Syngeth the nyghtyngale; gredeth | Singeth the nightingale; screamtheo jay;

eth the jay; The hote sunne chongeth the clay; The hot sun changeth the clay; As ye well yseen may.

As ye well may see.

Alisaunder, 140.

8. Havelok. (Manual, p. 34.)

(From Guest's History of English Rhythms, vol. ii. pp. 142–145.)

Hwan he was hosled and shriven, When he was housled and shriven, His quiste maked, and for him His bequests made, and for him given,

given, His knictes dede he alle site, His knights he made all sit, For thorw them he wolde wite, For from them would he know, Hwo micte yeme hise children who should keep his children yunge,

young, Till that he couthen speken wit Till they knew how to speak with tunge, [riden, tongue,

[horse, Speken, and gangen, on horse To speak, and walk, and ride on Knictes and sweynes bi hete' Knights and servants by their side. siden. [sone

[soon He spoken there offe — and chosen They spoke thereof — and chosen A riche man was, that, under Was a rich man, that, under mone,

moon, Was the trewest that he wende Was the truest that they knew Godard, the kinges oune frende; Godard, the king's own friend; And seyden, he moucthe hem And said they, he might best them best loke

keep Yif that he hem undertoke, If their charge he undertook, Till hise sone mouthe bere

Till his son might bear
Helm on heued, and leden ut here, Helm on head, and lead out host,
(In his hand a spere stark) (In his hand a sturdy spear)
And king ben maked of Denmark. And king of Denmark should be

1 This is clearly a mistake for here.

9. ROBERT OF GLOUCESTER. (Manual, p. 33.)

Thuse come lo! Engelond into | Thus came lo! England into NorNormannes honde,

mans'-hand. And the Normans ne couthe speke And the Normans not could speak tho bote her owe speche,

then but their own speech, And speke French as dude atom, And spake French as (they) dic

and here chyldren dude al so at home, and their children teche;

did all so teach : So that heymen of thys lond, that So that high men of this land, that of her blod come,

of their blood come, Holdeth alle thulke speche that hii Hold all the same speech that they of hem nome.

of them took; Vor bote a man couthe French me For but a man know French men tolth of hym wel lute;

tell (reckon) of him well little : Ac lowe men holdeth to Englyss | But low men nol! to English and

and to her kunde speche yute. to their natural speech yet. Ich wene ther ne be man in world I wen there not be man in world contreyes none

countries none That ne holdeth to her kunde That not holdeth to their natural

speche, bot Engelond one. speech but England (al-) one. Ac wel me wot vor to conne both But well I wot for to know both

well it is : Vor the more that a man con, the For the more that a man knows, more worth he ys.

the more worth he is.

wel yt ys;


(Manual, p. 33.)

Lordynges, that be now here, Lords, that be now here,
If ye wille listene & lere

If ye will listen and learn
All the story of Inglande,

All the story of England, Als Robert Mannyng wryten it | As Robert Mannyng found it writfand,

ten, & on Inglysch has it schewed, And in English has shewed it, Not for the lerid bot for the lewed, Not for the learned but for the un

learned, For tho that in this land wonn, For those that in this land dwell, That the Latyn no Frankys conn, That know not Latin nor French, For to haf solace & gamen

In order to have solace and enjoy

ment In felawschip when thai sitt samen. In fellowship when they sit to




11. The Vision of Piers Ploughman, 1350. (Manual, p. 54.)


Yet hoved' ther an hundred
In howves ? of selk,
Sergeantz it bi-semed
That serveden at the barre,
Pleteden for penyes
And poundes the lawe;
And noght for love of our Lord
Unlose hire lippes ones.
Thow myghtest bettre meete myst
On Malverne hilles,
Than gete a mom of hire mouth,

Til moneie be shewed.
i hoved, waited.

2 howves, hooks or caps.

12. JOHN GOWER, d. 1408. Confessio Amantis. (Manual,

p. 56, seq.)


From the Fifth Book.

In a Cronique thus I rede:
Aboute a king, as must nede,
Ther was of knyghtès and squiers
Gret route, and eke of officers :
Some of long time him hadden served,
And thoughten that they haue deserved
Avancement, and gon withoute:
And some also ben of the route,
That comen but a while agon,
And they avanced were anon.

These oldè men upon this thing,
So as they durst, ageyne the king


Among hemself' compleignen ofte:
But there is nothing said so softe,
That it ne comith out at laste :
The king it wiste, and als so faste,
As he which was of high prudènce :
He shope therfore an evidence
Of hem ? that pleignen in the cas,
To knowe in whose defalte it was;
And all within his owne entent,
That non ma wistè what it ment.
Anon he let two cofres make
Of one semblance, and of one make,
So lich,that no lif thilke throwe,
That one may fro that other knowe:
They were into his chamber brought,
But no man wot why they be wrought,
And natheles the king hath bede
That they be set in privy stede,
As he that was of wisdom slih;
Whan he therto his time sih,
All privěly, that none it wiste
His ownè hondes that one chiste
Of fin gold, and of fin perie,
The which out of his tresorie
Was take, anon he fild full;
That other cofre of straw and mull
With stones meynd' he fild also :
Thus be they full bothè two.

So that erliche 8 upon a day
He had within, where he lay,
Ther should be tofore his bed
A bord up set and faire spred :
And than he let the cofres fette 8
Upon the bord, and did hem sette.
He knewe the names well of tho, 10
The whiche agein him grutched so,
Both of his chambre and of his halle,
Anon and sent for hem alle;
And seide to hem in this wise.

There shall no man his hap despise : I wot well ye have longe served, And God wot what ye have deserved; But if it is along on me Of that ye unavanced be, Or elles if it belong on yow,

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1 Themselves.

6 Rubbish.

9 Them.

7 Mingled.

3 Like.

8 Early.

4 Saw. 6 Jewels, or precious stones. 9 Fetched.

10 Those.


The sothè shall be proved now:
To stoppe with your evil word,
Lo! here two cofres on the bord;
Chese which you list of bothè two;
And witеth well that one of tho

with tresor so full begon,
That if ye happé therupon
Ye shall be richè men for ever:
Now chese," and take which you is lever,
But be well ware ere that ye take,
For of that one I undertake
Ther is no maner good therein,
Wherof ye mighten profit winne.
Now goth 12 together of one assent,
And taketh your avisement;
For, but I you this day avance,
It stant upon your ownė chance,
Al only in defalte of grace;
So shall be shewed in this place
Upon you all well afyn,
That no defaltè shal be myn.

They knelen all, and with one vois
The king they thonken of this chois :
And after that they up arise,
And gon aside, and hem avise,
And at lastė they accorde
(Wherof her 14 tale to recorde
To what issue they be falle)
A knyght shall spekè for hem alle:
He kneleth doun unto the king,
And seith that they upon this thing,
Or for to winne, or for to lese, 15
Ben all avised for to chese.
Tho 18 toke this knyght a yerd

on honde,
And goth there as the cofres stonde,
And with assent of everychone
He leith his yerde upon one,
And seith 19 the king how thilke same
They chese in reguerdon 20 by name,
And preith him that they might it have.

The king, which wolde his honor save,
Whan he had heard the common vois,
Hath granted hem her owne chois,
And toke hem therupon the keie;
But for he wolde it were seie 21



11 Choose. 12 Go.

18 Every one.

13 At last. 14 Their
19 Sayeth to the king.

15 Lose. 16 Then. 17 A rod. 20 As their reward. 21 Seen.

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