Piers Ploughman (Wright)/Passus 9

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Passus Nonus de Visione, ut supra, et Primus de Do-wel

"
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ire Do-wel dwelleth," quod Wit,       5154


"Noght a day hennes,
In a castel that Kynde made
Of four kynnes thynges;
Of erthe and of eyr it is maad,
Medled togideres,
With wynd and with water       5160
Witterly enjoyned.
Kynde hath closed therinne
Craftily withalle
A lemman that he loveth
Lik to hymselve;
Anima she hatte.
Ac envye hir hateth,
A proud prikere of Fraunce,
Princeps hujus mundi,
And wolde wynne hire awey       5170
With wiles, and he myghte.

"Ac Kynde knoweth this wel,
And kepeth hire the bettre,
And dooth hire with sire Do-wel,
Is duc of thise marches.

"Do-bet is hire damyselle,
Sire Do-weles doughter,
To serven this lady leelly
Bothe late and rathe.

"Do-best is above bothe,       5180
A bisshopes peere;
That he bit moot be do,
He ruleth hem alle.
Anima, that lady,
Is lad by his leryng.
Ac the constable of that castel,
That kepeth al the wacche,
Is a wis knyght withalle,
Sire Inwit he hatte,
And hathe fyve faire sones       5190
Bi 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, for sothe.
Thise fyve ben set
To kepe this lady Anima,
Til Kynde come or sende       5200
To saven hire for evere."

"What kynnes thyng is Kynde?" quod I,
"Kanstow me telle?"

"Kynde," quod Wit, "is a 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,       5210
Of lisse and of peyne.
Aungeles and alle thyng
Arn at his wille;
Ac man is hym moost lik
Of marc and of shafte;
For thorugh the word that he spak
Woxen forth beestes.
Dixit et facta sunt.

"And made man likkest
To hymself one,       5220
And Eve of his ryb-bon,
Withouten any mene,
For he was synguler hymself;
And seide faciamus,
As who seith moore moot herto
Than my word oone,
My myght moot helpe
Forth with my speche.
Right as a lord sholde make lettres,
And hym lakked parchemyn,       5230
Though he koude write never so wel,
If he hadde no penne,
The lettre, for al the lordshipe,
I leve were nevere y-maked.

"And so it semeth by hym,
As the Bible telleth,
There he seide Dixit et facta sunt,
He moste werche with his word,
And his wit shewe.
And in this manere was man maad,       5240
Thorugh myght of God almighty,
With his word and werkmanshipe,
And with lif to laste.
And thus God gaf hym a goost,
Thorugh 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,       5250
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 magesté
Man was y-maked.

"Inwit and alle wittes
Closed ben therinne,
For love of the lady Anima,       5260
That lif is y-nempned;
Over al in mannes body
He walketh and wandreth.
And 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 lat hire at his wille;
For after the grace of God,       5270
The gretteste is Inwit.

"Muche wo worth that man
That mys-ruleth 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 devil;       5280
And alle that lyven good lif
Are lik to God almyghty,
Qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, etc.[1]

"Alas! that drynke shal for-do
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       5290
eorum.

"Fools that fauten Inwit,
I fynde that holy chirche
Sholde fynden hem that hem fauted,
And fader-lese children,
And widewes that han noght wherwith
To wynnen hem hir foode,
Madde men, and maydenes
That help-lese were,
Alle thise lakken Inwit,       5300
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.

"God-fadres and god-modres,
That seen hire god-children
At mys-eise and at myschief,       5310
And mowe hem amende,
Shul have 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,       5320
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.

"Alas! that a cristene creature
Shal be unkynde til another;
Syn Jewes, that we jugge
Judas felawes,
Eyther of hem helpeth oother       5330
Of that that hem nedeth.
Whi nel we cristene
Of Cristes good be as kynde
As Jewes, that ben oure lores-men?
Shame to us alle!
The commune for hir unkyndenesse,
I drede me, shul abye.

"Bisshopes shul be blamed
For beggeres sake.
He is wors than Judas,       5340
That gyveth a japer silver,
And biddeth the beggere go,
For his broke clothes.
Proditor est prælatus cum Juda,
qui patrimonium Christi mimis
distribuit. Et alibi: Perniciosus
dispensator est, qui res
pauperum Christi inutiliter
consumit.

"He dooth noght wel that dooth thus,       5350
Ne drat noght God almyghty;
He loveth noght Salomons sawes,
That sapience taughte.
Initium sapientiæ, timor Domini.

"That dredeth God, he dooth wel;
That dredeth him for love,
And noght for drede of vengeaunce,
Dooth therfore the bettre.

"He dooth best that with-draweth hym
By daye and by nyghte,       5360
To spille any speche
Or any space of tyme.
Qui offendit in uno, in omnibus est reus.[1]

"Lesynge of tyme,
Truthe woot the sothe,
Is moost y-hated upon erthe
Of hem that ben in hevene;
And siththe to spille speche,
That spicerie is of grace,       5370
And Goddes gle-man,
And a game of hevene.
Wolde nevere the feithful fader
This fithele were un-tempred,
Ne his gle-man a gedelyng,
A goere to tavernes.

"To alle trewe tidy men
That travaille desiren,
Oure Lord loveth hem and lent
Loude outher stille       5380
Grace to go to hem,
And of-gon hir liflode.
Inquirentes autem Dominum non
minuentur omni bono.

"Trewe wedded libbynge folk
In this world is Do-wel,
For thei mote werche and wynne,
And the world sustene.
For of hir kynde thei come
That confessours ben nempned,       5390
Kynges and knyghtes,
Kaysers and cherles,
Maidenes and martires,
Out of o man come.
The wif was maad the weye
For to helpe werche;
And thus was wedlok y-wroght
With a mene persone,
First, by the fadres wille,
And the frendes conseille;       5400
And sithenes by assent of hemself,
As thei two myghte acorde.
And thus was wedlok y-wroght,
And God hymself it made
In erthe and in hevene,
Hymself bereth witnesse.

"Ac fals folk feyth-lees,
Theves and lyeres,
Wastours and wrecches,
Out of wedlok, I trowe,       5410
Conceyved ben in yvel tyme,
As Caym was on Eve;
Of swiche synfulle sherewes
The Sauter maketh mynde:
Concepit in dolore, et peperit iniquitatem, etc.[1]

"And alle that come of that Caym,
Come to yvel ende.
And God sente to Seem,
And seide by an aungel,       5420
'Thyn issue in thyn issue
I wol that thei be wedded,
And noght thi kynde with Caymes
Y-coupled nor y-spoused.'

"Yet some, ayein the sonde
Of oure Saveour of hevene,
Caymes kynde and his kynde
Coupled togideres,
Til God wrathed for hir werkes,
And swich a word seide,       5430
'That I makede man
It me for-thynketh.'
Pœnitet me fecisse hominem.

"And com to Noe anon,
And bad hym noght lette:
'Swith go shape a ship
Of shides and of bordes;
Thyself and thi sones,
And sithen youre wyves,
Busketh yow to that boot,       5440
And bideth ye therinne,
Til fourty daies be fulfild,
That the flood have y-wasshen
Clene awey the corsed blood
That Caym hath y-maked.

"'Beestes that now ben
Shul banne the tyme
That evere that cursed Caym
Coom on this erthe;
Alle shul deye for hise dedes,       5450
By dales and by hulles,
And the foweles that fleen
Forth with othere beestes,
Excepte oonliche
Of ech kynde a couple,
That in thi shyngled ship
Shul ben y-saved.'
Here a-boughte the barn
The bel-sires giltes,
And alle for hir fadres       5460
Thei ferden the werse;
The Gospel is her ayein,
In o degré, I fynde:
Filius non portabit iniquitatem patris,
et pater non portabit iniquitatem
filii, etc.

"Ac I fynde if the fader
Be fals and a sherewe,
That som del the sone
Shal have the sires tacches.       5470

"Impe on an ellere,
And if thyn appul be swete,
Muchel merveille me thynketh;
And moore of a sherewe
That bryngeth forth any barn,
But if he be the same,
And have a savour after the sire;
Selde sestow oother.
Nunquam colligitur de spinis uva,
nec de tribulis ficus.       5480

"And thus thorugh cursed Caym
Cam care upon erthe;
And al for thei wroghte wedlokes
Ayein Goddes wille.
For-thi have thei maugré of hir mariages
That marie so hir children.
For some, as I se now,
Sooth for to telle,
For coveitise of catel
Un-kyndely ben wedded;       5490
As careful concepcion
Cometh of swiche mariages,
As bi-fel of the folk
That I bifore of tolde,
Therfore goode sholde wedde goode,
Though thei no good hadde;
'I am via et veritas,' seith Crist,
'I may avaunce yow alle.'

"It is an uncomly couple,
By Crist! as me thynketh,       5500
To yeven a yong wenche
To an old feble,
Or wedden any wodewe
For welthe of hir goodes,
That nevere shal barn bere
But if it be in hir armes.
Many a peire, sithen the pestilence,
Han plight hem togideres,
The fruyt that brynge forth
Arn foule wordes,       5510
In jelousie joye-lees,
And janglynge on bedde,
Have thei no children but cheeste,
And clappyng hem bitwene.
And though thei do hem to Dunmowe,
But if the devel helpe,
To folwen after the flicche,
Fecche thei it nevere;
And but thi bothe be for-swore,
That bacon thei tyne.       5520

"For-thei I counseille alle cristene
Coveite noght be wedded
For coveitise of catel,
Ne of kyn-rede riche;
Ac maidenes and maydenes
Macche yow togideres,
Wodewes and wideweres
Wercheth the same;
For no londes, but for love,
Loke ye be wedded,       5530
And thanne gete ye the grace of God,
And good y-nough to lyve with.

"And every maner seculer
That may noght continue,
Wisely goo wedde,
And ware hym fro synne;
For lecherie in likynge
Is lyme-yerd of helle.
Whiles thow art yong,
And thi wepene kene,       5540
Wreke thee with wyvyng,
If thow wolt ben excused.
Dum sis vir fortis,
Ne des tua robora scortis;
Scribitur in portis,
Meretrix est janua mortis.

"Whan ye han wyved, beth war
And wercheth in tyme;
Noght as Adam and Eve,
Whan Caym was engendred.       5550
For in un-tyme, trewely,
Bitwene man and womman,
Ne sholde no bourde or bedde be;
But if thei bothe were clene
Bothe of lif and of soule,
And in perfit charité,
That ilke derne dede do
No man ne sholde.
And if thei leden thus hir lif,
It liketh God almyghty;       5560
For he made wedlok first,
And hymself it seide:
Bonum est ut unusquisque uxorem
suam habeat, propter
fornicationem.

"And thei that other gates ben geten
For gedelynges arn holden,
As fals folk fondlynges,
Faitours and lieres,
Ungracious to gete good       5570
Or love of the peple,
Wandren and wasten
What thei cacche mowe,
Ayeins Do-wel thei doon yvel,
And the devel serve;
And after hir deeth day
Shul dwelle with the same,
But God gyve hem grace here
Hemself to amende.

"Do-wel my frend is,       5580
To doon as lawe techeth;
To love thi frend and thi foo,
Leve me, that is Do-bet;
To gyven and to yemen
Bothe yonge and olde,
To helen and to helpen,
Is Do-best of alle.

"And Do-wel is to drede God,
And Do-bet to suffre,
And so cometh Do-best of bothe,       5590
And bryngeth adoun the mody,
And that is wikked wille
That many a werk shendeth,
And dryveth awey Do-wel
Thorugh dedliche synnes."       5595

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 In Wright's edition each of these lines was printed and counted as two lines