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The Vision Of Piers Plowman - Part 13

And I awaked therwith, witlees nerhande,
And as a freke that fey were, forth gan I walke
In manere of a mendynaunt many yer after,
And of this metyng many tyme muche thought I hadde
First how Fortune me failed at my mooste nede,
And how that Elde manaced me, myghte we evere mete;
And how that freres folwede folk that was riche,
And [peple] that was povere at litel pris thei sette,
And no corps in hir kirkyerd ne in hir kirk was buryed
But quik he biquethe hem aught or sholde helpe quyte hir dettes;
And how this coveitise overcom clerkes and preestes;
And how that lewed men ben lad, but Oure Lord hem helpe,
Thorugh unkonnynge curatours to incurable peynes;
And how that Ymaginatif in dremels me tolde
Of Kynde and of his konnynge, and how curteis he is to bestes,
And how lovynge he is to bestes on londe and on watre
Leneth he no lif lasse ne moore;
The creatures that crepen of Kynde ben engendred;
And sithen how Ymaginatif seide, ' Vix iustus salvabitur,'
And whan he hadde seid so, how sodeynliche he passed.
I lay down longe in this thoght, and at the laste I slepte;

And as Crist wolde ther com Conscience to conforte me that tyme,
And bad me come to his court - with Clergie sholde I dyne.
And for Conscience of Clergie spak, I com wel the rather;
And there I [merkede] a maister - what man he was I nyste -
That lowe louted and loveliche to Scripture.
Conscience knew hym wel and welcomed hym faire;
Thei wesshen and wipeden and wenten to the dyner.
Ac Pacience in the paleis stood in pilgrymes clothes,
And preyde mete par charite for a povere heremyte.
Conscience called hym in, and curteisliche seide,
' Welcome, wye, go and wassh; thow shalt sitte soone.'
This maister was maad sitte as for the mooste worthi,
And thanne Clergie and Conscience and Pacience cam after.
Pacience and I were put to be mettes,
And seten bi oureselve at a side borde.
Conscience called after mete, and thanne cam Scripture
And served hem thus soone of sondry metes manye -
Of Austyn, of Ambrose, of alle the foure Evaungelistes
Edentes et bibentes que apud eos sunt.
Ac this maister ne his man no maner flessh eten,
Ac thei eten mete of moore cost - mortrews and potages
Of that men myswonne thei made hem wel at ese.
Ac hir sauce was over sour and unsavourly grounde
In a morter, Post mortem, of many bitter peyne -
But if thei synge for tho soules and wepe salte teris
Vos qui peccata hominum comeditis, nisi pro eis lacrimas et
oraciones effuderitis, ea que in deliciis comeditis, in tormentis evometis.
Conscience ful curteisly tho commaunded Scripture

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