Sone after that ye went out of this toun.

His deth saw I by revelatioun, Sayde this frere, at home in our dortour. I dare wel sain, that er than half an hour After his deth, I saw him borne to blisse In min avision, so God me wisse. So did our sextein, and our fermerere, That han ben trewe freres fifty yere; They may now, God be thanked of his lone, Maken hir jubilee, and walke alone. And up I arose, and all our covent eke, With many a tere trilling on our cheke, Withouten noise or clatering of belles, Te deum was our song, and nothing elles, Save that to Crist I bade an orison, Thanking him of my revelation. For, sire and dame, trusteth me right wel, Our orisons ben more effectuel, And more we seen of Cristes secree thinges, Than borel folk, although that they be kinges. We live in poverte, and in abstinence, And borel folk in richesse and dispence Of mete and drinke, and in hir foule delit, We han this worldes lust all in despit. Lazar and Dives liveden diversely, And divers guerdon hadden they therby. Who so wol pray, he must fast and be clene, And fat his soule, and make his body lene. We fare, as sayth the apostle; cloth and food Sufficeth us, though they be not ful good. The clenenesse and the fasting of us freres, Maketh that Crist accepteth our praieres.

Lo, Moises forty daies and forty night Fasted, er that the high God ful of might

Spake with him in the mountagne of Sinay:
With empty wombe of fasting many a day,
Received he the lawe, that was writen
With Goddes finger; and Eli, wel ye witen,
In mount Oreb, er he had any speche
With highe God, that is our lives leche,
He fasted long, and was in contemplance.

Aaron, that had the temple in governance,
And eke the other preestes everich on,
Into the temple whan they shulden gon
To praien for the peple, and do servise,
They n’olden drinken in no maner wise
No drinke, which that might hem dronken make,
But ther in abstinence pray and wake,
Lest that they deiden: take heed what I say
But they be sobre that for the peple pray-
Ware that I say—no more: for it sufficeth.
Our Lord Jesu, as holy writ deviseth,
Yave us ensample of fasting and praieres:
Therfore we mendiants, we sely freres,
Ben wedded to poverte and continence,
To charitee, humblesse, and abstinence,
To persecution for rightwisnesse,
To weping, misericorde, and to clenenesse.
And therfore may ye see that our praieres
(I speke of us, we mendiants, we freres)
Ben to the highe God more acceptable

your festes at your table.
Fro Paradis first, if I shal not lie,
Was man out chased for his glotonie,
And chast was man in Paradis certain.
But herken now, Thomas, what I shal sain,
I have no text of it, as I suppose,
But I shal find it in a maner glose;


That specially our swete Lord Jesus
Spake this by freres, whan he sayde thus,
Blessed be they that poure in spirit ben.
And so forth all the gospel may ye sen,
Whether it be liker our profession,
Or hirs that swimmen in possession,
Fie on hir pompe, and on hir glotonie,
And on hir lewednesse: I hem defie.
Me thinketh they ben like Jovinian,
Fat as a whale, and walken as a swan;
Al vinolent as botel in the spence;
Hir praier is of ful gret reverence;
Whan they for soules say the Psalm of Davit,
Lo, buf they say, Cor meum eructavit.

Who foloweth Cristes gospel and his lore
But we, that humble ben, and chast, and

Workers of Goddes word, not auditours?
Therfore right as an hauke upon a sours
Up springeth into the aire, right so praieres
Of charitable and chast besy freres,
Maken hir sours to Goddes eres two.
Thomas, Thomas, so mote I ride or go,
And by that lord that cleped is Seint Ive,
N’ere thou our broder, shuldest thou not thrive.
In our chapitre pray we day and night
To Crist, that he thee sende hele and might
Thy body for to welden hastily.

God wot, quod he, nothing therof fele I,
As help me Crist, as I in fewe yeres
Have spended upon divers maner freres
Ful many a pound, yet fare I never the bet;
Certain my good have I almost beset:
Farewel my good, for it is al ago.

The frere answered, 0 Thomas, dost thou so?



What nedeth you diverse freres to seche?
What nedeth him that hath a parfit leche,
To sechen other leches in the toun ?
Your inconstance is


confusion. Hold


than me, or elles our covent, To pray


ben insufficient?
Thomas, that jape n'is not worth a mite;
Your maladie is for we han to lite.

that covent half a quarter otes; And yeve

that covent four and twenty grotes; And

yeve that frere a peny, and let him go: Nay, nay, Thomas, it may no thing be so. What is a ferthing worth parted on twelve? Lo, eche thing that is oned in himselve Is more strong than whan it is yscatered. Thomas, of me thou shalt not ben yflatered, Thou woldest han our labour al for nought. The highe God, that all this world hath wrought, Saith, that the workman worthy is his hire. Thomas, nought of your tresor I desire As for myself, but that all our covent To pray for you is ay so diligent: And for to bilden Cristes owen chirche. Thomas, if ye

wol lernen for to wirche, Of bilding up of chirches may ye

finde If it be good, in Thomas lif of Inde.

Ye liggen here ful of anger and of ire, With which the devil set your herte on fire, And chiden here this holy innocent Your wif, that is so good and patient. And therfore trow me, Thomas, if thee lest, Ne strive not with thy wif, as for the best. And bere this word away now by thy faith, Touching swiche thing, lo, what the wise saith: Within thy hous ne be thou no leon; To thy suggets do non oppression; Ne make thou not thin acquaintance to flee.

And yet, Thomas, eftsones charge I thee,
Beware from ire that in thy bosom slepeth,
Ware fro the serpent, that so slily crepeth
Under the gras, and stingeth subtilly.
Beware, my sone, and herken patiently,
That twenty thousand men han lost hir lives
For striving with hir lemmans and hir wives.
Now sith ye han so holy and meek a wif,
What nedeth you, Thomas, to maken strif?
Ther n'is ywis no serpent so cruel,
Whan man tredeth on his tail, ne half so fel,
As woman is, whan she hath caught an ire;
Veray vengeance is than all hire desire.

Ire is a sinne, on of the grete seven,
Abhominable unto the God of heven,
And to himself it is destruction.

lewed vicar and parson
Can say, how ire engendreth homicide;
Ire is in soth executour of pride.

I coud of ire say so mochel sorwe, My tale shulde lasten til to-morwe. And therfore pray I God both day and night, An irous man God send him litel might. It is gret harm, and certes gret pitee To sette an irous man in high degree.

Whilom ther was an irous potestat, As saith Senek, that during his estat Upon a day out riden knightes two. And, as fortune wold that it were so, That on of hem came home, that other nought. Anon the knight before the juge is brought,


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