A Vox gon out of the wode go,
Afingret so, that him wes wo;
He nes nevere in none wise,
Afingret erour half so swithe.
He ne hoeld nouther wey ne strete,
For him wes loth men to mete;
Him were levere meten one hen,
Then half an oundred wimmen.
He strok swithe over all,
So that he of-sei ane wal;
Withinne hte walle wes on hous,
Thewox wes thider swithe wous;
For he thohute his hounger aquenche,
Other mid mete, other mid drunche.
Abouten he biheld wel erne;
Tho eroust bigon the vox to erne,
Al fort he come to one walle,
And som therof wes a-falle,
And wes the wal over al to-breke,
And on at ther wes i-loke;
At the furmeste bruche that he fond,
He lep in, and over he wond.
Tho he wes inne, smere he lou,
And ther of he hadde gome i-nou;
For he com in withouten leve,
Bothen of haiward and of reve.
ON hous ther wes,
the dore wes ope,
Hennen weren therinne i-crope
Five, that maketh anne flok,
And mid hem sat on kok.
The kok him wes flowen on hey,
And two hennen him seten ney.
"Wox," quad the kok, "wat dest thou thare?
Go hom, Crist the eve kare!
Houre hennen thou dest ofte shome;
Be stille, ich hote, a Godes nome!"
Quath the wox, Sire chauntecler,
Thou fle adoun, and com me ner.
I nabbe don her nout bote goed,
I have leten thine hennen blod;
Hy weren seke ounder the ribe,
That hy ne mitte non lengour libe,
Bote here heddre were i-take;
That I do for almes sake.
Ich have hem leten eddre blod,
And the chantecler hit wolde don goed;
Thou havest that ilke ounder the splen;
Thou nestes nevere daies ten;
For thine lif-dayes beth al a-go,
Bote thou bi mine rede do;
I do the lete blod ounder the brest,
Other sone axe after the prest."
"Go wei," quod the kok, "wo the bi-go!
Thou havest don oure kunne wo.
Go mid than that thou havest nouthe;
Acoursed be thou of Godes mouthe!
For were I a-doun, bi Godes nome!
Ich mite ben siker of owre shome;
Ac weste hit houre cellerer,
That thou were i-com en her,
He wolde sone after the onge,
Mid pikes, and stones, and staves stronge;
Alle thine bones he wolde to-breke,
Thene we weren wel awreke."
He wes stille, no spak namore,
Ac he werth athurst wel sore;
The thurst him dede more wo,
Then hevede rather his hounger do.
Over al he ede and soliute;
On aventure his wiit him brohute
To one putte wes water inne,
That wes i-maked,ed mid grete ginne.
Tuo boketes ther he founde,
That other wende to the grounde,
That wen me shulde that op-winde.
That other wolde a-doun winde.
He ne hounderstod nout of the ginne,
He nom that boket, and lop therinne;
For he hopede i-nou to drinke:
This bolket beginneth to sinke.
To late the vox wes bi-thout,
Tho he wes in the ginne i-brout;
I-nou he gon him bi-thenclie,
Ac hit ne halp mid none wrenehe;
A-doun he moste, he wes therinne;
I-kaut he wes mid swikele ginne.
Hit mite han i-ben wel his wille,
To lete that boket hongi stille:
Wat mid serewe, and mid drede,
Al his thurst him over-hede.
Al thus he com to the grounde,
And water i-nou ther he founde.
Tho he fond water, erne he dronk,
Him thoute that water there stonk,
For hit wes to-eines his wille:
"Wo worthe," quath the vox, "lust and wille,
That ne con meth to his mete!
ef ich nevede to mucliel i-ete,
This ilke shome neddi nouthe,
Nedde lust i-ben of mine mouthe.
Him is wo in euche londe,
That is thef mid his honde.
Ich am i-kaut mid swikele ginne,
Other soum devel me broute her inne;
I was woned to ben wiis,
Ac nou of me i-don hit hiis."
THE vox wep, and reuliche bigan:
Ther com a wolf gon after than,
Out of the depe wode blive,
For he was afingret swithe.
Nothing he ne founde in al the nite,
Wer mide his honger aquenche mitte.
He com to the putte, thene vox i-herde;
He him kneu wel by his rerde,
For hit wes his neiebore,
And his gossip, of children bore.
A-doun bi the putte he sat.
Quod the wolf, " Wat may ben that,
That ich in the putte i-here?
Hertou cristine, other mi fere?
Say me soth, ne gabbbe thou me nout,
Wo haveth the in the putte i-brout?"
The vox hine i-kneu wel for his kun,
And tho eroust kom wiit to him;
For he thoute mid soumme ginne,
Him self houp bringe, thene wolf therinne.
Quod the vox, "Wo is nou there?
Ich wene, hit is Sigrim that ich here."
That is soth," the wolf sede,
Ac wat art thou, so God the rede?"
"A," quod the vox, " ich wille the telle,
On alpi word ich lie nelle:
Ich am Reneuard, thi frend,
And if ich thine come hevede i-wend,
Ich hedde so i-bade for the,
That thou sholdest comen to me."
"Mid the?" quod the wolf, "warto?"
Wat shulde ich ine the putte do?"
Quod the.vox, "Thou art ounwiis,
Hler is the blisse of paradiis;
Her ich mai evere wel fare,
Withouten pine, withouten kare;
Her is mete, her is drinke,
Her is blisse withouten swinke;
Her nis hounger never mo,
Ne non other kunnes wo;
Of alle gode her is i-nou."
Mid thilke wordes the volf lou.
"ART thou ded, so Gode the rede,
Other of the worlde?" the wolf sede.
Quod the wolf, "Wenne storve thou,
And wat dest thou there nou?
Ne beth nout et thre daies a-go,
That thou an thi wif also,
And thine children, smale and grete,
Alle to-gedere mid me hete."
That is soth," quod the vox,
Gode thonk, nou hit is thus,
That ich am to Criste vend,
Not hit non of mine frend.
I nolde, for all the worldes goed,
Ben ine the worlde, ther ich hem foud.
Wat shuldich ine the worlde go,
Ther nis bote kare, and wo,
And livie in fulthe and in sunne?
Ac her beth joies fele cunne:
Her beth bothe shep and get."
The wolf haveth hounger swithe gret,
For he nedde are i-ete;
And tho he herde speken of mete,
He wolde bletheliche ben thare:
"A!" quod the wolf, "gode i -fere,
Moni goed mel thou havest me binome;
Let me a-doun to the kome,
And al ich wole the for-eve."
"e," quod the vox, "were thou i-srive,
And sunnen hevedest al forsake,
And to kleiie lif i-take,
Ich wolde so bidde for the,
That thou sholdest comen to me."
To wom shuldich," the wolfe seide,
"Ben i-knowe of mine misdede?
Her nis nothing alive,
That me kouthe her nou srive.
Thou havest ben ofte min i-fere,
Woltou nou mi srift i-here,
And al mi liif I shal the telle?"
Nay," quod the vox, "I nelle."
"Neltou," quod the wolf, "thin ore,
Ich am afingret swithe sore;
Ich wot to-nit ich worthe ded,
Bote thou do me soume reed.
For Cristes love, be mi prest."
The wolf bey a-doun his brest,
And gon to siken harde and stronge.
"Woltou," quod the vox, "srift ounderfonge,
Tel thine sunnen on and on,
That ther bileve never on."
"SONE," quad the wolf, "wel i-faie
Ich habbe ben qued al mi lif-daie;
Ich habbe widewene kors,
Therfore ich fare the wors.
A thousent shep ich, habbe abitten,
And mo, ef hy weren i-writen.
Ac hit me of-thinketh sore.
Maister, shal I tellen more?"
"e," quad the vox, " al thou most sugge."
Other elles wer thou most abugge."
"Gossip," quod the wolf, "foref hit me,
Ich habbe ofte sehid qued bi the.
Men seide, that thou on thine live
Misferdest mid mine wive;
Ich the aperseivede one stounde,
And in bedde to-gedere ou founde.
Ich wes ofte ou ful ney,
And in bedde to-gedere ou ley;
Ich wende, al so othre, doth,
That ich i-seie were soth,
And therfore thou were me loth;
Gode gossip, ne be thou nohut wroth."
"VUOLF," quad the vox him tho,
"Al that thou havest her bifore i-do,
In thohut, in speche, and in dede,
In euche otheres kunnes quede,
Ich the foreve at thisse nede."
"Crist the forelde!" the wolf seide.
"Nou ich am in clene live,
Ne reeche ich of childe ne of wive.
Ac sei me wat I shal do,
And ou ich may comen the to."
"Do," quod the vox, " ich wille the lere.
I-siist thou a boket hongi there?
Ther is a bruche of hevene blisse,
Lep therinne, mid i-wisse,
And thou shalt comen to me sone."
Quod the wolf, "That is lit to done."
He lep in, and way sumdel:
That weste the vox ful wel.
The wolf gon sinke, the vox arise;
Tho gon the wolf sore agrise.
Tho he com amidde the putte,
The wolf thene vox opward mette.
"Gossip," quod the wolf, "wat nou
Wat havest thou i-munt, weder wolt thou?"
"Weder ich wille?" the vox sede,
"Ich wille oup, so God me rede!
And nou go doun, with thi meel,
Thi biete worth wel smal.
Ac ich am therof glad and blithe,
That thou art nomen in clene live.
Thi soule-cnul ich wile do ringe,
And masse for thine soule singe."
The wrecche binethe nothing ne vind,
Bote cold water, and hounger him bind;
To colde gistninge he was i-bede,
Wroggen haveth his dou i-knede.
THE wolf in the putte stod,
Afingret so that he ves wod
I-nou he cursede that thider him broute;
The vox ther of luitle route.
The put him wes the house ney,
Ther freren woneden swithe sley.
So that hit com to the time,
That hoe shulden arisen ime,
For to suggen here houssong.
O frere ther wes among,
Of here slep hem shulde aweche,
Wen hoe shulden thidere reeche.
He seide, "Ariseth on and on,
And kometh to houssong hevereuchon."
This ilke frere heyte Ailmer,
He wes hoere maister curtiler;
He wes hofthurst swithe stronge
Rit amidward here houssonge,
Alhone to the putte he hede;
For he wende bete his nede.
He com to the putte, and drou,
And the wolf was hevi i-nou;
The frere mid al his maine tey
So longe, that he thene wolf i-sey.
For he sei thene wolf ther sitte,
He gradde, "The devel is in the putte!"
TO the putte hy gounnen gon
Alle, mid pikes, and staves, and ston.
Euch mon mid that he hedde,
Wo wes him that wepne nedde.
Hy comen to the putte, thene wolf op-drowe;
Tho hede the wreche fomen i-nowe,
That weren egre him to slete
Mid grete houndes, and to bete.
Wel and wrothe he wes i-swonge,
Mid staves and speres he wes i-stounge.
The wox bicharde him, mid i-wisse,
For he ne fond nones kunnes blisse,
Ne hof duntes foreveness.