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And in adversitee ful patient :
And swiche he was yprevéd often sithes. proved, since
Ful loth were him to cursen for his tithes,
But rather wolde he yeven, out of doute,

Unto his pouré parishens aboute,
Of his offrìng, and eke of his substànce
He coude in litel thing have suffisance.
Wide was his parish, and houses fer asоnder,
But he ne left nought for no rain ne thonder,
In sikenesse and in mischief to visite

trouble The ferrest in his parish, moche and lite, farthest, little Upon his fete, and in his hand a staf. This noble ensample to his shepe he yaf, That first he wrought, and afterward he taught. Out of the Gospel he the wordés caught, And this figùre he added yet therto, That if gold rusté, what shuld iren do? For if a preest be foule, on whom we trust, No wonder is a lewed man to rust. Wel ought a preest ensample for to yeve, By his cleennessé, how his shepe shulde live.

He setté not his benefice to hire, And lette his shepe acombred in the mire, And ran unto Londòn, unto Seint Poules, To seken him a chanterie for soules, singing endowment Or with a brotherhede to be withold ; But dwelt at home, and kepte wel his fold, So that the wolf ne made it not miscarie. He was a shepherd, and no mercenarie. And though he holy were, and vertuous, He was to sinful men not dispitòus, unpitying Ne of his speché dangerous ne digne, sparing, proud But in his teching discrete and benigne. To drawen folk to heven with faireness, By good ensample, was his besinesse : But it were any persone obstinat, What so he were of highe, or low estat, Him wolde he snibben sharply for the nonés. occasion A better preest I trowe that nowher non is. He waited after no pompe ne reverence, Ne makéd him no spicéd consciènce, But Cristés lore, and his apostles twelve, He taught, but first he folwed it himselve.


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