The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 11

Thanne Scriptare scorned me and a skile tolde,
And lakked me in Latyn and light by me sette,
And seide, ' Multi multa sciunt et seipsos nesciunt.'
Tho wepte I for wo andwrathe of hir speche
And in a wynkynge w[o]rth til I [weex] aslepe.

A merveillous metels mette me thanne.
For I was ravysshed right there - for Fortune me fette
And into the lond of longynge and love she me broughte,
And in a mirour that highte Middelerthe she made me to biholde.
Sithen she seide to me,-Here myghtow se wondres,
And knowe that thow coveitest, and come therto, peraunter.'
Thanne hadde Fortune folwynge hire two faire damyseles
Concupiscencia Carnis men called the elder mayde,
And Coveitise of Eighes ycalled was that oother.
Pride of Parfit Lyvynge pursued hem bothe,
And bad me for my contenaunce acounten Clergie lighte.
Concupiscencia Carnis colled me aboute the nekke
And seide, 'Thow art yong and yeep and hast yeres ynowe
For to lyve longe and ladies to lovye;
And in this mirour thow might se myrthes ful manye
That leden thee wole to likynge al thi lif tyme.'
The secounde seide the same' I shal sewe thi wille;
Til thow be a lord and have lond, leten thee I nelle
That I ne shal folwe thi felawship, if Fortune it like.'
' He shal fynde me his frend,' quod Fortune therafter;
'The freke that folwede my wille failled nevere blisse.'
Thanne was ther oon that highte Elde, that hevy was of chere,
' Man,' quod he, 'if I mete with thee, by Marie of hevene
Thow shalt fynde Fortune thee faille at thi mooste nede,
And Concupiscencia Carnis clene thee forsake.
Bittrely shaltow banne thanne, bothe dayes and nyghtes,
Coveitise of Eighe, that evere thow hir knewe;
And Pride of Parfit Lyvynge to muche peril thee brynge.'
' Ye? Recche thee nevere!' quod Rechelesnesse, stood forth in raggede clothes
' Folwe forth that Fortune wole - thow has wel fer til Elde.
A man may stoupe tyme ynogh whan he shal tyne the crowne.

''Homo proponit,'' quod a poete, and Plato he highte,
''And Deus disponit'' quod he, 'lat God doon his wille.''
If Truthe wol witnesse it be wel do, Fortune to folwe,
Concupiscencia Carnis ne Coveitise of Eighes
Ne shal noght greve thee graithly, ne bigile thee but thow wolt.'
' Ye, farewel Phippe! ' quod Faunteltee, and forth gan me drawe,
Til Concupiscencia Carnis acorded til alle my werkes.
'Allas, eighe!' quod Elde and Holynesse bothe,
'That wit shal torne to wrecchednesse for wil to have his likyng!'
Coveitise of Eighes conforted me anoon after
And folwed me fourty wynter and a fifte moore,
That of Dowel ne Dobet no deyntee me thoughte.
I hadde no likyng, leve me, [o]f the leste of hem ought to knowe.
Coveitise of Eighes com ofter in mynde
Than Dowel or Dobet among my dedes alle.
Coveitise of Eighes conforted me ofte,
And seide, ' Have no conscience how thow come to goode.
Go confesse thee to som frere and shewe hym thi synnes.
For whiles Fortune is thi frend freres wol thee lovye,
And fe[stn]e thee in hir fraternitee and for thee biseke
To hir Priour Provincial a pardon for to have,
And preien for thee pol by pol if thow be pecuniosus.
Pena pecuniaria non sufficit pro spiritualibus delictis.
By wissynge of this wenche I dide, hir wordes were so swete,
Til I foryat youthe and yarn into elde.
And thanne was Fortune my foo, for al hir faire biheste,
And poverte pursued me and putte me lowe.
And tho fond I the frere afered and flittynge bothe
Ayeins oure firste forward, for I seide I nolde

Be buried at hire hous but at my parisshe chirche
(For I herde ones how Conscience it tolde
That there a man were cristned, by kynde he sholde be buryed).
And for I seide thus to freres, a fool thei me helden,
And loved me the lasse for my lele speche.
Ac yet I cryde on my confessour that [so konnyng heeld hymself].
'By my feith, frere!' quod I, ' ye faren lik thise woweris
That wedde none widwes but for to welden hir goodes.
Right so, by the roode, roughte ye nevere '
Where my body were buryed, by so ye hadde my silver!
Ich have muche merveille of yow, and so hath many another,
Whi youre covent coveiteth to confesse and to burye
Rather than to baptize barnes that ben catecumelynges.
Baptizynge and buryinge bothe beth ful nedefulle;
Ac muche moore meritorie me thynketh it is to baptize; -
For a baptized man may, as maistres telleth, .
Thorugh contricion come to the heighe hevene -
Sola contricio delet peccatum -
Ac a barn withouten bapteme may noght so be saved -
Nisi quis renatus fuerit.
Loke, ye lettred men, wheither I lye or do
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:01 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 4,472
Words 829
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 5, 31, 29, 21

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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