The Vision of Piers Plowman
The B-Text
(The Prologue, Vv. 1-19)

In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne,
I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were,
In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes,
Wente wide in this world wondres to here.
Ac on a May morwenynge on Malverne hilles
Me bifel a ferly, of Fairye me thoghte.
I was wery [of]wandred and wente me to reste
Under a brood bank by a bournes syde;
And as I lay and lenede and loked on the watres,
I slombred into a slepyng, it sweyed so murye.
Thanne gan [me] to meten a merveillous swevene
That I was in a wildernesse, wiste I nevere where.
As I biheeld into the eest an heigh to the sonne,
I seigh a tour on a toft trieliche ymaked,
a deep dale bynethe, a dongeon therinne,
With depe diches and derke and dredfulle of sighte.
A fair feeld full of folk fond I ther bitwene -
Of alle manere of men, the meene and the riche,
Werchynge and wandrynge as the world asketh.

The Vision of Piers Plowman
The C-Text
(The Prologue, Vv. 1-10)

In a somur sesoun whan softe was the sonne
Y shope me into shroudes as y a shep were;
In abite as an heremite, unholy of werkes,
Wente forth in the world wondres to here,
And say many sellies and selkouthe thynges.
Ac on a May mornyng on Maluerne hulles
Me biful for the slepe, for werynesse of-walked;
And in a launde as y lay, lened y and slepte,
And merueylousliche me mette, as y may telle.
Al the welthe of the world and the wo bothe
Wynkyng, as hit were, witterliche y sigh hit;
Of treuthe and tricherye, tresoun and gyle,
Al y say slepynge, as y shal telle.

Sound on
Specimen: Piers Plowman
William Langland