The Middle English charters of Christ ...
Spalding, Mary Caroline, 1877-
Page  47


Carta ihesu Christi
Who so wyll ouer-rede thys boke [folio 77a]
And with hys gostlye ye þer-on loke
To oþer skole dare he not wende
For to saue his sowle fro þe fende
Then for to do as þis boke telleth
For holy wryte for-soþe hit spelleth
Wherfore y pray ȝou for charyte
ȝe þat þis boke wyll rede or se
With ȝour herte & all ȝour mynde
Bereth derworþly þat ȝe her fynde
And fulfylle hit in dede
That ȝo now yn þis boke shull rede
For ȝe shull here a-none ryght
How ȝour sauyour speketh to ȝou as-tyȝte
Wordus of a charter þat he hath wrowȝth
That ȝe mow kepe yn all ȝour þowȝth Page  49
And when ȝe þis boke kan vnþerstonde
Teche hit forth þorow all þis londe
Vntyll oþer þat þis boke haue not sowen
To saue þeyr sowles ryȝth as ȝour owen
For ellys ȝe shull not without gret stryfe
Fro þis worlde passe into þe londe of lyf
Now y wyll begynne to rede þereon
Hys pees he ȝeue vs euerychone
Ihesu lord of heuen & helle
Man & wommon y woll ȝow telle
Loke what loue y haue to þee
And loke what loue þou hast to me
Fro paradys þou were out pylte
With kare & sorow þou beþ all spylte
And forþe þou bere drawe a-way
As a beste þat goth a-straye
For my ryght y come a-downe
To seke þe fro town to towne
To holpe þe yn þy myschef
Derworth sowle þou art me lef
Myn Erytage þat ys so fre
In þy myschef to ȝeue hit þe
And when þat sesyng y ȝeue shulde
A dede as þe jewys wolde Page  51
Vntyll a mayde y be-toke me
When þat y conceyued shulde be
ffull wordyly she kepte me
Tyll þe tyme fulfylled shuld be
The mayde was trwe mylde & fre
She me reseyued for loue of þe
Nyne monethes with her y was
To make amendes for þy trespas
Or y ynto þis worlde was borne
To saue mankynde þat was forlorn
Thorow þe vertu of my grace
Thus kome þis sesyng fyrst in place
Vyrgyn Mary mayden mylde
With me went grette with chylde
And when þis sesyng was all y-do
Grete enuye hadde þy fo
That cursedde fend satanas
Hadde gret wonþer why hit was
Wherfor j wolde so myche loue þe
That so vnkynde hast be to me
Wroth he was hit helpede hym noȝt
For to helpe þe was all my þowȝt
He tempted me yn so gret foly
An pride couetyse & glotenye
And well he wyste y was a man
But synne yn me fonde he none
ffor-soþe well harde he þretened me
How þat sesyng shuld dere y-bowȝt b[e]
For to destroye me þorow his m[yȝht]
And putte þe for euer out of m[y syȝht] Page  53
Now dereworth soule herken [to me]
And a newe joye shall y telle [þe]
To make a chartur of feffem [ent]
Heuen & erþe shall be pres[ent]
Hit moste nedus in suche man[er be]
That y most ȝolde my lyf fo[r þe]
And when y am deed man þe[n be þou kynde]
And haue þis chartyr euer yn þ[y mynde]
ffor þyn enmy þat hath þe so[wȝht]
And ȝyt shall y lose þe nowȝ[t]
ffor y woll dye for þy foly
And brynge þe yn-to my cu[mpanye]
I am lyf and þou art dede
Call þou my lyf aȝeyn þy [nede]
ffor to helpe þe y am redy
To saue þe euer fro þyn en[my]
ffor many a way haue y [goo]
In hunger þryste chele & woo
Thrytty wyntyr & þre þerto
Or my desese wer all y-do
Parchemyn to fynde wyste y none
To make a chartur aȝens þy fone
That wolde laste with-owten ende
Herken now to my wordes hende Page  55
But as trewe loue ladde*. [The de in this word has a stroke over it.] me þo
Myn owene skyne y take þer-to
And when y hadde so y-do
Well fewe frendes hadde y tho
To gete me frendes y ȝaf gret mede
As þoth þe pore þat hath myche nede
But to gyf þe y hadde no more
ffor þy sowle þat was forlore
Then my sowle y ȝaf for þe
ffor to dye vpon a tre
Vpon a thursday a sowper y made
To frend & fo to make hem glade
Of breed & wyne þe sacrament
ffor euer to be my testament
Whych ys my flesh & my blode
To þo þat lyuen yn mykyll mode
And to þem þat dyen out of charite
Her dampnacyon for euer to be
Her wyll y ȝou fowr wordes teche
[A]nd to þe pepull loke ȝe hem preche
Hoc facite in meam commemoracionem
[Þ]o þat haue hem euer yn mynde
[H]ygh mede in heuen shull ȝe fynde
These wordes towchen þe sacrament
That men resseyuen verament Page  57
Hyt semyth mony & ys but on
Hyt semyth brede & hit ys none
Hyt ys qwylke & semeth deed
Hyt ys my body in forme of breed
Thys made y only for mankynde
[M]y wonþerfull werkes to haue yn mynde
Who so reseyue hit yn clennesse
[S]aued shall be & come to blysse
[A]nd to haue yn mynde my passyon
That shall be þy saluacyon
Ere y fro þe bord arose
Of my dyscypull betrayd y wose
When he had sowped he rose a-non
To grete maystres ryde he gone
And browȝt hem with hym yn þe way
As a lyon goth abowte his pray
Suscepit me sicut leo paratus ad predam
Anon þey begon to spoyle me
And sayde y shulde dye vpon a tre
My mantell & oþer cloþus mo
All y hadde hem sone for-go
They caste lotte as wolde befall
Wheþer on shuld hem or parte hem all
So all my cloþus fro me þey token
And all my frendus me for-soken Page  59
Naked y stod among my fone
ffor oþer sokour hadde y none
Redy þey wer me for to dysese
But none þe was me to plese
They made skourges hwge & grete
Therwith my body for to bete
And þowȝ y wolde haue playned me
Ther shulde to me no sokour haue be
ffull sore aferd for-soþe y was
When þey ledde me so gret a pase
To a pyler y was bownd all nyȝt
Tugged & beten tyll hit was day lyȝt
And wasshen with my owene blode
That on þe yrþe abowte me flode
And so y suffred all þe nyȝt
Tyll on morn hit was day-lyȝt
Streyned well harde to a tre
As parchemyn oweth for to be
Herkeneth now & ȝe shall wyten
How þe chartur was wryten Page  61
Ouer all my face fyll þe ynke
With þornus þat in my hedde gonne synke
The pennus þat þose letterus wryten
Wer skourges þat y was with smyten
How many letterus þat þer-on bene
Rede & þou may wyte & sene
ffyue þowsande fyue hundered þen
Wonþus of my body rede & wanne
ffor to shew þe of my loue-dede
My-self wyll here þe chartur rede
O vos omnes qui transitis per viam attendite uidete si est dolor sitis sicut dolor meus
ȝe men þat gon her by þe way
Beholde & se both nyȝt & day
And redeth vpon þis parchmyn
ȝyf any sorow be so gret as myn
Stonþeth & herkeneth þis chartur redde
Why y am wounded & all forbledde
Wyten þo þat ben her & þo þat ben to come
That y ihesu of naȝareth goddus sone
Vnþerstondeth well ȝe þat woll abyde
That y ihesu haue a blody syde
That borne was yn bedleem
Ouer-more offred yn-to iherusalem
The kyngus sone of heuen aboue
A mercyfull fader þat y so well loue Page  63
I made a sesyng when y was borne
To saue mankynde þat was forlorne
But with my cha[r]tur her-yn present
I make to mannus sowle a feffement
That y haue granted & ȝeue
To mankynde with me to lyue
In my kyngdon of heuen blysse
To haue & to holde withowten mysse
With þis condycyon so þat þou be kynde
And haue þis chartor euer yn mynde
ffrely to haue & frely to holde
With alle þe pertynanse to be bolde
In my blesfull joye euer to dwelle
For þe rente þat y shall þe telle
Myn herytage þat ys so fre
ffor omage or ellys for fewte
No more woll y aske of þe
But a fowr leued grasse ȝelde to me*. [Nota in margin.]
That on lef ys verry shryfte with hert
That*. [Ms. Tath.] oþer ys for synne sorowe smerte
The þryrde ys y wyll no more do so
The fowrþe ys do þy penanse þer-to
And when þese leuus togeder be sette
A trewe loue men klepe hyt Page  65
Of þis rente be not behynde
The way to heuen þen may þou fynde
And ȝyf þou trewely þis rente pay me
My grete mercy þen shall y shewe þe
ffor ȝyf þou falle & grettely mystake
ȝyt my charter wyll not þat y þe forsake
ȝyf þou amende & mercy craue
Thyn erytage soþly þen shalt þou haue
The sele þat hit ys a-seled wyth
Hyt was made at no smyȝth
Of golde ne syluer ys hit nowȝth
Ne stele ny yren ys hit of wroȝth
But with a spere my hert was stongen
Thorow my syde & thorow my longen
Vpon my syde þat made a wonde
Þat my hert blode ran down to þe grownde
And with yren naylus þey boredden me
Thorw fote & honde yn-to þe tre
The sesynge wax was dere y-bowȝt
Alle myn herte rote hit was y-sowȝt
All y-compered with fyn vermelon
Of my rede blode þat ran adown
Factum est cor meum tanquam liques|sens in medio uentris mei
ffyue seles be sette þervpon
ffadyr & sone god & mon Page  67
The fyfte ys þat þou beleue most
That y kam of þe holy goste
And þerfor her may þou now se
That y am a kyng of gret powste
In playn power þy state to make
A crowne of þornus on my hedde y take
Thys crowne betokeneþ þat y am kyng
And frely may ȝef myn owene þyng
Thys wytnessed þe jewys alle
On kneus þey gan before me falle
And lowde sayde yn her skornyng
All hayle lorde & of jewes þe kyng
Betwene two þeuus þis charter was seled
Boþe wer seke þat on was heled
Betwene two theuus hyȝe y-pyght
In token þat y was lord of myȝth
This be tokeneth both good & yll
At þe day of dome how y may saue or spyll
Well drye y was & thursted sore
But of such drynk myȝth y no more
ffor aysell & galle þey ȝef to me
But on drynke aske y of þe
That þou be louyng towards þy fone
Oþer drynke of þe aske y non Page  69
ȝef þou me loue haue þis yn mynde
To þy enemyes be þou ryght kynde
Ensaumpull þou myȝt take her of me
For loue of my fone y honge on tre
But my fadyr y pray the
Vpon my enemyes þat þou haue pyte
And as y do. do þou to þyne
Then saued shalt þou be fro helle pyne
He ben wytnesses mo þen on
Marke mathew luke & jon
And namely my modyr swete
That for me blody teres gan lete
ffor þer she stode vnþer þe rode
She sawe my body all on blode
That fro my foot vnto my hedde
I was not ellys but blode reed
No worde to me myȝth she speke
Hit semed well her hert wolde breke
No wonþer hit was þowȝ she wer woo
When she sawe me on þe crosse so y-do
ffor sorow of her y made a cry
And sayde well lowde hely lamaȝabatanyPage  71
Anon she fell down yn swonyng
Ther be-for me at my dyyng
The paynus þat y suffred wer full sore
But for my moder þe wer well more
When y layde my hedde her & þer
My moþer changed all he[r] chere
ffull fayn she wolde haue holpen me
But for þe jewys hit myȝt not be
The paynus þat y hadde wer full smert
The swerde of sorow persedde her hert
When seyn john y her betoke
She caste on me a drwly loke
As þowȝ y hadde her all forsake
And to an-oþer sone her be-take
And or þis charter wryten þus was
ffull ofte she sayde Alas Alas
Vpon my shuldur y layde myn hedde
When y þrowȝ faste vnto my deed
ffor so bare y was of worldly gode
When y shulde dye vpon þe rode
That y ne hadde wher-of to take
Reste to myne hedde wher-of to make
Pouer & ryche haue þis yn mynde
When þou yn þis worlde no reste kan fynde Page  73
What reste y hadde only for þe
When y henge nayled vpon a tre
Well may þou knowe þat y hadde none
ffor ther y was among my fone
And when þou among þy fone art browȝt
Be redy to suffre with all þy þowȝt
To stonde at þe barre hit ys well harde
As ȝe bene worþy to take rewarde
Thou þat for me sufferest wronge
Þou shalt stonde on my riȝt honde
And þou þat vengest þe on þy brodyr
Ther stondest þou not but on þat odyr
ȝyf þu wyll þe soþe knowe
Ryȝth as þou sowest so sha[l]t þu mowe
I fele me now so full of wo
That out of þis worlde y moste go
With peynus of þeth harde am y bownde
My sowle shall passe her yn a stounde
Beholde now mon with herte & ye
ffor þy loue how y shall dye
I honge on crosse for loue of þe
ffor-sake þe synne for loue of me
Mercy þou aske & amende þe sone
And y woll forȝyf þat þou hast mysdone Page  75
ffor full of mercy y am trewly
To all þo þat woll cryn for mercy
What shall hit greue to repente þe
And yn endeles joye to dwelle with me
ffor þo þat woll no mercy crye
They go to helle when þey shall dye
Now when y haue oo worde spoken
My yen togeder y most lokene
Now synfull man haue pyte on me
ffor þy owene sowle for charyte
Thys worde y most neþus speke
And þen myn herte shall to-breke
Consummatum est
þis chartur ys done
Man now hast þou ouercome þy fone
Anon to helle y went þis charter to shewe
Before sathanas þat mykyll shrewe
Thus y hym shent & browȝt to grounde
Thorow my paynes of spytuus wounde
And after a couenante made þer was
Betwene me & sathanas
All my catell to haue a-way
That he berafte me with his play
The þrydde day y rose & made a feste
To þe moste & to þe leste Page  77
The feste was of joye & blys
Estur day called hit ys
Oon endentur y lafte with þe
Wher-of þou shalt euer sykur be
In þe preestus honde my flessh & blode
That for þe was honged on þe rode
Ho-so-euer hit be þat beleueth þer-on
Endeles payne shall he fynde none
All-þowȝe y dye ȝet dyeth not he
For vp shall he ryse & leue with me
A well fayr syngne y toke þe her also
A token of þe crosse þat y was on do
To bere with þe wher-euer þou go
To saue þe euer fro þy fo
To my fader now moste y go
ffor all hys wyll now haue y do
Her y take my leue ȝo haue me seyne
At þe day of dome y come agayne
Mon to dome aftyr hys werke
Thys ys to beleue of all holy kyrke
And euer after yn joye to dwelle
Saued to be fro þe paynes of helle
But a kote Armour y ber her with me
The whych y toke of þy lyuere Page  79
The kote ys both ryche & fyne
The campe ys now of rede satyne
A well fayr mayde hit towȝte
And out of her bowr y hit browȝte
Powdered hit ys now with fyfe roses rede
With wonþus þat y þoled with paynes of dede
And when y come aȝeyn to þe
Be my cloþyng þou mayst knowe me
And þo þat ben of þer rente behynde
And þes wondus woll not haue y mynde
ffull sore shall þey be a-ferde
When þis chartur shall be redde
Of þe hyȝ justys be þey full ware
For þere shall he non spare
ffor all þat euer þou hast wroȝth
ffro þy yowth þen shall be sowȝth
But power of my fader y haue
To saue all þo þat mercy wyll craue
And pay þy rente ȝyf þu haue space
ȝyf þou of me wolte haue grace
And yf þou dye full soþenly
Vpon þy sowle y shall haue mercy
A couenaunt ys made betwen vs to
As y haue do so most þou do Page  81
Loke what þy pater noster sayth to þe
Lyke as y forȝeue forȝyf þou me
Do þeraftur ȝyf þat þou wylte
So þat þy sowle be not spylte
Vpon all holy wryte y may put me
Wheþer y be curteys or not to þe
Be þou lered or be þou lewed
The weye to heuen y haue þe shewed
Be þe tyxte of holy wryte
In what place þou wolte seke hyt
Therfor y bydde þe pay þe rente
That with þe fende þou be not shente
Wyth me to blysse þen þou shalt come
And yn my blysse þou shalt wone
To þat blysse y may þe brynge
That of nowȝte made þe & all þyng
Ihesu yn þat holy place
Graunte*. [In the MS. the sign for ra occurs above the n.] vs to se þy holy face Amen