The Online 
Medieval and Classical Library

Confessio Amantis
Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

Incipit Liber Quintus: Part 1

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4

Obstat auaricia nature legibus, et que
     Largus amor poscit, striccius illa vetat.
Omne quod est nimium viciosum dicitur aurum,
     Vellera sicut oues, seruat auarus opes.
Non decet vt soli seruabitur es, set amori
     Debet homo solam solus habere suam.

1      Ferst whan the hyhe god began 
2      This world, and that the kinde of man  
3      Was falle into no gret encress,  
4      For worldes good tho was no press,  
5      Bot al was set to the comune. 
6      Thei spieken thanne of no fortune
7      Or forto lese or forto winne, 
8      Til Avarice broghte it inne;  
9      And that was whan the world was woxe
10     Of man, of hors, of Schep, of Oxe,  
11     And that men knewen the moneie.  
12     Tho wente pes out of the weie 
13     And werre cam on every side,  
14     Which alle love leide aside
15     And of comun his propre made, 
16     So that in stede of schovele and spade 
17     The scharpe swerd was take on honde;
18     And in this wise it cam to londe,
19     Wherof men maden dyches depe  
20     And hyhe walles forto kepe 
21     The gold which Avarice encloseth.
22     Bot al to lytel him supposeth,
23     Thogh he mihte al the world pourchace;     
24     For what thing that he may embrace  
25     Of gold, of catel or of lond, 
26     He let it nevere out of his hond,
27     Bot get him more and halt it faste, 
28     As thogh the world scholde evere laste.
29     So is he lych unto the helle; 
30     For as these olde bokes telle,
31     What comth therinne, lasse or more, 
32     It schal departe neveremore:  
33     Thus whanne he hath his cofre loken,
34     It schal noght after ben unstoken,  
35     Bot whanne him list to have a syhte 
36     Of gold, hou that it schyneth brihte,  
37     That he ther on mai loke and muse;  
38     For otherwise he dar noght use
39     To take his part, or lasse or more. 
40     So is he povere, and everemore
41     Him lacketh that he hath ynowh:  
42     An Oxe draweth in the plowh,  
43     Of that himself hath no profit;  
44     A Schep riht in the same plit 
45     His wolle berth, bot on a day 
46     An other takth the flees away:
47     Thus hath he, that he noght ne hath,
48     For he therof his part ne tath.  
49     To seie hou such a man hath good,
50     Who so that reson understod,  
51     It is impropreliche seid,  
52     For good hath him and halt him teid,
53     That he ne gladeth noght withal, 
54     Bot is unto his good a thral, 
55     And as soubgit thus serveth he,  
56     Wher that he scholde maister be: 
57     Such is the kinde of thaverous.  
58     Mi Sone, as thou art amerous,     
59     Tell if thou farst of love so.
60     Mi fader, as it semeth, no;
61     That averous yit nevere I was,
62     So as ye setten me the cas:
63     For as ye tolden here above,  
64     In full possession of love 
65     Yit was I nevere hier tofore, 
66     So that me thenketh wel therfore,
67     I mai excuse wel my dede.  
68     Bot of mi will withoute drede,
69     If I that tresor mihte gete,  
70     It scholde nevere be foryete, 
71     That I ne wolde it faste holde,  
72     Til god of love himselve wolde
73     That deth ous scholde part atuo. 
74     For lieveth wel, I love hire so, 
75     That evene with min oghne lif,
76     If I that swete lusti wif  
77     Mihte ones welden at my wille,
78     For evere I wolde hire holde stille:
79     And in this wise, taketh kepe,
80     If I hire hadde, I wolde hire kepe, 
81     And yit no friday wolde I faste, 
82     Thogh I hire kepte and hielde faste.
83     Fy on the bagges in the kiste!
84     I hadde ynogh, if I hire kiste.  
85     For certes, if sche were myn, 
86     I hadde hir levere than a Myn 
87     Of Gold; for al this worldesriche
88     Ne mihte make me so riche  
89     As sche, that is so inly good.
90     I sette noght of other good;  
91     For mihte I gete such a thing,
92     I hadde a tresor for a king;  
93     And thogh I wolde it faste holde,
94     I were thanne wel beholde. 
95     Bot I mot pipe nou with lasse,    
96     And suffre that it overpasse, 
97     Noght with mi will, for thus I wolde
98     Ben averous, if that I scholde.  
99     Bot, fader, I you herde seie  
100    Hou thaverous hath yit som weie, 
101    Wherof he mai be glad; for he 
102    Mai whanne him list his tresor se,  
103    And grope and fiele it al aboute,
104    Bot I fulofte am schet theroute, 
105    Ther as my worthi tresor is.  
106    So is mi lif lich unto this,  
107    That ye me tolden hier tofore,
108    Hou that an Oxe his yock hath bore  
109    For thing that scholde him noght availe:  
110    And in this wise I me travaile;  
111    For who that evere hath the welfare,
112    I wot wel that I have the care,  
113    For I am hadd and noght ne have, 
114    And am, as who seith, loves knave.  
115    Nou demeth in youre oghne thoght,
116    If this be Avarice or noght.  
117    Mi Sone, I have of thee no wonder,  
118    Thogh thou to serve be put under 
119    With love, which to kinde acordeth: 
120    Bot, so as every bok recordeth,  
121    It is to kinde no plesance 
122    That man above his sustienance
123    Unto the gold schal serve and bowe, 
124    For that mai no reson avowe.  
125    Bot Avarice natheles,
126    If he mai geten his encress
127    Of gold, that wole he serve and kepe,  
128    For he takth of noght elles kepe,
129    Bot forto fille hise bagges large;  
130    And al is to him bot a charge,
131    For he ne parteth noght withal,  
132    Bot kepth it, as a servant schal:    
133    And thus, thogh that he multeplie
134    His gold, withoute tresorie
135    He is, for man is noght amended  
136    With gold, bot if it be despended
137    To mannes us; wherof I rede
138    A tale, and tak therof good hiede,  
139    Of that befell be olde tyde,  
140    As telleth ous the clerk Ovide.  
141    Bachus, which is the god of wyn, 
142    Acordant unto his divin 
143    A Prest, the which Cillenus hihte,  
144    He hadde, and fell so that be nyhte 
145    This Prest was drunke and goth astraied,  
146    Wherof the men were evele apaied 
147    In Frigelond, where as he wente. 
148    Bot ate laste a cherl him hente  
149    With strengthe of other felaschipe, 
150    So that upon his drunkeschipe 
151    Thei bounden him with chenes faste, 
152    And forth thei ladde him als so faste  
153    Unto the king, which hihte Myde. 
154    Bot he, that wolde his vice hyde,
155    This courteis king, tok of him hiede,  
156    And bad that men him scholde lede
157    Into a chambre forto kepe, 
158    Til he of leisir hadde slepe. 
159    And tho this Prest was sone unbounde,  
160    And up a couche fro the grounde  
161    To slepe he was leid softe ynowh;
162    And whanne he wok, the king him drowh  
163    To his presence and dede him chiere,
164    So that this Prest in such manere,  
165    Whil that him liketh, there he duelleth:  
166    And al this he to Bachus telleth,
167    Whan that he cam to him ayein.
168    And whan that Bachus herde sein      
169    How Mide hath don his courtesie, 
170    Him thenkth it were a vilenie,
171    Bot he rewarde him for his dede, 
172    So as he mihte of his godhiede.  
173    Unto this king this god appiereth
174    And clepeth, and that other hiereth:
175    This god to Mide thonketh faire  
176    Of that he was so debonaire
177    Toward his Prest, and bad him seie: 
178    What thing it were he wolde preie,  
179    He scholde it have, of worldes good.
180    This king was glad, and stille stod,
181    And was of his axinge in doute,  
182    And al the world he caste aboute,
183    What thing was best for his astat,  
184    And with himself stod in debat
185    Upon thre pointz, the whiche I finde
186    Ben lievest unto mannes kinde.
187    The ferste of hem it is delit,
188    The tuo ben worschipe and profit.
189    And thanne he thoghte, "If that I crave
190    Delit, thogh I delit mai have,
191    Delit schal passen in myn age:
192    That is no siker avantage, 
193    For every joie bodily
194    Schal ende in wo: delit forthi
195    Wol I noght chese. And if worschipe 
196    I axe and of the world lordschipe,  
197    That is an occupacion
198    Of proud ymaginacion,
199    Which makth an herte vein withinne; 
200    Ther is no certain forto winne,  
201    For lord and knave al is o weie, 
202    Whan thei be bore and whan thei deie.  
203    And if I profit axe wolde, 
204    I not in what manere I scholde
205    Of worldes good have sikernesse;     
206    For every thief upon richesse 
207    Awaiteth forto robbe and stele:  
208    Such good is cause of harmes fele.  
209    And also, thogh a man at ones 
210    Of al the world withinne his wones  
211    The tresor myhte have everydel,  
212    Yit hadde he bot o mannes del 
213    Toward himself, so as I thinke,  
214    Of clothinge and of mete and drinke,
215    For more, outake vanite,
216    Ther hath no lord in his degre." 
217    And thus upon the pointz diverse 
218    Diverseliche he gan reherce
219    What point him thoghte for the beste;  
220    Bot pleinly forto gete him reste 
221    He can so siker weie caste.
222    And natheles yit ate laste 
223    He fell upon the coveitise 
224    Of gold; and thanne in sondri wise  
225    He thoghte, as I have seid tofore,  
226    Hou tresor mai be sone lore,  
227    And hadde an inly gret desir  
228    Touchende of such recoverir,  
229    Hou that he mihte his cause availe  
230    To gete him gold withoute faile. 
231    Withinne his herte and thus he preiseth
232    The gold, and seith hou that it peiseth
233    Above al other metall most:
234    "The gold," he seith, "may lede an host
235    To make werre ayein a King;
236    The gold put under alle thing,
237    And set it whan him list above;  
238    The gold can make of hate love
239    And werre of pes and ryht of wrong, 
240    And long to schort and schort to long; 
241    Withoute gold mai be no feste,
242    Gold is the lord of man and beste,      
243    And mai hem bothe beie and selle;
244    So that a man mai sothly telle
245    That al the world to gold obeieth." 
246    Forthi this king to Bachus preieth  
247    To grante him gold, bot he excedeth 
248    Mesure more than him nedeth.  
249    Men tellen that the maladie
250    Which cleped is ydropesie  
251    Resembled is unto this vice
252    Be weie of kinde of Avarice:  
253    The more ydropesie drinketh,  
254    The more him thursteth, for him thinketh  
255    That he mai nevere drinke his fille;
256    So that ther mai nothing fulfille
257    The lustes of his appetit: 
258    And riht in such a maner plit 
259    Stant Avarice and evere stod; 
260    The more he hath of worldes good,
261    The more he wolde it kepe streyte,  
262    And evere mor and mor coveite.
263    And riht in such condicioun
264    Withoute good discrecioun  
265    This king with avarice is smite, 
266    That al the world it myhte wite: 
267    For he to Bachus thanne preide,  
268    That wherupon his hond he leide, 
269    It scholde thurgh his touche anon
270    Become gold, and therupon  
271    This god him granteth as he bad. 
272    Tho was this king of Frige glad, 
273    And forto put it in assai  
274    With al the haste that he mai,
275    He toucheth that, he toucheth this, 
276    And in his hond al gold it is,
277    The Ston, the Tree, the Lef, the gras, 
278    The flour, the fruit, al gold it was.      
279    Thus toucheth he, whil he mai laste 
280    To go, bot hunger ate laste
281    Him tok, so that he moste nede
282    Be weie of kinde his hunger fede.
283    The cloth was leid, the bord was set,  
284    And al was forth tofore him fet, 
285    His disch, his coppe, his drinke, his mete;  
286    Bot whanne he wolde or drinke or ete,  
287    Anon as it his mouth cam nyh, 
288    It was al gold, and thanne he syh
289    Of Avarice the folie.
290    And he with that began to crie,  
291    And preide Bachus to foryive  
292    His gilt, and soffre him forto live 
293    And be such as he was tofore, 
294    So that he were not forlore.  
295    This god, which herde of his grevance, 
296    Tok rowthe upon his repentance,  
297    And bad him go forth redily
298    Unto a flod was faste by,  
299    Which Paceole thanne hyhte,
300    In which as clene as evere he myhte 
301    He scholde him waisshen overal,  
302    And seide him thanne that he schal  
303    Recovere his ferste astat ayein. 
304    This king, riht as he herde sein,
305    Into the flod goth fro the lond, 
306    And wissh him bothe fot and hond,
307    And so forth al the remenant, 
308    As him was set in covenant:
309    And thanne he syh merveilles strange,  
310    The flod his colour gan to change,  
311    The gravel with the smale Stones 
312    To gold thei torne bothe at ones,
313    And he was quit of that he hadde,
314    And thus fortune his chance ladde.  
315    And whan he sih his touche aweie,    
316    He goth him hom the rihte weie
317    And liveth forth as he dede er,  
318    And putte al Avarice afer, 
319    And the richesse of gold despiseth, 
320    And seith that mete and cloth sufficeth.  
321    Thus hath this king experience
322    Hou foles don the reverence
323    To gold, which of his oghne kinde
324    Is lasse worth than is the rinde 
325    To sustienance of mannes fode;
326    And thanne he made lawes goode
327    And al his thing sette upon skile:  
328    He bad his poeple forto tile  
329    Here lond, and live under the lawe, 
330    And that thei scholde also forthdrawe  
331    Bestaile, and seche non encress  
332    Of gold, which is the breche of pes.
333    For this a man mai finde write,  
334    Tofor the time, er gold was smite
335    In Coign, that men the florin knewe,
336    Ther was welnyh noman untrewe;
337    Tho was ther nouther schield ne spere  
338    Ne dedly wepne forto bere; 
339    Tho was the toun withoute wal,
340    Which nou is closed overal;
341    Tho was ther no brocage in londe,
342    Which nou takth every cause on honde:  
343    So mai men knowe, hou the florin 
344    Was moder ferst of malengin
345    And bringere inne of alle werre, 
346    Wherof this world stant out of herre
347    Thurgh the conseil of Avarice,
348    Which of his oghne propre vice
349    Is as the helle wonderfull;
350    For it mai neveremor be full, 
351    That what as evere comth therinne,  
352    Awey ne may it nevere winne.  
353    Bot Sone myn, do thou noght so,      
354    Let al such Avarice go, 
355    And tak thi part of that thou hast: 
356    I bidde noght that thou do wast, 
357    Bot hold largesce in his mesure; 
358    And if thou se a creature, 
359    Which thurgh poverte is falle in nede, 
360    Yif him som good, for this I rede
361    To him that wol noght yiven here,
362    What peine he schal have elleswhere.
363    Ther is a peine amonges alle  
364    Benethe in helle, which men calle
365    The wofull peine of Tantaly,  
366    Of which I schal thee redely  
367    Devise hou men therinne stonde.  
368    In helle, thou schalt understonde,  
369    Ther is a flod of thilke office, 
370    Which serveth al for Avarice: 
371    What man that stonde schal therinne,
372    He stant up evene unto the chinne;  
373    Above his hed also ther hongeth  
374    A fruyt, which to that peine longeth,  
375    And that fruit toucheth evere in on 
376    His overlippe: and therupon
377    Swich thurst and hunger him assaileth, 
378    That nevere his appetit ne faileth. 
379    Bot whanne he wolde his hunger fede,
380    The fruit withdrawth him ate nede,  
381    And thogh he heve his hed on hyh,
382    The fruit is evere aliche nyh,
383    So is the hunger wel the more:
384    And also, thogh him thurste sore 
385    And to the water bowe a doun, 
386    The flod in such condicioun
387    Avaleth, that his drinke areche  
388    He mai noght. Lo nou, which a wreche,  
389    That mete and drinke is him so couth,      
390    And yit ther comth non in his mouth!
391    Lich to the peines of this flod  
392    Stant Avarice in worldes good:
393    He hath ynowh and yit him nedeth,
394    For his skarsnesse it him forbiedeth,  
395    And evere his hunger after more  
396    Travaileth him aliche sore,
397    So is he peined overal. 
398    Forthi thi goodes forth withal,  
399    Mi Sone, loke thou despende,  
400    Wherof thou myht thiself amende  
401    Bothe hier and ek in other place.
402    And also if thou wolt pourchace  
403    To be beloved, thou most use  
404    Largesce, for if thou refuse  
405    To yive for thi loves sake,
406    It is no reson that thou take 
407    Of love that thou woldest crave. 
408    Forthi, if thou wolt grace have, 
409    Be gracious and do largesse,  
410    Of Avarice and the seknesse
411    Eschuie above alle other thing,  
412    And tak ensample of Mide king 
413    And of the flod of helle also,
414    Where is ynowh of alle wo. 
415    And thogh ther were no matiere
416    Bot only that we finden hiere,
417    Men oghten Avarice eschuie;
418    For what man thilke vice suie,
419    He get himself bot litel reste.  
420    For hou so that the body reste,  
421    The herte upon the gold travaileth, 
422    Whom many a nyhtes drede assaileth; 
423    For thogh he ligge abedde naked, 
424    His herte is everemore awaked,
425    And dremeth, as he lith to slepe,
426    How besi that he is to kepe    
427    His tresor, that no thief it stele. 
428    Thus hath he bot a woful wele.
429    And riht so in the same wise, 
430    If thou thiself wolt wel avise,  
431    Ther be lovers of suche ynowe,
432    That wole unto no reson bowe. 
433    If so be that thei come above,
434    Whan thei ben maistres of here love,
435    And that thei scholden be most glad,
436    With love thei ben most bestad,  
437    So fain thei wolde it holden al. 
438    Here herte, here yhe is overal,  
439    And wenen every man be thief, 
440    To stele awey that hem is lief;  
441    Thus thurgh here oghne fantasie  
442    Thei fallen into Jelousie. 
443    Thanne hath the Schip tobroke his cable,  
444    With every wynd and is muable.
445    Mi fader, for that ye nou telle, 
446    I have herd ofte time telle
447    Of Jelousie, bot what it is
448    Yit understod I nevere er this:  
449    Wherfore I wolde you beseche, 
450    That ye me wolde enforme and teche  
451    What maner thing it mihte be. 
452    Mi Sone, that is hard to me:  
453    Bot natheles, as I have herd, 
454    Now herkne and thou schalt ben ansuerd.
455    Among the men lacke of manhode
456    In Mariage upon wifhode 
457    Makth that a man himself deceiveth, 
458    Wherof it is that he conceiveth  
459    That ilke unsely maladie,  
460    The which is cleped Jelousie: 
461    Of which if I the proprete 
462    Schal telle after the nycete,     
463    So as it worcheth on a man,
464    A Fievere it is cotidian,  
465    Which every day wol come aboute, 
466    Wher so a man be inne or oute.
467    At hom if that a man wol wone,
468    This Fievere is thanne of comun wone
469    Most grevous in a mannes yhe: 
470    For thanne he makth him tote and pryhe,
471    Wher so as evere his love go; 
472    Sche schal noght with hir litel too 
473    Misteppe, bot he se it al. 
474    His yhe is walkende overal;
475    Wher that sche singe or that sche dance,  
476    He seth the leste contienance,
477    If sche loke on a man aside
478    Or with him roune at eny tyde,
479    Or that sche lawghe, or that sche loure,  
480    His yhe is ther at every houre.  
481    And whanne it draweth to the nyht,  
482    If sche thanne is withoute lyht, 
483    Anon is al the game schent;
484    For thanne he set his parlement  
485    To speke it whan he comth to bedde, 
486    And seith, "If I were now to wedde, 
487    I wolde neveremore have wif." 
488    And so he torneth into strif  
489    The lust of loves duete,
490    And al upon diversete.  
491    If sche be freissh and wel araied,  
492    He seith hir baner is displaied  
493    To clepe in gestes fro the weie: 
494    And if sche be noght wel beseie, 
495    And that hir list noght to be gladd,
496    He berth an hond that sche is madd  
497    And loveth noght hire housebonde;
498    He seith he mai wel understonde, 
499    That if sche wolde his compaignie,      
500    Sche scholde thanne afore his ije
501    Schewe al the plesir that sche mihte.  
502    So that be daie ne be nyhte
503    Sche not what thing is for the beste,  
504    Bot liveth out of alle reste; 
505    For what as evere him liste sein,
506    Sche dar noght speke a word ayein,  
507    Bot wepth and holt hire lippes clos.
508    Sche mai wel wryte, "Sanz repos,"
509    The wif which is to such on maried. 
510    Of alle wommen be he waried,  
511    For with this Fievere of Jalousie
512    His echedaies fantasie  
513    Of sorghe is evere aliche grene, 
514    So that ther is no love sene, 
515    Whil that him list at hom abyde. 
516    And whan so is he wol out ryde,  
517    Thanne hath he redi his aspie 
518    Abidinge in hir compaignie,
519    A janglere, an evel mouthed oon, 
520    That sche ne mai nowhider gon,
521    Ne speke a word, ne ones loke,
522    That he ne wol it wende and croke
523    And torne after his oghne entente,  
524    Thogh sche nothing bot honour mente.
525    Whan that the lord comth hom ayein, 
526    The janglere moste somwhat sein; 
527    So what withoute and what withinne, 
528    This Fievere is evere to beginne,
529    For where he comth he can noght ende,  
530    Til deth of him have mad an ende.
531    For thogh so be that he ne hiere 
532    Ne se ne wite in no manere 
533    Bot al honour and wommanhiede,
534    Therof the Jelous takth non hiede,  
535    Bot as a man to love unkinde, 
536    He cast his staf, as doth the blinde,  
537    And fint defaulte where is non;      
538    As who so dremeth on a Ston
539    Hou he is leid, and groneth ofte,
540    Whan he lith on his pilwes softe.
541    So is ther noght bot strif and cheste; 
542    Whan love scholde make his feste,
543    It is gret thing if he hir kisse:
544    Thus hath sche lost the nyhtes blisse, 
545    For at such time he gruccheth evere 
546    And berth on hond ther is a levere, 
547    And that sche wolde an other were
548    In stede of him abedde there; 
549    And with tho wordes and with mo  
550    Of Jelousie, he torneth fro
551    And lith upon his other side, 
552    And sche with that drawth hire aside,  
553    And ther sche wepeth al the nyht.
554    Ha, to what peine sche is dyht,  
555    That in hire youthe hath so beset
556    The bond which mai noght ben unknet!
557    I wot the time is ofte cursed,
558    That evere was the gold unpursed,
559    The which was leid upon the bok, 
560    Whan that alle othre sche forsok 
561    For love of him; bot al to late  
562    Sche pleigneth, for as thanne algate
563    Sche mot forbere and to him bowe,
564    Thogh he ne wole it noght allowe.
565    For man is lord of thilke feire, 
566    So mai the womman bot empeire,
567    If sche speke oght ayein his wille; 
568    And thus sche berth hir peine stille.  
569    Bot if this Fievere a womman take,  
570    Sche schal be wel mor harde schake; 
571    For thogh sche bothe se and hiere,  
572    And finde that ther is matiere,  
573    Sche dar bot to hirselve pleine, 
574    And thus sche suffreth double peine.
575    Lo thus, mi Sone, as I have write,  
576    Thou miht of Jelousie wite     
577    His fievere and his condicion,
578    Which is full of suspecion.
579    Bot wherof that this fievere groweth,  
580    Who so these olde bokes troweth, 
581    Ther mai he finden hou it is: 
582    For thei ous teche and telle this,  
583    Hou that this fievere of Jelousie
584    Somdel it groweth of sotie 
585    Of love, and somdiel of untrust. 
586    For as a sek man lest his lust,  
587    And whan he may no savour gete,  
588    He hateth thanne his oughne mete,
589    Riht so this fieverous maladie,  
590    Which caused is of fantasie,  
591    Makth the Jelous in fieble plit  
592    To lese of love his appetit
593    Thurgh feigned enformacion 
594    Of his ymaginacion.  
595    Bot finali to taken hiede, 
596    Men mai wel make a liklihiede 
597    Betwen him which is averous
598    Of gold and him that is jelous
599    Of love, for in on degre
600    Thei stonde bothe, as semeth me. 
601    That oon wolde have his bagges stille, 
602    And noght departen with his wille,  
603    And dar noght for the thieves slepe,
604    So fain he wolde his tresor kepe;
605    That other mai noght wel be glad,
606    For he is evere more adrad 
607    Of these lovers that gon aboute, 
608    In aunter if thei putte him oute.
609    So have thei bothe litel joye 
610    As wel of love as of monoie.  
611    Now hast thou, Sone, at my techinge 
612    Of Jelousie a knowlechinge,
613    That thou myht understonde this, 
614    Fro whenne he comth and what he is,     
615    And ek to whom that he is lik.
616    Be war forthi thou be noght sik  
617    Of thilke fievere as I have spoke,  
618    For it wol in himself be wroke.  
619    For love hateth nothing more, 
620    As men mai finde be the lore  
621    Of hem that whilom were wise, 
622    Hou that thei spieke in many wise.  
623    Mi fader, soth is that ye sein.  
624    Bot forto loke therayein,  
625    Befor this time hou it is falle, 
626    Wherof ther mihte ensample falle 
627    To suche men as be jelous  
628    In what manere it is grevous, 
629    Riht fain I wolde ensample hiere.
630    My goode Sone, at thi preiere 
631    Of suche ensamples as I finde,
632    So as thei comen nou to mynde 
633    Upon this point, of time gon  
634    I thenke forto tellen on.  
635    Ovide wrot of manye thinges,  
636    Among the whiche in his wrytinges
637    He tolde a tale in Poesie, 
638    Which toucheth unto Jelousie, 
639    Upon a certein cas of love.
640    Among the goddes alle above
641    It fell at thilke time thus:  
642    The god of fyr, which Vulcanus
643    Is hote, and hath a craft forthwith 
644    Assigned, forto be the Smith  
645    Of Jupiter, and his figure 
646    Bothe of visage and of stature
647    Is lothly and malgracious, 
648    Bot yit he hath withinne his hous
649    As for the likynge of his lif 
650    The faire Venus to his wif.
651    Bot Mars, which of batailles is  
652    The god, an yhe hadde unto this:     
653    As he which was chivalerous,  
654    It fell him to ben amerous,
655    And thoghte it was a gret pite
656    To se so lusti on as sche  
657    Be coupled with so lourde a wiht:
658    So that his peine day and nyht
659    He dede, if he hire winne myhte; 
660    And sche, which hadde a good insihte
661    Toward so noble a knyhtli lord,  
662    In love fell of his acord. 
663    Ther lacketh noght bot time and place, 
664    That he nys siker of hire grace: 
665    Bot whan tuo hertes falle in on, 
666    So wys await was nevere non,  
667    That at som time thei ne mete;
668    And thus this faire lusti swete  
669    With Mars hath ofte compaignie.  
670    Bot thilke unkynde Jelousie,  
671    Which everemor the herte opposeth,  
672    Makth Vulcanus that he supposeth 
673    That it is noght wel overal,  
674    And to himself he seide, he schal
675    Aspie betre, if that he may;  
676    And so it fell upon a day, 
677    That he this thing so slyhli ledde, 
678    He fond hem bothe tuo abedde  
679    Al warm, echon with other naked. 
680    And he with craft al redy maked  
681    Of stronge chenes hath hem bounde,  
682    As he togedre hem hadde founde,  
683    And lefte hem bothe ligge so, 
684    And gan to clepe and crie tho 
685    Unto the goddes al aboute; 
686    And thei assembled in a route 
687    Come alle at ones forto se.
688    Bot none amendes hadde he, 
689    Bot was rebuked hiere and there      
690    Of hem that loves frendes were;  
691    And seiden that he was to blame, 
692    For if ther fell him eny schame, 
693    It was thurgh his misgovernance: 
694    And thus he loste contienance,
695    This god, and let his cause falle;  
696    And thei to skorne him lowhen alle, 
697    And losen Mars out of hise bondes.  
698    Wherof these erthli housebondes  
699    For evere myhte ensample take,
700    If such a chaunce hem overtake:  
701    For Vulcanus his wif bewreide,
702    The blame upon himself he leide, 
703    Wherof his schame was the more;  
704    Which oghte forto ben a lore  
705    For every man that liveth hiere, 
706    To reulen him in this matiere.
707    Thogh such an happ of love asterte, 
708    Yit scholde he noght apointe his herte 
709    With Jelousie of that is wroght, 
710    Bot feigne, as thogh he wiste it noght:
711    For if he lete it overpasse,  
712    The sclaundre schal be wel the lasse,  
713    And he the more in ese stonde.
714    For this thou myht wel understonde, 
715    That where a man schal nedes lese,  
716    The leste harm is forto chese.
717    Bot Jelousie of his untrist
718    Makth that full many an harm arist, 
719    Which elles scholde noght arise; 
720    And if a man him wolde avise  
721    Of that befell to Vulcanus,
722    Him oghte of reson thenke thus,  
723    That sithe a god therof was schamed,
724    Wel scholde an erthli man be blamed 
725    To take upon him such a vice. 
726    Forthi, my Sone, in thin office  
727    Be war that thou be noght jelous,    
728    Which ofte time hath schent the hous.  
729    Mi fader, this ensample is hard, 
730    Hou such thing to the heveneward 
731    Among the goddes myhte falle: 
732    For ther is bot o god of alle,
733    Which is the lord of hevene and helle. 
734    Bot if it like you to telle
735    Hou suche goddes come aplace, 
736    Ye mihten mochel thonk pourchace,
737    For I schal be wel tawht withal. 
738    Mi Sone, it is thus overal 
739    With hem that stonden misbelieved,  
740    That suche goddes ben believed:  
741    In sondri place sondri wise
742    Amonges hem whiche are unwise 
743    Ther is betaken of credence;  
744    Wherof that I the difference  
745    In the manere as it is write  
746    Schal do the pleinly forto wite. 
747    Er Crist was bore among ous hiere,  
748    Of the believes that tho were 
749    In foure formes thus it was.  
750    Thei of Caldee as in this cas 
751    Hadde a believe be hemselve,  
752    Which stod upon the signes tuelve,  
753    Forth ek with the Planetes sevene,  
754    Whiche as thei sihe upon the hevene.
755    Of sondri constellacion 
756    In here ymaginacion  
757    With sondri kerf and pourtreture 
758    Thei made of goddes the figure.  
759    In thelementz and ek also  
760    Thei hadden a believe tho;     
761    And al was that unresonable:  
762    For thelementz ben servicable 
763    To man, and ofte of Accidence,
764    As men mai se thexperience,
765    Thei ben corrupt be sondri weie; 
766    So mai no mannes reson seie
767    That thei ben god in eny wise.
768    And ek, if men hem wel avise, 
769    The Sonne and Mone eclipse bothe,
770    That be hem lieve or be hem lothe,  
771    Thei soffre; and what thing is passible
772    To ben a god is impossible.
773    These elementz ben creatures, 
774    So ben these hevenly figures, 
775    Wherof mai wel be justefied
776    That thei mai noght be deified:  
777    And who that takth awey thonour  
778    Which due is to the creatour, 
779    And yifth it to the creature, 
780    He doth to gret a forsfaiture.
781    Bot of Caldee natheles  
782    Upon this feith, thogh it be les,
783    Thei holde affermed the creance; 
784    So that of helle the penance, 
785    As folk which stant out of believe, 
786    They schull receive, as we believe. 
787    Of the Caldeus lo in this wise
788    Stant the believe out of assisse:
789    Bot in Egipte worst of alle
790    The feith is fals, hou so it falle; 
791    For thei diverse bestes there 
792    Honoure, as thogh thei goddes were: 
793    And natheles yit forth withal 
794    Thre goddes most in special
795    Thei have, forth with a goddesse,    
796    In whom is al here sikernesse.
797    Tho goddes be yit cleped thus,
798    Orus, Typhon and Isirus:
799    Thei were brethren alle thre, 
800    And the goddesse in hir degre 
801    Here Soster was and Ysis hyhte,  
802    Whom Isirus forlai be nyhte
803    And hield hire after as his wif. 
804    So it befell that upon strif  
805    Typhon hath Isre his brother slain, 
806    Which hadde a child to Sone Orayn,  
807    And he his fader deth to herte
808    So tok, that it mai noght asterte
809    That he Typhon after ne slowh,
810    Whan he was ripe of age ynowh.
811    Bot yit thegipcienes trowe 
812    For al this errour, which thei knowe,  
813    That these brethren ben of myht  
814    To sette and kepe Egipte upriht, 
815    And overthrowe, if that hem like.
816    Bot Ysis, as seith the Cronique, 
817    Fro Grece into Egipte cam, 
818    And sche thanne upon honde nam
819    To teche hem forto sowe and eere,
820    Which noman knew tofore there.
821    And whan thegipcienes syhe 
822    The fieldes fulle afore here yhe,
823    And that the lond began to greine,  
824    Which whilom hadde be bareigne,- 
825    For therthe bar after the kinde  
826    His due charge,- this I finde,
827    That sche of berthe the goddesse 
828    Is cleped, so that in destresse  
829    The wommen there upon childinge  
830    To hire clepe, and here offringe 
831    Thei beren, whan that thei ben lyhte.  
832    Lo, hou Egipte al out of syhte    
833    Fro resoun stant in misbelieve
834    For lacke of lore, as I believe. 
835    Among the Greks, out of the weie 
836    As thei that reson putte aweie,  
837    Ther was, as the Cronique seith, 
838    Of misbelieve an other feith, 
839    That thei here goddes and goddesses,
840    As who seith, token al to gesses 
841    Of suche as weren full of vice,  
842    To whom thei made here sacrifice.
843    The hihe god, so as thei seide,  
844    To whom thei most worschipe leide,  
845    Saturnus hihte, and king of Crete
846    He hadde be; bot of his sete  
847    He was put doun, as he which stod
848    In frenesie, and was so wod,  
849    That fro his wif, which Rea hihte,  
850    Hise oghne children he to plihte,
851    And eet hem of his comun wone.
852    Bot Jupiter, which was his Sone  
853    And of full age, his fader bond  
854    And kutte of with his oghne hond 
855    Hise genitals, whiche als so faste  
856    Into the depe See he caste;
857    Wherof the Greks afferme and seie,  
858    Thus whan thei were caste aweie, 
859    Cam Venus forth be weie of kinde.
860    And of Saturne also I finde
861    How afterward into an yle  
862    This Jupiter him dede exile,  
863    Wher that he stod in gret meschief. 
864    Lo, which a god thei maden chief!
865    And sithen that such on was he,  
866    Which stod most hihe in his degre
867    Among the goddes, thou miht knowe,      
868    These othre, that ben more lowe, 
869    Ben litel worth, as it is founde.
870    For Jupiter was the secounde, 
871    Which Juno hadde unto his wif;
872    And yit a lechour al his lif  
873    He was, and in avouterie
874    He wroghte many a tricherie;  
875    And for he was so full of vices, 
876    Thei cleped him god of delices:  
877    Of whom, if thou wolt more wite, 
878    Ovide the Poete hath write.
879    Bot yit here Sterres bothe tuo,  
880    Saturne and Jupiter also,  
881    Thei have, althogh thei be to blame,
882    Attitled to here oghne name.  
883    Mars was an other in that lawe,  
884    The which in Dace was forthdrawe,
885    Of whom the clerk Vegecius 
886    Wrot in his bok, and tolde thus, 
887    Hou he into Ytaile cam, 
888    And such fortune ther he nam  
889    That he a Maiden hath oppressed, 
890    Which in hire ordre was professed,  
891    As sche which was the Prioresse  
892    In Vestes temple the goddesse,
893    So was sche wel the mor to blame.
894    Dame Ylia this ladi name
895    Men clepe, and ek sche was also  
896    The kinges dowhter that was tho, 
897    Which Mynitor be name hihte.  
898    So that ayein the lawes ryhte 
899    Mars thilke time upon hire that  
900    Remus and Romulus begat,
901    Whiche after, whan thei come in Age,
902    Of knihthode and of vassellage
903    Ytaile al hol thei overcome
904    And foundeden the grete Rome; 
905    In Armes and of such emprise  
906    Thei weren, that in thilke wise      
907    Here fader Mars for the mervaile 
908    The god was cleped of bataille.  
909    Thei were his children bothe tuo,
910    Thurgh hem he tok his name so,
911    Ther was non other cause why: 
912    And yit a Sterre upon the Sky 
913    He hath unto his name applied,
914    In which that he is signified.
915    An other god thei hadden eke, 
916    To whom for conseil thei beseke, 
917    The which was brother to Venus,  
918    Appollo men him clepe thus.
919    He was an Hunte upon the helles, 
920    Ther was with him no vertu elles,
921    Wherof that enye bokes karpe, 
922    Bot only that he couthe harpe;
923    Which whanne he walked over londe,  
924    Fulofte time he tok on honde, 
925    To gete him with his sustienance,
926    For lacke of other pourveance.
927    And otherwhile of his falshede
928    He feignede him to conne arede
929    Of thing which after scholde falle; 
930    Wherof among hise sleyhtes alle  
931    He hath the lewed folk deceived, 
932    So that the betre he was received.  
933    Lo now, thurgh what creacion  
934    He hath deificacion, 
935    And cleped is the god of wit  
936    To suche as be the foles yit. 
937    An other god, to whom thei soghte,  
938    Mercurie hihte, and him ne roghte
939    What thing he stal, ne whom he slowh.  
940    Of Sorcerie he couthe ynowh,  
941    That whanne he wolde himself transforme,      
942    Fulofte time he tok the forme 
943    Of womman and his oghne lefte;
944    So dede he wel the more thefte.  
945    A gret spekere in alle thinges
946    He was also, and of lesinges  
947    An Auctour, that men wiste non
948    An other such as he was on.
949    And yit thei maden of this thief 
950    A god, which was unto hem lief,  
951    And clepede him in tho believes  
952    The god of Marchantz and of thieves.
953    Bot yit a sterre upon the hevene 
954    He hath of the planetes sevene.  
955    But Vulcanus, of whom I spak, 
956    He hadde a courbe upon the bak,  
957    And therto he was hepehalt:
958    Of whom thou understonde schalt, 
959    He was a schrewe in al his youthe,  
960    And he non other vertu couthe 
961    Of craft to helpe himselve with, 
962    Bot only that he was a Smith  
963    With Jupiter, which in his forge 
964    Diverse thinges made him forge;  
965    So wot I noght for what desir 
966    Thei clepen him the god of fyr.  
967    King of Cizile Ypolitus 
968    A Sone hadde, and Eolus 
969    He hihte, and of his fader grant 
970    He hield be weie of covenant  
971    The governance of every yle
972    Which was longende unto Cizile,  
973    Of hem that fro the lond forein  
974    Leie open to the wynd al plein.  
975    And fro thilke iles to the londe 
976    Fulofte cam the wynd to honde:
977    After the name of him forthi  
978    The wyndes cleped Eoli  
979    Tho were, and he the god of wynd.    
980    Lo nou, hou this believe is blynd!  
981    The king of Crete Jupiter, 
982    The same which I spak of er,  
983    Unto his brother, which Neptune  
984    Was hote, it list him to comune  
985    Part of his good, so that be Schipe 
986    He mad him strong of the lordschipe 
987    Of al the See in tho parties; 
988    Wher that he wroghte his tyrannyes, 
989    And the strange yles al aboute
990    He wan, that every man hath doute
991    Upon his marche forto saile;  
992    For he anon hem wolde assaile 
993    And robbe what thing that thei ladden, 
994    His sauf conduit bot if thei hadden.
995    Wherof the comun vois aros 
996    In every lond, that such a los
997    He cawhte, al nere it worth a stre, 
998    That he was cleped of the See 
999    The god be name, and yit he is
1000   With hem that so believe amis.
1001   This Neptune ek was thilke also, 
1002   Which was the ferste foundour tho
1003   Of noble Troie, and he forthi 
1004   Was wel the more lete by.  
1005   The loresman of the Schepherdes, 
1006   And ek of hem that ben netherdes,
1007   Was of Archade and hihte Pan: 
1008   Of whom hath spoke many a man;
1009   For in the wode of Nonarcigne,
1010   Enclosed with the tres of Pigne, 
1011   And on the Mont of Parasie 
1012   He hadde of bestes the baillie,  
1013   And ek benethe in the valleie,        
1014   Wher thilke rivere, as men seie, 
1015   Which Ladon hihte, made his cours,  
1016   He was the chief of governours
1017   Of hem that kepten tame bestes,  
1018   Wherof thei maken yit the festes 
1019   In the Cite Stinfalides.
1020   And forth withal yit natheles 
1021   He tawhte men the forthdrawinge  
1022   Of bestaile, and ek the makinge  
1023   Of Oxen, and of hors the same,
1024   Hou men hem scholde ryde and tame:  
1025   Of foules ek, so as we finde, 
1026   Ful many a soubtiel craft of kinde  
1027   He fond, which noman knew tofore.
1028   Men dede him worschipe ek therfore, 
1029   That he the ferste in thilke lond
1030   Was which the melodie fond 
1031   Of Riedes, whan thei weren ripe, 
1032   With double pipes forto pipe; 
1033   Therof he yaf the ferste lore,
1034   Til afterward men couthe more.
1035   To every craft for mannes helpe  
1036   He hadde a redi wit to helpe  
1037   Thurgh naturel experience: 
1038   And thus the nyce reverence
1039   Of foles, whan that he was ded,  
1040   The fot hath torned to the hed,  
1041   And clepen him god of nature, 
1042   For so thei maden his figure. 
1043   An other god, so as thei fiele,  
1044   Which Jupiter upon Samele  
1045   Begat in his avouterie, 
1046   Whom, forto hide his lecherie,
1047   That non therof schal take kepe, 
1048   In a Montaigne forto kepe, 
1049   Which Dyon hihte and was in Ynde,
1050   He sende, in bokes as I finde:
1051   And he be name Bachus hihte,  
1052   Which afterward, whan that he mihte,    
1053   A wastour was, and al his rente  
1054   In wyn and bordel he despente.
1055   Bot yit, al were he wonder badde,
1056   Among the Greks a name he hadde; 
1057   Thei cleped him the god of wyn,  
1058   And thus a glotoun was dyvyn. 
1059   Ther was yit Esculapius 
1060   A godd in thilke time as thus.
1061   His craft stod upon Surgerie, 
1062   Bot for the lust of lecherie, 
1063   That he to Daires dowhter drowh, 
1064   It felle that Jupiter him slowh: 
1065   And yit thei made him noght forthi  
1066   A god, and was no cause why.  
1067   In Rome he was long time also 
1068   A god among the Romeins tho;  
1069   For, as he seide, of his presence
1070   Ther was destruid a pestilence,  
1071   Whan thei to thyle of Delphos wente,
1072   And that Appollo with hem sente  
1073   This Esculapius his Sone,  
1074   Among the Romeins forto wone. 
1075   And there he duelte for a while, 
1076   Til afterward into that yle,  
1077   Fro whenne he cam, ayein he torneth,
1078   Where al his lyf that he sojorneth  
1079   Among the Greks, til that he deide. 
1080   And thei upon him thanne leide
1081   His name, and god of medicine 
1082   He hatte after that ilke line.
1083   An other god of Hercules
1084   Thei made, which was natheles 
1085   A man, bot that he was so strong,
1086   In al this world that brod and long 
1087   So myhti was noman as he.  
1088   Merveiles tuelve in his degre,
1089   As it was couth in sondri londes,    
1090   He dede with hise oghne hondes
1091   Ayein geantz and Monstres bothe, 
1092   The whiche horrible were and lothe, 
1093   Bot he with strengthe hem overcam:  
1094   Wherof so gret a pris he nam, 
1095   That thei him clepe amonges alle 
1096   The god of strengthe, and to him calle.
1097   And yit ther is no reson inne,
1098   For he a man was full of sinne,  
1099   Which proved was upon his ende,  
1100   For in a rage himself he brende; 
1101   And such a cruel mannes dede  
1102   Acordeth nothing with godhede.
1103   Thei hadde of goddes yit an other,  
1104   Which Pluto hihte, and was the brother 
1105   Of Jupiter, and he fro youthe 
1106   With every word which cam to mouthe,
1107   Of eny thing whan he was wroth,  
1108   He wolde swere his commun oth,
1109   Be Lethen and be Flegeton, 
1110   Be Cochitum and Acheron,
1111   The whiche, after the bokes telle,  
1112   Ben the chief flodes of the helle:  
1113   Be Segne and Stige he swor also, 
1114   That ben the depe Pettes tuo  
1115   Of helle the most principal.  
1116   Pluto these othes overal
1117   Swor of his commun custummance,  
1118   Til it befell upon a chance,  
1119   That he for Jupiteres sake 
1120   Unto the goddes let do make
1121   A sacrifice, and for that dede
1122   On of the pettes for his mede 
1123   In helle, of which I spak of er, 
1124   Was granted him; and thus he ther    
1125   Upon the fortune of this thing
1126   The name tok of helle king.
1127   Lo, these goddes and wel mo
1128   Among the Greks thei hadden tho, 
1129   And of goddesses manyon,
1130   Whos names thou schalt hiere anon,  
1131   And in what wise thei deceiven
1132   The foles whiche here feith receiven.  
1133   So as Saturne is soverein  
1134   Of false goddes, as thei sein,
1135   So is Sibeles of goddesses 
1136   The Moder, whom withoute gesses  
1137   The folk Payene honoure and serve,  
1138   As thei the whiche hire lawe observe.  
1139   Bot forto knowen upon this 
1140   Fro when sche cam and what sche is, 
1141   Bethincia the contre hihte,
1142   Wher sche cam ferst to mannes sihte;
1143   And after was Saturnes wif,
1144   Be whom thre children in hire lif
1145   Sche bar, and thei were cleped tho  
1146   Juno, Neptunus and Pluto,  
1147   The whiche of nyce fantasie
1148   The poeple wolde deifie.
1149   And for hire children were so,
1150   Sibeles thanne was also 
1151   Mad a goddesse, and thei hire calle 
1152   The moder of the goddes alle. 
1153   So was that name bore forth,  
1154   And yit the cause is litel worth.
1155   A vois unto Saturne tolde  
1156   Hou that his oghne Sone him scholde 
1157   Out of his regne putte aweie; 
1158   And he be cause of thilke weie,  
1159   That him was schape such a fate, 
1160   Sibele his wif began to hate      
1161   And ek hire progenie bothe.
1162   And thus, whil that thei were wrothe,  
1163   Be Philerem upon a dai  
1164   In his avouterie he lai,
1165   On whom he Jupiter begat;  
1166   And thilke child was after that  
1167   Which wroghte al that was prophecied,  
1168   As it tofore is specefied: 
1169   So that whan Jupiter of Crete 
1170   Was king, a wif unto him mete 
1171   The Dowhter of Sibele he tok, 
1172   And that was Juno, seith the bok.
1173   Of his deificacion
1174   After the false oppinion,  
1175   That have I told, so as thei meene; 
1176   And for this Juno was the queene 
1177   Of Jupiter and Soster eke, 
1178   The foles unto hire sieke, 
1179   And sein that sche is the goddesse  
1180   Of Regnes bothe and of richesse: 
1181   And ek sche, as thei understonde,
1182   The water Nimphes hath in honde  
1183   To leden at hire oghne heste; 
1184   And whan hir list the Sky tempeste, 
1185   The reinbowe is hir Messager. 
1186   Lo, which a misbelieve is hier!  
1187   That sche goddesse is of the Sky 
1188   I wot non other cause why. 
1189   An other goddesse is Minerve, 
1190   To whom the Greks obeie and serve:  
1191   And sche was nyh the grete lay
1192   Of Triton founde, wher sche lay  
1193   A child forcast, bot what sche was  
1194   Ther knew noman the sothe cas.
1195   Bot in Aufrique sche was leid 
1196   In the manere as I have seid, 
1197   And caried fro that ilke place
1198   Into an Yle fer in Trace,      
1199   The which Palene thanne hihte,
1200   Wher a Norrice hir kepte and dihte. 
1201   And after, for sche was so wys
1202   That sche fond ferst in hire avis
1203   The cloth makinge of wolle and lyn, 
1204   Men seiden that sche was divin,  
1205   And the goddesse of Sapience  
1206   Thei clepen hire in that credence.  
1207   Of the goddesse which Pallas  
1208   Is cleped sondri speche was.  
1209   On seith hire fader was Pallant, 
1210   Which in his time was geant,  
1211   A cruel man, a bataillous: 
1212   An other seith hou in his hous
1213   Sche was the cause why he deide. 
1214   And of this Pallas some ek seide 
1215   That sche was Martes wif; and so 
1216   Among the men that weren tho  
1217   Of misbelieve in the riote 
1218   The goddesse of batailles hote
1219   She was, and yit sche berth the name.  
1220   Now loke, hou they be forto blame.  
1221   Saturnus after his exil 
1222   Fro Crete cam in gret peril
1223   Into the londes of Ytaile, 
1224   And ther he dede gret mervaile,  
1225   Wherof his name duelleth yit. 
1226   For he fond of his oghne wit  
1227   The ferste craft of plowh tilinge,  
1228   Of Eringe and of corn sowinge,
1229   And how men scholden sette vines 
1230   And of the grapes make wynes; 
1231   Al this he tawhte, and it fell so,  
1232   His wif, the which cam with him tho,
1233   Was cleped Cereres be name,
1234   And for sche tawhte also the same,      
1235   And was his wif that ilke throwe,
1236   As it was to the poeple knowe,
1237   Thei made of Ceres a goddesse,
1238   In whom here tilthe yit thei blesse,
1239   And sein that Tricolonius  
1240   Hire Sone goth amonges ous 
1241   And makth the corn good chep or dere,  
1242   Riht as hire list fro yer to yeere; 
1243   So that this wif be cause of this
1244   Goddesse of Cornes cleped is. 
1245   King Jupiter, which his likinge  
1246   Whilom fulfelde in alle thinge,  
1247   So priveliche aboute he ladde 
1248   His lust, that he his wille hadde
1249   Of Latona, and on hire that
1250   Diane his dowhter he begat 
1251   Unknowen of his wif Juno.  
1252   And afterward sche knew it so,
1253   That Latona for drede fledde  
1254   Into an Ile, wher sche hedde  
1255   Hire wombe, which of childe aros.
1256   Thilke yle cleped was Delos;  
1257   In which Diana was forthbroght,  
1258   And kept so that hire lacketh noght.
1259   And after, whan sche was of Age, 
1260   Sche tok non hiede of mariage,
1261   Bot out of mannes compaignie  
1262   Sche tok hire al to venerie
1263   In forest and in wildernesse  
1264   For ther was al hire besinesse
1265   Be daie and ek be nyhtes tyde 
1266   With arwes brode under the side  
1267   And bowe in honde, of which sche slowh 
1268   And tok al that hir liste ynowh  
1269   Of bestes whiche ben chacable:
1270   Wherof the Cronique of this fable
1271   Seith that the gentils most of alle     
1272   Worschipen hire and to hire calle,  
1273   And the goddesse of hihe helles, 
1274   Of grene trees, of freisshe welles, 
1275   They clepen hire in that believe,
1276   Which that no reson mai achieve. 
1277   Proserpina, which dowhter was 
1278   Of Cereres, befell this cas:  
1279   Whil sche was duellinge in Cizile,  
1280   Hire moder in that ilke while 
1281   Upon hire blessinge and hire heste  
1282   Bad that sche scholde ben honeste,  
1283   And lerne forto weve and spinne, 
1284   And duelle at hom and kepe hire inne.  
1285   Bot sche caste al that lore aweie,  
1286   And as sche wente hir out to pleie, 
1287   To gadre floures in a pleine, 
1288   And that was under the monteine  
1289   Of Ethna, fell the same tyde  
1290   That Pluto cam that weie ryde,
1291   And sodeinly, er sche was war,
1292   He tok hire up into his char. 
1293   And as thei riden in the field,  
1294   Hire grete beaute he behield, 
1295   Which was so plesant in his ije, 
1296   That forto holde in compainie 
1297   He weddeth hire and hield hire so
1298   To ben his wif for everemo.
1299   And as thou hast tofore herd telle  
1300   Hou he was cleped god of helle,  
1301   So is sche cleped the goddesse
1302   Be cause of him, ne mor ne lesse.
1303   Lo, thus, mi Sone, as I thee tolde, 
1304   The Greks whilom be daies olde
1305   Here goddes hadde in sondri wise,
1306   And thurgh the lore of here aprise  
1307   The Romeins hielden ek the same.     
1308   And in the worschipe of here name
1309   To every godd in special
1310   Thei made a temple forth withal, 
1311   And ech of hem his yeeres dai 
1312   Attitled hadde; and of arai
1313   The temples weren thanne ordeigned, 
1314   And ek the poeple was constreigned  
1315   To come and don here sacrifice;  
1316   The Prestes ek in here office 
1317   Solempne maden thilke festes. 
1318   And thus the Greks lich to the bestes  
1319   The men in stede of god honoure, 
1320   Whiche mihten noght hemself socoure,
1321   Whil that thei were alyve hiere. 
1322   And over this, as thou schalt hiere,
1323   The Greks fulfild of fantasie 
1324   Sein ek that of the helles hihe  
1325   The goddes ben in special, 
1326   Bot of here name in general
1327   Thei hoten alle Satiri. 
1328   Ther ben of Nimphes proprely  
1329   In the believe of hem also:
1330   Oreades thei seiden tho 
1331   Attitled ben to the monteines;
1332   And for the wodes in demeynes 
1333   To kepe, tho ben Driades;  
1334   Of freisshe welles Naiades;
1335   And of the Nimphes of the See 
1336   I finde a tale in proprete,
1337   Hou Dorus whilom king of Grece,  
1338   Which hadde of infortune a piece,-  
1339   His wif forth with hire dowhtres alle, 
1340   So as the happes scholden falle, 
1341   With many a gentil womman there  
1342   Dreint in the salte See thei were:  
1343   Wherof the Greks that time seiden,  
1344   And such a name upon hem leiden,     
1345   Nerei5des that thei ben hote, 
1346   The Nimphes whiche that thei note
1347   To regne upon the stremes salte. 
1348   Lo now, if this believe halte!
1349   Bot of the Nimphes as thei telle,
1350   In every place wher thei duelle  
1351   Thei ben al redi obeissant 
1352   As damoiselles entendant
1353   To the goddesses, whos servise
1354   Thei mote obeie in alle wise; 
1355   Wherof the Greks to hem beseke
1356   With tho that ben goddesses eke, 
1357   And have in hem a gret credence. 
1358   And yit withoute experience
1359   Salve only of illusion, 
1360   Which was to hem dampnacion,  
1361   For men also that were dede
1362   Thei hadden goddes, as I rede,
1363   And tho be name Manes hihten, 
1364   To whom ful gret honour thei dihten,
1365   So as the Grekes lawe seith,  
1366   Which was ayein the rihte feith. 
1367   Thus have I told a gret partie;  
1368   Bot al the hole progenie
1369   Of goddes in that ilke time
1370   To long it were forto rime.
1371   Bot yit of that which thou hast herd,  
1372   Of misbelieve hou it hath ferd,  
1373   Ther is a gret diversite.  
1374   Mi fader, riht so thenketh me.
1375   Bot yit o thing I you beseche,
1376   Which stant in alle mennes speche,  
1377   The godd and the goddesse of love,  
1378   Of whom ye nothing hier above 
1379   Have told, ne spoken of her fare,
1380   That ye me wolden now declare 
1381   Hou thei ferst comen to that name.      
1382   Mi Sone, I have it left for schame, 
1383   Be cause I am here oghne Prest;  
1384   Bot for thei stonden nyh thi brest  
1385   Upon the schrifte of thi matiere,
1386   Thou schalt of hem the sothe hiere: 
1387   And understond nou wel the cas.  
1388   Venus Saturnes dowhter was,
1389   Which alle danger putte aweie 
1390   Of love, and fond to lust a weie;
1391   So that of hire in sondri place  
1392   Diverse men felle into grace, 
1393   And such a lusti lif sche ladde, 
1394   That sche diverse children hadde,
1395   Nou on be this, nou on be that.  
1396   Of hire it was that Mars beyat
1397   A child, which cleped was Armene;
1398   Of hire also cam Andragene,
1399   To whom Mercurie fader was:
1400   Anchises begat Eneas 
1401   Of hire also, and Ericon
1402   Biten begat, and therupon, 
1403   Whan that sche sih ther was non other, 
1404   Be Jupiter hire oghne brother 
1405   Sche lay, and he begat Cupide.
1406   And thilke Sone upon a tyde,  
1407   Whan he was come unto his Age,
1408   He hadde a wonder fair visage,
1409   And fond his Moder amourous,  
1410   And he was also lecherous: 
1411   So whan thei weren bothe al one, 
1412   As he which yhen hadde none
1413   To se reson, his Moder kiste; 
1414   And sche also, that nothing wiste
1415   Bot that which unto lust belongeth, 
1416   To ben hire love him underfongeth.  
1417   Thus was he blind, and sche unwys:  
1418   Bot natheles this cause it is,    
1419   Why Cupide is the god of love,
1420   For he his moder dorste love. 
1421   And sche, which thoghte hire lustes fonde,
1422   Diverse loves tok in honde,
1423   Wel mo thanne I the tolde hiere: 
1424   And for sche wolde hirselve skiere, 
1425   Sche made comun that desport, 
1426   And sette a lawe of such a port, 
1427   That every womman mihte take  
1428   What man hire liste, and noght forsake 
1429   To ben als comun as sche wolde.  
1430   Sche was the ferste also which tolde
1431   That wommen scholde here bodi selle;
1432   Semiramis, so as men telle,
1433   Of Venus kepte thilke aprise, 
1434   And so dede in the same wise  
1435   Of Rome faire Neabole,  
1436   Which liste hire bodi to rigole; 
1437   Sche was to every man felawe, 
1438   And hild the lust of thilke lawe,
1439   Which Venus of hirself began; 
1440   Wherof that sche the name wan,
1441   Why men hire clepen the goddesse 
1442   Of love and ek of gentilesse, 
1443   Of worldes lust and of plesance. 
1444   Se nou the foule mescreance
1445   Of Greks in thilke time tho,  
1446   Whan Venus tok hire name so.  
1447   Ther was no cause under the Mone 
1448   Of which thei hadden tho to done,
1449   Of wel or wo wher so it was,  
1450   That thei ne token in that cas
1451   A god to helpe or a goddesse. 
1452   Wherof, to take mi witnesse,  
1453   The king of Bragmans Dindimus 
1454   Wrot unto Alisandre thus:  
1455   In blaminge of the Grekes feith      
1456   And of the misbelieve, he seith  
1457   How thei for every membre hadden 
1458   A sondri god, to whom thei spradden 
1459   Here armes, and of help besoghten.  
1460   Minerve for the hed thei soghten,
1461   For sche was wys, and of a man
1462   The wit and reson which he can
1463   Is in the celles of the brayn,
1464   Wherof thei made hire soverain.  
1465   Mercurie, which was in his dawes 
1466   A gret spekere of false lawes,
1467   On him the kepinge of the tunge  
1468   Thei leide, whan thei spieke or sunge. 
1469   For Bachus was a glotoun eke, 
1470   Him for the throte thei beseke,  
1471   That he it wolde waisshen ofte
1472   With swote drinkes and with softe.  
1473   The god of schuldres and of armes
1474   Was Hercules; for he in armes 
1475   The myhtieste was to fihte,
1476   To him tho Limes they behihte.
1477   The god whom that thei clepen Mart  
1478   The brest to kepe hath for his part,
1479   Forth with the herte, in his ymage  
1480   That he adresce the corage.
1481   And of the galle the goddesse,
1482   For sche was full of hastifesse  
1483   Of wraththe and liht to grieve also,
1484   Thei made and seide it was Juno. 
1485   Cupide, which the brond afyre 
1486   Bar in his hond, he was the Sire 
1487   Of the Stomak, which builleth evere,
1488   Wherof the lustes ben the levere.
1489   To the goddesse Cereres,
1490   Which of the corn yaf hire encress  
1491   Upon the feith that tho was take,    
1492   The wombes cure was betake;
1493   And Venus thurgh the Lecherie,
1494   For which that thei hire deifie, 
1495   Sche kept al doun the remenant
1496   To thilke office appourtenant.
1497   Thus was dispers in sondri wise  
1498   The misbelieve, as I devise,  
1499   With many an ymage of entaile,
1500   Of suche as myhte hem noght availe; 
1501   For thei withoute lyves chiere
1502   Unmyhti ben to se or hiere 
1503   Or speke or do or elles fiele;
1504   And yit the foles to hem knele,  
1505   Which is here oghne handes werk. 
1506   Ha lord, hou this believe is derk,  
1507   And fer fro resonable wit! 
1508   And natheles thei don it yit: 
1509   That was to day a ragged tre, 
1510   To morwe upon his majeste  
1511   Stant in the temple wel besein.  
1512   How myhte a mannes resoun sein
1513   That such a Stock mai helpe or grieve? 
1514   Bot thei that ben of such believe
1515   And unto suche goddes calle,  
1516   It schal to hem riht so befalle, 
1517   And failen ate moste nede. 
1518   Bot if thee list to taken hiede  
1519   And of the ferste ymage wite, 
1520   Petornius therof hath write
1521   And ek Nigargorus also; 
1522   And thei afferme and write so,
1523   That Promothes was tofore
1524   And fond the ferste craft therfore, 
1525   And Cirophanes, as thei telle,
1526   Thurgh conseil which was take in helle,
1527   In remembrance of his lignage 
1528   Let setten up the ferste ymage.      
1529   Of Cirophanes seith the bok,  
1530   That he for sorwe, which he tok  
1531   Of that he sih his Sone ded,  
1532   Of confort knew non other red,
1533   Bot let do make in remembrance
1534   A faire ymage of his semblance
1535   And sette it in the market place,
1536   Which openly tofore his face  
1537   Stod every dai to don him ese.
1538   And thei that thanne wolden plese
1539   The fader, scholden it obeie, 
1540   Whan that they comen thilke weie.
1541   And of Ninus king of Assire
1542   I rede hou that in his empire 
1543   He was next after the secounde
1544   Of hem that ferst ymages founde. 
1545   For he riht in semblable cas  
1546   Of Belus, which his fader was 
1547   Fro Nembroth in the rihte line,  
1548   Let make of gold and Stones fine 
1549   A precious ymage riche  
1550   After his fader evene liche;  
1551   And therupon a lawe he sette, 
1552   That every man of pure dette  
1553   With sacrifice and with truage
1554   Honoure scholde thilke ymage: 
1555   So that withinne time it fell,
1556   Of Belus cam the name of Bel, 
1557   Of Bel cam Belzebub, and so
1558   The misbelieve wente tho.  
1559   The thridde ymage next to this
1560   Was, whan the king of Grece Apis 
1561   Was ded, thei maden a figure  
1562   In resemblance of his stature.
1563   Of this king Apis seith the bok  
1564   That Serapis his name tok, 
1565   In whom thurgh long continuance  
1566   Of misbelieve a gret creance  
1567   Thei hadden, and the reverence    
1568   Of Sacrifice and of encence
1569   To him thei made: and as thei telle,
1570   Among the wondres that befelle,  
1571   Whan Alisandre fro Candace 
1572   Cam ridende, in a wilde place 
1573   Undur an hull a Cave he fond; 
1574   And Candalus, which in that lond 
1575   Was bore, and was Candaces Sone, 
1576   Him tolde hou that of commun wone
1577   The goddes were in thilke cave.  
1578   And he, that wolde assaie and have  
1579   A knowlechinge if it be soth, 
1580   Liht of his hors and in he goth, 
1581   And fond therinne that he soghte:
1582   For thurgh the fendes sleihte him thoghte,
1583   Amonges othre goddes mo 
1584   That Serapis spak to him tho, 
1585   Whom he sih there in gret arrai. 
1586   And thus the fend fro dai to dai 
1587   The worschipe of ydolatrie 
1588   Drowh forth upon the fantasie 
1589   Of hem that weren thanne blinde  
1590   And couthen noght the trouthe finde.
1591   Thus hast thou herd in what degre
1592   Of Grece, Egipte and of Caldee
1593   The misbelieves whilom stode; 
1594   And hou so that thei be noght goode 
1595   Ne trewe, yit thei sprungen oute,
1596   Wherof the wyde world aboute  
1597   His part of misbelieve tok.
1598   Til so befell, as seith the bok, 
1599   That god a poeple for himselve
1600   Hath chose of the lignages tuelve,  
1601   Wherof the sothe redely,
1602   As it is write in Genesi,  
1603   I thenke telle in such a wise 
1604   That it schal be to thin apprise.    
1605   After the flod, fro which Noe5
1606   Was sauf, the world in his degre 
1607   Was mad, as who seith, newe ayein,  
1608   Of flour, of fruit, of gras, of grein, 
1609   Of beste, of bridd and of mankinde, 
1610   Which evere hath be to god unkinde: 
1611   For noght withstondende al the fare,
1612   Of that this world was mad so bare  
1613   And afterward it was restored,
1614   Among the men was nothing mored  
1615   Towardes god of good lyvynge, 
1616   Bot al was torned to likinge  
1617   After the fleissh, so that foryete  
1618   Was he which yaf hem lif and mete,  
1619   Of hevene and Erthe creatour. 
1620   And thus cam forth the grete errour,
1621   That thei the hihe god ne knewe, 
1622   Bot maden othre goddes newe,  
1623   As thou hast herd me seid tofore:
1624   Ther was noman that time bore,
1625   That he ne hadde after his chois 
1626   A god, to whom he yaf his vois.  
1627   Wherof the misbelieve cam  
1628   Into the time of Habraham: 
1629   Bot he fond out the rihte weie,  
1630   Hou only that men scholde obeie  
1631   The hihe god, which weldeth al,  
1632   And evere hath don and evere schal, 
1633   In hevene, in Erthe and ek in helle;
1634   Ther is no tunge his miht mai telle.
1635   This Patriarch to his lignage 
1636   Forbad, that thei to non ymage
1637   Encline scholde in none wise, 
1638   Bot here offrende and sacrifise  
1639   With al the hole hertes love  
1640   Unto the mihti god above
1641   Thei scholden yive and to no mo: 
1642   And thus in thilke time tho    
1643   Began the Secte upon this Erthe, 
1644   Which of believes was the ferthe.
1645   Of rihtwisnesse it was conceived,
1646   So moste it nedes be received 
1647   Of him that alle riht is inne,
1648   The hihe god, which wolde winne  
1649   A poeple unto his oghne feith.
1650   On Habraham the ground he leith, 
1651   And made him forto multeplie  
1652   Into so gret a progenie,
1653   That thei Egipte al overspradde. 
1654   Bot Pharao with wrong hem ladde  
1655   In servitute ayein the pes,
1656   Til god let sende Moi5ses  
1657   To make the deliverance;
1658   And for his poeple gret vengance 
1659   He tok, which is to hiere a wonder. 
1660   The king was slain, the lond put under,
1661   God bad the rede See divide,  
1662   Which stod upriht on either side 
1663   And yaf unto his poeple a weie,  
1664   That thei on fote it passe dreie 
1665   And gon so forth into desert: 
1666   Wher forto kepe hem in covert,
1667   The daies, whan the Sonne brente,
1668   A large cloude hem overwente, 
1669   And forto wissen hem be nyhte,
1670   A firy Piler hem alyhte.
1671   And whan that thei for hunger pleigne, 
1672   The myhti god began to reyne  
1673   Manna fro hevene doun to grounde,
1674   Wherof that ech of hem hath founde  
1675   His fode, such riht as him liste;
1676   And for thei scholde upon him triste,  
1677   Riht as who sette a tonne abroche,      
1678   He percede the harde roche,
1679   And sprong out water al at wille,
1680   That man and beste hath drunke his fille: 
1681   And afterward he yaf the lawe 
1682   To Moi5ses, that hem withdrawe
1683   Thei scholden noght fro that he bad.
1684   And in this wise thei be lad, 
1685   Til thei toke in possession
1686   The londes of promission,  
1687   Wher that Caleph and Josue5
1688   The Marches upon such degre
1689   Departen, after the lignage
1690   That ech of hem as Heritage
1691   His porpartie hath underfonge.
1692   And thus stod this believe longe,
1693   Which of prophetes was governed; 
1694   And thei hadde ek the poeple lerned 
1695   Of gret honour that scholde hem falle; 
1696   Bot ate moste nede of alle 
1697   Thei faileden, whan Crist was bore. 
1698   Bot hou that thei here feith have bore,
1699   It nedeth noght to tellen al, 
1700   The matiere is so general: 
1701   Whan Lucifer was best in hevene  
1702   And oghte moste have stonde in evene,  
1703   Towardes god he tok debat; 
1704   And for that he was obstinat, 
1705   And wolde noght to trouthe encline, 
1706   He fell for evere into ruine: 
1707   And Adam ek in Paradis, 
1708   Whan he stod most in al his pris 
1709   After thastat of Innocence,
1710   Ayein the god brak his defence
1711   And fell out of his place aweie: 
1712   And riht be such a maner weie 
1713   The Jwes in here beste plit,  
1714   Whan that thei scholden most parfit     
1715   Have stonde upon the prophecie,  
1716   Tho fellen thei to most folie,
1717   And him which was fro hevene come,  
1718   And of a Maide his fleissh hath nome,  
1719   And was among hem bore and fedd, 
1720   As men that wolden noght be spedd
1721   Of goddes Sone, with o vois
1722   Thei hinge and slowhe upon the crois.  
1723   Wherof the parfit of here lawe
1724   Fro thanne forth hem was withdrawe, 
1725   So that thei stonde of no merit, 
1726   Bot in truage as folk soubgit 
1727   Withoute proprete of place 
1728   Thei liven out of goddes grace,  
1729   Dispers in alle londes oute.  
1730   And thus the feith is come aboute,  
1731   That whilom in the Jewes stod,
1732   Which is noght parfihtliche good.
1733   To speke as it is nou befalle,
1734   Ther is a feith aboven alle,  
1735   In which the trouthe is comprehended,  
1736   Wherof that we ben alle amended. 
1737   The hihe almyhti majeste,  
1738   Of rihtwisnesse and of pite,  
1739   The Sinne which that Adam wroghte,  
1740   Whan he sih time, ayein he boghte,  
1741   And sende his Sone fro the hevene
1742   To sette mannes Soule in evene,  
1743   Which thanne was so sore falle
1744   Upon the point which was befalle,
1745   That he ne mihte himself arise.  
1746   Gregoire seith in his aprise,     
1747   It helpeth noght a man be bore,  
1748   If goddes Sone were unbore;
1749   For thanne thurgh the ferste Sinne, 
1750   Which Adam whilom broghte ous inne, 
1751   Ther scholden alle men be lost;  
1752   Bot Crist restoreth thilke lost, 
1753   And boghte it with his fleissh and blod.  
1754   And if we thenken hou it stod 
1755   Of thilke rancoun which he payde,
1756   As seint Gregoire it wrot and sayde,
1757   Al was behovely to the man:
1758   For that wherof his wo began  
1759   Was after cause of al his welthe,
1760   Whan he which is the welle of helthe,  
1761   The hihe creatour of lif,  
1762   Upon the nede of such a strif 
1763   So wolde for his creature  
1764   Take on himself the forsfaiture  
1765   And soffre for the mannes sake.  
1766   Thus mai no reson wel forsake 
1767   That thilke Senne original 
1768   Ne was the cause in special
1769   Of mannes worschipe ate laste,
1770   Which schal withouten ende laste.
1771   For be that cause the godhede 
1772   Assembled was to the manhede  
1773   In the virgine, where he nom  
1774   Oure fleissh and verai man becom 
1775   Of bodely fraternite;
1776   Wherof the man in his degre
1777   Stant more worth, as I have told,
1778   Than he stod erst be manyfold,
1779   Thurgh baptesme of the newe lawe,
1780   Of which Crist lord is and felawe.  
1781   And thus the hihe goddes myht,
1782   Which was in the virgine alyht,      
1783   The mannes Soule hath reconsiled,
1784   Which hadde longe ben exiled. 
1785   So stant the feith upon believe, 
1786   Withoute which mai non achieve
1787   To gete him Paradis ayein: 
1788   Bot this believe is so certein,  
1789   So full of grace and of vertu,
1790   That what man clepeth to Jhesu
1791   In clene lif forthwith good dede,
1792   He mai noght faile of hevene mede,  
1793   Which taken hath the rihte feith;
1794   For elles, as the gospel seith,  
1795   Salvacion ther mai be non. 
1796   And forto preche therupon  
1797   Crist bad to hise Apostles alle, 
1798   The whos pouer as nou is falle
1799   On ous that ben of holi cherche, 
1800   If we the goode dedes werche; 
1801   For feith only sufficeth noght,  
1802   Bot if good dede also be wroght. 
1803   Now were it good that thou forthi,  
1804   Which thurgh baptesme proprely
1805   Art unto Cristes feith professed,
1806   Be war that thou be noght oppressed 
1807   With Anticristes lollardie.
1808   For as the Jwes prophecie      
1809   Was set of god for avantage,  
1810   Riht so this newe tapinage 
1811   Of lollardie goth aboute
1812   To sette Cristes feith in doute. 
1813   The seintz that weren ous tofore,
1814   Be whom the feith was ferst upbore, 
1815   That holi cherche stod relieved, 
1816   Thei oghten betre be believed 
1817   Than these, whiche that men knowe
1818   Noght holy, thogh thei feigne and blowe
1819   Here lollardie in mennes Ere. 
1820   Bot if thou wolt live out of fere,  
1821   Such newe lore, I rede, eschuie, 
1822   And hold forth riht the weie and suie, 
1823   As thine Ancestres dede er this: 
1824   So schalt thou noght believe amis.  
1825   Crist wroghte ferst and after tawhte,  
1826   So that the dede his word arawhte;  
1827   He yaf ensample in his persone,  
1828   And we the wordes have al one,
1829   Lich to the Tree with leves grene,  
1830   Upon the which no fruit is sene. 
1831   The Priest Thoas, which of Minerve  
1832   The temple hadde forto serve, 
1833   And the Palladion of Troie 
1834   Kepte under keie, for monoie, 
1835   Of Anthenor which he hath nome,  
1836   Hath soffred Anthenor to come 
1837   And the Palladion to stele,
1838   Wherof the worschipe and the wele
1839   Of the Troiens was overthrowe.
1840   Bot Thoas at the same throwe, 
1841   Whan Anthenor this Juel tok,  
1842   Wynkende caste awei his lok
1843   For a deceipte and for a wyle:
1844   As he that scholde himself beguile, 
1845   He hidde his yhen fro the sihte, 
1846   And wende wel that he so mihte    
1847   Excuse his false conscience.  
1848   I wot noght if thilke evidence
1849   Nou at this time in here estatz  
1850   Excuse mihte the Prelatz,  
1851   Knowende hou that the feith discresceth
1852   And alle moral vertu cesseth, 
1853   Wherof that thei the keies bere, 
1854   Bot yit hem liketh noght to stere
1855   Here gostliche yhe forto se
1856   The world in his adversite;
1857   Thei wol no labour undertake  
1858   To kepe that hem is betake.
1859   Crist deide himselve for the feith, 
1860   Bot nou our feerfull prelat seith,  
1861   "The lif is suete," and that he kepeth,
1862   So that the feith unholpe slepeth,  
1863   And thei unto here ese entenden  
1864   And in here lust her lif despenden, 
1865   And every man do what him list.  
1866   Thus stant this world fulfild of Mist, 
1867   That noman seth the rihte weie:  
1868   The wardes of the cherche keie
1869   Thurgh mishandlinge ben myswreynt,  
1870   The worldes wawe hath welnyh dreynt 
1871   The Schip which Peter hath to stiere,  
1872   The forme is kept, bot the matiere  
1873   Transformed is in other wise. 
1874   Bot if thei weren gostli wise,
1875   And that the Prelatz weren goode,
1876   As thei be olde daies stode,  
1877   It were thanne litel nede  
1878   Among the men to taken hiede  
1879   Of that thei hieren Pseudo telle,
1880   Which nou is come forto duelle,  
1881   To sowe cokkel with the corn, 
1882   So that the tilthe is nyh forlorn,  
1883   Which Crist sew ferst his oghne hond.      
1884   Nou stant the cockel in the lond,
1885   Wher stod whilom the goode grein,
1886   For the Prelatz nou, as men sein,
1887   Forslowthen that thei scholden tile.
1888   And that I trowe be the skile,
1889   Whan ther is lacke in hem above, 
1890   The poeple is stranged to the love  
1891   Of trouthe, in cause of ignorance;  
1892   For wher ther is no pourveance
1893   Of liht, men erren in the derke. 
1894   Bot if the Prelatz wolden werke  
1895   Upon the feith which thei ous teche,
1896   Men scholden noght here weie seche  
1897   Withoute liht, as now is used:
1898   Men se the charge aldai refused, 
1899   Which holi cherche hath undertake.  
1900   Bot who that wolde ensample take,
1901   Gregoire upon his Omelie
1902   Ayein the Slouthe of Prelacie 
1903   Compleigneth him, and thus he seith:
1904   "Whan Peter, fader of the feith, 
1905   At domesdai schal with him bringe
1906   Judeam, which thurgh his prechinge  
1907   He wan, and Andrew with Achaie
1908   Schal come his dette forto paie, 
1909   And Thomas ek with his beyete 
1910   Of Ynde, and Poul the routes grete  
1911   Of sondri londes schal presente, 
1912   And we fulfild of lond and rente,
1913   Which of this world we holden hiere,
1914   With voide handes schul appiere, 
1915   Touchende oure cure spirital, 
1916   Which is our charge in special,  
1917   I not what thing it mai amonte
1918   Upon thilke ende of oure accompte,  
1919   Wher Crist himself is Auditour,      
1920   Which takth non hiede of vein honour." 
1921   Thoffice of the Chancellerie  
1922   Or of the kinges Tresorie  
1923   Ne for the writ ne for the taille
1924   To warant mai noght thanne availe;  
1925   The world, which nou so wel we trowe,  
1926   Schal make ous thanne bot a mowe:
1927   So passe we withoute mede, 
1928   That we non otherwise spede,  
1929   Bot as we rede that he spedde,
1930   The which his lordes besant hedde
1931   And therupon gat non encress. 
1932   Bot at this time natheles, 
1933   What other man his thonk deserve,
1934   The world so lusti is to serve,  
1935   That we with him ben all acorded,
1936   And that is wist and wel recorded
1937   Thurghout this Erthe in alle londes 
1938   Let knyhtes winne with here hondes, 
1939   For oure tunge schal be stille
1940   And stonde upon the fleisshes wille.
1941   It were a travail forto preche
1942   The feith of Crist, as forto teche  
1943   The folk Paiene, it wol noght be;
1944   Bot every Prelat holde his See
1945   With al such ese as he mai gete  
1946   Of lusti drinke and lusti mete,  
1947   Wherof the bodi fat and full  
1948   Is unto gostli labour dull 
1949   And slowh to handle thilke plowh.
1950   Bot elles we ben swifte ynowh 
1951   Toward the worldes Avarice;
1952   And that is as a sacrifice,
1953   Which, after that thapostel seith,  
1954   Is openly ayein the feith  
1955   Unto thidoles yove and granted:      
1956   Bot natheles it is nou haunted,  
1957   And vertu changed into vice,  
1958   So that largesce is Avarice,  
1959   In whos chapitre now we trete.
1960   Mi fader, this matiere is bete
1961   So fer, that evere whil I live
1962   I schal the betre hede yive
1963   Unto miself be many weie:  
1964   Bot over this nou wolde I preie  
1965   To wite what the branches are 
1966   Of Avarice, and hou thei fare 
1967   Als wel in love as otherwise. 
1968   Mi Sone, and I thee schal devise 
1969   In such a manere as thei stonde, 
1970   So that thou schalt hem understonde.        
1971   Dame Avarice is noght soleine,
1972   Which is of gold the Capiteine;  
1973   Bot of hir Court in sondri wise  
1974   After the Scole of hire aprise
1975   Sche hath of Servantz manyon, 
1976   Wherof that Covoitise is on;  
1977   Which goth the large world aboute,  
1978   To seche thavantages oute, 
1979   Wher that he mai the profit winne
1980   To Avarice, and bringth it inne. 
1981   That on hald and that other draweth,
1982   Ther is no day which hem bedaweth,  
1983   No mor the Sonne than the Mone,  
1984   Whan ther is eny thing to done,  
1985   And namely with Covoitise; 
1986   For he stant out of al assisse
1987   Of resonable mannes fare.