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Perle, plesaunte to prynces paye
To clanly clos in golde so clere;
Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye.
Ne proved I never her precios pere.
So rounde, so reken in uche araye,
So smal, so smoţe her syde were,
Quere-so-ever I jugged gemme gaye,
I sette hyr sengely in synglere.
Allas! I leste hyr in on erbere;
Ţur gresse to ground hit fro me yot,
I dewyne, fordolked of luf-daungere
Of ţat pryvy perle wythouten spot.
Syţen in ţat spote hit fro me sprange,
Ofte haf I wayted, wyschande ţat wele,
Ţat wont wat whyle deuoyde my wrange
And heuen my happe and al my hele.
Ţat dot bot ţrych my hert ţrange,
My breste in bale bot bolne and bele;
et ţot me neuer so swete a sange
As stylle stounde let to me stele.
For soţe ţer fleten to me fele,
To ţenke hir color so clad in clot.
O moul, ţou marre a myry iuele,
My priuy perle wythouten spotte.

Ţat spot of spyse mot nede sprede,
Ţer such ryche to rot is runne;
Blome blayke and blwe and rede
Ţer schyne ful schyr agayn ţe sunne.
Flor and fryte may not be fede
Ţer hit doun drof in molde dunne;
For vch gresse mot grow of grayne dede;
No whete were elle to wone wonne.
Of goud vche goude is ay bygonne;
So semly a sede mot fayly not,
Ţat spryngande spyce vp ne sponne
Of ţat precios perle wythouten spotte.
To ţat spot ţat I in speche expoun
I entred in ţat erber grene,
In Augoste in a hy seysoun,
Quen corne is coruen wyth croke kene.
On huyle ţer perle hit trendeled doun
Schadowed ţis worte ful schyre and schene,
Gilofre, gyngure and gromylyoun,
And pyonys powdered ay bytwene.
if hit wat semly on to sene,
A fayr reflayr et fro hit flot.
Ţer wonys ţat worţyly, I wot and wene,
My precious perle wythouten spot.

Bifore ţat spot my honde I spenned
For care ful colde ţat to me cat;
A deuely dele in my hert denned,
Ţa resoun sette myseluen sat.
I playned my perle ţat ţer wat spenned
Wyth fyrce skylle ţat faste fat;
Ţa kynde of Kryst me comfort kenned,
My wreched wylle in wo ay wrate.
I felle vpon ţat floury flat,
Suche odour to my herne schot;
I slode vpon a slepyng-slate
On ţat precios perle wythouten spot.


Fro spot my spyryt ţer sprang in space;
My body on balke ţer bod in sweuen.
My goste is gon in Gode grace
In auenture ţer meruayle meuen.
I ne wyste in ţis worlde quere ţat hit wace,
Bot I knew me keste ţer klyfe cleuen;
Towarde a foreste I bere ţe face,
Where rych rokke wer to dyscreuen.
Ţe lyt of hem myt no mon leuen,
Ţe glemande glory ţat of hem glent;
For wern neuer webbe ţat wye weuen
Of half so dere adubbemente.

Dubbed wern alle ţo downe syde
Wyth crystal klyffe so cler of kynde.
Holtewode bryt aboute hem byde
Of bolle as blwe as ble of Ynde;
As bornyst syluer ţe lef on slyde,
Ţat ţike con trylle on vch a tynde.
Quen glem of glode agayn hem glyde,
Wyth schymeryng schene ful schrylle ţay schynde.
Ţe grauayl ţat on grounde con grynde
Wern precious perle of oryente:
Ţe sunnebeme bot blo and blynde
In respecte of ţat adubbement.
Ţe adubbement of tho downes dere
Garten my goste al greffe foryete.
So frech flavores of frytes were,
As fode hit con me fayre refete.
Fowles ţer flowen in fryth in fere,
Of flaumbande hwes, both smale and grete.
Bot sytole-stryng and gyternere
Her reken myrţe moght not retrete;
Fir quen those bryddes her wynges bete,
Thay songen wyth a swete asent.
So gracios gle couţe no mon gete
As here and se her adubbement.
So al wat dubbet on dere asyse
Ţat fryth ţer fortwne forth me fere.
Ţat derţe ţerof for to deuyse
Nis no wy worţé ţat tonge bere.
I welke ay forth in wely wyse;
No bonk so byg ţat did me dere.
Ţe fyrre in ţe fryth, ţe feier con ryse
Ţe playn, ţe plontte, ţe spyse, ţe
And rawe and rande and rych reuere,
As fyldor fyn her bonkes brent.
I wan to a water by schore ţat schere —
Lorde, dere wat hit adubbement!
The dubbemente of ţo derworth depe
Wern bonke bene of beryl bryt.
Swangeande swete ţe water con swepe,
Wyth a rownande rourde raykande aryt.
In ţe founce ţer stonden stone stepe,
As glente ţur glas ţat glowed and glyt,
As stremande sterne, quen stroţe-men slepe,
Staren in welkyn in wynter nyt;
For vche a pobbel in pole ţer pyt
Wat emerad, saffer, oţer gemme gente,
Ţat alle ţe loe lemed of lyt,
So dere wat hit adubbement.

The dubbement dere of doun and dale,
Of wod and water and wlonk playne,
Bylde in me blys, abated my bale,
Fordidden my stresse, dystryed my payne.
Doun after a strem ţat dryly hale
I bowed in blys, bredful my brayne;
Ţe fyrre I foled ţose floty vale,
Ţe more strenghţe of ioye myn herte strayne.
As fortune fares ţer as ho frayne,
Wheţer solace ho sende oţer elle sore,
Ţe wy to wham her wylle ho wayne
Hytte to haue ay more and more.

More of wele wat in ţat wyse
Ţen I cowţe telle ţa I tom hade,
For vrţely herte myt not suffyse
To ţe tenţe dole of ţo gladne glade;
Forţy I ţot ţat Paradyse
Wat ţer ouer gayn ţo bonke brade.
I hoped ţe water were a deuyse
Bytwene myrţe by mere made;
Byonde ţe broke, by slente oţer slade,
I hoped ţat mote merked wore.
Bot ţe water wat depe, I dorst not wade,
And euer me longed ay more and more.

More and more, and et wel mare,
Me lyste to se ţe broke byonde;
For if hit wat fayr ţer I con fare,
Wel loueloker wat ţe fyrre londe.
Abowte me con I stote and stare;
To fynde a forţe faste con I fonde.
Bot woţe mo iwysse ţer ware,
Ţe fyrre I stalked by ţe stronde.
And euer me ţot I schulde not wonde
For wo ţer wele so wynne wore.
Ţenne nwe note me com on honde
Ţat meued my mynde ay more and more.
More meruayle con my dom adaunt:
I se byonde ţat myry mere
A crystal clyffe ful relusaunt;
Mony ryal ray con fro hit rere.
At ţe fote ţerof ţer sete a faunt,
A mayden of menske, ful debonere;
Blysnande whyt wat hyr bleaunt.
I knew hyr wel, I hade sen hyr ere.
As glysnande golde ţat man con schere,
So schon ţat schene an-vnder shore.
On lenghe I loked to hyr ţere;
Ţe lenger, I knew hyr more and more.

The more I frayste hyr fayre face,
Her fygure fyn quen I had fonte,
Suche gladande glory con to me glace
As lyttel byfore ţerto wat wonte.
To calle hyr lyste con me enchace,
Bot baysment gef myn hert a brunt.
I se hyr in so strange a place,
Such a burre myt make myn herte blunt.
Ţenne vere ho vp her fayre frount,
Hyr vysayge whyt as playn yuore:
Ţat stonge myn hert ful stray atount,
And euer ţe lenger, ţe more and more.


More ţen me lyste my drede aros.
I stod ful stylle and dorste not calle;
Wyth yen open and mouth ful clos
I stod as hende as hawk in halle.
I hoped ţat gostly wat ţat porpose;
I dred onende quat schulde byfalle,
Lest ho me eschaped ţat I ţer chos,
Er I at steuen hir mot stalle.
Ţat gracios gay wythouten galle,
So smoţe, so smal, so seme slyt,
Ryse vp in hir araye ryalle,
A precios pyece in perle pyt.

Perle pyte of ryal prys
Ţere mot mon by grace haf sene,
Quen ţat frech as flor-de-lys
Doun ţe bonke con boe bydene.
Al blysnande whyt wat hir beau biys,
Vpon at syde, and bounden bene
Wyth ţe myryeste margarys, at my deuyse,
Ţat euer I se et with myn ene;
Wyth lappe large, I wot and I wene,
Dubbed with double perle and dyte;
Her cortel of self sute schene,
Wyth precios perle al vmbepyte.
A pyt coroune et wer ţat gyrle
Of mariorys and non oţer ston.
Hie pynakled of cler quyt perle,
Wyth flurted flowre perfet vpon.
To hed hade ho non oţer werle;
Her here leke, al hyr vmbegon,
Her semblaunt sade for doc oţer erle,
Her ble more blat ţen whalle bon.
As schorne golde schyr her fax ţenne schon,
On schyldere ţat leghe vnlapped lyte.
Her depe colour et wonted non
Of precios perle in porfyl pyte.

Pyt wat poyned and vche a hemme
At honde, at syde, at ouerture,
Wyth whyte perle and non oţer gemme,
And bornyste quyte wat hyr uesture.
Bot a wonder perle wythouten wemme
Inmydde hyr breste wat sette so sure;
A manne dom mot dryly demme,
Er mynde mot malte in hit mesure.
I hope no tong mot endure
No sauerly saghe say of ţat syt,
So wat hit clene and cler and pure,
Ţat precios perle ţer hit wat pyt.
Pyt in perle, ţat precios pyece
On wyţer half water com doun ţe schore.
No gladder gome heţen into Grece
Ţen I, quen ho on brymme wore.
Ho wat me nerre ţen aunte or nece;
My joy forţy wat much ţe more.
Ho profered me speche, ţat special spece,
Enclynande lowe in wommon lore,
Cate of her coroun of grete tresore
And haylsed me wyth a lote lyte.
Wel wat me ţat euer I wat bore
To sware ţat swete in perle pyte!

‘O perle’, quod I, ‘in perle pyt,
Art ţou my perle ţat I haf playned,
Regretted by myn one on nyte?
Much longeyng haf I for ţe layned,
Syţen into gresse ţou me aglyte.
Pensyf, payred, I am forpayned,
And ţou in a lyf of lykyng lyte,
In Paradys erde, of stryf vnstrayned.
What wyrde hat hyder my iuel vayned,
And don me in ţys del and gret daunger?
Fro we in twynne wern towen and twayned,
I haf ben a joyle juelere.’
That juel ţenne in gemme gente
Vered vp her vyse wyth yen graye,
Set on hyr coroun of perle orient,
And soberly after ţenne con ho say:
‘Sir, e haf your tale mysetente,
To say your perle is al awaye,
Ţat is in cofer so comly clente
As in ţis gardyn gracios gaye,
Hereinne to lenge for euer and play,
Ţer mys nee mornyng com neuer nere.
Her were a forser for ţe, in faye,
If ţou were a gentyl jueler.

‘Bot, jueler gente, if ţou schal lose
Ţy ioy for a gemme ţat ţe wat lef,
Me ţynk ţe put in a mad porpose,
And busye ţe aboute a raysoun bref;
For ţat ţou leste wat bot a rose
Ţat flowred and fayled as kynde hyt gef.
Now ţur kynde of ţe kyste ţat hyt con close
To a perle of prys hit is put in pref.
And ţou hat called ţy wyrde a ţef,
Ţat ot of not hat mad ţe cler;
Ţou blame ţe bote of ţy meschef,
Ţou art no kynde jueler.’
A juel to me ţen wat ţys geste,
And iuele wern hyr gentyl sawe.
‘Iwyse’, quod I, ‘my blysfol beste,
My grete dystresse ţou al todrawe.
To be excused I make requeste;
I trawed my perle don out of dawe.
Now haf I fonde hyt, I schal ma feste,
And wony wyth hyt in schyr wod-schawe,
And loue my Lorde and al his lawe
Ţat hat me brot ţys blys ner.
Now were I at yow byonde ţise wawe,
I were a ioyful jueler.’
‘Jueler’, sayde ţat gemme clene,
‘Wy borde e men? So madde e be!
Ţre worde hat ţou spoken at ene:
Vnavysed, for soţe, wern alle ţre.
Ţou ne woste in worlde quat on dot mene;
Ţy worde byfore ţy wytte con fle.
Ţou says ţou trawe me in ţis dene,
Bycawse ţou may wyth yen me se;
Anoţer ţou says, in ţys countré
Ţyself schal won wyth me ryt here;
Ţe ţrydde, to passe ţys water fre —
Ţat may no ioyfol jueler.

‘I halde ţat iueler lyttel to prayse
Ţat leue wel ţat he se wyth ye,
And much to blame and vncortayse
Ţat leue oure Lorde wolde make a lye,
Ţat lelly hyte your lyf to rayse,
Ţa fortune dyd your flesch to dye.
e setten hys worde ful westernays
Ţat leue noţynk bot e hit sye.
And ţat is a poynt o sorquydrye,
Ţat vche god mon may euel byseme,
To leue no tale be true to trye
Bot ţat hys one skyl may dem.

‘Deme now ţyself if ţou con dayly
As man to God worde schulde heue.
Ţou sayt ţou schal won in ţis bayly;
Me ţynk ţe burde fyrst aske leue,
And et of graunt ţou myte fayle.
Ţou wylne ouer ţys water to weue;
Er moste ţou ceuer to oţer counsayle:
Ţy corse in clot mot calder keue.
For hit wat forgarte at Paradys greue;
Oure orefader hit con mysseeme.
Ţur drwry deth bo vch man dreue,
Er ouer ţys dam hym Drytyn deme.’
‘Deme ţou me’, quod I, ‘my swete,
To dol agayn, ţenne I dowyne.
Now haf I fonte ţat I forlete,
Schal I efte forgo hit er euer I fyne?
Why schal I hit boţe mysse and mete?
My precios perle dot me gret pyne.
What serue tresor, bot gare men grete
When he hit schal efte wyth tene tyne?
Now rech I neuer for to declyne,
Ne how fer of folde ţat man me fleme.
When I am partle of perle myne,
Bot durande doel what may men deme?’

‘Thow deme not bot doel-dystresse’,
Ţenne sayde ţat wyt. ‘Why dot ţou so
For dyne of doel of lure lesse
Ofte mony mon forgos ţe mo.
Ţe ote better ţyseluen blesse,
And loue ay God, in wele and wo,
For anger gayne ţe not a cresse.
Who nede schal ţole, be not so ţro.
For ţo ţou daunce as any do,
Braundysch and bray ţy braţe breme,
When ţou no fyrre may, to ne fro,
Ţou moste abyde ţat he schal deme.
‘Deme Drytyn, euer hym adyte,
Of ţe way a fote ne wyl he wryţe.
Ţy mende mounte not a myte,
Ţa ţou for sore be neuer blyţe.
Stynt of ţy strot and fyne to flyte,
And sech hys blyţe ful swefte and swyţe.
Ţy prayer may hys pyté byte,
Ţat mercy schal hyr crafte kyţe.
Hys comforte may ţy langour lyţe
And ţy lure of lytly fleme;
For, marre oţer madde, morne and myţe,
Al lys in hym to dyt and deme.’


Thenne demed I to ţat damyselle:
‘Ne worţe no wrathţe vnto my Lorde,
If rapely I raue, spornande in spelle.
My herte wat al wyth mysse remorde,
As wallande water got out of welle.
I do me ay in hys myserecorde.
Rebuke me neuer wyth worde felle,
Ţa I forloyne, my dere endorde,
Bot kyţe me kyndely your coumforde,
Pytosly ţenkande vpon ţysse:
Of care and me e made acorde,
Ţat er wat grounde of alle my blysse.
‘My blysse, my bale, e han ben boţe,
Bot much ţe bygger et wat my mon;
Fro ţou wat wroken fro vch a woţe,
I wyste neuer quere my perle wat gon.
Now I hit se, now leţe my loţe.
And, quen we departed, we wern at on;
God forbede we be now wroţe,
We meten so selden by stok oţer ston.
Ţa cortaysly e carp con,
I am bot mol and manere mysse.
Bot Crystes mersy and Mary and Jon,
Ţise arn ţe grounde of alle my blisse.

‘In blysse I se ţe blyţely blent,
And I a man al mornyf mate;
e take ţeron ful lyttel tente,
Ţa I hente ofte harme hate.
Bot now I am here in your presente,
I wolde bysech, wythouten debate,
e wolde me say in sobre asente
What lyf e lede erly and late.
For I am ful fayn ţat your astate
Is worţen to worschyp and wele, iwysse;
Of alle my joy ţe hye gate,
Hit is in grounde of alle my blysse.’
‘Now blysse, burne, mot ţe bytyde’,
Ţen sayde ţat lufsoum of lyth and lere,
‘And welcum here to walk and byde,
For now ţe speche is to me dere.
Maysterful mod and hye pryde,
I hete ţe, arn heterly hated here.
My Lorde ne loue not for to chyde,
For meke arn alle ţat wone hym nere;
And when in hys place ţou schal apere,
Be dep deuote in hol mekenesse.
My Lorde ţe Lamb loue ay such chere,
Ţat is ţe grounde of alle my blysse.

‘A blysful lyf ţou says I lede;
Ţou wolde knaw ţerof ţe stage.
Ţow wost wel when ţy perle con schede
I wat ful ong and tender of age;
Bot my Lorde ţe Lombe ţur hys godhede,
He toke myself to hys maryage,
Corounde me quene in blysse to brede
In lenghe of daye ţat euer schal wage;
And sesed in alle hys herytage
Hys lef is. I am holy hysse:
Hys prese, hys prys, and hys parage
Is rote and grounde of alle my blysse.’

‘Blysful’, quod I, ‘may ţys be trwe?
Dysplese not if I speke errour.
Art ţou ţe quene of heuene blwe,
Ţat al ţys worlde schal do honour?
We leuen on Marye ţat grace of grewe,
Ţat ber a barne of vyrgyn flour;
Ţe croune fro hyr quo mot remwe
Bot ho hir passed in sum fauour?
Now, for synglerty o hyr dousour,
We calle hyr Fenyx of Arraby,
Ţat freles flee of hyr fasor,
Lyk to ţe Quen of cortaysye.’

‘Cortayse Quen’, ţenne sayde ţat gaye,
Knelande to grounde, folde vp hyr face,
‘Makele Moder and myryest May,
Blessed bygynner of vch a grace!’
Ţenne ros ho vp and con restay,
And speke me towarde in ţat space:
‘Sir, fele here porchase and fonge pray,
Bot supplantore none wythinne ţys place.
Ţat emperise al heuen hat,
And vrţe and helle, in her bayly;
Of erytage et non wyl ho chace,
For ho is Quen of cortaysye.
‘The court of ţe kyndom of God alyue
Hat a property in hytself beyng:
Alle ţat may ţerinne aryue
Of alle ţe reme is quen oţer kyng,
And neuer oţer et schal depryue,
Bot vchon fayn of oţere hafyng,
And wolde her coroune wern worţe ţo fyue,
If possyble were her mendyng.
Bot my Lady of quom Jesu con spryng,
Ho halde ţe empyre ouer vus ful hye;
And ţat dysplese non of oure gyng,
For ho is Quene of cortaysye.

‘Of courtaysye, as sayt Saynt Poule,
Al arn we membre of Jesu Kryst:
As heued and arme and legg and naule
Temen to hys body ful trwe and tryste,
Ryt so is vch a Krysten sawle
A longande lym to ţe Mayster of myste.
Ţenne loke what hate oţer any gawle
Is tached oţer tyed ţy lymme bytwyste.
Ţy heued hat nauţer greme ne gryste,
On arme oţer fynger ţa ţou ber bye.
So fare we alle wyth luf and lyste
To kyng and quene by cortaysye.’
‘Cortaysé’, quod I, ‘I leue,
And charyté grete, be yow among,
Bot my speche ţat yow ne greue,
. . . . . .
Ţyself in heuen ouer hy ţou heue,
To make ţe quen ţat wat so onge.
What more honour mote he acheue
Ţat hade endured in worlde stronge,
And lyued in penaunce hys lyue longe
Wyth bodyly bale hym blysse to byye?
What more worschyp mot he fonge
Ţen corounde be kyng by cortaysé?

‘That cortaysé is to fre of dede,
yf hyt be soth ţat ţou cone saye.
Ţou lyfed not two er in oure ţede;
Ţou cowţe neuer God nauţer plese ne pray,
Ne neuer nawţer Pater ne Crede;
And quen mad on ţe fyrst day!
I may not traw, so God me spede,
Ţat God wolde wryţe so wrange away.
Of countes, damysel, par ma fay,
Wer fayr in heuen to halde asstate,
Oţer elle a lady of lasse aray;
Bot a quene! Hit is to dere a date.’

‘Ţer is no date of hys godnesse’,
Ţen sayde to me ţat worţy wyte,
‘For al is trawţe ţat he con dresse,
And he may do noţynk bot ryt.
As Mathew mele in your messe
In sothfol gospel of God almyt,
In sample he can ful grayţely gesse,
And lykne hit to heuen lyte.
“My regne”, he sayt, “is lyk on hyt
To a lorde ţat hade a uyne, I wate.
Of tyme of ere ţe terme wat tyt,
To labor vyne wat dere ţe date.

“Ţat date of ere wel knawe ţys hyne.
Ţe lorde ful erly vp he ros
To hyre werkmen to hys vyne,
And fynde ţer summe to hys porpos.
Into acorde ţay con declyne
For a pené on a day, and forth ţay got,
Wryţen and worchen and don gret pyne,
Keruen and caggen and man hit clos.
Aboute vnder ţe lorde to marked tot,
And ydel men stande he fynde ţerate.
‘Why stande e ydel?’ he sayde to ţos.
‘Ne knawe e of ţis day no date?’

‘”‘Er date of daye hider arn we wonne’,
So wat al samen her answar sot.
‘We haf standen her syn ros ţe sunne,
And no mon bydde vus do ryt not.’
‘Gos into my vyne, dot ţat e conne’,
So sayde ţe lorde, and made hit tot.
‘What resonabele hyre be nat be runne
I yow pay in dede and ţote.’
Ţay wente into ţe vyne and wrote,
And al day ţe lorde ţus ede his gate,
And nw men to hys vyne he brote
Welne wyl day wat passed date.

‘”At ţe date of day of euensonge,
On oure byfore ţe sonne go doun,
He se ţer ydel men ful stronge
And sade to hem wyth sobre soun,
‘Wy stonde e ydel ţise daye longe?’
Ţay sayden her hyre wat nawhere boun.
‘Got to my vyne, emen onge,
And wyrke and dot ţat at e moun.’
Sone ţe worlde bycom wel broun;
Ţe sunne wat doun and hit wex late.
To take her hyre he mad sumoun;
Ţe day wat al apassed date.


‘”The date of ţe daye ţe lorde con knaw,
Called to ţe reue: ‘Lede, pay ţe meyny.
Gyf hem ţe hyre ţat I hem owe,
And fyrre, ţat non me may reprené,
Set hem alle vpon a rawe
And gyf vchon inlyche a peny.
Bygyn at ţe laste ţat stande lowe,
Tyl to ţe fyrst ţat ţou atteny.’
And ţenne ţe fyrst bygonne to pleny
And sayden ţat ţay hade trauayled sore:
‘Ţese bot on oure hem con streny;
Vus ţynk vus oe to take more.

‘”‘More haf we serued, vus ţynk so,
Ţat suffred han ţe daye hete,
Ţenn ţyse ţat wrot not houre two,
And ţou dot hem vus to counterfete.’
Ţenne sayde ţe lorde to on of ţo:
‘Frende, no waning I wyl ţe ete;
Take ţat is ţyn owne, and go.
And I hyred ţe for a peny agrete,
Quy bygynne ţou now to ţrete?
Wat not a pené ţy couenaunt ţore?
Fyrre ţen couenaunde is not to plete.
Wy schalte ţou ţenne ask more?

‘”‘More, weţer louyly is me my gyfte,
To do wyth myn quat-so me lyke?
Oţer elle ţyn ye to lyţer is lyfte
For I am goude and non byswyke?’
Ţus schal I”, quod Kryste, “hit skyfte:
Ţe laste schal be ţe fyrst ţat stryke,
And ţe fyrst ţe laste, be he neuer so swyft;
For mony ben called, ţa fewe be myke.”
Ţus pore men her part ay pyke,
Ţa ţay com late and lyttel wore;
And ţa her sweng wyth lyttel atslyke,
Ţe merci of God is much ţe more.

‘More haf I of joye and blysse hereinne,
Of ladyschyp gret and lyue blom,
Ţen alle ţe wye in ţe worlde myt wynne
By ţe way of ryt to aske dome.
Wheţer welnygh now I con bygynne —
In euentyde into ţe vyne I come
Fyrst of my hyre my Lorde con mynne:
I wat payed anon of al and sum.
et oţer ţer werne ţat toke more tom,
Ţat swange and swat for long ore,
Ţat et of hyre noţynk ţay nom,
Paraunter not schal to-ere more.’

Then more I meled and sayde apert:
‘Me ţynk ţy tale vnresounable.
Godde ryt is redy and euermore rert,
Oţer Holy Wryt is bot a fable.
In Sauter is sayd a verce ouerte
Ţat speke a poynt determynable:
“Ţou quyte vchon as hys desserte,
Ţou hye kyng ay pretermynable.”
Now he ţat stod ţe long day stable,
And ţou to payment com hym byfore,
Ţenne ţe lasse in werke to take more able,
And euer ţe lenger ţe lasse, ţe more.’


‘Of more and lasse in Gode ryche’,
Ţat gentyl sayde, ‘lys no joparde,
For ţer is vch mon payed inlyche,
Wheţer lyttel oţer much be hys rewarde;
For ţe gentyl Cheuentayn is no chyche,
Queţer-so-euer he dele nesch oţer harde:
He laue hys gyfte as water of dyche,
Oţer gote of golf ţat neuer charde.
Hys fraunchyse is large ţat euer dard
To Hym ţat mat in synne rescoghe;
No blysse bet fro hem reparde,
For ţe grace of God is gret inoghe.

‘Bot now ţou mote, me for to mate,
Ţat I my peny haf wrang tan here;
Ţou say ţat I ţat com to late
Am not worţy so gret fere.
Where wyste ţou euer any bourne abate,
Euer so holy in hys prayere,
Ţat he ne forfeted by sumkyn gate
Ţe mede sumtyme of heuene clere?
And ay ţe ofter, ţe alder ţay were,
Ţay laften ryt and wroten woghe.
Mercy and grace moste hem ţen stere,
For ţe grace of God is gret innoe

‘Bot innoghe of grace hat innocent.
As sone as ţay arn borne, by lyne
In ţe water of babtem ţay dyssente:
Ţen arne ţay borot into ţe vyne.
Anon ţe day, wyth derk endente,
Ţe niyt of deth dot to enclyne:
Ţat wrot neuer wrang er ţenne ţay wente,
Ţe gentyle Lorde ţenne paye hys hyne.
Ţay dyden hys heste, ţay wern ţereine;
Why schulde he not her labour alow,
ys, and pay hem at ţe fyrst fyne?
For ţe grace of God is gret innoghe.

‘Inoe is knawen ţat mankyn grete
Fyrste wat wrot to blysse parfyt;
Oure forme fader hit con forfete
Ţur an apple ţat he vpon con byte.
Al wer we dampned for ţat mete
To dye in doel out of delyt
And syţen wende to helle hete,
Ţerinne to won wythoute respyt.
Bot ţeron com a bote astyt.
Ryche blod ran on rode so roghe,
And wynne water ţen at ţat plyt:
Ţe grace of God wex gret innoghe.

‘Innoghe ţer wax out of ţat welle,
Blod and water of brode wounde.
Ţe blod vus bot fro bale of helle
And delyuered vus of ţe deth secounde;
Ţe water is baptem, ţe soţe to telle,
Ţat foled ţe glayue so grymly grounde,
Ţat wasche away ţe gylte felle
Ţat Adam wyth inne deth vus drounde.
Now is ţer not in ţe worlde rounde
Bytwene vus and blysse bot ţat he wythdro,
And ţat is restored in sely stounde;
And ţe grace of God is gret innogh.


‘Grace innogh ţe mon may haue
Ţat synne ţenne new, if hym repente,
Bot wyth sor and syt he mot hit craue,
And byde ţe payne ţerto is bent.
Bot resoun of ryt ţat con not raue
Saue euermore ţe innossent;
Hit is a dom ţat neuer God gaue,
Ţat euer ţe gyltle schulde be schente.
Ţe gyltyf may contryssyoun hente
And be ţur mercy to grace ţryt;
Bot he to gyle ţat neuer glente
And inoscente is saf and ryte.

‘Anende rytwys men et sayt a gome,
Dauid in Sauter, if euer e sy hit:
“Lorde, Ţy seruaunt dra neuer to dome,
For non lyuyande to ţe is justyfyet.”
Forţy to corte quen ţou schal com
Ţer alle oure cause schal be tryed,
Alegge ţe ryt, ţou may be innome,
By ţys ilke spech I haue asspyed;
Bot he on rode ţat blody dyed,
Delfully ţur honde ţryt,
Gyue ţe to passe, when ţou arte tryed,
By innocens and not by ryte.

‘Rytwysly quo con rede,
He loke on bok and be awayed
How Jesus hym welke in areţede,
And burne her barne vnto hym brayde.
For happe and hele ţat fro hym ede
To touch her chylder ţay fayr hym prayed.
His dessypele wyth blame let be hem bede
And wyth her resoune ful fele restayed.
Jesus ţenne hem swetely sayde:
“Do way, let chylder vnto me tyt.
To suche is heuenryche arayed”:
Ţe innocent is ay saf by ryt.


‘Iesus con calle to hym hys mylde,
And sayde hys ryche no wy myt wynne
Bot he com ţyder ryt as a chylde,
Oţer elle neuermore com ţerinne.
Harmle, trwe, and vndefylde,
Wythouten mote oţer mascle of sulpande synne,
Quen such ţer cnoken on ţe bylde,
Tyt schal hem men ţe ate vnpynne.
Ţer is ţe blys ţat con not blynne
Ţat ţe jueler sote ţur perré pres,
And solde alle hys goud, boţe wolen and lynne,
To bye hym a perle wat mascelle.

‘This makelle perle, ţat bot is dere,
Ţe joueler gef fore alle hys god,
Is lyke ţe reme of heuenesse clere:
So sayde ţe Fader of folde and flode;
For hit is wemle, clene, and clere,
And endele rounde, and blyţe of mode,
And commune to alle ţat rytwys were.
Lo, euen inmydde my breste hit stode.
My Lorde ţe Lombe, ţat schede hys blode,
He pyt hit ţere in token of pes.
I rede ţe forsake ţe worlde wode
And porchace ţy perle maskelles.’

‘O maskele perle in perle pure,
Ţat bere’, quod I, ‘ţe perle of prys,
Quo formed ţe ţy fayre fygure?
Ţat wrot ţy wede, he wat ful wys.
Ţy beauté com neuer of nature;
Pymalyon paynted neuer ţy vys,
Ne Arystotel nawţer by hys lettrure
Of carped ţe kynde ţese properté.
Ţy colour passe ţe flour-de-lys;
Ţyn angel-hauyng so clene corte.
Breue me, bryt, quat kyn offys
Bere ţe perle so maskelle?’

‘My makele Lambe ţat al may bete’,
Quod scho, ‘my dere destyné,
Me ches to hys make, alţa vnmete
Sumtyme semed ţat assemblé.
When I wente fro yor worlde wete,
He calde me to hys bonerté:
“Cum hyder to me, my lemman swete,
For mote ne spot is non in ţe.”
He gef me myt and als bewté;
In hys blod he wesch my wede on dese,
And coronde clene in vergynté,
And pyt me in perle maskelle.’

‘Why, maskelle byrd ţat bryt con flambe,
Ţat reiaté hat so ryche and ryf,
Quat kyn ţyng may be ţat Lambe
Ţat ţe wolde wedde vnto hys vyf?
Ouer alle oţer so hy ţou clambe
To lede wyth hym so ladyly lyf.
So mony a comly on-vunder cambe
For Kryst han lyued in much stryf;
And ţou con alle ţo dere out dryf
And fro ţat maryag al oţer depres,
Al only ţyself so stout and styf,
A makele may and maskelle.’


‘Maskelles’, quod ţat myry quene,
‘Vnblemyst I am, wythouten blot,
And ţat may I wyth mensk menteene;
Bot “makele quene” ţenne sade I not.
Ţe Lambes vyue in blysse we bene,
A hondred and forty fowre ţowsande flot,
As in ţe Apocalyppe hit is sene;
Sant John hem sy al in a knot.
On ţe hyl of Syon, ţat semly clot,
Ţe apostel hem segh in gostly drem
Arayed to ţe weddyng in ţat hyl-coppe,
Ţe nwe cyté o Jerusalem.

‘Of Jerusalem I in speche spelle.
If ţou wyl knaw what kyn he be,
My Lombe, my Lorde, my dere juelle,
My ioy, my blys, my lemman fre,
Ţe profete Ysaye of hym con melle
Pitously of hys debonerté:
“Ţat gloryous gyltle ţat mon con quelle
Wythouten any sake of felonye,
As a schep to ţe slat ţer lad wat he;
And, as lombe ţat clypper in hande nem,
So closed he hys mouth fro vch query,
Quen Jue hym iugged in Jerusalem.”

‘In Jerusalem wat my lemman slayn
And rent on rode wyth boye bolde.
Al oure bale to bere ful bayn,
He toke on hymself oure care colde.
Wyth boffete wat hys face flayn
Ţat wat so fayr on to byholde.
For synne he set hymself in vayn,
Ţat neuer hade non hymself to wolde.
For vus he lette hym flye and folde
And brede vpon a bostwys bem;
As meke as lomp ţat no playnt tolde
For vus he swalt in Jerusalem.

‘In Jerusalem, Jordan, and Galalye,
Ţer as baptysed ţe goude Saynt Jon,
His worde acorded to Ysaye.
When Jesus con to hym warde gon.
He sayde of hym ţys professye:
“Lo, Gode Lombe as trwe as ston,
Ţat dot away ţe synne drye
Ţat alle ţys worlde hat wrot vpon.
Hymself ne wrot neuer et non;
Wheţer on hymself he con al clem.
Hys generacyoun quo recen con,
Ţat dyed for vus in Jerusalem?”

‘In Ierusalem ţus my lemman swete
Twye for lombe wat taken ţare,
By trw recorde of ayţer prophete,
For mode so meke and al hys fare.
Ţe ţryde tyme is ţerto ful mete,
In Apokalype wryten ful are;
Inmyde ţe trone, ţere saynte sete,
Ţe apostel Iohn hym sa as bare,
Lesande ţe boke with leue sware
Ţere seuen syngnette wern sette in seme;
And at ţat syt vche douth con dare
In helle, in erţe, and Jerusalem.


‘Thys Jerusalem Lombe hade neuer pechche
Of oţer huee bot quyt jolyf
Ţat mot ne masklle mot on streche,
For wolle quyte so ronk and ryf.
Forţy vche saule ţat hade neuer teche
Is to ţat Lombe a worthyly wyf;
And ţa vch day a store he feche,
Among vus comme nouţer strot ne stryf;
Bot vchon enlé we wolde were fyf —
Ţe mo ţe myryer, so God me blesse.
In compayny gret our luf con ţryf
In honour more and neuer ţe lesse.

‘Lasse of blysse may non vus bryng
Ţat beren ţys perle vpon oure bereste,
For ţay of mote couţe neuer mynge
Of spotle perle ţat beren ţe creste.
Alţa oure corses in clotte clynge,
And e remen for rauţe wythouten reste,
We ţuroutly hauen cnawyng;
Of on dethe ful oure hope is drest.
Ţe Lombe vus glade, oure care is kest;
He myrţe vus alle at vch a mes.
Vchone blysse is breme and beste,
And neuer one honour et neuer ţe les.

‘Lest les ţou leue my tale farande,
In Appocalyppece is wryten in wro:
“I seghe”, says John, “ţe Loumbe hym stande
On ţe mount of Syon ful ţryuen and ţro,
And wyth hym maydenne and hundreţe ţowsande,
And fowre and forty ţowsande mo.
On alle her forhede wryten I fande
Ţe Lombe nome, hys Fadere also.
A hue from heuen I herde ţoo,
Lyk flode fele laden runnen on resse,
And as ţunder ţrowe in torre blo,
Ţat lote, I leue, wat neuer ţe les.

‘”Nauţeles, ţa hit schowted scharpe,
And ledden loude alţa hit were,
A note ful nwe I herde hem warpe,
To lysten ţat wat ful lufly dere.
As harpore harpen in her harpe,
Ţat nwe songe ţay songen ful cler,
In sounande note a gentyl carpe;
Ful fayre ţe mode ţay fonge in fere.
Ryt byfore Gode chayere
And ţe fowre beste ţat hym obes
And ţe aldermen so sadde of chere,
Her songe ţay songen neuer ţe les.

‘”Nowţelese non wat neuer so quoynt,
For alle ţe crafte ţat euer ţay knewe,
Ţat of ţat songe myt synge a poynt,
Bot ţat meyny ţe Lombe ţat swe;
For ţay arn bot fro ţe vrţe aloynte
As newe fryt to God ful due,
And to ţe gentyl Lombe hit arn anioynt,
As lyk to hymself of lote and hwe;
For neuer lesyng ne tale vntrwe
Ne towched her tonge for no dysstresse.
Ţat moteles meyny may neuer remwe
Fro ţat maskele mayster, neuer ţe les.”‘

‘Neuer ţe les let be my ţonc’,
Quod I, ‘My perle, ţa I appose;
I schulde not tempte ţy wyt so wlonc,
To Kryste chambre ţat art ichose.
I am bot mokke and mul among,
And ţou so ryche a reken rose,
And byde here by ţys blysful bonc
Ţer lyue lyste may neuer lose.
Now, hynde, ţat sympelnesse cone enclose,
I wolde ţe aske a ţynge expresse,
And ţa I be bustwys as a blose,
Let my bone vayl neuerţelese.


‘Neuerţelese cler I yow bycalle,
If e con se hyt be to done;
As ţou art gloryous wythouten galle,
Wythnay ţou neuer my ruful bone.
Haf e no wone in castel-walle,
Ne maner ţer e may mete and won?
Ţou telle me of Jerusalem ţe ryche ryalle,
Ţer Dauid dere wat dyt on trone,
Bot by ţyse holte hit con not hone,
Bot in Judee hit is, ţat noble note.
As e ar maskele vnder mone,
Your wone schulde be wythouten mote.

‘Ţys motele meyny ţou cone of mele,
Of ţousande ţryt so gret a route,
A gret ceté, for e arn fele,
Yow byhod haue, wythouten doute.
So cumly a pakke of joly juele
Wer euel don schulde ly ţeroute,
And by ţyse bonke ţer I con gele
I se no bygyng nawhere aboute.
I trowe alone e lenge and loute
To loke on ţe glory of ţys gracious gote.
If ţou hat oţer bygynge stoute,
Now tech me to ţat myry mote.’

‘That mote ţou mene in Judy londe’,
Ţat specyal spyce ţen to me spakk,
‘Ţat is ţe cyté ţat ţe Lombe con fon
To soffer inne sor for mane sake,
Ţe olde Jerusalem to vnderstonde;
For ţere ţe olde gulte wat don to slake.
Bot ţe nwe, ţat lyt of Gode sonde,
Ţe apostel in Apocalyppce in theme con take.
Ţe Lompe ţer wythouten spotte blake
Hat feryed ţyder hys fayre flote;
And as hys flok is wythouten flake,
So is hys mote wythouten moote.

‘Of motes two to carpe clene,
And Jerusalem hyt boţe nawţeles —
Ţat nys to yow no more to mene
Bot “ceté of God”, oţer “syt of pes”:
In ţat on oure pes wat mad at ene;
Wyth payne to suffer ţe Lombe hit chese;
In ţat oţer is not bot pes to glene
Ţat ay schal laste wythouten reles.
Ţat is ţe bor ţat we to pres
Fro ţat oure flesch be layd to rote,
Ţer glory and blysse schal euer encres
To ţe meyny ţat is wythouten mote.’

‘Motele may so meke and mylde’,
Ţen sayde I to ţat lufly flor,
‘Bryng me to ţat bygly bylde
And let me se ţy blysful bor.’
Ţat schene sayde: ‘Ţat God wyl schylde;
Ţou may not enter wythinne hys tor,
Bot of ţe Lombe I haue ţe aquylde
For a syt ţerof ţur gret fauor.
Vtwyth to se ţat clene cloystor
Ţou may, bot inwyth not a fote;
To strech in ţe strete ţou hat no vygour,
Bot ţou wer clene wythouten mote.


‘If I ţis mote ţe schal vnhyde,
Bow vp towarde ţys borne heued,
And I anende ţe on ţis syde
Schal sve, tyl ţou to a hil be veued.’
Ţen wolde I no lenger byde,
Bot lurked by launce so lufly leued,
Tyl on a hyl ţat I asspyed
And blusched on ţe burghe, as I forth dreued,
Byonde ţe brok fro me warde keued,
Ţat schyrrer ţen sunne wyth schafte schon.
In ţe Apokalypce is ţe fasoun preued,
As deuyse hit ţe apostel Jhon.
As John ţe apostel hit sy wyth syt,
I sye ţat cyty of gret renoun,
Jerusalem so nwe and ryally dyt,
As hit was lyt fro ţe heuen adoun.
Ţe bor wat al of brende golde bryt
As glemande glas burnist broun,
Wyth gentyl gemme an-vnder pyt
Wyth bantele twelue on basyng boun,
Ţe foundemente twelue of riche tenoun;
Vch tabelment wat a serlype ston;
As derely deuyse ţis ilk toun
In Apocalyppe ţe apostel John.

As John ţise stone in writ con nemme,
I knew ţe name after his tale:
Jasper hyt ţe fyrst gemme
Ţat I on ţe fyrst basse con wale:
He glente grene in ţe lowest hemme;
Saffer helde ţe secounde stale;
Ţe calsydoyne ţenne wythouten wemme
In ţe ţryd table con purly pale;
Ţe emerade ţe furţe so grene of scale;
Ţe sardonyse ţe fyfţe ston;
Ţe sexte ţe rybé he con hit wale
In ţe Apocalyppce, ţe apostel John.

et joyned John ţe crysolyt
Ţe seuenţe gemme in fundament;
Ţe atţe ţe beryl cler and quyt;
Ţe topasye twynne-hew ţe nente endent;
Ţe crysopase ţe tenţe is tyt;
Ţe jacynght ţe enleuenţe gent;
Ţe twelfţe, ţe gentyleste in vch a plyt,
Ţe amatyst purpre wyth ynde blente;
Ţe wal abof ţe bantels bent
O jasporye, as glas ţat glysnande schon;
I knew hit by his deuysement
In ţe Apocalyppe, ţe apostel John.

As John deuysed et sa I ţare:
Ţise twelue degres wern brode and stayre;
Ţe cyté stod abof ful sware,
As longe as brode as hye ful fayre;
Ţe strete of golde as glasse al bare,
Ţe wal of jasper ţat glent as glayre;
Ţe wone wythinne enurned ware
Wyth alle kynne perré ţat mot repayre.
Ţenne helde vch sware of ţis manayre
Twelue forlonge space, er euer hit fon,
Of het, of brede, of lenţe to cayre,
For meten hit sy ţe apostel John.


As John hym wryte et more I sye:
Vch pane of ţat place had ţre ate;
So twelue in poursent I con asspye,
Ţe portale pyked of rych plate,
And vch ate of a margyrye,
A parfyt perle ţat neuer fate.
Vchon in scrypture a name con plye
Of Israel barne, folewande her date,
Ţat is to say, as her byrţ-whate:
Ţe aldest ay fyrst ţeron wat done.
Such lyt ţer lemed in alle ţe strate
Hem nedde nawţer sunne ne mone.

Of sunne ne mone had ţay no nede;
Ţe self God wat her lombe-lyt,
Ţe Lombe her lantyrne, wythouten drede;
Ţur hym blysned ţe bor al bryt.
Ţur woe and won my lokyng ede,
For sotyle cler not lette no lyt.
Ţe hye trone ţer mot e hede
Wyth alle ţe apparaylmente vmbepyte,
As John ţe appostel in terme tyte;
Ţe hye Gode self hit set vpone.
A reuer of ţe trone ţer ran outryte
Wat bryter ţen boţe ţe sunne and moon.

Sunne ne mone schon neuer so swete
As ţat foysoun flode out of ţat flet;
Swyţe hit swange ţur vch a strete
Wythouten fylţe oţer galle oţer glet.
Kyrk ţerinne wat non ete,
Chapel ne temple ţat euer wat set;
Ţe Almyty wat her mynster mete,
Ţe Lombe ţe sakerfyse ţer to refet.
Ţe ate stoken wat neuer et,
Bot euermore vpen at vche a lone;
Ţer entre non to take reset
Ţat bere any spot an-vnder mone.

The mone may ţerof acroche no myte;
To spotty ho is, of body to grym,
And also ţer ne is neuer nyt.
What schulde ţe mone ţer compas clym
And to euen wyth ţat worţly lyt
Ţat schyne vpon ţe broke brym?
Ţe planete arn in to pouer a plyt,
And ţe self sunne ful fer to dym.
Aboute ţat water arn tres ful schym,
Ţat twelue fryte of lyf con bere ful sone;
Twelue syţe on er ţay beren ful frym,
And renowle nwe in vche a mone.

An-vnder mone so great merwayle
No fleschly hert ne myt endeure,
As quen I blusched vpon ţat bayle,
So ferly ţerof wat ţe fasure.
I stod as stylle as dased quayle
For ferly of ţat frelich fygure,
Ţat felde I nawţer reste ne trauayle,
So wat I rauyste wyth glymme pure.
For I dar say wyth conciens sure,
Hade bodyly burne abiden ţat bone,
Ţa alle clerke hym hade in cure,
His lyf were loste an-vnder mone.


Ryt as ţe maynful mone con rys
Er ţenne ţe day-glem dryue al doun,
So sodanly on a wonder wyse
I wat war of a prosessyoun.
Ţis noble cité of ryche enpryse
Wat sodanly ful wythouten sommoun
Of such vergyne in ţe same gyse
Ţat wat my blysful an-vnder croun:
And coronde wern alle of ţe same fasoun,
Depaynt in perle and wede qwyte;
In vchone breste wat bounden boun
Ţe blysful perle wyth gret delyt.

Wyth gret delyt ţay glod in fere
On golden gate ţat glent as glasse;
Hundreth ţowsande I wot ţer were,
And alle in sute her liuré wasse;
Tor to knaw ţe gladdest chere.
Ţe Lombe byfore con proudly passe
Wyth horne seuen of red golde cler;
As praysed perle his wede wasse.
Towarde ţe throne ţay trone a tras.
Ţa ţay wern fele, no pres in plyt,
Bot mylde as maydene seme at mas,
So dro ţay forth wyth gret delyt.

Delyt ţat hys come encroched
To much hit were of for to melle
Ţise aldermen, quen he aproched,
Grouelyng to his fete ţay felle.
Legyounes of aungele togeder uoched
Ţer kesten ensens of swete smelle.
Ţen glory and gle wat nwe abroched;
Al songe to loue ţat gay juelle.
Ţe steuen mot stryke ţur ţe vrţe to helle
Ţat ţe Vertues of heuen of joye endyte.
To loue ţe Lombe his meyny in melle
Iwysse I lat a gret delyt.

Delit ţe Lombe for to deuise
Wyth much meruayle in mynde went.
Best wat he, blyţest, and moste to pryse,
Ţat euer I herde of speche spent;
So worţly whyt wern wede hys,
His loke symple, hymself so gent.
Bot a wounde ful wyde and weete con wyse
Anende hys hert, ţur hyde torente.
Of his quyte syde his blod outsprent.
Alas, ţot I, who did ţat spyt?
Ani breste for bale at haf forbren
t Er he ţerto hade had delyt.

The Lombe delyt non lyste to wene.
Ţa he were hurt and wounde hade,
In his sembelaunt wat neuer sene,
So wern his glente gloryous glade.
I loked among his meyny schene
How ţay wyth lyf wern laste and lade;
Ţen sa I ţer my lyttel quene
Ţat I wende had standen by me in sclade.
Lorde, much of mirţe wat ţat ho made
Among her fere ţat wat so quyt!
Ţat syt me gart to ţenk to wade
For luf-longyng in gret delyt.


Delyt me drof in ye and ere,
My mane mynde to maddyng malte;
Quen I se my frely, I wolde be ţere,
Byonde ţe water ţa ho were walte.
I ţot ţat noţyng myt me dere
To fech me bur and take me halte,
And to start in ţe strem schulde non me stere,
To swymme ţe remnaunt, ţa I ţer swalte.
Bot of ţat munt I wat bitalt;
When I schulde start in ţe strem astraye,
Out of ţat caste I wat bycalt:
Hit wat not at my Prynce paye.

Hit payed hym not ţat I so flonc
Ouer meruelous mere, so mad arayde.
Of raas ţa I were rasch and ronk,
et rapely ţerinne I wat restrayed.
For, ryt as I sparred vnto ţe bonc,
Ţat brathţe out of my drem me brayde.
Ţen wakned I in ţat erber wlonk;
My hede vpon ţat hylle wat layde
Ţer as my perle to grounde strayd.
I raxled, and fel in gret affray,
And, sykyng, to myself I sayd,
‘Now al be to ţat Prynces paye’.

Me payed ful ille to be outfleme
So sodenly of ţat fayre regioun,
Fro alle ţo syte so quyke and queme.
A longeyng heuy me strok in swone,
And rewfully ţenne I con to reme:
‘O perle’, quod I, ‘of rych renoun,
So wat hit me dere ţat ţou con deme
In ţys veray avysyoun!
If hit be ueray and soth sermoun
Ţat ţou so styke in garlande gay,
So wel is me in ţys doel-doungoun
Ţat ţou art to ţat Prynse paye.’

To ţat Prynce paye hade I ay bente,
And erned no more ţen wat me gyuen,
And halden me ţer in trwe entent,
As ţe perle me prayed ţat wat so ţryuen,
As helde, drawen to Godde present,
To mo of his mysterys I hade ben dryuen;
Bot ay wolde man of happe more hente
Ţen mote by ryt vpon hem clyuen.
Ţerfore my ioye wat sone toriuen,
And I kaste of kythe ţat laste aye.
Lorde, mad hit arn ţat agayn ţe stryuen,
Oţer proferen ţe ot agayn ţy paye.

To pay ţe Prince oţer sete sate
Hit is ful eţe to ţe god Krystyin;
For I haf founden hym, boţe day and nate,
A God, a Lorde, a frende ful fyin.
Ouer ţis hyul ţis lote I late,
For pyty of my perle enclyin,
And syţen to God I hit bytate
In Kryste dere blessyng and myn,
Ţat in ţe forme of bred and wyn
Ţe preste vus schewe vch a daye.
He gef vus to be his homly hyne
Ande precious perle vnto his pay.
Amen. Amen.

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