In a summer
I myself into shrouds as if I were a shepherd
I wore weed like a unholy of works,
and went wide into this world, with its wonders to hear.
on a morning, on Malvern Hills,
a befell me, a fairy's doing, methought.
I was weary and and went me to rest
under a broad bank by a ,
and as I lay and leaned over and looked into the waters
I slumbered into a sleeping, for it so merry.
Then began I to a
I saw that I was in a wilderness, I never where.
as I beheld into the east towards the sun,
I saw a tower on a hill, well made.
A deep dale was beneath, a therein
with deep dark ditches, dreadful of sight.
A fair field full of folk found I there between,
'twas of all kind of men, the and the rich,
working and wandering as the world asks.
Some put to the plough, playing ,
setting and sowing, to
to win that which by .
And some put to pride, to match,
in of fair clothing came .
In and many another put ,
all for the love of our lord living stern
in hope to have bliss
Hy lived as and that hold in stows,
wishing not for land to wander about in,
nor for livelihood to .
And some chose trade, fared the better
as it seems to our sight that such men thrive.
And some make mirth as
and nome gold with glee; I hold .
not Japers and jangelers, children of Judas,
, making fools,
and have wit at will to work if hy would.
What Paul teaches of , I will not say here;
Qui loquitur turpiloquium is Lucifer's hind.
In this same land and fast about,
bellies and bags breadful crammed,
fighting for food, fighting over ale.
In , God , go to bed
and rise with lewdness, the thieving knaves;
sleepy and sorry slothness, ever seek .
Meanwhile, pilgrims and palmers together
to seek Jame and other in Rome.
went forth in way with many wise tales,
and had leave to lie all life after.
I saw some that said had sought ,
yet in each tale that told tongues were set to lie
more than to speak sooth, it seemed by speech.
A heap of with hooked staves
went to Walsingham, with wenches coming after.
These were great, tall loafers who were loathe to ,
clothed in to be known from others,
and as to have .
I found there friars of all four orders
preaching to the to gain for ,
teaching the gospel however hy liked.
For greed of twisted the gospel at will.
Many of these master friars may clothe at liking,
for and goods are in step together.
Since almsgiving has been a tradesman, and chief to shrive lords,
many have befallen in a few years.
But and the Holy Church hold better together;
the most misbehaving on is mounting up fast.
There preached a forgiver as if he were a priest.
He Brought forth a bull with bishop's ,
and said that he could forgive all
of , and broken oaths.
men believed him well and liked his words,
And came up on
He with his brevet, dimmed their eyes,
And with his got his rings and brooches.
Thus hy gave here gold, to keep
And lend it to such louts as follow lewdness.
If the bishop were holy and worth both his ears,
His seal should not be sent to swike the ,
But a word against bishop the knave never preach.
Parish priest and forgiver share all the silver
That the parish would have if he were not there.
Parsons and parish priests bemoaned to the bishop
That their parishes were since the time,
And asked leave in London to dwell,
And sing deathsongs for wages, for silver is sweet.
Bishops and bachelors, both masters and doctors
That have under Christ, and the as token
And mark that they should shrive their flock,
Preach and for them and feed the .
These lodge in London in Lent, and at other times too.
Some the king, and his silver
In making for his
Of wards and of wardmoots, castaway and runaways.
And some work as to lords and ladies,
And sit instead of stewards in to
Their mass and their . Their canonical
Are said I fear at the last
Lest Christ in his damn full many.
I saw of the that Peter had to keep,
To bind and to unbind as the book tells,
How he left it with love as our Lord bade
Amongst four , the best of all
That are called cardinal, for they hinge the gates
Where Christ is in , to close and to shut
And to open it to and show heavenly bliss.
But of cardinals at Rome that that name
And in a pope to make.
That they have Peter's might it I will not,
For to love and learning that election belongs.
Therefore I can, and yet cannot, of that speak more.
Then came there a king with knighthood before him.