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The werre bringith in povirtie’at his heles,
Wherof the comin peple is fore greved;
The werre hath set his cart on thilkè wheles
Where that Fortune ne may nat be beleved,
For whan men wenin beft to have acheved
Ful oftin it is al gewe to begin;
The werre hath nothing fikir cho he win.
Forthy, my worthy Prince! in Chrift'is halve,
As for a parte whose faith thou haft be gide,
Ley to this oldè sore a newè salve,
And do the werre away what so betide;
Purchacin pece, and see it by thy fyde,
And suffre nat thy peple be devoured,
30 shal thy name er aftir stand honoured.
126 If any man be nowe or evir was Ayen the pece thy privy counsailour Let God be of thy counfaile in this caas, And put away the cruil warriour, For God, whiche is of man the eätour, He wolde not men flough his creäture Withoutin caufe of dedly forfaiture.
133 Where nedith most behovith most to loke; My Lorde, howe so thy werris be without Of time ypassid who that hede ytoke Gode were at home to fe right wel about, For evirmore the worste is for to dout, But if thon mightift parfite pece attaine There hould ybe no causè for to plaine. 140
About a king gode counsaile is to preife,
Above al othir thinges most vailable,
But yet a king within himselfe fhal peise,
And seen the thingis that ben resonable,
And therupon he shal his wittis stable,
Among the men to settin pece in evin,
For love of him whiche is the king of hevyn. 147
A! wel is him that ne shedde nevir blode
But if it were in cause of rightwysenes!
For y a kynge the peril undirsode
What is to fle the peple, than I geffe
The dedly werris and the hevines
Wherof the pece distourbid is ful ofte
Shuld at some timè cefle and wexin foft.
O kinge fulfillid of grace and knighthode!
Remembre upon this pointe for Christe's sake;
If pece be profered unto thy manhode,
Thine honour save, let not be forfake;
Though thou the werris darst wel undirtake,
Aftir refon yet tempre thy courage,
For lyke to pece there is none avauntage.
My worthy Lorde, thinke wel, howe so befall,
Of thilkè lore as holy bokis saine,
Christ is the hed, and we be membris al,
As wel the subjecte as the foveraine,
So fitte it wel that charite be plaine,
Whiche unto God himselfe most accordeth,
So as the lore of Christ'is worde recordeth,
in the olde lawe, or Christ himselfe was bore,
Amonge the x. commaundementes I rede
Howe that manslaughtir shouldè be forbore,
Soche was the wil that tyme of the Godhede,
But aftirward, whan Christ toke his manhede,
Pece ywas the first thing he let do crie
Ayenst the world'is rancour and envie.
And or Christ went out of this erthè here,
And fighed to heven, he made his teftament,
Where he bequath to his disciplis there,
And yave his pece, whiche is the foundèment
Of charite, withoutin whose assent
The world'is pece may nevir wel be tried,
Ne love be kept, ne lawe be justified.
The Jewis with the Painims haddin werre,
But they among 'hemselfe ftode er in pece,
Why shouldin than our pece stande out of erre,
Which Christ hath chose unto his owne encrese?
For Christ is more than ywas Moyses,
And Christ hath sette the parfite of the lawe,
The whiche ne should in no wise be withdrawe. 189
To yeve us pece was cause why Christ ydide;
Withoutin pece may nothing stonde availed;
But nowe a man may se on every side
Howe Chrift'is faith is every day affailed,
With Painims diftroyid and so batailed
That for defaute of helpe and of defence
Uanethis hath Chrif his dewe reyèrence.
196 Volume XIII,
The right faith to kepin of holy churche
The first point is ynamid of knighthode,
And every man is holde for to worche
Upon the point that stante to his manhode,
But now, alas! the fame is spred so brode
That every man this thing complainith,
And yet is there no man that helpe ordainith. 203
The world'is cause is waitid ovir al,
There be the werris redy to the ful,
But Christ'is ownè cause in special
There ben the swerdis and the fperis dul,
And with the sentence of the Pop'is bul,
As for to done the folkè paine obey,
The churche is tournid al anothir wey.
It' is wondir above any mann'is wit
Withoutin werre how Chrift'is faith was won,
And we that be upon this erthè yet
Ne kepe it not as it was first hegon;
To every crecure undir the sonne
Christ bad himselfè that we shouldè preche,
And to the folke his Evangely teche.
217 More light it is to kepè than to make, But that whiche we foundin made tofore honde We kepè not, but let it lightly flake, The pece of Christ hath al to broke his bonde, We rest our selfe, and suffrin every lond To lle eche othir as thinge undefended; So ftant the werre, and peçe is not amended. 224
But though the hed of holy churche above
Ne doith not al his whole businesse
Amonge the peple to set pece and love,
These kingis oughtin of ther rightwyfepesse
Ther ownè cause among 'hemselfe redresse;
Tho Peter's ship as now hath lost his fere
It lythe in 'hem the bargè for to ftere.
If chat holy churche aftir the dewte
Of Christ'is worde ne be nat al avised
To makin pece, accorde, and unite,
Amonge the kingis that be now devised,
Yet pathèles the lawè stand aflised
Of mann'is witte to be so resonable
Withoutin that to stande himselfè stable.
Of holy churche we ben the childrin al,
And every childe is holde for to bowe
Unto the mothir, how that er it fal,
Or ellis he must reson disalowe,
And for that cause a knight shall first avowe
The right of holy churche for to defende,
That no man shal the privilege offende.
Thus were it gode to sette al in evyn
The world'is princis and the prelats bothe,
For love of him whiche is the king of hevyn,
And if men should algatis wexin wrothe
The Sarazins, whiche unto Chrift ben lothe,
Let men be armid ayenst 'hem to fight,
So maye the knight his dede of armis right.