William Langland

Here you will find the Long Poem The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 04 of poet William Langland

The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 04

'Cesseth!'seide the Kyng, 'I suffre yow no lenger.
Ye shul saughtne, forsothe, and serve me bothe.
Kis hire,'quod the Kyng, 'Conscience, I hote!'
'Nay, by Crist!'quod Conscience, 'congeye me rather!
But Reson rede me therto, rather wol I deye.'
'And I comaunde thee,'quod the Kyng to Conseience thanne,
'Rape thee to ryde, and Reson that thow fecche.
Comaunde hym that he come my counseil to here,
For he shal rule my reaume and rede me the beste
Mede and of mo othere, what man shal hire wedde,

And acounte with thee, Conscience, so me Crist helpe,
How thow lernest the peple, the lered and the lewed!'
'I am fayn of that foreward,'seide the freke thanne,
And ryt right to Reson and rouneth in his ere,
And seide hym as the Kyng seide, and sithen took his leve.
'I shal arraye me to ryde,'quod Reson,-reste thee a while,'
And called Caton his knave, curteis of speche,
And also Tomme Trewe-tonge-tel-me-no-tales
Ne lesynge-to-laughen-of-for-I-loved-hem-nevere.
'Set my sadel upon Suffre-til-I-se-my-tyme,
And lat warroke hym wel with witty-wordes gerthes.
Hange on hym the hevy brydel to holde his heed lowe,
For he wol make ''wehee''twies er he be there.'
Thanne Conscience on his capul caireth forth faste,
And Reson with hym ryt, rownynge togideres
Whiche maistries Mede maketh on this erthe.
Oon Waryn Wisdom and Witty his fere
Folwed hem faste, for thei hadde to doone
In th'Eseheker and in the Chauncerye, to ben descharged of thynges,
And riden faste for Reson sholde rede hem the beste
For to save hem for silver from shame and from harmes.
A[c] Conscience knew hem wel, thei loved coveitise,
And bad Reson ryde faste and recche of hir neither
'Ther are wiles in hire wordes, and with Mede thei dweneth -
Ther as wrathe and wranglynge is, ther wynne thei silver;
Ac there is love and leautee, thei wol noght come there
Contricio et infelicitas in viis eorum &c.
Thei ne gyveth noght of God one goose wynge
Non est timor Dei ante oculos eorum &c.
For thei wolde do moore for a dozeyne chiknes
Than for the love of Oure Lorde or alle hise leeve seintes!

Forthi, Reson, lat hem ride, tho riche by hemselve -
For Conscience knoweth hem noght, ne Crist, as I trowe.'
And thanne Reson rood faste the righte heighe gate,
As Conscience hym kenned, til thei come to the Kynge.
Curteisly the Kyng thanne com ayeins Reson,
And bitwene hymsel and his sone sette hym on benche,
And wordeden wel wisely a gret while togideres.
And thame com Pees into parliment and putte up a bill-
How Wrong ayeins his wille hadde his wif taken,
And how he ravysshede Rose, Reignaldes loove,
And Margrete of hir maydenhede maugree hire chekes.
'Bothe my gees and my grys hise gadelynges feccheth;
I dar noght for fere of hem fighte ne chide.
He borwed of me bayard and broughte hym hom nevere
Ne no ferthyng therfore, for nought I koude plede.
He maynteneth hise men to murthere myne hewen,
Forstalleth my feires and fighteth in my chepyng,
And breketh up my berne dores and bereth awey my whete,
And taketh me but a taille for ten quarters otes.
And yet he beteth me therto and lyth by my mayde;
I am noght hardy for hym unnethe to loke!'
The Kyng knew he seide sooth. for Conscience hym tolde
That Wrong was a wikked luft and wroghte muche sorwe.
Wrong was afered thanne, and Wisdom he soughte
To maken pees with hise pens, and profred hym manye,
And seide, 'Hadde I love of my lord the Kyng, litel wolde I recche
Theigh Pees and his power pleyned hym evere!'
Tho wan Wisdom and Sire Waryn the Witty,
For that Wrong hadde ywroght so wikked a dede,
And warnede Wrong tho with swich a wis tale -
'Whoso wereheth by wille, writhe maketh ofte.

I seye it by myself - thow shalt it wel fynde
But if Mede it make, thi meschief is uppe;
For bothe thi lif and thi lond lyth in his grace.'
Thanne wowede Wrong Wisdom ful yerne
To maken his pees with his pens, handy dandy payed.
Wisdom and Wit thanne wenten togidres,
And token Mede myd hem mercy to wynne.
Pees putte forth his heed and his panne blody
'Withouten gilt, God woot, gat I this seathe.'
Conseicnce and the commune knowen wel the sothe,
Ac Wisdom and Wit were aboute faste
To overcomen the Kyng with catel, if thei myghte.
The Kyng swor by Crist and by his crowne bothe
That Wrong for hise werkes sholde wo tholie,
And combundede a eonstable to casten hym in irens,
'And lete hym noght this seven yer seen his feet ones.
'God woot,'quod Wisdom, 'that were noght the beste!
And he amendes mowe make, Iat Maynprise hym have
And be borgh for his bale, and buggen hym boote,
And so amenden that is mysdo, and everemoore the bettre.'
Wit acorded therwith, and seide the same,
'Bettre is that boote bale adoun brynge
Than bale be ybet, and boote nevere the bettre!'
Thanne ga