When thou meetest a worthy man,
Cap and hood thou hold not on;
In church, in market, or in the gate,
Do him reverance after his state.
If thou goest with a worthier man
Then thyself thou art one,
Let thy foremost shoulder follow his back,
For that is nurture without lack;
A portion of the Regius Poem, circa 1390. First published in the U.S. in 1840.
It is far more ancient than that of the other manuscripts,
showing that it was written in an earlier stage of the English tongue. It
belongs to Early English which succeeded the Anglo-Saxon.