The Online 
Medieval and Classical Library

Confessio Amantis
Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

Incipit Liber Sextus: Part 1

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4

Est gula, que nostrum maculavit prima parentem
     Ex vetito pomo, quo dolet omnis homo
Hec agit, ut corpus anime contraria spirat,
     Quo caro fit crassa, spiritus atque macer.
Intus et exterius si que virtutis habentur,
     Potibus ebrietas conviciata ruit.
Mersa sopore labis, que Bachus inebriat hospes,
     Indignata Venus oscula raro premit.

1      The grete Senne original,  
2      Which every man in general 
3      Upon his berthe hath envenymed,  
4      In Paradis it was mystymed:
5      Whan Adam of thilke Appel bot,
6      His swete morscel was to hot, 
7      Which dedly made the mankinde.
8      And in the bokes as I finde,  
9      This vice, which so out of rule  
10     Hath sette ous alle, is cleped Gule;
11     Of which the branches ben so grete, 
12     That of hem alle I wol noght trete, 
13     Bot only as touchende of tuo  
14     I thenke speke and of no mo;  
15     Wherof the ferste is Dronkeschipe,  
16     Which berth the cuppe felaschipe.
17     Ful many a wonder doth this vice,
18     He can make of a wisman nyce, 
19     And of a fool, that him schal seme  
20     That he can al the lawe deme, 
21     And yiven every juggement  
22     Which longeth to the firmament
23     Bothe of the sterre and of the mone;    
24     And thus he makth a gret clerk sone 
25     Of him that is a lewed man.
26     Ther is nothing which he ne can, 
27     Whil he hath Dronkeschipe on honde, 
28     He knowth the See, he knowth the stronde, 
29     He is a noble man of armes,
30     And yit no strengthe is in his armes:  
31     Ther he was strong ynouh tofore, 
32     With Dronkeschipe it is forlore, 
33     And al is changed his astat,  
34     And wext anon so fieble and mat, 
35     That he mai nouther go ne come,  
36     Bot al togedre him is benome  
37     The pouer bothe of hond and fot, 
38     So that algate abide he mot.  
39     And alle hise wittes he foryet,  
40     The which is to him such a let,  
41     That he wot nevere what he doth, 
42     Ne which is fals, ne which is soth, 
43     Ne which is dai, ne which is nyht,  
44     And for the time he knowth no wyht, 
45     That he ne wot so moche as this, 
46     What maner thing himselven is,
47     Or he be man, or he be beste. 
48     That holde I riht a sori feste,  
49     Whan he that reson understod  
50     So soudeinliche is woxe wod,  
51     Or elles lich the dede man,
52     Which nouther go ne speke can.
53     Thus ofte he is to bedde broght, 
54     Bot where he lith yit wot he noght, 
55     Til he arise upon the morwe;  
56     And thanne he seith, "O, which a sorwe 
57     It is a man be drinkeles!" 
58     So that halfdrunke in such a res 
59     With dreie mouth he sterte him uppe,
60     And seith, "Nou baillez ‡a the cuppe."      
61     That made him lese his wit at eve
62     Is thanne a morwe al his beleve; 
63     The cuppe is al that evere him pleseth,
64     And also that him most deseseth; 
65     It is the cuppe whom he serveth, 
66     Which alle cares fro him kerveth 
67     And alle bales to him bringeth:  
68     In joie he wepth, in sorwe he singeth, 
69     For Dronkeschipe is so divers,
70     It may no whyle stonde in vers.  
71     He drinkth the wyn, bot ate laste
72     The wyn drynkth him and bint him faste,
73     And leith him drunke be the wal, 
74     As him which is his bonde thral  
75     And al in his subjeccion.  
76     And lich to such condicion,
77     As forto speke it other wise, 
78     It falleth that the moste wise
79     Ben otherwhile of love adoted,
80     And so bewhaped and assoted,  
81     Of drunke men that nevere yit 
82     Was non, which half so loste his wit
83     Of drinke, as thei of such thing do 
84     Which cleped is the jolif wo; 
85     And waxen of here oghne thoght
86     So drunke, that thei knowe noght 
87     What reson is, or more or lesse. 
88     Such is the kinde of that sieknesse,
89     And that is noght for lacke of brain,  
90     Bot love is of so gret a main,
91     That where he takth an herte on honde, 
92     Ther mai nothing his miht withstonde:  
93     The wise Salomon was nome, 
94     And stronge Sampson overcome, 
95     The knihtli David him ne mihte
96     Rescoue, that he with the sihte  
97     Of Bersabee ne was bestad, 
98     Virgile also was overlad,      
99     And Aristotle was put under.  
100    Forthi, mi Sone, it is no wonder 
101    If thou be drunke of love among, 
102    Which is above alle othre strong:
103    And if so is that thou so be, 
104    Tell me thi Schrifte in privite; 
105    It is no schame of such a thew
106    A yong man to be dronkelew.
107    Of such Phisique I can a part,
108    And as me semeth be that art, 
109    Thou scholdest be Phisonomie  
110    Be schapen to that maladie 
111    Of lovedrunke, and that is routhe.  
112    Ha, holi fader, al is trouthe 
113    That ye me telle: I am beknowe
114    That I with love am so bethrowe, 
115    And al myn herte is so thurgh sunke,
116    That I am verrailiche drunke, 
117    And yit I mai bothe speke and go.
118    Bot I am overcome so,
119    And torned fro miself so clene,  
120    That ofte I wot noght what I mene;  
121    So that excusen I ne mai
122    Min herte, fro the ferste day 
123    That I cam to mi ladi kiththe,
124    I was yit sobre nevere siththe.  
125    Wher I hire se or se hire noght, 
126    With musinge of min oghne thoght,
127    Of love, which min herte assaileth, 
128    So drunke I am, that mi wit faileth 
129    And al mi brain is overtorned,
130    And mi manere so mistorned,
131    That I foryete al that I can  
132    And stonde lich a mased man;  
133    That ofte, whanne I scholde pleie,  
134    It makth me drawe out of the weie
135    In soulein place be miselve,  
136    As doth a labourer to delve,  
137    Which can no gentil mannes chere;
138    Or elles as a lewed Frere, 
139    Whan he is put to his penance,
140    Riht so lese I mi contienance.
141    And if it nedes to betyde, 
142    That I in compainie abyde, 
143    Wher as I moste daunce and singe 
144    The hovedance and carolinge,  
145    Or forto go the newefot,
146    I mai noght wel heve up mi fot,  
147    If that sche be noght in the weie;  
148    For thanne is al mi merthe aweie,
149    And waxe anon of thoght so full, 
150    Wherof mi limes ben so dull,  
151    I mai unethes gon the pas. 
152    For thus it is and evere was, 
153    Whanne I on suche thoghtes muse, 
154    The lust and merthe that men use,
155    Whan I se noght mi ladi byme, 
156    Al is foryete for the time 
157    So ferforth that mi wittes changen  
158    And alle lustes fro me strangen, 
159    That thei seie alle trewely,  
160    And swere, that it am noght I.
161    For as the man which ofte drinketh, 
162    With win that in his stomac sinketh 
163    Wext drunke and witles for a throwe,
164    Riht so mi lust is overthrowe,
165    And of myn oghne thoght so mat
166    I wexe, that to myn astat  
167    Ther is no lime wol me serve, 
168    Bot as a drunke man I swerve, 
169    And suffre such a Passion, 
170    That men have gret compassion,
171    And everich be himself merveilleth  
172    What thing it is that me so eilleth.
173    Such is the manere of mi wo
174    Which time that I am hire fro,    
175    Til eft ayein that I hire se. 
176    Bot thanne it were a nycete
177    To telle you hou that I fare: 
178    For whanne I mai upon hire stare,
179    Hire wommanhede, hire gentilesse,
180    Myn herte is full of such gladnesse,
181    That overpasseth so mi wit,
182    That I wot nevere where it sit,  
183    Bot am so drunken of that sihte, 
184    Me thenkth that for the time I mihte
185    Riht sterte thurgh the hole wall;
186    And thanne I mai wel, if I schal,
187    Bothe singe and daunce and lepe aboute,
188    And holde forth the lusti route. 
189    Bot natheles it falleth so 
190    Fulofte, that I fro hire go
191    Ne mai, bot as it were a stake,  
192    I stonde avisement to take 
193    And loke upon hire faire face;
194    That for the while out of the place 
195    For al the world ne myhte I wende.  
196    Such lust comth thanne unto mi mende,  
197    So that withoute mete or drinke, 
198    Of lusti thoughtes whiche I thinke  
199    Me thenkth I mihte stonden evere;
200    And so it were to me levere
201    Than such a sihte forto leve, 
202    If that sche wolde yif me leve
203    To have so mochel of mi wille.
204    And thus thenkende I stonde stille  
205    Withoute blenchinge of myn yhe,  
206    Riht as me thoghte that I syhe
207    Of Paradis the moste joie: 
208    And so therwhile I me rejoie, 
209    Into myn herte a gret desir,  
210    The which is hotere than the fyr,
211    Al soudeinliche upon me renneth, 
212    That al mi thoght withinne brenneth,    
213    And am so ferforth overcome,  
214    That I not where I am become; 
215    So that among the hetes stronge  
216    In stede of drinke I underfonge  
217    A thoght so swete in mi corage,  
218    That nevere Pyment ne vernage 
219    Was half so swete forto drinke.  
220    For as I wolde, thanne I thinke  
221    As thogh I were at myn above, 
222    For so thurgh drunke I am of love,  
223    That al that mi sotye demeth  
224    Is soth, as thanne it to me semeth. 
225    And whyle I mai tho thoghtes kepe,  
226    Me thenkth as thogh I were aslepe
227    And that I were in goddes barm;  
228    Bot whanne I se myn oghne harm,  
229    And that I soudeinliche awake 
230    Out of my thought, and hiede take
231    Hou that the sothe stant in dede,
232    Thanne is mi sekernesse in drede 
233    And joie torned into wo,
234    So that the hete is al ago 
235    Of such sotie as I was inne.  
236    And thanne ayeinward I beginne
237    To take of love a newe thorst,
238    The which me grieveth altherworst,  
239    For thanne comth the blanche fievere,  
240    With chele and makth me so to chievere,
241    And so it coldeth at myn herte,  
242    That wonder is hou I asterte, 
243    In such a point that I ne deie:  
244    For certes ther was nevere keie  
245    Ne frosen ys upon the wal  
246    More inly cold that I am al.  
247    And thus soffre I the hote chele,
248    Which passeth othre peines fele; 
249    In cold I brenne and frese in hete: 
250    And thanne I drinke a biter swete    
251    With dreie lippe and yhen wete.  
252    Lo, thus I tempre mi diete,
253    And take a drauhte of such reles,
254    That al mi wit is herteles,
255    And al myn herte, ther it sit,
256    Is, as who seith, withoute wit;  
257    So that to prove it be reson  
258    In makinge of comparison
259    Ther mai no difference be  
260    Betwen a drunke man and me.
261    Bot al the worste of everychon
262    Is evere that I thurste in on;
263    The more that myn herte drinketh,
264    The more I may; so that me thinketh,
265    My thurst schal nevere ben aqueint. 
266    God schilde that I be noght dreint  
267    Of such a superfluite:  
268    For wel I fiele in mi degre
269    That al mi wit is overcast,
270    Wherof I am the more agast,
271    That in defaulte of ladischipe
272    Per chance in such a drunkeschipe
273    I mai be ded er I be war.  
274    For certes, fader, this I dar 
275    Beknowe and in mi schrifte telle:
276    Bot I a drauhte have of that welle, 
277    In which mi deth is and mi lif,  
278    Mi joie is torned into strif, 
279    That sobre schal I nevere worthe,
280    Bot as a drunke man forworthe;
281    So that in londe where I fare 
282    The lust is lore of mi welfare,  
283    As he that mai no bote finde. 
284    Bot this me thenkth a wonder kinde, 
285    As I am drunke of that I drinke, 
286    So am I ek for falte of drinke;  
287    Of which I finde no reles: 
288    Bot if I myhte natheles     
289    Of such a drinke as I coveite,
290    So as me liste, have o receite,  
291    I scholde assobre and fare wel.  
292    Bot so fortune upon hire whiel
293    On hih me deigneth noght to sette,  
294    For everemore I finde a lette:
295    The boteler is noght mi frend,
296    Which hath the keie be the bend; 
297    I mai wel wisshe and that is wast,  
298    For wel I wot, so freissh a tast,
299    Bot if mi grace be the more,  
300    I schal assaie neveremore. 
301    Thus am I drunke of that I se,
302    For tastinge is defended me,  
303    And I can noght miselven stanche:
304    So that, mi fader, of this branche  
305    I am gultif, to telle trouthe.
306    Mi Sone, that me thenketh routhe;
307    For lovedrunke is the meschief
308    Above alle othre the most chief, 
309    If he no lusti thoght assaie, 
310    Which mai his sori thurst allaie:
311    As for the time yit it lisseth
312    To him which other joie misseth. 
313    Forthi, mi Sone, aboven alle  
314    Thenk wel, hou so it the befalle,
315    And kep thi wittes that thou hast,  
316    And let hem noght be drunke in wast:
317    Bot natheles ther is no wyht  
318    That mai withstonde loves miht.  
319    Bot why the cause is, as I finde,
320    Of that ther is diverse kinde 
321    Of lovedrunke, why men pleigneth 
322    After the court which al ordeigneth,
323    I wol the tellen the manere;  
324    Nou lest, mi Sone, and thou schalt hiere. 
325    For the fortune of every chance  
326    After the goddes pourveance
327    To man it groweth from above,     
328    So that the sped of every love
329    Is schape there, er it befalle.  
330    For Jupiter aboven alle,
331    Which is of goddes soverein,  
332    Hath in his celier, as men sein, 
333    Tuo tonnes fulle of love drinke, 
334    That maken many an herte sinke
335    And many an herte also to flete, 
336    Or of the soure or of the swete. 
337    That on is full of such piment,  
338    Which passeth all entendement 
339    Of mannes witt, if he it taste,  
340    And makth a jolif herte in haste:
341    That other biter as the galle,
342    Which makth a mannes herte palle,
343    Whos drunkeschipe is a sieknesse 
344    Thurgh fielinge of the biternesse.  
345    Cupide is boteler of bothe,
346    Which to the lieve and to the lothe 
347    Yifth of the swete and of the soure,
348    That some lawhe, and some loure. 
349    Bot for so moche as he blind is, 
350    Fulofte time he goth amis  
351    And takth the badde for the goode,  
352    Which hindreth many a mannes fode
353    Withoute cause, and forthreth eke.  
354    So be ther some of love seke, 
355    Whiche oghte of reson to ben hole,  
356    And some comen to the dole 
357    In happ and as hemselve leste 
358    Drinke undeserved of the beste.  
359    And thus this blinde Boteler  
360    Yifth of the trouble in stede of cler  
361    And ek the cler in stede of trouble:
362    Lo, hou he can the hertes trouble,  
363    And makth men drunke al upon chaunce    
364    Withoute lawe of governance.  
365    If he drawe of the swete tonne,  
366    Thanne is the sorwe al overronne 
367    Of lovedrunke, and schalt noght greven 
368    So to be drunken every even,  
369    For al is thanne bot a game.  
370    Bot whanne it is noght of the same, 
371    And he the biter tonne draweth,  
372    Such drunkeschipe an herte gnaweth  
373    And fiebleth al a mannes thoght, 
374    That betre him were have drunke noght  
375    And al his bred have eten dreie; 
376    For thanne he lest his lusti weie
377    With drunkeschipe, and wot noght whider
378    To go, the weies ben so slider,  
379    In which he mai per cas so falle,
380    That he schal breke his wittes alle.
381    And in this wise men be drunke
382    After the drink that thei have drunke: 
383    Bot alle drinken noght alike, 
384    For som schal singe and som schal syke,
385    So that it me nothing merveilleth,  
386    Mi Sone, of love that thee eilleth; 
387    For wel I knowe be thi tale,  
388    That thou hast drunken of the duale,
389    Which biter is, til god the sende
390    Such grace that thou miht amende.
391    Bot, Sone, thou schalt bidde and preie 
392    In such a wise as I schal seie,  
393    That thou the lusti welle atteigne  
394    Thi wofull thurstes to restreigne
395    Of love, and taste the swetnesse;
396    As Bachus dede in his distresse, 
397    Whan bodiliche thurst him hente  
398    In strange londes where he wente.
399    This Bachus Sone of Jupiter    
400    Was hote, and as he wente fer 
401    Be his fadres assignement  
402    To make a werre in Orient, 
403    And gret pouer with him he ladde,
404    So that the heiere hond he hadde 
405    And victoire of his enemys,
406    And torneth homward with his pris,  
407    In such a contre which was dreie 
408    A meschief fell upon the weie.
409    As he rod with his compainie  
410    Nyh to the strondes of Lubie, 
411    Ther myhte thei no drinke finde  
412    Of water nor of other kinde,  
413    So that himself and al his host  
414    Were of defalte of drinke almost 
415    Destruid, and thanne Bachus preide  
416    To Jupiter, and thus he seide:
417    "O hihe fader, that sest al,  
418    To whom is reson that I schal 
419    Beseche and preie in every nede, 
420    Behold, mi fader, and tak hiede  
421    This wofull thurst that we ben inne 
422    To staunche, and grante ous forto winne,  
423    And sauf unto the contre fare,
424    Wher that oure lusti loves are
425    Waitende upon oure hom cominge." 
426    And with the vois of his preiynge,  
427    Which herd was to the goddes hihe,  
428    He syh anon tofore his yhe 
429    A wether, which the ground hath sporned;  
430    And wher he hath it overtorned,  
431    Ther sprang a welle freissh and cler,  
432    Wherof his oghne boteler
433    After the lustes of his wille 
434    Was every man to drinke his fille.  
435    And for this ilke grete grace 
436    Bachus upon the same place     
437    A riche temple let arere,  
438    Which evere scholde stonde there 
439    To thursti men in remembrance.
440    Forthi, mi Sone, after this chance  
441    It sit thee wel to taken hiede
442    So forto preie upon thi nede, 
443    As Bachus preide for the welle;  
444    And thenk, as thou hast herd me telle, 
445    Hou grace he gradde and grace he hadde.
446    He was no fol that ferst so radde,  
447    For selden get a domb man lond:  
448    Tak that proverbe, and understond
449    That wordes ben of vertu grete.  
450    Forthi to speke thou ne lete, 
451    And axe and prei erli and late
452    Thi thurst to quenche, and thenk algate,  
453    The boteler which berth the keie 
454    Is blind, as thou hast herd me seie;
455    And if it mihte so betyde, 
456    That he upon the blinde side  
457    Per cas the swete tonne arauhte, 
458    Than schalt thou have a lusti drauhte  
459    And waxe of lovedrunke sobre. 
460    And thus I rede thou assobre  
461    Thin herte in hope of such a grace; 
462    For drunkeschipe in every place, 
463    To whether side that it torne,
464    Doth harm and makth a man to sporne 
465    And ofte falle in such a wise,
466    Wher he per cas mai noght arise. 
467    And forto loke in evidence 
468    Upon the sothe experience, 
469    So as it hath befalle er this,
470    In every mannes mouth it is
471    Hou Tristram was of love drunke  
472    With Bele Ysolde, whan thei drunke  
473    The drink which Brangwein hem betok,
474    Er that king Marc his Eem hire tok      
475    To wyve, as it was after knowe.  
476    And ek, mi Sone, if thou wolt knowe,
477    As it hath fallen overmore 
478    In loves cause, and what is more 
479    Of drunkeschipe forto drede,  
480    As it whilom befell in dede,  
481    Wherof thou miht the betre eschuie  
482    Of drunke men that thou ne suie  
483    The compaignie in no manere,  
484    A gret ensample thou schalt hiere.  
485    This finde I write in Poesie  
486    Of thilke faire Ipotacie,  
487    Of whos beaute ther as sche was  
488    Spak every man, - and fell per cas, 
489    That Pirotos so him spedde, 
490    That he to wyve hire scholde wedde, 
491    Wherof that he gret joie made.
492    And for he wolde his love glade, 
493    Ayein the day of mariage
494    Be mouthe bothe and be message
495    Hise frendes to the feste he preide,
496    With gret worschipe and, as men seide, 
497    He hath this yonge ladi spoused. 
498    And whan that thei were alle housed,
499    And set and served ate mete,  
500    Ther was no wyn which mai be gete,  
501    That ther ne was plente ynouh:
502    Bot Bachus thilke tonne drouh,
503    Wherof be weie of drunkeschipe
504    The greteste of the felaschipe
505    Were oute of reson overtake;  
506    And Venus, which hath also take  
507    The cause most in special, 
508    Hath yove hem drinke forth withal
509    Of thilke cuppe which exciteth
510    The lust wherinne a man deliteth:    
511    And thus be double weie drunke,  
512    Of lust that ilke fyri funke  
513    Hath mad hem, as who seith, halfwode,  
514    That thei no reson understode,
515    Ne to non other thing thei syhen,
516    Bot hire, which tofore here yhen 
517    Was wedded thilke same day,
518    That freisshe wif, that lusti May,  
519    On hire it was al that thei thoghten.  
520    And so ferforth here lustes soghten,
521    That thei the whiche named were  
522    Centauri, ate feste there  
523    Of on assent, of an acord  
524    This yonge wif malgre hire lord  
525    In such a rage awei forth ladden,
526    As thei whiche non insihte hadden
527    Bot only to her drunke fare,  
528    Which many a man hath mad misfare
529    In love als wel as other weie.
530    Wherof, if I schal more seie  
531    Upon the nature of the vice,  
532    Of custume and of exercice 
533    The mannes grace hou it fordoth, 
534    A tale, which was whilom soth,
535    Of fooles that so drunken were,  
536    I schal reherce unto thine Ere.  
537    I rede in a Cronique thus  
538    Of Galba and of Vitellus,  
539    The whiche of Spaigne bothe were 
540    The greteste of alle othre there,
541    And bothe of o condicion
542    After the disposicion
543    Of glotonie and drunkeschipe. 
544    That was a sori felaschipe:
545    For this thou miht wel understonde, 
546    That man mai wel noght longe stonde 
547    Which is wyndrunke of comun us;
548    For he hath lore the vertus,  
549    Wherof reson him scholde clothe; 
550    And that was seene upon hem bothe.  
551    Men sein ther is non evidence,
552    Wherof to knowe a difference  
553    Betwen the drunken and the wode, 
554    For thei be nevere nouther goode;
555    For wher that wyn doth wit aweie,
556    Wisdom hath lost the rihte weie, 
557    That he no maner vice dredeth;
558    Nomore than a blind man thredeth 
559    His nedle be the Sonnes lyht, 
560    Nomore is reson thanne of myht,  
561    Whan he with drunkeschipe is blent. 
562    And in this point thei weren schent,
563    This Galba bothe and ek Vitelle, 
564    Upon the cause as I schal telle, 
565    Wherof good is to taken hiede.
566    For thei tuo thurgh her drunkenhiede
567    Of witles excitacioun
568    Oppressede al the nacion
569    Of Spaigne; for of fool usance,  
570    Which don was of continuance  
571    Of hem, whiche alday drunken were,  
572    Ther was no wif ne maiden there, 
573    What so thei were, or faire or foule,  
574    Whom thei ne token to defoule,
575    Wherof the lond was often wo: 
576    And ek in othre thinges mo 
577    Thei wroghten many a sondri wrong.  
578    Bot hou so that the dai be long, 
579    The derke nyht comth ate laste:  
580    God wolde noght thei scholden laste,
581    And schop the lawe in such a wise,  
582    That thei thurgh dom to the juise
583    Be dampned forto be forlore.      
584    Bot thei, that hadden ben tofore 
585    Enclin to alle drunkenesse,-  
586    Here ende thanne bar witnesse;
587    For thei in hope to assuage
588    The peine of deth, upon the rage 
589    That thei the lasse scholden fiele, 
590    Of wyn let fille full a Miele,
591    And dronken til so was befalle
592    That thei her strengthes losten alle
593    Withouten wit of eny brain;
594    And thus thei ben halfdede slain,
595    That hem ne grieveth bot a lyte. 
596    Mi Sone, if thou be forto wyte
597    In eny point which I have seid,  
598    Wherof thi wittes ben unteid, 
599    I rede clepe hem hom ayein.
600    I schal do, fader, as ye sein,
601    Als ferforth as I mai suffise:
602    Bot wel I wot that in no wise 
603    The drunkeschipe of love aweie
604    I mai remue be no weie, 
605    It stant noght upon my fortune.  
606    Bot if you liste to comune 
607    Of the seconde Glotonie,
608    Which cleped is Delicacie, 
609    Wherof ye spieken hier tofore,
610    Beseche I wolde you therfore. 
611    Mi Sone, as of that ilke vice,
612    Which of alle othre is the Norrice, 
613    And stant upon the retenue 
614    Of Venus, so as it is due, 
615    The proprete hou that it fareth  
616    The bok hierafter nou declareth.     
617    Of this chapitre in which we trete  
618    There is yit on of such diete,
619    To which no povere mai atteigne; 
620    For al is Past of paindemeine 
621    And sondri wyn and sondri drinke,
622    Wherof that he wole ete and drinke: 
623    Hise cokes ben for him affaited, 
624    So that his body is awaited,  
625    That him schal lacke no delit,
626    Als ferforth as his appetit
627    Sufficeth to the metes hote.  
628    Wherof this lusti vice is hote
629    Of Gule the Delicacie,  
630    Which al the hole progenie 
631    Of lusti folk hath undertake  
632    To feede, whil that he mai take  
633    Richesses wherof to be founde:
634    Of Abstinence he wot no bounde,  
635    To what profit it scholde serve. 
636    And yit phisique of his conserve 
637    Makth many a restauracioun 
638    Unto his recreacioun,
639    Which wolde be to Venus lief. 
640    Thus for the point of his relief 
641    The coc which schal his mete arraie,
642    Bot he the betre his mouth assaie,  
643    His lordes thonk schal ofte lese,
644    Er he be served to the chese: 
645    For ther mai lacke noght so lyte,
646    That he ne fint anon a wyte;  
647    For bot his lust be fully served,
648    Ther hath no wiht his thonk deserved.  
649    And yit for mannes sustenance,
650    To kepe and holde in governance,     
651    To him that wole his hele gete
652    Is non so good as comun mete: 
653    For who that loketh on the bokes,
654    It seith, confeccion of cokes,
655    A man him scholde wel avise
656    Hou he it toke and in what wise. 
657    For who that useth that he knoweth, 
658    Ful selden seknesse on him groweth, 
659    And who that useth metes strange,
660    Though his nature empeire and change
661    It is no wonder, lieve Sone,  
662    Whan that he doth ayein his wone;
663    For in Phisique this I finde, 
664    Usage is the seconde kinde.
665    And riht so changeth his astat
666    He that of love is delicat:
667    For though he hadde to his hond  
668    The beste wif of al the lond, 
669    Or the faireste love of alle, 
670    Yit wolde his herte on othre falle  
671    And thenke hem mor delicious  
672    Than he hath in his oghne hous:  
673    Men sein it is nou ofte so;
674    Avise hem wel, thei that so do.  
675    And forto speke in other weie,
676    Fulofte time I have herd seie,
677    That he which hath no love achieved,
678    Him thenkth that he is noght relieved, 
679    Thogh that his ladi make him chiere,
680    So as sche mai in good manere 
681    Hir honour and hir name save, 
682    Bot he the surplus mihte have.
683    Nothing withstondende hire astat,
684    Of love more delicat 
685    He set hire chiere at no delit,      
686    Bot he have al his appetit.
687    Mi Sone, if it be with thee so,  
688    Tell me. Myn holi fader, no:  
689    For delicat in such a wise 
690    Of love, as ye to me devise,  
691    Ne was I nevere yit gultif;
692    For if I hadde such a wif  
693    As ye speke of, what scholde I more?
694    For thanne I wolde neveremore 
695    For lust of eny wommanhiede
696    Myn herte upon non other fiede:  
697    And if I dede, it were a wast.
698    Bot al withoute such repast
699    Of lust, as ye me tolde above,
700    Of wif, or yit of other love, 
701    I faste, and mai no fode gete;
702    So that for lacke of deinte mete,
703    Of which an herte mai be fedd,
704    I go fastende to my bedd.  
705    Bot myhte I geten, as ye tolde,  
706    So mochel that mi ladi wolde  
707    Me fede with hir glad semblant,  
708    Though me lacke al the remenant, 
709    Yit scholde I somdel ben abeched 
710    And for the time wel refreched.  
711    Bot certes, fader, sche ne doth; 
712    For in good feith, to telle soth,
713    I trowe, thogh I scholde sterve, 
714    Sche wolde noght hire yhe swerve,
715    Min herte with o goodly lok
716    To fede, and thus for such a cok 
717    I mai go fastinge everemo: 
718    Bot if so is that eny wo
719    Mai fede a mannes herte wel,  
720    Therof I have at every meel
721    Of plente more than ynowh; 
722    Bot that is of himself so towh,      
723    Mi stomac mai it noght defie. 
724    Lo, such is the delicacie  
725    Of love, which myn herte fedeth; 
726    Thus have I lacke of that me nedeth.
727    Bot for al this yit natheles  
728    I seie noght I am gylteles,
729    That I somdel am delicat:  
730    For elles were I fulli mat,
731    Bot if that I som lusti stounde  
732    Of confort and of ese founde, 
733    To take of love som repast;
734    For thogh I with the fulle tast  
735    The lust of love mai noght fiele,
736    Min hunger otherwise I kiele  
737    Of smale lustes whiche I pike,
738    And for a time yit thei like; 
739    If that ye wisten what I mene.
740    Nou, goode Sone, schrif thee clene  
741    Of suche deyntes as ben goode,
742    Wherof thou takst thin hertes fode. 
743    Mi fader, I you schal reherce,
744    Hou that mi fodes ben diverse,
745    So as thei fallen in degre.
746    O fiedinge is of that I se,
747    An other is of that I here,
748    The thridde, as I schal tellen here,
749    It groweth of min oghne thoght:  
750    And elles scholde I live noght;  
751    For whom that failleth fode of herte,  
752    He mai noght wel the deth asterte.  
753    Of sihte is al mi ferste fode,
754    Thurgh which myn yhe of alle goode  
755    Hath that to him is acordant, 
756    A lusti fode sufficant. 
757    Whan that I go toward the place  
758    Wher I schal se my ladi face, 
759    Min yhe, which is loth to faste, 
760    Beginth to hungre anon so faste,     
761    That him thenkth of on houre thre,  
762    Til I ther come and he hire se:  
763    And thanne after his appetit  
764    He takth a fode of such delit,
765    That him non other deynte nedeth.
766    Of sondri sihtes he him fedeth:  
767    He seth hire face of such colour,
768    That freisshere is than eny flour,  
769    He seth hire front is large and plein  
770    Withoute fronce of eny grein, 
771    He seth hire yhen lich an hevene,
772    He seth hire nase strauht and evene,
773    He seth hire rode upon the cheke,
774    He seth hire rede lippes eke, 
775    Hire chyn acordeth to the face,  
776    Al that he seth is full of grace,
777    He seth hire necke round and clene, 
778    Therinne mai no bon be sene,  
779    He seth hire handes faire and whyte;
780    For al this thing withoute wyte  
781    He mai se naked ate leste, 
782    So is it wel the more feste
783    And wel the mor Delicacie  
784    Unto the fiedinge of myn yhe. 
785    He seth hire schapthe forth withal, 
786    Hire bodi round, hire middel smal,  
787    So wel begon with good array, 
788    Which passeth al the lust of Maii,  
789    Whan he is most with softe schoures 
790    Ful clothed in his lusti floures.
791    With suche sihtes by and by
792    Min yhe is fed; bot finaly,
793    Whan he the port and the manere  
794    Seth of hire wommanysshe chere,  
795    Than hath he such delice on honde,  
796    Him thenkth he mihte stille stonde, 
797    And that he hath ful sufficance  
798    Of liflode and of sustienance     
799    As to his part for everemo.
800    And if it thoghte alle othre so, 
801    Fro thenne wolde he nevere wende,
802    Bot there unto the worldes ende  
803    He wolde abyde, if that he mihte,
804    And fieden him upon the syhte.
805    For thogh I mihte stonden ay  
806    Into the time of domesday  
807    And loke upon hire evere in on,  
808    Yit whanne I scholde fro hire gon,  
809    Min yhe wolde, as thogh he faste,
810    Ben hungerstorven al so faste,
811    Til efte ayein that he hire syhe.
812    Such is the nature of myn yhe:
813    Ther is no lust so deintefull,
814    Of which a man schal noght be full, 
815    Of that the stomac underfongeth, 
816    Bot evere in on myn yhe longeth: 
817    For loke hou that a goshauk tireth, 
818    Riht so doth he, whan that he pireth
819    And toteth on hire wommanhiede;  
820    For he mai nevere fulli fiede 
821    His lust, bot evere aliche sore  
822    Him hungreth, so that he the more
823    Desireth to be fed algate: 
824    And thus myn yhe is mad the gate,
825    Thurgh which the deyntes of my thoght  
826    Of lust ben to myn herte broght. 
827    Riht as myn yhe with his lok  
828    Is to myn herte a lusti coc
829    Of loves fode delicat,  
830    Riht so myn Ere in his astat, 
831    Wher as myn yhe mai noght serve, 
832    Can wel myn hertes thonk deserve 
833    And fieden him fro day to day 
834    With suche deyntes as he may. 
835    For thus it is, that overal,  
836    Wher as I come in special, 
837    I mai hiere of mi ladi pris;      
838    I hiere on seith that sche is wys,  
839    An other seith that sche is good,
840    And som men sein, of worthi blod 
841    That sche is come, and is also
842    So fair, that nawher is non so;  
843    And som men preise hire goodli chiere: 
844    Thus every thing that I mai hiere,  
845    Which souneth to mi ladi goode,  
846    Is to myn Ere a lusti foode.  
847    And ek min Ere hath over this 
848    A deynte feste, whan so is 
849    That I mai hiere hirselve speke; 
850    For thanne anon mi faste I breke 
851    On suche wordes as sche seith,
852    That full of trouthe and full of feith 
853    Thei ben, and of so good desport,
854    That to myn Ere gret confort  
855    Thei don, as thei that ben delices. 
856    For al the metes and the spices, 
857    That eny Lombard couthe make, 
858    Ne be so lusti forto take  
859    Ne so ferforth restauratif,
860    I seie as for myn oghne lif,  
861    As ben the wordes of hire mouth: 
862    For as the wyndes of the South
863    Ben most of alle debonaire,
864    So whan hir list to speke faire, 
865    The vertu of hire goodly speche  
866    Is verraily myn hertes leche. 
867    And if it so befalle among,
868    That sche carole upon a song, 
869    Whan I it hiere I am so fedd, 
870    That I am fro miself so ledd, 
871    As thogh I were in paradis;
872    For certes, as to myn avis,
873    Whan I here of hir vois the stevene,
874    Me thenkth it is a blisse of hevene.
875    And ek in other wise also      
876    Fulofte time it falleth so,
877    Min Ere with a good pitance
878    Is fedd of redinge of romance 
879    Of Ydoine and of Amadas,
880    That whilom weren in mi cas,  
881    And eke of othre many a score,
882    That loveden longe er I was bore.
883    For whan I of here loves rede,
884    Min Ere with the tale I fede; 
885    And with the lust of here histoire  
886    Somtime I drawe into memoire  
887    Hou sorwe mai noght evere laste; 
888    And so comth hope in ate laste,  
889    Whan I non other fode knowe.  
890    And that endureth bot a throwe,  
891    Riht as it were a cherie feste;  
892    Bot forto compten ate leste,  
893    As for the while yit it eseth 
894    And somdel of myn herte appeseth:
895    For what thing to myn Ere spreedeth,
896    Which is plesant, somdel it feedeth 
897    With wordes suche as he mai gete 
898    Mi lust, in stede of other mete. 
899    Lo thus, mi fader, as I seie, 
900    Of lust the which myn yhe hath seie,
901    And ek of that myn Ere hath herd,
902    Fulofte I have the betre ferd.
903    And tho tuo bringen in the thridde, 
904    The which hath in myn herte amidde  
905    His place take, to arraie  
906    The lusti fode, which assaie  
907    I mot; and nameliche on nyhtes,  
908    Whan that me lacketh alle sihtes,
909    And that myn heringe is aweie,
910    Thanne is he redy in the weie 
911    Mi reresouper forto make,  
912    Of which myn hertes fode I take. 
913    This lusti cokes name is hote         
914    Thoght, which hath evere hise pottes hote 
915    Of love buillende on the fyr  
916    With fantasie and with desir, 
917    Of whiche er this fulofte he fedde  
918    Min herte, whanne I was abedde;  
919    And thanne he set upon my bord
920    Bothe every syhte and every word 
921    Of lust, which I have herd or sein. 
922    Bot yit is noght mi feste al plein, 
923    Bot al of woldes and of wisshes, 
924    Therof have I my fulle disshes,  
925    Bot as of fielinge and of tast,  
926    Yit mihte I nevere have o repast.
927    And thus, as I have seid aforn,  
928    I licke hony on the thorn, 
929    And as who seith, upon the bridel
930    I chiewe, so that al is ydel  
931    As in effect the fode I have. 
932    Bot as a man that wolde him save,
933    Whan he is seck, be medicine, 
934    Riht so of love the famine 
935    I fonde in al that evere I mai
936    To fiede and dryve forth the day,
937    Til I mai have the grete feste,  
938    Which al myn hunger myhte areste.
939    Lo suche ben mi lustes thre;  
940    Of that I thenke and hiere and se
941    I take of love my fiedinge 
942    Withoute tastinge or fielinge:
943    And as the Plover doth of Eir 
944    I live, and am in good espeir 
945    That for no such delicacie 
946    I trowe I do no glotonie.  
947    And natheles to youre avis,
948    Min holi fader, that be wis,  
949    I recomande myn astat
950    Of that I have be delicat. 
951    Mi Sone, I understonde wel     
952    That thou hast told hier everydel,  
953    And as me thenketh be thi tale,  
954    It ben delices wonder smale,  
955    Wherof thou takst thi loves fode.
956    Bot, Sone, if that thou understode  
957    What is to ben delicious,  
958    Thou woldest noght be curious 
959    Upon the lust of thin astat
960    To ben to sore delicat, 
961    Wherof that thou reson excede:
962    For in the bokes thou myht rede, 
963    If mannes wisdom schal be suied, 
964    It oghte wel to ben eschuied  
965    In love als wel as other weie;
966    For, as these holi bokes seie,
967    The bodely delices alle 
968    In every point, hou so thei falle,  
969    Unto the Soule don grievance. 
970    And forto take in remembrance,
971    A tale acordant unto this, 
972    Which of gret understondinge is  
973    To mannes soule resonable, 
974    I thenke telle, and is no fable. 
975    Of Cristes word, who wole it rede,  
976    Hou that this vice is forto drede
977    In thevangile it telleth plein,  
978    Which mot algate be certein,  
979    For Crist himself it berth witnesse.
980    And thogh the clerk and the clergesse  
981    In latin tunge it rede and singe,
982    Yit for the more knoulechinge 
983    Of trouthe, which is good to wite,  
984    I schal declare as it is write
985    In Engleissh, for thus it began. 
986    Crist seith: "Ther was a riche man, 
987    A mihti lord of gret astat,
988    And he was ek so delicat    
989    Of his clothing, that everyday
990    Of pourpre and bisse he made him gay,  
991    And eet and drank therto his fille  
992    After the lustes of his wille,
993    As he which al stod in delice 
994    And tok non hiede of thilke vice.
995    And as it scholde so betyde,  
996    A povere lazre upon a tyde 
997    Cam to the gate and axed mete:
998    Bot there mihte he nothing gete  
999    His dedly hunger forto stanche;  
1000   For he, which hadde his fulle panche
1001   Of alle lustes ate bord,
1002   Ne deigneth noght to speke a word,  
1003   Onliche a Crumme forto yive,  
1004   Wherof the povere myhte live  
1005   Upon the yifte of his almesse.
1006   Thus lai this povere in gret destresse 
1007   Acold and hungred ate gate,
1008   Fro which he mihte go no gate,
1009   So was he wofulli besein.  
1010   And as these holi bokes sein, 
1011   The houndes comen fro the halle, 
1012   Wher that this sike man was falle,  
1013   And as he lay ther forto die, 
1014   The woundes of his maladie 
1015   Thei licken forto don him ese.
1016   Bot he was full of such desese,  
1017   That he mai noght the deth eschape; 
1018   Bot as it was that time schape,  
1019   The Soule fro the bodi passeth,  
1020   And he whom nothing overpasseth, 
1021   The hihe god, up to the hevene
1022   Him tok, wher he hath set him evene 
1023   In Habrahammes barm on hyh,
1024   Wher he the hevene joie syh    
1025   And hadde al that he have wolde. 
1026   And fell, as it befalle scholde, 
1027   This riche man the same throwe
1028   With soudein deth was overthrowe,
1029   And forth withouten eny wente 
1030   Into the helle straght he wente; 
1031   The fend into the fyr him drouh, 
1032   Wher that he hadde peine ynouh
1033   Of flamme which that evere brenneth.
1034   And as his yhe aboute renneth,
1035   Toward the hevene he cast his lok,  
1036   Wher that he syh and hiede tok
1037   Hou Lazar set was in his Se
1038   Als ferr as evere he mihte se 
1039   With Habraham; and thanne he preide 
1040   Unto the Patriarch and seide: 
1041   "Send Lazar doun fro thilke Sete,
1042   And do that he his finger wete
1043   In water, so that he mai droppe  
1044   Upon my tunge, forto stoppe
1045   The grete hete in which I brenne."  
1046   Bot Habraham answerde thenne  
1047   And seide to him in this wise:
1048   "Mi Sone, thou thee miht avise
1049   And take into thi remembrance,
1050   Hou Lazar hadde gret penance, 
1051   Whyl he was in that other lif,
1052   Bot thou in al thi lust jolif 
1053   The bodily delices soghtest:  
1054   Forthi, so as thou thanne wroghtest,
1055   Nou schalt thou take thi reward  
1056   Of dedly peine hierafterward  
1057   In helle, which schal evere laste;  
1058   And this Lazar nou ate laste  
1059   The worldes peine is overronne,  
1060   In hevene and hath his lif begonne  
1061   Of joie, which is endeles.     
1062   Bot that thou preidest natheles, 
1063   That I schal Lazar to the sende  
1064   With water on his finger ende,
1065   Thin hote tunge forto kiele,  
1066   Thou schalt no such graces fiele;
1067   For to that foule place of Sinne,
1068   For evere in which thou schalt ben inne,  
1069   Comth non out of this place thider, 
1070   Ne non of you mai comen hider;
1071   Thus be yee parted nou atuo." 
1072   The riche ayeinward cride tho:
1073   "O Habraham, sithe it so is,  
1074   That Lazar mai noght do me this  
1075   Which I have axed in this place, 
1076   I wolde preie an other grace. 
1077   For I have yit of brethren fyve, 
1078   That with mi fader ben alyve  
1079   Togedre duellende in on hous; 
1080   To whom, as thou art gracious,
1081   I preie that thou woldest sende  
1082   Lazar, so that he mihte wende 
1083   To warne hem hou the world is went, 
1084   That afterward thei be noght schent 
1085   Of suche peines as I drye. 
1086   Lo, this I preie and this I crie,
1087   Now I may noght miself amende."  
1088   The Patriarch anon suiende 
1089   To his preiere ansuerde nay;  
1090   And seide him hou that everyday  
1091   His brethren mihten knowe and hiere 
1092   Of Moi5ses on Erthe hiere  
1093   And of prophetes othre mo, 
1094   What hem was best. And he seith no; 
1095   Bot if ther mihte a man aryse 
1096   Fro deth to lyve in such a wise, 
1097   To tellen hem hou that it were,  
1098   He seide hou thanne of pure fere 
1099   Thei scholden wel be war therby.     
1100   Quod Habraham: "Nay sikerly;  
1101   For if thei nou wol noght obeie  
1102   To suche as techen hem the weie, 
1103   And alday preche and alday telle 
1104   Hou that it stant of hevene and helle, 
1105   Thei wol noght thanne taken hiede,  
1106   Thogh it befelle so in dede
1107   That eny ded man were arered, 
1108   To ben of him no betre lered  
1109   Than of an other man alyve."  
1110   If thou, mi Sone, canst descryve 
1111   This tale, as Crist himself it tolde,  
1112   Thou schalt have cause to beholde,  
1113   To se so gret an evidence, 
1114   Wherof the sothe experience
1115   Hath schewed openliche at ije,
1116   That bodili delicacie
1117   Of him which yeveth non almesse  
1118   Schal after falle in gret destresse.
1119   And that was sene upon the riche:
1120   For he ne wolde unto his liche
1121   A Crumme yiven of his bred,
1122   Thanne afterward, whan he was ded,  
1123   A drope of water him was werned. 
1124   Thus mai a mannes wit be lerned  
1125   Of hem that so delices taken; 
1126   Whan thei with deth ben overtaken,  
1127   That erst was swete is thanne sour. 
1128   Bot he that is a governour 
1129   Of worldes good, if he be wys,
1130   Withinne his herte he set no pris
1131   Of al the world, and yit he useth
1132   The good, that he nothing refuseth, 
1133   As he which lord is of the thinges. 
1134   The Nouches and the riche ringes,
1135   The cloth of gold and the Perrie 
1136   He takth, and yit delicacie    
1137   He leveth, thogh he were al this.
1138   The beste mete that ther is
1139   He ett, and drinkth the beste drinke;  
1140   Bot hou that evere he ete or drinke,
1141   Delicacie he put aweie, 
1142   As he which goth the rihte weie  
1143   Noght only forto fiede and clothe
1144   His bodi, bot his soule bothe.
1145   Bot thei that taken otherwise 
1146   Here lustes, ben none of the wise;  
1147   And that whilom was schewed eke, 
1148   If thou these olde bokes seke,
1149   Als wel be reson as be kinde, 
1150   Of olde ensample as men mai finde.  
1151   What man that wolde him wel avise,  
1152   Delicacie is to despise,
1153   Whan kinde acordeth noght withal;
1154   Wherof ensample in special 
1155   Of Nero whilom mai be told,
1156   Which ayein kinde manyfold 
1157   Hise lustes tok, til ate laste
1158   That god him wolde al overcaste; 
1159   Of whom the Cronique is so plein,
1160   Me list nomore of him to sein.
1161   And natheles for glotonie  
1162   Of bodili Delicacie, 
1163   To knowe his stomak hou it ferde,
1164   Of that noman tofore herde,
1165   Which he withinne himself bethoghte,
1166   A wonder soubtil thing he wroghte.  
1167   Thre men upon eleccioun     
1168   Of age and of complexioun  
1169   Lich to himself be alle weie  
1170   He tok towardes him to pleie, 
1171   And ete and drinke als wel as he.
1172   Therof was no diversite;
1173   For every day whan that thei eete,  
1174   Tofore his oghne bord thei seete,
1175   And of such mete as he was served,  
1176   Althogh thei hadde it noght deserved,  
1177   Thei token service of the same.  
1178   Bot afterward al thilke game  
1179   Was into wofull ernest torned;
1180   For whan thei weren thus sojorned,  
1181   Withinne a time at after mete 
1182   Nero, which hadde noght foryete  
1183   The lustes of his frele astat,
1184   As he which al was delicat,
1185   To knowe thilke experience,
1186   The men let come in his presence:
1187   And to that on the same tyde, 
1188   A  courser that he scholde ryde  
1189   Into the feld, anon he bad;
1190   Wherof this man was wonder glad, 
1191   And goth to prike and prance aboute.
1192   That other, whil that he was oute,  
1193   He leide upon his bedd to slepe: 
1194   The thridde, which he wolde kepe 
1195   Withinne his chambre, faire and softe  
1196   He goth now doun nou up fulofte, 
1197   Walkende a pass, that he ne slepte, 
1198   Til he which on the courser lepte
1199   Was come fro the field ayein. 
1200   Nero thanne, as the bokes sein,  
1201   These men doth taken alle thre
1202   And slouh hem, for he wolde se
1203   The whos stomak was best defied: 
1204   And whanne he hath the sothe tryed, 
1205   He fond that he which goth the pass 
1206   Defyed best of alle was,    
1207   Which afterward he usede ay.  
1208   And thus what thing unto his pay 
1209   Was most plesant, he lefte non:  
1210   With every lust he was begon, 
1211   Wherof the bodi myhte glade,  
1212   For he non abstinence made;
1213   Bot most above alle erthli thinges  
1214   Of wommen unto the likinges
1215   Nero sette al his hole herte, 
1216   For that lust scholde him noght asterte.  
1217   Whan that the thurst of love him cawhte,  
1218   Wher that him list he tok a drauhte,
1219   He spareth nouther wif ne maide, 
1220   That such an other, as men saide,
1221   In al this world was nevere yit. 
1222   He was so drunke in al his wit
1223   Thurgh sondri lustes whiche he tok, 
1224   That evere, whil ther is a bok,  
1225   Of Nero men schul rede and singe 
1226   Unto the worldes knowlechinge,
1227   Mi goode Sone, as thou hast herd.