therfor wil I teche yow ay the glose.
Glosyng is a ful glorious thing certayn,
For letter sleth, so as we clerkes sayn.
Ther have I taught hem to be chariteable,
And spend her good ther it is reasonable;
And there I seigh our dame, wher is she?”
“Yond in the yerd I trowe that sche be,”
Sayde this man, “and sche wil come anoon.”

“Ey, mayster, welcome be ye, by seint Johan!”
Sayde this wyf, “how fare ye hertily?”
The frere ariseth up ful curteysly,
And her embracith in his armes narwe,
And kist her swete, and chirkith as a sparwe
With his lippes: “Dame,” quod he, “right wel,
As he that is your servaunt everydel.
Thankyd be God, that yow yaf soule and lif,
Yit saugh I not this day so fair a wyf
In al the chirche, God so save me.”

“Ye, God amend defautes, sir,” quod sche,
“Algates welcome be ye, by my fay.”
“Graunt mercy, dame; this have I found alway.
But of your grete goodnes, by youre leve,
I wolde pray yow that ye yow not greeve,
I wil with Thomas speke a litel throwe;
These curates ben ful negligent and slowe
To grope tendurly a conscience.
In schrift and preching is my diligence,
And study in Petres wordes and in Poules,
I walk and fissche Cristen menne soules,
To yelde Jhesu Crist his propre rent;
To spreden his word is al myn entent.”

“Now, by your leve, a deere sir,” quod sche,
“Chyd him right wel for seinte Trinite.
He is as angry as a pissemyre,
Though that he have al that he can desire,
Though I him wrye on night, and make him warm,
And over him lay my leg other myn arm,
He groneth lik our boor, that lith in sty.
Othir disport of him right noon have I,
I may please him in no maner caas.”

“O Thomas, je vous dy, Thomas, Thomas,
This makth the feend, this moste ben amendid.
Ire is a thing that highe God defendid,
And therof wold I speke a word or tuo.”

“Now, maister,” quod the wyf, “er that I go,
What wil ye dine? I will go theraboute.”
“Now, dame.” quod he, “je vous dy saunz doute,
Have I not of a capoun but the lyvere,
And of your softe brede but a schivere,
And after that a rostyd pigges heed,
(But that I wolde for me no best were deed)
Than had I with yow homly suffisaunce.
I am a man of litel sustinaunce.
My spirit hath his fostryng on the Bible.
The body is ay so redy and so penyble
To wake, that my stomak is destroyed.
I pray yow, dame, that ye be not anoyed,
For I so frendly yow my counseil schewe;
By God! I nolde not telle it but a fewe.”

“Now, sir,” quod sche, “but o word er I go.
My child is deed withinne thise wykes tuo,
Soon after that ye went out of this toun.”

“His deth saugh I by revelacioun,”
Sayde this frere, “at hoom in oure dortour.
I dar wel sayn, er that half an hour
After his deth, I seigh him born to blisse
In myn ayvsioun, so God me wisse.
So did our sextein, and our fermerere,
That had ben trewe freres many a yere;
Thay may now, God be thanked of his lone,
Maken her jubilé, and walk alloone.
But up I roos, and al our covent eeke,
With many a teere trilling on my cheeke,
Te Deum was our song, and nothing ellis,
Withouten noys or clateryng of bellis,
Save that to Crist I sayd an orisoun,
Thankyng him of my revelacioun.
For, sire and dame, trustith me right wel,
Our orisouns ben more effectuel,
And more we se of Goddis secré thinges,
Than borel folk, although that thay ben kinges.
We lyve in povert and in abstinence,
And borel folk in riches and dispence
Of mete and drink, and in her ful delyt.
We han this worldes lust al in despyt.
Lazar and Dives lyveden diversely.
And divers guerdoun hadde thay thereby.
Who-so wol praye, he muste faste, and be clene,
And fatte his soule, and make his body lene.
We faren, as saith thapostil; cloth and foode
Sufficeth us, though that thay ben not goode.
The clennes and the fastyng of us freres
Makith that Crist acceptith oure prayeres.
Lo, Moyses fourty dayes and fourty night
Fasted, er that the highe God of might
Spak with him in the mount of Synay;
With empty wombe fastyng many a day,
Receyved he the lawe, that was writen
With Goddis fynger; and Eli, wel ye witen,
In mount Oreb, or he had any speche
With highe God, that is oure lyves leche,
He fastid, and was in contemplacioun.
Aron, that hadde the temple in governacioun,
And eek the other prestes everychoon,
Into the temple whan thay schulden goon
To preye for the people, and doon servise,
Thay nolden drinken in no maner wise
No drynke, which that dronke might hem make,
But ther in abstinence prey and wake,
Lest that they diden; tak heed what I saye—
But thay ben sobre that for the pepul praye—
War that I say—no mor; for it suffisith.
Oure Lord Jhesu, as oure lore devysith,
Yaf us ensampil of fastyng and prayeres;

  By PanEris using Melati.

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