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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Luke xv. 11–32
By John Wycliffe (c. 1324–1384)
 
AND he seide, A man hadde twei sones; and the yonger of hem seide to the fadir, Fadir, gyue me the porcioun of catel, that fallith to me. And he departide to hem the catel. And not aftir many daies, whanne alle thingis weren gederid togider, the yonger sone wente forth in pilgrymage in to a fer cuntre; and there he wastide hise goodis in lyuynge lecherously. And aftir that he hadde endid alle thingis a strong hungre was maad in that cuntre, and he bigan to haue nede. And he wente and drough hym to oon of the citeseyns of that cuntre. And he sente hym in to his toun, to fede swyn. And he coueitide to fille his wombe of the coddis that the hoggis eeten, and no man gaf hym. And he turnede agen to hym silf, and seide, Hou many hirid men in my fadir hous han plente of looues; and Y perische here thorough hungir. Y schal rise vp, and go to my fadir, and Y schal seie to hym, Fadir, Y haue synned in to heuene, and bifor thee; and now Y am not worthi to be clepid thi sone, make me as oon of thin hirid men. And he roos vp, and cam to his fadir. And whanne he was yit afer, his fadir saigh hym, and was stirrid bi mercy. And he ran, and fel on his necke, and kisside hym. And the sone seide to hym, Fadir, Y haue synned in to heuene, and bifor thee; and now Y am not worthi to be clepid thi sone. And the father seide to hise seruauntis, Swithe brynge ye forth the firste stoole, and clothe ye hym, and gyue ye a ryng in his hoond, and schoon on hise feet; and brynge ye a fat calf, and sle ye, and ete we, and make we feeste. For this my sone was deed, and hath lyued agen; he perischid, and is foundun. And alle men bigunnen to ete. But his eldere sone was in the feeld; and whanne he cam, and neighede to the hous, he herde a symfonye and a croude. And he clepide oon of the seruauntis, and axide, what these thingis weren. And he seide to hym, Thi brother is comun, and thi fadir slewe a fat calf, for he resseyuede hym saaf. And he was wrooth, and wolde not come in. Therfor his fadir wente out, and bigan to preye hym. And he answerde to his fadir, and seide, Lo! so many yeeris Y serue thee, and Y neuer brak thi comaundement; and thou neuer gaf to me a kidde, that Y with my freendis schulde haue ete. But aftir that this thi sone, that hath deuourid his substaunce with horis, cam, thou hast slayn to hym a fat calf. And he seide to hym, Sone, thou art euer more with me, and alle my thingis ben thine. But it bihofte for to make feeste, and to haue ioye; for this thi brother was deed, and lyuede agen; he perischide, and is foundun.  1
 
Same—Modern Version

AND he said, A man had two sons; and the younger of them said to the father, Father, give me the portion of cattle, that falleth to me. And he departed to him the cattle. And not after many days, when all things were gathered together, the younger son went forth in pilgrimage in to a far country; and there he wasted his goods in living lecherously. And after that he had ended all things, a strong hunger was made in that country, and he began to have need. And he went and drew him to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him in to his town, to feed swine. And he coveted to fill his womb of the cods that the hogs eat, and no man gave him. And he turned again to himself, and said, How many hired men in my father’s house have plenty of loaves; and I perish here through hunger. I shall rise up, and go to my father, and I shall say to him, Father, I have sinned in to heaven, and before thee; and now I am not worthy to be clept 1 thy son, make me as one of thine hired men. And he rose up, and came to his father. And when he was yet afar, his father saw him, and was stirred by mercy. And he ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned in to heaven, and before thee; and now I am not worthy to be clept thy son. And the father said to his servants, Swithe 2 bring ye forth the first stool, and clothe ye him, and give ye a ring in his hand, and shoon on his feet; and bring ye a fat calf, and slay ye, and eat we, and make we feast. For this my son was dead, and hath lived again; he perished, and is found. And all men begun to eat. But his elder son was in the field; and when he came, and nighed to the house, he heard a symphony and a crowd. And he clept one of the servants, and asked, what these things were. And he said to him, Thy brother is come, and thy father slew a fat calf, for he received him safe. And he was wroth, and would not come in. Therefore his father went out, and began to pray him. And he answered to his father, and said, Lo! so many years I serve thee, and I never brake thy commandment; and thou never gave to me a kid, that I with my friends should have eaten. But after that this thy son, that hath devoured his substance with whores, came, thou hast slain to him a fat calf. And he said to him, Son, thou art ever more with me, and all my things be thine. But it behoved for to make feast, and to have joy; for this thy brother was dead, and lived again; he perished, and is found.
  2
 
Note 1. Called. [back]
Note 2. Quickly. [back]
 
 
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