A mery Iest

Sometimes in France, a woman dwelt,
Whose husband being dead:
Within a yeere, or somwhat more,
An other did her wed.
This good wife had of wealth great store,
Yet was her wit but thin:
To shew what happe to her befell,
My Muse doth now begin.
It chaunced that a scholler poore,
Attirde in course aray,
To see his friends that dwelt farre thence,
From Paris tooke his way:
The garments were all rent and torne
Wherwith this wight was clad:
And in his purse, to serue his neede,
Not one deneere he had:
Hee was constrainde to craue the almes,
Of those which oft would giue,
His needy and his poore estate
With some thing to relieue.
This scholler on a frostie morne,
By chaunce came to the doore:
Of this old silly womans house,
Of whome wee spake before.
The husband then was not at home,
Hee craueth of the dame:
Who had him in, and gaue him meate,
And askt from whence hee came.
I came (quoth hee) from Paris towne,
From Paradise (quoth she)
Men call that Paradise the place,
Where all good soules shalbe.
Cham zure my vurst goodman is dere,
Which died this other yeere:
Chould geue my friend a good gray groate,
Some newes of him to heare.
Hee saw shee did mistake his wordes,
And thought to make some glee:
And saide, your husband is in health,
I lately did him see.
Now by my troth (quoth shee) cham glad,
Good scholler doe declare:
Was not hee wroth, because I sent
Him from this world so bare?
In deede (quoth he) he was disppleasd,
And thought it farre vnmeete,
You hauing all to send him hence,
With nothing but a sheete.
(Quoth shee) good scholer, let me know,
When thou returnst agayne,
Hee answerd, Dame I will be there,
Within this weeke or twayne.
Shee sayde, my friend if that iche durst
Presume to be so bolde,
Chould pray thee carrie him some clothes,
To keepe him from the colde.
Hee saide he woulde with all poste haste,
Into the towne shee hies,
Hat, doublet, shert, coate, hose and shoes.
Shee there for husband buyes,
Shee praying him in earnest sorte,
It safely to conuey,
Did geue him money in his purse,
And so he went his way,
Not halfe of halfe an howre was past,
Ere husband hers was come,
What newes shee heard from Paradise,
Shee tolde him all and some.
And farther did to him declare,
What token shee had sent,
Whereat her husband waxed wroth,
And woondrous ill content.
He calde her sotte, and doating foole,
And after him doth ride,
The Scholler was within a Hedge,
And him a farre espide.
Hee was afrayde, and downe doeth fling
His fardell in a dike,
The man came neere, and askt him newes,
Of one whom hee did seeke.
That bare a fardell at his backe,
The scholler musde a while,
Then answearing, said, such one I saw,
Passe ouer yonder style.
With hasty speede he downe alightes,
And doth the scholler pray,
Till he the man had ouertane,
So long the horse to stay.
Untill hee passed out of sight,
Full still the scholer bides,
Who taking then his fardell on
His horse, away he rides.
When he returnd and saw himselfe,
By scholer flouted so,
Your selues may iudge what cheere he made,
If he were wroth or no.
He sware I thinke a hundred oathes,
At length per mundum toots,
For that he had no shoes to weare,
Martch homewardes in his bootes.
His wife did meete him at the doore.
Hayee cought man? (quoth shee)
No Dame (he sayde) he caught my horse:
The Diuel take him and thee.
With that shee laught, and clapt her hands,
And sayde cham glad ich sweare,
For nowe he hath a horse to ride,
He wilbe quickly there.
When that her husband well had wayde,
That remedy there was none,
He takes his fortune in good parte,
And makes no farther mone.
Now whether that this honest wife,
Did loue her first good man,
To such as shall peruse this tale,
The case I leaue to scan.

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"A mery Iest" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 26 Apr. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/43018/a-mery-iest>.

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