F or the mede of mi seruise

T ac me þi sone to loke and lore

O f mi seruise kep i nammore

A nd i þe wille þonke conne

A nd al þe clergie vnder sonne

I ich wille in to his bodi di3t

B oþe bi dai and bi ni3t

D ioclecian þe maistres herde

He strok his berd and schok his 3erde

A nd on hem made milde chere

A nd spak that hi alle mi3te ihere

Þ onke i 3ou kan gode lordingges,

O f 3oure gentil anserungges

I kan 3ou thonke of 3oure speche

Þ at 3e desire mi sone to teche

3 oure compaignie is fair and gent

N el ich hit departe verraiment

H e tok his sone bi þe hond a non

A n bitau3te him to hem euerichon

Þ ai vnderfongen him wi3 cher blithe

A nd þonged him a þousand sithe

Þ e seuen wise wi3 gret glorie

Þat child ladde to consistorie

Þat is a stede wi3 inne Rome

Þ er men make3 wise dome

Þ is seuen wise men in boke

H ere conseil þere to gider toke

Þat he scholde nowt in Rome bilaue

F or Burgeis maiden oþer knaue

M i3te him in som riot sette

Þ at al his lore he scholde lette

Þ er þai toke to gideres alle

Þ ai wolde make a riche halle

W i3outen Rome in on verger

A mile þennes bi o riue

T iber hit hatte wi3 outen dout

A mile long al about

A lle tres þer inne were

Þ at ani frut an erthe bere

A mideward þai foniden a space

A n euen and a grene place

Þ er inne þai set an halle anon

B oþe of lim and of ston

Q uaire hit was wi3 chaumbres seuene


W as non fairer in to heuen

Þ e halle was a midewerd

Þ e fairest of þis midelerd

Þ er inne was paint of donet þre pars

A nd eke alle þe seuen ars ·

Þ e firste was grammarie

M usike and astronomie

G eometrie and ars mutike

R ectorike and ek fisike

Þ e segh was in þe halle

Þ e ars to bihelden alle

W han a maister him let anoþer him tok

H e was euer vpon his bok

A nd to his lore tok gret kepe

B ut whan he ete oþer he slepe

Þ e fer3e 3er hit was no doute

W i3 his maister he gan to despout

Þ e fifte 3e he gan argument

O f þe sterre and of þe firmament

Þ ei wolde proue in þe sexte 3er

3 if he ware wis and wer

L eues þai tok sextene

O f Iuy þat were grene

V nder ech stapel of his bed

Þ at he niste four þai hid

Þ e child 3ede to bedde a ni3t

A nd ros arliche amorewen apli3t

H ise maistres him bifore stode

O pen hefd wi3 outen hode

Þ e child lokede here & tar

V p and doun and eueri whar

H ise miastres askede wat him was

P ar fai he seide a ferli cas

O þer ich am of wine dronke

O þer þe firmament is isonke

O þer were is þe grounde

Þ e þiknes of four leues rounde

S o muche to ni3t heyer ilai

C ertes þanne 3isterdai

Þ e maistres þo wel vnderstode

H e coude inow of alle gode

Þ e seuende 3er so tok he on

H e passede his maistres euerichon

T o gider þai made gret solas


A c sone hem fil aferli cas

D ioclesian þat was in rome

A riche man and wis of dome

H ise barons comen to him on a dai

A nd sire par nostre fai

3 e libbe3 an a lenge lif

3 e scholde take a gentil wif

Þ at 3ou mit som solas do

A nd bie3eten children mo

I now 3e habben of werldes won

T o make hem riche euerichon

Þ emperour was wel ipaied

W i3 þat þe ?????? had seid

S one he let him puruai

A n emperice of gret noblai

H e went him self and sent his sond

W ide what in to fele lond

F ort þat þai ani founde

A dammeisele of gret mounde

Þ ai brouwte here to fore þemperour

H e segh sche was of feir colour

H e wot sche was of heg3 parage

A non þai asked þe mariage

Þ ai weren iwedded bi commoun dome

A non in þe gise of Rome

A nd louede hem þourg alle þing

H erkne3 nou a selli tiding

Þ in ihid ne þing istole

N e man nowt lenge be for hole

N e þing mai for hole be

B ut godes owen priuete

S om squier or som seriant nice

H ad itold þemperice

A l of þemperoures sone

H ou he wi3 þe maistres wone

A nd hire schildre scolde be bastards

A nd he schal haue al þe wardes

V nder hest and vnder hond

O f þempire and al þe lond

Þ ai couþe sche boþe qued an god

A nd sone sche gan to pekke mod

A nd þoughte so stepmoder doþ

I n to falsenesse torne soþ

A nd brew swich a beuerage


Þ at scholde florentin bicache

A c mani wene3 oþer to herte

A nd on hem selue falle3 al þe smerte

Þ emperour and his wif

Þat he louede als his lif

I n chaumber to gidere þai sete

G ladliche þai dronke and ete

S ire 3he saide gentil emperour

I þe loue wi3 fin amour

A nd þou nowt me sikeli

S ire ihc wil telle þe whi

S eue 3er hit is þat þou me nome

A nd made me emperice of Rome

Þ i make at bord and at bedde

A nd o þing þou hast fram hedde

Þ ou hast asone to scole itau3t

L at me him se warn me him nau3t

H it is þi sone and þin air

A wis child and afair

Þ i most time þou hast ben kyng

Þ ou drawest fast to þin eding

F ond we sire in Ioie libbe

A nd haue Ioie of oure sibbe

F or þi sone itel mine

A lse wel als tou dost þine

Par auenture hit mai falle so

Þ at neuer ese ne tit vs mo

3 if þou me louest ani wi3t

L et me of him han asi3t

C ertes dame seide þemperour

H it ne schal nowt be long soiour

T o morewe ar vndertide of dai

Þ ou schalt him sen par ma fai

A nd sche seide wi3 chere blithe

B raunt merci sire a þouusend sithe

A morewe þemperour gan rise

And cloþed him in riche gise

M essagers he clepede to

A nd quik þai com to toforn him bo

H e scharged hem wi3 his message

A nd bad hem grete þe seuen sage

A nd seie3 hem wi3 wordes bonair

M i sone þat þai atire fair

A nd brenge him hom in faire manere


F or ich wil quik of him here

Hou he had sped þis seue 3er

M e þinke3 longe þat ner er

Þ e Messagers a non forht sprong

I not bi waie 3if þai song

T il þai come to þat inne

Þ er þe maistres woned inne

A nd as we finden writen in bok

A iþer oþer be þe hond tok

A nd in þai wente ri3t euene

A nd founde þe maistres alle seuene

D isputend in hire latyn

W i3 þat child florentyn

Þ e Messagers on knew hem sette

A nd þe seuen wise þai grette

I n þemperours bilhelue

A nd þe child be him selue

A nd seide þat emperour het

H ise sone þat þai bringge him sket

T o Rome toun to his presens

3 our trauail and 3oure despens

H e wil aquite for ech a 3er

A fter þat 3he worthi wer

Þ e messagers were wel come

A nd bi þe hond quik ynome

A nd at þe mete tales hem telde

W hat þe sonne gan to helde

H out wente þe maistres seuene

A nd bihelden vp toward heuene

Þ ai seghe þe constillacioun

Þ e wisest in þat so was katoun

H e gan to loke in þe mone

A nd seide þat him þoughte sone

L ordinges he saide for godes sond

T o mi telling vnderstond

Þ emperour to ous had sent

T o brenge him his sone gent

3 if we him bring biforn our lord

H e sterue3 ate ferste word

Þ at he schal in court speke

Þ anne he wil of ous be wreke

T o drawe ous oþer to hongi sone

Þ is ise wel in þe mone

Þ e oþer saide wi3 outen oþ


Þ at catoun hem saide soht

S child florentin was lered in boke

And in after he gan to loke

W hiche þat sat next þe mone

A nd saide þat him þoughte sone

Þ at he wist þourgh alle þing

O f þat sterre þe toknyng

Þ anne saide þe maistres to florentin

W hat sex tou leue child þar in

H e saide maister i schal wel liuen

3 if imai þis daies seuen

K epe me fram answering

I mai liue to god ending

A nd sauue me to warisoun

A nd 3ou fram destruccioun

Þ e maistres han wel de vise

Þ childes tale was god and wise

Þ an seide maister baucillas

H er is now a ferli cas

C ounseil we al her vpon

H ou þat we mai best don

Þ an seide þe schild saun3 fail

I ch 3ou ri3t wil counseil

Þ is seuen daies i nel nowt speke

N owt oword of mi mowht breke

A nd 3e be3 maistres gode and wise

I n al þis werld of mest prise

L itel 3e conne par ma fai

B ut echon of 3o mai saue me a dai

Þ e ai3teden dai ich me selue

S o þe ax pelt in þe helue

Þ at schal hewe þe wai a two

Þ at had wrout me þis wo

Þ an saide maister baucillas

S o god me helpe and seint nicholas

I schal þe waranti o dai

A nd i quaþ catoun par ma fai

S chal þe warant anoþer also

A lle þe maistres speken þo

Þ ai wald wit and resoun

S aue þe child fram destruccioun

F ram schame and fram vilani

M aistres he saide graunt merci

C ertes hi bihoue3 so


F or isschal þoli mochel wo

G ret despit and strong turment

B ut 3e be queinte of argument

W i3 þis word þai ben alle

D eparted and come to halle

A nd maked atese þe messagers

W i3 god semblant and glade chers

A nd whan hit come to time of ni3t

T o riche bed þai were idi3t

A nd florentin þe schild al so

T o his bed he gan to go

A nd þou3t al ni3t her and tar

h ou þat he mi3t be wis and war

T o ouercome þe emperice

Þ at he nere nowt iholden nice

Þ e ni3t passe3 þe dai comen is

Þ e seuen maistres arisen iwis

Þ e maistres and þe messagers

H abbe3 greiþed here destres

A nd þat schild wel fair idi3t

A nd went hem forht a non ri3t

Þ ai dede hem out of þat gardin

Þ at is icleped þe bois of seint Martin

A nd here way toke to Rome

Þ e maistres here wai a3en nome

T iding had þemperour

H is sone com wi3 gret honur

A non he let a stede di3t

& rod him a3en wi3 mani a kni3t

W han he him segh3 þan was he bli3e

& kest him wel mani asiþe

K ni3t and erl and mani baroun

K iste þe emperours soun

A nd ladde him wi3 gret noblais

T o þemperour palais

Þ e emperice him wil honur

D o him sende in to hire bour

S cho ladde fram bour to bour

A nd dede here mene make retour

3 e sschette þe dore and set him on benche

W il 3e nou ihere of wommannes wrenche

Þ e emperice was queinte in dede

A nd hire wrenche and in hire falshede

3 he and þe schild alone wer þan


W as wi3 hem non oþer man

B e his side 3he set hire fast

O n him sche gan her eg3en kast

A nd saide mi leue suete grom

S wiþe welcome be þou hom

I haue icast to þe mi loue

O f al worhtlich þing aboue

Þ i louerd þe emperour is old

O f kinde of bodi he is cold

I swere bi sonne and bi mone

W i3 me ne hadde he neuer to done

B ut for ich herde telle of þi pris

Þ at þou were hende gentil and wis

F or to haue wi3 þe a cord

I ch am iwedded to þi lord

K es me lemman and loue me

& i þi soget wil ibe

S o god me helpe for he hit wot

T o þe ich haue ikept mi maindenhod

S che kest here armes aboute his swere

A c he made lourand chere

A nd drow3 a wai wi3 al his mi3t

H e wold his lord don non vnri3t

W han þe emperice þat vnderstod

A l achaunged was hire blod

A nd saide to him sweting fre

W hi nel tou nowt speke wi3 me

F or no þing þat sche mi3tte do

O word nolde he speken her to

Þ an þe emperice wex wroþ

sche tar hire her and ek her cloþ

H ere kirtel here pilche of ermine

H ere keuerchefs of silk here smok oline

A l to gidere wi3 bo þe fest

S che to rent bineþen here brest

W i3 boþe honden here 3aulew here

O ut of þe tresses sche hit tere

A nd ssche to cragged hire visage

A nd gradde harow wi3 gret rage

I n halle was þemperour

W ho had þe don þis desonur

B ot þis deuel þat her is

H adde me ner ihonisscht iwis

H adde ich ben a while stille


W i3 me he hadde don his wille

A nd but 3e hadde þe raþer icome

P ar force he dhadde me forht inome

L o hou he ad me to rent

M i bodi & mi face isschent

H e ne was neuer of þi blod

L at him binde for he his wod

A fend he is in kinde of Man

B inde him sire and lede han

F or wod of wit ischal be

3 if ich lengere on him see

H e sschal abigge saide þemperour

A nd cleped forht a turmentour

Q uik he het his sone take

& spoili him of cloþes nake

& beten him wi3 scourges stronge

& afterward him heg3e an honge

B leþeliche þe hoies quaþe

& tok þe schild swithe rathe

A nd ladde him forht þourgh þe halle

A mong þerles and barons alle

E uele þai gonne him bisen

G entil ronnen hem bitwen

A nd asked anon of þis cas

Þ ai saide here lordes heste hit was

A non þai ronnen in to þe bour

B iforn here lord þe emperour

A nd blamed him he dede þat dede

W i3outen counseil a rede

& bad him þat þilke sorewe

M ost be respit til amorewe

A nd þanne saue him oþer slen

B i conseil of þi gentil Men

Þ e emperice was fol wro3

Þ at þe child was spared for soht

A nd wel mochel hit here traid

S che þought wel more þanne 3he said

A neuen late þe emperour

was browt to bedde wi3 honur

Þ e emperice his worhtli fere

T o him cam wi3 lourand chere

A nd þe emperour asked why


3 he made semblant so sori

O sire 3e saide no wonder nis

F or now to londe icomen is

H e þat schal in þin eld age

B inime þe þin heritage

P ais dame who sschal þat be

Þ in howen sone i segge þe

M in owen sone dame nay

N e schalt tou neuere s þat dai

Þ at he schal haue ani mi3t

M e for to don vnri3t

P ais sire what halt hit heled

T o dai þo hast him fram deþ ispeled

A se wel mot hit like þe

A ls dede þe pinnote tre

O f his ympe þat he forhtbrowte

Þ emperour lai & more þoug3te

& bad hire wi3 semblaunt fre

T elle him of þat ilche tre

A nd of þe ympe al þe cas

W hilom a riche burgeis was

A nd woned her in Rome toun

A richeman of gret renoun

H e hadde bihinden his paleys

A fair gardin of noblays

F ul of appel tres and and (corr. from al) of pirie

F oules songe þer inne murie

A midelward þat gardyn fre

S o wax a piinnote tre

Þ at hadde fair bowes and frut

Þ er vnder was al his dedut

He made þer vnder a grene bench

A nd drank þer vnder mani asscench

C ertes þer inne was al his plaiyng

I n time of solas and his resting

S o bifel vpon a dai

þe burgeis fram home tok his wai

H e bou3te marchaundise & his chaffare

A nd bileued oute al a3are

A lso sone so he mi3te

H omward he gan him di3te

W han he was li3 at his in

Q uik he wente to his gardin

H is fair tre for to sen


Þ anne seg3 he wexe a litel stren

A 3ong ympe vt of his rote

F air hit him þoug3te and swote

A c þat ympe þat so sprong

H it was sschort & no þing long

Þ e burgeis cleped his gardiner

L o he saide lo me her

S este þou þis ympe of gret mounde

K anst þou me telle gode bounde

W hi hit is so schort wering

# a sire he saide be heuene king

Þ e grete bou3 þat ouer him is

S o him bisschadewe3 iwis

Þ at hit mai haue no þedom

ST e3e vp he saide mi gode grom

& hak awai þe grete bou3

Þ at hit ne do min ympe no wou3

Þ e gardiner as his louerd het

H ew a wai þe bou3 al swet

A nd asked 3if hit was wel ido

A noþer he bad him kit þer to

Þ an mai wi3 outen letting

Min himpe iolifliche spring

N ou ben hise bowes awai isschore

A nd mochel of his beaute forlore

Þ e ympe had roum and wexe3 fast

Þe olde tre his vertu gan a cast

F or no wonder hit his

O f þe maister rote hit is

O ut i spronge & out isschet

A nd his bowes awai ikest

Þ ar fore þat olde tre les his pride

& asered bi þat o side

Þ e gode burgeis on a dai

H is ympe þriuende he sai

F air iwoxe and fair isprad

B ut þe olde tre was al abrad

H e clepid his gardener þo

A nd asked whi þe olde tre verd so

H e answerede als he wel couþe

S ikerliche ich telle þe nouþe

Þ e 3onge impe þat wide springes

H ad large roume in alle þingges

A nd for þe elde tre is so ihewed


Hit so wikked and so sschrewed

Þ e burgeis seide seþþe þe elde

B iginne3 so to vnbelde

H ewe him to þe grounde doun ri3t

L at þe 3onge tre atire apli3t

Þ ous ws þe olde tre doun iþrawe

A nd þe 3onge tre forht idrawe

G ode sire gent and fre

Þ at olde tre bitokne3 þe

Þ e 3onge bitokne3 þi sone wode

Þ at is ispronge out of þi blode

H e sschal be sone forht idrawe

A nd maister and þou his knaue

H it wil wel sone ben ido

B ut þou take kep þer to

A nd but þou do þou ne hast no mi3t

Þ at i biseke to oure dri3t

Þ at als hit more fare bi þe

A s dede bi þe pinnote tre.

C ertes dame þou seist for nowt

I ne sschal neuere so ben bicau3t

I ich þe bihote sikerliche

H e schal to morewe erliche

T o de3 be don and þat is ri3t

A nd þous passede þe fe^r^ste ni3t

A morewe aros þe emperour

A nd mani baroun of gret honur

M en vndede þe gates of þe paleis

I n com goende mani burgeis

S one was fild paleys and tour

I n com goind þemperour

G oht he sei3 to þe prisone

A nd fechche3 forht mine sone

A nd quik þat he ware anhonge

O n heghe galewes and on stronge

Þ e boies 3ede a non doun

A nd fesched þe child out of prisoun

A nd ladde him forht þour þe halle

A mong þe erles and barouns alle

F or þat schild þat naked was

M ani bede þemperice euel gras

Þ an com ridend baucillas

þe childes firste maister he was

A nd seg3e his deciple harde bistad


Þ erfore he was in herte vnglad

H e rod to þemperours halle

A nd li3te and passede þe kni3tes alle

& fint sone þemperour

A nd sire saide deu vous doint boniour

Þ emperour saide god þe defende

F ram god dai and fram god ende

¶Þ an seide maister baucillas

W hi artou wroht and for what cas

W iltou sle þin owen child

N e were þou wone be god and mild

H it nis no wonder saide þemperour

Þ ou sschalt ben an honged þou loseniour

F or to þe and þine fere

I bitok mi sone to lere

F or to han taue3t him god

A nd 3e han imad him wod

M i wif he wolde haue forleyn

H it nis no wonder þough i haue trayn

H e schal þerfore ben islawe

A nd afterward al to drawe

Þ an seide maister baucillas

S ire þat were now a sori cas

Þ ei he had iwraththed 3our wif

3 it had he nowt a gelt his lif

S auue 3oure grace wene ich hit howt

H it euere com in his þout

Þ emperour saide ifond hire to rent

hire her and hire face ischent

A nd who is founde hond habbing

H it nis non nede of witnessing

S aide baucillas hit nis hon ha le

T o leue stepmoderes ta le

3 if þou him slest bi hire purchas

O n þe falle swich a cas

A s fel vpon a gentil kni3t

A nd of his garihond þat was so wi3t

O miaster for godes mounde

H ou bifel þe kni3t of his grehonde

Þ er while sire þat i tolde þis tale

Þ i sone mi3te þolie dethes bale

Þ anne were mi tale forlore

A c of sende þi sone þerfore

A nd 3if him respit of his bale.


A nd þou sschalt here a foul fair tale

Þ emperour saide respit igraunt

F ech him hider a seriaunt

Q uik ran þe messager

W i3 god semblant and glade cher

H e louted his maister þat com him bi

A s he was lad to prisoun sti

M aister seide þemperour tel þis cas

B leþeliche saide sire baucillas

S ire whilom was in þis cite

In a dai of þe trinete

A swiþe noble strong burdis

O f men þat were of noble pris

I n a mede was þis turney

O f men þat were of gret noblai

Þ e kny3t in þe mede hadde a maner

A l bi closed wi3 a riuer

O f cahumbres and of heg3e halle

O f old werk for crased alle

Þ e kni3t hadde a fair leuedi

A wel fair child sche hadde him bi

H it hadde of þre norices keping

Þ e ferste 3af hit souke 3ing

Þ at oþ er norice him sscholde baþe

W han hit was time late and raþe

Þ e þridde norice him sscolde wassche

Þ e child was keped tendre an nessche

Þ e kni3t hadde a graihond

Þ ns no beter in lond ifound

A lle þe bestes þat ran to

H e tok boþe hert and ro ·

H e was so hende and wel itau3t

H e nolde 3iue him for non au3t

Þ e kni3t was lopen on his stede

A nd armed wel in iren wede

Þ e sscheld aboute his nekk þe spere onhishond

A nd burdised wi3 þe kni3tes of þe lond

Þ e leuedi stod in pount tournis

F or to bihelde þe burdis

Þ e norice went out of þe halle

& set þe cradel vnder þe walle

M ani stede þer ran and lep

T o hem men toke gode kep

A n Addre was norissched in þe wal (corr. from waw?)


A nd herde þe riding and þe noise al (corr. from aw?)

A nd pelt out here heued to se þat wonder

& segh þat schild ligge þer vnder

H e crep to grounde quik a non

I n þe cradel þe child to slon

Þ e graihond segh3 þe adder red

G rislich rough strong and qued

A non he gan hire to asail

A nd hente here in his mouþ saun fail

Þ e adder so þe grehound stang

& he feled þe bite so strang

A n on he let þe adder gon

Vpon þe cradel 3he flei3 a non

& was aboute þe child to sting

& þe greihond com 3erne flingging

& hente þe adder in stron^g^ ger

& flapped here al aboute his er

B itwene þe adder and þe grehound

Þ e cradel turnd vp so doun on ground

V p so doun in hire fegh3ting

Þ at þe child lai diueling

Þ e stapeles hit vp held al quert

Þ at þe child nas nowt ihert

Þ addres so þe greihoun bot

B i þe side god hit wot

H e cried and on þe cradel lep

& bledde þer on a wel gret hep

& whan þe smert was al igon

T o þat addre he sterte a non

A nd bi þe bodi he him hent

A nd al to peces here to rent

Þ e grehound wolde nowt sessed be

T il þat adder ware toren of þre

A nd al þe place þer aboute

W as wel blodi wi3 outen doute

Þ e burdis to 3ede þe folk gan hom tee

A nd þe norices alle þre

Þ e cradel and þe child þai found

V p sodoun vpon þe ground

Þ e greihoun criede for his smert

Þ e norice was sori in hert

& ech of hem vnderstode

Þ at þe greihond was wod

A nd hadde þat faire child islawe


A wai þai gonne fle and drawe

A ls hit were wode wimmen

Þ e leued com hem a3en

A nd asked hem what hem was

A non þai telde here al þe case

Þ ai lowen on þat greihound hende

H it was pite so god mamende

Þ e leuedi when sche herde þis

a swone sche fil a doun iwis

Þ e kni3t com fram þe iusting fare

A non asked hem what hem ware

S ire quad3 3he ich wille bi ded

I nelle neuer ete bred

F or þi greihond þat is so wilde

H aþ islawe oure faire childe

& but 3e willin him slen a non

R i3^t^ now ich wille mi lif forgon

Þ e kni3t for rage in to halle set

H is hende graihond þer he met

Þ at him welcomed wi3 fot and tail

Þ e kni3t drow3 his swerd saun3 fail

Þ e graihond on þe rigge he hit

I n to þe grounde he him slit

Þ e greihound is ded þe kni3t goþ forþ

I n to his halle grim an^d^ wroþ

O f þe adder he fond mani tronsoun

A nd þe cradel vp so doun

H e turne3 þe cradel and fint þe child quik

H ol and sond and haþ ferlich

H e segh3 þe adder þe graihound slow3

H e hadde slawen his greihond wi3 wou3

H e cride & made mochel sorewe

N e be þat man neuere iborewe

B ut in euel water adreint

Þ at euer leue wimmannes pleint

E ft he make3 a gret cri

A nd he clep3 þe leuedi

& and on þe kni3tes and sweines also

& pleined him of his mochel wo

& sschewede his child hol and sound

& slawen was his gode graihond

F or his prouesse and his god dede

A l for his fole wiues rede

O grehound he seide wi3t and strong


I schal mi selue abigge þat wrong

& tache oþer kni3tes saun fail

To leue here leuedis conseil

He set him doun in þat þrawe

Als quik he dede his sschon of drawe

And karf hise vaumpes fot hot

And wente him forht al barfot

Wi3 outen leue of wif and child

And wente into a fforest wild

In to desert fram alle men

Wolde he neuer come a3en

He þolede mani a biter stounde

Forþe wrong of his greihounde

So falle on þe sire emperour

Swich arm and sschame and desonur

3if þou do þi sone vnri3t

Als to þe greihound dede þe kni3t

Þourg3 þe counseil of hiis wif

He slough3 his greihond nowt geltif

O maister bi þeter þat ich haue sou3t

So schal hit bifalle nowt

Nou bi god þat ischal I serue

To dai more ne schal he sterue

Þe court wente þe maister tok leue

Hit gan sone to wexen eue

Þemperour com to chaumbre a non

Þemperice him loured vpon

Þemperour saide dame artou wro3

3e sire 3e saide for soht

Tel me now swetin^g^ fre

Þou wost wel so mot ich se

For i þe warni of þine fon

And þou ne kanst me san

Þou clepest þi sone he ispe deuel

He sschal þe do wel mochel iuel

But þou me of him wil awreke

Al folk mot hit wite and speke

He mot þe bringge to swich ending

Als hadde þe bor for his cracheing

Þe bor dame tel þat me

Whi for cracheing deied he

Sire non þou wilt wite þat cas

Ich wille þe telle hou hit was

Sire quaþ þe leuedi here biwest


Þer was a fair riche forest

A bor was norisscht þar inne

Fram a pig to a swine

Of þe bor was swich los

To gon þerinne ech man agros

Ne dorst þer come kni3t ne swein

In þe forest was a plein

And in þe pleyn a tre of hawes

Þat ripe were be þo dawes

Þe bor hem gan ful sone asmelle

Ech he het þer of his felle

In þat forest woned an herd

Þat of bestes loked an sterd

O best him was arau3t

Wide war he hit hadde isou3

Be þe hawe tre he gan come

& þou3te to haue þer of some

Ful he gaderede his barm

3et ne þou3t he of non harm

In his oþer lappe he gaderede some

Þe felle bor bicam to come

Þe herde him segh3 and was of drad

He dorst nowt fle he was so mad

Vp to þe hawe tre he stegh3

Þe bor him com swi3e negh3

And he ne finde3 hawe non

As he was iwont to don

He loked vp and seg3 þe herd

He criede and makede rewli rerd

He wette his tossches and his fet

Þe erþe wi3 his snowte he bet

Þourh þe mouht þe fom was wi3t

Þe tussches in þe tre he smit

Þe tre aresede as hit weld falle

Þe herde was sori adrad wiþ alle (line[s] missing)

And he gan sone on knes to falle

Þiseþ3 þe herd man

Þat þe bor falle bigan

He kest þe bor doun hawes anowe

And com him self doun bi abowe

Wi3 þe left hond he heng

And wi3 þe ri3t bond on þe bor he feng

He clew þe bor on þe rigge

And he bigan a doun to ligge


He clewe him eft vpon þe wombe

He fil adoun als a lombe

He lek his eghen and gan to slape

Þe knif drou3 þe herde knape

Out he drou3 scharp an long

Þe bor to þe herte he stong

Þe bor þous wi3 his long knif

Biraft þe bor of his lif

He went him forþ and let him ligge

Lo sire emperour i þe sigge

Þou art þe bor þi maister þe clawes

Wi3 fals resoun and wikkede sawes

And on þe he whette3 his te3

Til þai þe bringge to þi de3

Wi3 clawing þai sculle þe desceiue

Til þai þe sle wi3 deþes glaiue

C ertes dame isigge no

hit schal neuere bifalle so

For soþe he sschal to morewe dai

Wi3 outen ani more derai

And sche saide ones oþer twiis

Gentil sire grauntmercys

God 3if þe þer to strengþe and mi3t

To de3e him do er hit be ni3t

Þe ni3^t^ passede þe dai com

Þe heghe emperour of Rom

Went a doun of his tour

Wi3 herte wroþ and gret irour

Men vnkek gate and halle dore

Barouns entrede in astore

Sone was filt paleys and tour

In com gon þemperour

Biforen hem alle in grete traye

He het mani a wikke boie

His sone lede toward þe hangging

Hit was ido wi3 outen letting

And ri3t amideward þe pres

Com ride maister ancilles

Þat þe childes oþer maister was

And ise3 þat ferli cas

Toward þe halle he gan driue

& highede þider fast and bliue

And fond sone þat emperour

& gret him sone wi3 honur


Þemperour sikerliche

On him loked litherliche

And to þe maister he saide þore

Maugre haue þou for þi lore

Þou hast iserued wikked mede

þou schalt hit haue so crist me spede

Þ an saide maister Ancilles

for godes loue sire hold þi pes

Wiltou sle þin owen sone

To ben milde hit was þi wone

Hit nis no wonder saide þemperour

Þou schalt ben an honged þou vile loseniour

Ich tok þe mi sone to lore

For to teche him wisdom more

And 3e han him bitreid

His speche is loren ich am desmaid

Mi wif he wolde haue forht itake

To de3 he seide he schal ben don wi3 wrake

Þan seide þe maister hit is non hale

To leue stepmoderes tale

For here bolt is sone ischote

More to harm þan to note

3if þou him bi hire purchase

On þe falle swich a cas

Als fil on ypocras þe gode clerk

þat slow his neueu wi3 fals werk

Maister he saide tel me þat cas

Of þe scoler and of ypocras

Ancilles said als so tit

Þi sone to dai mak þou quit

Til to morewe hit be dai li3t

And i þe scha teue a non ri3t

Wi3 gret felonie and wi3 wouh3

Hou ypocras his neueu slow3

I schal him respite saide þemperour

And het anon wi3 outen soiour

Men scholde a3en fechche his sone

And caste him into prisone

Þe child was brout in to þe toun

And in to prisoun pilt he was

Nou ginne3 þe tale of ypocras

S ire ypocras was maister here

of leche craft was non his pere



He hadde wi3 him his neueu

Þat schild lere of his vertu

He segh þe child so queinte of lore

He wolde techen him nammore

Heþou3te wel at astore

He sscholde passi him bifore

Þe child aparceiued wel þis

& held hit in his herte iwis

His emes werk he gan aspie

Til he couþe al his maistrie

Þo ypocras wel he fond

Bi craft of þe childes hond

Þat he couþe al his mastrie

And brast ne3 for onde & vie

So bifel vpon a time 3ing

Of hongrie þe riche king

Hadde swich a sone gent

To ypocras a non he sent

Þat he scholde come his sone to hale

And habbe gold ful a male

Ypocras wende ne mi3t

But cleped his neueu a non ri3t

And bad him wenden to þat lond

And þat schild take an hond

And whan he hadde so ido

He sscholde a3en comen him to

Þe schild was set on a palefrai

And forht he tok þeri3te way

And whan he com to þat lond

þe king him tok bi þe hond

And ladde him to his sike childe

Now crist of heuene be ous milde

Þe 3ongeman se3 þe childes þeyne

& tasted his senewe and his veyne

He take3 an vrinal for to sen

He ne se3 nowt of þe kyng but of þe quen ·

And of þe child god hit wite

He se3 hit was amis bi3ete

He gan þe leuedi aside drawe

Dame he saide be aknawe

What man had bi3ete þis child

What 3e saide artou wild

Who sschulde him bi3ete but þe kyng

Dame he saide þat is soht no þing


Hit nas neuere of kinges stren ·

Let 3he saide swich wordes ben

Oþer i schal do bete þe so

Þat þo schalt neuere ride ne go

Dame he saide bi swiche tale

þi sone scha neuere more ben hale

Ac tel me dame al þe cas

Hou þe child bi3eten was

Belami 3he saide so

Par fai dame he saide no

And schok his heued vpon þe quen

Dame he saide þai 3he wille me slen

I ne mai do þi sone no bot

But 3if iwite þe sothe rot

Of what man hit was bi3ete ·

Maister 3he saide þat mai noman wite

3if mi conseil were vnhele

Iich were islawe bi ri3te skele

Dame he seide so mot ich þe

I nelle neuere biwraie þe

O maister 3he seide so hit bifel

Þis enderdai in on Aueril

Þerl of nauerne com to þis þede

Wel atired in riche wede

Wi3 mi louerd for to plai

And so he dede mani a dai

Þat ich erl igan to loue

Al erthliche þing aboue

And so par gret druri

I let þat erl ligge me bi

And þous hit was on me bi3ete

A leue maister let no man wite

Nai dame forsothe iwis

But for he was bi3eten amis

Hit mot boþe drink and ete

Contrarius drink contrarius mete

Beues flesch · & drinke þe broþt

He 3af þe child anon þer of

Þe child warisscht fair and wel

Þe kyng 3af him mani a juel

To þe leche of silver and goold

Als mochel als he nime wold

He wente hom wi3 þat ei3te

And ypocras anon ri3t


He asked 3if þe schild was sound

3e sire he saide bi seint Simond

He asked what was his Medicine

Bef and broþ gode afine

What þan was he an auetrol

þou seist soht sire be mi pol

Quaþ ypocras bi þe gode dome

Þou art bicome al to wis a grome

Þer he þou3te a3en resoun

To don him strong tresoun

S o bifel vpon adai

he and his neueu 3ede to plai

In a fair grene gardin

Þer in wex mani an herbe fin

On þei se3en in þe grounde

Þat was an herbe of gret mounde

He tok and schewid hit ypocras

And he seide a better þer was

For he wald his neueu bikeche

Þe child stoupede swich on to reche

Þer while ypocras wi3 a knif

Bi nom þat schild his swete lif

And let him birie sikerliche

Als he were storuen sodainliche

And sone þer after swiþe 3erne

He let alle hise bokes berne

Ac god almi3ti heuene kyng

He ouer se3 alle þing

He sent ypocras for his tresoun

Sone þer after þe menesoun

Wel wist ypocras for his qued

Þat he scholde sone be ded

For al þat heuer he mi3te do

His menesoun mi3t nowt staunche þo

He let of sende moche and lite

Hise neyebours him to visite

And tolde al ri3t a non

Hou his de3 wa comen him on

Wi3 gret ri3t and nowt wi3 wou3

For his neueu þat he slow3

An empti tonne he let fet

And of water of a Pet

He let hit fille to þe mouþe

For he walde hise werkes were couþe

Þe tresoun he gan hem alle reherse


In a þousand stede he let þe tonne perce

& þo he hadde mad holes so fele

In ech he pelt a dosele

And smerede þe holes al aboute

And euerich doseil he braid oute

No droþe of water vt com þan

Meruaile hadde mani a man

Lo he saide water hi can stoþ

þat hit ne mai nowt bi bores droþ

Ae i ne mai nowt stoP mi menesoun

And þat is al for mi tresoun

Wi3 gret ri3t and nowt wi3 wou3

For mi neueu þat islow

Iich him slow sikerliche

For he was wiser man þan iche

Iich ne noman vnder sonne

Me 3if helP non ne conne

But mi neueu a liue ware

Ri3t is þat ich hennes fare

Lo saide þe maister hou Ypocras

Destrued his lif and solas

Sire emperour tak hede and loke

He slow his neueu and brent his boke

Mi3t hit him ani þing profite

Nai saide þemperour moche ne lite

No saide þe maister verraiment

I biseke god omnipotent

Þat 3if þou do þi sone to ded

And hise maistres be þi wiues red

Þat on þe falle swich a cas

As dede on maister Ypocras

Þ e maister had so isped

þemperour sone was his frend

Þe maister was o wai inome

Þemperour was to chaumbre icome

Þer he fond his emperice

Wi3 lourand chere and wi3 nice

Hond wringging and loude koupe

And here visage al biwope

Dame he saide pluk vp þi cher

Oþer tel me whi þou makest swich cher

Sire 3he saide hit is wonder non

Hi se þi honur al igon

I se þe wede waxe ouer þe corn

Allas allas þat iwas boren


And þat ischal þis dai ise

Þat we sschulle departed be

What dame is hit comen þer to

We sscholle be departed so

3e sire bi Adam & bi Eue

For þou nelt nowt me ileue

Of him þat þou clepest þi sone

Certes he had þe deueles wone

He þe procures ni3t and dai

Al þe sschame þat he mai

Þine barouns and þine gentil men

Alle þai holden þe a3en

Þai sschal wel sone for nithe an hete

Þut þe out of þi kinges sete

And sette him stede inne þine

Þat ware mi de3 and mi pine

Ich hadde leuere to ben an honge

Þan þat ischolde liue so longe

A hou wimmen conne hit make

Whan þai wil ani man lake

Ac sire 3if hit falle so

Þat þempire is di3t him to

On þe falle swich a cas

As dede on him þat his heued was

Of his sone icast in a gong

Wi3 felonie and wi3 wrong

O dame who mi3t þat be

Wolde do his fader swich vilte

Tel hit me for god aboue

Lat be sire for mi loue

Þou ne louest nowt of mi telling

Hit schal þe rewe bi heuene kyng

3is dame he saide lat here þe speke

And ich wil sone þe awreke

Sei on dame & ssche bigan

To tellen als a fals wimman

A emperour was in þes toun

a riche man of gret renoun

Octouien was his name

Wide sprong his riche fame

Gold and siluer to wille he wan

And more he hadde þan ani man

He made cressent þat riche tour

Þer inne he pult his tresor

Seue wise men þer were in Rome


þe fiue out of londe 3he nome

And þe twaie left at home

To kepe Rome wi3 ri3tful dome

Þat on was boþe curteis an hende

Lef to 3iue and lef to spende

And þat oþer lef to pinche

Boþe he was starf and chinche

& als we finden writen in boke

Þemperour him tau3t his tresor to loke

& he hit kept bi al his mi3t

Boþe bi daies an bi ni3t

For þe wrecche man saun fail

Wende þe erþe sscholde him fail

Þe large wise wiste wel

Of þis tresor eche a del

He saide to his sone tak a pike

To ni3t þou schalt wi3 me strike

Whider seide his sone

Þer of haue þou no þing to done

Arise vp quik and wi3 me go

And do als tou sest me do

For þai went wi3 oute soiour

To cressent þat riche tour

An hole þai bregen al wi3 ginne

And boþe þai wenten þer inne

& token tresor i 3ou swere

Als þe moche als þai mi3t bere

And beren hit hom wel on hast

And maden hem large whiles hit last

A morewe aros þat sinatour

And sithen to bregen his louerdes tour

And beren was awai þat tresour

Þerfore he made gret dolour

He ne made no pleint to no man

But stopped þe hole anon a3en

For he þouwte we þat hit left

Wolde come a3en eft

For þef of steling wil nowt blinne

Til he honge bi þe chinne

Ni3 euene bi þe hole

þer þe catel was istole

Þe wise man dede make a dich

Ful of lim and of pich

þat 3if he a3en wald come

Þat þe traitur sscholde binome


þe stolen catel ispended is

þe wise bicome3 a fol iwis

H e tok his sone a3en he went

to þat tour þat hi3t cressent

An hole þay broken al bistore

Þe fader lep in bifore

In to þe limed diche

Loude he gan to crie and skriche

And saide sone com her þou nowt

For ich ham nomen and bicau3t

Hou so fader ich wil fechche help

Nai sone mak þer of no 3elp

Her ne ge3 help ne red

For sikerliche ich am ded

·A· leue fader what sschal ido

Sone wi3 þin hond þi swerd tak to

And hastiliche gird of min heued

Nai arst mi lif scholde me bi bireued

Ar ich mi fader scholde sle

Sikerliche sone hit mot so be

Oþer ich and tou and alle mine

Be3 ischen^t^ wi3 outen fine

Bettere hit is þat ich on passe

Þan al mi ken more and lasse

Smit of min heued wi3 þi sword

Schalt tou neuer here þer of no word

Hit ginne3 to dawe highe þe henne

For 3iue i þe al þat sinne

His fader heued he smot of þare

And a wai wi3 him hit bare

Ac he ne wiste for non nede

Whar he mi3te hit best ihede

But als he com bi agong

Amidde þe pit he hit slong

And wente hom and made wo

His brethren and his sustren al so

A morewe aros þat sinatour

And segh to broken his loruedes tour

And se3 þer stonde and heuedles Man

Knowe him nowt he ne can

He loked bifore and bihinde

Knowleching ne couthe he finde

He let him drawe out of þe pit

And his fet set faste iknit

Wi3 trais an two stronge hors


And hete to Rome drawen his cors

& 3if ani weped oþer cride

He het him nime þat ilche tide

Quicliche breng him me bifore

For of þat kyn he was ibore

Þe heuedles bodi al so skete

Was idrawe þourgh eueri strete

Fort he come a3en þe paleis

Þat au3te þe ded burgeis

Þere was cri an wail a wo

Of broþer and of suster al so

Þ e sone þat wiste of al þat dede

stirt him in · in gret drede

He braid out his knif on hegh3

And smot him selue þour3 hout þe þeg3

Þe kinges seriaunt faste hide

To nime þat folk lat faste cride

þai sschewed iwonded here broþer

þai seide þai wepte for non oþer

Þai seghen alle þe wonded man

And leued hem wel and went o3an

Lo sire swich a foul wille

A3en resoun and ri3t skille

Was nowt þe boi of wit bireued

Whan he tok his fader heued

In a bil gonge slong hit inne

He mi3 han don a better ginne

Ibiried hit ower priueliche

Þou saist soþ dame sikerliche

An vnkynde boi hit was

3a on þi heued falle þat cas

Þi sone þe deuel him mote an honge

But he cast þin heued in a gonge

D ame i schal 3eme me fram care

Certes to morewe he sschal forht fare

Sire ileue þe nowt sikerliche

3is dame hardiliche

Graunt Merci 3he saide sire gent

An^d^ kist him to acordement

And let here word swithe sone

And 3ede to bedde mid i done

Dioclician þemperour

A morewe wente out of his tour

And let ofsende his gentil knaue

Noman ne most him saue


And het him lede forht sikerklik

And bidelue him al so quik

þat he neuer for no þing

Herde of him more tiding

He was forht lad wi3 boies felle

þe burgeis and þe dammeisele

Þai gunne arere swich acri

þat hit schillede in to þe ski

And saide wail awai whiwi3 wronge

Schal þemperours sone ben an honge

þan com ridende lentilioun

A wis maister and a fair fa3oun

þe childes þridde maister hadde iben

For reuþe he ne mi3t him nowt isen

And þemperour wel sone he fond

He gret him faire ich vnderstond

Þemperour saide so god me spede

Traitour þe sschal be quit þi mede

For mi sones mislerning

3he sschulle habbe euel ending

O sire emperour of pris

In dedes þou sscholdest be war and wis

3if þou wilt þi sone sschende

Wi3 outen assent of barouns hende

And dost vs qued for oure godnesse

On þe falle swich a destresse

So dede on þe riche gome

Þat wi3 his wif was ouer come

O tel me maister hou ani wimman

Mi3te bigile ani Man

Bleþeliche sire so god me amende

3if þou wilt þi sone of sende

For 3if he were þer wiles islawe

For nowt i telde þe mi tale

Þe riche emperour al so sket

His sone a3en fechche het

þe child was don þe prisoun in

þe maister his tale he gan a gin

Þ er was a burgeis in þis toun

a richeman of gret renoun

Þat wolde spouse no neþhebours schild

But wente fram hom as a moppe wild

He let his negheboures child for o vice

And wente fram hem als moppe and nice


And brow3te hom a dammaisele

Was ful of vices swithe fele

He segh3 hire fair and auenaunt

And wi3 here fader made couenant

For to habben hire to wiue

And euere more to ri3te liue

He spoused hire and ladde hire hom

Hire forme lemman hire after com

þat hire serued mani a stounde

Whan on slepe was þe bounde

Þan was þe lawe in Rome toun

Þat wheþer lord or garsoun

þat after corfu bifounde Rominde

Faste men scholden hem nimen and binde

And kepen him til þe sonne vprising

And þan bifore þe fokk him bring

And þourgh þe toun him villiche driue

Þe burgeis a pariseiued of his wiue

Fele ni3tes was gon him fram

And in þe dawiyng a3en 3he cam

He saide nowt wel longe while

But euer he souchede him of gile

O ni3t he him ase dronke made

And 3ede to bedde blithe and glade

And lai stille als he slepe sone

Sche stal a wai mididone

And wente to here lotebi

And he hit aparseiued sikerli

And went him out and segh an herd

Al to gider hou sche misferd

And wente him in out of þe strete

And schet þe dore swiþe skete

And spak out ate windowe

And saide dame god 3iue þe howe

Þis þou ne mi3t forsake for non nede

Iich haue inome þe in þis dede

Wi3 þi lechour wi3 him þou go

Of þe ne keþ i neuere mo

·A· lat me in sire par amour

Men sschal sone ringe corfour

Nai dame ich þe forsake

Inþi foli þou worst itake

Al þi ken schal witen and sen

What mester womman þou hauest iben ·


Nai godalmi3ti þat isschilde

Ich wille bicome wod and wilde

But þou me in lete ich wille telle

Ich wille me drenchen in þe welle

Drenche þi selue oþer an honge

For here þou hauest liued to longe

3e tok vp a gret ston

And wente to þe welle a non

And saide after a wommannes wrenche

Her now sire i schal me a drenche

3e let þe ston falle in þe welle

And sterte vnder þe dore wel snelle

Þe seli man bigan to grede

Allas wat sschal me to rede

Anon ri3tes he wente him owt

And soughte his wif in þe welle about

And swiþe loude he bigan to crie

And 3he stert in wel an hi3e

And sschitte þe dore swithe fast

And he gan vp his heued cast

What he saide who is þare

Ich 3e saide god 3iue kare

Is hit nou time bi þi snoute

For to ben þous longe þer oute

A dame he saide ich was asschreint

Iich wende þou haddest ben adreint

Lat me in dame par amour

Men sschal sone ringe corfour

Þe deuel honge me þanne bi þe toþ

Þe waites sscholle wel se þe soþ

Þat þou art and hold lechour

And comest hom after corfour

Þou schalt suffre kare and howe

And drinke þat þou hast ibrowe

Wi3 þat þe waites come ride

And hi herden hou þai gon schide

And corfour belle ringge gan

Inomen was þat seli man

And neuer of him no qued ne herde

Þai wist ful wel hou hit ferde

Þai beden his wif as 3e was hende

Leten him ar corfu ende

3e answere as malicious

He come3 nou fram þe hore hous


Þous he is wonet me to serue

On euele deþe mot he sterue

Ich haue ihid his schame er þis

I nel nammore nou iwis

Corfour belle no lenger rong

Þe burgeis was lad forht wi3 wrong

What helpe3 hit lenger tale

Þat ni3t he sat wel sore a kale

And his wif lai warme a bedde

And solas of hire lemman fredde

Amorewe þe burgeis was forþ ifet

And his honden biforen him knet

And þourgh þe toun he was ilad

Lohtliche driuen and bigrad

Ase a þef þis meschaunce

Gelteles he suffred þis penaunce

S ire couþe þis woman of gile

3a sche was a traitour vile

And wel werse þan an hound

Sire mo swiche þer be3 ifound

And þi self had on swich

3e wil þe traie sikerlich

3if þou dost after her red

Þat þou dost þi sone to ded

Þat chaunce falle þe iliche

Þat bifel þe burgeis riche

Par fai maister þat ware god ri3t

I nel nowt do bi here to ni3t

Þe child bileft stille in prisoun

Þe maister went out of þe toun

And hadde mani a blessing

For his disciple deliuering

Whan men leke windowe and gate

Þemperour com to chaumbre late

Þemperice bigan to loure

Lohtliche on þemperoure

Dame he saide what haileþ þe

Swich semblaunt for to make me

3it sschal hit falle ous so bitwene

Þat mani a man hit sschal hit sene

As bitwene þe leuedi and þe stiward

And þe king in o foreward

What forward was þat telle hit me

As þou wilt to me lef be


Nai sire 3e saide hit his nowt worþ

Mi tale ne mot nowt forþ

Telle ich þe ensaumple neuer so god

Þou me haldest of wit wod

Þerfore ich wille holde me stille

And suffri wel þat man þe spille

Nai dame lat here þe speke

And ich þe wille ful wel awreke

So ich hit finde profitable

& soþ iseie wi3 outen fable

N ou ben sene sire and ihere

A king was whilom of gret powere

Al poile and calabre lond

Al he held hit in his hond

Wimmen he louede he louede swiþe lite

& usede sinne so do mi3te

So long he pleiede wi3 3ongman

A swele in his membres cam þan

Þe skin mi3t hit nowt helde

Ne he ne mi3te him selue welde

He fil sik in godes wreche

He let ofsenden him a leche

In vrine he segh he mi3te libbe

He laide a plastre vnder his ribbe

Barli bred he et for gode

And barli water þat was isode

Til he hadde of his membres bote

Þan saide þe leche ar 3e mote

Haue womman to pleie a ri3t

3if 3e wil be hol a pli3t

I schal wel & cleped his stiward

And he com als a leopard

Lo me her sire what wil 3e

But a lemman fech þou me

Þat i mi3t to ni3t wi3 plai

I ne wot non sire in þis contrai

Þat be þi bodi ligge dar

For þi los is boren so far

Þat þine membres ben to swolle

Bihote hem pans an handfolle

Bi hot twenti mark som leuedi

O ni3t for to ligge þe bi

Þanne þout þat stiward coueitous

Þat siluer schal bileue wi3 ous


To his wif he went a non

And saide sche most on his arnede gon

Bletheliche sire ac whide^r^ward

To þe king saide þe stiward

Þou schalt plaie wi3 him in derk

And winne ous gode twenti mark

A sire sche saide · fi · fi ·

Hit is foul man to liggen bi

And þat wot euerich womman wel

Þou schalt bi seint Michel

Who þat seluer winne nelle

Lese he mot wi3 ri3t skille

Þou sschalt ous þe penies winne

Oþer i þe sschal driue out of min inne

O nedes he sschal þat nedes mot

Hit nis nowt mi wille god hit wot

But hit is skil ri3t and lawe

To do bi me as bi þin awe

To þe kinges chaumbre he went a3ain

And drof out boþe kni3t and swayn

Blewe out þe torches and let in his wif

To þe king sche wente bilif

Þe fals stiward to bedde went

Þe king þe leuedi in armes hent

What helpe3 hit ani more seid

Þat ni3t he was ful wel apaid

Þe wrecche stiward ne mi3t nowt slape

Ac in þe morewening he gan v rape

To þe kingges chaumbre he went saun fail

Þe king þat ni3t hadde ben in trauail

In trewe loue wit outen arm

And slep in þe leuedis arm

Þe stiward made moche sorewe

Til hit were half wai midmorewe

He held him self mochel wrechche

Þous þe king bigan to wechche

And saide sire vp · vp · hit is dai

Lat þat leuedi wende a wai

þe king saide i ne haue no rape

For me lest 3it ful wel slape

& pleie twies and ones

For to hele mine bones

Nai sire hit is mi leuedi

Þat al ni3t has laien þe bi


Belamy he saide is hit þi wif

3ea sire he saide be mi lif

O traitour fi3 a puteyn

Whi had þi wif bi me lain

Sire for þe winnng of þi mone

Þerfore he saide yuel mote þou þe

þou hast bitraid þi wif and me

Dwelle þou wil ich arisen be

I schal þi vile false cors

Do to drawe wi3 wilde hors

Out of mi lond irede þou flee

Þat i þe neuer eft isee

For abide þou min vprist

Þou be honged bi ihesu crist

Sire þous þe stiward les his wif

And fley a wai wi3 mochel strif

Iwis he was al forlore

He com a3ein neuere more

Þ e king aros whan him list

And kep þe leuedi wi3 þe best

And held hire two 3er oþer þre

And siþen 3af hire wi3 riche fe

To ariche erl of þat lond

Sche was nowt bicau3t ich vnderstond

Sire and so wil hit fare bi3ou

Whan 3e han loren 3oure vertu

Out of londe þou best idriue

Schal ich þe neuere ise til i liue

No forse on me after an emperour

Mai me wedde a vauasour

I mai liue a wel god lif

Þai ibe nowt an emperours wif

Ac falle chaunce ase hard

As dede þe couaitous stiward

Þat solde his wif for mone

But þou do als irede þe

P ar fai dame þat is skil

iwil do bi þe 3if god wil

Sire 3he saide wi3 outen fail

Þou dost bi a god counseil

Morewe cam as 3he mowe here

Þemperour aros wi3 foule

In to his þalais he wente 3are

And his barouns he fond þare


Biforen hem alle in grete traye

He het mani a wikke boye

His sone toward þe deþe bringge

Hit was ido wi3 outen letting

Toward de3 he was ibrout

Mani aman hit of þout

Þourgh Rome stretes wide and side

Þe ferthe maister þer com ride

Malquidras was his name

In his herte was no game

His disciple louted him to

Þe maistres hert brast ne3 for wo

He went in to þe halle flet

Þemperour wel faire he gret

Þemperour him missaide þan

Merci sire saide þe wise man

Sire what haue we þe misgelt

Oure gode dede schal ben iuel i3elt

Sire quaþ þemperour be min hed

Worthi art to suffri ded

For to þe and þine fere

I bitok mi sone to lere

For to han itau3t him god

& 3e han i made him wod

Mi wif he wolde haue forlai

Þerfore 3e sschulle al dai

O sire emperour of pris

In dedes þou sscholdest ben war and wis

3if þou wilt þi sone slo

Wi3 outen assent of barons mo

And for oure godnesse do vs qued

Swich a cas fal on þin heued

As hadde þe olde wise of his wiue

Er þou parte out of þis liue

O maister þat was wel isaid

Hou was þat olde man itraid

He was nowt bitraid for he wis was

A leue maister tel me þe cas

Bleþeliche wi3 outen strif

So þou respite þi sones lif

Til to morewe þat hit be dai

Þan i þe schal þe tale sai

þemperour dioclician

His sone a3en hi3t fechche þan


And into prisoun he was icast

Þe maister ginne3 his tale in hast

Whilom was aman old wis

And hadde inow of worldes pris

In his 3ouþe in middel of his liue

He hadde iwedded two iolif wiues

He liuede and boþe hem ouer bod

And was longe in his wideuhod

He liuede so longe þat he hor was

And hadde of womman no solas

His seriauntz ofte to him come

And of alangenes him vndernome

And him take a wif iolif

To solace wi3 his olde lif

Bi her rede he tok a 3ong womman

Ase wone is of old man

3ong womman for to spouse

& þanne be wraw an^d^ gelouse

Litel þai mai do wi3 outen gabbe

Þat 3ong womman wolde habbe

Al so ferde þat olde wise

He dede his wif wel smal seringe (for seruise?)

Þe 3onge wif vp on a dai

Com to chirche par ma fai

& fond hire moder þare

& tolde hire al of here kare

& saide Moder i þolie a cas

Mi louerd doþ me no solas

Ich moste haue som oþer loue

Nai dowter for god aboue

Old men ben felle and queinte

And wikkede wrenches conne ateinte

Misdo nowt doughter but do bi rede

Lat ben moder for hit is nede

Doughter þe louerd had o gardin

A wel fair ympe is þar in

A fair herber hit ouer sprede3

Al his solas þer inne he lede3

Non ne bereþ hit lef non

And whan þi louerd is out igon

Doughter tak þi gardiner

And lat it hewe to þe fer

And 3if he sai3 to þe ani resoun

Answere him wi3 þis enchesoun


Þat þou dest hit is for þe nones

To warme bi his colde bones

Dame 3he saide hit sschal ben don

Hom sche wente swiþe a non

& al maugre þe gardiner

Þe ympe was hewe to þe fer

Þe gode burgeis was hom icome

And goþ to his gardin as was his wone

And fond his ympe vp ihewe

O þou3te he her was a sscherewe

3he saide sche dede hit for non arm

But for he sscholde his bones warm

He hit tok on iuel strong

But he ne monede hit nowt long

He wentte to bedde and tok solas

Þat ni3t neuer þe better hir nas

Þe 3onge wif anoþer dai

To chirche tok þe ri3te wai

And fond eft hire moder þare

And of blisse sche was al bare

For neiþer be ni3t no be dai

Hire louerd nolde wi3 hire plai

Ich mot louie 3he saide dame

O doughter hit were gret sschame

3if þou sscholdest þi gode ki(e)nde

Þourgh dede of vilainie sschende

For 3if þou dost a folie

Þi louerd hit wile sone aspie

And he him wolde fellich awreke

Herkne doughter what ischal speke

A grai bichche þi louer ginne3 louie

Ouer alle oþer bestes aboue

And whan 3e sit bi þe glede

And þe bichche liþ in þi grede

Mak þe wroþ and draw þi knif

And binim þe bichche here lif

And loke þou be þer after queynt

And were þe wi3 a wiues pleint

Þe 3onge saide hit sscholde be so

Hom ssche gan hire wai to go

Was hit nowt longe afterwar

Þe 3onge leuedi and hire lord

Sete an euen bi þe fer

Biforen hem stod here squier


3e hadde on a pilche of pris

And a chaisel þer on iwis

Þe bichche lai in hire barm

Sche plaide and hit dede here harm

Sche drow a knif and here smot

Þe bichche daide god hit wot

& pilche and cheisel al bibled

Þe lord ros and 3ede to bed

For al hire wrenche and al her ginne

Þe more loue sche ne mi3t a winne

Þe þridde time to scherche sche went

And hire moder þer sche fint

And saide dame for al þi lore

I finde loue neuer þe more

Moder ich mot louie al gat

Doughter ich rede þat þou lat

Ac tel me doughter for god aboue

What man hastou ment to loue

Dame 3he saide þe prest biskil

Nai doughter 3if god wil

While þou mi3t haue squier or kni3t

Nai moder mi trewþe ipli3t

I nelle come in no kni3tes bedde

He hit wile make wide ikedde

And i þe saie sikerliche

Þe prest imaie loue priueliche

Nai doughter her a queinte ginne

Þi louerdes loue hou schalt winne

Þi louerd schal sone make a fest

Of riche men and honest

Þou schalt be bisaie þat ilke dai

Honge at þi gerdel mani a kai

And sette þe haiest ate bord

In achaier a3en þi lord

Þi kai in þe cloþ make þou fast

After stirt vp an hast

Þai þou felle coppe oþer cloþ

Go forþ and strif nowt þer of

And þan þou schalt sone ise

What þer of wil be

Þe 3onge wif to hire moder said

Hit sschal be don bi marie maid

And wite isschal moder bi þan

3if he wil palie þat olde man


Wel sone þer after sikerli

Þe olde kni3t and te leuedi

A wel fair feste þai made þare

O frendes þat hem leue ware

Sire what helpe3 hit longe tale

Þe wif seruede of bred and ale

And after set hire a doun sone

Þe kai made moche to done

ffor sche feld boþe cloþ and cop

Naþeles þai ware gadered vp

Swithe sore sche him atraid

Certes he was wel iuel ipaid

Whanne þe gestes weren atais

Þai wenten hom fram his paleis

Morewe come ac now ihere

Þe louerd let make a gret fere

And let of sende a neyghebour

Ich vnde^r^stonde a god barbour

And fet his wif forþ fot hot

And hire misddedes hire atwot

And saide he moste chasti hire ginne

For iuel blod was hire wi3 inne

Hit moste be quik ilaten out

Þat ssche ne helde hire nowt so stout

Wer here lef were hire loþ

Of hire he spoiled euerich cloþ

Þo hire kertel was of idrawe

Þo wende ssche wel to ben islawe

An saide 3he sscholde die al so swiþe

For 3he neuer lat blod in hire liue

Þer of ne stod him non owe

He rent hire smok to þe elbowe

And sithen set hire on a stol

For he ne wolde nowt ssche were a fol

And gan to smiten hire on þe breyn

And sche bledde wi3 gret meyn

Grete disschfolles two

Als swithe here arm was staunched þo

He dede þat oþer arm forht drawe

Þan wende sscho wel to ben islawe

And loude ssche gan to wepe and crie

Hit helpe3 þe nowt be seinte marie

Þe barbour in þe veyne hire smot

Sche bledde wel til ssche was hot


Þe þridde disscful vpri3t

Anon 3he les colour and mi3t

Þe louerd hit segh3 and dede hire staunche

And in a bed he dede here launche

And saide þries þou breddest wod

Þerfore þou bleddest þre disschfoul of blod

And 3if þou bredest wod ani more

3it isschal dubble þi sore

Sche wende to degh3e sche was a gast

And sent after here moder on hast

Hire moder com and sche saide

A mercy moder for mari maide

I schal degh3e nou red me red me red

Doughter what schal þat ised

Þou most me telle what is þis

Mi louerd me haþ ne3 slawen iwis

For mine þre vnwrast dede

Þre disschful of blod he let me bled

Þat ine mai liue bi godes ore

Doughter lest þe loue more

Nai moder bi god almi3t

I nelle neiþer louie clerk ne kni3t

No doughter iseide ful wel

Þat olde men be3 queynte and fel

Þai conne more qued biþenche

Þan þou kanst do wi3 ani wrenche

Hold þe to þine hosebounde

And þou sschalt haue al þe mounde

Lo sire quad malquidras

Ne was þis a wonder cas

Þries misdede þis womman bald

And þre vengaunces he hire 3ald

Þerfore sche hadde elles idon

Þat had ben werst of euerichon

Þe prest hi kaste hire loue to

Þat noman mi3t haue vndo

So fare3 þe quen wi3 hire resoun

Wi3 hire lesinges and fals tresoun

Þi sone to deþ for to bring

Ac 3if þou leuest hire lesing

Þan þe falle a werse aprise

As dede to þat elde wise

P ar fai maister þat ware lawe

to dai ne schal he nowt be slawe


Þe maister out of toune rit

Þe child bileft in prisoun pit

Þe dai is gon and come þe ni3t

Þemperour wente to chaumbre apli3t

His emperice þer he fond

Sore wepe and wrong hire hond

Ma dame saide þemperour

Whi makest þou swich scher 7 foul lour

Sire no wonder þou3 ich am wro3t

Þou dest þing þat me is loht

Þou leuest tales of losengrie

Of falsnesse and of trecherie

So dede cressus þe riche man

God and siluer to wille he wan

Bi losengerie an bi engin

Ac hit turned him to euel fin

Ma dame he saide tel þat me

Of sire Cressus hou ended he

Bleþeliche sire so mot ich þe

So þat 3e wil þe better be

V irgil was whilom a clerk

þat coude of nigramancie werk

He made a fair coniuring ·

Amideward Rome cheping

Þat no man quenche ne mi3t

Wi3 no water i3ou pli3t

Alle þe poure men of þe lond

Warmed hem þer bi fot and hond

And made here mete bi þat fir

Þat was a þing of gret matir

And þer biside on o donioun

He kest a man of cler latoun

And in his hond an arblast heldand

And þer inne a quarel taisand

And in his foreheued was writen wi3 blac

Lettres þat þis word spak

3if me smite3 ani man

I sschete him anon o3an

So hit bifel on a dai

A lumbard com wi3 gre noblai

And se3 þe merueile saun3 dout

And saide to þe folk about

Wil 3e þat I smite þis man

To loke what he do can


And þai saide 3a· and he him smette

Þe ymage in þe fir sschette

Þ fir aqueinte for euere mo

Sire was þis wel ido

Nai dame he saide bi heuene king

Þat was no ri3t wisdoing

Ac virgil dede 3it more meruail

Vpon þe est 3ate of þe toun

He made a man of fin latoun

And in his hond of gold a bal

Vpon þe 3ate on þe west wal

Virgil kest an ymage oþer

Ri3t als hit were his owen broþer

Þat al þe folk of rome said

Wi3 þat bal to gider þai plaid

Þat on hit hente þai oþer hit þrew

Mani aman þe soþe iknew

Amideward þe cite on a stage

Virgil made anoþer ymage

Þat held a mirour in his hond

And ouer seg3 al þat lond

Who wolde pes who wolde bataille

Quik he warned þe toun saun3 faile

Aboute Rome seuen Iurneys

Þous he warned ni3t and dais

And þo þat were rebel ifounde

Þe Romains gadered hem in astounde

Þai wente þider quik a non

And destrued here fon

Þe kyng of Poile hadde gret enuie

Þat þe Romayns made swich maistrie

For he ne mi3te for non nede

A3en Rome in batail spede

Þat he ne was euer more bi wraid

Ouercomen venkud and bitraid

U pon a dai he send his sond

after alle þe wise men of his lond

And tolde hem alle his greuaunce

And saide he wolde heglich auaunce

Who mi3t þat ymage fel a doun

He wolde him 3if his warisoun

Twei clerkes breþer þat were in rome

Þat maistri on honde þai nome


And the king hem made seur

Of warisoun and gred honeur

Þai dede þe king fille twei forcers

Of Riche gold 7 of clers

And dede hit lade wi3 priuete

In to Rome þat riche Cite

Þat o forcer þai doluen nowt late

In Rome ate est 3ate

Vnder þe ymage þat þe bal held

Þis was a dede queinte and beld

Þat oþer forcer ful of gold

Þai bidoluen in þe mold

Vnder þe west gate þat noman wist

Þis was a dede of queint list

A morewen þai sschewed hem in Rome

7 biforn Sire cressus come

An said al hail sir emperour

It falle3 to þe tol of tresour

We conne to do þe vnderstonde

Of hid tresor in þi londe

3if þou wilt half parte wi3 ous

Þou sschalt hit haue Sire cressus

Þemperour saide þat I not

Ich haue forlorn þat eueri grot

7 þerfore frendes igraunt 3ou

Þat 3e mai finde wi3 3oure vertu

Þe haluendel in alle þingge

Gowe aboute þe findinge

Nai certes saide þe elderer broþer

Arst we mote don anoþer

Ich mot mete a sweuen to ni3t

7 to morewen whan hit is li3t

Sire þou sschalt haue þine wille

Þous þai were þat ni3t stille

S one amorewe wi3 god entent

sire cressus to þe est 3ate went

Þe clerkes doluen in þe mold

And fond a forcer ful of gold

And 3af hit vp to þemperour

And he hit feng wi3 gret honur

Amorewe þe 3onger saide wel euen

Sire to ni3t me mette a sweuen

A richcher forcer þan þat

We sschulle finde ate west 3ate


Quik wente þider þemperour

And hise barouns of gret honur

And þer þai doluen in þe gronde

A riche forcer þer þai founde

Ful of red gold igraue

And vp to þemperour þai hit haue

Þemperour held hem so wise

In al þe werld was hire pris

Þan swor þe eldere bi blod an^d^ bones

Haue ich to ni3t imet ones

I schal þe finde tresor itelle

Is non richer fram hennes to helle

Þai 3ede to bedde and risen a morewe

Þemperour to mochel sorewe

Þan saide þe elder to þemperour

Vnder þe ymage þat halt þe mirour

In al poile ne Romanye

Ne is so mochel tresorie

Moste we delue þer vnder

Þou sscholdest habbe gold a wonder

Na quaþ þemperour for e3te non

Þat ymage wolde ich misdon

Þan seide þe 3onger to þemperour

Þer is al virgiles tresour

We sschulle þe ymage so vndersete

Þat we ne sschal hit no þing lette

7 whan we han þe gold in þe grounde

We sscholle hit make ase we hit founde

For we beþ Ma3ouns queinte of cast

Þan saide cressus goht an hast

Þai bigonne hire werk saun3 dout

And sette postes al about

And bigan to mini vnder

Herkne3 nouw aselkou3 wonder

Þai to rent ston fram ston

Þe fondement to brast anon

Al dai þai mined doun ri3t

Til hit come to þe ni3t

On þe morewe þai saide to cressus stille

Of gold þou sschalt haue þi wille

Þemperour wente to his palais

Clerkes al so and mani burgeis

Ech man wente to his inne

Þe clerkes þoughte anoþer ginne


Whanne ech man slepen grete and smale

Þe clerkes to þe stage stale

And bet a fir strong and sterk

Þe fir flegh3 vp in to þe werk

7 falsed þe siment and þe ston

Þe ymage ouer þrew anon

And þo þe clerkes segh3en þis

Away þai flowen for sothe iwis

A morewe þemperour aros

Of his dede him sore agros

In his herte was kare and howe

Awai he wolde han iflowe

Þe smale and þe poeple of Rome

To sire cressus þai nome sone

7 tolde him for coueitise

He hadde iloren Romes prise

Þai ladde forþ in þat stounde

7 to a table fast him bounde

7 red gold quik þai melte

7 nose and mouht ful þai helte

7 eren and e3en al so

Þer whiles a drope wolde in go

7 seide sire for godesloue

Þou hast made þral þat was aboue

Nou artou ful nou make þe heit

Nou wiltou nammore coueit

Nou is he ded wi3 mochel schame

O þou seist soþ he seide dame

3a sire for his lesingges

Þat he leued twaie false gadelinges

He turned to wel iuel fin

Sire swich sschal be ending þin

Nai dame he saide 3if god wile

3is sire sche saide bi ri3t skile

For þou leuest wel flaterie

Þat þe maistres conne to þe lie

7 desire to make þin air

He þat sschal þe schende vair

For he is þe fendes chike

Þer whiles he liue3 þou mai sike

Dame isschal kepe me fram kare

Ri3t to morewe he sschal forþ fare

Sire sche saide bi seint Michel

Þanne dost þou wisliche and wel


M orewe com as 3e mowe here

þemperour aros wi3 wroþ chere

And to his paleys he gan wende

Ri3t biforen his barouns hende

He let brenge forht his owen sone

And whan he com out of prisoun

Amideward Rome toun

Þan come riden maister Catoun

Þe folk of Rome on him gan crie

And saide Catoun kiþe þi maistrie

Help þi disciple in þis nede

Catoun li3t a doun of his stede

And grette þemperour on his kne

And vn eþe he wold him se

He seide to him maister Catoun

Þou hast me don wel gret traisoun

For to þe and þine fere

I bitok mi sone to lere

3e tau3te him to nimen forþ min emperice

Sire quaþ Catoun swich wordes be3 nice

7 his speche is forlore

Nai sire and he finde 3oure grace bifore

Þi wif wolde he forlain haue nowt

3if þou hit leuest þou art bicou3t

Ac 3if þou do þi sone duresse

On þe falle swich a destresse

And swich a maner vileynie

As hadde þe burgeis for his pie

O maister he saide what what ;

I þe praie tel me þat

Sire he saide what helpe3 hit mi sawe

3if þi sone þer whiles beþ islawe

Ac let him fechche quik a3ain

And i þe sschal mi tale sain

Þ e emperour of rome dioclician

his sone he het fechche anon

Nou euerich man þat loue3 his hale

Lestne wel catones tale

A burgeis was in Rome toun

A richeman of gret renoun

Marchaunt he was of gret auoir

7 had a wif was queint and fair

But sche was fikel vnder hir lok

And hadde a parti of eue smok


And manie ben 3it of hire kinne

Þat ben al bilapped þer inne

Þe burgeis hadde a pie in his halle

Þat couþe telle tales alle

Apertlich in freinch langage

And heng in a fair cage

And seþ lemmans comen and gon

And teld hire louerd sone anon

And for þat þe pie hadde isaid

Þe wif was ofte iuel ipaid

And þe burgeis loued his pie

For he wiste he couþe nowt lie

So hit bifil vpon a dai

Þ burgeis fram home tok his wai

And wente about his marchaundise

Þe wif waited anon hire prise

And sente here copiner fore

7 whanne he com to þe halle dore

He ne dorste nowt in hie

For þe wreiing of þe pie

Þe wif him biþe hond hent

And in to chaumbre anon þai went

Þe pie bigan to grede anon

3a now mi louerd is out igon

Þou comest hider for no gode

I schal 3ou wraie bi þe rode

Þe wif þou3t schent 3e was

A wrenche 3he þou3te naþelas

And clepede a maide to make here bed

And after bi hir boþer red

A laddre þai sette þe halle to

And vndede a tile or two

Ouer þe pie þai gan handel

A cler bacyn and a candel

A pot ful of water cler

Þai sschadde vpon þe pies swer

Wi3 bacyn beting and kandel li3t

Þa bobbed þe pie bi ni3t

And water on him gan schenche

Þis was on of wommannes wrenche

Þo þe dai dwaen gan

Awai stal þe 3ongeman

Men vnlek dore and windowe

Þe pie him sschok wi3 mochel howe


For ssche was fain þat hit was dai

Þe copiner was went his wai

Þe gode burgeis was home icome

In to þe halle þe wai he nome

Þe pie saide bigod almi3t

Þe copiner was her to ni3t

And haþ idon þe mochel sschame

Imad an hore of oure dame

And 3it hit had ben to ni3t

Gret rain 7 þonder bri3t

Sehthen ich was brid in mi nest

I ne hadde neuer so iuel rest

Þe wif haþ þe tale iherd

And þou3te wel to ben amered

And saide sire þou hast outrage

To leue a pie in a kage

To ni3t was þe weder fair and cler

And þe firmament wel fair

And sche saiþ hit haþ ben þonder

Sche haþ ilowe mani awonder

But ich be awreke of here swiþe

Ne schal ineuer ben womman bliþe

Þ e godeman askede his ne3ebours

of þat ni3t and of þe ours

And þai saide þat al þat ni3t

Was þe weder cler and bri3t

Þe burgeis saide þe pie

Ne scholde him nammore lie

Nammo wordes he þar spak

But also swiþe his nekke to brak

And whanne he se3 his pie ded

For sorewe coude he no Red

He se3gh hir and his cage

He þou3te of gile and of outrage

He wente him out þe ladder he seg3

And vp to þe halle Rof he steg3

Þe pot wi3 þe water he fond

Þat he brak wi3 his hond

7 mani oþer trecherie

Þat was idon to his pie

He went him doun wi3 outen oþ

In his herte grim and wroþ

And wi3 a god staf ful sket

His wif ate dore he bet


And bad hire go þat ilche dai

On alder twenti deuel wai

Lo sire he seide for a foles red

Þe pie þat saide soht was ded

Hadde he taken god conseil

His pie hadde ben hol and hail

And also fare3 þin emperice

Þour3 here Resoun sscherewed and nice

Sche goþ about dai and ni3t

Þi sone to deþe for to di3t

And he be ded verrament

Ne worþ þer non amendement

Bi here rede ne do þou nout

3if þou do þou art bicou3t

Al þe werld þe spise

3if þou do bi here and lete þe wise

Anon þemperour saide þan

Catoun bi him þat made man

Don ich wille after þi sawe

To dai ne sschal he nowt be slawe

Þe schild bileft in prisoun

Vpon his palefrai lep catoun

And hadde mani ablessing

For his desciples deliuering

Þ e ni3t is comen þe dai is gon

þemperour wente to chaumbre anon

his quen þanne a3en him nam

Wi3 semblant ase awroþ wimman

Dame he saide pluk vp þi cher

Oþer tel me whi þou makest swich cher

Hit nis no wonder sire biheuene

Þe sschulle sschende þi maistres seuene

Þat make3 þe to loue þi fo

For þi ich wille nou fram þe go

Ac 3if þou dost more bi hire leuing

Falle on þe ase dede on herowde þe king

Þat les his si3t in wonder wise

Þerfore þou mi3t sore agrise

Dame he saide on ech manere

Þat ilche tale ich moste here

Bleþeliche sire so mot ich þe

So þat 3he wolde þe better be

A n Emperour was in Rome

þe richest man of cristendome


Herowdes was his ri3te name

Wide isprongge his riche fame

He hadde wi3 him seuen wise

Als 3e han of grete prise

Al þat þemperour dede or þout

Bi here conseil al he hit wrout

So her was arered in þis toun

Bi here rede and bi hire costom

Þat who þat mette a sweuen ani3t

He scholde come amorewe apli3t

And brenge a besaund to offring

And of his sweuen haue vndoing

So longe þai vsed þis errour

Þai were richcher þan þemperour

So hit bifel vpon a dai

Als he went vpon his plai

7 whan he come to Rome 3ate

7 wolde wenden out þer ate

He bicam blind so ston

His maistres he ofsent anon

And asked whi he mi3t nowt se

Whan he sscholde out of Rome te

Þai asked respit a fourten ni3t

Biþan þai trowede þat þai mi3t

In hire bokes finde resoun

And answeren him wi3 ri3t enchesoun

Respit þai hadde of þemperour

He wente him hom to his tour

And þe maistres hom went

And hire bokes went and trent

Ac þai ne couþe nowt ifinde

Whi þemperour was blinde

Þai sou3te conseil fer 7 ne3

Ase man þat is queinte

So on a dai after þan

Þai mette wi3 an hold man

And tolde him al hire conseil

And he answered saun3 fail

In al þe werld nis man limind

Þat couþe 3ou þat sothe find

But 3if hit ware child on

Þat neuer hadde fader non

For he can telle soþes alle

Þat ben don in bour and halle


3if 3he þat schild finde mowe

He schal 3ou telle ich wille auowe

Þe maistres wolde no leng abide

To seche þe schild þai gonne ride

On a dai þai com þer merlin pleid

And on of his felawes him traid

And he was wroþ and maked ares

And cleped him sschrewe faderles

And saide he was of þe fendes kinde

His felawes euer misdoinde

Daþeit haue þou quaþ child merlin

Al to loude þou spak þi latin

Seue maistres ise her come

Þat han me sou3t al fram Rome

Þai han wi3 me mochel to done

Ich wil hem helpe swiþe sone

Wi3 þat com aman of þat lond

And brou3t a besaund in his hond

To whom þat merlin saide þous

Man þou art ful merueilous

Þou woldest haue undoing

Of þi toni3tes meting

For þi þou woldest þat o besaund offer

Bere hit home in to þi coffer

And isschal telle and nowt ne lie

What þi meting signefie

Þou metest to ni3t in þi donghel

Sprong a water out of a wel

Þat was of swiþe god sauour

And seruede þe and þi ney3bour

I wil þe saie þe sothe word

Þe welle bitokne3 a gold hord

To delue anon in þi donghel

Þou sschalt hit finde swiþe snel

Þanne he dalf þer inne a non

And fond of gold ful god won

He 3af þe maistres of þe gold

Ase moche ase þai nime wold

And also his ne3hebour

He made him riche of þat tresour

But Merlin saide biheuene king

He wolde þer of no þing

Þ e maistres out of toune nome

and ladden merlyn toward Rome


And asked him wi3 milde mouþe

3if he þe sothe telle couþe

Whi þemperour mi3t nowt se

Whanne he sscholde out of Rome te

3a saide merlin sikerli

Ich kan telle him ful wel whi

Þe maistres were glad of þis

And to Rome þai went iwis

Þe dai was comen þat hem was set

Anon wi3 þemperour þai met

7 saide þe dai is come of answering

Quaþ herowdes þat is soþ king

Tel me hastilich and sket

Þing þat 3he me bihet

Lo sire we han a schild ibrowt

Þat schal þe telle al þi þowt

Lo her sire a litel page

Þat schal sai þe þi corage

Quaþ þemperour of lime and lond

Wil 3e his tale take an hond

3a on al þat we haue or haue mowe

Þe childes tale we wil auowe

Tel me he saide child merlin

SIR lad me arst to chaumbre þin

Þemperour him ladde a non

In to his chaumbre of lim and ston

And whanne þai were þer inne ischet

Merlin his tonge wi3 wit whet

And spak to þemperour

Þou hast he saiþ her in þi bour

Þer vnder þi bed a doun

A gret boiland cauderoun

Wi3 seuen walmes boiland

Þe walmes han þe abland

And þer whiles þai boilland be

Sire þou ne schalt neuer ise

And 3if þai mai ben queint ari3t

Þou mi3t wel wel haue þi si3t

Þemperour had wonder of þis

And let remue his bed iwis

And tok ten men oþer twelue

And het hem in þe grounde delue

Þai deden ase here louerd hem het

And doluen alle þer fulsket


Þai ne hadde dolue but astounde

Þat þe cauudroun was ifounde

Þat hadde ri3t walmes seuen

Þo was ileued þe schildes steuen

Q uad þemperour for sothe iwis

bi þe iwil don afer þis

ac telle me child some resouns

What bitokne3 þis boilouns

Sire do out þi folk ichon

7 ich wil þe telle swiþe anon

Þemperour anon ri3t

Drof out boþe clerk and kni3t

Þanne biginne3 þe child merlin

to telle þemperour swich latin

Sire he said bi god in heuen

Þise boilouns þat boilen seuen

Bitoknen þine seuen wise

Þat han iwrowt a3en þe assise

Þai han arrered custumes newe

Þat þe mai wel sore rewe

Be hit oþer clerk or kni3t

And him mete a sweuene ani3t

He come3 amorewe ich vnderstonde

An brenge3 a besaund in his honde

And to þe maistres hire sweuene telle

Þai hit vndo after her wille

Þai respounde ase hem like3

Þous þai mani man biswike3

And for þat ilche senne ifinde

Þat þou art bicome blinde

Nou tel me child þin entent

What mai me to amendement

Leue sire for mi loue

Bi on of hem mi tale proue

Leue sire take3 þemprise

And take3 þe eldest of þe wise

Lat smite atwo his nekke bon

Þe grettest walm schal quenche a non

Þemperour dede be þe schildes lore

Þe eldest maister was slein þerfore

His heued was in to þe cauudroun cast

Þe greste walm que(n>)ynte on hast

Þo þemperour wiste þis

He let sle alle seuene iwis


Þe water bicome faire and liþe

Þemperour þerof was bliþe

Anon he wichss þerof his hond

And ouer se3 al þe lond

And sire so fare maistres þine

Þai schul þe bringe to mochele pine

Þai han so iblent þe

Þat þou mi3t nowt þat soþe ise

Ac 3if þou dost more bi here rede

To swiche blendnesse mote þai þe lede

As hadde herowdes þe king

Þat was ne3 browt to iuel ending

N ai dame he saide þou art wilde

fram swiche schame god me schilde

for hem ischal me ful wel kepe

Of hem ne 3iue i nowt an hepe

Sire sche saide þou hast god ri3t

Þai ben about dai and ni3t

Þe to bigile an bitraie

Cokkes crewe and hit was daie

Þemperour aros anon

And wente to his halle of ston

And ase þemperour verraiment

Hadde 3iuen his sone Iuggement

Þe sexte maister com in to þe halle

7 hendeliche he grette hem alle

And saide sire þou art wel nice

To leue so mochel þin emperice

Whanne þou leuest hire so

Þat þou wilt þi sone slo

Þanne mot hit so fare bi þe

As bi a sschereue of þis countre

Þa hirt his wif wi3 a knif

In þe wombe 3e les hire lif

Quaþ þemperour in alle maner

Þat ilche tale ich moste her

Leue sire what helpe3 mi tale

3if þi sone þolie3 deþes bale

3if him to dai longes rest

Iich schal þe telle a newe gest

Swich a tale i þe telle can

Ne schal tou neuer leue wimman

Þemperour hete him let

And his sone a3en fet


Þe child was pult in prisoun

Þe maister ginne3 his resoun

S ire he saide þou mi3t me leue

hit was a kni3t ariche sscherreue

And 3ong Iolif wif

Þat he loued has his lif

And ssche him bi vnderstonding

Louede him wel in alle þing

So on a dai him and his wif

Was i3ouen a newe knif

Fair hit was and of egge scharp

And þai on gamen gonne carp

Þe kni3t his wif in þe wombe carf

For doel þer of a morewe starf

He dede gret foli cert

Or to tendre was hir hert

Sone amorewe erliche

3he was biwaked richeliche

7 wel faire browt on erthe

After þat sche was werthe

Þe leuedi saide for no wenne

Sche ne wolde neuer wende þenne

But as hir louerd for him daide

Sche wolde be ded an bi him laide

Here frendes seg3en al þat cas

7 comen to hire to make Solas

7 saiden dame gent and fre

Of þi selue haue pite

For þou art fair and 3ong saun3 fail

And maist þe werld mochel auail

Some kni3t þe wedde of noblai

And haue wi3 him moche to plai

Gode children bi3eten and faire

Gentil dame debonaire

Lete a wai þi mourning

7 tak þe to some conforting

Þat wil ido for no wele

Ac die ich wille on his beriele

3he saide allas and wailawo

Nel ich hennes neuere go

Ne confor take neuer mor

Here frendes were sori þo

A logge þai made vpon his graue

For sche wolde þer bilaue


And maked him a ful fair fer

And fond hire þat ni3t stouer

And left here al one

And sche made reuli mone

Þat ich dai þai were inome

Þe þre þeues bi commun dome

Þe þre þeues were kni3tes

Þat were ihonged a non ri3tes

For þai hadde þe countre anuwed

7 wi3 Robberie destrwed

An honged þai were alle þre

A kni3t of þe countre held his fe

For to loke þe þre kni3ttes

Vpon þe galewes þre ni3tes

He com to þe galewes armed wel

Boþe in iren and in stel

For to make þe first ni3t ward

Þe weder was cold and froward

He was forcold and lokede aboute

And was war wi3 outen doute

Of þe fir in þe chirche hawe

And þider ward he gan to drawe

For to haue som warmyng

And fond þe leuedi doel makyng

And bad 3he sscholde late him in

3he saide 3he nolde bi seint Iohain

A 3is he seide leue dame

I nelle þe do harm ne sschame

He swor as he was gentil kni3t

S[l >]che let him in anon ri3t

He sat and warmed him bi þe fer

He biheld þe leuedis cher

And se3 swich semblant 3e made

And saide dame þou art a gade

Þat þou mournest for þe ded

Þat mai þe do noþer god ne qued

Confort þi self pluk vp þin herte

Swich mourning þan wil þe smerte

Of þis mourning þou has vnri3t

Þou scholdest louye som gentil kni3t

Þat þat þe mi3t do sum solas

And sche saide allas · allas·

He was so smal and so gent

I ne mai loue non oþer verraiment


Ne hadde he seten þer but awhile

He þou3te men mi3te don him gile

He priked to þe galewes wi3 his fole

7 fond þat a þef was istole

Þo was him wo veraiment

He scholde lese his auauncement

But he mi3te finde þe þridde

Þe þef þat heng þe twaie amidde

He þat wimmen couþe red

To help men at her ned

3he ne was nowt fer but somdel ne3

He telde hire þe sorewe þat he dre3

And bisoughte hire of god conseiling

For þat he was in gret mourning

3he saide sire ich wille helpe þe

So þat þou wille spousi me

3is dame he saide preciouse

3if þou me helpe ich wille þe spouse

3e let here sorewe awai gon

And saide help lemman a non

Help delf vp mi lord þat was

He schal vs helpen in þis cas

And honge we him in his entaile

Here red was don saun3 faille

Hit ne mai nowt ben forhole

Þai baren him forþ for him was stole

Þanne saide þe kni3t to þe leuedi

Who mai þis kni3t hongi

I þe segge bi heuene king

I nolde him honge for no þing

For 3if ich hadde ihonged a kni3t

I schol be coward icleped wi3 ri3t

[I >] Sire 3he saide ich wil fol fawe

Heghe him honge and vpdrawe

Þe leuedi dede in wode gere

A Rop aboute hire lordes swere

And drow him vp and heng him fast

Þe kni3t of hire dedes was agast

And saide dame be gode mounde

Þe stolen kni3t hadde a wonde

In his heued þat was biknawe

Whar bi him knewe heghe and lowe

And but þi louerd swich on haue

I þe sai so god me saue


Sone wi3 inne litel while

Worht iparceiued oure gile

Sire sche saide tak þi swerd

7 in þe heued smit mi louerd

Þanne schal hit ben non vnderstonding

But hit was he þat er þar hing

Nai dame for moche ne lite

Þe dede kni3t wolde i nowt smite

No sire sche saide þi swerd me reche

And ich him schal wi3 min hond teche

Hou godes grame come to toune

Ri3t amideward his croune

Þe leuedi tok and smot wi3 mayn

Al amideward þe brayn

Þanne þe kni3t wel vnderstod

Þat fals and fikel was hire blod

And saide 3it vnliche 3he be3

Broken were his fore te3

Sire sche saide smit hem out

Nai dame he saide wi3 outen dout

Þan wil ich 3he saide and tok a ston

And smot hem out euerich on

Whan þis dede was ido

Þe leuedi saide þe kni3t to

Sire now ich haue iwonne þi loue

Nai dame he saide bi god aboue

For gold no siluer lond ne house

Þi false bodi ne wold ispouse

For also woldestou serue me

Hase þou hast don þi louerd so fre

Þan hast itawt me a newe ran

Þat ischal neuer leue wimman

For þere þai make semblant fairest

Þai wil bigile þe alþerformest

Sire and on þe falle swich astrif

Als dede þe sscherreue of his wif

3if þou for þin emperice wild

Wolle sle þin owen child

Ac sire abid til anoþer morewe

On hire sschal falle alle þe sorewe

And whanne þou herest þi sone speke

Ri3t fulliche þou him awreke

Þemperour saide so ich schal

And þanne departed þe curt al


Some to castel and some to tour

Þemperour wente to his bour

Þemperice made semblant ille

For sche ne hadde nowt hire wille

His owen men naþelas

Made wel god solas

Þemperour was Browt abedde

Wi3 riche baudekines ispredde

Þemperice him com to

Als sche was ar iwont to

Sire hastou owt herd þe geste

Whi men made folen feste

Nai dame he saide gent and fre

I þe praie þanne telle hit me

S ire 3he saide wi3 outen dout

whilom was Rome bilayn about

wi3 seuen soudans biset

Wal and gate and castelet

Þe honur of Rome for to abate

And for to strwe seinte petres sate

Þat is to seie cristendom to felle

And cristenmen to aquelle

Þe folk hem ful wel held

Wise of speche of dede beld

To ·vij· wise men toke we þis toun

To kepe hit fram destructioun

Bi his rede hit was itake

To ·vij· wise men to biwake

A moneþ þai kept hit

Ase we finde3 in þe writ

Whan hit com to þe mone3 ende

Þai ne mi3t hit no lenger defende

But ase þai dede afair queintise

Herkne3 now in what wise

A man þer was so sei3 þe Rime

Þat hit geines In þat time

He was on of þe seuen wise

Þer he dede afair queintise

He let him make a garnement

Ase blak ase ani arnement

And heng þer on squirel tail

A þousand and mo wi3 outen fail

A viser 3it he made more

Two faces bihinde 7 two bifore

7 tway nases