Clene and kempt he wore his hoary hair
His clere eyes two no wors the were.
Yholde his heed in on hond often tenden,
As to the sclate myshappy clarkes wenden.
He knew by rote Greek wordes everychone,
And many a songe of “Country” fashione
Which told of povre men, and of prisoun;
Of Trewe Love, and fornication;
Of bresten herts and breste biheste also,
Of houndes dede, and muchel care and wo!
Hevynesse of hert, swich tradgedye
Songs suchel to the tavern al may gye!
On early morwe colde, in reyn or sonne,
Pass sokyngly* on foote, (ycleped “run”)
Far doun his nose ywered his perspectives,
Misshappy clerks all dreden his directives.
He grucche often of his surgeryes,
And sorwe siketh of his somtel wyves.
When siker clerks expounde far amiss,
Hangynge his head, he sowrly mad, “Tis, tis.”
“I trowe”, quod he, “this day I tak me lif,
“Alas ne t’overbyde myn eldest wif!”
But him anon dispos’d him otherwyse;
Clerks in an heep he deem’d nat worth two flyse!
But face to face in conversatione,
No longer was he that curmudgeone,
But in swete chere and manere gav his say
Avys and conceil, resoun each clerk’s Essay
Alas this Tutor’s care and wo of age,
Seemth al in playe — the studie was his stage!
*adv. gradually, step by step