Editor: E.V.Gordon
Rev. by I.L.Gordon
Oxford, 1953


Section  I

folio 39r
Page 1
Stanza 1
1 Perle, pleasaunte to prynces paye
2 To clanly clos in golde so clere,
3 Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye,
4 Ne proued I neuer her precios pere.
5 So rounde, so reken in vche araye,
6 So smal, so smoþe her syde3 were,
7 Quere-so-euer I jugged gemme3 gaye,
8 I sette hyr sengeley in synglere.
9 Allas! I leste hyr in on erbere;
10 Þur3 gresse to grounde hit fro me yot.
11 I dewyne, fordolked of luf-daungere
12 Of þat pryuy perle wythouten spot.

Stanza 2
13 Syþen in þat spote hit fro me sprange,
14 Ofte haf I wayted, wyschande þat wele,
15 Þat wont wat3 whyle deuoyde my wrange
16 And heuen my happe and al my hele.
17 Þat dot3 bot þrych my hert þrange,
18 My breste in bale bot bolne and bele;
19 3et þo3t me neuer so swete a sange
20 As stylle stounde let to me stele.
21 For soþe þer fleten to me fele,
22 To þenke hir color so clad in clot.
23 O moul, þou marre3 a myry iuele,
24 My priuy perle wythouten spotte.

Page 2
Stanza 3
25 Þat spot of spyse3 mot nede3 sprede,
26 Þer such ryche3 to rot is runne;
27 Blome3 blayke and blwe and rede
28 Þer schyne3 ful schyr agayn þe sunne.
29 Flor and fryte may not be fede
30 Þer hit doun drof in molde3 dunne;
31 For vch gresse mot grow of grayne3 dede;
32 No whete were elle3 to wone3 wonne.
33 Of goud vche goude is ay bygonne;
34 So semly a sede mo3t fayly not,
35 Þat spryngande spyce3 vp ne sponne
36 Of þat precios perle wythouten spotte.

folio 39v
Stanza 4
37 To þat spot þat I in speche expoun
38 I entred in þat erber grene,
39 In Augoste in a hy3 seysoun,
40 Quen corne is coruen wyth croke3 kene.
41 On huyle þer perle hit trendeled doun
42 Schadowed þis worte3 ful schyre and schene,
43 Gilofre, gyngure and gromylyoun,
44 And pyonys powdered ay bytwene.
45 3if hit wat3 semly on to sene,
46 A fayr reflayr 3et fro hit flot.
47 Þer wonys þat worþyly, I wot and wene,
48 My precious perle wythouten spot.

Stanza 5
49 Bifore þat spot my honde I spenned
50 For care ful colde þat to me ca3t;
51 A deuely dele in my hert denned,
52 Þa3 resoun sette myseluen sa3t.
Page 3
53 I playned my perle þat þer wat3 spenned
54 Wyth fyrce skylle3 þat faste fa3t;
55 Þa3 kynde of Kryst me comfort kenned,
56 My wreched wylle in wo ay wra3te.
57 I felle vpon þat floury fla3t,
58 Suche odour to my herne3 schot;
59 I slode vpon a slepyng-sla3te
60 On þat precios perle wythouten spot.

Section  II

Stanza 6
61 Fro spot my spyryt þer sprang in space;
62 My body on balke þer bod in sweuen.
63 My goste is gon in Gode3 grace
64 In auenture þer meruayle3 meuen.
65 I ne wyste in þis worlde quere þat hit wace,
66 Bot I knew me keste þer klyfe3 cleuen;
67 Towarde a foreste I bere þe face,
68 Where rych rokke3 wer to dyscreuen.
69 Þe ly3t of hem my3t no mon leuen,
70 Þe glemande glory þat of hem glent;
71 For wern neuer webbe3 þat wy3e3 weuen
72 Of half so dere adubbemente.

folio 40r
Stanza 7
73 Dubbed wern alle þo downe3 syde3
74 Wyth crystal klyffe3 so cler of kynde.
75 Holtewode3 bry3t aboute hem byde3
76 Of bolle3 as blwe as ble of Ynde;
77 As bornyst syluer þe lef on slyde3,
78 Þat þike con trylle on vch a tynde.
Page 4
79 Quen glem of glode3 agayn3 hem glyde3,
80 Wyth schymeryng schene ful schrylle þay schynde.
81 Þe grauayl þat on grounde con grynde
82 Wern precious perle3 of oryente:
83 Þe sunnebeme3 bot blo and blynde
84 In respecte of þat adubbement.

Stanza 8
85 The adubbemente of þo downe3 dere
86 Garten my goste al greffe for3ete.
87 So frech flauore3 of fryte3 were,
88 As fode hit con me fayre refete.
89 Fowle3 þer flowen in fryth in fere,
90 Of flaumbande hwe3, boþe smale and grete;
91 Bot sytole-stryng and gyternere
92 Her reken myrþe mo3t not retrete;
93 For quen þose brydde3 her wynge3 bete,
94 Þay songen wyth a swete asent.
95 So gracios gle couþe no mon gete
96 As here and se her adubbement.

Stanza 9
97 So al wat3 dubbet on dere asyse
98 Þat fryth þer fortwne forth me fere3.
99 Þat derþe þerof for to deuyse
100 Nis no wy3 worþé þat tonge bere3.
101 I welke ay forth in wely wyse;
102 No bonk so byg þat did me dere3.
103 Þe fyrre in þe fryth, þe feier con ryse
104 Þe playn, þe plontte3, þe spyse, þe
105 And rawe3 and rande3 and rych reuere3,
106 As fyldor fyn her bonkes brent.
107 I wan to a water by schore þat schere3 --
108 Lorde, dere wat3 hit adubbement!

folio 40v
Page 5
Stanza 10
109 The dubbemente of þo derworth depe
110 Wern bonke3 bene of beryl bry3t.
111 Swangeande swete þe water con swepe,
112 Wyth a rownande rourde raykande ary3t.
113 In þe founce þer stonden stone3 stepe,
114 As glente þur3 glas þat glowed and gly3t,
115 As stremande sterne3, quen stroþe-men slepe,
116 Staren in welkyn in wynter ny3t;
117 For vche a pobbel in pole þer py3t
118 Wat3 emerad, saffer, oþer gemme gente,
119 Þat alle þe lo3e lemed of ly3t,
120 So dere wat3 hit adubbement.

Section  III

Stanza 11
121 The dubbement dere of doun and dale3,
122 Of wod and water and wlonk playne3,
123 Bylde in me blys, abated my bale3,
124 Fordidden my stresse, dystryed my payne3.
125 Doun after a strem þat dry3ly hale3
126 I bowed in blys, bredful my brayne3;
127 Þe fyrre I fol3ed þose floty vale3,
128 Þe more strenghþe of ioye myn herte strayne3.
129 As fortune fares þer as ho frayne3,
130 Wheþer solace ho sende oþer elle3 sore,
131 Þe wy3 to wham her wylle ho wayne3
132 Hytte3 to haue ay more and more.

Stanza 12
133 More of wele wat3 in þat wyse
134 Þen I cowþe telle þa3 I tom hade,
135 For vrþely herte my3t not suffyse
136 To þe tenþe dole of þo gladne3 glade;
Page 6
137 Forþy I þo3t þat Paradyse
138 Wat3 þer ouer gayn þo bonke3 brade.
139 I hoped þe water were a deuyse
140 Bytwene myrþe3 by mere3 made;
141 By3onde þe broke, by slente oþer slade,
142 I hoped þat mote merked wore.
143 Bot þe water wat3 depe, I dorst not wade,
144 And euer me longed ay more and more.

folio 41r
Stanza 13
145 More and more, and 3et wel mare,
146 Me lyste to se þe broke by3onde;
147 For if hit wat3 fayr þer I con fare,
148 Wel loueloker wat3 þe fyrre londe.
149 Abowte me con I stote and stare;
150 To fynde a forþe faste con I fonde.
151 Bot woþe3 mo iwysse þer ware,
152 Þe fyrre I stalked by þe stronde.
153 And euer me þo3t I schulde not wonde
154 For wo þer wele3 so wynne wore.
155 Þenne nwe note me com on honde
156 Þat meued my mynde ay more and more.

Stanza 14
157 More meruayle con my dom adaunt:
158 I se3 by3onde þat myry mere
159 A crystal clyffe ful relusaunt;
160 Mony ryal ray con fro hit rere.
161 At þe fote þerof þer sete a faunt,
162 A mayden of menske, ful debonere;
163 Blysnande whyt wat3 hyr bleaunt.
164 I knew hyr wel, I hade sen hyr ere.
Page 7
165 As glysnande golde þat man con schere,
166 So schon þat schene an-vnder shore.
167 On lenghe I loked to hyr þere;
168 Þe lenger, I knew hyr more and more.

Stanza 15
169 The more I frayste hyr fayre face,
170 Her fygure fyn quen I had fonte,
171 Suche gladande glory con to me glace
172 As lyttel byfore þerto wat3 wonte.
173 To calle hyr lyste con me enchace,
174 Bot baysment gef myn hert a brunt.
175 I se3 hyr in so strange a place,
176 Such a burre my3t make myn herte blunt.
177 Þenne vere3 ho vp her fayre frount,
178 Hyr vysayge whyt as playn yuore:
179 Þat stonge myn hert ful stray atount,
180 And euer þe lenger, þe more and more.

Section  IV

folio 41v
Stanza 16
181 More þen me lyste my drede aros.
182 I stod ful stylle and dorste not calle;
183 Wyth y3en open and mouth ful clos
184 I stod as hende as hawk in halle.
185 I hoped þat gostly wat3 þat porpose;
186 I dred onende quat schulde byfalle,
187 Lest ho me eschaped þat I þer chos,
188 Er I at steuen hir mo3t stalle.
189 Þat gracios gay wythouten galle,
190 So smoþe, so smal, so seme sly3t,
191 Ryse3 vp in hir araye ryalle,
192 A precios pyece in perle3 py3t.

Page 8
Stanza 17
193 Perle3 py3te of ryal prys
194 Þere mo3t mon by grace haf sene,
195 Quen þat frech as flor-de-lys
196 Doun þe bonke con bo3e bydene.
197 Al blysnande whyt wat3 hir beau biys,
198 Vpon at syde3, and bounden bene
199 Wyth þe myryeste margarys, at my deuyse,
200 Þat euer I se3 3et with myn ene;
201 Wyth lappe3 large, I wot and I wene,
202 Dubbed with double perle and dy3te;
203 Her cortel of self sute schene,
204 Wyth precios perle3 al vmbepy3te.

Stanza 18
205 A py3t coroune 3et wer þat gyrle
206 Of mariorys and non oþer ston.
207 Hi3e pynakled of cler quyt perle,
208 Wyth flurted flowre3 perfet vpon.
209 To hed hade ho non oþer werle;
210 Her here leke, al hyr vmbegon,
211 Her semblaunt sade for doc oþer erle,
212 Her ble more bla3t þen whalle3 bon.
213 As schorne golde schyr her fax þenne schon,
214 On schyldere3 þat leghe vnlapped ly3te.
215 Her depe colour 3et wonted non
216 Of precios perle in porfyl py3te.

folio 42r
Stanza 19
217 Py3t wat3 poyned and vche a hemme
218 At honde, at syde3, at ouerture,
219 Wyth whyte perle and non oþer gemme,
220 And bornyste quyte wat3 hyr uesture.
Page 9
221 Bot a wonder perle wythouten wemme
222 Inmydde3 hyr breste wat3 sette so sure;
223 A manne3 dom mo3t dry3ly demme,
224 Er mynde mo3t malte in hit mesure.
225 I hope no tong mo3t endure
226 No sauerly saghe say of þat sy3t,
227 So wat3 hit clene and cler and pure,
228 Þat precios perle þer hit wat3 py3t.

Stanza 20
229 Py3t in perle, þat precios pyece
230 On wyþer half water com doun þe schore.
231 No gladder gome heþen into Grece
232 Þen I, quen ho on brymme wore.
233 Ho wat3 me nerre þen aunte or nece;
234 My joy forþy wat3 much þe more.
235 Ho profered me speche, þat special spece,
236 Enclynande lowe in wommon lore,
237 Ca3te of her coroun of grete tresore
238 And haylsed me wyth a lote ly3te.
239 Wel wat3 me þat euer I wat3 bore
240 To sware þat swete in perle3 py3te!

Section  V

Stanza 21
241 'O perle', quod I, 'in perle3 py3t,
242 Art þou my perle þat I haf playned,
243 Regretted by myn one on ny3te?
244 Much longeyng haf I for þe layned,
245 Syþen into gresse þou me agly3te.
246 Pensyf, payred, I am forpayned,
247 And þou in a lyf of lykyng ly3te,
248 In Paradys erde, of stryf vnstrayned.
Page 10
249 What wyrde hat3 hyder my iuel vayned,
250 And don me in þys del and gret daunger?
251 Fro we in twynne wern towen and twayned,
252 I haf ben a joyle3 juelere.'

folio 42v
Stanza 22
253 That juel þenne in gemme3 gente
254 Vered vp her vyse wyth y3en graye,
255 Set on hyr coroun of perle orient,
256 And soberly after þenne con ho say:
257 'Sir, 3e haf your tale mysetente,
258 To say your perle is al awaye,
259 Þat is in cofer so comly clente
260 As in þis gardyn gracios gaye,
261 Hereinne to lenge for euer and play,
262 Þer mys nee mornyng com neuer nere.
263 Her were a forser for þe, in faye,
264 If þou were a gentyl jueler.'

Stanza 23
265 'Bot, jueler gente, if þou schal lose
266 Þy ioy for a gemme þat þe wat3 lef,
267 Me þynk þe put in a mad porpose,
268 And busye3 þe aboute a raysoun bref;
269 For þat þou leste3 wat3 bot a rose
270 Þat flowred and fayled as kynde hyt gef.
271 Now þur3 kynde of þe kyste þat hyt con close
272 To a perle of prys hit is put in pref.
273 And þou hat3 called þy wyrde a þef,
274 Þat o3t of no3t hat3 mad þe cler;
275 Þou blame3 þe bote of þy meschef,
276 Þou art no kynde jueler.'

Stanza 24
277 A juel to me þen wat3 þys geste,
278 And iuele3 wern hyr gentyl sawe3.
Page 11
279 'Iwyse', quod I, 'my blysfol beste,
280 My grete dystresse þou al todrawe3.
281 To be excused I make requeste;
282 I trawed my perle don out of dawe3.
283 Now haf I fonde hyt, I schal ma feste,
284 And wony wyth hyt in schyr wod-schawe3,
285 And loue my Lorde and al his lawe3
286 Þat hat3 me bro3t þys blys ner.
287 Now were I at yow by3onde þise wawe3,
288 I were a ioyful jueler.'

folio 43r
Stanza 25
289 'Jueler', sayde þat gemme clene,
290 'Wy borde 3e men? So madde 3e be!
291 Þre worde3 hat3 þou spoken at ene:
292 Vnavysed, for soþe, wern alle þre.
293 Þou ne woste in worlde quat on dot3 mene;
294 Þy worde byfore þy wytte con fle.
295 Þou says þou trawe3 me in þis dene,
296 Bycawse þou may wyth y3en me se;
297 Anoþer þou says, in þys countré
298 Þyself schal won wyth me ry3t here;
299 Þe þrydde, to passe þys water fre --
300 Þat may no ioyfol jueler.'

Section  VI

Stanza 26
301 'I halde þat iueler lyttel to prayse
302 Þat leue3 wel þat he se3 wyth y3e,
303 And much to blame and vncortayse
304 Þat leue3 oure Lorde wolde make a ly3e,
Page 12
305 Þat lelly hy3te your lyf to rayse,
306 Þa3 fortune dyd your flesch to dy3e.
307 3e setten hys worde3 ful westernays
308 Þat leue3 noþynk bot 3e hit sy3e.
309 And þat is a poynt o sorquydry3e,
310 Þat vche god mon may euel byseme,
311 To leue no tale be true to try3e
312 Bot þat hys one skyl may dem.'

Stanza 27
313 'Deme now þyself if þou con dayly
314 As man to God worde3 schulde heue.
315 Þou sayt3 þou schal won in þis bayly;
316 Me þynk þe burde fyrst aske leue,
317 And 3et of graunt þou my3te3 fayle.
318 Þou wylne3 ouer þys water to weue;
319 Er moste þou ceuer to oþer counsayle:
320 Þy corse in clot mot calder keue.
321 For hit wat3 forgarte at Paradys greue;
322 Oure 3orefader hit con mysse3eme.
323 Þur3 drwry deth bo3 vch man dreue,
324 Er ouer þys dam hym Dry3tyn deme.'

folio 43v
Stanza 28
325 'Deme3 þou me', quod I, 'my swete,
326 To dol agayn, þenne I dowyne.
327 Now haf I fonte þat I forlete,
328 Schal I efte forgo hit er euer I fyne?
329 Why schal I hit boþe mysse and mete?
330 My precios perle dot3 me gret pyne.
331 What serue3 tresor, bot gare3 men grete
332 When he hit schal efte wyth tene3 tyne?
Page 13
333 Now rech I neuer for to declyne,
334 Ne how fer of folde þat man me fleme.
335 When I am partle3 of perle myne,
336 Bot durande doel what may men deme?'

Stanza 29
337 'Thow deme3 no3t bot doel-dystresse',
338 Þenne sayde þat wy3t. 'Why dot3 þou so?
339 For dyne of doel of lure3 lesse
340 Ofte mony mon forgos þe mo.
341 Þe o3te better þyseluen blesse,
342 And loue ay God, in wele and wo,
343 For anger gayne3 þe not a cresse.
344 Who nede3 schal þole, be not so þro.
345 For þo3 þou daunce as any do,
346 Braundysch and bray þy braþe3 breme,
347 When þou no fyrre may, to ne fro,
348 Þou moste abyde þat he schal deme.'

Stanza 30
349 'Deme Dry3tyn, euer hym adyte,
350 Of þe way a fote ne wyl he wryþe.
351 Þy mende3 mounte3 not a myte,
352 Þa3 þou for sor3e be neuer blyþe.
353 Stynt of þy strot and fyne to flyte,
354 And sech hys blyþe ful swefte and swyþe.
355 Þy prayer may hys pyté byte,
356 Þat mercy schal hyr crafte3 kyþe.
357 Hys comforte may þy langour lyþe
358 And þy lure3 of ly3tly fleme;
359 For, marre oþer madde, morne and myþe,
360 Al lys in hym to dy3t and deme.'

Section  VII

folio 44r
Page 14
Stanza 31
361 Thenne demed I to þat damyselle:
362 'Ne worþe no wrathþe vnto my Lorde,
363 If rapely I raue, spornande in spelle.
364 My herte wat3 al wyth mysse remorde,
365 As wallande water got3 out of welle.
366 I do me ay in hys myserecorde.
367 Rebuke me neuer wyth worde3 felle,
368 Þa3 I forloyne, my dere endorde,
369 Bot kyþe3 me kyndely your coumforde,
370 Pytosly þenkande vpon þysse:
371 Of care and me 3e made acorde,
372 Þat er wat3 grounde of alle my blysse.

Stanza 32
373 'My blysse, my bale, 3e han ben boþe,
374 Bot much þe bygger 3et wat3 my mon;
375 Fro þou wat3 wroken fro vch a woþe,
376 I wyste neuer quere my perle wat3 gon.
377 Now I hit se, now leþe3 my loþe.
378 And, quen we departed, we wern at on;
379 God forbede we be now wroþe,
380 We meten so selden by stok oþer ston.
381 Þa3 cortaysly 3e carp con,
382 I am bot mol and manere3 mysse.
383 Bot Crystes mersy and Mary and Jon,
384 Þise arn þe grounde of alle my blisse.'

Stanza 33
385 'In blysse I se þe blyþely blent,
386 And I a man al mornyf mate;
387 3e take þeron ful lyttel tente,
388 Þa3 I hente ofte harme3 hate.
Page 15
389 Bot now I am here in your presente,
390 I wolde bysech, wythouten debate,
391 3e wolde me say in sobre asente
392 What lyf 3e lede erly and late.
393 For I am ful fayn þat your astate
394 Is worþen to worschyp and wele, iwysse;
395 Of alle my joy þe hy3e gate,
396 Hit is in grounde of alle my blysse.'

folio 44v
Stanza 34
397 'Now blysse, burne, mot þe bytyde',
398 Þen sayde þat lufsoum of lyth and lere,
399 'And welcum here to walk and byde,
400 For now þe speche is to me dere.
401 Maysterful mod and hy3e pryde,
402 I hete þe, arn heterly hated here.
403 My Lorde ne loue3 not for to chyde,
404 For meke arn alle þat wone3 hym nere;
405 And when in hys place þou schal apere,
406 Be dep deuote in hol mekenesse.
407 My Lorde þe Lamb loue3 ay such chere,
408 Þat is þe grounde of alle my blysse.'

Stanza 35
409 'A blysful lyf þou says I lede;
410 Þou wolde3 knaw þerof þe stage.
411 Þow wost wel when þy perle con schede
412 I wat3 ful 3ong and tender of age;
413 Bot my Lorde þe Lombe þur3 hys godhede,
414 He toke myself to hys maryage,
415 Corounde me quene in blysse to brede
416 In lenghe of daye3 þat euer schal wage;
417 And sesed in alle hys herytage
418 Hys lef is. I am holy hysse:
419 Hys prese, hys prys, and hys parage
420 Is rote and grounde of alle my blysse.'

Section  VIII

Page 16
Stanza 36
421 'Blysful', quod I, 'may þys be trwe?
422 Dysplese3 not if I speke errour.
423 Art þou þe quene of heuene3 blwe,
424 Þat al þys worlde schal do honour?
425 We leuen on Marye þat grace of grewe,
426 Þat ber a barne of vyrgyn flour;
427 Þe croune fro hyr quo mo3t remwe
428 Bot ho hir passed in sum fauour?
429 Now, for synglerty o hyr dousour,
430 We calle hyr Fenyx of Arraby,
431 Þat freles fle3e of hyr fasor,
432 Lyk to þe Quen of cortaysye.'

folio 45r
Stanza 37
433 'Cortayse Quen', þenne sayde þat gaye,
434 Knelande to grounde, folde vp hyr face,
435 'Makele3 Moder and myryest May,
436 Blessed bygynner of vch a grace!'
437 Þenne ros ho vp and con restay,
438 And speke me towarde in þat space:
439 'Sir, fele here porchase3 and fonge3 pray,
440 Bot supplantore3 none wythinne þys place.
441 Þat emperise al heuen3 hat3,
442 And vrþe and helle, in her bayly;
443 Of erytage 3et non wyl ho chace,
444 For ho is Quen of cortaysye.

Stanza 38
445 'The court of þe kyndom of God alyue
446 Hat3 a property in hytself beyng:
447 Alle þat may þerinne aryue
448 Of alle þe reme is quen oþer kyng,
Page 17
449 And neuer oþer 3et schal depryue,
450 Bot vchon fayn of oþere3 hafyng,
451 And wolde her coroune3 wern worþe þo fyue,
452 If possyble were her mendyng.
453 Bot my Lady of quom Jesu con spryng,
454 Ho halde3 þe empyre ouer vus ful hy3e;
455 And þat dysplese3 non of oure gyng,
456 For ho is Quene of cortaysye.'

Stanza 39
457 'Of courtaysye, as sayt3 Saynt Poule,
458 Al arn we membre3 of Jesu Kryst:
459 As heued and arme and legg and naule
460 Temen to hys body ful trwe and tryste,
461 Ry3t so is vch a Krysten sawle
462 A longande lym to þe Mayster of myste.
463 Þenne loke what hate oþer any gawle
464 Is tached oþer ty3ed þy lymme3 bytwyste.
465 Þy heued hat3 nauþer greme ne gryste,
466 On arme oþer fynger þa3 þou ber by3e.
467 So fare we alle wyth luf and lyste
468 To kyng and quene by cortaysye.'

folio 45v
Stanza 40
469 'Cortaysé', quod I, 'I leue,
470 And charyté grete, be yow among,
471 Bot my speche þat yow ne greue,
472 . . . . . . .
473 Þyself in heuen ouer hy3 þou heue,
474 To make þe quen þat wat3 so 3onge.
475 What more honour mo3te he acheue
476 Þat hade endured in worlde stronge,
Page 18
477 And lyued in penaunce hys lyue3 longe
478 Wyth bodyly bale hym blysse to byye?
479 What more worschyp mo3t he fonge
480 Þen corounde be kyng by cortaysé?

Section  IX

Stanza 41
481 'That cortaysé is to fre of dede,
482 3yf hyt be soth þat þou cone3 saye.
483 Þou lyfed not two 3er in oure þede;
484 Þou cowþe3 neuer God nauþer plese ne pray,
485 Ne neuer nawþer Pater ne Crede;
486 And quen mad on þe fyrst day!
487 I may not traw, so God me spede,
488 Þat God wolde wryþe so wrange away.
489 Of countes, damysel, par ma fay,
490 Wer fayr in heuen to halde asstate,
491 Oþer elle3 a lady of lasse aray;
492 Bot a quene! Hit is to dere a date.'

Stanza 42
493 'Þer is no date of hys godnesse',
494 Þen sayde to me þat worþy wy3te,
495 'For al is trawþe þat he con dresse,
496 And he may do noþynk bot ry3t.
497 As Mathew mele3 in your messe
498 In sothfol gospel of God almy3t,
499 In sample he can ful grayþely gesse,
500 And lykne3 hit to heuen ly3te.
501 "My regne", he sayt3, "is lyk on hy3t
502 To a lorde þat hade a uyne, I wate.
503 Of tyme of 3ere þe terme wat3 ty3t,
504 To labor vyne wat3 dere þe date.

folio 46r
Page 19
Stanza 43
505 "Þat date of 3ere wel knawe þys hyne.
506 Þe lorde ful erly vp he ros
507 To hyre werkmen to hys vyne,
508 And fynde3 þer summe to hys porpos.
509 Into acorde þay con declyne
510 For a pené on a day, and forth þay got3,
511 Wryþen and worchen and don gret pyne,
512 Keruen and caggen and man hit clos.
513 Aboute vnder þe lorde to marked tot3,
514 And ydel men stande he fynde3 þerate.
515 'Why stande 3e ydel?' he sayde to þos.
516 'Ne knawe 3e of þis day no date?'

Stanza 44
517 "Er date of daye hider arn we wonne',
518 So wat3 al samen her answar so3t.
519 'We haf standen her syn ros þe sunne,
520 And no mon bydde3 vus do ry3t no3t.'
521 'Gos into my vyne, dot3 þat 3e conne',
522 So sayde þe lorde, and made hit to3t.
523 'What resonabele hyre be na3t be runne
524 I yow pay in dede and þo3te.'
525 Þay wente into þe vyne and wro3te,
526 And al day þe lorde þus 3ede his gate,
527 And nw men to hys vyne he bro3te
528 Welne3 wyl day wat3 passed date.

Stanza 45
529 '"At þe date of day of euensonge,
530 On oure byfore þe sonne go doun,
531 He se3 þer ydel men ful stronge
532 And sade to hem wyth sobre soun,
Page 20
533 'Wy stonde 3e ydel þise daye3 longe?'
534 Þay sayden her hyre wat3 nawhere boun.
535 'Got3 to my vyne, 3emen 3onge,
536 And wyrke3 and dot3 þat at 3e moun.'
537 Sone þe worlde bycom wel broun;
538 Þe sunne wat3 doun and hit wex late.
539 To take her hyre he mad sumoun;
540 Þe day wat3 al apassed date.

Section  X

folio 46v
Stanza 46
541 '"The date of þe daye þe lorde con knaw,
542 Called to þe reue: 'Lede, pay þe meyny.
543 Gyf hem þe hyre þat I hem owe,
544 And fyrre, þat non me may reprené,
545 Set hem alle vpon a rawe
546 And gyf vchon inlyche a peny.
547 Bygyn at þe laste þat stande3 lowe,
548 Tyl to þe fyrst þat þou atteny.'
549 And þenne þe fyrst bygonne to pleny
550 And sayden þat þay hade trauayled sore:
551 'Þese bot on oure hem con streny;
552 Vus þynk vus o3e to take more.

Stanza 47
553 '"'More haf we serued, vus þynk so,
554 Þat suffred han þe daye3 hete,
555 Þenn þyse þat wro3t not houre3 two,
556 And þou dot3 hem vus to counterfete.'
557 Þenne sayde þe lorde to on of þo:
558 'Frende, no waning I wyl þe 3ete;
559 Take þat is þyn owne, and go.
560 And I hyred þe for a peny agrete,
Page 21
561 Quy bygynne3 þou now to þrete?
562 Wat3 not a pené þy couenaunt þore?
563 Fyrre þen couenaunde is no3t to plete.
564 Wy schalte þou þenne ask more?

Stanza 48
565 '"'More, weþer louyly is me my gyfte,
566 To do wyth myn quat-so me lyke3?
567 Oþer elle3 þyn y3e to lyþer is lyfte
568 For I am goude and non byswyke3?'
569 Þus schal I", quod Kryste, "hit skyfte:
570 Þe laste schal be þe fyrst þat stryke3,
571 And þe fyrst þe laste, be he neuer so swyft;
572 For mony ben called, þa3 fewe be myke3."
573 Þus pore men her part ay pyke3,
574 Þa3 þay com late and lyttel wore;
575 And þa3 her sweng wyth lyttel atslyke3,
576 Þe merci of God is much þe more.

folio 47r
Stanza 49
577 'More haf I of joye and blysse hereinne,
578 Of ladyschyp gret and lyue3 blom,
579 Þen alle þe wy3e3 in þe worlde my3t wynne
580 By þe way of ry3t to aske dome.
581 Wheþer welnygh now I con bygynne --
582 In euentyde into þe vyne I come --
583 Fyrst of my hyre my Lorde con mynne:
584 I wat3 payed anon of al and sum.
585 3et oþer þer werne þat toke more tom,
586 Þat swange and swat for long 3ore,
587 Þat 3et of hyre noþynk þay nom,
588 Paraunter no3t schal to-3ere more.'

Page 22
Stanza 50
589 Then more I meled and sayde apert:
590 'Me þynk þy tale vnresounable.
591 Godde3 ry3t is redy and euermore rert,
592 Oþer Holy Wryt is bot a fable.
593 In Sauter is sayd a verce ouerte
594 Þat speke3 a poynt determynable:
595 "Þou quyte3 vchon as hys desserte,
596 Þou hy3e kyng ay pretermynable."
597 Now he þat stod þe long day stable,
598 And þou to payment com hym byfore,
599 Þenne þe lasse in werke to take more able,
600 And euer þe lenger þe lasse, þe more.'

Section  XI

Stanza 51
601 'Of more and lasse in Gode3 ryche',
602 Þat gentyl sayde, 'lys no joparde,
603 For þer is vch mon payed inlyche,
604 Wheþer lyttel oþer much be hys rewarde;
605 For þe gentyl Cheuentayn is no chyche,
606 Queþer-so-euer he dele nesch oþer harde:
607 He laue3 hys gyfte3 as water of dyche,
608 Oþer gote3 of golf þat neuer charde.
609 Hys fraunchyse is large þat euer dard
610 To Hym þat mat3 in synne rescoghe;
611 No blysse bet3 fro hem reparde,
612 For þe grace of God is gret inoghe.

folio 47v
Stanza 52
613 'Bot now þou mote3, me for to mate,
614 Þat I my peny haf wrang tan here;
615 Þou say3 þat I þat com to late
616 Am not worþy so gret fere.
Page 23
617 Where wyste3 þou euer any bourne abate,
618 Euer so holy in hys prayere,
619 Þat he ne forfeted by sumkyn gate
620 Þe mede sumtyme of heuene3 clere?
621 And ay þe ofter, þe alder þay were,
622 Þay laften ry3t and wro3ten woghe.
623 Mercy and grace moste hem þen stere,
624 For þe grace of God is gret inno3e.

Stanza 53
625 'Bot innoghe of grace hat3 innocent.
626 As sone as þay arn borne, by lyne
627 In þe water of babtem þay dyssente:
628 Þen arne þay boro3t into þe vyne.
629 Anon þe day, wyth derk endente,
630 Þe niy3t of deth dot3 to enclyne:
631 Þat wro3t neuer wrang er þenne þay wente,
632 Þe gentyle Lorde þenne paye3 hys hyne.
633 Þay dyden hys heste, þay wern þereine;
634 Why schulde he not her labour alow,
635 3ys, and pay hem at þe fyrst fyne?
636 For þe grace of God is gret innoghe.

Stanza 54
637 'Ino3e is knawen þat mankyn grete
638 Fyrste wat3 wro3t to blysse parfyt;
639 Oure forme fader hit con forfete
640 Þur3 an apple þat he vpon con byte.
641 Al wer we dampned for þat mete
642 To dy3e in doel out of delyt
643 And syþen wende to helle hete,
644 Þerinne to won wythoute respyt.
645 Bot þeron com a bote astyt.
646 Ryche blod ran on rode so roghe,
Page 24
647 And wynne water þen at þat plyt:
648 Þe grace of God wex gret innoghe.

folio 48r
Stanza 55
649 'Innoghe þer wax out of þat welle,
650 Blod and water of brode wounde.
651 Þe blod vus bo3t fro bale of helle
652 And delyuered vus of þe deth secounde;
653 Þe water is baptem, þe soþe to telle,
654 Þat fol3ed þe glayue so grymly grounde,
655 Þat wasche3 away þe gylte3 felle
656 Þat Adam wyth inne deth vus drounde.
657 Now is þer no3t in þe worlde rounde
658 Bytwene vus and blysse bot þat he wythdro3,
659 And þat is restored in sely stounde;
660 And þe grace of God is gret innogh.

Section  XII

Stanza 56
661 'Grace innogh þe mon may haue
662 Þat synne3 þenne new, 3if hym repente,
663 Bot wyth sor3 and syt he mot hit craue,
664 And byde þe payne þerto is bent.
665 Bot resoun of ry3t þat con not raue
666 Saue3 euermore þe innossent;
667 Hit is a dom þat neuer God gaue,
668 Þat euer þe gyltle3 schulde be schente.
669 Þe gyltyf may contryssyoun hente
670 And be þur3 mercy to grace þry3t;
671 Bot he to gyle þat neuer glente
672 And inoscente is saf and ry3te.

Page 25
Stanza 57
673 'Ry3t þus I knaw wel in þis cas
674 Two men to saue is god by skylle:
675 Þe ry3twys man schal se hys face,
676 Þe harmle3 haþel schal com hym tylle.
677 Þe Sauter hyt sat3 þus in a pace:
678 "Lorde, quo schal klymbe þy hy3 hylle,
679 Oþer rest wythinne þy holy place?"
680 Hymself to onsware he is not dylle:
681 "Hondelynge3 harme þat dyt not ille,
682 Þat is of hert boþe clene and ly3t,
683 Þer schal hys step stable stylle":
684 Þe innosent is ay saf by ry3t.

folio 48v
Stanza 58
685 'The ry3twys man also sertayn
686 Aproche he schal þat proper pyle,
687 Þat take3 not her lyf in vayne,
688 Ne glauere3 her nie3bor wyth no gyle.
689 Of þys ry3twys sa3 Salamon playn
690 How Koyntise onoure con aquyle;
691 By waye3 ful stre3t ho con hym strayn,
692 And scheued hym þe rengne of God awhyle,
693 As quo says, "Lo, 3on louely yle!
694 Þou may hit wynne if þou be wy3te."
695 Bot, hardyly, wythoute peryle,
696 Þe innosent is ay saue by ry3te.

Stanza 59
697 'Anende ry3twys men 3et sayt3 a gome,
698 Dauid in Sauter, if euer 3e sy3 hit:
699 "Lorde, Þy seruaunt dra3 neuer to dome,
700 For non lyuyande to þe is justyfyet."
Page 26
701 Forþy to corte quen þou schal com
702 Þer alle oure cause3 schal be tryed,
703 Alegge þe ry3t, þou may be innome,
704 By þys ilke spech I haue asspyed;
705 Bot he on rode þat blody dyed,
706 Delfully þur3 honde3 þry3t,
707 Gyue þe to passe, when þou arte tryed,
708 By innocens and not by ry3te.

Stanza 60
709 'Ry3twysly quo con rede,
710 He loke on bok and be awayed
711 How Jesus hym welke in areþede,
712 And burne3 her barne3 vnto hym brayde.
713 For happe and hele þat fro hym 3ede
714 To touch her chylder þay fayr hym prayed.
715 His dessypele3 wyth blame let be hem bede
716 And wyth her resoune3 ful fele restayed.
717 Jesus þenne hem swetely sayde:
718 "Do way, let chylder vnto me ty3t.
719 To suche is heuenryche arayed":
720 Þe innocent is ay saf by ry3t.

Section  XIII

folio 49r
Stanza 61
721 'Iesus con calle to hym hys mylde,
722 And sayde hys ryche no wy3 my3t wynne
723 Bot he com þyder ry3t as a chylde,
724 Oþer elle3 neuermore com þerinne.
725 Harmle3, trwe, and vndefylde,
726 Wythouten mote oþer mascle of sulpande synne,
Page 27
727 Quen such þer cnoken on þe bylde,
728 Tyt schal hem men þe 3ate vnpynne.
729 Þer is þe blys þat con not blynne
730 Þat þe jueler so3te þur3 perré pres,
731 And solde alle hys goud, boþe wolen and lynne,
732 To bye hym a perle wat3 mascelle3.

Stanza 62
733 'This makelle3 perle, þat bo3t is dere,
734 Þe joueler gef fore alle hys god,
735 Is lyke þe reme of heuenesse clere:
736 So sayde þe Fader of folde and flode;
737 For hit is wemle3, clene, and clere,
738 And endele3 rounde, and blyþe of mode,
739 And commune to alle þat ry3twys were.
740 Lo, euen inmydde3 my breste hit stode.
741 My Lorde þe Lombe, þat schede hys blode,
742 He py3t hit þere in token of pes.
743 I rede þe forsake þe worlde wode
744 And porchace þy perle maskelles.'

Stanza 63
745 'O maskele3 perle in perle3 pure,
746 Þat bere3', quod I, 'þe perle of prys,
747 Quo formed þe þy fayre fygure?
748 Þat wro3t þy wede, he wat3 ful wys.
749 Þy beauté com neuer of nature;
750 Pymalyon paynted neuer þy vys,
751 Ne Arystotel nawþer by hys lettrure
752 Of carped þe kynde þese properté3.
753 Þy colour passe3 þe flour-de-lys;
754 Þyn angel-hauyng so clene corte3.
755 Breue me, bry3t, quat kyn offys
756 Bere3 þe perle so maskelle3?'

folio 49v
Page 28
Stanza 64
757 'My makele3 Lambe þat al may bete',
758 Quod scho, 'my dere destyné,
759 Me ches to hys make, alþa3 vnmete
760 Sumtyme semed þat assemblé.
761 When I wente fro yor worlde wete,
762 He calde me to hys bonerté:
763 "Cum hyder to me, my lemman swete,
764 For mote ne spot is non in þe."
765 He gef me my3t and als bewté;
766 In hys blod he wesch my wede on dese,
767 And coronde clene in vergynté,
768 And py3t me in perle3 maskelle3.'

Stanza 65
769 'Why, maskelle3 byrd þat bry3t con flambe,
770 Þat reiaté3 hat3 so ryche and ryf,
771 Quat kyn þyng may be þat Lambe
772 Þat þe wolde wedde vnto hys vyf?
773 Ouer alle oþer so hy3 þou clambe
774 To lede wyth hym so ladyly lyf.
775 So mony a comly on-vunder cambe
776 For Kryst han lyued in much stryf;
777 And þou con alle þo dere out dryf
778 And fro þat maryag al oþer depres,
779 Al only þyself so stout and styf,
780 A makele3 may and maskelle3.'

Section  XIV

Stanza 66
781 'Maskelles', quod þat myry quene,
782 'Vnblemyst I am, wythouten blot,
783 And þat may I wyth mensk menteene;
784 Bot "makele3 quene" þenne sade I not.
Page 29
785 Þe Lambes vyue3 in blysse we bene,
786 A hondred and forty fowre þowsande flot,
787 As in þe Apocalyppe3 hit is sene;
788 Sant John hem sy3 al in a knot.
789 On þe hyl of Syon, þat semly clot,
790 Þe apostel hem segh in gostly drem
791 Arayed to þe weddyng in þat hyl-coppe,
792 Þe nwe cyté o Jerusalem.

folio 50r
Stanza 67
793 'Of Jerusalem I in speche spelle.
794 If þou wyl knaw what kyn he be,
795 My Lombe, my Lorde, my dere juelle,
796 My ioy, my blys, my lemman fre,
797 Þe profete Ysaye of hym con melle
798 Pitously of hys debonerté:
799 "Þat gloryous gyltle3 þat mon con quelle
800 Wythouten any sake of felonye,
801 As a schep to þe sla3t þer lad wat3 he;
802 And, as lombe þat clypper in hande nem,
803 So closed he hys mouth fro vch query,
804 Quen Jue3 hym iugged in Jerusalem."

Stanza 68
805 'In Jerusalem wat3 my lemman slayn
806 And rent on rode wyth boye3 bolde.
807 Al oure bale3 to bere ful bayn,
808 He toke on hymself oure care3 colde.
809 Wyth boffete3 wat3 hys face flayn
810 Þat wat3 so fayr on to byholde.
Page 30
811 For synne he set hymself in vayn,
812 Þat neuer hade non hymself to wolde.
813 For vus he lette hym fly3e and folde
814 And brede vpon a bostwys bem;
815 As meke as lomp þat no playnt tolde
816 For vus he swalt in Jerusalem.

Stanza 69
817 'In Jerusalem, Jordan, and Galalye,
818 Þer as baptysed þe goude Saynt Jon,
819 His worde3 acorded to Ysaye.
820 When Jesus con to hym warde gon.
821 He sayde of hym þys professye:
822 "Lo, Gode3 Lombe as trwe as ston,
823 Þat dot3 away þe synne3 dry3e
824 Þat alle þys worlde hat3 wro3t vpon.
825 Hymself ne wro3t neuer 3et non;
826 Wheþer on hymself he con al clem.
827 Hys generacyoun quo recen con,
828 Þat dy3ed for vus in Jerusalem?"

folio 50v
Stanza 70
829 'In Ierusalem þus my lemman swete
830 Twye3 for lombe wat3 taken þare,
831 By trw recorde of ayþer prophete,
832 For mode so meke and al hys fare.
833 Þe þryde tyme is þerto ful mete,
834 In Apokalype3 wryten ful 3are;
835 Inmyde3 þe trone, þere saynte3 sete,
836 Þe apostel Iohn hym sa3 as bare,
837 Lesande þe boke with leue3 sware
838 Þere seuen syngnette3 wern sette in seme;
839 And at þat sy3t vche douth con dare
840 In helle, in erþe, and Jerusalem.

Section  XV

Page 31
Stanza 71
841 'Thys Jerusalem Lombe hade neuer pechche
842 Of oþer huee bot quyt jolyf
843 Þat mot ne masklle mo3t on streche,
844 For wolle quyte so ronk and ryf.
845 Forþy vche saule þat hade neuer teche
846 Is to þat Lombe a worthyly wyf;
847 And þa3 vch day a store he feche,
848 Among vus comme3 nouþer strot ne stryf;
849 Bot vchon enlé we wolde were fyf --
850 Þe mo þe myryer, so God me blesse.
851 In compayny gret our luf con þryf
852 In honour more and neuer þe lesse.

Stanza 72
853 'Lasse of blysse may non vus bryng
854 Þat beren þys perle vpon oure bereste,
855 For þay of mote couþe neuer mynge
856 Of spotle3 perle3 þat beren þe creste.
857 Alþa3 oure corses in clotte3 clynge,
858 And 3e remen for rauþe wythouten reste,
859 We þur3outly hauen cnawyng;
860 Of on dethe ful oure hope is drest.
861 Þe Lombe vus glade3, oure care is kest;
862 He myrþe3 vus alle at vch a mes.
863 Vchone3 blysse is breme and beste,
864 And neuer one3 honour 3et neuer þe les.

folio 51r
Stanza 73
865 'Lest les þou leue my tale farande,
866 In Appocalyppece is wryten in wro:
Page 32
867 "I seghe", says John, "þe Loumbe hym stande
868 On þe mount of Syon ful þryuen and þro,
869 And wyth hym maydenne3 and hundreþe þowsande,
870 And fowre and forty þowsande mo.
871 On alle her forhede3 wryten I fande
872 Þe Lombe3 nome, hys Fadere3 also.
873 A hue from heuen I herde þoo,
874 Lyk flode3 fele laden runnen on resse,
875 And as þunder þrowe3 in torre3 blo,
876 Þat lote, I leue, wat3 neuer þe les.

Stanza 74
877 '"Nauþeles, þa3 hit schowted scharpe,
878 And ledden loude alþa3 hit were,
879 A note ful nwe I herde hem warpe,
880 To lysten þat wat3 ful lufly dere.
881 As harpore3 harpen in her harpe,
882 Þat nwe songe þay songen ful cler,
883 In sounande note3 a gentyl carpe;
884 Ful fayre þe mode3 þay fonge in fere.
885 Ry3t byfore Gode3 chayere
886 And þe fowre beste3 þat hym obes
887 And þe aldermen so sadde of chere,
888 Her songe þay songen neuer þe les.

Stanza 75
889 '"Nowþelese non wat3 neuer so quoynt,
890 For alle þe crafte3 þat euer þay knewe,
891 Þat of þat songe my3t synge a poynt,
892 Bot þat meyny þe Lombe þat swe;
893 For þay arn bo3t fro þe vrþe aloynte
894 As newe fryt to God ful due,
895 And to þe gentyl Lombe hit arn anioynt,
896 As lyk to hymself of lote and hwe;
Page 33
897 For neuer lesyng ne tale vntrwe
898 Ne towched her tonge for no dysstresse.
899 Þat moteles meyny may neuer remwe
900 Fro þat maskele3 mayster, neuer þe les."'

folio 51v
Stanza 76
901 'Neuer þe les let be my þonc',
902 Quod I, 'My perle, þa3 I appose;
903 I schulde not tempte þy wyt so wlonc,
904 To Kryste3 chambre þat art ichose.
905 I am bot mokke and mul among,
906 And þou so ryche a reken rose,
907 And byde3 here by þys blysful bonc
908 Þer lyue3 lyste may neuer lose.
909 Now, hynde, þat sympelnesse cone3 enclose,
910 I wolde þe aske a þynge expresse,
911 And þa3 I be bustwys as a blose,
912 Let my bone vayl neuerþelese.

Section  XVI

Stanza 77
913 'Neuerþelese cler I yow bycalle,
914 If 3e con se hyt be to done;
915 As þou art gloryous wythouten galle,
916 Wythnay þou neuer my ruful bone.
917 Haf 3e no wone3 in castel-walle,
918 Ne maner þer 3e may mete and won?
919 Þou telle3 me of Jerusalem þe ryche ryalle,
920 Þer Dauid dere wat3 dy3t on trone,
921 Bot by þyse holte3 hit con not hone,
922 Bot in Judee hit is, þat noble note.
923 As 3e ar maskele3 vnder mone,
924 Your wone3 schulde be wythouten mote.

Page 34
Stanza 78
925 'Þys motele3 meyny þou cone3 of mele,
926 Of þousande3 þry3t so gret a route,
927 A gret ceté, for 3e arn fele,
928 Yow byhod haue, wythouten doute.
929 So cumly a pakke of joly juele
930 Wer euel don schulde ly3 þeroute,
931 And by þyse bonke3 þer I con gele
932 I se no bygyng nawhere aboute.
933 I trowe alone 3e lenge and loute
934 To loke on þe glory of þys gracious gote.
935 If þou hat3 oþer bygynge3 stoute,
936 Now tech me to þat myry mote.'

folio 52r
Stanza 79
937 'That mote þou mene3 in Judy londe',
938 Þat specyal spyce þen to me spakk,
939 'Þat is þe cyté þat þe Lombe con fonde
940 To soffer inne sor for mane3 sake,
941 Þe olde Jerusalem to vnderstonde;
942 For þere þe olde gulte wat3 don to slake.
943 Bot þe nwe, þat ly3t of Gode3 sonde,
944 Þe apostel in Apocalyppce in theme con take.
945 Þe Lompe þer wythouten spotte3 blake
946 Hat3 feryed þyder hys fayre flote;
947 And as hys flok is wythouten flake,
948 So is hys mote wythouten moote.

Stanza 80
949 'Of motes two to carpe clene,
950 And Jerusalem hy3t boþe nawþeles --
951 Þat nys to yow no more to mene
952 Bot "ceté of God", oþer "sy3t of pes":
953 In þat on oure pes wat3 mad at ene;
954 Wyth payne to suffer þe Lombe hit chese;
Page 35
955 In þat oþer is no3t bot pes to glene
956 Þat ay schal laste wythouten reles.
957 Þat is þe bor3 þat we to pres
958 Fro þat oure flesch be layd to rote,
959 Þer glory and blysse schal euer encres
960 To þe meyny þat is wythouten mote.'

Stanza 81
961 'Motele3 may so meke and mylde',
962 Þen sayde I to þat lufly flor,
963 'Bryng me to þat bygly bylde
964 And let me se þy blysful bor.'
965 Þat schene sayde: 'Þat God wyl schylde;
966 Þou may not enter wythinne hys tor,
967 Bot of þe Lombe I haue þe aquylde
968 For a sy3t þerof þur3 gret fauor.
969 Vtwyth to se þat clene cloystor
970 Þou may, bot inwyth not a fote;
971 To strech in þe strete þou hat3 no vygour,
972 Bot þou wer clene wythouten mote.

Section  XVII

folio 52v
Stanza 82
973 'If I þis mote þe schal vnhyde,
974 Bow vp towarde þys borne3 heued,
975 And I anende3 þe on þis syde
976 Schal sve, tyl þou to a hil be veued.'
977 Þen wolde I no lenger byde,
978 Bot lurked by launce3 so lufly leued,
979 Tyl on a hyl þat I asspyed
980 And blusched on þe burghe, as I forth dreued,
981 By3onde þe brok fro me warde keued,
982 Þat schyrrer þen sunne wyth schafte3 schon.
Page 36
983 In þe Apokalypce is þe fasoun preued,
984 As deuyse3 hit þe apostel Jhon.

Stanza 83
985 As John þe apostel hit sy3 wyth sy3t,
986 I sy3e þat cyty of gret renoun,
987 Jerusalem so nwe and ryally dy3t,
988 As hit was ly3t fro þe heuen adoun.
989 Þe bor3 wat3 al of brende golde bry3t
990 As glemande glas burnist broun,
991 Wyth gentyl gemme3 an-vnder py3t
992 Wyth bantele3 twelue on basyng boun,
993 Þe foundemente3 twelue of riche tenoun;
994 Vch tabelment wat3 a serlype3 ston;
995 As derely deuyse3 þis ilk toun
996 In Apocalyppe3 þe apostel John.

Stanza 84
997 As John þise stone3 in writ con nemme,
998 I knew þe name after his tale:
999 Jasper hy3t þe fyrst gemme
1000 Þat I on þe fyrst basse con wale:
1001 He glente grene in þe lowest hemme;
1002 Saffer helde þe secounde stale;
1003 Þe calsydoyne þenne wythouten wemme
1004 In þe þryd table con purly pale;
1005 Þe emerade þe furþe so grene of scale;
1006 Þe sardonyse þe fyfþe ston;
1007 Þe sexte þe rybé he con hit wale
1008 In þe Apocalyppce, þe apostel John.

folio 53r
Stanza 85
1009 3et joyned John þe crysolyt
1010 Þe seuenþe gemme in fundament;
Page 37
1011 Þe a3tþe þe beryl cler and quyt;
1012 Þe topasye twynne-hew þe nente endent;
1013 Þe crysopase þe tenþe is ty3t;
1014 Þe jacynght þe enleuenþe gent;
1015 Þe twelfþe, þe gentyleste in vch a plyt,
1016 Þe amatyst purpre wyth ynde blente;
1017 Þe wal abof þe bantels bent
1018 O jasporye, as glas þat glysnande schon;
1019 I knew hit by his deuysement
1020 In þe Apocalyppe3, þe apostel John.

Stanza 86
1021 As John deuysed 3et sa3 I þare:
1022 Þise twelue degres wern brode and stayre;
1023 Þe cyté stod abof ful sware,
1024 As longe as brode as hy3e ful fayre;
1025 Þe strete3 of golde as glasse al bare,
1026 Þe wal of jasper þat glent as glayre;
1027 Þe wone3 wythinne enurned ware
1028 Wyth alle kynne3 perré þat mo3t repayre.
1029 Þenne helde vch sware of þis manayre
1030 Twelue forlonge space, er euer hit fon,
1031 Of he3t, of brede, of lenþe to cayre,
1032 For meten hit sy3 þe apostel John.

Section  XVIII

Stanza 87
1033 As John hym wryte3 3et more I sy3e:
1034 Vch pane of þat place had þre 3ate3;
1035 So twelue in poursent I con asspye,
1036 Þe portale3 pyked of rych plate3,
Page 38
1037 And vch 3ate of a margyrye,
1038 A parfyt perle þat neuer fate3.
1039 Vchon in scrypture a name con plye
1040 Of Israel barne3, folewande her date3,
1041 Þat is to say, as her byrþ-whate3:
1042 Þe aldest ay fyrst þeron wat3 done.
1043 Such ly3t þer lemed in alle þe strate3
1044 Hem nedde nawþer sunne ne mone.

folio 53v
Stanza 88
1045 Of sunne ne mone had þay no nede;
1046 Þe self God wat3 her lombe-ly3t,
1047 Þe Lombe her lantyrne, wythouten drede;
1048 Þur3 hym blysned þe bor3 al bry3t.
1049 Þur3 wo3e and won my lokyng 3ede,
1050 For sotyle cler no3t lette no ly3t.
1051 Þe hy3e trone þer mo3t 3e hede
1052 Wyth alle þe apparaylmente vmbepy3te,
1053 As John þe appostel in terme3 ty3te;
1054 Þe hy3e Gode3 self hit set vpone.
1055 A reuer of þe trone þer ran outry3te
1056 Wat3 bry3ter þen boþe þe sunne and mone.

Stanza 89
1057 Sunne ne mone schon neuer so swete
1058 As þat foysoun flode out of þat flet;
1059 Swyþe hit swange þur3 vch a strete
1060 Wythouten fylþe oþer galle oþer glet.
1061 Kyrk þerinne wat3 non 3ete,
1062 Chapel ne temple þat euer wat3 set;
1063 Þe Almy3ty wat3 her mynster mete,
1064 Þe Lombe þe sakerfyse þer to refet.
Page 39
1065 Þe 3ate3 stoken wat3 neuer 3et,
1066 Bot euermore vpen at vche a lone;
1067 Þer entre3 non to take reset
1068 Þat bere3 any spot an-vnder mone.

Stanza 90
1069 The mone may þerof acroche no my3te;
1070 To spotty ho is, of body to grym,
1071 And also þer ne is neuer ny3t.
1072 What schulde þe mone þer compas clym
1073 And to euen wyth þat worþly ly3t
1074 Þat schyne3 vpon þe broke3 brym?
1075 Þe planete3 arn in to pouer a ply3t,
1076 And þe self sunne ful fer to dym.
1077 Aboute þat water arn tres ful schym,
1078 Þat twelue fryte3 of lyf con bere ful sone;
1079 Twelue syþe3 on 3er þay beren ful frym,
1080 And renowle3 nwe in vche a mone.

folio 54r
Stanza 91
1081 An-vnder mone so great merwayle
1082 No fleschly hert ne my3t endeure,
1083 As quen I blusched vpon þat bayle,
1084 So ferly þerof wat3 þe fasure.
1085 I stod as stylle as dased quayle
1086 For ferly of þat frelich fygure,
1087 Þat felde I nawþer reste ne trauayle,
1088 So wat3 I rauyste wyth glymme pure.
1089 For I dar say wyth conciens sure,
1090 Hade bodyly burne abiden þat bone,
1091 Þa3 alle clerke3 hym hade in cure,
1092 His lyf were loste an-vnder mone.

Section  XIX

Page 40
Stanza 92
1093 Ry3t as þe maynful mone con rys
1094 Er þenne þe day-glem dryue al doun,
1095 So sodanly on a wonder wyse
1096 I wat3 war of a prosessyoun.
1097 Þis noble cité of ryche enpryse
1098 Wat3 sodanly ful wythouten sommoun
1099 Of such vergyne3 in þe same gyse
1100 Þat wat3 my blysful an-vnder croun:
1101 And coronde wern alle of þe same fasoun,
1102 Depaynt in perle3 and wede3 qwyte;
1103 In vchone3 breste wat3 bounden boun
1104 Þe blysful perle wyth gret delyt.

Stanza 93
1105 Wyth gret delyt þay glod in fere
1106 On golden gate3 þat glent as glasse;
1107 Hundreth þowsande3 I wot þer were,
1108 And alle in sute her liuré3 wasse;
1109 Tor to knaw þe gladdest chere.
1110 Þe Lombe byfore con proudly passe
1111 Wyth horne3 seuen of red golde cler;
1112 As praysed perle3 his wede3 wasse.
1113 Towarde þe throne þay trone a tras.
1114 Þa3 þay wern fele, no pres in plyt,
1115 Bot mylde as maydene3 seme at mas,
1116 So dro3 þay forth wyth gret delyt.

folio 54v
Stanza 94
1117 Delyt þat hys come encroched
1118 To much hit were of for to melle
1119 Þise aldermen, quen he aproched,
1120 Grouelyng to his fete þay felle.
Page 41
1121 Legyounes of aungele3 togeder uoched
1122 Þer kesten ensens of swete smelle.
1123 Þen glory and gle wat3 nwe abroched;
1124 Al songe to loue þat gay juelle.
1125 Þe steuen mo3t stryke þur3 þe vrþe to helle
1126 Þat þe Vertues of heuen of joye endyte.
1127 To loue þe Lombe his meyny in melle
1128 Iwysse I la3t a gret delyt.

Stanza 95
1129 Delit þe Lombe for to deuise
1130 Wyth much meruayle in mynde went.
1131 Best wat3 he, blyþest, and moste to pryse,
1132 Þat euer I herde of speche spent;
1133 So worþly whyt wern wede3 hys,
1134 His loke3 symple, hymself so gent.
1135 Bot a wounde ful wyde and weete con wyse
1136 Anende hys hert, þur3 hyde torente.
1137 Of his quyte syde his blod outsprent.
1138 Alas, þo3t I, who did þat spyt?
1139 Ani breste for bale a3t haf forbrent
1140 Er he þerto hade had delyt.

Stanza 96
1141 The Lombe delyt non lyste to wene.
1142 Þa3 he were hurt and wounde hade,
1143 In his sembelaunt wat3 neuer sene,
1144 So wern his glente3 gloryous glade.
1145 I loked among his meyny schene
1146 How þay wyth lyf wern laste and lade;
1147 Þen sa3 I þer my lyttel quene
1148 Þat I wende had standen by me in sclade.
1149 Lorde, much of mirþe wat3 þat ho made
1150 Among her fere3 þat wat3 so quyt!
1151 Þat sy3t me gart to þenk to wade
1152 For luf-longyng in gret delyt.

Section  XX

folio 55r
Page 42
Stanza 97
1153 Delyt me drof in y3e and ere,
1154 My mane3 mynde to maddyng malte;
1155 Quen I se3 my frely, I wolde be þere,
1156 By3onde þe water þa3 ho were walte.
1157 I þo3t þat noþyng my3t me dere
1158 To fech me bur and take me halte,
1159 And to start in þe strem schulde non me stere,
1160 To swymme þe remnaunt, þa3 I þer swalte.
1161 Bot of þat munt I wat3 bitalt;
1162 When I schulde start in þe strem astraye,
1163 Out of þat caste I wat3 bycalt:
1164 Hit wat3 not at my Prynce3 paye.

Stanza 98
1165 Hit payed hym not þat I so flonc
1166 Ouer meruelous mere3, so mad arayde.
1167 Of raas þa3 I were rasch and ronk,
1168 3et rapely þerinne I wat3 restrayed.
1169 For, ry3t as I sparred vnto þe bonc,
1170 Þat brathþe out of my drem me brayde.
1171 Þen wakned I in þat erber wlonk;
1172 My hede vpon þat hylle wat3 layde
1173 Þer as my perle to grounde strayd.
1174 I raxled, and fel in gret affray,
1175 And, sykyng, to myself I sayd,
1176 'Now al be to þat Prynces paye'.

Stanza 99
1177 Me payed ful ille to be outfleme
1178 So sodenly of þat fayre regioun,
1179 Fro alle þo sy3te3 so quyke and queme.
1180 A longeyng heuy me strok in swone,
Page 43
1181 And rewfully þenne I con to reme:
1182 'O perle', quod I, 'of rych renoun,
1183 So wat3 hit me dere þat þou con deme
1184 In þys veray avysyoun!
1185 If hit be ueray and soth sermoun
1186 Þat þou so styke3 in garlande gay,
1187 So wel is me in þys doel-doungoun
1188 Þat þou art to þat Prynse3 paye.'

folio 55v
Stanza 100
1189 To þat Prynce3 paye hade I ay bente,
1190 And 3erned no more þen wat3 me gyuen,
1191 And halden me þer in trwe entent,
1192 As þe perle me prayed þat wat3 so þryuen,
1193 As helde, drawen to Godde3 present,
1194 To mo of his mysterys I hade ben dryuen;
1195 Bot ay wolde man of happe more hente
1196 Þen mo3te by ry3t vpon hem clyuen.
1197 Þerfore my ioye wat3 sone toriuen,
1198 And I kaste of kythe3 þat laste3 aye.
1199 Lorde, mad hit arn þat agayn þe stryuen,
1200 Oþer proferen þe o3t agayn þy paye.

Stanza 101
1201 To pay þe Prince oþer sete sa3te
1202 Hit is ful eþe to þe god Krystyin;
1203 For I haf founden hym, boþe day and na3te,
1204 A God, a Lorde, a frende ful fyin.
1205 Ouer þis hyul þis lote I la3te,
1206 For pyty of my perle enclyin,
1207 And syþen to God I hit byta3te
1208 In Kryste3 dere blessyng and myn,
Page 44
1209 Þat in þe forme of bred and wyn
1210 Þe preste vus schewe3 vch a daye.
1211 He gef vus to be his homly hyne
1212 Ande precious perle3 vnto his pay.

1213 Amen.