Symon's Lesson of Wisdom for All Manner of Children

Child , I warn thee in all wise
That thou tell truth and make no lies.
Child, be not froward, be not proud,
But hold up thy head and speak aloud.
And when any man speaketh to thee,
Doff thy hood and bow thy knee.
And wash thy hands and wash thy face,
And be courteous in every place.
And where thou comest, with good cheer,
In hall or bower, bid " God be here!"
Look thou cast at no man's dog,
With staff nor stone at horse nor hog;
Look that thou not scorn nor jape
Neither with man, maiden, nor ape.
Let no man of thee make plaint,
Swear thou not by God, neither by saint;
Look thou be courteous, standing at meat,
And that men giveth thee, thou take and eat;
And look that thou neither cry nor crave,
And say, " That and that would I have";
But stand thou still before the board,
And look thou speak no loud word.
And, child, worship thy father and thy mother,
And look thou grieve neither one nor other;
But ever among thou shalt kneel adown,
And ask their blessing and their benison.

And, child, keep thy clothes fair and clean,
And let no foul filth on them be seen.
Child, climb thou not over house nor wall,
For no fruit, birds, nor ball.
And, child, cast no stones over men's house,
Nor cast no stones at no glass windows;
Nor make no crying, japes, nor plays
In holy church on holy days.
And, child, when thou goest to play,
Look thou come home by light of day.
And, child, I warn thee of another matter,
Look thou keep thee well from fire and water;
And be ware and wise how that thou look
Over any brink, well, or brook.

Child, when thou goest in any street,
If thou any good man or woman meet,
Avale thy hood to him or to her,
And bid, " God speed, dame or sir!"
And be they small or great,
This lesson that thou not forget —
For it is seemly to every man's child —
Namely, to clerks to be meek and mild.
And, child, rise betimes and go to school,
And fare not as a wanton fool,
And learn as fast as thou may and can,
For our bishop is an old man;
And therefore thou must learn fast
If thou wouldst be bishop when he is past.
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