The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 09

'Sire Dowel dwelleth,' quod Wit, 'noght a day hennes
In a castel that Kynde made of foure kynnes thynges.
Of erthe and eyr is it maad, medled togideres,
With wynd and with water wittily enjoyned.
Kynde hath closed therinne craftily withalle
A lemman that he loveth lik to hymselve.
Anima she hatte; [to hir hath envye]
A proud prikere of Fraunce, Princeps huius mundi,
And wolde wynne hire awey with wiles and he myghte.
'Ac Kynde knoweth this wel and kepeth hire the bettre,
And hath doon hire with Sire Dowel, Duc of thise marches.
Dobet is hire damyselle, Sire Doweles doughter,
To serven this Iady leelly bothe late and rathe.
Dobest is above bothe, a bisshopes peere;
That he bit moot be do - he [bidd]eth hem alle.
[By his leryng] is lad [that lady Anima].
'Ac the Constable of that castel, that kepeth [hem alle],
Is a wis knyght withalle - Sire Inwit he hatte,
And hath fyve faire sones by his firste wyve
Sire Se-wel, and Sey-wel, and Here-wel the hende,
Sire Werch-wel-with-thyn-hand, a wight man of strengthe,
And Sire Godefray Go-wel - grete lordes [alle].
Thise sixe ben set to save this lady Anima
Til Kynde come or sende to kepen hire hymselve.'
'What kynnes thyng is Kynde?' quod, 'kanstow me telle?'
' Kynde,' quod Wit, 'is creatour of alle kynnes thynges,
Fader and formour of al that evere was maked -

And that is the grete God that gynnyng hadde nevere,
Lord of lif and of light, of lisse and of peyne.
Aungeles and alle thyng arn at his wille,
Ac man is hym moost lik of marc and of shape.
For thorugh the word that he [warp] woxen forth beestes
Dixit et facta sunt.
'A[c] he made man [moost] li[k] to hymself,
And Eve of his ryb bon withouten any mene.
For he was synguler hymself and seide Eaciamus -
As who seith, '' Moore moot herto than my word oone
My myght moot helpe now with my speche.''
Right as a lord sholde make lettres, and hym lakked [no] parchemyn,
Though he [wiste] write never so wel, if he hadde no penne,
The lettre, for al the lordshipe, I leve were nevere ymaked!
'And so it semeth [there he seide, as the Bible telleth,
Faciamus hominem ad imaginem nostram] -
He moste werche with his word and his wit shewe.
And in this manere was man maad thorugh myght of God almyghty,
With his word and werkmanshipe and with lif to laste.
And thus God gaf hym a goost, of the godhede of hevene,
And of his grete grace graunted hym blisse -
And that is lif that ay shal laste to al his lynage after.
And that is the castel that Kynde made, Caro it hatte,
And is as muche to mene as 'man with a soule.'

And that he wroghte with werk and with word bothe
Thorgh myght of the mageste man was ymaked.
' Inwit and alle wittes yclosed ben therinne
For love of the lady Anima, that lif is ynempned.
Over al in mannes body he[o] walketh and wandreth,
Ac in the herte is hir hoom and hir mooste reste.
Ac Inwit is in the heed, and to the herte he loketh
What Anima is leef or looth - he Iat hire at his wille;
For after the grace of God, the gretteste is Inwit.
'Muche wo worth that man that mysruleth his Inwit,
And that ben glotons glubberes - hir God is hire wombe
Quorum deus venter est.
For thei serven Sathan, hir soules shal he have
That lyven synful lif here, hir soule is lich the devel.
And alle that lyven good lif are lik to God almyghty
Qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet &c.
'Allas! that drynke shal fordo that God deere boughte,
And dooth God forsaken hem that he shoop to his liknesse
Amen dico vobis, nescio vos. Et alibi, Et dimisi eos
secundum desideria eorum.
' Fooles that fauten Inwit, I fynde that Holy Chirche
Sholde fynden hem that hem fauteth, and faderlese children,
And widewes that han noght wherwith to wynnen hem hir foode,
Madde men and maydenes that helplese were -
Alle thise lakken Inwit, and loore bihoveth.
'Of this matere I myghte make a long tale
And fynde fele witnesses among the foure doctours,
And that I lye noght of that I lere thee, Luc bereth witnesse.

'Godfader and godmoder that seen hire godchildren
At myseise and at myschief and mowe hem amende
Shul [pre]ve penaunce in purgatorie, but thei hem helpe.
For moore bilongeth to the litel barn er he the lawe knowe
Than nempnynge of a name, and he never the wiser!
Sholde no Cristene creature cryen at the yate
Ne faille payn ne potage, and prelates dide as thei sholden.
A Jew wolde noght se a Jew go janglyng for defaute
For alle the mebles on this moolde, and he amende it myghte.
'Allas that a Cristene creature shal be unkynde til another
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:09 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 4,454
Words 843
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 27, 24, 28, 10

William Langland

William Langland is the conjectured author of the 14th-century English dream-vision Piers Plowman. more…

All William Langland poems | William Langland Books

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