Lucifer with his legions · learned it in Heaven,
But because he obeyed not · his bliss he did lose,
And fell from that fellowship · in a fiend’s likeness
Into a deep dark hell · to dwell there for ever;
And more thousands with him · than man could number
Leapt out with Lucifer · in loathly form:
For they believed in him · that lied in this manner—
Ponam pedem in alquilone, et similis ero altissimo.
And all that hoped it might be so · no Heaven might hold them;
They fell out in fiend’s likeness · nine days together,
Till God of his goodness · steadied and stayed
Made the heavens to be shut · and stand so in quiet.
When these wicked went out · wonderwise they fell;
Some in air, some in earth · and some in deep hell;
But Lucifer lowest · lieth of them all.
For the pride he put on · his pain hath no end;
And all that work wrong · wander they shall
After their death day · and dwell with that wretch.
But those that work well · as holy writ telleth,
And end, as I have said · in truth, that is best,
May be sure that their soul · shall wend to Heaven,
Where Truth is in Trinity · and enthroneth them all.
Therefore I say, as I said · in sight of these texts,
When all treasures are tried · Truth is the best.
Learn these unlearned · for lettered men know it,
That Truth is treasure · the best tried on Earth.