The Land of Cokaygne

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British Library Harley MS 913 folio 3r

Fur in see bi west spayngne. 1
Is a lond ihote cokaygne.
Þer nis lond under heuen-riche.
Of wel of godnis hit iliche. 4
Þoȝ paradis be miri and briȝt.
Cokaygn is of fairir siȝt.
What is þer in paradis.
Bot grasse and flure and grene-ris. 8
Þoȝ þer be ioi and gret dute.
Þer nis mete bote frute.
Þer n'is halle, bure, no benche.
Bot watir, man-is þursto quenche. 12
Beþ þer no man but two.
Hely and enok also.
Clinglich may hi go.
Whar þer woniþ men no mo. 16

¶ In cokaygne is met and drink.
Wiþ vte care. how and swink.
Þe met is trie. þe drink is clere.
To none. russin, and sopper. 20
I sigge for soþ, boute were.
Þer n'is lond on erthe is pere.
Vnder heuen n'is lond iwisse.
Of so mochil ioi and blisse. 24

¶ Þer is mani swete siȝte.
Al is dai, n'is þer no niȝte.
Þer n'is baret noþer strif.
N'is þer no deþ, ac euer lif. 28
Þer n'is lac of met no cloþ.
Þer n'is man no womman wroþ.
Þer n'is serpent, wolf no fox.
Hors, no capil, kowe. no ox. 32
Þer n'is schepe. no swine no gote.
No non horwȝ-la, god it wot.
Nother harate, nother stode.
Þe lond is ful of oþer gode. 36
N'is þer flei. fle, no lowse.
In cloþ, in toune. bed, no house.
Þer n'is dunnir, slete, no hawle.
No non vile worme no snawile. 40
No non storme, rein, no winde.
Þer n'is man no womman blinde.
Ok al is game, Ioi, and gle.
Wel is him þat þer mai be. 44

¶ Þer beþ riuers gret and fine.
Of oile, melk, honi and wine.
Watir seruiþ þer to no þing.
Bot to siȝt and to waiissing. 48
Þer is maner frute.
Al is solas and dedute.

¶ Þer is a wel fair abbei.
Of white monkes and of grei. 52
Þer beþ bowris and halles.
Al of pasteiis beþ þe walles.
Of fleis, of fisse, and rich met.
Þe likfullist þat man mai et. 56
Flurem cakes beþ þe scingles alle.
Of cherche. cloister. boure. and halle.
Þe pinnes beþ fat podinges.
Rich met to princeȝ and kinges. 60
Man mai þer-of et inoȝ.
Al wiþ riȝt, and noȝt wiþ woȝ.
Al is commune to ȝung and old.
To stoute and sterne, mek and bold. 64

¶ Þer is a cloister fair and liȝt.
Brod and lang, of sembli siȝt.
Þe pilers of þat cloistre alle
Beþ i-turned of cristale. 68
Wiþ har-las and capitale.
Of grene Jaspe and rede corale.
In þe praer is a tre.
Swiþe likful for to se. 72
Þe rote is gingeuir and galingale.
Þe siouns beþ al sedwale.
Trie maces beþ þe flure.
Þe rind, canel of swet odur. 76
Þe frute gilofre of gode smakke.
Of cucubes þer n'is no lakke.
Þer beþ rosis of rede ble.
And lilie likful for to se. 80
Þai faloweþ neuer day no niȝt.
Þis aȝt be be a swet[e] siȝt.

¶ Þer beþ .iiij. willis in þe abbei.
Of triacle and halwei. 84
Of baum and ek piement.
Euer ernend to riȝt rent.
Of þai stremis al þe molde.
Stonis preciuse and golde. 88
Þer is saphir and vniune.
Carbuncle and astiune.
Smaragde. lugre. and prassiune.
Beril. onix. topasiune. 92
Ametist and crisolite.
Calcedun and epetite.

¶ Þer beþ briddes mani and fale.
Þrostil, þruisse, and niȝtingale. 96
Chalandre and wodwale.
And oþer briddes wiþout tale.
Þat stinteþ neuer by har miȝt.
Miri to sing dai and niȝt. 100
[Here a few lines seem to be lost.]

¶ Ȝite I do ȝow mo to witte.
Þe Gees irostid on þe spitte.
Fleeȝ to þat abbai, god hit wot.
And grediþ 'gees al hote, al hot.' 104
Hi bringeþ garlek gret plente.
Þe best idiȝt þat man mai se.
Þe leuerokes þat beþ cuþ.
Liȝtiþ adun to man-is muþ. 108
Idiȝt in stu ful swiþe wel.
Pudrid wiþ gilofre and canel.
N'is no spech of no drink.
Ak take inoȝ wiþ-vte swink. 112

¶ Whan þe monkes geeþ to masse.
All þe fenestres þat beþ of glasse.
Turneþ in to cristal briȝt.
To ȝiue monkes more liȝt. 116
When þe masses beþ iseiid.
And þe bokes up ileiid.
Þe cristal turniþ n to glasse.
In state þat hit raþer wasse. 120

¶ Þe ȝung monkes euch dai.
Aftir met goþ to plai.
N'is þer hauk no fule so swifte.
Bettir fleing bi þe lifte. 124
Þan þe monkes heiȝ of mode.
Wiþ har sleuis and har hode.

¶ Whan þe abbot seeþ ham flee.
Þat he holt for moch glee. 128
Ak naþeles al þar amang.
He biddiþ ham liȝt to eue-sang.
Þe monkes liȝtiþ noȝt adun.
Ac furre fleeþ in o randun. 132

¶ Whan þe abbot him iseeþ.
Þat is monkis fram him fleeþ.
He takeþ maidin of þe route.
And turniþ vp her white toute. 136
And betiþ þe taburs wiþ is hond.
To make is monkes liȝt to lond.

¶ Whan is monkes þat iseeþ.
To þe maid dun hi fleeþ. 140
And geþ þe wench al abute.
And þakkeþ al hir white toute.
And siþ aftir her swinke.
Wendith meklich hom to drinke. 144
And geth to har collacione.
A wel fair processione.

¶ Anoþer abbei is þerbi.
For soth a gret fair nunnerie. 148
Up a riuer of swet milke.
Whar is plente grete of silk.
Whan þe somer-is dai is hote.
Þe ȝung nunnes takith a bote. 152
And doth ham forth in that riuer.
Bothe with oris and with stere.
When hi beth fur from the abbei.
Hi makith ham nakid for to plei. 156
And lepith dune in-to the brimme.
And doth ham sleilich for to swimme.
Þe ȝung monkes[1] þat hi seeth.
Hi doth ham up, and forþ hi fleeþ. 160
And commiþ to þe nunnes anon.
And euch monke him taketh on.
And snellich berith forth har prei.
To the mochil grei abbei. 164
And techith the nunnes an oreisun.
With iambleue vp and dun.

¶ Þe monke þat wol be stalun gode.
And kan set a-riȝt is hode. 168
He schal hab wiþute danger.
.xii. wiues euche ȝere.
Al þroȝ riȝt and noȝt þroȝ grace.
For to do him silf solace. 172
And þilk monk þat clepiþ best.
And doþ his likam al to rest.
Of him is hoppe, god hit wote.
To be sone uadir abbot. 176

¶ Whose wl com þat lond to.
Ful grete penance he mot do.
Seue ȝere in swine-is dritte.
He mot wade, wol ȝe i-witte. 180
Al anon up to þe chynne.
So he schal þe lond[e] winne.

¶ Lordingers gode and hend.
Mot ȝe neuer of world wend. 184
For ȝe stond to ȝure cheance.
And fulfille that penance.
Þat ȝe mote þat lond ise.
And neuer more turne a-ȝe. 188
Prey we god somote hit be.
Amen, per seinte charite.


  1. MS. monkeþ.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.