fol. 67vI
Passus .xijus.duodecimusW.12.0: The top of the leaf has been cropped with the loss of the tops of letters in this heading.

I am ymaginatif quod he . ydel was I neuere
Thouȝ I sitte by my-self . in siknesse norW.12.2: W alone reads nor; LMR read ne; F has or; other B manuscripts have and. in helþe
I haue folwed þee in feiþ . þise fyue and fourty wynter
And manye tymes haue meued þee . to þynke on þyn ende
And how fele fernyeres are faren . and so fewe to come
And of þi wilde wantownesse . þo þow yong were
To amende it in þi myddel age . lest myȝt þe failled
In þyn olde elde . þat yuele kan suffre
Pouerte or penaunce . or preyeres to bidde
Si non in prima vigilia nec in secunda &c

Amende þee while þow myȝt . þow hast ben warned ofte           W.12.11:nota
Wiþ poustees of pestilences . wiþ pouerte and with angres
And wiþ þise bittre baleises . god beteþ his deere children
Quem diligo castigo

And Dauid in þe Sauter seiþ . of swiche þat loueþ Iesus
Virga tua & baculus tuus ipsa me consolata sunt

Al-þouȝ þow strike me wiþ þi staf . wiþ stikke or wiþ yerde           W.12.17:nota
It is but murþe as for me . to amende my soule           W.12.18:nota
And þow medlest þee wiþ makynges . and myȝtest go seye þi sauter
And bidde for hem þat ȝyueþ þee breed . for þer are bokes yknoweW.12.20: W alone reads yknowe, "known"; most other B manuscripts have ynowe, "enough."
To telle men what dowel is . dobet and dobest boþe
And prechours to preuen what it is . of many a peire freres

I seiȝ wel he seide me sooþ . and som-what me to excuse
Seide Caton conforted me his sone . þat clerk þouȝ he were
To solacen hym som-tyme . as I do whan I make
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis

And of holy men I herde quod I . how þei ouþer-while
Pleyden þe parfiter . to ben in manye places
Ac if þer were any wight . þat wolde me telle
fol. 68rI
What were do-wel . and dobet . and do-best at þe laste
Wolde I neuere do werk . but wende to holichirche
And þere bidde my bedes . but whan ich ete or slepe

Poul in his pistle quod he . preueþ what is dowel
Fides / spes / caritas . et maior horum &c
Feiþ / hope / and Charite . and alle ben goode
And sauen men sondry tymes . ac noon so soone as Charite
For he dooþ wel wiþ-outen doute . þat dooþ as lewte techeþ
That is if þow be man maryed . þi make þow louye
And lyue forþ as lawe wole . while ye lyuen boþe

Riȝt so if þow be Religious . ren þow neuere ferþer
To Rome ne to Rochemador . but as þi rule techeþ
And hold þee vnder obedience . þat heigh wey is to heuene

And if þow be maiden to marye . and myȝt wel continue
Seke þow neuere Seint ferþer . for no soule helþe
For what made lucifer . to lese þe heiȝe heuene
Or Salomon his sapience . or Sampson his strengþe
Iob þe Iew his ioye . ful deereW.12.47: W alone reads ful deere; other B manuscripts omit ful and follow dere with it, he, or both. abouȝte
Aristotle and oþere mo . ypocras and virgile
Alisaundre þat al wan . elengliche ended
Catel and kynde wit . was combraunce to hem alle

Felice hir fairnesse . fel hire al to sclaundre
And Rosamounde riȝt so . reufulliche to bileue
The beaute of hir body . in baddenesse she despended
Of manye swiche I may rede . of men and of wommen           W.12.54:nota
That wise wordes wolde shewe . and werche þe contrarie           W.12.55:nota
Sunt homines nequam bene de virtute loquentes

And riche renkes riȝt so . gaderen and sparen
And þo men þat þei moost haten . mynistren it at þe laste
fol. 68vI
And for þei suffren and see . so manye nedy folkes
And loue hem noȝt as oure lord bit . þei lesen hir soules
Date & dabitur vobis

And Richesse riȝt so . but if þe roote be trewe
Ac grace is a gras þer-of . þo greuaunces to abate
Ac grace ne groweþ noȝt . but amonges lowe
Pacience and pouerte . þe place hiȝteW.12.65: W alone reads hiȝte; other B manuscripts have is. þer it groweþ
And in lele lyuynge men . and in lif-holy
And þoruȝ þe gifte of þe holy goost . as þe gospel telleþ
Spiritus vbi vult spirat

Clergie and kynde wit . comeþ of siȝte and techyng
As þe book bereþ witnesse . to burnes þat kan rede
Quod scimus loquimur . quod vidimus testamur

Of quod scimus comeþ Clergie . and konnynge of heuene
And of quod vidimus comeþ kynde wit . of siȝte of diuerse peple
Ac grace is a gifte of god . and of greet loue spryngeþ
Knew neuere clerk how it comeþ forþ . ne kynde wit þe weyes
Nescit aliquis vnde venit . aut quo vaditW.12.76: To the right of the box, the scribe has written a decorative nota abbreviation followed by &c. Manuscripts CrCBRF lack &c. &c

Ac yet is Clergie to comende . and kynde wit boþe
And namely Clergie for cristes loue . þat of Clergie is roote
For Moyses witnesseþ þat god wroot . for to wisse þe peple
In þe olde lawe as þe lettre telleþ . þat was þe lawe of Iewes
That what womman were in auoutrye taken . where sheW.12.81: WF read where she; HmLM read were sche (were he in R); other B manuscripts omit. W's where is either a unique spelling of were or the contracted form of whether: "whether she (were)." riche or poore
Wiþ stones men sholde hir strike . and stone hire to deþe

A womman as I fyndeW.12.83: W alone reads I fynde; other B manuscripts have we fynden. . was gilty of þat dede
Ac crist of his curteisie . þoruȝ clergie hir saued
And þoruȝ caractes þat crist wroot . þe Iewes knewe hem-selue
Giltier as afore god . and gretter in synne
Than þe womman þat þere was . and wenten awey for shame
fol. 69rI
The Clergie þat þere was . conforted þe womman
Holy kirke knoweþ þis . þat cristes writyng saued hire
So clergie is confort . to creatures þat repenten
And to mansede men . meschief at hire ende

For goddes body myȝte noȝt ben . of breed wiþ-outen clergie           W.12.92:nota
The which body is boþe . boote to þe riȝtfulle           W.12.93:nota
And deeþ and dampnacion . to hem þat deyeþ yuele           W.12.94:nota
As cristes caracte confortede . and boþe coupable shewed
The womman þat þe Iewes brouȝte . þat Iesus þouȝte to saue
Nolite iudicare & non iudicabimini
Riȝt so goddes body breþeren . but if it be worþili taken
Dampneþ vs at þe day of dome . as þe caractes dide þe Iewes

For-þi I counseille þee for cristes sake . clergie þat þow louye
For kynde wit is of his kyn . and neiȝe Cosynes boþe
To oure lord leue me . for-þi loue hem I rede
For boþe ben as Mirours . to amenden oure defautes
And lederes for lewed men . and for lettred boþe

For-þi lakke þow neuere logik . lawe ne hise custumes
Ne countreplede clerkes . I counseille þee for euere
For as a man may noȝt see . þat mysseþ hise eiȝen           W.12.107:nota
Namoore kan no Clerk . but if he cauȝte it first þoruȝ bokes           W.12.108:nota
Al-þouȝ men made bokes . god was þe maister           W.12.109:nota
And seint Spirit þe Samplarie . & seide what men sholde writeW.12.110: After this WHmCr omit the line And riȝt as syȝte serueth a man . to se þe heighe strete (as in L).

Riȝt so ledeþ lettrure . lewed men to Reson           W.12.111:nota
And as a blynd man in bataille . bereþ wepne to fiȝte           W.12.112:nota
And haþ noon hap wiþ his ax . his enemy to hitte           W.12.113:nota
Namoore kan a kynde witted man . but clerkes hym teche           W.12.114:nota
Come for al his kynde wit . to cristendom and be saued           W.12.115:nota
Which is þe cofre of cristes tresor . and clerkes kepe þe keyes
To vnloken it at hir likyng . and to þe lewed peple
fol. 69vI
Ȝyue mercy for hire mysdedes . if men it wole aske
Buxomliche and benigneliche . and bidden it of grace

Archa dei in þe olde lawe . leuytes it kepten
Hadde neuere lewed man leue . to leggen hond on þat cheste
But he were preest or preestes sone . Patriark or prophete
For Clergie is kepere . vnder crist of heuene
Was þer neuere no knyȝt . but clergie hym made
Ac kynde wit comeþ . of alle kynnes siȝtes
Of briddes and of beestes . of tastes of truþe and of deceites

Lyueris toforn vs . vseden to marke
For selkouþes þat þei seiȝen . hir sones for to teche
And helden it an heiȝ science . hir wittes to knowe
Ac þoruȝ hir scienceW.12.130: The scribe has written science in a darker ink, perhaps over an erasure. sooþly . was neuere no soule ysaued
Ne broȝt by hir bokes . to blisse ne to ioye
For alle hir kynde knowynges come . but of diuerse siȝtes

Patriarkes and prophetes . repreueden hir science
And seiden hir wordes and hir wisdomes . nas but a folye
AndW.12.135: W alone reads And; other manuscripts have As. to þe clergie of crist . counted it but a trufle
Sapiencia huius mundi stulticia est apud deum           W.12.136:nota

For þe heiȝe holy goost . heuene shal to-cleue
And loue shal lepen out after . in-to þeW.12.138: W alone reads þe; most other manuscripts have þis. lowe erþe
And clennesse shal cacchen it . and clerkes shullen it fynde
Pastores loquebantur adinuicemad inuicem

He spekeþ þere of riche men riȝt noȝt . ne of riȝt witty
Ne of lordes þat were lewed men . but of þe hyeste lettred oute
Ibant magi ab oriente

If any frere were founde þere . I ȝyue þee fyue shillynges
Ne in none burgeisesW.12.145: W alone reads burgeises; other B manuscripts have beggers. cote . was þat barn born
fol. 70rI
But in a Burgeises place . of Bethlem þe beste

Set non erat ei locus in diuersorio . et pauper non habet diuersoriumW.12.147: The word-terminal suspension ordinarily represents <e>. We have expanded to supply the required sense and to match the readings of other manuscripts.

To pastours and to poetes . appered þe Aungel
And bad hem go to Bethlem . goddes burþe to honoure
And songe a song of solas . Gloria in excelsis deo

Clerkes knewen it wel . and comen wiþ hir presentz
And diden homage honurably . to hym þat was almyȝty

Why I haue told al þis . I took ful good hede
How þow contrariedest clergie . wiþ crabbede wordes
How þat lewed men liȝtloker . þan lettrede were saued
Than clerkes or kynde witted men . of cristene peple
And þow seidest sooþ of somme . ac se in what manere

Tak two stronge men . and in Themese cast hem           W.12.158:nota
And boþe naked as a nedle . hir noon sikerer þan ooþer           W.12.159:nota
That oon haþ konnynge and kan . swymmen and dyuen           W.12.160:nota
That ooþer is lewed of þat labour . þatW.12.161: W alone reads þat, omitted by other manuscripts. lerned neuere swymme           W.12.161:nota
Which trowestow of þo two . þatW.12.162: W alone reads þat; other witnesses have in Themese. is in moost drede           W.12.162:nota
He þat neuere ne dyued . ne noȝt kan of swymmyng           W.12.163:nota
Or þe swymmere þat is saaf . by so hym-self like           W.12.164:nota
Ther his felawe fleteþ forþ . as þe flood likeþ           W.12.165:nota
And is in drede to drenche . þat neuere dide swymme           W.12.166:nota

That swymme kan noȝt I seide . it semeþ to my wittes

Right so quod þe renk . Reson it sheweþ
That he þat knoweþ clergie . kan sonner arise           W.12.169:nota
Out of synne and be saaf . þouȝ he synne ofte           W.12.170:nota
If hym likeþ and lest . þan any lewed leelly           W.12.171:nota
For if þe clerk be konnynge . he knoweþ what is synne           W.12.172:nota
fol. 70vI
And how contricion wiþ-oute confession . conforteþ þe soule           W.12.173:nota
As þow seest in þe Sauter . in Salmes oon or tweyne           W.12.174:nota
How contricion is comended . for it cacheþ awey synne           W.12.175:nota

Beati quorum remisse sunt iniquitates . & quorum tecta sunt &c

And þis conforteþ ech a clerk . and couereþ hym fro wanhope
In which flood þe fend . fondeþ a man hardest
Ther þe lewed liþ stille . and lokeþ after lente
And haþ no contricion er he come to shrifte . & þanne kan he litel telle
But as his lores-man lereþ hym . bileueþ and troweþ
And þat is after person or parissh preest . þe whiche benW.12.182: W alone reads þe whiche ben, omitted by F; other manuscripts have and. par-auenture
Vnkonnynge to lere lewed men . as luc bereþ witnesse
Dum cecus ducit cecum &c

Wo was hym marked . þat wade moot wiþ þe lewed
Wel may þe barn blesse þat manW.12.186: W alone reads þat man; omitted in other manuscripts. . þat hym to book sette           W.12.186:nota
That lyuynge after lettrure . saueþ hym lif and soule           W.12.187:nota
Dominus pars hereditatis mee . is a murye verset
That haþ take fro Tybourne . twenty stronge þeues
Ther lewed þeues ben lolled vp . loke how þei be saued

The þef þat hadde grace of god . on goodfrydaygood fryday as þow spekest
Was for he yald hym creaunt . to crist on þe cros . & knewliched hym gilty
And grace asked of god . þat to graunten it is redyW.12.193: W alone reads þat to graunten it is redy; other B manuscripts have and he is euere redy.
To hem þatW.12.194: W alone reads To hem þat; most other B manuscripts have That. buxomliche biddeþ it . and ben in wille to amenden hem
Ac þouȝ þat þeef hadde heuene . he hadde noon heiȝ blisse
As Seint Iohan and oþere Seintes . þat deserued hadde bettre

Riȝt as som man yeue me mete . and amydde þe floor sette meW.12.197: W alone reads amydde þe floor sette me; most other B manuscripts have sette me amydde þe flore.           W.12.197:nota
AndW.12.198: W alone reads And; other B manuscripts have I. hadde mete moore þan ynouȝ . ac noȝt so muche worshipe           W.12.198:nota
As þo þat seten at þe syde-table . or wiþ þe souereynes of þe halle           W.12.199:nota
But sete as a beggere bordlees . by my-self on þe grounde           W.12.200:nota
So it fareþ by þat felon . þat a good friday was saued           W.12.201:nota
fol. 71rI
He sit neiþer wiþ Seint Iohan . Symond ne Iude           W.12.202:nota
Ne wiþ maydenes ne with martires . Confessours ne wydewes           W.12.203:nota
But by hym-self as a soleyn . and serued on erþe           W.12.204:nota
For he þat is ones a þef . is euere-moore in daunger           W.12.205:nota
And as lawe likeþ . to lyue or to deye           W.12.206:nota
De peccato propiciato . noli esse sine metu
And for to seruen a seint . and swich a þef togideres
It were neiþer reson ne riȝt . to rewarde hem boþe yliche

And riȝt as Troianus þe trewe knyȝt . dwelte noȝt depe in helle
That oure lord ne hadde hym liȝtly out . so leue I þe þef be in heuene
For he is in þe loweste of heuene . if oure bileue be trewe
And wel loselly he lolleþ þere . by þe lawe of holy chirche
Qui reddit vnicuique iuxta opera sua &c

And why þat oon þeef on þe cros . creaunt hym yald
Raþer þan þat ooþer þeef . þouȝ þow woldest appose
Alle þe clerkes vnder crist . ne kouþe þe skile assoille
Quare placuit quia voluit

And so I seye by þee . þat sekest after þe whyes
And a-resonedest Reson . a rebukynge as it were
And of þe floures in þe Fryth . and of hire faire hewes
Wher-of þei cacche hir colours . so clere and so briȝte
And willest of briddes & of beestes . and of hir bredyng to knowe
Why some be alouȝ & some aloft . þi likyng it were
And of þe stones and of þe sterres . þow studiest as I leue
How euere beest ouþer brid . haþ so breme wittes

Clergie ne kynde wit . ne knew neuere þe cause
Ac kynde knoweþ þe cause hym-self . and no creature ellis
He is þe pies patron . and putteþ it in hir ere
ThereW.12.230: W alone reads There; other manuscripts have That þere. þe þorn is þikkest . to buylden and brede
And kynde kenned þe pecok . to cauken in swich a kynde
fol. 71vI
And kenned Adam .W.12.232: The punctus is small and obviously misplaced. to knowe hise pryue membres
And tauȝte hym and Eue . to helien hem wiþ leues

Lewed men many tymes . maistres þei apposen
Why Adam ne hiled noȝt first . his mouþ þat eet þe Appul
Raþer þan his likame alogh . lewed asken þus clerkes

Kynde knoweþ whi he dide so . ac no clerk ellis
Ac of briddes and of beestes . men by olde tyme
Ensamples token and termes . as telleþ þe poetes
And þat þe faireste fowel . foulest engendreþ
And feblest fowel of fliȝt is . þat fleeþ or swymmeþ
And þat þe pecok & þe Pehen . proude riche men bitokneþ           W.12.242:nota
For þe Pecok and men pursue hym . may noȝt flee heiȝe           W.12.243:nota
For þe trailynge of his tail . ouer-taken is he soone           W.12.244:nota
And his flessh is foul flessh . and his feet boþe           W.12.245:nota
And vnlouelich of ledene . and looþ for to here

Right so þe riche . if he his richesse kepe           W.12.247:nota
And deleþ it noȝt til his deeþ-day . þe tail of alle sorwe           W.12.248:nota
Riȝt so as þe pennes of þe pecok . peyneþ hym in his fliȝt           W.12.249:nota
So is possession peyne . of pens and of nobles           W.12.250:nota
To alle hem þat it holdeþ . til hir tail be plukked           W.12.251:nota

And þouȝ þe riche repente þanne . and birewe þe tyme
That euere he gadered so grete . and gaf þer-of so litel
Thouȝ he crye to crist þanne . wiþ kene wil I leue
His ledene be in oure lordes ere . lik a pies chiteryng
And whan his caroyne shal come . in caue to be buryed
I leue it flawme ful foule . þe fold al aboute
And alle þe oþere þer it lith . enuenymeþ þoruȝ his attre

By þe po feet is vnderstande . as I haue lerned in Auynet
Executours false frendes . þat fulfille noȝt his wille
fol. 72rI
That was writen and þei witnesse . to werche riȝt as it wolde
Thus þe Poete preueþ . þat þe pecok . for hise feþeres is reuerenced           W.12.262:nota
Riȝt so is þe riche . by reson of hise goodes           W.12.263:nota

The larke þat is a lasse fowel . is moore louelich of ledene           W.12.264:nota
And wel a-wey of wynge . swifter þan þe Pecok           W.12.265:nota
And of flessh by fele fold . fatter and swetter           W.12.266:nota
To lowe libbynge men . þe larke is resembled           W.12.267:nota

Aristotle þe grete clerk . swiche tales he telleþ
Thus he likneþ in his logik . þe leeste fowel oute
And wheiþer he be saaf or noȝt saaf . þe soþe woot no clergie
Ne of Sortes ne of Salomon . no scripture kan telle
Ac god is so good I hope . þat siþþe he gaf hem wittes
To wissen vs weyes þer-wiþ . þat wissen vs to be saued
And þe bettre for hir bokes . to bidden we ben holden
That god for his grace . gyue hir soules reste
For lettred men were lewed men yet . ne were loore of hir bokes

Alle þise clerkes quod I þo . þat inW.12.277: W alone reads in; other B manuscripts have on. crist leuen
Seyen in hir Sermons . þat neiþer Sarsens ne Iewes
Ne no creature of cristes liknesse . with-outen cristendom worþ saued

Contra quod ymaginatif þoo . and comsed for to loure
And seide Saluabitur vix Iustus in die Iudicij
Ergo saluabitur quod he . and seide namoore latyn

Troianus was a trewe knyght . and took neuere cristendom
And he is saaf so seiþ þe book . and his soule in heuene
For þer is fullynge of Font . and fullynge in blood shedyng
And þoruȝ fir is fullyng . and þat is ferme bileue
Aduenit ignis diuinus non comburens set illuminans &c

Ac truþe þat trespased neuere . ne trauersed ayeins his lawe
fol. 72vI
But lyueþ as his lawe techeþ . and leueþ þer be no bettre
And if þer were he wolde amende . and in swich wille deieþ
Ne wolde neuere trewe god . but truþe were allowed
And wheiþerW.12.292: W alone reads wheiþer; other B witnesses have wher or were. it be worþ or noȝt worþ . þe bileue is gret of truþe
And an hope hangynge þer-Inne . to haue a mede for his truþe

For Deus dicitur quasi dans vitam eternam . suis . hoc est fidelibus
Et alibi . si ambulauero in medio vmbre mortis

The glose graunteþ vp-on þat vers . a greet mede to truþe
And wit and wisdom quod þat wye . was som-tyme tresor
To kepe wiþ a commune . no catel was holde bettre
And muche murþe and manhod . and riȝt wiþ þat he vanysshed