The Sowle Axeth a
Questyon of the Mansyons of Heuene
`Syth ye haue', quod
I,`said me thus moche, yet wyll I asken a lytell
what more, yf hit lyke yow,
for to seye me of that I coueyte
to knowe of these worldes and these wonder mansions
in whiche the Seyntes of Heuen dwellen. Somwhat I
see, but fayne wold I yet knowe a lytel what more,
for to vnderstande better that I haue herd before.'
`O swete God', quod he, `what seist thou, hast thou not lyued in Erthe more than fourty winter? And yet for al thy peyne and besynes that thou haste put to lernynge with labour of thy wyttes, yet knowest thou but lytel of the world in regard of alle. And now thou arte comen hyder, thou woldest knowe anon al that ther is, merueylous ordynaunces that ben withoute nombre. But certes, that shalt thou neuer knowe in to the tyme that thou haue behold in the Mirrour [93r] of the Souerayne Deyte, that is God hym seluen, wherin thou shalt see clerely all that thou canst desire.
`I see nought but that I will gladly telle the somme thynges in speciall, of whiche thou haste moost desire to knowe. For yf I shold speke of all, I shold neuer make an ende. So saye me thenne, wherof thou hast lieuest for to here.'
`Of eyghte worldes', quod I, `wherof thre ben corowned with flowres of disparayle kynde and coloure eueryche fro other. Herof wolde I here tydyng with right grete desire. One of them is coroned with faire rede rosys, that other with rodys, and the thyrd with lusty prymerosys and lylyes, entermellyd and graciously arrayed.
`Of these thre worldes and of the other fyue I hadde leuer here speke than ony thynge elles, for cause of the grete ioye that I see therynne. Ther is none herte that he ne must be rauysshed with desire of soo hyhe and excellent gladnes of this Rial Cyte, whiche that I am ynne; thanked be the Lord of his Grace.'