THE BOWERS AND FLECCHERS
Jesus, Anna, Cayphas, et iiii Judei percucientes et colaphizantes Jesum; Petrus, mulier accusans Petrum, et Malchus.
CAYPHAS¶Peace, fair sirs; I bid no jangling ye make,
And cease soon of your saws, and see what I say,
And true tent to me this time that ye take,
For I am a lord learned truly in your law.
By cunning of clerkship and casting of wit
Full wisely my words I wield at my will;
So seemly in seat it beseems me to sit,
The law for to learn you and lead it by skill.
What wight so will ought with me, Full friendly in faith
am I found right soon.
Come now; no delay; let me see
How graciously I shall grant him his boon.
There is neither lord nor lady learned in the law,
Nor bishop nor prelate that proved is for price,
Nor clerk in court that cunning will know,
With wisdom to ward him in world is so wise.
I have the rank and the rule of all the royalty,
To rule it by right as reason it is.
All doomsmen on dais ought for to dread me,
That has them in subjection in bale or in bliss.
Wherefore take tent to my tales and lout unto me.
And therefore, sir knights,
I charge you, challenge your rights
To wait both by days and by nights
For the bringing of a boy into bail.
1 KNIGHT ¶Yes, lord; we shall wait if any wanderers walk,
And ask how your folk fare that are forth run.
2 KNIGHT ¶We shall be obedient to your bidding and will not balk,
If they present you that boy in a band bound.