The Online 
Medieval and Classical Library

Confessio Amantis
Tales of the Seven Deadly Sins

Incipit Liber Quartus: Part 2

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #4

1882   Bot he, which hadde his herte fyred 
1883   Upon his wif, whan he this herde,
1884   Noght o word therayein ansuerde, 
1885   Bot torneth hom halvinge aschamed,  
1886   And hath withinne himself so tamed  
1887   His herte, that al the sotie  
1888   Of love for chivalerie  
1889   He lefte, and be him lief or loth,  
1890   To Troie forth with hem he goth, 
1891   That he him mihte noght excuse.  
1892   Thus stant it, if a knyht refuse 
1893   The lust of armes to travaile,
1894   Ther mai no worldes ese availe,  
1895   Bot if worschipe be with al.  
1896   And that hath schewed overal; 
1897   For it sit wel in alle wise
1898   A kniht to ben of hih emprise 
1899   And puten alle drede aweie;
1900   For in this wise, I have herd seie, 
1901   The worthi king Protheselai
1902   On his passage wher he lai 
1903   Towardes Troie thilke Siege,  
1904   Sche which was al his oghne liege,  
1905   Laodomie his lusti wif, 
1906   Which for his love was pensif,
1907   As he which al hire herte hadde, 
1908   Upon a thing wherof sche dradde  
1909   A lettre, forto make him duelle  
1910   Fro Troie, sende him, thus to telle,
1911   Hou sche hath axed of the wyse
1912   Touchende of him in such a wise, 
1913   That thei have don hire understonde,    
1914   Towardes othre hou so it stonde, 
1915   The destine it hath so schape 
1916   That he schal noght the deth ascape 
1917   In cas that he arryve at Troie.  
1918   Forthi as to hir worldes joie 
1919   With al hire herte sche him preide, 
1920   And many an other cause alleide, 
1921   That he with hire at home abide. 
1922   Bot he hath cast hir lettre aside,  
1923   As he which tho no maner hiede
1924   Tok of hire wommannysshe drede;  
1925   And forth he goth, as noght ne were,
1926   To Troie, and was the ferste there  
1927   Which londeth, and tok arryvaile:
1928   For him was levere in the bataille, 
1929   He seith, to deien as a knyht,
1930   Than forto lyve in al his myht
1931   And be reproeved of his name. 
1932   Lo, thus upon the worldes fame
1933   Knyhthode hath evere yit be set, 
1934   Which with no couardie is let.
1935   Of king Sal also I finde,
1936   Whan Samuel out of his kinde, 
1937   Thurgh that the Phitonesse hath lered, 
1938   In Samarie was arered
1939   Long time after that he was ded, 
1940   The king Sal him axeth red, 
1941   If that he schal go fyhte or non.
1942   And Samuel him seide anon, 
1943   "The ferste day of the bataille  
1944   Thou schalt be slain withoute faile 
1945   And Jonathas thi Sone also."  
1946   Bot hou as evere it felle so, 
1947   This worthi kniht of his corage  
1948   Hath undertake the viage,  
1949   And wol noght his knyhthode lette
1950   For no peril he couthe sette;     
1951   Wherof that bothe his Sone and he
1952   Upon the Montz of Gelboe5  
1953   Assemblen with here enemys:
1954   For thei knyhthode of such a pris
1955   Be olde daies thanne hielden, 
1956   That thei non other thing behielden.
1957   And thus the fader for worschipe 
1958   Forth with his Sone of felaschipe
1959   Thurgh lust of armes weren dede, 
1960   As men mai in the bible rede; 
1961   The whos knyhthode is yit in mende, 
1962   And schal be to the worldes ende.
1963   And forto loken overmore,  
1964   It hath and schal ben evermore
1965   That of knihthode the prouesse
1966   Is grounded upon hardinesse
1967   Of him that dar wel undertake.
1968   And who that wolde ensample take 
1969   Upon the forme of knyhtes lawe,  
1970   How that Achilles was forthdrawe 
1971   With Chiro, which Centaurus hihte,  
1972   Of many a wondre hiere he mihte. 
1973   For it stod thilke time thus, 
1974   That this Chiro, this Centaurus, 
1975   Withinne a large wildernesse, 
1976   Wher was Leon and Leonesse,
1977   The Lepard and the Tigre also,
1978   With Hert and Hynde, and buck and doo, 
1979   Hadde his duellinge, as tho befell, 
1980   Of Pileon upon the hel, 
1981   Wherof was thanne mochel speche. 
1982   Ther hath Chiro this Chyld to teche,
1983   What time he was of tuelve yer age; 
1984   Wher forto maken his corage
1985   The more hardi be other weie, 
1986   In the forest to hunte and pleie 
1987   Whan that Achilles walke wolde,      
1988   Centaurus bad that he ne scholde 
1989   After no beste make his chace,
1990   Which wolde flen out of his place,  
1991   As buck and doo and hert and hynde, 
1992   With whiche he mai no werre finde;  
1993   Bot tho that wolden him withstonde, 
1994   Ther scholde he with his Dart on honde 
1995   Upon the Tigre and the Leon
1996   Pourchace and take his veneison, 
1997   As to a kniht is acordant. 
1998   And therupon a covenant 
1999   This Chiro with Achilles sette,  
2000   That every day withoute lette 
2001   He scholde such a cruel beste 
2002   Or slen or wounden ate leste, 
2003   So that he mihte a tokne bringe  
2004   Of blod upon his hom cominge. 
2005   And thus of that Chiro him tawhte
2006   Achilles such an herte cawhte,
2007   That he nomore a Leon dradde, 
2008   Whan he his Dart on honde hadde, 
2009   Thanne if a Leon were an asse:
2010   And that hath mad him forto passe
2011   Alle othre knihtes of his dede,  
2012   Whan it cam to the grete nede,
2013   As it was afterward wel knowe.
2014   Lo, thus, my Sone, thou miht knowe  
2015   That the corage of hardiesce  
2016   Is of knyhthode the prouesce, 
2017   Which is to love sufficant 
2018   Aboven al the remenant  
2019   That unto loves court poursuie.  
2020   Bot who that wol no Slowthe eschuie,
2021   Upon knihthode and noght travaile,  
2022   I not what love him scholde availe; 
2023   Bot every labour axeth why 
2024   Of som reward, wherof that I      
2025   Ensamples couthe telle ynowe  
2026   Of hem that toward love drowe 
2027   Be olde daies, as thei scholde.  
2028   Mi fader, therof hiere I wolde.  
2029   Mi Sone, it is wel resonable, 
2030   In place which is honorable
2031   If that a man his herte sette,
2032   That thanne he for no Slowthe lette 
2033   To do what longeth to manhede.
2034   For if thou wolt the bokes rede  
2035   Of Lancelot and othre mo,  
2036   Ther miht thou sen hou it was tho
2037   Of armes, for thei wolde atteigne
2038   To love, which withoute peine 
2039   Mai noght be gete of ydelnesse.  
2040   And that I take to witnesse
2041   An old Cronique in special,
2042   The which into memorial 
2043   Is write, for his loves sake  
2044   Hou that a kniht schal undertake.
2045   Ther was a king, which Oe5nes 
2046   Was hote, and he under his pes
2047   Hield Calidoyne in his Empire,
2048   And hadde a dowhter Deianire. 
2049   Men wiste in thilke time non  
2050   So fair a wiht as sche was on;
2051   And as sche was a lusti wiht, 
2052   Riht so was thanne a noble kniht,
2053   To whom Mercurie fader was.
2054   This kniht the tuo pilers of bras,  
2055   The whiche yit a man mai finde,  
2056   Sette up in the desert of Ynde;  
2057   That was the worthi Hercules, 
2058   Whos name schal ben endeles
2059   For the merveilles whiche he wroghte.  
2060   This Hercules the love soghte     
2061   Of Deianire, and of this thing
2062   Unto hir fader, which was king,  
2063   He spak touchende of Mariage. 
2064   The king knowende his hih lignage,  
2065   And dradde also hise mihtes sterne, 
2066   To him ne dorste his dowhter werne; 
2067   And natheles this he him seide,  
2068   How Achelons er he ferst preide  
2069   To wedden hire, and in accord 
2070   Thei stode, as it was of record: 
2071   Bot for al that this he him granteth,  
2072   That which of hem that other daunteth  
2073   In armes, him sche scholde take, 
2074   And that the king hath undertake.
2075   This Achelons was a Geant, 
2076   A soubtil man, a deceivant,
2077   Which thurgh magique and sorcerie
2078   Couthe al the world of tricherie:
2079   And whan that he this tale herde,
2080   Hou upon that the king ansuerde  
2081   With Hercules he moste feighte,  
2082   He tristeth noght upon his sleighte 
2083   Al only, whan it comth to nede,  
2084   Bot that  which voydeth alle drede  
2085   And every noble herte stereth,
2086   The love, that no lif forbereth, 
2087   For his ladi, whom he desireth,  
2088   With hardiesse his herte fyreth, 
2089   And sende him word withoute faile
2090   That he wol take the bataille.
2091   Thei setten day, they chosen field, 
2092   The knihtes coevered under Schield  
2093   Togedre come at time set,  
2094   And echon is with other met.  
2095   It fell thei foghten bothe afote,
2096   Ther was no ston, ther was no rote, 
2097   Which mihte letten hem the weie, 
2098   But al was voide and take aweie.     
2099   Thei smyten strokes bot a fewe,  
2100   For Hercules, which wolde schewe 
2101   His grete strengthe as for the nones,  
2102   He sterte upon him al at ones 
2103   And cawhte him in hise armes stronge.  
2104   This Geant wot he mai noght longe
2105   Endure under so harde bondes, 
2106   And thoghte he wolde out of hise hondes
2107   Be sleyhte in som manere ascape. 
2108   And as he couthe himself forschape, 
2109   In liknesse of an Eddre he slipte
2110   Out of his hond, and forth he skipte;  
2111   And efte, as he that feighte wole,  
2112   He torneth him into a Bole,
2113   And gan to belwe of such a soun, 
2114   As thogh the world scholde al go doun: 
2115   The ground he sporneth and he tranceth,
2116   Hise large hornes he avanceth 
2117   And caste hem here and there aboute.
2118   Bot he, which stant of him no doute,
2119   Awaiteth wel whan that he cam,
2120   And him be bothe hornes nam
2121   And al at ones he him caste
2122   Unto the ground, and hield him faste,  
2123   That he ne mihte with no sleighte
2124   Out of his hond gete upon heighte,  
2125   Til he was overcome and yolde,
2126   And Hercules hath what he wolde. 
2127   The king him granteth to fulfille
2128   His axinge at his oghne wille,
2129   And sche for whom he hadde served,  
2130   Hire thoghte he hath hire wel deserved.
2131   And thus with gret decerte of Armes 
2132   He wan him forto ligge in armes, 
2133   As he which hath it dere aboght, 
2134   For otherwise scholde he noght.  
2135   And overthis if thou wolt hiere  
2136   Upon knihthode of this matiere,      
2137   Hou love and armes ben aqueinted,
2138   A man mai se bothe write and peinted
2139   So ferforth that Pantasilee,  
2140   Which was the queene of Feminee, 
2141   The love of Hector forto sieke
2142   And for thonour of armes eke, 
2143   To Troie cam with Spere and Schield,
2144   And rod hirself into the field
2145   With Maidens armed al a route 
2146   In rescouss of the toun aboute,  
2147   Which with the Gregois was belein.  
2148   Fro Pafagoine and as men sein,
2149   Which stant upon the worldes ende,  
2150   That time it likede ek to wende  
2151   To Philemenis, which was king,
2152   To Troie, and come upon this thing  
2153   In helpe of thilke noble toun;
2154   And al was that for the renoun
2155   Of worschipe and of worldes fame,
2156   Of which he wolde bere a name:
2157   And so he dede, and forth withal 
2158   He wan of love in special  
2159   A fair tribut for everemo. 
2160   For it fell thilke time so;
2161   Pirrus the Sone of Achilles
2162   This worthi queene among the press  
2163   With dedli swerd soghte out and fond,  
2164   And slowh hire with his oghne hond; 
2165   Wherof this king of Pafagoine 
2166   Pantasilee of Amazoine, 
2167   Wher sche was queene, with him ladde,  
2168   With suche Maidens as sche hadde 
2169   Of hem that were left alyve,  
2170   Forth in his Schip, til thei aryve; 
2171   Wher that the body was begrave
2172   With worschipe, and the wommen save.
2173   And for the goodschipe of this dede 
2174   Thei granten him a lusti mede,    
2175   That every yeer as for truage 
2176   To him and to his heritage 
2177   Of Maidens faire he schal have thre.
2178   And in this wise spedde he,
2179   Which the fortune of armes soghte,  
2180   With his travail his ese he boghte; 
2181   For otherwise he scholde have failed,  
2182   If that he hadde noght travailed.
2183   Eneas ek withinne Ytaile,  
2184   Ne hadde he wonne the bataille
2185   And don his miht so besily 
2186   Ayein king Turne his enemy,
2187   He hadde noght Lavine wonne;  
2188   Bot for he hath him overronne 
2189   And gete his pris, he gat hire love.
2190   Be these ensamples here above,
2191   Lo, now, mi Sone, as I have told,
2192   Thou miht wel se, who that is bold  
2193   And dar travaile and undertake
2194   The cause of love, he schal be take 
2195   The rathere unto loves grace; 
2196   For comunliche in worthi place
2197   The wommen loven worthinesse  
2198   Of manhode and of gentilesse, 
2199   For the gentils ben most desired.
2200   Mi fader, bot I were enspired 
2201   Thurgh lore of you, I wot no weie
2202   What gentilesce is forto seie,
2203   Wherof to telle I you beseche.
2204   The ground, Mi Sone, forto seche 
2205   Upon this diffinicion,  
2206   The worldes constitucion
2207   Hath set the name of gentilesse  
2208   Upon the fortune of richesse  
2209   Which of long time is falle in age. 
2210   Thanne is a man of hih lignage
2211   After the forme, as thou miht hiere,    
2212   Bot nothing after the matiere.
2213   For who that resoun understonde, 
2214   Upon richesse it mai noght stonde,  
2215   For that is thing which faileth ofte:  
2216   For he that stant to day alofte  
2217   And al the world hath in hise wones,
2218   Tomorwe he falleth al at ones 
2219   Out of richesse into poverte, 
2220   So that therof is no decerte, 
2221   Which gentilesce makth abide. 
2222   And forto loke on other side  
2223   Hou that a gentil man is bore,
2224   Adam, which alle was tofore
2225   With Eve his wif, as of hem tuo, 
2226   Al was aliche gentil tho;  
2227   So that of generacion
2228   To make declaracion, 
2229   Ther mai no gentilesce be. 
2230   For to the reson if we se, 
2231   Of mannes berthe the mesure,  
2232   It is so comun to nature,  
2233   That it yifth every man aliche,  
2234   Als wel to povere as to the riche;  
2235   For naked thei ben bore bothe,
2236   The lord nomore hath forto clothe
2237   As of himself that ilke throwe,  
2238   Than hath the povereste of the rowe.
2239   And whan thei schulle both passe,
2240   I not of hem which hath the lasse
2241   Of worldes good, bot as of charge
2242   The lord is more forto charge,
2243   Whan god schal his accompte hiere,  
2244   For he hath had hise lustes hiere.  
2245   Bot of the bodi, which schal deie,  
2246   Althogh ther be diverse weie  
2247   To deth, yit is ther bot on ende,    
2248   To which that every man schal wende,
2249   Als wel the beggere as the lord, 
2250   Of o nature, of on acord:  
2251   Sche which oure Eldemoder is, 
2252   The Erthe, bothe that and this
2253   Receiveth and alich devoureth,
2254   That sche to nouther part favoureth.
2255   So wot I nothing after kinde  
2256   Where I mai gentilesse finde. 
2257   For lacke of vertu lacketh grace,
2258   Wherof richesse in many place,
2259   Whan men best wene forto stonde, 
2260   Al sodeinly goth out of honde:
2261   Bot vertu set in the corage,  
2262   Ther mai no world be so salvage, 
2263   Which mihte it take and don aweie,  
2264   Til whanne that the bodi deie;
2265   And thanne he schal be riched so,
2266   That it mai faile neveremo;
2267   So mai that wel be gentilesse,
2268   Which yifth so gret a sikernesse.
2269   For after the condicion 
2270   Of resonable entencion, 
2271   The which out of the Soule groweth  
2272   And the vertu fro vice knoweth,  
2273   Wherof a man the vice eschuieth, 
2274   Withoute Slowthe and vertu suieth,  
2275   That is a verrai gentil man,  
2276   And nothing elles which he can,  
2277   Ne which he hath, ne which he mai.  
2278   Bot for al that yit nou aday, 
2279   In loves court to taken hiede,
2280   The povere vertu schal noght spiede,
2281   Wher that the riche vice woweth; 
2282   For sielde it is that love alloweth 
2283   The gentil man withoute good,     
2284   Thogh his condicion be good.  
2285   Bot if a man of bothe tuo  
2286   Be riche and vertuous also,
2287   Thanne is he wel the more worth: 
2288   Bot yit to putte himselve forth  
2289   He moste don his besinesse,
2290   For nowther good ne gentilesse
2291   Mai helpen him whiche ydel be.
2292   Bot who that wole in his degre
2293   Travaile so as it belongeth,  
2294   It happeth ofte that he fongeth  
2295   Worschipe and ese bothe tuo.  
2296   For evere yit it hath be so,  
2297   That love honeste in sondri weie 
2298   Profiteth, for it doth aweie  
2299   The vice, and as the bokes sein, 
2300   It makth curteis of the vilein,  
2301   And to the couard hardiesce
2302   It yifth, so that verrai prouesse
2303   Is caused upon loves reule 
2304   To him that can manhode reule;
2305   And ek toward the wommanhiede,
2306   Who that therof wol taken hiede, 
2307   For thei the betre affaited be
2308   In every thing, as men may se.
2309   For love hath evere hise lustes grene  
2310   In gentil folk, as it is sene,
2311   Which thing ther mai no kinde areste:  
2312   I trowe that ther is no beste,
2313   If he with love scholde aqueinte,
2314   That he ne wolde make it queinte 
2315   As for the while that it laste.  
2316   And thus I conclude ate laste,
2317   That thei ben ydel, as me semeth,
2318   Whiche unto thing that love demeth  
2319   Forslowthen that thei scholden do.  
2320   And overthis, mi Sone, also
2321   After the vertu moral eke      
2322   To speke of love if I schal seke,
2323   Among the holi bokes wise  
2324   I finde write in such a wise, 
2325   "Who loveth noght is hier as ded";  
2326   For love above alle othre is hed,
2327   Which hath the vertus forto lede,
2328   Of al that unto mannes dede
2329   Belongeth: for of ydelschipe  
2330   He hateth all the felaschipe. 
2331   For Slowthe is evere to despise, 
2332   Which in desdeign hath al apprise,  
2333   And that acordeth noght to man:  
2334   For he that wit and reson kan,
2335   It sit him wel that he travaile  
2336   Upon som thing which mihte availe,  
2337   For ydelschipe is noght comended,
2338   Bot every lawe it hath defended. 
2339   And in ensample therupon
2340   The noble wise Salomon, 
2341   Which hadde of every thing insihte, 
2342   Seith, "As the briddes to the flihte
2343   Ben made, so the man is bore  
2344   To labour," which is noght forbore  
2345   To hem that thenken forto thryve.
2346   For we, whiche are now alyve, 
2347   Of hem that besi whylom were, 
2348   Als wel in Scole as elleswhere,  
2349   Mowe every day ensample take, 
2350   That if it were now to make
2351   Thing which that thei ferst founden oute, 
2352   It scholde noght be broght aboute.  
2353   Here lyves thanne were longe, 
2354   Here wittes grete, here mihtes stronge,
2355   Here hertes ful of besinesse, 
2356   Wherof the worldes redinesse  
2357   In bodi bothe and in corage
2358   Stant evere upon his avantage.
2359   And forto drawe into memoire  
2360   Here names bothe and here histoire, 
2361   Upon the vertu of her dede 
2362   In sondri bokes thou miht rede.  
2363   Of every wisdom the parfit 
2364   The hyhe god of his spirit 
2365   Yaf to the men in Erthe hiere 
2366   Upon the forme and the matiere
2367   Of that he wolde make hem wise:  
2368   And thus cam in the ferste apprise  
2369   Of bokes and of alle goode 
2370   Thurgh hem that whilom understode
2371   The lore which to hem was yive,  
2372   Wherof these othre, that now live,  
2373   Ben every day to lerne newe.  
2374   Bot er the time that men siewe,  
2375   And that the labour forth it broghte,  
2376   Ther was no corn, thogh men it soghte, 
2377   In non of al the fieldes oute;
2378   And er the wisdom cam aboute  
2379   Of hem that ferst the bokes write,  
2380   This mai wel every wys man wite, 
2381   Ther was gret labour ek also. 
2382   Thus was non ydel of the tuo, 
2383   That on the plogh hath undertake 
2384   With labour which the hond hath take,  
2385   That other tok to studie and muse,  
2386   As he which wolde noght refuse
2387   The labour of hise wittes alle.  
2388   And in this wise it is befalle,  
2389   Of labour which that thei begunne
2390   We be now tawht of that we kunne:
2391   Here besinesse is yit so seene,      
2392   That it stant evere alyche greene;  
2393   Al be it so the bodi deie, 
2394   The name of hem schal nevere aweie. 
2395   In the Croniqes as I finde,
2396   Cham, whos labour is yit in minde,  
2397   Was he which ferst the lettres fond 
2398   And wrot in Hebreu with his hond:
2399   Of naturel Philosophie  
2400   He fond ferst also the clergie.  
2401   Cadmus the lettres of Gregois 
2402   Ferst made upon his oghne chois. 
2403   Theges of thing which schal befalle,
2404   He was the ferste Augurre of alle:  
2405   And Philemon be the visage 
2406   Fond to descrive the corage.  
2407   Cladyns, Esdras and Sulpices, 
2408   Termegis, Pandulf, Frigidilles,  
2409   Menander, Ephiloquorus, 
2410   Solins, Pandas and Josephus
2411   The ferste were of Enditours, 
2412   Of old Cronique and ek auctours: 
2413   And Heredot in his science 
2414   Of metre, of rime and of cadence 
2415   The ferste was of which men note.
2416   And of Musique also the note  
2417   In mannes vois or softe or scharpe, 
2418   That fond Jubal; and of the harpe
2419   The merie soun, which is to like,
2420   That fond Poulins forth with phisique. 
2421   Zenzis fond ferst the pourtreture,  
2422   And Promothes the Sculpture;
2423   After what forme that hem thoghte,  
2424   The resemblance anon thei wroghte.  
2425   Tubal in Iren and in Stel  
2426   Fond ferst the forge and wroghte it wel:  
2427   And Jadahel, as seith the bok,
2428   Ferst made Net and fisshes tok:  
2429   Of huntynge ek he fond the chace,    
2430   Which now is knowe in many place:
2431   A tente of cloth with corde and stake  
2432   He sette up ferst and dede it make. 
2433   Verconius of cokerie 
2434   Ferst made the delicacie.  
2435   The craft Minerve of wolle fond  
2436   And made cloth hire oghne hond;  
2437   And Delbora made it of lyn:
2438   Tho wommen were of great engyn.  
2439   Bot thing which yifth ous mete and drinke 
2440   And doth the labourer to swinke  
2441   To tile lond and sette vines, 
2442   Wherof the cornes and the wynes  
2443   Ben sustenance to mankinde,
2444   In olde bokes as I finde,  
2445   Saturnus of his oghne wit  
2446   Hath founde ferst, and more yit  
2447   Of Chapmanhode he fond the weie, 
2448   And ek to coigne the moneie
2449   Of sondri metall, as it is,
2450   He was the ferste man of this.
2451   Bot hou that metall cam a place  
2452   Thurgh mannes wit and goddes grace  
2453   The route of Philosophres wise
2454   Controeveden be sondri wise,  
2455   Ferst forto gete it out of Myne, 
2456   And after forto trie and fyne.
2457   And also with gret diligence  
2458   Thei founden thilke experience,  
2459   Which cleped is Alconomie, 
2460   Wherof the Selver multeplie
2461   Thei made and ek the gold also.  
2462   And forto telle hou it is so, 
2463   Of bodies sevene in special
2464   With foure spiritz joynt withal  
2465   Stant the substance of this matiere.
2466   The bodies whiche I speke of hiere  
2467   Of the Planetes ben begonne:  
2468   The gold is titled to the Sonne,     
2469   The mone of Selver hath his part,
2470   And Iren that stant upon Mart,
2471   The Led after Satorne groweth,
2472   And Jupiter the Bras bestoweth,  
2473   The Coper set is to Venus, 
2474   And to his part Mercurius  
2475   Hath the quikselver, as it falleth, 
2476   The which, after the bok it calleth,
2477   Is ferst of thilke fowre named
2478   Of Spiritz, whiche ben proclamed;
2479   And the spirit which is secounde 
2480   In Sal Armoniak is founde: 
2481   The thridde spirit Sulphur is;
2482   The ferthe suiende after this 
2483   Arcennicum be name is hote.
2484   With blowinge and with fyres hote
2485   In these thinges, whiche I seie, 
2486   Thei worchen be diverse weie. 
2487   For as the philosophre tolde  
2488   Of gold and selver, thei ben holde  
2489   Tuo principal extremites,  
2490   To whiche alle othre be degres
2491   Of the metalls ben acordant,  
2492   And so thurgh kinde resemblant,  
2493   That what man couthe aweie take  
2494   The rust, of which thei waxen blake,
2495   And the savour and the hardnesse,
2496   Thei scholden take the liknesse  
2497   Of gold or Selver parfitly.
2498   Bot forto worche it sikirly,  
2499   Betwen the corps and the spirit, 
2500   Er that the metall be parfit, 
2501   In sevene formes it is set;
2502   Of alle and if that on be let,
2503   The remenant mai noght availe,
2504   Bot otherwise it mai noght faile.
2505   For thei be whom this art was founde
2506   To every point a certain bounde  
2507   Ordeignen, that a man mai finde      
2508   This craft is wroght be weie of kinde, 
2509   So that ther is no fallas inne.  
2510   Bot what man that this werk beginne,
2511   He mot awaite at every tyde,  
2512   So that nothing be left aside,
2513   Ferst of the distillacion, 
2514   Forth with the congelacion,
2515   Solucion, descencion,
2516   And kepe in his entencion  
2517   The point of sublimacion,  
2518   And forth with calcinacion 
2519   Of veray approbacion 
2520   Do that ther be fixacion
2521   With tempred hetes of the fyr,
2522   Til he the parfit Elixir
2523   Of thilke philosophres Ston
2524   Mai gete, of which that many on  
2525   Of Philosophres whilom write. 
2526   And if thou wolt the names wite  
2527   Of thilke Ston with othre tuo,
2528   Whiche as the clerkes maden tho, 
2529   So as the bokes it recorden,  
2530   The kinde of hem I schal recorden.  
2531   These olde Philosophres wyse  
2532   Be weie of kinde in sondri wise  
2533   Thre Stones maden thurgh clergie.
2534   The ferste, if I schal specefie, 
2535   Was lapis vegetabilis,  
2536   Of which the propre vertu is  
2537   To mannes hele forto serve,
2538   As forto kepe and to preserve 
2539   The bodi fro siknesses alle,  
2540   Til deth of kinde upon him falle.
2541   The Ston seconde I thee behote
2542   Is lapis animalis hote, 
2543   The whos vertu is propre and cowth      
2544   For Ere and yhe and nase and mouth, 
2545   Wherof a man mai hiere and se 
2546   And smelle and taste in his degre,  
2547   And forto fiele and forto go  
2548   It helpeth man of bothe tuo:  
2549   The wittes fyve he underfongeth  
2550   To kepe, as it to him belongeth. 
2551   The thridde Ston in special
2552   Be name is cleped Minerall,
2553   Which the metalls of every Mine  
2554   Attempreth, til that thei ben fyne, 
2555   And pureth hem be such a weie,
2556   That al the vice goth aweie
2557   Of rust, of stink and of hardnesse: 
2558   And whan thei ben of such clennesse,
2559   This Mineral, so as I finde,  
2560   Transformeth al the ferste kynde 
2561   And makth hem able to conceive
2562   Thurgh his vertu, and to receive 
2563   Bothe in substance and in figure 
2564   Of gold and selver the nature.
2565   For thei tuo ben thextremetes,
2566   To whiche after the propretes 
2567   Hath every metal his desir,
2568   With help and confort of the fyr 
2569   Forth with this Ston, as it is seid,
2570   Which to the Sonne and Mone is leid;
2571   For to the rede and to the whyte 
2572   This Ston hath pouer to profite. 
2573   It makth mulptiplicacioun  
2574   Of gold, and the fixacioun 
2575   It causeth, and of his habit  
2576   He doth the werk to be parfit 
2577   Of thilke Elixer which men calle 
2578   Alconomie, as is befalle
2579   To hem that whilom weren wise.    
2580   Bot now it stant al otherwise;
2581   Thei speken faste of thilke Ston,
2582   Bot hou to make it, nou wot non  
2583   After the sothe experience.
2584   And natheles gret diligence
2585   Thei setten upon thilke dede, 
2586   And spille more than thei spede; 
2587   For allewey thei finde a lette,  
2588   Which bringeth in poverte and dette 
2589   To hem that riche were afore: 
2590   The lost is had, the lucre is lore, 
2591   To gete a pound thei spenden fyve;  
2592   I not hou such a craft schal thryve 
2593   In the manere as it is used:  
2594   It were betre be refused
2595   Than forto worchen upon weene 
2596   In thing which stant noght as thei weene. 
2597   Bot noght forthi, who that it knewe,
2598   The science of himself is trewe  
2599   Upon the forme as it was founded,
2600   Wherof the names yit ben grounded
2601   Of hem that ferste it founden oute; 
2602   And thus the fame goth aboute 
2603   To suche as soghten besinesse 
2604   Of vertu and of worthinesse.  
2605   Of whom if I the names calle, 
2606   Hermes was on the ferste of alle,
2607   To whom this art is most applied;
2608   Geber therof was magnefied,
2609   And Ortolan and Morien, 
2610   Among the whiche is Avicen,
2611   Which fond and wrot a gret partie
2612   The practique of Alconomie;
2613   Whos bokes, pleinli as thei stonde  
2614   Upon this craft, fewe understonde;  
2615   Bot yit to put hem in assai
2616   Ther ben full manye now aday, 
2617   That knowen litel what thei meene.      
2618   It is noght on to wite and weene;
2619   In forme of wordes thei it trete,
2620   Bot yit they failen of beyete,
2621   For of tomoche or of tolyte
2622   Ther is algate founde a wyte, 
2623   So that thei folwe noght the lyne
2624   Of the parfite medicine,
2625   Which grounded is upon nature.
2626   Bot thei that writen the scripture  
2627   Of Grek, Arabe and of Caldee, 
2628   Thei were of such Auctorite
2629   That thei ferst founden out the weie
2630   Of al that thou hast herd me seie;  
2631   Wherof the Cronique of her lore  
2632   Schal stonde in pris for everemore. 
2633   Bot toward oure Marches hiere,
2634   Of the Latins if thou wolt hiere,
2635   Of hem that whilom vertuous
2636   Were and therto laborious, 
2637   Carmente made of hire engin
2638   The ferste lettres of Latin,  
2639   Of which the tunge Romein cam,
2640   Wherof that Aristarchus nam
2641   Forth with Donat and Dindimus 
2642   The ferste reule of Scole, as thus, 
2643   How that Latin schal be componed 
2644   And in what wise it schal be soned, 
2645   That every word in his degre  
2646   Schal stonde upon congruite.  
2647   And thilke time at Rome also  
2648   Was Tullius with Cithero,  
2649   That writen upon Rethorike,
2650   Hou that men schal the wordes pike  
2651   After the forme of eloquence, 
2652   Which is, men sein, a gret prudence:    
2653   And after that out of Hebreu  
2654   Jerom, which the langage kneu,
2655   The Bible, in which the lawe is closed,
2656   Into Latin he hath transposed;
2657   And many an other writere ek  
2658   Out of Caldee, Arabe and Grek 
2659   With gret labour the bokes wise  
2660   Translateden. And otherwise
2661   The Latins of hemself also 
2662   Here studie at thilke time so 
2663   With gret travaile of Scole toke 
2664   In sondri forme forto boke,
2665   That we mai take here evidences  
2666   Upon the lore of the Sciences,
2667   Of craftes bothe and of clergie; 
2668   Among the whiche in Poesie 
2669   To the lovers Ovide wrot
2670   And tawhte, if love be to hot,
2671   In what manere it scholde akiele.
2672   Forthi, mi Sone, if that thou fiele 
2673   That love wringe thee to sore,
2674   Behold Ovide and take his lore.  
2675   My fader, if thei mihte spede 
2676   Mi love, I wolde his bokes rede; 
2677   And if thei techen to restreigne 
2678   Mi love, it were an ydel peine
2679   To lerne a thing which mai noght be.
2680   For lich unto the greene tree,
2681   If that men toke his rote aweie, 
2682   Riht so myn herte scholde deie,  
2683   If that mi love be withdrawe. 
2684   Wherof touchende unto this sawe  
2685   There is bot only to poursuie 
2686   Mi love, and ydelschipe eschuie. 
2687   Mi goode Sone, soth to seie,  
2688   If ther be siker eny weie  
2689   To love, thou hast seid the beste:      
2690   For who that wolde have al his reste
2691   And do no travail at the nede,
2692   It is no resoun that he spede 
2693   In loves cause forto winne;
2694   For he which dar nothing beginne,
2695   I not what thing he scholde achieve.
2696   Bot overthis thou schalt believe,
2697   So as it sit thee wel to knowe,  
2698   That ther ben othre vices slowe, 
2699   Whiche unto love don gret lette, 
2700   If thou thin herte upon hem sette.  
2701   Toward the Slowe progenie  
2702   Ther is yit on of compaignie, 
2703   And he is cleped Sompnolence, 
2704   Which doth to Slouthe his reverence,
2705   As he which is his Chamberlein,  
2706   That many an hundrid time hath lein 
2707   To slepe, whan he scholde wake.  
2708   He hath with love trewes take,
2709   That wake who so wake wile,
2710   If he mai couche a doun his bile,
2711   He hath al wowed what him list;  
2712   That ofte he goth to bedde unkist,  
2713   And seith that for no Druerie 
2714   He wol noght leve his sluggardie.
2715   For thogh noman it wole allowe,  
2716   To slepe levere than to wowe  
2717   Is his manere, and thus on nyhtes,  
2718   Whan that he seth the lusti knyhtes 
2719   Revelen, wher these wommen are,  
2720   Awey he skulketh as an hare,  
2721   And goth to bedde and leith him softe,     
2722   And of his Slouthe he dremeth ofte  
2723   Hou that he stiketh in the Myr,  
2724   And hou he sitteth be the fyr 
2725   And claweth on his bare schanckes,  
2726   And hou he clymbeth up the banckes  
2727   And falleth into Slades depe. 
2728   Bot thanne who so toke kepe,  
2729   Whanne he is falle in such a drem,  
2730   Riht as a Schip ayein the Strem, 
2731   He routeth with a slepi noise,
2732   And brustleth as a monkes froise,
2733   Whanne it is throwe into the Panne. 
2734   And otherwhile sielde whanne  
2735   That he mai dreme a lusti swevene,  
2736   Him thenkth as thogh he were in hevene 
2737   And as the world were holi his:  
2738   And thanne he spekth of that and this, 
2739   And makth his exposicion
2740   After the disposicion
2741   Of that he wolde, and in such wise  
2742   He doth to love all his service; 
2743   I not what thonk he schal deserve.  
2744   Bot, Sone, if thou wolt love serve, 
2745   I rede that thou do noght so. 
2746   Ha, goode fader, certes no.
2747   I hadde levere be mi trowthe, 
2748   Er I were set on such a slouthe  
2749   And beere such a slepi snoute,
2750   Bothe yhen of myn hed were oute. 
2751   For me were betre fulli die,  
2752   Thanne I of such a slugardie  
2753   Hadde eny name, god me schilde;  
2754   For whan mi moder was with childe,  
2755   And I lay in hire wombe clos, 
2756   I wolde rathere Atropos,
2757   Which is goddesse of alle deth,  
2758   Anon as I hadde eny breth, 
2759   Me hadde fro mi Moder cast.
2760   Bot now I am nothing agast,        
2761   I thonke godd; for Lachesis,  
2762   Ne Cloto, which hire felawe is,  
2763   Me schopen no such destine,
2764   Whan thei at mi nativite
2765   My weerdes setten as thei wolde; 
2766   Bot thei me schopen that I scholde  
2767   Eschuie of slep the truandise,
2768   So that I hope in such a wise 
2769   To love forto ben excused, 
2770   That I no Sompnolence have used. 
2771   For certes, fader Genius,  
2772   Yit into nou it hath be thus, 
2773   At alle time if it befelle 
2774   So that I mihte come and duelle  
2775   In place ther my ladi were,
2776   I was noght slow ne slepi there: 
2777   For thanne I dar wel undertake,  
2778   That whanne hir list on nyhtes wake 
2779   In chambre as to carole and daunce, 
2780   Me thenkth I mai me more avaunce,
2781   If I mai gon upon hir hond,
2782   Thanne if I wonne a kinges lond. 
2783   For whanne I mai hire hand beclippe,
2784   With such gladnesse I daunce and skippe,  
2785   Me thenkth I touche noght the flor; 
2786   The Ro, which renneth on the Mor,
2787   Is thanne noght so lyht as I: 
2788   So mow ye witen wel forthi,
2789   That for the time slep I hate.
2790   And whanne it falleth othergate, 
2791   So that hire like noght to daunce,  
2792   Bot on the Dees to caste chaunce 
2793   Or axe of love som demande,
2794   Or elles that hir list comaunde  
2795   To rede and here of Troilus,  
2796   Riht as sche wole or so or thus, 
2797   I am al redi to consente.  
2798   And if so is that I mai hente     
2799   Somtime among a good leisir,  
2800   So as I dar of mi desir 
2801   I telle a part; bot whanne I preie, 
2802   Anon sche bidt me go mi weie  
2803   And seith it is ferr in the nyht;
2804   And I swere it is even liht.  
2805   Bot as it falleth ate laste,  
2806   Ther mai no worldes joie laste,  
2807   So mot I nedes fro hire wende 
2808   And of my wachche make an ende:  
2809   And if sche thanne hiede toke,
2810   Hou pitousliche on hire I loke,  
2811   Whan that I schal my leve take,  
2812   Hire oghte of mercy forto slake  
2813   Hire daunger, which seith evere nay.
2814   Bot he seith often, "Have good day,"
2815   That loth is forto take his leve:
2816   Therfore, while I mai beleve, 
2817   I tarie forth the nyht along, 
2818   For it is noght on me along
2819   To slep that I so sone go, 
2820   Til that I mot algate so;  
2821   And thanne I bidde godd hire se, 
2822   And so doun knelende on mi kne
2823   I take leve, and if I schal,  
2824   I kisse hire, and go forth withal.  
2825   And otherwhile, if that I dore,  
2826   Er I come fulli to the Dore,  
2827   I torne ayein and feigne a thing,
2828   As thogh I hadde lost a Ring  
2829   Or somwhat elles, for I wolde 
2830   Kisse hire eftsones, if I scholde,  
2831   Bot selden is that I so spede.
2832   And whanne I se that I mot nede  
2833   Departen, I departe, and thanne  
2834   With al myn herte I curse and banne 
2835   That evere slep was mad for yhe; 
2836   For, as me thenkth, I mihte dryhe    
2837   Withoute slep to waken evere, 
2838   So that I scholde noght dissevere
2839   Fro hire, in whom is al my liht: 
2840   And thanne I curse also the nyht 
2841   With al the will of mi corage,
2842   And seie, "Awey, thou blake ymage,  
2843   Which of thi derke cloudy face
2844   Makst al the worldes lyht deface,
2845   And causest unto slep a weie, 
2846   Be which I mot nou gon aweie  
2847   Out of mi ladi compaignie. 
2848   O slepi nyht, I thee defie,
2849   And wolde that thou leye in presse  
2850   With Proserpine the goddesse  
2851   And with Pluto the helle king:
2852   For til I se the daies spring,
2853   I sette slep noght at a risshe." 
2854   And with that word I sike and wisshe,  
2855   And seie, "Ha, whi ne were it day?  
2856   For yit mi ladi thanne I may  
2857   Beholde, thogh I do nomore."  
2858   And efte I thenke forthermore,
2859   To som man hou the niht doth ese,
2860   Whan he hath thing that mai him plese  
2861   The longe nyhtes be his side, 
2862   Where as I faile and go beside.  
2863   Bot slep, I not wherof it serveth,  
2864   Of which noman his thonk deserveth  
2865   To gete him love in eny place,
2866   Bot is an hindrere of his grace  
2867   And makth him ded as for a throwe,  
2868   Riht as a Stok were overthrowe.  
2869   And so, mi fader, in this wise
2870   The slepi nyhtes I despise,
2871   And evere amiddes of mi tale  
2872   I thenke upon the nyhtingale, 
2873   Which slepeth noght be weie of kinde
2874   For love, in bokes as I finde.    
2875   Thus ate laste I go to bedde, 
2876   And yit min herte lith to wedde  
2877   With hire, wher as I cam fro; 
2878   Thogh I departe, he wol noght so,
2879   Ther is no lock mai schette him oute,  
2880   Him nedeth noght to gon aboute,  
2881   That perce mai the harde wall;
2882   Thus is he with hire overall, 
2883   That be hire lief, or be hire loth, 
2884   Into hire bedd myn herte goth,
2885   And softly takth hire in his arm 
2886   And fieleth hou that sche is warm,  
2887   And wissheth that his body were  
2888   To fiele that he fieleth there.  
2889   And thus miselven I tormente, 
2890   Til that the dede slep me hente: 
2891   Bot thanne be a thousand score
2892   Welmore than I was tofore  
2893   I am tormented in mi slep, 
2894   Bot that I dreme is noght of schep; 
2895   For I ne thenke noght on wulle,  
2896   Bot I am drecched to the fulle
2897   Of love, that I have to kepe, 
2898   That nou I lawhe and nou I wepe, 
2899   And nou I lese and nou I winne,  
2900   And nou I ende and nou beginne.  
2901   And otherwhile I dreme and mete  
2902   That I al one with hire mete  
2903   And that Danger is left behinde; 
2904   And thanne in slep such joie I finde,  
2905   That I ne bede nevere awake.  
2906   Bot after, whanne I hiede take,  
2907   And schal arise upon the morwe,  
2908   Thanne is al torned into sorwe,  
2909   Noght for the cause I schal arise,  
2910   Bot for I mette in such a wise,  
2911   And ate laste I am bethoght
2912   That al is vein and helpeth noght:  
2913   Bot yit me thenketh be my wille  
2914   I wolde have leie and slepe stille,     
2915   To meten evere of such a swevene,
2916   For thanne I hadde a slepi hevene.  
2917   Mi Sone, and for thou tellest so,
2918   A man mai finde of time ago
2919   That many a swevene hath be certein,
2920   Al be it so, that som men sein
2921   That swevenes ben of no credence.
2922   Bot forto schewe in evidence  
2923   That thei fulofte sothe thinges  
2924   Betokne, I thenke in my wrytinges
2925   To telle a tale therupon,  
2926   Which fell be olde daies gon. 
2927   This finde I write in Poesie: 
2928   Cei5x the king of Trocinie 
2929   Hadde Alceone to his wif,  
2930   Which as hire oghne hertes lif
2931   Him loveth; and he hadde also 
2932   A brother, which was cleped tho  
2933   Dedalion, and he per cas
2934   Fro kinde of man forschape was
2935   Into a Goshauk of liknesse;
2936   Wherof the king gret hevynesse
2937   Hath take, and thoghte in his corage
2938   To gon upon a pelrinage 
2939   Into a strange regioun, 
2940   Wher he hath his devocioun 
2941   To don his sacrifice and preie,  
2942   If that he mihte in eny weie  
2943   Toward the goddes finde grace 
2944   His brother hele to pourchace,
2945   So that he mihte be reformed  
2946   Of that he hadde be transformed. 
2947   To this pourpos and to this ende 
2948   This king is redy forto wende,
2949   As he which wolde go be Schipe;  
2950   And forto don him felaschipe  
2951   His wif unto the See him broghte,    
2952   With al hire herte and him besoghte,
2953   That he the time hire wolde sein,
2954   Whan that he thoghte come ayein: 
2955   "Withinne," he seith, "tuo Monthe day."
2956   And thus in al the haste he may  
2957   He tok his leve, and forth he seileth  
2958   Wepende, and sche hirself beweileth,
2959   And torneth hom, ther sche cam fro. 
2960   Bot whan the Monthes were ago,
2961   The whiche he sette of his comynge, 
2962   And that sche herde no tydinge,  
2963   Ther was no care forto seche: 
2964   Wherof the goddes to beseche  
2965   Tho sche began in many wise,  
2966   And to Juno hire sacrifise 
2967   Above alle othre most sche dede, 
2968   And for hir lord sche hath so bede  
2969   To wite and knowe hou that he ferde,
2970   That Juno the goddesse hire herde,  
2971   Anon and upon this matiere 
2972   Sche bad Yris hir Messagere
2973   To Slepes hous that sche schal wende,  
2974   And bidde him that he make an ende  
2975   Be swevene and schewen al the cas
2976   Unto this ladi, hou it was.
2977   This Yris, fro the hihe stage 
2978   Which undertake hath the Message,
2979   Hire reyny Cope dede upon, 
2980   The which was wonderli begon  
2981   With colours of diverse hewe, 
2982   An hundred mo than men it knewe; 
2983   The hevene lich into a bowe
2984   Sche bende, and so she cam doun lowe,  
2985   The god of Slep wher that sche fond.
2986   And that was in a strange lond,  
2987   Which marcheth upon Chymerie: 
2988   For ther, as seith the Poesie,    
2989   The god of Slep hath mad his hous,  
2990   Which of entaille is merveilous. 
2991   Under an hell ther is a Cave, 
2992   Which of the Sonne mai noght have,  
2993   So that noman mai knowe ariht 
2994   The point betwen the dai and nyht:  
2995   Ther is no fyr, ther is no sparke,  
2996   Ther is no dore, which mai charke,  
2997   Wherof an yhe scholde unschette, 
2998   So that inward ther is no lette. 
2999   And forto speke of that withoute,
3000   Ther stant no gret Tree nyh aboute  
3001   Wher on ther myhte crowe or pie  
3002   Alihte, forto clepe or crie:  
3003   Ther is no cok to crowe day,  
3004   Ne beste non which noise may  
3005   The hell, bot al aboute round 
3006   Ther is growende upon the ground 
3007   Popi, which berth the sed of slep,  
3008   With othre herbes suche an hep.  
3009   A stille water for the nones  
3010   Rennende upon the smale stones,  
3011   Which hihte of Lethes the rivere,
3012   Under that hell in such manere
3013   Ther is, which yifth gret appetit
3014   To slepe. And thus full of delit 
3015   Slep hath his hous; and of his couche  
3016   Withinne his chambre if I schal touche,
3017   Of hebenus that slepi Tree 
3018   The bordes al aboute be,
3019   And for he scholde slepe softe,  
3020   Upon a fethrebed alofte 
3021   He lith with many a pilwe of doun:  
3022   The chambre is strowed up and doun  
3023   With swevenes many thousendfold. 
3024   Thus cam Yris into this hold, 
3025   And to the bedd, which is al blak,      
3026   Sche goth, and ther with Slep sche spak,  
3027   And in the wise as sche was bede 
3028   The Message of Juno sche dede.
3029   Fulofte hir wordes sche reherceth,  
3030   Er sche his slepi Eres perceth;  
3031   With mochel wo bot ate laste  
3032   His slombrende yhen he upcaste
3033   And seide hir that it schal be do.  
3034   Wherof among a thousend tho,  
3035   Withinne his hous that slepi were,  
3036   In special he ches out there  
3037   Thre, whiche scholden do this dede: 
3038   The ferste of hem, so as I rede, 
3039   Was Morphes, the whos nature
3040   Is forto take the figure
3041   Of what persone that him liketh, 
3042   Wherof that he fulofte entriketh 
3043   The lif which slepe schal be nyhte; 
3044   And Ithecus that other hihte, 
3045   Which hath the vois of every soun,  
3046   The chiere and the condicioun 
3047   Of every lif, what so it is:  
3048   The thridde suiende after this
3049   Is Panthasas, which may transforme  
3050   Of every thing the rihte forme,  
3051   And change it in an other kinde. 
3052   Upon hem thre, so as I finde, 
3053   Of swevenes stant al thapparence,
3054   Which otherwhile is evidence  
3055   And otherwhile bot a jape. 
3056   Bot natheles it is so schape, 
3057   That Morphes be nyht al one 
3058   Appiereth until Alceone 
3059   In liknesse of hir housebonde 
3060   Al naked ded upon the stronde,
3061   And hou he dreynte in special 
3062   These othre tuo it schewen al.
3063   The tempeste of the blake cloude,    
3064   The wode See, the wyndes loude,  
3065   Al this sche mette, and sih him dyen;  
3066   Wherof that sche began to crien, 
3067   Slepende abedde ther sche lay,
3068   And with that noise of hire affray  
3069   Hir wommen sterten up aboute, 
3070   Whiche of here ladi were in doute,  
3071   And axen hire hou that sche ferde;  
3072   And sche, riht as sche syh and herde,  
3073   Hir swevene hath told hem everydel. 
3074   And thei it halsen alle wel
3075   And sein it is a tokne of goode; 
3076   Bot til sche wiste hou that it stode,  
3077   Sche hath no confort in hire herte, 
3078   Upon the morwe and up sche sterte,  
3079   And to the See, wher that sche mette
3080   The bodi lay, withoute lette  
3081   Sche drowh, and whan that sche cam nyh,
3082   Stark ded, hise harmes sprad, sche syh 
3083   Hire lord flietende upon the wawe.  
3084   Wherof hire wittes ben withdrawe,
3085   And sche, which tok of deth no kepe,
3086   Anon forth lepte into the depe
3087   And wolde have cawht him in hire arm.  
3088   This infortune of double harm 
3089   The goddes fro the hevene above  
3090   Behielde, and for the trowthe of love, 
3091   Which in this worthi ladi stod,  
3092   Thei have upon the salte flod 
3093   Hire dreinte lord and hire also  
3094   Fro deth to lyve torned so,
3095   That thei ben schapen into briddes  
3096   Swimmende upon the wawe amiddes. 
3097   And whan sche sih hire lord livende 
3098   In liknesse of a bridd swimmende,
3099   And sche was of the same sort,
3100   So as sche mihte do desport,  
3101   Upon the joie which sche hadde    
3102   Hire wynges bothe abrod sche spradde,  
3103   And him, so as sche mai suffise, 
3104   Beclipte and keste in such a wise,  
3105   As sche was whilom wont to do:
3106   Hire wynges for hire armes tuo
3107   Sche tok, and for hire lippes softe 
3108   Hire harde bile, and so fulofte  
3109   Sche fondeth in hire briddes forme, 
3110   If that sche mihte hirself conforme 
3111   To do the plesance of a wif,  
3112   As sche dede in that other lif:  
3113   For thogh sche hadde hir pouer lore,
3114   Hir will stod as it was tofore,  
3115   And serveth him so as sche mai.  
3116   Wherof into this ilke day  
3117   Togedre upon the See thei wone,  
3118   Wher many a dowhter and a Sone
3119   Thei bringen forth of briddes kinde;
3120   And for men scholden take in mynde  
3121   This Alceoun the trewe queene,
3122   Hire briddes yit, as it is seene,
3123   Of Alceoun the name bere.  
3124   Lo thus, mi Sone, it mai thee stere 
3125   Of swevenes forto take kepe,  
3126   For ofte time a man aslepe 
3127   Mai se what after schal betide.  
3128   Forthi it helpeth at som tyde 
3129   A man to slepe, as it belongeth, 
3130   Bot slowthe no lif underfongeth  
3131   Which is to love appourtenant.
3132   Mi fader, upon covenant 
3133   I dar wel make this avou,  
3134   Of all mi lif that into nou,  
3135   Als fer as I can understonde, 
3136   Yit tok I nevere Slep on honde,  
3137   Whan it was time forto wake;  
3138   For thogh myn yhe it wolde take, 
3139   Min herte is evere therayein.     
3140   Bot natheles to speke it plein,  
3141   Al this that I have seid you hiere  
3142   Of my wakinge, as ye mai hiere,  
3143   It toucheth to mi lady swete; 
3144   For otherwise, I you behiete, 
3145   In strange place whanne I go, 
3146   Me list nothing to wake so.
3147   For whan the wommen listen pleie,
3148   And I hir se noght in the weie,  
3149   Of whom I scholde merthe take,
3150   Me list noght longe forto wake,  
3151   Bot if it be for pure schame, 
3152   Of that I wolde eschuie a name,  
3153   That thei ne scholde have cause non 
3154   To seie, "Ha, lo, wher goth such on,
3155   That hath forlore his contenaunce]" 
3156   And thus among I singe and daunce,  
3157   And feigne lust ther as non is.  
3158   For ofte sithe I fiele this;  
3159   Of thoght, which in mi herte falleth
3160   Whanne it is nyht, myn hed appalleth,  
3161   And that is for I se hire noght, 
3162   Which is the wakere of mi thoght:
3163   And thus as tymliche as I may,
3164   Fulofte whanne it is brod day,
3165   I take of all these othre leve
3166   And go my weie, and thei beleve, 
3167   That sen per cas here loves there;  
3168   And I go forth as noght ne were  
3169   Unto mi bedd, so that al one  
3170   I mai ther ligge and sighe and grone
3171   And wisshen al the longe nyht,
3172   Til that I se the daies lyht. 
3173   I not if that be Sompnolence, 
3174   Bot upon youre conscience, 
3175   Min holi fader, demeth ye. 
3176   My Sone, I am wel paid with thee,    
3177   Of Slep that thou the Sluggardie 
3178   Be nyhte in loves compaignie  
3179   Eschuied hast, and do thi peine  
3180   So that thi love thar noght pleine: 
3181   For love upon his lust wakende
3182   Is evere, and wolde that non ende
3183   Were of the longe nyhtes set. 
3184   Wherof that thou be war the bet, 
3185   To telle a tale I am bethoght,
3186   Hou love and Slep acorden noght. 
3187   For love who that list to wake
3188   Be nyhte, he mai ensample take
3189   Of Cephalus, whan that  he lay
3190   With Aurora that swete may 
3191   In armes all the longe nyht.  
3192   Bot whanne it drogh toward the liht,
3193   That he withinne his herte sih
3194   The dai which was amorwe nyh, 
3195   Anon unto the Sonne he preide 
3196   For lust of love, and thus he seide:
3197   "O Phebus, which the daies liht  
3198   Governest, til that it be nyht,  
3199   And gladest every creature 
3200   After the lawe of thi nature,-
3201   Bot natheles ther is a thing, 
3202   Which onli to the knouleching 
3203   Belongeth as in privete 
3204   To love and to his duete,  
3205   Which asketh noght to ben apert, 
3206   Bot in cilence and in covert  
3207   Desireth forto be beschaded:  
3208   And thus whan that thi liht is faded
3209   And Vesper scheweth him alofte,  
3210   And that the nyht is long and softe,
3211   Under the cloudes derke and stille  
3212   Thanne hath this thing most of his wille. 
3213   Forthi unto thi myhtes hyhe,      
3214   As thou which art the daies yhe, 
3215   Of love and myht no conseil hyde,
3216   Upon this derke nyhtes tyde
3217   With al myn herte I thee beseche 
3218   That I plesance myhte seche
3219   With hire which lith in min armes.  
3220   Withdrawgh the Banere of thin Armes,
3221   And let thi lyhtes ben unborn,
3222   And in the Signe of Capricorn,
3223   The hous appropred to Satorne,
3224   I preie that thou wolt sojorne,  
3225   Wher ben the nihtes derke and longe:
3226   For I mi love have underfonge,
3227   Which lith hier be mi syde naked,
3228   As sche which wolde ben awaked,  
3229   And me lest nothing forto slepe. 
3230   So were it good to take kepe  
3231   Nou at this nede of mi preiere,  
3232   And that the like forto stiere
3233   Thi fyri Carte, and so ordeigne, 
3234   That thou thi swifte hors restreigne
3235   Lowe under Erthe in Occident, 
3236   That thei towardes Orient  
3237   Be Cercle go the longe weie.  
3238   And ek to thee, Diane, I preie,  
3239   Which cleped art of thi noblesse 
3240   The nyhtes Mone and the goddesse,
3241   That thou to me be gracious:  
3242   And in Cancro thin oghne hous 
3243   Ayein Phebus in opposit 
3244   Stond al this time, and of delit 
3245   Behold Venus with a glad yhe. 
3246   For thanne upon Astronomie 
3247   Of due constellacion 
3248   Thou makst prolificacion,  
3249   And dost that children ben begete:  
3250   Which grace if that I mihte gete,    
3251   With al myn herte I wolde serve  
3252   Be nyhte, and thi vigile observe."  
3253   Lo, thus this lusti Cephalus  
3254   Preide unto Phebe and to Phebus  
3255   The nyht in lengthe forto drawe, 
3256   So that he mihte do the lawe  
3257   In thilke point of loves heste,  
3258   Which cleped is the nyhtes feste,
3259   Withoute Slep of sluggardie;  
3260   Which Venus out of compaignie 
3261   Hath put awey, as thilke same,
3262   Which lustles ferr from alle game
3263   In chambre doth fulofte wo 
3264   Abedde, whanne it falleth so  
3265   That love scholde ben awaited.
3266   But Slowthe, which is evele affaited,  
3267   With Slep hath mad his retenue,  
3268   That what thing is to love due,  
3269   Of all his dette he paieth non:  
3270   He wot noght how the nyht is gon 
3271   Ne hou the day is come aboute,
3272   Bot onli forto slepe and route
3273   Til hyh midday, that he arise.
3274   Bot Cephalus dede otherwise,  
3275   As thou, my Sone, hast herd above.  
3276   Mi fader, who that hath his love 
3277   Abedde naked be his syde,  
3278   And wolde thanne hise yhen hyde  
3279   With Slep, I not what man is he: 
3280   Bot certes as touchende of me,
3281   That fell me nevere yit er this. 
3282   Bot otherwhile, whan so is 
3283   That I mai cacche Slep on honde  
3284   Liggende al one, thanne I fonde  
3285   To dreme a merie swevene er day; 
3286   And if so falle that I may 
3287   Mi thought with such a swevene plese,      
3288   Me thenkth I am somdiel in ese,  
3289   For I non other confort have. 
3290   So nedeth noght that I schal crave  
3291   The Sonnes Carte forto tarie, 
3292   Ne yit the Mone, that sche carie 
3293   Hire cours along upon the hevene,
3294   For I am noght the more in evene 
3295   Towardes love in no degree:
3296   Bot in mi slep yit thanne I se
3297   Somwhat in swevene of that me liketh,  
3298   Which afterward min herte entriketh,
3299   Whan that I finde it otherwise.  
3300   So wot I noght of what servise
3301   That Slep to mannes ese doth. 
3302   Mi Sone, certes thou seist soth, 
3303   Bot only that it helpeth kinde
3304   Somtyme, in Phisique as I finde, 
3305   Whan it is take be mesure: 
3306   Bot he which can no Slep mesure  
3307   Upon the reule as it belongeth,  
3308   Fulofte of sodein chance he fongeth 
3309   Such infortune that him grieveth.
3310   Bot who these olde bokes lieveth,
3311   Of Sompnolence hou it is write,  
3312   Ther may a man the sothe wite,
3313   If that he wolde ensample take,  
3314   That otherwhile is good to wake: 
3315   Wherof a tale in Poesie 
3316   I thenke forto specefie.
3317   Ovide telleth in his sawes,
3318   How Jupiter be olde dawes  
3319   Lay be a Mayde, which Yo
3320   Was cleped, wherof that Juno  
3321   His wif was wroth, and the goddesse 
3322   Of Yo torneth the liknesse 
3323   Into a cow, to gon theroute
3324   The large fieldes al aboute    
3325   And gete hire mete upon the griene. 
3326   And therupon this hyhe queene 
3327   Betok hire Argus forto kepe,  
3328   For he was selden wont to slepe, 
3329   And yit he hadde an hundred yhen,
3330   And alle alyche wel thei syhen.  
3331   Now herkne hou that he was beguiled.
3332   Mercurie, which was al affiled
3333   This Cow to stele, he cam desguised,
3334   And hadde a Pipe wel devised  
3335   Upon the notes of Musiqe,  
3336   Wherof he mihte hise Eres like.  
3337   And over that he hadde affaited  
3338   Hise lusti tales, and awaited 
3339   His time; and thus into the field
3340   He cam, where Argus he behield
3341   With Yo, which beside him wente. 
3342   With that his Pype on honde he hente,  
3343   And gan to pipe in his manere 
3344   Thing which was slepi forto hiere;  
3345   And in his pipinge evere among
3346   He tolde him such a lusti song,  
3347   That he the fol hath broght aslepe. 
3348   Ther was non yhe mihte kepe
3349   His hed, the which Mercurie of smot,
3350   And forth withal anon fot hot 
3351   He stal the Cow which Argus kepte,  
3352   And al this fell for that he slepte.
3353   Ensample it was to manye mo,  
3354   That mochel Slep doth ofte wo,
3355   Whan it is time forto wake:
3356   For if a man this vice take,  
3357   In Sompnolence and him delite,
3358   Men scholde upon his Dore wryte  
3359   His epitaphe, as on his grave;
3360   For he to spille and noght to save  
3361   Is schape, as thogh he were ded.     
3362   Forthi, mi Sone, hold up thin hed,  
3363   And let no Slep thin yhe englue, 
3364   Bot whanne it is to resoun due.  
3365   Mi fader, as touchende of this,  
3366   Riht so as I you tolde it is, 
3367   That ofte abedde, whanne I scholde, 
3368   I mai noght slepe, thogh I wolde;
3369   For love is evere faste byme, 
3370   Which takth no hiede of due time.
3371   For whanne I schal myn yhen close,  
3372   Anon min herte he wole oppose 
3373   And holde his Scole in such a wise, 
3374   Til it be day that I arise,
3375   That selde it is whan that I slepe. 
3376   And thus fro Sompnolence I kepe  
3377   Min yhe: and forthi if ther be
3378   Oght elles more in this degre,
3379   Now axeth forth. Mi Sone, yis:
3380   For Slowthe, which as Moder is
3381   The forthdrawere and the Norrice 
3382   To man of many a dredful vice,
3383   Hath yit an other laste of alle, 
3384   Which many a man hath mad to falle, 
3385   Wher that he mihte nevere arise; 
3386   Wherof for thou thee schalt avise,  
3387   Er thou so with thiself misfare, 
3388   What vice it is I wol declare.
3389   Whan Slowthe hath don al that he may
3390   To dryve forth the longe day, 
3391   Til it be come to the nede,
3392   Thanne ate laste upon the dede
3393   He loketh hou his time is lore,      
3394   And is so wo begon therfore,  
3395   That he withinne his thoght conceiveth 
3396   Tristesce, and so himself deceiveth,
3397   That he wanhope bringeth inne,
3398   Wher is no confort to beginne,
3399   Bot every joie him is deslaied:  
3400   So that withinne his herte affraied 
3401   A thousend time with o breth  
3402   Wepende he wissheth after deth,  
3403   Whan he fortune fint adverse. 
3404   For thanne he wole his hap reherce, 
3405   As thogh his world were al forlore, 
3406   And seith, "Helas, that I was bore] 
3407   Hou schal I live? hou schal I do?
3408   For nou fortune is thus mi fo,
3409   I wot wel god me wol noght helpe.
3410   What scholde I thanne of joies yelpe,  
3411   Whan ther no bote is of mi care? 
3412   So overcast is my welfare, 
3413   That I am schapen al to strif.
3414   Helas, that I nere of this lif,  
3415   Er I be fulliche overtake]"
3416   And thus he wol his sorwe make,  
3417   As god him mihte noght availe:
3418   Bot yit ne wol he noght travaile 
3419   To helpe himself at such a nede, 
3420   Bot slowtheth under such a drede,
3421   Which is affermed in his herte,  
3422   Riht as he mihte noght asterte
3423   The worldes wo which he is inne. 
3424   Also whan he is falle in Sinne,  
3425   Him thenkth he is so ferr coupable, 
3426   That god wol noght be merciable  
3427   So gret a Sinne to foryive;
3428   And thus he leeveth to be schrive.  
3429   And if a man in thilke throwe 
3430   Wolde him consaile, he wol noght knowe 
3431   The sothe, thogh a man it finde:     
3432   For Tristesce is of such a kinde,
3433   That forto meintiene his folie,  
3434   He hath with him Obstinacie,  
3435   Which is withinne of such a Slouthe,
3436   That he forsaketh alle trouthe,  
3437   And wole unto no reson bowe;  
3438   And yit ne can he noght avowe 
3439   His oghne skile bot of hed:
3440   Thus dwyneth he, til he be ded,  
3441   In hindringe of his oghne astat. 
3442   For where a man is obstinat,  
3443   Wanhope folweth ate laste, 
3444   Which mai noght after longe laste,  
3445   Till Slouthe make of him an ende.
3446   Bot god wot whider he schal wende.  
3447   Mi Sone, and riht in such manere 
3448   Ther be lovers of hevy chiere,
3449   That sorwen mor than it is ned,  
3450   Whan thei be taried of here sped 
3451   And conne noght hemselven rede,  
3452   Bot lesen hope forto spede 
3453   And stinten love to poursewe; 
3454   And thus thei faden hyde and hewe,  
3455   And lustles in here hertes waxe. 
3456   Hierof it is that I wolde axe,
3457   If thou, mi Sone, art on of tho. 
3458   Ha, goode fader, it is so, 
3459   Outake a point, I am beknowe; 
3460   For elles I am overthrowe  
3461   In al that evere ye have seid.
3462   Mi sorwe is everemore unteid, 
3463   And secheth overal my veines; 
3464   Bot forto conseile of mi peines, 
3465   I can no bote do therto;
3466   And thus withouten hope I go, 
3467   So that mi wittes ben empeired,  
3468   And I, as who seith, am despeired    
3469   To winne love of thilke swete,
3470   Withoute whom, I you behiete, 
3471   Min herte, that is so bestad, 
3472   Riht inly nevere mai be glad. 
3473   For be my trouthe I schal noght lie,
3474   Of pure sorwe, which I drye
3475   For that sche seith sche wol me noght, 
3476   With drecchinge of myn oghne thoght 
3477   In such a wanhope I am falle, 
3478   That I ne can unethes calle,  
3479   As forto speke of eny grace,  
3480   Mi ladi merci to pourchace.
3481   Bot yit I seie noght for this 
3482   That al in mi defalte it is;  
3483   For I cam nevere yit in stede,
3484   Whan time was, that I my bede 
3485   Ne seide, and as I dorste tolde: 
3486   Bot nevere fond I that sche wolde,  
3487   For oght sche knew of min entente,  
3488   To speke a goodly word assente.  
3489   And natheles this dar I seie, 
3490   That if a sinful wolde preie  
3491   To god of his foryivenesse 
3492   With half so gret a besinesse 
3493   As I have do to my ladi,
3494   In lacke of askinge of merci  
3495   He scholde nevere come in Helle. 
3496   And thus I mai you sothli telle, 
3497   Save only that I crie and bidde, 
3498   I am in Tristesce al amidde
3499   And fulfild of Desesperance:  
3500   And therof yif me mi penance, 
3501   Min holi fader, as you liketh.
3502   Mi Sone, of that thin herte siketh  
3503   With sorwe, miht thou noght amende, 
3504   Til love his grace wol thee sende,  
3505   For thou thin oghne cause empeirest 
3506   What time as thou thiself despeirest.      
3507   I not what other thing availeth, 
3508   Of hope whan the herte faileth,  
3509   For such a Sor is incurable,  
3510   And ek the goddes ben vengable:  
3511   And that a man mai riht wel frede,  
3512   These olde bokes who so rede, 
3513   Of thing which hath befalle er this:
3514   Now hier of what ensample it is. 
3515   Whilom be olde daies fer
3516   Of Mese was the king Theucer, 
3517   Which hadde a kniht to Sone, Iphis: 
3518   Of love and he so maistred is,
3519   That he hath set al his corage,  
3520   As to reguard of his lignage, 
3521   Upon a Maide of lou astat. 
3522   Bot thogh he were a potestat
3523   Of worldes good, he was soubgit
3524   To love, and put in such a plit,
3525   That he excedeth the mesure
3526   Of reson, that himself assure
3527   He can noght; for the more he preide,
3528   The lass love on him sche leide.
3529   He was with love unwys constreigned,
3530   And sche with resoun was restreigned:
3531   The lustes of his herte he suieth,
3532   And sche for dred schame eschuieth,
3533   And as sche scholde, tok good hiede
3534   To save and kepe hir wommanhiede.
3535   And thus the thing stod in debat
3536   Betwen his lust and hire astat:
3537   He yaf, he sende, he spak be mouthe,
3538   Bot yit for oght that evere he couthe
3539   Unto his sped he fond no weie,
3540   So that he caste his hope aweie,
3541   Withinne his herte and gan despeire
3542   Fro dai to dai, and so empeire,
3543   That he hath lost al his delit
3544   Of lust, of Slep, of Appetit,
3545   That he thurgh strengthe of love lasseth
3546   His wit, and resoun overpasseth.
3547   As he which of his lif ne rowhte,
3548   His deth upon himself he sowhte,
3549   So that be nyhte his weie he nam,
3550   Ther wiste non wher he becam;
3551   The nyht was derk, ther schon no Mone,
3552   Tofore the gates he cam sone,
3553   Wher that this yonge Maiden was
3554   And with this wofull word, "Helas!"
3555   Hise dedli pleintes he began
3556   So stille that ther was noman
3557   It herde, and thanne he seide thus:
3558   "O thou Cupide, o thou Venus,
3559   Fortuned be whos ordinaunce
3560   Of love is every mannes chaunce,
3561   Ye knowen al min hole herte,
3562   That I ne mai your hond asterte;
3563   On you is evere that I crie,
3564   And yit you deigneth noght to plie,
3565   Ne toward me youre Ere encline.
3566   Thus for I se no medicine
3567   To make an ende of mi querele,
3568   My deth schal be in stede of hele.
3569     Ha, thou mi wofull ladi diere,
3570   Which duellest with thi fader hiere
3571   And slepest in thi bedd at ese,
3572   Thou wost nothing of my desese.
3573   Hou thou and I be now unmete.
3574   Ha lord, what swevene schalt thou mete,
3575   What dremes hast thou nou on honde?
3576   Thou slepest there, and I hier stonde.
3577   Thogh I no deth to the deserve,
3578   Hier schal I for thi love sterve,
3579   Hier schal a kinges Sone dye
3580   For love and for no felonie;
3581   Wher thou therof have joie or sorwe,
3582   Hier schalt thou se me ded tomorwe.
3583   O herte hard aboven alle,
3584   This deth, which schal to me befalle
3585   For that thou wolt noght do me grace,
3586   Yit schal be told in many a place,
3587   Hou I am ded for love and trouthe
3588   In thi defalte and in thi slouthe:
3589   Thi Daunger schal to manye mo
3590   Ensample be for everemo,
3591   Whan thei my wofull deth recorde."
3592   And with that word he tok a Corde,
3593   With which upon the gate tre
3594   He hyng himself, that was pite.
3595     The morwe cam, the nyht is gon,
3596   Men comen out and syhe anon
3597   Wher that this yonge lord was ded:
3598   Ther was an hous withoute red,
3599   For noman knew the cause why;
3600   Ther was wepinge and ther was cry.
3601   This Maiden, whan that sche it herde,
3602   And sih this thing hou it misferde,
3603   Anon sche wiste what it mente,
3604   And al the cause hou it wente
3605   To al the world sche tolde it oute,
3606   And preith to hem that were aboute
3607   To take of hire the vengance,
3608   For sche was cause of thilke chaunce,
3609   Why that this kinges Sone is split.
3610   Sche takth upon hirself the gilt,
3611   And is al redi to the peine
3612   Which eny man hir wole ordeigne:
3613   And bot if eny other wolde,
3614   Sche seith that sche hirselve scholde
3615   Do wreche with hire oghne hond,
3616   Thurghout the world in every lond
3617   That every lif therof schal speke,
3618   Hou sche hirself i scholde wreke.
3619   Sche wepth, sche crith, sche swouneth ofte,
3620   Sche caste hire yhen up alofte
3621   And seide among ful pitously:
3622   "A godd, thou wost wel it am I,
3623   For whom Iphis is thus besein:
3624   Ordeine so, that men mai sein
3625   A thousend wynter after this,
3626   Hou such a Maiden dede amis,
3627   And as I dede, do to me:
3628   For I ne dede no pite
3629   To him, which for mi love is lore,
3630   Do no pite to me therfore."
3631   And with this word sche fell to grounde
3632   Aswoune, and ther sche lay a stounde.
3633   The goddes, whiche hir pleigntes herde
3634   And syhe hou wofully sche ferde,
3635   Hire lif thei toke awey anon,
3636   And schopen hire into a Ston
3637   After the forme of hire ymage
3638   Of bodi bothe and of visage.
3639   And for the merveile of this thing
3640   Unto the place cam the king
3641   And ek the queene and manye mo;
3642   And whan thei wisten it was so,
3643   As I have told it heir above,
3644   Hou that Iphis was ded for love,
3645   Of that he hadde be refused,
3646   Thei hielden alle men excused
3647   And wondren upon the vengance.
3648   And forto kepe in remembrance,
3649   This faire ymage mayden liche
3650   With compaignie noble and riche
3651   With torche and gret sollempnite.
3652   To Salamyne the Cite
3653   Thei lede, and carie forth withal
3654   The dede corps, and sein it schal
3655   Beside thilke ymage have
3656   His sepulture and be begrave:
3657   This corps and this ymage thus
3658   Into the Cite to Venus,
3659   Wher that goddesse hire temple hadde,
3660   Togedre bothe tuo thei ladde.
3661   This ilke ymage as for miracle
3662   Was set upon an hyh pinacle,
3663   That alle men it mihte knowe,
3664   And under tht thei maden lowe
3665   A tumbe riche for the nones
3666   Of marbre and ek of jaspre stones,
3667   Wherin this Iphis was beloken,
3668   That evermor it schal be spoken.
3669   And for men schal the sothe wite,
3670   Thei have here epitaphe write,
3671   As thing which scholde abide stable:
3672   The lettres graven in a table
3673   Of marbre were and seiden this:
3674   "Hier lith, which slowh himself, Iphis,
3675   For love of Araxarathen:
3676   And in ensample of tho wommen,
3677   That soffren men to deie so,
3678   Hire forme a man mai sen also,
3679   Hou it is torned fleissh and bon
3680   Into the figure of a Ston:
3681   He was to neysshe and sche to hard.
3682   Be war forthi hierafterward;
3683   Ye men and wommen bothe tuo,
3684   Ensampleth you of that was tho:
3685     Lo thus, mi Sone, as I thee seie,
3686   It grieveth be diverse weie
3687   In desepeir a man to falle,
3688   Which is the laste branche of alle
3689   Of Slouthe, as thou hast herd devise.
3690   Wherof that thou thiself avise
3691   Good is, er that thou be deceived,
3692   Wher that the grace of hope is weyved.
3693     Mi fader, hou so that it stonde,
3694   Now have I pleinly understonde
3695   Of Slouthes court the proprete,
3696   Wherof touchende in my degre
3697   For evere I thenke to be war.
3698   Bot overthis, so as I dar,
3699   With al min herte I you beseche,
3700   That ye me wolde enforme and teche
3701   What ther is more of youre aprise
3702   In love als wel as otherwise,
3703   So that I mai me clene schryve.
3704     Mi Sone, whyl thou art alyve
3705   And hast also thi fulle mynde,
3706   Among the vices whiche I finde
3707   Ther is yit on such of the sevene,
3708   Which al this world hath set unevene
3709   And causeth manye thinges wronge,
3710   Where he the cause hath underfonge:
3711   Wherof hierafter thou schalt hiere
3712   The forme bothe and the matiere.

Explicit Liber Quartus.