PEARLlines 661-96
Anon.trans. Marie Borroff (from Middle English)
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'Grace innogh že mon may haue
Žat synnez ženne new, yif hym repente,
Bot with sorgh and syt he mot hit craue,
And byde že payne žerto is bent.
Bot Resoun, of ryght žat con not raue,
Sauez euermore že innossent;
Hit is a dom žat neuer God gaue
Žat euer že gyltlez schulde be schente.
Že gyltyf m ay contryssyoun hente
And be žurgh mercy to grace žryght;
Bot he to gyle žat neuer glente
As inoscente is saf and ryghte.

	'Ryght žus I knaw wel in žis cas
Two men to saue is God - by skylle:
Že ryghtwys man schal se Hys face,
Že harmlez hažel schal com Hym tylle.
Že sauter hyt satz žus in a pace:
"Lorde, quo schal klymbe žy hygh hylle,
Ožer rest withinne žy holy place?"
Hymself to onsware he is not dylle:
"Hondelyngez harme žat dyt not ille,
Žat is of hert bože clene and lyght,
Žer schal hys step stable stylle":
Že innosent is ay saf by ryght.

'The ryghtwys man also, sertayn,
Aproche he schal žat proper pyle -
Žat takez not her lyf in vayne
Ne glauerez her nieghbor wyth no gyle -
Of žys ryghtwys sayz Salamon playn,
Hym Koyntyse oure con aquyle;
By wayez ful streght He con hym strayn,
And scheued hym že rengne of God awhyle,
As quo says, "Lo, yon louely yle:
Žou may hit wynne if žou be wyghte."
Bot hardyly, withoute peryle,
Že innosent is ay saue by ryghte.
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'Grace enough that man can have
Who is penitent, having sinned anew,
If with sorrow at heart he cry and crave
And perform the penance that must ensue.
But by right reason, that cannot rave,
The innocent ever receives his due:
To punish the guiltless with the knave
Is a plan God never was party to.
The guilty, by contrition true,
Can attain to mercy requisite,
But he that never had guile in view,
The innocent is safe and right.

'I know right reason in this case
And thereto cite authority:
The righteous man shall see his face
And the innocent bear him company.
So in a verse the psalter says,
"Lord, who shall climb your hill on high
Or rest within your holy place?"
And readily then he makes reply:
"Hands that did no injury,
Heart that was always pure and light:
There shall his steps be stayed in joy";
The innocent is safe by right.

'The righteous also in due time,
He shall approach that noble tor,
Who cozens his neighbor with no crime
Nor wastes his life in sin impure.
King Solomon tells in text sublime
Of Wisdom and her honored lore;
By narrow ways she guided him
And lo! God's kingdom lay before.
As who should say, "You distant shore -
Win it you may ere fall of night
If you make haste"; but evermore
The innocent is safe by right.
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Trans. Copyright © W.W.Norton & Co. Inc. 2001, 1977, 1967 - publ. W.W.Norton. Original with acknowledgements to University of Exeter Press.


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