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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:
Aaron, that had the temple in governance,
your festes at your table.
That specially our swete Lord Jesus
Who foloweth Cristes gospel and his lore
God wot, quod he, nothing therof fele I,
The frere answered, 0 Thomas, dost thou so?
What nedeth you diverse freres to seche?
than me, or elles our covent, To pray
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,
Ire is a sinne, on of the grete seven,
lewed vicar and parson
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,