I am ymagynatif quod he idel was I neuere
Thoȝwgh I sitte by my-self in sekenesse ne in helthe
I haue y-folwede þe in faith þis fyue and fourty wyntur .
And many tymes haue IM.12.4: M's reading of haue I is not shared by other B manuscripts, most of which read haue. Hm reads y haue.
meued þe to þenke on þyne
And how fele ferneȝeres arn faren and so fewe to come
And of thyn wylde wantonesse tho þow .yong were .
To amende it in þy mydel age leste myght þe faile
In þin olde Elde that yuele can suffre
Pouerte or penaunce or preiersM.12.9: Bleedthrough has affected the <p>, the <i>, and the <s> of this word.
Si non in prima vigilia . nec in secunda . & cetera .
Emendemus dum temporem habemus
Amende the whil thow might thow hast ben warned ofte
With poustes of pestilences with pouerte . and with angres
And with þise bittere baleises god beteþ his dere children .
And dauid in the Sauter seith of suche þat louen Ihesus
Virga tua & baculus tuus ipsa me consolata sunt & cetera .
Al-though þow strike me with þi staff with stikke or with ȝyerde .
It is but murthe as for me to amende my soule
And þow medlest þe with makynge and myȝtest go seie thi sauter
And bidde for hem þat ȝyeueth the bred for there ben bokes ynowe
To telle men what dowel is do-bet . and dobest bothe .
And prechours to preue what it is of many a peire of —M.12.22: M's original reading of of was unique among B manuscripts.
I seigh wel he saide me soth and suomwhat me to excuse .
Saide Caton conforted his sone that clerk though he were
To solacen hym suom-tyme as I do whan I make .
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis & cetera
And of holy men quod I i herdeM.12.27: M's order of quod I i herd is not shared by other B manuscripts, most of which have I herd quod I.
howM.12.27: M alone among B manuscripts lacks the word þei here, which is inserted in a different ink at the beginning of the next line.
þeiM.12.28: No other B manuscript attests þei at this place.
Pleyden . þe parfiter to ben in many places
Ac if þere were any wight that wolde me telle
What were dowel . and dobet and dobest at þe laste .
Wold I neuere do werke but wende to holy churche
And þere bidde my bedes but whan I ete or slepe .
Octava descripcio de dowell
Poule in his pistel quod he preueth what is dowel
Fides spes caritas & maior horum & cetera .
Feithe / hope / and charite & alle ben goode
And sauen men suondry tymes ac non so sone as charite .
For he doth wel with-outen doute that doth as leaute techeþ .
That is if þou be man maried thy make þow louye
And lyue forth as lawe wole while ȝye lyuen bothe .
And if þow be mayden to marie and myght wel continue
Seke þow neuere seint ferther for no soule helthe .
For what made Lucifer to lese þe heigh heuene .
Or Sal.omon his sapience or Sampson his strengthe .
Iob þe iew his ioie . dere he it abouȝte
Aristotle and other mo ypocras and virgile .
Alisaundre þat al wan elengeliche ended
Catel and kynde wit was combraunce to hem alle
Felice hire fairnesse fel hire al to sklaundre
And Roseamonde right so rewfully bisette .
The beaute of hire body in badnesse she despended
Of many suche I may rede of men and of wymmen .
That wise wordes wolde shewe and werchen þe contrarie
Sunt homines nequam bene de virtute loquentes .
And riche renkes right so gadere.. — and sparen .
And þo men þat þei moost haten mynystren it at þe laste
And for þei suffren and see so many nedy folkes
And louen hem nouȝnouȝ[t] as oure lord bit lesen hire soules .
Date & dabitur vobis. & cetera .
And richesse right so but ȝif þe Rote be trwe
Ac grace is a gresse there-of the greuaunces to abate
Ac grace groweth nouȝt but amonges lowe
Pacience and pouerte þe place is þere it groweth
And in lele lyuyng men and in lif holy
And þo...rugh þe gifte of þe holygoost as þe gospell ..telleth
Spiritus vbi vult spirat. & cetera
Clergye and kynde wit cometh of sight . and techynge
As þe book bereth witytnesse to buirnes þat kan rede
Quod scimisscim[u]s loquimur quod vidimus testamur .
Of quod scimus cometh clergye and konnynge of heuene
And of quod vidimisvidim[u]s cometh kynde wit of sight of diuerse poeple
Ac grace is a gifte of god and of grete loue springeth
Knew neuere clerk how it cometh forth ne kynde wit þe weyes .
Nescit aliquis vnde venit . aut quo vadit & cetera .
Ac ȝyet is clergye to comende and kynde wit bothe .
And namelich clergye for cristus loue þat of clergie is Rote
For Moyses witytnesseth þat god wrot for to wisse þe p.eple
In þe olde lawe as þe lettre telleþ . þat was þe lawe of Iewes .
That what womman were in auoutrie taken were she riche or pore
With stones men shulde hire strike and stone hire to dethe
# adulterium MulerisMul[i]eris
A womman as we fynden was gulty of þat dede
Ac ....Crist of his curtesie þorugh clergye hire sauede .
For þoruȝ carettes þat crist wroot þe Iewes knew hem-seluen .
Giltier as afore god and gretter in synne
Than þe womman þat þere was and wenten away for shame
The clergye þat þere was conforted þe womman
Holy kyrke knoweth þis that cristes wrytynge saued hireM.12.89: This alteration puts M in agreement with WHmCr. F has hire savede.
# quia sciencia scripturarum conffortat bonos // malos autem condempnat
So clergye is confort to creatures þat repenten
And to mansed men myschief at hire ende .
For godus body miȝte not be of brede withouten clergye
The w....hich body is bothe bote to þe rightful
And deth and dampnacioun to hem þat deien .yuele
As cristes carette conforted and bothe coupable shewethM.12.95: M's present tense form of the verb is unattested in other B manuscripts, most of which read shewed.
The womman þat þe Iewes brouȝte þat Ihesus þouȝte to saue .
Nolite iudicare & non iudicabimini. & cetera .
Right so godes body bretheren but it be worthily taken .
Dampneth vs at þe day of dome asM.12.99: M alone among B manuscripts lacks the word þe here.
carettes dide þe Iewes
For-þi I conseille the for cristes sake clergye þat þow louye
For kynde wit is of his kyn and neihe cosyns bothe .
To oure lord leue me for-thi loue hem I rede .
For bothe ben as Mirrours to amenden oure defautes .
And leddres for lewede men and for lettred bothe .
For-þi lakke þou neuere logyke lawe ne his custumes
Ne contreplede clerkes I conseille the for euere .
For as a man may not see þat mysseth hise eighen
kan no clerk . but if he cauȝte it furst ofM.12.108: For of, Cr has by, F has in, and other B manuscripts have þoruȝ.
Al-þough men made bookes god was þe Maistre
And seint spirit þe samplarie . and saide what men shulde write .
And right as sighte serueth a man to se þe heighe st....erreM.12.111: M's altered reading of sterre is not shared by other B manuscripts, which read strete, though among C manuscripts P2 and D2 (and X by alteration) read hye þe sterre. The line is omitted by WHmCr.
Right so ledeþ lettrure lewed men to Resoun
And as a blynde man in bataille bereth wepne to fiȝte
And hath non happe with his axe hys enemy to huytte
NomoreNo more can a kynde-wittedmanwitted man but ȝif clerkes hym teche
Come for al his kynde wit.. to cristendome and be sauede
W....hich is þe coffre of cristes tresour and clerkes kepe þe keyes
To vnlouken it at hire lykynge and to þe lewede p.eple
ȜYeuen mercy for hire mysdedes if men it wole aske .
Buxumliche and benygneliche and bidden it of grace .
Archa dei in þolde lawe leuytes it kepten .
Hadde neuere lewede man leue to leggen hond on þe cheste .
# quia in veteri testamento licitum erat presbiter procreare Filios
But he were preste or preste.s sone patria..rk or prophete
For clergye is kepere vndurcristvndur crist of heuene .
Was þere neuere no knyght but clergye hym made .
Ac kynde wit cometh of alle kynnes sightes
Of briddes and of bestes . of tastes . of truthe & of deceites
...?...M.12.128: Something, now illegible even under ultraviolet light, has been erased from the margin.
Lyueres to-forn vs vsuden to marke
The selkouthes þat þei seighen hire sones for to teche
And helden it an heighe science hire wittes to knowe
Ac þo..rugh hire science sothely was neuere no soule ysauede
Ne brouȝte by hire bookes to blisse ne to ioye
For alle hire kynde knowynges come but of diuerse sightes
Patriarkes and prophetes reprouede hire science
And saiden hire wordus ne hire wisdomes nas but a folye
As to þe clergye of Crist counted it but a t......rufle
Sapiencia huius mundi . Stulticia est apud deum .
For the heighe holy goost heuene shal to-cleue
And loue shal lepe oute aftur into þis lowe erthe
And clennesse shal cacchen it and clerkes shullen it fynde .
Pastores loquebantur ad inuicem
contra fratres molestus est
Ȝ..If any Frere were founden there ich ȝyeue þe fyue shylynges .
# quia non natus erat Cristus in diuersorio
Ne in none beggers cote was þat barne borne .
But in a Burgeis..es place of Bedlem þe beste
Set non erat locus in diuersorio . & pauper non habet diuersorium
Clerkes knewen it well and comen with hire presentezz
And deden hire homage honurably to hym þat was almyghty
Why I haue tolde al this I took ful gode hiede
How þow contrariedest clergye with crabbude wordes .
How þat lewed men liȝtliker þanne —
lettred menM.12.156: M shares the reading lettred men with F; other B manuscripts have lettrede.
Thanne — clerkes or kynde witted men of cristen p.eple
And þow saidest soth of summe ac se in what manere
Take two stronge men and in temse caste hem .
And bothe nakede asM.12.160: M alone among B manuscripts lacks the word a here.
nedle hire noon sikererM.12.160: M's original reading of siker agreed with LR.
That oon hath konnynge and kan swymmen and dyuen .
That other is lewede of þat labour lerned neuere to swymme
W....hich trowest þow of þo two in temse is moost in drede .
He þat neuere dyuede ne nouȝt can of swymmynge
Or the swymmere þat is sauf by so hym-self like
There is felawe fleet forth as þe flood liketh
And is in drede to drenche þat neuere dide swymme
Right so quod the renk Resoun
it shewethM.12.169: The scribe began writing M.12.169 immediately following M.12.168, but realized his error before completing the line and erased
his false start in order to leave a blank line between strophes.
That he þat knoweth clergye kan suonner arise
Out of synne and be sauedM.12.171: M's reading of saued is not shared by other B manuscripts, which read saaf.
though he synne ofte
# quod contricio delit peccatum
ȜiIf hym liketh and leste than any lewede lelly .
For ȝif þe clerk be konnynge he knoweth what is synne .
And how contricioun with-outen confessioun conforteth þe soule .
As þow seeste
in þe sauter in spalmesM.12.175: M's original reading spalme agreed with LRF.
oon or tweyne
How contricoun is comended for it caccheþ away synne .
Beati quorum remisse sunt iniquitates . & quorum tecta sunt & cetera
And this conforteth .eche a clerke and keuereþ hym from wanhope
In w....hich flood þe feende fondeth a man hardeste .
There þe lewede lith stille and loketh after lente
And hath no contricioun er he come to shrifte & þanne can he litel telle
And as his loresman leres hym bileueth and troweth
And þat is after person . or parisshe preest . and parauenture
Vnkonnynge to lere lewede men as Luc bereth wittnesse .
Dum cecus ducit cecum & cetera
Wo was hym marked þat wade moot with þe Lewede
# quia ad scolam optime valet
Wel may the barn blisse that hym to booke sette
That lyuynge after lettrure saued hym lif and soule
Dominus pars heriditatis mee is a mury verset .
That haþ taken from Tibourne twenty stronge theues
There lewed theues ben lolled vp loke how þei ben sauede
The thef þat hadde grace of god on gode friday as þow speke
Was for he ȝy
hym recreauntM.12.193: M shares the reading recreaunt with R; most other B manuscripts have creaunt.
to crist on the cros & knowleched hym gylty .
And grace axed of god and he is euerye redy .
That buxomliche biddeth it and ben in wille . to amende hem .
Ac though þat thef hadde heuene he hadde noon heighe blisse
As seint Iohan and other seintus þat desserued hadde bettre
Right as suome men ȝyeue me mete and sette me amyddes þe flore
Ich haue mete more þanne — y-nowgh ac nouȝt so muche worshipe
de latronibus pendentibus ad passionem domini
As þo þat sitten at þe side tablesM.12.200: Only M and Cr have plural tables. Kane and Donaldson erroneously record <-s> as possibly added.
or with þe souer
aines of þe halle
But sitte as a begger bordlees by my-self on þe grounde
So it fareth by þat feloun þat on gode friday was sauede
He sittet neither by seint Iohan Symonde ne Iude
Ne wiþ maydenes ne with martires confessours / ne widewes
..But byM.12.205: What is still visible of the erased reading suggests the line began with By as in GCB. The word But was then supplied to the left of the line, but then erased and rewritten in place of By, with by then inserted as the second word.
selue as a solayn and serued on the erthe
For he þat is ones a thef is eueremore in daunger
And as lawe liketh to lyue or to deie
De peccato propiciato noli esse sine metu
And for to seruen a seint and suche a thef to-gederes
It were neither resoun
ne right to rewarde hemM.12.210: M shares the reading hem with F; most other B manuscripts read hem boþe.
And right as Troianus þe trewe knyght tilde nouȝt depe in helle
That oure lord ne hadde hym liȝtliche oute so leue I þe thef be in heuene
For he is in þe loweste heuene ȝif oure bileue be trwe
And wel loseliche he lolleth there by þe lawe of holy churche
Qui.M.12.215: M's original reading was probably Quia, agreeing with YOC2CL. reddit vnicuique iuxta opera sua. & cetera
..M.12.216: Something to the left of the first word, now illegible, has been erased.
And whi that on thef on the crosse creaunt hym ȝyel..ded
Rather þanne —
þat other thef þowȝ
þow wold.estM.12.217: M's altered reading woldest agrees with WHmCrFR; other B manuscripts have wolde.
Alle þe clerkes vndur crist ne kouthe þe skyll assoille
Quare placuit . quia voluit
And so seie IM.12.220: M's reading of seie I is not shared by other B manuscripts, which read I seye.
by þe þat sekest after the whyes
And aresonedest Resoun a rebukynge as it were
And of þe floures in þe f..ryth and of hire faire h.ewes
Where-of þei cacchen hire colours so clere and so brighte
And wilnest of briddes and of bestes and of hire bredynge to knowe
Why somme be a-lowe and somme a-lofte thi lykynge it were .
And of þe stones and of þe sterres þow studyest as I leue
How euere beste or brridde —bridde — hath so breme wyttes .
Clergye ne ky...nde wit ne knewen neuere the cause
Ac kynde knoweth þe
M.12.228: The cropped characters written near the bottom right corner of the leaf are visible but illegible.
Ac kynde knoweth þe cause hymself no creature elles
He is þe pyes patroun and putteth it in heire here
That þere þe thorn is thikkest tuo buylden and brede
And kynde.. kenned þe pecok to cauken in suche a kynde
And kenned Adam to knowe his priue membres
And tauȝte hym and Eue to hilien hem with leues
Lewed men many tymes maistres thei apposen .
# why Adam couered his licam rather than his mowth
Why Adam ne hiled nouȝt first his mouth þat ete the Appul
Rather þan his likam a-lowe lewed axen thus clerkes
Kynde knoweth why he ded so ac no clerk elles
Ac of briddes andM.12.239: M alone among B manuscripts lacks the word of here.
beestes men by olde tyme
Ensamples token and termes as telleth þise poetes .
And þat þe fairest foule foulest engendreth
And feblest foule of flight is þat fleeth or swymmeth
And þat is þe pecok and þe po...hen
proude riche men þei tokenenM.12.243: M's reading tokenen is not shared by other B manuscripts, which have forms of bitokeneþ.
For þe pecok and men pursue hym may nouȝt flee heighe
For þe trayllynge of his tailyle ouere-taken is he sone .
And his flessh is foule flessh and his feet bothe
And vnlouelich of leden and laithe for to here .
Riȝt so the riche ȝif he his richesse kepe .
And deleth it nouȝt til his deth-
day þe taille —M.12.249: Most B manuscripts have M's altered reading of tail, with only LR having M's original reading taille, i.e. "tally."
of alle —
isM.12.249: M's reading of is is not shared by other B manuscripts.
Right as the pennes of þe pecok payn..eþ hym in hys fliȝt.
So is possessioun payne of pens and of nobles
To alle hem þat it holdet.h til hire t....ayl — be plukk...ed
And þouȝgh þe riche r.epente thanne and by-rewe þe tyme .
That euere he gadred so grete and gaf there-of so litel
Though he crie to Crist þanne with kene wille I leue
His ledene be in oure lordes ere lyke a pyes chiteryngM.12.256: The addition of chiteryng is paralleled in WF, while HmCr have chatrynge. All other B manuscripts omit the word.
And whanne his caroigne shal come in caue to be buryede
I leue it flaumbe ful foule the fold alabouteal aboute .
And alle the othere th.e
re it lith enuen...?...?...ymethM.12.259: In place of M's altered reading enuenymeth, CrLR have enuenimed. thurgh his attre
By the pofeet is vndurstonde as I haue lern.dd in auynete .
Executours false frendes that fulfille nouȝt his wille
That was wryten and thei witytnesse to worche riȝt as it wolde
Thus the poete preues . that the pecok for his fetheres is reuerencede
Right so is the riche by reson of his godes .
# quia de aristotile dubitatum vtrum saluatur
Aristotel the grete clerk suche tales he telleth
Thus he likkeneth in his logyke the leest foule oute
And wher he be sauf . or nouȝt sauf the sothe wot no clergie
Ne of Sortes ne of Sal.omon no scripture kan telle
Ac god is so good I hope þat sith he gaf hem wittes
To wyssen vs waies therwith that wissen vs to be sauede
And þe bettre for hire bokes to bidden we ben holden
That god for his grace gif hire soules reste
For lettred men were lewedmenlewed men ȝyet ne were lore of hire bokes .
Contra quod ymaginatif tho and comsed for to loure
And saide . Saluabitur vix iustus in die Iudicij .
Ergo saluabitur quod he and saide no more latyn .
# quia Troianus saluatur propter iusticiamM.12.284: This marginal comment is written over an erased Troianus.
Troianus was a trewe knyght and took neuere cristendome
And he is sauf so seithe the book and his soule in heuenne
For þere is fullynge of fonte
and fullynge ofM.12.286: M shares the reading of with Hm; other B manuscripts have in.
And .. þurgh fy..r is fullyng and þat is ferme bileue .
Aduenit ignis diuinus non comburens set illuminans & cetera
Ac treuthe that trespassed neuere ne trauersed aȝeins his lawe .
But liueth as hise lawe techeth and leueth ther be no bettre .
And ȝif þere were he wolde amende and in suche wille dei...eth
Ne wolde neuere trwe god but trewth were alowed .
And were it worth or worth nouȝt the bileue is grete of treuthe
And an hope hangynge there-inne to haue mede for his treuthe
For deus dicitur quasi dans vitam eternam suis. hoc est fidelibus
Et alibi Si ambulauero in medio vmbre mortis .
The gloseth graunteth vpon that vers a grete mede to truthe
And wit and wysdome quod that wye was sumtyme tresore .
To kepe with a comune no catel was holden bettre .
And muche murthe and manhod and right with þat he vanisshed .