Piers Plugeman

From The Anglish Wiki

This is a partial Anglish translation of Piers Ploughman, a Middle English poem by William Langland.

The Writ[edit]


Deal I

In a summer geretide hƿen soft ƿas þe sun,
I scooped myself into scrudes as if I ƿere a scepherd
I ƿore ƿeed like a ƿeastensetteller unholy of ƿorks,
and ƿent ƿide into þis ƿorld, ƿiþ its ƿonders to hear.
Ack on a Þrimilk morning, on Malfern Hills,
a ferly befell me, a fairys doing, meþougt.
I ƿas ƿeary and forƿandered and ƿent me to rest
under a broad bank by a burnside,
and as I lay and leaned ofer and looked into þe ƿaters
I slumbered into a sleeping, for it sƿeyed so merry.
Þen began I to mete a ƿonderful sƿefen
I saƿ þat I ƿas in a ƿilderness, ƿist I nefer hƿere.
Ack as I beheld into þe east toƿards þe sun,
I saƿ a ture on a hill, ƿell made.
A deep dale ƿas beneaþ, a dung þerein
ƿiþ deep dark dicces, dreadful of sigt.
A fair feeld full of folk fund I þere betƿeen,
tƿas of all kind of men, þe mean and þe ric,
ƿorking and ƿandering as þe ƿorld asks.
Sum put emselfs to þe plue, playing full seld,
setting and soƿing, to sƿink full hard
to ƿin þat hƿic spillers by eattelness breet.
And sum put emselfs to pride, in ƿeed to mac,
in lite of fair cloþing hy came scrided.
In bead and deedboot many anoþer put emselfs,
all for þe luf of ure lord lifing full stern
in hope to haf heafenric bliss
Hy lifed as ankers and ƿeastensettelers þat hold emselfs in her stoƿs,
ƿiscing not for land to ƿander abute in,
nor for geels lifelihood to cƿeme her lic.
And sum ceos trade, hy fared þe better
as it seems to ure sigt þat suc men þrife.

Deal II

And sum make mirþ as scops do,
and num gold ƿiþ her glee; scildless I hold em.
Ack not japers and jangelers, cildren of Judas,
saring her scinelocks, making emselfs fools,
and haf ƿit at ƿill to ƿork if hy ƿuld.
Hƿat Paul teaces of em, I ƿill not say here;
Qui loquitur turpiloquium is Lucifers hind.
In þis same land bindelstiffs and þiggers gede fast abute,
her bellies and her bags breadful crammed,
fiting for her food, figting ofer ale.
In eattelness, God ƿits, hy go to bed
and rise ƿiþ leƿdness, þe þeefing knafes;
sleepy and sorry sloþness, efer seek em.
Meanhƿile, pilgrims and palmers pligted emselfs togeþer
to seek Halloƿ Jame and oþer halloƿs in Rome.
Hy ƿent forþ in her ƿay ƿiþ many ƿise tales,
and had leaf to lie all her life after.
I saƿ sum þat said hy had sougt halloƿs,
get in eac tale þat hy told her tungs ƿere set to lie
more þan to speak sooþ, it seemed by her speec.
A heap of ƿeastensettelers ƿiþ hooked stafes
ƿent to Ƿalsingham, ƿiþ her ƿences coming after.
Þese ƿere great, tall loafers hƿo ƿere loaþe to sƿink,
cloþed in ƿeed to be knoƿn from oþers,
and scooped as ƿeastensettelers to haf her eaþ.
I fund þere friars of all four orders
preacing to þe leed to gain for emselfs,
teacing þe gospel huefer hy liked.
For greed of ƿeed hy tƿisted þe gospel at ƿill.
Many of þese master friars may cloþe emselfs at her liking,
for her geeld and her goods are in step togeþer.
Sins almsgifing has been a tradesman, and ceef to scrive lords,
many ferlies haf befallen in a feƿ geres.
But hy and þe Holy Circ hold better togeþer;
þe most misbehafing on mold is heaping up fast.
Þere preaced a forgeefer as if he ƿere a preest.
He brougt forþ a bull ƿiþ biscops ƿaxtokens,
and said þat he cud forgeef em all
of her fastingsƿike, and broken oaþs.
Leƿd men beleefed him ƿell and liked his ƿords,

Deal III

And came up on her knees to kiss his seals.
He belirted em ƿiþ his brefet, dimmed her eyes,
And ƿiþ his bookfell got his rings and brooces.
Þus hy geafe her gold, eattelmen to keep
And lend it to suc lutes as folloƿ leƿdness.
If þe biscop ƿere holy and ƿorþ boþ his ears,
His seal sculd not be sent to sƿike þe leed,
But a ƿord against biscop þe knafe nefer preac.
Parisc preest and forgeefer scare all þe silfer
Þat þe parisc arm ƿuld haf if he ƿere not þere.
Parsons and parisc preests bemoaned to þe biscop
Þat her parisces ƿere arm sins þe cƿild time,
And asked leaf in London to dƿell,
And sing deaþsongs for ƿages, for silfer is sƿeet.
Biscops and bacelors, boþ masters and doctors
Þat haf berþ under Crist, and þe scavenhead as token
And mark þat hy sculd scrife her flock,
Preac and bead for em and feed þe arm.
Þese locg in London in Lent, and at oþer times too.
Sum þeƿ þe king, and tell his silfer
In geeld and ougt doomerns making afterspeec for his scild
Of ƿards and of ƿardmoots, castaƿays and runaƿays.
And sum ƿork as þeƿs to lords and ladies,
And sit instead of steƿards in cear to deem
Her mass and her morning beads. Her stunds of canon
Are said troþlessly I fear at þe last
Lest Crist in his moot damn full many.
I saƿ of þe ƿeeld þat Peter had to keep,
To bind and to unbind as þe book tells,
Hu he left it ƿiþ luf as ure Lord bade
Amongst four custs, þe best of all custs
Þat are called cardinal, for hy hincg þe gates
Hƿere Crist is in ƿolder, to close and to scut
And to open it to em and scoƿ heafenly bliss.
But of cardinals at Rome þat nam þat name
And geeld oferƿeened in em a pope to make.
Þat hy haf Peters migt ƿiþsake it I ƿill not,
For to luf and learning þat election belongs.
Þerefore I can, and get cannot, of þat doomern speak more.
Þen came þere a king ƿiþ knigthood before him.