The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 14



'I have but oon hool hater,' quod Haukyn, 'I am the lasse to blame
Though it be soiled and selde clene - I slepe therinne o nyghtes;
And also I have an houswif, hewen and children -
Uxorem duxi, et ideo non possum venire -
That wollen bymolen it many tyme, maugree my chekes.

It hath be laved in Lente and out of Lente bothe
With the sope of siknesse, that seketh wonder depe,
And with the losse of catel, that looth me w[ere]
For to agulte God or any good man, by aught that I wiste;
And was shryven of the preest, that [for my synnes gaf me]
To penaunce, pacience, and povere men to fede,
Al for coveitise of my Cristendom in clennesse to kepen it.
And kouthe I nevere, by Crist! kepen it clene an houre,
That I ne soiled it with sighte or som ydel speche,
Or thorugh werk or thorugh word, or wille of myn herte,
That I ne flobre it foule fro morwe til even.'
'And I shal kenne thee,' quod Conscience, 'of Contricion to make
That shal clawe thi cote of alle kynnes filthe -
Cordis contricio
Dowel shal wasshen it and wryngen it thorugh a wis confessour -
Oris confessio
Dobet shal beten it and bouken it as bright as any scarlet,
And engreynen it with good wille and Goddes grace to amende the,
And sithen sende thee to Satisfaccion for to sonnen it after
Satisfaccio.
'And Dobest kepe[th] clene from unkynde werkes.
Shal nevere my[te] bymolen it, ne mothe after biten it,
Ne fend ne fals man defoulen it in thi lyve.
Shal noon heraud ne harpour have a fairer garnement
Than Haukyn the Actif man, and thow do by my techyng,
Ne no mynstrall be moore worth amonges povere and riche
Than Haukyn wi[l] the wafrer, which is Activa Vita.'
'And I shal purveie thee paast,' quod Pacience, 'though no plough erye,
And flour to fede folk with as best be for the soule;
Though nevere greyn growed, ne grape upon vyne,
Alle that lyveth and loketh liflode wolde I fynde,
And that ynogh - shal noon faille of thyng that hem nedeth.

We sholde noght be to bisy abouten oure liflode
Ne soliciti sitis Volucres celi Deus pascit Pacientes vincunt
Thanne laughed Haukyn a litel, and lightly gan swerye,
'Whoso leveth yow, by Oure Lord, I leve noght he be blessed!'
'No?' quod Pacience paciently, and out of his poke hente
Vitailles of grete vertues for alle manere beestes,
And seide, ' Lo! here liflode ynogh, if oure bileve be trewe.
For lent nevere was lif but liflode were shapen,
Wherof or wherfore or wherby to libbe.
' First the wilde worm under weet erthe,
Fissh to lyve in the flood, and in the fir the criket,
The corlew by kynde of the eyr, moost clennest flessh of briddes,
And bestes by gras and by greyn and by grene rootes,
In menynge that alle men myghte the same
Lyve thorugh leel bileve and love, as God witnesseth
Quodcumque pecieritis a patre in nomine meo Et alibi, Non
in solo pane vivit homo, set in omni verbo, quod procedit de ore Dei;'
But I lokede what liflode it was that Pacience so preisede;
And thanne was it a pece of the Paternoster - Fiat voluntas tua.
'Have, Haukyn,' quod Pacience, 'and et this whan the hungreth,
Or whan thow clomsest for cold or clyngest for droughte;
And shul nevere gyves thee greve ne gret lordes wrathe,
Aison ne peyne - for pacientes vincunt.
By so that thow be sobre of sighte and of tonge,
In [ond]ynge and in handlynge and in alle thi fyve wittes,
Darstow nevere care for corn ne lynnen cloth ne wollen,
Ne for drynke, ne deeth drede, but deye as God liketh,
Or thorugh hunger or thorugh hete - at his wille be it.
For if thow lyvest after his loore, the shorter lif the bettre
Si quis amat Christum mundum non diligit istum.

'For thorugh his breeth beestes woxen and abrood yeden
Dixit et facta sunt,
Ergo thorugh his breeth mowen [bothe] men and beestes lyven,
As Holy Writ witnesseth whan men seye hir graces
*Aperis tu manum tuam, et imples omne animal benediccione.
'It is founden that fourty wynter folk lyvede withouten tulying,
And out of the flynt sprong the flood that folk and beestes dronken;
And in Elyes tyme hevene was yclosed,
That no reyn ne roon - thus rede men in bokes,
That manye wyntres men lyveden and no mete ne tulieden.
'Sevene slepe, as seith the book, sevene hundred wynter,
And lyveden withouten lifiode - and at the laste thei woken.
And if men lyvede as mesure wolde, sholde nevere moore be defaute
Amonges Cristene creatures, if Cristes wordes ben trewe.
Ac unkyndenesse caristiam maketh amonges Cristen peple,
And over-plentee maketh pryde amonges poore and riche;
Ac mesure is so muche worth it may noght be to
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

4:07 min read
117

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCDB EXDFGFFDHFXIEBDBFGDBBFXFIHFJKCFE FFJFFBLCXEFBBAEXFFFEFEFXBCEFDA CFCBCICFBCDCFLKHF
Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 4,484
Words 835
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 5, 32, 30, 17

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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