God Spede the Plough


1 And our payment shall be with [the beating] of a stick

2 Thus are we fleeced, we may not choose


1 As I me walked. "This line is omitted in its right place; but is written perpendicularly on the inner margin of the leaf, with a guide-line to shew its position" (Sk).

10-88 And said. The husbandman's testimony takes up 79 lines of the poem. The narrator is merely a witness to the testimony.

11-12 lande, claye. The corner of the leaf is torn away; lande and claye are Sk's conjectures based on the rhyme words.

22 growe. MS groweth. Sk observes that groweth and plough (line 24) do not rhyme; he suggests the word might have been grewe, which comes closer to rhyme.

33 the fiftene. "Fifteenth, a tax amounting to a fifteenth of one's property" (Sk).

ease. MS eases.

37 bayllys and bedellis. Bailiffs and beadles. See Song of the Husbandman note to line 15.

43 To buye the kyngis. I adopt Sk's conjecture about this portion of the line. The corner of the leaf is torn away. Sk comments: "The words within square brackets are conjectural, and were suggested by the fact recorded in Piers Plowman, that getting pardon for a bribe even from a King is