Imatges de pàgina

But it were any persone obstinat,
What so he were, of highe or low estat,
Him wolde he snibben sharply for the nonès.
A better preest I trowe that nowher? non is.
He waited after no pompe ne reverence,
Ne maked him no spiced 3 conscience,
But Cristès lore, and his apostles twelve,
He taught, but first he folwed it himselve.

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With him ther rode a gentil Pardonere 4
Of Rouncevall," his friend and his compere,
That streit was comen from the court of Rome.
Ful loude he sang, Come hither, love, to me.
The Sompnour 6 bare to him a stiff burdoun,?
Was never trompe of half so gret a soun.
This pardoner had here as yelwe8 as wax,
But smoth it henge, as doth a strike of flax :
By unces' heng his lokkes that he hadde,
And therwith he his shulders overspradde.
Ful thinne it lay, by culpons 10 on and on,
But hode, for jolite, ne wered he non,
For it was trussed up in his wallet.
Him thought he rode al of the newe get,
Dishevele, sauf his cappe, he rode all bare.
Swiche glaring eyen hadde he, as an hare.
A vernicle hadde he sewed


cappe. His wallet lay before him in his lappe, Bret-full of pardon come from Rome al hote. A vois he hadde, as smale as hath a gote. No berd hadde he, ne never non shulde have, As smothe it was as it were newe shave.


i Snub, reprove.

2 No where

8 Nice, in an affected sense. 4 A pardoner, a seller of pardons or indulgences.

5 Supposed by Stevens to be Runceval Hall, in Oxford. 6 Summoner, an officer of the Ecclesiastical courts. 7 Sang the bass. 8 Yellow.

9 Ounces.
10 Shreds.

11 Brimfull.

But of his craft, fro Berwike unto Ware, Ne was ther swiche an other pardonere. For in his male? he hadde a pilwebere, Which, as he saide, was Our Ladies veil : He said, he hadde a gobbet3 of the sey14 Thatte seinte Peter had, whan that he went Upon the see, till Jesu Crist him hent.5 He had a crois of laton 6 ful of stones, And in a glas he hadde pigges bones. But with these relikes, whanne that he fond A poure Persone dwelling up on lond, Upon a day he gat him more moneie Than that the Persone gat in monethes tweie. And thus with fained flattering and japes, He made the Persone, and the peple, his apes.8

But trewely to tellen atte last, He was in chirche a noble ecclesiast. Wel coude he rede a lesson or a storie, But alderbest' he sang an offertorie:10 For well he wiste, whan that song was songe, He muste preche, and wel afile 11 his tonge, To winne silver, as he right wel coude: Therefore he sang the merrier and loude.


i Budget.
5 Assisted, took.
8 Dupes.

2 Covering of a pillow. 3 Morsel.

6 A mixed metal of the colour of brass, 9 Best.

10 Part of the mass.

4 Sail. 7 Tricks. il Polish.


From depth of doole wherein my soule doth dwell,
From heauy heart which harbours in my brest,
From troubled sprite which sildome taketh rest,
From hope of heauen, from dread of darkesome hell,
O gracious God, to thee I crye and wail.
My God, my Lorde, my louely Lorde aloane,
To thee I call, to thee I make my moane.
And thou (good God) vouchsafe in gree to take
This woeful plaint,
Wherein I faint,
Oh heare me then for thy great mercies sake.

Oh bende thine eares attentiuely to heare,
Oh turne thine eyes, behold me how I wayle,
Oh hearken Lord, giue eare for mine auaile,
O marke in minde the burdens that I beare:
See how I sinke in sorrowes euerye where.
Beholde and see what dollors I endure,
Giue eare and marke what plaintes I put in vre.
Bende wylling eare: and pittie therewithall,
My wayling voyce,
Which hath no choyce,
But euermere vpon thy name to call.

If thou good Lorde shouldest take thy rod in hande,
If thou regard what sinnes are daylye done,
If thou take holde where wee our workes begone,
If thou decree in Judgement for to stande,
And be extreame to see our scuses skande,

If thou take note of euery thing amysse,
And wryte in rowles howe frayle our nature is,
O gloryous God, O King, O Prince of power,
What mortall wight,
Maye then haue light,
To feele thy frowne, if thou haue lyst to lowre?

But thou art good, and hast of mercye store, Thou not delyghst to see a sinner fall, Thou hearknest first, before we come to call, Thine cares are set wyde open euermore, Before we knocke thou commest to the doore. Thou art more prest to heare a sinner crye, Then he is quicke to climbe to thee on hye. Thy mighty name be praysed then alwaye, Let fayth and feare True witnesse beare, Howe fast they stand which on thy mercy staye.

I looke for thee (my louelye Lorde) therefore, For thee I wayte, for thee I tarrye styll, Myne eyes doe long to gaze on thee my fyll. For thee I watche, for thee I prye and pore. My Soule for thee attendeth euermore. My Soule doth thyrst to take of thee a taste, My Soule desires with thee for to bee plaste. And to thy worde (which can no man deceyue) Myne onely trust, My loue and lust, In confidence continuallye shall cleaue.

Before the breake or dawning of the daye, Before the lyght be seene in loftye Skyes, Before the Sunne appeare in pleasaunt wyse, Before the watche (before the watche I saye) Before the warde that waytes therefore alwaye:

My soule, my sense, my secreete thought, my sprite,
My wyll, my wishe, my ioye, and my delight:
Unto the Lord that sittes in heauen on highe,
With hastye wing,
From me doeth fling,
And stryueth styll, unto the Lorde to flye.

O Israell, O housholde of the Lorde, O Abrahams Sons, O broode of blessed seede, O chosen sheep that loue the Lorde in deede: O hungrye heartes, feede styll vpon his worde, And put your truste in him with one accord. For he hath mercye euermore at hand, His fountaines flowe, his springs do neuer stande. And plenteouslye hee loueth to redeeme Such sinners all, As on him call, And faithfully his mercies most esteeme.

Hee wyll redeeme our deadly drowping state, He wyll bring home the sheepe that goe astraye, He wyll helpe them that hope in him alwaye ; He wyll appease our discorde and debate, He wyll soone saue, though we repent vs late. He wyll be ours if we continewe his, He wyll bring bale to ioye and perfect blisse. He wyll redeeme the flocke of his elect From all that is, Or was amisse, Since Abrahams heyres dyd first his Lawes reiect.


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