Page images

Of which the braunches ben so great,
That of hem all I wol nought treat,
But only as touchend of two
I thenke speke and of no mo.
Wherof the first is dronkeship,
Which bereth the cuppe felaship.
Ful many a wonder doth this vice,
He can make of a wisman nice
And of a fool, that him shall seme,
That he can all the lawe deme
And yiven every jugement,
Which longeth to the firmament
Both of the sterre and of the mone.
And thus he maketh a great clerk sone
Of him, that is a lewde man.
There is no thing, whiche he ne can,
While he hath dronkeship on honde,
He knoweth the see, he knoweth the stronde,
He is a noble man of armes,
And yet no strength is in his armes.
There he was stronge inow to-fore,
With dronkeship it is forlore
And all is chaunged his estate
And wext anone so feble and mate,
That he may nouther go ne come,
But all to-gider he is benome
The power both of honde and fote,
So that algate abide he mote
And all his wittes he foryete.
The which is to him such a lete,

That he wot never what he doth, Ne which is fals, ne which is soth, Ne which is day, ne which is night, As for the time he knoweth no wight, That he ne wot so moch as this, What maner thing him selven is Or he be man, or he be beste. That holde I right a sory feste, Whan he, that reson understode, So sodeinlich is woxe wode Or elles lich the dede man, Which nouther go ne speke can. Thus ofte he is to bedde brought, But where he lith yet wot he nought, Till he arise upon the morwe And than he faith: 0, which a sorwe. It is for to be drinkeles, So that half drunke in such a rees With drie mouth he sterte him up And faith: Now baillez ça the cuppe. That made him lese his wit at eve Is than a morwe all his beleve, The cuppe is all that ever him pleseth And also that him most diseseth, It is the cuppe whom he serveth, Which alle cares from him kerveth And all the bales to him bringeth. In joy he wepeth, in sorwe he singeth, For dronkeship is so divers, It may no while stonde invers, .. .

He drinketh the wine, but ate last
The wine drinketh him and bint him fast
And laith him drunke by the walle
As him, which is his bonde thralle
And all in his subjection. .
And lich to such condicion ,
As for to speke it otherwise
It falleth, that the most wise
Ben other while of love adoted
And so bewhapped and assoted
Of dronken men, that never yit
Was none, which half so lost his wit
Of drinke, as they of such thing do,
Which cleped is the jolif wo,
And waxen of her owne thought
So drunke, that they knowe nought,
What reson is or more or lesse.
Such is the kinde of that siknesse,
And that is nought for lacke of braine,
But love is of so great a maine,
"That where he taketh a herte on honde,
There may nothing his might withstonde.
The wise Salomon was nome,
And stronge Sampson overcome,
The knightly David him ne might
Rescoue, that he with the fight
Of Bersabe ne was bestade.
Virgile also was overlade,
And Aristotle was put under.

Forthy my sone, it is no wonder,

Confessio amantis.

If thou be drunke of love amonge,
Which is above all other stronge.
And if so is, that thou so be,
Tell me thy shrift in privete,
It is no shame of such a thewe
A yong man to be dronkelewe.
Of such phisique I can a parte,
And as me semeth by that arte,
Thou shuldest by phisonomy
Be shapen to that malady
Of love drunk, and that is routhe.

Ha, holy fader, all is trouthe,
That ye me telle, I am beknowe,
That I with love am so bethrowe
And al min herte is fo through funke,
That I am veriliche drunke,
And yet I may both speke and go.
But I am overcome so
And torned fro my self so clene,
That oft I wot nought what I mene,
So that excusen I ne may
My herte fro the firste day,
That I cam to my lady kith.
I was yet sobre never fith,
Where I her se or se her nought,
With musing of min owne thought
Of love, which min herte assaileth,
So drunke I am, that my wit faileth
And all my braine is overtorned
And my manere so mistorned,

That I foryete all that I can
And stonde like a mased man,
That ofte whan I Thulde play
It maketh me drawe out of the way
In solein place by my selve,
As doth a laborer to delve,
Which can no gentilmannes chere,
Or elles as a lewde frere,
Whan he is put to his penaunce,
Right fồ lese I my contenaunce.
And if it nedes so betide,
That I in compaigny abide,
Where as I muste daunce and singe
The hove daunce and carolinge,
Or for to go the newe fote,
I may nought wel heve up my fote,
If that she be nought in the way.
For than is all my merth away,
And waxe anone of thought so full,
Wherof my limmes ben so dull,
I may unethes gon the pas.
For thus it is and ever was,
Whan I on suche thoughtes muse,
The lust and merthe that men use,
Whan I se nought my lady byme,
All is foryete for the time
So ferforth, that my wittes chaungen
And alle luftes fro me straungen,
That they sain alle truely
And swere, that it am nought I.

« PreviousContinue »