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Poema Morale contained in the Lambeth Manuscript 487; ca. 1170; lines 1-100

in a normalised Early Middle English (East Midland dialect c 1200)

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[f. 59v] Ic em nu_ a_lder than ic was a wintere and a la_re;
Ic we_lde ma_re than ic dide; mi_ wit a_hte be_n ma_re.
Wel la_nge ic habbe ci_ld y`be_n a worde and a de_de
theah ic be_ a wintere a_ld to_ yung ic em on reade. 5
Un`nit li_f ic habbe y`led. And ye_t me_ thincth I_ leade.
Thanne ic me_ be`thence wel ful sa_re ic me_ a`dreade.
meast al that ic habbe y`do_n be`fallth to_ ci_ldha_de.
Wel late ic habbe me_ be`thoht bu_te God me_ nu_ reade.
Fulle i_del word ic habbe y`cwethen sithen ic speken cu_the. 10
fulle yunge de_de y`do_n the me_ of`thinceth nu_ tha_.
meast al that me_ li_kede ear nu_ hit me_ mis`li_keth
tha_ micel folgeth his wil' him self he_ be`swi_keth.
Ic mihte habben bet y`do_n, hafde ic the i`se_lthe.
Nu_ ic wa_lde ak ic ne may for elde and for un`healthe. 15
Elde me_ is be`stolen on, ear ic hit wiste.
ne mihte ic se_n be`foren me_, for smi_ce ne for miste.
Arge we_ be_n to_ do_n go_d. And to_ ifel`e al to_ thri_ste.
in ma_re eye standen men of manne thanne hi_ do_n of Cri_ste.
the wel ne do_n the hwi_le the hi_ mugen, wel oft hit scal re_wen 20
thanne hi_ ma_wen sculen and repen that hi_ ear se_wen.
Do_ he_ to_ gode that he_ muge the hwi_le that he_ be_ a`li_fe.
ne lipne na_ man to_ [f. 60r] micel to_ ci_lde ne to_ wi_fe.
the him selfe foryet for wi_fe ne for ci_lde
he scal cumen in ifel stede bu_te him God be_ mi_lde. 25
Sendeth sum go_d beforen yow, the hwi_le that ye_ mugen to_ hefen`e.
for beter`e is a_n almesse be`foren thanne be_n after sefen`e.
Al to_ lo_me ic habbe i`gilted a werke and a worde.
Al to_ micel ic habbe i`spent to_ li_tel i`hid in horde.
Ne be_ to_ the_ le_fere than thi_ self ne thi_n meay, ne thi_n ma_ge. 30
Sot is that is o_ther mannes fre_nd betere than his a_gen.
Ne lipne wi_f to_ hire were, ne wer to_ his wi_fe
be_ for him selfe ealc man, the hwi_le that he_ be_ a`li_fe.
Wi_s is the to_ him selfe thence the hwi_le the mo_t libben.
for so_ne wile him foryeten the fremde and the sibbe. 35
the wel ne de_th the hwi_le he_ may ne scal hwanne he_ wile.
Maniye mannes sa_re i`swink habben oft un`holde.
Ne scal na_ man do_n a`first, ne sla_wen wel to_ do_n.
for maniy man be`ha_teth wel the hit foryeteth so_ne.
The man the wile siker be_n to_ habben Godes blisse. 40
do_ wel him self hwi_le that he_ may thanne hafeth he_ his mid i`wisse.
tha_s ri_ce men we_nen be_n siker thurh walle and thurh di_ce.
the de_th his ahte on sikere stede he_ hit sendeth to_ hefen`es ri_ce.
for thear ne tharf he_ be_n of`dred of fi_re ne of the_fe
thear ne [f. 60v] tharf he_ him be`nimen the la_the ne the le_fe. 45
thear ne tharf he_ habben care of yefe ne of ye_lde.
thider he_ sendeth and self bereth to_ li_tel and to_ selde.
thider we_ sculen dragen and do_n wel ofte and i`lo_me.
for thear ne scal me us na_ht be`nimen mid wra_ng`wi_se do_me.
thider ye_ sculen yerne dragen wa_lde yif god i`le_fe. 50
for ne may thear hit yow be`nimen king ne re_fe.
Al that beste that we_ hafden thider we_ hit scolden senden
for thear we_ hit mihten finden eft, and habben bu_ten ende.
Tha_ the ear do_n eaniy go_d for habben Godes a_re.
al he_ hit scal fi_nden eft thear and hundred fa_ld ma_re. 55
The that ahte wile ha_lden wel hwi_le the he_ muge his we_lden.
Yefe his for Godes lufe thanne de_th he_ it wel i`ha_lden.
U_re swink and u_re tilthe is ofte i`wuned to_ swi_nden.
Ak that the we_ do_n for Godes lufe eft we_ sculen al fi_nden.
Ne scal na_n ifel be_n un`boht, ne na_n go_d un`for`yolden. 60
ifel we_ do_n al to_ micel. And go_d leasse thanne we_ sculden.
Tha_ the meast do_n nu_ to_ gode. And the least to_ la_the.
Eayther to_ li_tel and to_ micel scal thencen eft hem ba_the.
Thear me scal u_re werkes wegen be`foren the hefen`king.
and yefen us u_re swinkes la_ng after u_re earninge. 65
Ealc man mid that he_ hafeth, may biggen hefen`e ri_ce.
the ma_re hafeth and the the leasse ba_the hi_ [f. 61r] mugen i`li_ce.
Alse mid his peninge alse o_ther mid his pu_nde.
That is the wunder`liceste ceap that eaniy man eafere fu_nde.
And the the ma_re ne may do_n do_ hit mid his go_de thanke. 70
Alse wel swa_ the the hafeth golde fele manke.
And oft God can ma_re thank thanne the him yefeth leasse.
And his werkes and his weyes his miltse, and riht`wi_snesse.
li_tel la_k is go_de lof that cumeth of go_de wille.
And eath-leate micel yefe of that the herte is ille. 75
Hefen`e and erthe he_ ofer sehth. his e_gen be_n swa_ brihte.
Sunne and mo_ne and hefen fi_r be_n the_stere a`yean his lihte.
Nis him noht for`holen ne hi_d. swa_ micele be_n his mihte.
nis hit ne swa_ derne [y`do_n] ne [a] swa_ the_stere nihte.
he_ wa_t we_'t thenken and hwat do_n alle cwike wihte. 80
Nis na_ la_ferd swilc se is cri_st. ne king swilc u_re drihten.
hefene and erthe and al that is be`loken is in his hande.
he_ de_th al that his wil is a watere and a lande.
He_ makede fisces in the sea and fugeles in the lifte.
he_ wa_t and wa_ldeth alle thing and sco_p alle scafte. 85
he_ is hord buten horde and ende buten ende.
he_ a_ne is eafere on ealce stede wende thear thu_ wende.
he_ is bufen us and be`nethen. be`foren and be`hinden.
the the de_th godes wille i`hwear he_ may him fi_nden.
ealce ru_ne he_ y`he_rth and wa_t alle de_des. 90
he_ thurh`sehth ealces mannes thank. Hwi_, hwat scal us to_ reade.
We_ that broken godes hease and gilten swa_ i`lo_me.
hwat sculen we_ seggen other do_n at the micele do_me.
Tha_ the lufeden un`riht and ifel li_f [f. 61v] leaden.
Hwat sculen hi_ seggen other do_n thanne the engeles be_n of`dred. 95
hwat sculen we_ beren be`foren us mid hem sculen we_ y`cwe_men.
tha_ the neafere go_d ne dide the hefenlice de_me.
thear sculen be_n de_feles swa_ fele that willen us for`wre_yen.
And nabben hi_ na_`thing foryeten of al that hi_ y`segen.
Al that we_ mis`diden he_r hi_ hit willen ki_then thear. 100