William Langland

Here you will find the Long Poem The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 12 of poet William Langland

The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 12

'I am Ymaginatif,'quod he, 'ydel was I nevere,
Though I sitte by myself, in siknesse nor in helthe.
I have folwed thee, in feith, thise fyve and fo
And manye tymes have meved thee to [mlyn[n]e on thyn ende,
And how fele fernyeres are faren, and so fewe to come
And of thi wilde wantownesse [whan] thow yong were,
To amende it in thi myddel age, lest myght the faille
In thyn olde elde, that yvele kan suffre
Poverte or penaunce, or preyeres bidde
Si non in prima vigilia nec in secunda &c.

'Amende thee while thow myght; thow hast ben warned ofte
With poustees of pestilences, with poverte and with angres -
And with thise bittre baleises God beteth his deere children
Quem diligo, castigo.
And David in the Sauter seith, of swiche that loveth Jesus,
''Virga tua et baculus tuus, ipsa me consolata sunt.
Although thow strike me with thi staf, with stikke or with yerde,
It is but murthe as for me to amende my soule.''
And thow medlest thee with makynges - and myghtest go seye thi Sauter,
And bidde for hem that yyveth thee breed; for ther are bokes ynowe
To telle men what Dowel is, Dobet and Dobest bothe,
And prechours to preve what it is, of many a peire freres.'
I seigh wel he seide me sooth and, somwhat me to excuse,
Seide, 'Caton conforted his sone that, clerk though he were,
To solacen hym som tyme - a[lso] I do whan I make
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis.
'And of holy men I herde,'quod I, 'how thei outherwhile
Pleyden, the parfiter to ben, in [places manye].
Ac if ther were any wight that wolde me telle
What were Dowel and Dobet and Dobest at the laste,
Wolde I nevere do werk, but wende to holi chirche
And there bidde my bedes but whan ich ete or slepe.'
'Poul in his pistle,'quod he, 'preveth what is Dowel
Fides, spes, caritas, et maior horum &c -
Feith, hope and charitee, and alle ben goode,
And saven men sondry tymes, ac noon so soone as charite.
For he dooth wel, withouten doute, that dooth as lewte techeth;
That is, if thow be man maryed, thi make thow lovye,
And lyve forth as lawe wole while ye lyven bothe.
'Right so, if thow be religious, ren thow nevere ferther
To Rome ne to Rochemador, but as thi rule techeth,

And holde thee under obedience, that heigh wey is to hevene.
'And if thow be maiden to marye, and myght wel continue,
Seke thow nevere seint ferther for no soule helthe!
For what made Lucifer to lese the heighe hevene,
Or Salomon his sapience, or Sampson his strengthe?
job the Jew his joye deere he it aboughte;
Aristotle and othere mo, Ypocras and Virgile,
Alisaundre that al wan, elengliche ended.
Catel and kynde wit was combraunce to hem alle.
'Felice hir fairnesse fel hire al to sclaundre,
And Rosamounde right so reufulliche bisette
The beaute of hir body; in baddenesse she despended.
Of manye swiche I may rede - of men and or wommen -
That wise wordes wolde shewe and werche the contrarie
Sunt homines nequam bene de virtute loquentes.
'And riche renkes right so gaderen and sparen,
And tho men that thei moost haten mynistren it at the laste;
And for thei suffren and see so manye nedy folkes
And love hem noght as Oure Lord bit, lesen hir soules
Date et dabitur vobis.
So catel and kynde wit acombreth ful manye;
Wo is hym that hem weldeth but he hem wel despende
Scient [es] et nan facient [es] variis flagellis vapulab[un]t.
Sapience, seith the Bok, swelleth a mannes soule
Sapiencia inflat &c.
And richesse right so, but if the roote be trewe.
'Ac grace is a gras therfore, tho grevaunces to abate.
Ac grace ne groweth noght but amonges [gomes] lowe
Paciwnce and poverte the place is ther groweth,

And in lele lyvynge men and in lif holy,
And thorugh the gifte of the Holy Goost, as the Gospel telleth
Spiritus ubi vult spirat.
'Clergie and kynde wit cometh of sighte and techyng,
As the Book bereth witnesse to burnes that kan rede
Quod scimus loquimur, quod vidimus testamur.
Of quod scimus cometh clergie, a konnynge of hevene,
And of quad vidimus cometh kynde wit, of sighte of diverse peple.
Ac grace is a gifte of God, and of greet love spryngeth;
Knew nevere clerk how it cometh forth, ne kynde wit the weyes
Nescit aliquis unde venit aut quo vadit &c.
'Ac yet is clergie to comende, and kynde wit bothe,
And namely clergie for Cristes love, that of clergie is roote.
For Moyses witnesseth that God wroot for to wisse the peple
In the Olde Lawe, as the lettre telleth, that was the lawe of Jewes,
That what womman were in avoutrye taken, were she riche or poore,
With stones men sholde hir strike. and stone hire to dethe.
A womman, as we fynden, was gilty of that dede;
Ac Crist of his curteisie thorugh clergie hir saved.
For thorugh caractes that Crist wroot, the Jewes knewe hemselve
Giltier as afore God and gretter in synne
Than the