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Gift of 

Prof, Raymond Harriman 




€favenion Qpteee ^eviee 



€favenion Qpteee ^eviee 





Oxford UmvEKsmr Press Wabbhousb 
Amen Corner, £.C. 

Slew ^orft 


Cfavenion (}>ve66 ^evtee 











18^ (> 




The present work is iniended as a coniinuadon of my 
First ^Hddh Engluk Primer; it will, I hope, be welcome, 
not only to those who have already worked with the earlier 
book, but also to tbe more numerous class of students who 
simply wish to acquire the power of reading Chaucer at sight 
in such a way as to do full justice to the metre, and at 
the same time to restore, as far as possible, the genuine 
Middle English pronunciation. 

My grammar is based mainly on Ten Brink's Cbtnutrs 
Spraeke und Vcrskuns/, although, as will be seen, I differ 
from him on many questions of pronunciation. As regards 
v;rlu, verlav, &c., I have adopted Henry Nicol's view (Transs 
Phil. Soc. 1877-g, vi), which Ten Brink seems to have over- 
looked. In the treatment of the French elements and the 
vcrsifjcalion I have followed him more closely, as also ia 
ihe infections. 

The phonetic transcriptions added to the Complain/ lo 
Pily and the Prologue may seem loo minute and conjectural. 
But in studying a dead language we must adopt some definite 
pronunciation, and it is surely belter that the beginner should 
liave the benefit of llie knowledge and experience of otliers — 
however imperfect the results may be^lban lint lie should 
be left lo flounder about by himself. Those v.V.q '«a?iL 



difficulty in realising a phonetic notation would do well to 
work through a few pages of my [Primer of Spoken English], 

To avoid clashing with the volumes of Chaucer extracts 
already published by the Clarendon Press, I have followed 
the advice of that old Chaucer hand, Dr. Furnivall, and 
made my selections mainly from the minor poems, adding, 
however, the greater part of the Prologue to the Canterbury 
Tales, together with an abridgment of the Pardoner's Tale, 
so as to complete the view of the development of Chaucer's 
genius in its chief aspects. 

The text of the last two pieces is based on the Ellesmere 
MS., which certainly comes nearer to Chaucer's own language 
than the Harleian ; that of the others on the one-text editions 
of the Chaucer Society. I have made as little alteration as 
possible in the MSS. texts, although metrical considerations 
made an exact reproduction of any one MS. impossible, and 
I have not hesitated to remove distinctly un-Chaucerian 
spellings wherever they seemed likely to confuse the 
beginner. I have not attempted to forestall the inevitable 
German who, it is to be hoped, will some day give us a 
critical edition of Chaucer, but have contented myself with 
attempting to construct a readable, metrical text. Whenever 
I introduce a conjectural reading, which I have frequently 
had to do in the Minor poems, I give the MS. reading at 
the foot of the page. I need scarcely say I have utilised 
Ten Brink's critical editions of the Complaint to Pity and 
the Prologue. 


23 Aug. 1886. 


new ediiion I have been able to utilize Professor 
Skeal's Miiior Poems of Chaucer, and consequcmly am noiT 
able to present a much more salisfactory text of those minor i 
poems included in my seleciion. If, as one might almost infer' 
from Professor Skeal's preface, it was my remark about ' the 
inevitable Cierman ' which induced him to undertake ihis most 
welcome piece of work, I can only say that my little book 
ought to feel itself very much flattered. On the other hand 
I have the pain of knowing that my playful epilhet has given 
offence in some German quarters ; although the majority of' 
German scholars have taken it as it was meant — as a direct 
compliment to German energy, and an indirect reproach to my:i 
own countrymen, 

I am glad to see that my phonetic treatment of Chaucer' 
language has also had a stimulating effect on Professor Skeal 
the result of which is his lately published school edition of th 
Prologiii, which may be cordially recommended to those who-j 
are unalilc to take phonetics except honiccopaihically. 

In the present ediiion I have cut out most of the MS. 
readings, as I consider such details superfluous tn a book of 
this character. I have, of course, carefully revised the 
phonetic notation. I have not added any notes, for which I 
must refer the reader to the ediiions of Professor Skeat. 

■■8 Aov. 1891. 




Grammar i 

Key to Phonetic Transcription . . - . 25 

Texts :— 

I. Complaint to Pity 26 

II. The Former Age 36 

III. Adam Scrivener ^ 3^ 

IV. Truth 39 

V. The Hunt 40 

VI. Parlament of Birds 45 

VI 1. Prologue to the Canterbury Tales • . .71 

VIII. Pardoner's Tale 98 

Glossary 106 



Chaucer was a native oF London, and his dialect is (he 
London dialect of the second lialf of the fourteenth century, 
which was mainly Midland, mixed, however, with some 
Kentish and Somh-Weslern elements. In its grammatical 
forms Chaucer's English is closely allied to that of the 
Ormulum. In its spelling it shows the same French influence 
as the Ancren Riwie, only stronger. The two main changes . 
that took place in the language itself during the fourteenth i 
century were (i) the further loss of grammatical forms, and I 
(a) llie wholesale inlroduclion of French words. 


The chief innovations in spelling that took place in the 
course of the fourteenth century (some of which began 
earlier in some parts of tiic country) were the following. 
The sound of (uu) was represented by the French ( 
keeping its older value of French u, long and short, as also 
that of short (u) in many cases. But as in writing i 
liable to be confused with some other letters, especially n 
and m, the sound of (u) was, according to French usage, j 
eitpressed by o in such words as soiie ' son/ somer, world, 
eBTs-=airs 'curse,' fitc. As i was an ambiguous lellerij"— 
again afier French usage — was substituted for it, etpecially 
when in juxtaposition with u, n, m, as in wytief=ivjves, 
/^m ' fine," and generally at the beginning and end of words. 
Initial u was often written v, as in iinrfcr.'i.wi Sw-'iA i 




often writlen as 3 capital letter. The diphthongs ai 
were often written ay, aw, especially at the end of word% ffl 
before a vowel, as in say, lawe, w was also written for A 
such words as narw, iorw/ul, on ihe analogy of nanve (plUl 
and sorwe, where it represented the cons. w. In the con- 
sonants S was completely, and p and j almost completely 
disused, sck being also gradually supplanted by sh. f was 
no longer allowed lo represent the sound off. y was used 
as a consonant instead of palatal 3. 

In the spelling used in this book, which is in most cases 
that of the EUesmere MS. of the Canterbury Tales, the 
following letters and digraphs (denoting simple sounds) 
occur: a, b, c, d, e,/,g, h, i, ie,j, k, /, m, n, o,p,pk, q{u\ r, 
J, /, tk, u, V, TV, x,y, z. In the MSS. j hardly ever occurs, 
being usually written (' or /, or expressed by j, and u and v are 
used to express both the vowel and the consonant ; in this book 
i' and j, u and v are distinguished as in the present spelling. 
The long vowels are often denoted by doubling, especially 
in monosyllables, and when final; but i and u are never 
doubled, because of the graphic confusions [hat would arise. 
In this book diacritical marks have been added to some of 
the letters to distinguish their sounds, giving the following 
additional letters : i, g, S, p, ii, u, long vowels being marked 
("), unless already doubled in the MSS. Silent letters we 
put in italics. 

The following table shows the probable pronunciation of 
the vowels and diphliiongs, with approximate key-words : — 
a (a) man as in nha ! 

fi (aa) name „ aim I 

ai, ay (ai) day „ m("ne. 

an, aw (au) cause „ ha«s C 









F fl. ie, ye 


he, meschief 


1 9 




1 ei.ey 




1 ei.ey 




1 ?i.§y 




■ fin,u 


neive, vertii 

=e + u. ^H 

























on, 6u/ loiig. ^H 

oi, oy 








on, ow 










yong, narw 

S0H /*. ^H 




math G. ^H 







=wideo/F.a. ^H 



Qsen, fruit 

= kngF.^. ^M 


sronunciation of the ' \ 


in Ma/Rf, &c., is i]n-^^| 


»nd it is 

safest to pronounce 

it like the e of men; 


between the e 


her and that of /jA«. 

^^^^^ben -es rhymes 

on ys, &c., 

t mus 

, of course, be pro- 




^^^Ke dlBlincIion betweea «, H. p U 

ot qait 

orliin, xnd il ii posstti^H 


wete 111 levelled andet the first. 

So .!»> with ^, c", toj^H 

^^^K ««.(>«. 


^^^^Hfae diitiiictioii of Dariow and wide i 

a \rftiie& \\o«i ■^'soB^^^H 



B. 1 



^^^^ tra 



transcriptioDB of Che beginning of the sixteenth ccntuiy — the Welsh )t_ 
the Viigin (in Trans. PhiL Soc. 188D-1) being apparently still olde 
wblchwiiiet is identical wilb the Welsh ^. These transcriptionE show 
rrow, ■= (i), before [he boclt conss. k, g, ij (as !n iib^') and 
before fi. and when final, and was wide, =((), elsewhere. Hence we may 
with same confidence assume that in Chaucer's pronunciation the 1 was 
narrow in such words as Ihikke, six, 6ig, tyrtg, nyghl, many, and pro- 
bably also .io ench a word 03 piUc, where an untiocented j is followed 
by a cons, brginning an accented syllable : and that it was wide in such 
words as wUU, is, si'l/en, SHOSiri. There Is do direct evidence of a 
parallel distinction in h and u, but these vowels do doubt followed the 
same law as i. 

The distinclion between ai and rf, as in rfoy and wey, was probably 
slill kept up in Chaucer's prnnuncktion, but the two diphthongs were 
beginning Co be confused, probably through the a of ai being rnodificd 
nearly to the sound of onr vowel in man. 

e and e w:ere probably protiouiit-ed very close, approiimating to 
f and i) respectively. 

Ho^t, &C., is often written neiighl; the former spelling is adopted 
here to prevent confusion with ou ^ (nu), this diphthong pu only 
occurring before^. 

As regards the consonants, it is necessary to pronounce 
F the doubled ones really double, sSnne 'sun' as in 'penknife' 
not as in ' penny.' So also in alls, siittn. ssh between 
vowels, as m.freishi, seems to mean (JJ), but the doubling of 
the J when the sh is final, as in fissh, was umneaning. The 
doubled cons, in French words were often pronounced single, 
especially in unaccented syllables, as in lirannyt ; also // in 
such words as boilkn. 

it of the consonants were pronounced .as in ihe present 
lEnglish. c had the two sounds of (k) and (s) as at present, 
■and was silent in the combination u in such words as 
■jf7>«ff, consa'eiicf. In all cases where ^ had ihe 'soft' sound 
■(dg) it is marked^ in this boolc. g in tig seems to have 
(been always distinctly sounded ; as it still is in such words , 
Double gg, as in egge 'edge 
1 being =(iif), as in cacchen ' catt 


h was silent in honest, honour, humble and some Oilier 1 
French words, just as il is in the present English. It was f 
furlher dropped in unaccented wortls, such as he, hath, how, 
ihese words keeping the h when emphatic and accented. 

r was always a strong trill, as in Scolch. 

The vowel (*, y was often pronounced as the cons 
when preceded by certain conss., especially /, «, j, a 
followed by a vowel, as in many a man, g!i>rie, famUUer, 
cmdicioun, such a word as the last having in poetry soilie- 
times four, sometimes only three syllables, // in French 
words, such as boillen, vilaiUe, was perhaps sometimes pro- 
nounced ly{y cons.) but it was generally = simple /. French 
gn, as in compaignye, Bohigne, was perhaps sometimes pro- 
nounced Jiy (y cons,), but in familiar pronunciation it was= 
simple «, preceded either by a diphthong, as in the two 
instances just cited, or by a long vowel, as in j(^w=(siine), 
dignilee =(diinitee). 

gh had two distinct pronunciations. After the front vowels I 
t, i'V. had the sound of German ch in ich, as in strdght, high, 
bryghl. This front gh was vocalized into consonantal y 
before a vowel, and then generally dropt, as in the plural hye. 
The other gh had the sound of German ch in auch,-=\S\fi 
German ch in ach rounded. Hence it is always preceded 
either by (uu), as in ynoiigh, plough, or by u forming the 
second element of a diphthong. This u is always written 
after a, as in laughle, laughter, while after o it is sometimes 
written, sometimes left to be inferred from the following gh, 
ss in trogh, trough, ihoghte, Ihoughle. This gh was often 
dropped before a vowel, especially after (uu), as in the plural 

s had the Iwo sounds (s) and (z), as in the present English. 
Bui final s was always (s) not only in such words as pen 
the present /c«f(*, but also in his, was, &.c. 

So also finaiy was always (f) in of, yof=\\-i& presentS 

.s well as in sla/=s/aff. 
Ih always had the sound of (]>), not only in such worda q 
&itig, but also in the, this, Ihtn, &c. In foreign words, s 
apolhcuTie, it probably had the sound of /, especialtjf^ 
■[proper names. 

J and Ih were voiced (z, t5) between vowels or vowels t 
I voiced consonants, as in kotists i^MMnes)^ houses and h 
\ trthe ' earth.' 

a general rule every wrilten consonant must be [ 
I flounced. This applies especially to liie & in /«-, and ll 

There are three main degrees of slress or accent : 
" lialf-stroiig, and weak. In such a word as mar/}irtiDm A 
first syllable is strong, the second weak, the last half-stra 
Jn the texts we mark strong slress by (■) at ihe bejjinning fl 
the syllable when necessary. In poetry the stiong and li^ 
strong stresses were allowed lo chinge places where tbis was 
required by the metre, so thai marlyrdbm coiild be pro- 
nounced with the strong slress on the last syllabi-'. So also 
crialurc in poetry may have the strong slress eiiher on the 
t or the third syllable, the second and founh being always 
I weak. Other examples are rfsoun, naliire. The |x)pular 
I tendency in these words was no dotilil to throw the siress 
[ back as much as possible. Even weak sjllables lake 
' the strong stress away from an adjoining stiong syllable 
in poetry. Such weak syllables are called accentuable. 
Final e, as in name, is never accentuable. Examples of 
accentuable weak syllables are afforded by the second 
syllables of wSi-ihy, iyig}itge, frindshipi. Siress-shiftinffi 
|to a naturally weak syllable at the beginning of a line \ 


Weal pause (caesura) should be softened down as much as 
possible by giving the two syllables a nearly equal stress, as 
in Pity 59 shgunlh, Prol. 125 after. Stress-shifting on to the 
rhyme-syllable must, of course, be marked by a more emphatic 
stress, as in Pity 32 zSdeynly. These are the three places in 
which stress-shifting is most frequent. 



The most important change that took place in the fourteenth 
century was the lengthening of accented short vowels before a 
single consonant followed by a vowel, as in name, $ten, by/gre. 
I and u, however, were not lengthened : wrilen, sone. 
Monosyllables generally kept their short vowels, which are 
lengthened when a vowel is added in inflection or otherwise : 
smal, plur. smaU, bath, plur, bathes, hathen verb. If the cons, 
is doubled when a vowel is added, there is, of course, no 
lengthening of the preceding vowel : al, plur. alls. 

r, /, n in a following syllable seem often to have kept 
vowels short, as m fader ^ fader, keven, hp)en, as also_>' : many, 

Long vowels irere probably moie or less ghorteaed whm nnaccented, 
•1 in have when osed as on aaxilUiy, or otherwise made unemphalic. 

Accented vowels were lengthened before ng-, nd, mb, as in 
Igng, hlynd, clymben, except that (' and u were short before ng: 
syngen, sSngen ptc. 

The distinction between close and open e and /, and s is 
most easily learnt from the present spelling, in which, s 
general rule, the close vowels are repcescukR4 Vv^ ti.U^o 

in see, feel, field, loo, wij(7«= Chaucerian sen, fihn, 0d, l!Sj 
vwne, the open by e, ea, o, oa, oe, as in rede, sea, sloae, broa 
y(ic= Chaucerian rid, sg, sign, brgd, fg. Nole, too, that i 
pronounced (uu) in the present English, g being pronounce 

In wha, hvS, womb the o has developed out of older g b^tl 
the influence of the w. 

Close and open i and 5 are generally separated in rhyni 
except finally, where e is allowed to rhyme on {, and d oa g 
because otherwise there would not be rhymes enough. ThlH 
si can rhyme on. slf ' slay,' Iwo on sg, &c. 

Older ogA regularly becomes ougA, as in plough, jmoiig 

Old-English y is generally represented by the Midland il 
as in bisy, sj'ime, but also by the South-East- Midland a 
Kentish e, as in 6ety=bisy, lessen, and further by the WesW 
Saxon tf, as in bSsy, Caunterbilry. 

The French it was regularly diphthongized into eu whe 
final or followed by a vowel, which pronunciation is 1 
written li, as in verlii, eriiil, Tlie latter word is, 
often written crewel. 


Double consonants are written single when final, thus to the 
plur. alle corresponds al in the sing. Conss. that were origi- 
nally single are doubled between vowels in some words : God, 
gen. Goddes, shift, plur, shippes. 

Final unaccented n is often dropped in inflections, such 
as the infinitive bynde{n), pret. pi, herdein), and in derivate 
syllables, as in o/leln). In the following frequent, mostly 
unemphatic words, it is regularly dropped before consonants 
(except h), and kept before vowels and h : gn, an, myn, Ihyn, 
So also frg is generally used instead of from before c 
sonants. The « of on is dropt in o to/l ' aloft.' 


Unaccented e. 

The unaccented e in such words as name, grine Ipes, was 
still pronounced in Chaucer's time, but was beginning lo 
drop out. Hence, a!thou_gh generally preserved strictly in 
rhyme, it is often dropped in the body of the verse whenever 
it suits ihe metre. It was, besides, more or less regularly 
dropped in accordance with certain laws. In this book the 
silent « are put in italics. , 

The most important of these laws is, that two ' weak ' (com- 
pletely unaccented) rs were, as a general rule, not allowed 
in two successive syllables, one of them being consequently 
dropped. Thusy^/AKr has plur._/i-/Aerr;j, often written _/?Mrw, 
fvtre was pronounced either pire o\p>tr, never as a irissyllable. 
Even after a half-strong syllable there was a tendency lo drop 
a weak e. In this way the dropping of a tinal e often depends 
on the position of the accent; thus, when such words a 
naliire, manere retain their French accent on the middle 
syllable, the final e is always kept, but when the accent ia 
thrown back to the first syllable, it is regularly dropped. 

There was also a tendency to drop weak e in subordinate 
words, such as hire, thisi ' these,' wire, be/jire ; in these 
words, indeed, and in some others, it is always silent. It is 
kept in writing, partly because it was probably sounded ii 
the emphatic pronunciation of these words, partly because 
it in some cases was a guide to the pronunciation. Thus 
the final e of Ihi'se shows that it was pronounced (Jj/'z), and ' 
so distinguishes it from the sing. lkis=:{^is). 

There is also a strong tendency to drop final e in such 
words as sSne ' son,' wBne ' habit,' and in participles such a 
write, r-ffme, which have dropped their final n^that is, after a 
single cons, preceded by short t or u. But these es seem to 
have been kept in rhyme. 

Thii was probably Che result of an imcQa»titfa°, 6e^ni \ 



to b« in (he miaoiity. 

Some words, lastly, had originally two forms, one withal 
the other without a final e ; such words are Aire, hir, aii4J| 

Other weak vowels besides e are dropt in some i 
Thus the u m Jerusalem was silent, /Aa/ is was contracted^ 
into Ihal's, Ihis is into thi£. 

In verse, a final weak t was regularly dropt before aQOtbacI 
vowel beginning the next word, and, of course, before silent I 
h, whether in such French words as hilmbh, or in unemphatic I 
words such as his, or in unaccented syllables, as in harntyiA 
when the stress is on the last syllable. Hiatus was (reely I 
allowed after Ihe, and ne-=' neither,' but not after iie=.' not,' 
nor generally in other words, except after a pause. 

Other vowels were occasionally elided in verse before »J 
vowel, especially those of me, the, lo, as in m'awrike, iah^dat,^ 



The only regular inllections are the -is of the genitive 

singular, and of the plur., in which the gen. is the same as 

the ' common ' case (nominative). Substantives with irregular 

plurals form the gen. piur, by adding es to the common cas 

Sing. Com. foul ' bird ' man 

Gen. foules mannes 

Plur. Com. foules men 
Gen. foules 

When -es rhymes aays &c., it is often written -ys. 

The e is often dropped when an unaccented syllable pr^ 


■ cedes, as in hevtnes,/aders (also Jadres), ladjes, ladys, after" 
vowels, as in y^s, and in French words, such as servaunh, 
often written jervaun/s. peny has plur./isaj. 

Origmally feminine nouns, such as lady, chirche, often keep 
their old genitive, which in these words is the same as the 
common case : his lady grdee, the chirche dgre. Names 
ending in s are often uninflectcd in the gen., such as Troilus, 
Venus, So also heritage, and some other French words. All 
native subst. ending in s, /, Ih vocalize these conss. into (2, 
%, v) hefore -ts : wyf, gen. and plur. wyves. 

The following substantives are invariable in the plural : 1 
folk, hors, kyn, moTiPe, nil, ' cattle,' njyA/, pound, ship, stvyn, , 
Ihyng, winter,yir. But the regular plurals monpes, thynget, 
yiris also occur. /5l as a measure is invariable in the pitir. 
French words ending in hisses are often invariable in the 
pkr. :,.-,, .,„(„). 

The following show vowel-change ; man, men ; v:Smman, 
wSmmen\fol,fet\ gds.ges; loth, t.lh. 

The following form their plurals in -{f)n: asshe; doghkr \ 
{doghlren), /q (y5>«), hgse, oxe, sha (shon), suster {susfren),yt 1 
' eye.' The regular plurals shSs, suslres also occur, brolher j 
has plur. brethren, and child has plural children, 


Adjectives have a strong and a weak form, which laiteir 

is formed by adding f, and a plur. formed also in e : 

SlTong Sing, god Weak Sing, gode 

Strong Plur. gode Weak Plur. gode 

The weak form is used after the definite article ; theySngt 

sSmie, and other demonstratives : this ilke monk ' lijii 

monk,' possessive pronouns: my swgrne brother, an 

vocative ; live Irither 1 But if an attribuiwft aA^iswi' 



after its subst. it keeps the strong form : on the morwe grey^ 
now IMy hryghi \ 

Adjectives in -^, such as newt, are of course invariable, as 
also are such dissyllabic adjectives as cursed^ honest. 

The comparative ends in --er (invariable), and the superla- 
tive in -«/, which is declinable, gr^i com^2se,^ gntier^ greiiest. 
The following are irregular : 

gld elder 

god better 

§vel werse 

muche(l) mgre 

lltel lasse 

Igng lenger 
m2re has plur. mg% 









1 9^,9 

2 two, tweye, tweyne 

3 thre 

4 foure 

5 fyf, fyve 

6 six, sixe 

7 sev^ne 

8 eighte 

9 nyn^ 
ID ten 

11 elev«ie 

1 2 twelf, twelve 

13 threttene 

14 fourtene 

15 fifteae 



other, secounde 








16 sixtene 

17 seventene 

18 eightetene 

19 nynrtene 

20 twenty 
30 thritty 
40 fourty 

100 hondred 
1000 thousand. 

The fuller ioxxn^ Jyve^ &c. are generally used when the 
numeral stands alone, or is put after its substantive. 


The personal pronouns have two cases, nominative and 
objective, and are declined thus : — 



I thou 


me the 



we ye 


us you 


Masc. Neut 



he (h)it 



hym (h)it 



Nom. they 

Obj. hem 

I is really the unaccented form of ich^ but this fuller form 
is rarely used by Chaucer. 

^^^^1 Ihou is sometimes run on to a preceding verb, ^ in shal^^^L 

^^^^P The plur. ye, you is often used as a sing, in respect^^H 
^^^Eddress. ^^| 

' The re&ezive pronoun is often the simple pronoun, but 

generally sel/{selven. sdve) is added : my-sfl/, Ihy-sf!/, /lym-sel/ 
(masc. and neut.), hirs-sel/, oure'Se!/,youre-sel/, hem-stlf. 

The posBOBsiTes are myitC), Ihyiti), his masc. and neut, 
hire, oure,youre, hers. 

tltyn and Ihyn drop their final n before conss. except h, 
keeping il when ihey follow their subst. ; Grisilde mynl 
They have plur, myne, ihynt, as \n children myne\ when they 
precede their subst. the piur. in t only appears before a 
vowel, where it is, of course, elided, as in mfne yen. The 
plur. of his is often written hise, but the e is never sounded. 

The absolute (predicative) forms of the possessive pronouns 
are: myn, ihyn, Ms, hires, cures, youres, heres. ^^H 

The old indefinite me ' one ' still survives, but men ' m^^^f 
is generally substituted for it, as in Prol. 149. ^^^h 

DemonBtratiTSS. //laf, plur. /hg. ihis, plur, thise. that 
is used in the sense of ' the ' in thai ilke " the same '■=ihilkt 
(for the ilke). tike ' same,' ihis ilke, &c. The definite article 
/he is indeclinable, swici, such, has plur. swiche adjectival, 
STuiirAe substantival. 

Interpogativea. Nom. whd. Obi. whom, Possessive whds. 
w/iich, plur, whiche. vjhethir, ' which of two f '■ As a con- 
junction whether is often contracted into whfr. 

Belatives. which is sometimes used as a gen., as in 
Prol, 4 : iif which verlu, ' from whose virtue.' the which, 
who and thai are also used as relatives, as also the com- 
pounds which-that, the which-that, thai-he, thal-his, Ihal- 
I him. Sec. 

Indefinites, prt, ngn, any. sSm, plur. sSm^. sSm-whal. otlA 

VERBS. 15 

SIhres, plur. olhre. al. plur. ai/e, al being generally used as a 
plur. before ihe def. article, demonstratives, and possessives : 
al Ihe wordes, al thy frendes. al also preserves the old strong 
gen. plur, in combinations such as her^ aller cappe (Prol. 
586), alder-best 'best of all.' eyther, neylher, gen. eylkeres, 
neythsres. £ck, dat. /cAe. iverick'^n, many, plur. maity, 
many i[ti). augkl, oghl. naught, noghl. 


There are two classes of verbs, strong and weak, the former 
conjugated by means of vowel-change in the root, the latter 
by the addition of d (/). 

The following paradigm of the strong verb bynden will 
show the general scheme of endings : 


bynd-e bynd-e 

bynd-est bynd-e 

bynd-e lb bynd-e 

bynd-e(n) bynd-e(n) 

. bgnd bound-e 

;. bounde; bpnd bound-e 

3. bgnd bound-e 

plur. bounde(n) ; bgnd bounde(n) 

Imptr. sing, bynd ; plur. bynde(th), bynd. Infin. bynde(n), 
Parl.pres. bynd-ynge ; pret. {y)bounde(n). 

Some verbs have a gerund in -ne, which often drops the e, 
and is thus confused with the infinitive : to donie), to seyni/) 

Ii will be observed that there is a tendency to extend the 
singular forms to the plur., especially in the pret. indie, and 
imperative. The tendency to drop final n also helps to level 
the endings, especially in the whole of the subjunctive, The 
only fixed endings are -e, -est, -elh, -ynge. 


Pres. sing. 1 

Pret. ling. 1 



In these the 2nd sing. pret. indie, and the whole pret. 
subj. originally always had the vowel of the pret. plur. indie. : 
ihou bounde^ if he hounde^ &c., agreeing with we hounden ; but 
in most verbs the 2nd sing. pret. indie, is levelled under the 
two other persons of the sing. : thou drank instead of thou 
dronke. The e of the 2nd sing. pret. indie, is not sounded 
except in verbs of the 3rd conjugation. 

The endings -«/ and -eth often drop their vowel : lyest and 
lytsty cbmeth and cdmth, -(d)deth and '{t)teth when contracted 
become -/, long vowels being shortened : slideih^ slit ; biddeth 
bit\ fyndeth, Jynt\ btteth, bit ; m§teth 'dreams/ met, -seth 
becomes -j/, with vowel-shortening : nseth, rist. 

The -en of the infin. drops its e in some verbs, especially 
those ending in a vowel : sen ' see,' s/^n * slay.' 

The -en of the part. pret. often does the same, especially 
after vowels and r, </ : s/qyn, bprn, st^In, It often drops its «, 
especially when 1 or u precedes, in whidh case the e is also 
dropt, though kept in writing : cdme, drive. The part. pret. 
often, though not necessarily, takes the prefix j/. 

The following are the chief strong verbs. * Weak ' forms 
are marked with a star. 

I. * Fall '-ooiijugation. 








* P. F. 397. 



fel, fil 


welk^ *walked^ 




slep, *slepte 

wep, *wepte 


• Imper. /f/, tat. 

* (,". 














hgte {be called) 

het, *hight< 

5 S *hette ^ 








II. ' Shake '■ 



— ~ 































, slow 








waxe, wexe 




III. * Bind ' 








fgnd ; 

pi A 






wgnd ; 







\ clomben' 

' clomben 


^ Alto nsed as a pres., especially in the shorter form hight* 
' P. P. 436. » Also doumben (?). 






rgng ; pL rongen 



sgng ; //. songen 



sprgng; //. sprongen 



stgng ; //. stongen 



thrgng; //. throngen 



wrgng; //. wrSngen 



drank ; //. dronken 



sank ; //. sonken 





stank ; //. stonken 


swynke {labour) 



-gan ; pL -gonnen 



wan ; //. wonnen 



swam ; //. swommen 



ran ; //. ronnen 



karf ; //. korven 


sterve (die) 

starf ; //. storven 




halp ; //. holpen 







breste {burs/) 

brast ; //. brosten 



faught ; //. foghten 


IV. ^ Bear '-oonjugation* 


bar, ber 




brgken * 





spak ; //. speken 















n^me {tak^ 

waf wQven 

— wrgken, wr^ken 

cam, com ; //. camen comen 

nam, nom nomen 

V. * Give '-conjugation. 


et ; //. eten 





m^te {measure) 







sat, set 






lay ; //. leyen 



say, saugh 

seyen, sene 


quoth, quod 


. ^ Shine '-conjugatici] 


agrise {be terrified) 














gnide (r«3) 




rgd ; pL riden 


ryve {tear) 






















wrgt ; //. writen 
c 2 





* Choose '-conjugation. 

chese {choose) 

ch§s ; pJ. chgsen 






cr§p ; *crepte ; //. crgpen crgpen 

lese (loose) 


l9r(e)n, *lost 

shete (shoot) 



— • 


louke (lock) 



flye, fle (fly) 

fleighjfley; pL^gyren 


file (flee) 

fleigh, fley, *fledde 

drye (suffer) 

//. dryen * 


bede (bid) 



bede owes its 

1 pret.* bad to confusion with bidden (conj. 5] 



There are two conjugations of weak verbs : (i) those 
with pret. in -de {-fe) ; (3) those with pret. in -ede {-ed). 





Pres. sing. 

I. her-e 


2. her-est 


3. her-eth 




her-e (n) 

Pret. sing. 

I. herd-e 


2. herd-est 


3. herd-e 




herd-e (n) 

Imper, sing, hei (e) ; plur, her-eth, her(e). Infin, here(n). 
Part, pres, her-ynge ; pret, (y)herd. 

» P. F. 251. 


The endings -«/ and -eth are contracted as in the strong 
verbs : sdlelh, set, etc. 

The d of the pret. and part. pret. becomes / after l,p, s,/: 
grelen,grelle; kepai, kepte; kissen, kisle; l^ven, lafle. Final 
~U in the part. pret. is written -/ ; -rdd, -Idd-, -tidd- become 
-ri; -It-, -III- respectively: girdt, grr/e, girt; btlde, bdtf, 
iili; wmdt, wenle, went, -de, -d also become -le, -t after 
simple /(/), n{n)-. J'ileti,/elle; dwdlm, dwells; mpien, mente; 
brennen ' burn,' brenie. -thd- becomes dd in kllhea ' make 
known,' kidde, kid (part, also kllhe^. 

Many verbs shorten long vowels in the pret and parL 
pret.: Hire, herde, herd; felen, Jelte; melen, nutle; winen 
' think,' wmde. 

The following change g to a in the pret. and part pret.: 
drfden, dradde; liden, ladde; l^vcn, lafle', r^den 'advise,' 
^ KsA' radde ; rpm, rafle; spr^den, spradde. cl^ithen has 
cladde, dad, but also elgthed. 

The following show consonantal irregularities; 

drenchen, dreynle. quemhen, queynle. sprengen ' sprinkle,' 

brifigen, br^hlt. bym, beyen ' buy,' boghii. cacchen, eaugkte, 
Ttcehen ' care,' roghle. rgchen ' reach,' raughte. seketi, sechen, 
soghte. thrlkm, shrighU {skrikede). sirecchen, slraughte. 
tgehen, iaughte, thenken, thtncken ' think,' tlwghle. thynkeii 
' seem,' thoghle. werken, wroghle. 

/iCehen' itic'tx,' /etle. 

Conjugation II. 


Pres. siiig. i. 16v-e 
2. 16v-est 




plur. I6v-e(n) 


PreL sing. i. 16v-ed^ 16v-ed^ 

2. lov-edest 16v-ede(st) 

3. lov-edtf lov-edtf 
plur. 16v-ed(en) 16v-ed(en) 

Imper. sing. 16v-e ; plur. lov-eth. Infin. 16v-e(n). 

Part. pres. lov-ynge ; pret. (y)l6v-(e)d. 

The full ending -eden of the pret. is rare. 

The pret. is often contracted to l&otde. 

The shortened part. pret. is rare, except in French verbs 
with the stress on the first syllable: armed, ypunisshed=^{'\fi). 
Not in caried, studied &c. 

mdken has pret. mdkede, made, part. pret. ymdd. 

qulten * requite ' has part. pret. quit. 



Pres, sing. 1. can conne 

2. canst conne 

3. can conne 
plur. c6nne(n); can c6nne(n) 

Pret. kouthe, koude. Infin. c6nne(n). 

So also : 

ddr, darst'y dorste. 

may, myght (mays/), pi. mowe{n). Pres. subj. mmve. Pret. 

mot * must/ most, mo ten ; moste, 

gwe gwest, gweth ', oghte. 

shal, shall, shullen, shul[en)\ sholde. 

wgt * know/ wgst, wtte(n). Imper. wile. Pret. wiste. Inf. 
witen. Partt. witynge, wist. 

VERBS. 23 

A similar verb is 

zvtly wdi, wil/, wol/j wil{en)j wdl{en). Subj. tvtle, wdlle, 
Pret. woide. Part. Pret. wold. So also nyl * will not/ pret 


am, arty is ; plur. be(n)^ rarely ar(f^. Subj. 3^. Pret. waSy 
w/re, Wiw, W£re{n), Subj. pret. ze;/re. Imper. ^^; de/h. 
In fin. ^^«). Part. be-ynge\ de{n). So also ««/» *am not,' 
mSy nas, n^re. 

have, have, hast, hath, plur. hdve{n), hdn, han. 2nd pers. 
plur. also hdveth. Pret. hadde, hade. Part. pret. had, 

do, dost, doth, don, Subj. ^J. Yxt\.,dide, Imper. do\ doth, 
Infin. dd{^. Gerund to done, Partt. doynge ; dd(n), 

gQy ^M gQ^^i gM- I^ret. wente,yede. Inf. ^X^). Partt. 


For the vowels see p. 2. 

The only consonant-symbols that require explanation are : 

q as in ick G. 







2L\xch G. 

The stress is marked as follows : 

The first syllable of a group is strong (s.) when no mark 
is prefixed ; if ( - ) is prefixed, it is weak (w.) ; if ( ; ) is pre- 
fixed, it is extra strong (es.). Unmarked syllables which do not 
begin a group are weak. Half-strong (hs.) stress is marked ( : ). 

The following, therefore, is the accentuation of the first line 
of the Complaint to Pity : 

w. es. w.hs.w. s. hs. s.w. s. 
-pi ;tee -f>at:iiav souxt :so jora go. 



1. Pite that i hav^ soght sg yQve aggg, 
with herte ^QQie and ful of besy peyne, 
that in this world was n^ver wight sg wgg, 
withoute d^th — and yf i shal nat fejrne, 

my purpos was to Pite to c6mpleyne 5 

upon the cnieltee and tiranwye 

of L6v^, that for my trouthe doth me dye. 

2. And whan that I, by lengths of certeyn y^res, 
hadd^ ^v^^-in-ggn a tf me soght to sp§ke, 

to Pitee ran I, al bespreynt with t^res, lo 

to preyen hir on cruelte m^ awr^ke; 
but §r i myght with any word outbroke, 
or tellen any of my peynes smerte, 
i fgnd hir d^d and btiried in an herte. 

3. Adoun i fel, whan that i saugh the herse, 15 
d^d as stgn, whil that the swough me laste; 

but up 1 rggs with colour ful dyverse, 

and pitously on hir myn yen caste, 

and n^r the cors i gan to pr^sen faste, 

and for the sguk i shop me for to preye: ao 

i nas but Igrn — th§r was ng mgr^ to seye. 


1. -pi ;tee -)>at:iiav souxt :sd jora go, 
-w/]? herte sor -and fwllof bezi peine, 
-]?at:/nj>/*s wi/rld -was n£ver:wigt:so wo, 
-w^tSiuute d£}) and:/fii:Jalnat feine, 

-mii pwrpos:was -too piteetooki/m pleine 5 

-u:pon)>e:kreeuel teeand:t/ra niie 

-of 'Imv -))at:formii trooutSe doo))mee diie. 

2. -and: whan J>at:ii, -bii legSof sertein jsres, 
-hadiEvn'n on -a tiime souxttoo spske, 

-too pitee ranii, albe spreintw/*}? tsres, 10 

-too preienh/r -on:kreeuel teema wrske; 
-b«t Eriiimigtw^*}? ani woorduut brske, 
-or tellen:ani -ofmii peines smerte, 
-ii fondh/r dsd -and byrjedman herte. 

3. -a duunii fel, -whan:)>atii sauxj>e herse, 15 
;d££das ston, :whiil:)7at]7e swuuxmee laste; 

-huX. «pii ros, -w^"]? kuluurifdldi verse, 

-and p/tuusli -on h/rmiin iien kaste, 

-and:n£rf>e kors -ii:gantoo prssen faste, 

-and:for]?e soul -ii:Joopmeefortoo preie: ao 

-ii:nasb»t lom ]?£r:was:no mortoo sele. 

4. Thus am I slayn, sith that Pite is d^d. 
Al/as that day, that ^v^r hyt sholde fallel 
what maner man dar now hgld^ up his h^d? 

to whom shal any sorwful herte calle? ' 35 

now Cruelte hath cast t5 slg^n us alle, 

in ydel hgp^, folk r§del§s of peyne — 

syth she is d§d, to whom shul we compleyne? 

5. But yet encr^seth me this wonder newe, 

that ng wight wgpt that she is d^d but i, 30 

SQ many men as in her tym# hir knewe; 

and yet she dyed noght sq sodeynly; 

for i hav^ soght hir ay ful besyly 

sith first i hadde wit or mannes mynde; 

but she was d^d ^r that 1 koud^ hir fynde. 35 

6. About^ hir hers^ th^r^ stoden lustyly 
withouten any wqq, as thoghte me, 
Bounte par'fyt, wel arm^ and richely, 
and fresshe Beaule, Lust, and Jolyte, 

fls^Qred Maner, Youths, and ZToneste, 40 

Wis'dom, Estaat, and Dr^d, and Govemaunce, 
confedred bgth^ by bgnd and al/iaunce. 

7. A compleynt had 1, writen, in myn hgnd^ 
for Xb han put to Pitee as a biUe, 

but whan i al this company^ th^r fgnd, 45 

that rather wolden al my cause spille 
than do me help^, i held my pleynte stille; 
lor to that folk, withouten any fayle, 
withoute Pitee may np bilk availe. 

33. hir ever. 


:])Ks:amii slain -sipijiaipi lee/s litd. 
-a las[)al dai, -f)at svihjijolde Tallel 
;what:maner man idaar nuu:hjld «p(S htd? 
-loo whoomjahani sor(u)r«I herle kaile ? 
:nuu;kreeue! lee -haf) kasltoo slfiins alle, 
-in iidel hap, ifolk rtdeltsof peine — 
-Sf'Jj /eeis dtd, -loo whomj/zliweekritn pleire 

-b«t.jeten krEse]):niee)?is wrmder neeue, 
-)?at nawi^t wDt -]Jat:Jee)B dtdturt ii, 
-E3 man! men -as;iner liunir kneeue; 
-andijeljee diied:nouxt:s3 sadeinlii; 
-for;iiav souxUt ai -UA bezilii, 
-EjJ);r(rstiiihadde W(t -or mannea miinde ; 
-but:J'eewas dtd :£r:]^alii:kuiidi'r £inde. 

-a:buut;r hers -\t! sLooden IftSLJli 
-wiS:uulen:ani wo, -as [jouxle mee, 
buun teeipar Ik, :weel aniid -and riijeli, 
-and freJJ"e beeulee, l«st ■and;d2oli tee, 
-a syjTed maner, juuB -andonea lee, 
wi'z doom -es laat -and drjd -andrgaver i 
-kon fedred:b3Sbu b3ndaiid:ali aunse. 

-a kwmpleint;hadii wrrten -I'nmiin hand, 
-for;toohan paltoo pilee -asa b/llc, 
-bul:whanii alj)i*s:k«nipa nii):Er fDud, 
-^at raaSerwolden almii kauze spi'lle 
-ihanidoomee help, -iiiheeldmii pleinte si/lie; 
-ror:loo|ja[ folk, -w7f:uulenani faile, 
HitSiuuie ;pilee :n:iai;n.3 billa raile, 

30 TEXTS. 

8. Than l^v^ I al this^ vertii^ sav^ Pite, 50 

kep'yng^ the cors, as ye hav^ herd me seyn, 
confed^red all^ by bgnd of cruelte, 
and ben assented that 1 shal be.sleyn; 
and i hav^ put my compleynt up ageyn, 
for to my fggs ray bill^ i dar nat sh^we, 55 

th' ef^ct of which seith thus in wordes figwe: 

9. Z?tim*blest of hert^, hy*est of reverence, 
beny^e flour, coroun^ of Vertiks alle, 
shgweth unto your^ rial exrel/ence 

your^ servaunt, yf i dorste me sg calle, 60 

hys mortal harm in which he is yfalle, 
and noght al 9Qnly for his §vd fare, 
but for your Tenoun, as he shal declare. 

10. Hit stgndeth thus: your^ contrair^, Crueltee, 
al^ed is agayn your regalye, 65 
un'der colour of womanly be^ute — 

for men [ne] shold^ nat kngw^ hir tiranwye — 

with Bounte, Gentiless^, and Curteisye, 

and hath depryved 'yow now of your place, 

that hyght 'Be^ute apertenaunt to Grace/ 70 

11. For kynd^ly, by your^ Aerytag^ aryght, 
ye ben annexed §v^r unto Bounte ; 
and verrayly ye oghte do your^ myght, 
to helpe Trouth^ in his adversyte; 

ye ben alsg the coroun^ of Beaute: 75 

and certes, yf ye wanten in this^ tweyne, 
the world is Igr^ — lh§r is ng mgr^ to seyne. 


-J;an Itvii zVpit verteeus saavpi tee, 

kee pii)gf>e kors, -as;jeeav herdmee sein, 

-kon fedred ai -bii b3ndof;kreeuel tee, 

-and:beena sented :^adi:Jalbee slein; 

-andaiav pntmit kumpleint upa gein, 

-fontoomii fas -miibilluidaarnat Jtue, 

-]w fektof;whrtJ rseijj J;as -ill woordes fEue : 

ym "blestof hert, :ii estof:reve 
-be niine fluur, -ko ruunof \ 
Jiu ejnin:loojuur riialekse lense 
-juur servaunt, ifii dorsteimeeisa kalle, 
-his mortal harm -(hiwhitj-eeisi falle, 
-and nousta! onli -fori's tvel faare, 
-b«t:for:juur renuun, -asee:jalde klaare. 

-hit Btonde)> )jks: -juur k«ntrair, ;kreeuel t 
-a. liiedvs -a gainjuurrega liie, 
;«n:derku luurof wumauliibeeu tee — 
-for.mennerjoldnat knouirtira niie — 
-wif) buuniee, ;d5enti lea -andkariei ziie 
-and:hafide priived :juunuuofjuur plaase, 
-Jiat hi?ibeeu leea:perte naunttoo graase. 

-for kiindli, :biijuur eritaadsda ri:;t, 
-jee:beena neksed Evrun:too:bmin tee; 
-and verahlii -jee ouxte;doo]uur mici, 
-loo helpe -iroouS -m;hisail:versi lee; 
-jee:beena!:s3 -}ie koniunofibeeu tee ; 
-and series, :i'[jee wantPiwnJji'z tweine, 
-]ie wurldi's lar— -lKr:/ marloo seine. 


3? TEXTS. 

12. 5^ what availeth Man^r and Genlilesse, 
withoute yow, beny^e creatQre? 

shal Criielte be your governeresse ? 8o 

al/asi what herte may hyt Igng^ endure? 

wh^rfgr^, but ye the rather take cure 

to br^ke that pe'rilous al/iaunce, 

ye sl§§n hem 'that ben in your obeisaunce. 

13. And further Qver, yf ye suffre this, 85 
your<? Tenoun ys fordoon than in a thrgwe; 

th^r shal ng man wit^ wel what Pite is; 

al/as that your renoun is falk sg Igwe I 

ye be than frg your^ Aeritag^ ythrgwe 

by Criielte that ocriipi^th your^ place, 90 

and we despeyr<?d that seken to your grace. 

14. Hav^ mercy on me, thou Z^erynes quene, 
that yow hav^ soght sg tenderly and ygre ; 
1ft som str^m of your^ lygbt on me be sene, 

that 16v<? and drfd^ you ay len'ger the mgre; 95 

for, soth to seyn^, 1 h%xe the hevy sggre; 
and thogh 1 be nat kunnyng for to pleyne, 
for Goddes lov^, hav^ mercy on my peynel 

15. My peyn^ is this, that what sq i desire, 

that hav<? i noght, ne ng thing lyk th^rto, icx) 

and §ver set Desire myn hert^ on fire 

§k on that other sydf, whfr<? 59 i g99; 

what maner thing that may encr^se W99, 

that hav^ 1 redy, unsoght, ^v^rywh^re : 

me Tie lakketh but my d§th, and than my b§re. 105 


:Ek whata vailej) manrandidsenti lesse, 
-wi"S uute ;juu, -be niine;kreea tyjre ? 
:Jal;kreeuel tee -bee :juur;gBverne resse ? 
-a las :what herte ;maiit btjgen dyyre ? 
-whtr:fDr ■b«t:]ee -Jie raaSer laate kyyre 
-loo bnkeijjatpe nluusali aunse, 
-jee sUnem:])albeen :;njuur;obei zaunse. 

-and:f«rSer over, uTjee safre Jjis, 

ir renuuDisfor doon)ian -ma jirDue ; 
■ -{>tr:]'al:n3;man:w(t wee! :what ;pitee is; 
„ .asj>al:]uurre nuun/s fallsa hue 1 
-jee:bee])an:rr3juur:eri taadji Jiraue 
-bii;kreeuel tee -Jiatoky piijjjuur plaase, 
-andiweedes peird -Jiat seekentoojuur graas 

-hav mersiionmec, ^Jmue n'nes kweene, 
-]3at:iuuav souxt :S3 tenderliand jare ; 
[ jELsam slrEmofjuur lif ton :meebee seene, 
»-|)at Ifivand dndjuu ai:ki) gerjie niDre ; 
i-for, soofitoo sein, -ii bsrfie hevi eore ; 
■ •andi}x]uxii:beenat kannii)s:forioo pleine, 
■-for goddesiliiv -hav mersionmii peine 1 

L -mii peinis \h, -])at whats3:iide ziire, 

L-))at:havu nouitt, -ne no]jir)g Xxi^it too, 

ind iver setde ziirmiin herton fiire 

f*k:on)jat ooffier:siid, -whsr B3it go; 

^vhat maner )iir|g^at:maicn krEse wo, 

it:havii redi, wnsouxl, tvri whsre : 

meen Iakke]J:b«imil &i\, -and jianniii b£ 

34 TEXTS. 

1 6. What nedeth to sh§w^ parcel of my peyne ? 
syth fv^ry wgg that herte may bethynke 

T sufFr^, and yet i dar nat to yow ple3Tie. 

For wel i wgt, althogh i wak^ or wynke, 

ye rekke noght wheth'er i flet^ or synke. no 

Yet nathel^s my trouth^ i shal sustene 

unt5 my d^th, and that shal wel be sene. 

17. This is to seyn^: i wol be youres fver; 
thogh ye me slf f bf cmeltee your fgg, 

algat^ mf spirit shal n^ver di&r^ver 115 

fr9 your^ servis^, for any peyn^ or wqq. 
Sith ye be df d — al/as that hyt is sgg I — 
thus for your d§th 1 may wel wep^ and pleyne, 
with herte sgw and ful of besy peyne. 


1 6. :what needeJutoorjEu parselofmii peine? 
-si*)?:£vri wd -)>at hertemaibe )?ii)ke 

-ii s«fr -andrjetii daarnat :toojuu pleine. 

-for weelii wDt, -al )?ouxii waakor wigke, 

-jee rekke nouxt, :whe:?Serii fleeter sigke. no 

:jet:naaSe ks -mii trooutSiiJalsz^s teene 

-«n:toomii dej>, -and:f>atj'al:weelbee scene. 

17. -)>/s:2StcK) sein : -ii:wi/lbee juures ever; 
-Jjouxijeemee sk -biiikreeuel tee -juur fa, 

-al gaatmii spi'nt :j'al:n£:verdi sever 115 

-fro:juurser viis, -for:ani peinor wo. 
-S2]?:jeebee dtd — -a las)?at/tf*s sd ! — 
:f>«s:forjuur dt)? -ii:maiweel weepand pleine, 
-wi*)) herte sor -and fwllof bezi peine. 

D a 



A blysful lyf, a paysyble and a swele 
lad'den the peples in the former age. 
They held hem payfd of frutes that they etc, 
which* that the feJdes yaf hem by Qsage. 
They nggre nat forpampred with owtrage ; 
imkngwen was the quyern? and 5k the melle; 
they eten hawes, mast, and swych pownage, 
and dronken water of the cglde welle. 

Yet nas the ground nat wounded with the plough; 
but corn upspr^ng unspw« of mannes hpnd, 
the which they gngd, and eeC nat half inough. 
Np man yet knew the (orwes of his Ipiid; 
np man the (yr out of the flynt yet fgnd; 
unkorven and ungrobbed lay tlie vyne ; 
ng man yet in the morler spices grpnd, 
lo clarrc ne to sawsr of galentyne. 
weldf, or wpd ng litestjre 
; knew : the fles was of his former hewe ; 
ng flessh ne wystt offenc? of egg« or sp^re ; 
n^ co)-n ne knew man which was fals or trewe; 
ng ship yet karf the wawes grerw and blewe: 
ng marchg^nt yet ne felt« owtlandissb ware; 
ng trSmpes, for the werres folk ne knewe, 
ne towres hy^, and walles rownde or square. 
'(the. 7. mast hnwes. 11. gnoddcd. 

Np r 


lat shold* it han avayled to werreye ? 
iTifr lay np profyt, ihgr was ng rychesse. 
Sut corsed was the tyme, I dar wel seye, 
I'fliat men fyrst did« hcK sw§ty bysynesse, 
ttS grobbf up metal lurkynge in derknesse, 
I the lyverfs after gemmes soghte: 
IS ! than sprgng up al ihe cursednesse 
Hof cfiveytys*, that fyrst ourif sorwe broghte. 

Thys^ tyrauiits putt? hem gladly nat in prfs 
big places wylde ne busshes for to wynne, 
Higr poverte is, as aeith Dlggengs, 
(h^r as vitayle is 5k sg skars and thinne, 
oght but mast or apples is th^rinne; 
but thfr as bagges ben and fat viiaile, 
fligr wol they ggn and spire for ng synne 
Sfith al hew gst tbe cyle for Xo asajle. 

t w^re ng paleis-chaumbres ne npn halles: 
I'kaves and in wodes soft^ and swete 
lep-Ien this blessed folk wiihoule walles, 
I gras or l^vra in joy^ and in quiete; 
'} down of fethi^res ne ng bitched shete 
i kyd to hem ; but in surle they slepte. 
Ber hertes \i%^u al pn withoute gallcs; 
(vrrych of hem his feith to ooiher kepte. 

30. fynt gemmys. 

,0 placea wyldnraw ne ao bnsshea for to wynne. 
44. lu parfyt joye and qniele. 

38 TEXTS. 

Unforged was the hawberk^ and the plate: 

the lambyssh peple, voyded of al vyce, 50 

had'den ng fantasye t6 debate, 

but §ch of hem wold^ oother wel cheryce. 

N9 pride, ngn envy^, ngn avaryce, 

ng Igrd, ng taylag^ by ng tyranye; 

timbless^ and p^s, good feith, th^ emperice, 55 


Yet was nat Juppiter the lykerous, 

that fyrst was fader of delicasie, 

com^ in this w5rld ; ne Nembrot, desyrous 

to rei^en, had nat maad his toures hye. 60 

Al/asI al/as! now may men wep^ and crye; 

for in our^ dayes nis but covetyse, 

and doubkness^ and tr§soun, and envye, 

poysoun, manslaughter, and morth^- in sondry wyse. 



Adam Scryveyn, if ^wei it the byfalle 
Boece or Troylus for to wryten newe, 
uii'der thy lokkes thou most have the scalle, 
but after my mak'yng thou wryte trewe : 
sg oft a daye i mot thy werk renewe, 
it 16 corecte and §k to rubbe and scrape ; 
and al is thurgh thy neglygence and rape. 

3. long lokkes. 



Fie 69 the prfs, and dwelLr with solhfasinesse ; 
sUf/lM thin ^nrtie thing, thogh it be smal. 
—Jor hord hath hat*, and clymhj-ng lykelnesse, 
|H';^ hath envy^ and v/^]e blent ^ver a). 

* ng mgrc thatuif the byhove shal ; 
rtub weel thiself thai other folk canst rf ^de : 
Ud trouiK; ihe shal delyvvr* — it is ng dr^de. 

ffem-pest the noght al croked to redrcsse, 
1 trust of hir<; that ttimeth as a bal ; 
reste slant in lltel besynesse. 
r th^rfgre to spurns agaj-n an al ; 
piryvr; not as doth the crokke with the wal; 
n-ie thiself lliat dauntest othsres dede : 
md trouihr the shal delyviW — it is ng dr^de. 

rhat the is sent receyve in busumnesse ; 

; wrasllyng for the world* ax-eth a fal ; 

r is ngn hgm : her nys but wylderncsse. 
forth, pylgrym, forth ! forth b^sie out of thi stal I 
'WQf thi contre I lok* up I thank God of al I 
tpld the hy^ wey*. and lat th! gpst the l^de, 

i trSutbe the shal delyvrsrc— it is np drjdc. 

40 TEXTS. 


(From the Death of Blanxhe.) 

Me thoghte thus: — that hft was May, 

and in the dawnyng th^r i lay, 

me mette thus in bed al naked, 

and loked forth, for i was waked 

with smale foules, a gr^t h§p, '■•■■{ j «• 

that had 2SfT2i.yed. me out of slep ^ 

thurgh noys^ and swetmess^ of her sgng; 

and as me mett^, they sat amgng 

upon my chaumbre-roof wythoute 

upon the tyles al aboute, lo 

and ^veTych sgng in hys wyse 

the mgste solem^ne servlse 

by liQQXe that ^ver man, y trowe, 

had herd, for som^ of hem song^ iQwe, 

som^ hy^, and al of ggn acord. 15 

To telle shortly at 99 word, 

was n^ver herd sg swet^ a Steven, 

but hyt had be a thyng of heven ; 

S9 mery a soun, sg swet^ in tunes 

that certes for the toun of Tunes ao 

I nold^ but 1 had herd hem synge. 

For al my chaumbre gan to rynge 

thurgh syngyng of her armonye, 

for instrument ne melodye 


\ ngwhfK herd yet half sp swete, 
nor of acorde half sg mete; 
for thgr was npgn of hem that feyned 
t3 syng^, for ^ch of hem hym peyned 
10 (ynd? out mery crafty ngtes : 
they ne spared nat her thrptes. 
And sooth to seyn, my chaumbre was 
ful wel depeynted, and with glas 
■wgK al the wyndgwus wel yglased 
fill cleK, and nat an hggl ycrased, 
that to l>ehQldjt hyt was gr^t joye. 
For hpUy al the slpry of Troye 
was in the glasyng ywroght thus, 
of Ector, and kyng Priamus, 
of Achil/gs and Lamedgn, 
of M^dea, and of jaspn, 
of Paris, Eleyne, and Lavyne ; 
and al the wallfs with cdlour«s fyne 
wjrf peynted bpth^ [with] text and glpse 
of al the Romaunce of the Rpse. 
My wyndgw^s w^re shell? ^ch pn, 
and thurgh the glas the Sonne shgn 
upon my bed with bryghte b^mes, 
with many glade gilden str^mes; 
And fk the welken was sg fair: 
blew, bryght, ciere was Lhe ayr, 
and ful at/erapre for soih hyt was: 
for neyther cgld nor hggt yt was, 
n^ in al the welken was a clowd. 
And as i lay thus, wonder lowd 
me thoght i herd.? an htmie blgwe, 
I' asjay hys horn, and for to kngwe 
whetbff -hyt w^r; cler* or hgrs of soun. 

I herde gQn bgthe up and doun 

men, hors, houndra, and oiher ihyng; 

and al men speken of huntyng, 

how ihey wolde sl^^ the hert with strengthe, 

and how the hert had upon lengihe 

sp moch* enbpsfd — y npt now what. 

Anggn-ryght whan i herde that, 
how that they woldif on huntyng gggn, 
i was ryght glad, and up anppn; 
i took my hors, and forth i wente 
out of my 'chaumbr?. I ngver stente 
lUl i com to the feld witboute ; 
thgr gvertok y a grgt route 
of huntes and of foresteres, 
with many relajys and lymeres, 
and hyed hem to the forest faste, 
and i with hem. Sq at the laste 
1 asked qqd, ladde a lymere, 
'say, felgwif, whoo shal hunte here?' 
quod i, and he answered ageyn, 
' syre, th' emperour Octovygn ' 
quod he, ' and ys her fasle by.' 
'A Goddffl half in good tyme,' quod i, 
' SQ ""^ ^"-^^^ ' ' ^'^^ S^^ '5 ryde. 
Whan "we cam to the forest-^de, 
gvfry man did* ryght anpQn 
as to huntyng fil to doon ; 
the mayster-huntf anpgn fot-h(jt 
with a gr|t horn blew thre m^t 
at th« uncouplyng of hys houndys. 
Wilhynne a wliiltr the hert [yjfound* ys, 
ihalowed, and rechased Taste 
Ipnge tym;; and at the laste 


this hert ru'sed, and siaal awey 

from alle the houndes a prive wey: 

the houndfs had gvershol^ hem aUe 

and Tvgre on a deraule yfalle. 

Thfrwyth the hunte wonder faste 

blew a forloyne at the laste. 

1 was gg wallted frg my tree, 

and as i went* th^r cam by me 

a whelp thai fauned me as I stood, 

that folwed haddf, and koude ng good. 

Hyt com and creep l6 me as Igwe 

ryght as hyt hadde me yknpwe; 

held doun hys h^d, and joyn^d hys ^res, 

and leyd* al smothe doun hys h^res. 

1 wolde liavs kaught hyt, and anppn 

hyt fledde, and was frp me gggn ; 

and I hym folwed. And hyt forth wente 

doun by a floury grene bente 

ful thikke of gras ful softe and swet«, 

with floury s fgk, faire under let 

and litel usfd, hyt semed thusj 

for bplh Flgra and Zephirus 

they two that make floures growe 

had mad her dwellyng th^r, i ttowe. 

■For hit was on to behplde, 

as thogh the erthe envye wolde 

to be gayer than the heven; 

t5 havtf mgp floures suche seven 

as in the welken slerrea bee. 

Hyt had forggl* ihe povertee 

that wynter thurgh hys cglde morwes 

had made hyt suiTn;, and his sorwes — 

44 TEXTS. 

al was forgf te ; and that was sene. 

For al the wod^ was waxen grene; 

swetnesse of d§w had mad hyt waxe. 135 

Hyt ys np ned ^k for to axe 

wh^r th§r vf^ie many grene graves, 

al thikk^ of trees sg fuU^ of l^ves; 

and %v€TY tree stood by hymselve 

frg other wel ten foot or twelve; 130 

sg gr^te trees, so hug^ of strengthe, 

of fourty, fifty fadme lengthe, 

cl§ne without^ bowgh or stikke, 

with croppes brgd^ and §k as thikke; 

they w^re nat an ynch^ asonder, 135 

that hit was shadw^ gv^r al under. 

And many an hert and many an hynde 

was bgth^ befgr^ me and behynde; 

of faunes, sowres, bukkes, dggs 

was ful the wod^, and many rggs, 140 

and many sqwire'les that sete 

ful hi<? upon the trees, and ete, 

and in her maner maden f^stes. 

Shortly, hyt was sg ful of bf stes, 

that thogh Argus, the ngble countour, 145 

setf to r^ken^ in hys countour, 

and counten with his figures ten — 

for by thg figure mow^ al ken, 

yf they be crafty, r^ken^ and noumbre, 

and telk of-^v^y thing the noumbre — 150 

yet shold^ he fayl^ to rfken^ §ven 

the wondres 'me mett^ in my swfven. 



I The lyf sp short, the craft sg Igng to leme, 
I til' asray sp sharp, sg har<l the conquerynj, 
■ the drfdful joye that alwey sht sg yerne — 
K&l this ra%n( i bi \Jt\e, that my felyng 
■astonyeth with his wonderful werkyng, 
Xsg sgK iwis that whan i on hym thj'nte, 
f nat wpt i wel whelhw i wake or wynke. 

fcFor al be that i knpw? nat L6v« in dede, 
|ne wpt how that he quiteth folk her^ hyre, 
iyet bappelh me ful ofte in bokes rf^de 

■ of his« myrakles and his cruel yre : 

■ thgr T%Ac I wel, he w61 be Igrd and syre ; 
Kl dar nat seyn^ his strgkes been sg sgre; 
Bbut God save swich a Igrd — i can na rnggre. 

Of ii^g«, what for lust and what for Igre, 
on bokes r^de i ohe, as i yow tglde. 
LSut wh^rfgrf that i spflw al this? Nat ygpre 
Kagpn it bappede me for to behglde 

ppon a bok was write with letteres glde, 
■Uid lh;rupon a cerleyn thing to lerne 
' the Ignge day ful fast* i radde and yerne. 

46 TEXTS. 


For out of glde feldes, as men sey, 

com^th al this newe corn frg y%x to y§re, 

and out of Qlde bokes in good fey 

com^h al this newe snenc^ that men l§re. 25 

But now to purpos as of this matere — 

t5 r§de forth hit gan me sg delite 

that al the day me thoghte but a Ipte. 


This bok of which 1 make mencioun 

entitled was al thus as i shal telle, 30 

TullyuSy of the dr§m of Cipioun ; 

chapitres sev^^ it hadd^ of hev^n and helle, 

and erth^, and sgules that thgrinne dwelle, 

of which, as shortly as i can it tr^te, 

of his sentence i wol yow seyn the gr^^te : 35 


Fyrst telleth it, whan Cipioun was c5me 

in Affrik, how he mette Ma&rynisse, 

that hym for joi^ in armes hath inome; 

thann^ telleth hit her^ spech^, and al the blysse 

that was betwix hem, til that day gan mysse, 40 

and how his auncestr^ Affrycan sq deere 

gan in his slep that nyght to hym apere. 

Thann^ telleth it that from a steny place 
how Affrycan hath hym Cartage sch^wed; 
and warned^ hym byfgr^ of al his grace ; 45 


and seyde him wbal man, lerned glher l?wed, 
that lovelh comun profyt, wel iihewed, 
he shal unto a blysful place wende, 
lh^r« as \aye is that last withouten ende. 

Thanne axed* he if folk that her been d^de 
han lyf and dwellyng in another place ? 
and Affrican seyd/ ' y%, wiihoute dr^de,' 
and that ou« present worldes lyves space 
nys but a maner d?th what wey< we trace, 
and rightful folk shul ggn af-ter they dye 
I to hevvn ; and sch^wed^ hym the galasie. 

. 9- 

iThann^ shew«l^ he hyra the litl< erlh* thai her is 
Bftt 'regard of the heven^s quantite ; 
land afler sh^wfdir he hym the nyne speres; 
after that the melodyir herdir he, 
■ that comfih of th'ilke speres thryes thre, 
I'that well« is of mus'ik and melodye 
1 this world her, and caus* of annonye. 

Than bad he hym, syn erlhe was sg lyie, 
and full of torment and of harde grace, 
_ that he ne scholdf hym in the world delyte. 
ferThannt ipld? he hym, in certeyn ygres space, 
|hal (vny sterre shold« come int5 his place, 
L was fyrst, and al scholde out of mynde 
1 this world is d6n of al manVynde. 

Thanntf prey«J< hym Cypyoun t5 tellt hym al 
the wey to conif unto tlial hevrtie blisse ; 
and he styde : ' kngw thyself fyrst immorlal 
and ]ok« ay besyly thow werke and wysse 
to comun profit, -and ihow shall nat mysse 
to comen swiftly to this p^ce deere, 
that ful of blyss* is and of sgules cleere. 


But brokers of the lawe, soth to seyne, 
and lyk^rous folk after thai they ben dfde, 
Bhul alwey whirl? aboute th' erlh? in peyne, 
tyl many a world be passed out of drjde 
and than, foryiven alk herf wikked dede, 
than shul they come into that blysful place 
to which to comen God the sende his grace,' 

The day gan failen, and the derke nyght, 
That rgveth bastes from herr; besynesse, 
berafte me my bok for lak of lyght ; 
and to my bed I gan me for to dresse, 
fuifyld of thoght and biisy hevynesse ; 
for bgthi i hadde tbyng which that I nolde, 
and ^k ! nadde that thyng that i wolde. 

Bui fj'nally my spirit at ihe laste, 
forwery of my labour a! the day, 
tok restf that made me to slepe fasle; 
and in my slep i metie, as I lay, 
how Affrican ryghi in ihe same aray 
that Cipioun hym say byfgrc that lyde 

5 come, and siod right at my beddes syde. 


f he wery hunter slepyngir in his bed, 

wodi again his mynde gpth anpn ; i 

e jiige drfmeth liow his; pl§?s been sped ; 
re dr?meth how his carles gpn ; 

pie riche of gold ; the knyght fyght with his fgn ; 

pe seke met he drynketh of the tonne ; 
; lover* met he hath his lady wonne. i 

1 6. 

an nat seyn if that the cause wfre, 
t I hadd« rad of Affrican byfgm, 
■that made me to mgie that he stod thggre. 
But thus seyde he : ' Thow hast the sg wel bprn 
in lokynge of myn gide bok al (ofgrn, i 

of which MacTobye roghte nat a lyte, 
_.tbat somdgl of thy labour wold* I quyte.' 

L ^^ 

CyliSerea, thow biysful !idy swete, 
Biat with thy iyrbrgnd dauntest whom ihe les^ 
1 madest me (his swev(rne for to mfte, i 

; ihow myn help? in this, for thow mayst best: 
"■ as wissly as i say the north-north-west, 
whan i began my sweven for to write, 
8g yif me myght to rym« and 5k t'endyte. 

[liis forseyd Affrican me hent* auQu, 1 

1 forth with hym unto a gate broghte 
(yght of a parrok wall«d with grene stpn; 
md on the gal« with leltrres larg* iwroghte 
ft^r w^re vers iwritcn as me ihoghte. 


on eyther half, of ful grjt difference, 

of whiche ! shal yow seyn the pleyn sentence: 
'Thurgh me men ggn into that blysful place 

of hertes hgl^ and d^dly woundes cQre ; 

thurgb me men ggn unto the well* of Grace, 

th^gr grene and lusty May shal %veie endure. 

This is the wey to a! good aventure. 

Be glad thow riders, and thy sorwr; ofcaste; 

al gp^n am 1: pasM in, and fay the faste.' 
' Thurgh me men ggn,' than spak that other side, 
'unto the mortal atrgkes of the spgre, ! 

of whiche Disdayn and Daunger is the gyde, 

th^r tree shal ngver frut ne Jgves bgre; 

this strgm yow Igdeth to the sorwiul wgre 

ihfr as the fissh in prysoun is al diye; 

ih'eschiiing is gn-ly the remedye,' 

Thise vers of gold and blak iwriten wgre, 
the whichi; i gan a stounde to behplde: 
for with that gn encrgsede ay my f?re, 
and with that other gan myn herte bglde ; 
that gn me heltf, that other did; me cglde. 
Np wit hadd^ I, for errour, for l5 chese ; 
to entrif or flen, or me to sav,; or lese. 

Right as betwixen adamaunles two 
of 5ven myght a pece of yren set, 
ne hath ng myght to meve loo ne frp — 
for what that gn may half that other let — 
ferdf i that nyste whether me was best, 


__tC enire or \%\t, til AfFrycan my gide 
■ hente and shQf in a.t the gales wide ; 

bd seyde: 'it stgndeth writen in thy face 

piyn errour, thogh thow tclk it nat lo mc ; 

Wt drgd the nat to come into this place : 
Ifor this wrilyng nys nplhyng ment bi the, 

ne by ngn but he Loves servauni be ; 

for thow of love hast lost thy tast, i gesse, 
_as sek man hath of awetf and bytternesse. 

t natfael^, althogh that tbow be dul, 
ifjt that thow canst nat do, thow mayst hit se 
for many a man that may nat stgnd; a pul, 
yit liketh hym at wrastljng for to be, 
and demen whether 'he do bet or he ; 
and if ihow haddest cunnying for t'endite, 
i shal the sh^we mater of to wryte.' 

With tliat myn hgnd he tok in his angn, 
of which 1 comfort kaughte, and weni« in faste. 
Bui l9rd] S9 i was glad and wS begppn I 
for gvcral whfr that i mine yen caste, 
wfrc trees [yjclad with l^vcs that ay shal laste, 
I his kynde of colour fressh and gceene 
\ emeraude, thai joye was 16 seene. 

fhe bylderf gk; and ^k the hardy assh; 
i piler elm, the cofre unlo careyne ; 
! boxlre ptpere; holm to whippes lassh; 

saylynge fyr; the cipresse, dgth to pleyne; 
! shelere ew ; the asp, for shaftes pleyne ; 


tV olyvf of p?s; and ?k the dronke vyne; 
the victor palm; the laurer, to devyne. 

A f;ardyn say i, ful of biosmy bowys, 
upon a river in a grene mfde, 
th^re 'as swelnesse fverfmprf inowgh is ; 
with floures white, blewe, yelwv, and rgile, 
and cplde welle-str§mes, ngthyng dede, 
that swommen ful of smale fisslies hghte 
witli fynnes r?df and skales sylver-bryghte. 

On ?v^y bowgh the bryddes herde i synge 
with voys of aungel in here armonye; 
some iJesyedi; hem lieri; bryddc3 forth to brynge; 
the litde cSnyes to here plejv gunne hye ; 
and ferther al about? i gan espye 
ihe drgdful rp, the bukkf, and hert, and hynde, 
squyreira, and bastes sma!« of gentil kynde. 

or inslriiments of strenges in acord 

herd* I sp pleye ravysshyng sweinesse 

that God that maker; is of a] and I^rd 

ne herde nfver? beler, as I gesse ; 

th^rwith a wynd — unn^thf it myght be lesse — 

mad; in the Ijvea gren# a noyse softe, 

acordaunt to the bryddes sgng alofte. 

Th; eyr; of 'that placif sg at/cmpre was 
that ngvere was grevauncf of hgt ne cold ; 
th?r wex ?k %\t\y hglsum spic* and gras; 
ne ng man may th^re waxe sek ne gld ; 
yet was ihsr Joye mgre a ihousandfpld 




1 mas can telle ; ne n^ver* wolde it nj-glile, 
'tat a.y cler day Lo any mannes syghte. 

I 31- 

Hii'der a tre bespdf a, welle I say 
BlSpidi! our* I^rd hise arwes forg; and file; 
at his fet his bgw? al redy lay ; 
wel his doghter temp^red^ al the whyle 
; hgdes in the welU, and with hire wile 
; couched; hem after as ihey sholde serve 

10 sig, and some lo woundtf and kcrve. 

Tig was i war of Plesaiince angn-ryght, 
and of Aray, and Lust, and CurteysTe, 
and of the Craft tliat can and hath the myghi 
to don by fore? a wight to don folye — 
disfigurat was she, i nyl nat lye; 
and by himself un-der an gk, I gesse, 
say i Delyt that siod with Oentilesse. 


I say Eeute withouten any alyr ; 
Jpd Youihe, ful of game and jolyte ; 
Boolhardynesse, Flatfrys, and Desyr ; 

pesjageryr;, and Meedf, and oiher ihre — 
! names shul nat here be tgld for mc; 

mA upon pilerrs grggle of jasper Ignge 

■.say a lempbf of bras ifounded bljgnge. 


RAbotile that temple daunseden alwey 

vv&mmeu inow«, of whiche some th^r w^^re 

Tfeyre of hemself, and some of hem w$ie gay; 

1 kirteles al dischevele wente ihcy llj^re — 

)ai was her* oftys alwcy y^r by y^s^^.'. 


and on ihe temple of dovwes whiw and fajxe 
say i syltynge many an hundred peyre. 

ByfpK the temple-dpw ful spbrely 
dame P^s sat with a ciirteyn in hiw hpnd ; 
and hiK besyde wonder discretiy 
dam< Pacience syttyng^ th^r i fgnd 
with iace pali; upon an hil of sgnd ; 
and aldernext wlthinne and ^k withoute 
Eyheste and Art, and of heri- folk a route. 


Withinn* the tempi* of sykes ligpt* as lyr 
i herdc a swowgh that gan aboute rennc ; 
which* sikcs w^r* en^endred with desyr 
that maden §vwy auler for l6 brenne 
of newe fiaunw; and wel espyrf i ihenne 
that al ihe cans* of sorwes that they drye 
cam of the bitter goddess Jeiousye. 


The god Pnapus say i, as I wente 
withinne the tempi*, in s6v*reyn place sipnde, 
in swich aray as whan the ass* hym shenie 
wiih cri by nyght, with srepter in his bond ; 
ful besj'ly men gunn* asay* and fpnde 
upon his hfd to sett* of sundry hewe 
gerlandes fuU* of fresshe floures newe. 


And in a prive comer in desport 
fgnd "i Venus, and hir* porler Richesse, 
that was ful ngbl* and hautayn of hyr* port ; 
derk was that plac*; but afterward lightnessc 
I say a lyt* — ^unneth* it myght* be lease — 

W ani 

I r 


and on a bed of gold she lay t 

lyl Ihat the hpte sunne gan to weste. 

Hyre gilte hfres with a golden thr^d 
ibounden wgrc, unlressed as she lay ; 
and naked from the brest unlo the hgd 
men mjghte byre sen ; and, solWy for to seye, 
the remimaunt was wel kev^red to my paye 
ryght with a siiityl kerchef of valence : 
tbgr nas ng thikker dgth of n^ defense. 

The place yaf a thousand savoures swote ; 
and Bacus, god of wyn, sat hir? besyde, 
and Ceres next, that doth of hunger boote ; 
and, as i seyde, amyddes lay Cypiide ; 
i6 whom on knees two yBnge folk thgre cry<de 
to ben her« help^ ; but thus i let hem lye ; 
and fcrther in the tempU i gan espie 

that in despit of Dyane the chaste 
ful many a bpwi) ibrpk* heng on the wal 
of maydens swich« as gunne here tymes waste 
in hyr< servyse ; and peynted gveral 
of many a stgry of whiche i touche shal 
a fjw^, as of Calyxtif, and AtAalante, 
and many a mayd« of which the nam; i 

Scmyramus, Candacf, and /ftrcul?s, 
Biblis, Dido, T^isbe, and Piramus, 
Tristram, Isaud^ Paris, and AchiI/^3 
Eleyne, Cleopalr* and TrOylus 
Silla, and ^k the mod^r of Romulus — 


h J Jj d 

f 1 

h h 

h pi 


9 P 

gl af h 
hs f 1 


1 S 
I, b dm 



For this was on Seynt Valentynes day, 

whan 5v«ry bryd com^lh thgre lo these his make 

of gvery liynde that men ihenke may, 

and that sg hug<? a nojse gan they make 

[hat erth/, and eyrc, and ire, and gv^ry lake 

sp ful was that iinneilie was th^rf space 

for me to stgnde — sy ful was al the place. 

And right as Aleyn in the Plcynl 0/ Kj-nde 
devyseth Naiiirj- in aray and face, 
in swich aray men myghten hire thgr fyndc. 
This npble emperice ful of grace 
bad gveiy foui to take: his gwene place, 


^^^m as they w;re wont alwey frg ygr to y^^re, 
^^^V Seynt Valenlynes day, to signden th^gre, 


^^^ Tlia.t is to sej'n, the foules of ravyne 

^^b wgre hyest set, and ihanne foules smale, 

^^H that ?len as hem nature wolde endyne — 

r as worm, or ihyng of which i telle ug tale — 

r but' waierfoul sal Iguest in the dale ; 

I and foul that lyveth by sed sat on the grene — 

I and that sg fijle that wonder was to sene. 


Thgre mygbte men the rjal ggle fyncie, 
I that with his sharpe lok per-selh the sunne, 

and other ggles of a Igwer kynde, 
of whiche that clerkes wel devyse cunne : 

ith^r was the liraunt with his fethsres dunne 
and greye, I mgne the goshauk that doili pyne 
to bryddes for his outragfous ravyne ; 

the gerfaucoun that with his feet distraynelh 
the kynges hgnd ; the hardy sparhauk eke, 
the quayles fgg ; the merlioun that payneth 
hymself ful oftf the larke for to seke, 
Th^r was the douve with \\\xe yen meke ; 
the jelous swan, agayn his dgth that syngeLh; 
thf ouLf ^ that of dflli ihe bgde bryngelh ; 

the crane geaunt with his trompes soun; 
the ibef. llie chough ; and 5k the jangiynge pye ; 
the skortijng jay; the eles fp heroun; 
the false lapwynge, ful of trecherye ; 
ibe stare, that the conseyl can bcwrye ; 

3J7, gsntyi faiicoun. 


the tame ruddok ; and the coward kyle ; 
the kok that orl^ge is of thorpes lyte; 


the sparwe, Venus soiw; the nyghlyngale, 
thai clgpeih forth the grene Igves newe ; 
the swalwe, morthfrerf of the foules smale 
that maken hony of floures fressh* of hewe ; 
the wedded turtel with hire herte trewe; 
the pgkok with his aungels fethers bryghte ; 
the fesaunt, skorner? of the cok by nyghle ; 

the waker goos ; the cokkow %\n unkynde ; 

the popynjay, ful of de'licasye ; 

the drake, stroyere of his gwme kynde ; 

the slofk, the wrgkew of avouterye; 

the hpte cormeraunt, ful of glotenye ; 

the raven wys ; the crgwe with vois of care; 

the throstel gld; the frosty feldefare — 

what sholde i seyn? of foules %^e\y kynde, 
that in this world han fethifres and statilre, 
men myghten in (hat place assembled fynde, 
byfijre the ngble goddesse Nature ; 
and ?verieh of hem dide his besy cure 
benygnely 15 chese or for to take 
by hire at-ord his forinel or his make. 


But, to the poynt — NalQie held on hire hjnd 
a formel egle of shap the ^entilesle 
that evere she amgng hiif werkes r9nd, 
the mgst beny^ne, and the goodUcste; 
"n hire was gvery vertii at his reste, 


S9 fer-forth that NalQrs hir^elf hadcif bl>-sse 
to lokf on hire, and ofti? hire bek to kysse. 

Nature, the vicaire of thi* Almyghty Lgrd, 
that hpt, cgld, hevy, lyght, [and] moyst, and dreye, 
hath knyt by gven number of acord, 
in gsy voys gan for to sp^kif and seye i 
'P'oul'es, lak hed of my sentence, i preye ; 
and for your« gse in fortberyna; of your? oede 
as faste as i may sp^ke i w6l me speede. 


Ye Itngwe wcl how, Seynt Valentynes day, 
by my statute and thurgh my goveraaunce, 
ye come for to cheese— and fle youre wey — 
youre makes as i prike yow with plesaunce. 
But naihel?s my ryghlful ordenaunce 
may 1 nat l^te for al this world to wynne ; 
that he that mgst is wonhi shal begynne. 


[ The tercel ggle, aa -that ye kngwen wel, 
the foul ryal abSve you in degre, 
the wyse and w6rlhi, secre, irewe as slcl, 
the which 1 formed have as ye may se 

1 fvery part as it best liketh me — 
it nedeih nat his shap yow to devyse — 
i he shal first chesf, and spoken ia his gyse. 


And after hym by ordre shul ye chese 
af-tec youre kynde, ?verich as you lyketh; 
and as youre hap is, shul ye wynne or lese. 


But which of yow that love mgst entriketh 
God send^ hym hir^ that sgrest for hym syketh.' 
And th^rwithal the tercel gan she calle, 405 

• and seyd^: *My son^, the choys is to the falle; 


but nathelgs in this condicioun 

mot be the choys of §v^ich that is heere : 

that she agre to his eleccioun, 

who S9 he be that sholde ben hir^ feere — 410 

this is our^ Qsag^ ay frg y§r to y^^re; 

and who sg may at this tym^ hav^ his grace, 

in blisful tym^ he cam into this place/ 


With h§d enclyned, and with Mmble cheere 

this ryal tercel spak, and taried^ noght: 415 

*Unt6 my sowreyn lady, and nat my fere, 

i ches^ and ch§s with will^ and hert^ and thoght 

the formel on your^ hgnd 39 wel iwroght, 

whos i am al, and %stxe w61 hir^ serve, 

do what hir^ lest to do me liv^ or starve; 420 


besekyng hir^ of mercl and of grace, 

as she that is my lady sovereyne; 

or l§t me dye present in this place; 

for certes Igng^ i may nat lyv^ in peyne, 

for in myn hert^ is korven §v^ry veyne ; 425 

and havyng gnly 'reward to my trouthe, 

my deere hert^ hav^ on my wg sum roulhe! 


And if that i to hyr^ be founds untrewe, 
disobeysaunt, or wilful negligent, 

PAJlLAjif£Jvr Of BrSDS. 

, or in proc« lov^ anewe; 
i prejf 16 j-ow, ihis be my jflgeroent. 
tliat wiih this* foulcs i be al torent 
ihai like day that ?ver she me fyndc 
lo hiw unlrew*, or in my gilt uukynde. 

And syn that D90 Yare lov^h 59 wel as I, 
al be she R%'vtie of I6v« coe [oght] behelte, 
thaniif oghte she be myn thurgh Vine mercy— 
for filher bgnd can T n^n on hire kneUe — 
ne n^ver for np W9 re slial i letie 
t6 serven hire, how fer 59 that she wende; 
what yow list : my lalir is at an ende,' 

Ryght as the fresshe rgde rpse ncwe 
I ^ayn the somer-sunne coloured is, 
f ijyght s^ for shame al wesen gan hir^ hewe 

f this formel, whan [ihat] she herde al this; 
Hfihe neylher answerde ' wel ' ne seydif amys, 
■29 siyte ahasshfd was she; tyl that Naiijre 
WEcyiie 'doghler, dr^d you noght, i yow asjQre.' 


J Another tercel ?gk spak anpn. 
j«f lp«er Vynde, and seyde: 'That shal nal be: 
\ove hire bet than ye don, by Seynt jgn I 
, at the Ifste, I 16ve as wel as ye, 
bnd Icng^r have served hire in my degre; 
tnd if she sholde have loved for Igng Ii5vyngc, 
I me alpne hadde be the gerdonyngc. 


I dar fk seyn, if she me tynde fals, 
unkynde. jang^ler, or rebel any wyse, 
or geloua, do me h9ngen by the hals ; 
and but i b^re jne in hire servyse 
as wel as that my wit can me s(if yse 
frg poynt to poynt hy« Aonour for to save, 
tak she my lif and al the good T have.' 

The thridde tercel ^gk answerde thg : 
'Now sires, ye seen the lytel leyser heere: 
for t^ety fou! cryrth out to ben ajfp 
forth with his make, or with his lady deere; 
and fk Natur? hireself ne wBl nat heere, 
for tarying her, nat half that I wolde seye: 
and but i sp^ke, i mot for sorwe deye. 

Of Ipng servysi avaunte I me nglhing ; 
but as possible is me to dye to day 
for wg as he that hath ben languysshyng 
lhis« twenty winter ; and wel happen may, 
a man may serven bet and inQri! to pay 
in half a ygr, althogh it w^rf ng mpgre, 
than sum man doth ihat hath ser-ved fill yggre. 


1 seye nat this by me, for i ne can 
don np servyse that may my lady plgse; 
but I dar seyn, i am hire trewest man 
as to my dom, and faynest wolde hire pj^se: 
at shorte worties, lil that dfth me sgse 

i wol ben hires, whether 

vake or ^ 


1 al that herte may bethynke.' 




Of al my lyf, aj'n 'that day S was bgrn, 
so genlil pig in love or other thyng 
ne herde ngver ng man me befgrn ; 
but who [is] that hath leyser and cunnyng 
Tor to lehersrr Ijer? cher and here spfkyng? 
and frp the inorwe gan this speche laste 
lil dounward drow the sunne wonder faste, 

The noyse of foules for 10 ben delyvered 
sp loude rgng, 'have don, and lat us wende I ' 
that wel wende i the wode hadde al toshyv^red. 
' Com of,' they cried, ' al/as, ye wol us shende : 
whan shal youre cursed pigtyng have an ende ; 
how sholde a jQge eyther parile leve 
for y% or nay wUhouien any preve?' 

The goos, the cokkow, and the dok I 
sg cryeden 'kek kek! kokkowl quek qu k hye 
that liiurgh rayne ^le^ the n y e wen 1 g 
The goos seyde: ' al this ny nat wo th a flye; 
but i can shape herof a remed e 
and I w6! seye Tay verdit fayre and awythe 
for water-foul, wh6 sg be wrpth or blylhe.' 


'And i for worm-foul,' seyde the fol kokkow, 

'and i wol of myn gwene autorite 

for coman spede take the charge now, 

for 16 delyvere us 'is gr^t charile.' 

"Ye may abyde a while yet parde," 

seyde the turlel, ' if it be -youre wille, 

a Wight may spgke, hym w^re as good be slylk. 




I am a sed-foul, gn thf unworthieste, 

that wgt i wel, and litel of cunnynge; 

but bet is that a wyghtes tunge reste 

than entremgten hym of such doinge, 515 

of which he neyther r§de can ne.synge; 

and who 59 doth, ful foulf hjmself acloyeth; 

for offys uncomwytted oftf anoyeth/ 

Nature, which that alwey hadd^ an §re 

to murmour of the Igwedness^ behynde, 520 

with facound voys seydf : * Hgld your^ tunges th^re, 

and i shal son^, 1 hpp^, a conseyl fynde 

yow to delyv^rf and frp this noys^ unbynde: 

i jtig^, of %^exy folk men shul pn calle, 

to seyn the verdit for yow foules alle.' 535 


A&rented w§r^ to this conclQsioun 

the briddes alle ; and foules of ravyne 

han chpsen fyrst by playn eleccioun 

the tercflet of the faucoun to dif^yne 

al her^ sentence, and as hem lest termyne, 530 

and to Nature hym gunne to presente, 

and she accepteth hym with glad entente. 

The terc<?let seyde than in this manere : 
*Ful hard w§r^ it to preve by r^soun, 
who loveth best this gentil formel heere; 535 

for §v^ych hath swich replicacioun 
that ngn by skilles may been broght adoun: 
I can nat se that arguments avayle ; 
thann^ semeth it th§r^ moste be batayle.' 


'Al redyl' quod thise fgles tercels thg. J40 j 

' Nay sirra,' quod he, ' if that I dorst« it seye, 

ye don me wrgng', ray taU is nat ido ; 

for, sirre, ne takeih nat a gref, I preye; 

it may nat gpn as ye wold? in this weye; 

ourfS is the voys that han the charge in honde; 545 

and to the jUges dom ye moten sl^nde. 


And thfrfpre p^sl I seye; as to my wit, 

me wolde thyiik^ how that the worlhieste 

of knyghthod, and leng-est haih used it, 

mgst of estat, of blod the gentileste 550 

\i%\i sittyngest for hire, if that hire leste ; 

and of thisf thre she wgt himself i trowe 

which that he be, for hit is light to kngwe.' 

The water-foules han hew h?des leid 
logidfTf, . and of a short avysement, 555 

whan (irrych hadde his large golee seyd, 
they seyden solhly al by pn asjent, 
how that ' the goos with hire facounde gent, 
that sg desyreth to pronounce cure nede, 
shal telle oure tile,' and preyede 'God hire spede,' 560 

And for thise water-foules thp begun 

the goos 16 sprite, and in hire kakejynge 

she seyde : ' P^s ! now 'tak kep ^very man, 

and herkeneth which a r§soun i shal biynge — 

my wit is sharp, i ]6vf ng laryinge — 

i sey^, i rfde hym, ihogh he w^re my brother, 

but she wijl love hym, lat hym love anoibet.' 


'Lo her a parfit r?soun of a goosl' 
quod the sparhauk, ' ngver mot she the I 
16 ! swich it is to have a tunge loos ! 
now parde, foil yet wgw it bet for the 
han hplde thy pgs than shgwe Ihy nycele; 
it iylh nat in his wit nor in his wille ; 
but soth is seyd, "a fol can nat ben stille,"' 

The laught«- arps of gentil foulea alle ; 
and right angn the sedfoulfs chgsen hadde 
the turtel ttewr, and gunn« hire 10 hem cal'e, 
and prey«len hire to seyn the sothe sadde 
of this matere, and asede what she radde : 
and she answerde that pleynly hiw entente 
she wolde shfwe, and sothly what she metiie. 

'Nay, God forbed* a lovere sholde chaunge,' 
the turtel seyde, and wes for shame r^d, 
* ihogh that his lady gvere mgr? be straunge, 
yet lat hym serve hir* ay til he be dgd; 
for soth i preyse nat the goaes rgd : 
for ihogh she deyi'de i wolde ngft oihcr make: 
i wol ben hires lii that the Dfth me lake.' 

'Wei bourded,' quod the d5ke, 'by myn hat! 
that men sholde alwey loven causelfs, 
who can a rfsoun fynde or wit in ihatP 
diun'selh he miiry that is myrlhelfs? 
■\yh6 sholde recche of that is recehelgs? 
ye, kck ! ' yit quod the d61;e ful wel and fayre. 
'ih^re been mp slerres, God wpt, than a pajTc.* 


' Now ly, cherl ! ' quod the genlil tercelet, 
'out of the donghil cam thai word Tul right; 
thow canst nat seen what thjTig is wel beset ; 
thow farcst by i6\t as oules don by Ij'ght — 
the diy hem blent, ful wel they sen by nyght: 
thy kyndi is of sp Igw a wrecchednesse 
that what ]6ve is thow canst nat seen ne gesse,' 

Thg gan the kokkow puitr hj'm forth in prfs 
for foul that ften worm, and seyde blyve; 
' Sp 1,' quod he, ' may havf my mak? in pf s, 60 

I recclie nat how Ignge that ye stryve; 
tat ?ch of hem ben soleyn al here lyve ; 
this 13 my rjd, syn they may nat acorde ; 
this shone lessoun nedelh nat recorde.' 

' y^ ! have the glotoun fild inough his paunche, 61 
thann* are we wel 1 ' seyde the merliouii ; 
' thow morthererf of ihe heysugge on the braunche 
that broght^ the forth, thow reuihelgs glotoun I 
liv« [how soleyn, wormes corupciounl 
for ng fors is of lak of thy nattire ; Ci 

gp! Ifwed be thow whtl the world may dure!' 

'Now pgs,' quod Nature, 'i comaunde here; 
for i havK herd al your* opinioun, 
and in ef/ect yet be we nat the n;re; 
but (ynally ihis is my concliisioun, 6: 

that she hir«elf shal han the eleccioun 
of whom hiff lest, whosg be wrpth or blyihe, 
hym that she chest he shal hir« lun as swiihe. 



For syn it may nat her discussed be, 
who 16v(fth hir^ best, as seyd^ the tercelet, 625 

thann^ wol i don hir^ this favour: that she 
shal hav^ right hym on whom hir^ hert^ is set, 
and he hir^ that his hert^ hath on hir^ knyt. 
Thus jtig^ 1, NatQr^, for 1 may nat lye; 
to nQn estat i hav^ ngn other ye. 63.0 


But as for conseyl for to ches^ a make, 

if it vi%te r^soun, certes thann^ wold^ i 

conseyle yow the ryal tercel take, 

as seyd^ the tercelet ful skylfuUy, 

as for the gentilest^ and mQst worthi 635 

which i hav^ wroght sq wel to my plesaunce 

that to yow oght^ to been a stif/lsaunce.' 


With dr^dful vols the formel hir^ answerde : 

* My rightful . lady, goddess^ of natQre ! 

soth is that i am ^v^r un'der your^ yerde, 640 

lyk as is ^v^rych other creature, 

and mot ben your^s whil that my lyf may dQre ; 

and th^rfQr^ graunteth me my firsle bone, 

and myn entent i wol you seyn right sone/ 


*I graunt^ it yow/ quod she, *and that angn.' 645 

This formel §gle spak in this degre: 

'Almyghty queen, unto this y§r be ggn, . 

i axe respit for \.o avise me, 

and after that to ha\v my choys al fre; 

this i% al and sum that i w6l sp^k^ and seye — 650 

ye %%\e ng mgr^, al thogh ye do me deye: 



for Bolh as yet by ng manere weye.' 
' Now syn it may npn other wey beiyde,' 
quod thp NatuTif, 'heere is np mgrir lo seye; 
thanne wold^ i that tliise foules wjrs aweye 
^ch M-ith his make for laryings icnger heere,' 
and seydf hjTii ihus as ye shul after here: 

'T5 yow sp^ke I, ye terc^lels,' quod Nature, 
'beth of good hertf, and serveth, alle thre; 
a y?r nis nat sp Ipnge to endure. 
And gch of yow peinf hym in his degre 
for 'to do wel, for, God wpt, quit is she 
frg yow this ygr, what after sp befalle ; 
Ihis entremfs is dressed for yow alle.' 


And whan this werk al broght was to an ende, 
to every foul Nature yaf his make 
by fVfn acord, and on here weye they wende. 
And Iprdl the blisse and joye that ihey make I 
for 5ch of hem gan other in wynges lake, 
and with hers nekkes fch gan other wynde, 
ihankyng alwey the ngble queen of kynde. 

But fyrst wgre chgsen foules for to synge, 
as yer by y^r was ahvey her iisaunce 
to synge a roundel at here deparijnge, 
to don 115 Nature fcnour and plesaunce; 
the npte i trowe imaked was in Fraunce, 
the wfirdes -wfre swiche -as ye may her fynde, 
the nexie vers, as i now hav^ in mynde'- — 


'Now welcome, somer, with [thy] sonne softe, 680 
that hast this wintres wedres gvershake, 
and driven awey the large nyghtes blake, 

Seynt Valentyn, that art ful hy^ on lofte, 

thus syngen smale foules for thy sake: 

[Now welcome, somer, with thy sonne softe.] 685 

Wei han they cause for to gladen ofte 
sith fch of hem recovered hath hys make; 
ful blisful mowtf they synge, whan they wake : 

[Now welcome, somer, with thy sonne softe, 

that hast this wintres wedres pvershake, 690 

and drivm awey the large nyghtes blake.]' 

And with the shoutyng, whan the sgng was do, 
the foules maden at her^ flyght awey, 
i wok, and other bokes tok me to, 
to Y%%<^e upon and yet 1 i%<^e alwey, 695 

in hgp^ iwis to r^de sq sum day 
that i shal mete sum thyng for to fare 
the bet; and thus to x%^e 1 nyl nat spare. 




Whan that Aprille with his^ schpures swoote 

the droghte of March hath perced to the roote, 

and bathed §v^ry veyn^ in swich licour, 

of which vertu engendred is the flour; 

whan Zephirus ^§k with his swete brfgth 5 

inspired hath in §v^ry holt and h^^th 

the tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 

hath in the Ram his halve cours yronne, 

and smale fowles ihaken melodye, 

that slepen al the nyght with gpen ye — 10 

S9 priketh hem nature in her^ corages — 

thann^ Igngen folk to gggn on pilgrimage?, 

and palmer^s for to seken straunge strgndes, 

to feme halwes, couth^ in sondry Igndes; 

and specially, from §v^ry shires ende 15 

of Engelgnd to Caunlerb/Vry they wende, 

the hQQly, blisful martir for to seke, 

thdX htm hath holpen, whan that they w^r^ secke. 

:whau;j'ata pnlle iwipis Juures swoole 

-jie druxiof marlj -ha]j persedtoo]je roole, 

-and baa"i5ed:Evri veinmjswnjli kuur, 

-onwh/ijver leeu -en dsendrcdiBjJe fluur; 

-whan zef/rasfk :«'i']"is swcete br£]j 

-(h spiiredha]>m tvri holtand hi)? 

']>t teiidre kroppcs, -andfie juijge si/nne 

-hajji/njje ;rammi's halve kuursi rKnne, 

-and smaak fuules maaken:me]o diie, 

-]:at sleepen aljjc nittwi'Jf aperf iie — 

:33 prike[jem;naa tyyrmherku raadses — 

:j3an br|gen:folkloo gononrpdgri maadses, 

-and palmers :fortoo seeken siniundse sirjndes, 

-loo feme halwes, kuuft/n saiidri Isiides; 

-and spesjalii, -from tvri Jrires cnde 

-of cijgebnd -too ;kaunterbri]3ei ^Yende, 

-))e hsli, Wiiiil marli'rrorLoo seekc, 

•-]7al:hema]) holpen iwhanl^alj'eiwtr sccke. 


Eifil that in that sgsoun on a day 
in Southwefk at the Tabard as I hy, 
redy to wenden on my pilgryma^'e 
to Caunlerbflry with ful devout coiage, 
at nyght wfrf com^ into that /lostelrye 
wel nynn and twenty in a coinpai^nye 
of sondry folk by aveiiLur* yftille 
in felaw^shifw, and pilgrims wgr? they alle, 
that t5ward Caunterbiiry wolden ryde. 
iThe chaumbres and the stables wgren wyde, 
and wel we wgren gsed a'.te beste. 
And shortly, ivhan the sGnne was to resie, 
sp haddi i spgken with hem gv^richgn, 
that i was of her felawrehip? anpn, 
and made forward ?rly for to ryse, 
to taki; oure wey thgr as J yow devise. 
But nathel^gs, whil i have lym? and spSce, 
§r that i ferlher in this lale pace, 
me thynkelh it acordaunt to rfsoun 
10 telle yow al the condicioun 
of ?ch of hem, sp as it scmed me, 
and whiche they wgren, and of what degree, 
and f^k in what array ibat they wgr^ inne; 
and at a knyght than wol I first bigynne. 

A Knvght lh|r-\vas, and that a wotihy man, 
that frp the tyme that he first bigan 
to riden out he loved chivalrie, 
troulhe and Aonour, fredom and curleisle. 
Fill worthy was he in his Iprdes werre, 
and thgrlo hadd^ he riden, ng man ferre, 
as wel in cristendom as hglhenesse, 
and ^siu honoured for his n'Srlhynesse. 
At Alisaundre he was, whan it was wonne. 


-bi fAj;at/n])ai .sEzuun -ona dai, 
•ill suuSwerk -aljie tafaardasii !ai, 
red iitoo;wenden:onmii:p/lgri rnaadge 
-too kaunterbri -\vj^ fulde cuutku laadje, 
-at ni^tWEr k«mjn:tooj?at:ostel riie 
:weel niinand twenti -;na:kHmpai niie 
-of sundri:fo!k -biiaaven tyyri falle 
-m felaupp, -and ;pilgr)'mswErf>ei alle, 
-Jiatitooward jkaunterlyriiw olden riide. 
-])e tjaumbresandfie staabJeswEreii wiide, 
-and weeIwee:wErea Ezedatte beste. 
-and Jonli -whan]!e sz/nnewasloo resie, 
-s3:haddii spake n:wi')!ein:tvr(ij on, 
-]iat:iiwasofer felauj/pa nan, 
-and:maade forward irlirortoo riize, 
-too;taakuur wei :f>£r;asii;juude viize. 
-bwtmaaSe Its, :\vhiil:iiav tiimand fpaase, 
:ir:]:'atii fer5er/n]MS taale paase, 
-mee Jiigkefrta kordaunlooirE zuun 
-loo tcllejuu al]5ekon dfsiruun 
-of Ellofiliem, :s3:asrt seemed mee, 
-ajid wh:lD)ei wtren, -andof whaidc grec, 
-anditki'n whaia raijratjieiwtr /nnc ; 
-and:ata iknigt ij>an;wulii fi'rslbi g/nne. 

-a kni(t];£r;was, -and j?ai -a w«r5i man, 
-Jiai:fr3f>e tiimeliatee (/retbi gan 
-loo riiden uut -liee lr<ved:iJiVal riie, 
troou5:ando nuur, free:dooniand:k«iLci ziie. 
:rul war?5i:wasee;n;s brdes werre, 
-and:JiErtoo:haddee r/dn, naiman ferre, 
-as:weelin kr/stendoomas httSenesse, 
-and ivron uured -fons:w«r6i nesse. 
-al:ali zaundree:was, -whan:jtwas uunne. 



Ful ofte-lyme he hadd« the bord bigonne 
aboven alle nacioiins in Pruce. 
In Lettgw naddf he reysed and in Ruce, 
np cristen ftian sg ofu of his degree. 
In Gernadtf at the seege ^^knaddif ,he be 
of Algezir, and ridm in Beimarye. 
At Ljeys was he, and at Sataiye, 
whan 'they \v?rs w6nn^, and'in (he Gr?te Sjs 
at many a ngbk arive hadds he be. 
^ " At moriaJ bataillcs hadde he been fiftene, 
and foghten for ouk feilh at Tramysjene 
_ in Ijstes thries, and ay slayn his fgg. 
This illie worlhy knyghl haddf been alsg 
somlyme with the Igrd of Palalye 
agayn another h^then in TurUye ; 
and sver^mggri he hadd< a soVireyn prys. 
And thogh that he w?re worthy, he was wys, 
and of his port as meeke as is a mayde : 
he ngverf yet ng vileynyi? ne sayde 
in al his jyf unto np maner wight ; 
he was a verray parliC gentil knyght. 
But for to teJlen yow of his array, 
liis hors was good, but he ne was nat gay; 
of fustian he w^red a gypoun, 
al bismfitewd with his habergeoun; 
for he was lattf ycome from his vlage, 
and wente for 16 doon his pilgrymage. 

With "hym thgr was his sone, a ySng SquIEr, 
a lovyers, and a lusty Bacheler, 
with lokkes cruJle, as they v^u leyd in presse. 
Of twenty y?er of age he was, I gesse ; 
his stalur* he was of fvene lenglhe, 
a/id wonderly delyvrfiC and greet of strengihe. 


-f«I ofieiliim -liee;had|;e boordbi gi<nne 
-a buven alle:naasi uuns/n prjyse. 
-m lettDUihaddee reized -and/n ryysej 
113 knsien:mans3 ofiofihisde gree. 
-in gernaadat]3e seed5tk:baddee bee 
-of:aId5e ziii, -and r('diim:belma riie. 
-at lieisiwasee, -andat:Eala liie, 
-whan:]ieiwir wwn, -andij'njie grEle sE 
-aMmanja nabla riiveihaddee bee. 
-at morlal baiaikihaddeebeenrf;! teene, 
-and foustenforuur feifiat:trami seene 
-in l/'stes thriies, -and ai slain;'s fa. 
-]?i's ilke KJ/rSi kni^tadibeenal so 
-BKm:[iime\v:")'l'e brdoftpala tiie 
-a gainainooSer hEtSeiwhlwr kiie ; 
-and iver;in3ree:hadda snvrein priis. 
-and:JJOUx]ja[:heewEr \\ui%\, -heewas wiis, 
-aiid:of('s portas meekasisa maide : 
-hee n£ver:jet;nD:vjlei niine saide 
-in al(s liif -wnitoornD maner wi^t : 
-hee:wasa verai parfit djenld kni^t. 
-b«t:ror[oo telIenjuuof:hj"sa rai, 
-h/s horsivas good, -but:heene:wasnat gai; 
-of:f«sii aan -hee wsredatdsi puun, 
:albi sm^terdwffxs^haber dsuun; 
-for;heeivas laau kamfroim'svii aad5e, 
-an d : wenicfortoo :doon(s:p jlgri m aailge. 

-wiJ):him])Er:wasi3 ;s«n, -a juijgskwii ;eer, 
-a lavjer, -anda lusti:b3lje leer, 
-wi]! lokkes kr«l, -asifeiwir leid^h presse. 
-of iwentirjtrof aadgeeiwas, -ii gesse ; 
■Df:h/astaa lyyr -heewasof tven leijCe, 
-and ivimderlide Imand grtlof stregSe. 


And he hadd« been sSratyme in chyvacMe, 

in Flaundres, in Artoys, and Pycardic, 

and bgrn hym weel, as in sq litel apace, 

in hppir to stpnden in his lady grace. 

Embrpuded was he, as it w^rs a mj^de, 

al ful of fresshe floures, whyti! and rgfde. 

Syngyngf he was or (loytyngf al the day ; 

he «as as fressh as is the month of May. 

Short was his gown?, with sieves Igngs and wyde. 

Wei koudf he sitlc on hors, and faire ryde; 

he koude spnges make and wel endite, 

juste and ^gk daunci-, and weel purtreyi and write. ' 

S9 hp9le he lovede that b^ nj'ghierlale 

he sleptc na mggrs than dooth a nyghtyngale. 

Curteis he was, l^nvly, and servysable, 

and carf bifgm his fader at the table. 

A yEman hadde he and servauniz na mp 
at that tynif, for hym iiste ride spg. 
And he was clad in cpte and hood of grene; 
a shfgf of pfcok-arwes, bright and kene, 
un'der his belt he bar ful thriftily. 
Wel koude he dresse his takel yemanly : 
hise arwes drouped noght wilh fethrres Ipwe; 
and in his hgnd he baar a nayghty bpwe, 
A nolh^ed hadde he mth a broun vi^ge. 
Of wodecraft wel koude be al the iisage. 
Upon his arm he baar a gay bracer; 
and b his syde a swerd and a bflfceier; 
and on that oother syde a gay dag§-ere, 
hameised wel, and sharp as point of spgre; 
a cristoffre on his brest of silver sheene. 
An hom he bar, the bawdryk was of grene; 
a forsicr was he sooihly, as i gesse. 


-and:heea[ibeens/(m:tiim('n:lpva l|iie, Bj 

-ia flaundres, -mar tois, -andpikar diie, 

-and bDrn/m vreel, -as:jiiS3 liitel spaase, 

-in h3p[oo:st3ndeii(~]ii's laadi graase. 

-em brDuded:wasee, :as/twira mtde, 

:£il Mof frejfe fluures, whiitaud rtde. go 

sii]:gir|gee:\vas, -or fioitiijg alfie dai: 

-hee:wasas frej -asuijie moonlJof mai. 

j'or[:was(S guun, -v/ip sleeves bqg-and wiide. 

:\veel;kuudee aiton hors, -and faire riide ; 

-liee:kuude sotjgesinaakand weelcn diite, 95 

rf5«standtk dauns, -andrweelpar treiand wriite. 

:sD hotee laved Ljiatbii nigler laale 

-hee sleptna mariianidoolia ni^iiij gaale. 

ikiiT teiseeiwas. bu:liand:serv(z aable, 

-and karfbi:f3m!"s faaderaifie liable. 100 

-a jeeman;haddee -andser vauntsna mo 
-at failiim, :for(m l:sle riide sd. 
-and heewas kladni katand hoodof greene ; 
-a ftfof ptkokiarwes, brigtand keene, 
uinidtris belt -hee baarifwl [iriTtfilii. 105 

:weel:kuudee dresses taakel jeemandli: 
■his arwes druuped nouxiMil^ feSres hue; 
-and:('nis hondee baara mi^ti boue. 
-a noth£d;haddee -wi'Jja bruunvi zaadje. 
-of wKdekrafiwcel kuudee alfyy zaadje. 110 

-u:pon)*s arm -hee baara gaibra seer; 
-and:bii(*g siida s\veerdanda:buk leer; 
■andionfat ooSSer: siida gai:da geere, 
-bar neized weel, -and Jarpas poimof spEre ; 
-a kr(*stofr:oiit's breesiof si'lver Jeene. 115 

-an hoornce baar, -(w baudrikwasof greene; 
-a forsteriwasee soo])li, -asii gesse. 



Th?r was alsp a nontw, a PrIoresse, 
that -of hir smylyng 'was ful sympW and coy ; 
hirf grettesti pptfi ne -was but by Seint Loy; 
and she was eloped madamf Egleniyne. 
Ful weel she sp^ng the service dyvyne, 
entuned in hir ngw ful semely. 
And Frenssh she spak ful fair^ and felisly, 
after the scolf of Stratford atle Bgwe, 
for Frenssh of Parys was t5 hir.* unknpwe. 
At mgle wel ytaught was she with alle : 
she leet ng morsel from hir lippes falle, 
ne wette hir fyngres in bir sauce dope ; 
wel koudrf she carie a morsel, and wel kepe, 
■that ng drgpe ne fill* upon hire brest. 
In curieisif was set ful muche hir lest : 
hir* gverlippe wyped she sp clene 
that in hir coppe was ng fertbyng sene 
of grfce, whan she dronken hadd^ hir draughte ; 
fill semely af'ter hir m^Ie she raughte. 
And sikerjy she was of gr^ft despori, 
and ful plesaunt, and arayabk of port; 
and peyned hir^ lo counirefjte cheere 
of court, and been estatlich of manere, 
and to ben hpjden df^ne of reverence. 
But for to spgken of hire conscience, 
she was sg cbaritablf and sg pitous, 
she wolde wepe, if that she saugh a mous 
kaught in a trappf, if it w?re dffJ or bJedde. 
Of smale houndes hadd? she that she fedde 
with rgsted t^essb, and milk, and wastel br??d: 
but sgpre she weple, if ggn of hem wfr« d^sd, 
or if men sm^gt it with a yerde smerle ; 
14&. wcptc sbe. 


and a! ivas conscience and lendre herte. i 

Ful semely hir wvmpel pynched was ; 

hirf n^sc tretys, hir yen greys as glas; 

hir mouth ful sina!, anil th^rlo sofle and r^^d. 

But sikerly she hadde a fair forh|gd : 

it was alrnggst a spanne brpgd, I trowe ; i 

for hardily she was nal undergrowe. 

Ful fetys was hir clgkf, as i was war. 

Of smal coral abouif hire arm she bar 

a peire of b^des, gauded al with grene; 

and thfron heng a brggch of gold ful aheene, t 

on which thgr was first \rs\\i a crowned a, 

and after, Amor vi'mi'l omnia. 

Another nonne with hirf hadde she, 

that was liirir chapeleyne, and preestes thre, 

A M6nk tli?r was, a fair for ihe maistric, i 

an ouirid^rf, that 15veds venerie; 
a manly man, 15 been an abbot able. 
Ful many a deyniee hors haddf he in stable ; 
and M'han he rpgd, men myghic his brydel heere 
gynglen in a wliistlynge wynd as cleere, i 

and 5?k as loudf as dooth the chape! belle, 
th?r as this lijrd was kepere of the celle. 
The reuU of -seint Mauri; or of seint Beneit, 
by cause that it was p)d, and sflmd?! strcit, 
this ilke ni6nk leet [it] forby him pace, i 

and heeld after the newe world the space. 
He yaf nat of that text a pulled hen, 
that seilh that hunters been nat hpgly men, 
nc that a monk, whan lie is recchel^fs, 
is likned til a fissh that )*s watertf^s; ii 

s 13 to seyn, a monk out of his cloystn 

But th'iike text heeld he nat worth f 

L oysire; 


d I sej-dc his opinioun was good. 
What sholdf he studio and make hymselven wootl, j 
upon a book in cloystr? alwey to poure, 
or swj'nken iviih his hpndes, and laboure, 
as Austyn bil ? How shal the w6rld be served? 
Lat Austyn have his swynk to him reserved I 
Thf rfgre lie was a prikasour aright : 
greyhoundes he hadde as swift as fowfl in flight ; 
of prikyng and of huntyng for the hare 
was al his lusi, for np cost wold« be spare. 
1 seigh his sle\'cs ypurfllfd at the hgnd 
with grys, and that the fynest? of a Ipnd ; 
and for to festne his hood un'der his chyn, 
he hadde of gold ywroght a curious pyn : 
3 love-knotlf in the gretter endi th^r was. 
His h§?d was balled, that shggn as any glas, 
and e^k his fa«, as it hadde been enoynt; 
he was a Iprd ful fat, and in good poynt. 
His eyen si^pf and rollynge in his h??d, 
that stemed as a fomeys of a lg?d. 
His bootes souple, his hors in gr?gt estaat. 
Now certeinly he was a fair prelaal : 
he was nat pale as a forpyned gg^st; 
a fat swan lovfd he best of any rggst. 
His palfrey was as broun as is a berye. 

A Frer£ th^r was, a wantpwn and a merye, 
a lymytour, a ful solem^ne man. 
In all^ the ordres fours is npgn that kan 
sg muchf of daliaunc; and fair langage. 
He hadde imaad ful many a manage 
of yonge wotnmen at his gwrne cost. 
Unto his ordre he was a ngble post. 
And wel biloved and famiilier was he 


wiih frankfleyiis gver al in his coulree, 
inJ ffk with worthy wommen of the loun; 
por he hadde power of confeasioun 
s seyde -hj-mself. mggre than a ciirat; 
r of his ordrf he was licenciat. 
?ul svctely herd? he confessioun, 
h&nd plesaun: ivas his absolQcioun ; 

m ?sy man to y?v« penaunce, 
ih^r as he wiste han a good pilaunce; 

\ ppure ordre for to yive 
S si^e that a man is wgl yahryve ; 
for if he yaf, he dorste mak^ avaunt, 
■lie wiste that a man was repenlaunt ; 
■for many a man sp hard is of liis herte, 
jihe may nal wep^, althogh hym sppre smerte ; 
thgrfpre in st^de of wepyng? and preyeres 
men ■moolr y^vv silver to the ppure freres. 

* lypet was ay farsed ful of knyves 
ttid pynnes for to ygven faire wyves. 
ind certeinly he haddf a miirye npte; 
wei koude he syngif, and pleyen on a rpte; 
fcf yeddynges -he baar outrely the prls. 
His nekkc whit was as the fiour-dc-lys; 
Ihfrto he strgng was as a champioun. 

• knew the tavern^s wel in gvrry loun, 
(nd gverich fostilgr and tappest^re 
I than a lazar or a bcggealgr?, 
!r unto sivich a worthy man as he 
icordcd nat, as by his faclillee, 
) \ with sikc lazara aqueyniaunce : 
is nat honest, it may nat avaimce 
r to dfflen with np swich porail/e, 
tut al wilh richr, and seller^s of viiail/e, 


and pver al thgr as profit sliold* arise, 

Curteis he was, and Ipwly of sen'yse ; 

lh?r nas ng man rigwhfr sg vertuous. 

He was the beste beggerf in his.hous: 

for thogh a wydwe hadde noght a sho, 

sp plfsaunt was his In principio, 

yet wolde he have a ferthyng gr he wenle ; 

his purchas was wei bettre than his rente. 

And ragf he koude, right as it wpe a whelpe; 

in love-daycs th^r koud/ he muchel helpe. 

for thgr he was nat lyk a cloysterer, 

with thrgdbar* cgp?, as is a ppurf scoler ; 

but he was lyk a maisler, or a pppe: 

of double worsteds was his semycppe, 

that rounded as a belU out of the presse, 

Somwhat he lipsed for his wantgwnesse, 

to make his Englissh sweets upon his tonge. 

And in his harpyng, whan that he haddf s6nge, 

hise yen Iwynkled in his \\%%<\ aryght 

as doon the sterres in the frosiy njght. 

This worthy lymylour was clfped Huberd, 

A Mahch.m'nt was tligr with a forked bgrd ; 
in motelee and hyt on hors he sat; 
upon his hf fd a Flaundryssh bfver hat ; 
his bootes clasped faire and fetisly. 
Hist rgsouns 'he spak ful solem^nely, 
sow-nyngf alway th' encre^s of his wjTi'njTig. 
He woldf the see wfre kept for any thing 
bitwixe W id del burgh and Q re well e. 
Wei koudf he in eschaunge sheeldes selle. 
This worthy man ful wel his wit bisclle : 
thfr wiste nQ wight that he was in delie, 
69 relaily was he of his gflvernaunce, 


willi his bargaj'nes and with his chevysjaunce. 
For soih he was a w6rlhy man with alle; 
but soolh to seyn, i n^pt how men hym calle. 

A Cleek th?r was of Oxenford aisp, 
that unto logyk hadde Ipnge jgp. 
As l?ene was his hors as is a rake; 
and he nas nat right fat, i undertake, 
but looked holwf, and ih^rto spbrely. 
Ful thrgdbarf was his gv^resl^ couriepy; 
for he haddif gets hym yet ng benefice, 
ne was 59 worldly for to bav? of_/"rce. 
For hym was levers have at his beddss h^gd 
twenty bookes, clad in blak or rg^d, 
of Aristptli? and his philosophic 
than rgbes rich^, or fithslf, or gay sautrle. 
But al be that he was a philosophre, 
ycl hadde he but litel gold in cofre; 
but al that -he myght* of his freendes hente, 
on bookes and his lernynge he it spente, 
and bisily gan for the spuies preye 
of hem that yaf hym whgrwith 15 sco!e)'e ; 
of studie took he Tn^Qst cure and mgpst heede, 
Noght 9 word spak he mggre than was neede, 
and that was seyd in forme and reverence, 
and short, and quyk, and ful of hy sentence ; 
sownjnge in moral vertu ■was his speche, 
and gladly wolde he lerne and gladly tgehe. 

A SerCeaukt op the Lawe, war and wys, 
that often hadde been at the parvys, 
ihfr was al'sp, ful riche of excel/ence ; 
discreet he was, and of gr^gt reverence ; 
he semed swich, hiSe wordes w^re 59 wise. 
Justice he was ful often in asjise, 


by patents, and by pleyn com^zissioun. 315 

For his snenc^, and for his high renoun, 

of fees and rgbes hadd^ he many ggn. 

S9 gr§§t a purchasour was ngwh^r nggn; 

al was fee sympk to hym in effect; 

his purchasyng myghte nat been infect. 320 

Ngwhgr sg bisy a man as he th§r nas, 

and yet he semed bisier than he was. 

In termes hadd^ he caas and doomes alle, 

that frg the tym^ of kyng William \i%xe falle. 

Th^rto he koud^ endit^ and mak^ a thyng, 325 

th^r koude ng wight pynch^ at his wri'tyng. 

And %vexy statut koud^ he pleyn by rgte. 

He rggd but hpQmly in a medlee cote, 

girt with a ceint of silk, with barres smale; 

of his array tell^ i ng lenger tale. 330 

A Frankeleyn was in his compai^nye ; 
whit was his h§§d as is a dayes-ye; 
of his complexi'oun he was san'gwyn. 
Wei lov^d he by the morw^ a sop in wyn; 
to lyven in delit was ^eie his wone, 335 

for he was Epicurus gw^ne sone, 
that heeld opinioun that pleyn delit . 
was verrayly felicitee parfit. 
An houshgld^r^, and that a gr§§t was he; 
seint Julian was he in his contree. 340 

His br^^d, his al^ was alweys after gpn; 
a bettr^ envyned man was ngwh^r ngon; 
withoute bake mft^ was n^v^r^ his hous, 
of fissh and flessh, and that 59 plentevous, 
it snewed in his hous of m§t^ and drynke. 345 

Of alle deyntees that men koude thynke, 
af'ter the sondry s^souns of the y%%T 


he chaunged him his mgls and his soper. 
Fill many a fat partrich haddi" lie in nniwe, 
and many a br^gro, and many a !5cf in siiiwe. 
Wq was his cook, but if his sauce wgre 
poynaunt, and sharp, and redy al his gs?re. 
His table dormaunt in his halle alway 
stood redy covered al the Ignge day. 
At sessiouns thgr was he Iprd and sire; 
ful ofle-tymc he was knyght of the shirc. 
An anlaas, and a gipser al of silk 
hecng at his glrdel, whit as morne milk. 
A shirrev? hadde he been and a countour; 
was n9i,vhgr such a worthy vavasour. 

An Hauerdassherb, and a Carpenter, 
a Webbe, a Dterb and a TapvcEr 
w^re with us, clgthed all? in g lyvcree, 
of -a solem/n« and grgft fratetnitee. 
Ful fressh and ncw^ her gffre apiked was: 
her knyves w?re ychaped noght with bras, 
but al with silver, wroght fu! eigne and weel 
her« girdles and hir pouches gv^ydgfi. 
Wei semed ^ch of hem a fair burgeys, 
to sitlen in a j'eldhalle on a deys. 
^vaich for the wisdom that he kan 
was shaply for to been an alderman. 
For catel hadde they ynough and rente, 
and {gk her wyves wolde it wel assente; 
and elles, certeyn, wgre they to blame; 
it is ful fair to been yclfpcd ma dame, 
and for to g99n to vigils al bil^re, 
and have a mantel roialiiche yhgre. 

A Cook they hadde with hem for the npnes, 
to boil/e chiknes with the marybgnes. 


and poudre- march aunt tart, and galyngale. 

Wei koud^ he knpwf a draughts of London ale. 

He koude rggst^, and sethif, and boil/^, and frye, 

mak-en morirewes 'and wel bake a pye. 

But grg^t harm was it, as it Ihoghte me, 

that on his shync a mormal hadde he ; 

for blankmanger, that mads he with the beste. 

A Shipmak was thgr, wonynge fer by weste: 
for aught i wQgt, he was of Dertemouthe. 
He rppd upon a rouncy, as he kouihe, 
[clad] in a gowne of faldyng to the knee. 
A daggers hangynge on a laas hadde he 
about! his nekkf un-der his arm adouti, 
The hggte s6m« hadde maad his hewe 3I broua; 
■ and ceneinly he was a good felawe. 
Ful many a draughts of wyn he hadde drawe 
frg Burdeuxward, whil that the chapman sleep. 
Of nyce conscience took he np keep : 
if that he faught, and hadde the hyer hgnd, 
by water he sente hem hpgm to gvery l^nd. 
But of his craft to r?kene wel his tydes, 
his str^mes and his daungers hym bisides, 
his herberwe, and his moone, his Ipdimetiage, 
Ihgr nas nggn swich from Hulle to CarSge. 
Hardy he was, and wys to undertake. 
With many a tempest hadde his bgrd been shake; 1 
he knew wel alJe the havenes, as they wfre, 
frp Gggllpnd to the Cape of Fynyst^re, 
and (Very cryke in Briiai^s and in Spayne. 
His barge ycl^ped was the Maudelayne. 

With us th^r was a Boctour «f pkimk. 
In al this world ne was ih^r n9pn hym hk 
to sp§ke of phisik and of sUrgerye ; 


for he was grounded in astronomye; 

he kepli his padent a ful gr^gt d^?! 

in /(ourea by his magyk naturg^l; 

we! koude he fortunen the ascendent 

of his^ j-mages Tor his pacient. 

He knew the cauw of gvfrich maladye, 

w$re it of hggt or cpld, or moyste, or itye, 

and whgre engendred, and of what Aamour; 

he was a verray parfit praktisour; 

the causf yknpw* and of his harm the roote, 

anpn he yaf the Bike man his boole. 

Ful redy haddf he his^ apothecaries 

to sende him drogges and his letuaries, 

for fch of hem madi? oother for to wynne; 

hir frendshipe nas nat newe 16 bigynne. 

Wei knew he the plde Esciilapius 

and Deyscpri'dfs, and ?gfc Rijfus, 

glde Ypocias, Haiy, and Galygn, 

Serapipn, Razis, and Avyc§n, 

Averrois, Damascien, and Conetanlyn, 

Bernard, and Gatesden, and Gilberiyn. 

Of his diete mestirable was he, 

for it was of ng sQperfluilee, 

but of gr^ft norissyng, and digestible. 

His studie was but lit el on the Bihie. 

In sangwyti and in pers he clad was al, 

lyn-ed with lafFata and iviih sendal. 

And yet he was but ?sy of dispence; 

he kepte that he wan in pestilence; 

for gold in phisik is a cordial, 

th^rfpre he loved^ gold in special, 

A good WiF was thfr of biade Bxthb; 
but she was som-d^l dfff, and that was scathe. 


Of clppth-mak'jTig she hadde swich an haunt, 

she passed hem of Ypres and of Gaunt. 

In al the parisshe wif ne was th§r nppn 

that to the offr'ynge bifpr^ hire sholde gpgn ; 

and if th^r dide, certej'n sg wrgpth was she, 

that she was out of alle charitee. 

Hir coverchiefs ful lyne wgr^ of ground; 

T dorste sw?re, they weyeden ten pound, 

that on a sonday wgr^ upon hir h^gd, 

Hir hpsen w^ren -of fyn scarlet r^gd 

ful Blreite yieyd, and shoos ful moysti? and newe. 1 

Bgpld was hir facf, and fair, and r??d of hewe. 

She was a worthy womman al hir lyve. 

Housbpndre at chirche dpre she haddf fyve, 

withouten oother compai^nye in youthe; 

but thgrof nedeth nal to sprite as nowlhe. 

And thries hadde she been at JerHsai?m, 

She hadde passed many a straunge str^m : 

at Rome she hadde been, and at Boloi^ne, 

in Gaiicf, at Seint Jame, and at Coloii'ue; 

she koude muche of wandryngf by the wcye. 

Gallothed was she, sooibly for to scye. 

Upon an aumblere gsily she sat, 

ywympled wel, and on hie h^^d an hat, 

as brpgd as is a bok^ler or a large ; 

a foot-man-tel aboute hir hipcs large, 

and on hirf feet a paire of sppres sharpe, 

In felawfshipe we! koude she laugh* and cavpe. 

01 remedies of love she knew per chaunce, 

for of that art she koude the plde daunce. 

A good man was ihfr of religioun, 
and was a ppure Persoun of a toun ; 
but rich? he was of hpgly thoght and werk. 


He was aisp a lerned man, a clerk, 

that Cristes gospel trewrfy wolde pr^che ; 

\\\%e parisslaens devoutly woldf he t^clie. 

Beny^n^ he was and wonder diligent, 

and in adversiiee ful piicient; 

and awich he was ypreved ofte-siilies. 

Ful Ipplh wgrf hym t5 cursen for liis^ tithes ; 

but rather wolde he y^ven out of doute 

unlo his p^ure parisshens aboute, 

of his offr-yng, and e?k of his subslaunce ; 

he koudf in litel thyng havf aUf/'isaunce. 

Wyd was his par(sshf, and houses fer nsonder; 

but he ne lafte nat for reyn ue thonder, 

in siknessc nor in meschief to visile 

the ferrests in his parissht', muchf and lile, 

upon his feet, and in his h^md a staf. 

This npble ensaumple to his sheep he yaf, 

that firsts he wrogbli', and afterward he taughte. 

Out of the gospel he thg wordes caughte, 

and this figure he added g^k th?rto, 

that if gold rusle, what shal iren doo ? 

For if a preest be foul, on whom we iruste, 

ng wonder is a l^wed man to ruste. 

Wei oghtf a preest ensaumple for to yive i 

by his clgn'ness^, how that his sheep shoide lyve. 

He sette rat his benefici? to hyre, 

and leet his sheep encombred in liie myre, 

and ran to London unto seinte pQules 

to seken hym a chaunierTf for spulcs, i 

or with a brelherh^d t3 been withholde, 

but dwells at hppm, and keple w51 his fglde, 


sg ihat the wolf ne mad^ it nat mj'scarie; 
he was a shepherds and 115 mercenarie. 
And thogh he hgply wjr?, and verluous, 
he was tu synful men noght despitous, 
ne of his speche daungerous ne difne, 
but in his ffchyng discreet and beny^e ; 
to drawen folk to heven* by faimesse, 
by good ensaumple, was his bisynesse. 
But it Wfrf any persgne obslinat, 
what sg he w^r^, of high or Igugh estat, 
hyra woldi; he snybben sharply for the npnys. 
A bettre preest i trow? that ngwh^r nggn ya. 
He ne waited after pomp.f ne reverence, 
ne maked him a spiced consi-ience; 
but Cristes Ippre and hise Apostles twelve 
he taught^, but first he folwed it hymselve. 

Willi hym thfr was a Plowman, was his brSlhei 
thai hadd£ ylad of dong ful many a fother, 
A trewe sw)Tikere and a good was he, 
lyvyngi in pf^s and parfit charitee. 
God lovifd he best with al his hpple herlc, 
at alle lymes, thogh him gamed or smerte, 
and thanne his nl^Aebor? right as hjTnselve. 
He wolde thressh^ and thfrtiS dyki; and delve, 
for Cristes sake, for gVifry p^ure wight, 
withoulen hir?, if it lay in his myght. 
His* tithes payeds 'he ful fair* and wel, 
bglhe of his propre sw)'nk and his catel 
In a tabard he rg^d upon a m§re. 
Thgr was alsg a rev^, and a millgre, 
a somnour, and a pardoner alsQ, 
a maunciple, and myself— th^r wfr« na mp. 

The MiLLEHE was a stout carl for the npnes, 


All bj"g be was of brawn and ggk of b^nes ; 
that proved wel, for 9V£r al th?r he cam, 
at wrastlj'ngf he woldf hav« ahvey the mm, 
He was short-sholdred, brgpd, a ihikke kiiarre; 
th?r lias np dgre that he nolde hgvf of harre, 
or br^kc it at a rennj-ng with his hf^d. 
His b^rd as any sow^ or fox was re?d, 
and thfrto brgpd, as thogh it wgr^ a spade. 
Upon the cop rig-ht of his npsf he hade 
a wertc, and th§ron stood a toft of hgrys, 
rgfd as the brusiles of a soives ?rys ; 
' hisf npseihirles bliike wgr* and wfde. 
A swerd and bokder bar he by his syde. 
His mouth as wyd was as a grfft forneys. 
He was a janglerf and a gohardeys ; 
and that was mppst of synnf and harlotries. 
AVel koude he stolen com, and tollen ihries ; 
and yet he hadds a thomb^ of gold pardee. 
A whit cgtf and a blew hood wgred he. 
A baggepip^ wel koud* he blpwe and sowne, 
and thgr-with-al he broght^ us out of lowne, 
A genlil MAi-NCifL^ was ih^r of a temple, 
of which achatours myghle lakf example, 
for to be wlw in bj7ng£ of vilail/e ; 
for whether that he paydf, or took by tail/e, 
algatf he wayted sg in his achaal 
that he was ay bifgrn and in good staat. 
Now is nat that of God a ful fair grace, 
that swich a Ifwed mannes wit shal pace 
the wisdom of an h?ep of lerned men? 
Of maislres haddf he mp than thries ten, 
that wfrf of law? expert and ciirious: 
of whiclic llifr wfrf a duzeyr 

1 that hous, 


worthy to been styward^s of rent^ and Ignd 

of any Igrd that is in Engelgnd, 580 

to makf hym lyve by his propre good 

in honour dett^l^^s, 'but if he w^r^ wood, 

or lyv^ as scarsly as hym list desire; 

and able for to helpen al a shire 

in any caas that myghte fall? or happe — 585 

and yet this mauncipk sett^ her aller cappe. 

The Reve was a sdendre colerik man. 
His b§rd was shav^ as ny as %yiex he kan; 
his \i%%x was by his §res round yshgrn ; 
his top was dokked lyk a preest bifgrn. 590 

Ful Ignge w§rf his legges and ful l?ne 
ylyk a staf — thfr was ng calf ysene. 
Wei koud^ he kep^ a gerner and a bynne ; 
th^r was nggn auditour koud^ of him wynne. 
Wei wist^ he by the dr6ght<? and by the reyn 595 
the yeldyng^ of his seed and of his greyn. 
His Igrdes sheep, his n§§t, his dayerye, 
his swyn, his hors, his stggr, and his pultrye 
was hgglly in this reves governyng, 
and by his cov^naunt yaf the r^kenyng, 600 

syn that his Igrd was twenty y§§r of age; 
th§r koud^ ng 'man bryngf hym in arrerage. 
Th§r nas bail/'if, ne hierdf, ne oother hyne, 
that he ne knew his sleights and his covyne; 
they \i%xe adrad of hym as of the d§§th. 605 

His wonyng was ful fair^ upon an h^^th ; 
with grene trees yshadwed was his place. 
He koude bettre than his Igrd purchace. 
Ful rich^ he was astgred pryvely ; 
his Igrd wel koud^ he plfsen su<^tilly, 610 

to y^vf and l§n^ hym of his gw^ne good, 


and hav^ a thank, and jet 3 gown*- and hood. 
In youthe he leraed hadd« a good mjslcr: 
he was a wel good wrightf, a carpenter. 
This reve sal upon a ful good slot, 615 

that was al pomfly grey, and highle Scot. 
A lijng surest* of pers upon he hade, 
and by his syd? he haar a rusty blade. 
Of Northfolk was this revv of which i telle, 
bistdf a toun men clfpen Baldeswelle. 610 

Tukked he was, as is a frerc, aboute; 
and ^vCT-e he rggd the hyndresle of oun^ route. 
A SoMNouR was th^r with us in that place, 
that hadde a lyr-rg^d cherubynes Rice; 
for sawce9?sm he was, with yen narwe; 615 

with scalled browes blak^, and piled b^rd. 

Of his visage children w^n- af^rd. 

Ther nas quyk-silver, lytargc, ne brymstpfin, 

bgras, ceriSM, ne oil/e of tartrc nggn, 630 

ne oynement that wolde clens-; and byte, 

that hym myghli? helpen of ihe whelkes while, 

nor of the knobbes sittyngc on his chekes. 

Wel lovfd he garleek, oynouns, and e?k lekes, 

.ind for to dr)-nken strpng wyn, rg^d as blood. 6,^5 

Thannf wolde he spfkf, and crie as he w^rf wood ; 

and whan that he wel dronken hadde the wyn, 

than wold* he spfke ng word but Latpn. 

A fewe lermes hadde he, two or ihre, 

that he had lerned out of som decree ; (140 

119 wonder is — be herde it aJ the day; 

and ^fk ye kngwen wel how that a jay 

kati cl^pen Wattf as wel as kan the pgpe. 

But who S9 koudc in oother ihyng hym grgpe, 


thann* hadde he spent al his philosophie; 
ay qucslio, quid juris via\Ae he crie. 

And if he f99nd gwhgr a good felawe, 
he wolde tfchen him to hav.; ngon awe 
in swich caas of the erced^k^nes curs, 
but if a mannes spulf w^r^ in his purs ; 
for in his purs he sholde ypimyashrd be ; 
' purs is the ercedgkfnes hell*,' seyde he. 
But wel i wQpt, he lyed right in dede : 
of cursyng oght< ?ch gilty man him dr^de ; 
for curs w61 b1§5, right as assoil/yng savith; 
and als5 war him of a signijiedvil. 
In daunger hadde he al his gwene gise 
tiie yonge girles of the diociae, 
and knew hir c6nseit, and was al hir rc^d. 
A gerland haddf he set upon his hg^d, 
as gr^jt as it wgrs for an ale-Slake ; 
a bokdeer hadde he maad him of a cake, 
With hym th?r was a gentil PARDONfR 
of Rouncival, his freend and his compeer, 
that streight was ciimen fr^ the court of Rome. 
Ful loTids he sg^ng cBm hidir Uvt to mi. 
This SBmnour bar to bym a slif burdoun ; 
was n^verf tromp^ of half sg gr^^t a £oun. 
This Pardoner hadd^ he^r as yelw as wex, 
bnt smoth* it heeng as doolh a striki? of flex ; 
by ounces heng« his< lokkes that he hadde, 


and ih^rwith he his* shuldres Qverspradile ; 
but thynnr it lay by colpouns ppn and gpn. 
But hood for jolitee ne wgred "he npgn, 
_for it was trussed up in his walet ; 

1 thogbte he r^^d al of the newe jet ; 
Bchevelee save his capp« he rggd al bare. 
Ivichf glaryngi yen hadde he as an hare. 

rernyck hadde he sowed upon his cappe. 
Bis walet lay bifprn hym in his lappe, 
gbreiful of pardoun ctme from Rome al hppt. 
A voys he hadde as sinal as hath a gppt. 
Np bgrd hadde he, ne n§vere siiolde have; 
as smolhe it was as it w^r; late yshave. 

But of his craft frg Berwyk int6 Ware, 
ne was thgr swich another pardoner. 
For in his mal^ he hadd* a pilwe-beer, 
which that he seyde was oure lady veyl ; 
he seyde he hadd^ a gobet of the seyl 
[which] that seint Peter hadde, whan he wenle 
upon the s%%, til JA^su Crist hym hente. 
He hadde a croys of latoun ful of stpnes, 
and in a glas he hadde pigges bpnes. 
But with this; relikes, whanne that he fpnd 
a ppure persoun dwellynge upon Ipnd, 
upon a day he gat hym mppre mSneye 
than that the persoun gat in monihes tweye. 
And thus with feyned Uat/erye and ja|jcs 
■'be made the persoun and the pep1« his apes. 
|ut irewely to tellen atte taste, 

in chirchf a ngble ec^lesiasle : 
■wel koud< he rfde a lesjoun or a siprie; 
but alderbcst he spng an ol/i^itgrie; 


for wel he wiste, whan that sgng was songe, 
he moste pr^ch^, and wel 2S/l\e his tonge 
to Wynne silver as he ful wel koude; 
ih^ielQxe he SQng the mtirierly and loude. 



In Flaundres whilom was a compai^nye 

of yonge folk, that haunteden folye, 

as riot, hasard, stewes, and tavernes, 

wh^r as, with harpes, lutes, and gylemes, 

they daunc^ and pley^ at dys bgth^ day and nyght, 5 

and %ie alsQ, and drynken Qwev her myght, 

thurgh which they doon the devel sacrifise 

withinn^ that dev^les temple in cursed wise, 

by sQperfluytee abomynable ; 

her Qthes been sg gx%\.e and sg dam/nable 10 

that it is grisly for to heer^ hem sw^re : 

our^ blessed Lgrdes body they tot^re ; 

hem thoghte Jewes rent^ hym noght ynough ; 

and ^h of hem at oth^es synne lough. 

This^ riotoures thre, of whichf 1 telle, 15 

l^ng^ §rst §r prime rgng of any belle 
w^r^ set hem in a taverns for to drynke ; 
and as they sat, they herd<? a belle clynke 
bifgrn a cors, was caried to his grave; 
that ggn of hem gan callen to his knave: ao 

* gQ bet,' quod he, * and axe redily, 
what cors is this that passeth heer forby; 
and looktf that thou reports his name weel/ 


' Sirf,' quod this boy, ' it nedeth n^v^r-a-d^fl : 

it was me iggld gr je cam heer two ^oures. 

He was pardee an pld feiaw.^ of youres 

and sodeynly lie was yslayn tonyght, 

fordtfinke as 'he sat on his bench upright; 

thgr cam a privee iheeF, men cl?pen D^gth, 

thai in this conlree al the peple stgjth, 

and with his sp^r? he smggt liis herln alwo, 

and wenie his wey wiihoulen wordes mg, 

He hath a thousand slayn this pestilence. 

And maister, ?r ye comi; in his presence, 

me ihynkelh that it wgre necesjarie 

for to be war of swich an adversarie: 

belh redy for to meet? hym e^erempgre; 

thus taughte me my dam«- — I sey na mggre.' 

' By seinle Marie,' seydi; this tavei 

' the child seith soolh, for lie hath slayn this y^gr 

hennf gv^r a mile withinn^ a gr^ft vil^ge, 

bglhe man and womman, child, and hyn*, and page ; 

1 trowe, his habitacioun be ih^re. 

T6 been avysed gr^ft wysdom it w?re, 

gr that he dide a man a distonour.' 

'Y§, Goddes armes," quod this notour, 

' is it swicb peril with hym for to meete ? 

I shal hym seke by wey and efk by sfrete, 

I make avow to Gotldes di^ne b^nes I 

Herk-nelh felawes, we thre been al pnes; 

lal gch of us hpldc up his hgnd lil ooiher, 

and eeh of us bicoraen oth^res brother, 

and we wol slggn this false traytour Dgglh : 

he slial be slayn which thai sp many sl^gth, 

by Goddes d\fnilee, gr it be nyghll' 

Togidres han this* thre hir trouthes plight, 


10 lyv* and dyen gch of Lem for ootlier, 

as thogh he wgw his pwfue ybyrne brother. 

And up they stirl^, al dronken in this rage, 

and forlh they ggpn tiJwardes that vilSge 

of which the tavemer hadd< sp^k/ bifgrn ; 

and many a grisly ggih thannf han they swQm, 

and Crisles blessed body they torente — 

'D^gth shal be dgjd, if that they may hym hente.' 

Whan they han gggn nal fully half a mile, 
right as they wolde han troden <jmt a stile, 
an ggld man and a pgure with hem melte. 
This plde man ful raekeiy hem gretie, 
and seyde thus, 'Now, Iprdes, God yow seel' 
The proudesti; of thisf riotoures three 
answerde agayn, 'What, carl with sory grace, 
why artow al forwrapped save thy face ? 
why lyvestow sg Ipnge in sp gr^gt age ? ' 
This plde man gan bobr in his visage, 
and seyde thus, ' For i ne kan nat Jynde 
a man, thogh that i walked into Ynde, 
neilh'er in citee nor in up vil^ge, 
that wolde chaungf his yonlhe for myn ag'e ; 
and th?rfijrf moot i han myn age stilje, 
as Ipnge lyme as it is Goddes wille. 
Ne de?th, al/asi ne wol nat han my lyf. 
Thus walk* i, lyk a restelggs kaityf; 
and on the ground, which is my moodres ^te, 
I knokke with my staf ?rly and late, 
and scye, " leeve mooder, Iff t me in ! 
lo, how i vanysshir, flessh, and blood, and skyn I 
al/as I whan shul my bgnes been at resle f 
moo'der, with yow I wolde chaunge my cheste, 
that in my chaumbre Ipnge lym« hath be, 


y?, for an heyre clowt lo wrappe me I " 
But yei lo me she w61 nal do that grace, 
for which ful pale and welked is my lace. 
But ar^s, to j*ow it is no curteisye 
10 spoken to an pld man vi!e}'nye, 
but he trespass^ in word or clli;s in dede. 
In hggly writ ye may yourself wel r^de, 
"agayns an pgld man, hg^r upon his h^d, 
ye sholdif ariss ; " whgrfyrif i y^\e yow r^^d, 
ne doolh unto an ggld man nppn harm now, 
na megre than ye woldn men did to yow 
in age, if that ye sp Ipng* aliy<ie ; 
and God be with yow, wh^n; ye gp or lyde: 
i moot g9 ihider as I have to gp,' 
' Nay, glde cherl, by God, thou sbalt nat sg,' 
seyde this oother hasardour angn, 
• diou partest nat sg lightly, by Seint JgAn ! 
Thou spak right now of tb'ilke iraylour Df^^h, 
that in this contree allf ourc freendes sl^gth. 
Have heer my irouthe, as thou art his espye, 
telle wh{r he is, or thou shall it abye, 
by God, and by the hgply sacrement I 
For soothly thou art gpn of his asjenl, 
l6 slf^n us yonge folk, thou false theefl' 
' Now sires,' quod he, ' if that yow be sp leef 
to fynde Detlf". '""" "P 'liis croked wey, 
for in that grgve i laflf hym, by my fey, 
un'dcr a tree, and th^r he wolf abyde : 
nat for youre bggst he wole him ngihyng hyde. 
Se ye that ggk?^right ih^r ye shjl hym fynde. 
God save yow that boghle agayn mankynde, 
and yow amende I ,' thus seydff this glde man. 
And ;verich of thise rfotoures ran. 


til he cam to that tree, and th^r they founde 

of floryns fyn^ of gold ycoyned rounde 

wel-ny an eighte busshels, as hem thoghte. 125 

Nq lenger thanne after D^^th they soghte, 

but §ch of hem sq glad was of that sighte, 

for that the floryns been sp fair^ and brighte, 

that doun they sett^ hem by this precious hoord. 

The worsts of hem he spak the firste word : 130 

* Breth^Ten,' quod he, * taak kepe what i seye ; 
my wit is gr§§t, thogh that 1 bourd^ and pleye. 
This tresor hath Fortune unto us yiven, 
in myrth^ and jolitee our^ lyf to lyven, 
and lightly as it comth S9 wol we spende. 135 

Ey, Goddes precious dl^iteel who wende 
today that we shold^ han 59 fair a grace? 
but myghttf this gold be caried frg this place 
hggm to myn hous, or elles unto youres — 
for wel ye wggt that al this gold is oures^ 140 

thanne wgre we in high felicitee. 
But trewely by day^ it may nat bee; 
men wolde seyn that we w^r^ theves strgnge, 
and for our^ gw^rie tresor doon us hgnge. 
This tresor most^ ycaried be by nyghte, 145 

as wisly and as slyly as it myghte. 
Wh^rfgr^ i r^d^ that cut amgng us alle 
be draw^, and lat se whgr the cut wol falle. 
Aifd he that hath the cut with herie blithe 
shal renne to the town, and that ful s withe, 150 

and bryng^ us br^^d and wyn ful prively. 
And two of us shul kepen sti<5tilly 
this tresor wel; and if he wol nat tarie, 
whan it is nyght we wol this tresor carie 
\>y ppn asjent wh^r as us thynketh best/ 155 



That ppn of hem the cut broghlif in his fest, 
and bad hein draw^, and looke wh^re it wol falle; 
and it fil on the yongeste of hem alle; 
and forth toward the toun he wente angn. 
And al sg soone as that he was gpn, 
that ggn of hem spak thus unto that oother: 
' Thou kngwest wtl thou art my swprne brother ; 
ihy profit «61 I telle thee anpn. 
Thou wggst wel that aau felaw; is agpn, 
and heer is gold, and that ful gr??t plenlee, 
that shal departed been amgng us thre, 
But nathel^^s, if ! kan shapif it sg 
that it departed wgw amgng us two, 
haddff T nai doon a freendes lorn to thee?' 
That oother an swerd?. 'i nggt how that may be; 
he wggt how that the gold is with us tweye ; 
what shal we doon? what shal we lo hym seye?' 
'Shal it be conseil?' seycV the firsle shrewe, 
' and i shai tellen thee in wordes fewe, 
what we shal doon, and brynge it wel aboute.' 
* I grauntc,' quod that oother, ' out of doute 
that by my troulhe i shal thee nat biwreye.' 
' Now.' quod the firsif, ' thou wgyst wel we be tweje, 
and l«o of us shul strenger be than ggn. 
Looki whan that he is set, and right anggn 
arys, as thngh thou woldest with hym plej'o, 
and i shal ryv< hym diurgh the sydes tweye, 
whil that thou strog^lest with hym as in g^me; 
and with thy dagger? look? thou do ihe same. 
And thann; shal al this gold departed be, 
m? deere freend, bitwixea me and thee. 
Tliann? may we bpth? our? lustes al fulfille, 
and pley? at dys right at our? gw/ne wille.' 


And thus acorded been tbis^ sbrewes tweye 

to sl^fn tbe tbridd^, as ye ban berd me seye. 190 

Tbis yongesttf, wbicb tbat went^ unto tbe toun, 
ful oft^ in bert^ be rolletb up and doun 
tbe beautee of tbis^ floryns new^ and brigbte: 
* 9, Igrd/ quod be, * if sp w§r^ tbat i mygbte 
bav^ al tbis tresor to my self allgne, 195 

tb^r is ng man tbat lyv^tb un*der tbe trone 
of God tbat sbolde lyv^ sq mtiry^ as i 1 ' 
And atte last« tbe feend, our^ enemy, 
putt<f in bis tbogbt tbat be sbolde poysoun beye, 
witb wbicb be mygbte sl§§n bis^ felaw^s tweye; aoo 

forwby tbe feend fggnd bem in swicb lyvynge 
tbat be badd^ l§ve bem to sorwe brynge; 
for tbis was outrely bis fulk entente, 
to sl^?n bem bgtb^, and n§ver^ to repente. 
And fortb be gQQtb — ng lenger wold^ be tarie — 205 

into tbe toun, unto a pot^ecarie, 
and preyde bym tbat be bym wolde selle 
som poysoun, tbat be mygbte bis^ rattes quelle ; 
and §§k tb^r was a pglcat in bis bawe, 
tbat, as be seyd^, bis^ capouns badd^ yslawe, 210 

and fayn be wolde wr^k^ bym, if be mygbte, 
on vermyn tbat destroyed bym by nygbte. 
Tbe pot^ecari^ an'swerd^, *and tbou sbalt bave 
a tbyng tbat, alsQ God my SQule save, 
in al tbis world tb^r is ng creature 215 

tbat §t<f or dronk^ batb of tbis confitQre 
nogbt but the mountaunc^ of a corn of wb^te, 
tbat be ne shal his lif angn forl^te: 
y§, stervtf be shal, and that in lasse while 
than thou wolt gggn a paas nat but a mile; 220 

ibis poysoun is sg strgng and violent/ 


This cursed man halh in his hpnd yhent 
this poysoun in a box ; and sith he ran 
into ihe nexle strele, unio a man, 
and borwed of hym large botels ihre : 
and in the two his poj'soun poured he ; 
the ihriddi; he keple eigne for his drynke: 
for al the nyght he shoop hyna for lo swynke 
in caryingK of the gold out of that place. 
And whan this riolour, with sory grace, 
hadde fill«l with wyn hise grgie botels ihre, 
to hise felaw^s agayn repairelh he. 

What nedeth it to sermone of it mggre ? 
for right as ihey hadde cast his d^^ih bif^gre, 
right sg they han hym slaj-n, and that angn. 
And whan ihat this was doon, thus spak that ggn, 
' Now lat us sill; and drynkr, and make us raerie, 
and afterward we wol his body berie.' 
And wiih diat word it happed hym par cos 
to lakf the bolel thgr the poysoun was, 
and drank, and yaf his fela«e drjnk? alsp, 
for which angn ihcy slorven bplhe two. 

But certes i sup/gs< that Avycgn 
wrpgt nfyer* in np canoun ne in ng fen 
mg wonder sr^nes of empoisonyng 
tlian haddf this* wrecches two ^r her eodyng. 
Thus ended been this* homyddes two, 
and f;k the fals; empoysonfr; alsg. 

^^^^V ^M 

^^^BThTorder Is alphnbetlcal, excep 

^^^^H prelix jh- must be sought und< 

;r their root ; ylktwcd under (, &c 

^^^H Words that cannot be found undec > must be soucht undei r. 

^^H and vice versl 

abf en, B.toDe for, suiTer for. 

avauntour, boaster. ^H 

aohat, purchase. 

^venture, chance, adventare. ^H 

aoh»lour, buyer. 

aviaement, deliberation. ^^1 

BBloyen, over- burden. 

aviaen, conlemplale, consid^H 

■-drad, afraid. 

a,aae, file, [loUah. 

avouteiia, adullerj. ^^H 

afft^yen, startle. 

al, all ; entirely, completely— 

a-wrfkea, avenge. ^^H 

' over nl,' everywhere ; ' al be,' 

axen, ask ; call for, provoke. ^^H 

allhoiighi -with alle,' com- 

ay, always. ^^| 


al, awl. 

balled, bald. ^H 

aldor-boBt, best of fill. 

barre, ornament ^M 

ftlder-neM, next, nearest of all. 

bAvdryk, bell. ^H 

ftls-at&ke, sign- post. 

al-gata, always. 

AlgeElr, Algeciras (in Spain). 

Belmarys, a kingdom in A&^^^| 

Alisaundn, Alexandria. 

Beneit, Benedict. ^^| 

alsp, as ; also. 

bente, meadow. ^^| 

a-mya, amiss, unfavorntily. 

be-aetten, beset; apply, (^^| 

anlaa, dagger. 

ploy, utilise. J^H 

an-oii,itnon, at once ; fortliwith. 

ba-BijreiiBan, sprinkle, bede^^H 

angn-rlBlit. at ouee. 

bsBy. biiay, biay, busy, anxicj^H 

apiked, trimmed. 

aray, array; maEnificence [in 

bet, better ; quickly (I). ^H 

dress and armour). 

bs-wrfen, betray. ^^H 

arive, landing (of troops). 

beyen, buy. ^^H 

arrerage, axreaia. 

aesent, consent, conspiracy, 

bit, fm. indu. 3 sg. of bidd^H 

asBoaien, absolve. 

abk. bid. ^^H 

blanden, blind. ^H 

atte=at the— 'a, besle,' in the 

bleat, lee bleoden. ^H 

best style. 

b-^VB, quickly. ^H 

atf r, ornament ; dress. 

sage. ^^1 

I AuBlyi). St. Augustine. 

bpldeii, becume bold. ^^H 

bone, reqaest, wisb. ^^H 

^^^^L araaacaa, advance, profit. 

boroB, boisx. ^^^| 

^^^■^ 107^^1 

^^^Rted, table— 'the b.biginnen,' 

eBnseil, mWice; delilieratiou : ^^H 

lit at the head of the table ; 

take the lead. 

c6iitcaire, contrary; adversary. ^^H 

bote, remedy. 

bonrdeD, jest. 

OOP, ^^H 

09PS, s priest's cloak. ^^^H 

brawn, muscle, 
brennen, bom. 
bret-ful, brimliil. 

oSr&Be, heart, spirit, disposi- ^^H 
OOTonns, crown. ^^H 

bryd, yonngUrd; bird. 

conipoioun, destroyer. ^^H 

bukke, he-goat ; buck, slag, 
burdoun, Ijurden, acuompam- 

ooat, condition, nature— Tor np ^^^1 

cost,- in no way. on no account. ^H 

meQUofasoiiB); baEs. 

coucheo, lay ; trim, preusre, ^^H 

burgeys, burgess, ciliien. 


but, but; unless; but i^ un- 

OOUdS, /rtff. 0^tIBIt. ^^H 


buiumnesne, obedience, cheer- 

arithmetician ; aljacus, count- ^^^H 


ing- board. ^^^M 

bolder, builder. 

OOUrtepy, short cloak. ^^^^| 

CELD, knaws ; can. 

ooutll, known. ^^^^| 

oarojnB, oaroyne, carrion. 

ooutbe, frel. 0/can. ^^^| 


c5veT0hef, cap. ^^H 

oarl, fellow. 

c5vine, deceit. ^^^H 

oarpen, talk. 

crafty, skilfu!. ^^^^| 

ooslen, cast ; devise. 

crftsen, break. ^^H 

catel, property. 

cristoft^, broach. ^^^^| 

oeint, giidle. 

orokke, pot. ^^^^| 

cells, i.niall monastery. 

crop, tree-top, shooL ^^H 

eeruoB, while lead. 

Oroya, cross. ^^H 

j'OhftpBd, inlaid. 

cuily. ^^H 

eharitablo, humane. 

oryke, cteek. ^^H 

Oharile, l«;uevolenee, kin.Iness. 

cunnyng. knowledge, skill. ^^H 

ohaunterie, chantry, endow- 

cure, care. ^H 

ment for chanting mass. 


stale of mind, cheer; behaviour; 

friendliness, friendly retept ion. 

dame, lady, dame — ' mV d.' my ^^^H 

tibori, fellow; churl. 

~ ^H 

ohSaeli, choose. 

daunegr, control, authority ^^^| 


ohiralTie, kni);hihooil, life of a 

ii^i.,,n .r,„cut. ^H 

kniyhl, chivalry. 

dBunteo. subdue. ^^^H 

chyvBchie, military exptdilioa, 

dayea-ye. daisy. ^^H 


defaut, failure, fnult. ^^H 

olaire, sweet, «piced wine. 

deBT6. rank ; n.anner. ^^H 

olepoD, call ; name. 

dfl, pBit, portiun; qunrti'y. ^^H 

olertt, student, scholar. 

deitcufe, luxury, daiutii,..:^^. ^^H 

<JFlcto. coldneES. chill. 

delyvere. active, a;;ile. ^^H 

cSlpoua, shred, bundle. 

decMtAii, dviv^^ ^^:k.-.«,. ^^H 

ro8 GLOSSARY. ^^H 

dopaynten, cover wilh paial- 

(ren, level, even; impartial; ^^H 

ings; paint. 


ever-in-911, continually. ^^H 

desport, sport, play, liTeline!S, 

dgth.dcath— 'thed.,'thcp]aEiie. 

deviaen, tell, describe. 

faaound, eloqaent ^^^^| 

deyiitS,va.luable; dainty, luxury. 

faooiinde, eloquence. ^^^| 

day a, ilais, platfarm. 

fodme, fathom, yitrd. ^^^H 

faldynK, coarse cloth. ^^H 

diBniBvele, with loose hair. 

fallen, fall; happen, occnr. ^^^H 

diBponoB, ex]>endilnre. 

f^ren, travel; prosper — fire, ^^^H 

diatraynen, strain, poll. 

»DHHliap:';veinire,'Ul-l(ick. ^^H 

dom, jndgment, decision. 

farasn, stufT. ^^^H 

dfin, do ; caii5e, have. 

many. ^H 

doute, doubl— 'oulof tl.,' wilh- 

fen, chapter. ^^^^H 

out doubt. 


drfdfbl, timid ; terrible. 

ferda, sii fSran. ^^H 

drBBasD, pri^pare. 

fere, companion ; mate. ^^^H 

droghte, drought, dryoesi. 

feron. go ; fare, behave. ^^^1 

dry en, sKlTer. 

fer-forth, far; ' sg f.,' to such ^^^1 

dikBD, dig a. ditch. 

degree. ^^H 

egS;e, edge. 

ferrest, larlhest, most distant ^^^| 

Sk. eke, also. 

ferther, farther. ^^H 

ellea, else. 

feitlimg, farlhing; small per- ^^^H 

erabrpudad, embroidered. 

emperics, empress. 

fast, li^l, bond. ^^H 

fetia, well-made, neat, eleganL ^^^1 

ensendruro, breeding. 

fetta, /r^r c/'bcotien, fetch. ^^^1 

enointeD, luioinl. 

flthala, tiddle. ^^H 

flaume, flame. ^^^^| 

entente, altenLioii ; inteatioa ; 

flea, Reece. ^^H 

state of miad, will; opinion. 

fleten, float. ^^H 

entre-rofa, entremets; IntervaL 

floyten, [>!ay the llute. ^^H 

entremf ten, riji. meddle with. 

folk, people; kind. ^^H 

BQtrikan, eniiiate, seize. 

fpnden, try. ^^^1 

envyen, envy; emnlate, strive. 

for, for; becanse ; against; to ^^^1 

envyned, stored, provided with 


for-beden, forbid. ^^^1 

erce-dfken, arch- deacon. 

for-by./r^. past. ^^^1 

for-drdnkan, dead drunk. ^^^H 

OBoliaimBe, exchange. 

for-loyne, halt. ^^^^| 

fsan, make easy, accommodate. 

formal, female of a bird of prey, ^^H 

BBpiB, spy. 


aapien, espjr. 

former, prior, earlier. ^^^H 

estot, r.ank. dignity ; condilion. 

fdrneya, furnace: fireplace— ' f. ^^H 

estfttlioh, eatatly, steady, re- 

ofalH.'liremideracaul'troii. ^^H 

liable ; stalely. 

forpjned, worn ont wilh Icn^^^^^H 

w — 


^K ments, wiBted away, 


ers-^e, groye. ^H 

erjpeo, feel, grope ; lest ^^M 

forB, mnltcr. consequence. 

ground, ground.bottom.founda- ^^H 

fortunan, make foilimate. 


1 forward, ogreemtnt. 

grys, (grey) fur. ^^H 

a for-wary, oveitited, very weary. 

gypoun, jacket. ^H 

1 for-vhf, because. 

gyterne, guitar. ^^B 

1 fother, load. 

1 fot-hoc, ' foo!-hot,' impatie 

habergBOun, small coat of mail. ^^| 

1 start. 

haten, draw, attract. ^^| 

r foul, fowel, UfH. 

half,— 'ai -on) Goddes h.' ^M 

foiindeB, founJ, build. 

for Gad's sake. ^H 

famkeleyn, squire. 

halowan, halloo, drive with ^H 

shouts. ^^1 

hala, neck. ^H 

salentyno, kind of sauce. 

golynsale, the root of : 

halve, saint. ,^H 


han - haTBH, have. ^H 

g&men, play — 'him gamed,' be 

hardily, certainly. ^^H 

was happy. 

harlotrie, looseness, wanton- ^^H 

gan, j« ginnen. 

nesse; bufToonery. ^^H 

eat-tothBd, with tcctli 


harm, injury, grievance. ^^H 


harnelBen, equip. ^H 

gSiuden, adotn. 

barre, hinge. ^^H 

Gaunt,, Ghent. 

geauct, ginuL 

haunt, practice, ^kill. ^H 

gent, uohle, elegant, at 

haunten, follow after, practise. ^H 


hautayn, haughty. ^^H 



bawB, enclosure, yar.t. ^H 

ggre, gcai, instiumetits, i 


hei-BUgge, hedge-sparrow. ^M 
hfle, healing, health. ^H 

ierfauooun, gerfalcon. 

henna, hence. ^H 

GernSde, Granada. 

henten, sci^e, take hold of ; get ^H 

gorner, gamer, cornloft. 

b«p, crowd. ^B 

Eilden, goldea. 

herberwe, harbour. ^^H 

ginnen, 1*^1 n. 

berde, /re/, ^hdren, 'hear.' ^^H 

gipler, puiicli. 

hardB, keeper of cattle, shep- ^^1 

girl, young man or womao 


8MB, manner, way. 

hBTse, hearse, decorated bter. ^^H 

gulden, rub. 

hert, hart. ^^H 

gobet, piece. 

hatte, heart. ^^H 

BBle, t=lk. gabble. 

hfthaneaie, heathendom, heir ^^H 

goliardayB, spungcf. 

then countries. ^^H 

gpn. go ; apply oneself. 

bette, str b^ten. ^^H 


batte, fil of h§ten. ' heat.' ^^H 

beyre, adj., of hiirseliair. ^^^| 

grer. erievHiice. 

bjghte, su hoten. ^^H 

gp^t, big-' the grftc'thc 


stance; 'the Gr^Ie He, 

■ the 

holm, holm-oali. ^^^| 


holt, ^H 

grivftuDoe, injury, aiinoyanct. 

bonest, becoming, proper. ^^H 


hOBtelrya, tiwelling; ij 
hnBtiler. inn -keeper, 
hgto, iiotly, fervenlly. 
h9teiif be naoiGd. 
hound, dog ; hoand. 
hiinto, hunter, 
hyon, hasten. 

juneler, talker, babbler. 
Jape, jest, trick. 
Jet, style, fashion. 
Juaten, joDst, tilt, eagsge ii 

laaen, lose ; destroy, 
lest ( — hist), pleasure, 
lesten, see listen. 
Igten, let ; leave. 
lettaii, hinder ; abilai 
IiSttgw, Uthuaiiia. 
letiiarie, clertnary. 
levsQ, believe. 
Igven, leave ; oiutt. 
Ijwed, liy^man) ; 

llpseD, li^. 

kan, knows ; can. 
harf, see keiven. 
ken = kyn, race, fnmily— ' al 
ken,' mankind, everyone. 

kepen, keep ; keep clear (of 

pirates), gnaid ; watch. 
kSpere, keeper, head. 

knarre, knot in wood ; a thick- 
knave, boy, servant. 
knetten = kii7tten, knit, join. 

kjd, ptc.prt. of kythen, make 

kynde, nature; kind. 

laddo, /m/. q/'l^den 'lead.' 
Ittf te, ptit. o/^lf Ten ' leave.' 
lambyiah, lamb-like, 
larae, l:irge, wirle, long; liberal, 
laa, lace, thong, 
latoun, kind of brass, 
laonde, glade, lawn. 
laurSr, laurel. 
loEOF, leper. 
Igd, cauldron, 
IgdeD, lead ; convey, cart 
Ifiion, lend. 
longer, comp. of Ipne. 
Jpren, lesch i learn. 


' he desired, i 

nte, little. 

li testers, dyer. 

Ipde-menage, pilot age. 

loft, beijjht ; upper room — 'on 

lofte, a lofte,' aluft. 
l^iiBe, adv., for a lung lime, 
lough, frel. ef laughon. 
IfivB-dayB*, love-days, days for 

settling disiiutcs amicably, 

without lawsuits, 
KtQB, pike. 

luat, desire; pleasure, enJoymenL 
Iiyaya, in Armenia, 
lykeroua, luxurious, lecherous. 
lymSre, greyhound, 
lymytour, mendicant friar. 


GLOSSAJt y. Ill 

mat, fni. Mk. 3 i/^j-. 0/ 

ofte-aithBB, often. 

on, one — ' after on,' of imiform 

mSte, fit, appiopriste. 


m^ten, di cam, /lers. and imfcrs. 

motte. /»/. ^ mfton, * dieam," 

Qre-welle. Orwell, the port of 



mevsn. move. 

orlpse, clock. 

m9, o«-.//«r.more. 

other, other. 

mormal, sore, gangrene. 

gther, or. 

roorne-milk, morning- milk. 

outlandlaflh, foreign. 


mortrewes, a kind ol sonp. 

outrage, excess, luxury. 


morwa, morning — 'by the m.' 

outrely, utterly, entirely. 


in tlie morning. 

gvereflt, uppetmo5t, outer. 


mpt, signal. 

fv.,..h»™, o.niom.. 


mountaunce. amount. 

go too far. 

mo we, ste may. 

mnohe, big ; much. 

pwjon. pais hy. *nrpasB. 

miiwe. mewe, coop for fallening 

PaUtye, Palathia, in Asia 



par oas, by chance. 

parOBl, portion ; tietail, acconnl,' 
par-de, by God. 

na, no, not. 

pudoner, seller of indnl- 

nam, mw, &c, am not, was noL 

Di-the-lf ga, nevenheless. 

parfit, perfil, perfect. 

natiirs, nature; kind, race. 

paiTok. park. 

ne, not; neither— ■ ne . , ne,' 
neither . . nor. 

p»rvy», portico of St. Paufi 
(where (he lawyers met). 

Wsmbrot. Nimrod. 

p&B, pace— 'ggn a p.," go at a 

njt, cattle. 

nsrer-a-dtfl, not at all. 

pawea, (su'r)pass. 

n^nSH — ■ for the n., for the 

pny^e), satmaction. 

payen, please, content ; pay. 

Sorthfolk, Norfolk. 

paysybla, peaceful. 

ngse-thirloB, nostrils. 

pen, grey cloth. 

not -no wot. 
iipt«, melody ; note. 

para DUD, parish priest. 

peynen, trouble—' peyned hire," 

not-hsd, crop-head. 

look ti^uble, endeavoured. 

nowthB, novf— ' u n.," jual now. 

peynten, depict, paint. 

njae, foolish. 

phlloflOpbiB, philosopher; al- 

nSoeti, roily. 


nyl, will not. 

pnod, bald ; thin-haired. 

nyghleii, be nigh L 

pilor, pillar, column. 

nyghtac-l&le, night-time. 

pilwe-ber, pillow-case. 
pipere, pijer. 


offloB, oflit:e. secalai appoint- 

pltaunOB, allomaace of food. 
plAtB, armour. 


offryiiKs. offering in the church 

pi?, plea, argnment. 


on Relic-Sunday. 

plBsauno«, pleasure. 




^^^^^Etftyng, pitsding. 

Qnod, quotb. ^^H 

■ pleTii, full. 

pleyn, playn, flat, soi 


radde./^r/. ofr^&en. ^^H 


rage, madness, excitement ^^H 

pleynan, monra. 

ragen, play, rDmp. ^^1 

pleynly, pin inly, clearly. 

rape, hurry, ha^te. ^^H 

pleynt, complaint, 

rauBhte, pret. y rjehBn. ^^H 

plowman, petty fanner. 

reccbelf a, careless. ^^^H 

pp-kok, peacock. 

TBCchaD, reck, care. ^^^H 

pomely, dappled. 

K-ahi^v, drive back, heatt^H 


poraille, poor people. 

rgclten, reach— 'r. after,' help^^H 

port, deportment. 

oneself lo. ^^H 

post, post, pillar, support. 

Tfd, advice! opinion. ^^H 

Tgde-lga, without connsel, pec*^^H 

poudre-marohttunt, flavo 



powder, a kind of 


rgden, read; advise. ^^^H 

rega]ie,authority. ^^^H 

relayaa, fresh supply. ^^^H 

poynaunt, strong - Havo, 

reimjiise, running. ^^H 

preiBnt, immediately. 

rente, income. ^^H 

preBsa. pitee, prtss, hurry; 

repllcacioun, answer. ^^H 

crowd ; mould. 

TfsouD, ceason: opinion; dis-.^^H 

preasen, prgsea, press. 

cussion, matter of aigamcnL ^^^| 

preat, rendy. 

reata, lest— 'wban ibe sonne^^H 

prSvH, proof. 

was to resle,' when the sun ^^H 

proven, prove. 

was at rest (hod set)—- at hia ^^H 

prikasour, (spurrer), hard 


reste,' at home. ^H 

priken, prick ; spur; incit 

reve, bailie. ^^H 

prityng, (spurriiigljhard riding. 

raverenoe, respect; dignity. ^^^| 

prime, prime, nine o'clock. 


prive, private, lecrcl. 

reward, regard, consideration. ^^^| 

prooBS, course of lime. 

rejsen, make an expeditioo, in- ^^^| 

Priiee, Prussia. 

prya, rcDowc, value, price, prize, 

rial, ^^H 

pulled, plucked. 

eight, right, rightly; exaclly. ^^1 

puroliM, gains, proceeds 


rightful, righteous. ^^H 


roghte. sit reoDhen. ^^H 

purehacan, gain ; buy. 

r^, a kind of harp. ^^H 

purcbMoor, conveyancer. 

rouncy, nag. ^^H 

rounden, a:>snme a round fornL^^^^H 

purfllen, embroider, gam ii 


route, company, troop. ^^^H 

Buc9, Kussia. ^^H 

pIEchen, pinch, pleat — 'p. at,' 

TuddClk, redbreast. ^^^H 

find fault with. 

rQBen,Dse tricks; escape. ^^H 
rjven, pierce. ^^H 

quellan, kill. 

queniB, hand-mill. 

Bod, sober ; Eteady, Eettled. ^^H 

Ouiten, requite, pay. 


■ongwjQ, red cloth. ^^^1 


113 ^^H 

Satalye, Attalia, in Asia M[nur. 

slit, p>-!. ^allden, slide, slip. ^^H 

Httnf, SBve, save, except. 

am.l, narrow; small. ^H 

sautria, psaltery, a kind of 

amerte, pain ; painful; sharply. ^^^H 

■awoe-flj^m, having a red, 

smette,' he was imhappy. ^^^H 

pimpled face. 

aaewen, snow; abound. ^^H 

scalled, scurvy. 

snybben, rebuke. ^^H 

scarBly, sparioglj, frugally. 

aSloyn, solitary, alone. ^^H 

aoSthe, harm, pity. 

aom-dgl, somewhat. ^H 

wjoleyon, go to the Univetsil)', 

aSm-tyma, once. ^H 


Both, tnic; truth— 'for s.' in ^H 

■Oryveyn, scribe. 

truth, certamly. ^H 

ag, sea— 'the Grjle Sj,' Medi- 

BOiinen, sound; conduce to. ^^| 

aacxfi, secret; discreet. 

■Dures, bucks of the third ^^H 

aek, »k, sick, ill. 


Bomy-oppe, a monk's cape. 

apace, space; occasion; course ^^H 

Hfin, see— 'God yow se,' may 

of ^H 

God protect you. 

Bp^en, spare ; abstain. ^^^H 


ipar-hauk, spnirow-hawk. ^^^^H 

spiUen, destroy. ^^^H 

Btare, starling. ^^^^H 

vice, helpful. 

Btamen, shme. ^^^H 

aat = settetb. 

atantan (^stinlen^, slop. ^^^H 

Botlien, boil, stew. 

Bterra. star. ^^H 

■hiipan, shape, create ; devise— 

Bterry, starry. ^^^H 

'shoop him," intended. 

Bt^p, steep, deep; bright. ^^^^| 

ahiply, of good shape, shapely; 

fined, fit. 
■hdld, shield ; (French) cro»-n. 

Btervon, die. ^^H 

BtiTten^ start. ^^| 

■handeii, put to shame ; injure. 

stot, stallion. ^H 


stounde, period of time. ^^H 

BhSne. bright, beautiful, 
■hetar, shooter. 

■treit, narrow; strict; streito. ^^1 

tightly. ^H 
Btrika. hank. ^^H 

Bbattan, >hiit. 

■hir-Tsva, (shire-rcevc^, sheriff. 

Btr^nge, strongly. ^^H 

ahst.firil. 11/ aboaven. 

■iTOyei, destroyer. ^^^H 

■hop, fnt. of Hh&pen. 

atiiwe, BtSwa, fish-pond. ^^^H 

BhOUYOD, push. 

Bwiah, such. ^^H 

■hrewo, villain. 

BWdtB. sweeL ^^H 

Bhriran; shrive,' confess. 

Bikarty, certainly. 

Bwougb, sound. ^^H 

flith, afterwards, then, since; 

Bwynk, Bwynken, labour, toil, ^^H 

ailh that, since. 


aittyiiBaat, most suitable. 

■wynkere, labourer. ^^H 

akil, discernment, sagacity, 

■wythe, strongly, very, much; ^^H 


•kyWuIly. reasonalily. 

B^k, aykan, sigh. ^^H 

sl;n, slay, kill. 

Bjn, since, becnuse- ^H 

pMiaxd. sleeveless coat, smock 

tiible dormannt, a stimding 

table, table always ready, 
taffata, taffety, a kind a( thin silk, 
tailage, impost, 
taille — ' tok h^ t.," took on 



i-f/ex. trouble o 

tercel, teroslet, male eagle o 

tormo, period ; eipreaslon — ' ii 
termcs han,' express, define. 

termyuen, determine, settle. 

text, quotation, remuk. 

than, thea. 

then, prosper. 

thenohen, thenken, think, 

ther, there — ' th. as,' where. 

th^T-to, besides. 

j^gwed — ' wel ith.,' of good 
morals, virtuous. 

thing, thing ; agieement, docu- 

Bt— 'fo: 


tho, then. 

thagiite, /rrel. c/" thenohen and 

thorp, village, 
thridde, third, 
thrfes, Ihrii^e. 
thrgwe, moinenL 
thynken, seem, 
tollen, take toll, allowance, 
lop, crown of head, 
to-randen, tear in pieces. 
TramysBena, kingdom in Africa, 
tietya, well-Ehaped. 


couthe, fidelity, truth, 
tukked, lucked, coaled. 

tsrpet, hood, cow!. 

ungrGbbed, not dug round, 
iin-korven, an pruned, 
on-kfude, unnatcral; unkind, 
nnngthe, not easily, scarcely. 

I, hnHt 


re, country g 

venerte, hunting. 
vemyolB, an ornament ; a 

niature picture of Chiiit. 
Terray, true; tr\ily, very. 
vileynfe, brutality, 'anythlnU 

wiker, watchful, vigilan 

w. brjd,' fine bread. 

t all 

voxeo, grow. 

wajten, watch, look out for. 

weder, weather; storm. 
welda, dyer's rocket (a plant). 
w6\k,Jtrit. e/'wBlken. 
walked, withered. 

w^re, weir. 
werreyeQ , i 
weBten, ^o 
n-hat, what 


.rtly . .^partly. 
whelk, pimple, 
which, which, of what kind, 
whildm, fornieily, once upon n 

why, why^' for wh^,' becanSE. ' 
wiBsly, certainly, 
wisBen, direct, guide. 
witta-heldeD,keep in retirement^ 
wf. woe ; unhappy, 
wfid, mad. 
■wpd, ivoad. 
w5ndBr, wonder; wonderfully. I 
w&ne, custom. 

w5Tthy, of high rank, disliiu 
gnishcd, respectable. 



wpt, knows, 
wrastlyng, wrestling, 
wr^ker, avenger ; punisher. 
wympel, covering for the neck, 
^nvympled, with a neck-cloth, 
wynken, wink, doze. 

y2kf,pret, ^yiven. 

ye, eye. 

yeddyng, reciting ballads. 

ydldhalle, guildhall. 

yeman, upper servant, retainer. 

yerde, rod ; sceptre ; rule. 

y§me, willingly, eagerly. 

yet, yet, besides. 

yiven, give -* y. of,* value. 

ypre, long ago, for a long time ; 

*y9re ag9,* for a long time, 

long ago. 





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