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Balade de bon conseyl.

Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastnesse,
Suffyce unto thy good, though hit be smal;
For hord hath hate, and climbing tikelnesse,
Prees hath envye, and wele blent overal;
Savour no more than thee bihove shal;       5
Werk wel thy-self, that other folk canst rede;
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.

Tempest thee noght al croked to redresse,
In trust of hir that turneth as a bal:
Gret reste stant in litel besinesse;       10
And eek be war to sporne ageyn an al;
Stryve noght, as doth the crokke with the wal.
Daunte thy-self, that dauntest otheres dede;
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.

That thee is sent, receyve in buxumnesse,       15
The wrastling for this worlde axeth a fal.
Her nis non hoom, her nis but wildernesse:
Forth, pilgrim, forth! Forth, beste, out of thy stal!
[ 391 ]Know thy contree, look up, thank God of al;
Hold the hye wey, and lat thy gost thee lede:       20
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.


Therfore, thou vache, leve thyn old wrecchednesse
Unto the worlde; leve now to be thral;
Crye him mercy, that of his hy goodnesse
Made thee of noght, and in especial       25
Draw unto him, and pray in general
For thee, and eek for other, hevenlich mede;
And trouthe shal delivere, hit is no drede.       28

Explicit Le bon counseill de G. Chaucer.

Title. Gg. has—Balade de bone conseyl; F. has—Balade.

The MSS. are At. (Addit. 10340, Brit. Museum); Gg. (Camb. Univ. Library, Gg. 4. 27); E. (Ellesmere MS.); Ct. (Cotton, Cleop. D. 7); T. (Trin. Coll. Camb. R. 3. 20); F. (Fairfax 16); and others. The text is founded on E.

2. E. Suffise. E. good; T. goode; At. Ct. thing; Gg. þyng. 4. At. blent; T. blenteþe; Gg. blyndyþ; E. blyndeth; Ct. blindeth; see note. 5. E. the. 7. T. inserts thee before shal. 8. Tempest] Harl. F. T. Peyne. 9. E. trist; the rest trust. 10. Gg. Gret reste; T. Gret rest; E. For gret reste; Ct. For greet rest; At. Mych wele. E. bisynesse; rest besynesse. 11. E. ek; agayn. 13. E. Ct. Daunt; the rest Daunte. 14. T. inserts thee before shal. 15. E. the; boxomnesse.

19. Know thy contree] Harl. F. T. Loke vp on hie. E. lok; the rest loke, looke. 20. For Hold the hye wey, Harl. F. and others have Weyve thy lust. E. the (for thee). 21. T. inserts thee before shal. 22-28. This stanza is in At. only. 22. At. þine olde wrechedenesse. 23. At. world. 24. At. Crie hym; hys hie. 25. At. þe; nouȝt. 26. At. Drawe; hym. 27. At. þe; eke; heuenelyche. 28. At. schal delyuere. Colophon: so in F.