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And that she wot well for her fake,
That he no travail woll forsake.
My fone, of this travaile I mene
Now Ihrif the, for it shall be sene,
If thou art idel in this cas.
My fader ye, and ever was
For as me thenketh truely,
That every man doth more than I
As of this point, and if so is,
That I have ought so done er this,
It is so litel of accompt,
As who faith it may nought amount
To winne of love his lusty yifte.
For this I telle you in shrifte,
That me were lever her love winne
Than Kaire and all that is therinne.
And for to fleen the hethen alle
I not what good there mighte falle,
So mochel blood though ther be shad.
This finde I writen how Crist bad,
That no man other shulde slee.
What shulde I winne over the see,
If I my lady lost at home?
But passe they the falte fome,
To whom Crist bad they shulden preche
To all the world and his feith teche.
But now they rucken in her nest
And resten as hem liketh best
In all the swetenesse of delices.
Thus they defenden us the vices
And sit hem felven all amidde,
To seen and fighten they us bidde
Hem whom they shuld, as the boke faith,
Converten unto Cristes feith.
But herof have I great merveile,
How they wol bidde me traveile.
A Sarazin if I slee shall,
I see the foule forth withall,
And that was never Cristes lore.
But now ho there, I say no more.
But I woll speke upon my shrifte
And to Cupide I make a yifte,
That who as ever pris deserve
Of armes I wol love serve,
As though I shuld hem bothe kepe,
Als well yet wolde I take kepe,
Whan it were time to abide
And for to travaile and for to ride,
For how as ever a man laboure,
Cupide appointed hath his houre.
Hic allegat amans For I have herde tell also.
in sui excusacio-
10. Achilles left his armes so
chilles apud Tro- Both of him self and of his men
jam propter amo-
rem Polixene arma At Troie for Polixenen
sua per aliquod
tempus dimisit. Upon her love whan he felle,
That for no chaunce that befelle
Among the Grekes or up or down
He wolde nought ayein the town
Ben armed for the love of her.
And so me thenketh, leve fir,
A man of armes may him reste
Somtime in hope for the beste,
If he may finde a werre ner,
What shulde I thanne go so fer
In straunge londes many a mile
To ride and lese at home there while
My love, it were a short beyete
To winne chaffe and lese whete.
But if my lady bide wolde,
That I for her love sholde
Travail, me thenketh truely,
I mighte flee through out the sky
And go through out the depe see,
For all ne sette I at a stre,
What thank that I might elles gete.
What helpeth a man have mete,
Where drinke lacketh on the borde,
What helpeth any mannes worde
To say howe I travaile faste,
Where as me faileth ate laste
That thing, whiche I travaile fore.
O in good time were he bore,
That might atteigne suche a mede.
But certes if I mighte spede
With any maner befinesse,
Of worldes travail than I gesse
There Thulde me none idelship
Departen from her ladyship.
But this I se on daies now,
The blinde god I wot nought how
Cupido, which of love is lorde,
He set the thinges in discorde,
That they that left to love entende
Full ofte he woll hem yive and sende
Most of his grace, and thus I finde,
That he that sholde go behinde,
Goth many a time fer to-fore.
So wote I nought right well therfore,
On whether bord that I shall faile.
Thus can I nought my self counseile,
But all I set on aventure
And am, as who faith, out of cure
For ought that I can say or do,
For evermore I finde it so,
The more befinesse I lay,
The more that I knele and pray
With gode wordes and with softe,
The more I am refused ofte
With befinesse and may nought winne,
And in good feith that is great sinne.
For I may say of dede and thought,
That idel man have I be nought,
For how as ever that I be deflaied,
Yet evermore I have affaied.
But though my besinesse laste,
All is but idel ate laste,
For whan theffect is idelnesse,
I not what thing is befinesse.
Say what availeth all the dede,
Which nothing helpeth ate nede ?
For the fortune of every fame
Shall of his ende bere a name.
And thus for ought is yet befalle,
An idel man I woll me calle
As after min entendement.
But upon your amendement,
Min holy fader, as you semeth
My reson and my cause demeth.
My sone, I have herde of thy matere,
Of that thou hast the Thriven here.
And for to speke of idel fare
Me semeth that thou tharst nought care,
But only that thou might nought spede.
And therof, sone, I woll the rede,
Abide and haste nought to faste,
Thy dedes ben every day to caste,
Thou nost, what chaunce shall betide.
Better is to waite upon the tide
Than rowe ayein the stremes stronge.
For though so be the thenketh longe,
Parcas the revolucion
Of heven and thy condicion
Ne be nought yet of one accorde.
But I dare make this recorde
To Venus, whose prest that I am,
That fithen that I hider cam
To here, as she me bad, thy life,
Wherof thou elles be giltife,
Thou might herof thy conscience
Excuse and of great diligence,