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The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 12

' I am Ymaginatif,' quod he, 'ydel was I nevere,
Though I sitte by myself, in siknesse nor in helthe.
I have folwed thee, in feith, thise fyve and fo
And manye tymes have meved thee to [mlyn[n]e on thyn ende,
And how fele fernyeres are faren, and so fewe to come
And of thi wilde wantownesse [whan] thow yong were,
To amende it in thi myddel age, lest myght the faille
In thyn olde elde, that yvele kan suffre
Poverte or penaunce, or preyeres bidde
Si non in prima vigilia nec in secunda &c.

'Amende thee while thow myght; thow hast ben warned ofte
With poustees of pestilences, with poverte and with angres -
And with thise bittre baleises God beteth his deere children
Quem diligo, castigo.
And David in the Sauter seith, of swiche that loveth Jesus,
'' Virga tua et baculus tuus, ipsa me consolata sunt.
Although thow strike me with thi staf, with stikke or with yerde,
It is but murthe as for me to amende my soule.''
And thow medlest thee with makynges - and myghtest go seye thi Sauter,
And bidde for hem that yyveth thee breed; for ther are bokes ynowe
To telle men what Dowel is, Dobet and Dobest bothe,
And prechours to preve what it is, of many a peire freres.'
I seigh wel he seide me sooth and, somwhat me to excuse,
Seide, 'Caton conforted his sone that, clerk though he were,
To solacen hym som tyme - a[lso] I do whan I make
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis.
'And of holy men I herde,' quod I, 'how thei outherwhile
Pleyden, the parfiter to ben, in [places manye].
Ac if ther were any wight that wolde me telle
What were Dowel and Dobet and Dobest at the laste,
Wolde I nevere do werk, but wende to holi chirche
And there bidde my bedes but whan ich ete or slepe.'
'Poul in his pistle,' quod he, 'preveth what is Dowel
Fides, spes, caritas, et maior horum &c -
Feith, hope and charitee, and alle ben goode,
And saven men sondry tymes, ac noon so soone as charite.
For he dooth wel, withouten doute, that dooth as lewte techeth;
That is, if thow be man maryed, thi make thow lovye,
And lyve forth as lawe wole while ye lyven bothe.
' Right so, if thow be religious, ren thow nevere ferther
To Rome ne to Rochemador, but as thi rule techeth,

And holde thee under obedience, that heigh wey is to hevene.
'And if thow be maiden to marye, and myght wel continue,
Seke thow nevere seint ferther for no soule helthe!
For what made Lucifer to lese the heighe hevene,
Or Salomon his sapience, or Sampson his strengthe?
job the Jew his joye deere he it aboughte;
Aristotle and othere mo, Ypocras and Virgile,

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