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WYNNERE AND WASTOURE


King Edward III as King Arthur, Netherlandish Nine Worthies Tapestry, Metropolitan Museum

This medieval text in the Thornton Manuscript, British Library Add.31052, set in 1352 in the reign of Edward III (1327-1377), evokes Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Piers Plowman, as alliterative dream vision with topical debate, and combines exquisite medieval heraldry at the same time that it speaks of modern economics, the disjunction between producer and consumer. We recall Serenus Cressy saying Julian lived during his reign, the Battle of Creçy was won by Edward III in 1346, the Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, the Black Prince died in 1376. The poem presents the four mendicant Orders, Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians and Carmelites. It was edited in 1921 by Israel Gollancz, discussed by J.P. Oakden, Thomas Bestul, Elizabeth Salter, Eleanor Johnson, etc., published in Boris Ford's 1954 The Age of Chaucer, re-edited by Stephanie Trigg, for EETS 197 in 1990, then 1992 Warren Ginsburg published it with TEAMS with a good glossary. The poet at the end of the Fitts, pauses to ask to partake of the banquet he describes, like Homer requesting from his audience a cloak, the poem being also menu and 'Subtlety'. I give it from Boris Ford's transcription with images of the king in question as background for Julian, and also as background for modern economics.


Here begynnes a Tretys and god shorte Refreyte be-twixe Wynnere and Wastoure

Prologue

Sythen that Bretayne was biggede , and Bruyttus it aughte,
Thurgh the takynge of Troye . with tresone with-inn,
There hath selcouthes bene sene . in seere kynges tymes,
But never so many as nowe . by the nynde dele.
For nowe alles es Witt and Wylle . that we with delyn,
Wyli wordes and slee, . and icheon wryeth othere.
Wyse wordes with-inn . that writen were never:
'Dare never no westren wy, . while this werlde lasteth,
Send his sone south-warde . to se ne to here,
That he ne shall holden by-hynde. what he hore eld es.'
For-thi sayde was a sawe . of Salomon the wyse -
It hyeghte harde appone honde, . hope I no nother -
'When wawes waxen shall wilde, . and walles bene doun,
And hares appon herthe-stones . shall hurcle in hire fourme,
And eke boyes of no blode, . with boste and with pryde,
Shall wedde ladyes in londe, . and lede at hir will,
Thene dredfull domesdaye . it draweth neghe aftir.'
But who-spp sadly will see . and the sothe telle,
Say it newely will neghe, . or es neghe here.
Whylome were lordes in londe . that loved in thaire hertis
To here makers of myrthes . that matirs couthe fyne.
And now es no frenchipe on fere . bot fayntnesse of hert
Ne redde in no romance . that ever renke herde.
But now a childe appon chere, - with-owten chin-wedys,
That never wroghte thurgh witt . thee wordes to-gedire,
Fro he can jangle als a jay, . and japes can tell,
He shall be levede and lovede . and lett of a while
Wele more than the man . that makes hym-selven.
Bot never the latytere at the laste, . when ledyus bene knawen,
Werk witnesse will bere . who wirche kane beste.

Fitt I

Bot I shall tell you a tale . that my by-tyde ones,
Als I went in the weste, . wandrynge my one,
Bi a bonke of a bourne, . bryghte was the sone,
Undir a wordiliche wodde, . by a wale medewe:
Fele floures gan folde . the my fote steppede.
I layde myn hede on ane hill, . ane hawthorne be-syde:
The throstills full throly . they threpe to-gedire,
Hipped up heghwalles. fro heselis tyll othire,
Bernacles with thayre billes . on barkes thay roungen,
The jay jangled on heghe; . jarmed the foles;
The bourne full bremly rane . the bankes by-twene.
So ruyde were the roughe stremys, . and raughten so heghe,
That it was neghande nyghte . or I nappe myghte,
For dyn of the depe watir, . and dadillyng of fewllys.
Bot as I laye at the laste, . than lowked myn eghne,
And I was swythe in a sweven . sweped be-lyve.
Me thoughte I was in the werlde, . I ne wiste in what ende,
On a loveliche lande . that was ylike grene,
That laye loken by a lawe . the lengthe of a myle.
In aythere holte was ane here . in hawberkes ful brighte,
Harde hattes appon hedes . and helmys with crestys,
Brayden owte thaire baners . bown for to mete
Shoven owte of the shawes, . in shiltrons thay felle;
And bot the lengthe of a launde . thies ledes by-twene.
And als I prayed for the pese . till the prynce come,
For he was worthiere in witt . than any wy ells,
For to ridde and to rede . and to rewlyng the wrothe
That aythere here appon hethe . had un-till othere.
At the creste of a clyffe . a caban was rerede,
Alle rayled with rede . the rofe and the sydes,
With Inglisse besantes full brighte . betyn of golde,
And ichone gayly umby-gone . with garters of Inde,
And iche a gartare of golde . gerede full riche.
Then were thies wordes in the webbe . werped of he,
Payntted of plunket, . and poyntes by-twene,
That were fourmed full fayre . appon freshe lettres
And alle was one sawe, . appon Inglisse tonge.
Hathyng have the hathell . that any harme thynkes.

Now the kyng of this kythe, . kepe hym oure Lorde
Apon heghe on the holt . ane hathell up stondes
Wroghte als  wodwyse, . alle in wrethyn lokkes,
With ane helme on his hede, . ane hatte appon lofte,
And on heghe on the hatte . ane hatefull beste,
A lighte lebarde and a longe, . lokande full kene,
Yarked alle of yalowe golde . in full yape wyse.
Bot that that hillede the helme . by-hynde in the nekke,
Was casten full clenly . in quarteres foure:
Two with flowres of Fraunce . be-fore and be-hynde,
And two othere of Inglonde. with sex irous bestes,
Thre lebardes on lofte, . and thre on-lowe undir;

Edward III and his son, the Black Prince

At iche a cornere a knoppe . of full clene perle,
Tasselde of tuly silke, . tuttynge out fayre.
And by the cabane I knewe . the knyghte that I see,
And thoghte to wiete, or I went, . wondres ynewe,
And als I waytted with-inn . I was warre sone
Of a comliche kynge. crowned with golde.
Sett on a silken bynche, . with septure in honde,
One of the lovelyeste ledis, . who-so loveth hym in hert,
That ever segge undir sonn . sawre with his eghne.
This kynge was comliche clade . in kirtill and mantill,
Bery-brown as his berde, . broudered with fewlys,
Fawkons of fyne golde, . flakerande with wynges,
And ichone bare in ble, . blewe als me thoghte,
A grete gartare of Inde. gerede ful riche.
Full gayly was that grete lorde . girde in the myddis,
A brighte belte of ble, . broudirde with fewles,
With drakes and with dukkes, . daderande tham semede,
For ferdnes of fawcons fete, . less fawked thay were.
And ever I sayd to my-selfe, . fulle selly me thynke
Bot if this renke to the revere . ryde unbestounde.
The kyng biddeth a beryn . by hym that stondeth,
One of the ferlyeste frekes, . that faylede hym never:
'Thynke I dubbed thee knyghtes . with dynttis to dele!
Wende wightly thy waye . my willes to kythe.
Go bidd thou yondere bolde batell . that on the bent hoves,
That they never neghe . nerre to-gedires;
For if thay strike one stroke, . stynte thay ne thynken.'
'I serve, lorde,' said the lede, . 'while my life dures.'
He dothe hym doun on the bonke . and dwellys a while,
Whils he busked and bown was . on his beste wyse.
He laped his legges in yren . to the lawe bones,
With pysane and with pawnce . polished full clene,
With brases of broun stele . brauden ful thikke,
With plates buklede at the bakke . the body to yeme,
With a jupown fill juste, . joynede by the sydes;
A brod chechun at the bakke; . the breste had another;
Thre wynges in-with, . wroghte in the kynde.
Umbygon with a gold wyre. When I that gome knewe,
What, he was yongeste of yeris, . and yapeste of witt,
That any wy in this werlde . wiste of his age!
He brake a braunche in his hande, . and brawndeshet it swythe,
Trynes on a grete trotte, . and takes his waye
There bothe thies ferdes folke . in the feld hoves.

Sayd, 'loo, the kyng of this kyth, . (ther kepe hym our Lorde!)
Sendes byddyng by me, . al hym beste lyketh,
That no beryn be so bolde, . on bothe his two egline,
Ones to strike one stroke, . ne stirre none nerre,
To lede rowte in his rewme, . so ryall to thynke
Pertly with powere . his pese to disturbe.
For this es the usage here . and ever shall worthe -
If any baryn be so bolde . with banere for to ryde
With-inn the kydde kyngdome, . bot the kynge one,
That he shall losse the londe . and his lyfe aftir.
Bot sen ye knowe noghte this kythe . ne the kynges ryght,
He will forgiffe you this guilt . of his grace one.
Full wyde hafe I walked . wyses amonges,
Bot sawe I neveer siche a syghte, . segges, with myn eyghne;
For here es alle the folke of Fraunce . ferdede besyde,
Of Lorreyne, of Lumbardye, . and of Lawe Spayne;
Wyes of Westwale, . that in were dwellen;
Of Inglonde, of Irlonde, . Estirlinges full many,
That are stuffede in stele, . strokes to dele,
And yonder a banere of blake . that on the bent hoves,
With thre bulles of ble white . broden with-inn,
And one hase of henppe . hynged a corde,
Seled with a sade lede, . I say als me thynkes .
That hede es of holy kirke, . I hope he be there,
Alle ferse to the fighte . with the folke that he ledis.
Another banere es up-brayde , with a bende of grene,
With thre hedis white-herede . with howes on lofte,
Croked full craftyly, - and kembid in the nekke: -
Thies are ledis of this londe . that shold oure lawes yeme,
That thynken to dele this daye . with dynttis full many.
I hole hym bot a fole that fightis . whils flyttyge may helpe,
When he hase founden his frende . that fayled hym never.

The third banere on bent . es of blee white,
With sexe galegs, I see, . of sable with-inn,
And iche one has a brown brase . with bokeles twayne,
Thies are Sayn Franceys folke, . that sayen 'alle shall fey worth'
They aten so ferse and so freshe . that feghten bot seldom.
I wote wele for Wynnynge . they wentten fro home.
His purse weghethe fulle wele . that wanne thaym all hedire.

The fourte banere on the bent . es brayde appon lofte,
With bothe the brerdes of blake, - a balle in the myddes
Reghte siche as the sone es . in the someris tyde,
When music es the maze . on Missomer Even.
Thynkes Domynyke this daye . with dynttis to dele?
With many a blesenande beryn . his baners es stuffede.
And sythen the pope is so priste . thies Prechours to helpe,
And Fraunceys with hyis folke . es forced besyde,
And alle the ledis of the lande . ledith thurgh witt,
There es no man appon molde . to machen thaym agayne,
Ne gete no grace appon grounde, . undir God hym-selven.

And yitt es the fyfte appon the folde . the faireste of tham alle -
A brighte banere of blee whitte . with three boar-hedis;
Be any crafte that I kan . Carmes thaym semyth,
For they are the ledis that love . oure Lady to serve.
If I sholde say the sothe . it semys me nothire,
Bot that the freris with othere folke . shal the felde wynne.

The sexte es of sendall . (and so are thay alle),
Whitte als the whalles bone, . who-so the sothe tellys,
With beltys of blake, . bocled togedir.
The poyntes pared off rownde, . the pendants a-waye,
And all the lethire appon lofte . that on-lowe hengeth
Shynethe for sharpynynge . of the shavynge iren -
The Ordre of the Austyns, - for oughte that I wene,
For by the blusshe of the belte . the banere I knewe!
And othere synes I see, . sett appon lofte,
Some witnesse of wolle, . and some of wyne tounnes,
And other of merchandes merkes, . so many and so thikke,
That I ne wote in my witt, . for alle this werlde riche,
What segge under the sonne . can the sowme rekken
And sekere on that other syde . are sadde men of armes,
Bolde squires of blode, . bowemen many,
That if thay strike one stroke, . stynt thay ne thynken,
Till owthir here appon hethe . be hewen to dethe.

For-thi I bid you bothe . that thaym hedir broghte
That ye wend with me, . are any wrake falle,
To our comely kyng . that this kythe owethe.
And, fro he wiete wittirly . where the wronge ristyth,
Thare nowthir wy be wrothe . to wriche als he demeth.
Of ayther rowte ther rode oute . a renke, als me thoghte,
Knyghtis full comly . on coursers attyred,
And sayden, 'Sir Sandisman, . sele thee be-tyde!
Well know we the kyng; . he clothes ys bothe,
And has us fosterede and fedde . this fyve and twenty wyntere.
Now fare thou by-fore, . and we shall folowe aftire.'
And now are thaire brydells up-brayde, . and bown on thaire wayes.
Thay lighten doun at the launde, . and leven thaire stedis,
Kayren up at the clyffe, . and on knees fallyn.
The kynge henttis tham by the handes, . and hetys tham to ryse,
And sayde, 'Welcomes, heres, . as hyne of our house bothen.'
The kynge waytted on wyde, . and the wyne askede:
Beryns broghte it anone . in bolles of silvere.
Me thoghte I sowpped so sadly . it sowrede bothe myn eghne.
And he that wilnes of this werke . to wete any forthire,
Full freshely and faste! . for here a fitt endes.

Fitt II
 


Edward III counting the dead at Creçy, 1346

Bot than kerpede the kynge, sayd, . 'kythe what ye hatten,
And whi the hates aren so hote . youre hertis by-twene.
If I shall deme you this day, . dothe me to here.'
'Now certys, lorde,' sayde that one, . 'the sothe for to telle,
I hatt Wynnere, a wy . that alle this werlde helpis,
For I ledes cane lere, - thurgh ledyng of witt.
Thoo that spedfully will spare, . and spende not to grete,
Lyve appon littill-whattes, . I lufe hem the bettir.
Witt wiendes me with, . and wysses me faire;
Aye when I gadir my gudes, . than glades myn hert.
Bot this felle false thefe . that by-fore youe standes
Thynkes to strike or he styntt, . and stroye me for ever.
Alle that I wynn thurgh witt . he wastes thurgh pryde;
I gedir, I glene, . and he lattys goo sone;
I pryke and I pryne, . and he the purse opynes.
Why hase this cayteffe no care . how men corne sellen?
His londes liggen alle ley, . his lomes aren solde,
Downn bene his dowfehouses, . drye ben his poles;
The devyll wounder the wele . he weldys at home,
Bot hungere and heghe horses . and houndes full kene!
Safe a sparthe and a spere . sparrede in any hyrne,
A bronde at his bede-hede, . biddes he no nother
Bot a cuttede-capill to cayre . with to his frendes.
Then will he boste with his brande, . and braundeshe hym ofte.
This wikkede weyed thefe, . that Wastoure men calles,
That, if he life may longe, . this lande wil he stroye.
For-thi deme us this daye - . for Drightyn's love in heven -
To fighte furthe with oure folke . to owthire fey worthe.'

'Yee, Wynnere,' quod Wastoure, . 'thi wordes are hye.
Bot I shall tell thee a tale. that tene shall thee better
When thou haste waltered and went . and wakede alle the nyghte,
And iche a wy in this werlde . that wonnes thee abowte,
And hase werpede thy wyde houses . full of wolle sakkes -
The bemys benden at the rofe, . sich bakone there hynges,
Stuffed are sterlynges . undere stelen boundes
What sholde worthe of that wele, . if no waste comes?
Some rote, some ruste, . some ratons fede.
Let be thy cramynge of thi kystes, . for Cristis lufe of heven!
Late the pele and the pore . hafe parte of thi silvere;
For it thou wydwhare sholde walke, . and waytten thee sothe,
Thou sholdeste reme for rewthe, . in siche ryfe bene the pore.
For, and thou lengare thus lyfe, . leve thou no nother,
Thou shall be hanged in helle . for that thou here spareste:
For siche a synn haste thou solde . thi soule in-to helle,
And there es ever wellande woo, . worlde with-owten ende.'
'Late be thi worde, Wastoure,' . quod Wynnere the riche.
'Thou melleste of a matter, . thou madiste it thi-selven,
With thi sturte and thi stryffe . thou stroyeste up my gudes:
In wrastlinge and in wakynge . in wynteres nyghttis,
In outtrage, in unthrifte, . in angarte of pryde.
There es no wele in this werlde . to washen thyn handes
That ne es gyffen and grounden . are thou it getyn have.
Thou ledis renkes in thy route . wele rychely attyrede;
Some hafe girdills of golde, . thoat more gude coste
Than all the faire fre londe . that ye by-fore haden.
Ye folowe noghte youre fadirs . that fosterede you alle
A kynde harveste to cache, . and cornes to wynn,
For the colde wyntter and the kene . with clengande frostes
Sythen dropeles drye . in the ded monethe.
And thou wolle thee to the taverne, . by-fore the toune-hede,
Eche beryne redy withe a bolle . to blerren thyn eghne,
Hete thee whatte thou have shalte, . and whatt thyn hert lykes -
Wyfe, wedowe, or wenche, . what wonnes there aboute.
Then es there bott "fille in!" and "feche forthe!" . Florence to shewe,
"Wee-hee", and "worthe up", . wordes ynewe.
Bot when this wele es a-waye, . the wyne moste be payede fore.
Than lympis youe weddis to laye, . or youre londe selle
For siche wikked werkes, . wert thee oure Lorde!
And for-thi God laughte that He lovede, . and levede that othere
Iche freke on felde ogli . the ferdere he to wirche.
Teche thy men for to tille . and tynnen thyn feldes;
Rayse up thi rent-houses, . ryme up thi yerdes,
Outhere hafe as thou has done, . and hope aftir werse -
That es firste the faylynge of fode, . and than the fire aftir,
To brene thee alle at a birre, . for thi bale dedis:
The more colde es to come, . als me a clerke tolde.'

'Yee, Wynnere,' quod Wastoure, . 'thi wordes are vayne
With oure festes and oure fare . we feden the pore;
It es plesynge to the Prynce . that paradyse wroghte
When Cristes people hath parte . hym paynes alle the better
Then here ben hodirde and hidde . and happede in cofers,
That it no sonn may see . thurgh seven wyntter ones.
Outhir it freres feche . when thou fey worthes
To payntten with thaire pelers, . or pergett with thaire walles.
This sone and thi sektours . ichones sewes othere;
Maken dale aftire thi daye, . for thou durste never
Mawngery ne myndale, . ne never myrthe lovediste.
A dale aftir thi daye . dose thee no mare
Than a lighte lanterne . late appone nyghte,
When it es borne at thi bakke, . beryn, be my trouthe
Now wolde God that it were . als I wisse couthe .
That thou, Wynnere, thou wriche, . and Wanhope, thi brothir,
And eke ymbryne dayes . and evenes of sayntes,
The Frydaye and his fere . on the ferrere syde,
Were drownede in the depe see . there never droghte come!
And Dedly Synn for thayre dede . were endityle with twelve;
And ties beryns on the bynches . with biggins on-lofte
That bene knowen and kydde . for clerkes of the beste,
Als gude als Arestotle, . or Austyn the wyse,
That alle shent were those shalkes . and Scharshull itwiste
That saide I prikkede with powere . his pese to distourbe!
For-thi, comely kynge . that oure case heris,
Late us swythe with oure swerdes . swyngen to-gedirs,
For now I se it es full sothe . that sayde es full yore -
"The richere of ranke wele, . the rathere will drede:
The more havande that he hathe, . the more of hert feble."
Bot than this wrechede Wynnere . full wrothely he lukes,
Sayse, 'this es spedles speche . to speken thies wordes!
Loo, hou weryed Wastoure, . that wyde-whare es knawenn
Ne es nothir kaysser, ne kynge, . ne knyghte that thee folewes,
Barone, ne bachelere, . ne beryn that thou loveste,
Bot four felawes or fyve, . that thee fayth owers;
And thou shall dighte thaym to dyne . with dayntethes so many
That iche a wy in this werlde . may wepyn for sorowe.
The bore's hede shall be broghte . with bayes appon lofte,
Buk-tayles full brode . in brothes there be-syde,
Venyson with the frymentes, . and fesanttes full riche,
Baken mete ther-by . on the borde sett,
Chewettes of chopped fleshe, . charbiande fewlis,
And iche a segge that I see . has sexe mens doke.
If this were nedles note, . anothir come aftir, -
Roste with the riche sewes, . and the ryalle spyces,
Kiddes cleven by the rigge . quartered swannes,
Tartes of ten inche, . that tenys myn hert
To see the borde over-brade . with blasande dishes,
Als it were a rayled rode . with rynges and stones.
The third mese to me . were mervelle to rekken,
For alle es Martynmesse mete . that I with moste dele,
Noghte bot worttes with the fleshe, . with-owt wilde fowle,
Save ane hene to hym . that the house owethe.
And ye will hafe birdes bownn . on a broche riche,
Barnake and buturs. and many billed snyppes,
Larkes and lyngwhittes, .  lapped in sogoure,
Wondcockes and wodwales, . full wellande hote,
Teeles and titmoyses, . to take what youe lykes;
Caudels of conynges, . and custadis swete,
Dayntyes and dish-metis, . that ful dere coste,
Maemene that men clepen . your mawes to fill,
Twelve mese at a merke, . by-twen twa men,
Thoghe bot brynneth for bale . your bowells with-in.
Me tenyth at your trompers, . thay tounen so heghe
That iche a gome in the gate . goullyng may here;
Than wil thay say to tham-selfe, . as thay samen ryden,
Ye hafe no myster of the helpe . of the heven kyng.
Thus are ye scorned by skyll, . and shent theraftir,
That rechen for a repaste . a rawnsom of silver.
Bot ones I herd in a haule . of a hermand's tong -
"Better were meles many . than a mery nyghte."
And he that wilnes of this werke . for to wete forther,
Full fresheley and faste . for here a fit endes.

Fitt III

'Yee, Wynnere,' quod Wastour, . 'I wote wel my-selven
What sall lympe of the lede, . within a lite yeris.
Then the pure plente of corne . that the peple sowes,
That God wil graunte, of his grace, . to growe on the erthe,
Ay to appaire the pris, . that it passe nott too hye,
Shal make thee to waxe wod . for wanhope in erthe,
(To hope aftire anharde yere) . to honge the-selven.
Woldeste thou haf lordis to lyfe . as laddes on fote?
Prelates als prestes . tht the parishes yemes?
Prowde marchandes of pris, . as pedders in towns?
Late lordes lyfe als tham liste, . laddes as tham falles, -
Thay the bacon and beefe, . they boturs and swannes,
Thay the roughe of the rye, . they the rede whete,
Thay the grewell gray, . and that the gude sewes;
And thes may the peple hafe parte, . in povert that standes,
Som gud morsell of mete . to mend with thair chere.
If fewlis fly sholde forthe, . and fongen al thair lyve,
And fishes flete in the flode, . and ichone frete other,
Ane henne at ane halpeny . by halfe yeris ends,
Shold not a ladde be in londe . a lorde for to serve.
This wate thou full wele . witterly thee-selven.
Who so wele shal wyn, . a wastour moste he fynde,
For if it greves one gome, . it gladdes another.'
'Now', quod Wynner to Wastour, . 'me wondirs in hert
Of thies poure penyles men . that pelour will by,
Sadills of sendale, . with sercles full riche.
Lesse that he wrethe your wifes, . thair willes to folowe,
Ye sellyn wodd aftir wodde . in a wale tyme.
Bothe the oke and the asshe . and all that ther growes;
The spyres and the yonge sprynge . ye spare to your children
And sayne God will grant it his grace . to grow at the laste,
For to shadewe your sones, . bot the shame es your ownn.
Nedeles save ye the soyle , for sell it ye thynken.
Your forfadirs were fayne, . when any frende come,
For to shake to the shawe, . and shewe hym the estres,
In iche holt that thay had . ane hare for to fynde,
Bryng to the brode lande . bukkes ynewe,
To lathe and to late good, . to lighten thaire hertis.
Now es it sett and solde, . my sorowe es the more,
Wasted alle wilfully, . youre wyfes to paye.
That are had lordes in londe . and ladyes riche,
Now are they nysottes of the new gett, . so wysely attyred,
With side slabbande sleves, . sleght to the grounde,
Ourlede all umbtourne . with ermyn aboute,
That as harde es, I hope, . to handil in the derne,
Als a cely symple wenche . that never silke wroghte.
Bot who-so lukes on hir, . oure Lady of Heven,
How she fled for ferd . ferre out of hir kythe,
Appon ane amblande asse, . with-owtn more pride,
Safe a barne in hir barme, . and a broken heltre
That Joseph held in hys hande, . that hend for to yeme.
All-thofe sho walt al this werlde . hir wedes wer pore
For to gyf ensample of siche, . for to shewe other
For to leve pompe and pride, . that poverte eschewes.'

Than this Wastour wrothly . werped up his eghne,
And said, 'thou Wynnere, thou wriche, . me wondirs in hert
What hafe our clothes coste thee, . caytef, to by,
That thou shal birdes up-brayd . of thaire bright wedis,
Sythen that we vouch-safe . that the silver payen.
It lyes wele for a lede . his leman to fynde,
Aftir hir faire chere . to forthir hir herte.
Then will she love hym lelely . as hir lyfe one,
Make hym bolde and bown . with brandes to smytte,
To shonn shenchipe and shame . ther shalkes are gadird.
And if my peple be prode, . me payes all the better
To see tham faire and free . to-fore with myn eyghne.
And ye negardes, appon nyghte, . ye nappe never harde,
Raxillen at your routtlyng, . raysen your hurdies;
Bedene ye wayte on the wedir, . then wery ye the while,
That ye hade hightilde up your houses, . and your hyne arayed,
For-thi, Wynnere, with wronge . thou wastes thi tyme
For gode day ne glade . getys thou never.
The Devyll at his dede-day . shal delyn thi gudis,
Thou woldest that it ware, . wyn thay it never;
The skathill sectours . shall sever tham aboute.
And thou hafe helle full hotte . for that thou here saved.
Thou tast no tent on a tale . that told was full yore:
"I holde hym madde that mournes . his make for to wyn;
Hent hit that hit haf shal, . and hold hit his wile;
Take the coppe as it comes, . the case as it falles;
For who-so lyfe may lengeste . lympes to feche
Woodd that he waste shall, . to warmen his helys,
Ferrere than his fadir dide . by fyvetene myle."
Now kan I carpe no more. . Bot, Sir Kyng, by the trow
Deme us where we dwell shall; - me thynke the day!
Yet harde sore es myn herte, . and harmes me more
Ever to see in my syghte . that I in soule hate.'

The kynge lovely lokes . on the ledis twayne,
Says, 'blynnes, beryns, of your brethe . and of your brothe wordes,
And I shal deme you this day . where ye dwelle shall.
Aythere lede in a lond . there he es loved moste.
Wende, Wynnere, the weye . over the wale stremys,
Passe forthe by Paris . to the Pope of Rome:
The cardynalls ken thee wele . will kepe thee ful faire,
And make thi sydes in silken . shetys to lygge,
And fede thee and foster thee . and forthir thyn hert,
As lefe to worthen wode . as thee to wrethe ones.
Bot loke, lede, bi thi lyfe, . when I lettres sende,
That thou hy thee to me home . on horse or on fote;
And when I knowe thou will come, . he shall cayre uttire,
And lenge with another lede, . till thi lefe lache;
And thos thou bide in this burgh . to thi berynge-day,
With hym falles thee never . afiote for the strecche,
And thou, Wastoure, I will . that thou wonne ther ever
Ther most waste es of wele . and wyngys untill.
Chese thee forthe in-to the Chepe, . a chambre thou rere,
Loke the wyndowe be wyde, . and wayte thee aboute,
Where any berande potener . though the burgh passe;
Teche hym to the tonne . till he tayte worthe,
Doo hym drynke al nyghte . that he be drye at morow;
Sythen ken hym to the Crete . to comforth his vaynes;
Brynge hym to Bred Strete, . bikken with thi fyunger,
Shew hym of fatt shepe . sholdis ynewe,
Hotte for the hyngry, a hen other twayne,
Sett hym softe on a sete, . and sythen send aftir,
Bryng out of the burgh . the best thou may fynde,
And luke thi knave hafe a knoke . bot he the clothe spred;
Bot late hym paye or he passe, . and pik hym so clene
That fyd a peny in his purse, . and put owte his eghe.
Bot teche hym owt of the townn, . to trotte aftir more.
Then passe to the Pultrie, . the peple thee knowes,
And ken wele the katour . to knawen the fode,
The herons, the hasteletz, . the hennes wele served,
The pertrikes, the plovers, . and other pulled byrddes,
The albus, the osulles, . the egretes dere.
The more thee wastis the wele . the better the Wynner lykes,
And wayte to me, thou Wynner, . if thou wilt wele chese,
When I wende appon werre . my wyes to lede;
For at the proude paleys . of Parys the riche
I thynk to do it in ded, . and dub thee to knyghte,
And giff gifts full grete . of gold and of solver
To ledis of my legyance . that lufen me in hert,
And sythen kayren as I come, . with knyghtis that me folowen,
To the kirke of Colayne . ther the kynges ligges . . . 
 
 
  
Edward III's tomb at Westminster Abbey



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