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Her eeres shoken fast withalle,
The tyme, that passeth nyght and daye,
Thre tymes ben ypassed by, — 380
The tyme, that may not sojourne,
But goth, and may never retourne,
As watir that doun renneth ay,
Hut never drope retourne may;
I'her may no thing as tyme endure,
Metalle, nor erthely creature,
For alle thing it frette and shalle:
The tyme eke, that chaungith alle,
And alle doth waxe,* and fostred be,
knd alle thing distroieth he: 390
1 Wrinkled. * Wasted. * Much wasted • Staff. CI Cmmirr Umy Tales, 1. 11,*1*. • Doth cause to grow
The tyme, that eldith our auncessours
And eldith kynges and emperours,
And that us alle shal overcomen
Er that deth us shal have nomen:
The tyme, that hath al in welde
To elden folk,1 had maad hir Elde
So ynly, that to my witing
She myghte helpe hir-silf no thing,
But turned ageyn unto childhede;
She hadde no thing hir-silf to lede, 400
Ne witte ne pithe in hir holde
More than a child of two yeer olde.
But natheles I trowe that she
Was faire sumtyme, and fresh to se,
Whan she was in hir rightful age:
But she was past al that passage
And was a doted thing bicomen.
And furred cope on hadde she nomen ; *
Wei hadde she clad hir-silf and warme,
For colde myght elles don hir harme. 410
These olde folk have alwey colde,
Her kynde' is sich, whan they ben olde.
Another thing was don there write,4
* Hath in its power to age folk. Taken. * Their natara.
• Ca—d there to be written. 9 Hypocrisy.
And niaketh hir outward precious,1
With pale visage and pitous, 420
And semeth a semely creature;
But ther nys no mysaventure,
That she ne thenkith in hir corage.
Ful lyk to hir was that ymage,
That makid was lyk hir semblaunce.
She was ful symple of countenaunce,
And she was clothed and eke shod,
As she were for the love of God
Yolden * to relygioun,
Sich semede hir devocioun. 430 A sauter helde she fast in honde,
And bisily she gan to fonde *
To make many a feynt praiere,
To God, and to his seyntis dere.
Ne she was gay, ne fresh, ne jolyf,
But semede to be ful ententyf
To gode werkis, and to faire;
And therto she had on an haire.*
But semede wery for fasting, 440
Of colour pale and deed was she.
From hir the gate ay werned' be
Of Paradys, that blisful place;
For sich folk maketh lene her grace,
As Crist seith in his Evangile,
To gete prys in toun a while;
* Over nice. 'Yielded. * To try. * A hair shirt. • Forbid POVEKT AL ALOON."
And for a litel glorie veigne,
And alderlast of everychon
She nadde on but a streit2 olde sak, And many a cloute on it ther stak; This was hir cote, and hir mantelle, No more was there never a delle 460 To clothe hir with; I undirtake, Grete leyser hadde she to quake. And she was putt, that I of talke, Fer fro these other, up in an halke;1 There lurked and there courede 4 she, For pover thing, where so it be, Is shamefast, and dispised ay. Acursed may wel be that day, That povere man conceyved is; For, God wote, al to selde, iwys, 470 Is ony povere man wel fedde, Or wel araied or y-cledde, Or wel-biloved, in sich wise, In honour that he may arise.
Alle these thingis welle avised,
1 Kingdom. * Scanty. 'Corner. * Croochai
As I have you er this devysed.
With gold and asure over alle,
Depeynted newe upon the walle.1
Square was the walle, and high sumdelle
Enclosed and v-barred welle.
In stede of hegge, was that gar dyne;
Come nevere shepherde therynne.
Into that gardyn, wel y-wrought,
The gardeyn was not daungerous *
And I my-silf so mery ferde,*
1 That is, on the outside of the wall, as representing things onistic to Lore. 1 Stairs. s Pleased. * Saw. * Sparing, bor. 7 Realm. • Fared.