31

1 I made couenaunt with myn iyen, that Y schulde not thenke of a virgyn.

2 For what part schulde God aboue haue in me, and eritage Almyyti God of hiye thingis?

3 Whether perdicioun is not to a wickid man, and alienacioun of God is to men worchynge wickidnesse?

4 Whether he biholdith not my weies, and noumbrith alle my goyngis?

5 If Y yede in vanyte, and my foot hastide in gile,

6 God weie me in a iust balaunce, and knowe my symplenesse.

7 If my step bowide fro the weie; if myn iye suede myn herte, and a spotte cleuede to myn hondis;

8 sowe Y, and another ete, and my generacioun be drawun out bi the root.

9 If myn herte was disseyued on a womman, and if Y settide aspies at the dore of my frend; my wijf be the hoore of anothir man,

10 and othir men be bowid doun on hir.

11 For this is vnleueful, and the moost wickidnesse.

12 Fier is deourynge `til to wastyng, and drawynge vp bi the roote alle generaciouns.

13 If Y dispiside to take doom with my seruaunt and myn hand mayde, whanne thei stryueden ayens me.

14 What sotheli schal Y do, whanne God schal rise to deme? and whanne he schal axe, what schal Y answere to hym?

15 Whether he, that wrouyte also hym, made not me in the wombe, and o God formede me in the wombe?

16 If Y denyede to pore men that, that thei wolden, and if Y made the iyen of a wydewe to abide;

17 if Y aloone eet my mussel, and a faderles child eet not therof;

18 for merciful doyng encreesside with me fro my yong childhed, and yede out of my modris wombe with me;

19 if Y dispiside a man passynge forth, for he hadde not a cloth, and a pore man with out hilyng;

20 if hise sidis blessiden not me, and was not maad hoot of the fleeces of my scheep;

21 if Y reiside myn hond on a fadirles child, yhe, whanne Y siy me the hiyere in the yate;

22 my schuldre falle fro his ioynt, and myn arm with hise boonys be al to-brokun.

23 For euere Y dredde God, as wawis wexynge gret on me; and `Y myyte not bere his birthun.

24 If Y gesside gold my strengthe, and if Y seide to purid gold, Thou art my trist;

25 if Y was glad on my many ritchessis, and for myn hond foond ful many thingis;

26 if Y siy the sunne, whanne it schynede, and the moone goynge clereli;

27 and if myn herte was glad in priuyte, and if Y kisside myn hond with my mouth;

28 which is the moost wickidnesse, and deniyng ayens hiyeste God;

29 if Y hadde ioye at the fallyng of hym, that hatide me, and if Y ioide fulli, that yuel hadde founde hym;

30 for Y yaf not my throte to do synne, that Y schulde asaile and curse his soule;

31 if the men of my tabernacle seiden not, Who yyueth, that we be fillid of hise fleischis? a pilgryme dwellide not with outforth;

32 my dore was opyn to a weiegoere;

33 if Y as man hidde my synne, and helide my wickidnesse in my bosum;

34 if Y dredde at ful greet multitude, and if dispisyng of neyyboris made me aferd; and not more Y was stille, and yede not out of the dore;

35 who yyueth an helpere to me, that Almyyti God here my desire? that he that demeth,

36 write a book, that Y bere it in my schuldre, and cumpasse it as a coroun to me?

37 Bi alle my degrees Y schal pronounce it, and Y schal as offre it to the prynce.

38 If my lond crieth ayens me, and hise forewis wepen with it;

39 if Y eet fruytis therof with out money, and Y turmentide the soule of erthetileris of it;

40 a brere growe to me for wheete, and a thorn for barli.