*Introduction*

xxxvii

For if þe hote blode of any beste

Theire foule mouthes have made rede

Theire hyhe corage þat long haþ ben of areste

It will repayren vnto cruell hede.

He casteþ þan his chaynes over hede,

And roreth faste remembrynge as it were

His maister ferst, of whom he was adrede,

Wiþ blody teeth þan will he al totere.

Theire foule mouthes have made rede

Theire hyhe corage þat long haþ ben of areste

It will repayren vnto cruell hede.

He casteþ þan his chaynes over hede,

And roreth faste remembrynge as it were

His maister ferst, of whom he was adrede,

Wiþ blody teeth þan will he al totere.

The bryd þat syngeþ in þe bronche on hye

If he be closyd in a cage of tree

And lusty folke hym seruen besily

With metes þat full swete and lusty be,

If he may ones skyp out and be fre

His lusty mete he casteth vnder fote

And to þe wode ful faste sekeþ he,

And trolleþ with a wonnder lusty note.

If he be closyd in a cage of tree

And lusty folke hym seruen besily

With metes þat full swete and lusty be,

If he may ones skyp out and be fre

His lusty mete he casteth vnder fote

And to þe wode ful faste sekeþ he,

And trolleþ with a wonnder lusty note.

A yerde whiche þat growen is in lenthe

With mannis hand ybowyd to þe grounde

If þat þe hond remytteþ of his strenthe

þe croppe ful sone will vp ayeen rebounde.

And whan þe sonne is passid daies stounde,

So vnder gone be walkes of þe weste,

Ful sone haþ a priue path yfounde,

And in þe morne he ryseþ in þe est.

With mannis hand ybowyd to þe grounde

If þat þe hond remytteþ of his strenthe

þe croppe ful sone will vp ayeen rebounde.

And whan þe sonne is passid daies stounde,

So vnder gone be walkes of þe weste,

Ful sone haþ a priue path yfounde,

And in þe morne he ryseþ in þe est.

And so þe day bygynneþ ayeen to sprynge,

Thus enery thyng reioyeþ in his kynde,

Theire olde recourse ayeinward forto brynge,

And besily to torne & to wende.

Be thise we schall conceyuen in oure mynde

þat all thinges most hit þeire ordre swe,

And þe begynnyng ioynen to þe end

To knetten of hemself a cercle trewe.

Thus enery thyng reioyeþ in his kynde,

Theire olde recourse ayeinward forto brynge,

And besily to torne & to wende.

Be thise we schall conceyuen in oure mynde

þat all thinges most hit þeire ordre swe,

And þe begynnyng ioynen to þe end

To knetten of hemself a cercle trewe.

Book iv, prose 2.

Sith þat it is of kynde a man to meue

Will noght his nature þ

I seide, Yis, this in sothe as I byleue;

Will noght his nature þ

^{t}he schold go?I seide, Yis, this in sothe as I byleue;

Than