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I wot wel Abraham was an holy man, ■•
And Jacob eke, as fer as ever I can,
And eche of hem had wives mo than two,
And many another holy man alio. '. ¿646
Whercan yc feen in any maner age
That highe God defended mariage
By eHpreffe word ? 1 pray you telleth me,
Or wher commanded he virgin itee?
I wot.as wel as ye, it is no drede, 5&4$
The apoftle, whan he fpake of maidenhede,
For hadde God commanded maidenhede,
Poule dorfte not commanden at the left ¡ 6¡¡
I wot wel that the apoille was a maid,
And everich hath of God a propre gift, 5685
Som this, fom that, as that him liketh fhift.
Virginitee is gret perfeñion,
And continence eke with devotion;
But Crift, that of perfection is welle,
Ne bade not every wight he fhuld go feile 5Í90
All that he had and yeve it to the poure,
And in fwiche wife follow him and his lore:
He fpake to hem that wold live parfitly,
And, Lordings, (by your leve) that am nat I:
I wol beftow the flour of all myn age ¡ 695
In tli' actus and the fruit of mariage.
Tell me alfo to what conelufion
Trufteth me wel they were nat made for nought.
The experience wot wel it is not fo.
Why fhuld men elles in hir bonkes fette
To purge urine, and eke for engendrure.
Crift was a maide, and fhapen as a man,
In wifhode wol I ufe min infiniment