Lemuel's lesson of chastity and temperance.
Proverbs 31:1 The wordis of Lamuel, the king; the visioun bi which his modir tauyte hym. Proverbs 31:2 What my derlyng? what the derlyng of my wombe? what the derlyng of my desiris? Proverbs 31:3 Yyue thou not thi catel to wymmen, and thi richessis to do awei kyngis. Proverbs 31:4 A! Lamuel, nyle thou yiue wyn to kingis; for no pryuete is, where drunkenesse regneth. Proverbs 31:5 Lest perauenture thei drynke, and foryete domes, and chaunge the cause of the sones of a pore man.
The afflicted are to be comforted and defended.
Proverbs 31:6 Yyue ye sidur to hem that morenen, and wyn to hem that ben of bitter soule. Proverbs 31:7 Drinke thei, and foryete thei her nedinesse; and thenke thei no more on her sorewe. Proverbs 31:8 Opene thi mouth for a doumb man, Proverbs 31:9 and opene thi mouth for the causes of alle sones that passen forth. Deme thou that that is iust, and deme thou a nedi man and a pore man.
The praise and properties of a good wife.
Proverbs 31:10 Who schal fynde a stronge womman? the prijs of her is fer, and fro the laste endis. Proverbs 31:11 The herte of hir hosebond tristith in hir; and sche schal not haue nede to spuylis. Proverbs 31:12 Sche schal yelde to hym good, and not yuel, in alle the daies of hir lijf. Proverbs 31:13 Sche souyte wolle and flex; and wrouyte bi the counsel of hir hondis. Proverbs 31:14 Sche is maad as the schip of a marchaunt, that berith his breed fro fer. Proverbs 31:15 And sche roos bi nyyt, and yaf prey to hir meyneals, and metis to hir handmaidis. Proverbs 31:16 Sche bihelde a feeld, and bouyte it; of the fruyt of hir hondis sche plauntide a vyner. Proverbs 31:17 Sche girde hir leendis with strengthe, and made strong hir arm. Proverbs 31:18 Sche taastide, and siy, that hir marchaundie was good; hir lanterne schal not be quenchid in the niyt. Proverbs 31:19 Sche putte hir hondis to stronge thingis, and hir fyngris token the spyndil. Proverbs 31:20 Sche openyde hir hond to a nedi man, and stretchide forth hir hondis to a pore man. Proverbs 31:21 Sche schal not drede for hir hous of the cooldis of snow; for alle hir meyneals ben clothid with double clothis. Proverbs 31:22 Sche made to hir a ray cloth; bijs and purpur is the cloth of hir. Proverbs 31:23 Hir hosebonde is noble in the yatis, whanne he sittith with the senatours of erthe. Proverbs 31:24 Sche made lynnun cloth, and selde; and yaf a girdil to a Chananei. Proverbs 31:25 Strengthe and fairnesse is the clothing of hir; and sche schal leiye in the laste dai. Proverbs 31:26 Sche openyde hir mouth to wisdom; and the lawe of merci is in hir tunge. Proverbs 31:27 Sche bihelde the pathis of hir hous; and sche eet not breed idili. Proverbs 31:28 Hir sones risiden, and prechiden hir moost blessid; hir hosebonde roos, and preiside hir. Proverbs 31:29 Many douytris gaderiden richessis; thou passidist alle. Proverbs 31:30 Fairnesse is disseiuable grace, and veyn; thilke womman, that dredith the Lord, schal be preisid. Proverbs 31:31 Yyue ye to hir of the fruyt of hir hondis; and hir werkis preise hir in the yatis.