Original Text
by Unknown Author

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Note on Middle English Characters






Perle, plesaunte to prynces paye
To clanly clos in golde so clere;
Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye.
Ne proved I never her precios pere.
So rounde, so reken in uche araye,
So smal, so smože her syde3 were,
Quere-so-ever I jugged gemme3 gaye,
I sette hyr sengely in synglere.
Allas! I leste hyr in on erbere;
Žur3 gresse to ground hit fro me yot,
I dewyne, fordolked of luf-daungere
Of žat pryvy perle wythouten spot.

Syžen in žat spote hit fro me sprange,
Ofte haf I wayted, wyschande žat wele,
Žat wont wat3 whyle deuoyde my wrange
And heuen my happe and al my hele.
Žat dot3 bot žrych my hert žrange,
My breste in bale bot bolne and bele;
3et žo3t me neuer so swete a sange
As stylle stounde let to me stele.
For sože žer fleten to me fele,
To ženke hir color so clad in clot.
O moul, žou marre3 a myry iuele,
My priuy perle wythouten spotte.






Žat spot of spyse3 mot nede3 sprede,
Žer such ryche3 to rot is runne;
Blome3 blayke and blwe and rede
Žer schyne3 ful schyr agayn že sunne.
Flor and fryte may not be fede
Žer hit doun drof in molde3 dunne;
For vch gresse mot grow of grayne3 dede;
No whete were elle3 to wone3 wonne.
Of goud vche goude is ay bygonne;
So semly a sede mo3t fayly not,
Žat spryngande spyce3 vp ne sponne
Of žat precios perle wythouten spotte.

To žat spot žat I in speche expoun
I entred in žat erber grene,
In Augoste in a hy3 seysoun,
Quen corne is coruen wyth croke3 kene.
On huyle žer perle hit trendeled doun
Schadowed žis worte3 ful schyre and schene,
Gilofre, gyngure and gromylyoun,
And pyonys powdered ay bytwene.
3if hit wat3 semly on to sene,
A fayr reflayr 3et fro hit flot.
Žer wonys žat woržyly, I wot and wene,
My precious perle wythouten spot.






Bifore žat spot my honde I spenned
For care ful colde žat to me ca3t;
A deuely dele in my hert denned,
Ža3 resoun sette myseluen sa3t.
I playned my perle žat žer wat3 spenned
Wyth fyrce skylle3 žat faste fa3t;
Ža3 kynde of Kryst me comfort kenned,
My wreched wylle in wo ay wra3te.
I felle vpon žat floury fla3t,
Suche odour to my herne3 schot;
I slode vpon a slepyng-sla3te
On žat precios perle wythouten spot.


Fro spot my spyryt žer sprang in space;
My body on balke žer bod in sweuen.
My goste is gon in Gode3 grace
In auenture žer meruayle3 meuen.
I ne wyste in žis worlde quere žat hit wace,
Bot I knew me keste žer klyfe3 cleuen;
Towarde a foreste I bere že face,
Where rych rokke3 wer to dyscreuen.
Že ly3t of hem my3t no mon leuen,
Že glemande glory žat of hem glent;
For wern neuer webbe3 žat wy3e3 weuen
Of half so dere adubbemente.






Dubbed wern alle žo downe3 syde3
Wyth crystal klyffe3 so cler of kynde.
Holtewode3 bry3t aboute hem byde3
Of bolle3 as blwe as ble of Ynde;
As bornyst syluer že lef on slyde3,
Žat žike con trylle on vch a tynde.
Quen glem of glode3 agayn3 hem glyde3,
Wyth schymeryng schene ful schrylle žay schynde.
Že grauayl žat on grounde con grynde
Wern precious perle3 of oryente:
Že sunnebeme3 bot blo and blynde
In respecte of žat adubbement.

Že adubbement of tho downes dere
Garten my goste al greffe foryete.
So frech flavores of frytes were,
As fode hit con me fayre refete.
Fowles žer flowen in fryth in fere,
Of flaumbande hwes, both smale and grete.
Bot sytole-stryng and gyternere
Her reken myrže moght not retrete;
Fir quen those bryddes her wynges bete,
Thay songen wyth a swete asent.
So gracios gle couže no mon gete
As here and se her adubbement.






So al wat3 dubbet on dere asyse
Žat fryth žer fortwne forth me fere3.
Žat derže žerof for to deuyse
Nis no wy3 woržé žat tonge bere3.
I welke ay forth in wely wyse;
No bonk so byg žat did me dere3.
Že fyrre in že fryth, že feier con ryse
Že playn, že plontte3, že spyse, že
And rawe3 and rande3 and rych reuere3,
As fyldor fyn her bonkes brent.
I wan to a water by schore žat schere3 --
Lorde, dere wat3 hit adubbement!

The dubbemente of žo derworth depe
Wern bonke3 bene of beryl bry3t.
Swangeande swete že water con swepe,
Wyth a rownande rourde raykande ary3t.
In že founce žer stonden stone3 stepe,
As glente žur3 glas žat glowed and gly3t,
As stremande sterne3, quen strože-men slepe,
Staren in welkyn in wynter ny3t;
For vche a pobbel in pole žer py3t
Wat3 emerad, saffer, ožer gemme gente,
Žat alle že lo3e lemed of ly3t,
So dere wat3 hit adubbement.






The dubbement dere of doun and dale3,
Of wod and water and wlonk playne3,
Bylde in me blys, abated my bale3,
Fordidden my stresse, dystryed my payne3.
Doun after a strem žat dry3ly hale3
I bowed in blys, bredful my brayne3;
Že fyrre I fol3ed žose floty vale3,
Že more strenghže of ioye myn herte strayne3.
As fortune fares žer as ho frayne3,
Whežer solace ho sende ožer elle3 sore,
Že wy3 to wham her wylle ho wayne3
Hytte3 to haue ay more and more.

More of wele wat3 in žat wyse
Žen I cowže telle ža3 I tom hade,
For vržely herte my3t not suffyse
To že tenže dole of žo gladne3 glade;
Foržy I žo3t žat Paradyse
Wat3 žer ouer gayn žo bonke3 brade.
I hoped že water were a deuyse
Bytwene myrže3 by mere3 made;
By3onde že broke, by slente ožer slade,
I hoped žat mote merked wore.
Bot že water wat3 depe, I dorst not wade,
And euer me longed ay more and more.






More and more, and 3et wel mare,
Me lyste to se že broke by3onde;
For if hit wat3 fayr žer I con fare,
Wel loueloker wat3 že fyrre londe.
Abowte me con I stote and stare;
To fynde a forže faste con I fonde.
Bot wože3 mo iwysse žer ware,
Že fyrre I stalked by že stronde.
And euer me žo3t I schulde not wonde
For wo žer wele3 so wynne wore.
Ženne nwe note me com on honde
Žat meued my mynde ay more and more.

More meruayle con my dom adaunt:
I se3 by3onde žat myry mere
A crystal clyffe ful relusaunt;
Mony ryal ray con fro hit rere.
At že fote žerof žer sete a faunt,
A mayden of menske, ful debonere;
Blysnande whyt wat3 hyr bleaunt.
I knew hyr wel, I hade sen hyr ere.
As glysnande golde žat man con schere,
So schon žat schene an-vnder shore.
On lenghe I loked to hyr žere;
Že lenger, I knew hyr more and more.





The more I frayste hyr fayre face,
Her fygure fyn quen I had fonte,
Suche gladande glory con to me glace
As lyttel byfore žerto wat3 wonte.
To calle hyr lyste con me enchace,
Bot baysment gef myn hert a brunt.
I se3 hyr in so strange a place,
Such a burre my3t make myn herte blunt.
Ženne vere3 ho vp her fayre frount,
Hyr vysayge whyt as playn yuore:
Žat stonge myn hert ful stray atount,
And euer že lenger, že more and more.


More žen me lyste my drede aros.
I stod ful stylle and dorste not calle;
Wyth y3en open and mouth ful clos
I stod as hende as hawk in halle.
I hoped žat gostly wat3 žat porpose;
I dred onende quat schulde byfalle,
Lest ho me eschaped žat I žer chos,
Er I at steuen hir mo3t stalle.
Žat gracios gay wythouten galle,
So smože, so smal, so seme sly3t,
Ryse3 vp in hir araye ryalle,
A precios pyece in perle3 py3t.






Perle3 py3te of ryal prys
Žere mo3t mon by grace haf sene,
Quen žat frech as flor-de-lys
Doun že bonke con bo3e bydene.
Al blysnande whyt wat3 hir beau biys,
Vpon at syde3, and bounden bene
Wyth že myryeste margarys, at my deuyse,
Žat euer I se3 3et with myn ene;
Wyth lappe3 large, I wot and I wene,
Dubbed with double perle and dy3te;
Her cortel of self sute schene,
Wyth precios perle3 al vmbepy3te.

A py3t coroune 3et wer žat gyrle
Of mariorys and non ožer ston.
Hi3e pynakled of cler quyt perle,
Wyth flurted flowre3 perfet vpon.
To hed hade ho non ožer werle;
Her here leke, al hyr vmbegon,
Her semblaunt sade for doc ožer erle,
Her ble more bla3t žen whalle3 bon.
As schorne golde schyr her fax ženne schon,
On schyldere3 žat leghe vnlapped ly3te.
Her depe colour 3et wonted non
Of precios perle in porfyl py3te.






Py3t wat3 poyned and vche a hemme
At honde, at syde3, at ouerture,
Wyth whyte perle and non ožer gemme,
And bornyste quyte wat3 hyr uesture.
Bot a wonder perle wythouten wemme
Inmydde3 hyr breste wat3 sette so sure;
A manne3 dom mo3t dry3ly demme,
Er mynde mo3t malte in hit mesure.
I hope no tong mo3t endure
No sauerly saghe say of žat sy3t,
So wat3 hit clene and cler and pure,
Žat precios perle žer hit wat3 py3t.

Py3t in perle, žat precios pyece
On wyžer half water com doun že schore.
No gladder gome hežen into Grece
Žen I, quen ho on brymme wore.
Ho wat3 me nerre žen aunte or nece;
My joy foržy wat3 much že more.
Ho profered me speche, žat special spece,
Enclynande lowe in wommon lore,
Ca3te of her coroun of grete tresore
And haylsed me wyth a lote ly3te.
Wel wat3 me žat euer I wat3 bore
To sware žat swete in perle3 py3te!





'O perle', quod I, 'in perle3 py3t,
Art žou my perle žat I haf playned,
Regretted by myn one on ny3te?
Much longeyng haf I for že layned,
Syžen into gresse žou me agly3te.
Pensyf, payred, I am forpayned,
And žou in a lyf of lykyng ly3te,
In Paradys erde, of stryf vnstrayned.
What wyrde hat3 hyder my iuel vayned,
And don me in žys del and gret daunger?
Fro we in twynne wern towen and twayned,
I haf ben a joyle3 juelere.'

That juel ženne in gemme3 gente
Vered vp her vyse wyth y3en graye,
Set on hyr coroun of perle orient,
And soberly after ženne con ho say:
'Sir, 3e haf your tale mysetente,
To say your perle is al awaye,
Žat is in cofer so comly clente
As in žis gardyn gracios gaye,
Hereinne to lenge for euer and play,
Žer mys nee mornyng com neuer nere.
Her were a forser for že, in faye,
If žou were a gentyl jueler.






'Bot, jueler gente, if žou schal lose
Žy ioy for a gemme žat že wat3 lef,
Me žynk že put in a mad porpose,
And busye3 že aboute a raysoun bref;
For žat žou leste3 wat3 bot a rose
Žat flowred and fayled as kynde hyt gef.
Now žur3 kynde of že kyste žat hyt con close
To a perle of prys hit is put in pref.
And žou hat3 called žy wyrde a žef,
Žat o3t of no3t hat3 mad že cler;
Žou blame3 že bote of žy meschef,
Žou art no kynde jueler.'

A juel to me žen wat3 žys geste,
And iuele3 wern hyr gentyl sawe3.
'Iwyse', quod I, 'my blysfol beste,
My grete dystresse žou al todrawe3.
To be excused I make requeste;
I trawed my perle don out of dawe3.
Now haf I fonde hyt, I schal ma feste,
And wony wyth hyt in schyr wod-schawe3,
And loue my Lorde and al his lawe3
Žat hat3 me bro3t žys blys ner.
Now were I at yow by3onde žise wawe3,
I were a ioyful jueler.'





'Jueler', sayde žat gemme clene,
'Wy borde 3e men? So madde 3e be!
Žre worde3 hat3 žou spoken at ene:
Vnavysed, for sože, wern alle žre.
Žou ne woste in worlde quat on dot3 mene;
Žy worde byfore žy wytte con fle.
Žou says žou trawe3 me in žis dene,
Bycawse žou may wyth y3en me se;
Anožer žou says, in žys countré
Žyself schal won wyth me ry3t here;
Že žrydde, to passe žys water fre --
Žat may no ioyfol jueler.


'I halde žat iueler lyttel to prayse
Žat leue3 wel žat he se3 wyth y3e,
And much to blame and vncortayse
Žat leue3 oure Lorde wolde make a ly3e,
Žat lelly hy3te your lyf to rayse,
Ža3 fortune dyd your flesch to dy3e.
3e setten hys worde3 ful westernays
Žat leue3 nožynk bot 3e hit sy3e.
And žat is a poynt o sorquydry3e,
Žat vche god mon may euel byseme,
To leue no tale be true to try3e
Bot žat hys one skyl may dem.






'Deme now žyself if žou con dayly
As man to God worde3 schulde heue.
Žou sayt3 žou schal won in žis bayly;
Me žynk že burde fyrst aske leue,
And 3et of graunt žou my3te3 fayle.
Žou wylne3 ouer žys water to weue;
Er moste žou ceuer to ožer counsayle:
Žy corse in clot mot calder keue.
For hit wat3 forgarte at Paradys greue;
Oure 3orefader hit con mysse3eme.
Žur3 drwry deth bo3 vch man dreue,
Er ouer žys dam hym Dry3tyn deme.'

'Deme3 žou me', quod I, 'my swete,
To dol agayn, ženne I dowyne.
Now haf I fonte žat I forlete,
Schal I efte forgo hit er euer I fyne?
Why schal I hit bože mysse and mete?
My precios perle dot3 me gret pyne.
What serue3 tresor, bot gare3 men grete
When he hit schal efte wyth tene3 tyne?
Now rech I neuer for to declyne,
Ne how fer of folde žat man me fleme.
When I am partle3 of perle myne,
Bot durande doel what may men deme?'






'Thow deme3 no3t bot doel-dystresse',
Ženne sayde žat wy3t. 'Why dot3 žou so
For dyne of doel of lure3 lesse
Ofte mony mon forgos že mo.
Že o3te better žyseluen blesse,
And loue ay God, in wele and wo,
For anger gayne3 že not a cresse.
Who nede3 schal žole, be not so žro.
For žo3 žou daunce as any do,
Braundysch and bray žy braže3 breme,
When žou no fyrre may, to ne fro,
Žou moste abyde žat he schal deme.

'Deme Dry3tyn, euer hym adyte,
Of že way a fote ne wyl he wryže.
Žy mende3 mounte3 not a myte,
Ža3 žou for sor3e be neuer blyže.
Stynt of žy strot and fyne to flyte,
And sech hys blyže ful swefte and swyže.
Žy prayer may hys pyté byte,
Žat mercy schal hyr crafte3 kyže.
Hys comforte may žy langour lyže
And žy lure3 of ly3tly fleme;
For, marre ožer madde, morne and myže,
Al lys in hym to dy3t and deme.'






Thenne demed I to žat damyselle:
'Ne worže no wrathže vnto my Lorde,
If rapely I raue, spornande in spelle.
My herte wat3 al wyth mysse remorde,
As wallande water got3 out of welle.
I do me ay in hys myserecorde.
Rebuke me neuer wyth worde3 felle,
Ža3 I forloyne, my dere endorde,
Bot kyže3 me kyndely your coumforde,
Pytosly ženkande vpon žysse:
Of care and me 3e made acorde,
Žat er wat3 grounde of alle my blysse.

'My blysse, my bale, 3e han ben bože,
Bot much že bygger 3et wat3 my mon;
Fro žou wat3 wroken fro vch a wože,
I wyste neuer quere my perle wat3 gon.
Now I hit se, now leže3 my lože.
And, quen we departed, we wern at on;
God forbede we be now wrože,
We meten so selden by stok ožer ston.
Ža3 cortaysly 3e carp con,
I am bot mol and manere3 mysse.
Bot Crystes mersy and Mary and Jon,
Žise arn že grounde of alle my blisse.






'In blysse I se že blyžely blent,
And I a man al mornyf mate;
3e take žeron ful lyttel tente,
Ža3 I hente ofte harme3 hate.
Bot now I am here in your presente,
I wolde bysech, wythouten debate,
3e wolde me say in sobre asente
What lyf 3e lede erly and late.
For I am ful fayn žat your astate
Is woržen to worschyp and wele, iwysse;
Of alle my joy že hy3e gate,
Hit is in grounde of alle my blysse.'

'Now blysse, burne, mot že bytyde',
Žen sayde žat lufsoum of lyth and lere,
'And welcum here to walk and byde,
For now že speche is to me dere.
Maysterful mod and hy3e pryde,
I hete že, arn heterly hated here.
My Lorde ne loue3 not for to chyde,
For meke arn alle žat wone3 hym nere;
And when in hys place žou schal apere,
Be dep deuote in hol mekenesse.
My Lorde že Lamb loue3 ay such chere,
Žat is že grounde of alle my blysse.






'A blysful lyf žou says I lede;
Žou wolde3 knaw žerof že stage.
Žow wost wel when žy perle con schede
I wat3 ful 3ong and tender of age;
Bot my Lorde že Lombe žur3 hys godhede,
He toke myself to hys maryage,
Corounde me quene in blysse to brede
In lenghe of daye3 žat euer schal wage;
And sesed in alle hys herytage
Hys lef is. I am holy hysse:
Hys prese, hys prys, and hys parage
Is rote and grounde of alle my blysse.'


'Blysful', quod I, 'may žys be trwe?
Dysplese3 not if I speke errour.
Art žou že quene of heuene3 blwe,
Žat al žys worlde schal do honour?
We leuen on Marye žat grace of grewe,
Žat ber a barne of vyrgyn flour;
Že croune fro hyr quo mo3t remwe
Bot ho hir passed in sum fauour?
Now, for synglerty o hyr dousour,
We calle hyr Fenyx of Arraby,
Žat freles fle3e of hyr fasor,
Lyk to že Quen of cortaysye.'






'Cortayse Quen', ženne sayde žat gaye,
Knelande to grounde, folde vp hyr face,
'Makele3 Moder and myryest May,
Blessed bygynner of vch a grace!'
Ženne ros ho vp and con restay,
And speke me towarde in žat space:
'Sir, fele here porchase3 and fonge3 pray,
Bot supplantore3 none wythinne žys place.
Žat emperise al heuen3 hat3,
And vrže and helle, in her bayly;
Of erytage 3et non wyl ho chace,
For ho is Quen of cortaysye.

'The court of že kyndom of God alyue
Hat3 a property in hytself beyng:
Alle žat may žerinne aryue
Of alle že reme is quen ožer kyng,
And neuer ožer 3et schal depryue,
Bot vchon fayn of ožere3 hafyng,
And wolde her coroune3 wern worže žo fyue,
If possyble were her mendyng.
Bot my Lady of quom Jesu con spryng,
Ho halde3 že empyre ouer vus ful hy3e;
And žat dysplese3 non of oure gyng,
For ho is Quene of cortaysye.






'Of courtaysye, as sayt3 Saynt Poule,
Al arn we membre3 of Jesu Kryst:
As heued and arme and legg and naule
Temen to hys body ful trwe and tryste,
Ry3t so is vch a Krysten sawle
A longande lym to že Mayster of myste.
Ženne loke what hate ožer any gawle
Is tached ožer ty3ed žy lymme3 bytwyste.
Žy heued hat3 naužer greme ne gryste,
On arme ožer fynger ža3 žou ber by3e.
So fare we alle wyth luf and lyste
To kyng and quene by cortaysye.'

'Cortaysé', quod I, 'I leue,
And charyté grete, be yow among,
Bot my speche žat yow ne greue,
. . . . . .
Žyself in heuen ouer hy3 žou heue,
To make že quen žat wat3 so 3onge.
What more honour mo3te he acheue
Žat hade endured in worlde stronge,
And lyued in penaunce hys lyue3 longe
Wyth bodyly bale hym blysse to byye?
What more worschyp mo3t he fonge
Žen corounde be kyng by cortaysé?





'That cortaysé is to fre of dede,
3yf hyt be soth žat žou cone3 saye.
Žou lyfed not two 3er in oure žede;
Žou cowže3 neuer God naužer plese ne pray,
Ne neuer nawžer Pater ne Crede;
And quen mad on že fyrst day!
I may not traw, so God me spede,
Žat God wolde wryže so wrange away.
Of countes, damysel, par ma fay,
Wer fayr in heuen to halde asstate,
Ožer elle3 a lady of lasse aray;
Bot a quene! Hit is to dere a date.'

'Žer is no date of hys godnesse',
Žen sayde to me žat woržy wy3te,
'For al is trawže žat he con dresse,
And he may do nožynk bot ry3t.
As Mathew mele3 in your messe
In sothfol gospel of God almy3t,
In sample he can ful grayžely gesse,
And lykne3 hit to heuen ly3te.
"My regne", he sayt3, "is lyk on hy3t
To a lorde žat hade a uyne, I wate.
Of tyme of 3ere že terme wat3 ty3t,
To labor vyne wat3 dere že date.





"Žat date of 3ere wel knawe žys hyne.
Že lorde ful erly vp he ros
To hyre werkmen to hys vyne,
And fynde3 žer summe to hys porpos.
Into acorde žay con declyne
For a pené on a day, and forth žay got3,
Wryžen and worchen and don gret pyne,
Keruen and caggen and man hit clos.
Aboute vnder že lorde to marked tot3,
And ydel men stande he fynde3 žerate.
'Why stande 3e ydel?' he sayde to žos.
'Ne knawe 3e of žis day no date?'

'"'Er date of daye hider arn we wonne',
So wat3 al samen her answar so3t.
'We haf standen her syn ros že sunne,
And no mon bydde3 vus do ry3t no3t.'
'Gos into my vyne, dot3 žat 3e conne',
So sayde že lorde, and made hit to3t.
'What resonabele hyre be na3t be runne
I yow pay in dede and žo3te.'
Žay wente into že vyne and wro3te,
And al day že lorde žus 3ede his gate,
And nw men to hys vyne he bro3te
Welne3 wyl day wat3 passed date.





'"At že date of day of euensonge,
On oure byfore že sonne go doun,
He se3 žer ydel men ful stronge
And sade to hem wyth sobre soun,
'Wy stonde 3e ydel žise daye3 longe?'
Žay sayden her hyre wat3 nawhere boun.
'Got3 to my vyne, 3emen 3onge,
And wyrke3 and dot3 žat at 3e moun.'
Sone že worlde bycom wel broun;
Že sunne wat3 doun and hit wex late.
To take her hyre he mad sumoun;
Že day wat3 al apassed date.


'"The date of že daye že lorde con knaw,
Called to že reue: 'Lede, pay že meyny.
Gyf hem že hyre žat I hem owe,
And fyrre, žat non me may reprené,
Set hem alle vpon a rawe
And gyf vchon inlyche a peny.
Bygyn at že laste žat stande3 lowe,
Tyl to že fyrst žat žou atteny.'
And ženne že fyrst bygonne to pleny
And sayden žat žay hade trauayled sore:
'Žese bot on oure hem con streny;
Vus žynk vus o3e to take more.





'"'More haf we serued, vus žynk so,
Žat suffred han že daye3 hete,
Ženn žyse žat wro3t not houre3 two,
And žou dot3 hem vus to counterfete.'
Ženne sayde že lorde to on of žo:
'Frende, no waning I wyl že 3ete;
Take žat is žyn owne, and go.
And I hyred že for a peny agrete,
Quy bygynne3 žou now to žrete?
Wat3 not a pené žy couenaunt žore?
Fyrre žen couenaunde is no3t to plete.
Wy schalte žou ženne ask more?

'"'More, wežer louyly is me my gyfte,
To do wyth myn quat-so me lyke3?
Ožer elle3 žyn y3e to lyžer is lyfte
For I am goude and non byswyke3?'
Žus schal I", quod Kryste, "hit skyfte:
Že laste schal be že fyrst žat stryke3,
And že fyrst že laste, be he neuer so swyft;
For mony ben called, ža3 fewe be myke3."
Žus pore men her part ay pyke3,
Ža3 žay com late and lyttel wore;
And ža3 her sweng wyth lyttel atslyke3,
Že merci of God is much že more.





'More haf I of joye and blysse hereinne,
Of ladyschyp gret and lyue3 blom,
Žen alle že wy3e3 in že worlde my3t wynne
By že way of ry3t to aske dome.
Whežer welnygh now I con bygynne --
In euentyde into že vyne I come --
Fyrst of my hyre my Lorde con mynne:
I wat3 payed anon of al and sum.
3et ožer žer werne žat toke more tom,
Žat swange and swat for long 3ore,
Žat 3et of hyre nožynk žay nom,
Paraunter no3t schal to-3ere more.'

Then more I meled and sayde apert:
'Me žynk žy tale vnresounable.
Godde3 ry3t is redy and euermore rert,
Ožer Holy Wryt is bot a fable.
In Sauter is sayd a verce ouerte
Žat speke3 a poynt determynable:
"Žou quyte3 vchon as hys desserte,
Žou hy3e kyng ay pretermynable."
Now he žat stod že long day stable,
And žou to payment com hym byfore,
Ženne že lasse in werke to take more able,
And euer že lenger že lasse, že more.'






'Of more and lasse in Gode3 ryche',
Žat gentyl sayde, 'lys no joparde,
For žer is vch mon payed inlyche,
Whežer lyttel ožer much be hys rewarde;
For že gentyl Cheuentayn is no chyche,
Quežer-so-euer he dele nesch ožer harde:
He laue3 hys gyfte3 as water of dyche,
Ožer gote3 of golf žat neuer charde.
Hys fraunchyse is large žat euer dard
To Hym žat mat3 in synne rescoghe;
No blysse bet3 fro hem reparde,
For že grace of God is gret inoghe.

'Bot now žou mote3, me for to mate,
Žat I my peny haf wrang tan here;
Žou say3 žat I žat com to late
Am not woržy so gret fere.
Where wyste3 žou euer any bourne abate,
Euer so holy in hys prayere,
Žat he ne forfeted by sumkyn gate
Že mede sumtyme of heuene3 clere?
And ay že ofter, že alder žay were,
Žay laften ry3t and wro3ten woghe.
Mercy and grace moste hem žen stere,
For že grace of God is gret inno3e





'Bot innoghe of grace hat3 innocent.
As sone as žay arn borne, by lyne
In že water of babtem žay dyssente:
Žen arne žay boro3t into že vyne.
Anon že day, wyth derk endente,
Že niy3t of deth dot3 to enclyne:
Žat wro3t neuer wrang er ženne žay wente,
Že gentyle Lorde ženne paye3 hys hyne.
Žay dyden hys heste, žay wern žereine;
Why schulde he not her labour alow,
3ys, and pay hem at že fyrst fyne?
For že grace of God is gret innoghe.

'Ino3e is knawen žat mankyn grete
Fyrste wat3 wro3t to blysse parfyt;
Oure forme fader hit con forfete
Žur3 an apple žat he vpon con byte.
Al wer we dampned for žat mete
To dy3e in doel out of delyt
And syžen wende to helle hete,
Žerinne to won wythoute respyt.
Bot žeron com a bote astyt.
Ryche blod ran on rode so roghe,
And wynne water žen at žat plyt:
Že grace of God wex gret innoghe.





'Innoghe žer wax out of žat welle,
Blod and water of brode wounde.
Že blod vus bo3t fro bale of helle
And delyuered vus of že deth secounde;
Že water is baptem, že sože to telle,
Žat fol3ed že glayue so grymly grounde,
Žat wasche3 away že gylte3 felle
Žat Adam wyth inne deth vus drounde.
Now is žer no3t in že worlde rounde
Bytwene vus and blysse bot žat he wythdro3,
And žat is restored in sely stounde;
And že grace of God is gret innogh.


'Grace innogh že mon may haue
Žat synne3 ženne new, 3if hym repente,
Bot wyth sor3 and syt he mot hit craue,
And byde že payne žerto is bent.
Bot resoun of ry3t žat con not raue
Saue3 euermore že innossent;
Hit is a dom žat neuer God gaue,
Žat euer že gyltle3 schulde be schente.
Že gyltyf may contryssyoun hente
And be žur3 mercy to grace žry3t;
Bot he to gyle žat neuer glente
And inoscente is saf and ry3te.





'Ry3t žus I knaw wel in žis cas
Two men to saue is god by skylle:
Že ry3twys man schal se hys face,
Že harmle3 hažel schal com hym tylle.
Že Sauter hyt sat3 žus in a pace:
"Lorde, quo schal klymbe žy hy3 hylle,
Ožer rest wythinne žy holy place?"
Hymself to onsware he is not dylle:
"Hondelynge3 harme žat dyt not ille,
Žat is of hert bože clene and ly3t,
Žer schal hys step stable stylle":
Že innosent is ay saf by ry3t.

'The ry3twys man also sertayn
Aproche he schal žat proper pyle,
Žat take3 not her lyf in vayne,
Ne glauere3 her nie3bor wyth no gyle.
Of žys ry3twys sa3 Salamon playn
How Koyntise onoure con aquyle;
By waye3 ful stre3t ho con hym strayn,
And scheued hym že rengne of God awhyle,
As quo says, "Lo, 3on louely yle!
Žou may hit wynne if žou be wy3te."
Bot, hardyly, wythoute peryle,
Že innosent is ay saue by ry3te.





'Anende ry3twys men 3et sayt3 a gome,
Dauid in Sauter, if euer 3e sy3 hit:
"Lorde, Žy seruaunt dra3 neuer to dome,
For non lyuyande to že is justyfyet."
Foržy to corte quen žou schal com
Žer alle oure cause3 schal be tryed,
Alegge že ry3t, žou may be innome,
By žys ilke spech I haue asspyed;
Bot he on rode žat blody dyed,
Delfully žur3 honde3 žry3t,
Gyue že to passe, when žou arte tryed,
By innocens and not by ry3te.

'Ry3twysly quo con rede,
He loke on bok and be awayed
How Jesus hym welke in arežede,
And burne3 her barne3 vnto hym brayde.
For happe and hele žat fro hym 3ede
To touch her chylder žay fayr hym prayed.
His dessypele3 wyth blame let be hem bede
And wyth her resoune3 ful fele restayed.
Jesus ženne hem swetely sayde:
"Do way, let chylder vnto me ty3t.
To suche is heuenryche arayed":
Že innocent is ay saf by ry3t.





'Iesus con calle to hym hys mylde,
And sayde hys ryche no wy3 my3t wynne
Bot he com žyder ry3t as a chylde,
Ožer elle3 neuermore com žerinne.
Harmle3, trwe, and vndefylde,
Wythouten mote ožer mascle of sulpande synne,
Quen such žer cnoken on že bylde,
Tyt schal hem men že 3ate vnpynne.
Žer is že blys žat con not blynne
Žat že jueler so3te žur3 perré pres,
And solde alle hys goud, bože wolen and lynne,
To bye hym a perle wat3 mascelle3.

'This makelle3 perle, žat bo3t is dere,
Že joueler gef fore alle hys god,
Is lyke že reme of heuenesse clere:
So sayde že Fader of folde and flode;
For hit is wemle3, clene, and clere,
And endele3 rounde, and blyže of mode,
And commune to alle žat ry3twys were.
Lo, euen inmydde3 my breste hit stode.
My Lorde že Lombe, žat schede hys blode,
He py3t hit žere in token of pes.
I rede že forsake že worlde wode
And porchace žy perle maskelles.'





'O maskele3 perle in perle3 pure,
Žat bere3', quod I, 'že perle of prys,
Quo formed že žy fayre fygure?
Žat wro3t žy wede, he wat3 ful wys.
Žy beauté com neuer of nature;
Pymalyon paynted neuer žy vys,
Ne Arystotel nawžer by hys lettrure
Of carped že kynde žese properté3.
Žy colour passe3 že flour-de-lys;
Žyn angel-hauyng so clene corte3.
Breue me, bry3t, quat kyn offys
Bere3 že perle so maskelle3?'

'My makele3 Lambe žat al may bete',
Quod scho, 'my dere destyné,
Me ches to hys make, alža3 vnmete
Sumtyme semed žat assemblé.
When I wente fro yor worlde wete,
He calde me to hys bonerté:
"Cum hyder to me, my lemman swete,
For mote ne spot is non in že."
He gef me my3t and als bewté;
In hys blod he wesch my wede on dese,
And coronde clene in vergynté,
And py3t me in perle3 maskelle3.'





'Why, maskelle3 byrd žat bry3t con flambe,
Žat reiaté3 hat3 so ryche and ryf,
Quat kyn žyng may be žat Lambe
Žat že wolde wedde vnto hys vyf?
Ouer alle ožer so hy3 žou clambe
To lede wyth hym so ladyly lyf.
So mony a comly on-vunder cambe
For Kryst han lyued in much stryf;
And žou con alle žo dere out dryf
And fro žat maryag al ožer depres,
Al only žyself so stout and styf,
A makele3 may and maskelle3.'


'Maskelles', quod žat myry quene,
'Vnblemyst I am, wythouten blot,
And žat may I wyth mensk menteene;
Bot "makele3 quene" ženne sade I not.
Že Lambes vyue3 in blysse we bene,
A hondred and forty fowre žowsande flot,
As in že Apocalyppe3 hit is sene;
Sant John hem sy3 al in a knot.
On že hyl of Syon, žat semly clot,
Že apostel hem segh in gostly drem
Arayed to že weddyng in žat hyl-coppe,
Že nwe cyté o Jerusalem.





'Of Jerusalem I in speche spelle.
If žou wyl knaw what kyn he be,
My Lombe, my Lorde, my dere juelle,
My ioy, my blys, my lemman fre,
Že profete Ysaye of hym con melle
Pitously of hys debonerté:
"Žat gloryous gyltle3 žat mon con quelle
Wythouten any sake of felonye,
As a schep to že sla3t žer lad wat3 he;
And, as lombe žat clypper in hande nem,
So closed he hys mouth fro vch query,
Quen Jue3 hym iugged in Jerusalem."

'In Jerusalem wat3 my lemman slayn
And rent on rode wyth boye3 bolde.
Al oure bale3 to bere ful bayn,
He toke on hymself oure care3 colde.
Wyth boffete3 wat3 hys face flayn
Žat wat3 so fayr on to byholde.
For synne he set hymself in vayn,
Žat neuer hade non hymself to wolde.
For vus he lette hym fly3e and folde
And brede vpon a bostwys bem;
As meke as lomp žat no playnt tolde
For vus he swalt in Jerusalem.





'In Jerusalem, Jordan, and Galalye,
Žer as baptysed že goude Saynt Jon,
His worde3 acorded to Ysaye.
When Jesus con to hym warde gon.
He sayde of hym žys professye:
"Lo, Gode3 Lombe as trwe as ston,
Žat dot3 away že synne3 dry3e
Žat alle žys worlde hat3 wro3t vpon.
Hymself ne wro3t neuer 3et non;
Whežer on hymself he con al clem.
Hys generacyoun quo recen con,
Žat dy3ed for vus in Jerusalem?"

'In Ierusalem žus my lemman swete
Twye3 for lombe wat3 taken žare,
By trw recorde of ayžer prophete,
For mode so meke and al hys fare.
Že žryde tyme is žerto ful mete,
In Apokalype3 wryten ful 3are;
Inmyde3 že trone, žere saynte3 sete,
Že apostel Iohn hym sa3 as bare,
Lesande že boke with leue3 sware
Žere seuen syngnette3 wern sette in seme;
And at žat sy3t vche douth con dare
In helle, in erže, and Jerusalem.





'Thys Jerusalem Lombe hade neuer pechche
Of ožer huee bot quyt jolyf
Žat mot ne masklle mo3t on streche,
For wolle quyte so ronk and ryf.
Foržy vche saule žat hade neuer teche
Is to žat Lombe a worthyly wyf;
And ža3 vch day a store he feche,
Among vus comme3 noužer strot ne stryf;
Bot vchon enlé we wolde were fyf --
Že mo že myryer, so God me blesse.
In compayny gret our luf con žryf
In honour more and neuer že lesse.

'Lasse of blysse may non vus bryng
Žat beren žys perle vpon oure bereste,
For žay of mote couže neuer mynge
Of spotle3 perle3 žat beren že creste.
Alža3 oure corses in clotte3 clynge,
And 3e remen for rauže wythouten reste,
We žur3outly hauen cnawyng;
Of on dethe ful oure hope is drest.
Že Lombe vus glade3, oure care is kest;
He myrže3 vus alle at vch a mes.
Vchone3 blysse is breme and beste,
And neuer one3 honour 3et neuer že les.





'Lest les žou leue my tale farande,
In Appocalyppece is wryten in wro:
"I seghe", says John, "že Loumbe hym stande
On že mount of Syon ful žryuen and žro,
And wyth hym maydenne3 and hundreže žowsande,
And fowre and forty žowsande mo.
On alle her forhede3 wryten I fande
Že Lombe3 nome, hys Fadere3 also.
A hue from heuen I herde žoo,
Lyk flode3 fele laden runnen on resse,
And as žunder žrowe3 in torre3 blo,
Žat lote, I leue, wat3 neuer že les.

'"Nauželes, ža3 hit schowted scharpe,
And ledden loude alža3 hit were,
A note ful nwe I herde hem warpe,
To lysten žat wat3 ful lufly dere.
As harpore3 harpen in her harpe,
Žat nwe songe žay songen ful cler,
In sounande note3 a gentyl carpe;
Ful fayre že mode3 žay fonge in fere.
Ry3t byfore Gode3 chayere
And že fowre beste3 žat hym obes
And že aldermen so sadde of chere,
Her songe žay songen neuer že les.





'"Nowželese non wat3 neuer so quoynt,
For alle že crafte3 žat euer žay knewe,
Žat of žat songe my3t synge a poynt,
Bot žat meyny že Lombe žat swe;
For žay arn bo3t fro že vrže aloynte
As newe fryt to God ful due,
And to že gentyl Lombe hit arn anioynt,
As lyk to hymself of lote and hwe;
For neuer lesyng ne tale vntrwe
Ne towched her tonge for no dysstresse.
Žat moteles meyny may neuer remwe
Fro žat maskele3 mayster, neuer že les."'

'Neuer že les let be my žonc',
Quod I, 'My perle, ža3 I appose;
I schulde not tempte žy wyt so wlonc,
To Kryste3 chambre žat art ichose.
I am bot mokke and mul among,
And žou so ryche a reken rose,
And byde3 here by žys blysful bonc
Žer lyue3 lyste may neuer lose.
Now, hynde, žat sympelnesse cone3 enclose,
I wolde že aske a žynge expresse,
And ža3 I be bustwys as a blose,
Let my bone vayl neuerželese.






'Neuerželese cler I yow bycalle,
If 3e con se hyt be to done;
As žou art gloryous wythouten galle,
Wythnay žou neuer my ruful bone.
Haf 3e no wone3 in castel-walle,
Ne maner žer 3e may mete and won?
Žou telle3 me of Jerusalem že ryche ryalle,
Žer Dauid dere wat3 dy3t on trone,
Bot by žyse holte3 hit con not hone,
Bot in Judee hit is, žat noble note.
As 3e ar maskele3 vnder mone,
Your wone3 schulde be wythouten mote.

'Žys motele3 meyny žou cone3 of mele,
Of žousande3 žry3t so gret a route,
A gret ceté, for 3e arn fele,
Yow byhod haue, wythouten doute.
So cumly a pakke of joly juele
Wer euel don schulde ly3 žeroute,
And by žyse bonke3 žer I con gele
I se no bygyng nawhere aboute.
I trowe alone 3e lenge and loute
To loke on že glory of žys gracious gote.
If žou hat3 ožer bygynge3 stoute,
Now tech me to žat myry mote.'





'That mote žou mene3 in Judy londe',
Žat specyal spyce žen to me spakk,
'Žat is že cyté žat že Lombe con fon
To soffer inne sor for mane3 sake,
Že olde Jerusalem to vnderstonde;
For žere že olde gulte wat3 don to slake.
Bot že nwe, žat ly3t of Gode3 sonde,
Že apostel in Apocalyppce in theme con take.
Že Lompe žer wythouten spotte3 blake
Hat3 feryed žyder hys fayre flote;
And as hys flok is wythouten flake,
So is hys mote wythouten moote.

'Of motes two to carpe clene,
And Jerusalem hy3t bože nawželes --
Žat nys to yow no more to mene
Bot "ceté of God", ožer "sy3t of pes":
In žat on oure pes wat3 mad at ene;
Wyth payne to suffer že Lombe hit chese;
In žat ožer is no3t bot pes to glene
Žat ay schal laste wythouten reles.
Žat is že bor3 žat we to pres
Fro žat oure flesch be layd to rote,
Žer glory and blysse schal euer encres
To že meyny žat is wythouten mote.'




'Motele3 may so meke and mylde',
Žen sayde I to žat lufly flor,
'Bryng me to žat bygly bylde
And let me se žy blysful bor.'
Žat schene sayde: 'Žat God wyl schylde;
Žou may not enter wythinne hys tor,
Bot of že Lombe I haue že aquylde
For a sy3t žerof žur3 gret fauor.
Vtwyth to se žat clene cloystor
Žou may, bot inwyth not a fote;
To strech in že strete žou hat3 no vygour,
Bot žou wer clene wythouten mote.


'If I žis mote že schal vnhyde,
Bow vp towarde žys borne3 heued,
And I anende3 že on žis syde
Schal sve, tyl žou to a hil be veued.'
Žen wolde I no lenger byde,
Bot lurked by launce3 so lufly leued,
Tyl on a hyl žat I asspyed
And blusched on že burghe, as I forth dreued,
By3onde že brok fro me warde keued,
Žat schyrrer žen sunne wyth schafte3 schon.
In že Apokalypce is že fasoun preued,
As deuyse3 hit že apostel Jhon.






As John že apostel hit sy3 wyth sy3t,
I sy3e žat cyty of gret renoun,
Jerusalem so nwe and ryally dy3t,
As hit was ly3t fro že heuen adoun.
Že bor3 wat3 al of brende golde bry3t
As glemande glas burnist broun,
Wyth gentyl gemme3 an-vnder py3t
Wyth bantele3 twelue on basyng boun,
Že foundemente3 twelue of riche tenoun;
Vch tabelment wat3 a serlype3 ston;
As derely deuyse3 žis ilk toun
In Apocalyppe3 že apostel John.

As John žise stone3 in writ con nemme,
I knew že name after his tale:
Jasper hy3t že fyrst gemme
Žat I on že fyrst basse con wale:
He glente grene in že lowest hemme;
Saffer helde že secounde stale;
Že calsydoyne ženne wythouten wemme
In že žryd table con purly pale;
Že emerade že furže so grene of scale;
Že sardonyse že fyfže ston;
Že sexte že rybé he con hit wale
In že Apocalyppce, že apostel John.





3et joyned John že crysolyt
Že seuenže gemme in fundament;
Že a3tže že beryl cler and quyt;
Že topasye twynne-hew že nente endent;
Že crysopase že tenže is ty3t;
Že jacynght že enleuenže gent;
Že twelfže, že gentyleste in vch a plyt,
Že amatyst purpre wyth ynde blente;
Že wal abof že bantels bent
O jasporye, as glas žat glysnande schon;
I knew hit by his deuysement
In že Apocalyppe3, že apostel John.

As John deuysed 3et sa3 I žare:
Žise twelue degres wern brode and stayre;
Že cyté stod abof ful sware,
As longe as brode as hy3e ful fayre;
Že strete3 of golde as glasse al bare,
Že wal of jasper žat glent as glayre;
Že wone3 wythinne enurned ware
Wyth alle kynne3 perré žat mo3t repayre.
Ženne helde vch sware of žis manayre
Twelue forlonge space, er euer hit fon,
Of he3t, of brede, of lenže to cayre,
For meten hit sy3 že apostel John.






As John hym wryte3 3et more I sy3e:
Vch pane of žat place had žre 3ate3;
So twelue in poursent I con asspye,
Že portale3 pyked of rych plate3,
And vch 3ate of a margyrye,
A parfyt perle žat neuer fate3.
Vchon in scrypture a name con plye
Of Israel barne3, folewande her date3,
Žat is to say, as her byrž-whate3:
Že aldest ay fyrst žeron wat3 done.
Such ly3t žer lemed in alle že strate3
Hem nedde nawžer sunne ne mone.

Of sunne ne mone had žay no nede;
Že self God wat3 her lombe-ly3t,
Že Lombe her lantyrne, wythouten drede;
Žur3 hym blysned že bor3 al bry3t.
Žur3 wo3e and won my lokyng 3ede,
For sotyle cler no3t lette no ly3t.
Že hy3e trone žer mo3t 3e hede
Wyth alle že apparaylmente vmbepy3te,
As John že appostel in terme3 ty3te;
Že hy3e Gode3 self hit set vpone.
A reuer of že trone žer ran outry3te
Wat3 bry3ter žen bože že sunne and moon.





Sunne ne mone schon neuer so swete
As žat foysoun flode out of žat flet;
Swyže hit swange žur3 vch a strete
Wythouten fylže ožer galle ožer glet.
Kyrk žerinne wat3 non 3ete,
Chapel ne temple žat euer wat3 set;
Že Almy3ty wat3 her mynster mete,
Že Lombe že sakerfyse žer to refet.
Že 3ate3 stoken wat3 neuer 3et,
Bot euermore vpen at vche a lone;
Žer entre3 non to take reset
Žat bere3 any spot an-vnder mone.

The mone may žerof acroche no my3te;
To spotty ho is, of body to grym,
And also žer ne is neuer ny3t.
What schulde že mone žer compas clym
And to euen wyth žat woržly ly3t
Žat schyne3 vpon že broke3 brym?
Že planete3 arn in to pouer a ply3t,
And že self sunne ful fer to dym.
Aboute žat water arn tres ful schym,
Žat twelue fryte3 of lyf con bere ful sone;
Twelue syže3 on 3er žay beren ful frym,
And renowle3 nwe in vche a mone.




An-vnder mone so great merwayle
No fleschly hert ne my3t endeure,
As quen I blusched vpon žat bayle,
So ferly žerof wat3 že fasure.
I stod as stylle as dased quayle
For ferly of žat frelich fygure,
Žat felde I nawžer reste ne trauayle,
So wat3 I rauyste wyth glymme pure.
For I dar say wyth conciens sure,
Hade bodyly burne abiden žat bone,
Ža3 alle clerke3 hym hade in cure,
His lyf were loste an-vnder mone.


Ry3t as že maynful mone con rys
Er ženne že day-glem dryue al doun,
So sodanly on a wonder wyse
I wat3 war of a prosessyoun.
Žis noble cité of ryche enpryse
Wat3 sodanly ful wythouten sommoun
Of such vergyne3 in že same gyse
Žat wat3 my blysful an-vnder croun:
And coronde wern alle of že same fasoun,
Depaynt in perle3 and wede3 qwyte;
In vchone3 breste wat3 bounden boun
Že blysful perle wyth gret delyt.





Wyth gret delyt žay glod in fere
On golden gate3 žat glent as glasse;
Hundreth žowsande3 I wot žer were,
And alle in sute her liuré3 wasse;
Tor to knaw že gladdest chere.
Že Lombe byfore con proudly passe
Wyth horne3 seuen of red golde cler;
As praysed perle3 his wede3 wasse.
Towarde že throne žay trone a tras.
Ža3 žay wern fele, no pres in plyt,
Bot mylde as maydene3 seme at mas,
So dro3 žay forth wyth gret delyt.

Delyt žat hys come encroched
To much hit were of for to melle
Žise aldermen, quen he aproched,
Grouelyng to his fete žay felle.
Legyounes of aungele3 togeder uoched
Žer kesten ensens of swete smelle.
Žen glory and gle wat3 nwe abroched;
Al songe to loue žat gay juelle.
Že steuen mo3t stryke žur3 že vrže to helle
Žat že Vertues of heuen of joye endyte.
To loue že Lombe his meyny in melle
Iwysse I la3t a gret delyt.





Delit že Lombe for to deuise
Wyth much meruayle in mynde went.
Best wat3 he, blyžest, and moste to pryse,
Žat euer I herde of speche spent;
So woržly whyt wern wede3 hys,
His loke3 symple, hymself so gent.
Bot a wounde ful wyde and weete con wyse
Anende hys hert, žur3 hyde torente.
Of his quyte syde his blod outsprent.
Alas, žo3t I, who did žat spyt?
Ani breste for bale a3t haf forbren
t Er he žerto hade had delyt.

The Lombe delyt non lyste to wene.
Ža3 he were hurt and wounde hade,
In his sembelaunt wat3 neuer sene,
So wern his glente3 gloryous glade.
I loked among his meyny schene
How žay wyth lyf wern laste and lade;
Žen sa3 I žer my lyttel quene
Žat I wende had standen by me in sclade.
Lorde, much of mirže wat3 žat ho made
Among her fere3 žat wat3 so quyt!
Žat sy3t me gart to ženk to wade
For luf-longyng in gret delyt.






Delyt me drof in y3e and ere,
My mane3 mynde to maddyng malte;
Quen I se3 my frely, I wolde be žere,
By3onde že water ža3 ho were walte.
I žo3t žat nožyng my3t me dere
To fech me bur and take me halte,
And to start in že strem schulde non me stere,
To swymme že remnaunt, ža3 I žer swalte.
Bot of žat munt I wat3 bitalt;
When I schulde start in že strem astraye,
Out of žat caste I wat3 bycalt:
Hit wat3 not at my Prynce3 paye.

Hit payed hym not žat I so flonc
Ouer meruelous mere3, so mad arayde.
Of raas ža3 I were rasch and ronk,
3et rapely žerinne I wat3 restrayed.
For, ry3t as I sparred vnto že bonc,
Žat brathže out of my drem me brayde.
Žen wakned I in žat erber wlonk;
My hede vpon žat hylle wat3 layde
Žer as my perle to grounde strayd.
I raxled, and fel in gret affray,
And, sykyng, to myself I sayd,
'Now al be to žat Prynces paye'.





Me payed ful ille to be outfleme
So sodenly of žat fayre regioun,
Fro alle žo sy3te3 so quyke and queme.
A longeyng heuy me strok in swone,
And rewfully ženne I con to reme:
'O perle', quod I, 'of rych renoun,
So wat3 hit me dere žat žou con deme
In žys veray avysyoun!
If hit be ueray and soth sermoun
Žat žou so styke3 in garlande gay,
So wel is me in žys doel-doungoun
Žat žou art to žat Prynse3 paye.'

To žat Prynce3 paye hade I ay bente,
And 3erned no more žen wat3 me gyuen,
And halden me žer in trwe entent,
As že perle me prayed žat wat3 so žryuen,
As helde, drawen to Godde3 present,
To mo of his mysterys I hade ben dryuen;
Bot ay wolde man of happe more hente
Žen mo3te by ry3t vpon hem clyuen.
Žerfore my ioye wat3 sone toriuen,
And I kaste of kythe3 žat laste3 aye.
Lorde, mad hit arn žat agayn že stryuen,
Ožer proferen že o3t agayn žy paye.


To pay že Prince ožer sete sa3te
Hit is ful eže to že god Krystyin;
For I haf founden hym, bože day and na3te,
A God, a Lorde, a frende ful fyin.
Ouer žis hyul žis lote I la3te,
For pyty of my perle enclyin,
And syžen to God I hit byta3te
In Kryste3 dere blessyng and myn,
Žat in že forme of bred and wyn
Že preste vus schewe3 vch a daye.
He gef vus to be his homly hyne
Ande precious perle3 vnto his pay.

Amen. Amen.