To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Whan that Somer with his fon hadde gone The CLERKES hadde al bak to scole yronne, And filled ech rome with swich a swete soun To mak the halles with ladies lough resounen. And oft twas seyde by them as hadde an ye That they wewr al engaged in villainye.
A KNYGHT was ther, and he was war and wys Who hadde him worde from nygh apothecaries That thogh the clerkes worthy al did sem Hir lechoury hadde longe in proces been. The knyght then in a loude tonge rendred That al by lak of vertu was engendred, And he could mak swyft remedie with powre By shortenyng hir synnyng tyme an houre.
MAISTERS were ther also, nyne or tin Who knew the clerkes ech as single men, And on the knyght they turned al ful sore To aske hadde he been listing by the dore. But from afar the worthy knyght was wys And knew he well what oft hadde scape his eyes.
Then in the felawships of DUNSTERRE-on-the-FLOOD A worthy clerke fulsome of corage stood, Who seyth to a corpus of his frendes That they must do a studie to these endes And see if they con mak discoverie Of clerkes in hir wycked revelrie, To fynde if they do nought but halve the hours Twille cut off lechoury in its firsts floure.
The parfit gentil CRYMSOUN then comes roun And favours clerkes with its opinioun--That houres lease be of meryte free But more will holpen kylle this villainye.
There was also a PARSOUN of the TOUN Who was a ful and fayre solempne man, But coude no more abyde al this speche And set about his own manere to teche. Seyde he that evyle was stille synn And synn, an evyle always hadde been. And so the werre wageth al aroune Whyle clerkes werk goes merrily aloune Eek I will pace its proces day by day And haply holpen it aloune the way. J.K. Dane '64