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iCAnd Y settide myn herte to knowe wisdom, and to vndur-


stonde the departing, which is turned in erthe. A man is,
7 that bi daies and ni3tis takith not sleep with i3en. And Y
vndurstood, that of alle the werkis of God, a man may fynde
no resoun of tho thingis, that ben don vndur the sunne ; and
in as myche as he traueilith more to seke, bi so myche he
schal fynde lesse ; 5he, thou5 a wijs man seith that he
knowith, he schal not mow fynde.

Cap. IX.

1 I TRETiDE alle these thingis in myn herte, to vndirstonde
diligentli. lust men, and wise men ben, and her werkis ben
in the hond of God ; and nethel'es a man noot, whether he

2 is worthi of loue or of hatrede. But alle thingis ben kept
vncerteyn in to tyme to comynge; for alle thingis bifallen
euenli to a iust man and to a wickid man, to a good man
and to an yuel man, to a cleene man and to an vnclene man,
to a man offrynge offryngis and sacrifices, and to a man
dispisynge sacrifices ; as a good man, so and a synnere ; as
a forsworun man, so and he that greetli swerith treuthe.

3 This thing is the worste among alle thingis, that ben don
vndur the sunne, that the same thingis bifallen to alle men ;
wherfor and the hertis of the sones of men ben fillid with
malice and dispisyng in her lijf; and aftir these thingis thei

4 schulen be led doun to hellis. No man is, that lyueth euere,
and that hath trist of this thing ; betere is a quik dogge than

5 a deed lioun. For thei that lyuen witen that thei schulen
die ; but deed men knowen no thing more, nether han

6 meede ferthere ; for her mynde is jouun to for3etyng. Also
the loue, and hatrede, and enuye perischiden togidere ; and
thei han no part in this world, and in the werk that is don

7 vndur the sunne. Therfor go thou, iusl matt, and ete thi
breed in gladnesse, and drynke thi wiyn with ioie ; for thi


S werkis plesen God, In ech tyme thi clothis be white, and
goile faile not fro thin heed. Vse thou Hjf with the wijf which
thou louest, in alle the daies of hjf of thin vnstablencsse, that
ben 30uun to thee vndur sunne, in al the tyme of thi vanyte ;
for this is thi part in thi hjf and trauel, bi which thou
lotrauelist vndur the sunne. Worche thou bisih, what euer
thing thin bond mai do ; for nether werk, nether resoun,
nethir kunnyng, nether wisdom schulen be at helHs, whidir

1 1 thou haastist. I turnede me to another thing, and Y sij
vndur sunne, that rennyng is not of swift men, nethir batel is
of stronge men, nether breed is of wise men, nether richessis
den of techeris, ne grace is of crafti men ; but tyme and hap

12 is in alle thingis. A man knowith not his ende ; but as
fischis ben takun with an hook, and as briddis ben takun
with a snare, so men ben takun in yuel tyme, whanne it

i3Cometh sudeynU on hem. Also Y si^ this wisdom vndur the

14 sunne, and Y preuede ii the mooste. A litil citee, and a
fewe men ther-ynne ; a greet kyng cam a^ens it, and
cumpasside it with palis, and he bildide strengthis bi cumpas ;

15 and bisegyng was maad perfit. And a pore man and a wijs
was foundun ther-ynne ; and he delyuerede the citee bi his
wisdom, and no man bithou3te aftirward on that pore man.

16 And Y seide, that wisdom is betere than strengthe ; hou
therfor is the wisdom of a pore man dispisid, and hise wordis

17 ben not herd? The w^ordis of wise men ben herd in silence,
more than the cry of a prince among foolis.

Cap. X.

18 Betere is wisdom than armuris of batel ; and he that

1 synneth in o thing, schal leese many goodis. (X). FHcs that
dien, leesen the swetnesse of oynement. Litil foli at a tyme

2 is preciousere than wisdom and glorie. The herte of a wijs
man is in his ri3t side ; and the herte of a fool is in his left


3 side. But also a fool goynge in the weie, whanne he is

4vn\vijs, gessith alle men foolis. If the spirit of hym, that

hath power, stieth on thee, forsake thou not thi place ; for

5 heeling schal make gretteste synnes to ceesse. An yuel is,
which Y si^ vndur the sunne, and goith out as bi errour fro

6 the face of the prince ; a fool set in hi3 dignyte, and riche

7 men sitte bynethe. I si5 seruauntis on horsis, and princes

8 as seruauntis goynge on the erthe. He that diggith a diche,
schal falle in to it; and an eddre schal bite hym, that

9 distrieth an hegge. He that berith ouer stoonys, schal be
turmentid in tho ; and he that kittith trees, schal be woundid

loof tho. If yrun is foldid a5en, and this is not as bifore, but
is maad blunt, it schal be maad scharp with myche trauel ;

1 1 and wisdom schal sue aftir bisynesse. If a serpent bitith, tf
bitith in silence ; he that bacbitith priueH, hath no thing lesse

12 than it. The wordis of the mouth of a wijs man is grace ;
and the lippis of an vnwijs man schulen caste hym doun.

13 The bigynnyng of hise wordis is foli ; and the laste thing of
14 his mouth is the worste errour. A fool multiplieth wordis;

a man noot, what was bifore hym, and who mai schew^e to
i;hym that, that schal come aftir hym.? The trauel of foolis

shal turment hem, that kunnen not go in to the citee.
i6Lond, wo to thee, whos kyng is a child, and whose princes
ireteneerli. Blessid is the lond, whos kyng is noble; and

whose princis eten in her tyme, to susteyne the kynde, and
I Snot to waste. The hi3nesse of housis schal be maad low in

slouthis ; and the hous schal droppe in the feblenesse of
i9hondis. In lei^yng thei disposen breed and \vyn, that thei
20 drynkynge ete largeli ; and alle thingis obeien to monei. In

thi thou5t bacbite thou not the kyng, and in the priuete

of thi bed, curse thou not a riche man ; for the briddis of

heuene schulen here thi vois, and he that hath pennys, schal

telle the sentence.


Cap. XI.
Sende ihi breed on watris passyngc forth, for aftir many
: lymes thou schalt fynde it. 3yue thou partis scuenc, and
also ei5te; for thou woost not, what yuel schal come on
crthe. If cloudis ben filled, tho schulen schede out reyn
on the erthe; if a tre fallith doun to the south, ether to
the north, in what euer place it f^illith doun, there it schal

4 be. He that aspieth the wynd, sowith not; and he that

5 biholdith the cloudis, schal neuere repe. As thou knowist
not, which is the weye of the spirit, and bi what resoun
boonys ben ioyned togidere in the wombe of a womman
with childe, so thou knowist not the werkis of God, which

6 is makere of alle thingis. Eerli sowe thi seed, and thin
bond ceesse not in the euentid; for thou woost not, what
schal come forth more, this ethir that; and if euer eithir

7 come//i forth togidere, it schal be the betere. The li^t is

8 sweet, and delitable to the i3en to se the sunne. If a man
lyueth many 3eeris, and is glad in alle these, he owith to
haue mynde of derk tyme, and of many dales ; and whanne
tho schulen come, thingis passid schulen be repreued of

9 vanyte. Therfor, thou 5onge man, be glad in thi ^ongthe,
and thin herte be in good in the dales of thi 3ongthe, and
go thou in the weies of thin herte, and in the biholdyng
of thin i5en ; and wite thou, that for alle these thingis God

shal brynge thee in to doom. Do thou awei ire fro thin
herte, and remoue thou malice fro thi fleisch ; for-whi
:;ongthe and lust ben veyne thingis.

Cap. XII.

1 Haue thou mynde on thi creatour in the dales of thi
30ngthe, bifore that the tyme of thi turment come, and the
3eris of ihi deth nei3e, of whiche thou schalt seie, Tho plcsen


2 not me. Haiie thou mynde on thi creaiour, bifor that the
sunne be derk, and the li3t, and sterrys, and the mone ;

3 and cloude turne a3en after reyn. Whanne the keperis of
the hous schulen be mouyd, and strongeste men schulen
tremble ; and grynderis schulen be idel, whanne the noumbre
schal be maad lesse, and seeris bi the hoolis schulen wexe

4 derk ; and schulen close the doris in the street, in the low-
nesse of vols of a gryndere; and thei schulen rise at the
vois of a brid, and alle the dou3tris of song schulen wexe

5 deef And hi5 thingis schulen drede, and schulen be aferd
in the weie ; an alemaunde-tre schal floure, a locuste schal
be maad fat, and capparis schal be distried ; for a man schal
go in to the hous of his euerlastyngnesse, and weileris

6 schulen go aboute in the street. Haue thou mynde on thi
creatour^ byfore that a siluerne roop be brokun, and a
goldun lace renne a^en, and a watir pot be al to-brokun
on the welle, and a wheele be brokun togidere on the

7 cisterne ; and dust turne a3en in to his erthe, wherof it

8 was, and the spirit turne a5en to God, that 3af it. The
vanyte of vanytees, seide Ecclesiastes, the vanyte of vanytees,

9 and alle thingis hen vanyte. And whanne Ecclesiastes was
moost wijs, he tau3te the puple, and he telde out the thingis

lowhiche he dide, and he sou3te out wisdom, and made many
parablis; he sou3te profitable wordis, and he wroot moost

1 1 ri3tful wordis, and ful of treuthe. The wordis of wise men
hen as prickis, and as nailis fastned deepe, whiche ben 30uun

i2of o scheepherde bi the counsels of maistris. My sone,
seke thou no more than these ; noon ende is to make many

13 bookis, and ofte thenkyng is turment of fleisch. Alle we
here togydere the ende of spekyng. Drede thou God, and
kepe hise heestis ; that is to seie, ech man. God schal brynge
alle thingis in to dom, that ben don ; for ech thing don
bi errour, whether it be good, ether yuel.



Cap. I.

I, 2 KissE he me with the cos of his mouth. For thi tetis
ben betere than wyn, and 5yuen odour with beste oyne-
mentis. Thi name is oile sched out ; therfor ^onge dame-

3 sels loueden thee. Drawe thou me after thee ; we schulen
renne in to the odour of thin oynementis. The kyng ledde
me in to hise celeris ; we myndeful of thi teetis aboue wyn,
schulen make ful out ioye, and schulen be glad in thee ;

4ri5tful men louen thee, ^e doujtris of Jerusalem, Y am
blak, but fair, as the tabernaclis of Cedar, as the skynnes

5 of Salomon. Nyle 56 biholde me, that Y am blak, for
the sunne hath discolourid me ; the sones of my modir
fou^ten a5ens me, thei settiden me a kepere in vyners; Y

6 kepte not my vyner. T/iou spouse, whom my soule loueth,
schewe to me, where thou lesewist, where thou restist in
myddai ; lest Y bigynne to wandre, afiir the flockis of thi

7 felowis. A ! thou fairest among wymmen, if thou knowist
not thi silf, go thou out, and go forth aftir the steppis of
thi flockis; and feede thi kidis, bisidis the tabernaclis of

8 scheepherdis. ]\Ii frendesse, Y licnede thee to myn oost

9 of kny3tis in the charis of Farao. Thi chekis ben feire,
10 as of a turtle; thi necke is as brochis. We schulen make

to thee goldun ournementis, departid and maad dyuerse

1 1 with silver. Whanne the kyng was in his restyng-place,

12 my narde jaf his odour. ^ly derlyng is a bundel of myrre

13 to me ; he schal dwelle bitwixe my tetis. My derlyng is
to me a cluster of cipre tre, among the vyncrcs of Engaddi.


14 Lo! my frendesse, thou art fair; lo ! thou ar/ fair, thin i5en

1 5 ^7/ ///t' z'yn of culueris. Lo, my derling, thou art fair, and

1 6 schapli ; oure bed is fair as flouris. The trees of oure housis

1 ben of cedre ; oure couplis ben of cipresse. (II). I am a flour

2 of the feeld, and a hlye of grete valeis. As a Hlie among

3 thornes, so zs my frendesse among dou^tris. As an apple-tre
among the trees of wodis, so my derlyng among sones.

Cap. II (II, co7iHnued).

I SAT vndur the shadewe of hym, whom Y desiride ; and

4 his fruyt was swete to my throte. The king ledde me in

5 to the wyn celer ; he ordeynede charite in me. Bisette ^e
me with flouris, cumpasse 36 me with applis ; for Y am

6sijk for loue. His left hond is vndur myn heed; and his
7 ri^t hond schal bicHppe me. 3^ dou3tris of Jerusalem, Y

charge 30U greetli, bi capretis, and hertis of feeldis, that ^e

reise not, nether make to awake the dereworthe spoiisesse,
s til sche wole. The vois of my derlyng ; lo ! this derlyng

cometh leepynge in mounteyns, and skippynge ouer litle
9 hillis. My derlyng is lijk a capret, and a calf of hertis ;

lo ! he stondith bihynde oure wal, and biholdith bi the wyn-

10 dows, and lokith thorou5 the latisis. Lo ! my derlyng
spekith to me. My frendesse, my culuer, my faire spousesse,

1 1 rise thou, haaste thou, and come thou ; for wyntir is passid
J 2 now, reyn is goon, and is departid awei. Flouris apperiden

in oure lond, the tyme of schridyng is comun ; the vois of

13 a turtle is herd in oure lond, the fige tre hath brou5t forth
hise buddis ; vyneris flourynge han ^oue her odour. My
frendesse, my fayre spousesse, rise thou, haaste thou, and

1 4 come thou. INIy culuer is in the hoolis of stoon, in the
chyne of a wal with-out morter. Schewe thi face to me,
thi vois sowne in myn eeris; for thi vois is swete, and thi


15 face is fair. Catche ^e litle foxis to vs, that destricn the

i6vyneris; for oure vyner hath flourid. My derlyng ts to. me,

I : and Y am to hym, which is fed among hhes ; til the dai

sprynge, and schadewis be bowid doun. ]\Ty derlyng, turne

thou a^en ; be thou Hjk a capret, and a calf of hertis, on the

hillis of Betel.

Cap. III.

1 In my litle bed Y sou5te hym bi ni^tis, whom my soule

2 loueth ; Y sou3te hym, and Y foond not. I shal rise, and Y
schal cumpasse the citee, bi litle stretis and large stretis ; Y
schal seke hym, whom my soule loueth ; I sou^te hym, and

p, Y foond not. Wakeris, that kepen the citee, founden me.

4 Whether 3e sien hym, whom my soule loueth ? A litil whanne

Y hadde passid hem, Y foond hym, whom my soule loueth ;

Y helde hym, and Y schal not leeue /ij'?n, til Y brynge him in

5 to the hous of my modir, and in to the closet of my modir. 3e
dou5tris of Jerusalem, Y charge you greetli, bi the capretis, and
hertis of feeldis, that 36 reise not, nether make to awake the

f) dereworthe spousesse, til sche wole. Who is this womman, that
stieth bi the deseert, as a ^erde of smoke of swete smellynge
spices, of mirre, and of encence, and of al poudur of an oyne-

7 ment-makere ? Lo ! sixti stronge men of the strongeste men

8 of Israel cumpassen the bed of Salomon ; and alle thei holden
swerdis, and ben moost witti to batels ; the swerd of ech man

9 is on his hipe, for the drede of ny^tis. Kyng Salomon made to
[o hym a seete, of the trees of Liban ; he made the pilers therof

of siluer ; he made a goldun restyng-place, a stiyng of purpur ;
and he arayede the myddil thingis with charite, for the dou3-
1 1 tris of Jerusalem. 3^ dou3tris of Sion, go out, and se kyng
Salomon in the diademe, bi which his modir crowncde hym,
i in the dai of his spousyng, and in the dai of the gladnesse of
his herte.


Cap. IV.

1 ]\Ii frendesse, thou art ful fair ; thin i5en ben of culueris,
with-outen that that is hid with-ynne ; thin heeris ben as the

2 flockis of geete, that stieden fro the hil of Galaad. Thi teeth
ben as the flockis of clippid sheep, that stieden fro waischyng ;
alle ben with double lambren, and no bareyn is among tho.

3 Thi Hppis ben as a reed lace, and thi speche is swete ; as the
relif of an appil of Punyk, so ben thi chekis, with-outen that,

4 that is hid with-ynne. Thi necke is as the tour of Dauid,
which is bildid with strengthis maad bifore for defense ; a
thousynde scheldis hangen on it, al armure of stronge men.

5 Thi twei tetis ben as twey kidis, twynnes of a capret, that ben

6 fed in lilies, til the dai sprynge, and shadewis ben bowid doun.
Y schal go to the mounteyn of myrre, and to the litil hil of

7 encense. My frendesse, thou art al faire, and no wem is in

8 thee. I\Iy spousesse, come thou fro the Liban ; come thou
fro the Liban, come thou j thou schalt be corowned fro the
heed of Amana, fro the cop of Sanyr and Hermon, fro the

9 dennys of liouns, fro the hillis of pardis. My sister spousesse,
thou hast woundid myn herte ; thou hast woundid myn herte,

10 in oon of thin ijen, and in oon heer of thi necke. My sistir
spousesse, thi tetis ben ful faire ; thi tetis ben feirere than
wyn, and the odour of thi clothis is aboue alle swete smel-

1 1 lynge oynementis. Spousesse, thi lippis ben an hony-coomb
droppynge ; hony and mylk ben vndur thi tunge, and the

1 2 odour of thi clothis is as the odour of encence. Mi sister
spousesse, a gardyn closid togidere ; a gardyn closid togidere,

13 a welle aseelid. Thi sendingis out ben paradis of applis of

14 Punyk, with the fruytis of applis, cipre-trees, with narde ;
narde, and saffrun, an erbe clepid fistula, and canel, with alle
trees of the Liban, myrre, and aloes, with alle the beste oyne-


I ; mentis. A welle of gardyns, a pit of wallynge watris, that
1 6 flowen with fersnesse fro the Liban. Rise thou north ivynd,
and come thou, south wynd; blowe thou thorou3 my gardyn,
and the swete smellynge oynementis therof schulen flete.

Cap. V.

1 Mi derlyng, come in to his gardyn, to ete the fruyt of hise
appUs. Mi sister spousesse, come thou in to my gardyn. Y
have rope my myrre, with my swete smellynge spices ; Y
haue ete an hony combe, with myn hony; Y haue drunke
my wyn, with my mylk. Frendis, ete ^e, and drynke ; and

2 derewortheste frendis, be 3e fillid greetli. Y slepe, and myn
herte wakith. The vols of my derlyng knockynge ; my sister,
my frendesse, my culuer, my spousesse vnwemmed, opene thou
to me ; for myn heed is ful of dew, and myn heeris bc7i ful of

3 dropis of ni^tis. I have vnclothid me of my coote ; hou schal

Y be clothid ther ynne .? I haue waische my feet ; hou schal

4 Y defoule tho ? Mi derlyng putte his hond bi an hoole ;

5 and my wombe tremblide at the touchyng therof. Y roos, for
to opene to my derlyng ; myn hondis droppiden myrre, and

6 my fyngris weren ful of myrre moost preued. Y openede the
wiket of my dore to my derlyng ; and he hadde bowid awei,
and hadde passid. My soule was meltid, as the derlyng spak ;

Y sou3te, and Y foond not hym ; Y clepide, and he answerde

7 not to me. Keperis that cumpassiden the citee founden me ;
thei smytiden me, and woundiden me ; the keperis of wallis

s token awey my mentil. 3e dou3tris of Jerusalem, Y biseche
50U bi an hooH thing, if ^e han founde my derlyng, that ^e

ij telle to hym, that Y am sijk for loue. A ! thou fairesle of

wymmen, of what manner condicioun is thi derlyng of the

louede ? of what manner condicioun is thi dcrling of a der-

10 ling ? for thou hast bisou3t vs bi an hooli thing. INIy derling



Ill's whyt and rodi ; chosun of thousyndis. His heed is best
gold ; hise heeris den as the bowis of palm trees, and hen

12 blake as a crowe. Hise i5en hen as culueris on the strondis of
watris, that ben waischid in mylk, and sitten besidis fulleste

1 3 ryueris. Hise chekis ben as gardyns of swete smellynge spices,
set of oynement makeris; hise lippis hen lilies, droppynge

i4doun the best myrre. Hise hondis ben able to turne aboute,

goldun, and ful of iacynctis ; his wombe is of }Tier, ourned
15 with safiris. Hise lippis ben pilers of marble, that ben foundid

on foundementis of gold ; his schapplinesse is as of the Liban,
\()he is chosun as cedris. His throte is moost swete, and he is

al desirable. 3^ dou^tris of Jerusalem, siche is my derlyng,
1 7 and this is my freend. Thou faireste of wymmen, whidur

jede thi derlyng ? whidur bowide thi derlyng ? and we schulen

seke hym with thee.

Cap. VI.

1 My derlyng 5ede doun in to his orcherd, to the gardyn of
swete smellynge spices, that he be fed there in orcherdis, and

2 gadere lilyes. Y to my derlyng ; and my derlyng, that is fed

3 among the lilies, be to me. Mi frendesse, thou art fair, swete
and schappli as Jerusalem, thou art ferdful as the scheltrun of

4 oostis set in good ordre. Turne awei thin i^en fro me, for
tho maden me to fle awei; thin heeris ben as the flockis of

5 geet, that apperiden fro Galaad. Thi teeth as a flok of scheep,
that stieden fro waischyng; alle ben with double lambren,

6 ether twynnes, and no bareyn is among tho. As the rynde of

7 a pumgranate, so ben thi chekis, without thi priuytees. Sixti
ben queenys, and ei3ti ben secundarie wyues ; and of ^ong

Sdamesels is noon noumbre. Oon is my culuer, my perfit
spousesse, oon is to hir modir, and is the chosun of hir modir ;
the dou^tris of Syon sien hir, and prechiden hir moost blessid ;
queenys, and secundarie wyues preisiden hir. Who is this,


that goith forth, as the moreutid risynge, fair as the moonc,
chosun as the sunne, ferdful as the scheltrun of ooslis set in

10 good ordre? Y cam doun in to myn orcherd, to se the
applis of grete valeis, and to biholde, if vyneris hadden flourid,

1 1 and if pumgranate trees hadden buriowned. Y knew not ;

1 2 my soule disturblide me, for the charis of Amynadab. Turne
a5en, turne a3en, thou Sunamyte ; turne a^en, turne a^en, that
we biholde thee. What schalt thou se in the Sunamyte, no
but cumpenyes of oostis ?

Cap. VII.

1 D0U5TIR of the prince, thi goyngis ben ful faire in schoon ;
the ioyncturis of thi heppis ben as brochis, that ben maad bi

2 the bond of a crafti man. Thi nawle is as a round cuppe,
and wel formed, that hath neuere nede to drynkis ; thi

3 wombe is as an heep of whete, biset aboute with hlies. Thi

4 twei teetis ben as twei kidis, twynnes of a capret. Thi necke
is as a tour of yuer ; thin i^en ben as cisternes in Esebon, that
ben in the 3ate of the dou3ter of multitude ; thi nose is as the

5 tour of Liban, that biholdith a^ens Damask. Thin heed is
as Carmele ; and the heeres of thin heed ben as the kyngis

6 purpur, ioyned to trow3is. Dereworthe spousesse, thou art ful

7 fair, and ful schappli in delices. Thi stature is licned to

8 a palm tree, and thi tetis to clustris of grapis. I seide, Y
schal stie in to a palm tree, and Y schal take the fruytis
therof. And thi tetis schulen be as the clustris of grapis
of a vyner; and the odour of thi mouth as the odour of

9 pumgranatis ; thi throte schal be as beste wyn. Worthi to
my derlyng for to drynke, and to hise lippis and teeth to

10 chewe. Y scha cleue by hue to my derlyng, and his turnyng
\\ schal be to me. Come thou, my derlyng, go we out in to the
i2feeld; dwelle we togidere in townes. Ryse we eerli to the

T 2


vyner ; se we, if the vyner hath flourid, if the flouris bryngen
forth fruytis, if pumgranatis han flourid ; there I schal ^yue
1 3 to thee my tetis. Mandrogoris han 30ue her odour in oure
^atis; my derlyng, Y haue kept to thee alle applis, new and


1 Who mai grante to me thee, my brother, soukynge the
tetis of my modir, that Y fynde thee aloone without forth,

2 and that Y kisse thee, and no man dispise me thanne ? Y
schal take thee, and Y schal lede ihee in to the hous of
my modir, and in to the closet of my modir; there
thou schalt teche me, and Y schal 5yue to thee drink
of wyn maad swete, and of the must of my pumgra-

anatis. His lefthond vndur myn heed, and his ri^thond

4 schal biclippe me. 3^ dou3tris of Jerusalem, Y charge 50U
greetli, that je reise not, nether make the dereworthe spousesse

5 to awake, til sche wole. Who is this spousesse, that stieth fro
desert, and flowith in dehces, and restith on hir derlynge?
Y reiside thee vndur a pumgranate tre ; there thi modir was

6 corrupt, there thi modir was defoulid. Set thou me as a
signet on thin herte, as a signet on thin arm; for loue is
strong as deth, enuy is hard as helle ; the laumpis therof ben

7laumpis of fier, and of flawmes. Many watris moun not
quenche charite, nether floodis schulen oppresse it. Thou^
a man ^yue al the catel of his hous for loue, he schal

8 dispise that calel as nou3t. Oure sistir is litil, and hath no
tetys; what schulen we do to oure sistir, in the dai whanne

9 sche schal be spokun to ? If it is a wal, bilde we theronne
siluerne touris ; if it is a dore, ioyne we it togidere with tablis

10 of cedre. I am a, wal, and my tetis den as a tour; sithen

1 1 Y am maad as fyndynge pees bifore hym. A vyner was to

the pesible; in that ci/ee, that hath puplis, he bitook it to


keperis; a man bryngith a thousynde platis of siluer for

1 2 the fruyt therof. The vyner is bifore me ; a thousynde ben
of thee pesible, and two hundrid to hem that kepen the

1 3 fruytis therof. Frendis herkene thee, that dwellist in or-
i4chertis; make thou me to here thi vois. My derlyng; fie

thou ; be thou maad hjk a capret, and a calf of hertis, on the
hillis of swete smellynge spices.


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