4

1 Forsothe Eliphat Themanytes answeride, and seide,

2 If we bigynnen to speke to thee, in hap thou schalt take it heuyli; but who may holde a word conseyued?

3 Lo! thou hast tauyt ful many men, and thou hast strengthid hondis maad feynt.

4 Thi wordis confermyden men doutynge, and thou coumfortidist knees tremblynge.

5 But now a wounde is comun on thee, and thou hast failid; it touchide thee, and thou art disturblid.

6 Where is thi drede, thi strengthe, and thi pacience, and the perfeccioun of thi weies?

7 Y biseche thee, haue thou mynde, what innocent man perischide euere, ethir whanne riytful men weren doon awei?

8 Certis rathir Y siy hem, that worchen wickidnesse, and sowen sorewis,

9 and repen tho, to haue perischid bi God blowynge, and to be wastid bi the spirit of his ire.

10 The roryng of a lioun, and the vois of a lionesse, and the teeth of `whelpis of liouns ben al to-brokun.

11 Tigris perischide, for sche hadde not prey; and the whelpis of a lioun ben distried.

12 Certis an hid word was seid to me, and myn eere took as theueli the veynes of priuy noise therof.

13 In the hidousnesse of `nyytis siyt, whanne heuy sleep is wont to occupie men,

14 drede and tremblyng helde me; and alle my boonys weren aferd.

15 And whanne the spirit `yede in my presence, the heiris of `my fleisch hadden hidousnesse.

16 Oon stood, whos chere Y knewe not, an ymage bifor myn iyen; and Y herde a vois as of softe wynd.

17 Whether a man schal be maad iust in comparisoun of God? ethir whethir a man schal be clennere than his Makere?

18 Lo! thei that seruen hym ben not stidefast; and he findith schrewidnesse in hise aungels.

19 Hou myche more thei that dwellen in housis of cley, that han an ertheli foundement, schulen be wastyd as of a mouyte.

20 Fro morewtid til to euentid thei schulen be kit doun; and for no man vndurstondith, thei schulen perische with outen ende.

21 Sotheli thei, that ben residue, schulen be takun awei; thei schulen die, and not in wisdom.