch ferslych biddez
338 Þat he hym sput spakly vpon spare drye.
339 Þer whal wendez at His wylle & a warþe fyndez,
340 & þer he brakez vp þe buyrne as bede hym oure Lorde.
341 Þenne he swepe to þe sonde in sluchched cloþes:
342 Hit may wel be þat mester were his mantyle to wasche.
343 Þe bonk þat he blosched to & bode hym bisyde
344 Wern of þe regiounes ry3t þat he renayed hade.
345 Þenne a wynde of Goddez worde efte þe wy3e bruxlez:
346 'Nylt þou neuer to Nuniue bi no kynnez wayez?'
347 ' 3 isse, Lorde,' quoþ þe lede, 'lene me þy grace
348 For to go at þi gre: me gaynez [n]on oþer.'
349 'Ris, aproche þen to prech, lo, þe place here.
350 Lo, My lore is in þe loke, lauce hit þerinne.'
351 Þenne þe renk radly ros as he my3t,
352 & to Niniue þat na3t he ne3ed ful euen;
353 Hit watz a cete ful syde & selly of brede;
354 On to þrenge þerþur3e watz þre dayes dede.
355 Þat on journay ful joynt Jonas hym3ede,
356 Er euer he warpped any worde to wy3e þat he mette,
357 & þenne he cryed so cler þat kenne my3t alle
358 Þe trwe tenor of his teme; he tolde on þis wyse:
359 ' 3 et schal forty dayez fully fare to an ende,
360 & þenne schal Niniue be nomen & to no3t worþe;
361 Truly þis ilk toun schal tylte to grounde;
362 Vp-so-doun schal3e dumpe depe to þe abyme,
363 To be swol3ed swyftly wyth þe swart erþe,
364 & alle þat lyuyes hereinne lose þe swete.'
365 Þis speche sprang in þat space & spradde alle aboute,
366 To borges & to bacheleres þat in þat bur3 lenged;
367 Such a hidor hem hent & a hatel drede,
368 Þat al chaunged her chere & chylled at þe hert.
369 Þe segge sesed not3et, bot sayde euer ilyche:
370 'þe verray vengaunce of God schal voyde þis place!'
371 Þenne þe peple pitosly pleyned ful stylle,
372 & for þe drede of Dry3tyn doured in hert;
373 Heter hayrez þay hent þat asperly bited,
374 & þose þay bounden to her bak & to her bare sydez,
375 Dropped dust on her hede, & dymly biso3ten
376 Þat þat penaunce plesed Him þat playnez on her wronge.
377 & ay he cryes in þat kyth tyl þe kyng herde,
378 & he radly vpros & ran fro his chayer,
379 His ryche robe he torof of his rigge naked,
380 & of a hep of askes he hitte in þe myddez.
381 He askez heterly a hayre & hasped hym vmbe,
382 Sewed a sekke þerabof, & syked ful colde;
383 Þer he dased in þat duste, with droppande teres,
384 Wepande ful wonderly alle his wrange dedes.
385 Þenne sayde he to his serjauntes: 'Samnes yow bilyue;
386 Do dryue out a decre, demed of myseluen,
387 Þat alle þe bodyes þat ben withinne þis bor3 quyk,
388 Boþe burnes & bestes, burdez & childer,
389 Vch prynce, vche prest, & prelates alle,
390 Alle faste frely for her falce werkes;
391 Sesez childer of her sok, soghe hem so neuer,
392 Ne best bite on no brom, ne no bent nauþer,
393 Passe to no pasture, ne pike non erbes,
394 Ne non oxe to no hay, ne no horse to water.
395 Al schal crye, forclemmed, with alle oure clere strenþe;
396 Þe rurd schal ryse to Hym þat rawþe schal haue;
397 What wote oþer wyte may3if þe Wy3e lykes,
398 Þat is hende in þe hy3t of His gentryse?
399 I wot His my3t is so much, þa3 He be myssepayed,
400 Þat in His mylde amesyng He mercy may fynde.
401 & if we leuen þe layk of oure layth synnes,
402 & stylle steppen in þe sty3e He sty3tlez Hymseluen,
403 He wyl wende of His wodschip & His wrath leue,
404 & forgif vus þis gult,3if we Hym God leuen.'
405 Þenne al leued on His lawe & laften her synnes,
406 Parformed alle þe penaunce þat þe prynce radde;
407 & God þur3 His godnesse forgef as He sayde;
408 Þa3 He oþer bihy3t, withhelde His vengaunce.
409 Muche sor3e þenne satteled vpon segge Jonas;
410 He wex as wroth as þe wynde towarde oure Lorde.
411 So hatz anger onhit his hert, [h]e callez
412 A prayer to þe hy3e Prynce, for pyne, on þys wyse:
413 'I biseche þe, Syre, now þou self jugge;
414 Watz not þis ilk my worde þat worþen is nouþe,
415 Þat I kest in my cuntre, when þou þy carp sendez
416 Þat I schulde tee to þys toun þi talent to preche?
417 Wel knew I þi cortaysye, þy quoynt soffraunce,
418 Þy bounte of debonerte & þy bene grace,
419 Þy longe abydyng wyth lur, þy late vengaunce;
420 & ay þy mercy is mete, be mysse neuer so huge.
421 I wyst wel, when I hade worded quatsoeuer I cowþe
422 To manace alle þise mody men þat in þis mote dowellez,
423 Wyth a prayer & a pyne þay my3t her pese gete,
424 & þerfore I wolde haf flowen fer into Tarce.
425 Now, Lorde, lach out my lyf, hit lastes to longe.
426 Bed me bilyue my bale-stour & bryng me on ende,
427 For me were swetter to swelt as swyþe, as me þynk,
428 Þen lede lenger þi lore þat þus me les makez.'
429 Þe soun of oure Souerayn þen swey in his ere,
430 Þat vpbraydes þis burne vpon a breme wyse:
431 'Herk, renk, is þis ry3t so ronkly to wrath
432 For any dede þat I haf don oþer demed þe3et?'
433 Jonas al joyles & janglande vpryses,
434 & haldez out on est half of þe hy3e place,
435 & farandely on a felde he fettelez hym to bide,
436 For to wayte on þat won what schulde worþe after.
437 Þer he busked hym a bour, þe best þat he my3t,
438 Of hay & of euer-ferne & erbez a fewe,
439 For hit watz playn in þat place for plyande greuez,
440 For to schylde fro þe schene oþer any schade keste.
441 He bowed vnder his lyttel boþe, his bak to þe sunne,
442 & þer he swowed & slept sadly al ny3t,
443 Þe whyle God of His grace ded growe of þat soyle
444 Þe fayrest bynde hym abof þat euer burne wyste.
445 When þe dawande day Dry3tyn con sende,
446 Þenne wakened þe wy3 vnder wodbynde,
447 Loked alofte on þe lef þat lylled grene;
448 Such a lefsel of lof neuer lede hade,
449 For hit watz brod at þe boþem, bo3ted on lofte,
450 Happed vpon ayþer half, a hous as hit were,
451 A nos on þe norþ syde & nowhere non ellez,
452 Bot al schet in a scha3e þat schaded ful cole.
453 Þe gome gly3t on þe grene graciouse leues,
454 Þat euer wayued a wynde so wyþe & so cole;
455 Þe schyre sunne hit vmbeschon, þa3 no schafte my3t
456 Þe mountaunce of a lyttel mote vpon þat man schyne.
457 Þenne watz þe gome so glad of his gay logge,
458 Lys loltrande þerinne lokande to toune;
459 So blyþe of his wodbynde he balteres þervnde[r],
460 Þat of no diete þat day þe deuel haf he ro3t.
461 & euer he la3ed as he loked þe loge alle aboute,
462 & wysched hit were in his kyth þer he wony schulde,
463 On he3e vpon Effraym oþer Ermonnes hillez:
464 'Iwysse, a worþloker won to welde I neuer keped.'
465 & quen hit ne3ed to na3t nappe hym bihoued;
466 He slydez on a sloumbe-slep sloghe vnder leues,
467 Whil God wayned a worme þat wrot vpe þe rote,
468 & wyddered watz þe wodbynde bi þat þe wy3e wakned;
469 & syþen He warnez þe west to waken ful softe,
470 & sayez vnte Zeferus þat he syfle warme,
471 Þat þer quikken no cloude bifore þe cler sunne,
472 & ho schal busch vp ful brode & brenne as a candel.
473 Þen wakened þe wy3e of his wyl dremes,
474 & blusched to his wodbynde þat broþely watz marred,
475 Al welwed & wasted þo worþelych leues;
476 Þe schyre sunne hade hem schent er euer þe schalk wyst.
477 & þen hef vp þe hete & heterly brenned;
478 Þe warm wynde of þe weste, wertes he swyþez.
479 Þe man marred on þe molde þat mo3t hym not hyde
480 His wodbynde watz away, he weped for sor3e;
481 With hatel anger & hot, heterly he callez:
482 'A, þou Maker of man, what maystery þe þynkez
483 Þus þy freke to forfare forbi alle oþer?
484 With alle meschef þat þou may, neuer þou me sparez;
485 I keuered me a cumfort þat now is ca3t fro me,
486 My wodbynde so wlonk þat wered my heued.
487 Bot now I se þou art sette my solace to reue;
488 Why ne dy3ttez þou me to di3e? I dure to longe.'
489 3 et oure Lorde to þe lede laused a speche:
490 'Is þis ry3twys, þou renk, alle þy ronk noyse,
491 So wroth for a wodbynde to wax so sone?
492 Why art þou so waymot, wy3e, for so lyttel?'
493 'Hit is not lyttel,' quoþ þe lede, 'bot lykker to ry3t;
494 I wolde I were of þis worlde wrapped in moldez.'
495 'þenne byþenk þe, mon, if þe forþynk sore,
496 If I wolde help My hondewerk, haf þou no wonder;
497 Þou art waxen so wroth for þy wodbynde,
498 & trauayledez neuer to tent hit þe tyme of an howre,
499 Bot at a wap hit here wax & away at anoþer,
500 &3et lykez þe so luþer, þi lyf woldez þou tyne.
501 Þenne wyte not Me for þe werk, þat I hit wolde help,
502 & rwe on þo redles þat remen for synne;
503 Fyrst I made hem Myself of materes Myn one,
504 & syþen I loked hem ful longe & hem on lode hade.
505 & if I My trauayl schulde tyne of termes so longe,
506 & type doun3onder toun when hit turned were,
507 Þe sor of such a swete place burde synk to My hert,
508 So mony malicious mon as mournez þerinne.
509 & of þat soumme3et arn summe, such sottez formadde,
510 As lyttel barnez on barme þat neuer bale wro3t,
511 & wymmen vnwytte þat wale ne couþe
512 Þat on hande fro þat oþer, fo[r] alle þis hy3e worlde.
513 Bitwene þe stele & þe stayre disserne no3t cunen,
514 What rule renes in roun bitwene þe ry3t hande
515 & his lyfte, þa3 his lyf schulde lost be þerfor;
516 & als þer ben doumbe bestez in þe bur3 mony,
517 Þat may not synne in no syt hemseluen to greue.
518 Why schulde I wrath wyth hem, syþen wy3ez wyl torne,
519 & cum & cnawe Me for Kyng & My carpe leue?
520 Wer I as hastif a[s] þou heere, were harme lumpen;
521 Couþe I not þole bot as þou, þer þryued ful fewe.
522 I may not be so mal[i]cious & mylde be halden,
523 For malyse is no3[t] to mayntyne boute mercy withinne.'
524 Be no3t so gryndel, godman, bot go forth þy wayes,
525 Be preue & be pacient in payne & in joye;
526 For he þat is to rakel to renden his cloþez
527 Mot efte sitte with more vnsounde to sewe hem togeder.
528 Forþy when pouerte me enprecez & paynez inno3e
529 Ful softly with suffraunce sa3ttel me bihouez;
530 Forþy penaunce & payne topreue hit in sy3t
531 Þat pacience is a nobel poynt, þa3 hit displese ofte.
532 Amen.