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.
1Clannesse who so kyndly cowþe comende
2& rekken vp alle þe resounz þat ho by ri3t askez,
3Fayre formez my3t he fynde in for[þ]ering his speche
4& in þe contrare kark & combraunce huge.
5For wonder wroth is þe Wy3þat wro3t alle þinges
6Wyth þe freke þat in fylþe fol3es Hym after,
7As renkez of relygioun þat reden & syngen
8& aprochen to hys presens & prestez arn called;
9Thay teen vnto his temmple & temen to hym seluen,
10Reken with reuerence þay rychen His auter;
11Þay hondel þer his aune body & vsen hit boþe.
12If þay in clannes be clos þay cleche gret mede;
13Bot if þay conterfete crafte & cortaysye wont,
14As be honest vtwyth & inwith alle fylþez,
15Þen ar þay synful hemself & sulped altogeder
16Boþe God & His gere, & hym to greme cachen.
17He is so clene in His courte, þe Kyng þat al weldez,
18& honeste in His housholde & hagherlych serued
19With angelez enourled in alle þat is clene,
20Boþ withine & withouten in wedez ful bry3t;
21Nif he nere scoymus & skyg & non scaþe louied,
22Hit were a meruayl to much, hit mo3t not falle.
23Kryst kydde hit Hymself in a carp onez,
24Þeras He heuened a3t happez & hy3t hem her medez.
25Me mynez on one amonge oþer, as Maþew recordez,
26Þat þus clanness vnclosez a ful cler speche:
27Þe haþel clene of his hert hapenez ful fayre,
28For he schal loke on oure Lorde with a bone chere';
29As so saytz, to þat sy3t seche schal he neuer
30Þat any vnclannesse hatz on, auwhere abowte;
31For He þat flemus vch fylþe fer fro His hert
32May not byde þat burre þat hit His body ne3en.
33Forþy hy3not to heuen in haterez totorne,
34Ne in þe harlatez hod, & handez vnwaschen.
35For what vrþly haþel þat hy3honour haldez
36Wolde lyke if a ladde com lyþerly attyred,
37When he were sette solempnely in a sete ryche,
38Abof dukez on dece, with dayntys serued?
39Þen þe harlot with haste helded to þe table,
40With rent cokrez at þe kne & his clutte traschez,
41& his tabarde totorne, & his totez oute,
42Oþer ani on of alle þyse, he schulde be halden vtter,
43With mony blame ful bygge, a boffet peraunter,
44Hurled to þe halle dore & harde þeroute schowued,
45& be forboden þat bor3e to bowe þider neuer,
46On payne of enprysonment & puttyng in stokkez;
47& þus schal he be schent for his schrowde feble,
48Þa3neuer in talle ne in tuch he trespas more.
49& if vnwelcum he were to a worþlych prynce,
503et hym is þe hy3e Kyng harder in her euen;
51As Maþew melez in his masse of þat man ryche,
52Þat made þe mukel mangerye to marie his here dere,
53& sende his sonde þen to say þat þay samne schulde,
54& in comly quoyntis to com to his feste:
55'For my boles & my borez arn bayted & slayne,
56& my fedde foulez fatted with scla3t,
57My polyle þat is penne-fed & partrykez boþe,
58Wyth scheldez of wylde swyn, swanez & cronez,
59Al is roþeled & rosted ry3t to þe sete;
60Comez cof to my corte, er hit colde worþe.'
61When þay knewen his cal þat þider com schulde,
62Alle excused hem by þe skyly he scape by mo3t.
63On hade bo3t hym a bor3, he sayde, by hys trawþe:
64'Now turne I þeder als tyd þe toun to byholde.'
65Anoþer nayed also & nurned þis cawse:
66'I haf 3erned & 3at 3okkez of oxen,
67& for my hy3ez hem bo3t; to bowe haf I mester,
68To see hem pulle in þe plow aproche me byhouez.'
69'& I haf wedded a wyf,' so wer hym þe þryd;
70'Excuse me at þe court, I may not com þere.'
71Þus þay dro3hem adre3with daunger vchone,
72Þat non passed to þe plate þa3he prayed were.
73Thenne þe ludych lorde lyked ful ille,
74& hade dedayn of þat dede; ful dry3ly he carpez.
75He saytz: 'Now for her owne sor3e þay forsaken habbez;
76More to wyte is her wrange þen any wylle gentyl.
77Þenne gotz forth, my gomez, þe grete streetez,
78& forsettz on vche a syde þe cete aboute;
79Þe wayferande frekez, on fote & on hors,
80Boþe burnez & burdez, þe better & þe wers,
81Laþez hem alle luflyly to lenge at my fest,
82& bryngez hem blyþly to bor3e as barounez þay were,
83So þat my palays plat ful be py3t al aboute;
84Þise oþer wrechez iwysse worþy no3t wern.'
85Þen þay cayred & com þat þe cost waked,
86Bro3ten bachlerez hem wyth þat þay by bonkez metten,
87Swyerez þat swyftly swyed on blonkez,
88& als fele vpon fote, of fre & of bonde.
89When þay com to þe courte keppte weren þay fayre,
90Sty3tled with þe stewarde, stad in þe halle,
91Ful manerly with marchal mad for to sitte,
92As he watz dere of degre dressed his seete.
93Þenne seggez to þe souerayn sayden þerafter:
94'Lo! Lorde, with your leue, at your lege heste
95& at þi banne we haf bro3t, as þou beden habbez,
96Mony renischsche renkez, & 3et is roum more.'
97Sayde þe lorde to þo ledez, 'Laytez 3et ferre,
98Ferre out in þe felde, & fechez mo gestez;
99Waytez gorstez & greuez, if ani gomez lyggez;
100Whatkyn folk so þer fare, fechez hem hider;
101Be þay fers, be þay feble, forlotez none,
102Be þay hol, be þay halt, be þay ony3ed,
103& þa3þay ben boþe blynde & balterande cruppelez,
104Þat my hous may holly by halkez by fylled.
105For, certez, þyse ilk renkez þat me renayed habbe,
106& denounced me no3t now at þis tyme,
107Schul neuer sitte in my sale my soper to fele,
108Ne suppe on sope of my seve, þa3þa3þay swelt schulde.'
109Thenne þe sergauntez, at þat sawe, swengen þeroute,
110& diden þe dede þat [watz] demed, as he deuised hade,
111& with peple of alle plytez þe palays þay fyllen;
112Hit weren not alle on wyuez sunez, wonen with on fader.
113Wheþer þay wern worþy oþer wers, wel wern þay stowed,
114Ay þe best byfore & bry3test atyred,
115Þe derrest at þe hy3e dese, þat dubbed wer fayrest,
116& syþen on lenþe bilooghe ledez inogh.
117& ay a[s] segge[s] [serly] semed by her wedez,
118So with marschal at her mete mensked þay were.
119Clene men in compaynye forknowen wern lyte,
120& 3et þe symplest in þat sale watz serued to þe fulle,
121Boþe with menske & with mete & mynstrasy noble,
122& alle þe laykez þat a lorde a3t in londe schewe.
123& þay bigonne to be glad þat god drink haden.
124& vch mon with his mach made hym at ese.
125Now inmyddez þe mete þe mayster hym biþo3t
126Þat he wolde se þe semble þat samned was þere,
127& rehayte rekenly þe riche & þe pou[eren],
128& cherisch hem alle with his cher, & chaufen her joye.
129Þen he bowez fro his bour into þe brode halle
130& to þe best on þe bench, & bede hym be myry,
131Solased hem with semblaunt & syled fyrre,
132Tron fro table to table & talkede ay myrþe.
133Bot as he ferked ouer þe flor, he fande with his y3e,
134Hit watz not for a halyday honestly arayed,
135A þral þry3t in þe þrong vnþryuandely cloþed,
136Ne no festiual frok, bot fyled with werkkez;
137Þe gome watz vngarnyst with god men to dele.
138& gremed þerwith þe grete lorde, & greue hym he þo3t.
139'Say me, frende,' quoþ þe freke with a felle chere,
140'Hov wan þou into þis won in wedez so fowle?
141Þe abyt þat þou hatz vpon, no halyday hit menskez;
142Þou, burne, for no brydale art busked in wedez.
143How watz þou hardy þis hous for þyn vnhap [to] ne3e
144In on so ratted a robe & rent at þe sydez?
145Þow art a gome vngoderly in þat goun febele;
146Þou praysed me & my place ful pouer & ful [g]nede,
147Þat watz so prest to aproche my presens hereinne.
148Hopez þou I be a harlot þi erigaut to prayse?'
149Þat oper burne watz abayst of his broþe wordez,
150& hurkelez doun with his hede, þe vrþe he biholdez;
151He watz so scoumfit of his scylle, lest he skaþe hent,
152Þat he ne wyst on worde what he warp schulde.
153Þen þe lorde wonder loude laled & cryed,
154& talkez to his tormenttourez: 'Takez hym,' he biddez,
155'Byndez byhynde, at his bak, boþe two his handez,
156& felle fetterez to his fete festenez bylyue;
157Stik hym stifly in stokez, & stekez hym þerafter
158Depe in my doungoun þer doel euer dwellez,
159Greuing & gretyng & gryspyng harde
160Of teþe tenfully togeder, to teche hym be quoynt.'
161Thus comparisunez Kryst þe kyndom of heuen
162To þis frelych feste þat fele arn to called;
163For alle arn laþed luflyly, þe luþer & þe better,
164Þat euer wern ful3ed in font, þat fest to haue.
165Bot war þe wel, if þou wylt, þy wedez ben clene
166& honest for þe halyday, lest þou harme lache,
167For aproch þou to þat Prynce of parage noble,
168He hates helle no more þen hem þat ar sowle.
169Wich arn þenne þy wedez þou wrappez þe inne,
170Þat schal schewe hem so schene schrowde of þe best?
171Hit arn þy werkez, wyterly, þat þou wro3t hauez,
172& lyued with þe lykyng þat ly3e in þyn hert;
173Þat þo be frely & fresch fonde in þy lyue,
174& fetyse of a fayr forme to fote & to honde,
175& syþen alle þyn oþer lymez lapped ful clene;
176Þenne may þou se þy Sauior & His sete ryche.
177For fele[r] fautez may a freke forfete his blysse,
178Þat he þe Souerayn ne se, þen for slauþe one;
179As for bobaunce & bost & bolnande priyde
180Þroly into þe deuelez þrote man þryngez bylyue.
181For couetyse & colwarde & croked dedez,
182For monsworne & menscla3t & to much drynk,
183For þefte & for þrepyng, vnþonk may mon haue;
184For roborrye & riboudrye & resounez vntrwe,
185& dsyheriete & depryue dowrie of wydoez,
186For marryng of maryagez & mayntnaunce of schrewez,
187For traysoun & trichcherye & tyrauntyre boþe,
188& for fals famacions & fayned lawez;
189Man may mysse þe myrþe þat much is to prayse
190For such vnþewez as þise, & þole much payne,
191& in þe Creatores cort com neuermore,
192Ne neuer see Hym with sy3t for such sour tournez.
193Bot I haue herkned & herde of mony hy3e clerkez,
194& als in resounez of ry3t red hit myseluen,
195Þat þat ilk proper Prynce þat paradys weldez
196Is displesed at vch a poynt þat plyes to scaþe;
197Bot neuer 3et in no boke breued I herde
198Þat euer He wrek so wyþerly on werk þat He made,
199Ne venged for no vilte of vice ne synne,
200Ne so hastyfly watz hot for hatel of His wylle,
201Ne neuer so sodenly so3t vnsoundely to weng,
202As for fylþe of þe flesch þat foles han vsed;
203For, as I fynde, þer He for3et alle His fre þewez,
204& wex wod to þe wrache for wrath at His hert.
205For þe fyrste felonye þe falce fende wro3t
206Whyl he watz hy3e in þe heuen houen vpon lofte,
207Of alle þyse aþel aungelez attled þe fayrest:
208& he vnkyndely, as a karle, kydde a reward.
209He se3no3t bot hymself how semly he were,
210Bot his Souerayn he forsoke & sade þyse wordez:
211`I schal telde vp my trone in þe tramountayne,
212& by lyke to þat Lorde þat þe lyft made.'
213With þis worde þat he warp, þe wrake on hym ly3t:
214Dry3tyn with His dere dom hym drof to þe abyme,
215In þe mesure of His mode, His metz neuer þe lasse.
216Bot þer He tynt þe tyþe dool of His tour ryche:
217Þa3þe feloun were so fers for his fayre wedez
218& his glorious glem þat glent so bry3t,
219As sone as Dry3tynez dome drof to hymseluen,
220Þikke þowsandez þro þrwen þeroute,
221Fellen fro þe frymament fendez ful blake,
222Sweued at þe fryst swap as þe snaw þikke,
223Hurled into helle-hole as þe hyue swarmez.
224Fylter fenden folk forty dayez lencþe,
225Er þat styngande storme stynt ne my3t;
226Bot as smylt mele vnder smal siue smokez forþikke.
227So fro heuen to helle þat hatel schor laste,
228On vche syde of þe worlde aywhere ilyche.
2293is, hit watz a brem brest & a byge wrache,
230& 3et wrathed not þe Wy3; ne þe wrech sa3tled,
231Ne neuer wolde, for wyl[fulnes], his worþy God knawe,
232Ne pray Hym for no pite, so proud watz his wylle.
233Forþy þa3þe rape were rank, þe rawþe watz lytt[el];
234Þa3he be kest into kare, he kepes no better.
235Bot þat oper wrake þat wex, on wy3ez hit ly3t
236Þur3þe faut of a freke þat fayled in trawþe,
237Adam inobedyent, ordaynt to blysse.
238Þer pryuely in paradys his place watz devised,
239To lyue þer in lykyng þe lenþe of a terme,
240& þenne enherite þat home þat aungelez forgart;
241Bot þur3þe eggyng of Eue he ete of an apple
242Þat enpoysened alle peplez þat parted fro hem boþe,
243For a defence þat watz dy3t of Dry3tyn Seluen,
244& a payne þeron put & pertly halden.
245Þe defence watz þe fryt þat þe freke towched,
246& þe dom is þe deþe þat drepez vus alle;
247Al in mesure & meþe watz mad þe vengiaunce,
248& efte amended with a mayden þat make had neuer.
249Bot in þe þryd watz forþrast al þat þryue schuld:
250Þer watz malys mercyles & mawgre much scheued,
251Þat watz for fylþe vpon folde þat þe folk vsed,
252Þat þen wonyed in þe worlde withouten any maysterz.
253Hit wern þe fayrest of forme & of face als,
254Þe most & þe myriest þat maked wern euer,
255Þe styfest, þe stalworþest þat stod euer on fete,
256& lengest lyf in hem lent of ledez alle oþer.
257For hit was þe forme foster þat þe folde bred,
258Þe aþel aunceterez sunez pat Adam watz called,
259To wham God hade geuen alle þat gayn were,
260Alle þe blysse boute blame þat bodi my3t haue;
261& þose lykkest to þe lede, þat lyued next after;
262Forþy so semly to see syþen wern none.
263Þer watz no law to hem layd bot loke to kynde,
264& kepe to hit, & alle hit cors clanly fulfylle.
265& þenne founden þay fylþe in fleschlych dedez,
266& controeued agayn kynde contrare werkez,
267& vsed hem vnþryftyly vchon on oþer,
268& als with oþer, wylsfully, upon a wrange wyse:
269So ferly fowled her flesch þat þe fende loked
270How þe de3ter of þe douþe wern derelych fayre,
271& fallen in fela3schyp with hem on folken wyse,
272& engendered on hem jeauntez with her japez ille.
273Þose wern men meþelez & ma3ty on vrþe,
274Þat for her lodlych laykez alosed þay were;
275He watz famed for fre þat fe3t loued best,
276& ay þe bigest in bale þe best watz halden.
277& þenne euelez on erþe ernestly grewen
278& multyplyed monyfolde inmongez mankynde,
279For þat þe ma3ty on molde so marre þise oþer
280Þat þe Wy3e þat al wro3t ful wroþly bygynnez.
281When He knew vche contre coruppte in hitseluen,
282& vch freke forloyned fro þe ry3t wayez,
283Felle temptande tene towched His hert.
284As wy3e wo hym withinne, werp to Hymseluen:
285'Me forþynkez ful much þat euer I mon made,
286Bot I schal delyuer & do away þat doten on þis molde,
287& fleme out of þe folde al þat flesch werez,
288Fro þe burne to þe best, fro bryddez to fyschez;
289Al schal doun & be ded & dryuen out of erþe
290Þat euer I sette saule inne; & sore hit Me rwez
291Þat euer I made hem Myself; bot if I may herafter,
292I schal wayte to be war her wrenchez to kepe.'
293Þenne in worlde watz a wy3e wonyande on lyue,
294Ful redy & ful ry3twys, & rewled hym fayre,
295In þe drede of Dry3tyn his dayez he vsez,
296& ay glydande wyth his God, his grace watz þe more.
297Hym watz þe nome Noe, as is innoghe knawen.
298He had þre þryuen sunez, & þay þre wyuez:
299Sem soþly þat on, þat oþer hy3t Cam,
300& þe jolef Japheth watz gendered þe þryd.
301Now God in nwy to Noe con speke
302Wylde wrakful wordez, in His wylle greued:
303'Þe ende of alle kynez flesch þat on vrþe meuez
304Is fallen forþwyth My face, & forþer hit I þenk.
305With her vnworþelych werk Me wlatez withinne;
306Þe gore þerof Me hatz greued & þe glette nwyed.
307I schal strenkle My distresse, & strye al togeder,
308Boþe ledez & londe & alle þat lyf habbez.
309Bot make to þe a mancioun, & þat is My wylle,
310A cofer closed of tres, clanlych planed.
311Wyrk wonez þerinne for wylde & for tame,
312& þenne cleme hit with clay comly within[n]e,
313& alle þe endentur dryuen daube withouten.
314& þus of lenþe & of large þat lome þou make:
315Þre hundred of cupydez þou holde to þe lenþe,
316Of fyfty fayre ouerþwert forme þe brede;
317& loke euen þat þyn ark haue of he3þe þrette,
318& a wyndow wyd vpon[ande] wro3t vpon lo[f]te,
319In þe compas of a cubit kyndely sware;
320A wel dutande dor, don on þe syde;
321Haf hallez þerinne & halkez ful mony,
322Boþe boske[n]z & bourez & wel bounden penez.
323For I schal waken vp a water to wasch alle þe worlde,
324& quelle alle þat is quik with quauende flodez,
325Alle þat glydez & gotz & gost of lyf habbez;
326I schal wast with My wrath þat wons vpon vrþe.
327Bot My forwarde with þe I festen on þis wyse,
328For þou in reysoun hatz rengned & ry3twys ben euer:
329Þou schal enter þis ark with þyn aþel barnez
330& þy wedded wyf; with þe þou take
331Þe makez of þy myry sunez; þis meyny of a3te
332I schal saue of monnez saulez, & swelt þose oþer.
333Of vche best þat berez lyf busk þe a cupple,
334Of vche clene comly kynde enclose seuen makez,
335Of vche horwed in ark halde bot a payre,
336For to saue Me þe sede of alle ser kyndez.
337& ay þou meng with þe malez þe mete ho-bestez,
338Vche payre by payre to plese ayþer oþer;
339With alle þe fode þat may be founde frette þy cofer,
340For sustnaunce to yowself & also þose oþer.'
341Ful grayþely gotz þis god man & dos Godez hestes,
342In dry3dred & daunger þat durst do non oþer.
343Wen hit watz fettled & forged & to þe fulle grayþed,
344Þenn con Dry3ttyn hym dele dry3ly þyse wordez.
345'Now Noe,' quoþ oure Lorde, 'art þou al redy?
346Hatz þou closed þy kyst with clay alle aboute?'
347'3e, Lorde, with þy leue,' sayde þe lede þenne,
348Al is wro3t at Þi worde, as Þou me wyt lantez.'
349'Enter in, þenn,' quoþ He, & haf þi wyf with þe,
350Þy þre sunez, withouten þrep, & her þre wyuez;
351Bestez, as I bedene haue, bosk þerinne als,
352& when 3e arn staued, styfly stekez yow þerinne.
353Fro seuen dayez ben seyed I sende out bylyue
354Such a rowtande ryge þat rayne schal swyþe
355Þat schal wasch alle þe worlde of werkez of fylþe;
356Schal no flesch vpon folde by fonden onlyue,
357Outtaken yow a3t in þis ark staued
358& sed þat I wyl saue of þyse ser bestez.'
359Now Noe neuer sty[n]tez, þat niy3[t] he bygynnez,
360Er al wer stawed & stoken as þe steuen wolde.
361Thenne sone com þe seuenþe day, when samned wern alle,
362& alle woned in þe whichche, þe wylde & þe tame.
363Þen bolned þe abyme, & bonkez con ryse,
364Waltes out vch walle-heued in ful wode stremez;
365Watz no brymme þat abod vnbrosten bylyue;
366Þe mukel lauande loghe to þe lyfte rered.
367Mony clustered clowde clef alle in clowtez;
368Torent vch a rayn-ryfte & rusched to þe vrþe,
369Fon neuer in forty dayez. & þen þe flod ryses,
370Ouerwaltez vche a wod & þe wyde feldez.
371For when þe water of þe welkyn with þe worlde mette,
372Alle þat deth mo3t dry3e drowned þerinne.
373Þer watz moon for to make when meschef was cnowen,
374Þat no3t dowed bot þe deth in þe depe stremez;
375Water wylger ay wax, wonez þat stryede,
376Hurled into vch hous, hent þat þer dowelled.
377Fryst feng to þe fly3t alle þat fle my3t;
378Vuche burde with her barne þe byggyng þay leuez
379& bowed to þe hy3bonk þer brentest hit wern,
380& heterly to þe hy3e hyllez þay [h]aled on faste.
381Bot al watz nedlez her note, for neuer cowþe stynt
382Þe ro3e raynande ryg, þe raykande wawez,
383Er vch boþom watz brurdful to þe bonkez eggez,
384& vche a dale so depe þat demmed at þe brynkez.
385Þe moste mountaynez on mor þenne watz no more dry3e,
386& þeron flokked þe folke, for ferde of þe wrake.
387Syþen þe wylde of þe wode on þe water flette;
388Summe swymmed þeron þat saue hemself trawed,
389Summe sty3e to a stud & stared to þe heuen,
390Rwly wyth a loud rurd rored for drede.
391Harez, herttez also, to þe hy3e runnen;
392Bukkez, bausenez, & bulez to þe bonkkez hy3ed;
393& alle cryed for care to þe Kyng of heuen,
394Recouerer of þe Creator þay cryed vchone,
395Þat amounted þe masse, þe mase His mercy watz passed,
396& alle His pyte departed fro peple þat He hated.
397Bi þat þe flod to her fete flo3ed & waxed,
398Þen vche a segge se3wel þat synk hym byhoued.
399Frendez fellen in fere & faþmed togeder,
400To dry3her delful deystyne & dy3en alle samen;
401Luf lokez to luf & his leue takez,
402For to ende alle at onez & for euer twynne.
403By forty dayez wern faren, on folde no flesch styryed
404Þat þe flod nade al freten with fe3tande wa3ez;
405For hit clam vche a clyffe, cubites fyftene
406Ouer þe hy3est hylle þat hurkled on erþe.
407Þenne mourkne in þe mudde most ful nede
408Alle þat spyrakle inspranc, no sprawlyng awayled,
409Saue þe haþel vnder hach & his here straunge,
410Noe þat ofte neuened þe name of oure Lorde,
411Hym a3tsum in þat ark, as aþel God lyked,
412Þer alle ledez in lome lenged druye.
413Þe arc houen watz on hy3e with hurlande gotez,
414Kest to kythez vncouþe þe clowdez ful nere.
415Hit waltered on þe wylde flod, went as hit lyste,
416Drof vpon þe depe dam, in daunger hit semed,
417Withouten mast, oþer myke, oþer myry bawelyne,
418Kable, oþer capstan to clyppe to her ankrez,
419Hurrok, oþer hande-helme hasped on roþer,
420Oþer any sweande sayl to seche after hauen,
421Bot flote forthe with þe flyt of þe felle wyndez.
422Whederwarde so þe water wafte, hit rebounde;
423Ofte hit roled on rounde & rered on ende;
424Nyf oure Lorde hade ben her lodezmon hem had lumpen harde.
425Of þe lenþe of Noe lyf to lay a lel date,
426Þe sex hundreth of his age & none odde 3erez,
427Of secounde monyth þe seuen[ten]þe day ry3tez,
428Towalten alle þyse welle-hedez & þe water flowed;
429& þryez fyfty þe flod of folwande dayez;
430Vche hille watz þer hidde with y[þ]ez ful graye.
431Al watz wasted þat þer wonyed þe worlde withinne,
432Þ[at] euer flote, oþer flwe, oþer on fote 3ede,
433That ro3ly watz þe remnaunt þat þe rac dryuez
434Þat alle gendrez so joyst wern joyned wythinne
435Bot quen þe Lorde of þe lyfte lyked Hymseluen
436For to mynne on His mon His meth þat abydez,
437Þen He wakened a wynde on watterez to blowe;
438Þenne lasned þe llak þat large watz are.
439Þen He stac vp þe stangez, stoped þe wellez,
440Bed blynne of þe rayn: hit batede as faste;
441Þenne lasned þe lo3lowkande togeder.
442After harde dayez wern out an hundreth & fyfte,
443As þat lyftande lome luged aboute.
444Where þe wynde & þe weder warpen hit wolde,
445Hit sa3tled on a softe day, synkande to grounde;
446On a rasse of a rok hit rest at þe laste,
447On þe mounte of Mararach of Armene hilles.
448Þat oþerwayez on Ebrv hit hat þe Thanes.
449Bot þa3þe kyste in þe cragez wern closed to byde,
4503et fyned not þe flod ne fel to þe boþemez,
451Bot þe hy3est of þe eggez vnhuled weren a lyttel,
452Þat þe burne bynne borde byhelde þe bare erþe.
453Þenne wafte he vpon his wyndowe, & wysed þeroute
454A message fro þat meyny hem moldez to seche:
455Þat watz þe rauen so ronk, þat rebel watz euer;
456He watz colored as þe cole, corbyal vntrwe.
457& he fongez to þe fly3t & fannez on þe wyndez,
458Halez hy3e vpon hy3t to herken tyþyngez.
459He croukez for comfort when carayne he fyndez
460Kast vp on a clyffe þer costese lay drye;
461He hade þe smelle of þe smach & smoltes þeder sone,
462Fallez on þe foule flesch & fyllez his wombe,
463& sone 3ederly for3ete 3isterday steuen,
464How þe cheuetayn hym charged þat þe kyst 3emed.
465Þe rauen raykez hym forth, þat reches ful lyttel
466How alle fodez þer fare, ellez he fynde mete;
467Bot þe burne bynne borde þat bod to hys come
468Banned hym ful bytterly with bestes alle samen.
469He sechez anoþer sondezmon, & settez on þe dou[u]e,
470Bryngez þat bry3t vpon borde, blessed, & sayde:
471'Wende, worþelych wy3t, vus wonez to seche;
472Dryf ouer þis dymme water; if þou druye fyndez
473Bryng bodworde to bot blysse to vus alle.
474Þa3þat fowle be false, fre be þou euer.'
475Ho wyrle out on þe weder on wyngez ful scharpe,
476Dre3ly alle alonge day þat dorst neuer ly3t;
477& when ho fyndez no folde her fote on to pyche,
478Ho vmbekestez þe coste & þe kyst sechez.
479Ho hittez on þe euentyde & on þe ark sittez;
480Noe nymmes hir anon & naytly hir stauez.
481Noe on anoþer day nymmez efte þe doveue,
482& byddez hir bowe ouer þe borne efte bonkez to seche;
483& ho skyrmez vnder skwe & skowtez aboute,
484Tyl hit watz ny3e at þe na3t, & Noe þen sechez.
485On ark on an euentyde houez þe dowue;
486On stamyn ho stod & stylle hym abydez.
487What! ho bro3t in hir beke a bronch of olyue,
488Gracyously vmbegrouen al with grene leuez;
489Þat watz þe syngne of sauyte þat sende hem oure Lorde,
490& þe sa3tlyng of Hymself with þo sely bestez.
491Þen watz þer joy on þat gyn where jumpred er dry3ed,
492& much comfort in þat cofer þat watz clay-daubed.
493Myryly on a fayr morn, monyth þe fyrst,
494Þat fallez formast in þe 3er, & þe fyrst day,
495Ledez lo3en in þat lome & loked þeroute,
496How þat watterez wern woned & þe worlde dryed.
497Vchon loued oure Lorde, bot lenged ay stylle
498Tyl þay had tyþyng fro þe Tolke þat tyned hem þerinne.
499Þen Godez glam to hem glod þat gladed hem alle,
500Bede hem drawe to þe dor: delyuer hem He wolde.
501Þen went þay to þe wykket, hit walt vpon sone;
502Boþe þe burne & his barnez bowed þeroute,
503Her wyuez walkez hem wyth & þe wylde after,
504Þroly þrublande in þronge, þrowen ful þykke.
505Bot Noe of vche honest kynde nem out an odde,
506& heuened vp an auter & hal3ed hit fayre,
507& sette a sakerfyse þeron of vch a ser kynde
508Þat watz comly & clene: God kepez non oþer.
509When bremly brened þose bestez, & þe breþe rysed,
510Þe sauour of his sacrafyse so3t to Hym euen
511Þat al spedez & spyllez; He spekes with þat ilke
512In comly comfort ful clos & cortays wordez:
513'Now, Noe, no more nel I neuer wary
514Alle þe mukel mayny [on] molde for no mannez synnez,
515For I se wel þat hit is sothe þat alle mannez wyttez
516To vnþryfte arn alle þrawen with þo3t of her herttez,
517& ay hatz ben, & wyl be 3et; fro her barnage
518Al is þe mynde of þe man to malyce enclyned.
519Forþy schal I neuer schende so schortly at ones
520As dysstrye al for manez synne, dayez of þis erþe.
521Bot waxez now & wendez forth & worþez to monye,
522Multyplyez on þis molde, & menske yow bytyde.
523Sesounez schal yow neuer sese of sede ne of heruest,
524Ne hete, ne no harde forst, vmbre ne dro3þe,
525Ne þe swetnesse of somer, ne þe sadde wynter,
526Ne þe ny3t, ne þe day, ne þe newe 3erez,
527Bot euer renne restlez: rengnez 3e þerinne.'
528Þerwyth He blessez vch a best, & byta3t hem þis erþe.
529Þen watz a skylly skyualde, quen scaped alle þe wylde,
530Vche fowle to þe fly3t þat fyþerez my3t serue,
531Vche fysch to þe flod þat fynne couþe nayte.
532Vche beste to þe bent þat þat bytes on erbez;
533Wylde wormez to her won wryþez in þe erþe,
534Þe fox & þe folmarde to þe fryth wyndez,
535Herttes to hy3e heþe, harez to gorstez,
536& lyounez & lebardez to þe lake-ryftes:
537Hernez & hauekez to þe hy3e rochez,
538Þe hole-foted fowle to þe flod hy3ez,
539& vche best at a brayde þer hym best lykez;
540Þe fowre frekez of þe folde fongez þe empyre.
541Lo! suche a wrakful wo for wlatsum dedez
542Parformed þe hy3e Fader on folke þat He made;
543Þat He chysly hade cherisched He chastysed ful hardee,
544In devoydynge þe vylanye þat venkquyst His þewez.
545Forþy war þe now, wy3e þat worschyp desyres
546In His comlych courte þat Kyng is of blysse,
547In þe fylþe of þe flesch þat þou be founden neuer,
548Tyl any water in þe worlde to wasche þe fayly.
549For is no segge vnder sunne so seme of his craftez,
550If he be sulped in synne, þat syttez vnclene;
551On spec of spote may spede to mysse
552Of þe sy3te of þe Souerayn þat syttez so hy3e;
553For þat schewe me schale in þo schyre howsez,
554As þe beryl bornyst byhouez be clene.
555Þat is sounde on vche a syde & no sem habes,
556Withouten maskle oþer mote, as margerye-perle.
557Syþen þe Souerayn in sete so sore forþo3t
558Þat euer He man vpon molde merked to lyuy,
559For he in fylþe watz fallen, felly He uenged,
560Quen fourferde alle þe flesch þat He formed hade.
561Hym rwed þat He hem vprerde & ra3t hem lyflode;
562& efte þat He hem vndyd, hard hit Hym þo3t.
563For quen þe swemande sor3e so3t to His hert,
564He knyt a couenaunde cortaysly with monkynde þere,
565In þe mesure of His mode & meþe of His wylle,
566Þat He schulde neuer for no syt smyte al at onez,
567As to quelle alle quykez for qued þat my3t falle,
568Whyl of þe lenþe of þe londe lastez þe terme.
569Þat ilke skyl for no scaþe ascaped Hym neuer.
570Wheder wonderly He wrak on wykked men after,
571Ful felly for þat ilk faute forferde a kyth ryche,
572In þe anger of His ire, þat ar3ed mony;
573& al watz for þis ilk euel, þat vnhappen glette,
574Þe venym & þe vylanye & þe vycios fylþe
575Þat bysulpez mannez saule in vnsounde hert,
576Þat he his Saueour ne see with sy3t of his y3en.
577Alle illez He hates as helle þat alle stynkkez;
578Bot non nuyez Hym on na3t ne neuer vpon dayez
579As harlottrye vnhonest, heþyng of seluen:
580Þat schamez for no schrewedschyp, schent mot he worþe.
581Bot sauyour, mon, in þyself, þa3þou a sotte lyuie,
582Þa3þou bere þyself babel, byþenk þe sumtyme
583Wheþer He þat stykked vche a stare in vche steppe y3e,
5843if Hymsel[f] be bore blynde hit is a brod wonder;
585& He þat fetly in face fettled alle eres,
586If he hatz losed þe lysten hit lyftez meruayle:
587Trave þou neuer þat tale, vntrwe þou hit fyndez.
588Þer is no dede so derne þat dittez His y3en;
589Þer is no wy3e in his werk so war ne so stylle
590Þat hit ne þrawez to Hym þr[o] er he hit þo3t haue.
591For He is þe gropande God, þe grounde of alle dedez,
592Rypande of vche a ring þe reynyez & hert.
593& þere He fyndez al fayre a freke wythinne,
594Þat hert honest & hol, þat haþel He honourez,
595Sendez hym a sad sy3t: to se His auen face,
596& harde honysez þise oþer, & of His erde flemez.
597Bot of þe dome of þe douþe for dedez of schame,
598He is so skoymos of þat skaþe, He scarrez bylyue;
599He may not dry3e to draw allyt, bot drepez in hast:
600& þat watz schewed schortly by a scaþe onez.
601Olde Abraham in erde onez he syttez
602Euen byfore his hous-dore, vnder an oke grene;
603Bry3t blykked þe bem of þe brode heuen;
604In þe hy3e hete þerof Abraham bidez:
605He watz schunt to þe schadow vnder schyre leuez.
606Þenne watz he war on þe waye of wlonk Wy3ez þrynne;
607If þay wer farande & fre & fayre to beholde
608Hit is eþe to leue by þe last ende.
609For þe lede þat þer laye þe leuez anvnder,
610When he hade of Hem sy3t he hy3ez bylyue,
611& as to God þe goodmon gos Hem agaynez
612& haylsed Hem in onhede, & sayde: 'Hende Lorde,
6133if euer Þy mon vpon molde merit disserued,
614Lenge a lyttel with Þy lede, I lo3ly biseche;
615Passe neuer fro Þi pouere, 3if I hit pray durst,
616Er Þou haf biden with Þi burne & vnder bo3e restted,
617& I schal wynne Yow wy3t of water a lyttel,
618& fast aboute schal I fare Your fette wer waschene.
619Resttez here on þis rote & I schal rachche after
620& brynge a morsel of bred to banne Your hertte.'
621'Fare forthe,' quoþ þe Frekez, '& fech as þou seggez;
622By bole of þis brode tre We byde þe here.'
623Þenne orppedly into his hous he hy3ed to Sare,
624Commaunded hir to be cof & quyk at þis onez:
625'Þre mettez of mele menge & ma kakez;
626Vnder askez ful hote happe hem byliue;
627Quyl I fete sumquat fat, þou þe fyr bete,
628Prestly at þis ilke poynte sum polment to make.'
629He cached to his covhous & a calf bryngez,
630Þat watz tender & not to3e, bed tyrue of þe hyde,
631& sayde to his seruaunt þat hit seþe faste;
632& he deruely at his dome dy3t hit bylyue.
633Þe burne to be bare-heued buskez hym þenne,
634Clechez to a clene cloþe & kestez on þe grene,
635Þrwe þryftyly þeron þo þre þerue kakez,
636& bryngez butter wythal & by þe bred settez;
637Mete messez of mylke he merkkez bytwene,
638Syþen potage & polment in plater honest.
639As sewer in a god assyse he serued Hem fayre,
640Wyth sadde semblaunt & swete of such as he hade;
641& God as a glad gest mad god chere
642Þat watz fayn of his frende, & his fest praysed.
643Abraham, al hodlez, with armez vp-folden,
644Mynystred mete byfore þo Men þat my3tes al weldez.
645Þenne Þay sayden as Þay sete samen alle þrynne,
646When þe mete watz remued & Þay of mensk speken,
647'I schal efte hereaway, Abram,' Þay sayden,
648'3et er þy lyuez ly3t leþe vpon erþe,
649& þenne schal Sare consayue & a sun bere,
650Þat schal be Abrahamez ayre & after hym wynne
651With wele & wyth worschyp þe worþely peple
652Þat schal halde in heritage þat I haf men 3ark[ed].'
653Þenne þe burde byhynde þe dor for busmar la3ed;
654& sayde sothly to hirself Sare þe madde:
655'May þou traw for tykle þat þou tonne mo3tez,
656& I so hy3e out of age, & also my lorde?'
657For soþely, as says þe wryt, he wern of sadde elde,
658Boþe þe wy3e & his wyf, such werk watz hem fayled
659Fro mony a brod day byfore; ho barayn ay byene,
660Þat selue Sare, withouten sede into þat same tyme.
661Þenne sayde oure Syre þer He sete: 'Se! so Sare la3es,
662Not trawande þe tale þat I þe to schewed.
663Hopez ho o3t may be harde My hondez to work?
664& 3et I avow verayly þe avaunt þat I made;
665I schal 3eply a3ayn & 3elde þat I hy3t,
666& sothely send to Sare a soun & an hayre.'
667Þenne swenged forth Sare & swer by hir trawþe
668Þat for lot þat Þay laused ho la3ed neuer.
669'Now innoghe: hit is not so,' þenne nurned þe Dry3tyn,
670'For þou la3ed alo3, bot let we hit one.'
671With þat Þay ros vp radly, as Þay rayke schulde,
672& setten toward Sodamas Her sy3t alle at onez;
673For þat cite þerbysyde watz sette in a vale,
674No mylez fro Mambre mo þen tweyne,
675Whereso wonyed þis ilke wy3, þat wendez with oure Lorde
676For to tent Hym with tale & teche Hym þe gate.
677Þen glydez forth God; þe godmon Hym fol3ez;
678Abraham heldez Hem wyth, Hem to conueye
679In towarde þe cety of Sodamas þat synned had þenne
680In þe faute of þis fylþe. Þe Fader hem þretes,
681& sayde þus to þe segg þat sued Hym after:
682'How my3t I hyde Myn hert fro Habraham þe trwe,
683Þat I ne dyscouered to his corse My counsayl so dere,
684Syþen he is chosen to be chef chyldryn fader,
685Þat so folk schal falle fro to flete alle þe worlde,
686& vche blod in þat burne blessed schal worþe?
687Me bos telle to þat tolk þe tene of My wylle,
688& alle Myn atlyng to Abraham vnhaspe bilyue.
689The grete soun of Sodamas synkkez in Myn erez,
690& þe gult of Gomorre garez Me to wrath.
691I schal ly3t into þat led & loke Myseluen
692[If] þay haf don as þe dyne dryuez on lofte.
693Þay han lerned a lyst þat lykez me ille,
694Þat þay han founden in her flesch of fautez þe werst:
695Vch male matz his mach a man as hymseluen,
696& fylter folyly in fere on femmalez wyse.
697I compast hem a kynde crafte & kende hit hem derne,
698& amed hit in Myn ordenaunce oddely dere,
699& dy3t drwry þerinne, doole alþer-swettest,
700& þe play of paramorez I portrayed Myseluen,
701& made þerto a maner myriest of oþer:
702When two true togeder had ty3ed hemseluen,
703Bytwene a male & his make such merþe schulde conne,
704Welny3e pure paradys mo3t preue no better;
705Ellez þay mo3t honestly ayþer oþer welde,
706At a stylle stollen steuen, vnstered wyth sy3t,
707Luf-lowe hem bytwene lasched so hote
708Þat alle þe meschefez on mold mo3t hit not sleke.
709Now haf þay skyfted My skyl & scorned natwre,
710& henttez hem in heþyng an vsage vnclene.
711Hem to smyte for þat smod smartly I þenk,
712Þat wy3ez schal be by hem war, worlde withouten ende.'
713Þenne ar3ed Abraham & alle his mod chaunge[d],
714For hope of þe harde hate þat hy3t hatz oure Lorde.
715Al sykande he sayde: 'Sir, with Yor leue,
716Schal synful & saklez suffer al on payne?
717Weþer euer hit lyke my Lorde to lyfte such domez
718Þat þe wykked & þe worþy schal on wrake suffer,
719& weye vpon þe worre half þat wrathed Þe neuer?
720Þat watz neuer Þy won þat wro3tez vus alle.
721Now fyfty fyn frendez wer founde in 3onde toune,
722In þe cety of Sodamas & also Gomorre,
723Þat neuer lakked Þy laue, bot loued ay trauþe,
724& re3tful wern & resounable & redy Þe to serue,
725Schal þay falle in þe faute þat oþer frekez wro3t,
726& joyne to her juggement, her juise to haue?
727Þat nas neuer Þyn note, vnneuened hit worþe,
728Þat art so gaynly a God & of goste mylde.'
729'Nay, for fyfty,' quoþ þe Fader, '& þy fayre speche,
730& þay be founden in þat folk of her fylþe clene,
731I schal forgyue alle þe gylt þur3My grace one,
732& let hem smolt al unsmyten smoþely at onez.'
733'Aa! blessed be Þow,' quoþ þe burne, 'so boner & þewed,
734& al haldez in Þy honde, þe heuen & þe erþe;
735Bot, for I haf þis talke tatz to non ille
7363if I mele a lyttel more þat mul am & askez.
737What if fyue faylen of fyfty þe noumbre,
738& þe remnaunt be reken, how restes Þy wylle?'
739'And fyue wont of fyfty,' quoþ God, 'I schal for3ete alle
740& wythhalde My honde for hortyng on lede.'
741'& quat if faurty be fre & fauty þyse oþer:
742Schalt Þow schortly al schende & schape non oþer?'
743'Nay, þa3faurty forfete, 3et fryst I a whyle,
744& voyde away My vengaunce, þa3Me vyl þynk.'
745Þen Abraham obeched Hym & lo3ly Him þonkkez:
746'Now sayned be Þou, Sauiour, so symple in Þy wrath!
747I am bot erþe ful euel & vsle so blake,
748For to mele wyth such a Mayster as my3tez hatz alle.
749Bot I haue bygonnen wyth my God, & He hit gayn þynkez;
7503if I forloyne as a fol Þy fraunchyse may serue.
751What if þretty þryuande be þrad in 3on tounez,
752What schal I leue of my Lorde, [i]f He hem leþe wolde?'
753Þenne þe godlych God gef hym onsware:
754'3et for þretty in þrong I schal My þro steke,
755& spare spakly of spyt in space of My þewez,
756& My rankor refrayne four þy reken wordez.'
757'What for twenty,' quoþ þe tolke, 'vntwynez Þou hem þenne?'
758'Nay, 3if þou 3ernez hit 3et, 3ark I hem grace;
759If þat twenty be trwe, I tene hem no more,
760Bot relece alle þat regioun of her ronk werkkez.'
761'Now, aþel Lorde,' quoþ Abraham, 'onez a speche,
762& I schal schape no more þo schalkkez to helpe.
763If ten trysty in toune be tan in Þi werkkez,
764Wylt Þou mese Þy mode & menddyng abyde?'
765'I graunt,' quoþ þe grete God, 'Graunt mercy,' þat oþer;
766& þenne arest þe renk & ra3t no fyrre.
767& Godde glydez His gate by þose grene wayez,
768& he conueyen Hym con with cast of his y3e;
769& als he loked along þereas oure Lorde passed,
7703et he cryed Hym after with careful steuen:
771'Meke Mayster, on Þy mon to mynne if Þe lyked,
772Loth lengez in 3on leede þat is my lef broþer;
773He syttez þer in Sodomis, þy seruaunt so pouere,
774Among þo mansed men þat han Þe much greued.
7753if Þou tynez þat toun, tempre Þyn yre,
776As Þy mersy may malte, Þy meke to spare.'
777Þen he wendez, wendez his way, wepande for care,
778Towarde þe mere of Mambre, wepande for sorewe;
779& þere in longyng al ny3t he lengez in wones,
780Whyl þe Souerayn to Sodamas sende to spye.
781His sondes into Sodamas watz sende in þat tyme,
782In þat ilk euentyde, by aungels tweyne,
783Meuand meuande mekely togeder as myry men 3onge,
784As Loot in a loge dor lened hym alone,
785In a porche of þat place py3t to þe 3ates,
786Þat watz ryal & ryche so watz þe renkes seluen.
787As he stared into þe strete þer stout men played,
788He sy3e þer swey in asent swete men tweyne;
789Bolde burnez wer þay boþe with berdles chynnez,
790Ryol rollande fax to raw sylk lyke,
791Of ble as þe brere-flour whereso þe bare scheweed.
792Ful clene watz þe countenaunce of her cler y3en;
793Wlonk whit watz her wede & wel hit hem semed.
794Of alle feturez ful fyn & fautlez boþe;
795Watz non autly in ouþer, for aungels hit wern,
796& þat þe 3ep vnder3ede þat in þe 3ate syttez;
797He ros vp ful radly & ran hem to mete,
798& lo3e he loutez hem to, Loth, to þe grounde,
799& syþen soberly: 'Syrez, I yow byseche
800Þat 3e wolde ly3t at my loge & lenge þerinne.
801Comez to your knaues kote, I craue at þis onez;
802I schal fette yow a fatte your fette for to wasche;
803I norne yow bot for on ny3t ne3e me to lenge,
804& in þe myry mornyng 3e may your waye take.'
805& þay nay þat þay nolde ne3no howsez,
806Bot stylly þer in þe strete as þay stadde wern
807Þay wolde lenge þe long na3t & logge þeroute:
808Hit watz hous inno3e to hem þe heuen vpon lofte.
809Loth laþed so longe wyth luflych wordez
810Þat þay hym graunted to go & gru3t no lenger.
811Þe bolde to his byggyng bryngez hem bylyue,
812Þat [watz] ryally arayed, for he watz ryche euer.
813Þe wy3ez wern welcom as þe wyf couþe;
814His two dere do3terez deuoutly hem haylsed,
815Þat wer maydenez ful meke, maryed not 3et,
816& þay wer semly & swete, & swyþe wel arayed.
817Loth þenne ful ly3tly lokez hym aboute,
818& his men amonestes mete for to dy3t:
819'Bot þenkkez on hit be þrefte what þynk so 3e make,
820For wyth no sour no no salt seruez hym neuer.'
821Bot 3et I wene þat þe wyf hit wroth to dyspyt,
822& sayde softely to hirself: 'Þis vn[s]auere hyne
823Louez no salt in her sauce; 3et hit no skyl were
824Þat oþer burne be boute, þa3boþe be nyse.'
825Þenne ho sauerez with salt her seuez vchone,
826Agayne þe bone of þe burne þat hit forboden hade,
827& als ho scelt hem in scorne þat wel her skyl knewen.
828Why watz ho, wrech, so wod? Ho wrathed oure Lorde.
829Þenne seten þay at þe soper, wern serued bylyue,
830Þe gestes gay & ful glad, of glam debonere,
831Welawynnely wlonk, tyl þay waschen hade,
832Þe trestes tylt to þe wo3e & þe table boþe.
833Fro þe seggez haden souped & seten bot a whyle,
834Er euer þay bosked to bedde, þe bor3watz al vp,
835Alle þat weppen my3t welde, þe wakker & þe stronger,
836To vmbely3e Lothez hous þe ledez to take.
837In grete flokkez of folk þay fallen to his 3atez;
838As a scowte-wach scarred so þe asscry rysed;
839With kene clobbez of þat clos þay clatz on þe wowez,
840& wyth a schrylle scarp schout þay schewe þyse worde[z]:
841'If þou louyez þy lyf, Loth, in þyse wones,
8423ete vus out þose 3ong men þat 3ore-whyle here entred,
843Þat we may lere hym of lof, as oure lyst biddez,
844As is þe asyse of Sodomas to seggez þat passen.'
845Whatt! þay sputen & speken of so spitous fylþe,
846What! þay 3e3ed & 3olped of 3estande sor3e,
847Þat 3et þe wynd & þe weder & þe worlde stynkes
848Of þe brych þat vpbraydez þose broþelych wordez.
849Þe godman glyfte with þat glam & gloped for noyse;
850So scharpe schame to hym schot, he schrank at þe hert.
851For he knew þe costoum þat kyþed þose wrechez,
852He doted neuer for no doel so depe in his mynde.
853'Allas!' sayd hym þenne Loth, & ly3tly he rysez,
854& bowez forth fro þe bench into þe brode 3ates.
855What! he wonded no woþe of wekked knauez,
856Þat he ne passed þe port þe p[er]il to abide.
857He went forthe at þe wyket & waft hit hym after,
858Þat a clyket hit cle3t clos hym byhynde.
859Þenne he meled to þo men mesurable wordez,
860For harlotez with his hendelayk he hoped to chast:
861'Oo, my frendez so fre, your fare is to strange;
862Dotz away your derf dyn & derez neuer my gestes.
863Avoy! hit is your vylaynye, 3e vylen yourseluen;
864& 3e are jolyf gentylmen, your japez ar ille
865Bot I schal kenne yow by kynde a crafte þat is better:
866I haf a tresor in my telde of tow my fayre de3ter,
867Þat ar maydenez vnmard for alle men 3ette;
868In Sodamas, þa3I hit say, non semloker burdes;
869Hit arn ronk, hit arn rype, & redy to manne;
870To samen wyth þo semly þe solace is better.
871I schal biteche yow þo two þat tayt arn & quoynt,
872& laykez wyth hem as yow lyst, & letez my gestes one.'
873Þenne þe rebaudez so ronk rerd such a noyse
874Þat a3ly hurled in his erez her harlotez speche:
875'Wost þou not wel þat þou wonez here a wy3e strange,
876An outcomlyng, a carle? We kylle of þyn heued!
877Who joyned þe be jostyse oure japez to blame,
878Þat com a boy to þis bor3, þa3þou be burne ryche?'
879Þus þay þrobled & þrong & þrwe vmbe his erez,
880& distresed hym wonder strayt with strenkþe in þe prece,
881Bot þat þe 3onge men, so 3epe, 3ornen þeroute,
882Wapped vpon þe wyket & wonnen hem tylle,
883& by þe hondez hym hent & horyed hym withinne,
884& steken þe 3ates ston-harde wyth stalworth barrez.
885Þay blwe a boffet inblande þat banned peple,
886Þat þay blustered, as blynde as Bayard watz euer;
887Þay lest of Lotez logging any lysoun to fynde,
888Bot nyteled þer alle þe ny3t for no3t at þe last.
889Þenne vch tolke ty3t hem, þat hade of tayt fayled,
890& vchon roþeled to þe rest þat he reche mo3t;
891Bot þay wern wakned al wrank þat þer in won lenged,
892Of on þe vglokest vnhap þat euer on erd suffred.
893Ruddon of þe day-rawe ros vpon v3ten,
894When merk of þe mydny3t mo3t no more last.
895Ful erly þose aungelez þis haþel þay ruþen,
896& glopnedly on Godez halue gart hym vpryse;
897Fast þe freke ferkez vp ful ferd at his hert;
898Þay comaunded hym cof to cach þat he hade,
899'Wyth þy wyf & þy wy3ez & þy wlonc de3tters,
900For we laþe þe, sir Loth, þat þou þy lyf haue.
901Cayre tid of þis kythe er combred þou worþe,
902With alle þi here vpon haste, tyl þou a hil fynde;
903Foundez faste on your fete; bifore your face lokes,
904Bot bes neuer so bolde to blusch yow bihynde,
905& loke 3e stemme no stepe, bot strechez on faste;
906Til 3e reche to a reset, rest 3e neuer.
907For we schal tyne þis toun & trayþely disstrye,
908Wyth alle þise wy3ez so wykke wy3tly devoyde,
909& alle þe londe with þise ledez we losen at onez;
910Sodomas schal ful sodenly synk into grounde,
911& þe grounde of Gomorre gorde into helle,
912& vche a koste of þis kythe clater vpon hepes.'
913Þen laled Loth: 'Lorde, what is best?
914If I me fele vpon fote þat I fle mo3t,
915Hov schulde I huyde me fro H[y]m þat hatz His hate kynned
916In þe brath of His breth þat brennez alle þinkez?
917To crepe fro my Creatour & know not wheder,
918Ne wheþer His fooschip me fol3ez bifore oþer bihynde.'
919Þe freke sayde: 'No foschip oure Fader hatz þe schewed,
920Bot hi3ly heuened þi hele fro hem þat arn combred.
921Nov wale þe a wonnyng þat þe warisch my3t,
922& He schal saue hit for þy sake þat hatz vus sende hider,
923For þou art oddely þyn one out of þis fylþe,
924& als Abraham þyn eme hit at Himself asked.'
925'Lorde, loued He worþe,' quoþ Loth, 'vpon erþe!
926Þen is a cite herbisyde þat Segor hit hatte,
927Here vtter on a rounde hil hit houez hit one.
928I wolde, if His wylle wore, to þat won scape.'
929'Þenn fare forth,' quoþ þat fre, '& fyne þou neuer,
930With þose ilk þat þow wylt þat þrenge þe after,
931& ay goande on your gate, wythouten agayn-tote,
932For alle þis londe schal be lorne longe er þe sonne rise.'
933Þe wy3e wakened his wyf & his wlonk de3teres,
934& oþer two myri men þo maydenez schulde wedde;
935& þay token hit as tyt & tented hit lyttel;
936Þa3fast laþed hem Loth, þay le3en ful stylle.
937Þe aungelez hasted þise oþer & a3ly hem þratten,
938& enforsed alle fawre forth at þe 3atez:
939Þo wern Loth & his lef, his luflyche de3ter;
940Þer so3t no mo to sauement of cities aþel fyue.
941Þise aungelez hade hem by hande out at þe 3atez,
942Prechande hem þe perile, & beden hem passe fast:
943'Lest 3e be taken in þe teche of tyrauntez here,
944Loke 3e bowe now bi bot; bowez fast hence!'
945& þay kayre ne con, & kenely flowen.
946Erly, er any heuen-glem, þay to a hil comen.
947Þe grete God in His greme bygynnez on lofte
948To wakan wederez so wylde; þe wyndez He callez,
949& þay wroþely vpwafte & wrastled togeder,
950Fro fawre half of þe folde flytande loude.
951Clowdez clustered bytwene kesten vp torres,
952Þat þe þik þunder-þrast þirled hem ofte.
953Þe rayn rueled adoun, ridlande þikke
954Of felle flaunkes of fyr & flakes of soufre,
955Al in smolderande smoke smachande ful ille,
956Swe aboute Sodamas & hit sydez alle,
957Gorde to Gomorra, þat þe grounde laused,
958Abdama & Syboym, þise ceteis alle faure
959Al birolled wyth þe rayn, rostted & brenned,
960& ferly flayed þat folk þat in þose fees lenged.
961For when þat þe Helle herde þe houndez of heuen,
962He watz ferlyly fayn, vnfolded bylyue;
963Þe grete barrez of þe abyme he barst vp at onez,
964Þat alle þe regioun torof in riftes ful grete,
965& clouen alle in lyttel cloutes þe clyffez aywhere,
966As lauce leuez of þe boke þat lepes in twynne.
967Þe brethe of þe brynston bi þat hit blende were,
968Al þo citees & her sydes sunkken to helle.
969Rydelles wern þo grete rowtes of renkkes withinne,
970When þay wern war of þe wrake þat no wy3e achaped;
971Such a 3omerly 3arm of 3ellyng þer rysed,
972Þerof clatered þe cloudes, þat Kryst my3t haf rawþe.
973Þe segge herde þat soun to Segor þat 3ede,
974& þe wenches hym wyth þat by þe way fol3ed;
975Ferly ferde watz her flesch þat flowen ay ilyche,
976Trynande ay a hy3e trot, þat torne neuer dorsten.
977Loth & þo luly-whit, his lefly two de3ter,
978Ay fol3ed here face, bifore her boþe y3en;
979Bot þe balleful burde, þat neuer bode keped,
980Blusched byhynden her bak þat bale for to herkken.
981Hit watz lusty Lothes wyf þat ouer he[r] lyfte schulder
982Ones ho bluschet to þe bur3e, bot bod ho no lenger
983Þat ho nas stadde a stiffe ston, a stalworth image,
984Al so salt as ani se, & so ho 3et standez.
985Þay slypped bi & sy3e hir not þat wern hir samen-feres,
986Tyl þay in Segor wern sette, & sayned our Lorde;
987Wyth ly3t louez vplyfte þay loued Hym swyþe,
988Þat so His seruauntes wolde see & saue of such woþe.
989Al watz dampped & don & drowned by þenne;
990Þe ledez of þat lyttel toun wern lopen out for drede
991Into þat malscrande mere, marred bylyue,
992Þat no3t saued watz bot Segor, þat sat on a lawe.
993Þe þre ledez þerin, Loth & his de3ter;
994For his make watz myst, þat on þe mount lenged
995In a stonen statue þat salt sauor habbes,
996For two fautes þat þe fol watz founde in mistrauþe:
997On, ho serued at þe soper salt bifore Dry3tyn,
998& syþen, ho blusched hir bihynde, þa3hir forboden were;
999For on ho standes a ston, & salt for þat oþer,
1000& alle lyst on hir lik þat arn on launde bestes.
1001Abraham ful erly watz vp on þe morne,
1002Þat alle na3t much niye hade no mon in his hert,
1003Al in longing for Loth leyen in a wache;
1004Þer he lafte hade oure Lorde he is on lofte wonnen;
1005He sende toward Sodomas þe sy3t of his y3en,
1006Þat euer hade ben an erde of erþe þe swettest,
1007As aparaunt to paradis, þat plantted þe Dry3tyn;
1008Nov is hit plunged in a pit like of pich fylled.
1009Suche a roþun of a reche ros fro þe blake,
1010Askez vpe in þe arye & vsellez þer flowen,
1011As a fornes ful of flot þat vpon fyr boyles
1012When bry3t brennande brondez ar bet þeranvnder.
1013Þis watz a uengaunce violent þat voyded þise places,
1014Þat foundered hatz so fayr a folk & þe folde sonkken.
1015Þer þe fyue citees wern set nov is a see called,
1016Þat ay is drouy & dym, & ded in hit kynde,
1017Blo, blubrande, & blak, vnblyþe to ne3e;
1018As a stynkande stanc þat stryed synne,
1019Þat euer of synne & of smach smart is to fele.
1020Forþy þe derk Dede See hit is demed euermore,
1021For hit dedez of deþe duren þere 3et;
1022For hit is brod & boþemlez, & bitter as þe galle,
1023& no3t may lenge in þat lake þat any lyf berez,
1024& alle þe costez of kynde hit combrez vchone.
1025For lay þeron a lump of led, & hit on loft fletez,
1026& folde þeron a ly3t fyþer, & hit to founs synkkez;
1027& þer water may walter to wete any erþe
1028Schal neuer grene þeron growe, gresse ne wod nawþer.
1029If any schalke to be schent wer schowued þerinne,
1030Þa3he bode in þat boþem broþely a monyth,
1031He most ay lyue in þat lo3e in losyng euermore,
1032& neuer dry3e no dethe to dayes of ende.
1033& as hit is corsed of kynde & hit coostez als,
1034Þe clay þat clenges þerby arn corsyes strong,
1035As alum & alkaran, þat angre arn boþe,
1036Soufre sour & saundyuer, & oþer such mony;
1037& þer waltez of þat water in waxlokes grete
1038Þe spuniande aspaltoun þat spyserez sellen;
1039& suche is alle þe soyle by þat se halues,
1040Þat fel fretes þe flesch & festred bones.
1041& þer ar tres by þat terne of traytoures,
1042& þay borgounez & beres blomez ful fayre,
1043& þe fayrest fryt þat may on folde growe,
1044As orenge & oþer fryt & apple-garnade,
1045Also red & so ripe & rychely hwed
1046As any dom my3t deuice of dayntyez oute;
1047Bot quen hit is brused oþer broken, oþer byten in twynne,
1048No worldez goud hit wythinne, bot wyndowande askes.
1049Alle þyse ar teches & tokenes to trow vpon 3et,
1050& wittnesse of þat wykked werk, & þe wrake after
1051Þat oure Fader forferde for fylþe of þose ledes.
1052Þenne vch wy3e may wel wyt þat He þe wlonk louies;
1053& if He louyes clene layk þat is oure Lorde ryche,
1054& to be couþe in His courte þou coueytes þenne,
1055To se þat Semly in sete & His swete face,
1056Clerrer counseyl, counseyl con I non, bot þat þou clene worþe.
1057For Clopyngnel in þe compas of his clene Rose,
1058Þer he expounez a speche to hym þat spede wolde
1059Of a lady to be loued: 'Loke to hir sone
1060Of wich beryng þat ho be, & wych ho best louyes,
1061& be ry3t such in vch a bor3e of body & of dedes,
1062& fol3þe fet of þat fere þat þou fre haldes;
1063& if þou wyrkkes on þis wyse, þa3ho wyk were,
1064Hir schal lyke þat layk þat lyknes hir tylle.'
1065If þou wyl dele drwrye wyth Dry3tyn þenne,
1066& lelly louy þy Lorde & His leef worþe,
1067Þenne confourme þe to Kryst, & þe clene make,
1068Þat euer is polyced als playn as þe perle seluen.
1069For, loke, fro fyrst þat He ly3t withinne þe lel mayden,
1070By how comly a kest He watz clos þere,
1071When venkkyst watz no vergynyte, ne vyolence maked,
1072Bot much clener watz hir corse, God kynned þerinne.
1073& efte when He borne watz in Beþelen þe ryche,
1074In wych puryte þay departed; þa3þay pouer were,
1075Watz neuer so blysful a bour as watz a bos þenne,
1076Ne no schroude hous so schene as a schepon þare,
1077Ne non so glad vnder God as ho þat grone schulde.
1078For þer watz seknesse al sounde þat sarrest is halden,
1079& þer watz rose reflayr where rote hatz ben euer,
1080& þer watz solace & songe wher sor3hatz ay cryed;
1081For aungelles with instrumentes of organes & pypes,
1082& rial ryngande rotes & þe reken fyþel,
1083& alle hende þat honestly mo3t an hert glade,
1084Aboutte my lady watz lent quen ho delyuer were.
1085Þenne watz her blyþe Barne burnyst so clene
1086Þat boþe þe ox & þe asse Hym hered at ones;
1087Þay knewe Hym by His clannes for Kyng of nature,
1088For non so clene of such a clos com neuer er þenne.
1089& 3if clanly He þenne com, ful cortays þerafter,
1090Þat alle þat longed to luþer ful lodly He hated,
1091By nobleye of His norture He nolde neuer towche
1092O3t þat watz vngoderly oþer ordure watz inne.
10933et comen lodly to þat Lede, as lazares monye,
1094Summe lepre, summe lome, & lomerande blynde,
1095Poysened, & parlatyk, & pyned in fyres,
1096Drye folk & ydropike, & dede at þe laste,
1097Alle called on þat Cortayse & claymed His grace.
1098He heled hem wyth hynde speche of þat þay ask after,
1099For whatso He towched also tyd tourned to hele,
1100Wel clanner þen any crafte cowþe devyse.
1101So clene watz His hondelyng vche ordure hit schonied,
1102& þe gropyng so goud of God & Man boþe,
1103Þat for fetys of His fyngeres fonded He neuer
1104Nauþer to cout ne to kerue with knyf ne wyth egge;
1105Forþy brek He þe bred blades wythouten,
1106For hit ferde freloker in fete in His fayre honde,
1107Displayed more pryuyly when He hit part schulde,
1108Þenne alle þe toles of Tolowse mo3t ty3t hit to kerue.
1109Þus is He kyryous & clene þat þou His cort askes:
1110Hov schulde þou com to His kyth bot if þou clene were?
1111Nov ar we sore & synful & sovly vchone;
1112How schulde we se, þen may we say, þat Syre vpon throne?
11133is, þat Mayster is mercyable, þa3þou be man fenny,
1114& al tomarred in myre whyle þou on molde lyuyes;
1115Þou may schyne þur3schryfte, þa3þou haf schome serued,
1116& pure þe with penaunce tyl þou a perle worþe.
1117Perle praysed is prys þer perre is schewed,
1118Þa3hym not derrest be demed to dele for penies.
1119Quat may þe cause be called bot for hir clene hwes,
1120Þat wynnes worschyp abof alle whyte stones?
1121For ho schynes so schyr þat is of schap rounde,
1122Wythouten faut oþer fylþe 3if ho fyn were,
1123& wax euer in þe worlde in weryng so olde,
11243et þe perle payres not whyle ho in pyese lasttes;
1125& if hit cheue þe chaunce vncheryst ho worþe,
1126Þat ho blyndes of ble in bour þer ho lygges,
1127Nobot wasch hir wyth wourchyp in wyn as ho askes,
1128Ho by kynde schal becom clerer þen are.
1129So if folk be defowled by vnfre chaunce,
1130Þat he be sulped in sawle, seche to schryfte,
1131& he may polyce hym at þe prest, by penaunce taken,
1132Wel bry3ter þen þe beryl oþer browden perles.
1133Bot war þe wel, if þou be waschen wyth water of schryfte,
1134& polysed als playn as parchmen schauen,
1135Sulp no more þenne in synne þy saule þerafter,
1136For þenne þou Dry3tyn dyspleses with dedes ful sore,
1137& entyses Hym to tene more trayþly þen euer,
1138& wel hatter to hate þen hade þou no waschen.
1139For when a sawele is sa3tled & sakred to Dry3tyn,
1140He holly haldes hit His & haue hit He wolde;
1141Þenne efte lastes hit likkes, He loses hit ille,
1142As hit were rafte wyth vnry3t & robbed wyth þewes.
1143War þe þenne for þe wrake: His wrath is achaufed
1144For þat þat ones watz His schulde efte be vnclene,
1145Þa3hit be bot a bassyn, a bolle oþer a scole,
1146A dysche oþer a dobler, þat Dry3tyn onez serued.
1147To defowle hit euer vpon folde fast He forbedes,
1148So is He scoymus of scaþe þat scylful is euer.
1149& þat watz bared in Babyloyn in Baltazar tyme,
1150Hov harde vnhap þer hym hent & hastyly sone,
1151For he þe vesselles avyled þat vayled in þe temple
1152In seruyse of þe Souerayn sumtyme byfore.
11533if 3e wolde ty3t me a tom telle hit I wolde,
1154Hov charged more watz his chaunce þat hem cherych nolde
1155Þen his fader forloyne þat feched hem wyth strenþe,
1156& robbed þe relygioun of relykes alle.
1157Danyel in his dialokez devysed sumtyme,
1158As 3et is proued expresse in his profecies,
1159Hov þe gentryse of Juise & Jherusalem þe ryche
1160Watz disstryed wyth distres, & drawen to þe erþe.
1161For þat folke in her fayth watz founden vntrwe,
1162Þat haden hy3t þe hy3e God to halde of Hym euer;
1163& He hem hal3ed for His & help at her nede
1164In mukel meschefes mony, þat meruayl [is] to here.
1165& þay forloyne her fayth & fol3ed oþer goddes,
1166& þat wakned His wrath & wrast hit so hy3e
1167Þat He fylsened þe faythful in þe falce lawe
1168To forfare þe falce in þe faythe trwe.
1169Hit watz sen in þat syþe þat Zedethyas rengned
1170In Juda, þat justised þe Juyne kynges.
1171He sete on Salamones solie on solemne wyse,
1172Bot of leaute he watz lat to his Lorde hende:
1173He vsed abominaciones of idolatrye,
1174& lette ly3t bi þe lawe þat he watz lege tylle.
1175Forþi oure Fader vpon folde a foman hym wakned:
1176Nabigodenozar nuyed hym swyþe.
1177He pursued into Palastyn with proude men mony,
1178& þer he wast wyth with werre þe wones of þorpes;
1179He her3ed vp alle Israel & hent of þe beste,
1180& þe gentylest of Judee in Jerusalem biseged,
1181Vmbewalt alle þe walles wyth wy3es ful stronge,
1182At vche a dor a do3ty duk, & dutte hem wythinne;
1183For þe bor3watz so bygge baytayled alofte,
1184& stoffed wythinne with stout men to stalle hem þeroute.
1185Þenne watz þe sege sette þe cete aboute,
1186Skete skarmoch skelt, much skaþe lached;
1187At vch brugge a berfray on basteles wyse
1188Þat seuen syþe vch a day asayled þe 3ates;
1189Trwe tulkkes in toures teueled wythinne,
1190In bigge brutage of borde bulde on þe walles;
1191Þay fe3t & þay fende of, & fylter togeder
1192Til two 3er ouertorned, 3et tok þay hit neuer.
1193At þe laste, vpon longe, þo ledes wythinne,
1194Faste fayled hem þe fode, enfannined monie;
1195Þe hote hunger wythinne hert hem wel sarre
1196Þen any dunt of þat douthe þat dowelled þeroute.
1197Þenne wern þo rowtes redles in þo ryche wones;
1198Fro þat mete watz myst, megre þay wexen,
1199& þay stoken so strayt þat þay ne stray my3t
1200A fote fro þat forselet to forray no goudes.
1201Þenne þe kyng of þe kyth a counsayl hym takes
1202Wyth þe best of his burnes, a blench for to make;
1203Þay stel out on a stylle ny3t er any steuen rysed,
1204& harde hurles þur3þe oste er enmies hit wyste.
1205Bot er þay atwappe ne mo3t þe wach wythoute
1206Hi3e skelt watz þe askry þe skewes anvnder.
1207Loude alarom vpon launde lulted watz þenne;
1208Ryche, ruþed of her rest, ran to here wedes,
1209Hard hattes þay hent & on hors lepes;
1210Cler claryoun crak cryed on lofte.
1211By þat watz alle on a hepe hurlande swyþee,
1212Fol3ande þat oþer flote, & fonde hem bilyue,
1213Ouertok hem as tyd, tult hem of sadeles,
1214Tyl vche prynce hade his per put to þe grounde.
1215& þer watz þe kyng ka3t wyth Calde prynces,
1216& alle hise gentyle forjusted on Jerico playnes,
1217& presented wern as presoneres to þe prynce rychest,
1218Nabigodenozar, noble in his chayer;
1219& he þe faynest freke þat he his fo hade,
1220& speke spitously hem to, & spylt þerafter.
1221Þe kynges sunnes in his sy3t he slow euervch one,
1222& holkked out his auen y3en heterly boþe,
1223& bede þe burne to be bro3t to Babyloyn þe ryche,
1224& þere in dongoun be don to dre3e þer his wyrdes.
1225Now se, so þe Soueray[n] set hatz His wrake:
1226Nas hit not for Nabugo ne his noble nauþer
1227Þat oþer depryued watz of pryde with paynes stronge,
1228Bot for his beryng so badde agayn his blyþe Lorde;
1229For hade þe Fader ben his frende, þat hym bifore keped,
1230Ne neuer trespast to Him in teche of mysseleue,
1231To colde wer alle Calde & kythes of Ynde,
12323et take Torkye hem wyth, her tene hade ben little.
12333et nolde neuer Nabugo þis ilke note leue
1234Er he hade tuyred þis toun & torne hit to grounde.
1235He joyned vnto Jerusalem a gentyle duc þenne,
1236His name watz Nabuzardan, to noye þe Jues;
1237He watz mayster of his men & my3ty himseluen,
1238Þe chef of his cheualrye his chekkes to make;
1239He brek þe bareres as bylyue, & þe bur3after,
1240& enteres in ful ernestly, in yre of his hert.
1241What! þe maysterry watz mene: þe men wern away,
1242Þe best bo3ed wyth þe burne þat þe bor33emed,
1243& þo þat byden wer [s]o biten with þe bale hunger
1244Þat on wyf hade ben worþe þe welgest fourre.
1245Nabizardan no3t forþy nolde not spare,
1246Bot bede al to þe bronde vnder bare egge;
1247Þay slowen of swettest semlych burdes,
1248Baþed barnes in blod & her brayn spylled;
1249Prestes & prelates þay presed to deþe,
1250Wyues & wenches her wombes tocoruen,
1251Þat her boweles outborst aboute þe diches,
1252& al watz carfully kylde þat þay cach my3t.
1253And alle swypped, vnswol3ed of þe sworde kene,
1254Þay wer cagged & ka3t on capeles al bare,
1255Festned fettres to her fete vnder fole wombes,
1256& broþely bro3t to Babyloyn þer bale to suffer,
1257To sytte in seruage & syte, þat sumtyme wer gentyle.
1258Now ar chaunged to chorles & charged wyth werkkes,
1259Boþe to cayre at þe kart & þe kuy mylke,
1260Þat sumtyme sete in her sale syres & burdes.
1261& 3et Nabuzardan nyl neuer stynt
1262Er he to þe tempple tee wyth his tulkkes alle;
1263Betes on þe barers, brestes vp þe 3ates,
1264Slouen alle at a slyp þat serued þerinne,
1265Pulden prestes bi þe polle & plat of her hedes,
1266Di3ten dekenes to deþe, dungen doun clerkkes,
1267& alle þe maydenes of þe munster ma3tyly hokyllen
1268Wyth þe swayf of þe sworde þat swol3ed hem alle.
1269Þenne ran þay to þe relykes as robbors wylde,
1270& pyled alle þe apparement þat pented to þe kyrke,
1271Þe pure pyleres of bras pourtrayd in golde,
1272& þe chef chaundeler charged with þe ly3t,
1273Þat ber þe lamp vpon lofte þat lemed euermore
sancta sanctorumþer selcouth watz ofte.
1275Þay ca3t away þat condelstik, & þe crowne als
1276Þat þe auter hade vpon, of aþel golde ryche,
1277Þe gredirne & þe goblotes garnyst of syluer,
1278Þe bases of þe bry3t postes & bassynes so schyre,
1279Dere disches of golde & dubleres fayre,
1280Þe vyoles & þe vesselment of vertuous stones.
1281Now hatz Nabuzardan nomen alle þyse noble þynges,
1282& pyled þat precious place & pakked þose godes;
1283Þe golde of þe gazafylace to swyþe gret noumbre,
1284Wyth alle þe vrnmentes of þat hous, he hamppred togeder;
1285Alle he spoyled spitously in a sped whyle
1286Þat Salomon so mony a sadde 3er so3t to make.
1287Wyth alle þe coyntyse þat he cowþe clene to wyrke,
1288Deuised he þe vesselment, þe vestures clene;
1289Wyth sly3t of his ciences, his Souerayn to loue,
1290Þe hous & þe anournementes he hy3tled togedere.
1291Now hatz Nabuzardan numnend hit al samen,
1292& syþen bet doun þe bur3& brend hit in askes.
1293Þenne wyth legiounes of ledes ouer londes he rydes,
1294Her3ez of Israel þe hyrne aboute;
1295Wyth charged chariotes þe cheftayn he fynde,
1296Bikennes þe catel to þe kyng, þat he ca3t hade;
1297Presented him þe prisoneres in pray þat þay token,
1298Moni a worþly wy3e whil her worlde laste,
1299Moni semly syre soun, & swyþe rych maydenes,
1300Þe pruddest of þe prouince, & prophetes childer,
1301As Ananie & Azarie & als Mizael,
1302& dere Daniel also, þat watz deuine noble,
1303With moni a modey moder-chylde mo þen innoghe.
1304& Nabugo_de_nozar makes much joye,
1305Nov he þe kyng hatz conquest & þe kyth wunnen,
1306& dreped alle þe do3tyest & derrest in armes,
1307& þe lederes of her lawe layd to þe grounde,
1308& þe pryce of þe profetie prisoners maked.
1309Bot þe joy of þe juelrye so gentyle & ryche,
1310When hit watz schewed hym so schene, scharp watz his wonder;
1311Of such vessel auayed, þat vayled so huge,
1312Neuer 3et nas Nabugo_de_nozar er þenne.
1313He sesed hem with solemnete, þe Souerayn he praysed
1314Þat watz aþel ouer alle, Israel Dry3tyn:
1315Such god, such gomes, such gay vesselles,
1316Comen neuer out of kyth to Caldee reames.
1317He trussed hem in his tresorye in a tryed place,
1318Rekenly, wyth reuerens, as he ry3t hade;
1319& þer he wro3t as þe wyse, as 3e may wyt hereafter,
1320For hade he let of hem ly3t, hym mo3t haf lumpen worse.
1321Þat ryche in gret rialte rengned his lyue,
1322As conquerour of vche a cost he cayser watz hatte,
1323Emperour of alle þe erþe & also þe saudan,
1324& als þe god of þe grounde watz grauen his name.
1325& al þur3dome of Daniel, fro he deuised hade
1326Þat alle goudes com of God, & gef hit hym bi samples,
1327Þat he ful clanly bicnv his carp bi þe laste,
1328& ofte hit mekned his mynde, his maysterful werkkes.
1329Bot al drawes to dy3e with doel vp[o]n ende:
1330Bi a haþel neuer so hy3e, he heldes to grounde.
1331& so Nabugo_de_nozar, as he nedes moste,
1332For alle his empire so hi3e in erþe is he grauen.
1333Bot þenn þe bolde Baltazar, þat watz his barn aldest,
1334He watz stalled in his stud, & stabled þe rengne
1335In þe bur3of Babiloyne, þe biggest he trawed,
1336Þat nauþer in heuen ne [on] erþe hade no pere;
1337For he bigan in alle þe glori þat hym þe gome lafte,
1338Nabugo_de_nozar, þat watz his noble fader.
1339So kene a kyng in Caldee com neu[er] er þenne;
1340Bot honoured he not Hym þat in heuen wonies.
1341Bot fals fantummes of fendes, formed with handes,
1342Wyth tool out of harde tre, & telded on lofte,
1343& of stokkes & stones, he stoute goddes callz,
1344When þay ar gilde al with golde & gered wyth syluer;
1345& þere he kneles & callez & clepes after help.
1346& þay reden him ry3t rewarde he hem hetes,
1347& if þay gruchen him his grace, to gremen his hert,
1348He cleches to a gret klubbe & knokkes hem to peces.
1349Þus in pryde & olipraunce his empyre he haldes,
1350In lust & in lecherye & loþelych werkkes,
1351& hade a wyf for to welde, a worþelych quene,
1352& mony a lemman, neuer þe later, þat ladis wer called.
1353In þe clernes of his concubines & curious wedez,
1354In notyng of nwe metes & of nice gettes,
1355Al watz þe mynde of þat man on misschapen þinges,
1356Til þe Lorde of þe lyfte liste hit abate.
1357Thenne þis bolde Baltazar biþenkkes hym ones
1358To vouche on avayment of his vayne g[l]orie;
1359Hit is not innoghe to þe nice al no3ty þink vse
1360Bot if alle þe worlde wyt his wykked dedes.
1361Baltazar þur3Babiloyn his banne gart crye,
1362& þur3þe cuntre of Caldee his callyng con spryng,
1363Þat alle þe grete vpon grounde schulde geder hem samen
1364& assemble at a set day at þe saudans fest.
1365Such a mangerie to make þe man watz auised,
1366Þat vche a kythyn kyng schuld com þider,
1367Vche duk wyth his duthe, & oþer dere lordes,
1368Schulde com to his court to kyþe hym for lege,
1369& to reche hym reuerens, & his reuel herkken,
1370To loke on his lemanes & ladis hem calle.
1371To rose hym in his rialty rych men so3tten,
1372& mony a baroun ful bolde, to Babyloyn þe noble.
1373Þer bowed toward Babiloyn burnes so mony,
1374Kynges, cayseres ful kene, to þe court wonnen,
1375Mony ludisch lordes þat ladies bro3ten,
1376Þat to neuen þe noumbre to much nye were.
1377For þe bour3watz so brod & so bigge alce,
1378Stalled in þe fayrest stud þe sterrez anvnder,
1379Prudly on a plat playn, plek alþer-fayrest,
1380Vmbesweyed on vch a syde with seuen grete wateres,
1381With a wonder wro3t walle wruxeled ful hi3e,
1382With koynt carneles aboue, coruen ful clene,
1383Troched toures bitwene, twenty spere lenþe,
1384& þiker þrowen vmbeþour with ouerþwert palle.
1385Þe place þat plyed þe pursaunt wythinne
1386Watz longe & ful large & euer ilych sware,
1387& vch a syde vpon soyle helde seuen myle,
1388& þe saudans sete sette in þe myddes.
1389Þat watz a palayce of pryde passande alle oþer,
1390Boþe of werk & of wunder, & walle[d] al aboute;
1391He3e houses withinne, þe halle to hit med,
1392So brod bilde in a bay þat blonkkes my3t renne.
1393When þe terme of þe tyde watz towched of þe feste,
1394Dere dro3en þerto & vpon des metten,
1395& Baltazar vpon bench was busked to sete,
1396Stepe stayred stones of his stoute throne.
1397Þenne watz alle þe halle flor hiled with kny3tes,
1398& barounes at þe sidebordes bounet aywhere,
1399For non watz dressed vpon dece bot þe dere seluen,
1400& his clere concubynes in cloþes ful bry3t.
1401When alle segges were þet set þen seruyse bygynnes,
1402Sturnen trumpen strake steuen in halle,
1403Aywhere by þe wowes wrasten krakkes,
1404& brode baneres þerbi blusnande of gold,
1405Burnes berande þe bredes vpon brode skeles
1406Þat were of sylueren sy3t, & served þerwyth,
1407Lyfte logges þerouer & on lofte coruen,
1408Pared out of paper & poynted of golde,
1409Broþe baboynes abof, besttes anvnder,
1410Foles in foler flakerande bitwene,
1411& al in asure & ynde enaumayld ryche;
1412& al on blonkken bak bere hit on honde.
1413& ay þe nakeryn noyse, notes of pipes,
1414Tymbres & tabornes, tulket among,
1415Symbales & sonetez sware þe noyse,
1416& bougounz busch batered so þikke.
1417So watz serued fele syþe þe sale alle aboute,
1418With solace at þe sere course, bifore þe self lorde,
1419Þer þe lede & alle his loue lenged at þe table:
1420So faste þay we3ed to him wyne hit warmed his hert
1421& breyþed vppe into his brayn & blemyst his mynde,
1422& al waykned his wyt, & welne3e he foles;
1423For he waytez on wyde, his wenches he byholdes,
1424& his bolde baronage aboute bi þe wo3es.
1425Þenne a dotage ful depe drof to his hert,
1426& a caytif counsayl he ca3t bi hymseluen;
1427Maynly his marschal þe mayster vpon calles,
1428& comaundes hym cofly coferes to lauce,
1429& fech forþ þe vessel þat his fader bro3t,
1430Nabugo_de_nozar, noble in his strenþe,
1431Conquered with his kny3tes & of kyrk rafte
1432In Jude, in Jerusalem, in gentyle wyse:
1433'Bryng hem now to my borde, of beuerage hem fylles,
1434Let þise ladyes of hem lape, I luf hem in hert;
1435Þat schal I cortaysly kyþe, & þay schin knawe sone,
1436Þer is no bounte in burne lyk Baltazar þewes.'
1437Þenne towched to þe tresour þis tale watz sone,
1438& he with keyes vncloses kystes ful mony;
1439Mony burþen ful bry3t watz bro3t into halle,
1440& couered mony a cupborde with cloþes ful quite.
1441Þe jueles out of Jerusalem with gemmes ful bry3t
1442Bi þe syde of þe sale were semely arayed;
1443Þe aþel auter of brasse watz hade into place,
1444Þe gay coroun of golde gered on lofte.
1445Þat hade ben blessed bifore wyth bischopes hondes
1446& wyth besten blod busily anoynted,
1447In þe solempne sacrefyce þat goud sauor hade
1448Bifore þe Lorde of þe lyfte in louyng Hymseluen,
1449Now is sette, for to serue Satanas þe blake,
1450Bifore þe bolde Baltazar wyth bost & wyth pryde;
1451Houen vpon þis auter watz aþel vessel
1452Þat wyth [s]o curious a crafte coruen watz wyly.
1453Salamon sete him s[eue]n 3ere & a syþe more,
1454With alle þe syence þat hym sende þe souerayn Lorde,
1455For to compas & kest to haf hem clene wro3t.
1456For þer wer bassynes ful bry3t of brende golde clere,
1457Enaumaylde with azer, & eweres of sute,
1458Couered cowpes foul clene, as casteles arayed,
1459Enbaned vnder batelment with bantelles quoynt,
1460& fyled out of fygures of ferlyle schappes.
1461Þe coperounes of þe canacles þat on þe cuppe reres
1462Wer fetysely formed out in fylyoles longe;
1463Pinacles py3t þer apert þat profert bitwene,
1464& al bolled abof with braunches & leues,
1465Pyes & papejayes purtrayed withinne,
1466As þay prudly hade piked of pomgarnades;
1467For alle þe blomes of þe bo3es wer blyknande perles,
1468& alle þe fruyt in þo formes of flaumbeande gemmes,
1469Ande safyres, & sardiners, & semely topace,
1470Alabaundarynes, & amaraunz, & amaffised stones,
1471Casydoynes, & crysolytes, & clere rubies,
1472Penitotes, & pynkardines, ay perles bitwene;
1473So trayled & tryfled atrauerce wer alle,
1474Bi vche bekyrande þe bolde, þe brurdes al vmbe;
1475Þe gobelotes of golde grauen aboute,
1476& fyoles fretted with flores & fleez of golde;
1477Vpon þat avter watz al aliche dresset.
1478Þe candelstik bi a cost watz cayred þider sone,
1479Vpon þe pyleres apyked, þat praysed hit mony,
1480Vpon hit basez of brasse þat ber vp þe werkes,
1481Þe bo3es bry3t þerabof, brayden of golde,
1482Braunches bredande þeron, & bryddes þer seten
1483Of mony kyndes, of fele kyn hues,
1484As þay with wynge vpon wynde hade waged her fyþeres.
1485Inmong þe leues of þe lampes wer grayþed,
1486& oþer louflych ly3t þat lemed ful fayre,
1487As mony morteres of wax merkked withoute
1488With mony a borlych best al of brende golde.
1489Hit watz not wonte in þat wone to wast no serges,
1490Bot in temple of þe trauþe trwly to stonde
sancta sanctorum, soþefast Dry3tyn
1492Expouned His speche spiritually to special prophetes.
1493Leue þou wel þat þe Lorde þat þe lyfte 3emes
1494Displesed much at þat play in þat plyt stronge,
1495Þat His jueles so gent wyth jaueles wer fouled,
1496Þat presyous in His presens wer proued sumwhyle.
1497Soberly in His sacrafyce summe wer anoynted,
1498Þur3þe somones of Himselfe þat syttes so hy3e;
1499Now a boster on benche bibbes þerof
1500Tyl he be dronkken as þe deuel, & dotes þer he syttes.
1501So þe Worcher of þis worlde wlates þerwyth
1502Þat in þe poynt of her play He poruayes a mynde;
1503Bot er harme hem He wolde in haste of His yre,
1504He wayned hem a warnyng þat wonder hem þo3t.
1505Nov is alle þis guere geten glotounes to serue,
1506Stad in a ryche stal, & stared ful bry3t[e];
1507Baltazar in a brayd: 'Bede vus þerof!
1508We3e wyn in þis won! Wassayl!' he cryes.
1509Swyfte swaynes ful swyþe swepen þertylle,
1510Kyppe kowpes in honde kyngez to serue;
1511In bry3t bollez ful bayn birlen þise oþer,
1512& vche mon for his mayster machches alone.
1513Þer watz rynging, on ry3t, of ryche metalles,
1514Quen renkkes in þat ryche rok rennen hit to cache;
1515Clatering of couaclez þat kesten þo burdes
1516As sonet out of sau[t]eray songe als myry.
1517Þen þe dotel on dece drank þat he my3t;
1518& þenne arn dressed dukez & prynces,
1519Concubines & kny3tes, bi cause of þat merthe;
1520As vchon hade hym inhelde he haled of þe cuppe.
1521So long likked þise lordes þise lykores swete,
1522& gloryed on her falce goddes, & her grace calles,
1523Þat were of stokkes & stones, stille euermore,
1524Neuer steuen hem astel, so stoken [is] hor tonge.
1525Alle þe goude golden goddes þe gaulez 3et neuenen,
1526Belfagor & Belyal, & Belssabub als,
1527Heyred hem as hy3ly as heuen wer þayres,
1528Bot Hym þat alle goudes giues, þat God þay for3eten.
1529For þer a ferly bifel þat fele folk se3en;
1530Fryst knew hit þe kyng & alle þe cort after:
1531In þe palays pryncipale, vpon þe playn wowe,
1532In contrary of þe candelstik, þat clerest hit schyned,
1533Þer apered a paume, with poyntel in fyngres,
1534Þat watz grysly & gret, & grymly he wrytes;
1535Non oþer forme bot a fust faylande þe wryste
1536Pared on þe parget, purtrayed lettres.
1537When þat bolde Baltazar blusched to þat neue,
1538Such a dasande drede dusched to his hert
1539Þat al falewed his face & fayled þe chere;
1540Þe stronge strok of þe stonde strayned his joyntes,
1541His cnes cachches toclose, & cluchches his hommes,
1542& he with plattyng his paumes displayes his ler[e]s,
1543& romyes as a rad ryth þat rorez for drede,
1544Ay biholdand þe honde til hit hade al grauen
1545& rasped on þe ro3wo3e runisch sauez.
1546When hit þe scrypture hade scraped wyth a strof penne,
1547As a coltour in clay cerues þo for3es,
1548Þenne hit vanist verayly & voyded of sy3t,
1549Bt þe lettres bileued ful large vpon plaster.
1550Sone so þe kynge for his care carping my3t wynne,
1551He bede his burnes bo3to þat were bok-lered,
1552To wayte þe wryt þat hit wolde, & wyter hym to say,
1553'For al hit frayes my flesche, þe fyngres so grymme.'
1554Scoleres skelten þeratte þe skyl for to fynde,
1555Bot þer watz neuer on so wyse couþe on worde rede,
1556Ne what ledisch lore ne langage nauþer,
1557What tyþyng ne tale tokened þo dra3tes.
1558Þenne þe bolde Baltazar bred ner wode,
1559& ede þe cete to seche segges þur3out
1560Þat wer wyse of wychecrafte, & warla3es oþer
1561Þat con dele wyth demerlayk & deuine lettres.
1562'Calle hem alle to my cort, þo Calde clerkkes,
1563Vnfolde hem alle þis ferly þat is bifallen here,
1564& calle wyth a hi3e cry: "He þat þe kyng wysses,
1565In expounyng of speche þat spredes in þise lettres,
1566& make þe mater to malt my mynde wythinne,
1567Þat I may wyterly wyt what þat wryt menes,
1568He schal be gered ful gaye in gounes of porpre,
1569& a coler of cler golde clos vmbe his þrote;
1570He schal be prymate & prynce of pure clergye,
1571& of my þreuenest lordez þe þrydde he schal,
1572& of my reme þe rychest to ryde wyth myseluen,
1573Outtaken bare two, & þenne he þe þrydde."'
1574Þis cry watz vpcaste, & þer comen mony
1575Clerkes out of Caldye þat kennest wer knauen,
1576As þe sage sathrapas þat sorsory couþe,
1577Wychez & walkyries wonnen to þat sale,
1578Deuinores of demorlaykes þat dremes cowþe rede,
1579Sorsers & exorsismus & fele such clerkes;
1580& alle þat loked on þat letter as lewed þay were
1581As þay had loked in þe leþer of my lyft bote.
1582Þenne cryes þe kyng & kerues his wedes.
1583What! he corsed his clerkes & calde hem chorles;
1584To henge þe harlotes he he3ed ful ofte:
1585So watz þe wy3e wytles he wed wel ner.
1586Ho herde hym chyde to þe chambre þat watz þe chef quene.
1587When ho watz wytered bi wy3es what watz þe cause,
1588Suche a chaungande chaunce in þe chef halle,
1589Þe lady, to lauce þat los þat þe lorde hade,
1590Glydes doun by þe grece & gos to þe kyng.
1591Ho kneles on þe colde erþe & carpes to hymseluen
1592Wordes of worchyp wyth a wys speche.
1593'Kene kyng,' quoþ þe quene, 'kayser of vrþe,
1594Euer laste þy lyf in lenþe of dayes!
1595Why hatz þou rended þy robe for redles hereinne,
1596Þa3þose ledes ben lewed lettres to rede,
1597& hatz a haþel in þy holde, as I haf herde ofte,
1598Þat hatz þe gostes of God þat gyes alle soþes?
1599His sawle is ful of syence, sa3es to schawe,
1600To open vch a hide þyng of aunteres vncowþe.
1601Þat is he þat ful ofte hatz heuened þy fader
1602Of mony anger ful hote with his holy speche.
1603When Nabugo_de_nozar watz nyed in stoundes,
1604He devysed his dremes to þe dere trawþe;
1605He keuered hym with his counsayl of caytyf wyrdes;
1606Alle þat he spured hym, in space he expowned clene,
1607Þur3þe sped of þe spyryt, þat sprad hym withinne,
1608Of þe godelest goddez þat gaynes aywhere.
1609For his depe diuinite & his dere sawes,
1610Þy bolde fader Baltazar bede by his name,
1611Þat now is demed Danyel, of derne coninges,
1612Þat ca3t watz in þe captyuide in cuntre of Jues;
1613Nabuzardan hym nome, & now is he here,
1614A prophete of þat prouince & pryce of þe worlde.
1615Sende into þe cete to seche hym bylyue,
1616& wynne hym with þe worchyp to wayne þe bote;
1617& þa3þe mater be merk þat merked is 3ender,
1618He schal declar hit also as hit on clay stande.'
1619Þat gode counseyl at þe quene watz cached as swyþe;
1620Þe burne byfore Baltazar watz bro3t in a whyle.
1621When he com bifore þe kyng & clanly had halsed,
1622Baltazar vmbebrayde hym, & 'Leue sir,' he sayde,
1623'Hit is tolde me bi tulkes þat þou trwe were
1624Profete of þat prouynce þat prayed my fader,
1625Ande þat þou hatz in þy hert holy connyng,
1626Of sapyence þi sawle ful, soþes to schawe;
1627Goddes gost is þe geuen þat gyes alle þynges,
1628& þou vnhyles vch hidde þat Heuen-Kyng myntes.
1629& here is a ferly byfallen, & I fayn wolde
1630Wyt þe wytte of þe wryt þat on þe wowe clyues,
1631For alle Calde clerkes han cowwardely fayled.
1632If þou with quayntyse con quere hit, I quyte þe þy mede:
1633For if þou redes hit by ry3t & hit to resoun brynges,
1634Fyrst telle me þe tyxte of þe tede lettres,
1635& syþen þe mater of þe mode mene me þerafter,
1636& I schal halde þe þe hest þat I þe hy3t haue,
1637Apyke þe in porpre cloþe, palle alþer-fynest,
1638& þe by3e of bry3t golde abowte þyn nekke,
1639& þe þryd þryuenest þat þrynges me after,
1640Þou schal be baroun vpon benche, bede I þe no lasse.'
1641Derfly þenne Danyel deles þyse wordes:
1642'Ryche kyng of þis rengne, rede þe oure Lorde!
1643Hit is surely soth þe Souerayn of heuen
1644Fylsened euer þy fader & vpon folde cheryched,
1645Gart hym grattest to be of gouernores alle,
1646& alle þe worlde in his wylle welde as hym lykes.
1647Whoso wolde wel do, wel hym bityde,
1648& quos deth so he dezyre, he dreped als fast;
1649Whoso hym lyked to lyft, on lofte watz he sone,
1650& quoso hym lyked to lay watz lo3ed bylyue.
1651So watz noted þe note of Nabugo_de_nozar,
1652Styfly stabled þe rengne bi þe stronge Dry3tyn,
1653For of þe Hy3est he hade a hope in his hert,
1654Þat vche pouer past out of þat Prynce euen.
1655& whyle þat watz cle3t clos in his hert
1656Þere watz no mon vpon molde of my3t as hymseluen;
1657Til hit bitide on a tyme towched hym pryde
1658For his lordeschyp so large & his lyf ryche;
1659He hade so huge an insy3t to his aune dedes
1660Þat þe power of þe hy3e Prynce he purely for3etes.
1661Þenne blynnes he not of blasfemy on to blame þe Dry3tyn;
1662His my3t mete to Goddes he made with his wordes:
1663"I am god of þe grounde, to gye as me lykes.
1664As He þat hy3e is in heuen, His aungeles þat weldes.
1665If He hatz formed þe folde & folk þervpone,
1666I haf bigged Babiloyne, bur3alþer-rychest,
1667Stabled þerinne vche a ston in strenkþe of myn armes;
1668Mo3t neuer my3t bot myn make such anoþer."
1669Watz not þis ilke worde wonnen of his mowþe one
1670Er þenne þe Souerayn sa3e souned in his eres:
1671"Now Nabugo_de_nozar inno3e hatz spoken,
1672Now is alle þy pryncipalte past at ones,
1673& þou, remued fro monnes sunes, on mor most abide
1674& in wasturne walk & wyth þe wylde dowelle,
1675As best, byte on þe bent of braken & erbes,
1676With wroþe wolfes to won & wyth wylde asses."
1677Inmydde þe poynt of his pryde departed he þere
1678Fro þe soly of his solempnete; his solace he leues,
1679& carfully is outkast to contre vnknawen,
1680Fer into a fyr fryth þere frekes neuer comen.
1681His hert heldet vnhole; he hoped non oþer
1682Bot a best þat he be, a bol oþer an oxe.
1683He fares forth on alle faure, fogge watz his mete,
1684& ete ay as a horce when erbes were fallen;
1685Þus he countes hym a kow þat watz a kyng ryche,
1686Quyle seuen syþez were ouerseyed, someres I trawe.
1687By þat mony þik thy3e þry3t vmbe his lyre,
1688Þat alle watz dubbed & dy3t in þe dew of heuen;
1689Faxe, fyltered & felt, flosed hym vmbe,
1690Þat schad fro his schulderes to his schyre wykes,
1691& twenty-folde twynande hit to his tos ra3t,
1692Þer mony clyuy as clyde hit cly3t togeder.
1693His berde ibrad alle his brest to þe bare vrþe,
1694His browes bresed as breres aboute his brode chekes;
1695Hol3e were his y3en & vnder campe hores,
1696& al watz gray as þe glede, with ful grymme clawres
1697Þat were croked & kene as þe kyte paune;
1698Erne-hwed he watz & al ouerbrawden,
1699Til he wyst ful wel who wro3t alle my3tes,
1700& cowþe vche kyndam tokerue & keuer when Hym lyked.
1701Þenne He wayned hym his wyt, þat hade wo soffered,
1702Þat he com to knawlach & kenned hymseluen;
1703Þenne he loued þat Lorde & leued in trawþe
1704Hit watz non oþer þen He þat hade al in honde.
1705Þenne sone watz he sende agayn, his sete restored;
1706His barounes bo3ed hym to, blyþe of his come,
1707Ha3erly in his aune hwe his heued watz couered,
1708& so 3eply watz 3arked & 3olden his state.
1709Bot þou, Baltazar, his barne & his bolde ayre,
1710Se3þese syngnes with sy3t & set hem at lyttel,
1711Bot ay hatz hofen þy hert agaynes þe hy3e Dry3t[y]n,
1712With bobaunce & with blasfamye bost at Hym kest,
1713& now His vessayles avyled in vanyte vnclene,
1714Þat in His hows Hym to honour were heuened of fyrst;
1715Bifore þe barounz hatz hom bro3t, & byrled þerinne
1716Wale wyne to þy wenches in waryed stoundes;
1717Bifore þy borde hatz þou bro3t beuerage in þede,
1718Þat blyþely were fyrst blest with bischopes hondes,
1719Louande þeron lese goddez þat lyf haden neuer,
1720Made of stokkes & stonez þat neuer styry mo3t.
1721& for þat froþande fylþe, þe Fader of heuen
1722Hatz sende into þis sale þise sy3tes vncowþe,
1723Þe fyste with þe fyngeres þat flayed þi hert,
1724Þat rasped renyschly þe wo3e with þe ro3penne.
1725Þise ar þe wordes here wryten, withoute werk more,
1726By vch fygure, as I fynde, as oure Fader lykes:
Mane, Techal, Phares: merked in þrynne,
1728Þat þretes þe of þyn vnþryfte vpon þre wyse.
1729Now expowne þe þis speche spedly I þenk:
Manemenes als much as "Maynful Gode
1731Hatz counted þy kyndam bi a clene noumbre,
1732& fulfylled hit in fayth to þe fyrre ende".
1733To teche þe of
Techal, þat terme þus menes:
1734"þy wale rengne is walt in we3tes to heng,
1735& is funde ful fewe of hit fayth-dedes."
Pharesfol3es for þose fawtes, to frayst þe trawþe;
Phares fyndeI forsoþe þise felle sa3es:
1738"Departed is þy pryncipalte, depryued þou worpes,
1739Þy rengne rafte is þe fro, & ra3t is þe Perses;
1740Þe Medes schal be maysteres here, & þou of menske schowued."'
1741Þe kyng comaunded anon to cleþe þat wyse
1742In frokkes of fyn cloþ, as forward hit asked;
1743Þenne sone watz Danyel dubbed in ful dere porpor,
1744& a coler of cler golde kest vmbe his swyre.
1745Þen watz demed a decre bi þe duk seluen:
1746Bolde Baltazar bed þat hym bowe schulde
1747Þe comynes al of Calde þat to þe kyng longed,
1748As to þe prynce pryuyest preued þe þrydde,
1749He3est of alle oþer saf onelych tweyne,
1750To bo3after Baltazar in bor3e & in felde.
1751Þys watz cryed & knawen in cort als fast,
1752& alle þe folk þerof fayn þat fol3ed hym tylle.
1753Bot howso Danyel watz dy3t, þat day ouer3ede;
1754Ny3t ne3ed ry3t now with nyes fol mony,
1755For da3ed neuer anoþer day, þat ilk derk after,
1756Er dalt were þat ilk dome þat Danyel deuysed.
1757Þe solace of þe solempnete in þat sale dured
1758Of þat farand fest, tyl fayled þe sunne;
1759Þenne blykned þe ble of þe bry3t skwes,
1760Mourkenes þe mery weder, & þe myst dryues
1761Þor3þe lyst of þe lyfte, bi þe lo3medoes.
1762Vche haþel to his home hy3es ful fast,
1763Seten at her soper & songen þerafter;
1764Þen foundez vch a fela3schyp fyrre at forþ na3tes.
1765Baltazar to his bedd with blysse watz caryed;
1766Reche þe rest as hym lyst: he ros neuer þerafter.
1767For his foes in þe felde in flokkes ful grete,
1768Þat longe hade layted þat lede his londes to strye,
1769Now ar þay sodenly assembled at þe self tyme.
1770Of hem wyst no wy3e þat in þat won dowelled.
1771Hit watz þe dere Daryus, þe duk of þise Medes,
1772Þe prowde prynce of Perce, & Porros of Ynde,
1773With mony a legioun ful large, with ledes of armes,
1774Þat now hatz spyed a space to spoyle Caldeez.
1775Þay þrongen þeder in þe þester on þrawen hepes,
1776Asscaped ouer þe skyre watteres & scaþed þe walles,
1777Lyfte laddres ful longe & vpon lofte wonen,
1778Stelen stylly þe toun er any steuen rysed.
1779Withinne an oure of þe niy3t an entre þay hade,
17803et afrayed þay no freke. Fyrre þay passen,
1781& to þe palays pryncipal þay aproched ful stylle,
1782Þenne ran þay in on a res on rowtes ful grete;
1783Blastes out of bry3t brasse brestes so hy3e,
1784Ascry scarred on þe scue, þat scomfyted mony.
1785Segges slepande were slayne er þay slyppe my3t;
1786Vche hous heyred watz withinne a hondewhyle.
1787Baltazar in his bed watz beten to deþe,
1788Þat boþe his blod & his brayn blende on þe cloþes;
1789The kyng in his cortyn watz ka3t bi þe heles,
1790Feryed out bi þe fete & fowle dispysed.
1791Þat watz so do3ty þat day & drank of þe vessayl
1792Now is a dogge also dere þat in a dych lygges.
1793For þe mayster of þyse Medes on þe morne ryses,
1794Dere Daryous þat day dy3t vpon trone,
1795Þat cete seses ful sounde, & sa3tlyng makes
1796Wyth alle þe barounz þeraboute, þat bowed hym after.
1797& þus watz þat londe lost for þe lordes synne,
1798& þe fylþe of þe freke þat defowled hade
1799Þe ornementes of Goddez hous þat holy were maked.
1800He watz corsed for his vnclannes, & cached þerinne,
1801Done doun of his dyngnete for dedez vnfayre,
1802& of þyse worldes worchyp wrast out for euer,
1803& 3et of lykynges on lofte letted, I trowe:
1804To loke on oure lofly Lorde late bitydes.
1805Þus vpon þrynne wyses I haf yow þro schewed
1806Þat vnclannes tocleues in corage dere
1807Of þat wynnelych Lorde þat wonyes in heuen,
1808Entyses Hym to be tene, telled vp His wrake;
1809Ande clannes is His comfort, & coyntyse He louyes,
1810& þose þat seme arn & swete schyn se His face.
1811Þat we gon gay in oure gere þat grace He vus sende,
1812Þat we may serue in His sy3t, þer solace neuer blynnez.
Publication Start Year
British Library Cotton Nero A.x, art. 3, ca.1375?-1400?
RPO poem Editors