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And I acorde wel that hit be so; But natheles, this wot I wel also, That ther nis noon that dwelleth in this contree, 5 That either hath in helle or heven y-be, #Ne may of hit non other weyes witen, #But as he hath herd seyd, or founde hit writen; #For by assay ther may no man hit preve. But goddes forbode, but men shulde leve IO +Wel more thing then men han seen with ye fMen shal nat wenen every-thing a lyè ~ For that he seigh it nat of yore ago. God wot, a thing is never the lesse so fThogh every wight ne may hit nat y-see. 15 f Bernard the monk ne saugh nat al, parde #Than mote we to bokes that we finde, fThrough which that olde thinges been in minde,

And I acorde wel that hit is so; But natheles, yit wot I wel also, That ther nis noon dwelling in this contree, 5 That either hath in heven or helle y-be, #Ne may of hit non other weyes witen, fbut as he hath herd seyd, or founde hit writen; tfor by assay ther may no man hit preve. But god forbede but men shulde leve 1 O fWel more thing then men han seen with ye #Men shal nat wenen every-thing a lyè - But-if him-self hit seeth, or elles dooth; For, god wot, thing is never the lasse sooth, f'Thogh every wight ne may hit nat y-see. 15 f Bernard the monk ne saugh nat al, parde . f'Than mote we to bokes that we finde, fThrough which that olde thinges been in minde,

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#And to the doctrine of these olde wyse,
fYeven credence, in every skilful wyse,
And trowen on these olde aproved stories
#Of holinesse, of regnes, of victories,
#Of love, of hate, of other sundry thinges,
#Of whiche I may not maken rehersinges.
#And if that olde bokes were a-weye,
fy-loren were of remembraunce the keye.
Wel oghte us than on olde bokes leve,
Ther-as ther is non other assay by preve.
And, as for me, though that my wit be lyte,
#On bokes for to rede I me delyte,
#And in myn herte have hem in reverence;
And to hem yeve swich lust and swich credence,
That ther is wel unethe game noon
That from my bokes make me to goon,

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#And to the doctrine of these olde wyse,
fWeve credence, in every skilful wyse,
That tellen of these olde appreved stories,
f0f holinesse, of regnes, of victories,
f0f love, of hate, of other sundry thinges,
f0f whiche I may not maken rehersinges.
tAnd if that olde bokes were a-weye,
fy-loren were of remembraunce the keye.
Wel oghte us than honouren and beleve
These bokes, ther we han non other preve.
And as for me, thogh that I can but lyte,
f0n bokes for to rede I me delyte,
And to hem yeve I feyth and ful credence,
fAnd in myn herte have hem in reverence
So hertely, that ther is game noon
That fro my bokes maketh me to goon,

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But hit be other up-on the haly-day, 35
Or elles in the Ioly tyme of May;
Whan that I here the smale foules singe,
#And that the floures ginne for to springe,
Farwel my studie, as lasting that sesoun!
Now have I therto this condicioun 4o
#That, of alle the floures in the mede,
#Than love I most these floures whyte and rede,
#Swiche as men callen daysies in our toun.
fTo hem have I so greet affeccioun,
fAs I seyde erst, whan comen is the May, 45
#That in my bed ther daweth me no day
#That I nam up, and walking in the mede
To seen these floures agein the sonne sprede,
Whan hit up-riseth by the morwe shene,

*The longe day, thus walking in the grene. 5o
But hit be seldom, on the holyday; 35

Save, certeynly, whan that the month of May
Is comen, and that I here the foules singe,
f.And that the floures ginnen for to springe,
Farwel my book and my devocioun
Now have I than swich a condicioun, 4o
fThat, of alle the floures in the mede,
#Than love I most these floures whyte and rede,
fSwiche as men callen daysies in our toun.
#To hem have I so greet affeccioun,
fAs I seyde erst, whan comen is the May,

45 fThat in my bed ther daweth me no day f'That I nam up, and walking in the mede To seen this flour agein the sonne sprede, Whan hit upryseth erly by the morwe; *That blisful sighte softneth al my sorwe, 5o

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This dayesye, of alle floures flour, (B. 53)
From | Fulfild of vertu and of alle honour,
A. 55–58.f.and ever y-lyke fair and fresh of hewe,
As wel in winter as in somer newe–

And whan the sonne ginneth for to weste, (B. 61)
Than closeth hit, and draweth hit to reste.
So sore hit is afered of the night,
*Til on the morwe, that hit is dayes light.
This dayesye, of alle floures flour, 55
Fulfild of vertu and of alle honour,
fAnd ever y-lyke fair and fresh of hewe,
As wel in winter as in somer newe,

*So glad am I whan that I have presence
*Of hit, to doon al maner reverence,
As she, that is of alle floures flour,
Fulfilled of al vertu and honour,
tAnd ever y-lyke fair, and fresh of hewe; 55
And I love hit, and ever y-lyke newe,
*And ever shal, til that myn herte dye;
*Al swere I nat, of this I wol nat lye,
*Ther loved no wight hotter in his lyve.
*And whan that hit is eve, I renne blyve, 6o
As sone as ever the sonne ginneth weste,
To seen this flour, how it wol go to reste,
For fere of night, so hateth she derknesse !

As she, that is of alle floures flour,
From Fulfilled of al vertu and honour,
B. 53–56.]+And ever y-lyke fair, and fresh of hewe;
And I love hit, and ever y-lyke newe.

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For wel I wot, that folk han her-beforn (B. 73)
fos making ropen, and lad a-wey the corn;
fAnd I come after, glening here and there,
fAnd am ful glad if I may finde an ere
Of any goodly word that they han left. 65
And, if hit happe me rehersen eft
That they han in her fresshe songes sayd,
I hope that they wil nat ben evel apayd,
Sith hit is seid in forthering and honour
Of hem that either serven leef or flour. 7o

*Hir chere is pleynly sprad in the brightnesse
*Of the sonne, for ther hit wol unclose. 65
*Allas ! that I ne had English, ryme or prose,
Suffisant this flour to preyse aright !
*But helpeth, ye that han conning and might,
*Ye lovers, that can make of sentement;
*In this cas oghte ye be diligent 7o
*To forthren me somwhat in my labour,
*Whether ye ben with the leef or with the flour.
For wel I wot, that ye han her-biforn
f0f making ropen, and lad awey the corn;
fAnd I come after, glening here and there, 75
fAnd am ful glad if I may finde an ere
Of any goodly word that ye han left.
And thogh it happen me rehercen eft
That ye han in your fresshe songes sayd,
For-bereth me, and beth nat evel apayd, 8o
Sin that ye see I do hit in the honour
Of love, and eek in service of the flour,

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