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Art. 88, Of rybauds Y ryme ant red o my rolle


Abbreviations: AND: Anglo-Norman Dictionary; ANL: Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (R. Dean and Boulton); BL: British Library (London); Bodl.: Bodleian Library (Oxford); CT: Chaucer, Canterbury Tales; CUL: Cambridge University Library (Cambridge); DOML: Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library; FDT: French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages (Sinclair 1979); FDT-1French Devotional Texts of the Middle Ages, . . . First Supplement (Sinclair 1982); IMEV: The Index of Middle English Verse (Brown and Robbins); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MWME: A Manual of the Writings in Middle English, 1050–1500 (Severs et al.); NIMEV: A New Index of Middle English Verse (Boffey and Edwards); NLS: National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh).

12 “Fleh com of flore, ant lous com of ladde.” Apparently invented by the poet, this comic proverb bears a cynical wit worthy of Hending (art. 89).

16 “Gobelyn made is gerner of gromene mawe.” This proverb on the evil of gluttony is said to come straight from the Devil. The mock-proverbial quality of this poem matches it to Hending (art. 89).

35–36 Christ’s rationale for avoiding horse grooms is delivered more as punch line than proverb. It fits, however, with the two insults already delivered by the poet as proverbs. The Devil and Christ agree in denigrating horse grooms, and both act as truthful authorities in the poem juxtaposed with Hending (art. 89).


ABBREVIATIONS: As: Aspin; : Böddeker; Br: Brook; BS: Bennett and Smithers; BZ: Brandl and Zippel; B13: Brown 1937; Dea: J. M. Dean; Do: Dove 1969; Fl: Flood; : Förster; Fu: Furnivall; HB: Hunt and Bliss; Kem: Kemble; Ken: Kennedy; Mi: Millett; Mo: Morris and Skeat; MS: MS Harley 2253; Mu1: H. J. R. Murray; Mu2: J. A. H. Murray; NB: Noomen and van den Boogard; Pa: Patterson; Rev: Revard 2005a; Ri: Ritson 1877; Ro: Robbins 1959; SP: Short and Pearcy; Si: Silverstein; St: Stemmler 1970; Tu: Turville-Petre 1989; Ul: Ulrich; W1: Wright 1839; W2: Wright 1841; W3: Wright 1842; WH: Wright and Halliwell.

1 my. So MS, Bö, Tu. W1, Ro: mi.

3 by. So MS, W1, Bö, Tu. Ro: bi.

4 tolyvre. So MS, W1, Ro. Bö: to lyure. Tu: tolyuer.

7 weren. So MS, W1, Bö, Tu. Ro: were.

18 momeleth. So MS, W1, Bö, Tu. Ro: momeleþe.

20 hyre. So MS, W1, Ro. Bö, Tu: hym.

38 fleis. So MS, W1, Ro, Tu. Bö: fleish.










¶ Of rybauds Y ryme ant red o my rolle,
Of gedelynges, gromes, of Colyn ant of Colle,
Harlotes, hors-knaves, bi pate ant by polle —
To Devel Ich hem tolyvre, ant take to tolle!

The gedelynges were gedered of gonnylde gnoste,
Palefreiours ant pages ant boyes with boste —
Alle weren yhaht of an horse thoste!
The Devel huem afretye, rau other aroste!

The Shuppare that huem shupte, to shome he huem shadde     
To fles ant to fleye, to tyke ant to tadde;
So seyth romauns, whose ryht radde:
“Fleh com of flore, ant lous com of ladde.”

The harlotes bueth horlynges ant haunteth the plawe,
The gedelynges bueth glotouns ant drynketh er hit dawe,
Sathanas, huere syre, seyde on is sawe:
“Gobelyn made is gerner of gromene mawe.”

The knave crommeth is crop er the cok crawe;
He momeleth ant moccheth ant marreth is mawe;
When he is al forlaped ant lad over lawe,
A doseyn of doggen ne myhte hyre drawe!

The rybauds aryseth er the day rewe;
He shrapeth on is shabbes ant draweth huem to dewe;
Sene is on is browe ant on is eyebrewe
That he louseth a losynger ant shoyeth a shrewe!

Nou beth capel-claweres with shome toshrude;
Hue bosketh huem wyth botouns ase hit were a brude,
With lowe-lacede shon of an hayfre hude —
Hue pyketh of here provendre al huere prude.

Whose rykeneth with knaves huere coustage —
The luthernesse of the ladde, the prude of the page —
Thah he yeve hem cattes dryt to huere companage,
Yet hym shulde arewen of the arrerage!

Whil God wes on erthe ant wondrede wyde,
Whet wes the resoun why he nolde ryde?
For he nolde no grom to go by ys syde,
Ne grucchyng of no gedelyng, to chaule ne to chyde!

Spedeth ou to spewen ase me doth to spelle!
The Fend ou afretie with fleis ant with felle!
Herkneth hideward, horsmen, a tidyng Ich ou telle —
That ye shulen hongen ant herbarewen in helle!
¶ Of rascals I rhyme and recount in my roll,
Of low rogues, grooms, of Colin and of Colle,
Scoundrels, horse-knaves, by pate and by head —
I deliver them to the Devil, and offer tribute!

The bastards were assembled from cannon’s spark,
Stable-hands and pages and boasting boys —
All were hatched from a horse’s turd!
May the Devil devour them, raw or roasted!

The Shaper who shaped them, shamefully he spawned them     
From fleas and flies, mongrels and toads;
As stories tell, whoever reads rightly:
“Flea comes of flour, and louse comes of churl.”

The scoundrels are lechers and chase after pleasure,
The bastards are gluttons and drink till it dawns,
Satan, their sire, said in his proverb:
“Goblin set his storehouse in a groom’s belly.”

The knave crams his paunch before the cock crows;
He mumbles and munches and ruins his guts;
When he’s fully drunk and fallen over low,
Dogs by the dozen couldn’t drag him away!

The rascal arises before the day dawns;
He picks at his scabs and makes them ooze;
It’s seen on his forehead and his eyebrow
That he delouses a wastrel and shoes a villain!

Now are horse-clawers shamefully clothed;
They dress up with buttons as if they’re bridegrooms,
With low-laced shoes made of a heifer’s hide —
They filch all their finery from their fodder.

Whoever settles wages with scurrilous fellows —
The insolence of the churl, the pride of the page —
Though he give them cat droppings for their earned board,
They’d still complain about the balance due!

When God was on earth and traveled far and wide,
What was the reason he preferred not to ride?
Because he wanted no groom to go by his side,
Nor any knave’s grumbling, to chatter and chide!

You spew as speedily as I speak insult!
May the Fiend devour you in both flesh and skin!
Listen here, stablemen, I tell you a tiding —
You'll surely hang and find lodgings in hell!



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Go To Art. 89, Mon that wol of wysdam heren, introduction
Go To Art. 89, Mon that wol of wysdam heren, text