The Online 
Medieval and Classical Library

Confessio Amantis
Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

Incipit Liber Primus: Part 2

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4

1764   And sche began to pleie and rage,
1765   As who seith, I am wel ynowh;
1766   Bot he therof nothing ne lowh,
1767   For sche tok thanne chiere on honde 
1768   And clepeth him hire housebonde,  
1769   And seith, "My lord, go we to bedde, 
1770   For I to that entente wedde,
1771   That thou schalt be my worldes blisse:"
1772   And profreth him with that to kisse, 
1773   As sche a lusti Lady were. 
1774   His body myhte wel be there,
1775   Bot as of thoght and of memoire  
1776   His herte was in purgatoire.  
1777   Bot yit for strengthe of matrimoine 
1778   He myhte make non essoine,  
1779   That he ne mot algates plie
1780   To gon to bedde of compaignie:
1781   And whan thei were abedde naked,  
1782   Withoute slep he was awaked;  
1783   He torneth on that other side, 
1784   For that he wolde hise yhen hyde 
1785   Fro lokynge on that foule wyht.  
1786   The chambre was al full of lyht,  
1787   The courtins were of cendal thinne,  
1788   This newe bryd which lay withinne,
1789   Thogh it be noght with his acord, 
1790   In armes sche beclipte hire lord, 
1791   And preide, as he was torned fro, 
1792   He wolde him torne ayeinward tho;
1793   "For now," sche seith, "we ben bothe on." 
1794   And he lay stille as eny ston, 
1795   Bot evere in on sche spak and preide,
1796   And bad him thenke on that he seide, 
1797   Whan that he tok hire be the hond.  
1798   He herde and understod the bond,  
1799   How he was set to his penance, 
1800   And as it were a man in trance
1801   He torneth him al sodeinly, 
1802   And syh a lady lay him by  
1803   Of eyhtetiene wynter age,
1804   Which was the faireste of visage 
1805   That evere in al this world he syh: 
1806   And as he wolde have take hire nyh,  
1807   Sche put hire hand and be his leve  
1808   Besoghte him that he wolde leve,  
1809   And seith that forto wynne or lese  
1810   He mot on of tuo thinges chese,
1811   Wher he wol have hire such on nyht,  
1812   Or elles upon daies lyht,
1813   For he schal noght have bothe tuo.  
1814   And he began to sorwe tho,  
1815   In many a wise and caste his thoght, 
1816   Bot for al that yit cowthe he noght 
1817   Devise himself which was the beste. 
1818   And sche, that wolde his hertes reste,  
1819   Preith that he scholde chese algate, 
1820   Til ate laste longe and late  
1821   He seide: "O ye, my lyves hele,
1822   Sey what you list in my querele,  
1823   I not what ansuere I schal yive: 
1824   Bot evere whil that I may live,
1825   I wol that ye be my maistresse,
1826   For I can noght miselve gesse 
1827   Which is the beste unto my chois.
1828   Thus grante I yow myn hole vois,  
1829   Ches for ous bothen, I you preie;
1830   And what as evere that ye seie,
1831   Riht as ye wole so wol I." 
1832   "Mi lord," sche seide, " grant merci,
1833   For of this word that ye now sein,
1834   That ye have mad me soverein,  
1835   Mi destine is overpassed,
1836   That nevere hierafter schal be lassed  
1837   Mi beaute, which that I now have, 
1838   Til I be take into my grave;  
1839   Bot nyht and day as I am now  
1840   I schal alwey be such to yow. 
1841   The kinges dowhter of Cizile  
1842   I am, and fell bot siththe awhile,
1843   As I was with my fader late,
1844   That my Stepmoder for an hate, 
1845   Which toward me sche hath begonne,
1846   Forschop me, til I hadde wonne
1847   The love and sovereinete
1848   Of what knyht that in his degre  
1849   Alle othre passeth of good name: 
1850   And, as men sein, ye ben the same,
1851   The dede proeveth it is so;
1852   Thus am I youres evermo."  
1853   Tho was plesance and joye ynowh,  
1854   Echon with other pleide and lowh;
1855   Thei live longe and wel thei ferde,  
1856   And clerkes that this chance herde  
1857   Thei writen it in evidence, 
1858   To teche how that obedience
1859   Mai wel fortune a man to love 
1860   And sette him in his lust above,  
1861   As it befell unto this knyht. 
1862   Forthi, my Sone, if thou do ryht, 
1863   Thou schalt unto thi love obeie,  
1864   And folwe hir will be alle weie. 
1865   Min holy fader, so I wile: 
1866   For ye have told me such a skile 
1867   Of this ensample now tofore,
1868   That I schal evermo therfore  
1869   Hierafterward myn observance  
1870   To love and to his obeissance 
1871   The betre kepe: and over this 
1872   Of pride if ther oght elles is,
1873   Wherof that I me schryve schal,
1874   What thing it is in special,
1875   Mi fader, axeth, I you preie. 
1876   Now lest, my Sone, and I schal seie:
1877   For yit ther is Surquiderie,
1878   Which stant with Pride of compaignie;  
1879   Wherof that thou schalt hiere anon,  
1880   To knowe if thou have gult or non
1881   Upon the forme as thou schalt hiere:
1882   Now understond wel the matiere.  
1883   Surquiderie is thilke vice 
1884   Of Pride, which the thridde office  
1885   Hath in his Court, and wol noght knowe 
1886   The trowthe til it overthrowe.
1887   Upon his fortune and his grace
1888   Comth "Hadde I wist" fulofte aplace;
1889   For he doth al his thing be gesse,
1890   And voideth alle sikernesse.  
1891   Non other conseil good him siemeth  
1892   Bot such as he himselve diemeth; 
1893   For in such wise as he compasseth,
1894   His wit al one alle othre passeth;  
1895   And is with pride so thurghsoght, 
1896   That he alle othre set at noght,  
1897   And weneth of himselven so, 
1898   That such as he ther be nomo,  
1899   So fair, so semly, ne so wis; 
1900   And thus he wolde bere a pris 
1901   Above alle othre, and noght forthi  
1902   He seith noght ones "grant mercy"
1903   To godd, which alle grace sendeth,
1904   So that his wittes he despendeth 
1905   Upon himself, as thogh ther were 
1906   No godd which myhte availe there:
1907   Bot al upon his oghne witt 
1908   He stant, til he falle in the pitt  
1909   So ferr that he mai noght arise. 
1910   And riht thus in the same wise
1911   This vice upon the cause of love 
1912   So proudly set the herte above,
1913   And doth him pleinly forto wene  
1914   That he to loven eny qwene 
1915   Hath worthinesse and sufficance; 
1916   And so withoute pourveance 
1917   Fulofte he heweth up so hihe,  
1918   That chippes fallen in his yhe;  
1919   And ek ful ofte he weneth this,
1920   Ther as he noght beloved is,
1921   To be beloved alther best. 
1922   Now, Sone, tell what so thee lest
1923   Of this that I have told thee hier. 
1924   Ha, fader, be noght in a wer: 
1925   I trowe ther be noman lesse,
1926   Of eny maner worthinesse,
1927   That halt him lasse worth thanne I  
1928   To be beloved; and noght forthi  
1929   I seie in excusinge of me,  
1930   To alle men that love is fre. 
1931   And certes that mai noman werne; 
1932   For love is of himself so derne,  
1933   It luteth in a mannes herte:  
1934   Bot that ne schal me noght asterte,  
1935   To wene forto be worthi 
1936   To loven, bot in hir mercy.
1937   Bot, Sire, of that ye wolden mene,
1938   That I scholde otherwise wene 
1939   To be beloved thanne I was, 
1940   I am beknowe as in that cas.  
1941   Mi goode Sone, tell me how.
1942   Now lest, and I wol telle yow, 
1943   Mi goode fader, how it is. 
1944   Fulofte it hath befalle or this  
1945   Thurgh hope that was noght certein,  
1946   Mi wenynge hath be set in vein
1947   To triste in thing that halp me noght,  
1948   Bot onliche of myn oughne thoght.
1949   For as it semeth that a belle 
1950   Lik to the wordes that men telle 
1951   Answerth, riht so ne mor ne lesse,
1952   To yow, my fader, I confesse,  
1953   Such will my wit hath overset, 
1954   That what so hope me behet, 
1955   Ful many a time I wene it soth,
1956   Bot finali no spied it doth.  
1957   Thus may I tellen, as I can,
1958   Wenyng beguileth many a man;  
1959   So hath it me, riht wel I wot:
1960   For if a man wole in a Bot 
1961   Which is withoute botme rowe,  
1962   He moste nedes overthrowe. 
1963   Riht so wenyng hath ferd be me:  
1964   For whanne I wende next have be,  
1965   As I be my wenynge caste,
1966   Thanne was I furthest ate laste,  
1967   And as a foll my bowe unbende, 
1968   Whan al was failed that I wende. 
1969   Forthi, my fader, as of this,  
1970   That my wenynge hath gon amis 
1971   Touchende to Surquiderie,
1972   Yif me my penance er I die.
1973   Bot if ye wolde in eny forme  
1974   Of this matiere a tale enforme,
1975   Which were ayein this vice set,
1976   I scholde fare wel the bet.
1977   Mi Sone, in alle maner wise
1978   Surquiderie is to despise,  
1979   Wherof I finde write thus. 
1980   The proude knyht Capanes 
1981   He was of such Surquiderie, 
1982   That he thurgh his chivalerie 
1983   Upon himself so mochel triste, 
1984   That to the goddes him ne liste  
1985   In no querele to beseche,
1986   Bot seide it was an ydel speche,  
1987   Which caused was of pure drede,
1988   For lack of herte and for no nede.  
1989   And upon such presumpcioun 
1990   He hield this proude opinioun, 
1991   Til ate laste upon a dai,
1992   Aboute Thebes wher he lay,  
1993   Whan it of Siege was belein,
1994   This knyht, as the Croniqes sein, 
1995   In alle mennes sihte there, 
1996   Whan he was proudest in his gere, 
1997   And thoghte how nothing myhte him dere, 
1998   Ful armed with his schield and spere
1999   As he the Cite wolde assaile,  
2000   Godd tok himselve the bataille
2001   Ayein his Pride, and fro the sky 
2002   A firy thonder sodeinly 
2003   He sende, and him to pouldre smot.  
2004   And thus the Pride which was hot, 
2005   Whan he most in his strengthe wende, 
2006   Was brent and lost withouten ende:  
2007   So that it proeveth wel therfore, 
2008   The strengthe of man is sone lore,
2009   Bot if that he it wel governe.
2010   And over this a man mai lerne 
2011   That ek fulofte time it grieveth, 
2012   Whan that a man himself believeth,
2013   As thogh it scholde him wel beseme  
2014   That he alle othre men can deme,  
2015   And hath foryete his oghne vice. 
2016   A tale of hem that ben so nyce,
2017   And feigne hemself to be so wise, 
2018   I schal thee telle in such a wise,
2019   Wherof thou schalt ensample take 
2020   That thou no such thing undertake.  
2021   I finde upon Surquiderie,
2022   How that whilom of Hungarie
2023   Be olde daies was a King
2024   Wys and honeste in alle thing:
2025   And so befell upon a dai,
2026   And that was in the Monthe of Maii,  
2027   As thilke time it was usance,  
2028   This kyng with noble pourveance  
2029   Hath for himself his Charr araied,
2030   Wher inne he wolde ride amaied
2031   Out of the Cite forto pleie,
2032   With lordes and with gret nobleie
2033   Of lusti folk that were yonge:
2034   Wher some pleide and some songe,  
2035   And some gon and some ryde, 
2036   And some prike here hors aside
2037   And bridlen hem now in now oute. 
2038   The kyng his yhe caste aboute, 
2039   Til he was ate laste war
2040   And syh comende ayein his char
2041   Two pilegrins of so gret age,  
2042   That lich unto a dreie ymage  
2043   Thei weren pale and fade hewed,
2044   And as a bussh which is besnewed, 
2045   Here berdes weren hore and whyte;
2046   Ther was of kinde bot a lite,  
2047   That thei ne semen fulli dede.
2048   Thei comen to the kyng and bede  
2049   Som of his good par charite;  
2050   And he with gret humilite  
2051   Out of his Char to grounde lepte, 
2052   And hem in bothe hise armes kepte
2053   And keste hem bothe fot and hond 
2054   Before the lordes of his lond, 
2055   And yaf hem of his good therto:  
2056   And whanne he hath this dede do,  
2057   He goth into his char ayein.  
2058   Tho was Murmur, tho was desdeign, 
2059   Tho was compleignte on every side,
2060   Thei seiden of here oghne Pride  
2061   Eche until othre: "What is this? 
2062   Oure king hath do this thing amis,
2063   So to abesse his realte 
2064   That every man it myhte se, 
2065   And humbled him in such a wise
2066   To hem that were of non emprise."
2067   Thus was it spoken to and fro 
2068   Of hem that were with him tho 
2069   Al prively behinde his bak;
2070   Bot to himselven noman spak.  
2071   The kinges brother in presence
2072   Was thilke time, and gret offence
2073   He tok therof, and was the same  
2074   Above alle othre which most blame
2075   Upon his liege lord hath leid, 
2076   And hath unto the lordes seid, 
2077   Anon as he mai time finde,  
2078   Ther schal nothing be left behinde,  
2079   That he wol speke unto the king. 
2080   Now lest what fell upon this thing. 
2081   The day was merie and fair ynowh, 
2082   Echon with othre pleide and lowh, 
2083   And fellen into tales newe, 
2084   How that the freisshe floures grewe, 
2085   And how the grene leves spronge,  
2086   And how that love among the yonge
2087   Began the hertes thanne awake, 
2088   And every bridd hath chose hire make:  
2089   And thus the Maies day to thende 
2090   Thei lede, and hom ayein thei wende.
2091   The king was noght so sone come,  
2092   That whanne he hadde his chambre nome,  
2093   His brother ne was redi there, 
2094   And broghte a tale unto his Ere  
2095   Of that he dede such a schame 
2096   In hindringe of his oghne name,
2097   Whan he himself so wolde drecche, 
2098   That to so vil a povere wrecche  
2099   Him deigneth schewe such simplesce  
2100   Ayein thastat of his noblesce:
2101   And seith he schal it nomor use,  
2102   And that he mot himself excuse
2103   Toward hise lordes everychon. 
2104   The king stod stille as eny ston, 
2105   And to his tale an Ere he leide,  
2106   And thoghte more than he seide:  
2107   Bot natheles to that he herde 
2108   Wel cortaisly the king answerde,  
2109   And tolde it scholde be amended. 
2110   And thus whan that her tale is ended,
2111   Al redy was the bord and cloth,
2112   The king unto his Souper goth 
2113   Among the lordes to the halle;
2114   And whan thei hadden souped alle, 
2115   Thei token leve and forth thei go.  
2116   The king bethoghte himselve tho  
2117   How he his brother mai chastie,
2118   That he thurgh his Surquiderie
2119   Tok upon honde to despreise
2120   Humilite, which is to preise,  
2121   And therupon yaf such conseil 
2122   Toward his king that was noght heil;
2123   Wherof to be the betre lered,  
2124   He thenkth to maken him afered.  
2125   It fell so that in thilke dawe
2126   Ther was ordeined be the lawe 
2127   A trompe with a sterne breth,  
2128   Which cleped was the Trompe of deth:
2129   And in the Court wher the king was  
2130   A certein man this Trompe of bras
2131   Hath in kepinge, and therof serveth, 
2132   That whan a lord his deth deserveth, 
2133   He schal this dredful trompe blowe  
2134   Tofore his gate, and make it knowe  
2135   How that the jugement is yove 
2136   Of deth, which schal noght be foryove. 
2137   The king, whan it was nyht, anon 
2138   This man asente and bad him gon  
2139   To trompen at his brother gate;  
2140   And he, which mot so don algate,  
2141   Goth forth and doth the kynges heste.  
2142   This lord, which herde of this tempeste
2143   That he tofore his gate blew,  
2144   Tho wiste he be the lawe and knew
2145   That he was sikerliche ded:
2146   And as of help he wot no red,  
2147   Bot sende for hise frendes alle  
2148   And tolde hem how it is befalle. 
2149   And thei him axe cause why;
2150   Bot he the sothe noght forthi 
2151   Ne wiste, and ther was sorwe tho:
2152   For it stod thilke tyme so, 
2153   This trompe was of such sentence, 
2154   That therayein no resistence  
2155   Thei couthe ordeine be no weie,
2156   That he ne mot algate deie, 
2157   Bot if so that he may pourchace  
2158   To gete his liege lordes grace.  
2159   Here wittes therupon thei caste,  
2160   And ben apointed ate laste.
2161   This lord a worthi ladi hadde 
2162   Unto his wif, which also dradde  
2163   Hire lordes deth, and children five 
2164   Betwen hem two thei hadde alyve,  
2165   That weren yonge and tendre of age,  
2166   And of stature and of visage  
2167   Riht faire and lusty on to se.
2168   Tho casten thei that he and sche 
2169   Forth with here children on the morwe,  
2170   As thei that were full of sorwe,  
2171   Al naked bot of smok and scherte, 
2172   To tendre with the kynges herte,  
2173   His grace scholden go to seche
2174   And pardoun of the deth beseche. 
2175   Thus passen thei that wofull nyht,
2176   And erly, whan thei sihe it lyht, 
2177   Thei gon hem forth in such a wise
2178   As thou tofore hast herd devise,  
2179   Al naked bot here schortes one.  
2180   Thei wepte and made mochel mone,  
2181   Here Her hangende aboute here Eres; 
2182   With sobbinge and with sory teres
2183   This lord goth thanne an humble pas, 
2184   That whilom proud and noble was; 
2185   Wherof the Cite sore afflyhte, 
2186   Of hem that sihen thilke syhte:  
2187   And natheless al openly 
2188   With such wepinge and with such cri 
2189   Forth with hise children and his wif
2190   He goth to preie for his lif. 
2191   Unto the court whan thei be come, 
2192   And men therinne have hiede nome, 
2193   Ther was no wiht, if he hem syhe, 
2194   Fro water mihte kepe his yhe  
2195   For sorwe which thei maden tho.  
2196   The king supposeth of this wo, 
2197   And feigneth as he noght ne wiste;  
2198   Bot natheles at his upriste
2199   Men tolden him how that it ferde:
2200   And whan that he this wonder herde,  
2201   In haste he goth into the halle,  
2202   And alle at ones doun thei falle, 
2203   If eny pite may be founde. 
2204   The king, which seth hem go to grounde, 
2205   Hath axed hem what is the fere,
2206   Why thei be so despuiled there.  
2207   His brother seide: "Ha lord, mercy! 
2208   I wot non other cause why,  
2209   Bot only that this nyht ful late 
2210   The trompe of deth was at my gate
2211   In tokne that I scholde deie; 
2212   Thus be we come forto preie
2213   That ye mi worldes deth respite."
2214   "Ha fol, how thou art forto wyte,"  
2215   The king unto his brother seith,  
2216   "That thou art of so litel feith, 
2217   That only for a trompes soun  
2218   Hast gon despuiled thurgh the toun,  
2219   Thou and thi wif in such manere  
2220   Forth with thi children that ben here,  
2221   In sihte of alle men aboute,
2222   For that thou seist thou art in doute  
2223   Of deth, which stant under the lawe 
2224   Of man, and man it mai withdrawe, 
2225   So that it mai par chance faile. 
2226   Now schalt thou noght forthi mervaile  
2227   That I doun fro my Charr alihte,  
2228   Whanne I behield tofore my sihte 
2229   In hem that were of so grete age 
2230   Min oghne deth thurgh here ymage, 
2231   Which god hath set be lawe of kynde, 
2232   Wherof I mai no bote finde:
2233   For wel I wot, such as thei be,
2234   Riht such am I in my degree,
2235   Of fleissh and blod, and so schal deie.
2236   And thus, thogh I that lawe obeie
2237   Of which the kinges ben put under,
2238   It oghte ben wel lasse wonder 
2239   Than thou, which art withoute nede  
2240   For lawe of londe in such a drede,
2241   Which for tacompte is bot a jape, 
2242   As thing which thou miht overscape. 
2243   Forthi, mi brother, after this
2244   I rede, sithen that so is  
2245   That thou canst drede a man so sore, 
2246   Dred god with al thin herte more:
2247   For al schal deie and al schal passe,
2248   Als wel a Leoun as an asse, 
2249   Als wel a beggere as a lord,
2250   Towardes deth in on acord  
2251   Thei schullen stonde." And in this wise
2252   The king hath with hise wordes wise 
2253   His brother tawht and al foryive.
2254   Forthi, mi Sone, if thou wolt live  
2255   In vertu, thou most vice eschuie, 
2256   And with low herte humblesce suie,
2257   So that thou be noght surquidous.
2258   Mi fader, I am amorous,  
2259   Wherof I wolde you beseche 
2260   That ye me som ensample teche, 
2261   Which mihte in loves cause stonde.  
2262   Mi Sone, thou schalt understonde, 
2263   In love and othre thinges alle
2264   If that Surquiderie falle,  
2265   It may to him noght wel betide
2266   Which useth thilke vice of Pride, 
2267   Which torneth wisdom to wenynge  
2268   And Sothfastnesse into lesynge
2269   Thurgh fol ymaginacion. 
2270   And for thin enformacion,
2271   That thou this vice as I the rede
2272   Eschuie schalt, a tale I rede, 
2273   Which fell whilom be daies olde,  
2274   So as the clerk Ovide tolde.  
2275   Ther was whilom a lordes Sone, 
2276   Which of his Pride a nyce wone
2277   Hath cawht, that worthi to his liche,
2278   To sechen al the worldes riche,
2279   Ther was no womman forto love.
2280   So hihe he sette himselve above  
2281   Of stature and of beaute bothe,
2282   That him thoghte alle wommen lothe: 
2283   So was ther no comparisoun 
2284   As toward his condicioun.  
2285   This yonge lord Narcizus hihte:  
2286   No strengthe of love bowe mihte  
2287   His herte, which is unaffiled;
2288   Bot ate laste he was beguiled:
2289   For of the goddes pourveance  
2290   It fell him on a dai par chance,  
2291   That he in all his proude fare
2292   Unto the forest gan to fare,
2293   Amonges othre that ther were  
2294   To hunte and to desporte him there. 
2295   And whanne he cam into the place 
2296   Wher that he wolde make his chace,
2297   The houndes weren in a throwe 
2298   Uncoupled and the hornes blowe:  
2299   The grete hert anon was founde,
2300   Which swifte feet sette upon grounde,
2301   And he with spore in horse side  
2302   Him hasteth faste forto ride,  
2303   Til alle men be left behinde. 
2304   And as he rod, under a linde  
2305   Beside a roche, as I thee telle,  
2306   He syh wher sprong a lusty welle:
2307   The day was wonder hot withalle,  
2308   And such a thurst was on him falle,  
2309   That he moste owther deie or drinke;
2310   And doun he lihte and be the brinke 
2311   He teide his Hors unto a braunche,
2312   And leide him lowe forto staunche
2313   His thurst: and as he caste his lok 
2314   Into the welle and hiede tok,  
2315   He sih the like of his visage, 
2316   And wende ther were an ymage  
2317   Of such a Nimphe as tho was faie, 
2318   Wherof that love his herte assaie
2319   Began, as it was after sene,
2320   Of his sotie and made him wene
2321   It were a womman that he syh. 
2322   The more he cam the welle nyh, 
2323   The nerr cam sche to him ayein;  
2324   So wiste he nevere what to sein; 
2325   For whanne he wepte, he sih hire wepe,  
2326   And whanne he cride, he tok good kepe,  
2327   The same word sche cride also:
2328   And thus began the newe wo, 
2329   That whilom was to him so strange;  
2330   Tho made him love an hard eschange,  
2331   To sette his herte and to beginne
2332   Thing which he mihte nevere winne.  
2333   And evere among he gan to loute,  
2334   And preith that sche to him come oute; 
2335   And otherwhile he goth a ferr, 
2336   And otherwhile he draweth nerr,
2337   And evere he fond hire in o place.  
2338   He wepth, he crith, he axeth grace,  
2339   There as he mihte gete non;
2340   So that ayein a Roche of Ston, 
2341   As he that knew non other red, 
2342   He smot himself til he was ded.  
2343   Wherof the Nimphes of the welles, 
2344   And othre that ther weren elles  
2345   Unto the wodes belongende,  
2346   The body, which was ded ligende,  
2347   For pure pite that thei have  
2348   Under the grene thei begrave. 
2349   And thanne out of his sepulture  
2350   Ther sprong anon par aventure 
2351   Of floures such a wonder syhte,
2352   That men ensample take myhte  
2353   Upon the dedes whiche he dede, 
2354   As tho was sene in thilke stede; 
2355   For in the wynter freysshe and faire
2356   The floures ben, which is contraire 
2357   To kynde, and so was the folie
2358   Which fell of his Surquiderie.
2359   Thus he, which love hadde in desdeign,  
2360   Worste of all othre was besein,
2361   And as he sette his pris most hyhe,  
2362   He was lest worth in loves yhe
2363   And most bejaped in his wit:  
2364   Wherof the remembrance is yit, 
2365   So that thou myht ensample take,  
2366   And ek alle othre for his sake.  
2367   Mi fader, as touchende of me,  
2368   This vice I thenke forto fle,  
2369   Which of his wenynge overtroweth;
2370   And nameliche of thing which groweth
2371   In loves cause or wel or wo
2372   Yit pryded I me nevere so. 
2373   Bot wolde god that grace sende,
2374   That toward me my lady wende  
2375   As I towardes hire wene!
2376   Mi love scholde so be sene, 
2377   Ther scholde go no pride a place.
2378   Bot I am ferr fro thilke grace,
2379   As forto speke of tyme now;
2380   So mot I soffre, and preie yow
2381   That ye wole axe on other side
2382   If ther be eny point of Pride, 
2383   Wherof it nedeth to be schrive.  
2384   Mi Sone, godd it thee foryive, 
2385   If thou have eny thing misdo  
2386   Touchende of this, bot overmo 
2387   Ther is an other yit of Pride, 
2388   Which nevere cowthe hise wordes hide,
2389   That he ne wole himself avaunte; 
2390   Ther mai nothing his tunge daunte,
2391   That he ne clappeth as a Belle:  
2392   Wherof if thou wolt that I telle, 
2393   It is behovely forto hiere, 
2394   So that thou myht thi tunge stiere,  
2395   Toward the world and stonde in grace,
2396   Which lacketh ofte in many place 
2397   To him that can noght sitte stille,  
2398   Which elles scholde have al his wille. 
2399   The vice cleped Avantance  
2400   With Pride hath take his aqueintance,
2401   So that his oghne pris he lasseth,
2402   When he such mesure overpasseth  
2403   That he his oghne Herald is.  
2404   That ferst was wel is thanne mis, 
2405   That was thankworth is thanne blame, 
2406   And thus the worschipe of his name  
2407   Thurgh pride of his avantarie 
2408   He torneth into vilenie.
2409   I rede how that this proude vice 
2410   Hath thilke wynd in his office,
2411   Which thurgh the blastes that he bloweth  
2412   The mannes fame he overthroweth  
2413   Of vertu, which scholde elles springe  
2414   Into the worldes knowlechinge;
2415   Bot he fordoth it alto sore.  
2416   And riht of such a maner lore 
2417   Ther ben lovers: forthi if thow  
2418   Art on of hem, tell and sei how. 
2419   Whan thou hast taken eny thing
2420   Of loves yifte, or Nouche or ring,
2421   Or tok upon thee for the cold 
2422   Som goodly word that thee was told,  
2423   Or frendly chiere or tokne or lettre,
2424   Wherof thin herte was the bettre, 
2425   Or that sche sende the grietinge, 
2426   Hast thou for Pride of thi likinge  
2427   Mad thin avant wher as the liste?
2428   I wolde, fader, that ye wiste, 
2429   Mi conscience lith noght hiere:  
2430   Yit hadde I nevere such matiere,  
2431   Wherof min herte myhte amende, 
2432   Noght of so mochel that sche sende  
2433   Be mowthe and seide, "Griet him wel:"  
2434   And thus for that ther is no diel
2435   Wherof to make myn avant,
2436   It is to reson acordant 
2437   That I mai nevere, bot I lye,  
2438   Of love make avanterie. 
2439   I wot noght what I scholde have do,  
2440   If that I hadde encheson so,
2441   As ye have seid hier manyon;  
2442   Bot I fond cause nevere non:  
2443   Bot daunger, which welnyh me slowh,  
2444   Therof I cowthe telle ynowh,
2445   And of non other Avantance:
2446   Thus nedeth me no repentance. 
2447   Now axeth furthere of my lif,  
2448   For hierof am I noght gultif. 
2449   Mi Sone, I am wel paid withal;
2450   For wite it wel in special 
2451   That love of his verrai justice  
2452   Above alle othre ayein this vice 
2453   At alle times most debateth,
2454   With al his herte and most it hateth.  
2455   And ek in alle maner wise  
2456   Avantarie is to despise, 
2457   As be ensample thou myht wite, 
2458   Which I finde in the bokes write.
2459   Of hem that we Lombars now calle 
2460   Albinus was the ferste of alle
2461   Which bar corone of Lombardie, 
2462   And was of gret chivalerie 
2463   In werre ayein diverse kinges.
2464   So fell amonges othre thinges, 
2465   That he that time a werre hadde  
2466   With Gurmond, which the Geptes ladde,
2467   And was a myhti kyng also: 
2468   Bot natheles it fell him so,
2469   Albinus slowh him in the feld, 
2470   Ther halp him nowther swerd ne scheld,  
2471   That he ne smot his hed of thanne,
2472   Wherof he tok awey the Panne,  
2473   Of which he seide he wolde make  
2474   A Cuppe for Gurmoundes sake,
2475   To kepe and drawe into memoire
2476   Of his bataille the victoire. 
2477   And thus whan he the feld hath wonne,
2478   The lond anon was overronne
2479   And sesed in his oghne hond,
2480   Wher he Gurmondes dowhter fond,
2481   Which Maide Rosemounde hihte,  
2482   And was in every mannes sihte 
2483   A fair, a freissh, a lusti on.
2484   His herte fell to hire anon,
2485   And such a love on hire he caste, 
2486   That he hire weddeth ate laste;  
2487   And after that long time in reste
2488   With hire he duelte, and to the beste  
2489   Thei love ech other wonder wel.  
2490   Bot sche which kepth the blinde whel,
2491   Venus, whan thei be most above,
2492   In al the hoteste of here love,
2493   Hire whiel sche torneth, and thei felle
2494   In the manere as I schal telle.  
2495   This king, which stod in al his welthe 
2496   Of pes, of worschipe and of helthe,  
2497   And felte him on no side grieved, 
2498   As he that hath his world achieved,  
2499   Tho thoghte he wolde a feste make;  
2500   And that was for his wyves sake,  
2501   That sche the lordes ate feste,
2502   That were obeissant to his heste, 
2503   Mai knowe: and so forth therupon 
2504   He let ordeine, and sende anon
2505   Be lettres and be messagiers,  
2506   And warnede alle hise officiers  
2507   That every thing be wel arraied: 
2508   The grete Stiedes were assaied
2509   For joustinge and for tornement,  
2510   And many a perled garnement
2511   Embroudred was ayein the dai. 
2512   The lordes in here beste arrai
2513   Be comen ate time set,
2514   On jousteth wel, an other bet, 
2515   And otherwhile thei torneie,
2516   And thus thei casten care aweie  
2517   And token lustes upon honde.  
2518   And after, thou schalt understonde,  
2519   To mete into the kinges halle 
2520   Thei come, as thei be beden alle:
2521   And whan thei were set and served,
2522   Thanne after, as it was deserved, 
2523   To hem that worthi knyhtes were,  
2524   So as thei seten hiere and there, 
2525   The pris was yove and spoken oute
2526   Among the heraldz al aboute.  
2527   And thus benethe and ek above 
2528   Al was of armes and of love,
2529   Wherof abouten ate bordes  
2530   Men hadde manye sondri wordes, 
2531   That of the merthe which thei made  
2532   The king himself began to glade  
2533   Withinne his herte and tok a pride,  
2534   And sih the Cuppe stonde aside,
2535   Which mad was of Gurmoundes hed,  
2536   As ye have herd, whan he was ded, 
2537   And was with gold and riche Stones  
2538   Beset and bounde for the nones,
2539   And stod upon a fot on heihte 
2540   Of burned gold, and with gret sleihte  
2541   Of werkmanschipe it was begrave  
2542   Of such werk as it scholde have,  
2543   And was policed ek so clene
2544   That no signe of the Skulle is sene, 
2545   Bot as it were a Gripes Ey.
2546   The king bad bere his Cuppe awey, 
2547   Which stod tofore him on the bord,
2548   And fette thilke. Upon his word  
2549   This Skulle is fet and wyn therinne, 
2550   Wherof he bad his wif beginne:
2551   "Drink with thi fader, Dame," he seide.
2552   And sche to his biddinge obeide,  
2553   And tok the Skulle, and what hire liste
2554   Sche drank, as sche which nothing wiste
2555   What Cuppe it was: and thanne al oute  
2556   The kyng in audience aboute
2557   Hath told it was hire fader Skulle,  
2558   So that the lordes knowe schulle 
2559   Of his bataille a soth witnesse,  
2560   And made avant thurgh what prouesse 
2561   He hath his wyves love wonne,  
2562   Which of the Skulle hath so begonne.
2563   Tho was ther mochel Pride alofte, 
2564   Thei speken alle, and sche was softe,
2565   Thenkende on thilke unkynde Pride,
2566   Of that hire lord so nyh hire side  
2567   Avanteth him that he hath slain  
2568   And piked out hire fader brain,
2569   And of the Skulle had mad a Cuppe.  
2570   Sche soffreth al til thei were uppe, 
2571   And tho sche hath seknesse feigned,  
2572   And goth to chambre and hath compleigned  
2573   Unto a Maide which sche triste,
2574   So that non other wyht it wiste. 
2575   This Mayde Glodeside is hote,  
2576   To whom this lady hath behote 
2577   Of ladischipe al that sche can,
2578   To vengen hire upon this man,  
2579   Which dede hire drinke in such a plit  
2580   Among hem alle for despit  
2581   Of hire and of hire fader bothe; 
2582   Wherof hire thoghtes ben so wrothe,  
2583   Sche seith, that sche schal noght be glad, 
2584   Til that sche se him so bestad
2585   That he nomore make avant. 
2586   And thus thei felle in covenant,  
2587   That thei acorden ate laste,
2588   With suche wiles as thei caste
2589   That thei wol gete of here acord 
2590   Som orped knyht to sle this lord:
2591   And with this sleihte thei beginne,  
2592   How thei Helmege myhten winne, 
2593   Which was the kinges Boteler,  
2594   A proud a lusti Bacheler,
2595   And Glodeside he loveth hote. 
2596   And sche, to make him more assote,
2597   Hire love granteth, and be nyhte 
2598   Thei schape how thei togedre myhte  
2599   Abedde meete: and don it was  
2600   This same nyht; and in this cas  
2601   The qwene hirself the nyht secounde 
2602   Wente in hire stede, and there hath founde
2603   A chambre derk withoute liht,  
2604   And goth to bedde to this knyht. 
2605   And he, to kepe his observance,
2606   To love doth his obeissance,
2607   And weneth it be Glodeside;
2608   And sche thanne after lay aside,  
2609   And axeth him what he hath do, 
2610   And who sche was sche tolde him tho, 
2611   And seide: "Helmege, I am thi qwene, 
2612   Now schal thi love wel be sene
2613   Of that thou hast thi wille wroght: 
2614   Or it schal sore ben aboght,
2615   Or thou schalt worche as I thee seie.  
2616   And if thou wolt be such a weie  
2617   Do my plesance and holde it stille,  
2618   For evere I schal ben at thi wille,  
2619   Bothe I and al myn heritage." 
2620   Anon the wylde loves rage,  
2621   In which noman him can governe,
2622   Hath mad him that he can noght werne,
2623   Bot fell al hol to hire assent:  
2624   And thus the whiel is al miswent, 
2625   The which fortune hath upon honde;  
2626   For how that evere it after stonde,  
2627   Thei schope among hem such a wyle,
2628   The king was ded withinne a whyle.  
2629   So slihly cam it noght aboute 
2630   That thei ne ben descoevered oute,
2631   So that it thoghte hem for the beste
2632   To fle, for there was no reste:  
2633   And thus the tresor of the king  
2634   Thei trusse and mochel other thing,  
2635   And with a certein felaschipe 
2636   Thei fledde and wente awey be schipe,
2637   And hielde here rihte cours fro thenne, 
2638   Til that thei come to Ravenne, 
2639   Wher thei the Dukes helpe soghte.
2640   And he, so as thei him besoghte,  
2641   A place granteth forto duelle;
2642   Bot after, whan he herde telle
2643   Of the manere how thei have do,
2644   This Duk let schape for hem so,
2645   That of a puison which thei drunke  
2646   Thei hadden that thei have beswunke.
2647   And al this made avant of Pride: 
2648   Good is therfore a man to hide
2649   His oghne pris, for if he speke,  
2650   He mai lihtliche his thonk tobreke. 
2651   In armes lith non avantance
2652   To him which thenkth his name avance
2653   And be renomed of his dede:
2654   And also who that thenkth to spede  
2655   Of love, he mai him noght avaunte;  
2656   For what man thilke vice haunte,  
2657   His pourpos schal fulofte faile. 
2658   In armes he that wol travaile 
2659   Or elles loves grace atteigne, 
2660   His lose tunge he mot restreigne, 
2661   Which berth of his honour the keie. 
2662   Forthi, my Sone, in alle weie 
2663   Tak riht good hiede of this matiere.
2664   I thonke you, my fader diere,  
2665   This scole is of a gentil lore;  
2666   And if ther be oght elles more
2667   Of Pride, which I schal eschuie,  
2668   Now axeth forth, and I wol suie  
2669   What thing that ye me wole enforme. 
2670   Mi Sone, yit in other forme
2671   Ther is a vice of Prides lore, 
2672   Which lich an hauk whan he wol sore, 
2673   Fleith upon heihte in his delices
2674   After the likynge of his vices,
2675   And wol no mannes resoun knowe,
2676   Till he doun falle and overthrowe.  
2677   This vice veine gloire is hote,
2678   Wherof, my Sone, I thee behote
2679   To trete and speke in such a wise,
2680   That thou thee myht the betre avise.
2681   The proude vice of veine gloire  
2682   Remembreth noght of purgatoire,
2683   Hise worldes joyes ben so grete,  
2684   Him thenkth of hevene no beyete; 
2685   This lives Pompe is al his pes:  
2686   Yit schal he deie natheles, 
2687   And therof thenkth he bot a lite, 
2688   For al his lust is to delite  
2689   In newe thinges, proude and veine,
2690   Als ferforth as he mai atteigne. 
2691   I trowe, if that he myhte make
2692   His body newe, he wolde take  
2693   A newe forme and leve his olde:  
2694   For what thing that he mai beholde,  
2695   The which to comun us is strange, 
2696   Anon his olde guise change 
2697   He wole and falle therupon, 
2698   Lich unto the Camelion,  
2699   Which upon every sondri hewe  
2700   That he beholt he moste newe  
2701   His colour, and thus unavised 
2702   Fulofte time he stant desguised. 
2703   Mor jolif than the brid in Maii  
2704   He makth him evere freissh and gay,  
2705   And doth al his array desguise,
2706   So that of him the newe guise 
2707   Of lusti folk alle othre take;
2708   And ek he can carolles make,
2709   Rondeal, balade and virelai.  
2710   And with al this, if that he may 
2711   Of love gete him avantage,  
2712   Anon he wext of his corage 
2713   So overglad, that of his ende 
2714   Him thenkth ther is no deth comende:
2715   For he hath thanne at alle tide  
2716   Of love such a maner pride, 
2717   Him thenkth his joie is endeles. 
2718   Now schrif thee, Sone, in godes pes, 
2719   And of thi love tell me plein 
2720   If that thi gloire hath be so vein. 
2721   Mi fader, as touchinge of al  
2722   I may noght wel ne noght ne schal
2723   Of veine gloire excuse me,  
2724   That I ne have for love be 
2725   The betre adresced and arraied;  
2726   And also I have ofte assaied  
2727   Rondeal, balade and virelai
2728   For hire on whom myn herte lai
2729   To make, and also forto peinte
2730   Caroles with my wordes qweinte,
2731   To sette my pourpos alofte;
2732   And thus I sang hem forth fulofte
2733   In halle and ek in chambre aboute,
2734   And made merie among the route,
2735   Bot yit ne ferde I noght the bet.
2736   Thus was my gloire in vein beset 
2737   Of al the joie that I made;
2738   For whanne I wolde with hire glade,  
2739   And of hire love songes make,  
2740   Sche saide it was noght for hir sake,
2741   And liste noght my songes hiere  
2742   Ne witen what the wordes were.
2743   So forto speke of myn arrai,
2744   Yit couthe I nevere be so gay 
2745   Ne so wel make a songe of love,
2746   Wherof I myhte ben above
2747   And have encheson to be glad; 
2748   Bot rathere I am ofte adrad
2749   For sorwe that sche seith me nay.
2750   And natheles I wol noght say,  
2751   That I nam glad on other side;
2752   For fame, that can nothing hide,  
2753   Alday wol bringe unto myn Ere 
2754   Of that men speken hier and there,
2755   How that my ladi berth the pris,  
2756   How sche is fair, how sche is wis,
2757   How sche is wommanlich of chiere;
2758   Of al this thing whanne I mai hiere, 
2759   What wonder is thogh I be fain?  
2760   And ek whanne I may hiere sain
2761   Tidinges of my ladi hele,
2762   Althogh I may noght with hir dele,
2763   Yit am I wonder glad of that; 
2764   For whanne I wot hire good astat, 
2765   As for that time I dar wel swere, 
2766   Non other sorwe mai me dere,
2767   Thus am I gladed in this wise.
2768   Bot, fader, of youre lores wise,  
2769   Of whiche ye be fully tawht,
2770   Now tell me if yow thenketh awht 
2771   That I therof am forto wyte.  
2772   Of that ther is I thee acquite,
2773   Mi sone, he seide, and for thi goode
2774   I wolde that thou understode: 
2775   For I thenke upon this matiere
2776   To telle a tale, as thou schalt hiere,  
2777   How that ayein this proude vice  
2778   The hihe god of his justice
2779   Is wroth and gret vengance doth. 
2780   Now herkne a tale that is soth:  
2781   Thogh it be noght of loves kinde, 
2782   A gret ensample thou schalt finde
2783   This veine gloire forto fle,
2784   Which is so full of vanite.
2785   Ther was a king that mochel myhte,
2786   Which Nabugodonosor hihte,  
2787   Of whom that I spak hier tofore. 
2788   Yit in the bible his name is bore,
2789   For al the world in Orient 
2790   Was hol at his comandement:
2791   As thanne of kinges to his liche 
2792   Was non so myhty ne so riche; 
2793   To his Empire and to his lawes,
2794   As who seith, alle in thilke dawes  
2795   Were obeissant and tribut bere,
2796   As thogh he godd of Erthe were.  
2797   With strengthe he putte kinges under,
2798   And wroghte of Pride many a wonder; 
2799   He was so full of veine gloire,
2800   That he ne hadde no memoire
2801   That ther was eny good bot he, 
2802   For pride of his prosperite;  
2803   Til that the hihe king of kinges, 
2804   Which seth and knoweth alle thinges, 
2805   Whos yhe mai nothing asterte,-
2806   The privetes of mannes herte  
2807   Thei speke and sounen in his Ere 
2808   As thogh thei lowde wyndes were,-
2809   He tok vengance upon this pride. 
2810   Bot for he wolde awhile abide 
2811   To loke if he him wolde amende,
2812   To him a foretokne he sende,
2813   And that was in his slep be nyhte.  
2814   This proude kyng a wonder syhte  
2815   Hadde in his swevene, ther he lay:  
2816   Him thoghte, upon a merie day 
2817   As he behield the world aboute,
2818   A tree fulgrowe he syh theroute,  
2819   Which stod the world amiddes evene,  
2820   Whos heihte straghte up to the hevene; 
2821   The leves weren faire and large,  
2822   Of fruit it bar so ripe a charge, 
2823   That alle men it myhte fede:  
2824   He sih also the bowes spriede 
2825   Above al Erthe, in whiche were
2826   The kinde of alle briddes there; 
2827   And eke him thoghte he syh also  
2828   The kinde of alle bestes go
2829   Under this tre aboute round
2830   And fedden hem upon the ground.  
2831   As he this wonder stod and syh,
2832   Him thoghte he herde a vois on hih  
2833   Criende, and seide aboven alle:  
2834   "Hew doun this tree and lett it falle,  
2835   The leves let defoule in haste
2836   And do the fruit destruie and waste, 
2837   And let of schreden every braunche,  
2838   Bot ate Rote let it staunche. 
2839   Whan al his Pride is cast to grounde,
2840   The rote schal be faste bounde,
2841   And schal no mannes herte bere,
2842   Bot every lust he schal forbere  
2843   Of man, and lich an Oxe his mete 
2844   Of gras he schal pourchace and ete,  
2845   Til that the water of the hevene 
2846   Have waisshen him be times sevene,
2847   So that he be thurghknowe ariht  
2848   What is the heveneliche myht,  
2849   And be mad humble to the wille
2850   Of him which al mai save and spille."  
2851   This king out of his swefne abreide, 
2852   And he upon the morwe it seide
2853   Unto the clerkes whiche he hadde:
2854   Bot non of hem the sothe aradde,  
2855   Was non his swevene cowthe undo. 
2856   And it stod thilke time so, 
2857   This king hadde in subjeccioun
2858   Judee, and of affeccioun
2859   Above alle othre on Daniel 
2860   He loveth, for he cowthe wel  
2861   Divine that non other cowthe: 
2862   To him were alle thinges cowthe,  
2863   As he it hadde of goddes grace.  
2864   He was before the kinges face 
2865   Asent, and bode that he scholde  
2866   Upon the point the king of tolde 
2867   The fortune of his swevene expounde, 
2868   As it scholde afterward be founde.  
2869   Whan Daniel this swevene herde,
2870   He stod long time er he ansuerde, 
2871   And made a wonder hevy chiere.
2872   The king tok hiede of his manere, 
2873   And bad him telle that he wiste,  
2874   As he to whom he mochel triste,
2875   And seide he wolde noght be wroth.  
2876   Bot Daniel was wonder loth, 
2877   And seide: "Upon thi fomen alle,  
2878   Sire king, thi swevene mote falle;  
2879   And natheles touchende of this
2880   I wol the tellen how it is, 
2881   And what desese is to thee schape:  
2882   God wot if thou it schalt ascape.
2883   The hihe tree, which thou hast sein 
2884   With lef and fruit so wel besein, 
2885   The which stod in the world amiddes, 
2886   So that the bestes and the briddes  
2887   Governed were of him al one,
2888   Sire king, betokneth thi persone, 
2889   Which stant above all erthli thinges.  
2890   Thus regnen under the the kinges, 
2891   And al the poeple unto thee louteth, 
2892   And al the world thi pouer doubteth, 
2893   So that with vein honour deceived
2894   Thou hast the reverence weyved
2895   Fro him which is thi king above,  
2896   That thou for drede ne for love  
2897   Wolt nothing knowen of thi godd; 
2898   Which now for thee hath mad a rodd,  
2899   Thi veine gloire and thi folie
2900   With grete peines to chastie. 
2901   And of the vois thou herdest speke,  
2902   Which bad the bowes forto breke  
2903   And hewe and felle doun the tree, 
2904   That word belongeth unto thee;
2905   Thi regne schal ben overthrowe,
2906   And thou despuiled for a throwe: 
2907   Bot that the Rote scholde stonde, 
2908   Be that thou schalt wel understonde, 
2909   Ther schal abyden of thi regne
2910   A time ayein whan thou schalt regne.
2911   And ek of that thou herdest seie, 
2912   To take a mannes herte aweie  
2913   And sette there a bestial,  
2914   So that he lich an Oxe schal  
2915   Pasture, and that he be bereined 
2916   Be times sefne and sore peined,
2917   Til that he knowe his goddes mihtes, 
2918   Than scholde he stonde ayein uprihtes,-
2919   Al this betokneth thin astat,  
2920   Which now with god is in debat:  
2921   Thi mannes forme schal be lassed, 
2922   Til sevene yer ben overpassed, 
2923   And in the liknesse of a beste
2924   Of gras schal be thi real feste,  
2925   The weder schal upon thee reine. 
2926   And understond that al this peine,
2927   Which thou schalt soffre thilke tide,
2928   Is schape al only for thi pride  
2929   Of veine gloire, and of the sinne
2930   Which thou hast longe stonden inne. 
2931   So upon this condicioun 
2932   Thi swevene hath exposicioun. 
2933   Bot er this thing befalle in dede,
2934   Amende thee, this wolde I rede:  
2935   Yif and departe thin almesse,  
2936   Do mercy forth with rihtwisnesse, 
2937   Besech and prei the hihe grace,
2938   For so thou myht thi pes pourchace  
2939   With godd, and stonde in good acord."  
2940   Bot Pride is loth to leve his lord,  
2941   And wol noght soffre humilite 
2942   With him to stonde in no degree; 
2943   And whan a schip hath lost his stiere,  
2944   Is non so wys that mai him stiere
2945   Ayein the wawes in a rage. 
2946   This proude king in his corage
2947   Humilite hath so forlore,
2948   That for no swevene he sih tofore,
2949   Ne yit for al that Daniel  
2950   Him hath conseiled everydel,
2951   He let it passe out of his mynde, 
2952   Thurgh veine gloire, and as the blinde, 
2953   He seth no weie, er him be wo.
2954   And fell withinne a time so,
2955   As he in Babiloine wente,
2956   The vanite of Pride him hente;
2957   His herte aros of veine gloire,
2958   So that he drowh into memoire 
2959   His lordschipe and his regalie
2960   With wordes of Surquiderie.
2961   And whan that he him most avaunteth, 
2962   That lord which veine gloire daunteth,  
2963   Al sodeinliche, as who seith treis,  
2964   Wher that he stod in his Paleis,  
2965   He tok him fro the mennes sihte: 
2966   Was non of hem so war that mihte 
2967   Sette yhe wher that he becom. 
2968   And thus was he from his kingdom 
2969   Into the wilde Forest drawe,
2970   Wher that the myhti goddes lawe  
2971   Thurgh his pouer dede him transforme
2972   Fro man into a bestes forme;  
2973   And lich an Oxe under the fot 
2974   He graseth, as he nedes mot,
2975   To geten him his lives fode.  
2976   Tho thoghte him colde grases goode,  
2977   That whilom eet the hote spices,  
2978   Thus was he torned fro delices:  
2979   The wyn which he was wont to drinke 
2980   He tok thanne of the welles brinke  
2981   Or of the pet or of the slowh, 
2982   It thoghte him thanne good ynowh:
2983   In stede of chambres wel arraied 
2984   He was thanne of a buissh wel paied, 
2985   The harde ground he lay upon,  
2986   For othre pilwes hath he non; 
2987   The stormes and the Reines falle, 
2988   The wyndes blowe upon him alle,
2989   He was tormented day and nyht, 
2990   Such was the hihe goddes myht, 
2991   Til sevene yer an ende toke.  
2992   Upon himself tho gan he loke; 
2993   In stede of mete gras and stres,  
2994   In stede of handes longe cles, 
2995   In stede of man a bestes lyke 
2996   He syh; and thanne he gan to syke
2997   For cloth of gold and for perrie, 
2998   Which him was wont to magnefie.  
2999   Whan he behield his Cote of heres,
3000   He wepte and with fulwoful teres 
3001   Up to the hevene he caste his chiere
3002   Wepende, and thoghte in this manere;
3003   Thogh he no wordes myhte winne,
3004   Thus seide his herte and spak withinne:
3005   "O mihti godd, that al hast wroght  
3006   And al myht bringe ayein to noght,
3007   Now knowe I wel, bot al of thee,  
3008   This world hath no prosperite:
3009   In thin aspect ben alle liche, 
3010   The povere man and ek the riche,  
3011   Withoute thee ther mai no wight,  
3012   And thou above alle othre miht.  
3013   O mihti lord, toward my vice  
3014   Thi merci medle with justice; 
3015   And I woll make a covenant, 
3016   That of my lif the remenant
3017   I schal it be thi grace amende,
3018   And in thi lawe so despende
3019   That veine gloire I schal eschuie,
3020   And bowe unto thin heste and suie
3021   Humilite, and that I vowe."
3022   And so thenkende he gan doun bowe,
3023   And thogh him lacke vois and speche, 
3024   He gan up with his feet areche,
3025   And wailende in his bestly stevene  
3026   He made his pleignte unto the hevene.  
3027   He kneleth in his wise and braieth,  
3028   To seche merci and assaieth
3029   His god, which made him nothing strange,
3030   Whan that he sih his pride change.  
3031   Anon as he was humble and tame,
3032   He fond toward his god the same,  
3033   And in a twinklinge of a lok  
3034   His mannes forme ayein he tok, 
3035   And was reformed to the regne 
3036   In which that he was wont to regne; 
3037   So that the Pride of veine gloire
3038   Evere afterward out of memoire
3039   He let it passe. And thus is schewed
3040   What is to ben of Pride unthewed 
3041   Ayein the hihe goddes lawe, 
3042   To whom noman mai be felawe.  
3043   Forthi, my Sone, tak good hiede  
3044   So forto lede thi manhiede, 
3045   That thou ne be noght lich a beste. 
3046   Bot if thi lif schal ben honeste, 
3047   Thou most humblesce take on honde,
3048   For thanne myht thou siker stonde:  
3049   And forto speke it otherwise,  
3050   A proud man can no love assise;  
3051   For thogh a womman wolde him plese,  
3052   His Pride can noght ben at ese.  
3053   Ther mai noman to mochel blame
3054   A vice which is forto blame;  
3055   Forthi men scholde nothing hide  
3056   That mihte falle in blame of Pride,  
3057   Which is the werste vice of alle:
3058   Wherof, so as it was befalle,  
3059   The tale I thenke of a Cronique  
3060   To telle, if that it mai thee like,  
3061   So that thou myht humblesce suie 
3062   And ek the vice of Pride eschuie, 
3063   Wherof the gloire is fals and vein; 
3064   Which god himself hath in desdeign,  
3065   That thogh it mounte for a throwe,
3066   It schal doun falle and overthrowe. 
3067   A king whilom was yong and wys,
3068   The which sette of his wit gret pris.  
3069   Of depe ymaginaciouns
3070   And strange interpretaciouns,  
3071   Problemes and demandes eke, 
3072   His wisdom was to finde and seke;
3073   Wherof he wolde in sondri wise
3074   Opposen hem that weren wise.  
3075   Bot non of hem it myhte bere  
3076   Upon his word to yeve answere, 
3077   Outaken on, which was a knyht;
3078   To him was every thing so liht,
3079   That also sone as he hem herde,
3080   The kinges wordes he answerde;
3081   What thing the king him axe wolde,
3082   Therof anon the trowthe he tolde.
3083   The king somdiel hadde an Envie,  
3084   And thoghte he wolde his wittes plie
3085   To sette som conclusioun,
3086   Which scholde be confusioun
3087   Unto this knyht, so that the name
3088   And of wisdom the hihe fame
3089   Toward himself he wolde winne.
3090   And thus of al his wit withinne  
3091   This king began to studie and muse,  
3092   What strange matiere he myhte use
3093   The knyhtes wittes to confounde; 
3094   And ate laste he hath it founde,  
3095   And for the knyht anon he sente,  
3096   That he schal telle what he mente.  
3097   Upon thre pointz stod the matiere
3098   Of questions, as thou schalt hiere. 
3099   The ferste point of alle thre 
3100   Was this: "What thing in his degre  
3101   Of al this world hath nede lest,  
3102   And yet men helpe it althermest?"
3103   The secounde is: "What most is worth,
3104   And of costage is lest put forth?"  
3105   The thridde is: "Which is of most cost, 
3106   And lest is worth and goth to lost?"
3107   The king thes thre demandes axeth,
3108   And to the knyht this lawe he taxeth,
3109   That he schal gon and come ayein 
3110   The thridde weke, and telle him plein  
3111   To every point, what it amonteth.
3112   And if so be that he misconteth,  
3113   To make in his answere a faile,
3114   Ther schal non other thing availe,
3115   The king seith, bot he schal be ded 
3116   And lese hise goodes and his hed.
3117   The knyht was sori of this thing 
3118   And wolde excuse him to the king, 
3119   Bot he ne wolde him noght forbere,
3120   And thus the knyht of his ansuere
3121   Goth hom to take avisement:
3122   Bot after his entendement  
3123   The more he caste his wit aboute, 
3124   The more he stant therof in doute.  
3125   Tho wiste he wel the kinges herte,
3126   That he the deth ne scholde asterte, 
3127   And such a sorwe hath to him take,
3128   That gladschipe he hath al forsake. 
3129   He thoghte ferst upon his lif, 
3130   And after that upon his wif,
3131   Upon his children ek also,  
3132   Of whiche he hadde dowhtres tuo; 
3133   The yongest of hem hadde of age  
3134   Fourtiene yer, and of visage  
3135   Sche was riht fair, and of stature  
3136   Lich to an hevenely figure, 
3137   And of manere and goodli speche,  
3138   Thogh men wolde alle Londes seche,
3139   Thei scholden noght have founde hir like. 
3140   Sche sih hire fader sorwe and sike,  
3141   And wiste noght the cause why;
3142   So cam sche to him prively, 
3143   And that was where he made his mone 
3144   Withinne a Gardin al him one; 
3145   Upon hire knes sche gan doun falle  
3146   With humble herte and to him calle,  
3147   And seide: "O goode fader diere,  
3148   Why make ye thus hevy chiere,  
3149   And I wot nothing how it is?  
3150   And wel ye knowen, fader, this,
3151   What aventure that you felle  
3152   Ye myhte it saufly to me telle,
3153   For I have ofte herd you seid, 
3154   That ye such trust have on me leid,  
3155   That to my soster ne my brother,  
3156   In al this world ne to non other, 
3157   Ye dorste telle a privite  
3158   So wel, my fader, as to me.
3159   Forthi, my fader, I you preie, 
3160   Ne casteth noght that herte aweie,
3161   For I am sche that wolde kepe 
3162   Youre honour." And with that to wepe
3163   Hire yhe mai noght be forbore, 
3164   Sche wissheth forto ben unbore,
3165   Er that hire fader so mistriste  
3166   To tellen hire of that he wiste: 
3167   And evere among merci sche cride, 
3168   That he ne scholde his conseil hide 
3169   From hire that so wolde him good 
3170   And was so nyh his fleissh and blod.
3171   So that with wepinge ate laste
3172   His chiere upon his child he caste,  
3173   And sorwfulli to that sche preide
3174   He tolde his tale and thus he seide:
3175   "The sorwe, dowhter, which I make
3176   Is noght al only for my sake,  
3177   Bot for thee bothe and for you alle:
3178   For such a chance is me befalle,  
3179   That I schal er this thridde day 
3180   Lese al that evere I lese may, 
3181   Mi lif and al my good therto: 
3182   Therfore it is I sorwe so."
3183   "What is the cause, helas!" quod sche,  
3184   "Mi fader, that ye scholden be
3185   Ded and destruid in such a wise?"
3186   And he began the pointz devise,
3187   Whiche as the king told him be mowthe,  
3188   And seid hir pleinly that he cowthe 
3189   Ansuere unto no point of this.
3190   And sche, that hiereth how it is, 
3191   Hire conseil yaf and seide tho:  
3192   "Mi fader, sithen it is so, 
3193   That ye can se non other weie, 
3194   Bot that ye moste nedes deie,  
3195   I wolde preie of you a thing: 
3196   Let me go with you to the king,
3197   And ye schull make him understonde  
3198   How ye, my wittes forto fonde, 
3199   Have leid your ansuere upon me;  
3200   And telleth him, in such degre
3201   Upon my word ye wole abide 
3202   To lif or deth, what so betide.  
3203   For yit par chaunce I may pourchace 
3204   With som good word the kinges grace, 
3205   Your lif and ek your good to save;  
3206   For ofte schal a womman have  
3207   Thing which a man mai noght areche."
3208   The fader herde his dowhter speche,  
3209   And thoghte ther was resoun inne, 
3210   And sih his oghne lif to winne
3211   He cowthe don himself no cure;
3212   So betre him thoghte in aventure 
3213   To put his lif and al his good,
3214   Than in the maner as it stod  
3215   His lif in certein forto lese.
3216   And thus thenkende he gan to chese  
3217   To do the conseil of this Maide,  
3218   And tok the pourpos which sche saide.  
3219   The dai was come and forth thei gon, 
3220   Unto the Court thei come anon, 
3221   Wher as the king in juggement 
3222   Was set and hath this knyht assent. 
3223   Arraied in hire beste wise 
3224   This Maiden with hire wordes wise
3225   Hire fader ladde be the hond  
3226   Into the place, wher he fond  
3227   The king with othre whiche he wolde, 
3228   And to the king knelende he tolde
3229   As he enformed was tofore,  
3230   And preith the king that he therfore
3231   His dowhtres wordes wolde take,
3232   And seith that he wol undertake  
3233   Upon hire wordes forto stonde.
3234   Tho was ther gret merveile on honde, 
3235   That he, which was so wys a knyht,
3236   His lif upon so yong a wyht
3237   Besette wolde in jeupartie, 
3238   And manye it hielden for folie:  
3239   Bot ate laste natheles  
3240   The king comandeth ben in pes, 
3241   And to this Maide he caste his chiere,  
3242   And seide he wolde hire tale hiere,  
3243   He bad hire speke, and sche began:  
3244   "Mi liege lord, so as I can," 
3245   Quod sche, "the pointz of whiche I herde,  
3246   Thei schul of reson ben ansuerde.
3247   The ferste I understonde is this, 
3248   What thing of al the world it is, 
3249   Which men most helpe and hath lest nede.  
3250   Mi liege lord, this wolde I rede:
3251   The Erthe it is, which everemo
3252   With mannes labour is bego;
3253   Als wel in wynter as in Maii  
3254   The mannes hond doth what he mai 
3255   To helpe it forth and make it riche, 
3256   And forthi men it delve and dyche
3257   And eren it with strengthe of plowh, 
3258   Wher it hath of himself ynowh, 
3259   So that his nede is ate leste.
3260   For every man and bridd and beste,
3261   And flour and gras and rote and rinde,  
3262   And every thing be weie of kynde 
3263   Schal sterve, and Erthe it schal become;  
3264   As it was out of Erthe nome,
3265   It schal to therthe torne ayein: 
3266   And thus I mai be resoun sein 
3267   That Erthe is the most nedeles,
3268   And most men helpe it natheles.  
3269   So that, my lord, touchende of this 
3270   I have ansuerd hou that it is.
3271   That other point I understod,  
3272   Which most is worth and most is good,
3273   And costeth lest a man to kepe:  
3274   Mi lord, if ye woll take kepe, 
3275   I seie it is Humilite,
3276   Thurgh which the hihe trinite 
3277   As for decerte of pure love
3278   Unto Marie from above,
3279   Of that he knew hire humble entente, 
3280   His oghne Sone adoun he sente, 
3281   Above alle othre and hire he ches
3282   For that vertu which bodeth pes: 
3283   So that I may be resoun calle 
3284   Humilite most worth of alle.  
3285   And lest it costeth to maintiene, 
3286   In al the world as it is sene;
3287   For who that hath humblesce on honde,
3288   He bringth no werres into londe,  
3289   For he desireth for the beste 
3290   To setten every man in reste. 
3291   Thus with your hihe reverence 
3292   Me thenketh that this evidence
3293   As to this point is sufficant.
3294   And touchende of the remenant, 
3295   Which is the thridde of youre axinges,  
3296   What leste is worth of alle thinges, 
3297   And costeth most, I telle it, Pride;
3298   Which mai noght in the hevene abide, 
3299   For Lucifer with hem that felle  
3300   Bar Pride with him into helle.
3301   Ther was Pride of to gret a cost, 
3302   Whan he for Pride hath hevene lost; 
3303   And after that in Paradis  
3304   Adam for Pride loste his pris:
3305   In Midelerthe and ek also  
3306   Pride is the cause of alle wo, 
3307   That al the world ne may suffise 
3308   To stanche of Pride the reprise: 
3309   Pride is the heved of alle Sinne, 
3310   Which wasteth al and mai noght winne;  
3311   Pride is of every mis the pricke, 
3312   Pride is the werste of alle wicke,
3313   And costneth most and lest is worth 
3314   In place where he hath his forth.
3315   Thus have I seid that I wol seie 
3316   Of myn answere, and to you preie, 
3317   Mi liege lord, of youre office
3318   That ye such grace and such justice 
3319   Ordeigne for mi fader hiere,
3320   That after this, whan men it hiere,  
3321   The world therof mai speke good."
3322   The king, which reson understod  
3323   And hath al herd how sche hath said, 
3324   Was inly glad and so wel paid 
3325   That al his wraththe is overgo:  
3326   And he began to loke tho
3327   Upon this Maiden in the face,  
3328   In which he fond so mochel grace, 
3329   That al his pris on hire he leide,
3330   In audience and thus he seide:
3331   "Mi faire Maide, wel thee be! 
3332   Of thin ansuere and ek of thee
3333   Me liketh wel, and as thou wilt,  
3334   Foryive be thi fader gilt. 
3335   And if thou were of such lignage, 
3336   That thou to me were of parage,
3337   And that thi fader were a Pier,
3338   As he is now a Bachilier,
3339   So seker as I have a lif,
3340   Thou scholdest thanne be my wif. 
3341   Bot this I seie natheles,
3342   That I wol schape thin encress;  
3343   What worldes good that thou wolt crave, 
3344   Axe of my yifte and thou schalt have." 
3345   And sche the king with wordes wise  
3346   Knelende thonketh in this wise:  
3347   "Mi liege lord, god mot you quite!  
3348   Mi fader hier hath bot a lite 
3349   Of warison, and that he wende 
3350   Hadde al be lost; bot now amende 
3351   He mai wel thurgh your noble grace."
3352   With that the king riht in his place
3353   Anon forth in that freisshe hete 
3354   An  Erldom, which thanne of eschete 
3355   Was late falle into his hond,  
3356   Unto this knyht with rente and lond 
3357   Hath yove and with his chartre sesed;  
3358   And thus was all the noise appesed. 
3359   This Maiden, which sat on hire knes 
3360   Tofore the king, hise charitees  
3361   Comendeth, and seide overmore:
3362   "Mi liege lord, riht now tofore  
3363   Ye seide, as it is of record,  
3364   That if my fader were a lord  
3365   And Pier unto these othre grete,  
3366   Ye wolden for noght elles lete,
3367   That I ne scholde be your wif;
3368   And this wot every worthi lif, 
3369   A kinges word it mot ben holde.  
3370   Forthi, my lord, if that ye wolde
3371   So gret a charite fulfille, 
3372   God wot it were wel my wille: 
3373   For he which was a Bacheler,
3374   Mi fader, is now mad a Pier;  
3375   So whenne as evere that I cam, 
3376   An Erles dowhter now I am."
3377   This yonge king, which peised al, 
3378   Hire beaute and hir wit withal,
3379   As he that was with love hent, 
3380   Anon therto yaf his assent.
3381   He myhte noght the maide asterte, 
3382   That sche nis ladi of his herte; 
3383   So that he tok hire to his wif,
3384   To holde whyl that he hath lif:  
3385   And thus the king toward his knyht  
3386   Acordeth him, as it is riht.  
3387   And over this good is to wite, 
3388   In the Cronique as it is write,
3389   This noble king of whom I tolde  
3390   Of Spaine be tho daies olde
3391   The kingdom hadde in governance,  
3392   And as the bok makth remembrance, 
3393   Alphonse was his propre name: 
3394   The knyht also, if I schal name,  
3395   Danz Petro hihte, and as men telle,  
3396   His dowhter wyse Peronelle 
3397   Was cleped, which was full of grace:
3398   And that was sene in thilke place,
3399   Wher sche hir fader out of teene 
3400   Hath broght and mad hirself a qweene,
3401   Of that sche hath so wel desclosed  
3402   The pointz wherof sche was opposed. 
3403   Lo now, my Sone, as thou myht hiere, 
3404   Of al this thing to my matiere
3405   Bot on I take, and that is Pride, 
3406   To whom no grace mai betide:  
3407   In hevene he fell out of his stede,  
3408   And Paradis him was forbede,
3409   The goode men in Erthe him hate,  
3410   So that to helle he mot algate,
3411   Where every vertu schal be weyved
3412   And every vice be received.
3413   Bot Humblesce is al otherwise, 
3414   Which most is worth, and no reprise 
3415   It takth ayein, bot softe and faire, 
3416   If eny thing stond in contraire,  
3417   With humble speche it is redresced: 
3418   Thus was this yonge Maiden blessed,  
3419   The which I spak of now tofore,
3420   Hire fader lif sche gat therfore, 
3421   And wan with al the kinges love. 
3422   Forthi, my Sone, if thou wolt love,  
3423   It sit thee wel to leve Pride 
3424   And take Humblesce upon thi side;
3425   The more of grace thou schalt gete. 
3426   Mi fader, I woll noght foryete
3427   Of this that ye have told me hiere,  
3428   And if that eny such manere
3429   Of humble port mai love appaie,
3430   Hierafterward I thenke assaie:
3431   Bot now forth over I beseche  
3432   That ye more of my schrifte seche.  
3433   Mi goode Sone, it schal be do:
3434   Now herkne and ley an Ere to; 
3435   For as touchende of Prides fare,  
3436   Als ferforth as I can declare 
3437   In cause of vice, in cause of love,  
3438   That hast thou pleinly herd above,
3439   So that ther is nomor to seie 
3440   Touchende of that; bot other weie
3441   Touchende Envie I thenke telle,
3442   Which hath the propre kinde of helle,
3443   Withoute cause to misdo 
3444   Toward himself and othre also, 
3445   Hierafterward as understonde  
3446   Thou schalt the spieces, as thei stonde.  

Explicit Liber Primus