CLEANNESS - Amy Levy Poems


Poems » amy levy » cleanness


Clannesse who so kyndly cowþe comende
& rekken vp alle þe resounz þat ho by ri3t askez,
Fayre formez my3t he fynde in for[þ]ering his speche
& in þe contrare kark & combraunce huge.
For wonder wroth is þe Wy3þat wro3t alle þinges
Wyth þe freke þat in fylþe fol3es Hym after,
As renkez of relygioun þat reden & syngen
& aprochen to hys presens & prestez arn called;
Thay teen vnto his temmple & temen to hym seluen,
Reken with reuerence þay rychen His auter;
Þay hondel þer his aune body & vsen hit boþe.
If þay in clannes be clos þay cleche gret mede;
Bot if þay conterfete crafte & cortaysye wont,
As be honest vtwyth & inwith alle fylþez,
Þen ar þay synful hemself & sulped altogeder
Boþe God & His gere, & hym to greme cachen.
He is so clene in His courte, þe Kyng þat al weldez,
& honeste in His housholde & hagherlych serued
With angelez enourled in alle þat is clene,
Boþ withine & withouten in wedez ful bry3t;
Nif he nere scoymus & skyg & non scaþe louied,
Hit were a meruayl to much, hit mo3t not falle.
Kryst kydde hit Hymself in a carp onez,
Þeras He heuened a3t happez & hy3t hem her medez.
Me mynez on one amonge oþer, as Maþew recordez,
Þat þus clanness vnclosez a ful cler speche:
Þe haþel clene of his hert hapenez ful fayre,
For he schal loke on oure Lorde with a bone chere';
As so saytz, to þat sy3t seche schal he neuer
Þat any vnclannesse hatz on, auwhere abowte;
For He þat flemus vch fylþe fer fro His hert
May not byde þat burre þat hit His body ne3en.
Forþy hy3not to heuen in haterez totorne,
Ne in þe harlatez hod, & handez vnwaschen.
For what vrþly haþel þat hy3honour haldez
Wolde lyke if a ladde com lyþerly attyred,
When he were sette solempnely in a sete ryche,
Abof dukez on dece, with dayntys serued?
Þen þe harlot with haste helded to þe table,
With rent cokrez at þe kne & his clutte traschez,
& his tabarde totorne, & his totez oute,
Oþer ani on of alle þyse, he schulde be halden vtter,
With mony blame ful bygge, a boffet peraunter,
Hurled to þe halle dore & harde þeroute schowued,
& be forboden þat bor3e to bowe þider neuer,
On payne of enprysonment & puttyng in stokkez;
& þus schal he be schent for his schrowde feble,
Þa3neuer in talle ne in tuch he trespas more.
& if vnwelcum he were to a worþlych prynce,
3et hym is þe hy3e Kyng harder in her euen;
As Maþew melez in his masse of þat man ryche,
Þat made þe mukel mangerye to marie his here dere,
& sende his sonde þen to say þat þay samne schulde,
& in comly quoyntis to com to his feste:
'For my boles & my borez arn bayted & slayne,
& my fedde foulez fatted with scla3t,
My polyle þat is penne-fed & partrykez boþe,
Wyth scheldez of wylde swyn, swanez & cronez,
Al is roþeled & rosted ry3t to þe sete;
Comez cof to my corte, er hit colde worþe.'
When þay knewen his cal þat þider com schulde,
Alle excused hem by þe skyly he scape by mo3t.
On hade bo3t hym a bor3, he sayde, by hys trawþe:
'Now turne I þeder als tyd þe toun to byholde.'
Anoþer nayed also & nurned þis cawse:
'I haf 3erned & 3at 3okkez of oxen,
& for my hy3ez hem bo3t; to bowe haf I mester,
To see hem pulle in þe plow aproche me byhouez.'
'& I haf wedded a wyf,' so wer hym þe þryd;
'Excuse me at þe court, I may not com þere.'
Þus þay dro3hem adre3with daunger vchone,
Þat non passed to þe plate þa3he prayed were.
Thenne þe ludych lorde lyked ful ille,
& hade dedayn of þat dede; ful dry3ly he carpez.
He saytz: 'Now for her owne sor3e þay forsaken habbez;
More to wyte is her wrange þen any wylle gentyl.
Þenne gotz forth, my gomez, þe grete streetez,
& forsettz on vche a syde þe cete aboute;
Þe wayferande frekez, on fote & on hors,
Boþe burnez & burdez, þe better & þe wers,
Laþez hem alle luflyly to lenge at my fest,
& bryngez hem blyþly to bor3e as barounez þay were,
So þat my palays plat ful be py3t al aboute;
Þise oþer wrechez iwysse worþy no3t wern.'
Þen þay cayred & com þat þe cost waked,
Bro3ten bachlerez hem wyth þat þay by bonkez metten,
Swyerez þat swyftly swyed on blonkez,
& als fele vpon fote, of fre & of bonde.
When þay com to þe courte keppte weren þay fayre,
Sty3tled with þe stewarde, stad in þe halle,
Ful manerly with marchal mad for to sitte,
As he watz dere of degre dressed his seete.
Þenne seggez to þe souerayn sayden þerafter:
'Lo! Lorde, with your leue, at your lege heste
& at þi banne we haf bro3t, as þou beden habbez,
Mony renischsche renkez, & 3et is roum more.'
Sayde þe lorde to þo ledez, 'Laytez 3et ferre,
Ferre out in þe felde, & fechez mo gestez;
Waytez gorstez & greuez, if ani gomez lyggez;
Whatkyn folk so þer fare, fechez hem hider;
Be þay fers, be þay feble, forlotez none,
Be þay hol, be þay halt, be þay ony3ed,
& þa3þay ben boþe blynde & balterande cruppelez,
Þat my hous may holly by halkez by fylled.
For, certez, þyse ilk renkez þat me renayed habbe,
& denounced me no3t now at þis tyme,
Schul neuer sitte in my sale my soper to fele,
Ne suppe on sope of my seve, þa3þa3þay swelt schulde.'
Thenne þe sergauntez, at þat sawe, swengen þeroute,
& diden þe dede þat [watz] demed, as he deuised hade,
& with peple of alle plytez þe palays þay fyllen;
Hit weren not alle on wyuez sunez, wonen with on fader.
Wheþer þay wern worþy oþer wers, wel wern þay stowed,
Ay þe best byfore & bry3test atyred,
Þe derrest at þe hy3e dese, þat dubbed wer fayrest,
& syþen on lenþe bilooghe ledez inogh.
& ay a[s] segge[s] [serly] semed by her wedez,
So with marschal at her mete mensked þay were.
Clene men in compaynye forknowen wern lyte,
& 3et þe symplest in þat sale watz serued to þe fulle,
Boþe with menske & with mete & mynstrasy noble,
& alle þe laykez þat a lorde a3t in londe schewe.
& þay bigonne to be glad þat god drink haden.
& vch mon with his mach made hym at ese.
Now inmyddez þe mete þe mayster hym biþo3t
Þat he wolde se þe semble þat samned was þere,
& rehayte rekenly þe riche & þe pou[eren],
& cherisch hem alle with his cher, & chaufen her joye.
Þen he bowez fro his bour into þe brode halle
& to þe best on þe bench, & bede hym be myry,
Solased hem with semblaunt & syled fyrre,
Tron fro table to table & talkede ay myrþe.
Bot as he ferked ouer þe flor, he fande with his y3e,
Hit watz not for a halyday honestly arayed,
A þral þry3t in þe þrong vnþryuandely cloþed,
Ne no festiual frok, bot fyled with werkkez;
Þe gome watz vngarnyst with god men to dele.
& gremed þerwith þe grete lorde, & greue hym he þo3t.
'Say me, frende,' quoþ þe freke with a felle chere,
'Hov wan þou into þis won in wedez so fowle?
Þe abyt þat þou hatz vpon, no halyday hit menskez;
Þou, burne, for no brydale art busked in wedez.
How watz þou hardy þis hous for þyn vnhap [to] ne3e
In on so ratted a robe & rent at þe sydez?
Þow art a gome vngoderly in þat goun febele;
Þou praysed me & my place ful pouer & ful [g]nede,
Þat watz so prest to aproche my presens hereinne.
Hopez þou I be a harlot þi erigaut to prayse?'
Þat oper burne watz abayst of his broþe wordez,
& hurkelez doun with his hede, þe vrþe he biholdez;
He watz so scoumfit of his scylle, lest he skaþe hent,
Þat he ne wyst on worde what he warp schulde.
Þen þe lorde wonder loude laled & cryed,
& talkez to his tormenttourez: 'Takez hym,' he biddez,
'Byndez byhynde, at his bak, boþe two his handez,
& felle fetterez to his fete festenez bylyue;
Stik hym stifly in stokez, & stekez hym þerafter
Depe in my doungoun þer doel euer dwellez,
Greuing & gretyng & gryspyng harde
Of teþe tenfully togeder, to teche hym be quoynt.'
Thus comparisunez Kryst þe kyndom of heuen
To þis frelych feste þat fele arn to called;
For alle arn laþed luflyly, þe luþer & þe better,
Þat euer wern ful3ed in font, þat fest to haue.
Bot war þe wel, if þou wylt, þy wedez ben clene
& honest for þe halyday, lest þou harme lache,
For aproch þou to þat Prynce of parage noble,
He hates helle no more þen hem þat ar sowle.
Wich arn þenne þy wedez þou wrappez þe inne,
Þat schal schewe hem so schene schrowde of þe best?
Hit arn þy werkez, wyterly, þat þou wro3t hauez,
& lyued with þe lykyng þat ly3e in þyn hert;
Þat þo be frely & fresch fonde in þy lyue,
& fetyse of a fayr forme to fote & to honde,
& syþen alle þyn oþer lymez lapped ful clene;
Þenne may þou se þy Sauior & His sete ryche.
For fele[r] fautez may a freke forfete his blysse,
Þat he þe Souerayn ne se, þen for slauþe one;
As for bobaunce & bost & bolnande priyde
Þroly into þe deuelez þrote man þryngez bylyue.
For couetyse & colwarde & croked dedez,
For monsworne & menscla3t & to much drynk,
For þefte & for þrepyng, vnþonk may mon haue;
For roborrye & riboudrye & resounez vntrwe,
& dsyheriete & depryue dowrie of wydoez,
For marryng of maryagez & mayntnaunce of schrewez,
For traysoun & trichcherye & tyrauntyre boþe,
& for fals famacions & fayned lawez;
Man may mysse þe myrþe þat much is to prayse
For such vnþewez as þise, & þole much payne,
& in þe Creatores cort com neuermore,
Ne neuer see Hym with sy3t for such sour tournez.
Bot I haue herkned & herde of mony hy3e clerkez,
& als in resounez of ry3t red hit myseluen,
Þat þat ilk proper Prynce þat paradys weldez
Is displesed at vch a poynt þat plyes to scaþe;
Bot neuer 3et in no boke breued I herde
Þat euer He wrek so wyþerly on werk þat He made,
Ne venged for no vilte of vice ne synne,
Ne so hastyfly watz hot for hatel of His wylle,
Ne neuer so sodenly so3t vnsoundely to weng,
As for fylþe of þe flesch þat foles han vsed;
For, as I fynde, þer He for3et alle His fre þewez,
& wex wod to þe wrache for wrath at His hert.
For þe fyrste felonye þe falce fende wro3t
Whyl he watz hy3e in þe heuen houen vpon lofte,
Of alle þyse aþel aungelez attled þe fayrest:
& he vnkyndely, as a karle, kydde a reward.
He se3no3t bot hymself how semly he were,
Bot his Souerayn he forsoke & sade þyse wordez:
`I schal telde vp my trone in þe tramountayne,
& by lyke to þat Lorde þat þe lyft made.'
With þis worde þat he warp, þe wrake on hym ly3t:
Dry3tyn with His dere dom hym drof to þe abyme,
In þe mesure of His mode, His metz neuer þe lasse.
Bot þer He tynt þe tyþe dool of His tour ryche:
Þa3þe feloun were so fers for his fayre wedez
& his glorious glem þat glent so bry3t,
As sone as Dry3tynez dome drof to hymseluen,
Þikke þowsandez þro þrwen þeroute,
Fellen fro þe frymament fendez ful blake,
Sweued at þe fryst swap as þe snaw þikke,
Hurled into helle-hole as þe hyue swarmez.
Fylter fenden folk forty dayez lencþe,
Er þat styngande storme stynt ne my3t;
Bot as smylt mele vnder smal siue smokez forþikke.
So fro heuen to helle þat hatel schor laste,
On vche syde of þe worlde aywhere ilyche.
3is, hit watz a brem brest & a byge wrache,
& 3et wrathed not þe Wy3; ne þe wrech sa3tled,
Ne neuer wolde, for wyl[fulnes], his worþy God knawe,
Ne pray Hym for no pite, so proud watz his wylle.
Forþy þa3þe rape were rank, þe rawþe watz lytt[el];
Þa3he be kest into kare, he kepes no better.
Bot þat oper wrake þat wex, on wy3ez hit ly3t
Þur3þe faut of a freke þat fayled in trawþe,
Adam inobedyent, ordaynt to blysse.
Þer pryuely in paradys his place watz devised,
To lyue þer in lykyng þe lenþe of a terme,
& þenne enherite þat home þat aungelez forgart;
Bot þur3þe eggyng of Eue he ete of an apple
Þat enpoysened alle peplez þat parted fro hem boþe,
For a defence þat watz dy3t of Dry3tyn Seluen,
& a payne þeron put & pertly halden.
Þe defence watz þe fryt þat þe freke towched,
& þe dom is þe deþe þat drepez vus alle;
Al in mesure & meþe watz mad þe vengiaunce,
& efte amended with a mayden þat make had neuer.
Bot in þe þryd watz forþrast al þat þryue schuld:
Þer watz malys mercyles & mawgre much scheued,
Þat watz for fylþe vpon folde þat þe folk vsed,
Þat þen wonyed in þe worlde withouten any maysterz.
Hit wern þe fayrest of forme & of face als,
Þe most & þe myriest þat maked wern euer,
Þe styfest, þe stalworþest þat stod euer on fete,
& lengest lyf in hem lent of ledez alle oþer.
For hit was þe forme foster þat þe folde bred,
Þe aþel aunceterez sunez pat Adam watz called,
To wham God hade geuen alle þat gayn were,
Alle þe blysse boute blame þat bodi my3t haue;
& þose lykkest to þe lede, þat lyued next after;
Forþy so semly to see syþen wern none.
Þer watz no law to hem layd bot loke to kynde,
& kepe to hit, & alle hit cors clanly fulfylle.
& þenne founden þay fylþe in fleschlych dedez,
& controeued agayn kynde contrare werkez,
& vsed hem vnþryftyly vchon on oþer,
& als with oþer, wylsfully, upon a wrange wyse:
So ferly fowled her flesch þat þe fende loked
How þe de3ter of þe douþe wern derelych fayre,
& fallen in fela3schyp with hem on folken wyse,
& engendered on hem jeauntez with her japez ille.
Þose wern men meþelez & ma3ty on vrþe,
Þat for her lodlych laykez alosed þay were;
He watz famed for fre þat fe3t loued best,
& ay þe bigest in bale þe best watz halden.
& þenne euelez on erþe ernestly grewen
& multyplyed monyfolde inmongez mankynde,
For þat þe ma3ty on molde so marre þise oþer
Þat þe Wy3e þat al wro3t ful wroþly bygynnez.
When He knew vche contre coruppte in hitseluen,
& vch freke forloyned fro þe ry3t wayez,
Felle temptande tene towched His hert.
As wy3e wo hym withinne, werp to Hymseluen:
'Me forþynkez ful much þat euer I mon made,
Bot I schal delyuer & do away þat doten on þis molde,
& fleme out of þe folde al þat flesch werez,
Fro þe burne to þe best, fro bryddez to fyschez;
Al schal doun & be ded & dryuen out of erþe
Þat euer I sette saule inne; & sore hit Me rwez
Þat euer I made hem Myself; bot if I may herafter,
I schal wayte to be war her wrenchez to kepe.'
Þenne in worlde watz a wy3e wonyande on lyue,
Ful redy & ful ry3twys, & rewled hym fayre,
In þe drede of Dry3tyn his dayez he vsez,
& ay glydande wyth his God, his grace watz þe more.
Hym watz þe nome Noe, as is innoghe knawen.
He had þre þryuen sunez, & þay þre wyuez:
Sem soþly þat on, þat oþer hy3t Cam,
& þe jolef Japheth watz gendered þe þryd.
Now God in nwy to Noe con speke
Wylde wrakful wordez, in His wylle greued:
'Þe ende of alle kynez flesch þat on vrþe meuez
Is fallen forþwyth My face, & forþer hit I þenk.
With her vnworþelych werk Me wlatez withinne;
Þe gore þerof Me hatz greued & þe glette nwyed.
I schal strenkle My distresse, & strye al togeder,
Boþe ledez & londe & alle þat lyf habbez.
Bot make to þe a mancioun, & þat is My wylle,
A cofer closed of tres, clanlych planed.
Wyrk wonez þerinne for wylde & for tame,
& þenne cleme hit with clay comly within[n]e,
& alle þe endentur dryuen daube withouten.
& þus of lenþe & of large þat lome þou make:
Þre hundred of cupydez þou holde to þe lenþe,
Of fyfty fayre ouerþwert forme þe brede;
& loke euen þat þyn ark haue of he3þe þrette,
& a wyndow wyd vpon[ande] wro3t vpon lo[f]te,
In þe compas of a cubit kyndely sware;
A wel dutande dor, don on þe syde;
Haf hallez þerinne & halkez ful mony,
Boþe boske[n]z & bourez & wel bounden penez.
For I schal waken vp a water to wasch alle þe worlde,
& quelle alle þat is quik with quauende flodez,
Alle þat glydez & gotz & gost of lyf habbez;
I schal wast with My wrath þat wons vpon vrþe.
Bot My forwarde with þe I festen on þis wyse,
For þou in reysoun hatz rengned & ry3twys ben euer:
Þou schal enter þis ark with þyn aþel barnez
& þy wedded wyf; with þe þou take
Þe makez of þy myry sunez; þis meyny of a3te
I schal saue of monnez saulez, & swelt þose oþer.
Of vche best þat berez lyf busk þe a cupple,
Of vche clene comly kynde enclose seuen makez,
Of vche horwed in ark halde bot a payre,
For to saue Me þe sede of alle ser kyndez.
& ay þou meng with þe malez þe mete ho-bestez,
Vche payre by payre to plese ayþer oþer;
With alle þe fode þat may be founde frette þy cofer,
For sustnaunce to yowself & also þose oþer.'
Ful grayþely gotz þis god man & dos Godez hestes,
In dry3dred & daunger þat durst do non oþer.
Wen hit watz fettled & forged & to þe fulle grayþed,
Þenn con Dry3ttyn hym dele dry3ly þyse wordez.
'Now Noe,' quoþ oure Lorde, 'art þou al redy?
Hatz þou closed þy kyst with clay alle aboute?'
'3e, Lorde, with þy leue,' sayde þe lede þenne,
Al is wro3t at Þi worde, as Þou me wyt lantez.'
'Enter in, þenn,' quoþ He, & haf þi wyf with þe,
Þy þre sunez, withouten þrep, & her þre wyuez;
Bestez, as I bedene haue, bosk þerinne als,
& when 3e arn staued, styfly stekez yow þerinne.
Fro seuen dayez ben seyed I sende out bylyue
Such a rowtande ryge þat rayne schal swyþe
Þat schal wasch alle þe worlde of werkez of fylþe;
Schal no flesch vpon folde by fonden onlyue,
Outtaken yow a3t in þis ark staued
& sed þat I wyl saue of þyse ser bestez.'
Now Noe neuer sty[n]tez, þat niy3[t] he bygynnez,
Er al wer stawed & stoken as þe steuen wolde.
Thenne sone com þe seuenþe day, when samned wern alle,
& alle woned in þe whichche, þe wylde & þe tame.
Þen bolned þe abyme, & bonkez con ryse,
Waltes out vch walle-heued in ful wode stremez;
Watz no brymme þat abod vnbrosten bylyue;
Þe mukel lauande loghe to þe lyfte rered.
Mony clustered clowde clef alle in clowtez;
Torent vch a rayn-ryfte & rusched to þe vrþe,
Fon neuer in forty dayez. & þen þe flod ryses,
Ouerwaltez vche a wod & þe wyde feldez.
For when þe water of þe welkyn with þe worlde mette,
Alle þat deth mo3t dry3e drowned þerinne.
Þer watz moon for to make when meschef was cnowen,
Þat no3t dowed bot þe deth in þe depe stremez;
Water wylger ay wax, wonez þat stryede,
Hurled into vch hous, hent þat þer dowelled.
Fryst feng to þe fly3t alle þat fle my3t;
Vuche burde with her barne þe byggyng þay leuez
& bowed to þe hy3bonk þer brentest hit wern,
& heterly to þe hy3e hyllez þay [h]aled on faste.
Bot al watz nedlez her note, for neuer cowþe stynt
Þe ro3e raynande ryg, þe raykande wawez,
Er vch boþom watz brurdful to þe bonkez eggez,
& vche a dale so depe þat demmed at þe brynkez.
Þe moste mountaynez on mor þenne watz no more dry3e,
& þeron flokked þe folke, for ferde of þe wrake.
Syþen þe wylde of þe wode on þe water flette;
Summe swymmed þeron þat saue hemself trawed,
Summe sty3e to a stud & stared to þe heuen,
Rwly wyth a loud rurd rored for drede.
Harez, herttez also, to þe hy3e runnen;
Bukkez, bausenez, & bulez to þe bonkkez hy3ed;
& alle cryed for care to þe Kyng of heuen,
Recouerer of þe Creator þay cryed vchone,
Þat amounted þe masse, þe mase His mercy watz passed,
& alle His pyte departed fro peple þat He hated.
Bi þat þe flod to her fete flo3ed & waxed,
Þen vche a segge se3wel þat synk hym byhoued.
Frendez fellen in fere & faþmed togeder,
To dry3her delful deystyne & dy3en alle samen;
Luf lokez to luf & his leue takez,
For to ende alle at onez & for euer twynne.
By forty dayez wern faren, on folde no flesch styryed
Þat þe flod nade al freten with fe3tande wa3ez;
For hit clam vche a clyffe, cubites fyftene
Ouer þe hy3est hylle þat hurkled on erþe.
Þenne mourkne in þe mudde most ful nede
Alle þat spyrakle inspranc, no sprawlyng awayled,
Saue þe haþel vnder hach & his here straunge,
Noe þat ofte neuened þe name of oure Lorde,
Hym a3tsum in þat ark, as aþel God lyked,
Þer alle ledez in lome lenged druye.
Þe arc houen watz on hy3e with hurlande gotez,
Kest to kythez vncouþe þe clowdez ful nere.
Hit waltered on þe wylde flod, went as hit lyste,
Drof vpon þe depe dam, in daunger hit semed,
Withouten mast, oþer myke, oþer myry bawelyne,
Kable, oþer capstan to clyppe to her ankrez,
Hurrok, oþer hande-helme hasped on roþer,
Oþer any sweande sayl to seche after hauen,
Bot flote forthe with þe flyt of þe felle wyndez.
Whederwarde so þe water wafte, hit rebounde;
Ofte hit roled on rounde & rered on ende;
Nyf oure Lorde hade ben her lodezmon hem had lumpen harde.
Of þe lenþe of Noe lyf to lay a lel date,
Þe sex hundreth of his age & none odde 3erez,
Of secounde monyth þe seuen[ten]þe day ry3tez,
Towalten alle þyse welle-hedez & þe water flowed;
& þryez fyfty þe flod of folwande dayez;
Vche hille watz þer hidde with y[þ]ez ful graye.
Al watz wasted þat þer wonyed þe worlde withinne,
Þ[at] euer flote, oþer flwe, oþer on fote 3ede,
That ro3ly watz þe remnaunt þat þe rac dryuez
Þat alle gendrez so joyst wern joyned wythinne
Bot quen þe Lorde of þe lyfte lyked Hymseluen
For to mynne on His mon His meth þat abydez,
Þen He wakened a wynde on watterez to blowe;
Þenne lasned þe llak þat large watz are.
Þen He stac vp þe stangez, stoped þe wellez,
Bed blynne of þe rayn: hit batede as faste;
Þenne lasned þe lo3lowkande togeder.
After harde dayez wern out an hundreth & fyfte,
As þat lyftande lome luged aboute.
Where þe wynde & þe weder warpen hit wolde,
Hit sa3tled on a softe day, synkande to grounde;
On a rasse of a rok hit rest at þe laste,
On þe mounte of Mararach of Armene hilles.
Þat oþerwayez on Ebrv hit hat þe Thanes.
Bot þa3þe kyste in þe cragez wern closed to byde,
3et fyned not þe flod ne fel to þe boþemez,
Bot þe hy3est of þe eggez vnhuled weren a lyttel,
Þat þe burne bynne borde byhelde þe bare erþe.
Þenne wafte he vpon his wyndowe, & wysed þeroute
A message fro þat meyny hem moldez to seche:
Þat watz þe rauen so ronk, þat rebel watz euer;
He watz colored as þe cole, corbyal vntrwe.
& he fongez to þe fly3t & fannez on þe wyndez,
Halez hy3e vpon hy3t to herken tyþyngez.
He croukez for comfort when carayne he fyndez
Kast vp on a clyffe þer costese lay drye;
He hade þe smelle of þe smach & smoltes þeder sone,
Fallez on þe foule flesch & fyllez his wombe,
& sone 3ederly for3ete 3isterday steuen,
How þe cheuetayn hym charged þat þe kyst 3emed.
Þe rauen raykez hym forth, þat reches ful lyttel
How alle fodez þer fare, ellez he fynde mete;
Bot þe burne bynne borde þat bod to hys come
Banned hym ful bytterly with bestes alle samen.
He sechez anoþer sondezmon, & settez on þe dou[u]e,
Bryngez þat bry3t vpon borde, blessed, & sayde:
'Wende, worþelych wy3t, vus wonez to seche;
Dryf ouer þis dymme water; if þou druye fyndez
Bryng bodworde to bot blysse to vus alle.
Þa3þat fowle be false, fre be þou euer.'
Ho wyrle out on þe weder on wyngez ful scharpe,
Dre3ly alle alonge day þat dorst neuer ly3t;
& when ho fyndez no folde her fote on to pyche,
Ho vmbekestez þe coste & þe kyst sechez.
Ho hittez on þe euentyde & on þe ark sittez;
Noe nymmes hir anon & naytly hir stauez.
Noe on anoþer day nymmez efte þe doveue,
& byddez hir bowe ouer þe borne efte bonkez to seche;
& ho skyrmez vnder skwe & skowtez aboute,
Tyl hit watz ny3e at þe na3t, & Noe þen sechez.
On ark on an euentyde houez þe dowue;
On stamyn ho stod & stylle hym abydez.
What! ho bro3t in hir beke a bronch of olyue,
Gracyously vmbegrouen al with grene leuez;
Þat watz þe syngne of sauyte þat sende hem oure Lorde,
& þe sa3tlyng of Hymself with þo sely bestez.
Þen watz þer joy on þat gyn where jumpred er dry3ed,
& much comfort in þat cofer þat watz clay-daubed.
Myryly on a fayr morn, monyth þe fyrst,
Þat fallez formast in þe 3er, & þe fyrst day,
Ledez lo3en in þat lome & loked þeroute,
How þat watterez wern woned & þe worlde dryed.
Vchon loued oure Lorde, bot lenged ay stylle
Tyl þay had tyþyng fro þe Tolke þat tyned hem þerinne.
Þen Godez glam to hem glod þat gladed hem alle,
Bede hem drawe to þe dor: delyuer hem He wolde.
Þen went þay to þe wykket, hit walt vpon sone;
Boþe þe burne & his barnez bowed þeroute,
Her wyuez walkez hem wyth & þe wylde after,
Þroly þrublande in þronge, þrowen ful þykke.
Bot Noe of vche honest kynde nem out an odde,
& heuened vp an auter & hal3ed hit fayre,
& sette a sakerfyse þeron of vch a ser kynde
Þat watz comly & clene: God kepez non oþer.
When bremly brened þose bestez, & þe breþe rysed,
Þe sauour of his sacrafyse so3t to Hym euen
Þat al spedez & spyllez; He spekes with þat ilke
In comly comfort ful clos & cortays wordez:
'Now, Noe, no more nel I neuer wary
Alle þe mukel mayny [on] molde for no mannez synnez,
For I se wel þat hit is sothe þat alle mannez wyttez
To vnþryfte arn alle þrawen with þo3t of her herttez,
& ay hatz ben, & wyl be 3et; fro her barnage
Al is þe mynde of þe man to malyce enclyned.
Forþy schal I neuer schende so schortly at ones
As dysstrye al for manez synne, dayez of þis erþe.
Bot waxez now & wendez forth & worþez to monye,
Multyplyez on þis molde, & menske yow bytyde.
Sesounez schal yow neuer sese of sede ne of heruest,
Ne hete, ne no harde forst, vmbre ne dro3þe,
Ne þe swetnesse of somer, ne þe sadde wynter,
Ne þe ny3t, ne þe day, ne þe newe 3erez,
Bot euer renne restlez: rengnez 3e þerinne.'
Þerwyth He blessez vch a best, & byta3t hem þis erþe.
Þen watz a skylly skyualde, quen scaped alle þe wylde,
Vche fowle to þe fly3t þat fyþerez my3t serue,
Vche fysch to þe flod þat fynne couþe nayte.
Vche beste to þe bent þat þat bytes on erbez;
Wylde wormez to her won wryþez in þe erþe,
Þe fox & þe folmarde to þe fryth wyndez,
Herttes to hy3e heþe, harez to gorstez,
& lyounez & lebardez to þe lake-ryftes:
Hernez & hauekez to þe hy3e rochez,
Þe hole-foted fowle to þe flod hy3ez,
& vche best at a brayde þer hym best lykez;
Þe fowre frekez of þe folde fongez þe empyre.
Lo! suche a wrakful wo for wlatsum dedez
Parformed þe hy3e Fader on folke þat He made;
Þat He chysly hade cherisched He chastysed ful hardee,
In devoydynge þe vylanye þat venkquyst His þewez.
Forþy war þe now, wy3e þat worschyp desyres
In His comlych courte þat Kyng is of blysse,
In þe fylþe of þe flesch þat þou be founden neuer,
Tyl any water in þe worlde to wasche þe fayly.
For is no segge vnder sunne so seme of his craftez,
If he be sulped in synne, þat syttez vnclene;
On spec of spote may spede to mysse
Of þe sy3te of þe Souerayn þat syttez so hy3e;
For þat schewe me schale in þo schyre howsez,
As þe beryl bornyst byhouez be clene.
Þat is sounde on vche a syde & no sem habes,
Withouten maskle oþer mote, as margerye-perle.
Syþen þe Souerayn in sete so sore forþo3t
Þat euer He man vpon molde merked to lyuy,
For he in fylþe watz fallen, felly He uenged,
Quen fourferde alle þe flesch þat He formed hade.
Hym rwed þat He hem vprerde & ra3t hem lyflode;
& efte þat He hem vndyd, hard hit Hym þo3t.
For quen þe swemande sor3e so3t to His hert,
He knyt a couenaunde cortaysly with monkynde þere,
In þe mesure of His mode & meþe of His wylle,
Þat He schulde neuer for no syt smyte al at onez,
As to quelle alle quykez for qued þat my3t falle,
Whyl of þe lenþe of þe londe lastez þe terme.
Þat ilke skyl for no scaþe ascaped Hym neuer.
Wheder wonderly He wrak on wykked men after,
Ful felly for þat ilk faute forferde a kyth ryche,
In þe anger of His ire, þat ar3ed mony;
& al watz for þis ilk euel, þat vnhappen glette,
Þe venym & þe vylanye & þe vycios fylþe
Þat bysulpez mannez saule in vnsounde hert,
Þat he his Saueour ne see with sy3t of his y3en.
Alle illez He hates as helle þat alle stynkkez;
Bot non nuyez Hym on na3t ne neuer vpon dayez
As harlottrye vnhonest, heþyng of seluen:
Þat schamez for no schrewedschyp, schent mot he worþe.
Bot sauyour, mon, in þyself, þa3þou a sotte lyuie,
Þa3þou bere þyself babel, byþenk þe sumtyme
Wheþer He þat stykked vche a stare in vche steppe y3e,
3if Hymsel[f] be bore blynde hit is a brod wonder;
& He þat fetly in face fettled alle eres,
If he hatz losed þe lysten hit lyftez meruayle:
Trave þou neuer þat tale, vntrwe þou hit fyndez.
Þer is no dede so derne þat dittez His y3en;
Þer is no wy3e in his werk so war ne so stylle
Þat hit ne þrawez to Hym þr[o] er he hit þo3t haue.
For He is þe gropande God, þe grounde of alle dedez,
Rypande of vche a ring þe reynyez & hert.
& þere He fyndez al fayre a freke wythinne,
Þat hert honest & hol, þat haþel He honourez,
Sendez hym a sad sy3t: to se His auen face,
& harde honysez þise oþer, & of His erde flemez.
Bot of þe dome of þe douþe for dedez of schame,
He is so skoymos of þat skaþe, He scarrez bylyue;
He may not dry3e to draw allyt, bot drepez in hast:
& þat watz schewed schortly by a scaþe onez.
Olde Abraham in erde onez he syttez
Euen byfore his hous-dore, vnder an oke grene;
Bry3t blykked þe bem of þe brode heuen;
In þe hy3e hete þerof Abraham bidez:
He watz schunt to þe schadow vnder schyre leuez.
Þenne watz he war on þe waye of wlonk Wy3ez þrynne;
If þay wer farande & fre & fayre to beholde
Hit is eþe to leue by þe last ende.
For þe lede þat þer laye þe leuez anvnder,
When he hade of Hem sy3t he hy3ez bylyue,
& as to God þe goodmon gos Hem agaynez
& haylsed Hem in onhede, & sayde: 'Hende Lorde,
3if euer Þy mon vpon molde merit disserued,
Lenge a lyttel with Þy lede, I lo3ly biseche;
Passe neuer fro Þi pouere, 3if I hit pray durst,
Er Þou haf biden with Þi burne & vnder bo3e restted,
& I schal wynne Yow wy3t of water a lyttel,
& fast aboute schal I fare Your fette wer waschene.
Resttez here on þis rote & I schal rachche after
& brynge a morsel of bred to banne Your hertte.'
'Fare forthe,' quoþ þe Frekez, '& fech as þou seggez;
By bole of þis brode tre We byde þe here.'
Þenne orppedly into his hous he hy3ed to Sare,
Commaunded hir to be cof & quyk at þis onez:
'Þre mettez of mele menge & ma kakez;
Vnder askez ful hote happe hem byliue;
Quyl I fete sumquat fat, þou þe fyr bete,
Prestly at þis ilke poynte sum polment to make.'
He cached to his covhous & a calf bryngez,
Þat watz tender & not to3e, bed tyrue of þe hyde,
& sayde to his seruaunt þat hit seþe faste;
& he deruely at his dome dy3t hit bylyue.
Þe burne to be bare-heued buskez hym þenne,
Clechez to a clene cloþe & kestez on þe grene,
Þrwe þryftyly þeron þo þre þerue kakez,
& bryngez butter wythal & by þe bred settez;
Mete messez of mylke he merkkez bytwene,
Syþen potage & polment in plater honest.
As sewer in a god assyse he serued Hem fayre,
Wyth sadde semblaunt & swete of such as he hade;
& God as a glad gest mad god chere
Þat watz fayn of his frende, & his fest praysed.
Abraham, al hodlez, with armez vp-folden,
Mynystred mete byfore þo Men þat my3tes al weldez.
Þenne Þay sayden as Þay sete samen alle þrynne,
When þe mete watz remued & Þay of mensk speken,
'I schal efte hereaway, Abram,' Þay sayden,
'3et er þy lyuez ly3t leþe vpon erþe,
& þenne schal Sare consayue & a sun bere,
Þat schal be Abrahamez ayre & after hym wynne
With wele & wyth worschyp þe worþely peple
Þat schal halde in heritage þat I haf men 3ark[ed].'
Þenne þe burde byhynde þe dor for busmar la3ed;
& sayde sothly to hirself Sare þe madde:
'May þou traw for tykle þat þou tonne mo3tez,
& I so hy3e out of age, & also my lorde?'
For soþely, as says þe wryt, he wern of sadde elde,
Boþe þe wy3e & his wyf, such werk watz hem fayled
Fro mony a brod day byfore; ho barayn ay byene,
Þat selue Sare, withouten sede into þat same tyme.
Þenne sayde oure Syre þer He sete: 'Se! so Sare la3es,
Not trawande þe tale þat I þe to schewed.
Hopez ho o3t may be harde My hondez to work?
& 3et I avow verayly þe avaunt þat I made;
I schal 3eply a3ayn & 3elde þat I hy3t,
& sothely send to Sare a soun & an hayre.'
Þenne swenged forth Sare & swer by hir trawþe
Þat for lot þat Þay laused ho la3ed neuer.
'Now innoghe: hit is not so,' þenne nurned þe Dry3tyn,
'For þou la3ed alo3, bot let we hit one.'
With þat Þay ros vp radly, as Þay rayke schulde,
& setten toward Sodamas Her sy3t alle at onez;
For þat cite þerbysyde watz sette in a vale,
No mylez fro Mambre mo þen tweyne,
Whereso wonyed þis ilke wy3, þat wendez with oure Lorde
For to tent Hym with tale & teche Hym þe gate.
Þen glydez forth God; þe godmon Hym fol3ez;
Abraham heldez Hem wyth, Hem to conueye
In towarde þe cety of Sodamas þat synned had þenne
In þe faute of þis fylþe. Þe Fader hem þretes,
& sayde þus to þe segg þat sued Hym after:
'How my3t I hyde Myn hert fro Habraham þe trwe,
Þat I ne dyscouered to his corse My counsayl so dere,
Syþen he is chosen to be chef chyldryn fader,
Þat so folk schal falle fro to flete alle þe worlde,
& vche blod in þat burne blessed schal worþe?
Me bos telle to þat tolk þe tene of My wylle,
& alle Myn atlyng to Abraham vnhaspe bilyue.
The grete soun of Sodamas synkkez in Myn erez,
& þe gult of Gomorre garez Me to wrath.
I schal ly3t into þat led & loke Myseluen
[If] þay haf don as þe dyne dryuez on lofte.
Þay han lerned a lyst þat lykez me ille,
Þat þay han founden in her flesch of fautez þe werst:
Vch male matz his mach a man as hymseluen,
& fylter folyly in fere on femmalez wyse.
I compast hem a kynde crafte & kende hit hem derne,
& amed hit in Myn ordenaunce oddely dere,
& dy3t drwry þerinne, doole alþer-swettest,
& þe play of paramorez I portrayed Myseluen,
& made þerto a maner myriest of oþer:
When two true togeder had ty3ed hemseluen,
Bytwene a male & his make such merþe schulde conne,
Welny3e pure paradys mo3t preue no better;
Ellez þay mo3t honestly ayþer oþer welde,
At a stylle stollen steuen, vnstered wyth sy3t,
Luf-lowe hem bytwene lasched so hote
Þat alle þe meschefez on mold mo3t hit not sleke.
Now haf þay skyfted My skyl & scorned natwre,
& henttez hem in heþyng an vsage vnclene.
Hem to smyte for þat smod smartly I þenk,
Þat wy3ez schal be by hem war, worlde withouten ende.'
Þenne ar3ed Abraham & alle his mod chaunge[d],
For hope of þe harde hate þat hy3t hatz oure Lorde.
Al sykande he sayde: 'Sir, with Yor leue,
Schal synful & saklez suffer al on payne?
Weþer euer hit lyke my Lorde to lyfte such domez
Þat þe wykked & þe worþy schal on wrake suffer,
& weye vpon þe worre half þat wrathed Þe neuer?
Þat watz neuer Þy won þat wro3tez vus alle.
Now fyfty fyn frendez wer founde in 3onde toune,
In þe cety of Sodamas & also Gomorre,
Þat neuer lakked Þy laue, bot loued ay trauþe,
& re3tful wern & resounable & redy Þe to serue,
Schal þay falle in þe faute þat oþer frekez wro3t,
& joyne to her juggement, her juise to haue?
Þat nas neuer Þyn note, vnneuened hit worþe,
Þat art so gaynly a God & of goste mylde.'
'Nay, for fyfty,' quoþ þe Fader, '& þy fayre speche,
& þay be founden in þat folk of her fylþe clene,
I schal forgyue alle þe gylt þur3My grace one,
& let hem smolt al unsmyten smoþely at onez.'
'Aa! blessed be Þow,' quoþ þe burne, 'so boner & þewed,
& al haldez in Þy honde, þe heuen & þe erþe;
Bot, for I haf þis talke tatz to non ille
3if I mele a lyttel more þat mul am & askez.
What if fyue faylen of fyfty þe noumbre,
& þe remnaunt be reken, how restes Þy wylle?'
'And fyue wont of fyfty,' quoþ God, 'I schal for3ete alle
& wythhalde My honde for hortyng on lede.'
'& quat if faurty be fre & fauty þyse oþer:
Schalt Þow schortly al schende & schape non oþer?'
'Nay, þa3faurty forfete, 3et fryst I a whyle,
& voyde away My vengaunce, þa3Me vyl þynk.'
Þen Abraham obeched Hym & lo3ly Him þonkkez:
'Now sayned be Þou, Sauiour, so symple in Þy wrath!
I am bot erþe ful euel & vsle so blake,
For to mele wyth such a Mayster as my3tez hatz alle.
Bot I haue bygonnen wyth my God, & He hit gayn þynkez;
3if I forloyne as a fol Þy fraunchyse may serue.
What if þretty þryuande be þrad in 3on tounez,
What schal I leue of my Lorde, [i]f He hem leþe wolde?'
Þenne þe godlych God gef hym onsware:
'3et for þretty in þrong I schal My þro steke,
& spare spakly of spyt in space of My þewez,
& My rankor refrayne four þy reken wordez.'
'What for twenty,' quoþ þe tolke, 'vntwynez Þou hem þenne?'
'Nay, 3if þou 3ernez hit 3et, 3ark I hem grace;
If þat twenty be trwe, I tene hem no more,
Bot relece alle þat regioun of her ronk werkkez.'
'Now, aþel Lorde,' quoþ Abraham, 'onez a speche,
& I schal schape no more þo schalkkez to helpe.
If ten trysty in toune be tan in Þi werkkez,
Wylt Þou mese Þy mode & menddyng abyde?'
'I graunt,' quoþ þe grete God, 'Graunt mercy,' þat oþer;
& þenne arest þe renk & ra3t no fyrre.
& Godde glydez His gate by þose grene wayez,
& he conueyen Hym con with cast of his y3e;
& als he loked along þereas oure Lorde passed,
3et he cryed Hym after with careful steuen:
'Meke Mayster, on Þy mon to mynne if Þe lyked,
Loth lengez in 3on leede þat is my lef broþer;
He syttez þer in Sodomis, þy seruaunt so pouere,
Among þo mansed men þat han Þe much greued.
3if Þou tynez þat toun, tempre Þyn yre,
As Þy mersy may malte, Þy meke to spare.'
Þen he wendez, wendez his way, wepande for care,
Towarde þe mere of Mambre, wepande for sorewe;
& þere in longyng al ny3t he lengez in wones,
Whyl þe Souerayn to Sodamas sende to spye.
His sondes into Sodamas watz sende in þat tyme,
In þat ilk euentyde, by aungels tweyne,
Meuand meuande mekely togeder as myry men 3onge,
As Loot in a loge dor lened hym alone,
In a porche of þat place py3t to þe 3ates,
Þat watz ryal & ryche so watz þe renkes seluen.
As he stared into þe strete þer stout men played,
He sy3e þer swey in asent swete men tweyne;
Bolde burnez wer þay boþe with berdles chynnez,
Ryol rollande fax to raw sylk lyke,
Of ble as þe brere-flour whereso þe bare scheweed.
Ful clene watz þe countenaunce of her cler y3en;
Wlonk whit watz her wede & wel hit hem semed.
Of alle feturez ful fyn & fautlez boþe;
Watz non autly in ouþer, for aungels hit wern,
& þat þe 3ep vnder3ede þat in þe 3ate syttez;
He ros vp ful radly & ran hem to mete,
& lo3e he loutez hem to, Loth, to þe grounde,
& syþen soberly: 'Syrez, I yow byseche
Þat 3e wolde ly3t at my loge & lenge þerinne.
Comez to your knaues kote, I craue at þis onez;
I schal fette yow a fatte your fette for to wasche;
I norne yow bot for on ny3t ne3e me to lenge,
& in þe myry mornyng 3e may your waye take.'
& þay nay þat þay nolde ne3no howsez,
Bot stylly þer in þe strete as þay stadde wern
Þay wolde lenge þe long na3t & logge þeroute:
Hit watz hous inno3e to hem þe heuen vpon lofte.
Loth laþed so longe wyth luflych wordez
Þat þay hym graunted to go & gru3t no lenger.
Þe bolde to his byggyng bryngez hem bylyue,
Þat [watz] ryally arayed, for he watz ryche euer.
Þe wy3ez wern welcom as þe wyf couþe;
His two dere do3terez deuoutly hem haylsed,
Þat wer maydenez ful meke, maryed not 3et,
& þay wer semly & swete, & swyþe wel arayed.
Loth þenne ful ly3tly lokez hym aboute,
& his men amonestes mete for to dy3t:
'Bot þenkkez on hit be þrefte what þynk so 3e make,
For wyth no sour no no salt seruez hym neuer.'
Bot 3et I wene þat þe wyf hit wroth to dyspyt,
& sayde softely to hirself: 'Þis vn[s]auere hyne
Louez no salt in her sauce; 3et hit no skyl were
Þat oþer burne be boute, þa3boþe be nyse.'
Þenne ho sauerez with salt her seuez vchone,
Agayne þe bone of þe burne þat hit forboden hade,
& als ho scelt hem in scorne þat wel her skyl knewen.
Why watz ho, wrech, so wod? Ho wrathed oure Lorde.
Þenne seten þay at þe soper, wern serued bylyue,
Þe gestes gay & ful glad, of glam debonere,
Welawynnely wlonk, tyl þay waschen hade,
Þe trestes tylt to þe wo3e & þe table boþe.
Fro þe seggez haden souped & seten bot a whyle,
Er euer þay bosked to bedde, þe bor3watz al vp,
Alle þat weppen my3t welde, þe wakker & þe stronger,
To vmbely3e Lothez hous þe ledez to take.
In grete flokkez of folk þay fallen to his 3atez;
As a scowte-wach scarred so þe asscry rysed;
With kene clobbez of þat clos þay clatz on þe wowez,
& wyth a schrylle scarp schout þay schewe þyse worde[z]:
'If þou louyez þy lyf, Loth, in þyse wones,
3ete vus out þose 3ong men þat 3ore-whyle here entred,
Þat we may lere hym of lof, as oure lyst biddez,
As is þe asyse of Sodomas to seggez þat passen.'
Whatt! þay sputen & speken of so spitous fylþe,
What! þay 3e3ed & 3olped of 3estande sor3e,
Þat 3et þe wynd & þe weder & þe worlde stynkes
Of þe brych þat vpbraydez þose broþelych wordez.
Þe godman glyfte with þat glam & gloped for noyse;
So scharpe schame to hym schot, he schrank at þe hert.
For he knew þe costoum þat kyþed þose wrechez,
He doted neuer for no doel so depe in his mynde.
'Allas!' sayd hym þenne Loth, & ly3tly he rysez,
& bowez forth fro þe bench into þe brode 3ates.
What! he wonded no woþe of wekked knauez,
Þat he ne passed þe port þe p[er]il to abide.
He went forthe at þe wyket & waft hit hym after,
Þat a clyket hit cle3t clos hym byhynde.
Þenne he meled to þo men mesurable wordez,
For harlotez with his hendelayk he hoped to chast:
'Oo, my frendez so fre, your fare is to strange;
Dotz away your derf dyn & derez neuer my gestes.
Avoy! hit is your vylaynye, 3e vylen yourseluen;
& 3e are jolyf gentylmen, your japez ar ille
Bot I schal kenne yow by kynde a crafte þat is better:
I haf a tresor in my telde of tow my fayre de3ter,
Þat ar maydenez vnmard for alle men 3ette;
In Sodamas, þa3I hit say, non semloker burdes;
Hit arn ronk, hit arn rype, & redy to manne;
To samen wyth þo semly þe solace is better.
I schal biteche yow þo two þat tayt arn & quoynt,
& laykez wyth hem as yow lyst, & letez my gestes one.'
Þenne þe rebaudez so ronk rerd such a noyse
Þat a3ly hurled in his erez her harlotez speche:
'Wost þou not wel þat þou wonez here a wy3e strange,
An outcomlyng, a carle? We kylle of þyn heued!
Who joyned þe be jostyse oure japez to blame,
Þat com a boy to þis bor3, þa3þou be burne ryche?'
Þus þay þrobled & þrong & þrwe vmbe his erez,
& distresed hym wonder strayt with strenkþe in þe prece,
Bot þat þe 3onge men, so 3epe, 3ornen þeroute,
Wapped vpon þe wyket & wonnen hem tylle,
& by þe hondez hym hent & horyed hym withinne,
& steken þe 3ates ston-harde wyth stalworth barrez.
Þay blwe a boffet inblande þat banned peple,
Þat þay blustered, as blynde as Bayard watz euer;
Þay lest of Lotez logging any lysoun to fynde,
Bot nyteled þer alle þe ny3t for no3t at þe last.
Þenne vch tolke ty3t hem, þat hade of tayt fayled,
& vchon roþeled to þe rest þat he reche mo3t;
Bot þay wern wakned al wrank þat þer in won lenged,
Of on þe vglokest vnhap þat euer on erd suffred.
Ruddon of þe day-rawe ros vpon v3ten,
When merk of þe mydny3t mo3t no more last.
Ful erly þose aungelez þis haþel þay ruþen,
& glopnedly on Godez halue gart hym vpryse;
Fast þe freke ferkez vp ful ferd at his hert;
Þay comaunded hym cof to cach þat he hade,
'Wyth þy wyf & þy wy3ez & þy wlonc de3tters,
For we laþe þe, sir Loth, þat þou þy lyf haue.
Cayre tid of þis kythe er combred þou worþe,
With alle þi here vpon haste, tyl þou a hil fynde;
Foundez faste on your fete; bifore your face lokes,
Bot bes neuer so bolde to blusch yow bihynde,
& loke 3e stemme no stepe, bot strechez on faste;
Til 3e reche to a reset, rest 3e neuer.
For we schal tyne þis toun & trayþely disstrye,
Wyth alle þise wy3ez so wykke wy3tly devoyde,
& alle þe londe with þise ledez we losen at onez;
Sodomas schal ful sodenly synk into grounde,
& þe grounde of Gomorre gorde into helle,
& vche a koste of þis kythe clater vpon hepes.'
Þen laled Loth: 'Lorde, what is best?
If I me fele vpon fote þat I fle mo3t,
Hov schulde I huyde me fro H[y]m þat hatz His hate kynned
In þe brath of His breth þat brennez alle þinkez?
To crepe fro my Creatour & know not wheder,
Ne wheþer His fooschip me fol3ez bifore oþer bihynde.'
Þe freke sayde: 'No foschip oure Fader hatz þe schewed,
Bot hi3ly heuened þi hele fro hem þat arn combred.
Nov wale þe a wonnyng þat þe warisch my3t,
& He schal saue hit for þy sake þat hatz vus sende hider,
For þou art oddely þyn one out of þis fylþe,
& als Abraham þyn eme hit at Himself asked.'
'Lorde, loued He worþe,' quoþ Loth, 'vpon erþe!
Þen is a cite herbisyde þat Segor hit hatte,
Here vtter on a rounde hil hit houez hit one.
I wolde, if His wylle wore, to þat won scape.'
'Þenn fare forth,' quoþ þat fre, '& fyne þou neuer,
With þose ilk þat þow wylt þat þrenge þe after,
& ay goande on your gate, wythouten agayn-tote,
For alle þis londe schal be lorne longe er þe sonne rise.'
Þe wy3e wakened his wyf & his wlonk de3teres,
& oþer two myri men þo maydenez schulde wedde;
& þay token hit as tyt & tented hit lyttel;
Þa3fast laþed hem Loth, þay le3en ful stylle.
Þe aungelez hasted þise oþer & a3ly hem þratten,
& enforsed alle fawre forth at þe 3atez:
Þo wern Loth & his lef, his luflyche de3ter;
Þer so3t no mo to sauement of cities aþel fyue.
Þise aungelez hade hem by hande out at þe 3atez,
Prechande hem þe perile, & beden hem passe fast:
'Lest 3e be taken in þe teche of tyrauntez here,
Loke 3e bowe now bi bot; bowez fast hence!'
& þay kayre ne con, & kenely flowen.
Erly, er any heuen-glem, þay to a hil comen.
Þe grete God in His greme bygynnez on lofte
To wakan wederez so wylde; þe wyndez He callez,
& þay wroþely vpwafte & wrastled togeder,
Fro fawre half of þe folde flytande loude.
Clowdez clustered bytwene kesten vp torres,
Þat þe þik þunder-þrast þirled hem ofte.
Þe rayn rueled adoun, ridlande þikke
Of felle flaunkes of fyr & flakes of soufre,
Al in smolderande smoke smachande ful ille,
Swe aboute Sodamas & hit sydez alle,
Gorde to Gomorra, þat þe grounde laused,
Abdama & Syboym, þise ceteis alle faure
Al birolled wyth þe rayn, rostted & brenned,
& ferly flayed þat folk þat in þose fees lenged.
For when þat þe Helle herde þe houndez of heuen,
He watz ferlyly fayn, vnfolded bylyue;
Þe grete barrez of þe abyme he barst vp at onez,
Þat alle þe regioun torof in riftes ful grete,
& clouen alle in lyttel cloutes þe clyffez aywhere,
As lauce leuez of þe boke þat lepes in twynne.
Þe brethe of þe brynston bi þat hit blende were,
Al þo citees & her sydes sunkken to helle.
Rydelles wern þo grete rowtes of renkkes withinne,
When þay wern war of þe wrake þat no wy3e achaped;
Such a 3omerly 3arm of 3ellyng þer rysed,
Þerof clatered þe cloudes, þat Kryst my3t haf rawþe.
Þe segge herde þat soun to Segor þat 3ede,
& þe wenches hym wyth þat by þe way fol3ed;
Ferly ferde watz her flesch þat flowen ay ilyche,
Trynande ay a hy3e trot, þat torne neuer dorsten.
Loth & þo luly-whit, his lefly two de3ter,
Ay fol3ed here face, bifore her boþe y3en;
Bot þe balleful burde, þat neuer bode keped,
Blusched byhynden her bak þat bale for to herkken.
Hit watz lusty Lothes wyf þat ouer he[r] lyfte schulder
Ones ho bluschet to þe bur3e, bot bod ho no lenger
Þat ho nas stadde a stif