The Online 
Medieval and Classical Library

Confessio Amantis
Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

Incipit Liber Tercius: Part 1

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4

Ira suis paribus est par furiis Acherontis,
     Quo furor ad tempus nil pietatis habet.
Ira malencolicos animos perturbat, vt equo
     Iure sui pondus nulla statera tenet.
Omnibus in causis grauat Ira, set inter amantes,
     Illa magis facili sorte grauamen agit:
Est vbi vir discors leuiterque repugnat amori,
     Sepe loco ludi fletus ad ora venit.

1      If thou the vices lest to knowe, 
2      Mi Sone, it hath noght ben unknowe, 
3      Fro ferst that men the swerdes grounde,
4      That ther nis on upon this grounde, 
5      A vice forein fro the lawe,
6      Wherof that many a good felawe
7      Hath be distraght be sodein chance; 
8      And yit to kinde no plesance  
9      It doth, bot wher he most achieveth 
10     His pourpos, most to kinde he grieveth,
11     As he which out of conscience 
12     Is enemy to pacience:
13     And is be name on of the Sevene, 
14     Which ofte hath set this world unevene,
15     And cleped is the cruel Ire,  
16     Whos herte is everemore on fyre  
17     To speke amis and to do bothe,
18     For his servantz ben evere wrothe.  
19     Mi goode fader, tell me this: 
20     What thing is Ire? Sone, it is
21     That in oure englissh Wrathe is hote,      
22     Which hath hise wordes ay so hote,  
23     That all a mannes pacience 
24     Is fyred of the violence.  
25     For he with him hath evere fyve  
26     Servantz that helpen him to stryve: 
27     The ferst of hem Malencolie
28     Is cleped, which in compaignie
29     An hundred times in an houre  
30     Wol as an angri beste loure,  
31     And noman wot the cause why.  
32     Mi Sone, schrif thee now forthi: 
33     Hast thou be Malencolien?  
34     Ye, fader, be seint Julien,
35     Bot I untrewe wordes use,  
36     I mai me noght therof excuse: 
37     And al makth love, wel I wot, 
38     Of which myn herte is evere hot, 
39     So that I brenne as doth a glede 
40     For Wrathe that I mai noght spede.  
41     And thus fulofte a day for noght 
42     Save onlich of myn oghne thoght  
43     I am so with miselven wroth,  
44     That how so that the game goth
45     With othre men, I am noght glad; 
46     Bot I am wel the more unglad, 
47     For that is othre mennes game 
48     It torneth me to pure grame.  
49     Thus am I with miself oppressed  
50     Of thoght, the which I have impressed, 
51     That al wakende I dreme and meete
52     That I with hire al one meete 
53     And preie hire of som good ansuere: 
54     Bot for sche wol noght gladly swere,
55     Sche seith me nay withouten oth; 
56     And thus wexe I withinne wroth,  
57     That outward I am al affraied,
58     And so distempred and esmaied.
59     A thousand times on a day  
60     Ther souneth in myn Eres nay,     
61     The which sche seide me tofore:  
62     Thus be my wittes as forlore; 
63     And namely whan I beginne  
64     To rekne with miself withinne 
65     How many yeres ben agon,
66     Siththe I have trewly loved on
67     And nevere tok of other hede, 
68     And evere aliche fer to spede 
69     I am, the more I with hir dele,  
70     So that myn happ and al myn hele 
71     Me thenkth is ay the leng the ferre,
72     That bringth my gladschip out of herre,
73     Wherof my wittes ben empeired,
74     And I, as who seith, al despeired.  
75     For finaly, whan that I muse  
76     And thenke how sche me wol refuse,  
77     I am with anger so bestad, 
78     For al this world mihte I be glad:  
79     And for the while that it lasteth
80     Al up so doun my joie it casteth,
81     And ay the furthere that I be,
82     Whan I ne may my ladi se,  
83     The more I am redy to wraththe,  
84     That for the touchinge of a laththe 
85     Or for the torninge of a stree
86     I wode as doth the wylde Se,  
87     And am so malencolious, 
88     That ther nys servant in myn hous
89     Ne non of tho that ben aboute,
90     That ech of hem ne stant in doute,  
91     And wenen that I scholde rave 
92     For Anger that thei se me have;  
93     And so thei wondre more and lasse,  
94     Til that thei sen it overpasse.  
95     Bot, fader, if it so betide,  
96     That I aproche at eny tide 
97     The place wher my ladi is, 
98     And thanne that hire like ywiss      
99     To speke a goodli word untome,
100    For al the gold that is in Rome  
101    Ne cowthe I after that be wroth, 
102    Bot al myn Anger overgoth; 
103    So glad I am of the presence  
104    Of hire, that I all offence
105    Foryete, as thogh it were noght, 
106    So overgladed is my thoght.
107    And natheles, the soth to telle, 
108    Ayeinward if it so befelle 
109    That I at thilke time sihe 
110    On me that sche miscaste hire yhe,  
111    Or that sche liste noght to loke,
112    And I therof good hiede toke, 
113    Anon into my ferste astat  
114    I torne, and am with al so mat,  
115    That evere it is aliche wicke.
116    And thus myn hand ayein the pricke  
117    I hurte and have do many day, 
118    And go so forth as I go may,  
119    Fulofte bitinge on my lippe,  
120    And make unto miself a whippe.
121    With which in many a chele and hete 
122    Mi wofull herte is so tobete, 
123    That all my wittes ben unsofte
124    And I am wroth, I not how ofte;  
125    And al it is Malencolie,
126    Which groweth of the fantasie 
127    Of love, that me wol noght loute:
128    So bere I forth an angri snoute  
129    Ful manye times in a yer.  
130    Bot, fader, now ye sitten hier
131    In loves stede, I yow beseche,
132    That som ensample ye me teche,
133    Wherof I mai miself appese.
134    Mi Sone, for thin hertes ese  
135    I schal fulfille thi preiere, 
136    So that thou miht the betre lere 
137    What mischief that this vice stereth,      
138    Which in his Anger noght forbereth, 
139    Wherof that after him forthenketh,  
140    Whan he is sobre and that he thenketh  
141    Upon the folie of his dede;
142    And of this point a tale I rede. 
143    Ther was a king which Eolus
144    Was hote, and it befell him thus,
145    That he tuo children hadde faire,
146    The Sone cleped was Machaire, 
147    The dowhter ek Canace hihte.  
148    Be daie bothe and ek be nyhte,
149    Whil thei be yonge, of comun wone
150    In chambre thei togedre wone, 
151    And as thei scholden pleide hem ofte,  
152    Til thei be growen up alofte  
153    Into the youthe of lusti age, 
154    Whan kinde assaileth the corage  
155    With love and doth him forto bowe,  
156    That he no reson can allowe,  
157    Bot halt the lawes of nature: 
158    For whom that love hath under cure, 
159    As he is blind himself, riht so  
160    He makth his client blind also.  
161    In such manere as I you telle 
162    As thei al day togedre duelle,
163    This brother mihte it noght asterte 
164    That he with al his hole herte
165    His love upon his Soster caste:  
166    And so it fell hem ate laste, 
167    That this Machaire with Canace
168    Whan thei were in a prive place, 
169    Cupide bad hem ferst to kesse,
170    And after sche which is Maistresse  
171    In kinde and techeth every lif
172    Withoute lawe positif,  
173    Of which sche takth nomaner charge,     
174    Bot kepth hire lawes al at large,
175    Nature, tok hem into lore  
176    And tawht hem so, that overmore  
177    Sche hath hem in such wise daunted, 
178    That thei were, as who seith, enchaunted. 
179    And as the blinde an other ledeth
180    And til thei falle nothing dredeth, 
181    Riht so thei hadde non insihte;  
182    Bot as the bridd which wole alihte  
183    And seth the mete and noght the net,
184    Which in deceipte of him is set, 
185    This yonge folk no peril sihe,
186    Bot that was likinge in here yhe,
187    So that thei felle upon the chance  
188    Where witt hath lore his remembrance.  
189    So longe thei togedre assemble,  
190    The wombe aros, and sche gan tremble,  
191    And hield hire in hire chambre clos 
192    For drede it scholde be disclos  
193    And come to hire fader Ere:
194    Wherof the Sone hadde also fere, 
195    And feigneth cause forto ryde;
196    For longe dorste he noght abyde, 
197    In aunter if men wolde sein
198    That he his Soster hath forlein: 
199    For yit sche hadde it noght beknowe 
200    Whos was the child at thilke throwe.
201    Machaire goth, Canace abit,
202    The which was noght delivered yit,  
203    Bot riht sone after that sche was.  
204    Now lest and herkne a woful cas. 
205    The sothe, which mai noght ben hid, 
206    Was ate laste knowe and kid
207    Unto the king, how that it stod. 
208    And whan that he it understod,
209    Anon into Malencolie,
210    As thogh it were a frenesie,      
211    He fell, as he which nothing cowthe 
212    How maistrefull love is in yowthe:  
213    And for he was to love strange,  
214    He wolde noght his herte change  
215    To be benigne and favorable
216    To love, bot unmerciable
217    Betwen the wawe of wod and wroth 
218    Into his dowhtres chambre he goth,  
219    And sih the child was late bore, 
220    Wherof he hath hise othes swore  
221    That sche it schal ful sore abye.
222    And sche began merci to crie, 
223    Upon hire bare knes and preide,  
224    And to hire fader thus sche seide:  
225    "Ha mercy! fader, thenk I am  
226    Thi child, and of thi blod I cam.
227    That I misdede yowthe it made,
228    And in the flodes bad me wade,
229    Wher that I sih no peril tho: 
230    Bot now it is befalle so,  
231    Merci, my fader, do no wreche!"  
232    And with that word sche loste speche
233    And fell doun swounende at his fot, 
234    As sche for sorwe nedes mot.  
235    Bot his horrible crualte
236    Ther mihte attempre no pite:  
237    Out of hire chambre forth he wente  
238    Al full of wraththe in his entente, 
239    And tok the conseil in his herte 
240    That sche schal noght the deth asterte,
241    As he which Malencolien 
242    Of pacience hath no lien,  
243    Wherof the wraththe he mai restreigne. 
244    And in this wilde wode peine, 
245    Whanne al his resoun was untame, 
246    A kniht he clepeth be his name,  
247    And tok him as be weie of sonde  
248    A naked swerd to bere on honde,  
249    And seide him that he scholde go 
250    And telle unto his dowhter so     
251    In the manere as he him bad,  
252    How sche that scharpe swerdes blad  
253    Receive scholde and do withal 
254    So as sche wot wherto it schal.  
255    Forth in message goth this kniht 
256    Unto this wofull yonge wiht,  
257    This scharpe swerd to hire he tok:  
258    Wherof that al hire bodi qwok,
259    For wel sche wiste what it mente,
260    And that it was to thilke entente
261    That sche hireselven scholde slee.  
262    And to the kniht sche seide: "Yee,  
263    Now that I wot my fadres wille,  
264    That I schal in this wise spille,
265    I wole obeie me therto, 
266    And as he wole it schal be do.
267    Bot now this thing mai be non other,
268    I wole a lettre unto mi brother, 
269    So as my fieble hand may wryte,  
270    With al my wofull herte endite." 
271    Sche tok a Penne on honde tho,
272    Fro point to point and al the wo,
273    Als ferforth as hireself it wot, 
274    Unto hire dedly frend sche wrot, 
275    And tolde how that hire fader grace 
276    Sche mihte for nothing pourchace;
277    And overthat, as thou schalt hiere, 
278    Sche wrot and seide in this manere: 
279    "O thou my sorwe and my gladnesse,  
280    O thou myn hele and my siknesse, 
281    O my wanhope and al my trust, 
282    O my desese and al my lust,
283    O thou my wele, o thou my wo, 
284    O thou my frend, o thou my fo,
285    O thou my love, o thou myn hate, 
286    For thee mot I be ded algate. 
287    Thilke ende may I noght asterte, 
288    And yit with al myn hole herte,  
289    Whil that me lasteth eny breth,      
290    I wol the love into my deth.  
291    Bot of o thing I schal thee preie,  
292    If that my litel Sone deie,
293    Let him be beried in my grave 
294    Beside me, so schalt thou have
295    Upon ous bothe remembrance.
296    For thus it stant of my grevance;
297    Now at this time, as thou schalt wite, 
298    With teres and with enke write
299    This lettre I have in cares colde:  
300    In my riht hond my Penne I holde,
301    And in my left the swerd I kepe, 
302    And in my barm ther lith to wepe 
303    Thi child and myn, which sobbeth faste.
304    Now am I come unto my laste:  
305    Fare wel, for I schal sone deie, 
306    And thenk how I thi love abeie." 
307    The pomel of the swerd to grounde
308    Sche sette, and with the point a wounde
309    Thurghout hire herte anon sche made,
310    And forth with that al pale and fade
311    Sche fell doun ded fro ther sche stod. 
312    The child lay bathende in hire blod 
313    Out rolled fro the moder barm,
314    And for the blod was hot and warm,  
315    He basketh him aboute thrinne.
316    Ther was no bote forto winne, 
317    For he, which can no pite knowe, 
318    The king cam in the same throwe, 
319    And sih how that his dowhter dieth  
320    And how this Babe al blody crieth;  
321    Bot al that mihte him noght suffise,
322    That he ne bad to do juise 
323    Upon the child, and bere him oute,  
324    And seche in the Forest aboute
325    Som wilde place, what it were,
326    To caste him out of honde there, 
327    So that som best him mai devoure,    
328    Where as noman him schal socoure.
329    Al that he bad was don in dede:  
330    Ha, who herde evere singe or rede
331    Of such a thing as that was do?  
332    Bot he which ladde his wraththe so  
333    Hath knowe of love bot a lite;
334    Bot for al that he was to wyte,  
335    Thurgh his sodein Malencolie  
336    To do so gret a felonie.
337    Forthi, my Sone, how so it stonde,  
338    Be this cas thou miht understonde
339    That if thou evere in cause of love 
340    Schalt deme, and thou be so above
341    That thou miht lede it at thi wille,
342    Let nevere thurgh thi Wraththe spille  
343    Which every kinde scholde save.  
344    For it sit every man to have  
345    Reward to love and to his miht,  
346    Ayein whos strengthe mai no wiht:
347    And siththe an herte is so constreigned,  
348    The reddour oghte be restreigned 
349    To him that mai no bet aweie, 
350    Whan he mot to nature obeie.  
351    For it is seid thus overal,
352    That nedes mot that nede schal
353    Of that a lif doth after kinde,  
354    Wherof he mai no bote finde.  
355    What nature hath set in hir lawe 
356    Ther mai no mannes miht withdrawe,  
357    And who that worcheth therayein, 
358    Fulofte time it hath be sein, 
359    Ther hath befalle gret vengance, 
360    Wherof I finde a remembrance. 
361    Ovide after the time tho
362    Tolde an ensample and seide so,  
363    How that whilom Tiresias,  
364    As he walkende goth per cas,      
365    Upon an hih Montaine he sih
366    Tuo Serpentz in his weie nyh, 
367    And thei, so as nature hem tawhte,  
368    Assembled  were, and he tho cawhte  
369    A yerde which he bar on honde,
370    And thoghte that he wolde fonde  
371    To letten hem, and smot hem bothe:  
372    Wherof the goddes weren wrothe;  
373    And for he hath destourbed kinde 
374    And was so to nature unkinde, 
375    Unkindeliche he was transformed, 
376    That he which erst a man was formed 
377    Into a womman was forschape.  
378    That was to him an angri jape;
379    Bot for that he with Angre wroghte, 
380    Hise Angres angreliche he boghte.
381    Lo thus, my Sone, Ovide hath write, 
382    Wherof thou miht be reson wite,  
383    More is a man than such a beste: 
384    So mihte it nevere ben honeste
385    A man to wraththen him to sore
386    Of that an other doth the lore
387    Of kinde, in which is no malice, 
388    Bot only that it is a vice:
389    And thogh a man be resonable, 
390    Yit after kinde he is menable 
391    To love, wher he wole or non. 
392    Thenk thou, my Sone, therupon 
393    And do Malencolie aweie;
394    For love hath evere his lust to pleie, 
395    As he which wolde no lif grieve. 
396    Mi fader, that I mai wel lieve;  
397    Al that ye tellen it is skile:
398    Let every man love as he wile,
399    Be so it be noght my ladi, 
400    For I schal noght be wroth therby.  
401    Bot that I wraththe and fare amis,      
402    Al one upon miself it is,  
403    That I with bothe love and kinde 
404    Am so bestad, that I can finde
405    No weie how I it mai asterte: 
406    Which stant upon myn oghne herte 
407    And toucheth to non other lif,
408    Save only to that swete wif
409    For whom, bot if it be amended,  
410    Mi glade daies ben despended, 
411    That I miself schal noght forbere
412    The Wraththe which that I now bere, 
413    For therof is non other leche.
414    Now axeth forth, I yow beseche,  
415    Of Wraththe if ther oght elles is,  
416    Wherof to schryve. Sone, yis. 
417    Of Wraththe the secounde is Cheste, 
418    Which hath the wyndes of tempeste
419    To kepe, and many a sodein blast 
420    He bloweth, wherof ben agast  
421    Thei that desiren pes and reste. 
422    He is that ilke ungoodlieste  
423    Which many a lusti love hath twinned;  
424    For he berth evere his mowth unpinned, 
425    So that his lippes ben unloke 
426    And his corage is al tobroke, 
427    That every thing which he can telle,
428    It springeth up as doth a welle, 
429    Which mai non of his stremes hyde,  
430    Bot renneth out on every syde.
431    So buillen up the foule sawes     
432    That Cheste wot of his felawes:  
433    For as a Sive kepeth Ale,  
434    Riht so can Cheste kepe a tale;  
435    Al that he wot he wol desclose,  
436    And speke er eny man oppose.  
437    As a Cite withoute wal, 
438    Wher men mai gon out overal
439    Withouten eny resistence,  
440    So with his croked eloquence  
441    He spekth al that he wot withinne:  
442    Wherof men lese mor than winne,  
443    For ofte time of his chidinge 
444    He bringth to house such tidinge,
445    That makth werre ate beddeshed.  
446    He is the levein of the bred, 
447    Which soureth al the past aboute:
448    Men oghte wel such on to doute,  
449    For evere his bowe is redi bent, 
450    And whom he hit I telle him schent, 
451    If he mai perce him with his tunge. 
452    And ek so lowde his belle is runge, 
453    That of the noise and of the soun
454    Men feeren hem in al the toun 
455    Welmore than thei don of thonder.
456    For that is cause of more wonder;
457    For with the wyndes whiche he bloweth  
458    Fulofte sythe he overthroweth 
459    The Cites and the policie, 
460    That I have herd the poeple crie,
461    And echon seide in his degre, 
462    "Ha wicke tunge, wo thee be!" 
463    For men sein that the harde bon, 
464    Althogh himselven have non,
465    A tunge brekth it al to pieces.  
466    He hath so manye sondri spieces  
467    Of vice, that I mai noght wel 
468    Descrive hem be a thousendel: 
469    Bot whan that he to Cheste falleth,     
470    Ful many a wonder thing befalleth,  
471    For he ne can nothing forbere.
472    Now tell me, Sone, thin ansuere, 
473    If it hath evere so betidd,
474    That thou at eny time hast chidd 
475    Toward thi love. Fader, nay:  
476    Such Cheste yit unto this day 
477    Ne made I nevere, god forbede:
478    For er I sunge such a crede,  
479    I hadde levere to be lewed;
480    For thanne were I al beschrewed  
481    And worthi to be put abak  
482    With al the sorwe upon my bak 
483    That eny man ordeigne cowthe. 
484    Bot I spak nevere yit be mowthe  
485    That unto Cheste mihte touche,
486    And that I durste riht wel vouche
487    Upon hirself as for witnesse; 
488    For I wot, of hir gentilesse  
489    That sche me wolde wel excuse,
490    That I no suche thinges use.  
491    And if it scholde so betide
492    That I algates moste chide,
493    It myhte noght be to my love: 
494    For so yit was I nevere above,
495    For al this wyde world to winne  
496    That I dorste eny word beginne,  
497    Be which sche mihte have ben amoeved
498    And I of Cheste also reproeved.  
499    Bot rathere, if it mihte hir like,  
500    The beste wordes wolde I pike 
501    Whiche I cowthe in myn herte chese, 
502    And serve hem forth in stede of chese, 
503    For that is helplich to defie;
504    And so wolde I my wordes plie,
505    That mihten Wraththe and Cheste avale      
506    With tellinge of my softe tale.  
507    Thus dar I make a foreward,
508    That nevere unto my ladiward  
509    Yit spak I word in such a wise,  
510    Wherof that Cheste scholde arise.
511    This seie I noght, that I fulofte
512    Ne have, whanne I spak most softe,  
513    Per cas seid more thanne ynowh;  
514    Bot so wel halt noman the plowh  
515    That he ne balketh otherwhile,
516    Ne so wel can noman affile 
517    His tunge, that som time in rape 
518    Him mai som liht word overscape, 
519    And yit ne meneth he no Cheste.  
520    Bot that I have ayein hir heste  
521    Fulofte spoke, I am beknowe;  
522    And how my will is, that ye knowe:  
523    For whan my time comth aboute,
524    That I dar speke and seie al oute
525    Mi longe love, of which sche wot 
526    That evere in on aliche hot
527    Me grieveth, thanne al my desese 
528    I telle, and though it hir desplese,
529    I speke it forth and noght ne leve: 
530    And thogh it be beside hire leve,
531    I hope and trowe natheles  
532    That I do noght ayein the pes;
533    For thogh I telle hire al my thoght,
534    Sche wot wel that I chyde noght. 
535    Men mai the hihe god beseche, 
536    And he wol hiere a mannes speche 
537    And be noght wroth of that he seith;
538    So yifth it me the more feith 
539    And makth me hardi, soth to seie,
540    That I dar wel the betre preie
541    Mi ladi, which a womman is.
542    For thogh I telle hire that or this 
543    Of love, which me grieveth sore,     
544    Hire oghte noght be wroth the more, 
545    For I withoute noise or cri
546    Mi pleignte make al buxomly
547    To puten alle wraththe away.  
548    Thus dar I seie unto this day 
549    Of Cheste in ernest or in game
550    Mi ladi schal me nothing blame.  
551    Bot ofte time it hath betidd  
552    That with miselven I have chidd, 
553    That noman couthe betre chide:
554    And that hath ben at every tide, 
555    Whanne I cam to miself al one;
556    For thanne I made a prive mone,  
557    And every tale by and by,  
558    Which as I spak to my ladi,
559    I thenke and peise in my balance 
560    And drawe into my remembrance;
561    And thanne, if that I finde a lak
562    Of eny word that I mispak, 
563    Which was to moche in eny wise,  
564    Anon my wittes I despise
565    And make a chidinge in myn herte,
566    That eny word me scholde asterte 
567    Which as I scholde have holden inne.
568    And so forth after I beginne  
569    And loke if ther was elles oght  
570    To speke, and I ne spak it noght:
571    And thanne, if I mai seche and finde
572    That eny word be left behinde,
573    Which as I scholde more have spoke, 
574    I wolde upon miself be wroke, 
575    And chyde with miselven so 
576    That al my wit is overgo.  
577    For noman mai his time lore
578    Recovere, and thus I am therfore 
579    So overwroth in al my thoght, 
580    That I myself chide al to noght: 
581    Thus for to moche or for to lite 
582    Fulofte I am miself to wyte.      
583    Bot al that mai me noght availe, 
584    With cheste thogh I me travaile: 
585    Bot Oule on Stock and Stock on Oule;
586    The more that a man defoule,  
587    Men witen wel which hath the werse; 
588    And so to me nys worth a kerse,  
589    Bot torneth on myn oghne hed, 
590    Thogh I, til that I were ded, 
591    Wolde evere chyde in such a wise 
592    Of love as I to you devise.
593    Bot, fader, now ye have al herd  
594    In this manere how I have ferd
595    Of Cheste and of dissencioun, 
596    Yif me youre absolucioun.  
597    Mi Sone, if that thou wistest al,
598    What Cheste doth in special
599    To love and to his welwillinge,  
600    Thou woldest flen his knowlechinge  
601    And lerne to be debonaire. 
602    For who that most can speke faire
603    Is most acordende unto love:  
604    Fair speche hath ofte brought above 
605    Ful many a man, as it is knowe,  
606    Which elles scholde have be riht lowe  
607    And failed mochel of his wille.  
608    Forthi hold thou thi tunge stille
609    And let thi witt thi wille areste,  
610    So that thou falle noght in Cheste, 
611    Which is the source of gret destance:  
612    And tak into thi remembrance  
613    If thou miht gete pacience,
614    Which is the leche of alle offence, 
615    As tellen ous these olde wise:
616    For whan noght elles mai suffise 
617    Be strengthe ne be mannes wit,
618    Than pacience it oversit
619    And overcomth it ate laste;
620    Bot he mai nevere longe laste,    
621    Which wol noght bowe er that he breke. 
622    Tak hiede, Sone, of that I speke.
623    Mi fader, of your goodli speche  
624    And of the witt which ye me teche
625    I thonke you with al myn herte:  
626    For that world schal me nevere asterte,
627    That I ne schal your wordes holde,  
628    Of Pacience as ye me tolde,
629    Als ferforth as myn herte thenketh; 
630    And of my wraththe it me forthenketh.  
631    Bot, fader, if ye forth withal
632    Som good ensample in special  
633    Me wolden telle of som Cronique, 
634    It scholde wel myn herte like 
635    Of pacience forto hiere,
636    So that I mihte in mi matiere 
637    The more unto my love obeie
638    And puten mi desese aweie. 
639    Mi Sone, a man to beie him pes
640    Behoveth soffre as Socrates
641    Ensample lefte, which is write:  
642    And for thou schalt the sothe wite, 
643    Of this ensample what I mene, 
644    Althogh it be now litel sene  
645    Among the men thilke evidence,
646    Yit he was upon pacience
647    So sett, that he himself assaie  
648    In thing which mihte him most mispaie  
649    Desireth, and a wickid wif 
650    He weddeth, which in sorwe and strif
651    Ayein his ese was contraire.  
652    Bot he spak evere softe and faire,  
653    Til it befell, as it is told, 
654    In wynter, whan the dai is cold, 
655    This wif was fro the welle come, 
656    Wher that a pot with water nome      
657    Sche hath, and broghte it into house,  
658    And sih how that hire seli spouse
659    Was sett and loked on a bok
660    Nyh to the fyr, as he which tok  
661    His ese for a man of age.  
662    And sche began the wode rage, 
663    And axeth him what devel he thoghte,
664    And bar on hond that him ne roghte  
665    What labour that sche toke on honde,
666    And seith that such an Housebonde
667    Was to a wif noght worth a Stre. 
668    He seide nowther nay ne ye,
669    Bot hield him stille and let hire chyde;  
670    And sche, which mai hirself noght hyde,
671    Began withinne forto swelle,  
672    And that sche broghte in fro the welle,
673    The waterpot sche hente alofte
674    And bad him speke, and he al softe  
675    Sat stille and noght a word ansuerde;  
676    And sche was wroth that he so ferde,
677    And axeth him if he be ded;
678    And al the water on his hed
679    Sche pourede oute and bad awake. 
680    Bot he, which wolde noght forsake
681    His Pacience, thanne spak, 
682    And seide how that he fond no lak
683    In nothing which sche hadde do:  
684    For it was wynter time tho,
685    And wynter, as be weie of kinde  
686    Which stormy is, as men it finde,
687    Ferst makth the wyndes forto blowe, 
688    And after that withinne a throwe 
689    He reyneth and the watergates 
690    Undoth; "and thus my wif algates,
691    Which is with reson wel besein,  
692    Hath mad me bothe wynd and rein  
693    After the Sesoun of the yer." 
694    And thanne he sette him nerr the fer,      
695    And as he mihte hise clothes dreide,
696    That he nomore o word ne seide;  
697    Wherof he gat him somdel reste,  
698    For that him thoghte was the beste. 
699    I not if thilke ensample yit  
700    Acordeth with a mannes wit,
701    To soffre as Socrates tho dede:  
702    And if it falle in eny stede  
703    A man to lese so his galle,
704    Him oghte among the wommen alle  
705    In loves Court be juggement
706    The name bere of Pacient,  
707    To yive ensample to the goode 
708    Of pacience how that it stode,
709    That othre men it mihte knowe.
710    And, Sone, if thou at eny throwe 
711    Be tempted ayein Pacience, 
712    Tak hiede upon this evidence; 
713    It schal per cas the lasse grieve.  
714    Mi fader, so as I believe, 
715    Of that schal be no maner nede,  
716    For I wol take so good hiede, 
717    That er I falle in such assai,
718    I thenke eschuie it, if I mai.
719    Bot if ther be oght elles more
720    Wherof I mihte take lore,  
721    I preie you, so as I dar,  
722    Now telleth, that I mai be war,  
723    Som other tale in this matiere.  
724    Sone, it is evere good to lere,  
725    Wherof thou miht thi word restreigne,  
726    Er that thou falle in eny peine. 
727    For who that can no conseil hyde,
728    He mai noght faile of wo beside, 
729    Which schal befalle er he it wite,  
730    As I finde in the bokes write.
731    Yit cam ther nevere good of strif,  
732    To seche in all a mannes lif:     
733    Thogh it beginne on pure game,
734    Fulofte it torneth into grame 
735    And doth grevance upon som side. 
736    Wherof the grete Clerk Ovide  
737    After the lawe which was tho  
738    Of Jupiter and of Juno  
739    Makth in his bokes mencioun
740    How thei felle at dissencioun 
741    In manere as it were a borde, 
742    As thei begunne forto worde
743    Among hemself in privete:  
744    And that was upon this degree,
745    Which of the tuo more amorous is,
746    Or man or wif. And upon this  
747    Thei mihten noght acorde in on,  
748    And toke a jugge therupon, 
749    Which cleped is Tiresias,  
750    And bede him demen in the cas;
751    And he withoute avisement  
752    Ayein Juno yaf juggement.  
753    This goddesse upon his ansuere
754    Was wroth and wolde noght forbere,  
755    Bot tok awey for everemo
756    The liht fro bothe hise yhen tuo.
757    Whan Jupiter this harm hath sein,
758    An other bienfait therayein
759    He yaf, and such a grace him doth,  
760    That for he wiste he seide soth, 
761    A Sothseiere he was for evere:
762    Bot yit that other were levere,  
763    Have had the lokinge of his yhe, 
764    Than of his word the prophecie;  
765    Bot how so that the sothe wente, 
766    Strif was the cause of that he hente
767    So gret a peine bodily. 
768    Mi Sone, be thou war ther by,
769    And hold thi tunge stille clos:  
770    For who that hath his word desclos  
771    Er that he wite what he mene, 
772    He is fulofte nyh his tene 
773    And lest ful many time grace, 
774    Wher that he wolde his thonk pourchace.
775    And over this, my Sone diere, 
776    Of othre men, if thou miht hiere 
777    In privete what thei have wroght,
778    Hold conseil and descoevere it noght,  
779    For Cheste can no conseil hele,  
780    Or be it wo or be it wele: 
781    And tak a tale into thi mynde,
782    The which of olde ensample I finde. 
783    Phebus, which makth the daies lihte,
784    A love he hadde, which tho hihte 
785    Cornide, whom aboven alle  
786    He pleseth: bot what schal befalle  
787    Of love ther is noman knoweth,
788    Bot as fortune hire happes throweth.
789    So it befell upon a chaunce,  
790    A yong kniht tok hire aqueintance
791    And hadde of hire al that he wolde: 
792    Bot a fals bridd, which sche hath holde
793    And kept in chambre of pure yowthe, 
794    Discoevereth all that evere he cowthe. 
795    This briddes name was as tho  
796    Corvus, the which was thanne also
797    Welmore whyt than eny Swan,
798    And he that schrewe al that he can  
799    Of his ladi to Phebus seide;  
800    And he for wraththe his swerd outbreide,  
801    With which Cornide anon he slowh.
802    Bot after him was wo ynowh,
803    And tok a full gret repentance,  
804    Wherof in tokne and remembrance      
805    Of hem whiche usen wicke speche, 
806    Upon this bridd he tok this wreche, 
807    That ther he was snow whyt tofore,  
808    Evere afterward colblak therfore 
809    He was transformed, as it scheweth, 
810    And many a man yit him beschreweth, 
811    And clepen him into this day  
812    A Raven, be whom yit men mai  
813    Take evidence, whan he crieth,
814    That som mishapp it signefieth.  
815    Be war therfore and sei the beste,  
816    If thou wolt be thiself in reste,
817    Mi goode Sone, as I the rede. 
818    For in an other place I rede  
819    Of thilke Nimphe which Laar hihte:  
820    For sche the privete be nyhte,
821    How Jupiter lay be Jutorne,
822    Hath told, god made hire overtorne: 
823    Hire tunge he kutte, and into helle 
824    For evere he sende hir forto duelle,
825    As sche that was noght worthi hiere 
826    To ben of love a Chamberere,  
827    For sche no conseil cowthe hele. 
828    And suche adaies be now fele  
829    In loves Court, as it is seid,
830    That lete here tunges gon unteid.
831    Mi Sone, be thou non of tho,  
832    To jangle and telle tales so, 
833    And namely that thou ne chyde,
834    For Cheste can no conseil hide,  
835    For Wraththe seide nevere wel.
836    Mi fader, soth is everydel 
837    That ye me teche, and I wol holde
838    The reule to which I am holde,
839    To fle the Cheste, as ye me bidde,  
840    For wel is him that nevere chidde.      
841    Now tell me forth if ther be more
842    As touchende unto Wraththes lore.
843    Of Wraththe yit ther is an other,
844    Which is to Cheste his oghne brother,  
845    And is be name cleped Hate,
846    That soffreth noght withinne his gate  
847    That ther come owther love or pes,  
848    For he wol make no reles
849    Of no debat which is befalle. 
850    Now spek, if thou art on of alle,
851    That with this vice hast ben withholde.
852    As yit for oght that ye me tolde,
853    Mi fader, I not what it is.
854    In good feith, Sone, I trowe yis.
855    Mi fader, nay, bot ye me lere.
856    Now lest, my Sone, and thou schalt here.  
857    Hate is a wraththe noght schewende, 
858    Bot of long time gaderende,
859    And duelleth in the herte loken, 
860    Til he se time to be wroken;  
861    And thanne he scheweth his tempeste 
862    Mor sodein than the wilde beste, 
863    Which wot nothing what merci is. 
864    Mi Sone, art thou knowende of this? 
865    My goode fader, as I wene, 
866    Now wot I somdel what ye mene;
867    Bot I dar saufly make an oth, 
868    Mi ladi was me nevere loth.
869    I wol noght swere natheles 
870    That I of hate am gulteles;
871    For whanne I to my ladi plie  
872    Fro dai to dai and merci crie,
873    And sche no merci on me leith 
874    Bot schorte wordes to me seith,  
875    Thogh I my ladi love algate,          
876    Tho wordes moste I nedes hate;
877    And wolde thei were al despent,  
878    Or so ferr oute of londe went 
879    That I nevere after scholde hem hiere; 
880    And yit love I my ladi diere. 
881    Thus is ther Hate, as ye mai se, 
882    Betwen mi ladi word and me;
883    The word I hate and hire I love, 
884    What so me schal betide of love. 
885    Bot forthere mor I wol me schryve,  
886    That I have hated al my lyve  
887    These janglers, whiche of here Envie
888    Ben evere redi forto lie;  
889    For with here fals compassement  
890    Fuloften thei have mad me schent 
891    And hindred me fulofte time,  
892    Whan thei no cause wisten bime,  
893    Bot onliche of here oghne thoght:
894    And thus fuloften have I boght
895    The lie, and drank noght of the wyn.
896    I wolde here happ were such as myn: 
897    For how so that I be now schrive,
898    To hem ne mai I noght foryive,
899    Til that I se hem at debat 
900    With love, and thanne myn astat  
901    Thei mihten be here oghne deme,  
902    And loke how wel it scholde hem qweme  
903    To hindre a man that loveth sore.
904    And thus I hate hem everemore,
905    Til love on hem wol don his wreche: 
906    For that schal I alway beseche
907    Unto the mihti Cupido,  
908    That he so mochel wolde do,
909    So as he is of love a godd,
910    To smyte hem with the same rodd  
911    With which I am of love smite;
912    So that thei mihten knowe and wite  
913    How hindringe is a wofull peine      
914    To him that love wolde atteigne. 
915    Thus evere on hem I wayte and hope, 
916    Til I mai sen hem lepe a lope,
917    And halten on the same Sor 
918    Which I do now: for overmor
919    I wolde thanne do my myht  
920    So forto stonden in here lyht,
921    That thei ne scholden finde a weie  
922    To that thei wolde, bot aweie 
923    I wolde hem putte out of the stede  
924    Fro love, riht as thei me dede
925    With that thei speke of me be mowthe.  
926    So wolde I do, if that I cowthe, 
927    Of hem, and this, so god me save,
928    Is al the hate that I have,
929    Toward these janglers everydiel; 
930    I wolde alle othre ferde wel. 
931    Thus have I, fader, said mi wille;  
932    Say ye now forth, for I am stille.  
933    Mi Sone, of that thou hast me said  
934    I holde me noght fulli paid:  
935    That thou wolt haten eny man, 
936    To that acorden I ne can,  
937    Thogh he have hindred thee tofore.  
938    Bot this I telle thee therfore,  
939    Thou miht upon my beneicoun
940    Wel haten the condicioun
941    Of tho janglers, as thou me toldest,
942    Bot furthermor, of that thou woldest
943    Hem hindre in eny other wise, 
944    Such Hate is evere to despise.
945    Forthi, mi Sone, I wol thee rede,
946    That thou drawe in be frendlihede
947    That thou ne miht noght do be hate; 
948    So miht thou gete love algate 
949    And sette thee, my Sone, in reste,  
950    For thou schalt finde it for the beste.    
951    And over this, so as I dar,
952    I rede that thou be riht war  
953    Of othre mennes hate aboute,  
954    Which every wysman scholde doute:
955    For Hate is evere upon await, 
956    And as the fisshere on his bait  
957    Sleth, whan he seth the fisshes faste, 
958    So, whan he seth time ate laste, 
959    That he mai worche an other wo,  
960    Schal noman tornen him therfro,  
961    That Hate nyle his felonie 
962    Fulfille and feigne compaignie
963    Yit natheles, for fals Semblant  
964    Is toward him of covenant  
965    Withholde, so that under bothe
966    The prive wraththe can him clothe,  
967    That he schal seme of gret believe. 
968    Bot war thee wel that thou ne lieve 
969    Al that thou sest tofore thin yhe,  
970    So as the Gregois whilom syhe:
971    The bok of Troie who so rede, 
972    Ther mai he finde ensample in dede. 
973    Sone after the destruccioun,  
974    Whan Troie was al bete doun
975    And slain was Priamus the king,  
976    The Gregois, whiche of al this thing
977    Ben cause, tornen hom ayein.  
978    Ther mai noman his happ withsein;
979    It hath be sen and felt fulofte, 
980    The harde time after the softe:  
981    Be See as thei forth homward wente, 
982    A rage of gret tempeste hem hente;  
983    Juno let bende hire parti bowe,  
984    The Sky wax derk, the wynd gan blowe,  
985    The firy welkne gan to thondre,  
986    As thogh the world scholde al to sondre;      
987    Fro hevene out of the watergates 
988    The reyni Storm fell doun algates
989    And al here takel made unwelde,  
990    That noman mihte himself bewelde.
991    Ther mai men hiere Schipmen crie,
992    That stode in aunter forto die:  
993    He that behinde sat to stiere 
994    Mai noght the forestempne hiere; 
995    The Schip aros ayein the wawes,  
996    The lodesman hath lost his lawes,
997    The See bet in on every side: 
998    Thei nysten what fortune abide,  
999    Bot sette hem al in goddes wille,
1000   Wher he hem wolde save or spille.
1001   And it fell thilke time thus: 
1002   Ther was a king, the which Namplus  
1003   Was hote, and he a Sone hadde,
1004   At Troie which the Gregois ladde,
1005   As he that was mad Prince of alle,  
1006   Til that fortune let him falle:  
1007   His name was Palamades. 
1008   Bot thurgh an hate natheles
1009   Of some of hem his deth was cast 
1010   And he be tresoun overcast.
1011   His fader, whan he herde it telle,  
1012   He swor, if evere his time felle,
1013   He wolde him venge, if that he mihte,  
1014   And therto his avou behihte:  
1015   And thus this king thurgh prive hate
1016   Abod upon await algate, 
1017   For he was noght of such emprise 
1018   To vengen him in open wise.
1019   The fame, which goth wyde where, 
1020   Makth knowe how that the Gregois were  
1021   Homward with al the felaschipe
1022   Fro Troie upon the See be Schipe.
1023   Namplus, whan he this understod, 
1024   And knew the tydes of the flod,
1025   And sih the wynd blew to the lond,  
1026   A gret deceipte anon he fond  
1027   Of prive hate, as thou schalt hiere,
1028   Wherof I telle al this matiere.  
1029   This king the weder gan beholde, 
1030   And wiste wel thei moten holde
1031   Here cours endlong his marche riht, 
1032   And made upon the derke nyht  
1033   Of grete Schydes and of blockes  
1034   Gret fyr ayein the grete rockes, 
1035   To schewe upon the helles hihe,  
1036   So that the Flete of Grece it sihe. 
1037   And so it fell riht as he thoghte:  
1038   This Flete, which an havene soghte, 
1039   The bryghte fyres sih a ferr, 
1040   And thei hem drowen nerr and nerr,  
1041   And wende wel and understode  
1042   How al that fyr was made for goode, 
1043   To schewe wher men scholde aryve,
1044   And thiderward thei hasten blyve.
1045   In Semblant, as men sein, is guile, 
1046   And that was proved thilke while;
1047   The Schip, which wende his helpe acroche, 
1048   Drof al to pieces on the roche,  
1049   And so ther deden ten or twelve; 
1050   Ther mihte noman helpe himselve, 
1051   For ther thei wenden deth ascape,
1052   Withouten help here deth was schape.
1053   Thus thei that comen ferst tofore
1054   Upon the Rockes be forlore,
1055   Bot thurgh the noise and thurgh the cri
1056   These othre were al war therby;  
1057   And whan the dai began to rowe,  
1058   Tho mihten thei the sothe knowe, 
1059   That wher they wenden frendes finde,
1060   Thei founden frenschipe al behinde. 
1061   The lond was thanne sone weyved,     
1062   Wher that thei hadden be deceived,  
1063   And toke hem to the hihe See; 
1064   Therto thei seiden alle yee,  
1065   Fro that dai forth and war thei were
1066   Of that thei hadde assaied there.
1067   Mi Sone, hierof thou miht avise  
1068   How fraude stant in many wise 
1069   Amonges hem that guile thenke;
1070   Ther is no Scrivein with his enke
1071   Which half the fraude wryte can  
1072   That stant in such a maner man:  
1073   Forthi the wise men ne demen  
1074   The thinges after that thei semen,  
1075   Bot after that thei knowe and finde.
1076   The Mirour scheweth in his kinde 
1077   As he hadde al the world withinne,  
1078   And is in soth nothing therinne; 
1079   And so farth Hate for a throwe:  
1080   Til he a man hath overthrowe, 
1081   Schal noman knowe be his chere
1082   Which is avant, ne which arere.  
1083   Forthi, mi Sone, thenke on this. 
1084   Mi fader, so I wole ywiss; 
1085   And if ther more of Wraththe be, 
1086   Now axeth forth per charite,  
1087   As ye be youre bokes knowe,
1088   And I the sothe schal beknowe.
1089   Mi Sone, thou schalt understonde 
1090   That yit towardes Wraththe stonde
1091   Of dedly vices othre tuo:      
1092   And forto telle here names so,
1093   It is Contek and Homicide, 
1094   That ben to drede on every side. 
1095   Contek, so as the bokes sein, 
1096   Folhast hath to his Chamberlein, 
1097   Be whos conseil al unavised
1098   Is Pacience most despised, 
1099   Til Homicide with hem meete.  
1100   Fro merci thei ben al unmeete,
1101   And thus ben thei the worste of alle
1102   Of hem whiche unto wraththe falle,  
1103   In dede bothe and ek in thoght:  
1104   For thei acompte here wraththe at noght,  
1105   Bot if ther be schedinge of blod;
1106   And thus lich to a beste wod  
1107   Thei knowe noght the god of lif. 
1108   Be so thei have or swerd or knif 
1109   Here dedly wraththe forto wreke, 
1110   Of Pite list hem noght to speke; 
1111   Non other reson thei ne fonge,
1112   Bot that thei ben of mihtes stronge.
1113   Bot war hem wel in other place,  
1114   Where every man behoveth grace,  
1115   Bot ther I trowe it schal hem faile,
1116   To whom no merci mihte availe,
1117   Bot wroghten upon tiraundie,  
1118   That no pite ne mihte hem plie.  
1119   Now tell, my Sone. Fader, what?  
1120   If thou hast be coupable of that.
1121   Mi fader, nay, Crist me forbiede:
1122   I speke onliche as of the dede,  
1123   Of which I nevere was coupable
1124   Withoute cause resonable.  
1125   Bot this is noght to mi matiere  
1126   Of schrifte, why we sitten hiere;    
1127   For we ben sett to schryve of love, 
1128   As we begunne ferst above: 
1129   And natheles I am beknowe  
1130   That as touchende of loves throwe,  
1131   Whan I my wittes overwende,
1132   Min hertes contek hath non ende, 
1133   Bot evere it stant upon debat 
1134   To gret desese of myn astat
1135   As for the time that it lasteth. 
1136   For whan mi fortune overcasteth  
1137   Hire whiel and is to me so strange, 
1138   And that I se sche wol noght change,
1139   Than caste I al the world aboute,
1140   And thenke hou I at home and oute
1141   Have al my time in vein despended,  
1142   And se noght how to ben amended, 
1143   Bot rathere forto be empeired,
1144   As he that is welnyh despeired:  
1145   For I ne mai no thonk deserve,
1146   And evere I love and evere I serve, 
1147   And evere I am aliche nerr.
1148   Thus, for I stonde in such a wer,
1149   I am, as who seith, out of herre;
1150   And thus upon miself the werre
1151   I bringe, and putte out alle pes,
1152   That I fulofte in such a res  
1153   Am wery of myn oghne lif.  
1154   So that of Contek and of strif
1155   I am beknowe and have ansuerd,
1156   As ye, my fader, now have herd.  
1157   Min herte is wonderly begon
1158   With conseil, wherof witt is on, 
1159   Which hath resoun in compaignie; 
1160   Ayein the whiche stant partie 
1161   Will, which hath hope of his acord, 
1162   And thus thei bringen up descord.
1163   Witt and resoun conseilen ofte
1164   That I myn herte scholde softe,  
1165   And that I scholde will remue     
1166   And put him out of retenue,
1167   Or elles holde him under fote:
1168   For as thei sein, if that he mote
1169   His oghne rewle have upon honde, 
1170   Ther schal no witt ben understonde. 
1171   Of hope also thei tellen this,
1172   That overal, wher that he is, 
1173   He set the herte in jeupartie 
1174   With wihssinge and with fantasie,
1175   And is noght trewe of that he seith,
1176   So that in him ther is no feith: 
1177   Thus with reson and wit avised
1178   Is will and hope aldai despised. 
1179   Reson seith that I scholde leve  
1180   To love, wher ther is no leve 
1181   To spede, and will seith therayein  
1182   That such an herte is to vilein, 
1183   Which dar noght love and til he spede, 
1184   Let hope serve at such a nede:
1185   He seith ek, where an herte sit  
1186   Al hol governed upon wit,  
1187   He hath this lyves lust forlore. 
1188   And thus myn herte is al totore  
1189   Of such a Contek as thei make:
1190   Bot yit I mai noght will forsake,
1191   That he nys Maister of my thoght,
1192   Or that I spede, or spede noght. 
1193   Thou dost, my Sone, ayein the riht; 
1194   Bot love is of so gret a miht,
1195   His lawe mai noman refuse, 
1196   So miht thou thee the betre excuse. 
1197   And natheles thou schalt be lerned  
1198   That will scholde evere be governed 
1199   Of reson more than of kinde,  
1200   Wherof a tale write I finde.  
1201   A Philosophre of which men tolde     
1202   Ther was whilom be daies olde,
1203   And Diogenes thanne he hihte. 
1204   So old he was that he ne mihte
1205   The world travaile, and for the beste  
1206   He schop him forto take his reste,  
1207   And duelte at hom in such a wise,
1208   That nyh his hous he let devise  
1209   Endlong upon an Axeltre 
1210   To sette a tonne in such degre,  
1211   That he it mihte torne aboute;
1212   Wherof on hed was taken oute, 
1213   For he therinne sitte scholde 
1214   And torne himself so as he wolde,
1215   To take their and se the hevene  
1216   And deme of the planetes sevene, 
1217   As he which cowthe mochel what.  
1218   And thus fulofte there he sat 
1219   To muse in his philosophie 
1220   Solein withoute compaignie:
1221   So that upon a morwetyde,  
1222   As thing which scholde so betyde,
1223   Whan he was set ther as him liste
1224   To loke upon the Sonne ariste,
1225   Wherof the propretes he sih,  
1226   It fell ther cam ridende nyh  
1227   King Alisandre with a route;  
1228   And as he caste his yhe aboute,  
1229   He sih this Tonne, and what it mente
1230   He wolde wite, and thider sente  
1231   A knyht, be whom he mihte it knowe, 
1232   And he himself that ilke throwe  
1233   Abod, and hoveth there stille.
1234   This kniht after the kinges wille
1235   With spore made his hors to gon  
1236   And to the tonne he cam anon, 
1237   Wher that he fond a man of Age,  
1238   And he him tolde the message, 
1239   Such as the king him hadde bede,     
1240   And axeth why in thilke stede 
1241   The Tonne stod, and what it was. 
1242   And he, which understod the cas, 
1243   Sat stille and spak no word ayein.  
1244   The kniht bad speke and seith, "Vilein,
1245   Thou schalt me telle, er that I go; 
1246   It is thi king which axeth so."  
1247   "Mi king," quod he, "that were unriht."
1248   "What is he thanne?" seith the kniht,  
1249   "Is he thi man?" "That seie I noght,"  
1250   Quod he, "bot this I am bethoght,
1251   Mi mannes man hou that he is."
1252   "Thou lyest, false cherl, ywiss,"
1253   The kniht him seith, and was riht wroth,  
1254   And to the king ayein he goth 
1255   And tolde him how this man ansuerde.
1256   The king, whan he this tale herde,  
1257   Bad that thei scholden alle abyde,  
1258   For he himself wol thider ryde.  
1259   And whan he cam tofore the tonne,
1260   He hath his tale thus begonne:
1261   "Alheil," he seith, "what man art thou?"  
1262   Quod he, "Such on as thou sest now."
1263   The king, which hadde wordes wise,  
1264   His age wolde noght despise,  
1265   Bot seith, "Mi fader, I thee preie  
1266   That thou me wolt the cause seie,
1267   How that I am thi mannes man."
1268   "Sire king," quod he, "and that I can, 
1269   If that thou wolt." "Yis," seith the king.
1270   Quod he, "This is the sothe thing:  
1271   Sith I ferst resoun understod,
1272   And knew what thing was evel and good, 
1273   The will which of my bodi moeveth,  
1274   Whos werkes that the god reproeveth,
1275   I have restreigned everemore, 
1276   As him which stant under the lore
1277   Of reson, whos soubgit he is,     
1278   So that he mai noght don amis:
1279   And thus be weie of covenant  
1280   Will is my man and my servant,
1281   And evere hath ben and evere schal. 
1282   And thi will is thi principal,
1283   And hath the lordschipe of thi witt,
1284   So that thou cowthest nevere yit 
1285   Take o dai reste of thi labour;  
1286   Bot forto ben a conquerour 
1287   Of worldes good, which mai noght laste,
1288   Thou hiest evere aliche faste,
1289   Wher thou no reson hast to winne:
1290   And thus thi will is cause of Sinne,
1291   And is thi lord, to whom thou servest, 
1292   Wherof thou litel thonk deservest." 
1293   The king of that he thus answerde
1294   Was nothing wroth, bot whanne he herde 
1295   The hihe wisdom which he seide,  
1296   With goodly wordes this he preide,  
1297   That he him wolde telle his name.
1298   "I am," quod he, "that ilke same,
1299   The which men Diogenes calle."
1300   Tho was the king riht glad withalle,
1301   For he hadde often herd tofore
1302   What man he was, so that therfore
1303   He seide, "O wise Diogene, 
1304   Now schal thi grete witt be sene;
1305   For thou schalt of my yifte have 
1306   What worldes thing that thou wolt crave." 
1307   Quod he, "Thanne hove out of mi Sonne, 
1308   And let it schyne into mi Tonne; 
1309   For thou benymst me thilke yifte,
1310   Which lith noght in thi miht to schifte:  
1311   Non other good of thee me nedeth."  
1312   This king, whom every contre dredeth,  
1313   Lo, thus he was enformed there:  
1314   Wherof, my Sone, thou miht lere  
1315   How that thi will schal noght be lieved,      
1316   Where it is noght of wit relieved.  
1317   And thou hast seid thiself er this  
1318   How that thi will thi maister is;
1319   Thurgh which thin hertes thoght withinne  
1320   Is evere of Contek to beginne,
1321   So that it is gretli to drede 
1322   That it non homicide brede.
1323   For love is of a wonder kinde,
1324   And hath hise wittes ofte blinde,
1325   That thei fro mannes reson falle;
1326   Bot whan that it is so befalle
1327   That will schal the corage lede, 
1328   In loves cause it is to drede:
1329   Wherof I finde ensample write,
1330   Which is behovely forto wite. 
1331   I rede a tale, and telleth this: 
1332   The Cite which Semiramis
1333   Enclosed hath with wall aboute,  
1334   Of worthi folk with many a route 
1335   Was enhabited here and there; 
1336   Among the whiche tuo ther were
1337   Above alle othre noble and grete,
1338   Dwellende tho withinne a Strete
1339   So nyh togedre, as it was sene,
1340   That ther was nothing hem betwene,
1341   Bot wow to wow and wall to wall.