Full wonder blisseful was þat raþer age,
When mortal men couthe holde hymself payed
To fede þeym self with oute suche outerage,
Wiþ mete þat trewe feeldes haue arrayed;
Wiþ acorne þaire hunger was alayed,
And so þei couthe sese þaire talent.
Thei had yit no queynt craft assayed
As clarry for to make ne pyment.

To deen purpure couthe þei noght be þynke,
The white flees wyþ venym tyryen.
Þe rennyng ryuer yaf hem lusty drynke,
And holsom sleep þei took vpon þe grene.
The pynes þat so full of braunches been,
Þat was þaire hous to kepe vnder schade.
The see to kerue no schippes were þere seen;
Þer was no man þat marchaundise made.

Thay liked not to sailen vp and doun,
But kepe hem self where þei weren bred.
Tho was ful huscht þe cruel clarioun;
For eger hate þer was no blood isched,
Ne þer with was non armour yit bebled;
For in þat tyme who durst haue be so wood
Suche bitter woundes þat he nold haue dred
Wiþ outen reward forto lese his blood?

I wold oure tyme myght lerne certanly,
And þise maneres alwey with vs dwelle;
But loue of hauyng brenneþ feruently
More fersere þan þe verray fuyre of helle.
Allas! who was þa;t man þat wold him melle
This gold and gemmes, þat were keuered þus,
Þat first began to myne I can not telle -
Bot þat he fond a parelous precious.